Saturday, April 28, 2018

Meta Mix-Up

One of my favorite personal lessons from last year was becoming aware of the messages I'm sending about what I need, want, and intend to manifest.  After I read the line, "Stop sending mixed messages to the universe," from a piece of Denise Duffield-Thomas' work, I started seeing them everywhere.  You know the whole, "I want this, but I'll be happy with that," or "I need, but I'll settle for..."

When we make bargains with ourselves we don't get our highest desires, or needs met, and I quickly realized I'd been low-balling myself, and when I'd get exactly what I asked for, it wasn't the universe's fault that I wasn't happy with the results.  Okay, no, I'm not so daft that I believe if the words are spoken, that things will just magically materialize in my life (or not), I do believe in the power of suggestion, and that our subconscious mind has a funny way of taking us to task, and shaping our behavior, but stay with me, because never has this lesson been more clear than when I watched it playing out before my eyes on social media.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Beware the Bad Guru

Remember when I said earlier, anyone who wants the job probably doesn't deserve it?  You know, I think after Jonestown, David Koresh, and Heaven's Gate the obvious cult-leaders are easy to spot, but what about the casual-controller?  I think they can be much more difficult to pin down.  I know I've certainly run across a few recently who currently have astonishing popularity, and sycophants who will defend even the most despicable practices seemingly right down to their last breath if need be.
I'm always a little bit amazed by how many people need someone else's permission to live their own lives ... 
But if I'm honest, I think we all do it to varying degrees, and most likely unbeknownst to us, even!  I know I like a good daily horoscope, but if I examine that a little bit closer, what exactly is that?  I always treated it as a bit of fun, putting about as much stock into it as a fortune cookie cracked open at the end of dinner, but is it really that something inside me is searching for a little guidance? 

Not that long ago, I found myself following an Instagram Astrologer who did in-depth "readings" for each sign in the zodiac several times a month.  For quite a while, everything was going just fine, I was intrigued by how eerily accurate many of the posts had been for me, but it wasn't all readings all the time, she would share happy milestones in her life with us as well -- moving, and setting up house in a beautiful new location, etc. until there was a certain feeling of familiarity forming, and then one morning there was an announcement made on her profile to her tens of thousands of followers that she had died.
*Cue the outpouring of love, and grief from devastated followers*
Several hours later, the post was edited, and she began leaving comments explaining that her "guides" had instructed her to make the announcement, and further told her that her followers needed to experience the feeling of "loss".   Later still, she came back again to say that maybe her guides had just wanted her to feel the incredible torrent of affection and adoration she was receiving, after everyone had spent hours leaving comments expressing their deep sadness, and reverence for her.
Wait.  What?  
Okay.  First of all, who or what exactly is "guiding" you, and secondly, the fake-funeral scene in the cult classic, Empire Records, for an angst-y teenager is one thing, but faking your death on Instagram when you're a middle aged shill is just a sick level of emotional manipulation I won't support.  One of the things I found most disturbing is how she really didn't seem to learn much from the feedback she was getting over that stunt.  Believe me, not everyone was amused by the fake-out, and they kindly, but firmly let her know.  The result?  Just make your account private for a little while!  An account that is (as of this post) 54.4 thousand followers deep, and newly reopened to the public.  Hopefully her followers wise up, or she cuts the crap and sticks to frivolous parlor tricks moving forward.

Watching people fall prey to this kind of behavior is one of the many reasons I'm so passionate about people empowering themselves, staying away from "thought leaders," and taking the time to seek out the reluctant teacher -- mind you, this is not to disparage those amongst us who are called to teach and share, this is about paying attention to who is in it just for the ego boost, and who is actually walking their talk -- as well as becoming aware of those around them who use their experiences (spiritual or otherwise) to manipulate, or condescend, and to be careful that we don't become one of them ourselves.  In fact, one of my favorite article titles of all-time sums it up rather perfectly, I think:


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Bathroom Lessons

A mirror is useless when your eyes are shut.
It doesn't matter how many mirrors you have, if you can't see who's staring right back at you.

Shower curtains go inside the bathtub.
Preparation is the key to success, they say.

Do not place anger on the drain for what is circling it,
when the plug has been in your hand the entire time.

Air freshener, a window that opens, and a fan are all nice things to have,
but ultimately you still have to flush the toilet.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Three Things Cannot be Long Hidden:

 The Sun, The Moon, and The Truth.
Can we know the truth?  What is truth, anyway?

This conversation keeps finding me, as I've been asked in a handful of ways what truth is to me, which leads me to believe the people in my life either think I'm the biggest liar on Earth, or it's just a barometer for where we're at as humanity trying to wrap our heads around fundamental, yet oft over-complicated concepts.  The latter of which, I happen to view as a worthy, if sometimes exhausting, endeavor.
I think truth is the only thing we ever can know.  Everything else is a song & dance of conjecture, and assumption leaving us constantly questioning.
Truth is incorruptible.  The same as both the sun, and the moon, the truth is there whether we acknowledge it or not, whether we believe it or not, whether we understand it or not, and definitely whether we like it or not.  It does not depend, or rely on our perceptions or opinions in order to exist.  Truth.  Just.  Is.

Much like love, I believe it is something meant to be felt; to be inherently known someplace that resides within us much deeper than the thinking mind.  By putting too many words to the topic we run the risk of muddying the waters, and disorienting ourselves along with anyone else who happens to be trying to follow along.

I believe there is no your truth ... my truth ... his truth ... her truth.  There is only the truth.  Adding qualifiers to it somehow distorts its singular wholeness.  I do believe they were added by well-meaning people trying to help others find the power to exercise their voices, and for that I at least applaud the attempt, but I feel that by inventing these phrases, we've created a big ol' mess.  My favorite description of "your truth" is found over at Feld Thoughts where Brad elaborates,
"When I say 'your truth' I’m not referring to opinions. I’m referring to your deeply held beliefs. Your truth is the set of ideas that forms the basis of your view of the world. It requires a huge act of will and introspection for you to change your truth."
I think this is a pretty great explanation, but the problem as I see it is that the phrase "pronoun + truth" doesn't come with an asterisk, and a footnote everywhere it is printed or spoken, and so leaves a lot to interpretation, and too much room for bastardization by those with a mind that loves to flex creatively with the notion of truth.  I know I can't possibly be the only person out here who's witnessed a tirade of brazen lies in the name of someone telling their truth,  "I WILL NOT BE SILENCED.  I AM TELLING MY TRUTH!"
Uhm, okay sweetheart, you wanna go ahead, and let us know when the true part begins, or nah?    
I haven't been this put off by a word or phrase since it was popular for school girls to scrunch their eyebrows together and smugly declare, "Random!" at everything until the New Age community firmly colonized this one, and spread it like a freshly imported virus.  By doing so, and making it ridiculously easy for liars, and drama queens alike to co-opt it for their own personal gains, I strongly feel that this abuse of the term dramatically weakens it for everyone else who may be trying to impart a significant morsel of wisdom to the rest of us.  Like, if we listen to an African American woman speaking the certainty of her daily existence, or in other words, her truth, we learn it is incredibly different from my own, and that both of our experiences that have shaped who we are have been vastly different from that of men, what's more, the LGBTQ folks each face their own set of unique circumstances and reality that the rest of us are not forced to confront with the same frequency, and still all of us experiencing something wildly different than those of other nations.  Just in that alone, I see and value the weight, and importance of the concept.

It's tremendously difficult for me to come to terms with the actuality that something created to further our understanding of one another, life, and our connection with all life envelopes has had its authenticity corrupted by those too willing to spin tales for validation, entertainment, or whatever other void they feed with deceptive practices.  Especially when truth itself can not be mistaken.  We may not always be aware of the absence of truth, but we undeniably know it when we are in its company.  Truth is experienced by the entire body even if the mind is unable to recognize it.  You feel it in your gut, your bones, your cells, your soul.
There is nothing more obvious or profound than when you are in the presence of pure truth.
The truth exists (period) but it is up to each one of us to uncover it for ourselves if we choose to live wholly in accordance with the natural order of things in our universe.

Monday, April 9, 2018

I'm Just a Girl in the World ...

...That's All That You'll Let Me Be

I've seen a lot of talk lately about the trouble with keeping women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) careers, first of all, why there are so few to begin with, why they drop out, and why they quit the work they love in an industry they should be thriving in.  A lot of people argue that getting in the door isn't the problem, it's staying in the room once you're there.  But, pretending that sexism only occurs, or is recognizable once the woman is inside the industry is not helpful, or honest.  Many women, and young girls experienced sexism (especially casual-sexism), and discrimination as students.  It might be a little bit different for the generation coming up behind me, but I can't imagine it's changed all that much for all females across the board, in every classroom in America.  The ones lucky enough to have incredible, and fair teachers and professors who encouraged and supported all students equally were riding for a hard fall when the reality of how women are treated in these fields finally presented itself.  I was aware of it well before it happened to me, but even when it did finally happen, I was still only a child of thirteen.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

At What Cost?

Last month over at Mythos and Marginalia my pal, J.G. Lewis published a little something I clacked my keys at as part of his Words for Someone Else series, and this is it:
Image courtesy of J.G. Lewis
I learned early on, I'm the kind of bitch people don't worry about ... Probably because I was raised by one, or maybe because very little escapes my attention, and I rarely find myself playing the fool.  I don't coo, and giggle like a baby-doll come to life, I don't have a tiny voice and a vacant look on my face that begs someone else to "write my story for me," and I definitely don't play small to make other people more comfortable.  I have a big, loud mouth, and a head full of ideas that I believe should be used for more than just adding to the collective cacophony of noise.