Sunday, April 27, 2014

Me, A Mighty Warrior?

Here I am at the top of another page.  Another day, another cup of coffee, another new beginning.  

New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.  Its all in your perspective.  If you can look at the pain and see it as a catalyst for change, you are the better for it.  Change hurts. Growth hurts. Pain helps us grow.  If it hurts, lean into it.   It will help you to grow, to see what it is in you that is rigid and fixed.  Those are the parts of us that need to grow, need to change.  What hurts, and how it hurts are clues to the parts of us that most desperately need to change and develop.  If we shy away from the things that hurt, we are robbing ourselves of opportunities that could lead to explosive and absolute change.  The changes that we need the most to become the most effective and able person we are capable of being. 

Trust me, I do not write this out of wisdom or some mistaken saviour complex.  I do not write this because I am perfect.  I write this because I have hidden from the things that hurt me.  I have buried myself deep, away from the ideas, thoughts and experiences that are painful for me.  Times that bring me face to face with my rigidity have sent me into spirals of darkness, down the slope of The Big Black Pit.  Often, on the other side of our rigidity is the downward slope into blackness.  We have a choice.  I have had a choice.  I have often chosen sameness.  This has led me into the black pits of self doubt, self destruction.  I have not really learned to ALWAYS lean into change.  Who wants to hurt?  No one wishes to choose to hurt,  but we all desire change.  How often have you looked at the place you are, the person you are, and longed for better?  This is most often the source of my blackness, that I see my stuckness, my rigidity and I long to be free of it.  In that longing I have hidden from the very thing that would lead to the change I so deeply desire.  Because it hurts.  

Lean into it.  Nothing can hurt more than being stuck.  Stuckness can last forever if we allow it to.  It is the only state of being that can perpetually stick us in limbo.  If we hide long enough, and stubbornly enough, we will stay the same.  Somehow, life always knows.  It will always come up with a way to move us along, to make us grow.  Whether we want it to or not. 

If we want so desperately to change, take charge.  At least we can have that control.  We can CHOOSE to lean into the pain, the struggle, and allow it to refine us, to redefine us.   Choosing to lean into things that challenge us can be empowering.  We stop being victims of circumstance and start becoming warriors.  When we choose to stare down the enemy, to stand our ground, we reclaim our power.  From this position of power, we are in control.  We may not control the circumstance,  but we do control our reaction to it.  It stops being reaction, and begins to become conscious response.  In responding, rather than reacting, we grow.  We learn.  We become more self aware, and more able to tame the lions within our own hearts.  Truly, the most terrifying enemy is the fear that we harbour within our own hearts.  When we can face that, own it, and use it to fuel our growth, we become mighty warriors indeed. 

Earth Day Festival 2014 @ Malden Park

What an excellent morning we had at Malden Park today :) 

The Earth Day Festival at Malden Park is becoming an annual family event here in the Renaud household.  We pack a litterless lunch, and head out early so we can get a good parking spot.  

There were many vendors there this year including some of our faves ShopECO, Taloola Cafe, University of Windsor Science Department, Detroit River Conservation Council (DRCC) as well as multiple others.  

One of my motivators for heading to the festival is always the seedlings that are given out.  Last year we planted local tomato seedlings that we brought home from the festival.  This year I left with seedlings enough to not have to buy salad fixn's  at all this season. Lettuce, cabbage and tomatoes will grace my containers and my garden this year.  I will keep you posted on their progress!

The little Renaud-it-alls were expertly engaged by the Kids Passport that they received as soon as we arrived.  There were ten items on the passport that the kids had to then go find, get a stamp from each, and then return to claim their prizes. What a great way to engage the kids!!  They enjoyed the experience last year, and it was only enhanced by engaging them as active participants, encouraging them to seek, inquire and engage with experts, advocates and merchants from the local community. 

We discovered, moving from vendor to vendor, that this years festival was all about water.  What a great way to raise awareness about the risks to the integrity of our water supply by encouraging people to consider the cleanliness of our drinking water, how to conserve it, and how to keep it clean.  Fracking and irresponsible transportation of oil are only two of many risk factors threatening our global water supply.  

One notable absence was the local First Nations Community.  We would love to see them come out and engage next year!  

All in all, our Earth Day experience at Malden Park was a great success this year.  Well done all!  

See you in 2015!

Friday, April 04, 2014

Finish The Sentence Friday - I never understood what the big deal was about.....

 Just for some fun, I am participating in something called Finish the Sentence Friday.  My group comes up with the sentence starter and our job as writers is to, obviously, finish it.  Here is my take this Friday morning.  

I never understood what the big deal was about.... being gay.  I mean, come on.  The world needs more love.  So what if that guy in the tight jeans and the oh so stylish brand name shoes prefers the company of other men.  If he loves said other man then let it be.  To be honest, I have more of a problem with people who are serial non lovers.  People who are full of greed, and hate.  I would prefer to have a gay couple living next to me than a greedy, power hungry banker.   Truth be told though, I live in the ghetto, so I am more likely to have a single mom living next to me, or someone on disability struggling with mental illness, or an immigrant family trying to make a solid start in a new country. I have never understood the hate that gets flung at gay people just for being sexually and romantically attracted to someone from their same gender group.  Did this affect the taste of your breakfast?  Did it make your underwear shrink so much so that they are restricting the flow of blood to your naughty bits? Or better still, to your brain?  In my mind that is the only explanation for the terror and hate that gets flung at people just for being gay.  Get over it.  Truly.  The world will be better with more love, rather than less same sex couples.  In my mind, you are more the problem than they are.  If you are flinging fear, hate and judgement into the world, you are to blame for the moral decay of society, not the person who is willing to put themselves at risk of being the target of your hate, just to be with the person that they love. 

Love Trumps Hate.  In my mind, It really is that simple. 

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

In An Age of Fools

I am amazed at the number of people who simply do not know where to look or how to look at the world to galvanize change.  I see and have such compassion for the hate filled struggle of so many people who have found themselves feeling powerless to stop the devastation of the world around them, both socially and environmentally.  The world is being taken apart piece by piece and sold to the highest bidder without regard for the sustainability of the practice.  The world cannot survive the current level of plutocracy that has been surreptitiously rolled out underneath all of our lives.  The very systems that we rely upon for our continued existence are being molested, deconstructed and the only interest that is being considered is that of the rich elite.  The earth, and her wellness is nowhere in this conversation.  Nor is the wellbeing of the majority being considered. The collective apathy is being reinforced through the manipulation of the very free media that we rely upon to inform us and watch our government.  These people are now in the pockets of the rich minority.  

That being said,  we live in an age of information.  The internet has made the independent dissemination of information possible in a way that has not existed to date.  We, as a people, have the power to educate ourselves, to inform ourselves and to raise our voices when the very government that we elected abuses its power, deconstructs our systems and sells our assets to the highest bidder.  The problem is that so many people have been lulled both into complacency and political apathy that they have been disempowered.  They feel powerless and so they behave in a powerless manner.  Everyone has forgotten the power of one voice.  When one voice is raised, others will follow.  In the age of information, ignorance is a choice.  We can choose to reclaim our power, to raise our voices and to move society in a direction that better cares for the needs of the people and the planet. However powerless you feel,  it is your choice to remain that way.  There are many justifications for choosing to remain in a powerless state of mind.  The largest is that you believe that your one voice will make no difference.  

EVERY VOICE MATTERS.  We all need to educate ourselves, speak up and reclaim our power as a Human Family.  

The people should not be afraid of their government, the government should be afraid of its people.