When we create, we heal.
When we heal we wake up.
When we wake up we begin to care about more than just ourselves.
When we care about more than just ourselves, community gets created.
When community gets created isolation decreases and belonging increases.
When we feel like we belong, we are empowered to act.
When we are empowered to act, we can impact the world around us.
When we impact the world around us, consciousness is raised all around us.
When consciousness gets raised in us… we can create the future.
And we certainly are in need of creating a future we can live into.
~ Shiloh Sophia
Because whatever has happened to humanity, whatever is currently happening to humanity, it is happening to all of us. No matter how hidden the cruelty, no matter how far off the screams of pain and terror, we live in one world. We are one people.” Alice Walker, Overcoming Speechlessness
Today is the 4th of July in the United States, and my heart is speaking to me. The essence I receive is that I have “permission to be dismayed”. That acknowledging how I feel about our country and this holiday…is part of my own healing.
Should we hide our fears and concerns even from ourselves in the name of ‘staying positive’? I think we do all the time, hide from how we really feel, because it can be scary to feel, to really feel.
We may be afraid if we let ourselves feel how we feel, we will go too far down and cannot get back up again. I get it. That is why I turn to art when I deep dive to process physical and emotional experiences.
Often, those of us with some kind of ‘audience’ are judged if we share our fears about the state of the world. As if we are supposed to be pure somehow, so every single person on our mailing list or circle feels included. Which often means we do not speak. I know families and community circles can be divided when we defend our truths. This concerns me, both being divided, and not being able to be open with our views for fear of condemnation.
Most of us are not equipped with the energetic rigor to withstand the social media barrage that happens if we speak our view. It just does not feel worth it. Hundreds of tiny arrows of thought pinging all around your ‘field’ can be too much for sensitive souls. I salute the brave ones, who get strong in sharing, and not caring who turns against them. I am not there yet. I am still grappling with giving my self permission to be dismayed and to tell you about it.
But….my heart aches and maybe yours does too? Maybe knowing I feel like this can ease a bit of your own isolation?
One of the next levels of awareness and healing for us as people IN MY VIEW rests in something my mom, Caron McCloud taught me. To speak your truth as you know it. AND to not expect anyone else to agree with you, nor condemn them for what they think or feel. Nor even think it quietly in your own mind, that they should think what you do (this is essential for clear energy and can be challenging). It is in trying to convince others of our view, that we often fail, as far as I am concerned. This is where religion and political conversations go wrong – through condemnation of the other.
This expansive non-violent non-judgmental space creates a field in which voices can be spoken. I LIKE being with others with different views and traditions…I REALLY DO. And we are both FREE if we can stand where we stand without judging the other….Now there are some limits and each of us has to know where our limits are.
For example, I am not a Trump supporter, but do not mind having friends who are, and listening to their views. I actually want to know…and I am curious and hope they can be curious about mine too. I do not want to fight with them, but understand where they are coming from. But. If someone is involved in a human rights violation…and they think it is just…this is where the ‘fight’ would come in. Where I feel I could quickly become devolved into begging them to see it another way. It is good to know your edge place, so you can be as prepared as you can with your hot buttons. For example. Here is one healing up now.
Right now we have the situation with the Border Detention centers. Read here from the New York times. “Overcrowded, squalid conditions are more widespread at migrant centers along the southern border than initially revealed, the Department of Homeland Security’s independent watchdog said Tuesday. Its report describes standing-room-only cells, children without showers and hot meals, and detainees clamoring desperately for release.”
In this video released yesterday on ABC, you can see images children drew of their experience
So clearly this is where it can get challenging to share your views and be neutral in your energy, when your heart aches for justice for children.
For today, I am just writing with permission to be dismayed, in whatever way you are. I certainly feel dismayed.
I am dismayed that this is happening in the year 2019 in America. I have a hard time celebrating a concept of freedom when this is taking place, INTENTIONALLY. To send a message to Mexico, at the expense of children and families who will be traumatized for the rest of their lives because of this.
And then sending a message to American citizens and the world…that we are willing to resort to this kind of inhumanity to get what we want.
This does not represent me. And my cry for consciousness at a new level rings in my soul like a bell so loud I can hardly think of anything else these days.
Are men who say yes to sex trafficking conscious?
Are politicians who compromise for cash, conscious?
Are employees at the detention centers who tell the children if they talk to reporters they will not have as good of a chance of being re-united with their families conscious?
You can clearly see that I do not think they are conscious. That I have a judgement around it. But if I do not have judgements about injustice, am I conscious? Inhabiting this heart, this body, this mind. This country. Am I occupying my very being if I do not speak my truth, even to myself?
What is consciousness anyway…? Do I define it as ‘someone who cares’. I guess I do, that is my blind spot I imagine. That I define consciousness as someone who gives a sh*t about the sh*t others endure.
I am sharing this drawing here…because I think about consciousness a lot. How it works, how to share it, asking if it is possible to teach it. I actually TRY to teach it. How to create it in those who are not awake. I explore SO MANY AVENUES to this and my greatest place of progress with others is through Intentional Creativity®. And templates like this help to make it visual so we can explore it with more than just our minds, but hearts and bodies too.
I admit it to you and to myself, while I do not feel anyone should believe what I believe about religion or politics, I do have a STRONG desire to be in a world of those who are awoken. Which means I have a clear judgement, and a deep compassion for those who appear to still be sleeping. Or those intentionally obstructing justice. My strongest view is: We need to wake up. How else can we make informed compassionate wise choices?
When Trump says things like this. “Mexico is doing a far better job than the Democrats on the Border. Thank you Mexico!” on Wednesday on Twitter. Reducing the treatment of children and families to countries and political affiliations. Huh? Can I remain calm and loving if sitting with someone who feels that what he is doing is just? I doubt it. Yet I do not want to be more divided. I also do not want to be assumptive with friends and colleagues, so I approach charged topics with respectful caution, testing waters. And then seeing if I can share my view without making them feel I am combatting them….what a dance we are learning!
So I search my heart, not for answers, but for how to be appropriate to the context. And I ask my husband, Jonathan, a Veteran, ten million questions about what is really happening, what it means, what is a smokescreen for? Talking about it helps me not keep it all bottled up inside. And I take it to the canvas.
Can I share more with you about my feelings of being American? If you are not interested, no worries, just delete this email…and if you do not think I should be sharing this at all because you think I should only speak about creativity, then this is a fine time to unsubscribe, as I know will happen. 90% of what I write is encouraging and positive, but in the other 10% I ask us to wake up a little more. And today, that wake up is an invitation to FEEL HOW YOU FEEL.
What happens when I ask the heart how it feels?
I am American. Yet I do not feel represented in American politics and policies.
I am American. And I find it very challenging to make my voice heard about what matters to me.
I am American. Yet I do not support what is happening with children and families at the border. We are in crisis, one that will last for generations. Causing intentional harm, and our power to change it, seems so hindered. That children are hurting and we cannot stop it, and that we are doing the hurting as America, is so stunning and so shocking. So not ‘American’, but what is American?
I am American. Yet I feel confused and dismayed at the hearts of men in power. What are they thinking?
I am American. Yet I feel we ‘took’ this country from the original people who lived in this land and our apologies are often empty and posturing.
I am American. Yet I feel a sense of shame for being here, just living my life. When I travel to other countries and they learn I am from here, they look confused. Ask me, “How could you let this happen? How could you let your food be poisoned? How could you let a man who wasn’t really elected stay in office?” There can be an illusion in other countries that we are ‘free’ here to choose who we elect. But with the Electoral College, not so.
“Trump received 304 electoral votes and Clinton garnered 227, as two faithless electors defected from Trump and five defected from Clinton. Trump is the fifth person in U.S. history to become president while losing the nationwide popular vote.” Read Here
Regarding the Russian interference in the 2016 Election, Jimmy Carter says “The president himself should condemn it, admit that it happened, which I think 16 intelligence agencies have already agreed to say.
“There’s no doubt that the Russians did interfere in the election, and I think the interference, although not yet quantified, if fully investigated, would show that Trump didn’t actually win the election in 2016. He lost the election, and he was put into office because the Russians interfered on his behalf.”
I am American. And I constantly feel I am not doing enough to change what is happening. (and I am not, and I am doing the best I can right now)
I am American. And I do not recognize the man who ‘leads’ the office of president. This feels like something gone very very wrong.
I want to come out with who I want to vote for, but I am scared of attack on all sides. It feels like the energy is not worth it on social media, people are so cruel and we are being tracked. But if I do not say something, am I not allowing my voice to be heard? I don’t want another aging white male in office, but if I don’t pick the most likely to win white guy, am I inadvertently putting the other person in power?
What is American? It is not a nationality. Is it an idea, a dream, an ideal connected to a place in the world geographically? A place that no longer feels like it reflects the heart of what we have been taught it means?
I am American. Yet I am also Russian, Swedish, Irish and find myself a long long way from home. From a home that is no longer my home. I would be a foreigner there, and I am a foreigner here as well. My soul feels foreign here right now.
We had a flag pole outside our house and it stands empty. I wanted to order an American flag but I felt kind of strange about it. I asked Jonathan if we could start a movement like adding a red or white ribbon to the flag, or a Mexican flag colored ribbon, to show we are proud to be American and we are ashamed of our president’s ways, actions, attitudes, tones, tactics, lies, rudeness, planning, posturing.
Instead, we took the whole pole down for now. We do have a flag in our home from Jonathan’s father, also a Veteran. I honor the service people of our country so much and my heart aches for their suffering. For thinking we are fighting for lives of people when we fight over oil and power. How did we end up here? Has it ever been another way?
I love my country. I have had a sense of loving the land I am from since I was quite young. My love for my country started in my heart, something I felt inside that was bigger than other kinds of love, something in connection with the Divine. Creation and Creator.
We are gathering today, in awareness and play. A small handful of friends will come together to eat bbq and swim, but we will also spend time writing on freedom. Jonathan said it is so like me to call a Freedom Salon instead of a 4th of July party. I did not want to boycott the day, but bring consciousness into it.
There are so many things I am grateful for here in America too – I am truly profoundly grateful I can run my own business and my own message. That I can share my beliefs and not be put into jail for speaking them. So many things…that I often share with women I work with from other countries…What it means to be able to gather in community and not be shut down. To be able to share controversial art and not have my paintings burned. So many freedoms.
I honor that each person has their views. I am aware that when we share them we can get attacked or shut down. I wish for a culture where we can share our hearts and not need anyone to agree with us, and still stand where we stand. Being willing to change, as we learn more and more about who we are and what we feel we can stand for.
I asked two of the most political women I know, close friends, who they are rooting for right now in consideration of the next election…they were in a wait and see mode…because of course we feel it is wise to rally behind the highest potential winner. But in between then and now, women are running that I feel are more than worthy of our consideration. Would I consider supporting a woman, simply because she is one? Yes. I would consider that. Just as others may consider not voting for a woman, simply because she is that. I am doing my homework and making choices. And listening. And it is not easy. I can see why people are asleep, waking up is hard work. Staying awake, a constant choice.
I will admit to not being informed on the intricacies of the election and so much to do with how our country works…yet I am learning more, because I have to. I want to do more for us. I do. I am trying to do what is mine to do, but that keeps me so focused on those in my circles. I struggle. I weep. I try.
I also care for myself through creativity and celebration – otherwise my desire and state of mind to serve is greatly impacted to the point of being reclusive.
Maybe you will consider the same for yourself…to just ask about freedom and perhaps, listen to what your heart has to say. No matter what country you are from, considering our freedoms is important for our soul work. And if you are reading this and you are not from America, then this is one American woman’s view on the 4th of July: Let’s give thanks for our freedom and use our freedom to serve justice.
I give myself permission to be dismayed. You can give yourself permission to feel how you feel…too. I hope I didn’t make it worse for you…that is not my intent but I am aware it could happen.
May the Creator of all look up on us and illuminate the wisdom we need to navigate the road ahead.
Signed with love in my heart, for all of us. Yes, all of us.
p.s. I want to complete this Red Thread Letter in beauty, so I am sharing one of my favorite video songs with you.
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