clearskies, bluewater

Insights, reflections and creative imaginings for our awakening world


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WTF is going on?!?

Clearly there is a whole lot of chaos happening in our world at the moment. For whatever reasons (you can come to your own conclusions), the shock and awe value of our current moment in history cannot be overestimated. But. Today I received an email that I simply must share with whoever might be reading this blog post (see https://popularresistance.org/blog/):

“As you know from what we have been writing and posting recently, the United States has been escalating its aggression towards North Korea. This week, President Trump has taken serious steps towards an attack on North Korea and we are very concerned that it will happen unless we intervene now. Today he had lunch with members of the United Nations Security Council where he urged stronger sanctions against North Korea. This Wednesday, he is bringing all one hundred senators, without their staff, to meet with generals at the White House. The USS Vinson, a nuclear-armed aircraft carrier, is on its way to North Korea with a strike force and two Japanese destroyers.
We urge you to take action now to tell your Senators to oppose an attack on North Korea:
Click here to sign an email petition to your senators.

  • Use the Capitol Switchboard at 202 224 3121 to call your senators today and tell them that we want peace with North Korea. Negotiate with President Kim Jong-un. Stop US military exercises on the North Korean border.
  • Join us to protest at the White House in Washington, DC on Wednesday, April 26 at 2 pm while the senators are there. Click here for more information. 3.
  • If you can’t make it to Washington, DC, please organize an action at your senate offices this week and let us know about it so we can share the details. Contact info@popularresistance.org.
  • President Trump has already demonstrated through the Tomahawk Missile attack on Syria and the bomb dropped in Afghanistan that he is more than willing to use force. His recent rhetoric towards North Korea has been very inflammatory, calling it a problem that has to be dealt with. And it is possible that the war hawks want to create instability in the Koreas prior to the May election in South Korea to replace the recently-impeached President who was a close ally of the US. The current front runner in South Korea is less supportive of the US’ missile defense system (THAAD) that we are building against the people’s will. The President of North Korea has been acting in response to US military exercises on its border that simulate nuclear attacks and assassination campaigns. President Kim Jong-un has said that he is willing to stop testing missiles if the US stops its military exercises. We urge the US and North Korea to negotiate, not escalate. Take action now. ”

Dear Readers, I am sure I am not alone in feeling the strain of the past months since the United States government changed leadership, that is proving more dangerous and disastrous than we could have imagined. The assaults on citizens’ rights, human services, the environment, science itself and ultimately Humanity worldwide, have left many of us dumbfounded and outraged. I seriously wonder if a greater lunatic has ever been unleashed upon the planet than is happening right now (although he has had some serious competition for the title, I will admit).

Another World

How far is too far? Will we collectively allow this lunatic-sociopath and his cohorts to commit nuclear war on our Earth, after we have already learned those horrific lessons 72 years ago? Are we so collectively brainwashed and amnesiafied that we cannot raise our voices loudly enough to get through to the power elite to STOP THIS MADNESS NOW?

I am trying, truly I am, to stay calm and to breathe through each day’s concerning, troubling, and increasingly worrisome news. I am doing everything in my power to add love and peace into the energy quotient of our sleepy and distracted world. But the news of the past couple of weeks, and now this imminent threat to not only the civilians of North Korea, but to the world itself, is simply too much. This lunatic must be stopped. Reason must be restored. Love and compassion must become the standards by which political action is judged. It is high time for some serious consciousness-raising, worldwide.

So please, everyone, speak up!! Call your senators and your congresspeople. Add your name to petitions, carry signs and march in the rain, talk about what is going on in the United States with your friends, your family, your neighbors, your co-workers. We can no longer afford the luxury of being uninvolved in creating peace on Earth. Yes, be loving, be kind, be joyful, meditate and hug trees. AND, speak up about the issues. Let your voice be loud and wide. If ever there was a time to take action, Now is it.

 


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Listening to your own wisdom

This month has brought a huge amount of energy to us Earthwalkers, both collectively and individually. For months now I have shared the collective experience on this blog. Tonight I would like to share a personal view.

Obviously Life isn’t always what it seems on the surface. It’s important, when given some breathing space, to take time to reflect on your life and relationships, in relation to how they brought you to Now. I have had opportunities to do this recently, and it has been helpful.

Dear Readers, perhaps some of you have also been looking back at events and periods of your life in order to understand how you have come to Now. What those experiences brought you, whether painful or joyful, were opportunities to grow and heal your soul. We often cannot understand it in the moment, and indeed some of those painful times hurt so much that all we really want is for them to be gone! Now! Forever! But, we still had to live through them, and coming out the other side we can again breathe, think, and gain understanding.

I think it’s very difficult not to have regrets about your life; what I might have chosen, had I not gone down that road, may have been much more wonderful and made me infinitely happier than the path I did choose. Then there’s the trap of guilt; had I chosen differently, I might have spared my loved ones a whole lot of pain and suffering. This is all speculation, and probably not a helpful way of thinking. After all, I chose what I chose, and my current life is the result of the cumulative effects.

I’ve had intense moments of sorrow lately about things that happened in my past. I believe they have come up again for review so I can heal and let go of them at ever deeper levels. We are really not consciously aware of how profoundly we hold our human experience: memory stored in our DNA from eons of time and vast experiences that we may only recall as a vague feeling of discomfort, anxiety, anger, or sorrow. As we continue to evolve into our multidimensional selves, we must let go of the old experiences of separation. How many times have we loved someone, only to be hurt by them? Or likewise, have hurt the very one we so passionately cared for?

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We may feel alone in the world, but in reality we are always connected with all life, both on Earth and in the starry realms.

Nothing we said or did can be taken back. The play has been performed, the actors all played their roles perfectly, and that show is done. More and more I see my life as a series of one acts, improvs and feature length films. I observe myself living my life a lot these days. Now I am riding the bus; now I am standing in the sun with these other people; now I am cooking; now I am dreaming about what happened years ago. It’s an odd feeling, like I am both in and out of my body, observing and being observed.

The events on the world stage this past month have caused great anxiety and also moments of great exhilaration within my soul. I’ve had moments of pure stillness, when I am certain that beneath all appearances to the contrary, we are fundamentally alright, we will be alright, and in fact, will enter a golden age at some point in the not too distant future. Then I have days when everything seems grey, dark and nearly hopeless, those moments when fear grips my soul so strongly that I have anxiety attacks. The fluctuations are crazy, like a lifeline; up and down, relentlessly.

Dear readers, I write these words to you all tonight in hopes that some of you may take them to heart. Those of you who are feeling similarly buoyant and despondent by turns, please know that you are not alone. Even if you feel like you must be going mad, or the only one who feels like that, you must know that there are far more of us walking upon the planet now than ever before. Together we are here to create a new world. It is time for the crumbling and destruction of the old paradigm for real: Here and Now, in all the countries and continents of Gaia. The old ways of controlling people, resources and economies no longer work. We are collectively awakening, en masse. So the struggle, or rather battle, for freedom is raging strongly at this time.

From this battleground, the fires are burning. Eventually they will smolder, and then there will be ashes. From those hard won ashes, the Phoenix will rise. It’s happened before, countless times throughout our planet’s history. And it will soon happen again. The battle of the human soul is both personal and collective. If you feel like you are in the middle of a battle of some kind or other, that is correct: You absolutely are. So take the time, as much as you can, to rest. To find stillness and peace within. The more peaceful and joyful our experience while in the midst of all the chaos, the more we can each contribute to the whole. I do not advocate drowning yourself in substances which make you oblivious, not at all. Rather, it’s all about becoming evermore conscious. But warriors need to step back from the battle, in order to replenish. Every day.

Thank you for all that you are doing to help the world, the animals, and nature. Everything counts; no matter how small, it matters not. What matters is that you are contributing to the good, the positive. Keep forgiving yourself and everyone else, and shining your light.


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Towards a year of real change for the Good

Happy new year, Dear Readers. Here we are again, standing at the precipice of what has been and what is yet to be. How are you feeling? If you are awake and breathing deeply, most likely you experience a whole gamut of emotions as we are about to embark on 2017.  2016 was one heck of a year: turbulent, uncertain, roller-coaster, full of surprises, with big doses of angst thrown in regularly. What will the new year bring to us earthlings?

Perhaps, more than ever before, we need to cultivate our imaginations. After all, the realm of imagination is one where anything can happen, where we create entire worlds, universes, and all manner of stories. We have all grown up in this world of ‘facts and reality’ that is called The Truth. We have been taught since childhood that our imaginations aren’t real, that fantasy is simply that, and often been told, quite harshly, to ‘grow up and get over it.’ But what if the greater truth is actually that what we imagine, particularly if many hold a similar imagination idea and picture, is what manifests as our common ‘reality’?  If this were true, then life could be very different for us earth walkers than the one we currently agree to be in, couldn’t it?

Dear Readers, I have written many times in this blog about the power of the imagination, and the power of Love in creating a world that is healthy, whole, and healed. A handful of those who have read these words over the past years agree with me. But when I look around at the majority of humans, I do not see this world.  Instead, I see a world that is still ruled by fear, anger, intimidation, sorrow, injustice, extreme violence, and darkness. I wonder what it will take for the majority to awaken and realize that there is another, infinitely better, more beautiful and kind world that is also right here, living parallel to the fear based one.

It is easy to be discouraged, feel small, insignificant, fearful of what may lie ahead. It is so very easy to give one’s human power away to others, to cling to the idea that you are just one tiny, powerless human being swimming in a vast ocean of humans, and that your voice, your presence, and your ideas do not matter, cannot possibly matter within the huge forces at play in this world. The majority of people seem to believe this scenario, and play it out day after day. So the world goes on, and nothing much seems to change or improve, in fact things are looking pretty bleak for the future of Earth and all of us. This is the old story, and frankly, a pretty boring one at that. Aren’t you all getting quite sick of dystopian near future worlds yet?

On the other hand, it is not so easy to stand in your nobility as a human being, to stand for strength, courage, moral high ground, integrity, dignity, compassion. These are the eternal qualities of the ones who have led humanity out of darkness since prehistory. Name your most favorite heroes, the humans who embodied qualities that spoke of divinity, of superhuman strength, of love unbound. We all know these ones, they are the saints, gods, and enlightened beings of both the ancient and modern worlds.

LightBeing-1

Our superpowers reside within us, waiting patiently for us to acknowledge and use them.

I am suggesting that it is high time, now, for the rest of us ‘ordinary’ folk to realize that we too have the very same qualities within ourselves of these our heroes and gods. That we do, in fact, receive divine help and assistance every time we ask. That the days of the old fear-based paradigm are past. That humans full of petty ego desires and maniacal schemes to rule the world and all of the people are no one to fear or even pay attention to; that by withdrawing your energy from those ones their puffed up, negatively driven speeches and threats will blow up in their faces, will be exposed for the smoke and mirror show that they truly are. We can see the Man behind the curtain so clearly now, and he is but a small, insignificant bleep on the radar screen of this world. That is, if we use our collective imagination to envisage another kind of earth, one that is held and designed with the highest moral and ethical principles kept uppermost in mind. And why, dear Readers, would we not choose to do so?

Peter Gabriel once wrote a song with the refrain, DIY. Do it yourself. Now is the time to take up this refrain in a stronger way than ever before. Our governments have failed us and will continue to do so. In 2017, let’s make a more concerted effort than ever before to Do It Ourselves: work in your neighborhoods, communities, with your local elected officials, grassroots organizing to create the new Earth. If you are already doing it, then continue and do even more. Grow your networks, create regional organizations. Lead by your good example, for many others could use your wisdom and expertise as they learn skills and hone their talents. Let the young people show the way; they have a lot of unbridled enthusiasm and energy. Teach the children what is important, real and true, and encourage their imaginations. They are the ones who will inherit this earth, and it is so very important to listen, respect and support them.

I give blessings of peace, joy and strength to everyone who reads these words. May 2017 be the year of real change towards the Good, True and Beautiful on Earth.

 

 


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Looking back, envisioning ahead

Here we are again, at the end of yet another tumultuous year on Gaia, our beloved planet Earth. Would you not agree that a whole lot happened for us humans this year? 2015 has been a year of action, and incredible energy by humanity. Many of us have awakened in a whole new way this year, and realized that the only way through the catastrophic mess we currently find ourselves in is by standing up, standing with, raising our voices, our fists, carrying signs and taking ourselves to the streets.

We are speaking out and fighting back against the powers that have kept humanity enslaved like never before in human memory.

To everyone who helped take a stand for Earth, for Nature, and for Humanity, I congratulate and thank you. We fought the Good Fight this year, and we will be continuing with even greater intensity in the year to come.

The following is an excerpt from a beautiful letter written by Kumi Naidoo, the Executive Director of Greenpeace. He is stepping down as director after holding that position for the past six years. He writes,

Greenpeace had me stepping out of my comfort zone many times. And that, of course, is the place where you learn the most about yourself, when you stand at that line between courage and fear, weighing personal risk against what you believe to be right. I’ve spoken to so many of you who have had the same experience. People who spoke out, or stood up, who volunteered or took some small step or giant leap for the sake of a better future. So often those steps and leaps take us beyond what we thought we’d ever do – either because we were inspired, or angered, or feeling a bond of unity with others. If anything Greenpeace has ever done has catalysed one of those moments, we’re doing our job. We’re setting off a chain reaction of contagious courage.

For me, a series of ever escalating life choices eventually led me to a moment I will always cherish from my time at Greenpeace: the boarding of an oil rig in the Arctic, having an icy water cannon trained on me as I struggled to climb a ladder to oppose the absurdity of Arctic oil drilling. Experiences like that change you. And by “like that” I don’t necessarily mean that extreme form of activism: I mean any action that disrupts your sense of self or your idea of who you are and puts it in a larger context of the human journey and the future of our world. It resets your notion of what you’re capable of. And in so doing resets your notion of what humanity is capable of. And in so doing redefines your sense of what’s possible.

I came to Greenpeace wanting to break the dichotomy between the environment and development. I knew, rationally, that there is a link between addressing poverty and human rights and addressing environmental injustice and climate injustice. But my time with Greenpeace drove this awareness deeper into my heart. Once you see it, you can’t stop seeing it. From the woman who can no longer fish the African coasts for her family because European factory trawlers have emptied her seas, to the child in India choking on ash and coal dust in a village pillaged by the coal industry, to the infant breathing in toxic fumes in an electronic waste dump in China while his mother sets fire to a circuit board to scavenge components, to the devastated family living in a cardboard box after their home was destroyed by typhoon Hagupit in the Philippines: the people who pay the highest price for overconsumption and pollution are those who see the least benefit.

Greenpeace strengthened my belief in the power of nonviolent direct action and my conviction that civil disobedience is essential to addressing this core injustice, to bringing about a truly transformational change not only in the way we feed and fuel our world, but in how we think about wealth, growth, and value – how we reinvent the future in the face of what Naomi Klein has described as an incredible opportunity disguised as a crisis.

In the six years I’ve been with Greenpeace, we’ve secured so many victories – from Shell’s decision to abandon Arctic Drilling to Italian energy giant ENEL’s turning its back on fossil fuels. From dozens of major retailers agreeing to Detox their clothing lines to agreements with major deforesters to end peatland destruction in Indonesia. From Facebook’s agreement to friend renewable energy to new Marine Reserves that have increased the size of our protected waters. But these are but small contributions to the vast changes that a far wider movement is driving – from the unprecedented court decision in the Netherlands that the government is negligent of its duty to protect its people if it doesn’t cut CO2 by 25% by 2020 – driven by tiny NGO Urgenda – to Elon Musk’s decision to open source the design of the Tesla electric car and the PowerWall smart battery, to crowdfunding campaigns for oceans plastic cleanup and prototype solar roadways to new models in the sharing economy to The Guardian’s coal divestment campaign. I have found myself on podium after podium speaking from the same agenda of climate urgency as Sharan Burrow, the head of the global trade union movement. I leapt from my chair in celebration after reading the Pope’s recent encyclical on stewardship over the Earth. From every category of human endeavour, from every continent, we’re witnessing an awakening – an unprecedented conspiracy of courage and commitment to change.

My friends, I leave you with a final thought. As you look around you, remember what the history of the human journey teaches us. The greatest struggle we face is not inventing clean technologies or fundamentally changing the way we produce value or measure growth: these are small challenges compared with how we have changed the world and our own civilization over the course of the few centuries that we’ve risen up. I refuse to believe that the pace of change for survival will be slower than the pace of change for profit. In times of war, in times of threat to our families or nations we’ve found unforeseen strength, and we’ve done impossible things.

But there’s an essential ingredient. Without it, the burst of efforts and evidence of change that we see today will remain too little, too late.

That ingredient is hope. It’s the belief that change is possible.

I saw with my own eyes what happened to the struggle against Apartheid in South Africa once people in large numbers came to believe change was possible. I look around today, and I see more and more evidence that we can beat the worst ravages of climate change. It will take fast action. It will take courage like we have never witnessed on a global scale before – from banks, from corporations, from artists, governments, religious and labour leaders, the charity sector, the billionaires, and from every one of us. Every time the world takes a step forward, be it Apple powering all of its data centres on renewable energy, be it Obama saying no to Arctic oil, be it your university’s decision to divest from coal, your neighbor’s decision to grow their own vegetables, your parent’s decision to volunteer for a cause, or your colleague’s decision to eat less meat – whenever anyone makes a contribution to building that better world we know in our hearts it is possible, we have a duty. A duty to share. To tell the world. To make that courage contagious. Make it a norm. Make it an expectation that this is how the world works. Belief requires evidence, and the stories we tell one another evidence our beliefs: some stories propel us forward. Others hold us back. We can believe that change is impossible, or too expensive, or naive, and consign the fate of this earth to death by business as usual. Or we can fight back. We can stand up and say that a better world is not only possible, it’s being built right now, by the individual and collective acts of courage of every one of us.

http://m.greenpeace.org/international/en/High/news/Blogs/makingwaves/Kumi-Naidoo-departure/blog/55151/?platform=hootsuite#.VnwaEgZ8xRQ.mailto

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Dear Readers and Friends, I know there have been many moments during this past year when things looked very bleak, when it seemed that the Dark Forces (Star Wars aside) have had the upper hand in our world, and I am keenly aware as I write these words, on this Christmas eve, of the many millions of suffering humans on Earth right now. The needs of humanity are greater than ever, and the task of working towards ending war, extreme poverty, violence and strife feels overwhelming. And yet. Progress is happening all across our planet, by many thousands of us in a vast and dazzling array of human kindness, compassion, innovation, inspiration, and acts of will for what is True, Good and Beautiful. The Light that we carry can no longer be squelched by those who would keep us forever in darkness. The tide is turning, at this very moment. We are reaching critical mass for a clean, peaceful and hopeful future for humankind. Every time you give a positive thought, word, emotion or deed out, it reverberates into the human collective and gains momentum. Your words matter. Your thoughts matter. Your kindness matters, more than you can even imagine.

One of my great heroes, John Lennon, penned the following song lyrics as something for humanity to aspire towards. They are simple words, with profound meaning underneath. The more we can cast aside our cynicism and pessimism, embracing instead the power of imagining a world without border guards, guns, greed, wars, violence and lies, the sooner “We can stand up and say that a better world is not only possible, it’s being built right now, by the individual and collective acts of courage of every one of us.”

You say you want a revolution, well you know, we all want to change the world.

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today…

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace…

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world…

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one


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Compassion and sanity in the face of merciless tragedy

Like so many others, I have read and tried to understand the horrific events in Paris, Beirut and Baghdad last week. Many wrote words of eloquence, as they grappled with yet another situation of insanity and brutality against humanity.

Of the articles I read, nearly everyone echoed a similar sentiment: We must not let fear and intimidation, even in the form of extreme violence, stop us from our ultimate goal: Unity of humankind, as the people of Earth stand up and say NO MORE VIOLENCE, NO POLICE STATE, NO MORE SENSELESS WAR AND KILLING.

The People Want Peace and Climate Change

We want Peace, NOW. Whoever is the puppeteer behind the curtains of the world stage, orchestrating these senseless acts of violence in order to create chaos, terror and fear, The People of Earth have a message for you: You cannot win. You can send in your henchmen to terrorize, wreak havoc and harm, but you have, in fact, already lost. The Light is stronger than any darkness you can attempt to spread. The earth has entered a new era of Light and of Love. Millions of people are awakening and realizing that separation is the Great Lie. We sink or swim together, because in reality, We Are One. And more and more of us are realizing this each day now.

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All eyes are on Paris, as the Global Climate summit is about to begin at the end of November. As the leaders of France enact Marshall law, closing borders, and arrests without just cause, some may think that the summit will not be held, or at the least held without the massive protests that have been planned for many months. But The People’s voices for REAL policy change in the face of the global climate crisis will not be silenced. Divestment from fossil fuels is happening. Millions around the globe have said no to drilling in the Arctic. Clean energy is gaining momentum, and it will continue in the years to come. The People of Earth are speaking. We will not be stopped.

My heart and prayers are with the families and friends of all those who gave their lives or were harmed by the attacks last week. Justice will be served. My greatest hope is that in time, the puppeteers will be prosecuted and removed from power so they can pull these horrific strings of terror no more.

I encourage everyone who can, to pull together in solidarity with each other and seek compassion and understanding, not separation, not judgement, not yet more warmongering. Let us now move into our true power as Masters of Love, of Light, of Peace. We are all in this life together. Let sanity prevail.

“We need global solidarity more than ever right now, and that is, really, what this movement is all about. Even as climate change fans the flames of conflict in many parts of the world — through drought, displacement, and other compounding factors — a global movement that transcends borders and cultural differences is rising up to confront this common existential threat.

Let’s hang on to that solidarity and love. Let’s learn from it. Especially at a time like this.

This movement for climate justice has always also been movement for peace – a way for people around the world to come together, no matter their background or religion, and fight to protect our common home. We can think of few better responses to violence and terror than this movement’s push for peace and hope.”  –Nicolas Haeringer, 350.org

http://www.nationalobserver.com/2015/11/16/news/paris-attacks-only-strengthened-our-resolve-activists-push-massive-climate-march


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Negotiating the Rapids of Our Times

Today is a holiday in the United States, a day for remembrance of those who have gone before those of us who walk the Earth now. Some remember the soldiers who fought in wars, others remember people they have loved who have passed back to the spiritual world. Remembrance is a two-edged sword; it brings up many feelings that can bring us pain and sorrow, as well as joy and warmth.

Today I walked along the river again. The water level is high, due to all the rain we have been receiving this month. It is gorgeous there now, as green as it ever gets in the prairielands of Colorado. I stood and watched the water gracefully flowing around a group of old willow trees, taking in the simple, wild beauty of nature all around me. A little ways above where I stood, there is a waterfall that flows under a foot-bicycle bridge. As has been the case for many weeks, the water was mightily and majestically falling from the higher to lower section of the river. Above it, the water was smoothly and calmly flowing, then suddenly rapids, with foam and spray and swirling, and then the river again became calm and smoothly flowing downstream to where I stood.

How do you navigate the rapids when they appear?

How do you navigate the rapids when they appear?

This spectacle seems like a perfect metaphor for our lives now! There is so much energy flowing and swirling all around us throughout the course of a day or a year, it often feels that we get caught up in the rapids and must do whatever we can to simply negotiate them until we can again find a calm place to flow. No matter who we are, our station in life, or where we happen to be standing upon Earth, there are cycles of smoothly flowing and periods of rapid change. It seems completely unavoidable.

Franz Kafka reminds us, “You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.”
( http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/f/franzkafka134853.html#E5CZPUs2jwwHbPQf.99)

Given this unavoidable conundrum, the question then becomes, How do we navigate the rapids when we arrive at them? Again, there are no simple answers for this (although some may feel they have THE answer to it), but there are certainly choices we can make that will determine the kind of experience we will have there. If we take the metaphor of the river, then it becomes clear that there are a few ways to traverse the rapids. One, if you see or know that they are coming up soon, you can try to  get to shore, and simply walk or climb alongside the rapids until you pass them and return to a calmer place to get back into the water. Two, you can make sure your life jacket is strapped on tight, take a deep breath, say a prayer, and go screaming down the rapids. Or three, you can just get out of the water before they hit, and sit on the shore indefinitely, refusing to continue. Are there other choices to navigate the waters of our life? Probably many, but you get the idea. Perhaps a key to navigation is reflection and planning ahead for what you will choose to do when the time comes. Or perhaps you are the sort of person who just takes it all as it comes, and can strategize on the fly. In any case, what we know for sure is that you will face those moments, with varying degrees of grace.

As I was watching the water falling over the rocks a few days ago, I was delighted to observe a friend on the other side. Mister Heron was standing on the edge of a large rock, watching the cascading water with his keen eyes, contemplating the fish he was sure to catch. I sat on my side of the river and watched him for a long time as he patiently watched the water, and waited. Sure enough, eventually he stretched out his neck very far and peered closely into the white water, then in one sure and quick movement, snapped his needle-like beak around a silvery fish. He stood erect and quickly swallowed the fish whole. He seemed very happy then, and after a few moments, flew up to a nearby cottonwood tree to rest and digest. Delighted for him, I stood up and clapped my hands, congratulating him on his expert fisher prowess. It was an inspiring moment.

NightHeron-763816

If I could choose what creature to be on Earth, it would surely be a heron. I have long admired these beautiful and graceful water birds, that can stand for so long, waiting so patiently for the perfect opportunity to catch their fish dinner. They are magnificent to watch flying low over rivers, and have such a spirit of grace and harmony about them. And they love to stand near white water, enjoying the rush of the spray and the force of water around them, utterly fearless. To me, the heron represents a kind of ultimate freedom while living on Earth, a creature of air and water and land: The best of all worlds.

Dear Readers, I wish you all a peaceful and happy time as you find your own ways of traversing both the calm and the rapids of your individual journeys. I honor each one of you for your contribution to the whole of humanity’s slow but sure rise in evolution. Each one of you is precious and important, and I thank you for being here. I see the Light and Love within you, and I honor it.


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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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Revolution in the streets continues

Today I have three news stories to share with you, dear Readers. The People continue to protest around the world, telling their governments to halt continued efforts to put greed and profits before humanity in Turkey, Europe, and Japan. The drum rattle of change continues unabated…..

‘Not About Trees Anymore’ as Turkey Protests Intensify: What started as a bid to save public land has escalated as youth face riot police with calls of revolution

Jon Queally, staff writer http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/06/01-0

 

What began as a protest to protect a public park in Istanbul from commercial development has escalated dramatically in a week’s time with violent clashes between demonstrators and police on Friday leading to an even larger escalation on Saturday as more than ten thousand Turkish citizens faced down security forces in a call for deeper social change. 

turkey-demonstration

On Saturday, what started in Gezi Park—where developers backed by the government of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) hoped to build a shopping mall—has now spread to other parts of Instanbul.

And the Hürriyet Daily News reports:

The Turkish police’s crackdown targeting the demonstrators protesting the demolition of Taksim Gezi Park continued on June 1, as clashes broke out in Istanbul’s symbolic Istiklal Avenue and the Beşiktaş district on the European side of the city.

Security forces used tear gas and water cannons this morning to quell protesters who had gathered on İstiklal Avenue, as well as its sidestreets. When the police fired the water and gas, protesters tried to escape from the narrow streets leading to the Cihangir neighborhood.

Between 4,000 and 5,000 protesters gathered again after the police’s first intervention. However police fired once again, entering the pedestrian street with a water cannon riot vehicle. Some protesters made barricades with trees and bins about 100 meters from Saint Anthony’s Church, near Galatasaray Square. Around an hour later the police destroyed the barricade and protesters escaped into sidestreets.

Despite the repeated police interventions, the numbers gathered at the protests only increased. Protesters chanted slogans against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, calling on the government to resign.

“The protesters are saying that this is not about trees anymore,” said Al Jazeera’s Rawya Rageh, reporting from Istanbul.

As this video shows, the streets have become intense as protesters clash with police
<iframe src=”http://player.vimeo.com/video/67432788?api=1&player_id=vimeoPlayer&#8221; width=”640″ height=”360″ frameborder=”0″ webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen>

On Friday, in fact, an administrative court in Istanbul handed the #OccupyGezi protesters at least a temporary victory by putting a “stay” on the construction permit of the new development.

Despite that and following the aggressive use of force on Friday, including the detention of nearly 60 demonstrators on Friday, the protest movement seemed only to spread overnight.

As part of their campaign, the Gezi protest organizers released this poster calling for others to join them: occupy_gerzi_ad

German Official Warns of Immediate ‘Revolution’ if EU Adopts US Model: German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble urges adherence to Europe’s welfare model

by Andrea Germanos, staff writer http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/05/29-6

Europe must not drop its welfare model in favor of US standards or it will spark a revolution “not tomorrow but the same day,” Germany’s Finance Minister warned on Tuesday.

Speaking at a conference in Paris, Wolfgang Schäuble was joined by other German, French and Italian ministers in issuing warning calls over the soaring unemployment plaguing nearly six million European youths, and that threatens an “entire generation of people” and risks losing “the battle for Europe’s unity.”

Warning of “catastrophe,” Schäuble said, “We need to be more successful in our fight against youth unemployment; otherwise, we will lose the battle for Europe’s unity.”

Reuters reports:  While Germany insists on the importance of budget consolidation, Schaeuble spoke of the need to preserve Europe’s welfare model.  If U.S. welfare standards were introduced in Europe, “we would have revolution, not tomorrow, but on the very same day,” Schaeuble told a conference in Paris.

protestors-Madrid

Protesters in Madrid in April denouncing austerity policies that have created “economic migrants” in the young generation. (Photo: Popicinio/cc/flickr)

“We have to rescue an entire generation of young people who are scared. We have the best-educated generation and we are putting them on hold. This is not acceptable,” added Italian Labor Minister Enrico Giovannini.

French president François Hollande, also at the conference, said “We need to act quickly” on youth unemployment.

“Remember the postwar generation, my generation. Europe showed us and gave us the support we needed, the hope we cherished. The hopes that we could get a job after finishing school, and succeed in life,” said Hollande. “Can we be responsible for depriving today’s young generation of this kind of hope?”

“Imagine all of the hatred, the anger, it’s not anger that we’re talking about in fact, it goes more than that. We’re talking about a complete breakdown of identifying with Europe.

“What’s really at stake here is not just ‘let’s punish those in power,’ no. Citizens are turning their backs on Europe and the construction of the European project,” said Hollande.

The New York Times adds:  Werner Heyer, head of the European Investment Bank, said the deepening youth unemployment crisis, alongside obstacles to cross-border lending within the euro zone, represented the region’s two “megaproblems.” But he cautioned that politicians would be mistaken if they believed that the European bank’s resources alone would be enough to solve the unemployment problem.  “Such expectations of the bank are beyond the horizon,” Mr. Heyer said. “There is no quick fix; there is no grand plan.”
Only ‘Unevolved Apes Want Nukes!’: Japanese Demand End to Nuclear Era: Thousands rally in Tokyo as nuclear restarts loom http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/06/02-0

Thousands of people, including victims from the Fukushima disaster in 2011, took to a central park in Tokyo on Sunday to protest the Japanese government’s intent to restart the nation’s nuclear reactors.

Protesters hold banners during a protest rally against nuclear power plants, following the March 2011 Fukushima meltdown-disasters, in Tokyo on June 2, 2013. (AFP Photo / Rie Ishii)

Protesters hold banners during a protest rally against nuclear power plants, following the March 2011 Fukushima meltdown-disasters, in Tokyo on June 2, 2013. (AFP Photo / Rie Ishii)

Agence France-Presse reports:

Protesters later marched through the capital, holding anti-nuclear banners including one which read: “No Nukes! Unevolved Apes Want Nukes!”

They also demonstrated outside the headquarters of Tokyo Electric Power Co, operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant which was crippled by meltdowns after the March 2011 tsunami.

[Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe], whose Liberal Democratic Party has close ties with the nation’s powerful business circles, has repeatedly said he would allow reactor restarts if their safety could be ensured.

Japan turned off its 50 reactors for safety checks in the wake of the disaster but has restarted two of them, citing possible summertime power shortages.

And RT adds:

Shortly after the Fukushima disaster in March 2011, the Japanese government pledged to fully abandon atomic energy by the 2030s. However, in about a year authorities realized their promise was a hasty one, as the archipelago nation had hardly any other means to ensure sufficient electric energy supply but to return to nuclear power generation.

Earlier this year two nuclear reactors were put back into operation in Japan and plans were announced to restart six more by the end of 2013.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has repeatedly promised the reactors would only be restarted if their safety is ensured by a special supervising body – Nuclear Regulation Authority. But his words could never quell the anti-nuclear moods in the country, where the tsunami disaster took 19,000 lives and lead to some 150,000 residents of the Fukushima area being displaced.

It’s estimated the post-disaster clean-up would take about 30 to 40 years and cost around US$15 billion.

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Our struggle to accept

Dear Readers, Right now I am feeling particularly uninspired to write much on this blog. So I would like to instead introduce you to some fellow bloggers whom are quite inspiring to me. Here is an eloquent post from Zen Doe of Windhorseblog.wordpress.com. Much food for contemplation here, enjoy! Namaste and blessings, Leigh

[From http://windhorseblog.wordpress.com/2013/04/18/acceptance/]

How deeply poignant, our struggle to “accept”. How painfully overwhelming to wrestle with surges of agonizing grief, the black ocean of shame, the fear of what may come, or the steadfast desire to make things right.

We know beyond any doubt, and from our own experience, that some kind of acceptance would resolve, at least to a degree, the ferocity of the conflict within us.  And yet, the imperative to hang on to our idea of how things should be is so strong that it feels as though our very identity will die if we even imagine moving into harmony with our pain.

And there is a measure of truth in that.

There is courage in the struggle for what is right.  There is an uplifting quality to our fervor when we plant the flag of outrage and refuse to move from it.  It makes us feel as though the ground beneath our feet has substance, if only temporarily.  And, we find it preferable to settle for this illusion of being right, because it gives us a little strength in the face of the thing that we can’t accept.  But, the pain is still there.

It is natural, it is our nature, to rise up against that which is wrong, or hurtful, dangerous or frightening.  We are compelled to act, and to act courageously.  The result is that we can, and do, improve our lives, our world, or even just a tiny portion of it.  Though the way is fraught with loss and heartache, we are willing, both alone and collectively, to do what is necessary.

And yet, although it is our nature to take a stand against what is wrong, there are times when we recognize that the battle or the event has come and gone.  The damage is done.  The world has moved on, but we have not.  We continue to fight – to fight the pain, the scars, the woundedness.  There are times when we realize that acceptance is called for, but even the idea of acceptance is abhorrent.  It seems an affront to our very nature to back down.  On what ground would we stand if we were to “accept” the source of our suffering?  What would that mean?  Who would we be?

The battle or event has come and gone.  The damage is done.  I can’t go backwards in time and change the myriad conditions that made my mother the person she was.  It is not possible to un-do the trauma.

We beg to know why.  If there were a reason, it might make sense.  In our desperation, we generate reasons – I was bad.  I was ugly.  I am broken.  We know in the depths of our hearts that this is not so.  It is our nature, it is the human way, to be able to put something to rest if there is a reason.  Human mind loves order, even at the expense of a lie that cripples us.

So, here we are, chasing our tails.  We can’t get in, we can’t get out.  Around and around we go, in denial, in anger, in pain.  We see no way out and no way through.  We cry out silently for someone to hear us, to help us.  We await the rescue that never comes, and out of the corner of our eye, we see acceptance as the only doorway.

What might that acceptance look like?  What if it weren’t as much like “giving up” or capitulating as we imagine it to be?  What if acceptance opened our hearts, gave us peace, made us stronger, and gave us back our dignity in such a way that we not only felt whole, but lighter, more spacious and loving?  And perhaps most important, what if we could do this in such a way that we get to keep the truth about what happened to us?

Peace does not appear when we push our pain away.  It appears when we stand hand in hand with it, in compassion.  Peace, real peace, arises when we stop struggling.

And there’s only one trick to it.  You must hold your own situation with as much tenderness as you would that of someone you love.

chicken hands bwHold it gently, in hands so kind that you begin to see the courage that you have had all along.  Recognize that your fight, your struggle, has been the human experience of rising up to right a wrong.  Have respect and compassion for that.  Recognize that your inability to make it right, or to find a reason for what happened is also the human experience.  It is not your failing.  This very brokenness, this uncertainty, is the ground upon which we all stand.

Envision this struggle, this pain that you carry, as the most precious thing in the world – not as something to cling to and identify with, but as the radiant core of our very human-ness.  Carry it with a child-like wonder that continuously expands and includes everything with heart-breaking tenderness.

It takes a little bit of practice.  Our habit of struggle is very strong.  But it erodes remarkably easily.  Don’t be deceived by the comfortable familiarity of your pain.  It would tell you that you are doomed to be plagued by your anguish for all eternity.  We like what is comfortable and familiar, even when it’s killing us.

Peace, real peace, arises when we stop struggling.  Peace begins with the love that you already have, and the courage to shine that light on your own heart.  Please be gentle.

Photo credit: © studiofascino – http://www.redbubble.com/people/studiofascino

(please visit http://windhorseblog.wordpress.com  for more insightful and evocative posts from this blogger)