Monday, January 30, 2017

The Revolution is in Your Mind

Okay, there's stuff to say. I'm laying in bed, ill, for the 5th day in a row. I've been on facebook in the past few days more than I have in the past few months combined. I've definitely been trying to distract myself from physical discomfort. But instead, it's just all emotional.

To say that what is happening in the U.S. right now is terrifying is an understatement. To see the solidarity of people standing up for each other's rights is what I believe humanity is all about. But in the midst of both the terror and the love, there's something to be said.


1. Let's not forget that getting rid of Trump does not get rid of hate, violence, bigotry, oppression, or extremism. Our nation, and actually, our world has a history of swinging from the right to the left- from conservatism to liberalism again and again. And never in there has hate, racism, sexism, violence, aggression, or any of humanity's other similar expressions been halted. There have always been folks advocating for hate. And unfortunately, there probably always will be. So while it's obviously and always important to stand up against hate, let's not confuse one man with a common human manifestation. We get rid of Trump, we still have all of this hate. I mean, I definitely don't want him in power anymore, but it doesn't solve everything. #biggerpicture

2. Blaming other people isn't actually helping. We can look at everyone who is Republican, or who voted for Trump, or who still supports him and say, "Hey, this is your fault! What do you have to say for yourself?" But guess what? We all did it. We all participated in the system that made this possible. And yes we know it's corrupt and we know about the popular vote, and still. None of us is free from blame. And guess what, we all have something in common. Fear. So maybe what we are afraid of is different, and what we do with that fear is different, but it's fear nonetheless. Some of us are afraid of basic human rights being taken away. Some of us are afraid for our lives. Some of us are afraid someone will take away our money, or that a terrorist will kill our child. Some of us are afraid of the fate of our Earth. It's all fear. Fear rules our actions and judgements. Sometimes when people are afraid, they vote for someone who claims they know who's to blame and can protect them from just those people. Sometimes when people are afraid they blame others. Sometimes when people are afraid they create divisiveness and hate. Hey, guess what? It's okay to be afraid. Fear holds within it a lot of wisdom. But it's not okay to let your fear cause harm to others, in thought, deed, or action. What's needed now more than ever is for us to come together with basic human respect and understanding. To listen to each other, and talk to each other, and care about each other's well being. I mean every person's well being. Even the people who don't care about yours. Or who don't care about most other people's. Even people we disagree with. Even people actively promoting the harm of other people. If you can discriminate who you care for, then how are you not just perpetuating aggression? The real resistance is to resist divisiveness, which only makes us weaker. #realresistence

3. Activism is good. Duh. Stand up, march, write to your representatives. Better, call them. Protect each other. Protest. But here's what's not helping- becoming so consumed with activism that you stop taking care of yourself and stop being there for those who need you. Because guess what, at the root of the incredibly radical good human society is two people caring about each other. I've seen my friends stop relating to every day life, stop parenting, stop even being available in conversation because they are so consumed with what petitions to sign next and whether or not I've called this many reps today. YOU HAVE TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF OR YOU ARE NOT HELPING ANYONE. This shouldn't be so surprising. But our children need us to be available and present with them ALL the time. But NOW is especially important. Guess what, our friends and family need us too! And we need us. Genuine human connection is nourishing and sane. It grounds us. Quiet time, meditation, journaling, reflection, self-care- whatever that means for you- a bath, a yoga class, a walk outside, a good meal, a good night's sleep- these should be your PRIORITIES. It's like on the airplane- if you put on your oxygen mask first, only then can you help someone else with theirs. So if we really want to be warriors, if we really want to stand up and be strong and have the capacity for change, then we have to take care of ourselves. You know, why aren't you hosting a protest in your own heart against all the acts of aggression you commit toward yourself every single day? #protestisinside

4. Sometimes you can't change other people's minds. Even when their belief systems seem to be harming other people. Believe me, I've tried. I've pleaded, argued, provided evidence based articles, introduced them to people they were judging, etc, etc. I've had a lot of people in my life who supported views or systems that I felt to be detrimental to basic human dignity, and I've tried to convince them to change their minds. But guess what? It's not only not possible, it's often a black hole of energy and resources. And sometimes the more you get in someone's face, the more solid they become in defense. I've found that actually just allowing space to care about them and see where their beliefs come from is helpful. You see that they are mostly just afraid or angry about something. And while I'm not suggesting that that makes it okay to harm others, it is something we all have in common. Can we not hate people who hate? Maybe I'm just repeating myself. But this one is important. #carevolution

5. Okay now this is me being totally radical. Let it be known that I stand behind all human beings- all abilities, colors, races, countries of origin, genders, ages, sexual identities, sexual orientations, economic classes, cultures, and more. And I think the real revolution and the only way to actually wake up the world is not with phone calls to our reps and marches in the streets. While those things are important, look at the trend. They always happen. It's always still the same dance in the same pendulum swing. If we want real change in the way humanity relates to itself, we have to dig a little deeper. These resistances are like taking cough medicine to suppress your cough- you don't actually treat the root of the illness. So the cough goes away for the time being and you go on with life, until boom, it hits you again. Over and over. Rights won, rights revoked. Liberal doctrine on the rise. Boom. Dictatorship. So this is my humble opinion: true revolution starts in the mind and heart of EACH AND EVERY HUMAN BEING. You cannot be a true revolutionary if you are not taking a look inside yourself. Do you see how your own mind works? Do you see all the places where fear and aggression move you? Close you down? Do you see your own biases? Do you understand the nuances of your own emotional landscape? Do you trust yourself? Do you recognize your own worthiness? Where are your own belief systems hindering you? How do they affect how you relate with others? Are you present in your life? Are you manifesting genuinenely? How do you show up with others? Do you have an agenda? Can you let go of it? Can you just be? Or is it too uncomfortable? Do you trust in humanity? Do you see the goodness in others? Can you reside in open accommodation of all that is?  Or do you need to wage war to feel okay? Can you sit with the pain and heartbreak and truth of suffering? Can you hold to the vision of knowing there's something more than that? Do you know what it is? Do you feel it inside you? Have you ever had a moment of just being right there, right in the moment, trusting everything? Have you had a flash of seeing the goodness and brilliance of things just as they are? Can you accept the pain and the beauty equally? This path of looking inside is a deep and endless one. But it's the only way we as humans will ever understand the suffering of this world, or the way out of it. You cannot change what you don't understand. And guess what created all this mess? The human mind and heart! So let's educate ourselves about ourselves. You'd be surprised what might happen. I actually think this is more radical than taking to the streets (which I still support). The face of the revolution is your own face. #faceyourself

6. So maybe you think I'm crazy. And I see all over facebook when people ask others to join them in aspirations or other collective energetic concentrations that folks are like "sure, but also sign this and call this and do this." It's like I was saying before- we think the only action is doing all of this stuff. And alot of this stuff is important to do. But don't forget the power of your heart and mind. You might think aspirations and prayers and intentions are weak in comparison. And I'm not suggesting that that's enough- you can't just sit around and think about how you wish it would get better. But sometimes the most difficult and radical work is done while sitting still. The mind is epically powerful. So pay attention where you place it. Are you mindfully calling your reps, or frantically doing it? Are you subscribing to fear and hate along the way? Maybe it's time to take a break and just breathe for a few minutes. #dontjustdosomethingsitthere

So all you #peacefulwarriors, rise up. This is what we train for. It's now. It's the heart mind revolution.

I'll leave you with this quote from Trungpa Rinpoche:
"...You do not regard the situation outside as separate from you because you are so involved with the dance and play of life. Then you become even more open.... You experience no warfare of any kind, neither trying to defeat an enemy nor trying to achieve a goal. There is no involvement with collecting or giving. No hope or fear at all....To be completely open, to have that kind of absolute trust in yourself is the real meaning of compassion and love. There have been so many speeches about love and peace and tranquillity in the world. But how do we really bring love into being? Christ said, 'Love thy neighbor,' but how do we love? How do we do it? How are we going to radiate our love to the whole of humanity, to the whole world? 'Because we must, and that's the truth!' 'If you don't love, you are condemned, evil; you are doing a disservice to humanity.' 'If you love, you are on the path, you are on the right track.' But how? Many people get very romantic about love, in fact get high on it at the very word. But then there will be a gap, a period when we are not high on love. Something else takes place which is embarrassing, a private matter. We tend to seal it off; it is 'private parts,' shameful, not part of our divinity. Let's not think about that. Let's simply ignite another love explosion and on and on we go, trying to ignore those parts of our being we reject, trying to be virtuous, loving, kind. Perhaps this will put off a lot of people, but i am afraid love is not really the experience of beauty and romantic joy alone. Love is associated with ugliness and pain and aggression, as well as with the beauty of the world; it is not the recreation of heaven. Love or compassion, the open path, is associated with 'what is.' In order to develop love- universal love, cosmic love, whatever you would like to call it- one must accept the whole situation of life as it is, both the light and the dark, the good and the bad. One must open oneself to life, communicate with it. Perhaps you are fighting to develop love and peace, struggling to achieve them: 'We are going to make it, we are going to spend thousands of dollars in order to broadcast the doctrine of love everywhere, we are going to proclaim love.' Okay, proclaim it, do it, spend your money, but what about the speed and aggression behind what you are doing/ Why do you have to push us into the acceptance of your love? Why is there such speed and force involved? If your love is moving with the same speed and drive as other people's hatred, then something appears to be wrong. It would seem to the the same as calling darkness light. There is so much ambition involved, taking the form of proselytizing. It is not an open situations of communication with things as they are. The ultimate implication of the words 'peace on earth' is to remove altogether the ideas of peace and war and to open yourself equally and completely to the positive and negative aspects of the world. It is like seeing the world from an aerial point of view; there is light, there is dark; both are accepted. You are not trying to defend the light against the dark."