It’s beginning to snow here in Asheville. When I was out today I heard a couple people dreading this snow. They are still recovering from the snow in late December that put a whole lot of people without electricity and others stranded on the road. So people are preparing for what they perceive as possible problems. Me, I’m happy, though I was not here for the first snow. I’ve got a fire catching in the woodstove and wood stacked up outside. I have enough food for a couple people for a couple days in my kitchen.
All the world becomes peaceful when the snow falls. There is a hush that comes over the land. Like a soft blanket muffling the sounds of the world. Ahhhhhhhhhhh. Breathe deeply.
Wishing I had a bottle of wine. Not as prepared as I thought.
I pledge allegiance to the Earth. I commit to loving this planet and all her inhabitants.
I pledge allegiance to the Flora, the fauna and the human life that it supports. I pledge to recognize each as a form of life to be honored and respected and acknowledged and appreciated as a part of creation, which makes us connected at the intrinsic level. (I think I used that word correctly…)
One Planet indivisible, with safe air, water and soil, economic justice, equal rights, and peace and love for all. We are each responsible for making it and keeping it this way and creating a wave of peace, coming from love, for all beings.
Is it a divine plan that as a general rule, the people of this country are too frightened to peer too long into what is really going on? We divert. Movies, TV, romance day-to-dayness. We have dumbed ourselves down into a “you do it…and fast” kind of people. We endure hardship without a lot of grace. “Whose fault is it I am unemployed?” Perhaps it is a trick of fate and perhaps it is self-inflicted and perhaps it is both. Our mentality is “who can I sue to make me feel better?”
Okay. So that is only part of us. Another voice, very quickly becoming a loud voice of peaceful union, is growing. I am taking my place in this vast group of beings. Now as I write. I agree to be courageous to a point that keeps me personally safe. That’s my limitation I hope I have earned. I intend to live in peace and love for many decades to teach the children. I have much to do and much to teach and I have only just begun to live…white lace and promises
Last night, a group of beautiful women gathered in my home, making it theirs for the evening. One of these inspired, beautiful-inside-and-out women shared the following about being in a feeling of void:
“To change, we must go through a transition zone. It’s not easy being in transition. Thoughts, beliefs and habits are all in flux. It can create a sense of groundlessness, of being in a void that can be quite uncomfortable.
When we’re in the void, our first impulse will be to revert to old habits because they feel comfortable. Our goal is to hang in there until the change is complete. Knowing that transitions are part of the change process helps us muster the courage to put up with the discomfort, the uneasiness, the void.
Change requires a letting go of what we’ve always known and done to allow in something new. we need to trust ourselves and higher forces to unfold a new reality for us.”
I’m not sure who wrote these words and I thank you, whoever you are. Here is a quote by Dan Millman, former world-champion athlete, university coach, martial arts instructor, and college professor whose books include Way of the Peaceful Warrior, Journeys of Socrates, and The Life You Were Born to Live…
“When we feel stuck, going nowhere, even starting to slip backward, we may actually be backing up to get a running start.”
Does anyone see that this is a most drastic measure of losing what we have left of our independence, our freedom? It is calling us to take to the streets with fierce grace in peace, letting the powers that be know we are mad as hell and we’re not gonna take it anymore. Freedom is our inherent right. Our country was founded on the principle. As we continue to languish in our fear and media stupor, what is the message we are sending to our forefathers and mothers? Do we not look to them as heroes and heroines for having the courage to fight for this freedom? And so we must continue the legacy and be heroes and heroines today. We must take back freedom. Demand it. Encourage this government to come back to the originating intent of the people, by the people and for the people.
Earlier this evening I realized that I had not yet written here today. I had completely forgotten as I got into my day. I’ve been developing the habit of writing first thing in the morning after meditating and a yoga practice. This morning I got caught up in reading stories of joy and sadness about Haiti. I feel compelled to read and to know, as deeply as the distance and media allow, what is happening in a country not so far from our United States of America. One of the stories I read had to do with how the city of Port au Prince came to be so heavily populated . It seems our government had something to do with it, making some kind of deal with an earlier leader of Haiti to create a sort of personal “Taiwan”. I’d like to be more able to intelligently discuss this but I don’t seem to retain the facts as much as the feeling I had reading about the involvement of the US government…our elected leaders of the people, by the people and for the people. This came on the morning after watching Michael Moore’s movie Sicko about the state of healthcare in our country. As I get ready to make my Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurance payment, I wonder if I am throwing away hard earned money with a mistaken belief that, should I need it, I will have the medical help I am paying for. This movie suggests I might be.
Hmmm. I have to wonder what to do with this information. What can I do, one person? And then tonight I listened to a teleconference with Marianne Williamson. Marianne is one fireball of a woman. Petite, beautiful, smart, articulate and powerful. Though very loving, she will hardy let anyone sit in the place of victim. She has put together a conference called Sister Giant in Los Angeles at the end of February, inviting women to come and be a part of a movement to change this world. Creating a force to be reckoned with, Marianne imagines a conversation in the White House. “Mr. President, I don’t think the women will let you slide on providing healthcare to every single American. You had best do something about it and do it now.” I’m paraphrasing but you get the point. I hope to be at that conference, though I am not waiting until then to become part of this force of women who are awake to their responsibilities to take care of the issues at hand and bringing the men along with us.
So, if you’re with me on this, how about doing a little exploring of your own? Rent a couple of movies: Food, Inc. and Sicko. Read “What You’re Not Hearing About Haiti”. Form your own opinion rather than me giving you one. If there is any truth to any of it for you, commit to opening to doing something about it. I know that it might seem large and unwieldy, that one person can hardly do anything about the problems depicted. However, begin to have conversations with friends about it, instead of less imminently important things. Marianne quoted Martin Luther King as follows:
“Your life begins to end when you become silent about the things that matter most.”
Your life begins to end when you become silent about the things that matter most.
Like probably most Americans and others around the world, I am watching news of Haiti, viewing images of the destruction, filling up with joyful emotion when I read of the miracle of someone buried in the rubble for days and rescued. The horror of finding yourself wedged between two walls in the dark, unsure of whether you will ever see light again, breath and move freely again, see loved ones again, experience life in all its wonder again is a fate I do not wish to imagine and I am. Enough that I am moved to prayer for those who have endured this and may still be enduring this.
I experience overwhelming panic when I find myself physically stuck, as in when my fingers swell and I am unable to easily pull my rings off, or when my children or grandchildren playfully pin me down or in a corner. A fear rises up so great that I have the sense that I need to use my force to get out of that situation. How would it be to not have the option of being able to remove yourself from that physical stuck place? I am most grateful I do not have that experience. And I am feeling the metaphor for those places in my world where I have (and I’ll use no punishing judgmental adjective to pin on myself for being so, though I’m inclined to) called God unfair for keeping me in a situation such as loneliness or fear or whatever kind of emotion I am not happy to be experiencing. I have learned to breathe through it and find the peace in those uncomfortable places, relaxing into them, finding the blessings that go along with them. Practicing yoga has taught me that. I have learned to let go of the resistance and breathe into the stuck places. In doing so I have found freedom, a spiritual freedom that translates into physical and emotional freedom.
Where are you feeling stuck? May I suggest allowing yourself to really feel it and breathe into it, and then let go bit by bit, fingernail by fingernail, relaxing just a little more with each breath. Appreciating the sense that all is truly well because you are aware and experiencing life.
This is the third week of January 2010. It’s Martin Luther King day. “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort but where he stands at times of challenge and discovery.” I read Martin Luther King’s quote and I wonder where it is I am standing.
Yesterday a friend sent me a link to a movie posted on YouTube, Farewell to the Republic. I watched 10 minutes of it and stopped it, no longer able to listen to people talking about the manipulation of the world by corporations who own it essentially. It felt too big to handle and seemed to render my own passion useless in a world that may not exist as we know it now very soon. Instead of following a passion, shouldn’t we be figuring out how to best take care of ourselves in a society described as falling apart?
My answer is to keep our heads into the winds of fear. Let them blow past and thru and eventually die down. Stay with the rhythm, keep moving. Continue taking the steps committed to take thru this day and this week. Trusting and following the calling, allowing it to unfold as it will, paying attention to what shows up and adjusting accordingly.
As I sat down to my computer this morning to write, I first went to a news site to see how it is going in Haiti. I watched a few videos with graphic content warnings at the beginning and sat afterward with tears streaming down my face. I left my computer, unable to write, and went to make breakfast. I sat before my food expressing gratitude for the meal, the shelter, the safety of my life and it occurred to me that this is one of those moments in time that is crying out for help. Haiti is far away, easy to turn off the news of the devastation. Most of us do not have any connection to Haiti and yet…we are never far apart. We are all connected and here to help each other. The more fortunate of us have an obligation to do whatever we can to be of assistance. And pretty much anybody who is reading this is infinitely more fortunate than the people of Haiti on a good day there. So what can we do? Send money through the Red Cross or the Clinton foundation. It’s easy. Pull out your debit card and send a little more than you think you can. http://www.clintonfoundation.org/haitirelief. And then go about your day because you can and be grateful.