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“I trust I am being guided. I trust that everything I experience is helping me to evolve. I trust that through giving freely, through sharing my gifts, the path will be made clear to me. I trust that I’m worthy of peace + that I can create it whenever I choose it. I trust that everyone has gifts waiting to be expressed + I can use my voice to be a reminder.”
The Holistic Psychologist

I like these words of wisdom by Eileen Feliciano, PhyD:

“I’ve been thinking quite a bit about the idea of grace.  We can often learn via empathy and practice to exercise grace in relationships with others, but it is a hard concept to truly extend grace to ourselves.

We have all had moments of strength and fortitude in this crisis, but I am sure many moments of anxiety, stress, and short fuses.  We have all been imperfect more than not, as we stretch to be some variation of workers, teachers, partners, parents, cleaners, protesters, helpers, and responders of one sort or another.

Let us all be cognizant that we are doing our very best to be all things to all people right now, and there is no roadmap for this.  I think we are doing pretty phenomenal, to tell you the truth.  If you don’t believe me, make a list of all the things you have done this week, both big and small, in spite of the many obstacles you have faced.  If this feels good, extend this recognition further out, and you will see that you have accomplished many things from the confines of your own home.

I am aware that there is often this nagging voice that leverages against grace and self-love.  I say to this voice that we are doing what we can, with what we have, where we are.  If we could do better, we would do better.  And as we look more deeply and practice grace, we will do better.  Being hard on ourselves only amplifies guilt, pain, and shame, which makes it so much less likely you will engage in productive and reflective work and have forward momentum.

There will be moments where we are sharp, jagged, tense or overwhelmed with our partners and our children.  We will repair it and do better tomorrow.

There will be times when we let chores pile and deadlines pass.  (Or weeks without a blog post, in my case!) We will make an accountable plan and start tomorrow (or tonight!).

There will be times when we indulge in sweets, or drinks, or crappy food.  Allow it, and know we’ll get back on track and make better choices tomorrow.

There will be times we we are invited to consider social privilege and enter conversations that make us uncomfortable and sad.  We may say the wrong thing, or not know what to say at all.  We will listen more, and we will evolve our perspectives with time.

Allow grace, and the freedom of self-forgiveness will clear a whole lot of head space to in turn make a plethora of good things possible.”

I love Dr. James Maskalyk’s writings. Sadly, he discovered a cancerous lump in his neck and these are some of his musings…

“if you don’t know where a road leads, it sure as hell will take you there.

the one i’m on, for now, has put me in canada’s north. it is early, and the sky is a pearl. the lake too. wind rushes through layers of leaves, swaying trees until they become thick and strong, and only their branches wave. the earth  begins its wobble we call a year, and feathers sprout on ducklings who know nothing of flight. deep in the clay below us, no matter the tilt, the centre around which everything moves.

inside us, too. some would call it god, i guess. or the body. what is in each cell that can be found in none of its parts, sparked into shape with a physiologic big bang when gamete met gamete, and the universe catapulted us into the future. while it doesn’t always feel like a gift, and almost never like we were fully prepared for it, here we are anyway, being shaped like the ducklings and the trees.

this beautiful body.  its finest hair is so dizzyingly complex a microscope couldn’t tear it into enough pretty pieces.  every molecule, protein, every fluorescing rod in our eye, some dazzling step in a cosmic dance that defies possibility.

if it is so perfect, then why do we ache?  not just our back in the morning, but in our leaden chest?  perhaps it is unrequited love, an adoration for a process that is more beautiful than we can conceive, but nowhere near tender enough to trust.  i feel that.  especially with my body on the road that it is, more uncertain than ever before. i’m feeling my way in the dark, the floor ending somewhere near my feet, and like the tilting earth and the blooming feathers, i can neither stop nor turn back.

perhaps, though, the ache is not from a love unreturned, but unexpressed.  not reckless enough. not complete enough. not daring enough. i don’t know.  that is my decision, though, to love it all, no matter what.  not just the surgeon who cut this cancer from my body, but the cancer too.  not just the wind in the trees, but my loud neighbours and their blue garden of beer cans from their late night. my decision is to take the the hurt as not just something to endure, but a pointing towards where we get to grow.  in those tender places, once so soft and easily bruised, vanes of something sturdy pushing their way through, ready to take us into the sky, make this whole world a home.”

He writes other words about his journey here.

 

“She woke one day believing in her healing more than she believed in her suffering. Her soul rejoiced and flowered.” – Jaiya John

Connection

I like the fact that each time I look at this, I see something different.

Connection. Power. Change. Money. Breakthrough!

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Health. Miracles. Breathrough. Connection. Change!

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Change. Health. Purpose. Miracles.

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Health. Self-care. Love. Gratitude. Money. Lessons

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Power. Change. Health. Breakthrough.

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Health. Purpose. Breakthrough. Love. Gratitude.

love letter to beloved black bodies + heart instructions for those who choose to receive them.

by Rev. angel Kyodo williams

let the folks that can’t know how this lands in and on our bodies do the work of reclaiming their humanity until they realize this pain lays violence on our bodies, but ignored and unchecked, whiteness consumes their spirit, their wholeness, and integrity as human beings.
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until white folks feel their guts wrench them out of pervasive confusion and into their bodies to show up beyond the obsession with personal safety and getting it right that is whiteness personified, they are the bulwark to white supremacy that got this man and every black brown indigenous devalued body killed.
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white folks, you might not know what to “do” about it, but you can start by feeling which is where all wisdom of what to do when you don’t know what to do comes from.
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if you don’t have access to that, now you have a place to start your work from. get comfortable with that discomfort.
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in the meantime, give a shit.
feel helpless outrage.
take a risk.
listen.
learn.
get it wrong.
offend someone.
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make beloved all black bodies.
⠀⠀
—Rev. angel Kyodo williams

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And this articleby Leo Baubata about the Not Knowing of This Moment of Confronting Racism is worth a read.

Pay attention to what you are paying attention to…

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If you don’t think you have any biases, there’s a way for you to test whether or not that is true.

“A quarter-century ago, social psychologist Anthony Greenwald of the University of Washington developed a test that exposed an uncomfortable aspect of the human mind: People have deep-seated biases of which they are completely unaware. And these hidden attitudes — known as implicit bias — influence the way we act toward each other, often with unintended discriminatory consequences.

Since then, Greenwald and his main collaborators, Mahzarin Banaji and Brian Nosek, have used the implicit association test to measure how fast and accurately people associate different social groups with qualities like good and bad. They have developed versions of the test to measure things such as unconscious attitudes about race, gender stereotypes and bias against older people. Those tests have revealed just how pervasive implicit bias is. Project Implicit offers public versions of the tests on its website at https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/

The quote above is from this article called “Making people aware of their biases doesn’t usually change minds, but here’s what does work” by Betsy Mason.

 

Worry

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Still I Rise by Maya Angelou

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

You can read the complete poem here.

A MEDITATION IN BLACKNESS by Bayo Akomolafe

I am a black man.
I was planted in deep, loamy, black soil by my black father.
Cradled, cultured and coaxed out like a tuber of yam by my black mother.
Though I came from one womb, I am birthed by many mothers – some of skin like bark and timber, some of eyes of yellow like cassava.
I have a scandalous affinity with shadows in this here regime of light.
I know the suffering, the shame of being late no matter how punctual I get.
I want to be held and seen and known, to be allowed the luxury of variance.
I still feel the stings of a thousand lashes on my ancestral back, the cuts bleeding into my dawn, haunting my dusk.
This justice, this one promised by your identity politics, it makes room for me, I thank you.
Though this room is a dank cell with no bleeding windows. I cannot fly here.
It holds me captive in a mathematical equation. It closes me off from how things spill, how things wander off, how things lose their way.
In this house of brittle bodies, one must thread softly.
In this grid, emancipation is the proliferation of more grids, all hovering magnetically above the radiant equality sign, awaiting entry into the citizenship of representation.
I cannot stay here too long. I cannot abide the routine of this jail cell. I am tired of guarding these concrete walls.
I must spill.
I am a black man.
My mother is water, and my father is movement.
My blackness is not an identity, stable and secure like a stain on white cloth. My blackness is a roaming principle, a geological force uncovering the otherwise, a departure from convenient algorithms, a fierce conjuring in a language so secret that the words themselves do not realize they are part of the spell. My blackness is an invitation to the sensuousness of the pothole, to the hospitality of the crack in the wall. My blackness is what happens when loss touches itself, when a people is brought to the edge of apocalyptic Atlantic waters, and still carry a strange hope. My blackness is the creolized promiscuity at the borderlands of goodness. My blackness is the miraculous undoing of identity.
In the morning, you won’t find me here. I will have gone to the place of my many mothers, their palace webbed with herbs and incantations and patient hospitality. And they will lay me down, and press a strange smelling paste into my brittle skin. They will close off the pores and bind me with their embroidered wrappers. When I am ready and done, after three days sweating in the hot sun, I will be good to go, good enough to fall apart like they do.
I will be lighter than air.
I will know the highway of blackness in its fluid ethereality.
I will know how to fly,
for what is my blackness if not the secret of flight?

Bayo Akomolafe

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And here’s Sam Reynolds’ Association for Young Astologers’ Zoom webinar from July 2019 here. In this webinar, he discussed the racial power structures of the United States since its inception in the context of Pluto’s significations and cycles. Many of his insights feel prophetic in light of recent events.

***
Astrologer Rachel Lang says about this time:

What we’re seeing is a convergence of all the storylines we’ve seen throughout Pluto’s time in Capricorn. From the 99% movement, to the civil rights movements and Black Lives Matter, to the #metoo movement and shifts toward more gender equality, to the white nationalist movements, to the conspiracy theorists gaining an audience online, to election hacking, to the protests in response to the COVID restrictions… what ties these events and movements together are Pluto in Capricorn themes- a call for radical reformation and a spotlight on the dark underworld of our societal systems— corporate, economic, governmental, and religious. We have seen the worst — the darkness — of these systems reveal itself to us so we can transform our Capricorn structures.

These storylines are converging right now. 

There is so much confusion because of this. We don’t know – maybe the rioting and violence are the results of other countries working in subversive ways to rally opposing sides and spark civil unrest as they did in the last election. Only, maybe this time it escalated. I’m not saying this is what I believe – only that we need to be willing to see all possibilities and explore them to get to the root of what we need to change. This time of chaos will precede clarity, answers, and global shifts.

The astrology of this year indicates more revelations and more big societal shifts. This isn’t over.

These transits we have going on right now take us into 2021. Also, we’re gearing up for our country’s Pluto return, which will happen in 2022/2023. Pluto returns happen every 249 years, and they bring major cycles of rebirth. We’re in the breakdown/dismantling stage of a rebirth process this year.

It is your opportunity for a great awakening and the activation of your purpose. Your own spiritual shifts are taking place, and you can have greater access to your power.

We need to end racism. We need to end the economic disparity that divides us — along with any systems that perpetuate a false sense of separateness. What happens to one person affects the whole. Our wellbeing, liberation, and happiness depend on the wellbeing, liberation, and happiness of those with the least agency – the least power- in our society.

The new cycles that have begun in 2020 with Saturn, Pluto, and Ceres in January and Jupiter and Pluto throughout this year, along with the upcoming Jupiter-Saturn great conjunction in December, we’re looking at our culture with a blank canvas. We are in a period of renaissance, and we need our collective imagination to create the future we desire – one based on the Aquarian ideals of the new age into which we’re entering.”

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And Tosha Silver, another astrologer, says the following:

“…I can’t help thinking as an astrologer cuz that’s my training and nature. So this country is smack in the middle of its once-in-248 year PLUTO return. (The saturn Pluto conjunction Jan 12 was the start bell that said ‘time’s up. Old way is OVER’). Pluto is the planet of death and Rebirth; it makes you face your Shadow, ready or not. It’s collective and individual both. And it is UGLY. So what’s been under the rug all along comes roaring out. You know that from its very beginnings this country was built on racism, started with slavery, and the extermination of native Americans too, all of it. The civil war, confederacy, Jim Crow, it’s been systemic every since. And now, once for all, Pluto brings it ALL home. And mama, it is thorough! As horrifying as this is, here’s where I find faith. A healing eventually comes on the other side of Pluto. Always. If you are open, you are changed. You are utterly changed. It’s the beginning of a new road. Pluto doesn’t pull out till 2024 but it shows the destined road. Divine beloved show me from the inside out how to be a healing ally to my black sisters and brothers right now! Change me however I need to be changed to support this process! Fill us with courage and faith beyond anything we’ve ever imagined. May equality, justice and mercy show the way. May love be victorious! I am You . You are me. We are one. #blacklivesmatter”

genius

Enjoyed colouring a forest scene hat Martha Beck drew.  Martha says the following about the drawing:

I drew this as a coloring book page to go along with my allegorical novel, Diana Herself.

The book is loosely based on my five years of ambling around the oak forests of the Central Coast.

In the lower middle of the picture there’s a silhouette of a person meditating. All around are the friends I met in the forest: oak trees, woodpeckers, bobcats, deer, gray fox, raccoons.

I hope you can see that the forest itself is also a woman’s face (you may have to squint a little). The moon and a mountain lion’s head are her eyes; the wings of a bird form her upper lip; the moss draping from the limbs form her hair, and so on.

The point is that when we relax into nature, we forget to be separate and apart. We become everything in the forest (or the sea, or the desert) and everything in it becomes us.

When we feel nature as our own bodies, it’s easier to take care of it. I hope the pandemic is helping with that.”

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