103 People Unfriended Her, How Many Would Do the Same to Me

Originally posted on Blog Woman!!!:

freshly-pressed-rectangleI came across a Huffington post about a woman who posted pictures of herself on her Facebook wall that caused a collapse in her social circle.  The headline said “When Beth Posted These Images on Facebook, 103 People Unfriended Her”.   

The headline effectively grabbed my attention, but what the story really did was zero in on the heart of one of my own deepest fears.  It cut to a deep vulnerability that even I don’t fully understand, but it’s one that has held me back from engaging as fully in life as I possibly could.  I can’t do that until I can somehow get to a place of true peace about it.

Canvas ScarsThe pictures that Beth Whaanga, the woman in the Huffington piece, posted were semi-nude images of herself featuring her scars from a double mastectomy and a hysterectomy.  They were taken by a photographer leading a project called,

View original 737 more words

Moving Through the Ages

Blog Post PhotoOn New Year’s Day I found myself in a hospital emergency room because of a severe and unexpected asthma attack. Couldn’t find my keys. Didn’t feed my cat. Didn’t even put on socks (and it was freezing) because I had not a minute to spare. I left my home in a hurry. I fled (as best I could, given the amount of oxygen available to me). I figured I’d return home in 4 or 5 hours. Wrong. It was more like 6 days.

I hadn’t been hospitalized for asthma since my very first attack 32 years ago, and on previous visits to the ER, I had been treated and released and back to normal in a day or two. During the first three days of this stint. I was concerned because I wasn’t recovering as quickly as I was used to. My lungs were slower to clear. My oxygen levels were unstable. There was conversation about living wills and the dreaded possibility of intubation, which, while life-saving, is associated with a mortality rate of 10 to 13 percent. I had nothing but my Reiki hands and Buddhist practice to get me through the crisis and back to my apartment.

And then I remembered: I was no longer 33 but 65, and at this age bouncing back takes longer, I’m learning.

30-something me.

30-something me.

I had been feeling 40 for the longest, but between 2008 and 2013, something changed. I shifted mentally and emotionally and the 40s-feeling became the 60s-feeling, leapfrogging over the 50s-feeling. Between those years I was an unemployed person, an older unemployed person whose credentials and qualifications and skills seemed to be side notes. One recruiter suggested that I dye my hair. Another sighed while reading my resume during an interview and said, “When did we get so old.” I was overwhelmed by articles about and advice for older workers. Age discrimination, which had been only a theory became a reality and with that came thoughts of social security, Medicare. Between those years I couldn’t say with certainty what was going to happen to me, how I would take care of myself. I took a day at a time and thought a lot about age and aging and struggled to arm myself against stereotypes and the seeds that society plants. I was determined to plant my own seeds and nurture my own garden.

60-something me.

60-something me.

Do I have any theories on or advice about aging? No. I have observations. I can say that aging is better than the alternative. I can say that living long brings the gift of experience and, yes to be cliché, wisdom. I can say that I have fewer inhibitions and self-consciousness. I can say that I know my place in the universe and my relationship to the planet and its inhabitants. I can say that health and good friends and humor are important. I can say that I trust my intuition as much as I trust my intellect. I can say that listening carefully brings its own education. I can say that making and resting on assumptions can be detrimental. I can say that 60+ is not the new 40+. It simply is what it is, and that varies from person to person. I believe that the perception of time is relative to, among several things, age. It’s true: Time is moving with greater speed and I seem to be sprinting through the months, the years. I don’t run for buses and trains – what’s the rush! I can say that stability is an illusion because nothing is unchanging — everything is in a state of flux. I’ve found my soul work and I’ve come to know the value of service to others. Thirty years ago I was all about service to myself. I have watched – at long distance – with wonder and nostalgia my niece and nephew move from infancy into teenage-hood. My sister is 14 younger than I am, and now we’ve arrived at a place where we can have open and honest conversations because the little sister-big sister dichotomy has faded. We are simply sisters of a certain age, looking good, meeting challenges, and with our brother (11 years younger than I am), laughing a lot and still looking forward to life with all its changes, surprises and gifts.

time

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/03/10/weekly-writing-challenge-golden-years/

A Poem Called Snow

Snow

100_1585

Snow on snow on snow on old snow,

Pulsing hills of garbage (and snow),

Camouflaging black ice we cannot know.

Memories and butterflies and brown-outs are whited-out.

So are baskets of grilled veggies and wine coolers in the grass.

Snow reveals unseen journeys:

3-legged dog and his person on crutches;

Child’s glove divorced from its mate;

half-buried Metrocard pitched on its edge.

 100_1574

I will dance down the aisle in anything but white

And drink only red wine until too drunk for words,

And toss out frozen snow peas,

And root for Snow White’s step-mom,

And disown my love of snow leopards,

And call him Edward Whistleblower,

And listen to only 3 of “The Four Seasons”

And finally forget the English for

La nieva

Neve

Lumi

Schnee

Snee.

100_1579

Cicadan Love Call

Magenta dawn of a 17th year

monotone grating grinding shrill clamor

Large muscles on tom-tom belly

He beats his love to her let’s get it on let’s get it on

Let’s get it on letsgetiton.

 Cicada1

17 years below the earth

cosmos minus wind rain or other

obeying a cycle with no release

one month in the sun before they die

one month

the sun

and then

they die

let’s get it on let’s get it on let’s get it on

Let’s get it on let’s get it on letsgetiton.

 Cicada2

Preparing for the jamboree

caught in portals of the earth

they wiggle from outer shells

wince in the sun

want to return

want to go on

begin the journey

 Cicada3

inching trees with desperate purpose

without shame the orgy begins

enhanced by wind rain sun or other

He and she in ritual union

Eggs clamp to tree twigs

Lives shorter than maturation

One month in the sun and then they’re dead

let’s get it on let’s get it on let’s get it on

Let’s get it on let’s get it on letsgetiton.

 

Cicada4 

Offspring squirm from twigs

drop and burrow in the earth

Magenta dawn of an 18th year

monotone grating grinding shrill clamor begins

let’s get it on let’s get it on let’s get it on

let’s get it on let’s get it on letsgetiton.

One month in the sun before we die

One month

The sun

And then

we die.

Reblog: Rock it Like You Mean it: The Self Care Manifesto

Written by Robin Hallett June 26, 2013 in Intuitive Healing and reblogged with her permission

Robin 1

My blogging friends, Michelle Ward and Jessica Swift asked me to share some of my thoughts on self care in honor of their new book, The Declaration of You! (woo hoo!).

I believe in you. I know you are here to do something amazing in your life.

If you are serious about getting to where you want to be, you’ve gotta have focus and clarity.

So today, I am sharing my own super duper self care manifesto with you.

This is how I personally rock it like I mean it in life, and I want you to do the same. Enjoy!

 

Robin 21.  You are the #1 priority in your life.

Your needs come first. I’m serious. You are the priority. Your needs should not be put on the back burner. What can you do every single day to take care of yourself first? Healthy diet. Exercise. Meditation. Setting your intention. These are all things you should be doing every single day.

 

Robin 3

2. Make space for a Fun Factor.

Play, play, play is your new mantra! Find something fun to do each and every day. It can be anything you want. Small or large… just do it. Have a little fun every day. You SO definitely DO have time for this!

Over the years, I have tried all kinds of fun things like ice skating lessons (I was the only 40 year old in my class of mostly 5 year olds), video games, gardening, painting, mosaicing, jewelry making… you name it I have done it. Every single day, do something fun! And the best part? You determine what is fun for you, nobody else :)

 

3. Time to get some thick(er) skin

Robin 4

No matter what you do, somebody somewhere will not be happy with you. Count on it. Be okay with that.

Besides, it’s not your objective in life to go around getting everyone to like you and join your fan club. Practice the thought: It’s not personal.

Your one true objective in life is to find joy and peace for yourself first and then go out and share what you know about this with the world.

 

4. Surround yourself with positive people.

Robin 5

The people you are with the most rub off on you. So, it’s imperative that your inner circle be made up of those who uplift you, and can celebrate your authentic sparkle. These peeps aren’t threatened by your success. And, they aren’t afraid to hold your hand when the chips are down.

They know a little something about having fun, and will make you laugh often. When you go away after having spent time together, you feel uplifted and inspired.

Robin 6

 

5. Toxic peeps make for toxic vibes, so clean house if you need to!

The people in your life who are draining, downers, complainers, whiners, gripers, and the generally not motivated… um, time to say goodbye. I cannot stress enough how completely sapping these people are to your energy field!

Whoever it is, if they leave you feeling drained and exhausted (or if they tend to really piss you off) you know what to do!

Remember, it’s not personal. If you’re around people who bring you down, just imagine what happens to your good juju… it leaves!

 

6. Stop owning other people’s problems.

Robin 7

a permanent fixture on my refrigerator!

When peeps around you are upset, it’s only natural that you want to help. And it’s fine to help. But sometimes, that wanting to help is a completely unproductive and not helpful use of your time. When you feel obligated it’s a different story. When you feel guilty, it’s a problem.

My fail safe approach: Send your love, not your worries. Trust that they can figure it out. If they cannot, trust them to ask you for help. Let them do it before you jump in. You do not need to put out every fire that springs up around you. If you’ve been doing this, you already know how much time you are wasting every single day. Stop it!

 

Robin 8

7. Be in alignment with your passion and what you stand for every single day.

So what do you stand for? What do you believe? You need to be in alignment with that which you are passionate about every day. It’s more than just practicing what you’re preaching. I am talking about embodiment. You need to BE that.

Stay in alignment with your authentic self. Honor this. And then, be in service of what you love. Share your light with the world, not your empty batteries!

 

8. Practice your worthiness

Worthiness is a practice. Most of us are struggling with balancing our old wounds and confidence issues. This is a balancing act that will continue throughout our life as we enter new and bigger arenas. It’s completely natural.

So, it’s good to make feeling worthy a practice. Over time, you’ll learn that you deserve the good in your life. Make a habit of saying YES, THANK YOU and MORE PLEASE when the good stuff happens. Make it a daily practice to notice the cool things that are happening for you.

Robin 9

9. Welcome your fear but don’t buy into it.

There’s an old saying: Fear knocked on the door and love answered, but nobody was there. When you’re afraid, sit with your fear, take a few moments and breathe with it. Find out what it’s trying to tell you.

Then, remember that you are a spark of the Divine. You did not come here to play small. You are here to shine bright like a diamond!

Robin 10

10. Find something to be happy about.

You do not have to suffer in order to feel joy. You don’t have to work really really hard in order to get somewhere good. I mean it. Just practice your excitement. Find something to be happy about. There is peace to be had in every moment. Yes, even the sucky ones. That’s why it’s a practice. When you get a little pissy, stop and ask yourself, “is this worth it?” And if that doesn’t work, you might need a little visit from the Love Sheriff.

robin 11

So, beautiful, how does my self care manifesto sit with you? Are you already doing some of these things? I believe in you already :-)

Go get ‘em, Tiger!

P.S. The Declaration of You will be published by North Light Craft Books this summer, with readers getting all the permission they’ve craved to step passionately into their lives, discover how they and their gifts are unique and uncover what they are meant to do!

http://www.robinhallett.com/intuitive-healing/self-care-manifesto/

35 Quotes For Introverts

Originally posted on Thought Catalog:

“I’ll be honest with you, I’m a little bit of a loner. It’s been a big part of my maturing process to learn to allow people to support me. I tend to be very self-reliant and private. And I have this history of wanting to work things out on my own and protect people from what’s going on with me.” Kerry Washington
“Introverts, in contrast, may have strong social skills and enjoy parties and business meetings, but after a while wish they were home in their pajamas. They prefer to devote their social energies to close friends, colleagues, and family. They listen more than they talk, think before they speak, and often feel as if they express themselves better in writing than in conversation. They tend to dislike conflict. Many have a horror of small talk, but enjoy deep discussions.” Susan Cain
“When introverts go to church, we crave sanctuary…

View original 1,201 more words

Reiki Practice: First Self, Then Others

This time last year, I was really savoring the day that I could take Reiki 1 training. I downloaded a book to my e-reader, Reiki: A Comprehensive Guide, by Pamela Miles, and the more I read the more excited I became.

Reiki hands onMy first experience with Reiki was approximately two years ago when I had two sessions with a friend. During the first session, I felt total relaxation, and when I went to a mirror afterwards, we marveled at how my face had changed. I still looked like me, but a more relaxed me, with facial muscles that were at ease. During my second Reiki session, I had a deeply touching experience. I experienced myself as being presented to the world for the first time, in the same way that a newborn is cradled and presented to its parents immediately after birth. I felt my newborn infant self; I felt myself loving the child and feeling very compassionate toward her. I have yet to find the words to fully describe the sensation, but my next thought was Wow! Animals in shelters would love this!

I vowed then to learn Reiki practice in order to relieve some of the suffering of our animal brothers and sisters (and to relieve some of my own feelings of powerlessness regarding their suffering). In other words, my uninitiated approach would be first others, then myself.

One of the hands position in Reiki practice.

One of the hands position in Reiki practice.

Tomorrow will mark the second month of my Reiki 1 initiation, and it is three of the best evenings I’ve given myself. Pamela Miles, the Reiki master who initiated us, stresses Reiki self-practice — daily hands-on self-treatment.. I’ve had unexpected results from daily practice, which I’ve blogged about on Pamela Miles’s blog (click here to read). I’m looking forward to deepening my relationship with Reiki as time goes on.

Pamela also runs a monthly clinic where practitioners gather to offer Reiki to the public as well as each other. I’ve participated in two so far, and have found it gratifying to offer Reiki practice to people in a way that I had not expected to. It’s such a great way to have the support of a community.

What Is Reiki? Briefly, Reiki is a Japanese technique that promotes stress reduction and relaxation through balancing. Through light, hands-on application, Reiki practice, safe and non-invasive, treats the whole person. It also works in conjunction with all other medical or therapeutic techniques to relieve side effects and promote recovery.

Later this month and next month I will be taking an Animal Reiki 1 workshop taught by Liz Wassell, a teacher for the Shelter Animal Reiki Association (SARA). Can’t wait for that. And by the way, Pushkin, my cat, loves Reiki, and asks for it daily by head-butting my hands (click on the link below to read his experience below).

Black History Month: Giving Bayard Rustin His Due

Bayard Rustin 3His influences were W.E.B. DuBois and Mahatma Gandhi. An intellectual, a Quaker, and a visionary, Bayard Rustin was the force behind the introduction of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s non-violent tactics. Rustin went on to become Deputy Director and Chief Organizer of the 1963 March on Washington where Dr. King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech.

If you didn’t know that, or if you’ve never heard of him, it’s probably because homophobia within society at large and within the African-American Civil Rights Movement, a well-kept secret, relegated Rustin to the back of the bus, so to speak, to the background of the Civil Rights Movement. For example, in 1956, Rustin was hidden in the trunk of a car and covertly ushered out of Montgomery during the Montgomery Bus Boycott because the movement feared that an openly-gay man as an advisor would discredit the efforts of Dr. Martin Luther King and the other leaders of the Civil Rights Movement. Three years earlier, he had been arrested for a homosexual act. Rustin’s sexuality, or at least his public criminal charge, was criticized by some fellow pacifists and civil-rights leaders; worse yet, he was attacked as a “pervert” or “immoral influence” by political opponents, black and white alike, from segregationists to Black power militants from the 1950s through the 1970s. As an openly-gay man, he became one of the Continue reading

Black History Month: The Burning and Collapse of Black Wall Street

Kente Cloth 1

JB StradfordJ.B. Stradford, lawyer, businessman, and son of a freed Kentucky slave, is a major developer of the Tulsa’s African-American community of Greenwood in the 1900s. He owns the 65-room hotel located in the center of the thriving community that will later become known as “the Black Wall Street,” the wealthiest black community in the United States at the time. Most black Tulsans work as laborers and domestics, but a substantial number are teachers, lawyers, doctors and other professionals:

The Catalyst: Dick Rowland and Sarah Page

All goes well for the affluent community until 1921, when the arrest of a young black man, Dick Rowland, on a suspicious charge of assaulting a young white woman, Sarah Page, sparks what will be called by some as the “deadliest non-military domestic terrorist act in U.S. history,” the Tulsa Race Riot.

Black Wall Street Burned to GroundAccording to Wikipedia, Rowland was born in 1902. He drops out of high school to accept a job shining shoes in a white-owned and white-patronized shine parlor on Main Street in downtown Tulsa. Because Tulsa is a segregated city ruled by Jim Crow, black people are prohibited from using whites-only toilet facilities. There are no separate facility for blacks at the shine parlor; the owner has arranged for black employees to use a “Colored” restroom on the top floor of the nearby Drexel Building at 319 S. Main Street. On May 30, 1921, Rowland attempts to enter the Drexel building elevator and, although the exact facts are either unknown or in dispute, according to the most accepted accounts, he trips, and while falling, latches on to the arm of the elevator operator, 17-year-old Sarah Page. Startled, she screams, and a white clerk in a first floor store calls police and reports seeing Rowland flee from the elevator and the building. The clerk reports the incident as an attempted assault. Almost nothing is known of Sarah Page. Originally described as a 17-year-old orphan working her way through business college, she may be as young as 15 and has come to Tulsa from Kansas City while waiting for a divorce to be finalized.

The case against Dick Rowland will be eventually dismissed at the end of September 1921, following the receipt of Sarah Page’s letter by the County Attorney, in which she will state that she does not want to prosecute the case.

Once Rowland is exonerated he immediately leaves Tulsa and resettles in Kansas City. Little else is publicly known about the remainder of his life.

Greenwood, the once flourishing model community, is destroyed, and with it a major African-American economic movement. Among the devastated are 21 churches, 21 restaurants, 30 grocery stores, two movie theaters, plus a hospital, a bank, a post office, libraries, schools, law offices, a half-dozen private airplanes and even a bus system. The Tulsa race riot of 1921, like so many events in the chronological record of black people, is rarely mentioned in history books, classrooms or even in private before 1996. Though blacks and whites alike enter middle age unaware of what has taken of the Tulsa Race Riot, in 1996 the Oklahoma state legislature commissions a report on the event, and in 2001 it’s completed and finally establishes the historical record.

yellow page divider

Here’s the story of Greenwood, Oklahoma:

Charges against Rowland made the front page of the Tulsa Tribune, along with an editorial entitled, “To Lynch Negro Tonight.”

Black Wall Street NabNegro_Tulsa-paper Continue reading