Words can hurt and words can heal. Anyone can develop powerful tools for “Healing validations” – affirmative words that make a difference in another person’s life. This blog is devoted to developing that skill.
I hesitate to make this post. My ego is afraid. I don’t like being a rabble-rouser and don’t want to hear the backlash this may cause. My soul on the other hand… is calling me to step up to the plate. If you decide to make a comment, I ask that you please read this to the end before doing so. We are all DT.
I believe we are born with a Sacred Contract. We work this out while we are in Spirit for the lessons we are born to live through. The lessons that will teach us and teach others throughout our lives, how best to Love. For that is how we evolve. We choose our parents, our livelihood, our children, our boss, it is our own little miraculous play going on. We can choose to play either by mindfulness or default. At all times we are co-creating, from either our ego or with the Divine. I believe the Light that is, “All There Is,” experiences itself through each one of us. So know you are never alone. You’ve heard it before, it’s true, “The kingdom of God is within you.”
Trying times are the perfect time to rise up to a place of forgiveness. My mother would say, “70 x 7.” We must forgive, “70 x 7.” Over and over again.
The Ho-opono-pono prayer leads us to a place of forgiveness. Of another and ourselves. Often what pushes our buttons in someone, is what is in us. We mirror each other. We don’t see the world as it is, we see it as we are. Forgiveness, of others and ourselves is needed to find inner peace. The original prayer goes like this. “I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.”
I’m inviting you to turn the prayer around.
- “I love you.” – I recognize the Divine in you.
The Divine is in each and every one of us. In our brothers & sisters who are created in a myriad of colors. In all of the earth, all sentient beings, the trees, the flowers, the river, the mountains, the stars, the galaxy… In EVERYTHING.
- “I’m sorry.” – I’m sorry that you had to step into this role, for me to get the lesson. As my abusive partner, my selfish friend, my neglectful mother/father, our narcissistic president… the list goes on and on, of those we have been “victimized by.” They forgot they were Divine, for us to get the lesson. For when you know God, you choose to LOVE.
I know that part of the prayer is so painful. Physical and emotional abuse is never easy. Who would choose to be abused? Our souls know. This moment, in time, is a millisecond of the eternity of all that is. I promise you I don’t come by this easily… I have been raped, twice, been through the fear of cancer, was in an abusive marriage, suffered the murder of a beloved Aunt. Each time, I had to dig deep.
- “Please forgive me.”
- “Thank you.”
As the roots of our trees are buried deep in the earth, we are all interconnected, all of humanity. What we do to one, we do to ourselves.
In the Ageless Wisdom Teachings, we talk about “shining the light on the glamour.” It means to look at the darkness. See it loud and clear. Shine the light on the “illusion” of this world. Spirit is all that is. As spiritual beings, we are all so much more than this “matter.” This incarnation. We are light. We are love. We need to bring that down to this earth.
This is the gift of Donald Trump. He reflects our collective unconscious. We have forgotten that we belong to each other. He is reflecting the shadow side of our world. He is our Judas. The Christian right sends out information that “God chose Donald Trump.” They are right. It is true, but not for the reason they think. He was chosen to shine the light in a “bigly, best ever in the entire world, the greatest you can imagine” way of how ugly the darkness looks. He embodies it.
It is not just in Donald Trump. He is just the scapegoat. The darkness exists in the Democratic and Republican parties and other world leaders who profiteer off the backs of its citizens. Who don’t stand up to what is so obviously wrong. Throughout the world we are witness to corrupt governments, economic inequality, environmental disasters, racism, poverty, the over-bloated military OMG, the list goes on and on.
Imagine taking on that Sacred Contract where who you are, brings out the darkness, fear and loathing. They forgot we are all one. There is no us or them.
Now we, have the chance to do as Jesus did. He said, “Forgive 70 x 7” “Love thy Neighbor as Thyself.” He said, “The kingdom of God is Within You.” He said, “These things and more shall you do.” As he died on the cross he said, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
Would Jesus have become the Christ had Judas not kissed him? Did Jesus forgive Judas? It was all part of God’s plan.
The second coming is ALL OF US. We are all called to become Christ like. We have a choice. How do we want to live in this world? When you know God, you see that light in everyone. No one is excluded, even Donald Trump.
Trust me, in my ego, in my personality, I really dislike him. My soul self knows differently and is watching this worldly drama unfold so that we may herald in a new world.
This is hard. I know. But when we become aware we must do better. There is a little of DT in all of us. I can hear you gag, or guffaw. Have you ever lied? Cheated? Have you sold out our earth for convenience? Can you toss that first stone? This post is not to berate anyone, it is to help us see better.
When we forgive, ourselves and others…
“I love you, I see the Divine in you.”
“I’m sorry, that you stepped into this role for me to get the lesson.”
“Please forgive me.”
… our light shines brighter and bolder. May we burn this illusion of separateness.
I LOVE YOU.
So now I’m an “underdog”, too. Brilliant! I shall pay attention – and take good notes.
Eric Freeman is an Asheville “underdog”.
A genuinely brilliant acoustic guitarist (blues, country, ragtime), he has tremendous integrity and a really sweet, shining presence – and he’s gorgeous to boot. He’s got “star” written all over him.
But it doesn’t always work out that way, right? Things sometimes just plain fail to come together somehow for all kinds of talented people, but being black and poor and unconnected in a new town…who knows what lies ahead for Eric?
Eric arrived here about a month ago. with a suitcase and his guitar and I think no money.
(15 years earlier, I got off the Greyhound bus with a great new rolling duffel bag – my moving van – and $100, both from my men’s group back in Chicago. The guy from the bus who took an interest in me dropped me off, by God – it just hit me – in the exact spot where we are staging Eric’s flash mob tomorrow, because my friend Tom said the Co-op “has the best bulletin board.”)
Eric has been playing at a coffeehouse – the Straightaway Cafe in Black Mountain – but my GPS made it look way south of Black Mountain, and the one night I tried to round up people to go, when I got no bites I just went to bed early.
At 7:30 on Sunday March 8, Eric opens for Abby the Spoon Lady – with the Tater Boys – at the White Horse Black Mountain. How totally funky is that show, huh? That could start to open things up for him, especially if we pour a lot of excited fans into his set that night.
But let’s ground ourselves back in the here-and-now. Eric is broke. He’s $35 shy on his rent. I very sadly told him today that I couldn’t help.
I am happy all the time these days – 24/7 – and have amazing excitement about what my friend Kerstin calls my “enormous entrepreneurial dreams” (which happen to center around “storytelling dance parties” and “storytelling dance coaching” – the Thursday party is my big pilot).
But today I have $.40 and my checking account is overdrawn. Having chosen to leave Earth Fare three months ago for this dream business, it hasn’t yet yielded a dime. I’m two months behind on my rent and have been served eviction papers.
I went to Eblen Charities today, where I have been told they will help you if you have the eviction papers in hand. But Panchita and I had been chasing reporters all day to get stories about the Thursday benefit – and by the time we got to Eblen it was 4:53. There were young, poor families lined up on both sides of the hall. The lovely, sweet young woman with a clipboard said, “We close at 5 – and we have many people waiting. Come back tomorrow – early if you can.”
“I can’t come early – Susan Campbell’s 9:30 ecstatic dance class is like family for me and Pancho – she’s the little mascot of the class, they all love on her. And then we have a flash mob.” She gave me an odd little look. This story may have been a first for her.
“OK, in the afternoon you’re going to be dealing with a long wait.’
It all kind of took my breath away. Janet in our building office had told me I could head off trouble if I got $100 in last Thursday – this is Monday. I feel absolutely certain that I will not be evicted (I bet Eblen will save the day).
By a month from now, my new little business will be bringing in a little money – and by a year later will actually be a big business bringing in a lot of money, for me and others. (I really, really want to be a rainmaker for other talented people I believe in – like Eric.)
But for about two minutes – outside again by my car – I felt genuinely lost, vulnerable and alone. I smoked my last half-cigarette – and it was very good.
Something in me said, “Pay attention! Pay attention! This state will soon pass for you, but for way too many people this is just life. This is an extraordinary experience of being an underdog – let it shape you, so you never forget it.”
A few days ago, there was a guy with a sign asking for money when I pulled off US 240 , going west, at Montford Ave. I was way over in the right lane, making a right turn to go to the Visitor Center – to see how they could help me bait the hook for the New York Times to come here to cover a magical grocery store within a magical town.
These guys with signs at the side of the road sometimes annoy me: they’re in the way, someone might hit them – and there never is time to fish money out before the light changes. It’s stressful and I sometimes resent them.
Even though I was way over in the right lane, when the guy made kind of pleading eye contact with me, I so heartfully yelled, “I really wish I could help you buddy, but I don’t have any money either.”
He saw me smoking. “Do you have cigarettes?”
“I have ten to last me ten days until my Social Security check comes – I’ll give you two. Come! Come!”
When he came over to the car to get the cigarettes, I felt great to have something I could give him. We both smiled really big. We were both happy. It was a kind of little cigarette party. I cried. I’m crying now.
Whew! I guess I needed to get that off my chest. Every time someone asks about the Westgate Earth Fare contingency fund – to which the checks that people send the accountant will go – I say, “It’s so that no Earth Fare worker lives out of their car.” Without this fund, I feel sure that someone will. Not once, when I have said this, have I consciously realized that this person could be me.
I’m so blessed to have a few friends who would never let me live out of my car, if I told them the truth about what was going on. Each time I think about living out of your car, I think about my buddy who lived in his car for a week last winter (in the fucking winter), before he came to stay with me for a few weeks. He was so tricky that it took me a few days to realize that’s where he was staying. He always said it was “fine”. We are survivors, aren’t we?
I want our “Underdog storytelling dance party” on Thursday to nail down my love for my underdog brothers and sisters to where I never, ever lose it again. As much as possible, I want my heart to stay permanently open to “my people”. I do believe that all of us dancing together will help. When I have gotten mentally tight, stressed, tense – dancing almost always takes me right back to my heart.
So back to the dance. At 12 sharp, Eric is playing his guitar at one of those little tables in front of the French Broad Food Co-op on Biltmore across from the Orange Peel. Beforehand, I will get with the really very cool and funky store manager. (Tom Kilby tells me they worked together at Earth Fare – cool, this may mean something extra to him) – to make sure Eric doesn’t get accosted for playing music, and having a tip jar, out in front of the store.
After Eric just plays by himself for a minute or so, this 73 year old white guy is once again typecast as some uptight, preoccupied guy who pays precious little attention to this brilliant young starving artist.
Having walked by, I perfunctorily back up a step or two to drop a buck (if someone gives me one) in Eric’s jar – or whatever, guitar case. Then I pick up my step again to leave.
But something hooks me before I get away. I slowly come back – and, little by little, start to move. Then somebody else stops their forward momentum and gradually starts to move, while I continue to get freer and freer. We are all in by the end of the first song.
Then we really have a blast during the second song with Eric. Not only self-expression, but lots of connection and love – love of ourselves, of each other, of Eric. No need for play-acting – breathe, relax your body, feel your feet on the ground, let your body get loose – let your heart do what it so naturally does.
And people, people, people – this guy has got to pay his rent! Everybody – maybe exquisitely built into your dance itself – drops in a buck or five. Unless, like me, you don’t have a dollar until March 3. We who don’t have a buck will give Eric an extra wink.
It’s supposed to be sunny and warm tomorrow. I’m gonna wear a killer orange t-shirt (bought from Goodwill for a gun-control rally) – under a dreary sweatshirt. At some point in my dance, I will get feeling free, strip it off and reveal my true colors – maybe throw the clunky old sweat shirt in the air somewhere in happy exuberance. I promise to stop the clothing removal at that point. (Little Panchita is saying, “Good luck. That’s not where he stops when he’s dancing in the living room.”)
At the end of the second song, we abruptly just go back to what we had been doing – and head off in different directions. I dunno, I don’t think I’m really a purist about these things. I don’t dig the idea of just disappearing back into greater Asheville. After hanging out and breathing for a minute or so, I’m gonna go back by Eric and party with my peeps!
And then two days later – Thursday at 7 p.m., just as the Dance Party Benefit is getting started, in the beautiful Battery Park Apartments lobby (1 Battle Square, across from the north end of the Grove Arcade) we do it all over again!
Here’s the info on the Thursday party.
Questions about today? text me at 828-582-9822. I will be in Susan Campbell’s 5 Rhythms dance throwdown from 9:15-10:45.
When the cares of this ugly, cruel world get me down, this is currently my go-to innocent happy song! Debrissa McKinney, you are my antidote for Trump! Not bad for a 25-year-old or whatever the hell you are.
Any chance you would come sing it for us Thursday night at our benefit dance party? Check out the current version of the party announcement – complete with new venue at Battery Park Apartments. Healingvalidations.com
All members of “The Earth Fare Westgate Community” warmly welcomed.
Employees and recent or way-past employees
6:30-9:30 p.m., Sunday February 23
Battery Park Apartments
1 Battle Square, downtown Asheville
across from the north end of the Grove Arcade
Bring stories, musical instruments, kids (room not pet-accessible)
wheel chair or impaired mobility accessible at rear entrance – call me for details
For more info, call or text Majo at 828-582-9822
for glimpses of the spiritual heart of Earth Fare: Real Life in the Checkout Line: rlcol.com
Unauthorized “storytelling dance party” for the workers of Earth Fare
Thursday, February 27, 7-11 p.m. at THE BLOCK off biltmore: https://healingvalidations.com/
Dr. Steve Woodsmall, leading contender to be the Democratic nominee for the 10th District U.S. House of Representatives, will come to the Westgate Earth Fare store tomorrow (Friday) to answer our questions, hear our concerns – and find out how we would like him to represent us when he gets to the Congress.
The old Republican-state-legislature gerrymandered congressional districts had Asheville split right down the middle of the 10th and 11th districts, so that the conservatives out in the county and beyond could always prevent Asheville from having a progressive representative who could accurately represent the political bent of the city.
But the Supreme Court recently ruled that the those gerrymandered districts were drawn “with almost surgical precision to disadvantage black voters” – and threw them out, required the legislature to redraw them. The new 10th District represents all of Asheville, so that means we have a real good chance to elect a Democrat this year.
Steve is a retired Air Force guy, a physician and a dog-lover. At one of his campaign events two years ago, I went to shake his hand and missed it – because he was already down on the floor saying hello to my little Toni. This picture of him with Toni was on his website for a long time. I think you will like him and find him responsive to your concerns.
Please “Share” this post, so we can get Steve a good turn-out today. If you are so inspired, you could call the media and encourage them to cover our ongoing efforts to help all the workers of Earth Fare come out whole from this blood-letting.
Last Friday at our dance Flashmob at the Westgate store, the photographer from the Citizen Times asked me “Yeah, so if it’s a protest, why are you dancing?”
I said “It’s actually not a protest – it’s a dance. it’s a celebration of who we are. It’s a statement that we are young and sexy and alive and we will survive just fine. “
Pretty much everything I know about hip-hop, I learned from my son Terry – when he was a teenager and spending his summers with his dad. (“If he’s into rap music again this summer, I’m gonna have to learn to like it – or I will go fucking crazy.” He was – and I did, like it. Going crazy was later. At one point, I claimed to know more about rap music than almost any other white middle-aged, middle-class man on the planet. That may have been an exaggeration, but not totally.)
I think this very old Kool Moe Dee video is maybe the cutest rap music video ever. (Like I know them all:).) I love the tough black cowboys in their long black leather slickers – doing cute little hip-hop dance steps in unison.
I just put this very danceable song and great video in the playlist for the Thursday, February 27 Earth Fare workers benefit dance party playlist.(https://healingvalidations.com/2020/02/09/the-underdog-dance-party-thursday-2-27-7-11-p-m)
Watch tomorrow to see what Will Smith did with this song.
“Helping life happen in a grocery store.”
Majo Madden, Ph.D. Clinical Psychologist and Fortune 500 Organization Development management consultant, worked for four years as a cashier at Earth Fare Asheville Westgate store. This store was the flagship store, the first of 40-some stores across the southeast. Because of the unique nature of Asheville, NC – and that unique nature of that particular store – “the hippy store” – Majo’s 20 hours or so per week behind that cash register, with those co-workers and those customers, lit him up as a writer and as a person. This is their story.
Majo’s personal blog: “Waking up”
These days, when – at the cash register – I tell a little girl that she’s pretty, I always follow that by saying this:
“One day here, when i told a little girl she was pretty, her mama said, ‘You know what we say, honey, when some nice person says you are pretty.’ And then in unison, very powerfully, they said ‘I’m pretty, I’m smart, and I’m strong – huh!’”
The little girl I am speaking to at this point will almost always say, “I’m smart!” or “I’m strong.” And I will say something like, “Boy, you really are, aren’t you!” And the mother (or father) will usually beam with delight at their daughter.
After my first four days back at Earth Fare, after a year away, I have been very keenly reminded that my greatest satisfaction in this job comes from validating people – affirming them. And, while I really love doing this with individuals – especially if they seem lonely or depressed or like they could really use a shot in the arm – the greatest challenge and satisfaction comes from validating couples and families. Here I will describe two families.
Read this post at my grocery store blog, Real Life in the Checkout Line, rlcol.com.