Tips for Peaceful Activism

Although time has calmed many people down a notch from the hysteria post election, every day I see enough on social media to realize too many are still hyped up and being reactive instead of proactive.  I’ve already produced a little series of posts with suggestions about compassionate activism but I thought I’d produce a pithier version with some added thoughts and suggestions.

Stay in the Moment

Quit spinning out catastrophic ideas into the future based on info you see today.  Many people are making dire pronouncements on social media — often based on info from seriously shaky sources when nothing in the unconfirmed information actually suggests the dire outcome necessarily follows.

Take a breath.  Then another.  Bring yourself into the moment.  Ask yourself:  Is this happening now?  If the government isn’t falling, if democracy hasn’t ended, if civil rights haven’t been abolished in this moment, calm down and remind yourself of what is true here and now.  BE IN THE MOMENT!

Take Back the Narrative

When you keep passing on disturbing pieces of information about what the opposition is saying and doing, you let them frame the narrative.  Leaders have been doing it for years.

I first noticed back in the 80’s when Ronald Reagan dubbed the troops fighting for Somoza’s fallen government in Nicaragua “Freedom Fighters”, implying they were the forces for democracy instead of actually the henchmen of a toppled dictatorial regime who were trying to overthrow the social democratic Sandinista government.  And the media went with it.  The New York Times and the other major dailies, the major broadcasting stations — all of them participated in his re-frame, helping to convince people we should be fighting to restore the dictatorship (since Somoza was dead I’ve never been clear who would have run it).

Creating phrases or re-naming things using the words that suit the agenda is a frequent tactic of leaders.  #45 is a salesman.  A master of creating a narrative to sell the hapless on whatever he wants them to believe.

Right now one of his big sells is that he’s just “deregulating”.  In a country full of independent spirits, it’s a word that always implies getting rid of big government.  What it really means is he wants to remove every protection that keeps middle class and lower class Americans safe from fraud, environmental illnesses, discrimination etc. by getting rid of regulations that control corporations.  Not by a long-shot the only arena in which he’s using loaded phrases to paint a picture he wants.

Every time you pass along articles repeating the Republican administration’s phrases, you allow them to frame the narrative.  Take it back.  Write a post that re-frames what was said to reflect what is really happening and share that.

Give Your Energy to the Outcome You Want–Shift the Energy

Quit using his name.  Quit using the name of the Machiavellian senator from Kentucky.  Every time you mention them you send energy to them, building them up and leaving the other people and possibilities for your side weaker.  #45 or He Who Shall Not Be Named 1 and 2 will do.  #45 wants to be constantly in the “news” and you’re giving him what he wants.

Right now we have less than two years to identify good candidates, create  grass roots campaigns to sidestep the ineffectiveness of the Democratic party (here in KY the campaigns have been so badly run in recent years I’ve been puzzled as to who the Democratic candidate even was in many races;  possibly GOP funded infiltrators are running the party here? 🙂 ) and send our energy toward that.

Or if you want to stand with the folks at Standing Rock, send your thoughts and energy there.  If you want to help save wildlife, decide what would help and post about that.  If you want to support immigrants and refugees, do something about that and post about it.  Think up a program and enlist support.

Currently I’m doing some research about how we could start crowd funding outside the U.S. to re-fund any place or any thing #45 de-funds.  Others are creating support groups, attending protests, etc.   Think outside the box.  If you don’t have your own program/idea, help someone who does.

Let the energy and excitement build around the outcomes you want to see and please, please STOP  keeping the energy flowing to them by putting all your attention there.

Quit Being Mean

I’ll admit I snicker at some of the stuff going around, but at the same time I know making fun of people is just mean. I am no better than they are if I engage in the same behaviors to which I take exception in them.

Being nonviolent means keeping violence out of your words and thoughts as well as avoiding fists and weapons.  See more about nonviolence here.

What Aspects of Them are in You?

If you really can’t let go, and keep obsessing, it’s time to start looking within.  Nothing about someone else’s behavior can have so much impact on you unless you are reacting to something in you that you’re seeing as being “out there”.

Whatever you see in the world reflects  you.  If you’re seeing disturbing stuff and feeling upset all the time over it, it’s time to take responsibility for what needs to be healed in you.  I’ve written lots of posts about healing what’s in you, and there’s one specifically about #45.

Move Your Being into Peace and Compassion

None of us have any business being snotty about lack of peace and compassion in others if we aren’t embodying love, peace and compassion ourselves.  I’m not there.  If you aren’t either, work on that.  We’re all one, part of the same whole.  Every time one of us raises consciousness everyone is lifted.

I’ve written about doing some chanting for opening my heart and filling with love ever since the election.  I’ve also been taking a class involving lovely meditations or putting love out into the world, called a Vow to Love.  All the materials are on line so you can still sign up.

If none of that appeals, sit vipassana, do guided meditations for peace (I think there are thousands on YouTube), heal your inner wounds.  Doesn’t matter which path you choose, just do your part to  be the peace.  Be the change you want to see.

The more loving and compassionate you become, the more nonviolent and peaceful you will be in your activism.  The easier it will be to choose the most loving path of resistance.

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Heart on my forehead

Linda over at litebeing chronicles issued a challenge this months to write a post “celebrating your unique essence and energy.”  I’m not sure whether this post expresses my uniqueness, but it certainly wanders down the bizarre trail my life has been following for some years and I kind of think this thing on my forehead may turn out to be more central to who I am than I can now imagine.

The last couple of months the unwinding process in my head has been both challenging and exciting.  The piece I’ve been particularly interested in involves the muscles in my forehead.

Over the last couple of months the muscles around my third eye have increasingly bulged out as a result of all the untwisting and movement in the muscles behind my eyes. Somewhere along the way I noticed the shape they are assuming looks more and more like a heart.  I’m not much on taking selfies and I had quite a time getting shots of my own forehead in the right light for it to show up.  Hope you can see what I’m seeing.

UPDATE 11/12/16:  I also have no talent for (or interest in) art programs like Paint, but I kept fiddling around and more or less managed to draw around the bulges to make it easier to see, so I’ve added the photo with drawing.

Over the course of lots of posts I’ve told the story of a shaman telling me there was a big wound in my maternal line and I needed to go back seven generations to find the source. Using meditation to reach back, I found an ancestor witch burned at the stake and a distressed daughter who shut down the “sight” that had been our lineage–for all succeeding generations.

I’ve been through several stages and types of healing, from using long distance Reiki to send healing back in time, to creating a ceremony for a group to heal ancestral issues, and then creating a private ceremony to heal this issue, to having major sessions with healers to address the many ways this issue tied up the muscles in my head.

Throughout, the notion that I’m from a line of Seers meandered vaguely through my consciousness.  The more the muscles unwound, the more I noticed a good portion of the twisted up stuff involved a stranglehold on my third eye and I could see how well that situation served the ancestral “curse” of shutting down the sight for all who came after.

I’m fascinated to see this heart around my third eye as the muscles which created a squeeze blocking the area are slowly unwinding.  Although I can make guesses as to what this means, no big insight has struck.  Fun to follow its progress though…

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Free meditations and misc. this and that

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When I read Louise’s excellent post yesterday on Dare Boldly I wound up also reminded that I signed up for Deepak’s latest meditation series and forgot to start on Monday.  This is the second series from Chopra and Winfrey in a row that’s been absolutely on point for where I am and the focus I could use:  Become What You Believe.

It’s not hard to catch up from this point since each meditation is only about 15 minutes.  I did two yesterday and plan to do two today to catch up. The series stays up for 5 days after the end so you could also start today or tomorrow and just do one a day.

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In line with the winds of change I keep seeing noted, I’ve been experiencing odd rounds of anxiety occasionally and realizing some old pattern is rising up for release.  I’m curious how many others (or any others?) are noticing things like this?

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For NaBloPoMo I’m posting on my other blogs, so a few posts this week showed up elsewhere:

  1. Baron Mordecai and Mysterious Cave (really of interest for Wizard101 players only)
  2. Ultra Pets (also game-related)
  3. Sunset from the Porch

I have another post or two to do from the annual trip to my home town– Flint, MI– with my mother, so those will be appearing on the Scribblings blog sometime this month.

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J2PMonday: Who goes first?

When I explain my beliefs about healing yourself as the primary vehicle of healing the world, I regularly encounter naysayers who believe absolutely in offering service and see self-healing as selfish.  I’ve never quite understood why one has to exclude the other.

There’s an ancient schism in Buddhism between those who believe all must be enlightened before “you” become enlightened — in other words that you must help to bring everyone before you get there yourself– and those who believe in an individual path of enlightenment.  I say, maybe we need both.  Even more, maybe we need to find a way to wed the two.

I kind of like the series of paths to enlightenment in yogic thinking, in which there are various ways to reach enlightenment.  It’s open to each person to feel which one draws them and to follow the path that best suits.  The paths include practices for both self-healing and service.  I believe every spiritual path can lead to healing and/or enlightenment.

I used to do a lot of volunteer work and as I feel better I consider doing it again.  I also held various jobs in the “public interest” sector and I like doing work that feels good.  But in those positions, both volunteer and paid, I was often disturbed by the motivations, the negative feelings and the arrogant presumptions of “rightness” that permeated.

As I moved along a spiritual path, I began to feel that sometimes it doesn’t help to jump in based on my UNenlightened assumption about what’s best for someone else.  Or that I may do more harm than good if I show up from a place of anger.

I evaluate any agency or program from a viewpoint of whether they seem to be operating from love, listening to the wishes of those they’re helping and creating their plans from the heart instead of the head.

I don’t believe you have to be enlightened to help, but I do think it’s worth stopping and considering.  Taking a moment to look inward and listen to your heart.

I also think it’s perfectly possible to volunteer for a great place and at the same time keep on healing yourself.  I absolutely believe the more you heal yourself the more you heal the world.  I also believe you can absolutely both serve others in some way AND heal yourself.  Why does one have to be first or better or “the right way”?

See previous posts for more on healing self and world:

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Chant for peace, pray for peace, be peace

Yup, it’s time to figure out when you have a minimum of 10 minutes for Collective Prayer Sunday.  Whether you chant or pray or do a ceremony or meditate for peace, you’ll feel so great afterward.  And those waves of peacefulness move around the world, bringing a little more peace.

The more you are peace, the more the world is at peace.  So let go the anger and judgments and sorrow and unhappiness and just BE PEACE.

Shifting and the winds of change: Part 1

The more my eyes loosen up and my jaw opens, the more I feel a breeze quietly moving through my being.  Although my eye is still mainly on the prize — finishing the unwinding head saga–I can feel that the shifting in my head is creating shifts in me.

Lately I’ve been feeling poked as tales of similar workshops and theories have been coming at me from many directions.  Within a couple of days of one another there were posts on Alohaleya and Aligning with Truth mentioned Landmark Forum, which led me to examine that course.  Louise at Dare Boldly has written about Choices Seminars many times and I’ve examined their site.   I noticed that both of them emphasize “story” — an examination of the stories you’ve created about life and who you are and that you adhere to regardless of their truth or efficacy.

Then I had lunch with a friend who told me about a webinar she’s been taking that’s about discovering/examining your stories and letting them go.  Okay, Universe, you don’t have to hit me over the head with a book about it, I get that this is something I need to explore.

Tonight I made my first visit to the monthly Spiritual Cinema group that meets at a Science of Mind-based center called Ahava.  The film was The Shift.  When Wayne Dyer talked about the morning of life and getting caught in the beliefs and decisions we made long ago it struck me that he was also talking about the stories we’ve created.  Apparently my higher self has decided that I need to hear about this daily…

So I’ve been starting to ask myself about what my stories are.  I’ve let go of so much, I know that lots of old stories don’t still function.  But I know there are core issues still hanging around and that those are the ones that are hardest to see; I’m intrigued whether some of these workshops/techniques would help me uncover more.

It also reminded me of the long ago transpersonal psychologist who started me down this path.  She worked from a base theory about creating your own reality.  One of the exercises we worked with a lot was to go into meditation asking, “What do I believe that created this reality?” and then ask to be taken back to when and where that belief started.

At some point  I’d like to attend either Choices or Landmark Forum or both, but in the meantime, I’m planning to work a little bit with what I already know and see what shows up.

I’ve also been encountering lots of messages–including a great post on Brenda’s Blog— about following the things you love and getting that those are the things you’re “meant” to do.  And realizing that I’ve been tending to dismiss the dreams I love the most — the ones that feel the most like me but also feel selfish or not spiritual enough, etc.  Which I get is a story I’ve created….  So I’m also looking at changing goals and aspirations.

Next couple of posts will be more on these winds of change..

Chant, Pray, Be Peace

Collective Prayer Sundays:  In case you’re new, we’re finding 10 minutes at a minimum to pray or chant or meditate (or???) for peace every Sunday.  Details are on the CPS page.  For comments:  you can comment here or on that page or you can go to the Facebook page.