What to do with all this outrage?

This level of outrage is unsustainable.

Perhaps like you, I am feeling utterly outraged far too often these days.

According to Deepak Chopra:

“In any situation of maximum stress, a person’s coping skills are severely tested. Stress is maximized whenever three elements are present: repetition, unpredictability, and loss of control. Repetition is supplied by Trump’s constant presence on all media. Unpredictability is at an all-time high, thanks to his policy flip-flops and neck-wrenching mood swings. Loss of control has been mandated by the right wing’s take-no-prisoners, make-no-compromises stance.”

Merely reading the news—the “fake media,” as Trump calls it—feels overwhelmingly exhausting and emotionally draining. Thus, I turn away from the media (social or otherwise) for a bit. Taking a digital detox each Sunday has become one of my strategies for sanity. It’s sometimes tough to find the balance between burying my head in the sand and reading obsessively about my home country’s politics.

Lately, people have started comparing the USA to Nicaragua and other “banana republics.” I live in Guatemala and the government here is plenty corrupt (thanks in large part to the CIA’s intervention in the mid-1950s, the effects of which still echo in Guatemalan society today), yet my day-to-day life is good and gratifying. I am thankful to be able to turn away from the news and play with my little girl, take a walk in nature (a.k.a. our neighborhood), and meditate over a cup of warm hibiscus tea.

Still, the outrageous outrage returns every other day or so with more news of further shenanigans, overt corruption, and intentional deception from our greedy, lying, reality-star-in-chief.

Pussy. Politics. Patriarchy. Power. Paradigm.

These P-words are punctuating my frustration with the system and society as it is. It was hard enough for me to believe that anyone would actually vote for Trump, and it’s harder still to fathom that large swaths of American citizens and Republican party leaders still support his atrociousness.

According to the liberal media, impeachment is imminent—after the mid-term elections in 2018 when Democrats will surely take back the majority of the House and Senate. Can we really wait that long? Eighteen more months when it’s only been four months so far of nonstop absurdity, harmful policy making, and blatant disrespect for the Constitution? Please, no!

Keep reading

Make America Kind Again

The “Golden Age” from 1945-1972, was an exceptional phase of American history. Looking back upon this era now widely considered to be the epitome of American prosperity, historian Eric Hobsbawm wrote, “Gold glowed more brightly against the dull or dark background of the subsequent decades of crisis.”

The vague, much-repeated promise to recapture the wonders of this era was the foundation of Trump’s winning presidential campaign. Its slogan, “Make America Great Again,” falsely promised a return to the fairy tale past that never existed.

The Golden Age was marked by the explosive economic growth. This was a new kind of economy, one of mass consumption. The right maintained its hold on political power and control throughout most of the world. By the 1960s, it had become clear that capitalism was forging ahead, winning the ideological race and leaving socialism and communism in its dust. Interestingly, the terms “capitalism” and “capitalist” were considered taboo and, therefore, were not widely used in print or in conversation until the late 1970s.

Postwar capitalism cohesively combined economic liberalism and social democracy. Welfare expenditures began to dominate a much greater portion of public expenditure. Under the stabilizing influence of expanding and interventionist welfare states, international rates of manufactured output quadrupled and international trade grew tenfold. The spread of consumer capitalism to Europe led to this exponential growth and increasing interdependence.

The Golden Age coincided with the culmination of an 8,000 year period in which the vast majority of human beings on the planet had lived directly off the land. Along with this ending came a promising new beginning: the emergence of an increasingly urbanized and industrialized world. The collapse of the peasant class across most the world was dramatic, even more rapid than the dissolution of Europe’s peasantries in the nineteenth century.

Alongside the migration from the countryside to the growing metropolitan areas came a wave of new technologies. This was the dawning of the globalized age of the automobile. Mass production in the style of Ford was extended to new kinds of production, from house construction to junk food. McDonald’s was a postwar success story. Technology spread: telephones, plastics, TVs, computers, and domestic electronics ever decreasing in size and increasing in portability—these things that had formerly been luxuries became part of everyday consumption.

Along with the sharp increase in manufacturing came the unfortunate and unacknowledged by-products of pollution and ecological deterioration. Yet, as Hobsbawm wrote, “The dominant ideology of progress took it for granted that the growing dominion of nature by man was the very measure of humanity’s advance.” Civilization bulldozed through the jungle without showing any mercy or regret. Keep reading…

Where is the Middle Way?

 

What we have here is a lack of union.

Extremes have become ultra polarized to the point of absurdity
The polar ice caps melting can’t be denied
Science isn’t a matter of belief
humanity is KILLING OUR MOTHER EARTH

The government isn’t meant to be a two-party system and politics shouldn’t be what is has become: corporation ruled corrupt GREED

Martin Luther King, Jr said: “Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” YET WE MUST CHOOSE LOVE OVER HATE

This is a dangerous time. Watch your step. Mind the gap. But, please. KEEP WORKING FOR THE GOOD

Are you on the edge? The left or the right? Can you see outside your narrow, conditioned point of view? No. TAKE A GIANT LEAP BACK

Be moderate. Take the Middle Path: ever the goal, ever the practice. Discovery of balance, presence, awareness. I must choose love over hate. I must recognize both goddess and god and remember that all of live is simply energy moving within and without us and all beings, whether we call it divine or buddhanature or the holyspirit, or not

This is a potent time. GIVE LOVE. BE LOVE. BREATHE LOVE.

A New Story of Thanksgiving

Once upon a time, last week, the people of a great and vast nation elected a morally bankrupt billionaire TV star as their government leader.

Nothing has changed, yet everything has.

Is it worse than we think, or should we give the guy a chance?

Reactions are as unique and diverse as our personalities, and largely dependent on our demographics. Lots of old white people are afraid of losing their “freedom”, in other words, their long-held privilege. A multitude of privileges, really, that the brown/POC have never known.

According to the New York Times, the “failing” publication Mr. Trump so despises, 85% of the land area of the United States of America is “Trump’s America,” versus just 15% of the coastal regions and urban centers which make up “Clinton’s America.” However, Hillary Clinton did win the popular vote by 1 million at last count. Regardless, the rural areas pushed Trump over the top and he won the 270 electoral votes necessary…. in theory, at least.

The official Electoral College vote is on December 19th. There is a movement to persuade electoral college votes in each state to “vote their conscience,” in other words NOT to vote for Donald Trump. It isn’t probable, but it is possible.

And in this case, it really would be the lesser of two evils. Hillary Clinton may be a corrupt, establishment politician but at least she is experienced in world and domestic affairs, at least she is not full of the hatred and bile of Trump and his die-hard fans. Bernie Sanders would have been a better candidate, and probably would be the President-elect today if the DNC hadn’t nominated Hillary.

People are either happy, relieved and triumphant (if they voted for Trump); complacent, curious and concerned (if they did not vote for Trump and are white and middle-class or wealthy); or fearful, devastated and confused (if they did not vote for Trump and are not white, not male, not Christian, not straight).

In the middle of the American Civil War, President Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day, to be celebrated on the final Thursday in November 1863. Of course, the “First Thanksgiving” had been celebrated 242 years earlier by the Pilgrims and Native Americans after the immigrants’ first harvest in the New World.

Naturally, the subsequent genocide of Native Americans by whites led to a souring of the original feelings of community celebration. University of Texas professor Robert Jensen says, “One indication of moral progress in the United States would be the replacement of Thanksgiving Day and its self-indulgent family feasting with a National Day of Atonement accompanied by a self-reflective collective fasting.” He certainly has a point.

Nonetheless, Thanksgiving is a time to come together with family and friends, to bask in gratitude, to feast, to celebrate life and love. This year’s political drama is taking its toll on families divided by liberal and conservative belief systems. Many will not come together at the dinner table due to these ideological differences, and those who do will probably want to avoid the subject altogether, if that is possible.

What if, despite feeling fearful, devastated, confused, depressed and/or anxious about the present and the future, we choose to sit down at the table together, anyway: black, white, red and yellow?

What if we choose to make peace?

What if we look and see the fear underneath the hate?

What if we choose to celebrate?

What if we choose to open our hearts and minds to other points of view, to new horizons, to gratitude?

May the spirit of thanksgiving dwell in all of our hearts, today and every day.

There is so much to be grateful for, and we are here on Earth for a purpose.

thanksgiving_the-first-thanksgiving_cph-3g04961-e

I WON’T let it slide if a friend makes degrading comments about a minority or women. Even if it’s over Thanksgiving dinner, I’ll push back and say something like: “Come on! You really think that?!” ~ Nicholas Kristof, A 12-Step Program for Responding to President-Elect TrumpThe New York Times