Just Because You Don’t Believe It Can Happen, Doesn’t Mean It Won’t

I just got done reading an article by The New Yorker called, When It’s Too Late To Stop Fascism, According to Stefan Zweig.  Stefan Zweig (who was Austrian) wrote a memoir called The World of Yesterday which he wrote in essence, according to the author of the article,

For the benefit of subsequent generations, who would be tasked with rebuilding society from the ruins, he was determined to trace how the Nazis’ reign of terror had become possible, and how he and so many others had been blind to its beginnings.

Along the same vein is another article called US Holocaust Museum’s “early warning signs of fascism” sign is going viral.  Which btw, I was hard-pressed to find any signs on the list that aren’t currently taking place.  This is powerful stuff.  It should be a wake up call that we no longer live in the world we thought we did.

There were many times in school that I had sat and wondered what it was like to live through the times of Hitler.  Did they know it?  Was it obvious?  Or at what point did it click for the masses that things had indeed slid sideways?  Being on the “safe” side of history, it was hard for me to imagine.

However, while reading this article, I started to understand what it was like because with it came the understanding that we may be on the verge of repeating history.  I don’t know about all of you, but I did not sit through all of those boring history classes for nothing.  I’m taking notes.

I just want to say here, that I don’t care whether you are in support of Trump or not.  This message is for everyone.  If we can’t figure out how to all get on the same page and put our differences aside, then we may all pay the price.  The things that led to the rise of Hitler and Nazi Germany are eerily similar to the split I see right now between those who do and do not support Trump.  Ignoring the Trump supporters grievances, putting them down, or being self righteous towards them is only helping to pave our way to a mutual hell.

It will help if you’re able to suspend judgement long enough to hear what the author of The World of Yesterday had to say.

Zweig and his colleagues were intellects.  Reading about the things he was doing during the rise of Hitler sounds more like a man who lived during a progressive time, and not during one which would produce the likes of Nazi Germany.  He was “. . . a renowned champion of causes that sought to promote solidarity among European nations.  He called for the founding of an international university with branches in all the major European capitals, with a rotating exchange program intended to expose young people to other communities, ethnicities, and religions.

The more I read the more I could start to see the parallels of the world he described back then and the world we’ve recently been thrown into.  I can feel in me, “it’s trying to happen again.  This is what it felt like.”

Nobody was taking Hitler or his followers seriously.  They considered Hitler an uneducated “beer-hall agitator”.  They didn’t think anything would come of it, “the big democratic newspapers, instead of warning their readers, reassured them day by day, that the movement . . . would inevitably collapse in no time.”  This is exactly what so many of us were thinking during the elections.  We initially weren’t taking Trump very seriously.  There was no way Trump would be the Republican candidate, let alone win, it was ridiculous.  And yet he did.

How did someone like him get so much support?  Well, there was another insight in this article that felt like an echo of what I’ve heard from Trump supporters.  During the elections of 1930, when “support for the party exploded”,

 —from under a million votes two years earlier to more than six million. At that point, still oblivious to what this popular affirmation might portend, Zweig applauded the enthusiastic passion expressed in the elections. He blamed the stuffiness of the country’s old-fashioned democrats for the Nazi victory, calling the results at the time “a perhaps unwise but fundamentally sound and approvable revolt of youth against the slowness and irresolution of ‘high politics.

I’ve heard time and again that many people weren’t voting for Trump but against Hillary.  You’ve also got a large enough group of people who are tired of the political bullshit taking place in our government(s) and were willing to take their chances with someone as off the rails as Trump rather than vote in one more corrupted government official where we would just get more of the same.

Also, if you’re wondering how there are so many people in America who are afraid of Muslims as a whole, then think back through time since 9-11 what message our government has been shoving down our throats about them and then understand that not everyone is able to distinguish between the extremists and the religion as a whole.  The manner in which our government has addressed and handled the entire issue is both childish and shameful as well as a gross misuse of power in which they used it to further their own selfish (disconnected from the people) agendas.

You can’t scare the piss out of a country by taking extreme measures in response to one event and then expect everyone to be so tolerant and understanding of everyone.  “Those are extremists, we must take these insane measures as a result.”  Which is a fear response.  Our government has taught us how to be afraid.  So for me, many of Trump’s supporters are coming from a place of fear that was first and repeatedly modeled by our own government.  Every time I have to take my shoes off at airport security, or get scanned, or patted down, I am reminded to be scared.

I am not a Trump supporter.  But I am also not for putting down Trump supporters.  There are extremists among his supporters, but that does not make the whole group bad.  You know, just like how the Islamic terrorists do not represent the whole of Islam.  Meaning, don’t do to them what you’re accusing them of doing to Muslims.  Slippery slopes ahead.

But regardless of your views on all of this, there is a warning in here that I’m trying to communicate which is further illustrated in this next quote from the article:

Prideful of their own higher learning and cultivation, the intellectual classes could not absorb the idea that, thanks to “invisible wire-pullers”—the self-interested groups and individuals who believed they could manipulate the charismatic maverick for their own gain—this uneducated “beer-hall agitator” had already amassed vast support. After all, Germany was a state where the law rested on a firm foundation, where a majority in parliament was opposed to Hitler, and where every citizen believed that “his liberty and equal rights were secured by the solemnly affirmed constitution.”

I think we’re at least ahead of the game this time in that we’re aware of the invisible wire-pullers.  We see the people that Trump is isolating and surrounding himself with.  At least I *hope* we’re seeing it.  Right?  You’re seeing that?  Okay.  So, what I mean is that while you may not agree with Trump and his people, don’t think they can’t flip the country on it’s head.  And also I think what I’m trying to say is that it doesn’t work simply to be against his supporters.  There needs to be some sort of meeting of the minds, so to speak.  They have fears and concerns and throwing them out into the cold isn’t really in the nation’s best interest.

We need to transcend and do something differently this time.  Maybe be grown ups about it and say, “Hey sorry we haven’t been taking you seriously, can you tell us what’s really going on with you?”  You know?  Like maybe help provide another avenue or solution OTHER then pushing them into the arms of the current Cheeto administration.

Because look at what that last paragraph is saying.  The intellectual classes didn’t quite grasp how much support he had.  The majority of parliament was opposed to Hitler.  Every citizen thought their rights were secured by their constitution.  How well did that work out for the German people and how closely does this fit with where things are at in the US?

Then there was the propaganda spread by the administration:

“. . . in the autumn of 1914, Zweig observed that, at that point, “the world still had power. It had not yet been done to death by the organization of lies, by ‘propaganda.’ “ But Hitler “elevated lying to a matter of course,” Zweig wrote, just as he turned “anti-humanitarianism to law.”

The lies.  So many lies and for so long that it begins to blur and confuse everyone’s senses.  What do you do if you can’t keep straight anymore what is really happening?  How do you know what action to take or who the enemy really is?  There is a definite threat here, and it’s not just Trump.  Removing Trump won’t remove the invisible wire-pullers or what’s currently being put in place behind the scenes.

And then the last part of the article that stood out for me and is in reference to the burning of the national parliament building in Berlin in 1933:

“That fateful conflagration took place less than thirty days after Hitler became Chancellor. The excruciating power of Zweig’s memoir lies in the pain of looking back and seeing that there was a small window in which it was possible to act, and then discovering how suddenly and irrevocably that window can be slammed shut.

So no, we haven’t had a symbolic government building go up in flames, but the emphasis on how small of a window there is to act before it can slam down and we’re all buckled in for the ride of our lives.

What I took from this is that very smart and intellectual people missed the signs leading to Hitler’s rise.  They under-estimated him and his popularity.  There was a web of lies and propaganda.  There were enough people to elect him into office who didn’t feel heard or understood by the stuffy old government or the prideful intellectual communities.  The people who could’ve done something, didn’t do something because they couldn’t believe it possible in their day and age.

I don’t have to wonder anymore how it felt like to live during that time, because I can imagine it to be very much like this.  Now I understand.  Now I get it.  The only problem is that we’re being given these warnings from history (thankfully), but what we don’t have is directions or guidance on how to avoid it or how to do it differently.  What do we do?  How can we take this information being given to us from our ancestors and use it to learn from their mistakes?  How do we break this cycle of violence?  How do we grow up as a whole as a collective and for everyone’s benefit?

I don’t bleeping know.  Is it solely by activism?  What if you’re not an activist type?  To me there is no one answer, but I do believe that we all have talents, skills, things we’re good at that we can somehow put to use to help.  Some people are communicators and share things, some people are the go-getters, the activists.  Some people are the paperwork people and the process people.  You know?  I think the answer is in our diversity and pooling those skills together as a whole to change what’s happening.  What are you good at and how might that be helpful for these times we are in?  Let’s do something different.

power-roots

Something Bigger Than All Of Us Is Taking Place

I have some things to get off of my chest because it’s the only way I know how to cope with everything that is going on.  I have all of these feelings fighting each other inside of me and I don’t know what to do with them or where to go with them.  Saying these things out loud in my living room doesn’t make me feel any better, so I’m giving this a try.  Plus eating apple pie for breakfast.

Some of my more conflicting feelings are in regards to what has been the democratic process in the US.  I feel that the government is a lot more deeply corrupt than anyone is willing to admit.  I don’t really feel like my vote counts.  I don’t really feel like I have a say or voice about what my country’s government does.  I don’t feel like “contacting my congressman” is going to make much of an impact to what is really going on behind closed doors.  I don’t *want* to feel this way, but the feeling is there inside of me nonetheless.

I feel like it’s all an illusion, a show, to make us feel or believe like we have a say and that sometimes they throw us a bone and let us have our way just to keep up the illusion so that they can continue, for the most part, doing whatever it is they want.  I don’t feel like they’ve been doing what’s actually best for our country or what the people of the country really want (vs what the people are told or convinced that they want).  And I feel like it’s been this way for a really long time, maybe even before I was born.

I can’t point to all of the individual reasons that I have come to feel this way because it’s based on general observations over the course of my life.  But what I can do is link a couple of current articles that, each in their own way, shows how much more complex everything actually is vs the black and white simplicity it feels like the public at large tries to paint everything (the links will open in a separate tab): I Was Trained for the Culture Wars in Home School, Awaiting Someone Like Mike Pence as a Messiah, and Frightened by Donald Trump?  You don’t know the half of it.

This is bigger than Trump.  Trump isn’t even the worst of it.  I’m more concerned about Pence and a great many other things, than I am about Trump.  At least with Trump, the corruption is out in the open.  If there is one good thing that Trump has done, it has been in helping people become more clear within themselves about how they feel about things.  And for me when I become more clear on how I feel about something (vs sitting confused on the proverbial fence), I become more clear about what it is I need to do.

Being able to take decisive action is empowering.  It’s not how we thought it would come about and it’s not in the form that we ourselves (I’m sure) would have chosen, but like it or not, he is opening up the way for us to take back our power.  He is ruffling our feathers and waking us up.

I mean look at the resistance.  Look at all of the Alt and Rogue twitter accounts from not only the National Park Services, but others like Rogue POTUS Staff, AltHomeland Security, AltDOJ, etc.  The list goes on and on.  I’ve found 31 so far that I’m following.  The protests, the marches.  I mean we’ve marched in protest before in the past, but never to this degree.  Never this loud.  Never this confidently.  Even other countries are stepping in: Netherlands launches global fund to help women access abortion after U.S. ends funding.

The mess we’re currently seeing has been there for some time, it didn’t come out of nowhere.  Trump is not the sole one responsible, he’s more or less the patsy for what’s really happening behind the scenes and previously hidden agendas.  But now the corruption is bubbling to the surface for all to see and it finally gives us something visible and solid to point to and say, “No.  No more.”

So it’s probably more correct for me to say that my feelings about the government, etc. are more about how I had been feeling about things up until this election.  That it’s only because the People’s truer voice is starting to be found and heard, that I’m even willing to admit these things to myself.  Like coming out of a defeated and head-held-under-water kind of sleep.

I feel a sort of relief that something is happening, changing.  That lines and boundaries are being drawn.  That complacency is giving way to action and that previously silent people are beginning to speak up.  That is the more appropriate and healthy response to the injustices taking place in the world.  Outrage is a far more sane response to me than the ‘business as usual’ I’ve seen in past years.

However, I also know that we have our work cut out for us.  That this is just the beginning and we have a long road ahead of us.  But things could not have possibly continued as they were, and so this long and hard road is necessary.  If things were really as good as we were all trying hard to believe they were, then none of this would have ever happened.

All of the decisions and actions (or non-actions) of those who came before us, as well as all of our own since we’ve been here, have led us to this moment. Cause and effect.  There is always a cause and effect.  An accumulation of choices and decisions that have been made, including choosing to believe things are fine even when they’re not.  We can tell ourselves that we had no part in this coming about, but at some level, we did.  But we’re also the ones that can start bringing about real change if we’re willing to cut through even our own bullshit and start seeing things as they really are and not just how we need them to be.

I have more to say, but this is more than enough for one day.  I expect to be misunderstood by what I mean and I even expect it to be more or less ignored because people are in overwhelm and shock and up to their eyeballs in other people’s opinions and feelings.  I get it.  And it’s okay.  I’m doing this for me.  I have a voice that wants to sing my song and doing so is more the point for me than anything else.  I’m enjoying the individual songs that are starting to be heard out in the world and I hope that even more begin to join in.

The symphony of humanity.  A choir of individuals singing their heart song and taking back their power.  It has begun.

fixing

Everyone Has a Secret Sauce Healing Recipe

I do a lot of thinking in regards to what it means to get back into balance, to heal, to become whole once more.  It’s a different and unique pathway for each individual.  I see it as a sort of secret sauce combination of things that, ultimately, the individual has to navigate through and discover for themselves.  There is no one sure-fire way, but a mosaic of things that we find or pick up along the way via trial and error.

I see it as every soul *pings* out a unique vibration that is an energetic signature.  That it comes from deep within, from our core.  During the course of our life, it gets challenged, opposed, tested.  We we run, lose, make a mistake . . . that *ping* inside us gets a little quieter, a little harder to hear.  When we face things, win, try again . . . that *ping* inside us gets a little louder and easier to hear.

But while each person’s signature is unique, it is made up of the same ingredients as everyone else, just each of the ingredients in different quantities.  That is the ways in which we are able to relate to each other.  My cinnamon sugar is able to relate to your cinnamon sugar, and so that is a way for us to connect.  However, I may have a gallon of it while you only have a teaspoon of it and the amount I have is way too much for your liking.

But me having a gallon of cinnamon sugar is perfect for my recipe.  (I’m making myself hungry.  I will be looking at recipes after this.)  But it’s possible that I may try to reject a great deal of my cinnamon sugar in order to stay in the good graces of someone with only a teaspoon of cinnamon sugar.  Doing that will cause me to stray from my center, from being whole.

After a few decades of doing this, even in little ways here and there, we can get ourselves into a tangled mess of trying to live out some mutilated and distorted recipe version of ourselves.  That’s how simply and easily it happens.  So healing, to me, is about finding your way back to your original recipe.

So in my example, at some point and in some form, I’m going to have to remember that I tried to make my gallon of cinnamon sugar into a teaspoon and I’m going to have to add all of that cinnamon sugar back into my recipe before I am going to feel okay in that particular part of myself again.

How I go about doing that also depends on my personal recipe, and understanding for myself, what works for me.  Is it through reading?  Workshops?  Meditating?  How do I discover which ingredients in me are messed up and how do I understand whether I need to add more or have less?  Do I need more or less anger?  Do I need to be more active or do I need to lessen my schedule?  Do I need to maybe lessen my schedule at work and increase my schedule at home?

If you imagined that there were about a thousand ingredients, you can see just how personal and unique the healing process is for each individual.  Which is where I start pulling my hair out because there is an innate healer inside of me who wishes to help people along this path, but how?  How do I universally address something so personal and varied?

As much as I’d like to, I’m not able to hand everyone their personal secret sauce combination, that’s something that you have to figure out for yourself.  However I can share with you something that I do think would help everyone on their way, and that is by taking the time to truly understand yourself.

Do you like gingerbread houses because you *really* like gingerbread houses, or do you like them because your older sibling liked them?  (Seriously, what is with all of the food analogies?)  Do you love fish, but never eat it because your family never did growing up?

Those are very superficial things, but hopefully you get the gist of what I’m saying.  It’s easy to start too.  Think of something that has been weighing on you lately, stressing, worrying you.  Now, ask questions of it.  What assumptions are you making about it that maybe aren’t true?  What is the situation to you?  What are your options?  Are you really stuck?  If there’s truly nothing you can do about it (e.g. IRS is auditing you, you have to work), then what is in the way from you coming to peace with it.

Or.  If there’s nothing pressing, but you’re just feeling blah, try doing a personality test, astrology chart reading, or something that will get you to start challenging what you think you know about yourself and give it some real thought, not just autopilot answers.  Figure out what isn’t working for you and bring it into question.

Of course, the assumption here is that you’re in touch with your feelings.  If you aren’t in touch with your feelings (meaning not fully in your body, your consciousness hovers around your head, aka you *think* you’re feeling- but really you’re just thinking *about* feelings- which isn’t the same thing), then there is probably going to be a bit of a struggle to really connect to anything that you strongly relate to or identify with.

That’s a whole different blog post and if that is the case (and I think it’s more common than people realize), then definitely do some searches/research on that specifically because learning how to reconnect to your feelings (whether stemming from trauma, diseases/illness, etc.) is a straight up game changer.  I’m talking from personal experience.  Single most important thing I ever did for myself was to learn how to cry again.

But back to what I was talking about here, there’s one more thing I’d like to address in regards to this and that’s about the misnomer regarding selfishness.  I know a great deal of people who are givers and who quite frankly are not being selfish enough.  And then there are those who are completely self-absorbed in a very damaging way (e.g. narcissism) who accuse those givers of being selfish when they don’t do what they want them to.  Leading the givers to give even more than they already do and round and round it goes.

It’s something that I struggle with in myself mightily.  But time and time again, I’ve found it to be absolutely true, that if I don’t put in the time to fix and heal myself first then I’m absolutely no use to anyone else.  So if you’re a person who has a hard time doing or spending any time on something to do with you specifically, then you especially need to be doing this.

I’m telling you, getting to know and form a healthy relationship with yourself is one of the best things you could do for yourself and your loved ones.

Now . . . where’s a good chocolate pudding pie recipe?

cup_of_cat

Will My Real Inner Voice Please Stand Up

At a recent write-in meeting where a group of us writers gathered to well, write, someone mentioned how there are already so many stories and books out there and so many more on the way.  So why are we doing this, what’s the point?

I had been having thoughts along the same line myself, but not just about writing.  Anything that I have an interest in, whether it’s writing, astrology, music, or even Excel spreadsheets, there are already so many other people doing it and even better than I could ever hope to.  Who wants to work hard to be mediocre, to just be lost in the crowd of one of many.  This leads me to feeling defeated before I’ve even had a chance to begin.

While the feeling was swirling around in the background in myself, I had no answer or response to it, as if it was the whole of the argument.  That there was nothing left to be said about it, only something to come to peace with.

But when the question came from someone outside of me, surprisingly an answer came to my lips.

Every person has a unique way of viewing the world.  All 7+ billion people could write the same story and none of them would be the same.  Provided that all 7+ billion people had found their own unique self inside and had learned how to give it a voice.  That’s the difference for me (I realized in hindsight) between feeling defeated by my writing and it bringing me immense joy; which voice am I using?

Writing for me has always been about self therapy and helping me to find my voice.  I write myself silly when I’m alone trying to get all of the garbage and conditioning out of me so that maybe some room will be made inside of me to hear what it is that I have to say.

Sometimes I drift away and forget why I write and then it becomes more about trying to write for other’s enjoyment, when the only way it really works for me is when I write for my own enjoyment.

It’s not easy for me to keep a hold of myself and what I really feel and think.  Everyday I’m bombarded with so many opinions and popular beliefs of others in the world, that the delicate thoughts and feelings of myself (when I’m not around or influenced by anyone else), start to get buried and I forget that I didn’t feel like others did to begin with, especially if I’m tired and worn down by life.

Which I have felt tired and worn down the last couple of years.  I feel a little frustrated with me that I’ve lost ground and have to start the steady climb back up to uncover myself from all of the crap (news/politics, thoughtless/parroted opinions, awareness programs, shaming, etc.) going around, for the umpteenth time in order to rediscover my own voice.

But I know I have one.  I know how much joy writing brings me when I’ve found that voice and start using it, and so I know that while I’m tired of climbing this mountain, it’s completely worth it in the end. {Just keep swimming}  <– I’m trying to swim up mountains, maybe that’s a part of my problem.

I find that with anything I do, my motivation can’t be about doing it to be the best or for any kind of recognition at all.  It has to be because it brings meaning into my life.  Because it’s something that nourishes my spirit and soul.  Because it helps me find the places in which I’m in hiding and covered up, and washes it away so that I’m renewed.  Because I think ultimately what I want (if you were to hold me down and make me put it into words), is to give my soul an uninhibited voice in this world.

I feel the truer me inside rattling the prison bars that I’ve put her in with what has become too limited of thinking that I have arrived at with so much grief about things turning out as they did with my family.  Overwhelm of emotion and a feeling of powerlessness over what happened in my life led to parts of me having to shut down temporarily so that I could process everything in smaller chunks and gulps instead of trying to take it all in at once.  Necessary for short-term survival, yes, but it’s not an appropriate place to live permanently.

And so comes the uncomfortable part of the process, where it’s time to start walking beyond the hurt and grief and stretch myself back to more wide open skies so that I can see and breathe again.  Otherwise, my grief will become a habit and I’ll be stuck there for the rest of my life.  I have to rejoin life again even if I have to go kicking and screaming the whole way.

This part requires more courage on my part than surviving the hard times, because it requires that I trust in life and love again after being shown just how ugly life can sometimes get.  It requires that I trust in something bigger than myself.  It requires vulnerability at the deepest level.

Vulnerability because there are no promises that I won’t be subjected to something painful again.  There’s no way life can promise that.  But if I don’t take that risk or chance, then I also won’t get to know love anymore because closing to one, closes me to the other.

I didn’t go through all I’ve gone through to be here (being born, surviving puberty, etc.) just to lock up and die a slow death inside of myself just because tough things happen.  I came here to accomplish something and that something requires that I be of sound mind and health.  It requires that I be alive and feel all of the things that come with being alive, and not just the things that I want to feel, but ALL of the feelers.

Only when I reach that more balanced state in myself, only when I have healed myself, am I capable of beginning to understand and figure out what it is that I came here to do.  Until I’ve rediscovered myself and my voice, I don’t really have that much to offer anyone else.  I don’t have advice, solid opinions, clear perspective.  All I can really do is parrot what I’m hearing from others (or sharing confusing muddled half opinions of my own), and I don’t like doing that.  That makes me feel like a plastic robot and my soul yells and scratches me up from the inside in protest when I do that.

My authentic self, my truer voice, is what I’m searching for and the only way I want to express myself.  Which I *have* learned doesn’t necessarily mean being blunt, callous, defensive, etc.  I’m learning a softer more agreeable way.  One that works much better for me as well as others.  <–  It’s a process of trial and error.  So while I don’t like sharing anything less than my truer voice, I have to start somewhere which means practice and showing the messy road that leads me back there.

But it is *that* voice I feel is worth sharing in the world, even if it gets lost in the sea of a million other voices.  I am okay with that, because I’ve known no greater joy and satisfaction in life than when I’ve found and am using that voice.  And that’s something that comes from within me and that I have control over.  It doesn’t require that anyone else around me change or do anything differently.

when-you-find-your-voice-your-life-takes-on-grace-quote

It’s the Dutch Life For Me

Don’t worry, I don’t have anything remarkable to say.  I just need to get back into my writing game.  I’ve spent this month participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) where you try to write 50,000 words in 30 days.  I’m currently around 55k, but my personal goal for the month is 75k.  And it’s not so much a novel as it is me doing a colossal pep talk to myself, with a minor in venting.

A lot has happened for me in the last year and a half.  My son has been sentenced to prison, I’ve left my job, moved to The Netherlands, and am now married.  I wanted the move to be as simple as possible, so I got rid of everything I owned and only took what I could fit in my suitcases and 6 small boxes that were mailed.  And two cat carriers, although mostly cats occupied those.  Along with fur and terror.

I still haven’t processed all of it.  My emotions haven’t caught up with all that’s happened.  Some days I wake up and it’s just sinking in that I got rid of this book or those pair of shoes.  I feel like the spirit in me moves at the speed of light, and then I have to wait patiently for all of my feelings and emotions to do their thing at their own pace, never to be rushed or pushed.  Until they do catch up, they are in a slushy frozen mix or numbed, slightly out of sync with what is currently going on.  I have to be still long enough for time to catch up to me and all the parts of me phase back together as a single being.

It’s different here in so many more ways than I had realized.  I could probably write a whole book just on that.  So many things that don’t matter when you’re visiting or a tourist, but that start to matter a whole lot in your day to day life.  I feel like I’ve slipped into a parallel dimension where everything is basically the same, but yet nothing is quite right.  Enough to make every day feel a little uncomfortable because nothing is really truly familiar.

Like sheets for the bed.  Thread count?  What’s that?  All sheets are the same, not so great, quality.  Slightly better than sandpaper.  I guess it’s good for exfoliating.  Showers.  It’s more typical to have a shower stall than a shower/tub.  I want my goddamn tub back.  There’s no such thing as biscuits here.  Not even the KFCs here have biscuits.  I’ve checked all of them.

They use the 24 hour clock and so for 12 hours of the day I’m having to do math to understand what time it is.  In dates, the day is before the month, which makes it more confusing for me for the first 12 days of each month.  They have 10-15 minute intermissions at the movies.  The movies have stale popcorn that is popped somewhere else and then brought to the concession stand where they sit under heat lamps until purchased.  Some theaters have “nachos” with only salsa.  But no cheese.  No.  Cheese.  Why would you do that?

Everyday I am faced with words I don’t understand.  Going through the grocery store can be a bit of a stresser.  “What’s that?  How do you say it?  What is this ingredient in Dutch?  2 sticks of butter?  How many grams is that?  How many ounces in a liter?”  And speaking of conversions, what’s the temperature outside?  Oh 22 Celsius?  Oh okay.  Seems warmer than that.  The number . . . seems a little . . . low.  <sigh>

It’s going to take some time to adjust, I know.  Establishing new routines, making new friends and networks.  New language, new culture.  Different.

I know it may sound to some like I’m complaining, but I’m not.  There are stresses that come with all of this, certainly, but I enjoy change and learning new things.  I also like to sound like I’m bitching about things, when really I’m just having fun sharing what I’ve discovered.  It’s all in fun.

We’ve begun meeting new people, and I have to tell you that there are some fantastic people here.  It has made a world of difference in helping me adjust to my new home.  It stops feeling like I’ve left so much behind and starts feeling like I have so much more to gain.  It helps anchor in me the understanding that I just need patience in letting things settle and take hold, to root.  With time, things will stop seeming so foreign and different to me and start feeling like my place, my home.

Something that has helped me anchor in the past, is writing.  As I mentioned briefly in another post, I’ve struggled with my writing this past year.  I’ve been so unsettled and up in the air.  I want to get back to it though.  It’s time to pull myself back together and get back into what I do.  If that means writing a string of boring posts, then that is what I’ll do, so long as it gets me used to writing again.

Writing that 55k words to myself helped me get this far, and now I’ll carry on that effort both there and here.  Writing regardless of whether I feel I have something to say or not, helps me get past worrying about what to write about and whether it’s good enough to post.  Screw it, just get it out there. 🙂

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Leadership Fail

I’ve more or less been quiet about the politics because I’m struggling to properly verbalize my feelings about it, especially since it doesn’t really match what my friends and family are saying, and it’s harder for me than I think people realize, to speak differently from what my friends and family think.

While we may all have our differences (which I believe a majority of it has more to do with misunderstandings within ourselves and with each other than any true differences between us), I feel that the bigger issue at hand is coming to terms with the understanding of how our government and leadership has long since failed us and our country.

They are not behaving as true leaders should.  True leaders empower and unite the people.  They’ve done nothing but divide and seed hate between us.  True leaders have impeccable integrity and take responsibility for all failures that happen under their guidance, whether it is truly their fault or not and then take the necessary steps to make it right again.  All I see from our leadership is blaming, manipulating, excuses, distorting the truth, etc.  True leaders serve the people, not themselves and each other.  I see our leadership serving the rich and the corporations.

Parents are leaders in a way.  Can you imagine parents telling their kids that the reason they don’t have as much is because kids from other houses are coming over and taking their things?  What kind of relationship do you think those kids would have with the neighbor kids?  They would probably grow to dislike or even hate those neighbor kids.  And is it even true, or is it laziness and mismanagement on the parent’s part?  The parents (leaders) set the mood for the household (country).

Many citizens, whether they realize it or not, look to our leadership to help understand the world they live in.  Not everybody is intelligent and that shouldn’t be something to be ashamed of.  Do you understand how hard it is to not be razor sharp intelligent in this world?  It’s like an unforgivable sin.  But the reality is that some of us aren’t that smart and look to our leaders and elders as role models, very much in the way that children look to their parents to understand things.

So is our country really full of hate for immigrants and other races?  Or is it more to do with how our leadership and government deals with issues?  Are the people playing out the shadow side of the leadership?  Are they being made the scapegoat for the things our government is mismanaging?

While I have so much more to say, I’m going to leave it here for now because I can hardly take any more talk about politics myself.  I just wanted to put it out there for what it’s worth, that maybe there’s more to it than who a person supported or voted for.  I honestly don’t like seeing Trump supporters being beaten over the head or talked down to any more than I like seeing minorities becoming scared in their own country.

Our leadership has failed us, but I feel that maybe if we could stop and really hear each other out, that we would ultimately discover that we all really want the same things.  Not everyone is good at communicating what they feel.  Sometimes what is said is not really what was meant, and it takes a skilled listener to get at what someone really means.  Maybe in this way we could take steps on our own to try to reunite our country ourselves.  I feel this may be the only real option we have at this stage in the game.

leadership

Be You Now

I know I’ve been away a little while. I’ve struggled with writing in the last year and I’m currently in the process of rebuilding myself and confidence enough to be able to return. I’m still here, I’ve just temporarily been set back. It shouldn’t be much longer, I feel I’m nearly ready – but in the meantime, I wanted to reblog this post because it reminds me of who I am when I’m okay and at peace with myself. It makes me feel empowered because it’s something I can do to help myself that isn’t dependent on anyone else . . . to just be me with all of my heart.

And really, I think with all of the fear and aftermath of the elections, that others could maybe use this message too. I feel there is a misunderstanding in ‘I’m just being myself’ getting mixed up with it being okay to be an asshole, and that is absolutely wrong. That’s not the truth of you or anybody. That’s a person who is covered up in hurt, conditioning, and muck. When you dig deep inside and discover the real you for the first time, it brings with it a sense of peace and power that borders on magical and truly transforms your life and world. It’s not easy to get to, otherwise we’d all be there by now. I hope this brings at least one of you some relief from all of the mayhem in recent days . . . even if just for 5 minutes. Somehow, someday, it’s really going to be okay.

Show Me Who You Really Are

I really push myself to expand beyond my comfort zone for these posts.  I’m starting to get a feel for the process and the feeling that comes when I’ve reached the place in me that has something that wants to be shared.  A unique combination of feelings start to unfold and I feel the usual tension in my midsection start to let go, and I literally. . . feel my being begin to expand outward past my normal limits.  My awareness becomes bigger.

Today I felt it come on during my walk.  I felt it start to happen. . . and could feel a part of me feel scared about that bigness, and try to resist or convince it to go back in its cage.  But, my bigness just held the space and said quietly . . . “Why?”  And then the Resistance was gone, seeing that Bigness meant business.

But the answer…

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The Super Fun Path of Breaking and Healing

Just to give some context for this writing, it was one of those situations where I woke up with the thoughts and feelings of it already in progress. Typically I keep a great many of these things to myself (because who wants to hear all of the chatter going through my head at any given moment?), but this was coming through so strong and much clearer than my thoughts have been of late, that I felt compelled to write it down and to share it.

While it did come out all at once, I would like to add that I have spent a great deal of time in testing on myself the effects of my thoughts, feelings, and beliefs with how it manifests in my physical body and health.  I can see very clearly from those personal experiences how the accumulation of my thoughts, feelings, and beliefs directly affect the body regardless of where all of those things stem from (personal, family, society, paranormal).

And no, you don’t have control over what others think, feel, and believe (nor should you) and it’s unrealistic to say that we’re never influenced by anything outside of ourselves . . . but it’s good to know that you have control over what you do and do not allow into yourself (via thoughts, feelings, beliefs) and you also have control over which of those things you choose to nurture, feed, and grow with the life and energy you’ve been given for this life of yours.

Not that it is easy to gain control of those things in you . . . but it’s been very helpful in my journey to learn that it is even an option.

So the below writing is, I suppose, a condensed form summary that’s resulted from some of what I’ve been learning from these observations within myself.

Also, I’d like to add that the language and vocabulary that gets used anytime I *download* like this, is that of the subconscious trying to put symbols into words.  In the past I’ve tried to translate it more into normal language (and maybe make it less intense) and I think I’ve been successful to some degree, but it’s too exhausting and ultimately it inhibits and muddles the flow and clarity of the information.  So now I’m trying to learn how to just get out of my own way and let it come out however it wants to. 🙂

. . .

Excessive (subconscious to a large degree) worry, mixed with inaction (too much idleness) and/or loneliness, so not pushing the life force down through the center core and using the life force to do things and bring into life the things a person wants or desires in life, it then retreats upward towards the head (because of fear, worry, what-ifs), leaves a disconnect between the head and lower chakras (making it feel impossible to *do* anything because without the life force pushing through the core down through all of the chakras, especially the root chakra, a person cannot feel safe or secure or confident enough to take action and instead freezes in fear) AND . . . all of that active energy in the head (mental energy of worry and concern) causes swelling because of Aries/Mars heat, or inflammation.  The inflammation of any of the mucous membrane cuts off the ability to see with spiritual eyes.  Things become foggy and confusing, unclear.

It’s important to not be too idle or too busy for any length of time.  Any excess of one creates an excess of the other in order to rebalance.  You want to do enough to keep your life force moving all the way through you, but not so much that you can’t stop or relax or stay sensitive to what is going on around you, which means staying *open* to receiving outside stimuli without fear of being hurt or overwhelmed (not so much resistance or a need to stop, change, or control the things around you in an attempt to lower the amount of stimulus around you).

Which is easier to do when you have faith in something bigger than yourself (e.g. God, divinity) and can relax into life more knowing that you don’t have to think of how to do every little detail on your own, but just to be open and aware enough to allow divinity to show you what detail does need to be taken care of next and in the moment based on what feels good to you and that you are naturally drawn to (provided you don’t fight it or resist it based on prejudice, ego opinion, conditioning, etc.)

But again, if the tissues in the head are swollen, then you are cut off from that guidance and it’s next to impossible to know what you should be doing.  In that case you can become cut off from life and stray further and further from your path.  To return, you have to work hard just in getting back in balance with yourself, which requires walking that direction completely blind because in that state you are not able to receive validation or confirmation from spirit that yes you are going in the right direction or no you are straying further.  The only thing you have for guidance at that point is your physical body because it reflects your state based on choices you’ve made, but it’s a delayed response because it vibrates slower than spirit, so you can’t always connect the choices you’ve made to the effects it causes in your body.

Also, questioning what you think or believe at the most fundamental level because it affects the body’s health and alignment to divinity.  As soon as you move or push beyond a limited belief, that part of your body that is pinched or blocked will start to find relief.  It means paying attention to what your body is sensing in the moment. If you start to feel worse all of a sudden, connect to whatever the thought was as that was happening, that is your clue pointing to a mistaken belief or thought you are carrying that is limiting you.  The trick is to not get lost in the opposite extreme, but to see rather that they are both sides of the same coin and to overcome it you must transcend it by letting both sides go while also accepting them (allowing them to both exist simultaneously).  This is how you reconcile duality within yourself and find your way back home.

I Will Always Be Okay

I haven’t been myself for awhile now.  I find myself and break surface, treading water, gulping in fresh air.  Then promptly get yanked back under.  A lifetime struggle of trying to swim towards the surface sparkling with warm sunshine, while wrestling with ten ton weights on my feet.

Always I find that the weight weighing me down are lies . . . smokescreens . . . illusions that I’ve convinced myself are true.  And also always, I find that I believe them because for whatever reason, I have been unable to accept the Truth.

I have found for myself that healing . . . true healing . . . is a tricky beast.  On the verge of finding great joy and peace, I have literal nightmares during the night where I find myself face to face with my worst fears.

But when I’ve had enough . . . when I’m done being afraid . . . truly, truly done . . . worn down and exhausted from the fight . . . something other than fear rises up in me.

I stop running from it.  I stop rejecting it.  I stop trying to change or control it.  I instead accept it . . . embrace it . . . I allow it to be a possible truth or reality in my world and I allow myself to be okay in the same space.  It being true, does not have to mean that I cannot find peace and happiness.  Both can coexist in the same world.

Because the Truth is, I will always be okay.  In the end, I will always be okay.

Tarred, Feathered, and Upside Down on the Tree of Life

Snip snip goes the scissors cutting the strings, separating me further from the life I’ve known.  Having always played by the rules, always taken the harder path.  Worked hard.  Always I’ve worked hard.

Fighting to survive . . . fighting to not give up.  Never feeling like I’m enough.  I must learn more, do more, be more.  Then . . . maybe then I’ll be enough.  Maybe then I won’t have to fight so hard to exist, to live.  Maybe then I won’t have to work so hard to prove that I’m worth having here.  That I’m worth feeding, worth housing without working myself into an early grave.

Always haunted by this feeling that if I don’t do as I’m told, then my basic necessities for survival will be ripped from underneath me.  Keep in line, keep my mouth shut, and do as I’m told or I could be out on my ass.  Over time, I pulled any parts of myself that might get me into trouble or fired so that I could continue providing for my family.  Not wanting to be a burden on anyone.

I worked so hard for so long, doing everything right.  Willingly and consciously sacrificing myself for my son to have a solid foundation in which to begin his own life.

He turned 20 this September.  He tried to call me, but I found that I couldn’t answer.  The pain and disappointment of what he’s done is just now starting to sink into me, especially upon hearing how many years in prison he’ll most likely be serving.

“What was it all for?” I ask myself.  “What was the point of all of my sacrifice?  . . . What is the point of me now?”

Since the fateful day of seeing the news clip which featured my son being walked into court in handcuffs, I have found it increasingly difficult to stuff myself away in the name of necessity and survival.  It’s become more difficult to keep my mouth shut about what I’m really feeling.  Less effort goes into trying to be invisible.

It’s hard to be afraid of what others may think or do to you when the one thing that had made your life worth living has been taken away from you.

I have lived such a muted and unexpressed life.  I have played it so safe.  I have so much more inside of me than I’ve dared to show or share.  I would deeply regret my life if I failed to live up to my true potential, and so far I’ve barely tapped into it.

I found out a little over a week ago that my current work assignment will be ending, today being my last day.  Being a consultant, my agency is looking for a new assignment, but I can’t help but feel like the universe is trying to get a message across to me with all the kicking, biting, and slapping it’s doing while I’m face first in the dirt.

If ever there was a time in my life that I was being given the green light to start doing my thing, this would be it.  A world turned upside down with everything I’ve known until now being ripped away from me all at once.  There is a rare freedom felt in a moment like that.  Freed from the fear of loss with everything to gain.