My Blog Motto

"Good judgement comes from experience, and often experience comes from bad judgement"

~Rita Mae Brown

Friday, April 29, 2011

Ditching the Critic

As some of you who are clever enough to read between the lines may have deduced, my recent posts addressing issues like self acceptance and such have at least partially been a reaction to my own frustration at not having been 100% true to my commitment to a daily blog post. I knew in the beginning that I was presenting myself with a challenge; and challenge is good, especially when it comes from within. I also knew that there was a good chance I was going to end up pissed off at myself for skipping a day or becoming too repetitive and so on. Some of us become quite well versed in the language of self criticism, a little Joan Rivers voice in our head ripping at us with catty commentary. Many of us do learn to overcome this self defeating habit, to silence the Joan in our brain and replace her with someone far more kind and forgiving. I think everyone, to some degree, has an inner critic, not to be confused with conscious. Our conscious is reasonable, she is the little Angel on our shoulder reminding us to think before we act. The Critic is more like the Devil on the other side. She rarely satisfied with one nasty comment. She nags and simmers and prods and goads until, "wow I screwed up" becomes "I can't do anything right I may as well not even try". That's the kind of thinking that not only stagnates our creativity but, if unchecked, can lead us into some self destructive behaviors.
As you can tell I enjoy personifying moods, beliefs and thought patters. It makes it easier to identify when we are caught in their trap. So I'm not perfect, I may miss a post here and there, but if I do I'm going to tell Ms. Rivers to take a hike...after all she has much more important people to insult!
Have a wonderful weekend!

© 2010-2011 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Thursdays Thought-Complexity

Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself. I am large; I contain multitudes.- Walt Whitman 

This is perhaps one of my most loved quotes.  Being unique, living on the edge of the mainstream has been a vital ingredient in this blog and in our lives. Perhaps it was feeling like an outsider in the first place that led us down our paths of adventure and mishap, or it was the adventure that created our outsider statuses. Either way we've all, at one time or another searched our soul in quest of Identity, and chances are we've tried on a few different costumes. I struggle to bring to light the complexities that lead Women like us into circumstances where we are judged, misunderstood and even outcast, my hope. is to bring some empathy and compassion to others who may have judged us harshly. I am so much more than the sum of all labels I could assign to myself. Mother, student, writer, social worker, alcoholic, depressed, chronic pain patient, punk, hippie, socialist, non-conformist, animal lover, gardener, masters degreed addict. So many contradictory labels. But that is truly the human nature isn't it? To be complex? Even so it seems it is in human nature to attempt to fit people into snug little categories, to assign them a title that excludes all other possibility. Addict. How can an addict be a counselor??  Feminist? How can a feminist have empathy for a batterer?
Why do we cling to these narrow minded perceptions? In an answer, it's easy; doing so requires little or no critical thinking or emotional process.
To quote my own words from a previous post:
 Self understanding and acceptance it's an ongoing process, just like developing any other relationship. I believe it is well worth the effort, if we are to truly become the best and brightest we can be. 

© 2010-2011 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Am I in the Right Station?

I may well have asked myself that question the moment I slid out from between my mothers legs 52 years ago. I always seem to feel like I'm missing something, forgetting something, unable to focus and not quite sure what to do next.  The good news is, I now know I'm not alone.  True, I've had friends who described the same feeling, but for many of them it seems the means to adapt was within reach. Somehow the found that magic key that opens the door to a "normal" or "functional" life. In College they do more than just go to school, they belong to student associations and clubs. They establish relationships with Professors who invite them to their offices for coffee and provide them with shining references upon graduation. They go on to develop careers, relationships, buy homes, have insurance and cars and so on. They continue to feel lost or different or questioning, but they have the means to function within the model life that has been somehow agreed upon as the blueprint for the American Way. They are riding that train to nowhere but they're on the train, they bought the ticket. Some people learn to ride the rails, to hop the train just as far as they need to go; and then there's people like me, who did all the right things got our ticket, only to discover we've arrived at the wrong platform, or got there 25 minutes late. Some people may have even gotten aboard, only to be given the bums rush by some conductor for not following the rules.
Others encourage us, give us helpful tips, develop strategies for better organization etc. Generally they mean well and genuinely want to help; just as we want their suggestions to work for us. No wonder everyone, ourselves included, is surprised when that daily folder accordion file ends up with Mondays notes in Wednesdays folder along with a drawing given to us by the kid next door and  maybe a bill that was due two years ago. Most likely the folder is covered with phone numbers (whose number? we don't know) doodles and coffee stains
Now, in my mid life, I'm discovering the comfort of sitting aside watching the train go by. I look up at the passengers and see that most of them are oblivious to the surroundings, captivated by the world being presented to them by their IPhones or Wall Street Journals; but at least one passenger is gazing wistfully out the window at the landscape. Our eyes meet, I smile and wave.
© 2010-2011 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Pay it Forward Day

Merry Monday to Everyone,
As I was browsing through the numerous Facebook groups that have been grabbing my attention I came across this link to pay it forward day. I'd forgotten that this has become an actual annual event, but I remember my kids participating in High School.
Naturally we might think "Why don't we do this all the time" or even "I have nothing to give". To answer the first question, hopefully some of are doing this all the time, maybe we do and don't even acknowledge it as such. Everyday acts of kindness are not uncommon, encouraging others to participate is almost unheard of. The most significant impact of asking others to pay it forward or do something kind for someone else, is not to draw attention to ourselves and how wonderful we are for doing nice things (although I believe it's healthy to give ourselves a little pat on the back now and then) but rather to draw peoples attention away from themselves and direct it to another Human Being, or an animal. I frequently express my belief in the importance of Community (you may have noticed) Setting aside a day to actively call to attention the impact that simple acts of kindness present to a community increases our collective awareness of the quality of our community. We may find ourselves talking to a neighbor we've never spoken to, or a stranger in a grocery store and as a result we may learn something about that person, something we would never have known otherwise. We will have the chance to come out of our shells, the bubble we surround ourselves in and communicate. And, here's the beautiful part, if we are not comfortable asking a stranger or even those we know to pay it forward, you will see on the website there are printable cards to be passed on to the person you offer your kindness to. These cards can be left anonymously taped to someones door or stuffed in their mailbox, on their desk at work etc.
To address the question "what can I do?" the answer is simple, anything. Any small act of kindness and consideration creates it's own echo. Pick up some trash (I mean garbage, not a dude) in your neighborhood. If you have money slip some into the pocket of someone you know who doesn't. Offer to lend a hand to an overworked co worker. The website has lots of ideas and suggestions but I also think it's important for us as individuals to decide what is needed in our community.
The date for this event is Thursday, April 28
here's a link to the website:
Pay It Forward Day

Go Forth and Be Nice!!!!

© 2010-2011 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Creating Community, it's easier than you think!

“Great opportunities to help others seldom come, but small ones surround us every day.”
Sally Koch

I browsed through many quotes before I found the one that perfectly embodied the essence of today's message. I have no idea who Sally Koch is, I do hope she's not related to the infamous Billionaire Koch brothers, although they could benefit from her advice!
When I think about building cooperative community I often look to the past, to the lives and stories of my Grandparents and theirs before them. Even 40 or 50 years ago it was common for neighbors to share resources, in fact it was often the center of social gatherings and yearly traditions. At harvest time people would can goods from their gardens, setting aside extras to trade with their friends and neighbors. Certain people or families were known for their specialty crops; Aunt Patty pickled green beans,Uncle Ray was a hunter and famed for his dried venison jerky. Maybe Mrs. Gough down the street canned jams and jellies and further down the road was a bee keeper with jars of golden sweetness. Neighborhood picnics and family reunions were often a free marketplace of sorts where homegrown products were traded among the community. These events not only ensured the distribution of resources but also provided an opportunity for families and neighbors to socialize. Community sharing was not exclusive to reunions or Harvest festivals. There were frequently ongoing gatherings where groups of neighbors convened for quilting parties or knitting circles, the good old "stitch 'n bitch' as my Grandmother used to say. If someone needed a certain type of button or print of fabric the community contributed resources to help one another with their projects. In my opinion, the 'bitch' element was probably equally as important as the 'stitch'. The stitch created useful and often unique blankets, clothing and household items. The 'bitch', to speak freely with a familiar and trusted group of friends provided a welcome release for women who spent most of their day tending to the needs of a household and children.
Another common practice was the sharing of 'hand me downs'. although it's often a topic of wry humor, the youngest boy wearing his older sisters clothes or being the kid who was last in line in the family, it is only in recent years that lower income families could afford to buy newer clothes for their children. Prices have decreased significantly due to the expansion of stores like Walmart because as we all know, the products are made overseas in crowded factories by ex impoverished men, women and children who will work for next to nothing. As the prices have dropped so has the quality, few of those clothes would last long enough to be handed down. When my children were young I had a group of friends who had children within the same age range. We had developed a hand me down system of our own; that way my youngest, a boy, didn't have to suffer the shame of wearing his older sisters clothes but instead inherited items from the neighbor boy who was a year older (and his mind, much cooler)
I realize that times have changed, that we have less time for such activities, but why is that? Is it perhaps because we spend so much time away from our families and communities employed by companies who have little or no connection to us as individuals? Perhaps the more we learn to do for ourselves as communities, to function in a spirit of mutual support and care, the more we can free ourselves from the the grip of a system that takes more from us than it gives in return.
Do you have friends, family or community that shares traditions and practices of a barter or freecycle/sharing economy? What survival tips have you learned throughout your experiences with hard times? It would be great to hear some stories!

© 2010-2011 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

More Thoughts on Community

Happy Wednesday Warriors, Wild Ones and Wanderers,

I've had a thing for alliteration lately..
Anyway, I've been thinking about the Concept of Community these days. It may be partially in response to the collective sense of fear and uncertainty that is evident in our nation, and in many other parts of the world. Our government seems out of control,the wealthy are getting wealthier and the rest of us are losing resources on a daily basis. Many of feel that we are no longer being represented by those we elected; we are feeling like children, abandoned unsure of where to go for help.
And then there are the doomsday folks, the conspiracy theorists, the 2012ers who speak of immanent change, but offer little suggestion of what that change may look like. The only thing that seems certain is that those of us without money or substantial political influence (one in the same really) stand to be in for some difficult times at best. At worst we stand to lose many rights and freedoms that we have taken for granted for most of our lives.
I once quipped to a friend of mine that if our economy totally takes a dive and chaos ensues, poor folks, survivors and "disenfranchised" will be in a pretty good spot. We know how to navigate tough times, we know how to survive on very little money and we form tight friendships. Common suffering breeds unity in the best of us. Look at support groups. although all support groups have their problems and as any group work textbook will tell you, evolve through stages of difficulty, the beauty is that in the most circumstances there develops a mutual respect and accountability. If the group can remain focused on their common cause while honoring the uniqueness of the individual there emerges a unity that is rich with possibility
That kind of comraderie and acceptance is exactly what is needed right now. I've seen it happen; when our governor attempted to bust the Unions he exempted the Police and Firefighters, hoping to keep them "on his side" I'm certain he was somewhat taken aback when not only did they refuse to hop on his bandwagon, but actually joined the protests is large numbers and, I must say, in quite a grand presentation. One of the most "spin my world, never thought I'd live to see the day" moments came when a police officer announced loud and clear to the protesters in the state capitol that he was standing with the protesters; that he was upholding his vow to protect the citizens. As someone who grew up in the 60's seeing police and National Guardsmen tear gassing, beating and even shooting protesters I was flabbergasted, and overjoyed.
We can no longer afford to be divided by class, labels, social status...we need each other. We need Community.
Next: ideas on building and sustaining community support. Stay tuned...

© 2010-2011 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tuesdays Tribute-Starhawk; A commitment to Permaculture

Greetings Gypsies and Rebels,

For any of you who aren't familiar with Starhawk, she is an author and activist who has spent most of her life dedicated to Goddess spirituality, environmental sustainability and Non-Violent Protest. She frequently conducts workshops in many parts of the world with the goal of helping communities acquire the skills needed to create a sustainable and cooperative community: a Permaculture. There is no better Woman that I can think of to follow yesterdays thoughts on sustainable living. Starhawk truly walks her talk and not only lives a sustainable, lifestyle but isn't afraid to get her hands dirty, figuratively and literally. There are many authors and teachers who write passionately about social change and many who are dynamic, motivating public speakers; but there are very few who will stand hand in hand with fellow activists as they face armed soldiers.
As I reflect on the changes and insanity that we see happening every day in the news, I spend time daily in discussion with others. We ask questions, we share information, we sift through information panning for the glittering flakes of gold that contains the Truth. There is often consensus as well as disagreement. The most troublesome roadblock is born of those individuals who have invested themselves entirely to one cause at the cost of any others. Now let me say devotion to a cause in itself is not the problem; rather we need people with areas of expertise and the passion that accompanies that dedication. But what we truly need to accomplish real social, environmental and economic sustainability is cooperation. The foundation of Permaculture lies in cooperation and in the understanding of the threads that connect all parts of our existence. I see Starhawk as a Woman who truly embodies, lives and shares that ideal.

For more information on Starhawk and her work see the following links:

For some excellent information about Permaculture, Starhawk and colleague Donna Read have recently released a film titled "Permaculture:The Growing Edge"
The film is available for order on DVD and dowload now—for more information on the permaculture and the film including a promo/trailer visit the Belili Productions site at

Earth Activist Training

or visit her website

© 2010-2011 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard

Sustainable Living

Hello Everyone!
On Friday I talked a bit about making do with very little, thrift and cooperative community. For many of us this lifestyle may have been developed out of necessity, poverty, addiction, isolation etc. For some of us it is a choice, a conscious decision to refuse to participate in an economy that has become corrupted by greed and disregard for the environment and humankind. And for many of us it's always been a little of both. Many of us who have resisted authority and questioned the status quo have also by default, found ourselves in the former categories. Whatever our history I think that many of us are in a unique position to offer our problem solving and survival skills to help others to adapt to a failing economy, a damaged earth and unnecessary dependence on businesses that do nothing to give back to their employees,their communities and the environment.
Tomorrow I'll be posting some links and ideas for sustainable living; but I'd also like to hear yours!

© 2010-2011 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard

Friday, April 15, 2011

Fabulous Friday!!!!!

Headline: Spacey Hippie Grandma braves technological challenge-wins!
What a relief, after over a week with no laptop, communicating from my phone and my aging laptop which has no keyboard, I finally took the daring adventure into "Safe Mode". Such a funny name because to me it always felt like a very UN-safe mode...I expected the journey to be something like venturing into a dark cave with only a birthday candle for light.
The temporary loss of my beloved laptop gave me an opportunity to evaluate certain areas of my life. I spend a significant amount of time online, some of it productive, some creative and some just silly. I realized that at times I neglect other areas of my life, areas that expand my creativity and are essential to living a somewhat balanced life. I spent more time drawing, crafting, walking and played some board games.
Another issue that came up was my commitment to a non-mainstream lifestyle. I live on very little money and at this point in my life and our nation's history I rather prefer to keep it that way. I don't have savings or credit cards and much of my "commerce" is via the barter system or making/producing many of my own goods. That means when something breaks I can't just hop in my car (don't have one) and zip over to the Mega Media Mart, drop off my computer and come back later with my shiny credit card to pay the stranger that fixed it. So while I was asking around and waiting for a repair person who would be willing to barter, I reflected on concepts like community and time. The car/credit card/ Mega Mart method would have saved a great deal of time...and personal involvement. My method required me to network, talking to real actual people who then went and talked to real actual people. While this was going on, I took the time to read instructions to actually learn some things about my computer and took chances by trial and error.
It has occurred to me that most people are spoiled by convenience, having a car that tells you where to go rather than having to use your own problem solving skills and enjoy the adventure of getting lost and discovering new territory. If something "breaks", people throw it away. I had a friend who was about to throw away her vacuum cleaner; I looked at it and discovered a broken belt and a beater that was tangled with hair. In 20 minutes I repaired and cleaned the vac and saved her the 160 dollars it would have cost her to replace it, and saved a small piece of landfill.
There are many small actions we can take that combined and applied consistently can make our lives more sustainable, reduce our dependence of corporation that care nothing for our health and safety and help encourage others to follow our lead. The one certain thing is, we can't continue living with the instant gratifying, disposable, self absorbed patterns that have impacted our planet, our economy and our freedom.
What steps can you take, or have taken to humanize your community? I'd love to hear your stories!

© 2011 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard

Thursday, April 14, 2011

What is freedom?

A sweet video which asks the Big Question....enjoy and please share your thoughts if you wish

© 2011 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Why 30,000 People Are Fasting

This is news you won't hear via the mainstream media....let's take a moment to reflect on the dedication and strength of these activists. What are you willing to give of ourself, or create. to promote Democracy, Justice and rights for the poor and lower class? Coming soon, suggestions for everyday acts of rebellion, from simple to outlandish! Why 30,000 People Are Fasting article courtesy of Move © 2011 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard

Tuesday's Tribute

Tuesday's Tribute goes to these Ladies! Fabulous job!

© 2011 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard
just a quick update, I'll be sending brief messages and links daily until I can get my computer fixed. Thank You for bearing with me as I fix this!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Friday Frazzled

I am having internet connection problems, no fun! I will publish my Friday post over the weekend, asap!
In the meantime, here are some images that represent some of the seasons of our being...

© 2011 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Ramblers, Rebels and Rogues

I have spent many years of my life in opposition and I rather like the role.
Eleanor Roosevelt

Hello My Rebellious Queens,
I have had the opportunity to chuckle at myself a bit since yesterday. forgetting a blog post, horrors! Yet on the other hand when I decided to make this a daily commitment, a routine with an actual schedule; I did it knowing i was challenging myself stretching my limbs a little farther.
I'm not always, um, shall we say, focused? or organized? or consistent? at least I haven't been in the past. But in the now, i really do want to commit myself to a consistent effort, a solid path stone by stone set before me as I travel. Don't ask me where I travel, one commitment at a time, please. I see it like this, some of us tender the hearth, build the home, and nurture the garden. these are the people who go to the office, get to work promptly on time day by day. They have savings accounts and good credit and lead fairly predictable lives. They keep the wheels of enterprise going and they are ok with that. And so am I; I'm happy to know that my garbage will be picked up on Tuesday and that my utilities will work when I turn on a switch and such comforts as we are accustomed. Our society relies on the consistency and reliability of the hearth keepers to function.
our culture uses them as a Blueprint for "normalcy". They exemplify the way we "should be". we are promised rewards like all inclusive vacations and funparks and new cars for low, low financing, as long as we tend the hearth. Then there are the rest of us, the Ramblers, Rebels and, rogues. we are the dreamers, the ones who can't seem to pay attention to the power point presentation and who don't wear the latest designer clothing.. What we do is create, innovate and motivate. We are the Women with the Past, because no true rambler doesn't run into some trouble on her journey. We are the rebels because we listen to our heart, not just our head and we aren't afraid to speak up when something doesn't feel right. We know we have to take action because, most likely, we learned the hard way that if we don't speak up, if we try to fit in a place that does not align with our nature, we will suffer. our spirit will shrinks and wither, leaving us vulnerable to the desire for escape in the form of drugs or alcohol or to illusion of acceptance in a relationship that may not be healthy or of becoming shrouded in the depths of our own depression and isolation..
Some of us have had more encouragement and freedom to live by the call of our inner voice than others.. Some of us have had to discover it later in life, and some of us are just awakening to the knowledge.
Where ever we are in our travels, we must remember that we do have our place in society. If it weren't for those of us who question authority, who go against the grain, there would never be progress, change or, I believe, true freedom..
What "rules" have you challenged? How did it change you or your perception of you?

© 2011 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wednesday's Whoops

Hello Everyone!
Just a brief note and a lesson in self forgiveness (for me) I apologize for not having a Wednesday post prepared for today. There was a lot going on and I lost quite a bit of sleep fussing over our judicial election here in Wisconsin.
So forgive my negligence and I offer my Wednesday's Wisdom as this: No one is perfect, nor should we expect to be...which is triggering lots of fertile ideas for tomorrow's post.
See you then!

© 2011 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard

Tuesdays Tribute-Susan B Anthony

• The older I get, the greater power I seem to have to help the world; I am like a snowball -- the further I am rolled the more I gain.~Susan B. Anthony

Today is election day in Wisconsin, an election that has drawn significantly more attention and voter turnout than is typical for municipal or mid-term elections. now matter how controversial, emotionally charged or well publicized, I never go to the polls without mentally thinking of, and thanking, the women who demanded and won the right to vote and run for office.
There were many women who contributed to this cause, perhpas one of the most commonly known is Susan B. Anthony. Although I typically focus on lesser known heroines it is also important to recognize the women who inspire and organize.
Susan B Anthony was born on February 15, 1820 and like most Aquarius, had always been a progressive thinker.
Her parents were Quakers and advocated equal rights and justice, when Susan's teacher refused to teach her long division because of her gender. her parents
removed her from the school and enrolled in a quaker homeschool. Susan went on to become a educator herself and an activist, dedicating much of her life to the anti-slavery and equal rights. movements. in 1872 she was fined 100 dollars for voting, over 50 years before the ratification of the 19th amendment. It is said she never paid the fine.. joined with her friend and fellow activist Elizabeth Cady Stanton, she helped draft the declaration of sentiments in 1848 which was presented 3 days later at the first women's rights convention in Seneca falls new York. the declaration read: We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men and women are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights governments are instituted, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
the declaration, obviously patterned from the declaration of independence, is complete in it's simplicity. it speaks volumes to the power of words, a few well chosen changes creates a document that is inclusive, as well as secular, using the word "creator" instead of 'God" which is often assumed to be the Christian male God.
it took several decades for women to gain the right to vote, the wheels of change turn slowly it seems, but they do turn. during her lifetime Susan must have witnessed enormous strides in social justice. now over 150 years later we still have a long way to go; and there are people who, it appears, would like to have some of that progress reversed thereby maintaining power exclusively in the hands of rich white men.
as we go to the polls today and cast votes for candidates who are women, who are black, latino or working class, we must never forget that the rights were hard won and the result of tireless dedication, education and acts of civil disobedience. complacency breeds stagnation and stagnation leaves us vulnerable to oppression by those who would seek to take advantage of an immobile society. so if you ever feel powerless or insignificant, think back to these women who dared to speak out and to take action in a society where women were literally considered property and please take a moment to thank them for their courage.

For more information on suffrage, Susan B and other topics I highly recommend the women's history project

© 2011 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard

Monday, April 4, 2011

Following Nature's Lead; How's the weather Up There?

Hello Fellow wanderers and wise women

I hope everyone had a pleasant weekend, we have a new moon this weekend which I always welcome as a beginning, a chance to organize, plan and if needed, make changes or adjustments. One thing I have learned over the years is that self assessment and reflection are vital to my own well being. It probably doesn't hurt the well being of those who live with my eccentric nature on a daily basis either. this practice is complimentary to my thoughts on changing seasons and the cycles of nature that I referred to in an earlier post. if we relate to the environment around us it can serve as a guide and prompt us to be respectful and responsive to our own cycles and process. what a beautiful way to monitor one's own inner self and daily routine. The wild windy storm that pelted us with huge hailstones seemed fitting for the frustration and anger than many of us have been feeling with current events. for me storms are exciting, exhilarating and expressive of intense emotion. today is rather dark and gloomy, a day that could prompt quiet time and reflection, much as we ourselves will do once our anger has been spent.
Most recently i have been trying to stay afloat and in balance between the interests, passions and responsibilities of my life. I have been almost obsessive in following politics and attempting to inform, motivate and organize in whatever way i can. This involves a substantial amount of reading, discussion and fact finding. the only cause i will fight for unquestioningly is social justice. the path to this goal is not always easily negotiated as i sift through the volumes of claims, opinions, commentary and the sometimes ego driven motives of others. there are individuals who will vehemently defend the actions of their political party or particular candidate without taking the time to look within themselves and feel if they are truly comfortable with the plan, policy or action. they hurl hailstones at one moment then hop right into the next sunny day without taking that foggy, cloudy quiet day in between to reflect and restore.
i myself have been troubled by some decisions that have been made in president obama's term. i voted for him, i still believe he wants to do the right thing for our country and our future but at the same time i am willing to call out my own candidate on issues where i disagree. remember a while back when i wrote about not taking oneself too seriously; about true humility and maturity? i believe that the ability to draw our own conclusions rather than blindly following a party line or ideology is the fruit that is born of that self awareness there is great comfort in being true to one's own values and there is great power in challenging the decisions of others who may have promised us one thing and delivered something entirely different. we do not all have to agree, but i believe that if we are true to our inner values and respect ourselves, we will be more inclined to take the time to question situations that don't feel right. and because we are "walking our talk" we will not be afraid to stand up for our beliefs in a way that is respectful without being self compromising. how do you handle disagreement or conflict? how do you react "after the storm"? how's the weather in your soul today?
© 2011 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard

Friday, April 1, 2011

Bad government and other April Fools

Hello Everyone and Happy Friday!

As I was reading the news this morning I frequently wondered if what I was seeing was some sort of April Fool's joke. Of course, I feel that way every time I read the news lately. It feels like our whole world has gone mad, especially those in power. Or...have they always been mad, manipulating, conniving, thieving crooks? Well, probably yes, that's how they got and kept the power in the first place. What is different and what may be pressing them into more furious attempts to usurp our freedom and democracy, is that they can no longer hide it. We no longer rely on Cold War era spies snatching dossiers and briefcases with "top secret" emblazoned on them. Can you tell I watched a lot of Mission Impossible as a child? The t.v. show with Martin Landau not that remake with that Godawful Tom Cruise. Anyway information, as they say, is power; it's true whether you are dealing with the economy, politics, or your own personal path. How many of us who were in abusive relationships stayed because we didn't have the information and resources to understand that it was not our fault, that we did not have to live that way? The same goes for alcohol or drug abuse. Most of us were seeking a way to self medicate, to soothe some pain or fear inside us that we did not understand. We felt alone, as if we were the only ones who thought/felt/feared that way. I once heard an old school "tough love" addictions counselor say "You addicts think you're all so special". Well you know what, we are. We tend to be the people who question the status quo, who sense innately there is something not quite right with the way things are, and oftentimes that knowledge is too much to bear.
At this point in history I think we should all feel a little vindicated; we are learning that things aren't quite right, that the grownups have been keeping secrets. I often relate the way I feel about our government to living in an alcoholic family. we are supposed to be quiet and not mention that Daddy is passed out on the floor or that Uncle Joe (Wall Street, I'm looking at you) stole our coin collection to pay the bills. But like so many children who grow up in this kind of environment, there are those of us who will rebel, who will point out the proverbial elephant in the room. And as in any dysfunctional family we will spanked, sent to our room with out dinner, or locked in Solitary Confinement like Pvt Bradley Manning who (allegedly) dared to reveal that Daddy was hurting people.
My writing is always dedicated to those of us who have lived on the fringe, rebelled and questioned authority and I believe our time has come. It's time to speak out against whatever oppression, secrets or fears are holding us back from truly being ourselves.
What holds you back?
Image courtesy of Eleanor Hazard, may be duplicated with credit to the artist.
© 2011 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard