I have warm memories of my grandparents. They were an extension of the family I had close to me every day, and the promise of more. More love. More cookies. The extra part I didn’t know consciously extended into the linage and the hint of longevity. These people made it through hard times. Lined faces and crinkled smiles told their stories. Grandma’s mole was duplicated on my mom’s face just as I had inherited my dad’s small pinky toenail. So, I’ve wondered what other characteristics were passed on to me.

Below I have an article from The Girl God. We’ve forgotten much of our family ties but it’s never too late to remember.

“As you move through these changing times… be easy on yourself and be easy on one another. You are at the beginning of something new. You are learning a new way of being. You will find that you are working less in the yang modes that you are used to.

You will stop working so hard at getting from point A to point B the way you have in the past, but instead, will spend more time experiencing yourself in the whole, and your place in it.

Instead of traveling to a goal out there, you will voyage deeper into yourself. Your mother’s grandmother knew how to do this. Your ancestors from long ago knew how to do this. They knew the power of the feminine principle… and because you carry their DNA in your body, this wisdom and this way of being is within you.

Call on it. Call it up. Invite your ancestors in. As the yang based habits and the decaying institutions on our planet begin to crumble, look up. A breeze is stirring. Feel the sun on your wings.”

Message from the Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers

Photo by Joey Lawrence

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I Will Pray For You

Prayer. It’s awkward. There was a time when it was easy to pray. Today I pause. It’s not the words. I can craft a good Our Heavenly Father, as well as any preacher man does on a Sunday morning. Nope, I hesitate because I want to be honest with you. And I’m not sure of who I’m praying to. So I hesitate.

Maybe you understand my problem. I’m sincere, and I wish for people to be well. I want their families to be safe from harm and sickness to leave their bodies. Well, I’ve found a prayer that works for me, and it’s simple. First is a short version and easy to memorize. The longer one is second. I hope this helps you.

One more thing, to anyone who has been in my life, but I have offended or thinks I am angry with them, please know I do ‘pray’ for you. I hold no grudges. It’s important to keep the prayer channels clear. And by prayer, I mean something closer to a positive affirmation.

If you are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu or of any other religion, I am not saying you should switch to my ways. This is my way of handling an uncomfortable situation.

Here is my abbreviated version Metta Loving Kindness Prayer.

May all be happy

May all be at peace

May I be happy

May I be at peace

Loving Ourselves

We begin practicing this love meditation on ourselves
May I be peaceful, happy and light in body and spirit.
May I be safe and free from injury.
May I be free from anger, afflictions, fear, and anxiety.
After that, we can practice on others (he/she)
May he/she be peaceful, happy and light in body and spirit.
May he/she be safe and free from injury.
May he/she be free from anger, afflictions, fear, and anxiety.
After that, we can practice including our selves with others (we),
May we be peaceful, happy and light in body and spirit.
May we be safe and free from injury.
May we be free from anger, afflictions, fear, and anxiety. – Thich Nhat Hanh

Trump’s Dirty Red Pill

It’s May 2016, and we say hello to Red Pill politics. You might not be familiar with this version of the Red Pill. Red vs. Blue has been splashed across the media in The Matrix, in the policy with the Republicans and the Democrats, and then there is the one I’m talking about, the angry men. I mentioned it in a post from 2014 – The Thing You Didn’t Say.

Be the man

Is your wife too loud-mouthed? Here take this pill and read this book we can fix your marriage because it’s your god given right to be in charge.  I’m idealistic, and it shows like an episode of the Brady Bunch. Because I believe families can be a unit, caring for each other. And if dad is in charge, he is there to protect his family. Well, I know that’s just bat-shit crazy.

The Red Pill movement contains more than just one aspect. There are get-rich-quick schemes, pick-up artists sneaky tricks, and even how to keep your dates at arms length while still having all the boys-will-be-boys fun. There’s too much to include in this blog, but check out some of the links below.

Redpillers define themselves as opponents to progressives. They seek to roll back the achievements of “cultural Marxists”, “Social Justice Warriors”, “political correctness” and “radical feminists”, justifying ruthless tactics as a necessary response to these perceived excesses. –  Boing Boing  JAY ALLEN / 11 AM WED, JAN 28 2015

Strategic Play – Put the woman in her place

So Trump has accused Hillary Clinton of using the Woman card? I’ll use it. Men have been using their cards for centuries. They’ve used it to start wars, claim land rights, even dictating women’s clothing. Didn’t women just battle over the right to vote? Was that a woman card or a man card? And then there’s education, reproductive choices,  where to live, who we can marry, and I could continue. You think this has ended in our modern times? Nope. I listened to a story on This American Life, by Ira Glass. A young woman spoke about how when she was seven she lost the right to choose how her body functioned sexually. Yes, it was all about religion, but it doesn’t matter. I won’t go into the entire story because it’s sensitive and revealing, but you’re free to listen to it here  586: Who Do We Think We Are?  or below. You can’t play the woman card when you’re seven.

Sugar and Spice

Donald Trump wants to shame women. Sit down and be pretty. He wants women to keep their mouths closed and their opinions to themselves. It’s not going to happen. I will not be ashamed. I will not sit down. I’m a Bernie Sanders supporter, but I’m a woman also. My first choice is Bernie, but I won’t stay home on election day. You shouldn’t either.

They need to know that desire is a mess, and that everyone suffers from its mess. –

The Red Pill: ‘I saw feral boys wandering the digital ruins of exploded masculinity’.
The Red Pill: ‘I saw feral boys wandering the digital ruins of exploded masculinity’. Illustration: Antony Hare for the Guardian

Privilege and Guilt

I have been embarrassed by my whiteness, my richness, my entitlement. Embarrassed, ashamed, repentant. Inside I was apologetic, not wanting anyone to think that I believed that I am better than another. Sometimes I wonder if I’m trying too hard to prove something. But who am I trying to prove this to? And why?

Check out this video:

We have no control over our birth. Where we are born, the family we are born into, the color of our skin, and the status of our household is decided for us. The religion of our culture is usually the one that we adopt. And yet we claim these things with such pride and place our hand over our hearts, pledging allegiance as if we chose them.

Kids do not create the circumstances they are born into.  Never apologize for who you are, unless who you are is an asshole.
Privilege is what most parents want for their children.  It’s what most people want for themselves.
The problem is not privilege, and the goal is not equality of outcome.
The goal is simple recognition that a lot of people are running the race of life with rocks in their pockets and combat boots on their feet. They are being forced to start a half mile back, and with bad maps.  – Don’t Feel Guilty About Privilege

terriermandotcom.blogspot.com/2015/07/dont-feel-guilty-about-privilege.html

We may not be able to change another’s current privilege, but we can change the future generation. It’s not necessary for me to apologize anymore. I don’t have to hang my head. Really. I don’t know why I ever thought that I should.

Repost – The Price of Being Right…But first an Announcement

Shameless self promotion time! My new book is available on Amazon.com. I’ve been so busy getting it ready that I didn’t take time to polish a blog for today. Next week I will be ready!

The Price of Being Right

When I think about my beliefs on how society functions and what I would like our world to look like, I get this wish to make it happen. Visionaries in our society have often been glorified and sometimes rightfully so. I think of Martin Luther and Mother Teresa, who have freed many from the bondage of religious beliefs. There is a balancing act. Churches exist to help the needy. To give strength to the weak. To feed the poor. Somewhere in the process they become the cripplers, the takers, and the tyrants.

I was speculating recently about my perfect society. The one where we all live together in harmony. The one where goods are shared, and all are fed. All are honored. Can’t we all just get along?

Mother-Teresa-collage

I was curious about my hopes for society, how they compared to earlier beliefs and social systems. Marxism was one that stood out to me. And that is disappointing to me since the results were nowhere near what I had dreamed. The dreamer in me, that blonde-haired idealist, wants peace, but so much more. I want children to grow up strong and whole. I want parents to have what they need to raise those children. I want teachers to have tools to teach and children to have the access to learning. I love growth.

 

It’s not peace I want, not mere contentment. It’s boundless joy and ecstasy for me. -Kugell

Before we all start singing ‘round the campfire and holding hands, fan away the smoke from your eyes. Here is my issue. Yes, I want these things. What I don’t want is another Stalin or Jim Jones. So for a reality check, I have to take a step back. What makes a monster like Hitler? What causes a leader to brainwash his followers? They are RIGHT! They have The Truth.

Leaders take note. If you are headstrong and charismatic, people will follow, regardless of any truth or you even having the people’s best interest in mind. I find this sad. There are many helpful people in our world. These helpful folks don’t have the charisma that David Koresh had. Therefore, people aren’t listening en masse. Does this devalue their truth? No. I think our issue is more that we want a Messiah. We need our white horse riding, strong-armed warrior. We want and crave a leader who is elegant and fierce. And why?

Why do we crave a hero? For the same reason social systems such as Marxism swerve away from their origin. Social Equality is a great idea. There are those who could work with each other and make a village style society work. On the other side of that argument, people are afraid without guidance. Not everyone has grown up. Many still believe that we need a church or a government instructing us, or else we would end up in chaos and violence. Possibly, they are right.

So my point is, I don’t wish to push my ideal society or my ideal lifestyle on anyone. The price of being right is tyranny. It’s Jim Jones and his mass suicides. The truth is never forceful. Love is kind and patient. It doesn’t need to use charismatic persuasion to make you believe. And it refuses to allow others to follow blindly.

If there is no savior what will we do? The end of the world didn’t come. The pot of gold was not where we thought it should be. Now we stumble along until enough people wake up. When enough wake up and realize that maybe it’s time we take care of ourselves, then it’s possible we can discuss this around the table. Then we can treat each other with the respect we all deserve. We are all equals. No one man or one government is RIGHT. Not even ourselves. It’s very tempting to believe that an angel on high gave us the answers, but what made us so special? Isn’t that the beginning of madness? My next question would be, why do I need to feel that special?

To End Suffering

I grew up loving the candles, the quiet, the chanting, the sitting and waiting, that I found in religion. The ceremony. It was serious, pure, and poignant. Which to my mind as a child meant powerful. Like weddings and presidential inaugurations.

My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness. Dalai Lama

To End Suffering

Humanitarians try to end human kind’s suffering by making the world a better place. To make society better. Can you feed your family? Can you get water? Education? Equal rights? Equal access to funding or resources?  Top 5 Humanitarian Aid Organizations – BorgenProject.org

The Buddha taught that suffering came from our mind. We resist. We think. We worry. Stop these and suffering ends. When suffering ends, we simply are. There is no more “I.” There is no more “Want.” All that remains is the stillness. Even when the good things in life happen, there can be suffering. Good days, bad days. The Buddha, himself, was a man. He also left his religion. He left his home and family. He left his gods. He never claimed to be a god. He only claimed to be awake. In this awakening, he wished to teach others. There was no conversion or baptism or cutting of the flesh.

The wisdom of the Buddha is currently trapped within the religion of Buddhism.  Killing the Buddha – Sam Harris

Buddhism vs. Humanitarianism

I’d always respected Buddhism with their mindfulness and care for others. Recently I wondered how it differed from Humanitarianism? Don’t they both with to help others? I didn’t know until I explored. There is religion in Buddhism. But how much you want to get into it is up to you and which version of Buddhism you study. Some are heavy on the Karma. Karmic debt. Karmic cleansing. It wasn’t as clean and simple as I had once thought it was.

I never believed in Original sin from my religion, so I can’t see myself picking up Karmic debt. I’ll be as good as I can and see what happens. I can’t follow a guru or wear a toga. I can be kind. I want to see society change. It won’t happen overnight, but I think it can happen. It can happen if we change who we are first. Because, isn’t that how all things start? You can’t make good coffee out of dirty water. And you have to pull the splinter out of your own eye before you can remove the board from another’s eye. At least that’s what I heard from another wise man.

My Take

Helping and giving is my religion. I don’t need people bend their knees at my prayer mat or light their candle with my brand of matches. I hope they can be well and help others to be well. You don’t even have to know my name.

Two Fold Kindness

An almost burnt-down lit candle on a candle ho...Be kind. That’s simple. And there’s more than one approach. Each religion has some form of the Golden Rule. You can look it up here, TeachingValues.com

Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.
Buddha – See more at: http://www.verybestquotes.com/buddha-quotes/#sthash.nqTbafBi.dpuf

Kindness is…

Most of us understand kindness.  If I tell you to be kind, spontaneously you’d think of giving to others. You’d think of caring for your great-aunt Susie when she was ill or your mother’s dog that has arthritis. You might think of giving up the seat on the bus when someone else could use it or splitting a sandwich with a friend who forgot their lunch when you were a child in school. This is kindness. We know what it is. And we know what kindness is not.

Kindness is not kicking a dog when he’s down. It’s not pulling wings off of butterflies just to see what happens. It’s not tossing your extra slice of pizza in the dumpster when you could have handed it to someone else to share. We know this. These are not kindness.

Kindness is also…

We know about kindness to others. And we know it’s important. What about kindness to ourselves? Is it important to be kind to ourselves? Those that tend to value kindness to other are the same ones who would likely give themselves too freely to a cause, be the last one standing, or actually give their last bite of food to help another. Here in the states there’s not a good chance that any of us are going to starve soon for sharing a sandwich. But we can’t forget that we need kindness to ourselves. Sometimes we give to others because it’s our drug of choice. It helps us feel better when we think our life stinks.

When life is out of control, we often reach for whatever we know to make us feel better, and sometimes jumping into a fund-raiser or a charity drive is the thrill that gets us through. There are times when it’s alright to sit down and receive some charity. Let others be kind to you for a time. It’s the give and take of life. After all, when you were born, you didn’t come into the world on your own. You were tugged, pushed, and yanked. Tight fisted, red faced and crying. And so was I. Someone else wrapped us in a blanket, gave us some milk, and wiped the ick from our eyes.

Kindness has no ledger of debt and balances. It would be impossible. So just be kind.

 

 

It’s Gonna Be Alright

One Love: The Very Best of Bob Marley & The Wa...
One Love: The Very Best of Bob Marley & The Wailers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Guesthouse

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

— Jelaluddin Rumi,
translation by Coleman Barks

Thanks to my fellow blogger at BeBeautifulandDance for letting me share the above poem. His original post is here, Rumi Moment of the Week — Meet Me At The Door Laughing by

Cause every little thing is gonna be all right?

There’s construction going on across the street. It sounds a little like the hitting of a heavy bell. It’s just a man hitting metal with a large hammer, but I hear the bell. Bam. Bam. Bam. That type of guest is the easier type to handle. The gentle swishing of traffic that moves like waves against the shore.

Compared to the week before of irritations and unpreventable arguments of everyday life, this is good. But I think Rumi may be talking about accepting and befriending even the irritations and bullies of the everyday, not just the sandy beaches of my barricaded relaxation time. Letting even the bad flow through, as well as the good. Yeah, I lock myself in. I close the door as much as I possibly can, because even the saints must get rid of rodents and bad fruit. Weekends are my cleaning moments. My coming to terms with this crazy world space. It’s me time.

Rumi is good thinking poetry. Let me know what you think in the comments. Here are some of my current interests.

  • #Beinggrateful – just that. Finding one thing to be thankful for. I’m so glad it’s not raining or whatever…you name it. Post it on twitter today. #Beinggrateful
  • Sam Harris – Mindfulness Meditation (no religion involved)
  • Waking Up by Sam Harris book a guide to spirituality without religion
  • Planning a summer vacation. I’m thinking of the beach. Maybe Louisiana. Browsing online is fun.
  • Bob Marley music. I’m listening to his music on Soundcloud.com. A friend at work, a co-conspirator in the beach dreaming, reminded me of his music and I can’t get it out of my head. “One love…”

Grandma and the Big Oak Tree

My grandmother was a very superstitious lady, black cats, ladders, salt over the shoulder, and all of that. I remember once, walking across the yard with her and my mother. We lived in a small town and had walked to the hair salon to get Grandma’s hair fixed. On the way back into the yard I parted ways and ran ahead. I had been warned previously by my mom and knew that Grandma had very superstitious ways, but I was an irreverent child to these superstitions at that time. I ran to the right of the big oak tree while Mom and Grandma were walking around the left. The two women stopped. Mom looked at me and told me to get back around with them. Grandma was very serious about this walking stuff. After much stalling, I started walking forward towards them. And I was chided more. I skulked back around the tree. I made it obvious that I thought they were stupid and rejoined my mom and my grandma who greeted me with a big approving smile. Lesson learned. Do not provoke Grandma.

Somewhere in the middle of the silliness, there was a nagging doubt. What if these things mattered. That little doubt has stuck with me most of my life. I was around 10 or so at that time. Church and all the spirit woo-woo added to the accumulation of cause and effect evidence. So until this day I still get that nagging feeling, maybe I shouldn’t have said that, or may I should have said or done something else. And, I wonder, is any of this true? What if I could toss all of this stuff in the trash? Life would seem so much freer.

It made me believe that everything that exists was caused by another thing. Cause and effect. Or also called the Rooster Syndrome:

The rooster crows and the sun rises: cause and effect, or red flag?

If I tripped and fell it’s because I wasn’t paying attention. So I could prevent the fall by paying closer attention and clearing my path. You can see this if you look at my life. I was always a very attentive person. And yet somehow I’ve had similar incidences as those that haven’t been as careful. I’ve been attentive and fallen. I’ve been attentive and broken my arm. It’s all just superstition in some form or another. Live and let it all happen as it will, because some things can’t be prevented.

To quote Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory:

Sheldon (on phone): Oh, hi mom. … The Arctic expedition was a remarkable success, I’m all but certain there’s a Nobel Prize in my future. Actually, I shouldn’t say that. I’m entirely certain. No, mother, I could not feel your church group praying for my safety. The fact that I’m home safe is not proof that it worked, that logic is Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc. No, I’m not sassing you in Eskimo talk. – “The Electric Can Opener Fluctuation”, The Big Bang Theory

Do your work as best you can and be kind.

 

 

Expectations vs Reality

There is a Taoist story of an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit. “Such bad luck,” they said sympathetically. “Maybe,” the farmer replied.

The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. “How wonderful,” the neighbors exclaimed. “Maybe,” replied the old man.

The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune. “Maybe,” answered the farmer.

The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son’s leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out. “Maybe,” said the farmer.

Expectations are just that, expectations. They aren’t promises or guarantees. We assume we know how life will go. I have heard that women tend towards forecasting in relationships more so than men. We meet a man, and in our mind we’ve got our house picked out along with the names of the two adorable children we will have. When the relationship crashes, we wonder what went wrong. Maybe nothing went wrong. It could be that it wasn’t as perfect as we’d thought. It’s difficult to process the difference between our imaginary relationship or imaginary job versus the one that really exists. We need to be careful to pay attention to what really is happening around us, then we approach life face to face.  Where were you looking when the roof caved in? Did you notice the first drops of rain? Or the buckets on the floor to catch the dripping roof leak? Maybe you were were visualizing life in another town.

So what are we to do? I love to redecorate my house in my mind and our imagination has its purpose. How would we ever make any progress, whether scientific or mathematically? Visualization gives us our map of how it could be. We need to remember where we are right now.

Avoiding magical thinking

But while your intent is pure and your goal is to create magic, the most common mistake is to believe that the marketplace will agree with your good intent and support you. More specifically, that media intermediaries will clearly, loudly and accurately tell your story, that this story will be heard by an eager and interested public and that the public will take action (three strikes).

Or, more tempting, that ten people will tell ten people to the eighth power, leading to truly exponential growth (some day). Because right now, you’ve told ten people and they have told no one…

Only count on things that have happened before, a funnel you can buy and time you can afford to invest. Anything more than that is a nice bonus. – Seth’s blog