Blissfully Informed Hippie Chick

Encouraging people to think critically about everything.

I’m sorry…

When life gets messy…

When my body hurts…

When my surroundings aren’t as I want them to be…

When the knowledge of what I need to do to bring peace back into my surroundings feels like an insurmountable task…

When my expectations of help aren’t met…

When I feel like if everyone would just do what I tell them needs to be done, the goal wouldn’t seem so out of reach…

When I feel like simply hiding in bed and sleeping the day away, but there are people who rely on me…

When I feel like nothing is going my way and everything is spiraling out of control…

…that’s when I lose it. Whatever “it” is. I yell, I scream, I rage at whoever is in closest proximity. I channel all my frustrations, my pain, my anger at people who aren’t really the source of those feelings. Their actions or inaction merely spark the cascade of emotion that has built up inside me.

The worst part is, I can’t take it back. I can’t undo what has happened. The best I can do is apologize, let them know it isn’t their fault, explain my feelings, and then try again next time to release the building pressure in a healthy way instead of hurting the innocent bystanders that I love the most…my children.

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Imagine Peace

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Morality doesn’t need to be legislated. Humans don’t need other humans to tell them to do good things. Contrary to popular belief (which is based largely upon religious texts), humans are inherently good. Children aren’t evil little sinners who need to be tamed through authoritarian means. And in fact, authoritarianism is what leads to self-centered children and adults!

This is a wonderful thing for those with all the power in this world…get people to believe in a religion that teaches the inherent evil of humans, which leads to authoritarian parenting, which leads to self-centered adults, which keeps the focus on what’s good for *me* right now and never what’s good for anyone else, and which ultimately leads to adherence to a government that promises to act on *your* best interests but really just keeps you under their control.

But the people are waking up. Many are realizing, through science, experience, and history, that authoritarian parenting works the opposite of how we’re told it will. People are realizing that obedience shouldn’t be a goal of parenting. And once they realize this, I believe it’s only a matter of time before they realize that all governments are merely authoritarian parents on steroids. Ruling others simply isn’t healthy for humanity and doesn’t work anyway.

But just as everything within an anarchist society must be done voluntarily, anarchism itself must be voluntary. It must be peaceful. Because only peace can beget peace. The revolution cannot be violent, the revolution must be one of ideas and of actions that represent the peaceful society we wish to have. Humans have the ability to create what they imagine. So to achieve peace, we must imagine peace…

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today…

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace…

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world…

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one

– John Lennon, “Imagine”

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Cultural Appropriation: Just another obstacle between humanity and peace

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness.

– Oscar Wilde

Cultural appropriation:

A term used to describe the taking over of creative or artistic forms, themes, or practices by one cultural group from another. It is in general used to describe Western appropriations of non‐Western or non‐white forms, and carries connotations of exploitation and dominance.

(source)

Maybe if everyone would stop being so offended all the time, they’d see that the exchange of culture is a natural process that’s been happening since…the beginning of culture. Without such exchange, none of our languages, clothing styles, tools, mathematics or even philosophies would exist as they do today.

The free exchange of ideas and yes, culture, is at the heart of the progress and collaboration of humans. Even if the piece of culture in question is “sacred” to one culture, that is no reason to prevent others from using the idea in a different way. Sacredness is a matter of personal opinion and belief. The sacredness of any particular thing is not diminished if someone else chooses to recreate that item for their own personal use.

Telling certain people they aren’t “allowed” to do, use, or say something based upon your personal beliefs and history is controlling behavior. Control is force. Force is the opposite of peace. The “ownership” of specific aspects of one culture is controlling. It only serves to deepen the lines that have been artificially drawn to divide humans into groups. It fuels hatred, bigotry, and war. Only by releasing that control, and realizing that those lines don’t really exist, can we begin to live together as one race: the human race. Only then can we live in peace.

If we are to have peace on earth, our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation; and this means we must develop a world perspective.

– Martin Luther King Jr.

If this is true, then all elements of culture are that of human culture. In which case, cultural appropriation is null and void. The fact that some humans have subjugated other humans isn’t any reason for future humans to not utilize any part of the past humans who were subjugated. (The definition gets a little muddied when you stop thinking of people in terms of race or color or country of origin and simply refer to them as “human”, doesn’t it?)

None of this means we shouldn’t have an understanding of religions, belief systems, ideologies, etc. But understanding promotes unity, not division. Unity precedes peace. Those crying for cultural appropriation aren’t promoting understanding, they’re promoting division.

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The Truth About Cancer

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If you want to learn the truth about cancer that Big Pharma doesn’t want you to know, I highly recommend this FREE documentary series, which will be available to watch on April 12. Here’s a brief description from the website:

When this documentary series first aired (to limited release) in 2015, it took the Internet by storm, with hundreds of thousands of views and shares within days.

Quite literally, this documentary series has already saved many lives.

Each episode is packed full of new and amazing information, survivor stories and much more in our pursuit to find a cure and eradicate cancer… once and for all.

And though it features interviews with many of today’s leading cancer experts – including M.D.s, scientists, and more – the mainstream media refused to air it. (HINT: Pharmaceutical companies are one of mainstream media’s biggest sources of income.)

Now “The Truth About Cancer” is about to release the complete series again… worldwide. And when you enter your name and best email and submit, you’ll be on the exclusive list to see it all first, 100% FREE.

So don’t wait another second, register right now… You’ll be amazed at what you discover.

You can sign up to gain FREE access to this documentary here!

To learn more about The Truth About Cancer, visit their website here. Here’s a brief description of their purpose:

ABOUT US
Let’s end the cancer pandemic once and for all! Every single day, tens of thousands of people, just like you, are curing cancer (and/or preventing it) from destroying their bodies.

It’s time to take matters into our own hands and educate ourselves on real prevention and treatments. It could save your life or someone you love. Doctors, researchers, experts and survivors show you exactly “how-to” prevent and treat cancer in “The Truth About Cancer: A Global Quest.”

(I am being compensated for promoting this FREE documentary series. However, I would never promote something I didn’t fully support!)

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Land Ownership and the Ruse of Freedom

How egotistical is it to believe that one of the 8.7 million species on earth can *own* a part of the planet we all share? Even worse, only  *some* of us humans will ever “own” land. And even when we are lucky enough to be handed a deed (after decades of loan payments, in most cases), we must pay taxes for the land we supposedly “own”. In which case, is it really ours? Or are we simply renting it directly from our government at that point?

I do not wish to own land. I wish to live in harmony with nature, caring for the plants and animals in order to maintain a symbiotic relationship with all things. But that’s not possible, is it? Every inch of land on this planet has someone claiming ownership of it.

So my question is… how free are we, really? If freedom means we are “allowed” to do what we choose, but only within the system put in place by a select few… is that really freedom? I say no. You are not free. I am not free. We are all slaves. This is the matrix we must all unplug ourselves from.

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Loving My Dirty Dishes

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This sink full (always full) of dirty dishes would normally make me sigh a sigh of discontent. I would look at it and see imperfection, failure, and work.

Today, this sink makes me happy. Today, I look at these dishes and know what they represent…

They are the food I cook for my family daily.

They are my four children, unschooled and here all day most days.

They are the time I spend with my husband and children after dinner; not standing at a sink, but talking and playing games and watching our favorite shows.

They are the cookies I bake with my toddlers.

They are the time I spent crocheting rather than doing housework.

They are the peaceful, non-coercive relationship I strive to have with my children.

One day, I will have a clean, empty sink. One day, I’ll do dishes before heading to bed. One day, my sink won’t be piled with brightly-colored plastic plates and bowls. One day, every single fork and spoon won’t be dirty. One day, my children will be the ones with toddlers running amok and full sinks.

So today, I choose to smile at these dishes. Today, these dishes represent love.

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A Conversation With My Soul

I quieted my thoughts, and there I met my soul.

I said to her, “I do not know how to love.”

In the stillness of my mind, I heard her reply:

“You are love.

You are light.

All you must do is allow the love and light to flow from your spirit.

You must break down the walls that prevent the love and light from escaping.”

I began to cry.

I called out to my soul, “If I break down walls, I may get hurt! My walls protect me!”

My soul answered:

“The walls are built from fear.

When you were young…before the walls were built, when you were still an expression of pure love and light…you received hurt and darkness from those who were supposed to give you love and light.

You did not know what to do with such hurt and darkness, so you built walls around your love and light; to protect them.

In doing so, you began to reflect the hurt and darkness that you received.

The hurt and darkness bounced off your walls, but so also did love and light.

You eventually met other spirits who attempted to give you their love and light; but by then, you were too afraid to break down the walls that were there to protect you as a child.

You wanted to receive the love and light, but you didn’t know how.”

I began to cry harder.

I was terrified of the hurt and darkness I might receive if I broke down the walls.

My soul explained:

“You will receive hurt and darkness, but you need not hold it inside.

Others will reflect the hurt and darkness that has previously been given to them; but you can let it flow through you, because it is not yours.

And as you allow that hurt and darkness to pass through your love and light, it will dissipate.”

I began to understand.

I began to see.

I repeated what my soul had told me:

“I am love. I am light.”

And thus, I took the first piece off of the walls surrounding my spirit.

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Faerie Locks: 6 week update

Two days from now will be the 6 week mark since the last time I brushed my hair.

I have been twisting the locs every now and then to help them form more neatly and not bunch up with any matting. These pictures are from after showering then twisting.

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There are a whole lot of locs now, mostly little baby ones but there is at least one bigger one.
A couple interesting things…I lose almost no hair now, whereas I would typically lose 20+ hairs a day before (between brushing, washing, etc)… also, handling my hair less seems to be lessening the oil buildup that was common for my hair before. I have only washed my hair twice in two weeks and I only used a vinegar rinse both times. My scalp still seems even more dry than usual, though, so I think I’ll do a conditioning treatment of honey and coconut oil sometime this week. I never thought it possible to have dry hair! I’ve always had such oily hair!

Oh, and when I go out to run errands or whatever, I generally tie a scarf around my head or pull back all my hair into a loose, messy bun. I’m not quite ready to handle the inevitable stares. I think I’ll be more confident once my locs are more tightly formed.

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Toddler Bedtime Bliss

It’s wonderfully surprising to me to see my younger two children reaping the benefits of having always been parented gently. I struggled so much with everything with my older two. It’s so obvious to me now why they acted the way they did. One such example is bedtime. It was always such a struggle with the older two.

My 2.5 yr old, Natalie, has always slept with someone. Either in the same bed or in a bassinet/crib right next to my bed. When she was almost 2, she started sleeping in bed with her 9 yr old sister, sometimes the 11 yr old, too.

I’ve always followed Natalie’s cues for when to put her to bed and how to do it. She usually is rocked and sung to sleep but sometimes she snuggles up to us on the couch and falls asleep. Well, the other night, she got her blanket and bottle, got in her bed, and fell asleep. Just like that. She recognized that she was sleepy, so she went to sleep.

I seriously thought that sleep was just always a struggle with kids. But why should it be? If they experience nothing but positivity, love, compassion, comfort, and patience at bedtime, they will never feel the need to protest going to bed. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve lost my temper, I’ve been impatient, I’ve been burnt out and exhausted and even cried along with her. This is the same child who had horrid colic and spent first year of her life fighting sleep with every fiber in her little being! But for the most part, on my end, I’ve created as safe of a feeling surrounding bedtime as possible. And it’s paid off in a big way.

I’m excited to see what other differences I will notice between my older and younger kids due to my parenting choices!

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Disconnect to Reconnect

It’s pretty common knowledge that rats will choose to use cocaine addictively in a laboratory setting, if given unlimited access to it. But did you know that rats who are placed in a fun, engaging, social, mentally-stimulating environment will not partake in the cocaine in an addictive manner? Researchers have realized that the rats in the community environment don’t feel the need to use cocaine excessively. It’s only when in isolation that the rats choose the cocaine. Because why not? What else have they got to do with their time?

The experiment is simple. Put a rat in a cage, alone, with two water bottles. One is just water. The other is water laced with heroin or cocaine. Almost every time you run this experiment, the rat will become obsessed with the drugged water, and keep coming back for more and more, until it kills itself.

The advert explains: “Only one drug is so addictive, nine out of ten laboratory rats will use it. And use it. And use it. Until dead. It’s called cocaine. And it can do the same thing to you.”

But in the 1970s, a professor of Psychology in Vancouver called Bruce Alexander noticed something odd about this experiment. The rat is put in the cage all alone. It has nothing to do but take the drugs. What would happen, he wondered, if we tried this differently? So Professor Alexander built Rat Park. It is a lush cage where the rats would have colored balls and the best rat-food and tunnels to scamper down and plenty of friends: everything a rat about town could want. What, Alexander wanted to know, will happen then?

In Rat Park, all the rats obviously tried both water bottles, because they didn’t know what was in them. But what happened next was startling.

The rats with good lives didn’t like the drugged water. They mostly shunned it, consuming less than a quarter of the drugs the isolated rats used. None of them died. While all the rats who were alone and unhappy became heavy users, none of the rats who had a happy environment did.

At first, I thought this was merely a quirk of rats, until I discovered that there was — at the same time as the Rat Park experiment — a helpful human equivalent taking place. It was called the Vietnam War. Time magazine reported using heroin was “as common as chewing gum” among U.S. soldiers, and there is solid evidence to back this up: some 20 percent of U.S. soldiers had become addicted to heroin there, according to a study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry. Many people were understandably terrified; they believed a huge number of addicts were about to head home when the war ended.

But in fact some 95 percent of the addicted soldiers — according to the same study — simply stopped. Very few had rehab. They shifted from a terrifying cage back to a pleasant one, so didn’t want the drug any more.

Professor Alexander argues this discovery is a profound challenge both to the right-wing view that addiction is a moral failing caused by too much hedonistic partying, and the liberal view that addiction is a disease taking place in a chemically hijacked brain. In fact, he argues, addiction is an adaptation. It’s not you. It’s your cage.

After the first phase of Rat Park, Professor Alexander then took this test further. He reran the early experiments, where the rats were left alone, and became compulsive users of the drug. He let them use for fifty-seven days — if anything can hook you, it’s that. Then he took them out of isolation, and placed them in Rat Park. He wanted to know, if you fall into that state of addiction, is your brain hijacked, so you can’t recover? Do the drugs take you over? What happened is — again — striking. The rats seemed to have a few twitches of withdrawal, but they soon stopped their heavy use, and went back to having a normal life. The good cage saved them.

http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/the-real-cause-of-addicti_b_6506936.html

I theorize that all addiction is the same thing… lack of connection. I have no trouble staying off Facebook when I’m out and about, visiting with friends or family, running errands, etc. It’s when I’m feeling lonely, isolated, faced with either cleaning my house (again) or scrolling through my news feed that I just can’t seem to resist.

Until not that long ago, humans interacted tangibly with each other daily. And not with just members of one’s family or extended family, but with members of the greater community at large. The lack of connection we as a species are experiencing is likely a driving force behind increases in everything from crime to mental/physical health problems to parenting struggles. (For a great read on the adverse effects the decline of the community on child development, and why this happened, read this article by Peter Gray, Ph.D.)

Loving, caring physical touch has been known to lower stress levels so significantly that wounds even heal faster. I would posit that just being in the presence of happy individuals improves one’s mood. Which is why churches are so successful… they meet several times a week, sing uplifting songs, hug everyone, and talk about things like loving your neighbor. Why wouldn’t people like to go there? And how better to get people to donate money to you than to give them happy feelings? Not that all churches are taking advantage of this, but some definitely are. What we need are communities like churches, without the hell and damnation, without the silly recitations and expectation of belief in a deity; but with all the things like visiting the sick and elderly, free child care, potlucks, food pantries, love and concern for all.

The question is, how do we get people to see that Facebook isn’t real connection? Beyond that, how do we get people to see that they know more about their favorite sitcom family than their friends’ families… and what a tragedy that is? This disconnection is so pervasive, it might take a huge jolt to wake everyone up to it.

I think we all know, deep down, that connection is what we need. It’s why we’re so quick to click that tantalizing button: “Connect with me on ______.” (Fill in the blank.)

So what’s it going to take to end the disconnection, once and for all?

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