The Common Experience of Being Unique

I got my eyebrow pierced.  I know, I’m 35.  Going on 36 this summer.  What’s the point of piercing my eyebrow?  Isn’t that a childish things to do?  I don’t think so.

Well there’s more to it for me.  I got my bellybutton pierced in college.

I was encouraged by my family to not allow my differences to be visible.  I was teased in junior high for being normal – perhaps that was my cue to let it all hang out.  I thought I did.  But apparently it wasn’t enough.

Triskele - Triple Spiral
I have a tattoo. It looks like this.

I’m planning on getting more.  Tattoos.  I’m ok with my body being a living canvas.  I don’t need it in other people’s faces, but at the same time I’m realizing I’ve kept these things hidden so that they aren’t visible to others.  And in effect they are hidden.  But like so many things having piercings is not unique; there are many people who have them.  There are cultures around the world where this is a norm as well.  But it is not a norm for everyone.  You see in order to embrace our sameness we don’t all have to go out and get holes poked in our bodies.  It just is nice to make sure it is right for you if you are going to do it.

I mean, really, those with piercings pay for the pleasure of being poked with a needle, and then have to be fastidious about the way we handle that part of our body for an extended period of time – potentially up to 6 months.  Think about that the next time you think someone with a piercing or tattoo is dirty.

But it is more than what I do to my body.  This common uniqueness is visible in people whose names are spelled differently than the norm, who choose to dress in a style that in not mainstream.  But back to my point.  Everything is mainstream.  Music, like other art forms are created from the styles, concepts and ideals that came before.  They are flexible in their interpretation and often multiple genres exist at the same time.  Next time you look at a piece of Impressionist art try thinking about how messy it is and you might find yourself resisting.

Imperfection can be beautiful.  Most art forms and styles were odd, and even completely different than what came before them.  It takes looking at something with an open mind, one willing to see that everything as potential, in oder to look for the beauty outside the norm.  Which brings me back to my point:  being different is normal.  How is it possible to have a commonness of unique?

The human desire to be the same is tied to our universal consciousness.  But Mother Nature never intended that we would all look the same and act the same.  This runs directly opposed to the need for uniqueness and diversity required to maintain a complex system.  We need to celebrate that which makes us difference and give in to the biological yearning for sameness by remembering and connecting to the universal consciousness and being our true selves in all their different glory.

Goodbye false friend

Dear Internet, we’re through.  I keep leaving just to find my self back in the same old ruts.  Online all day communicating and not having as much time as I’d like to meet people in my area, or see them in person.

The face to face time is what feeds me.  Its the nuanced expression that you get in that look of joy that will never be able to be communicated through a computer (unless of course the wiring goes straight into your brain.)   It’s the nurturing feeling of connecting deeply with a friend over lunch, or a tea, or just going for a walk in the woods.  I want more of that.  Much more than I get.

So I’m going to try again to lead the life I choose.  The one that makes me feel like I’m walking rightly on the Earth.  I’m breaking up with Facebook, LinkedIn, and removing myself in any other ways I can think of that I can think of from this virtual world which has so much to offer my mind, and so little to offer my heart.  I’m going to start finding my cute baby animals in nature.  I’m going to find my love stories from meeting strangers in long lines and spending time looking deeply into the eyes of those around me.

While I don’t think I can entirely get rid of the internet entirely since many jobs that I could choose to do are likely to require my participation, I’m not going to let this Matrix control my day to day world in the way that I see as having been normalized in today’s American culture.

So this is it.  Goodbye.  If you as a reader have enjoyed my writing I’ll probably start putting my thoughts into book from from this point on so my perspective will not be lost it will just take another form.

P.S. Yes, I appreciate the irony of posting this to my blog, but it seems appropriate.

Unique Ideas for a Better Organization

Many of us have successfully looked at creative models that look like they can work within our businesses.  Models that might just help us to be the change we wish to see. What we have not done is take the leap into the unique and revolutionary. Here are some ideas that I’ve heard about that I think are worth looking at…

  1. Pollin8r
    The concept of Pollin8r’s compensation structure is based around everyone feeling and being abundant.  Employee benefits packages are paid based on what they need to feel abundant. The focus is on having all needs met AND the paying down of debt.  Imagine if everyone had what they needed… Continue reading “Unique Ideas for a Better Organization”

Walking into the Silence

The more I slow down and listen the more I notice the racket around me.  The first big step was when I stopped smoking and drinking.  While at the time I didn’t know they were helping me distract myself from my higher purpose it became evident in their absence.  I didn’t have an alcohol problem.  Problematic drinking occasionally, sure.  I think that in our kingdom of Budweiser that it would be hard to find many who didn’t exhibit problematic behaviors in some area; sex, drugs, shopping, TV, alcohol, music to name but a few. Continue reading “Walking into the Silence”

The Fire Cider Primer

Ball jar filled with apple cider vinegar, onion, garlic, ginger, tumeric, horseradish, commonly called Fire Cider this is a healing remedy for colds and flus
My percolating Fire Cider

This week, I made my own Fire Cider based on Rosemary’s recipe, I’ve make other versions before when I was feeling ill, and I’m taking the opportunity to raise awareness of this simple healing recipe and get it into more hands.  Really that’s one of the best things that this conflict has done.

In the last few days there has been an uproar in the herbalism community.  While you might not think that could possibly be very loud, consider that the uproar overflowed into the Permaculture, healthy lifestyle, and organic foods sectors as well and that it might be an indicator of greater system change.

Some basics before I jump into what I think is behind what’s going on AND potential implications for the future based on how this situation plays out.   Continue reading “The Fire Cider Primer”

You Lucky Duck!

Turkeys, Ducks, and Lambs
During the warmer months at the family homestead.

My parents have this duck.  Her name is Lucky Duck.  Lucky stayed out one night when she was young and got nibbled on by a large animal – she’s still alive though and that’s where she got her name.  While in recovery from her injury the other ducks picked on her until the turkeys stepped in.  Literally.  When the other ducks tried to bite Lucky or push her anywhere the turkeys got in between them to make sure Lucky was ok.

None of this stopped Lucky from doing what suited her.  While she couldn’t waddle so well on her gnawed on foot she would still fly away when it came time to go in the barn, to get where she wanted to go, or to avoid doing just about anything that didn’t suit her in the moment. Continue reading “You Lucky Duck!”

Get Real, Get Out of the Closet

This is NOT a post specifically about LGBTQ, but it does include it.  We’re talking about coming out about owning personal truths here, whatever they are.

I watched a video today that a few friends had posted on Facebook. What provoked my curiosity was the tagline about how a lesbian addressed the question of “Are you a man?” from a child.  The talk itself however could not be boiled down to something so trite.  I think that was the hook to get more people to watch.  What really struck me about the talk was Ash’s discussion of presence and authenticity in all areas of life.

Coming out of your closet: Ash Beckham at TEDx Boulder

I agree that being our true selves in every moment is essential.  And I agree that sometimes showing up as yourself may seem  as scary as the big hairy monster under your bed.  But when you do step into your own light, there is less pain overall, less energy that needs to be used to keep that secret, more truths to build trust between you and those around you.

While coming out of the closet in the way Ash describes over and over to co-workers and family might not be easy, those living openly are freer.  Life is easier for someone whose truth is visible and not hidden because they have to spend less time afraid and hiding themselves.  While internal feelings are sometimes harder to share than the external, they are just as important to be out in the open.

No one should live in a closet.

What we can do to help each other come out of the closet is to show up and listen without judgement.  Especially if someone is sharing their truth.  Simply being with whatever that reality is without judgment.  Having compassion for others situations, is much easier when you sit in presence with what they are saying.

Speaking your truth.

Even when talking about something that I am totally open about in public, in small groups I’ve been approached by people thanking me and feeling empowered to relate their own truth because of my openness.  Sometimes it’s hard to bring these things up but they are me – also I’m committed to speaking my truth and being honest when asked a direct question.

We need everyone fully here to make the changes to have a better world so please come out of your closet.

Show up.
Be you.
Love’s the only thing that’s real.

Provoking Hope

Triskele - Triple SpiralReading Karen’s recent blog got me to thinking about hope.  While she was talking more about harvesting hope, her post stirred within me the question:

How do we provoke hope in others?

Ok maybe inspire is a better word for it.  I have been learning lately how to tickle instead of poke; to gently move things in the direction I want them to go.  Bring lots of others hope and thereby the motivation to tackle the challenges facing them in their personal transformation and in the greater world is a passion of mine and so I’m inspired to reflect. Continue reading “Provoking Hope”

Confronting Failure

Sistine ChapelI was working on an outdoor project yesterday – probably one of the last before winter – and looking around saw how many different failures that I’d had in getting everything wrapped up prettily.  In the same moment I reminded myself that each of the failures was simply just a project that has yet to be completed or still in process.  What I was judging success by was based on the time it took to finish, which has nothing to do with whether it ever gets done or is even necessary.

I’m sure if you looked at the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel on day 4 as a complete work you might have though that Michelangelo was not doing his job very well.  But you see, that’s the point.  At any given moment we are only looking at a piece of the process.  While some things so seem to be finished products, or projects we can always re-visit them.  This means that we are really only ever looking at a piece of a process.  Know this as well that the greatest beauties can come from what seems in the moment to be a disaster.

Don’t stop trying to achieve.  Don’t stop dreaming big.  In fact, dream bigger and try for more because you can’t ever fail at following your heart’s calling.

Battle: Black Walnut

The battle has begun.

After being away for most of the summer in Colorado I missed most of the food preservation that I could do to prepare for the winter.  So in addition to trading time for a share of a wild prepared food CSA, I began to hunt for opportunities to enjoy nature and gather food.

My first find was Turkey Tail mushroom, followed by Shagbark Hickory nuts, but the best find was someone who offered their Black Walnuts up for grabs.

While I realize that we did each other a favor I cleaned up all the menacing nuts from the yard, and she provided me with a new experience that I will be eating and using as medicine this winter, I am completely grateful.

First I’ve had the opportunity to deal with it.  You know those projects.  The big hairy ugly ones that you end up avoiding so long that they become obsolete or impossible so that you can ignore them and move on?  Well this had the potential to become one of those.  In fact it almost has at least once.  I’m determined however to make this work.

First I went to pick up the nuts.  Orange sized with a yellow-green color (I thought they smelled lemon like) the nuts plus their husk and hull got scooped up into bags.   All in all 29 FULL 4 gallon bags.  I had to use smaller bags in order to be able to carry them.  I’m guessing that each bag was between 2 & 3 1/2 gallons so I picked up ~58 – 87 gallons of nuts.  All in all the first part of the battle left me tired, in a good way, having enjoyed the outdoors for the better part of 4 hours.

Bags of Black walnuts on the back stairs.
Can't leave 'em outside or the animals will eat 'em before I can. What better place?

The next part of the battle began in a counter attack when my husband went to move some of the bags (that I hadn’t yet touched, dealt with, or even figured out what to do with) and let me know that we now had worms in our car.   Gross (and if you can imagine also the point at which I thought about giving up.)  Fortunately he didn’t blink, unloaded the car and got it vacuumed out for me.  What a guy.  So that meant that I was going to have to deal with them that day, because I’m not bringing a pile of rotting walnuts with worms into the house.

Sitting down outside to remove the husks (hulls?) began the next phase of my plan. I happily stomped on the walnuts to loosen this chartreuse and black somewhat soft exterior, all the while using rubber gloves to keep my hands from getting stained.  I’m not quite sure what my neighbors think of me.  Perhaps this is more normal than brewing beer during a blizzard, perhaps not…  Anyway 3 hours later and there was no light left in the sky, my fingers were freezing (November can get cold quickly,) and there were still three bags of nuts to hull.  I was also done with my patience at this point.  So I stopped for the night.  My efforts had consolidated three bag with-hulls down to one without and now I have a mere 8 bags of nuts (eventually 9) to crack.

The hulls can’t just be composted either, something in Black Walnuts inhibits plant growth… not something you want if you are growing soil.  But perfect for keeping down the vegetation at the edges of the fencing around my yard (I hope.)

Don’t ask how they’re being cracked, I don’t know.  Also, I hear you can turn the shell into medicine, which I’d love to do but have no idea how.  Battle: Black Walnut is by no means complete however  After putting in nearly 8 hours I’m not giving up (yes I’m saying this to bolster courage.)

Stay tuned here for updates.