Check out this autobiographical article that I wrote, as originally published in Edge of Humanity Magazine at the link below:
Also, check out the podcast version at the link below:
Check out this autobiographical article that I wrote, as originally published in Edge of Humanity Magazine at the link below:
Also, check out the podcast version at the link below:
Thanksgiving gives us time to pause and reflect on the spirit of the season, count our blessings, and meditate on gratitude. As a fellow human, I feel especially thankful for our home, Mother Earth. At times, I have taken Her for granted and I am sorry for it. If it wasn’t for Her presence in our lives, none of us would be here. And if I hadn’t been given the gift of Her presence in my life, my experience here would have been very different, and not as enriching to say the least.
Contemplation on how my life would be different in Earth’s absence yields a plentiful harvest of gain in my appreciation for Her bounty. It also deepens my feelings of gratitude for this lifetime living on this planet. As spiritual beings having human experiences, we are expanding souls so it is natural to desire abundance in its variety of forms. But we miss the boat when we forget to acknowledge our blessings and gratitude for what is.
How might your life be different if Earth had never entered into your lives, or had certain people, places or things not entered into your experiences?
I’ll admit it, I have my moments of heaviness at times. Even though I have been looked upon as a brother from another planet, like the rest of you, I have my fears and worries. It’s so easy to time travel to the past or back to the future, and get lost in those projections. How does one not get stuck in the intersections between the voices of trauma, resentful bitterness, rose colored glasses or nostalgia? Our suffering is in the clinging for one state over another. We wish this misery would be over or this happiness would never end.
Thanksgiving is no exception, as it is a holiday that serves up a feast of mixed messages and conflictual emotional memories. Personally, Thanksgiving is my favorite mainstream holiday. But I don’t deify or demonize the Pilgrims or minimize, gloss over the genocide of Indigenous people, ignore the existence of this land before the current occupation, nor the slavery that existed then or the other forms of oppression that exist today. An authentic look at this holiday and still feeling gratitude for its totality is a lot to digest, and get be both bitter and sweet to the taste, depending on your attitude.
Admittedly, I welcome the relatively less emphasized market driven consumerism of Thanksgiving – at least compared to some others. Specifically, I’m learning to tame my own gluttony at the annual feast without defiance. Every year I walk away from the table pleasantly full even after eating less than the year before. It has taken me a long time to realize that softening the will is not about going hungry or selling out. Thankfully, I’m turning a corner on that front.
Beyond its polarities, Thanksgiving is about the intrinsic spiritual alchemy of being mindful of having an attitude of gratitude for what is and the gift of presence. When we are in this place, we win on the inside and everyone one around us is impacted in a positive light. And yet, this real realm of personal discovery is not without a new world of anxiety because anxiety is a fact of life. When I think of Thanksgiving and Turkey, I think about the spirit of shared blessings that feathers a ripple effect of reciprocity.
In my own experiences with anxiety, I would be lying if I denied that they sometimes ruffle my feathers. These days, my own OCD experiences have evolved (or devolved depending on your perspective ) into being mindful of my breath, and cracking puns – sometimes at oft color times of heightened nervous woodland creature energy. In fact, the puns fall quite autumnatically like acorns during this time of year or rise like the tides on Full Moons especially. Like most people, it’s pretty impossible to not find myself preoccupied with much ado about nothing, if only fleetingly, in the theatre of life. The trick is to not hang out too long in that space or chase thoughts with overly indulgent reactions.
For certain, you could charge me with being guilty of a coyote like subtle (or not so subtle) wry grin on my face, even when I should mirror a more serious affect or otherwise apropos facial expression to match the situation at hand. It’s hard not to be provocative when you are naturally wired for having a propensity for the theatrics or know when to say when during the interplay between wisdom and folly. Tricks that were once treats no longer work anymore. Some call it growing up, while others say they’re younger than that now. Awakening is a process, as is supporting the awakening of others.
Truth is, it isn’t always easy to differentiate between where con artistry begins and true wizardry ends – whether it’s working with adolescent girls or my own observational self-examination. But that’s OK, communication with Blue Jay reveals a general sense of acceptance and non-judgement in this area of personal growth. Besides, the royal road to authenticity is paved with fool’s gold in footsteps that have a tendency to fake it till you make it. Walking the line isn’t about being perfect. It’s about floundering, making mistakes and failure. These are elements of Growth Mindset. Nature is such a powerful teacher. That’s why psychologists agree that the best laboratory is the naturalistic environment. May we embrace our imperfections.
These days, it can be more challenging for the Ordinary Joe not to get sucked into his own alternate realities, escapism, carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders or the dramas of others. The dying stages of the systemic patriarchy makes it hard not to do that. You all know about the impact of FOMO, peer pressure, social media profiling, and the garden variety of distractions. Today’s outer distractions have more bells and whistles. But at the end of the day, we have the power to turn the background noise into bells of mindfulness.
Remember that the world is a reflection of art imitating reality. Today, it’s probably easier to play the blame game, considering the myriad of conveniently inconvenient excuses flitting out and about in this world of 10,000 things. We are conditioned to point our fingers at targets of our own suffering. Alas, we shop around at those deeply engrained establishments, fixed ideas notwithstanding!
Learning to be human has never been easy. We all need good strategies.
But in this pandemic, have we forgotten how to be human in the social environment?
Speaking of Target, if you find yourself in a situation where there isn’t a prepackaged box readily available on the shelf, is this an apparent invitation for throwing a public temper tantrum, having a panic attack over the missing object of affection, serial text people to come to your rescue, or perhaps indulging in a private negative self talk episode?
Might these moments otherwise be worth self reflecting on as an attachment to a desired outcome, and could instead become a playground for spiritual growth?
Are they repetitive, unconscious behavioral traps or an awakened state of awareness that are just waiting to come out and play in the sunlight?
The reality is that we have to work at our wellbeing, mental health and social emotional learning. Yeah, you can argue that you have the right to be rude to a grocery store worker because they mixed up your items and placed them in the wrong bags, cite that you are a paying customer, and therefore justified in the attitudinal feast you served up to the grocer. However, that is an entitled position that eats a hearty plate of suffering by being part of the problem rather than part of the solution. Being entitled is a form of victim consciousness. You lose from that perspective because it is a recipe for more suffering.
For example, just look at the profiteering of this nuance in the popular culture and so called alternative media forms. There’s a romantic libertarian defund the police sentiment, a welfare state of dirty energy, liberal greed in the marketplace and conservative fighting over the people’s right to quality healthcare, which includes preventative care, mental health and substance abuse/addictions treatment. There’s a constant slugfest between philosophical differences or belief systems. Whether it’s Critical Race Theory or Civil Rights Team – some people are triggered by the CRT acronym. Take the fight out of it folks. Give inner peace a chance. There is enough and we can all win.
Instead of challenging, connect. We need connection now more than ever on our Planet today. It would be wonderful if Divine Intervention happens. I do believe a faction of extraterrestrial beings and highly spiritually evolved multidimensional beings are concerned about our survival and are doing their part to support our transformation, and probably planning something more exponential as we speak. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if the powers that be are plotting and scheming to counter that with commercials that attempt to hoodwink us into buying into a feigned invasion that fronts as an alien takeover. But in reality, the Military-Industrial Complex’s potential smoke and mirrors campaign will likely be orchestrated and manufactured from our own advanced engineering of foreign technology. We shall see.
What can each of us do in the meantime?
What kind of energy do we want to attract?
Clean energy on the inside is a parallel process to clean energy on the outside. Developing a meditation practice helps bring equanimity into your soul and the collective soul respectively. If you don’t see empathy in the world around you, become the change of empathy you want to see in the world by seeing it in your mind and feeling it in your heart. See it in yourself and see it in others, especially in your so called enemies. Some have to work harder at this than others.
Connect with the animals, nature and your fellow humans. Connect with you Higher Self. Connect with Spirit. Connect with your Spirit Guides. They all want to connect with you, and we all need connection.
We humans cannot afford to take each other for granted anymore or view ourselves as separate from each another. The only real way out of our suffering is through a meditative mindful way of life. It is only through this inner work that we can heal our soul wounds that manifest in our outer world. At the end of the day, everything else is just cosmetic. Easier said than done.
Awareness is the first step. We have to acknowledge whatever it is that needs to change by starting with ourselves. That takes courage because, in doing so, you will experience what psychologists call cognitive dissonance. Through meditation, we can learn to sit with the tension of opposites, or the interplay between what we call preferred and non-preferred experiences.
Remember, we are all mirrors for each other and the signs are there for you to see if you take notice. I have a coworker friend that just bought a new sweatshirt that says, “HEAVILY MEDITATED.” That’s a nice playful, light-hearted mantra to sport on an article of clothing.
Together, may we learn to live in the present moment, regardless of how unknown or uncertain it is. Besides, there are no guarantees, so we might as well come down into our souls and take up residence in the here and now. May we give thanks for that.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone,
Artwork by Barbara Merlotti
“This moving away from comfort and security, this stepping out into unknown, uncharted, and shaky – that’s called ‘liberation’.” Pema Chodron
What I love about the above quote by this wise, Western woman meditation teacher is that it captures the timeless, universal application of spiritual awakening, and follows a path of conscious evolutionary living. How timely this quote is in the here and now in this reform school known as Earth. We are now officially in the early stages of the New Age and Paradigm of Aquarius. Regardless of your orientation, it’s impossible now not to feel it on some level. Some more than others are really embracing it. Many are clinging to the old world, the old ways, and wishing “things would just go back to normal.” But what does normal really mean? The truth is, there’s no going back, as living life in the rearview mirror prevents you from living in the present moment. Life is transient and change is inevitable. Nature reveals the changing tides through the reflections of the seasons.
Consider how art imitates reality. Do you remember the classic old cartoon, Looney Tunes? As violent as this TV show was, it was easier for a parent to explain to their child that a cartoon character that was blown to smithereens, and then magically came back to life wasn’t real because it was just a cartoon. As such, it was easier for a child to make this connection. Besides, unlike today, the repeated exposure to shows like these was limited, even if an adult wasn’t around to set the limit or offer any supervisory guidance. But TV, movies and video games are so realistic nowadays, not to mention readily accessible at the convenience of your fingertips. Given the pandemic of “fake news” out there, you all know how challenging it is to discern between fact and fiction. It’s a sign of the times that we all need to do the work to find our own pillars of truth (with love). Are you going to pay purposeful attention to your fears and negative self talk or are you going to be mindful of truth that is in alignment with love?
For assistance in making the quantum leap from old thought forms into new ones, consider meditating on the image and mantra below:
Image and mantra courtesy of Acurda
“Where biology has tuned its antenna, silica crystals, little dendrites, neural pathways and have been restructured in a way that the exact same seed creativity can now be expressed as light, compassion and love. By doing this you are not only changing all the structuring crystals in your pineal gland (Third Eye) and DNA but those of the collective consciousness of this planet. These high multidimensional thoughts create new crystals in the body, the biomineralization of a new human with simultaneously creating biomineralization harmonics to the planet reality.”
Accordingly, Sacred Geometrical Arcturian Positive Self Talk asserts that “The energy of contact allows you to feel that all doors to your inner source will open when you surrender and, like water, go with the flow. Let your strength lead you, and you will find your own way.”
For example, building an everyday positive self talk strategy is a good concrete replacement for negative self talk, like worry. When your worry is targeted toward someone you’re concerned about or even for the general plight of the planet, humanity or endangered species, simply call on these guides or allies in the spirit realm for help. Part of surrender, a leap of faith, and trust is to have an attitude of acceptance of physical and non-physical realities, and intuitively know they are interacting with one another.
Specifically, Arcturians, Archangels and Nature Spirits can all be seen as helping guides/spirits or allies in consciousness. From a shamanic perspective, this is a somewhat conservative, traditional, and foundational approach to spiritual evolutionary wellbeing because it’s been a time tested tradition for over 100,000 years and runnin’. Of course in conventional Establishment terms, this would be considered far out. But if you are open to it, all you have to do is be receptive to the benign, healing energies of the myriad of teachers in the spirit realm that are ready to assist you as needed. If you think of an invisible umbilical cord attached to your crown chakra that is connected to Father Sky, Heaven or the Cosmos, this can be an effective walking meditation to add to your multidimensional tool belt. Refer to the Chakra chart by scrolling further down in this blog entry for a pictorial context.
But what does it mean to be a multidimensional being? It just means that we recognize that there is a physical reality, as well as non-physical realities. The most simple way I can understand this is to picture a triangle consisting of a mind-body-spirit with a circle, or another triangle in the center that represents our soul. It appears to be a fact of life that the body eventually dies, and the mind eventually does too. But there is a growing body of metaphysical and scientific evidence that asserts that our spirits and souls live on. While we are living in this form, our soul can travel. For most of us, this experience happens when we are dreaming. For many, this understanding doesn’t happen until you are dying and getting ready to leave this Earth and return to Source. But it can also happen during various forms of visualization/meditation practices.
Image by Sherry Mosley
Here on the ground, and as a social worker in Public Schools, I get into more conversations with students (and adults) that are inspired to develop their spirituality, and are bringing up their queried stories to my attention on their own volition for further exploration. Indeed the veils between the physical realm and spirit realm are thinning more now than they have been historically. It can be challenging to discern what is spirit or what is physical, just like it is harder to differentiate between fantasy and reality these days, given the advancement in technology, and fluidity of personal boundaries in our connections with each other.
For example, one student I work with told me that she connects with her brother who lives in a faraway state through “astral projection”, and then asked me if I knew what that was. I reassured her that I did, and that some people are oriented in such a way that their soul can travel, but that all people can develop this skill through various forms of mediation. Of course we all do this when we dream. Another student told me that she has experiences where she sees and hears a beloved cat that died recently. Her animal dreams consist of a vibrant “animal heaven” state of consciousness with clouds, mountaintops, trees and rainbows. In dreams like these, the animal friends related that they had crossed over, and communicated that they are alive and well in an alternate reality where their spirits were living harmoniously. When students bring these issues up, we always process the mixed feelings that coexist, in the sense that there is enjoyment in reconnecting with a loved one that is physically gone, but that spiritual connections can be a bit spooky, uncomfortable or difficult to sort through. Part of our human experience includes sitting with the tension of opposites that naturally include entanglements with our attachments.
More importantly, people like me tend to find it helpful to have these experiences normalized. Moreover, folks typically feel empowered to learn about the common language that operationalizes their spiritual experiences, like clairsentience and clairaudience, or psychic abilities that perceive spirit. Part of developing good social skills is to know your audience, and recognize who is safe to share this information with, and who isn’t. Working on boundaries is part of learning how to be human, which of course is a life cycle process. It’s nice that kids can feel safe to talk with a trusted adult about such things. When we all get what we need from the ground up, we’re more likely to give that back from the top down. This is how we heal the illusion of polarity consciousness that we see playing out on the fields of life.
Additionally, many people that work in mental health are expanding their own perceptions of reality through their own personal growth. As helpers, it is dangerous to people when we don’t. While it’s easy to stay in our own boxes and hide behind their judgments, that leaves us susceptible to our own projections onto others, which can be damaging to relationships. Humans have been good at projecting our own experiences with reality onto others, while at the same time assuming that our projections are absolute gospel. While they might be true on some level, clinging to these prejudices are problematic because they block making fluid connections with each other, which is especially harmful when a helping professional does that. It is critical to “meet people where they are at.” Because we all have our humanity, that can be challenging for both support staff and teachers working in schools these days. But that is exactly what we are being asked to do. Meeting someone where they are at does not meant that we condone their unwanted behavior, like work avoidance, learned helplessness, victimhood, or not working to their full potential. It just means that you have empathy for what the person you are concerned about is capable of in this moment in time. And while your student or child might be being manipulative, they probably aren’t doing it on purpose or trying to ruin your day. But if they are, learning how to manipulate the environment is part of adolescent development. How many of us adults are still working out our own dharmic karma in this area?
Specifically, it’s like a kid who tries to come out to their caregiver that they identify as LGBTQ, and the adult responds in a way that is shaming, dismissive or generally non-supportive. Regardless of the age, if this is how the person sees themselves, it is hard to go wrong with a position of empathy and curiosity. For example, the parent could say, “wow, I can see this took a lot of courage for you to share this information with me. How do you feel about that?” Sadly but understandably, many adults struggle, hide behind their judgments, and then might proceed to project their own beliefs onto the child. While some parents wax on about a pro-LGBTQ identity, others do the opposite by citing religious convictions, and perhaps sending their child to a “conversion therapy”, which is thankfully illegal in Maine. The point is, try to be present with your child and keep a healthy conversation alive. Do you value raising a good whole person or a sexual identity that conforms to your expectations based on your own conditioning? Do you value allowing your child to be who they are or who you want them to be? Mixed messages, while a fact of life, are challenging to discern and navigate through.
Check out this short youth empowerment/Civil Rights oriented film about celebrating a Pride event in small town Nova Scotia:
Inspired by May being “Mental Health Month”, I remember a really good psychiatrist coworker who once pointed out in a mental health training that people affected by schizophrenia see things that “normal” people don’t. But it only becomes a problem when it drives the person crazy in a way that is characterized as “ego dystonic.” There’s an old saying that you have to get sick of being sick before you can heal and know liberation. Mother told me about experiences with depression that were so severe she encountered psychotic episodes. I believe Mother suicided to avoid going down that dark rabbit hole again, instead of confronting her inner demons that haunted her. Had she built up more resilience, I feel that she could have stayed alive longer without torturing herself. Mother is now part of my ‘spiritual light team’, and I can access her spirit whenever I ask for Her support.
Given the above nuance, what is really often going on here is that the concerned adult doesn’t like the mirror being held up in their face, and that can be a tough cracker to look at. That’s what happened in the early 60s, when many people were having spiritual awakenings, like Harvard Psychology Professors Timothy Leary and Ram Dass, before he was Ram Dass. To their credit, academics like them were trying to go beyond rat psychology, and understand consciousness. In this process of discovery, they humbly realized that they were out of the woods in their understanding about the nature of reality. Many people took LCD and other psychoactive drugs to expand their minds, and were thought to have lost their minds (of course plenty did). But they were having spiritual awakenings by opening up their ‘doors of perception’. People started waking up to portals into a multidimensional reality beyond a conventional worldview. Like author Joseph Campbell accurately understood, the difference between the mystic and the psychological crackup is that the mystic swims in the waters the crackup drowns in. It’s all about context, and how expansive your worldview is with the ability to pull back and stay grounded in this reality.
“Photo sensitive Transmissions from the New Earth” by Acurda
Furthermore, the mindful moment referenced above is an empowering strategy to feel connected in the present moment, and a simple way to co-create Heaven on Earth one step and one breath at a time. All you are really doing, or being rather, is keeping your power rather than giving it away to some external force. You have superpowers, but without the need to be identified with a superhero or savior complex. We are living in an age where we need to let go of our need to swoop in to rescue and save others. Everyone has equal access to their ‘spiritual light team’ if they so choose. That being said, it does take both the intention, and a commitment to it. The more you play around with your daily practice, the more your daily practice plays around with you. Funny the way that can turn into another form of mindfulness in your everyday doings. All you have to do is look at these beings as teachers in the spirit realm, by seeing them as silent mentors that we can link up with, like “in a zoom conversation.” And if you are feeling unsure, all you have to do is ask, “are you my teacher.” It’s your call who you let in, and you will know by how you feel.
The easiest way to open the doors to this perceptual experience is through your “third eye”, as indicated on the Chakra chart below. As you can see, this Chakra is typically associated with a dark blue or indigo color. This is the realm of intuition, forethought, and visualization. There are many ways to develop this Chakra. One simple strategy is to rub this area with your fingers side to side or in a circular motion. Or you can mindfully eat (ideally healthy) foods of this color, while chewing on how you are feeding your energy, if you’ll pardon the pun. For example, next time you eat a banana, think about nourishing your solar plexus chakra and grounding your self esteem. Also, you can also relax your gaze by slightly blurring your vision without crossing your eyes, as a way to play with your perception. These can be fun, yet practical ways to integrate what I like to call a walking meditation in your everyday doings. Besides, it’s harder to react to someone else’s facial expressions when you relax your gaze in this way.
Daily Chakra Meditation Audio Resource:
Finally, when we talk about Diversity within Unity, the Unity piece involves acknowledging our universal connection to one another, which allows us to feel less alone in the world. Nobody likes feeling lonely, not even hermits. Besides, as romantic as being a hermit might sound, they typically struggle with their own insecurities like the rest of us, and probably just have a harder time learning how to be human than your average bear. The Diversity piece honors our different expressions in form, as well as the unique blueprint of our souls. A shy person should not be seen as lesser than a social butterfly or vice versa. Besides, we all have both of these personality characteristics within our being. Some of the most family oriented, conscientious, kind and caring people I know aren’t necessarily the warm and fuzzy types, and can even come across as curt and rude towards others. We all have our unique blueprints and personality characteristics. Just imagine how boring our world would be if we were all nanotechnological, programmed cyborgs going around in a singular, monochromatic lockstep with each other, like in the film The Stepford Wives.
Take care of yourselves everyone,
May the animal spirited grace of Swan inspire you to paddle with the current instead of fighting against the rapids of everyday life. Notice the flow of grand moments, and the intersection between the extraordinary in the ordinary, as well as the perfection within the imperfection. If only we can gently allow ourselves to let it go instead of trying to grasp onto it, whatever it is.
Sometimes, all you can do is sprawl out and surrender to the will of the Universe, and trust that its winds will guide you to where you need to go. We all know the curse of this pandemic, particularly on humanity’s plight. But the blessing is also the gift of surrender among our human kinfolk.
A Full Flower aka Sagittarius Moon arrives on May 26th 2021. Not coincidentally, it gets its name from an abundance of flowers that spring forth across North America. When I think of Sag, meditations of fiery energy, mixed with new philosophical ways of intuitive knowing resonates in my soul. Also, this Full Moon is the second consecutive supermoon, and biggest and brightest moon of the year. It is also a Total Lunar Eclipse, meaning that it is fully obscured by Earth’s shadow, giving the Moon a reddish hue, which is where the term blood moon comes from.
Moreover, please consider the following Sacred Geometrical Arcturian Wisdom, via the Third Wave Positive Self Talk Mantra: “The energy of the Third Wave makes you aware of your choice to be here on Earth. Accept who you are on this Earth, and your strength will increase.”
Artwork by Aunt Barbara Merlotti
I remember when Grandmother talked about being called “white trash”, during her formative years in St. Louis, growing up in abject poverty during The Depression. In fact, she never saw a dentist until she was 18 years old, when she walked in off the street with bleeding gums, and the kind folks at the dental office followed their “hippocratic oath” and did the right thing. In this day and age, it’s mind boggling that our current healthcare system, in the wealthiest nation of the world, can still be viewed by the Establishment as a privilege rather than an entitlement. In the American political scene, we can at least directly trace this old world attitude to the England’s Elizabethan Poor Law of the 1600s. If you would like to delve further, check out this link:
During her childhood and premarital adolescence, Grandmother was a member of what sociologist and Harvard professor William Julius Wilson many years later referred to as “the underclass”, in his book The Truly Disadvantaged: The Inner City, the Underclass, and Public Policy. When I read his book in college, I learned also by experience that he accurately noted that this underclass was a growing epidemic in our world, as well as in the US. Grandmother being spoken to in a derogatory way was the kind of racial epithet that is analogous to prejoriative language to characterize someone who is LGBTQ or BIPOC. Negative self-talk is typically not regarded as helpful, but it is less so when it is spoken aloud, with an underlying edge especially. What is with the attitude about the poor and oppressed, that they are deserving of their suffering, should be controlled, and punished accordingly?
The old world, and the status quo of its power structures are being dismantled, white privilege and white supremacy notwithstanding. In fact, a growing number of white people, including white men are part of this shift in equanimity in consciousness that is of mutual aid to the goose and the gander. We are living in a time when there is too much information, and it does seem to be harder to discover the truth. It is as if we are being asked by the Universe to discover the truth on our own individual basis, which is part of honoring our diversity. The unity piece comes in where we can know a collective truth. To do this, it requires that we are open to relaxing our attachments to the mental boxes that we have bought into.
Race and class in America are nothing new. But even in this day and age, we still experience cultural denial that we have institutional structures in place that are barriers to personal freedom and liberty. For example, some of our “friends in Congress” are trapped in a “fake news” denial that we have a system in place that is rooted in class consciousness. Dr. King and others fully recognized that we have both intentional and unintentional consequences of discriminatory oppression of certain populations – both vis a vis legal laws and unwritten rules that are perceived as “that’s just the way it is”. It was never easy to move up the socioeconomic ladder. But Grandmother admitted to me that her movement into the Middle Class during the 50s was made easier for her to assimilate into because of the complexion of her skin tone, and white anglo Saxon protestant lineage, in spite of the culture of poverty that she was born into, and converting to Catholicism. If anyone could have chosen to stay in denial about her racial privilege as a coat of armor to hide behind, it would have been Grandmother. But she never forgot about where she came from, did what she could to help others like her get a leg up, and be a good role model for overcoming obstacles. Besides, demonizing the oppressor, whatever he or she looks like, is not the solution. Overthrowing the government or powers that be will only replace the same tyranny and corruption that you seek to dismantle. This is a cold hard fact of life that must be understood. The looting and rioting, militarization of the police, the education to prison pipeline, and bloated military that protects the stock exchange under the guise of puppet dictatorships of dirty energy is a recipe for a widening gap between the haves and have nots.
For example, I remember the cultural context of African American culture in America, during the time period called the Great Migration, when black folks sought personal freedom by risking their lives to escape from the oppressive Jim Crow South. Part of staying alive, and reinventing themselves into a new chapter in life, many secrets were kept to hide from the collective trauma of their shared experiences. A historical debate sprung up about where to focus on the advancement of black people. In the Booker T. Washington camp, blue collar jobs were seen as a way out of poverty and socioeconomic empowerment. Basically, the belief was that black people could get a leg up if they had access to blue collar jobs in the trade industry, production, manual labor, etc. Sadly, but understandably, the decimation of the manufacturing base and labor movement have reinforced the truth of this point to appreciate. Proponents of Dubois bought into the idea of the “talented tenth”, which posited that the focus for black progress would come from the upper echelon of African American society via assimilation into the college educated, white collar world. For those of you that recall the 70s TV show The Jeffersons or the 80s The Cosby Show, you can see comedic caricatures of these nuances play out in sitcom format. Today, the rise of the black middle class reinforces both perspectives, as both camps are true, on some level. The real division was in a segregated either/or mindset that mirrors how divided our country is today. So even in black culture, as in other BIPOC cultures, there are hierarchical structures in place of who is perceived as entitled to privilege, and who is not.
Check out this brief video on “Being 12: What Are You?”
In fact, people that identify as BIPOC and LGBTQ and know their history understand the experience of “passing.” For example, you might see yourself as black, but you could pass as white. Or if you are gay, you could pass as being straight by pretending to be, or a trans person could front as being “cisgender” or in gender alignment with the sex they were ascribed at birth. But at some point in the game, waking up to who you are, and being allowed to express yourself in your true colors is suffocating if you cannot pass as yourself. Meditation on this perspective can help build empathy for another who might walk in different shoes than you do. On the other side of the coin, there is peer pressure to identify as LGBTQ, even if you are not because it is becoming the hip or chic thing to do. In early adolescence particularly, this can be a form of attention seeking, and over reliance on peers for identity development.
Psychologically, Albert Bandura was a behaviorist and father of the social learning theory, as the primary medium of personality development in children. In short, role modeling, or monkey see, monkey do is how we humans learn. Abraham Maslow, on the other hand was known for his pyramid called Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, with basic survival needs at the bottom and self-actualization at the top, and some other areas of personal growth in the middle. If you don’t have equal access to basic resources, or feel safe or a sense of community connection or belonging, then it’s hard to move into the area of self actualization. It can be done, but you have to work a lot harder. A more fair and just society is created when incentives are in place for “these truths to be self evident.” Of course a child that is raised in a loving home where they feel wanted and loved reinforces this natural belief to a soul that its inner light can awaken and shine through its form. We are all born into this world with a unique blueprint that is designed to love. Yes, we have different temperaments, and our personalities evolve during our life cycle. What matters is how we work with our core temperaments, and evolving personality characteristics. You can be born with an anxious-avoidant temperament, an insecure attachment with your primary caregiver, and without an athletic bone in your body. But you can still learn to relax, feel safe inside yourself, and take up athletic exercise for your own wellbeing. Who cares if you’re bursting with nervous woodland creature energy like a squirrel or never become a famous Olympian. Squirrels learn by imitating, like we humans do, and you can always go to your inner Olympian for building your athletic confidence.
An old friend sent me the article below that reinforces the figure above:
Additionally, many of you know that Ghandi, who gave up his privilege, stood up to the British Empire, and India’s Caste System at the time. Also, Siddhartha Gautama aka the Buddha, left his father’s empire that was set up to protect him from suffering, and then he subsequently gave up his privilege to awaken his inner light and know his Higher Self. There are risks inherent in living a life with purposeful attention that is in alignment with the living moment. To trade that for fame, fortune, and complacent personal contentment is a choice wrought with victimhood. That’s why the oppressor suffers just as much, if not more than the oppressed. It’s a heavy cross to carry when you defend the status quo of an oppressive regime. At the end of the day, it’s a lose-lose situation, even though the illusion shows winners and losers, and justification for that paradigm.
Furthermore, in the film The Trotsky, the main character plays the role of a High School Student who believes he is the reincarnation of Leon Trotsky, the late Russian revolutionary. In the film, this Canadian youth inspires his school peers in a way that moves beyond their boredom and apathy into the self evident truth that “school doesn’t have to suck”, and that student empowerment is a real possibility. In a nutshell, the students in the film move from being “sheeple” to empowered youth, in a prosocial power through legitimate means. You know, the only kind of power that is sustainable, vis a vis an externally inspired prompting but internally directed fruition.
Interestingly, some cultures have a common language and shared stories about reincarnation. Basically, the idea is that our souls are real and are recycled as part of its evolutionary process. While this process can be accelerated in a single lifetime, because of the way the established paradigm is right now, the precedent has been set up to take many lifetimes for a soul’s personal growth and transformation to take place. But the flowering of consciousness taking root on the planet right now is flipping the script on all that. Perhaps you lived as a member of a different gender or race in another lifetime. This could leave you feeling more empathic to the plight of the people who remind you of your old self, or it could paradoxically leave you feeling entitled today. Past Lives Matter. Do you have memories of your soul having experiences in another form(s)?
More importantly, a spiritual perspective that aligns with the human potential movement, and a generalist social work perspective understands that basic needs or equal access to concrete resources supports other areas of psychological growth and self-actualization. If human beings are encouraged to harness our strengths, recognize our blind spots, explore what we are passionate about, and what builds their resiliency, then before long they want to be an ally to support others in having this quality of life. Is this social engineering? Yeah, but only in a more mindful, meditative, positive self talk kind of light. Just imagine the possibilities without Berlin Walls, Glass Ceilings, Ethnic Cleansing, Weapons of Mass Destruction or fixed ideas that inhibit connections between new neuronal pathways. When we rework our DNA with “plasticity of the mind”, we open up to new ways of doing things, a relaxation of attachments to conventional boxes in cognition, and emotional reactions to our engrained repetitions. In this space, we observe a calming down of thought forms manifesting as verbal and physical escalations and behavioral traps respectively.
What is more, brain science reveals a false dichotomy” about trying to differentiate between the brain/body, in much the same way as we try to do between mental health and health. You can see this misunderstanding happen in the compartmentalized culture here in the US. The reason that meditation is good medicine is that it literally rewires the brain toward equilibrium so that we can respond to our emotions effectively. Daily practice is a general workout that exercises our social skills because the rehearsal pays off. Self awareness is knowing our triggers ahead of time. When we lean into our pain, and then shift our focus toward peaceful, calming thoughts and mindful breathing, we are putting the spotlight on our emotional centers in a positive way. Can you become more connected, in a way where you could tune into sensing a feeling a sense of ease or unease? For example, might you ask yourself some reflective questions like, am I needing to rest, take care of myself in a way that I haven’t, or am I congruent with my values at this moment? Personally, I like to think of the children’s story The Little Engine That Could for an inspirational friendly reminder. It helps me stay on track and not run out of steam, if you’ll pardon the pun.
Many of my students (and coworkers) have good “bullshit detectors.” As such, they know the difference between those that fake self confidence (we’ve all done it) versus those who have developed a “realistic self confidence.” And given that we humans have the ability for pretending, we can all learn to “fake it till we make it.” Along the way, we can see ourselves standing in our own personal authority by growing roots in the living moment.
But beyond a sense of entitlement, is a value attached to taking ownership for awakening our personal and collective power. This can happen through currency or any energetic exchange, like bartering. Reciprocity isn’t about the old egoic state of “I’ll scratch your back, you scratch mine” mentality. Rather, it is an evolutionary step into and coming from our Higher Selves that embodies win-win situations.
Be kind to your mind when recognizing that there have been abusive matriarchies in place in human history, where men were subjugated. Where do you think the fear of feminine, yin energy or woman’s power came from? Whether realized or not, men have been programmed, as we all have, to have a fear of feminine power, albeit the connection to this fear is often unrecognized and can play out in silly “facebook wars”, cyberbullying experiences, and in person interactions. Of course this also can occur in trans-racial and cross-cultural communication too. So it stands to reason that if suddenly, magically overnight the LGBTQ and BIPOC identified groups were to be in the majority and in control of the hierarchical power structure, we would not be living in a utopian shangri la. Keep in mind that was Hugh Heffner’s vision of the Playboy Mansion. You can see how sustainable that vision worked out, if you can appreciate the sarcasm.
Finally, in our Civil Rights Teamwork, our students often freely initiate conversations organically. Because we established guidelines early on, they rarely need to be redirected to follow “the rules” of maintaining communication that embodies dignity and respect. For example, in a recent meeting, they initiated a healthy conversation about their respective astrological signs. During that conversation, we had an animated discussion about how you can take 10 people from the same race, ethnicity, ancestry or cultural background, who all might look similar on the surface, but could all have different astrological signs, meaning diverse orientations intrinsically. Like personality characteristics that are unique to the individual, a person’s astrological sign reflects their uniqueness and diversity, on a deeper level. Yet we all share the common tapestry of our humanity. Diversity in Unity. Remember that we are all mostly water in form. But on a deeper level, we are formless, yet luminous, energetic beings. Recognition of this does not discount our diverse expressions of form. If anything, we should honor those differences, as well as highlight our unity.
Take care of yourselves everyone,
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Images Created by Aunt Barbara Merlotti
April starts out as an Aries time of year, the first sign of the Western Zodiac. Energetically speaking, there is a feeling of a new year in the air. Yesterday’s New Moon reflects that. Moreover, “New moons, which occur every 29.531 days, are about release, dissolution and beginning anew. As the first sign of the zodiac, Aries is about breaking ground, blazing trails, taking risks and venturing into often uncharted territory.” Or as soul psychotherapist Deborah El’Elia puts it, Aries “is a fiery energy that can help us know what it is that we really want to create in our lives, as well as tap into the I Am Presence!”
Here in the Northern Hemisphere, Spring is springing, and a Full Pink Moon arrives on Monday, April 26th in most places around the planet. Many of our ancestors called this moon pink based on the vegatative spreading of the “moss pink” wildflower in North America. There are other descriptive names as well, including the Breaking Ice Moon by the Algonquin, which reflects the “increased mobility of the early spring season.”
Frogs are waking up again, and are really making their presence known, especially the peepers and wood frogs. It’s not a coincidence that this month’s Full Moon is also named after Frog by some tribes. There is something cleansing and purifying about the mystical vibrations of Frog medicine. The stories about how their ribbet calls on April showers to bring May flowers makes sense energetically for a good spring cleaning for the soul. This is good medicine, and we really need that after a long Winter, as things have gotten pretty cold and dark there. If you think of the swampy bog areas where frogs thrive, we can visualize them hanging around lily pads. Amazingly, lotus flowers grow out of them, seemingly out of nowhere, and in spite of gnarly areas that aren’t typically perceived as beauty parlors. But what more primordial potential does a lotus flower spring from, if you’ll pardon the pun? As humans, are we not like that? Sometimes, if you want to calm your racing thoughts that are driving you crazy, try visualizing a frog, really getting in touch with its character, and assertively say to yourself, “stop!” Can you see why the Lotus Flower is such an inspirational mantra in Buddhist Psychology?
Additionally, April’s Full Moon will also be the first of two consecutive “Super Moons” in 2021. A supermoon appears slightly larger than other Full/New Moons because it occurs at the same time as its orbit is closest to the Earth. But if you want to see any Full Moon really look super, then watch any of them when they are rising or setting. May’s supermoon will also be a total lunar eclipse.
When I reflect on Aquarius, the Vernal Equinox, Easter, and the Aries New Moon, I think about the resurrection of light, Christ Consciousness, and a New Year ahead. Remember that Aries is the first sign on the Western Zodiac. Moreover, the resurrection of this Christ Consciousness to our Planet appears to be a mystical connection to the prophecies of Indiginious People that posited that humanity was seeded by visitors from other worlds and dimensions, and would someday return. In much the way as it says in the Genesis section of the Bible, “Let us create man (humankind) in our image.” Have they ever really left? Keep in mind that Christ was an embodiment of this divine consciousness, and believed that we are all capable of this mystical vibration.
According to petemedium, from ‘A Land Down Under’, “With (US President) Biden comes Aquarius in its conception. From this month of April, we will start to see the gradual growing and establishing of, not just another liberal Presidency, but the first Presidency in this New Age.” As with any Karma, this administration has inherited what has been handed to it. Don’t expect the Establishment and the Billionaire Class to loosen its grip without resistance.
“Let the old be released now, the old ways and beliefs that keep us stuck. If you cannot believe in a new and better world, you are part of the problem. ‘They’ have won you over with their programming. They have convinced you that you are worthless if you do not get with the program. Who is ‘They’? It is the paradigm that keeps those who are entitled, entitled. They are not the enemy to be hated.”
Keep in mind that while the sunlight of yang is rising in the Northern Hemisphere, the dark nights of yin are rising in the Southern Hemisphere. Either way, the equal equinox dances of light and dark are becoming more dramatic with their oscillations again, as they break away from the Vernal and Autumnal Equinoxes on opposite sides of the planet. But wherever you are on the planet, the winds of the astrological Eclipse Season are blowing in, and “will unleash more exciting energies with eclipses on May 26 and June 10”, as spiritual guide, and professional astrologer Leo Knighton Tallerico reminds us.
From a multidimensional perspective, the spiritual awakening we are going through on the planet now is a transitional process from an old paradigm into a New Age. This quantum leap reflects “the doors of perception” being cleansed so that humanity has the eyes to “see things as they truly are.” The veils appear to be thinning more than usual because we are developing the spiritual eyes and ears to see and hear. The wisdom of the Tao teaches us that when we change the way we look at the world, the world literally changes the way that it looks. In that light, “people are waking up all over the country and planet! Old stories that lead to Dead Ends are ending. New stories are being opened, stories that show how Nature and the Universe are joined and are moving us forward in Evolution.”
Furthermore, when contemplating the sacred geometrical Arcturian wisdom of remembrance, consider the following positive self-talk mantra: “the energy of remembrance helps you reach your inner knowing, which is where your real strength is. We often think we are not capable of doing something or think we are not ready to do something. Realize that all strength is already inside you and that you only need to remember.”
If we are being present with the awareness of remembrance, it is clear to see that we are living in a time when we don’t need a middle man guru to tell us how to accelerate our youth in this reform school known as earth. Also, the spirit of Weasel inspires a lesson plan that amplifies the importance of receiving silent messages that come from the soul, which is akin to a higher vibrational mind to mind, or telepathic communication. Of course, we all know the background noise of anxiety driven thoughts, aka the Chattering Monkey Mind. Nothing against monkey’s, as they are our distant cousins. But as we learn to tame the “downstairs” part of our brains, the inner voice of our “upstairs” brain area, or prefrontal cortex can become more alive. We know this reality by learning how to tune into it, and discern the quiet wise mind from the distracting background noise of the reptilian brain, where the amygdala tends to get hijacked. Mindful attention to the energy of Weasel can help you with self regulation, and assist you from smoking out the smokescreen of everyday life. Meditation on Weasel can help you get in touch with your silent observer, which can help you relax your identification with your thoughts, and emotions. Once you are the observer, you realize you are not your thoughts or emotions, and that is a very freeing experience.
What’s more, while listening to a podcast recently, these lyrics resonated about why we humans forget to give each other unconditional love: “We miss small moments that are grand ones” because being human on the planet today is like “being on a hamster wheel.” The trick is that we need to get in touch with our inner child, and remember what it was like to be a soul before we became more adult like in our personality development. From that place, we are more equipped to come from a clean place of love.
Looking back at the internalized oppression that I felt growing up with a parent who struggled with depression, and addiction, I can identify with what it’s like for someone who identifies as LGBTQ or BIPOC, who perhaps feels like they can’t breathe. From this position of empathy, I can understand how my experiencial feeling has a connection to a heavy feeling of suffocation.
However, because of the way I physically looked to others, I could blend in more easily than people in minority positions that are physically differently observable. From this perspective, I was more overtly readily accepted by the dominant, popular, and mainstream culture that we were all born into. Even if I could taste the fringes, I had the privilege of growing up with Middle Class values in an American Dream that probably seemed a bit more attainable to me, even if by a bit of long shot. But not everybody does or even knows what those values or that dream is. And whether you do or do not buy into these values or dreams, they can be hard on our hearts. This can be especially true for sensitive people, and regardless of whether or not you achieve them as goals or not.
Furthermore, a hardened heart is probably more alarming, when you think about the invited karmic “lifetime to lifetime” dharma you are working out. Perhaps you have been wise to the ways of the world, learned how to play the game, and know how to win at it. But at the end of the day, it can be a sad story, and lonely old road if all you have to show for it is fool’s gold. You can’t take those possessions with you after you die.
More importantly, remember that most of who you are today is a formless, energetic being or a soul that lives in your body that is also made up of a mind and a spirit. Contemplate when you were a soul before you incarnated into a mortal and were born on this planet. Why would you have agreed to come here, and chosen the form that you have? From a place of victim consciousness, you might say that you had no choice, that it was luck of the draw. But if you are willing to shift your mindset, and take responsibility for the cards that you were dealt, that can be very empowering. Just use your imagination to entertain this possibility and see what happens. In my experience, it relaxes a sense of victimhood, and entitlement. This mindful practice can be quite empowering and liberating. It is an honor and a privilege to see that you have chosen to come here as a spiritual being to have a human experience, whatever that experience might look like. If you are in a position of privilege, you might as well do something with your privilege to help others who do not share your position. Acknowledging your privilege, and holding a position of non-judgmental curiosity, compassion, and empathy toward someone else’s plight is the least you could do. You don’t need to make yourself feel superior or carry a wound that suffers from guilt. Both sets of baggage will just drag you down.
Finally, manifesting abundance transcends how much money you bank, or equity you build. If you read between the lines of the book The Secret, you’ll see that truth. Remember that energy is energy. It’s what you do with it that counts. Abundance isn’t really about what materials or success you accumulate, what you do or get people to do for you. Rather, on a deeper, and more meaningful level, abundance is about how you make other people feel that moves them, and inspires them to awaken their own greatness. It might come from the repeated exposure to the yinful reception of silent blessings, as well as peaceful, benign thoughts directed outward toward others, like yang does. In that light, abundance is manifested in the power of love that shines through your Being. And like the energy that Master Jedi Yoda radiates, you just do that with the invisible, yet priceless gift of your presence, and without any expectation of outcome.
May the Frog be with you,
The American election season is over, and yet another big business
candidate Trumped changing demographics and predicted voting trends yet again
Movement into a New Age continues, albeit not without
conservative values seeking to establish issues of security and order
But the population is aroused . . .
We all have our part to do to make a more fair and just society
Where we can celebrate our unique, diverse expressions of Great Spirit
Fear is spreading like wildfire,
while climate change is upon us
Protestors are marching in the streets
People are understandably afraid of losing ground
Remember that Turkey is here to ward off dark energies and evil spirits
Let them go and release their strings clinging from your energy field
Although squirrels might have a different perspective
Like the boasting of thieves after a looting
Remember without the roaring fire of laughter
There would be no spiritual warriors
It is hard to be seduced by the dark side with an attitude of gratitude
The harvest is in with an abundant attraction of
positive self talk echoing in the winds
See you further on up the trails,