Change in Seasons

Wrapping up 2020 will be wholly unlike any end of year narrative that we have had in quite some time. We are ending a decade, fighting a virus, fighting with each other, watching the planet change in devastating ways, and trying to keep some semblance of what has been deemed ‘normal’ for a very long time. We enter into a season of harvest, where gratitude and generosity have traditionally been a comfort to the souls of so many. This year, we also have a momentous change in front of us with the upcoming election. As we come into this season of voting, and in an effort to change the conversation from one of “politics as contact sport” to “politics as contract between neighbors”, here are some thoughts and questions to consider as you move to the polls.

What’s really up for election this year? Is it freedom? Prosperity? Control? If freedom, whose freedom? If prosperity, whose prosperity? If control, control of whom, and by whom? There are many ways to answer these questions that forsake the habit of critical thought. Those who are too weary or too distracted to see a wicked problem and address it with integrity also have a propensity for offering a short, off the cuff, ill-articulated answer. “My freedom”, “My prosperity”, and “My control” seem to be the answers that so many are choosing this year. Without regard for what that really means, when implemented and executed.

Should the clarion call to be to vote in a manner that feeds the foundational energetic concepts of these UNITED States, so that we vote in the spirit of “Our freedom”, “Our prosperity”, and “Our control” of the lives that are intertwined and interdependent?

We approach the harvest season, whereby our ancestors gathered the product of their hard work, their dedication to the land, and in preservation of the idea of a hopeful future. We also approach the season of giving, where our ancestors practiced the art of giving without hope of receiving, because giving is an act of love, an act of honor, an act of integrity. When we give, we receive.

What’s at stake this election is immense. Oppression, bigotry, destruction, and hate are rising unabated. What would happen if we cast our votes in the name of collaboration, acceptance, creation, and love instead? What would happen if we chose to be true to the spirit of the season, true to the spirit of freedom, justice, and prosperity?

When you strike that vote, what will your candidate do after they win their race? Will they build bridges for you and your community? Will they disappear into the halls, offices, and conference halls where only one viewpoint is heard? Or will they open their doors and their town halls to you, hear your concerns, help your neighbors, friends and families?

As easy as it would be to cast a vote without thinking critically of the aftermath, let’s all think without the madding crowd of opinion and agenda-driven conversations. Think about your neighbors. Think about your children. Think about the future of this country. But also think about neighbors and children you don’t know, who also deserve a life of freedom, justice, and prosperity.

The ideas that liberals, progressives, and centrist democrats carry with them into the polls must be robust enough to meet the challenge after the election. We must be committed to creating space for all – but fighting with integrity every action that harms or minimizes people we care about. We must be prepared in this way no matter which way the election goes.

Let’s vote with a good heart, a heart full of gratitude, not fear. A heart full of generosity, not selfishness. Let’s commit our hands to creating an equitable reality that silences the voices of oppression, bigotry, and hate and removes the destruction from our communities.

RIP RBG

G*d rest her soul. May she find her rest. We have at least 20 years of fighting ahead of us, but she laid us a good, strong foundation and gave us an exceptional model to follow. It will be an honor to carry whatever tiny piece of her legacy I can into the future.

Don’t ignore the mundane

This morning, I woke to another grey cloudy day. Living in Western Washington, this is par for the course. My initial feeling was a bit of sadness. But as I let myself lay still, I watched the clouds rolling in over the harbor, and sadness turned to gratitude.

Since most of the county is opening up, my daughters and I ventured out to a nursery to spend some time together, but also to spend some time with our plant relatives. All three of us have become quite the plant-ladies, and our homes are filling up with life. We are sharing cuttings, and lessons, and laughter.

I know we’re not the only ones who are feeling this connection to our plant relatives. It’s quite a movement in our world right now. And it’s not a fad. It’s a moment in time that is giving us the chance to reset our reciprocal relationship to the more-than-human world. Are you feeling it? Are you ready to be changed?

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Change is in the air. It’s in the water. It’s in the land. And our plant relatives are the messengers. More than ever, there is an opportunity for us to become the real human beings we were created to be. Not merely consumers, or influencers, or flexers. REAL. HUMAN. BEINGS.

For the last 6 years or so, Native American communities  have begun to reclaim food sovereignty. Sovereignty over their traditional foods and recipes, reclaiming and refining the ways in which their relationship to food is life-giving and and sustaining. Renewing and affirming the reciprocal relationships that are the foundation of a good life, people are reconnecting, rerooting, remembering.

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A movement. Initiated by a moment.

A moment where a call was sent out on the wind, to re-member ourselves to the original instructions.

The moments begin in the mundane.

Stay awake. Stay alert. Stay in tune. In those moments, where you are connecting to your plant relatives, listen to the lessons they may be sharing with you. Movement, momentum, moments are all rooted in the mundane.

Sweetgrass is a wonderful relative to listen to.

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Notes on Piketty 5-31-20

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I am writing this while the evidence of inequality has exploded in the face of white America, like a flash grenade, and people who shouldn’t have to fight or die to be considered equal are taking to the streets to, once again, remind America that this country is based on racist ideologies. Those racist ideologies affect every aspect of their lives, and white America has continually benefitted from them.

For months now, I have felt called to look more closely at how we build economies, especially with an eye toward looking at how Indigenous people’s have historically managed their economies. I’m not in the streets. I’m keeping to this work. I may not reach many people, but I believe in the theory of morphic resonance, and that keeps me learning, researching and writing.

Right now, I am endeavoring to tackle this incredibly huge work by Thomas Piketty “Capital and Ideology”. Here’s a brief overview of the topics covered in this work. I have not read “Capital in the Twenty-first Century”, which means that I have no foundation from this previous work of his to build upon.

I’m not great at sticking with books, especially where the information is so cerebral. I have decided to take it slow. To read a few pages a day, capture some of my thoughts, and then let the ideas and facts presented take their time getting through my neural connections. I have tried to read other books on this subject, but I typically sour very quickly on authors who either, overtly minimize Indigenous economies, or covertly do so by refusing to give at least a momentary nod to how Indigenous economies thrived prior to colonization. That souring typically happens pretty early in my reading. Happily, I’m 20 pages in and I sense a humility in Piketty’s writing that gives me hope that, while he might not overtly address the economic strengths of Indigenous economies, he at least recognizes colonialism’s devastating effects on those economies and will try to do justice, at least implicatively, to that history .

For those who don’t know me, let me clearly state my biases. I will be looking at everything through a lens of Indigenous ways of being, including how economies were managed. I will be studying with a framework foundationally positioned on a belief that inequality in economies is a zero sum game for humanity, that ‘passive incomes’ have destroyed the compassion in humanity, and that politics should never be allowed to be controlled by small, elite groups of people.

So, here we go.

Notes from page 20 of “Capital and Ideology”

Up to this point (which is still the Introduction), Piketty has stated at least twice that economic alternatives are possible.

“If there is a lesson to be learned from the past three centuries of world history, it is that human history is not linear. It is wrong to assume that every change will always be for the best or that free competition between states and among economic actors will somehow miraculously lead to universal social harmony. Progress exists, but it is a struggle and it depends above all on rational analysis of historical changes and all their consequences, positive as well as negative.”

“Progress exists, but it is a struggle…” Let me be clear here. The struggle of people who are suffering the most from economic inequality should not be minimized in any way. Neither should they be asked to carry the full burden of that struggle in trying to attain economic equity. People who benefit from economic inequity should change direction and start doing the hard work of trying to right this ship. We have a responsibility to roll up our damn sleeves and get to the work.

Piketty makes the case for a more sober and clear-eyed analysis of the historical changes that have led to this current economic reality. Further clarifying, Piketty makes the case that historians and social scientists must be allowed to participate, if not lead, the work and quit leaving it to the exclusive purview of economists and politicians. (Right here I am exercising great restraint in not diverting into a rant about economists and politicians. You’re welcome.)

This is the current economic reality.

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This data is based on Piketty’s work with the World Inequality Database. Maybe you have heard about the “Top 1%” and the inequality that exists. This graph is one of the most grounding pieces of scholarly evidence I have seen. It’s not the only piece of evidence, for the real life experiences of people who live at or near subsistence incomes can attest to the daily pressure of economic inequality, and should be brought into account. The fact that we have to plead with our elected officials to extend moratoriums on practices which harm people, allowing them to be evicted and utilities shut-off without consideration is another piece of real life evidence of ‘the rich get richer’.

When I view this piece of evidence, I am even more curious about Indigenous economies, especially pre-contact. The little evidence I have regarding how North American tribes distributed their wealth affirms for me that their economies were ensouled. Meaning, they considered all the aspects of human behavior and needs into consideration when codifying their economic principles. Potlatches are one example, and I’m building a database of academic and traditional references to other examples.

Piketty states it is wrong (I would say foolish) “to assume that …. free competition between states and among economic actors will somehow lead to universal social harmony.” The key phrase, I believe is “free competition”. To my mind, the implication in this phrase is that ‘free’ in “free competition” doesn’t embrace the egalitarian meaning of ‘free’. This “free competition” that economists and politicians strive for comes at great cost for people who can scarcely afford to lose that which is sacrificed in the name of “free competition”. In fact, economists and politicians use “free” when they really mean unencumbered of regulations and moral considerations.

If we agree to refuse to ‘assume’ that “free competition” somehow leads to social harmony AND we can come to terms with the fact that social harmony requires struggle, might we finally be able to put feet on a path to an economic alternative that leads us closer to equitable economies and social harmony? Can we come to terms with the reality that struggle will be our constant companion, not only moving TOWARD that economic reality but in MAINTAINING that economic reality?

I’m not yet convinced. Full disclosure, I consider the last 20 years of my life as having unfolded pretty gracefully and free of the financial struggle that I experienced during the previous 20 years (meaning, late teens through my mid-thirties). I keep with me the memory of trying to make the difficult decision between paying a car payment or paying the light bill. The imprint poverty leaves is formidable.

Am I in a hurry to return to struggle? Not necessarily, but knowing that I have survived it in the past helps in situating my moral decisions as they pertain to money. That imprint also helps fuel my distaste for the pervasiveness of passive income as an economic principle of wealth-building on an individual basis.

How many people are willing to pay that price in order to attain economic equality? I don’t know that a lot of people have the ‘stomach’ for it. And if the people who can afford to struggle can’t ‘stomach’ the reality of struggle, neither will the politicians or economists, as many of them live and spend in close proximity to the 1%.

This theme of struggle came up for me yesterday during my meditation with a thunderstorm rolling through. As I watched the clouds transform from moment to moment, mesmerizing me by their beauty and power, lightning dancing through the sky and the soul-shaking thunder reverberating off trees, I remembered a book sitting on my bookshelf for several years. I’ve never read all the chapters in the book, so I found myself drawn to the last two chapters of “Weather Shamanism”, where the authors discussed the responsibility of people who are working to rebuild the reciprocal relationships between humans and their environment, working to understand weather as a relative. This work comes with a responsibility to not “play” but to be serious in dedication and time.

They offer wise words from a Coast Salish master storyteller named Johnny Moses on the subject of suffering. “Moses describes his people’s meaning for the word suffering as not ‘a negative thing; it refers to forces that are pressing or pushing on us that we can feel very strongly. Suffering helps us become strong so that we can withstand the winds and storms of life.'”

Struggle, energetically, is a creative energy. Where there is no tension, no growth happens. I will be contemplating what this really means for us. I am hopeful that Piketty will provide some insight/evidence with regard to what he considers ‘struggle’ and what we can do to embrace this principle as a way to move toward equitable economies. The 1% and passively wealthy can afford to struggle a little bit.

 

 

permission to shine

These are very difficult times and you should be uncomfortable. Your heart should be broken in this moment in time. You should be angry. I don’t want to ‘should’ on you, but I want to make sure that you hear affirmation that it’s ok to be experiencing these feelings.

You are here on purpose. You are here on time. If you read my posts, you have heard this before. To provide some clarity about what I’m saying, please consider: when I say that you are here on purpose, you are here for a purpose. Like saying “on time” – except on purpose. Even if you don’t know what your purpose is. You are here on time and on purpose.

Some people feel that they were born in the wrong time. I have felt that at various times in my life, fairly consistently. But I have learned that’s not true.  I now know that I am here on time. And so are you. Now, it could be that you might have come with experiences from another time which influence how you feel in this world. But you weren’t born in the wrong time.

I believe that you and I are called to bring justice to this world. We are called to bring compassion into the world. If you are still trying to figure out what to do, reaffirm/affirm your intention to be showed what that is and be open to the universe. Perhaps the words below will help in your search.

In his book, “Blessings of the Cosmos: Wisdom of the Heart from the Aramaic Words of Jesus” Neil Douglass-Klotz delivers a new interpretation of the words Jesus spoke. Jesus spoke in Aramaic, which when translated into English are diminished in their energy. Professor Klotz evaluates the scripture, tracking down the Aramaic version, and give new insight to what Jesus meant. This book has brought me so much comfort. I have ordered another book by Professor Klotz called “The Genesis Meditations: A Shared Practice of Peace for Christians, Jews, and Muslims” which promises to help understand meditations which focus on “sacred beginnings rather than apocalyptic endings”.

We are, believe it or not, on the verge of sacred beginnings. That means that there are endings unfolding before us. The threads that have bound us up in behaviors and beliefs which don’t align to sacred universal principles are unraveling.

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 KJV

In Aramaic “Hakana ninhar nuhrakun qedam bneynasha d’nehzun abadeykun taba waneshbahun l’abwukun dbashmaya”

Translated into English, according to Professor Klotz, here is what that means:

“Let the light of your being,
the consciousness of knowing
your real Self,
radiate and illuminate
the human beings
you find before you,
as well as the
community of voices
you find within.

When they see and feel
your atmosphere of ripeness,
your ability to act
at the right time and place,
they will be reconnected in praise
to the song and harmony
of the Parent of All,
the nurturing Force
that re-creates the cosmos
each moment,
unfolding a universe
of sound, vibration, and light.”
From the chapter titled “Permission to Shine”

We are called to bring justice into this world. Even if you are not a religious person, I invite you to consider the blessings of the Novena of Archangel Uriel.

“O Illustrious St. Uriel, the Archangel of God’s Divine Justice, as you hold the heavenly scales that weigh our lives on earth, we ask you to intercede for us, that God may forgive us all our sins. Obtain for us the grace of true repentance and conversation of heart that we may be spared of the punishment we deserve. Offer our prayers to God in our search for true peace and happiness founded on truth and justice. We pray for this who are suffering inhumanities, dying because of injustice and the oppressed due to manipulation and exploitation. We also pray for our less fortunate brothers and ourselves for the following intentions {put your requests here} Present to God the Father all these petitions through Jesus Christ our Lord together with the Holy Spirit forever and ever. Amen”

I love this novena – this touches on so many levels where humanity is lacking. We ask Uriel for the GRACE of TRUE REPENTANCE. Repent means to change your mind. If you remove all the religious baggage attached, you see that changing your mind requires grace. Grace is energetic space that allows you to show up without judgement, and instead offers you mercy and compassion. While Archangel Uriel is God’s provider of Divine Justice, the provision of grace is within Uriel’s power to request on our behalf. We change our minds and change our world.

We, as humanity, need that intercession on our behalf. If you are unwilling or unable to bring yourself to utilize any of the tools/rituals available through the Abrahamic religions, I encourage you to call on the Universe or the Creator. Truth is truth. we could all benefit from intercessory prayer.

IF we are to bring justice and light to this world, we must purge ourselves of bad works, dishonest intentions, and the imprints they leave on our spirits.

You are here on purpose. Now is the time to ask yourself: have you done the work to show up as the highest version of your self that you can be? Are you trying? Do you know where to look to find the path to your highest self? If not, keep looking.

As I try to learn Anishiinaabe, the language of my ancestry, I struggle mightily with that practice, but I’m encouraged by the words of an esteemed elder. His encouragement was to keep trying to speak, even if you don’t get it right, because the spirit in the words is what is alive. The spirit in the words is what will bring healing.

So, keep trying. We have work to do, and you are needed. Re-read the words from Professor Klotz’s interpretation shared above.

 

Walk away from the pain….

After reading that twitter won’t do anything to prevent the pain and suffering of an innocent family at the hands of what is supposed to be a world leader, I have finally decided to quit twitter. I’m nearly done with Facebook. Which means that, from an online perspective, there’s not much going on except this medium. And I’m ok with that.

I will use this medium as a way to spread light, love, and positivity, understanding that there is a lot of negative energy out in the world today. I don’t need to bathe in it to know it is out there. I’m confident in the foundations of love and light from which I operate.

For your consideration, a short film about letting go. About how to walk away from resentment and anger. Consider using this wisdom to make the decision to walk away from social media and the cruelty that it inspires.

Baamaapii.

resonating and vibrating

Every new growth cycle means that there is going to be a dark period. Like it or not, that’s how it goes. Transmuting and changing is painful. A friend of mine used to say “consciousness ain’t for wusses” and this proves true in my life over and over.

Recently I have had to break my association to some folks and organizations who have insisted upon furthering theories of conspiracy that are not grounded in reality and point to horrible, horrible outcomes for people who are most vulnerable. These theories are creating narratives that have no place in society, where our most vulnerable brothers and sisters are being forced to care for and feed us. Most notably, my relatives in Indian country are paying a high price and privileged people are running around spreading stories that are extremely divisive and hurtful.

I like to tell people “I have an inner conspiracy theorist living inside me, but I keep her on a very short chain.” Meaning, I’m not opposed to looking at the world through a different lens. However, I have learned, over time, that going looking for dastardly plots without a proper guide into the darkness leads only to madness, and that madness can overtake your reason in a heartbeat, before you know it.

If you start your journey looking for dastardly plots, odds are high you’re gonna find them, along with a cadre of similarly dastardly beings and energies. Energy flows where attention goes. That’s a universal law. Once you get into that cave, you are going to find yourself quickly bogged down in dank darkness and fear-based energies. Nowhere will feel safe. Everyone will be suspect. And the path to your heart will become choked out by the thorns of fear. I know. I have been there. I have seen what this does to myself, to friends, and to family.

I’m not naive enough to think that dark forces don’t exist. That is true. Spiritually, you can’t have light without dark. Well, I guess you could, but to my mind, humanity is exhausted easily if it’s always in the light. Darkness isn’t necessarily bad in and of itself. I digress.

I know that there are forces which manipulate, obfuscate, tesselate (M.O.T) so that their true intents are not visible to the world.

Our job is to bring light to that manipulation, obfuscation, tessellation that threatens to destroy hope, love, and compassion in our communities.

If we do not go into those caves where conspiratorial theories live with a way-shower, a light-bearer, we will be consumed. Our narratives will be manipulated by those who M.O.T. The narrative you emerge with eventually serves their intended purpose, because it can be so easily destroyed as it was built in fear and darkness.

How do you find a way-shower, a light-bearer, without falling victim to gurus and cult leaders? You have to ask yourself, what is your dominant energy signal? Where is your light? See, the light is not outside of you, but is inside you. Now, this is where it will get trippy for some people – you are NOT inside your body. YOUR BODY IS INSIDE YOU. You are so much more than a 3D being, and the real you reaches into dimensions beyond what you may be able to sense. Your body reaches not only into the heavens, but also deep into the earth, and within those realms is a light that is Divine.

You have a responsibility FROM this Divine light and TO this Divine light. I don’t want to get too prescriptive here about what you should or should not do. We each have to find our way to the light in our unique, sovereign, and power-full way. We must do that in faith, but we must back it up with ‘work’. I cannot do your work, and you cannot do mine, but we CAN commit to laying a good ground upon which ALL our work can be done. Through prayer and meditation, you could potentially commit to grounding grace, humility, peace, love, gratitude, forgiveness into the earth, which is our first healer.

This work prevents the manipulations, obfuscations, and tessellation and allows us to see into the darkness without getting consumed by the darkness.

A more mundane way to describe this protective stance is this way: whenever I am presented with a conspiracy theory, I ask myself, what if 25% of this is true? What is that which I think is most concerning to me? What needs light shone on it? And can I shine that light in a good way, without compromising my commitment to critical thought and balanced narrative?

Another way to look at this is soundly elucidated in this Rudolf Steiner quote:

“We must eradicate from the soul all fear and terror of what comes toward us out of the future. We must acquire serenity in all feelings and sensations about the future. We must look forward with absolute equanimity to everything that may come.”

If you must entertain a conspiracy theory, please do so responsibly. What you resonate and vibrate out into the world matters. You can either bring light to our world, or you can choose to stay steeped in the dark hallways where dastardly plots and their enablers are waiting to consume your soul. Personally, I’m finding I have little appetite for the bearers of conspiracy theory anymore, for they appear to me consumed and I won’t give quarter to that kind of energy.

That said, I hope my words and explanations have helped you look at conspiracy theories in a new light, and perhaps given you some tips on how to maintain your sacred sovereignty if you decide to peek into the dark caverns.

Drink your water. It helps.

What is hidden…

Is coming to light. It is uncomfortable, disconcerting, and difficult, but we are made to hold the truth. We are made to embody goodness. We are created to champion honesty and justice.

That’s how we are created. And the light gets through. The light may come through filtered. But it gets through.

How will you embody that? Will you allow it to be tainted by fear? Will you let anger contaminate it? How will you allow the light to be embodied? It’s up to you.

You are a sovereign being, with free will. This is the time for you to be a part of the body politic, as a sovereign being, to choose a new way forward.