Saturday, January 6, 2018


i know i'm supposed to explode all the binaries and live into both - but in the meantime ;-) -

do i believe more in better organization and non-redundancy, or de-centralization and small community?
do i believe more in accountability or compassion?
do i believe more in self-determination or collective wellbeing?
do i believe more in infinite creativity or finite resources?
do i believe more in unified values or diversified values?
do i believe more in following our love, or seeing what the community needs and doing it?

in the movement for justice, we say so many contradictory things.
and i know that one thing we say is that we need to live into "both and." but then we also draw lines in the sand.
here we go.

be okay with being uncomfortable? or prioritize self-care and co-create safe space?
speak to the unease in our belly? or sit with the unease in our belly?
follow our heart? or join a nonviolent peace force?
critique more? or create more?
deconstruct more? or construct more?
speak out and take up space? or listen and create space?
meet people where they are at? or speak our truth from where we are at?
speak in a way that makes people want to listen? or listen even when we'd prefer not to hear? (and expect others to be able to do the same)
build bridges? or draw lines?
work within the system ("in the arena")? or work from without the system, creating new ones?
cultivate self-empowerment? or community-orientation?

I can think of SOOO many times these questions are raised in the work I do, by the people I aim to serve, or their families, or in my own heart.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

hypocrisy in a globalized world

Observations that aren't new, probably for you or me, but came together again for me-
Saying there should be restrictions on who moves to your country but believing you have the right to move to and work anywhere in the world and never questioning the experience of being permitted into other countries without a visa.
Being upset that wealthier foreigners are buying property here and driving up costs but supporting the "capitalist right" of our citizens to do the same in whatever local city and neighborhood, and in whatever foreign city and country as well.
Saying there is no justice issue with the cultural impacts of gentrification and then making rules or inaccessible barriers and literal "community covenants" that keep people of certain backgrounds out of your neighborhood.
Glorifying your ancestors' pursuit of a better life and the sacrifices they made to come here and completely ignoring the magnitude of those traits in modern immigrants to our nation.
Telling me that my ancestors deserved to have sanctuary here but that others facing deprivation do not.
Claiming that immigrants are taking your jobs when our trade agreements and political meddling have led to their disenfranchisement. Not to mention the offshoring of our jobs in the first place.
I'm not saying it's not hard or complex, or that there is no point to a nation-state. I sense that I have a tendency to love rules and policy, have uncertainty about zero restrictions, and I too am caught up in the migration game of trying to afford housing and contributing to gentrification. But I feel these observations from real life should be my guides. Can you imagine that we can come in and buy up property that indigenous people have been fighting for the titles to for centuries? Where are the policies there? Did you know that when the dollar gets stronger many developing nations' currencies go down? I didn't until I felt it hurting my Colombian friends all this last year. So let's just keep thinking about which policies and which freedoms we are biased towards, and when those biases stand in fundamental contradiction to one another.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

i believe in the need to revitalize the small community
I'm doing this dance of trying to embrace my dreams while letting the go of the need to succeed.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

if the system is so broken,
and the system is made up of or sustained by human choices,
our individual human choices are sooooo important,
especially those of the people who have the most power in the system.
but also of all of us.

this idea gives me hope.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Finding the basic goodness... [of ourselves and others] is like that- tapping into a spring of living water that has been temporarily encased in solid rock. When we touch the center of sorrow, when we sit with discomfort without trying to fix it, when we stay present to the pain of disapproval or betrayal and let it soften us, these are the times that we connect...
- Pema Chodron

This opening is just so important to me. a rush.

I had this feeling not long ago. I am aware that if I talk about it now, I might have it again :-) - and that does scare me a bit :-). I suppose this is the hope for all the time - that we could really be here, and let go of the ways that keep us separate from what's really going on.

Another image that comes to me is of someone else, when you watch, you watch them crack open. Slowly, softly, truly, willingly. I'm thinking of someone who I had felt somewhat separate from before, who felt connected to me, and decided to open. Being part of this opening is probably the most beautiful thing I am privileged to experience.

I was tapped not long ago when my supervisor asked me about how I was feeling about my job. She asked if I was feeling more nervousness or anxiety than excitement - and the truth was "Yes." It was a relief. It was a huge relief. I was so grateful she asked. We sifted down together, without even having to say much of anything. And then I could finally talk.

The ability to do this is so important as a facilitator, or a leader of any kind. Whew! (appreciative whistling sound). As a facilitator, I often bring the agenda to be liked. Also, of course, to succeed in the goal of the program. The first agenda is not truly necessary, and the second doesn't always materialize. When this happens, it's a total trigger for me. If the goals of the program don't seem to be being met, or if someone doesn't feel that they are being met - "being with it" is in fact the most important thing I can do. (Perhaps supplemented by some mantra like, "Wow! This is interesting. I'm just SO curious! :-P) As a facilitator trainer asked over and over during a training, "What is happening?" In the words of J. Krishnamurti, "Observation without evaluation is the highest form of human intelligence." Observation also means getting input - and trying to separate facts from evaluations there. {appreciative whistle.......!} again

This, the lifetime practice, seems to be the hardest thing to do. I figure out all kinds of ways not to do it. In fact, I'm often ashamed of my inability to do it...
So I'll suppose I should sit with that for awhile. ;-)