An 11-minute audio that I shot earlier on that same birthday. I cried out of gratitude when I shot it – and I cry out of gratitude every time I listen to it.￼
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.
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/
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”
There were so many ways that hour which could have gone badly. By rights, it should have been a disaster.
The psychiatry profession fucked me badly for 30 years – there’s just no other honest way to tell it. They conned me into believing I had a mental illness and then kept me drugged for 30 years.
Only divine intervention rescued me from their hypnotic story. And when, over the last six months, my true Self surfaced, they fought to drag me back into the nest. It just didn’t make sense to them that – after being “bipolar” for 30 years – I could be fine, really much better than fine, now.
I tried to get them to read about my “waking up” experience last June 26. I tried to get them to read several posts that describe how amazingly calm and quiet and centered and slow I have become – not at all “manic”, which they think is the only logical explanation for me, as I am reducing my psych medication, to suddenly be non-stop happy for six months.
I tried to explain to them that getting off of Lithium didn’t “make me manic” – it allowed me to finally be happy. But none of that fit their model.
Three weeks ago, when I reached certainty that this was true health now – actually much better than health, genuine spiritual transformation – a bomb of rage went off in me about “30 years of my life stolen from me”.
On that Saturday, I felt sure that at my next psychiatry appointment I would spend most of the 30 minutes pacing up and down the room “raging” at my poor helpless 31-year old PA (Physician’s Assistant) psychiatrist. It seemed to me, in that moment, to be in no way an inappropriate response for 30 years lost.
This story describes how one four-minute song at church the next morning caused me to release most of that rage and replace it with forgiveness. (Thirty years of deep pain mostly healed in four minutes – healing is happening in me so fast these days!)
By yesterday morning, some of the resentment had slipped back in. I was determined that today I would maybe not start right in at the beginning of the session with my two upsets with this new woman:
- Why the unexplained transfer now – and the mysterious letter from my old psychiatrist, saying they were transferring me because of “your needing a higher level of care”? What need for a higher level of care? I thought we had agreed that I was on my way out of the practice. I felt sure they were calling in a more experienced, full-psychiatrist heavy-hitter to try to back me down into taking more drugs again.
- Why, when I called in my request for the new psychiatrist to read three of my blog posts that would give her a glimpse of my non-manic behavior, did the secretary get back to me with a simple, “She says ‘no’, that she doesn’t do that.”After my last 15 years in the business world (after 20 years practicing psychology), I knew that – if you cared at all about customer satisfaction – you would never turn down a new customer on such an easy request. Had this woman not gotten the memo that we were customers now – not just patients? Well, I intended to set her straight on this.
Back in my 20’s, LSD researcher Richard Alpert (working with his Harvard colleague Timothy Leary) turned into an eastern spirituality “seeker” – and was named Ram Dass by his new Indian teacher. He and his classic book Be Here Now turned a whole generation of us towards meditation and eastern spirituality.
At Susan Campbell’s magical Tuesday morning ecstatic dance yesterday, right near the end of the mix she played some gorgeous music with Ram Dass – must have been after his stroke, his speech was labored – speaking over it.
He said so few words that I think I remember them pretty much verbatim:
“On my second visit to Maharaj Ji in India, he took me aside one night and said to me, ‘Love everybody….love everybody and speak the truth.'”
I knew, as soon as I heard these words, that I had gotten my direction for today’s session:
- Love this woman, who you have never met, but about whom you already have lots of negative projections (my physician friend Steve, who wonderfully coached me to start slow today – and then went with me to the meeting for moral support) said that “Lots of psychiatrists have God complexes. Doctors in general – but it seems like psychiatrists even more so.”
- Tell the truth – all of it, including stuff she might not like hearing. Make sure, even as you try not to hurt her, that you get enough of your story said that you are ready – at the end of that session – to walk away from psychiatrists for good, knowing that you are doing it with pride and integrity.
When this new psychiatrist appeared at the door,
- she was younger and prettier than I expected.
- her face looked soft and warm and human and nice – not at all the control-oriented, frigid person I expected.
- she was wearing jeans! Nice, tailored, maybe expensive jeans – but jeans, for chrissake! This totally blew my expectations. She looked like “my people”.
Over the course of a session that she had scheduled for 45 minutes (not the 30 that I expected, I guess because it was our first time together) – and that she actually allowed to go for 75 minutes – I learned some other ways she was my people:
- She, like me, grew up very Irish Catholic. She is well younger than I and was not taught by nuns in the era when they were still teaching that God might hate you enough to make you physically burn to death for eternity – but she was close enough to all of this to know what I was talking about, and why for a young child this had been genuinely traumatic.
- When I said that there are so few genuine spiritual teachers around these days to help someone who is actually going through a “spiritual emergency” (as opposed to a mental illness), she rightly protested that “there are some genuinely spiritual eastern-tradition teachers. I’m being very influenced by a Zen teacher named Thich Nhat Hanh.” I really softened and warmed towards her as I shared that I had – for four years – meditated every week with a Thich Nhat Hanh “sangha” back in Chicago. I told her￼ that, during those four years, I very much thought of him as “Thay” – Vietnamese for “teacher”. And that, probably 30 years ago, I ￼had attended two ten-day retreats with him. All this appropriately blew her away. If you are a Thay sister with me, you are my sister.
- She was very intrigued by what Steve and I told her about Jubilee and our amazing new “lesbian Jewish rock and roll goddess” minister. She opened up the Jubilee web page and Facebook page as we were talking and said, “I will have to look into this.”
- She was also very intrigued by my passionate practice of “ecstatic dancing” – and asked me a couple of questions about that. My energy turned down a week ago. I am supposed to be “depressed” now. Depressed people don’t dance. I continue to dance pretty much all day every day. This confused and intrigued her.
- She was also confused that the core symptom of my “depression” was always physical pain, not emotional. This did not fit for her.
- And that I got the “clinical depression” diagnosis (later shifted to “bipolar disorder”)￼ when I was in the throes of having my life blown apart by the surfacing of long-suppressed memories of childhood sex abuse. She said “These days we never would give someone a psychiatric diagnosis when their life is in so much chaos. You just can’t tell what really is going on.”￼
- She basically said that she might agree with me that this diagnosis was always incorrect.
I think it was right after we had talked about Thay that I – now emboldened to talk with “the new psychiatrist” about eastern religion – told her about my experience yesterday with the live words of Ram Das: “So I came in here today planning to love you – and to tell the truth.”
I think she may have even blushed ever-so-slightly and sweetly as she thanked me for that. Whoda thunk we could have had a moment like that?
I went into the session feeling strong because – rather than the usual power imbalance where the psychiatrist has something you think you need, the drugs – I was clear that I had enough Lamictal left to wean myself off almost slowly enough to not have too bumpy a ride. So, very important to me, I in no way felt one-down to her going in.
And I know – from many experiences over the last six months that literally nobody can intimidate or scare me any more – and that I speak my full truth with integrity pretty much 100% of the time. And I came out of the session feeling just that way.
Very surprisingly, while the doctor told me her concerns about me getting off of this final (of three) drugs, she did outline for me what she thought would be a good pacing for “weaning off” of the Lamictal – and I happily told her that this was exactly the timing I had in mind.
She said brightly, “Well, don’t try to cut those pills down twice – let me prescribe 50 mg. tablets – that will make it a lot easier for you.” It was not a problem for me – after originally committing myself to “want nothing and take nothing” from her – to graciously accept her offer. (And it actually will make reducing my dose much more convenient.)
As the session was nearing an end (we had already run 30 minutes over), she offered that I could come back in a month and fill her in on how things were going for me as I weaned off my last medication. Charming and cute as she certainly was, I was very clear that I had entered a psychiatrist’s office (as a patient, at least) for the last time – and that I would call in a progress report to her.
As I was saying goodbye, I was feeling so genuinely warm towards her that I had a fantasy of offering her a hug. I knew there was no chance of that flying with a psychiatrist, ￼but our handshake – and real looking in each other’s eyes – were just right, perfect.
A minute after Steve and I drove away, I let out a big exhale and said to him (driving me back to my car), “Wow! That was a big deal!“
And then, completely unbidden, the words that popped out of my mouth were, “I’m glad that 30 years is over.”
And I laughed – a very hearty, very happy laugh.
How do you forgive the rage you got in touch with in the last two days – over 30 years of heartache – through a four-minute song about forgiving yourself? I dunno, I can’t figure it out – ask Jesse Powers, tonight (Sunday, 11/10) at the Jubilee Mystic Cafe (7-9 p.m. at 46 Wall St.), or at her web site. ￼
Over the last four months, I have discovered that the “bipolar disorder” psychiatric label that got pinned on me in my early 40’s was actually a tragic mistake. Stanislav Grof in his landmark transpersonal psychology book The Stormy Search for Self describes how a “spiritual emergency” – a powerful and difficult and potentially wonderful psychological event – can be misdiagnosed as a psychiatric breakdown. The person can be given a psychiatric diagnosis and put on powerful psychiatric drugs that can keep them snowed for a very long time – potentially the rest of their lives.
I will be forever grateful that this psychiatric bondage, for me, lasted only 30 years – and that I “woke up” at age 72. This journey is described in my new blog “Waking up“. I have some potentially wonderful years left – a reprieve that many people never get.
In the last two days, I finally got in touch with the grief and loss and rage I feel over the 30 years that the psychiatric profession “took away from me”. (I know that I will, over time, come to at least believe – if not understand why or how – this path has been just right for me. But hey, right now it’s all pretty new and raw.) This morning this pain seemed so deep and potent that – even in my current context where everything seems to heal fast – I feared it would be a long, long time before I could forgive this great harm.
This forgiveness happened in about four minutes at Jubilee this morning, through a song by Jess Powers about self-forgiveness – it wasn’t even about the forgiveness of others, but that was the healing I needed this morning.
Catch Jess tonight at the Jubilee Mystic Cafe (46 Wall St., 7-9). The wonderful person and very deep poet Aimee Morrison opens the show. If you can’t make the show tonight, you can find Jess online.
Stanislav Grof’s ideas are practiced and taught in Asheville at the Center for Spiritual Emergence.
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.