Acting with awareness especially with others is not taught much in schools except indirectly. The Radical Act of Action and Reflection: Who are You? intends to very simply point to this gap and offer some simple ways to become more reflective of ourselves and our world, more able to know ourselves as autonomous and united, able to literally co-create.
Youth who seem always connected and are often taught “collaboratively” are still not taught to know themselves and make choices in a way that is possibly more helpful. We have schools that purposely do not teach independent thinking, that maintains teachers as authorities and then if we are lucky, we go on, becoming another “authority” and “qualified” to earn a living.
This post intends to help end this “transference of power” from an authority, back to a self who is ultimately the authority. Words do not teach. Experience teaches. Resistance and resentment, I believe are just entrenched by current methods and beliefs of who is really in charge of our lives. One friend was so committed to the autonomy of his children he allowed them to go to Denmark from the UK. In Denmark, where they could choose studies and teachers themselves.
As the hookah-smoking caterpillar in Lewis Carol’s Alice in Wonderland asked, Who are you?
In our crazy, hyperactive world, there may be no more radical act than the act of reflection. This post is about acting, reflecting and creating, if you feel called, inspired by your lived experiences and reflections, even your experience of this post.
I offer this post out of my experience. I attended many colleges. Two colleges specifically encouraged reflective writing in which the self, the I, was included as opposed to pedantic scholarly writing with no author revealed, no context for the reader to know more. I am forever grateful for this happenstance.
I am sure you, if a reader, have already been exposed to reflective writing and journaling. While there are many ways I could share this concept of action and reflection, I want to keep it fun and easy. Here is a powerful classic I used in an undergrad class for your consideration. It is A Gift From the Sea by Ann Morrow Lindbergh. (I chose the nicest edition with notes added by the author.) Your library surely has it. While some may consider it too feminine, it is a great opportunity for men to learn a powerful feminine skill (in the Jungian and cultural sense) to begin to gain access to perhaps long-repressed feelings and wonderings.
This might just be your push to begin a very powerful tool: writing down, physically, not on a computer at first (feel it viscerally). I was taught by one wonderful mentor to write my experience as soon after its occurrence as possible and I did this a great deal and gained a great deal. If memories are tough, I believe reading this gentle book may help. I do not promote deep recall of trauma but I suggest a more “sideways”, a gentle approach in appreciation first of yourself, the hero of the story or the creating to become in the future, the dream manifested.
I often went to the web and found pictures that inspired and pasted them in and I had one friend who taught journaling as an art. She drew most of her entries. The main things are doing it as soon after the experience as possible when inspired, and your memory is strong; come up with YOUR way and if possible make it at first by hand (the tactile part is often very powerful and later you can computerize). To the point: keep a journal. You will quickly not only have your dreams memorialized you just may have a product!
What kind of world might we have if every child and adult learned to reflect and act from those conscious reflections together? No wonder meditation is popular. These skills of acting and reflecting and sharing in some form with the community, I believe, are much more useful than meditation alone; life becomes a practice of presence, of aware interaction. Combined with a daily meditation practice, which literally changes the brain? Wonderful!
Note: as I update today this post on WATER, the government has ended all protections and the EPA is basically destroyed. I cannot even keep up with the news.
Water as medicine? I hope I have simply explained the leading edge science of epigenetics earlier. No geneticist worth their salt would not use this new title. I have mentioned authors and videos elsewhere. At its simplest, epigenetics believes it offers an answer to the nature vs. nurture question and found it epigenetics to be both/and. That is, nature gives us chromosomes and thousands of genes and these genes can express for good or ill, depending on nature, the environment that cells (each a little self or consciousness to some scientists) as we live. This has huge implications on every part of our lives. As John Muir said:
Bottom line, as many spiritual teachings offer, everything connects to everything else, seen and unseen. How we act and interact with ourselves and all of nature literally, as quantum reality would attest, creates matter. So you, dear ones, have the power to create wellness or illness. It is your choice. About that free will thing…
We are all aware of the spoiling of water worldwide and as the video, I will post testifies and I learned from Canadian indigenous people, known as Bands, water, not oil will be our next wars. And we know of surpluses of water, toxic, of Flint, of hurricanes and how corporations like the Nestle corporation take and bottle water for free and even sit with other companies on the water boards of states. And we know the Dakota Pipeline and pipelines everywhere are being fought to protect water and that these pipelines often break, spoiling water for innumerable beings.
We are all taught to drink enough water but how many of us have really known it as sacred with the ability to create negative calming ions and oxytocin, the hormone of Motherlove?
Here is a lovely video I received recently and just had to share.
A quote from the film: “Nature is medicine – a walk on the beach; a surfing session; a stroll through the woods heals us. It fixes what broken inside of us. Nature can reduce our stress, it can make us more creative and bring us together.”
Upwellings is a natural occurrence in the ocean when the currents are just right, and many fish come to feed due to rich nutrients
Here is a post by a friend, Reverend Deborah Streeter, who has Upwellings Ministry as her life’s mission.
V for Peace
“We come in peace,” said the teacher, making her fingers into a V for her young students as they approached the Touch Pool. “Use just two fingers to touch the animals.”
This week during my guide shift at the Monterey Bay Aquarium I got a brief reprieve from my post-election despair. For my half hour at the Touch Pool, I could set aside my fear for our nation and instead help little kids touch sea stars and decorator crabs. Good therapy, to see so much hope and smiles and curiosity. “Are they real? Are they alive?” the kids asked. Happy proud parent chaperones shared in the delight and the touching. (MBA welcomes 80,000 school kids free each year, building a new generation of ocean stewards.)
How should we touch other real live animals? If you’ve seen the terrifying touch pool scene in “Finding Dory” you know that touching with one finger encourages dangerous poking and that using your whole hand can quickly do even more damage; detaching or lifting the critter out of its life-giving water home. No, the best way is with the gentle V, two fingers and let them be where they are.
A life lesson? A touch pool gospel? Touch others only gently, where they are, no poking, no grabbing.
And touch others in peace.
(I heard that teacher’s words, “We come in peace,” years ago, and I use the phrase with kids every Thursday. Only today did I research the phrase and the V sign. Nixon used Churchill’s V for Victory sign during Vietnam, and at his resignation, but 60’s peace activists (like me) successfully co-opted it into a peace sign. Is it also related to the Vulcan double V “Live long and prosper” – which we know from Nimoy, is a religious gesture? How about the phrase “We come in peace?” That’s usually said by movie aliens who are anything but peaceful. Are kids like aliens to the touch pool critters? Perhaps. Was the teacher an old hippie, or maybe a Trekkie? Whatever, the sentiment and the sign work – peace to all creation.)
Over the years the Aquarium has built lower exhibits to encourage interaction and to help “tactile learners” make more connections. Instead of distant objectification, we can touch, relate, engage.
But only if we do so gently, in peace, with respect. I’m hoping these kids grow up to build that kind of world. And vote for it. That would be a big V victory.”
I hope this has helped remind us all the inter-connectedness of all. Pay attention and take your water as a sacrament. Share water; love each other.
Read this post and consider your relationships to water and how we know that it is beyond precious: it is essential medicine. Lastly, I post a meme based on the words of Freeman House who was able to inspire his community to save the salmon in N. CA.
Comments are invited. Much to learn here. Think I will go drink some water, water a plant and take a swim.
This post is of particular joy for me. It is about tarot card like inspirational cards. I have used them for years especially after meditation. Symbols, like poetry, reach much deeper into our senses, often beyond words. I find they can be hugely synchronistic, like the two days in a row that I got Abundance from my current deck. I did not get rich but my days were definitely focused on the abundance of life everywhere.
In my field of Transformative Learning and Change, we are taught many methods to help adults learn to make meaning. Even though my school, ciis.edu, is a school of East-West Learning, we did not focus greatly on what I now call the receptive mode which some say occurs in meditation. We did use transpersonal psychology, which is a Carl Jung term meaning we are all a part of a greater field of consciousness. Quantum Reality now has basically taken over the field, letting us all understand we are made of particles and waves and are stardust.
In my doctoral and master’s work, I took on a form of research, a spiritual inquiry, using Cooperative Inquiry, as my focus. Basically, Co-operative Inquiry proposes that reality is an unknowable mystery best treated with great reverence. I love poetry, metaphors and the field of semiotics (the science of signs and symbols of all kinds) in general because these methods engage our imaginations and each of us can project and sense our own meaning; little is literal, all could be said to be very personal. We are individuals living in a universe of connection. Everything matters in how we live, how we relate.
This imaginal knowing in my view is much more real than our daily challenges. Imaginal knowings I find lift me up and beyond the ordinary into the extraordinary where dreams may be recognized. So my daily cards aid me greatly in knowing beyond the usual mode of thought. You might like it to for adding some depth and zest in your day. Here are some of my favorite decks.
This is an absolute dear deck to me and would be a great one for kids with adult help. You can pull a single card or make layouts for predictions and totems. I have the Otter in the middle of my totem; this is feminine playfulness and fits me well. I love feeling this. I just lost my old deck and invested in a new one and I love it every morning.
This deck and astrology/tarot books are exquisite. Astrology/tarot interpretation by my dear teacher Vicki Noble and the art was done by her old friend Karen Vogel. The cards are round and each one transforms male based tarot images into teachings of Goddess culture and female power. Very refreshing to see some old icons turned feminine. Recently Vogue magazine and designer’s for Dior chose Mother Peace as the basis for new fashion. Click here for google images of both clothes and fashions and a bit more. And click here for a story on Karen and Vicki and a slide show. Needless to say, I love this deck!
This is the deck, by Meredith L. Young-Sowers is the one I now use as I have traveled and these “appeared” at a holistic medicine center in Vermont, not far from the author’s home. As a degreed horticulturist, I had to have these and I love them and they often resonate with other teachings I am following.
These cards I bought as I am studying the teachings of Abraham Hicks. I expected these to be quite challenging. I find them comforting and fun.
You get to choose. I find anything that helps me learn beyond the ordinary I welcome. I hope you do too. Here is a link to other tarot cards on Amazon; there are some classics there and if you dig deeper, you may find a deck that “calls” to you.
Thanks for considering all this. May you find your own magical path to well-being.