How to Find “Power With”

I do become uncomfortable when I hear people using terms like “winning” and “victory” . Those are “power over” terms of the old way, the way society has been set up. What I’m seeing is that we need a new way, the way of “power with”. What kind of language can we use to describe what we’re doing, that does not fall into the trap of the old paradigm?

It looks to me that if we are to clean up our act, we must look at ways to share power with others.


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One and All


Experience (Photo credit: Kaptain Kobold)

The stories want out. They want to spill their truth onto the page. Everyone has a story and they all want to be heard. All the stories, that ever were, are or will be. They are witness to this experience. Yes, I see it’s an individual experience, but… we’re all having the same experience. Each life has meaning and value. It adds to the whole. The stories want out.

In the last few days, I’ve been considering that we all experience essentially the same issues. Every one of us that has lived on this planet in the past, is here now, or ever will be. The same lessons are brought to bear in every single, exquisitely faceted life.

Our geographic location does not matter. Our economic status does not matter. Our color, our religious beliefs, our gender, nor our sexual preferences. None of it matters. Ultimately, we’re each presented with the same questions.

As I drove down the road today and in my swirling reverie, I was nearly overcome with sorrow. There is so much sorrow in this world. I felt it all. All the weight of it. Oh, how can I bear it. I could fill the oceans with my tears. And I understood in that moment that I do hold it all.

Then I rose up to meet all the sweetness and loving kindness of everything, everywhere. The gift of love. I felt it all. The absolute depth of it. How can I bear this beauty? I could fill the night sky with the expansiveness of the love I feel. Can I stretch that far? How can I hold all of it? 

How can that be?

I am only one. And then I understood. I AM only ONE.

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Physician, Heal Thyself ~ or ~ I’m Getting Clearer All the Time

Morning climbers walking on foggy mountain plateau

Image by Horia Varlan via Flickr

Worrying about how other people are behaving is a misdirection. It’s a fabulous way to avoid looking at our own stuff and making changes from the inside out.

Whenever, WHENEVER, I begin to judge someone else, my next thought is ~ how am I that which I am condemning in them. I will never ask anyone else to be, do, or change anything I am not willing to be, do or change within myself.

The best advice I have to offer is to not worry about the choices that others make. Do not concern yourself over their right or wrong behavior. Always, always clean up your own self first. Physician, heal thyself.

I recognize in this statement that I am a leader. I am not THE leader, but I do have a role to play in the advancement of humanity.

I look at it like a human chain, one hand holding onto the next. There are those who have walked before me and there are those who walk after me. I am obligated to follow best practices so that those following me are not led on too many detours. I make sure that I’m wearing good shoes, have a clear map of where I’m going, and take care of my needs along the way so that I don’t stumble or fall because of exhaustion.

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The Rest of the Story

Scott Alan Miller - First Day of Third Grade, 1984

There are many pieces to this puzzle that have run through my life, the major one being an experience I had when I was in 3rd grade. As I got older, the recollection of that event is what gave me the idea that I might have had a bad experience with the Nazis.

Much earlier than that though, the stage had been set. I had watched some awful movie on television where Nazis were using blood from children for their soldiers. They used so much blood that the children died. One of the scenes was of a grandfather holding his dying grandchild in his arms. It was really a terrifying sight.

So, in third grade I was hospitalized with pneumonia. After I had been there for several days, someone other than the usual nurse came to draw blood from me. This time, it was a male nurse. He talked softly and calmly, attempting to engage me, but as soon as I saw it was a man, I was suspicious. I flashed back to that movie and knew I was in a fight for my life. I was NOT going to let him take my blood. If he did, I knew I would die.

As I fought the needle, nurses came from all over to hold me down. Now, I’d had blood drawn before that, without even a whimper. I liked watching it fill the vial. I was fascinated by how beautiful it was. But not that time.

There were six adults trying to hold me down when I heard one say, she’s too upset now. They left the room and I fell into an exhausted sleep. Later, a nurse woke me up and boy was she mad at me. She was chewing me out for what I’d done. I didn’t get one soothing word from her. Not once did she ask me why I was upset.

Hours later, when they sent a female nurse for the draw, all went smoothly. And no one ever asked me why. They didn’t ever tell my parents about the incident in which they had 6 or more adults trying to hold down their nine year old child.

Back to the present.

The revelation about a woman writing a book about past lives that could be documented piqued my interest. I did a quick bit of research. I learned a few interesting tidbits. Not documentation  certainly, but it may be the beginning of a breadcrumb trail.

First, I looked up Nn’Kaa in Google and  found a name that was similar enough to show up. The name was from West Africa.

Then I learned that during WWII the Scottish Guard were active in major conflicts in West Africa.

Last, I checked out biographical info on John Goodman. He was born in 1952. That makes him three years older than me. But what I found interesting was that, in 2007, when he was 55, he stopped drinking. According to what I read, he said, “I don’t know how much the old Jackie Daniels franchise ruined my memory, which is going anyway, because of my advancing decrepitude. I had a 30-year run, and at the end I didn’t care about anything. I was just fed up with myself. I didn’t even want to be an actor anymore.”

During night school, did the 56 year old Bonnie go back and have a talk with the 55 year old JG? And learn about a relationship they had in another life? Freaky. Cool. Weird. And likely true.

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