clearskies, bluewater

Insights, reflections and creative imaginings for our awakening world


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Rejecting the lesser evil, embracing the greater good

Today is a pivotal day in my political life, an Aha! Moment kind of day. Today I have gone to the mountain, and seen the proverbial Light.  I gained inspiration today, and also some sorely needed encouragement from a community of like-minded others. Today I went to a Jill Stein- Green Party rally.

Now some of you may be groaning, and ready to delete this post from your trigger-happy finger. Please don’t.  The last post I put up on facebook of a political nature (yes it mentioned Hillary Clinton in not the most glowing terms) landed a long and rather heated debate on my wall for a couple of days. That’s okay, at least people were reading and thinking and offering their opinions. Politics is one of the most emotionally charged subjects that we humans can address. I’d vastly prefer strong opinions, even anger, than apathy and denial.

Back to today’s rally. As some of you already know, I have been an ardent Bernie Sanders’ supporter this year. After the democratic convention and Bernie’s concession speech to Hillary, I (along with millions of other Berners) became despondent about the whole mess. I couldn’t go near the subject for the past month. And when I did speak with a trusted friend about the matter of what to do come November, his advice was to put aside the presidential nominee and rather focus on the issues at stake. The dems obviously have a better track record concerning matters of social justice, the environment, and then there’s the little matter of the future Supreme court appointees.  As I listened to his patient explanations, that made perfect sense, my heart and gut simply refused to listen. As logical as his argument was for voting ‘the lesser of two evils’, I went home feeling uneasy and anxious. No matter how plausible, I simply could not fathom myself actually ticking the box next to that woman’s name. Everything she stands for screams Status Quo. She is the Powers-that-Be’s gal, their latest puppet, and a vote for her is a vote for Business-As-Usual. Honestly, who really wants more of that?

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The crowd at Mercury Cafe’s Green Party-Jill Stein rally.

A friend told me about the Green Party rally to support Jill Stein happening today at a favorite café and meeting place for all things alternative here in Denver. I decided I’d go out of curiosity, since I really didn’t know much about her or her platform. As I sat and watched the event unfold, it became more and more interesting. Arn Menconi, a candidate for US Senate from Colorado, spoke and did his best to rile up the crowd. He’s a very progressive candidate who is needing many thousands of signatures to get on the ballet this November. Then there was a funk band who did a great job of raising the collective energy in anticipation of Jill Stein. Finally she arrived, to thunderous applause. Stein spoke for about 45 minutes, and by about halfway through, I was won over. My cynicism, which began with the thought, ‘this woman doesn’t have a chance in hell of winning this or any election,’ was overtaken more and more with head nodding, agreement, then clapping and WoohHoohing. Jill Stein is no slouch, folks.

She told it like it is to the crowd, in plain and eloquent language. There was no hedging nor skirting issues. The Green Party’s platform is calling for a “Green New Deal” as a 2016 version of FDR’s famous New Deal during the Great Depression of the 1930s. She called for the creation of 20 million new jobs in the clean energy sector, a $15 minimum wage nationally, an end to fracking and a moratorium on new fossil fuel infrastructure. They want to cut the military budget in half, thereby using all those trillions of dollars on social programs and green energy. Their goal is 100% renewable energy by 2030 (admittedly  a lofty, if important goal).  She spoke at length about racial injustice, and the need to create a Truth and Reconciliation commission that would engage in dialogs around racism and slavery that have existed for the past three hundred years, creating pathways for healing of those very deep wounds. She also spoke passionately about immigration, reminding us all of the fact that, other than the first nation tribes, all of us are immigrants in the United States. Their platform includes a roadmap for gaining Medicare for All at a national level, using a single payer system. She mentioned wanting to create a system for reparation to those who have (and continue to be) oppressed in this country. She came back to the goal of ending the United States’ role as warmongers in the name of peace repeatedly. She spoke about our Common Humanity on a world-wide level. She talked of forming a new Foreign Policy based on international law, human rights and diplomacy. She spoke of creating a Peace Offensive, and mandating a weapons embargo.

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Jill Stein telling it like it is and how she’d like it to be.

In short, Jill Stein’s speech embodied all the ethics, moral values and ideals of social and political justice, along with the creation of new ways of being a country for the greater good of everyone, not just those who are in power and want to remain so. She is a feisty, highly intelligent and non-corrupt human being who happens to be a white woman, and she is running for presidential office this November. She and her running mate, Ajamu Baraka, are working hard to gain enough support to be able to be included in the presidential debates next month. If enough people supported them, they could be a part of the conversation, so sorely in need of intelligent and compassionate voices for us all.

Jill Stein put it plainly today: the idea of ‘voting for the lesser of two evils’ is simply propaganda that is promoted by the Power Elite through their arm of disinformation, The Media. She urged us to not buy into it any longer. It simply isn’t true that you must vote for one of the two corporate party candidates. You can, and indeed absolutely should, vote your conscience. Vote for what you most believe in, dear Readers. Are your beliefs based in fear, or in strength, in your own human power?  Stein urges us to take our power back, to choose to go from feeling powerless, to claiming the truth of our powerfulness. And this year proves that fact:  Millions of people turned out to vote for Bernie Sanders, enough to have voted him into the White House. Why he chose to concede to Clinton, and in fact support her efforts to become president, is frankly beyond me. But nevertheless, now Jill Stein is standing up to continue this fight for the future of not only the United States, but actually the Earth. What happens in America has huge implications for the rest of the globe. Do we really want to acquiesce to Business-As-Usual, the warmongers, fossil fuel execs and banking corporations that have done a fine job of utterly devasting large swaths of our land, water, wildlife, people and societies?  Think about it. If you give up and do nothing, then you simply give your power away. And if you choose the ‘lesser of two evils’ well you are still choosing evil, aren’t you?

I am telling you, it is NOT a pipe dream to change how things are, how they have been. We are powerless as long as we believe that we are, that They are too strong and We are too weak and our voices don’t matter. Our voices DO matter, every single one. If every disenfranchised person living in the United States woke up and decided to be powerless no more, to raise their collective voices for themselves, their families, their communities, their land, their waterways and foodways: in other words, if we collectively stood up and spoke our truth to power, well it’s pretty obvious what would happen.

Martin Luther King Jr., one of the bravest and strongest humans to walk this Earth in recent history, gave one of the most powerful speeches in the history of the United States in 1963, on behalf of Blacks in their struggle for Civil Rights. I feel that his words apply today, not only to people of color, but for all of us who are oppressed and have lives of hardship and injustice here in America in 2016.  Therefore I am changing his speech to reflect all the people who feel this sense of urgency. He said:
It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of The People’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. 2016 is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that The People of the United States needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until all The People are granted their citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

Dear Readers, I implore all of you who are feeling even the tiniest bit uneasy with your political choices for the upcoming presidential election, to consider looking further into the Green Party’s platform and what Jill Stein is standing up for. Especially those of you who wanted Bernie Sanders for president. Look them up online at www.Jill2016.com or just google her, Ajumu Baraka, or the US Green Party. Find out more and really learn about the choices and issues at stake. Take the time to do some research on your own and ignore the naysayers. As the old Zen saying goes, ‘The people who say it cannot be done should not get in the way of the people who are doing it.’

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Late summer musings

Hello again dear Readers!  Facebook let me know that it has been 189 days since my last post, which is incorrect, but still, it feels like a good time for a post.

Joni Mitchell once wrote a popular song with the words, “everything comes and goes, like old lovers and styles of clothes.” I am feeling the truth of her words often these days, when it seems that so much of life flows along the stream of days and nights with barely a backward glance. Time has taken on a whole new dimension: certain moments feel large and profound, and many other times I can barely believe that ‘whatever it was’ happened only a short 24 hours ago. Although linear time is still a construct we collectively agree to, it feels like it is certainly going out of fashion quickly.

Summer is fading fast, as it always seems to do in late August. Some of us are sad to see it go, while others (myself included) are happy at the thought of sweater weather and cool mornings, temperate days, and the beauty of autumn. September brings new projects, school days, and a good supply of vegetable and fruit harvests to us. This summer has been the hottest ever recorded, according to global climate scientists. It has brought catastrophe and deathly heat to parts of our planet. I am extremely fortunate to live in a part of the United States that has been free from these scenarios, yet I feel deeply for those affected by floods, drought, fires and extreme temperatures.

I am in the middle of an extraordinary and important book for our times, The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible, by Charles Eisenstein. He wrote it in 2013. Eisenstein is not only a brilliant scholar, but a real humanitarian and important thinker for our present times. His words throughout this book resonate with deep chords in my soul, as he strives to explain the unique space we are collectively in at this point in history. He writes that we are essentially walking the land of the in-between: no longer is the old story of separation and power over our overriding philosophy on Earth (although there is still plenty of evidence of the old, crumbling story of civilization everywhere one looks), while the new Story of Interbeing is still being formed. He writes,

The more we share with each other this kind of knowledge, the stronger we are in it, the less alone. It needn’t depend on the denial of science, because science is undergoing parallel paradigm shifts. It needn’t endure the denial of livelihood, because from a trust in gift we find unexpected sources of sustenance. It needn’t withstand rejection by everyone around us, because more and more people are living from the new story, each in his or her own way, inducing a feeling of camaraderie. Nor is it a turning away from the world that is still mired in Separation, because from the New Story we access new and powerful ways to effect change.  (Eisenstein, 16.)

Reading Eisenstein’s book is an act of hope and of affirmation. He is wide awake to the world, where we have come from, and where we aspire to go. He is under no illusions about the difficulty of this journey. He is wonderfully honest. He acknowledges our cynicism, despair, and denial within the process. He also is a champion for vulnerability, naiveté, and courageousness. He advocates for both spirituality and activism as complementing each other. According to Eisenstein, “If everything has consciousness, then what we had believed possible, practical and realistic is far too limiting. We are on the cusp of an epochal breakthrough, coming into touch with the mind of nature. What can we achieve when we are in harmony with it?”

Dear Readers, this year has been transformative for many of us, myself included. We have worked very hard to let go of much of our old, third dimensional thinking and baggage. We have been clearing out what no longer serves us on all levels: physical, emotional, mental, soul and spirit. Many of us are coming into better alignment with the natural world, the unseen realms of nature spirits, beings from other worlds, the angelic and devic. We are growing and evolving exponentially right now, and feeling the various effects of that growth. I teeter between feeling fabulous one hour, to needing major sleep and contemplative time alone. No matter what your patterns or symptoms, the fact is that we Humans are changing, and it is not only necessary, but so very good, healthy and promising for the future.

It is easy to look at the world and become alarmed, frightened, angry, self-righteous, indignant, and generally anxious. We see before us a world that is crumbling, the dying paradigm of polarity and separation tearing apart as we watch. It is easy to get drawn into the fray, and give energy to that dying world. And yet. Even as all that is happening, there is, as Eisenstein so eloquently reminds us, a new world that is coming into being. It is not fully here yet, and yes there will surely be much more disintegration and crumbling of the old system before the new is firmly anchored. We are living through tumultuous times. These are times that call for all of the courage, grounding, sanity and resilience we can muster. If you haven’t already, make friends with your neighbors. Join a group and do some volunteering in your city or town. Grow a garden, or help in a community space. Give away everything you no longer use or need, and simplify your life. Most of all, consider the value of service. The next time someone pushes your buttons and you want to rip his or her head off, ask instead, How may I serve you?  Anger, frustration, judgement and bitterness are the old story. It is time to stop adding anymore of that old energy into the world, and instead to add your positive energy, enthusiasm, sanity and wisdom. How may you serve the new world that is wanting to grow?

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I wish everyone who may read my blog a blessed and productive, happy and peaceful autumn. I see the light and the love within each of you, and I am honored by it.

(from Amazon.com review of The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible: “God damn this is good! This version of the big story by Charles Eisenstein is one of the best I have ever heard. Charles, you are speaking for millions of us and we so know what you are saying to be true. We will absolutely tell the whole fucking world about it.”
—Brad Blanton, author of Radical Honesty)

 


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The balance of paradox/ paradox of balance

 “To have come through it: to have joyfully survived even the happiness– quietly, completely. First the testings were mute, then verbal. Who could look back unamazed?

No one has been able, since life lasts because no one could. But the infiniteness of the attempts! The new greenness of birch trees is not so new as that which befalls us.

A wood dove coos. And again what you suffered seems, ah, as if yet unlived-through. The bird keeps calling. You are in the middle of the call. Awake and weakened.” –RM Rilke

In the middle of the call– awake and weakened. Rilke wrote those words nearly a century ago, during another age of huge upheaval and tumultuous changes. Here we are in the early 21st century, facing changes so extreme and unprecedented, it is very difficult to find balance or even remember to breathe at moments. Yet so absolutely necessary.

Nearing the vernal equinox here in the northern hemisphere, in the middle of a whirling, spinning soup of change we are. What to do, how to maintain balance in this storm? Virtually crocus_snoweveryone I speak with is experiencing some kind of change, whether minor or major, in their current life. These are tricky waters to negotiate, are they not, dear Readers? I read a phrase that is helping me recently, the idea of a “gyroscopic balance.” Many years ago I had a friend who was at university, studying physics. She showed me a gyroscope, and explained to me the basics of how it works. While it is in motion, it will spin continuously, thus never falling down or losing momentum. An apt metaphor for us humans these days: in constant motion, yet remaining in perfect balance. It doesn’t take much to throw one off balance, though. I am guessing that you are, like I am, getting plenty of practice in learning to recalibrate quickly so that you can become rebalanced again. This game is all about getting back into spinning balance as everything is in constant motion all around you. Every day is a new opportunity to practice.

The paradox of our times is to maintain calm and balance in the midst of every increasing upheaval and whirling change. Some days it seems as if the very ground under our feet is in motion, that literally nothing is stable or can be counted on to remain. Even the earth itself, with its billion-years old rocks and mountains that seem immoveable, is not as permanent as we’d like to believe. Unnerving at times, and downright frightening at others, all this massive impermanence is our current learning curve. After eons of living under the illusion of permanence and stability, humanity stands at a huge, Grand Canyonesque crossroads. What is next? What will we choose? Will we make it though this time intact? Or will our species crash and burn, taking many other species with us, leaving destruction, rubble and desolation behind? Will we miraculously choose to take the high road, the path of salvation for our human race and so many other precious, precarious living creatures? What will our world be like a hundred, five hundred years from now? A postapocalyptic world that no one wants to live in, or a world where humans finally got it together, came together and put an end to war, greed and destruction, to create a world where humans and nature live in harmony; the most amazing renaissance ever created in human history?

Who could look back at these times unamazed– only those who are truly asleep and refuse to be awakened to how our world is burning, crashing and slowly rising from the ashes of the old into something green and new and beautiful. Hope is a verb, after all. Hope is what we keep alive by our actions, words, and intentions. No matter how small or seemingly insignificant they might be: a smile goes a long way in this world, a handshake, an encouraging word. We are all in this mess together, dear Readers. You and I are not separate except in our thoughts. We are doing this, a little more each day. Keep up the good work, keep your chins up, keep looking up! The birds know the score; they fly all around, calling and singing, dancing up there in the sky, to remind us all that flight is possible, levity is imperative, and our eternal connection with our spirit selves is unbreakable. Rest when you need to, breathe deeply, go for walks in nature. Take heart, and courage! The lions of our souls are alive, as well as our angels.


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The True Warriors of Change

We are at the moment in time where we have to step up to bat and nail that ball out of here. No excuses, no more learning, no more observations of what others are doing or what is going on around us…it matters not. What are WE going to do to focus our intent to create a world that we want? When we focus our intent, with true belief that we can effect change, nothing can stop us. Nothing. Jesus knew this–he applied it–so have other ascended masters–folks, WE are here specifically because All of creation knew we would BE able to create and effect the changes necessary. WE are true warriors of change.”— Alex, from Aisha North message 366

This blog post has been a long time coming. The past six weeks since traveling out from Denmark and landing in the United States have been large on every level. There was simply not enough energy left in me to record the play-by-play of thoughts, feelings and observations of my life during this time. Finally, tonight, Dear Readers, I have a little extra inside me to share some of it with you.

America, the bedraggled, frayed, unravelling, dishevelled, frustrated, hopeful, enduring, endearing, hard-bitten, rough-edged, calloused, loud, neurotic, troubled, wobbly, beautiful, magnificent, open-road, wide-skied, wide-eyed, sometimes peaceful, painfully self-conscious, warm-hearted land that she is. In spite of all her wrongs, all the pain she has caused (and continues to) throughout the world with her self-serving ways (yes, I am well aware of how America is looked upon by many more sophisticated countries on the planet), in spite of all of that, she is still a precious and treasured place for many millions of humans, and for good reasons. For all of her children’s childishness and unsophistication, downright crudeness and vulgarity, there is something undeniably genuine and charming about Americans. It remains to this day the Great Melting Pot of the world’s people, grown through time into an amazing array of flavors, colors, textures, and complexities that encompasses all of us, big and small, mighty and seemingly insignificant, from every walk of life, a veritable banquet of humanity in all of its variations. And no end in sight…

Since touching down in Seattle six weeks ago, I have been from one coast to the other, with a visit to Denver in the middle. As a traveler, I moved with relative anonymity through crowds in airports, buses, city centers, and leafy neighborhoods. Mostly I knew no one. And yet. The words to the old Woody Guthrie song still ring true…. this land is your land, this land is my land. It’s certainly a plus that just about everyone on this continent speaks English, in one form or another, but there is more to it than that. It is more about the fact that I am a member of this huge clan called the United States of America, whether I live here or not, like the politics or not, am disgusted with things or not. No matter in which state I may travel or even live, I am not a foreigner here. And there is something so heartwrenchingly beautiful in that simple fact.

What will YOU do to create the world you want to be part of?

What will YOU do to create the world you want to be part of?

We are on the forefront of enormous changes in our world, as I am sure many of you know. Unless you are living in a cave without access to even a speck of the outside world, it is extremely obvious that the world as we have known and put up with it all this time is crumbling to dust before our feet. It can be unnerving at moments, yes. This is the moment in our collective lives that the stuff of legend is made from– the moment that future historians will remember as pivotal, when we shifted out of fear, lack and greed consciousness, winner-takes-all mentality, and shifted into a New Age, a new era, a time marked by a conscious awakening to mercy for all beings, Love as action, Peace as mission. Not just for churchie folk, or new ager hippies, or fringe weirdos, but for EVERYONE alive on the planet. Not in a day, and not everyone all at once, but it is here, the Great Shift from Fear to Love as a planetary collective. I say, not a minute too soon.

Perhaps you, or someone you hold very dear, will scoff at these words, write them off as meaningless fluff or crap or use even more colorful adjectives. Those of us with egos to spare are not so easily convinced, of that I have first-hand knowledge. It can be disappointing, to say the least, to walk alongside those you love who do not share your views concerning peace and love as top priorities. The most important thing we can do (those of us who do hold those values most dear) is to love them anyway, and practice letting go of the desire or need to convince anyone of ‘the truth.’ As time goes by, even the most hardcore among them will eventually come to see that this new world is clearly here to stay. At which point, they will have to give up their fear scenarios, and join in the real work.

peaceCreating a new world for ourselves is at once daunting and exhilarating. This blog isn’t the place to go into my ideas of how to do this just now. But I will again remind you, dear Readers, of those famous words written many years ago, by one of our great heroes of the age: Imagine there’s no countries, no hell below us, above us only sky. Nothing to kill or die for, a brotherhood of (hu)man. Imagine all the people, sharing all the world. It’s time.

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Inspiration at the crossroads

Happy September, Dear Readers! There is just something about the thought of September, a combination of longing and desire, that deserves recognition. The summer is past, the winter still a distance away, but September signifies change…. wind…. colors…… beautiful light…. a turning point.

Where do you find inspiration, dear Readers? Perhaps you are one of the lucky humans who can find it the moment you step outside the door– or even within your own home. Or even within your own soul. But, if you are like me, it might take something a bit unusual, new or strange, to transport you to a place of feeling inspired. This summer was inspiring for me. I traveled in southern England for over five weeks, working on organic farms, experiencing the English people, countryside, history and natural beauty of that oddly familiar land for the first time in this life. The English charmed me through and through with their lovely voices, wonderful English expressions and mastery of my native language. To the English, things are ‘luvely’ ‘brilliant’ and they say ‘cheers’ a lot. They smile and love to laugh often, at themselves, each other and life in general. They aren’t afraid to wear bright, colorful clothing and smile at strangers. England may not be perfect, but it was perfectly wonderful to me as a first time visitor. I learned about the different English accents depending on what part of the country one comes from, and loved them all. The weather cooperated amazingly and unusually well, gracing me with hot days and warm evenings, so I really embraced the heat for the first time in a few years.

There are some incredibly ancient and wonderful trees in southern England.

There are some incredibly ancient and wonderful trees in southern England.

England was a blessing and very inspiring to me on many levels. Now I feel at a crossroads, both personally and collectively. It feels there are some big choices to be made directly ahead of us, even during this month of September. Depending on the direction we take, we will determine our future for years, and even centuries, to come. What kind of world do we wish to create, dear Readers? Words are easy enough to say, and to come up with catch phrases: Love, peace and happiness, and all of that. But. What do those words actually mean to each one of us?

How can my image of peace and happiness join with yours? Does it even need to? We throw words around unthinkingly every day. The reality of trying to make the people of the world get along with each other in a non-harmful way is something utterly HUGE in magnitude. How can we meet in the middle, at the core of our humanity? These are big questions which deserve our attention and deep consideration. Can we heal what is broken in our world if we are not healed ourselves from our own brokenness? Or can the broken parts of us act as a mechanism to break us OPEN to the heart of the world?

I was reading something recently where the author talked about finding one’s ‘edges’ in relation to healing. He explained that the edge is the place where the action is, where healing can take place, where change occurs. Looking at the news these days, it is undeniable that humanity stands at the edges of itself, at the limits of what we can stand for and what is life-giving or life-destroying. Yes we have been here before, but right now feels different in important ways. Look at England, for example. Cameron, the prime minister, was ready to say yes to going along with the United States and France’s wishes to begin an air bombing campaign in Syria. But. He changed his mind suddenly, and the reason he gave was ‘public opinion and outcry.’ In other words, The People spoke out loudly enough and said No More War, concerning this latest proposed atrocity, and the amazing part is, he listened. To me, that signifies a big change in the western world, away from Business As Usual and towards something else, something new, something having to do with Life and freedom. If Britain can make a momentous decision like this, after all the years, no, centuries, of propagating war and imperialism around the globe, then there is Hope for the rest of us: (read: the United States of America.) There IS another way to live in this world, and we who are reading these blogs and writing them and thinking about these things know it. We all KNOW things are changing. It is simply a question of time.

Ripple_effect_on_waterSince coming back to Denmark a few weeks ago, I have been unsure of how to continue with this blog. When I started it in January of 2012, my intention was to practice writing, and give voice to my thoughts, frustrations and inspirations of the world I found myself (in Denmark as a foreigner) and try to make sense of the craziness known as Life. Over the months, I have written about various subjects, and also shared articles I found interesting and that I thought you might also enjoy reading. Some of you have been following my blog quite devotedly for some time, and I am very happy and grateful to those of you who have done so. Still, this blog and my words are reaching a very small and limited group of humans, and considering the vast amount of bloggers alone currently writing and sharing their ideas and inspirations, my contribution feels like the tiniest pebble in a vast ocean.

Therefore, dear Readers, I will be taking time during the coming weeks to focus on just what it is that I wish to do with this blog, with my creative life, and also with the big changes I feel are just around the bend. I do not know if I will be posting much, if anything, for the next little while as I try to sort things out. As always, I encourage you all to hold to what is Good, True and Beautiful in your lives, in the world, and in each other, while all the time working to be courageous, to speak out from your hearts, to open up to people, to move beyond fear and aversion and anger, into the Light. It is here and available to us in every moment. All we ever need do is to reconnect.

With many blessings for your upcoming changing season, Leigh


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The courage to act on behalf of the truth

“I am not afraid, because this is the choice I’ve made.” –Edward Snowden

It has been a few weeks now since Edward Snowden’s revelations about the NSA’s spying program hit the internet and news media. For many people, this information has been shocking; for others, simply a sad confirmation of what they had long suspected: The United States has indeed become the world’s largest corrupt government in the world. The main principles upon which it was founded, namely that of democracy, liberty, and freedom for the People, largely no longer apply. There is no more compelling evidence to this fact than the tremendous gift that Edward Snowden has given to the world; the truth.

As of this writing, Snowden remains in Moscow, waiting to hear from all the countries he has applied to for political asylum. So far, no country has come forward to help him, which I find extremely disappointing. It makes one wonder if there isn’t ONE free country left in our world who refuses to be intimidated by the United States’ bullying tactics. The EU, upon finding out that their closed door meetings have also (not surprisingly) been subjected to the NSA’s spying protocol, has declared that they are shocked and are demanding an explanation. Explanation? Pretty self-explanatory, isn’t it?

Big Brother’s watching All. Who can stop them? Snowden comments, “The greatest fear that I have, regarding the outcome, for America, of these disclosures, is that nothing will change. People will see in the media, all of these disclosures. They’ll know the lengths that the government is going to, to grant themselves powers, unilaterally, to create greater control over American society, and global society, but they won’t be willing to take the risks necessary to stand up and to fight to change things, to force their representatives to take a stand in their interests.”

Here then, is some of the transcript from his interview with Glenn Greenwald of the Guardian. I hope you will take 12 minutes out of your life to watch it, if you haven’t already. In my view, Snowden is a person of great courage and moral character. He chose the high moral ground in his actions, instead of simply leaking information anonymously, he deliberately decided to be open about who he is and what he has done. He is a rare and extraordinarily brave soul, and I have nothing but great admiration for him.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/video/2013/jun/09/nsa-whistleblower-edward-snowden-interview-video

“You can’t come forward against the world’s most powerful intelligence agencies and be completely free from risk because they are such powerful adversaries that no one can meaningfully oppose them. If they want to get you, they will get you in time. But, at the same time, you have to make a determination about what it is that is important to you. And if it is living unfreely, but comfortably, something you’re willing to accept, (and I think many of us are, it’s the human nature,) you can get up every day, you can go to work, you can collect your large paycheck, for relatively little work, against the public interest, and go to sleep at night after watching shows, but if you realize that that’s the world that you helped create, and it’s going to get worse with the next generation, and the next, who extend the capabilities of this sort of architecture of oppression, you realize that you might be willing to accept any risk and it doesn’t matter what the outcome is, so long as the public gets to make their own decisions about how that’s applied.”

“It’s getting to the point where you don’t have to have done anything wrong, you simply have to eventually fall under suspicion from somebody– even by a wrong call– and then they can use the system to go back in time and scrutinize every decision you’ve ever made, every friend you’ve ever discussed something with, and attack you on that basis, to derive suspicion from an innocent life, and paint anyone in the context of a wrong-doer.”

“You have to think, you are living a privileged life, as you are living in paradise, in Hawaii, and making a ton of money, What would it take to make you leave everything behind? The greatest fear that I have, regarding the outcome, for America, of these disclosures, is that nothing will change. People will see in the media, all of these disclosures. They’ll know the lengths that the government is going to, to grant themselves powers, unilaterally, to create greater control over American society, and global society, but they won’t be willing to take the risks necessary to stand up and to fight to change things, to force their representatives to take a stand in their interests. In the months and years ahead, it’s only going to get worse, until eventually there will be a time, where policies will change. Because the only thing that restricts the activities of the surveillance state are policy. Even our agreements with other sovereign governments, we consider that to be a stipulation of policy rather than a stipulation of law. And because of that, a new leader will be elected, they’ll flip the switch, say, because of the crisis, because of the dangers we face in the world, some new and unpredicted threat, we need more authority, more power, and there will be nothing the people can do at that point to oppose it. And it will be turnkey tyranny.”

The primary lesson from this experience was that “you can’t wait around for someone else to act. I had been looking for leaders, but I realised that leadership is about being the first to act.”

Over the next three years, he learned just how all-consuming the NSA’s surveillance activities were, claiming “they are intent on making every conversation and every form of behaviour in the world known to them.”

He described how he once viewed the internet as “the most important invention in all of human history”. As an adolescent, he spent days at a time “speaking to people with all sorts of views that I would never have encountered on my own”.

But he believed that the value of the internet, along with basic privacy, is being rapidly destroyed by ubiquitous surveillance. “I don’t see myself as a hero,” he said, “because what I’m doing is self-interested: I don’t want to live in a world where there’s no privacy and therefore no room for intellectual exploration and creativity.”

Once he reached the conclusion that the NSA’s surveillance net would soon be irrevocable, he said it was just a matter of time before he chose to act. “What they’re doing” poses “an existential threat to democracy”, he said.

For Edward Snowden, it is a matter of principle. “The government has granted itself power it is not entitled to. There is no public oversight. The result is people like myself have the latitude to go further than they are allowed to,” he said. “I feel satisfied that this was all worth it. I have no regrets.”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/09/edward-snowden-nsa-whistleblower-surveillance

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Change is coming fast

Dear Readers, Today I share with you an interview with several younger leaders of various activist groups in North America, by the good folk at Yes! magazine. Enjoy, and keep the faith in better days ahead for our planet. namaste, Leigh

“Sometimes the most radical thing to do in a polluted violence-based system, is to be still. The mud settles to the bottom and we then have a clearer vision about our next steps—for example, facilitating the growth of the communities we want to live in or realizing that the most efficient tools against a system based on greed, fear, hurry, and violence, are generosity, courage, slowing-down, and loving-kindness.” – Pancho Ramos Stierle

Occupy-Oakland-protest-2011

(from Yes! Magazine june 2013 http://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/love-and-the-apocalypse/for-young-leaders-it-s-personal

Change is coming fast. The brief window we have to turn around the climate crisis, the growing gap between rich and poor, the violence at home and abroad, debt and austerity politics—these are among the most pressing issues facing all of us, especially young people. We asked a group of leaders, all under 40, to talk to us about how they see their lives, their leadership, and their future.

Sarah van Gelder: How do the challenges facing your generation (people under 40) compare with those faced by leaders of the civil rights, women’s, and labor movements? What’s at stake now?

Adrienne Maree Brown: I would say the biggest difference is we’ve increased our exposure to all the suffering and struggle in the world without increasing our capacity to handle it.

The speed of knowledge has increased—now it’s a nearly instantaneous flow of crisis, tragedy, and need, sprinkled with glimpses of triumph, resilience, humanity. And we are supposed to have a coherent opinion on all of it and stay focused on those things we can impact. We need mindfulness practice to come with our smartphones!

Henia Belalia: We’re looking at the frequency and impact of climate-related “natural disasters,” and it’s daunting—how do we take our foot off the gas pedal when we have very few years before we hit a point of no return and it’s game over for the planet?

Clayton Thomas-Muller: I think of our aunties and uncles who were in the American Indian movement, the Black Panthers movement. Back in the day, there was a lot of responsibility on a very small group of leaders, and it was relatively easy for agents of oppression to target those individuals. Whereas today, through social media and digital technologies that can transfer popular education materials to vast audiences, we have a more level playing field.

Carlos Jimenez: Power is becoming more concentrated and more removed from our daily experience. I assume it never was cool to question capitalism or ask hard questions about systems of oppression. But these days, it feels like we have to stretch in ridiculous ways to question the structures of our society without being seen as radicals or crazy people.

Pancho Ramos-Stierle:
In fact, sister Sarah, we are not under 40, we are 13.7 billion years old, our cosmic age, and we are part of an unfolding story of love.

Our pioneer brothers, sisters, and kin of the civil rights movement during the ’40s, ’50s, and ’60s didn’t have that gorgeous picture of ourselves, the Earth, from space. And now, we’re able to detect planets outside the solar system that might support life, which is bringing a new sense of our humanity. All of a sudden, all of the nonsense divisions based on the colors of our skin or culture or spiritual practice or religion just vanish, and we’re one sacred living organism that is the wonderful Earth.

van Gelder: How do you see where we’re headed as a human community? How does that shape your own choices?

Belalia: One has to believe that another world is possible, but we need to be very real about what that looks like and not just put on Band-Aids.

We’re going to have to make some big changes in how we live. We’re going to have to consume a lot less and give up luxuries. Living in the Global North, in the United States especially, we have a responsibility to the rest of the world to reassess how we live.

Brown: In the stories I hear of past generations, we weren’t just moving toward a better world, there was a sense of responsibility to maintain and/or create a better world for the next generations. Right now I think we need to move toward being better and better ancestors.

Thomas-Muller: We need to be talking about a new economic paradigm, not patching up the existing one like some crazed engineer obsessed with patching up the Titanic. For example, green jobs are not created by producing photovoltaic panels under indentured servitude in massive industrial wastelands in China, then shipped to California where young African Americans are hired at minimum wage to install these panels onto rich people’s houses.  If instead we look at the establishment of local economies, the 100-kilometer diet, urban farming, and radicalizing the conversation around the distribution of wealth and land—that’s the conversation that I’m interested in.

Ramos-Stierle: Seeing with the eyes of an astrobiologist has given me an appreciation for technology. Everything can scale up very quickly. Small decisions can have big impacts in all directions—exponentially more so than a few generations ago. Scalable new design principles—local, decentralized, open, non-linear, emergent, biomimetic—all can spread like wildfire today. We not only have the chance now to name a new story, but our generation has the means to live a new story into being.

van Gelder: Can you tell a story from your own experience about how social change is happening today?

Thomas-Muller: We’ve seen the rise of Idle No More, which is being led by the most marginalized group in Canada: First Nations women. Canada is going through a painful process of reconciliation, not unlike what South Africa continues to go through post-apartheid. Idle No More and the tar sands movement and other indigenous struggles have ripped away the scabs of racism. We’re seeing television, print, and radio airing the voices of the most extreme racists against indigenous peoples. What’s kind of beautiful about it, though—as ugly and as painful as it is—it’s driving people to our side of the movement who are sick of the hatred, bigotry, and overall nastiness. So it’s actually expanding our political base of allies and our overall resistance.

Brown: Recently I was involved in facilitating a gathering on black reproductive justice. The folks came into the room with a lot of painful history, and they committed to healing, whatever that took. And it took sitting in that room with each other and listening to each other in new ways, hearing each other’s ancestral stories and current stories. This meeting felt so different. Instead of: “Who’s got the best strategy and the most resources?” it was: “Who’s really committed to transforming inside themselves, how they show up in this movement, and then how we can be together?”

Ramos-Stierle: One of the most revolutionary direct actions I’ve been involved in was building a 20-by-30-foot greenhouse on a third of an acre in San Francisco. We had 100 volunteers show up at the Free Farm to help, and since then, we’ve given away close to 9,000 pounds of local, organic produce.

That greenhouse became one of the main providers of Occupy the Farm a year ago on land administered by the University of California. We planted close to 15,000 seedlings in one day with 300 people, and it was such a celebration to be there disobeying with great love. Children and all the generations stood up for life and beauty.

So how can we create alternatives that are so beautiful that they just naturally are in conflict with a collapsing, broken system?

van Gelder: Sometimes people working for change get separated into silos. My impression is that those silos are getting less rigid—that people are more open to each other’s perspectives and issues. I’m wondering if you think we’re getting better at working together?

Jimenez: Yeah, I feel like there’s less time spent trying to tell each other what to do and more collaboration, both among members and leaders.

Belalia: For me it’s a systemic change. The corporate powers that are running the world today are all-pervasive, involved in everything from our food to our education to our elections. So for me the systemic is what feels the most authentic.

In our movement, we’re pushing for a paradigm shift that will require connecting migrant rights, economic justice, housing justice, and other social justice issues with the work on runaway climate change.

Ramos-Stierle: I’ve heard a lot of people say, “How can you bring peace if you’re not peaceful with yourself?” And then I think, “That’s over!” We need to have both. We need the inner revolution connected with the outer revolution. It’s time for activist people to become spiritual, and for spiritual people to become active.

We need to focus on our means. It really doesn’t matter what you’re doing if you’re making a more violent and resentful world with your brothers and sisters and kin through your work. There’s no reason why we have to wait; we can be making the world more harmonious right now!

Belalia: Part of my own personal philosophy is learning to just be in this moment. What we envision in our minds is part of what we create in the world, so we need to take care of soul and heart, and create a much more tranquil and sane inside to be able to carry out our work on the outside.

Thomas-Muller: Yeah. I share that perspective. Coming from an indigenous perspective, that’s one area where we actually have a bit of privilege: We have only been separated from our relationship to the sacred for a few decades, whereas for other groups, it’s been millennia. The connection we have to the sacredness of Mother Earth has been damaged by the psychotic Western industrial experiment called capitalism. Through re-evaluating our relationship to the sacred and embracing our place in the sacred circle of life, we can fill the gap left by hyper­individualism and consumption.

Activism has to be grounded in something bigger than yourself. However you perceive God, whether that’s through the smile of your child, or by connecting with the sacredness of Mother Earth through hiking in the forest, or going to church, or practicing Buddhism, or being a sun dancer, it’s important to have those elements in your activism so as not to get overwhelmed and to fall. And even with those elements you still fall, because we are facing unimaginable foes in our struggle.

van Gelder: We chose this issue theme now because there’s such urgency around the climate crisis, extreme inequality, and the growing power of the 1 percent. A lot of our change strategies don’t seem to be working in terms of these critical questions. How do you think we can get the real change that we need?

Belalia: Building networks of resistance and resilience is a really powerful way to look at change. From Occupy grew a kind of sustained resistance—the idea that “We’re going to be in a space, and we’re not going to leave until we get something done.”

But Occupy also has done a lot to build sustained resilience. I just spent time in New York with friends who are part of the Occupy Sandy networks, which set up distribution centers after Hurricane Sandy and are still working with those communities. One group I met with is creating workers’ cooperatives.

Jimenez: I’m becoming a big fan of assemblies. Occupy was a space for assembly, but I’m also talking about people’s assemblies like those the social forums tried doing. I can’t emphasize enough how powerful it is when people come together from different walks of life, different traditions, and see that we can work together. I’m thinking a lot about how we can extend invitations and bring in more people so that it’s a bigger assembly every time.

Ramos-Stierle: As brother Carlos was speaking, I was having this vision. Wendell Berry said that if you eat, you are involved in agriculture. I say, if you eat, you’re involved in the movement, like Occupy the Farm, which some of us call Occupy 2.0. Our elder Wendell Berry says, “An economy genuinely local and neighborly offers to localities a measure of security that they cannot derive from a national or a global economy controlled by people who, by principle, have no local commitment.”

Brown: I’m writing and collaborating around speculative and science fiction, which involves strengthening our capacity for vision and for imagining ourselves in a future where we’re experiencing abundance. I’ve been reading a lot of Octavia Butler and trying to get more people to read her work and to write their own work.

And I’m a facilitation evangelist! Facilitation means to make things easy—facil—to make sure that the time we spend in each other’s presence is authentic, invigorating, and healing, and that it leads to real impact.

van Gelder: My last question: When you think about what you’re doing now and when you look to the future, what do you find most daunting, and what is most hopeful?

Brown: The most daunting thing to me is the scale of change that’s needed.
What makes me the most hopeful is that so many people are asking “How do I live my life? How do I spend my money? How do I care for my babies and care for the loved ones in my life?”
People are realizing the front line is within us, and we have to practice. And that makes me hopeful because I can feel that change in myself and see it in the people I love.

Jimenez: It’s the little things that give me hope, like that I’m starting to see people leading meetings and conferences who look like the people I grew up with—who look like my family.
In terms of fears, the scale, as Adrienne said, is really freakin’ scary. The world could literally collapse. It’s daunting that people don’t even realize how grave the crises are.

Thomas-Muller: What overwhelms me the most is patriarchy. Speaking as a Cree man, I fight internally all the time with patriarchy as it plays out in my life. We come from a matrilineal society. In our traditional way, it was the women who made decisions, and the men were told what to say. We were the spokespersons for some really tough old Cree ladies!

The most daunting question for me is, “How are we going to take out this system of predominantly white male patriarchy that’s driving the destruction across Mother Earth?”
And what is most empowering is seeing the rise of strong First Nations women all across Mother Earth who are rising up and leading the movement, teaching all of us what the sacred feminine creative principle is about and what it means to think seven generations ahead.

Belalia: One of the things that’s the most daunting is how closely politicians are working with corporations, and how blind a lot of people are to their own power.

I was recently invited to work on the next U.S. Social Forum, and it’s really inspiring to me that low-income folk, people of color, women, and LGBTQ are at the core of the process.

Jimenez:
Thank you for providing a space for us to creatively weave this thread. Even though we’re coming from diverse backgrounds, it’s amazing that we’re saying similar things, and I’m grateful for the space and definitely think that was cool.

Ramos-Stierle: We’re kind of orphans in this generation. We better pay attention to the elders and listen to the re-generativity of cultures that have been living here for millennia and be a little less arrogant. We need to listen to many examples of selfless service and to everyday Gandhis and everyday Emma Goldmans and everyday Dolores Huertas, everyday Martin Luther King Jrs., and everyday Cesar Chavezes. One little star at a time forms a galaxy, and one little drop creates an ocean. And we see these shifts happening everywhere—like the shifts from scarcity to abundance, from consumption to contribution, from transaction to trust, from isolation to community, from perfection to wholeness.

We are overwhelmed by the ways that we put in danger the magnificent biodiversity of our planet. At the same time, we are recognizing that there are small things that we could be doing on a daily basis.

Like, after this call, I just feel that I love you. That’s what I think is happening. I don’t know you physically, and I feel that you are my sisters for real and my brothers, and we’re connecting with this technology that wasn’t there before. And so if this is the last time that we talk, I’d like you to know that I am going to keep this for the rest of my days in my heart to continue this great journey.

Brown: I love you back!

Jimenez: Much love!

[Sarah van Gelder facilitated this panel for Love and the Apocalypse, the Summer 2013 issue of YES! Magazine. Sarah is executive editor of YES!]

Henia Belalia is director of Peaceful Uprising, the organization co-founded by Tim DeChristopher, who just completed his prison term for disrupting an auction of oil and gas leases of Utah’s pristine canyon lands.

Adrienne Maree Brown was national co-coordinator of the U.S. Social Forum in Detroit and head of the Ruckus Society, but today focuses on her practice as a doula and facilitator.

Carlos Jimenez is Midwest regional organizer for Jobs with Justice and before that, with the United States Student Association and 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East.

Pancho Ramos-Stierle is a full-time ServiceSpace volunteer who lives now in Casa de Paz at the Canticle Farm in East Oakland. His nonviolent activism centers today on meditating—including in public spaces like Occupy Oakland—as well as disobeying with great love through guerrilla farming.

Clayton Thomas-Muller heads up several First Nations’ campaigns to stop the tar sands.

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Nearing the Solstice, rainbows around the sun & spiritual conspiracy

After nearly two weeks of glorious, bright and often cloudless skies, clouds have returned to Sjælland today. And here we are, with only 12 days to go until the summer solstice, the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere. Headlines on the global stage continue with shake ups, secrets revealed, and other definite signs of significant, fundamental change afoot in our world. Everyone is being steadily, undeniably affected by the power of this unrelenting light from the cosmos, which has only increased in intensity and power during these past months.

Dear Readers, I have no doubt that, no matter what your personal life circumstances are, you too are experiencing the effects of this extraordinary light and of the immense power of love which it contains. It is not an easy process, yet contains much joy and transformative potential. I encourage everyone to take time each day for reflection, contemplation, relaxation, and for giving and receiving love, both to others and to yourselves. And to not become frightened or anxious about the headlines as they appear, but instead to trust that the unfolding dramas of the world need to happen, in order to cleanse and remove the old systems of power which no longer serve humanity’s interests at all. We are collectively creating a new world here on Earth, without having to destroy everything and everyone and start over. These are fascinating and highly stimulating times to be alive, unique to us now. Do what you can to enjoy the roller coaster ride, screaming your head off when appropriate, trusting that we will all land on solid, beautiful ground.

 Here are a couple of writings I have found on the net in the past days, perhaps they will help you in your own process. With many blessings to all of you today, Leigh

“About two weeks ago i noticed a RAINBOW around my sun and i did take some good pics but someone told me they were just sundogs. I know it was much more then just a sundog.  I brought this up to my gramma who is a tribal elder here on my reservation, she told me something that resonated with me greatly.

“This is a sign for you from your angels letting you know it’s time you partake in your part of being one with the rainbow tribe,” she told me.   For some traditional native people, the Sunbow or Whirling Rainbow is considered to be a sign from Creator, marking a time of great change, or transition on the Earth. This full-circle rainbow around the Sun, some elders say, can be understood as a sign to people of the necessity to live a life in respect and harmony with all the creations that make life possible: plants, animals, waters, minerals, fires, winds, and other human beings.”

photo by Rafał Krauze amateur photographer from Poland

photo by Rafał Krauze amateur photographer from Poland

There’s also this prophecy about the Whirling Rainbow: There will come a day when people of all races, colors, and creeds will put aside their differences. They will come together in love, joining hands in unification, to heal the Earth and all Her children. They will move over the Earth like a great Whirling Rainbow, bringing peace, understanding and healing everywhere they go. Many creatures thought to be extinct or mythical will resurface at this time; the great trees that perished will return almost overnight. All living things will flourish, drawing sustenance from the breast of our Mother, the Earth.

The great spiritual Teachers who walked the Earth and taught the basics of the truths of the Whirling Rainbow Prophecy will return and walk amongst us once more, sharing their power and understanding with all. We will learn how to see and hear in a sacred manner. Men and women will be equals in the way Creator intended them to be; all children will be safe anywhere they want to go. Elders will be respected and valued for their contributions to life. Their wisdom will be sought out. The whole Human race will be called The People and there will be no more war, sickness or hunger forever”… (from http://soundofheart.org/galacticfreepress/content/rainbow-around-sun)

and this thoughtful prose poem from http://www.chrisgrady.org/inspiring-articles/

A Spiritual Conspiracy

On the surface of the world right now there is

war and violence and things seem dark.

But calmly and quietly, at the same time,

something else is happening underground.

An inner revolution taking place

and certain individuals are being called to a higher Light.

It is a silent revolution

From the inside out.

From the ground up.

This is a global operation.

A Spiritual Conspiracy.

There are sleeper cells in every nation on the planet.

You won’t see us on the TV

You won’t read about us in the newspaper

You won’t hear about us on the radio

We don’t seek any glory

We don’t wear any uniform

We come in all shapes and sizes, colours and styles

Most of us work anonymously

We are quietly working behind the scenes

In every country and culture of the world

Cities big and small, mountains and valleys,

In farms and villages, tribes and remote islands

You could pass by one of us on the street and not even notice

We go undercover

We remain behind the scenes.

 

It is of no concern to us

Who takes the final credit

But simply that the work gets done.

Occasionally we spot each other in the street

We give a quiet nod and continue on our way

 

During the day, many of us pretend we have normal jobs

But behind the false storefront at night

Is where the real work takes place

Some call us the Conscious Army

We are slowly creating a new world

With the power of our minds and hearts

We follow, with passion and joy.

Our orders come to us from Central Spiritual Intelligence

We are dropping soft, secret love bombs when no-one is looking

Poems, hugs, music, photography, movies, kind words, smiles,

Meditation and prayer, dance, social activism, websites, blogs,

Random acts of kindness…

We each express ourselves in our own unique ways

With our own unique gifts and talents.

‘Be the change you want to see in the world.’

That is the motto that fills our hearts.

We know it is the only way real transformation takes place

We know that quietly and humbly we have the power of all the oceans combined.

Our work is slow and meticulous

Like the formation of mountains

It is not even visible at first glance

And yet with it, entire tectonic plates

Shall be moved in the centuries to come.

 

Love is the new religion of the 21st Century.

You don’t have to be a highly educated person

Or have any exceptional knowledge to understand it

It comes from the intelligence of the heart

Embedded in the timeless, evolutionary pulse of all human beings.

 

Be the change you want to see in the world.

Nobody else can do it for you

We are now recruiting.

Perhaps you will join us

Or already have.

All are welcome

The door is open.

–Author unknown

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Breakthrough News for Real Food in Europe

Dear Readers, this is fantastic news!!  Monsanto has backed down from lobbying for GMO food in Europe. What a victory for The People!!  Now, Americans and all their friends around the world have to keep the pressure going strong……  Take the food supply back!!!

from http://www.care2.com/causes/monsanto-surrenders-ends-all-gmo-lobbying-in-europe.html#ixzz2VMYW5OfK

It’s almost surreal, but it’s true. Monsanto has officially give up its fight to spread genetically modified seeds and plants throughout Europe.

In a time when the power and political influence of Monsanto Co. seems nearly insurmountable, this is a huge victory for opponents of genetic engineering. For those in the U.S. and other countries where Monsanto’s stranglehold is palpable, it serves as a rally cry to keep up the good fight.

“We’ve come to the conclusion that this has no broad acceptance at the moment,” Monsanto Germany spokeswoman, Ursula Lüttmer-Ouazane, told Taz, a Geman newspaper. According to Reuters, European officials for Monsanto also told Taz “that they were no longer doing any lobby work for cultivation in Europe and not seeking any new approvals for genetically modified plants.”

Just as in the United States, millions of European citizens have spoken out against Monsanto’s unchecked control of agriculture through the use of patented, genetically-modified seeds and plants.

A recent poll in Europe found that 60% of respondents considered “Frankencrops” a threat to public health. In 2007, the United States launched a planned retaliation against European countries for refusing to take GMOs into their food chains. In 2009 Monsanto sued Germany because it banned these products, reported FarmtoConsumer.org in late 2012.

Unlike U.S. leaders, those in Germany and elsewhere were not impressed by Monsanto’s well-known intimidation tactics. By January 2013, eight European nations had publicly banned the cultivation of genetically modified crops. Earlier this month, these and other European countries joined the massive March Against Monsanto, a global event that saw millions take to the streets in protest.

For Monsanto, this latest action was apparently the last straw.

“We’re going to sell the GM seeds only where they enjoy broad farmer support, broad political support and a functioning regulatory system,” corporate spokesman Thomas Helscher told Reuters. “As far as we’re convinced this only applies to a few countries in Europe today, primarily Spain and Portugal.”

Despite Europe’s strong stand against Monsanto’s GE crops, there are plenty of countries still under its financial and political control, namely, the United States. Here’s hoping that Europe’s victory will be only the first chink in Monsanto’s armor — one that can be exploited by the relentless voices of the millions of Americans who don’t enjoy a corporation deciding what they can and cannot eat.


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God is Love

Dear Readers,

This evening is calm and free here in Denmark, as we head straight into the longest days of the year…. it only becomes truly dark after 11:30 and the sky begins to lighten about 4 am…. right now I am taking it easy and resting a lot, doing quite a lot of inner process work, so apologies for not writing too much these days.  Once I regain some strength, I will continue blogging in a better rhythm, I hope.

In the meantime, I found a truly magical and beautiful song on Youtube and want to share it with all of you, my friends in the blogosphere.  The song is called Aloha ke akua, which means “God is Love.”  It is written and sung by Nahko Bear and Medicine for the People. Please take the time to relax and watch this video, it is very relevant for our current times on Earth.  in the spirit of Aloha,  Leigh