Found Wisdom

Found this story in an unusual place and it was credited to Facebook. It is too good to keep to myself. With current events and the news cycle reacting instead of investigating and then reporting, we need to be mindful of that which divides us as members of the human race. We need to calm our minds and thoughts before acting. Often, reacting is the wrong action to take. Stop. Breathe. Wait.

~ Are you a witch? ~

One of my friends told me about a powerful lesson in her daughter’s high school class this winter. They’re learning about the Salem Witch Trials, and their teacher told them they were going to play a game.

“I’m going to come around and whisper to each of you whether you’re a witch or a normal person. Your goal is to build the largest group possible that does NOT have a witch in it. At the end, any group found to include a witch gets a failing grade.”

The teens dove into grilling each other. One fairly large group formed, but most of the students broke into small, exclusive groups, turning away anyone they thought gave off even a hint of guilt.

“Okay,” the teacher said. “You’ve got your groups. Time to find out which ones fail. All witches, please raise your hands.”

No one raised a hand.

The kids were confused and told him he’d messed up the game.

“Did I? Was anyone in Salem an actual witch? Or did everyone just believe what they’d been told?”

And that is how you teach kids how easy it is to divide a community.

Keep being welcoming, beautiful people. Shunning, scapegoating and dividing destroy far more than they protect. We’re all in this together.

Friday’s Gratitude Journal

Drunk on Love...
Love is Drunk..

Welcome to the end of the first week of June! Ya! I’m happy to say that this is a great month and today is even a better day than I thought I’d have when I woke up this morning. I woke up a grumpy bear to a cold house, a thin blanket and children bouncing all over momma. Teeheehee. I choose not to be grumpy because being grumpy—sucks. So here I am and I have a ton of things to be grateful for. This week especially. It’s been a rough week, emotionally.

My former metamores are going through a very difficult situation in their marriage. I have discussed much with them and finding out quite a bit on the status of the relationship as it involves me. And I have reflected deeply on my marriage and relationships. I have a lot, truly a lot to be grateful for.

When it comes to relationships and poly relationships in particular….these are things I am grateful for….

Commitment…I am grateful for my husband’s commitment to our marriage. Things went rocky and sideways for a while and was for a long time. But what shined clearly was after all bad behavior from everyone, me included; was said and done, he was still commitment to us. That is perseverance indeed!

Growth….relationships wither and die without change. I call it growth when it is positive change. It’s also a pretty good indicator that someone is open in heart and mind to another’s viewpoint. Even thought at times it’s painful, very painful, it does lead to a better situation for the relationship. Thankfully, growth isn’t always painful. But like growth spurts….ouch!

Understanding….Ah…this one is a bit mysterious. I did not say communication on purpose. I think we can talk each other to death and still not be understood one bit for all the words used. Understanding is in the space between and bridges the gap between two people. You see it when two people and smile and nod at each other and not say a word. You know something was said; was communicated but not the what. You understand, they get it. They get it, they get each other. That magical moment….understanding and being understood, that is worth far more than endless words.

Acceptance….I am me. That is all that I am. I know I am accepted for me by my husband and by my loves. There is no need for me to change. Ah, yes…there is no need because I am accepted as I am. As I am right now, in this moment. I know I am loved for the who that I am. Acceptance is a very powerful emotion. And strangely enough it seems to drive growth. It is the water on the seed that is the soul.

Compatibility…This one is a hard one. I fall in love rarely but there are times I have and this aspect was missing. This is where my OCD can really shine. Does it matter which way the toilet paper is rolled out? Or even which side of the sink the dishes are on? Or if it’s shoes off inside the house or not? Compatibility, well the having of it is more like having the lube of life applied to the relationship. Otherwise every jagged edge will have to be filled down and smoothed out until compatibility is created…if it is created at all!

There it is folks..five things I am grateful for this week…in relationships. It’s taken quite a bit of time and lots of lessons learned for me to appreciate these qualities in my relationships and in the people around me.

May your upcoming week be full of gratitude!

Left of Center

It’s strange that I’m not used to it yet. I am almost always the oddball, the extreme line, the other viewpoint, the devils advocate; I am often the one not expected to be in the room. I’ve gotten used to ignoring personal bias in favor of believing that such thoughtlessness could not be malevolent. Just how off left of center am I?

Well, I carry a lot of labels at anyone time. Female, mother, sister, daughter, wife. Bisexual, Polyamorous, open marriage, multiple partners. Kinkster, submissive, slave, switch, Domme, online, real life. Religious, liberal, UU, Pagan, Eclectic spirituality, convert, humanist, agnostic, mystic.

I could keep going on with the labels but it’s like this in most areas of my life. I always seem to be quite a bit over to the far ends of things on what it feels like most subjects. So I am perhaps a bit more aware of everyone’s personal bias and assumptions. It’s natural to think everyone else around is like you, even if they are not. I even fall into that trap myself.

Especially over polyamory.

And where does polyamory get the short end of the stick? The kink community.

I attended an online discussion the other night and as insightful as it was, I walked away quietly seething. I was once again sitting on the far left of everything. And because words are powerful, I listened and recognised that everyone was speaking from inside their own bubble of biases and viewpoints and assumptions. But it’s those biases and assumptions that have me seething.

Single, heterosexual, monogamous kinkster is not and should not be viewed as the mainstream in BDSM community, either on-line or not. People make up such wonderful varieties of personal expression, that to speak with the assumptions that everyone is that flavor of cookie is incredibly rude.

For all that the community does in trying to be open and accepting, sometimes it falls down to how much the individuals of the community are willing to be open and accepting.

I’m Poly and married. Any idea how much I get to hear in discussions how married people are cheaters? Any idea how much I hear married listed as a red flag of danger? Any idea how much I hear scorn spoken because some Dom/me has more than one submissive? And if poly is mentioned, it’s quickly given a nod but the words and attitudes remains unchanged?

What ever happened to your kink isn’t my kink? What happened to all that acceptance that community has touted about? Human nature has again stepped in. Let’s be honest, we want to hang around folks that are like us. So, why do I constantly find myself on the far side of center almost every time?

Facilitators, speakers, presenters; words can hurt. A careless thought, an unquestioned assumption can do damage unexpectedly. The world has more variety, more variations than just the standard sugar cookie. If your words and assumptions only apply to one variation, are you aware of it; do you state that, are you willing to own that?

I am that person you could be accidentally insulting, degenerating, harming.
I am that far left off center but I look just like you too.
I am a part of the community but I don’t feel welcome to be me.

BNP’s are not our gods…

This Month’s Headlines…

Big name Pagans behaving badly sparks off Regular Pagans behaving badly.

Sighs….Monkey see, monkey do?

Some of the current rage on the Pagan blogosphere just makes me want to beat my head up against the wall. Outting a fellow Pagan and saying some rather distasteful things does not excuse anyone else of acting on that same level. And yes, I’m standing on my soapbox shaking my finger at all of the guilty for whatever that’s worth.

GROW UP!

Stop sinking down to the very level you claim to be rising above.

Takes a seat in her rocking chair, picking up her dropped kitting and returns to casting on the stitches…

Now there is an important issue here that’s been addressed many times over the long years, the use of pseudonyms. In the interest of fair disclosure, I use a pseudonym and have for many many long years. It is a religious name, a public Pagan name; it is my name.

For a community that every so often holds up the banner of Freedom waving it wildly, the Freedom to choose the name to be called by has been often attacked. I remember when the issue was accountability and now the issue is outings. Both are two sides of the same coin.

I’ve seen this before on countless sites, countless times, always following the same formula; someone gets offended by another online poster  and then attacks the person on a personal emotional level. Never mind that this is a logical fallacy in debate; attacking the person for whatever flaws they may or may not have does not erase the original discussion. It instead muddies the water from all the mudslinging. And that is what I see going on, classic internet trolling with a lot of mud flinging that’s caused me to drag out my hip waders and umbrella just to get close to this mudfest.

And now, the pendulum has swung the other way to the destructive outings of pseudonyms. The recent incident that set off a rash of bad behavior was down to no good reason I can see, beyond petty revenge. Remember, Do Not Feed The Trolls. But I think it bears to keep in mind some old childhood advice, every bully is hurting deep down inside..and for whatever reason they are trying to see their pain on the outside instead of feeling it on the inside.

And this is the second important issue here; our behavior as a community and as individuals does reflect on each of us. We see this far clearer in other communities than our own when an individual is held up to representing the whole of that community and fails, breaks a law and commits a crime usually denounced as not be a “True Blah Blah Blah” to sooth everyone’s ruffled feathers.

And that is the down side to having Big Name Pagans, leaders, grues, priests, preachers, teachers, ministers…of anyone in authority….they can and do fall gruesomely off the podium we of the community place them on. They are after all, only Human and not gods.

So walk softly and walk in love. Think before you speak…check to see if your words help more than harm, uplift more than tear down, support growth instead of destroying it.

Be the good you want to see in the world. It starts with you.

 Sets down her knitting as she gets up from her rocking chair, turning to look at you smiling with a wink as she steps quickly to playful chase her children as lighthearted laughter fills the air…

Breathing In Gratitude

Thank the Gods It’s Friday. It’s been a good while sense I really focused on this blog , much less took the time to write. But this aspect of the blog I will keep. So, on to the rest of the story….

This is my weekly gratitude journal post. I am taking a closer look at my life and doing this journal to increase my personal happiness. I’d like to invite you to do the same and even post a comment to share your journal as well.

The basic idea is to find five things that occurred during the week that has made a meaningful impact on you that you are grateful for.

This week I am grateful for:

1. Master, Master, Master. *grins* Without you, I’m not sure how this month would turn out. You’re patience, kindness and wisdom  means so so much. Thank you for being there for me.

2. Celestial bonks on the head. I am usually not grateful for these but this time there were extremely needed as well as timely. Anything that can make a person stop and think, has worth.

3. Breath. This one may sound unusual but give me a moment. Focus on your breathing. Be aware of it. Sink in to it for a moment. Feel it. That’s being alive. It’s centering. It’s grounding. It’s affirming. And most of all, it’s calming.

4. Community. Friends, family, online community, all of you mean a lot to me. I may not say a lot, I may not even seam to be there as I too often lurk in the shadows, but everything you contribute helps to add that part of yourself to the whole. Thank you.

5. And finely number five, HUGS. Everyone needs hugs. It’s been a policy in my family for so long now I don’t even know how it started. But hugs are free. No pressure, nothing more than a hug, that the hug is always just a hug and not a way to start something more, not a tickle fight, not a flirt. It’s simple but it has come to mean so very much to me and my family. Hugs are always free.

So go on out there and at least think about the things you are grateful for. Maybe write them down and share them too. But remember, Hugs are Free…so here is a great big HUG for all you!

 

Kumaré

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1865425/

Netflix can be downright amazing at times. Kumare is a film that’s hard to place. It’s a documentary film about religion, false Gurus and perhaps the innate drive to seek religious truth.

While watching, I found that I wanted to write to Bonewits about several questions that occurred to me. I found it intriguing to see a variety of people from all walks of life confirm this man’s special qualities by what looked like gut feeling alone. I kept thinking about Bonewit’s switchboard theory and wondering if it could be applied to the situation that I was watching unfold.

Kumare’s charisma seamed to grow larger as the devotes poured more into their response to him. Watching this, I had a vague unease about hero worship, that what is being worshiped is a personal idea and not what reality is. This seamed to be the crux of what was happening with the Kumare’s teachings.

His teachings, coming from an honest place inside the film maker was one the resented within me. The Mirrow teachings essence, that we are our own guru is one that I firmly believe in. Yeah, some of the meditation and yogi looked hooky to me but I can see how it would easy to set aside a few minor snags to keep the better teachings.

IT is disturbing to see just how easy it is to create cults. Our innate need for connection, community and guidance does come with a price. Even if the teachings are strong and valuable, it doesn’t erase the possibility that there is fraud. Too often scammers offer a good product at first and then switch to a cheeper and inferior product. It may be the same when creating destructive cults.

On a SideNote: This has been sitting in the drafts section sense April 27, 2013.

Other Reviews:

http://www.elephantjournal.com/2013/04/kumare-lives-every-indian-americans-secret-fantasy-lakshmi-nai/

http://remysmoviereviews.wordpress.com/2013/03/17/remy-reviews-kumare/

http://lvchangesyou.wordpress.com/2013/03/16/kumare-the-biggest-lie-ever-told/

http://hardcorezen.info/kumare/1081

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rabbi-ben-greenberg/kumare-and-the-allure-of-otherness_b_3140855.html