As I lay on my steel bunk bed, I have chosen the top bunk of course, I think to myself, "Most people would probably consider spending the night in jail to be a low point in their lives." But I am no longer "most people," and I am grateful and humble. I am clear that this is the beginning of a new chapter, not when I get out in the morning but HERE, IN THIS MOMENT. I am at peace as I say silently among the chatter of these women's abused and neglected inner children: "It is now time to reincorporate."
The Purpose of Ritual is to Allow for LASTING and PROFOUND Transformation
There are 3 phases of ritual:
When I found out that the monetary system is designed to keep people enslaved by debt and that wars are funded by giant corporations that have hijacked our governments and become disproportionately rich and powerful at the expense of all of Life and basic human rights, I couldn't be a part of it anymore. At first, I was furious and my behavior was similar to that of a rebellious teenager; hence the beginning of this blog. I just stopped fulfilling on many of the social obligations that most people adhere to. When I got a speeding ticket, I simply did not show up for court. I gave up my bank account. I stopped signing any contract that would lock me into a legal agreement.
When people questioned my actions, I mostly just acted lazy and dumb about it. Trying to tell others the "truth," if they're not ready is not a pretty sight. I mean, people can get really cruel. This is the machine! So I just let others think I was naive or crazy. Meanwhile, I knew the answers had to be out there somewhere! So I started educating myself. And I did begin to uncover a solution... and it had everything to do with me!
The information really just helped me get past the denial and the blame so that I could begin to wrap my head around why the world really looked the way it did and why I was really suffering. What I finally saw was that it was me. I didn't just condone violence, but I was an avid supporter of it, and so were most of the people I knew. This is the by-product of our consumer-, profit-driven modern world: mass suffering, and the blood is on all of our hands. Sorry to be the one to tell you this if you're hearing it for the first time, but it's also in our ignorance of how this system works that keeps it in place. We have to stop blaming, judging and criticizing others, and CHOOSE to live drastically different lives. Different lives that demonstrate another way, while we remain loving and authentic with people. This behavior is human. This is not "the machine." We must keep this in mind. This is the difference.
Baby Steps is what it takes to free ourselves from the machine! And it is a constant journey. But with each step we become more and more powerful. For me, with each heartbreaking image, each documentary and each person I could not save, the love was allowed in. This is where we discover our POWER, which is our capacity to feel and channel true love! True love is empowering if we allow it to be. But we mustn't resist the other side of it, our tears and our ability to feel suffering. When we let the information, the stories, and the voices in, even the voices of those who are sad and angry, we allow LOVE to saturate our whole experience of life. This is how we heal ourselves and the planet. TRUE LOVE IS THE MOST EMPOWERING AND HEALING FORCE IN THE UNIVERSE. At first, it may just be a trickle but eventually it will become a stream, and then before you know it, a Wave is rushing in. Trying to hold back your expression of love at this point will be utterly brutal—your choice is to ride the Wave or be swept away...
This past Monday, I proudly went to the courthouse to own and honor who I am in society and who I am in this world. Later, I sang as I waited in line at the Driver and Motor Services to get my license reinstated after almost 2 years without one. And now, it is with profound gratitude and respect for your listening that I write these words, and tell my truth. I am not ashamed. I know who I am, and I proudly live a drastically different life standing for what is Right!
I am proud to say that I eat a raw, vegan diet. I do not exchange money without a true currency exchange—AN EXCHANGE OF LOVE. I live in a one bedroom apartment, and keep my energy usage so low that my landlord asks how I do it. I dance or bike to most places I go. I bring my own mug, utensils, bags, to-go containers when I go out. I am not afraid to responsibly use law enforcement, or assert my rights when someone, badge or no badge, is ignorant of them. And because of who I am, everyone usually leaves feeling loved and respected.
I am not saying everyone else should live exactly in this way. I do not presume to know what someone else's healing expression looks like--a whole, complete and dynamic expression of who you are. What I do know is that HONORING YOUR UNIQUE HEALING MISSION GIVES YOU ACCESS TO A NATURAL AND EMPOWERED EXPERIENCE OF LIFE THAT MAKES A REAL DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD.
So here's what I want to leave you with today: There is another way. If you are suffering over ANYTHING, there is simply something that you don't know... and therefore cannot own—and transform. LET IT IN, AND LET THE LOVE IN! This is where we discover our TRUE POWER.
I would like to complete this blog by thanking some of the people who I believe demonstrate true love. Without these people's expression, I may not have known what to look for: my parents and foster parents, Mom, Dad, Tuong, Sharon and Sam, my amazing twin sister Cat and her little one on the way—Thanks buddy! You're already a force in this world!, Emily Kate Boyd—my dear friend who co-founded this community with me, Bucky Motter, Tonya Kay, Don Carpenter, STEVEN MARCHI (I'm shouting this one across the cosmos to you, Steven. Hope you can hear me from way up there on that shooting star you're riding! I know you can...), Rosa Fitch, my brother Nicky (who I am still looking for but whose spirit touches me everyday), and all the people who are not afraid to speak UP! Thank you so much for who you are! Because of you, I know better who I am!!
Thank you for being here, and thank you for your listening!