Category Archives: yoga and blogging

Messages From Your Mother

 

My friend’s kid got roofied at a bar in Santa Monica on Halloween. She spent the night in the E.R. I told my mother who snapped,

“What was she doing in a bar? Girls don’t go to bars to stay out of trouble!”

“WHAT!” She’s a quiet girl, a delicate girl who mostly stays home with her dog and worries about everything. I ask my mother why she isn’t supposed to go to a bar and why it’s her fault someone put something in her drink.  She was having a glass of wine with a girlfriend. They were in costumes to celebrate Halloween. Did they have to stay home in Burkas?   “She should have known better says my mother. Everyone knows what people are doing these days. It’s all over the news.”

This is the attitude of someone born in an era when men were in charge and women were taught to use female skills to manipulate, deflect and manage them. My mother was taught that men will be men and it is a women’s job to be smart enough to navigate that world. It was a weird combination of male worship and a testament to women’s superior wit

Why were men worshiped? Because they had the power.  Men have been in power since God was declared a man.

In a pre-feminist world where the men were in power, a smart woman would be wise to tether herself to one of them like a lobster crate to a buoy. Getting that man was a competitive field and more than that; every women knew what another woman was capable of because all women were taught to be manipulative. Women were taught implicitly or directly that worth was tied to seduction and seduction was a competitive art. The enemy wasn’t an aggressive man. Aggression in men indicated courage. The enemy was the siren who was after him when you’d already planted your flag.  That woman’s aggression made her a hussy.

That was the case in the socio-economic metropolitan New York I was raised in.  Things may have been different in diverse cultures around this country but I doubt there wasn’t some provocation for women to sharpen their  skills.

Here in Nashville Bible Belt values aren’t exclusively chauvinistic I guess but many faiths are a memorandum to women to please and place their men first. If you really believe it is God’s will won’t you resent the woman who tows another line?  I mean that woman could be trouble.

Even sister wives fight for the head seat at the polygamist husband’s table. Being favorite is fleeting and you don’t get a say but an ambitious sister wife isn’t going to roll over so fast.

On the other hand, a friend who describes her family as Appalachian American tells me that the women did all the work and the men were shiftless. There was no competition among women to win a man. Who would want one?

Me too applies to most women to some extent. Most women have had men prevail upon them at least once in a way that was unsavory.  On the other hand almost every woman I know has purposely made herself attractive to get the attention of men. I remember the first time I realized that no man even glanced at me as I crossed the room and I felt like part of me had died. I was no longer desirable. And then what was I? I am aware that even though my husband loves me and probably will forever that he has been proud of having a woman who turned men’s heads. Will I seem less valuable?

 

Women stronger than me, women who run the world, no nonsense women will say you are as valuable as you believe. Your worth is not defined by others.  Well, yes and no. Personally, no, my worth is not defined by you. But in the marketplace hire me world where we are selling ourselves for profit so to speak………

Oh I can hear the gasps of horror but tell me this. Why did the women who hated Hillary scream, “How dare she” when clearly Trump was a hundred times more a criminal than she could ever be.

How dare she

And then they’d go after her pants suits. 

You know what that sentiment indicates?  It indicates a competitive bias as if life is a game of duck duck goose and some woman is not going to have a chair and it’s not going to be you. It’s a sense of paucity. How dare she think she can get to the head of the line? We’re not even in the line why should she be? Who does she think she is?!

 

It is perhaps jealousy. We know our places who does she think she is.  To some extent sexism. She’s a conniving manipulator. But Trump the man who made a fortune as such, who stole and preyed on the poor and bragged about prevailing on a system that let others take the fall for his greedy mistakes? Nope, no how dare he for Trump. He is Trump. She is Hillary. See?

Why?

He’s a man doing what men do.  He’s a fighter and a fighter is a hero and a fighting woman is a screamer.

What woman has not been accused of screaming at a man when speaking emphatically to a man who is screaming his head off?

But men have been allowed to be bullies and bosses since God was declared a man and it’s time they were called on that. That’s more than sexual transgressions. It’s a transgression of power.

Sexuality and attractiveness play a huge part of our market value. There are calls for change and from my industry there are plenty but look at the yoga community. Even the damn Yoga Journal couldn’t keep up its attempt to be a beacon of change by celebrating “regular” bodies. Back to the bendy babes because people want to buy a promise of the future that is better than their present.  In a buyer’s world where magazine pictures are for the imagination more than reality it makes sense that there are only a sprinkle of average bodies to placate the P.C. police. And just shoot me but I don’t really give a damn because I don’t expect us all to wear olive green uniforms and greet one another as comrade. That’s not in this country’s DNA. I think our mission it to disabuse the abusers of their right to abuse the power of the louder or the luckier or the most ambitious.

In a country where continuous “progress” is the goal, even the human body is expected to step it up and up and up. It’s not my dream. Was it dreamed of by men only? Capitalism? I wonder. Is that entrepreneurial spirit also the spirit that qualifies us and frightens us that we will be left behind? Is that responsible for men’s power over women?

 

We are not the same. We will be assessed and even willfully suspending judgment we will be judged. Men and women will hopefully not be the same but preserve the best of our differences for a glorious attraction, a synchronized dance to prolong the species.

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I’m here in an upscale resort. La Costa has been the home of the well tanned and well healed for decades which now includes the douche bag poser Deepak Chopra who’s made his yoga center here.

I come to see my folks whose home is on the grounds adjacent. They keep a membership to the place so I make use of the fitness center. I don’t generally enjoy other people’s yoga classes so I disregard the wealth of yoga offerings and spin instead as Toli, the Greek god of a spin coach brings playlists of dance trance mash ups that give an hour of sweat and effort purpose.

 

He’s talking to a member when I walk in and hear, “I’m sick of all this political correctness. Men are dogs. We’ll always be dogs. We’re animals. Look at nature. You can’t change nature and women are who they are too.” I stick my nose in like an uninvited puppy and notice the irony.

But we’re not animals, we’re people, I say. No difference, he counters.

 

There is difference of course and other than facts of specific limitations of species I can say with certainty that the thing that separates us is manners. And I in fact have taught my dog manners as well.

Manners are a funny thing, perceived as stuffy and superficial now by many but I was raised and continue to believe that manners are kindness. Manners are respect. Manners mean self control and concern for others. Manners require sensitivity. Slow down passing someone walking a dog. Don’t use your cell phone when you’re with other people. Return phone calls. Purposefully show appreciation. Hold the door for the next person. Use your blinker. Make way for other cars on the road. Ask me if I’d like some of what you’re having and offer a drink to the guy working outside your house on a hot day. Elbows off the table? O.K., so what. Leave the toilet seat up? Hell no.

And you don’t get to act like an ape in heat when you feel like it. You manage that shit. Manners are management.

But it’s not all on men.

I’ve come to the class again. It’s a different group today. All women.  All middle aged women who seem to know each other and they know Toli too.

He takes his sweat shirt off as class begins and the women confirm their approval with cat calls. They carry on for much of the class in what you’d call innocent flirting but it’s kind of obnoxious. He doesn’t seem to mind. Then the door opens and a woman rushes in with a mad grin on her face. I have seen her do this before. It’s her thing.  Hard stocky muscles strain her lycra costume to its breaking point. She could offer any one of the bird like women on the bikes half her bottom and have plenty left. She’s aping a hip hop routine to the pounding music flinging her ass in Toli’s face like Angel Food McSpade to Mr. Natural.

She looks like a woman you’d never notice among the pickup line moms, the woman ignored by the clique who talks loudly and constantly anyway in her attempt to be noticed.  The aerobics teacher from the studio she escaped from rushes in and hauls her out. She’s dancing all the while. (I am a writer and my job is description. Don’t discredit me for the above unless you want a world where people go unnoticed just to avoid harsh depiction.)

Class is winding down and Toli trades the rave music for a slow soul George Michaels. “I’m never gonna dance again, guilty feet ain’t got no rhythm.

 

“OOOOOOh  Toli,you want to make out?”  They all giggle and join in the jeers. I picture crows baiting a hawk.

So what’s going on with women?  Is this the new female bonding?  I don’t trust it. Is the power of women the sorrow of feminism gone awry? Because feminism was a wake up call for both women and men but there were some short sighted back fires as is natural in any effort of collaboration of a body greater than one.

 

For years women didn’t speak out because they were as afraid of being attacked by other women as they were of being dismissed by the men. You might be familiar with the term slut shaming. Those oppressed have a history of siding with the oppressor over the victim if they think it will save them. It’s not all and not always but we’ve seen that side of our humanity made famous by Nazi collaborators.

Adherence to fascism continues today in other regimes and one can see it clearly in the present by studying the forgotten American who stands by Trump.  And of course that’s not just the “weaker sex”. It’s the weaker mind. Look at the Republican lapdogs that are an example of the coward crawling under the shrouds of the totalitarian to save their skins. Still, they are mostly men and the men still rule the nation and what woman feels powerful enough to fight that alone? Better to stand with the powerful.

 

Many of Trump’s followers are women who hated another woman so much they threw in with the guy who got drunk, fucked them on a one night stand and then pretended he didn’t know them when he saw them on the street.  Yes, that’s Trump, the entitled celebrity pussy grabber, the guy bringing back Christmas.

 

A common behavior of abused dogs is to crawl into the lap of the perpetrator in an effort to win favor. It’s a trait humans share. Enter Omarosa.

A woman who considered herself no one’s lap dog fell at the feet of the man she possessively called Donald when others called him Mr. Trump.  Omarosa was relegated to presidential pit bull after displaying, stanch loyalty and a sociopathic level of ruthlessness in his show The Apprentice. She was a symbol of the worst qualities of the “weaker sex”. There was no one she wouldn’t destroy to make her way to the feet of the dictator. I watched that show the season she was on and my interest in low brow television as I’ve told you before makes me a reliable source for sociological studies on the worst of us.

 

I don’t know what messages mothers are sending these days. Our kids have grown up online. They are depressed and neurotic. Relationships have new rules for many of them, modern rules.  I don’t think there is a real clear idea of what a man should be to a woman or a woman to a man. The lines are blurred and maybe that was the idea.

My sons are in their late twenties. They tell me that most women don’t ask them out but wait to be asked. They say they like a confident woman who isn’t afraid to ask for what she wants. They aren’t intimidated by someone making a good living and they like the small percent of girls who take the initiative. They tell me these are the girls who might be considered hippies and feminists. My oldest tells me that women he meets don’t seem capable of loving relationships because they don’t believe they are worthy of love. They are then suspicious of anyone loving them. After all, it’s got to be insincere. What messages are girls getting today that makes them feel so unworthy?

 

How should a girl, a woman act? How will she trust anything in this power worshiping world?  Will she go from one called victim to one called bitch? What would I tell a daughter? There’s always a game whether you realize it or not, whether you want that or not. Life is a series of calculations and relationships in which you are only in charge of your part. Find good friends and be a good friend. As for the mate she looks for? She needs a hero. And so does her man.

 

 

 

 

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Don’t Trust the Status Quo. Trust the Possibilities.

You’re tired. You stay up to catch up and tired turns to over tired. You close your eyes but can’t unwind. I have a way to trick my mind toward rainbows and kittens. So called sleep experts say stay away from screens when you wake up in the middle of the night but they obviously know nothing about the power of television programming on the unconscious. Deep breathing while thrashing in bed just pisses me off. I need Shark Tank where dreams come true.

 

Hello morning news that tells me fast food restaurants are going up in Nashville as fast as the food they make.  That’s how they put it. Look how progressive Nashville is. Slow people eating fast food. Let another day begin. We can fight about health care while we choke down cheap meats.

 

Dawn light’s silver beams stunningly sweep the steel surfaces of the massive structures that now line the city road linking plantation memories to town.  Steely towers replace wood poles for wires that cross the tangled sky. To hide them underground would cost money better spent on what I wonder?

Sleep drunk drivers clog the passing lane of Nashville’s pot hole neglected inner city speedway like sociopaths.  Swerving semis hold their ground ignorant or insolent to my flashing lights. Why are so many trucks on this road? They must be part of the construction boom turning an unplanned town into a short sighted city. It’s the middle of the day. A 15 minute ride will double like most days. I’m forced below the speed limit. I could change lanes but they are covered like packed pay parking lots that dot downtown. Comatose drivers are weapons against humanity. My radar is tuned for disaster. My car finds a hole and darts like a fugitive running from the law with nothing to lose. I thread through the exodus like Pacman.

This is the cost of progress.  Traffic and crime are not compensated by the understaffed overpriced overrated restaurants or crowded crappy cluster homes popping up on treeless ground to enclose the herds of newcomers who will not have room on the street to park their cars. Progress is for profiteers.

 

Nashville was number six in the country for rising heat index a few years ago. We hadn’t even gotten started shoveling humans into bird houses on treeless lots.  Replaced nature with cement. Made the cement mixer the state bird and sold the once peaceful state park as an attraction. Opportunists saw a good buy in. They don’t live here but they own here and what do they care about the quality of life that will be a renter’s headache?

 

We don’t bother with infrastructure. We don’t zone. We don’t regulate. If you’ve got the cash, we’ve got a lot you can mow down.   Let freedom ring.

 

I don’t recognize this two lane country road today that connects Franklin to Brentwood. It’s been clear cut since I was here two weeks ago. Oh screw trees anyway. They’re just a fire hazard. Look at the Redwoods in California! We don’t want problems like that here. We live in a basin that holds smog. A slow death from carbon monoxide is more subtle, more Southern.

Sleep drunk drivers sling swaying loads across the broken lines. I just like that line so I put it in. And also, I’m obsessed with zombie drivers on crowded streets. I don’t dare ride my bike anymore lest one of the undead raises a cell phone beside my narrow lane. Or maybe they’re on an Ambien ride.  Or maybe they’re just high. Do the opiate addicted masses drive cars around town? I have no idea but I’m not taking chances.

 

It’s good to stay put. The best nights are dinner parties with friends anyway.  You do need a place for friends to park. But your friends are less visible in the expanse now. Friendship is no longer a contact sport. It’s easy to lose track of people who aren’t in your immediate world. There are so many immediate worlds to navigate these days, some of them virtual but nonetheless exhausting. We are not our World War II parent’s generation who put a premium on civility and social skills maintaining relationships even when challenged. We don’t have to. No one expects it.

 

I’m from the last generation to know life before and after the internet and cell phones. Once our memories are gone there will be no others who know both. There will be no others who consciously crossed over. The impressions here are pressed into type to preserve the outrage that my generation made famous. 

We can’t trust that the existing state of affairs is acceptable. There are not as many legal limits to killing us as we expect from the keepers of a loving country. If it takes a village, it takes a village of individuals who have done due diligence. It takes a village willing to shift when the wind smells like sulfur.

 

 

 

 

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Is Your Relationship to Your Fellow Man Making You Sick?

Five thirty A.M. the reporters at NPR assault me with the news of the deadliest mass shooting in our history. I am awake.

My tired mind forces a memory scan. Who do I know in Vegas this week? It seems just yesterday my friend Holly said she is going there for something. Shit. Was it this week?

Disaster comes upon disaster, one shoved down as the other surfaces coming with more and more frequency.  The Trump disaster overshadows all. Hope is slipping.

The webinar I watched on Alzheimer’s hits my frontal lobe. The doctor listed the places on earth called Blue Zones where people have the least medical issues including Alzheimer’s. In the U.S. there is one place. It is Loma Linda California. He says it is not any particular diet as much as a clean diet devoid of alcohol and smoking that keeps them healthy but there is more than that. There is community. Love and charity prevail not instigated by crisis but on a regular basis. It is the basis.

We cannot thrive on a daily diet of grief. The stress is killing us as fast as fast food, climate disasters and drug overdoses. Stress corrodes the brain.

We live in a war zone. We are at war with each other. We are at war with our President. We are at war with our own failings.

My husband notes on shooting a documentary about Trump supporters that the commonality is the question, what about me? He perceives an overarching narcissism that trumps empathy.

Put on your own oxygen mask before your children’s. Who doesn’t know that? You need to love yourself before you can love someone else. That’s common knowledge too, right? Charity begins at home. We are advised to look after ourselves in order to become. But how do we know what is too much charity and what is too much self interest.

After all, for true self interest we should be concerned as much with the people around us as ourselves. They are our environment. They are the fabric of our lives.

There is a social implication of controlling others or overwhelming them which is described in the yoga text, Yoga Sutras as bramacharya. This does not define dictatorship versus charity but allows us to consider staying in our own lane either way. However bramacharya does not stand alone. It co-exists with a call to kindness, generosity and contentment with oneself and one’s lot.

 Insecurity is the enemy.

Are we stuck between those that wonder what about us and those that worry what about me? Do we rail against what seems an extreme of one or the other? There is so much need for those outside our pack and also so much instinct to gather the loved ones and shut the door.

A Pakistani Muslim friend of mine daughter started kindergarten this year. She invited the class to her daughter’s birthday party and only a handful of people responded and came. She found out another girl whose invitations went out later had a party the same day and that’s where most of the class had gone. They hadn’t invited her daughter and they hadn’t responded to her invitation though the policy at school is for invites to go through the school and to everyone. My friend had an emotional crisis. Why was her daughter shunned? And then she got sicker than she’s ever been. She tells me it’s the flu and she felt like she was dying.

I write this because it seems a metaphor for all our sickness, this social disease. This dis-ease.     My friend is used to a strong community. She is an outsider here. What does this do to our bodies?

Today another person went off the rails and unloaded bullets into strangers. We don’t know why yet. There will be demands for better mental health screening, for gun control and for tightening up against terrorism if they find any links to a terrorist group outside the U.S. I doubt any of it will successfully happen.

Human beings need a chance to work a job that allows them to care for themselves and their children. We need to be educated. We need to eat and drink cleanly. We need to have fun. We need time to have fun. We need to live a life beyond survival. We need time and space to be charitable. We need friends and family who are not crazy to care about us. We need to feel secure.

Tech life allows us to find new avenues of isolation and rudeness.  The benefits of information at a fingertip seem small compared to the disruption of our social lives. There’s no turning back but there has to be some measure of discernment and that is the problem. There is no true north. That star there? It’s fake. It’s that easy to dismiss something that is accurate.

We are untethered. Fact has become opinion even to its face. There is no moral anchor. Where will it come from? I don’t know. I know for a student of yoga the moral restraints and observances as described in the Sutras is a useful checklist, as useful as any commandment from the bible.

If it seems I’m saying that yoga will save us think again. I know lots of morally bankrupt yoga folks. No one is exempt from hypocrisy. This is a think piece. I’m thinking out loud. Hope it gives you something to consider about yourself as it does for me. And if want to read the basis of modern yoga’s moral system, this is a good place to start. And by the way, I don’t know that it was written so much as a moral system as a way to manage personal energy so that me, myself and I can find peace within whatever situation I’m in. If it is a way of separation, it is at least a separation that leaves room for inclusion. Now go figure that riddle out.

 

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Go Ask Alice Why Yoga Isn’t Enough.

“This one makes you taller and this one makes you smaller.”

 

I began this post a month ago and like many of my projects it went the wayside. It was a view on taking CBD oil and personal power. I learned something I want to share about that. I will make that a separate post to follow this.

 

I picked this up because Michael Stone the Buddhist teacher, yoga teacher, activist died suddenly. I knew him from his writing and from reading a manuscript that was an intimate look into the soul of the man through his ongoing correspondence with a friend. I could feel his broken heart. He was so smart, so clear and yet lost. It’s hard to explain. I never knew him but I felt like I got him. Maybe I recognized something I knew from myself. Maybe I’m not alone. He had thousands of followers and friends.

He was broken for the last time and in trying to put himself back together seemed to make a desperate choice to take a street drug. It killed him. He had bi-polar disorder and apparently had tried many avenues of treatment over the years to manage it.

 

I write this now because this morning I recalled my first friend in Nashville who was a yoga teacher of great skill and lineage. I remembered her shock when I told her I was getting a massage which I did a few times a year as a treat. She asked me how I could do yoga and not get bodywork as she did every week. I was surprised.  Although I taught and led strong classes I didn’t feel like I wanted bodywork. I didn’t need it. And I wondered why someone doing yoga was so needy for outside help. That circle of yogis engaged in a practice of psychotherapy as well. They were upturning stones for answers at a time I was not questioning much.  I was content.

 

I eventually got hurt which lead to compensation that took me down a rabbit warren I couldn’t retreat from. I understood the need for help. I couldn’t see myself objectively. I just felt pain.

 

That pain correlated to what I felt was the degradation of the practice of yoga in a place that had been the Holy Grail here in Nashville.

My physical pain became tied to emotional pain that never resolved except through acceptance which in my opinion is limited.

 

So I’m publishing this with a different bias. My thirty years of experience working with people through movement and yoga revealed that people come to yoga to be unbroken. Yes, they come to be fit but in my experience, in my classes even in the day they were pure power, I found hunters looking for sustenance.

It aggravates me to see the sea of mainstream conclusions written about yoga and meditation solving the human condition. I do both and I advocate both. Yoga and meditation make profound shifts in our consciousness toward awareness. I’m a fan of awareness but it’s not always pleasant and a person who is awake can also be hyper sensitive.  Sometimes yoga is not enough.

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Follow the Money

There is no yoga here. It gets a place on bitchin yoga because bitchin yoga is me.

I wanted a job in the film industry and was sent to interview with Augusta Dinardo at Jenkins Covington Newman in Manhattan.

It turned out that Gus was the bookkeeper and wanted an assistant to be the production bookkeeper. I told her I had never  passed a math class and sorry for the wasted time but no thanks.

I don’t know why but she called me for weeks trying to convince me to take the job. She told me that it didn’t matter what I was good at because I could already do that. I should become good at something else. I finally caved because I needed the work and she was relentless.

On my first day she said to me, “Everything in a production comes through this office with the money you track in the actuals. If you follow the money you will understand this job better than any producer working here.” She was right. Producing on budget was later a game I excelled at.

So I’m watching the new Trump presidency. He is about the money. His cabinet members are for the most part wealthy. There is a new model that moneymaking is the most important thing a president can do for the country. I will follow the money.

trump-and-money

I’m watching to see how many dollars go into regular folk’s pockets and for how long. And how many dollars go somewhere else. And how many dollars come out of regular folk’s pockets to pay for things he wants to buy. Like walls.

“Let’s make a deal” is the motto now. Somehow  I suspect the dealer always wins.

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In the Age of Trump, is a Protest an Act of Sedition or Civil War?

 To resist a new regime is to revolt against the countrymen who unwittingly sold souls to create it.

The goal of yoga is to lift the veil of one’s ignorance, to see, to feel, to know yourself. I am a yoga teacher but whose ignorance have I helped to lift?

Certainly not the guests I sat with at the last dinner party who were on the surface a like minded circle of liberals. When a millennial guest sitting beside his soldier partner told us that his sweet country mother voted for Trump because she was angry that Obama used the company plane to go to Hawaii, tongues clucked in sympathy. It wasn’t her fault that she’s a simpleton. Sighing empathy all round.

I wanted to slam my fist on the gloriously set table and scream. Fuck that. There is no excuse for that level of ignorance or pettiness. Your mother is an asshole and so are you for not shoving facts in her face.

Hell, I did it to my mother when he won the Primary and it took a week of arguments before she came to her senses blinded as she was by the glorious image of the sparkling Von Trump children gracing a stately White House. She has always been a cup full full kind of dreamer. She’s also a bit vain despite her social work background and was infuriated by the sight of Hillary Clinton’s pant suits. And she doesn’t realize she was raised to believe that men are men and there is no excuse for a woman who doesn’t learn to manage that situation with wit and she still believes that. She would deny all of this but I know it’s true.

In a new nation where facts are considered opinions by some and fake news has no rival for others, it is near impossible to have a rational conversation with someone who voted for Trump these days. In fact it’s even hard to have an agreeable conversation with anyone but the most like minded people. My dinner party hostess told me later she thinks it’s pointless to try to convince people of anything.  You can’t change anyone’s mind and it’s not your place. I told her to tell that to Martin Luther King.

mlk

No one was hurt when Clinton was loose with her mail. But Trump stole the tuition of innocent working folks at Trump University. In this, his defenders say Clinton is the crook. They know the word e-mail. They seem to think that’s enough.  Argue with them and you’ll want to put a bullet through your head. I had a client tell me that Clinton had people murdered and though I countered, look at the person’s history and judge if that is likely and by the way that was fake news, she was unmovable. She said the two candidates are equally bad. When I hear that I want to sling shit like a caged ape.

If half the country is the other halves adversary or enemy, is it an act of sedition for one half to march against the other or is that a call to civil war?

what-is-the-true-cost-of-war

He will become President.  A march in protest is a march against the people who voted for him and the people who didn’t vote. That is more than half the country but it matters.

I do have friends who voted for Trump. I love these people though I disrespect their willingness to deny facts and worse, to defend their beliefs with twisted logic. I have to look at what I love about them and stay the course. And I have to speak my mind and also listen to them or they are not my friends.

Still I know that my protest is an act of anger against them. Any protestor denying that is simply afraid to see the truth because it is painful to fight with the people you love. Maybe worse, it’s painful to think that the people you love don’t respect you either.

Trump has initiated a fight with the people who share his country and the countries that share our interests. He is a fighter. That is what he does. He describes it one step past that. He says he is a winner. We can stand down or express our concerns. Will that initiate a civil war? I’d say the war has already begun.

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Report from the Implosion. Blah, Blah, Blah.

Spiritual Exhaustion

Clouds tap Morse code on the skylights overhead.

 

There’s a message I don’t bother to decipher. I don’t really even look. Peripherally aware, I let it go.

 

Last night I brushed my teeth with hydro-cortisone cream and wondered why the toothpaste tasted so bad. It took a long moment to register. And then only because I noticed that something was different about my carefully curated basket beside the sink.  In a quick glance, a painting always on my wall kind of noticing, I recognized that something was off. I’d non-habitually thrown the only thing that relieves the endless bug bites of Tennessee summer next to the toothpaste instead of on the counter where it usually sits till autumn.

 

Ask the people who know me best what comes to mind about my mind and they will tell you I don’t miss a thing. Is it stress or age or exhaustion or depression or what? I’m missing.

 

I turned on the news yesterday morning to hear the Sunday news shows. I’ve been eating a daily breakfast and dinner of world crisis and crazy election shit sandwiches. I watch like I’ll be tested. I watch like something more shocking can occur. I watch like it matters that I know.

 

I switched from one station to the next to get a taste of the offerings. I would say I was paying attention if not my fullest attention as I was making coffee and feeding dogs and putting away dishes washed the night before. But all I heard was blah, blah blah.

 

I steeled myself to the television. What was happening? Is this what they call ADHD? Why can’t I pay attention!! I turned up the volume but I could not make out the words.

 

I could blame it on a Nashville party weekend and there was that but gears don’t slip that far unless they’re totally stripped. Seems I am totally stripped.

 

I haven’t posted much about this election. I have my reasons. But I have written scores. I looked back over some musings today.

 

The phenomena of a reality T.V. figure appropriating the highest branch in the Republican family tree is shocking. How did he do it? He understood an electorate’s doubt in itself and this life. He understood how to slither between the broken shards of people’s uncertainty. Can a guy that sure be wrong? They’re mesmerized by the gold crown on his self anointed head.

 

 

Politicians speak with confidence. We’re used to ignoring them. Trump got our attention with a confidence that didn’t jive with his adolescent insecurity. He fascinates us by calling admirers wonderful and detractors nah -nah names. He reduces the gravitas of President with a combination of juvenile delinquent and Mafia Don while his fans cheer him on. While a person of conscience would have exhausted himself, Trump fueled by the disease of winning can’t stop. While anyone else would have been buried under so much awfulness, Trump’s supporters are enthralled.

Trump RNC

Perhaps they see themselves in him or want to. Maybe it feels good to let all the trappings of civilization get trod under boots thick with the mud you want to roll in. Have we been too tightly wrapped? Are we longing to be overcome and helpless? Do we lack faith in ourselves or just that much faith in the system?

 

The name Clinton no longer has the ring of progressive intelligence. It is besmirched with the wanderings of a sex addict and the hint of lawlessness regrettably tinged with boring that describes the long suffering wife. Still, there is a history there of good deed doings that Trump lacks entirely. It’s something to cling to like a leaky raft. She lacks the history of stomping on the little guy. That’s a clear difference.

Hillary

There is an ongoing history of persuasive leaders and vulnerable followers whether victims of government or kidnappers or even yoga teachers. Not all leaders are the same. Some are idealized and elevated without seeking that status. Some purposefully reach for power. Those work to convince us they know more than we do. Whether different personalities end up in the same muck given the same circumstances or character trumps circumstance is an individual thing. But power is hypnotizing. Ask Frodo.

 

More fascinating is the nature of the follower. My brain almost refuses to dwell on the topic. I want to reduce it to the word douche bag. I want to reduce all annoyances to douche bag right now. But it’s not so simple. We are one body of exhausted people who feel powerless. We are tired of struggling to keep our heads above the quicksand. We’re dying to let go. Not all of that is our fault.

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