Martin Luther King Day–2021

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My favorite Poster. (That’s my treadmill below it)

I read some of his speech, and contemplate, with every single inside walk…

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I still believe……

PS I have posted about Dr. King nine times. Please read more if you are interested…Just search Martin Luther King, Jr. on my blog.

Spirit Lifters-Day 311 of being “Grounded” 1/11/21

You may have seen the video below. If not, well HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

I meant to post it New Year’s Day but got distracted by other stuff.

And now, all I can think of is the powerful question I woke up with this last Thursday morning…the day after the…uh, insurrection at the US Capitol.

I wondered out loud if the way I was feeling…appalled, furious, disgusted, extremely critical of those selfish, insane people, was the same way my elders felt toward me in the 1960’s when I was willing to risk my life for the things I believed in so strongly…Racial Equality and ending the Vietnam war!

I had to think about that for a long time.

I concluded that violence was the difference. Back then we marched, and sat, and sang, and lobbied, and yes, I even put daisy’s in the rifle barrels of the National Guardsman trying to stop us.

So today, I am watching this Fireworks Video differently.

Each explosion is a failed gun shot, blossoming into glorious proof of the miracles in life.

Here. Try it again….

Thanks, and be safe and healthy.

Spirit Lifters–Day 301 of being “grounded”

Disclaimer: the first part of this, uh, essay, is not exactly uplifting, but, hang tight. I will get there.

I got myself through the first several months of the pandemic’s effects on my life by searching every single day for uplifting things to focus on…just to balance out all that was going on in the world.

As a practice like that can, it worked beautifully. My spirits were up, and my slowly increasing terror was easily manageable. 

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But somewhere along the line, it caught up with me. As my James would say (in Mississippi-Speak), I was just “slap wore out”. Most of us were. Not just with “quarantine fatigue”, but from all the other chaos we were experiencing; a deadly virus, horrific wildfires, and racial strife.

And politics?? Don’t even get me started!

Yep, just slap wore out!

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My exhaustion started showing up here in my blog. This is what I posted on September 18th:

https://wordpress.com/post/chosenperspectives.com/21344

I guess that should have been a warning…but I missed it. I had stopped practicing what I was preaching. I needed to re-establish an uplifting, daily ritual…and quick….but I didn’t, at least not right away.

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With the new year about to start, I am inspired by the concept of “resolutions”, even though in the past I have been reluctant to support this ritual. I have mostly seen it fail.

There is no magic just because the calendar numbers are changing, and I am a bit concerned that some are investing unrealistic hope in the year 2021 being better than what we have all just been through. That may be dangerously disappointing.

Realistically, I don’t think there will be a return to our old “normal”…ever.

And I actually hope there isn’t because too many things in that old normal were off kilter anyway…not working, even damaging, and we should not go back to that level of apathy, complacency and blind acceptance ever again.

Our New Normal could include all the lessons we’ve learned (or should have) during our forced, altered behavior. (Remember those photos in the first few days of World Lock Down, of beautiful clear blue skies all over the world??)

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But in the mean time, I’m going back to finding something beautiful, inspirational and miraculous every single day. I know that’s what my Dad did throughout his life, and he taught it to us. Toward the end, when he could not do much else, he’d sit on his front porch and watch for the wonderous among, and even camouflaged by, the mundane. He had a polaroid camera and would send me a photo now and then of a “miracle”. (A beautiful volunteer rose bush in his yard that he did not plant. An earthquake crack in the front sidewalk that had “healed” itself in another minor San Diego earthquake. And more.)

So I am determined to re-establish my own daily search for things to lift up my beleaguered spirits. 

Here is one of my favorite resources! The Greater Good Magazine. A free newsletter out of Berkeley about the science of well-being. It’s worth contributing to. (You’ll have to copy and paste because I still can’t figure out how to make a link.)

https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/inspiring_moments_from_2020?utm_source=Greater+Good+Science+Center&utm_campaign=6de12255ab-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_GG_Newsletter_December_24_2020_COPY&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_5ae73e326e-6de12255ab-74625275

One short video (30 seconds) in the latest issue ironically* brought me to tears of joy. I think it’s about the 10th one, titled Competing gubernatorial candidates try to bring voters together.

Anyway, Happy New Year. Like many other places in the world, we in the Seattle area usually bring in the New Year with a spectacular, crowd pleasing fireworks display from the Space Needle. It was wisely cancelled this year to avoid a virus super-spreader event, and was replaced by a truly amazing light show to watch from our homes! (Again you’ll have to copy and paste, but worth the 10 minutes, especially if you can see it on a bigger screen.)

https://www.king5.com/article/news/local/seattles-stunning-new-years-at-the-needle-show-goes-virtual-this-year/281-5139fa73-61f1-44e3-bdf4-64858333a647

Well, that’s it for today. I will keep my eyes (well, all my senses) open for more Spirit Lifters to share.

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Please consider adding your own Spirit Lifters in the comments section.

I bet we could build quite a list!!

Thanks, and Happy New Year!

*irony best appreciated if you know about my ancestry…

Veteran’s Day 2020

Brilliantly choreographed scene from my all time favorite movie about my generation…

Huge confession here…It has taken me most of my life to be able to accept, and then finally respect, the “Military”. Well, not the military as a whole, but respect for those who choose to join an armed service, especially for patriotic reasons. All that pledging allegiance as a kid, really meant something to me.

I saw my father cry exactly twice in my life. Once, for a split second, when my mother died. And once when I was very young, and we heard Kate Smith sing America the Beautiful. Talk about imprinting…

Becoming a young adult in the Vietnam War era, I was primed to join those of my generation who were loudly and sometimes, even violently, objecting to that war, but when the protesting became personal…aimed at my returning “brothers” just because they had accepted being drafted into that war, rather than fleeing their homes to run to Canada, I knew I had to find another stand for myself.

Confession: Back then, I could not understand that choice. I myself, would have easily left this country, rather than accepting being drafted to fight in a war that made no sense to me.

I’m much better at standing solidly for something I believe in, than fighting against something I hate.

In my young adolescence, I had already been exposed to the most extreme racial inequality in our country, so for a time, I let that experience impact my life to the degree that working hard for Civil Rights became my primary focus…rather than protesting against the injustice.

Then sometime in my 30’s, I went to D.C. to visit the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Wall. It broke my heart to have to look up 17 names, but by then, I was starting to see more clearly that I was not the only one permanently inspired by our standing at attention, hand-over-heart, daily pledging as kids.

And along the way, influenced by the passionate commitment of many men and women who had served in the Military, I was able to shift to deep respect and gratitude for their choices, while still maintaining my own stand for peace.

Here’s one of my most beautiful reminders…by the wonderful Karen Drucker.

Check her out at https://www.karendrucker.com/

These are the Veteran’s I’d like to thank this year (although many of my Elders on this list need to be moved to the Memorial Day post).

Colonel Louis Ford (Tad)-United States Air Force (my best friend’s father and my adopted second Dad)

Thomas Alvin Bessey-National Guard Mounted Cavalry (my Dad)

Jean McMaster Bessey- US Navy WAVES (my Mother)

Captain Brian Lee Ford-US Air Force (my best friend)

James Fletcher-US Army (my soulmate and life partner)

Jimmy Schack (James’s best friend)

Mary Paananen (dear colleague)

David Taylor (first love and still friends)

Joe LaFayette (college boyfriend, still friends)

Eddie Leachman (cousin’s best friend in high school)

Ari Cowan (amazing writer waging relentless compassion against violence)

Bret Burkholder (delightful colleague)

Vince Horan (beloved colleague)

Saralee Blum (former colleague)

Jim Sorensen (incredible husband, father whose children’s birth I attended)

Ron Holst (my cousin’s wife)

Michael Adams (son of an adopted daughter)

Dale Beuning (“son” of a dear colleague, kind of like my nephew)

Colonel James Kowalski (husband of my best Blogging friend)

Kirk Boettcher (beloved dentist of 35 years)

Mriana Williams dear friend and former housemate)

Richard Hartman (neighbor)

James Malone (husband of a favorite Psychodramatist)

Shawn Dennis (wonderful housemate)

Colonel James Sampson (my best friend’s other best friend)

Steve Dryden (childhood friend, son of my Mom’s best friend)

Don Ulmer (Writer’s Group)

Lou Chirillo (Writer’s Group)

Dave Bartholomew (my Writer’s Group leader)

Jason Bogar (Son of a beloved teacher/friend)

Colonel Bill Head (married to James’s niece)

Captain Roy Gurd (my best friend’s former best friend)

Jerry and Jennifer Niehaus (longtime colleague’s husband and daughter)

Carol Peringer’s first husband

Lenore (my sister) Bayuk’s first husband, Ronald L. Campbell, USMC

Niece Emily’s dad, John C. Johnson, USN in Korea

John Robertson (James’s number one long time employee)

(I know I am leaving out some names…so sorry)

Here are some posts I’ve written before about this subject.

11/11/18  https://wordpress.com/post/chosenperspectives.com/17701

11/11/17  https://wordpress.com/post/chosenperspectives.com/16142

5/30/16  https://wordpress.com/post/chosenperspectives.com/4921

https://chosenperspectives.com/2017/11/12/veterans-day-11-11-17/

https://chosenperspectives.com/2017/09/01/shiny-for-wordpress-photo-challenge/

https://chosenperspectives.com/2016/07/24/three-songs-for-song-lyric-sunday-7-24-16/

https://chosenperspectives.com/2018/09/11/9-11-18/

https://chosenperspectives.com/2017/12/03/songlyricsunday-12-3-17-courage/

Please check them out if you like and I appreciate any comments.

Another barely Political Post 11/1/2020

I have been struggling for days, trying to figure out something to write, to all those I care for, concerning this election. I have not been able to find the words though.


Thankfully, someone I have long admired, did, so I am sharing Raphael Cushnir’s words from this morning. Close to what was swirling around in my mind, but I’ve always admired his eloquence.


Also, I am sending one of my all-time favorite a-political songs. It captures my personal politics perfectly. (included at the bottom of page)


I hope you find something for yourself in both offerings.


Non-Partisan Love and Peace to us all.

 

           

Rules for Tuesday 

By Raphael Cushnir

Breathe deep
Exhale all the way
Fall out of love with your opinions
Forgive yourself for not doing more
Then do a little more
Like cultivating peace
With your smile at the checkout stand
Your new bath salts
Remember that fear masquerades as swagger
So hate the swagger
But love the scared one underneath
Stop pretending that you know what should happen
How it should happen
When it should happen
To whom it should happen
Instead
Just love what you love
Stand up for what you love
Trust your passion
Cultivate your humility
Roar
Cry
Set aside at least 20 minutes to move your body
Wildly
Without premeditation
Dance even if you don’t dance
Or think you’re not any good at it
Find every knot of tension within you
Every story about the future hiding in your cell receptors
And shake them off
Breathe deep
Exhale all the way
Lick the sweat that drips on your lip
Mask your face
Unmask your self-righteousness
Find the scared one underneath
Put your arm around it gently
Hum to it softly
Remind it:
Sorrow will follow sorrow
That’s how this works
There’s no vaccine for it
But joy, too, will follow joy
Remind yourself:
To feel the sorrow and the joy
To feel everything
Including the fear you’re holding
Until there’s nothing left to fear
But that’s long-term
Because right now, that scared one needs you still
Remind it:
The earth may die
It’s true, honey
Though not today
Justice will triumph somehow
It’s true, honey
Though not today
Today is for one thing
Voting
With a ballot, sure
But there are so many other ways to vote
Vote with your feet by walking through your neigborhood
Vote for your ancestors with a deep bow
Vote for your descendents by trusting their vision
Vote for your tribes, all of them, by affirming that you belong
If you’ve lost your tribes, or never knew them
Here are some with openings:
The trauma tribe
The healing tribe
The compassion tribe
The outsider tribe
The artists of any and all mediums tribe
The evolution tribe
The revolution tribe
The never feel fully grown up tribe
The inappropriate humor tribe
The always still figuring it out tribe
The overwhelmed, exasperated, depleted, can barely take this anymore tribe
The invisible energy that binds us all tribe
(Which you can call God, Spirit, Heart – whatever you choose)
The loves social media tribe
The hates social media tribe
The love-hates and hate-loves social media tribe
The Stop! I never agreed to any of this tribe
The nothing I see out there represents my deepest longings tribe
The hurt people don’t want to hurt people anymore tribe
The consensual pleasure of all kinds is loudly encouraged tribe
The people with privilege who want to use it for the greater good tribe
The really want to listen tribe
The really need to be heard tribe
The hanging on by a thread without hugs right now tribe
The my soft animal body is not made for this world tribe
The desperate for quiet tribe
The quietly hopeful against all odds tribe
All of these tribes exist
Even though they’re not represented by any political party
All of these tribes have openings
And you are pre-approved
So on Tuesday
And in the aftermath of Tuesday
Vote and keep voting
Join and keep joining
Because now that you know the rules
You are not just pre-approved
You are pre-whole
You are pre-worthy
You are pre-lovable
You are pre-loved
And you have already won

Raphael Cushnir is a leading voice in the world of emotional connection and present moment awareness. He has shared his unique approach to personal and professional development with millions of readers in O, The Oprah Magazine, Beliefnet, Spirituality and Health, Psychology Today and the Huffington Post. He has also authored six books, lectures worldwide, and is a faculty member of the Esalen Institute, the Omega Institute, and the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. In addition, he coaches individuals and teams at Fortune 100 companies, governments, religious organizations, and leading non-profits. For more info: cushnir.com

Copyright 2020, Heartfire Foundation

 

Lyrics: 
And the river opens for the righteous
And the river opens for the righteous
And the river opens for the righteous
And the river opens for the righteous
And the river opens for the righteous
Someday
I was walking with my brother
and he wondered what’s on my mind
I said, What I believe in my soul
ain’t what I see with my eyes
And we can’t turn our backs this time
I am a patriot and I love my country
Because my country is all I know
I want to be with my family
people who understand me
I’ve got nowhere else to go
And the river opens for the righteous
And the river opens for the righteous
And the river opens for the righteous
Someday
And I was talking with my sister
she looked so fine
I said, Baby, what’s on your mind
She said, I want to run like the lion
released from the cages
Released from the rages
burning in my heart tonight, yeah
And I ain’t no Communist and I ain’t no Capitalist
And I ain’t no Socialist and I ain’t no Imperialist
And I ain’t no Democrat so I ain’t no Republican
I only know one party and it is freedom
I am, I am, I am
I am a patriot and I love my country
Because my county is all I know
And the river opens for the righteous
And the river opens for the righteous
And the river opens for the righteous
Someday
And the river opens for the righteous
And the river opens for the righteous
And the river opens for the righteous
And the river opens for the righteous
I want to run like the lion
Released from the cages
Released from the rages
I said what I believe in my soul
Ain’t what I see with my eyes
Someday
Someday
Someday
Someday
Someday
 
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Steven Van Zandt
I Am a Patriot lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, BMG Rights Management

Thank you, John R. Lewis—1940-2020

(couldn’t find this video without ads…sorry! worth watching though!)

 

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/john-r-lewis-front-line-civil-rights-leader-and-eminence-of-capitol-hill-dies-at-80/ar-BB16T4CP?ocid=msedgdhp