Present Tense

On ‘privilege’…

The concept of privilege is really beginning to sink in with me. I finally get it.

I do not reject ‘Political Correctness’.  It began as an attempt to bestow dignity on EVERYONE and has devolved into an insult; a way to belittle others for being ‘too soft’.

The insulting or offensive language that has been thrown around in reference to minorities and various groups and races and nationalities throughout our history were/are meant to dehumanize.

Using insulting names and labels for gays, Hispanics, African Americans, Jews, women, Muslims, etc. should not be tolerated. Period. Is there any doubt about that?

Proudly proclaiming “Yeah…I’m not politically correct!” means that you reject treating everyone with dignity. That you don’t care if you offend or incite.

Are there times when the PC Police get a little out of hand? Yes, absolutely. People can use language or say things that are ignorant or questionable, but may not contain ill intent.

It can be hard to draw the line between ignorant/offensive/hateful language.

But, there are groups of people in this country, who literally do not feel safe and/or feel under attack and suspicion thanks to the past and current climate in our nation.

To not listen to their fears and experiences is no longer acceptable. What they are experiencing is real and has been for literally generations.

For example, as women, we are finally speaking about our experiences of abuse and harassment and worse.  We MUST bring all of these realities into our consciousness, in order to begin to change and evolve.

This is real. The abuse, harassment and violence toward minorities and groups is real.

Now, we know. Now we see it. Now, we can begin to evolve and help and check ourselves to begin to err toward dignity and love.  If you are a religious person, this is what your scripture teaches, regardless of the religion.  How do so many seem to ignore that?

We need to demand it from our leaders. This is why we are alive in this time of chaos and change. This is our destiny. Will we rise?

October 29, 2018 Posted by | Musings | 5 Comments

On Forgiving….

Here’s the thing about forgiveness and compassion.

The more I read about the kid who murdered 17 people in Florida last week, the more it breaks my heart.

The whole situation is so incredibly devastating, but to read about a kid…yes a kid…a human…not a ‘monster’ or a ‘madman’, but a kid who had obviously had a difficult life and long standing mental/anger/anti-social problems doesn’t make me angry.

It makes me sad. For him, for his family; obviously for his victims and the entire community who will never fully recover.

He was not getting the help that he needed, his mother died and left him and his younger brother with no guidance, no place to go.

He was broken.

Now, here is the hard part: Forgiveness and compassion.

Remember when Dylan Roof, murdered all of those people in the church in South Carolina? And several of the family members told him, within days of this horrible crime, that they forgave him; some even offered love, based on their religious beliefs.

I was amazed by that reaction. Amazed. Heartened. Inspired.

BUT, just because we forgive or have compassion or love for someone who has done something HORRIBLE, does NOT mean that they avoid the consequences.

My husband and I have this conversation a lot; the whole concept of compassion and grace, usually when I’m complaining about something horrible that a politician did:). He will say “But, we have to forgive their bad behavior because we’re all flawed”. Forgive, but hold accountable.

I actually found myself having to ‘walk the walk’ almost two years ago when a FedEx driver hit and killed my dog Ember in our driveway. He was driving too fast, he knew our dogs and we were devastated.

I looked him in the eye a week later and told him that I forgave him and was sorry for the pain that he was in. I know that both of our hearts were broken. It doesn’t go away, but it lifted just a tiny bit of the burden we were both struggling with.

Just because we feel badly or our heart is broken over the challenges or illness that drove this kid in Florida to murder 17 people, does NOT mean that we as a society, don’t require consequences for his actions.

We can do both. It’s sort of along the lines of ‘love the sinner, hate the sin’, which I’ve always thought was such a stupid premise. But, I’m starting to get it; that concept is sinking in.

So, here is the bottom line concept: We CAN judge and we can forgive. Those two things are not mutually exclusive.

And in fact, in order for us to function, we need to tie those two together.

This is basically what all religions and spiritual ideals teach us. Love our neighbors/our fellow humans/; even those who are flawed and broken. BUT, do not let them off the hook for their actions.

This is hard….living and practicing grace is probably one of the most difficult things we will ever do….

February 26, 2018 Posted by | Musings | , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

We are starlings…

Undercurrents…energy….

We can feel it. We are being animated by these things that we can’t quite see or describe. If we squint or remove our strong attachments to outcomes, we can begin to see it.

Have you ever watched a flock of starlings when they collect and fly off? It’s like a gray-black wave that undulates as one.

You can’t really pick out one bird; it’s a collective decision to move and that wave is thick with birds, all working in concert.

That’s what collective energy is like among humans; or the whole universe.  Collective energy affects everything. I definitely believe the Earth herself is an active participant and she has been sending out warning signals for a long time.

If we were/are able to look down on the world from space, without any concept of space or time, you would see this synchronous energy.

It’s hard to see up close, in fact, I would suspect that an individual starling sees only chaos and the other birds immediately surrounding her.

But, when we step back; when we look back at the history of the world and of our nation, we see these turning points.

These are moments of either catalysts or evolution and the true turning points are mostly a combination of both.

Very few humans are able to see this in the moment. Some are. There are a lot of people with great vision, who often sound the alarms of what is happening or what is to come.

If we choose, we can use history as our guide and mentor and in some cases, predictor. If we open up. If we take the time to educate ourselves.

We are in a time, where the collective energy is shifting. It’s like when those starlings flap their wings for the first time, pre take-off.

They have no idea where they’re going, but they know it’s time and once they are airborne, something will click and they will coalesce into that huge, black undulating wave to begin their journey.

The current situation feels like the end, or the beginning of the end, of an era.  They are often so smooshed together that it’s hard to tell where one ends and the next begins.

The truth is, we just don’t have control of the collective. We only have us. We are but one ‘starling’, moving in concert with the collective, often with no clue as to why.

It feels to us as if we’re swept up and have no control over where that flock is headed.  That’s true, we don’t, but if we trust and we fly and we feel into it, we land some place completely different than where we began.

That’s so hard for us, isn’t it? We really feel as if we can muscle things into going our way. If we argue and present facts and statistics and experts and passion, we’ll change minds and hearts.

I’m not sure it works that way; in fact, as I’ve watched the unfolding over the past 10 days…oh hell, the last 10-20 years, I’ve seen people harden into their own tribe, beliefs and bunkers.

You know what has actually softened people? What has begun our evolution on this? Empathy, feelings, compassion.

It’s like the blinders of our rock hard ‘core beliefs’ have been chipped at or ripped away.

When we can see and connect with other’s pain and passion and grief, we soften.

This is our way forward; let’s FEEL our way, let’s sense what is right, instead of spewing out facts and statistics and experts.

This is where we’ve lost our way; we live in a culture where facts are king; where we have to have scientific “proof” for anything to be real. That leaves our humanity in the dust.

That leaves us to throw facts at each other and we all know that facts and stats and all of that cold, emotionless stuff can be twisted to fit our narrative. And we don’t connect that way.

We connect on a cellular and energetic and emotional level; we can’t quantify why we all feel the pain of this community in Florida or Connecticut, or Vegas, etc.

We are humans and in this moment of collective evolution, THAT is what we tap into. Don’t THINK so much, feel into this and then act on that core love of ‘all that is’.

February 24, 2018 Posted by | Musings | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

On JUST DOING IT…

Early morning musings as I listen to cello music shuffling on my Echo, thanks to Alexa fulfilling my wish. She is like a genie in a bottle.

I got a new tattoo yesterday; what I think is a very beautiful, stylized, abstract depiction of the most beautiful of the planets, Saturn.

In mythology/astrology, the god Saturn is all about hard work, discipline, timeliness, rules, strong foundations, boundaries and as I’ve written before, he strongly forces us to “get our shit together”. He reminds us that time is short; we aren’t here forever on this earth.

He has saved my life over and over again, as I tend to reject many of the above structures now and again, often to my detriment. (But then again, often, to my delight and expansion!)

What better way to express my gratitude and honor his influence than to commit him to my skin. Now, it’s not a perfectly accurate depiction and I’m hoping with him being a stickler for the rules and all, he will allow me some wiggle room on this.

I thought about this tat for a long time and researched designs and artists. I sat with it for about a year. I had even made an appointment with another artist in the spring and cancelled at the last minute. But, I knew I would get it.

Well, the time seemed right as Saturn entered the sign of Capricorn in my 12th house (I know mumbo jumbo to most of you…let’s just say it’s significant as I move forward into my second adulthood….for further insight, just ask. I’ll talk astrology forever…).

MANY of you have expressed to me something along the lines of “I want a tattoo, but I don’t know what I want. It has to be the perfect design. I want a tattoo, but I’m afraid it will hurt or I want a tattoo, but I want it to have something to do with my kids”.

Here’s the deal. Stop talking about it. Stop making excuses and if you REALLY want one, get one. It’s very simple. At the risk of being sued by Nike, JUST DO IT!

A tattoo is very personal. What speaks to you? What represents you? What motivates you or activates your core values and beliefs? Or what are your hobbies? Your passions? What symbolizes the path you want to follow or motivates you to be a better person, if that’s your goal?

And it doesn’t HAVE to be perfect. Nothing is perfect and if you have several themes you want to express, get several tats.

And yes, it does hurt. Some places more than others. But what DOESN’T hurt in life? The phrase “No Pain, No Gain” isn’t just a bumper sticker. It’s a sage reminder that in order to get what we want or to express ourselves or fully live OUR authentic lives, there is sacrifice involved. Period.

So, now you see that I’m not really just talking about tattoos, right?:) And that in fact, I’m channeling my personal spirit animal, Saturn.

If you want something, you HAVE TO ACT! We all sit around and think and wonder and make excuses. Or wait for someone to hand deliver our dreams and desires. Lay the groundwork and get it done.

Saturn is cracking the whip and will be for the next 2.5 years in Capricorn. He is always working on us, but in this sign, it’s particularly intense.

So, waffling and excuses and ‘somedays’ just won’t cut it. You may already be feeling this and what I would encourage is that you follow it. Act on your urges to set some boundaries, build some structure and discipline, to even the smallest duties.

That is the flow that we’re in. Resistance to Saturn is futile. He always wins:) It’s taken me the better part of 50 years to get that message and now, he’s right there on my left forearm, reminding me: “Jane…time is short; get your shit together”.

January 7, 2018 Posted by | Musings | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

%d bloggers like this: