19 December 2006

thinking about the bigger picture and

trying to chase away the bah-humbugs... a new year is quickly approaching and while i'm not one for resolutions, i think that a little soul searching is clearly in order for this gal in light of a myriad of seemingly unrelated, but connected, recent events.

i've got quite an affinity for the butterfly, you see. and the idea of metamorphosis. i'am a butterfly, in so many respects... i hope that i never stop evolving, learning and questioning. my life, in all of it's 33 years, has been so full of extremes and change. i'm excited to see what happens next.

i've really been feeling the pull lately - my eternal struggle of fight or flight. but i'm realizing that it is never that simple. i've grown quite weary as of late, of "fighting" the status quo. i do this in cycles, and i know when i need to take a break - as much as my feisty spirit will allow me, that is. i'm finding that feeling to "run for the hills" is beginning to win out over the "stay and fight." there really is only so much that i can do... often, in my criticism of popular u.s. socio/political doings, i get
, "well, if you hate it so much, why don't you leave?" because it's my country too! or is it? am i simply playing some silly little head game with myself that is grounded in denial? there just so happens to be this little town on this little island in canada that is calling my name. i haven't even been there yet. but it calls just the same. somehow, someway, we will go visit there this spring.

a few weeks ago, i sent off a note off to island amazon saying as much, and questioning whether or not this was weak of me - to want to just pack up everything and all of us and go, get away. it was different when it was just me - but now i have this little bebe dude (and big dude) i must take into consideration. the response i got was a perspective that i'd never considered. it's all about perception. it's not about running away so much as it is about running towards the life i want for me and my family. the opting out that i try so hard to accomplish still finds me falling flat on my face. whether i like it or not, i'am still contributing to the pain and suffering of so many in the world, and it literally breaks my heart. every day.

island amazon posted up this invite for discussion some time ago and it's been bouncing about in me head since. now is the time.

1. What are the basics we need in order to survive?
clean water, clean air, healthy food, support, options, shelter, health, love, kinship... anything less is simply existing, most likely finding one struggling to try to survive.

2. What are the basics we need in order to thrive?
a sense of worth, a stake in it all of our own design - not one that has been prescribed for us, freedom (true freedom - not the varietal that has been packaged up neatly and sold to us as freedom... ),meaning, hope, harmony, the absence of fear, having access to the tools and options needed to create a life that transcends simply existing, community, balance, openness, truth, work that is meaningful, words/language, a recognition that we are individually but one tiny but key part of a whole, safety, an outlet, respect - a basic level for self, other cultures, other people, the earth, and of course - the basics for survival are also needed for thriving...

3. What can we reasonably assert to be fundamental truths?
tricksey question for me... truth in and of itself is so subjective - my own truths have changed and transformed over the years, even if in the smallest of ways... i'm going to have to fall back on a couple of quotes that i hold near and dear to me and think a little more.

humankind has not woven the web of life. we are but one thread within it. whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. all things are bound together." ~chief seattle

"do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. but after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and take it as your guide." ~ buddha

and i don't know who to give the credit to for this, but, "what we think we become."

4. What does it mean to live ethically?
to me, living ethically basically boils down to leaving the least amount of footprint humanly possible in my day-to-day wanderings/doings on this earth and that my actions have a significantly positive impact on the world around me and the people that share this place with me. i try my best to be conscientious of this every waking moment. oh! and the first rule of medicine is good too: do no harm. i try. and sometimes i fail. miserably. but i'll keep trying...

5. What does a good life mean to you?
a good life, to me, is one that is filled with love, being surrounded by people with similar views and desire for a better world to leave for our children - sharing and celebrating. it means living closely to the earth and achieving balance in all aspects. it means respect. it means living in the moment, learning from my mistakes, making connections and building bridges where there were none before. it means live and let live, so long as that living doesn't equate to unnecessary death and destruction. it means being part of the solution, not part of the problem. it means gaining more knowledge and continuing to evolve as a person. it means to not simply exist, but to live.

my "dream" life would be much like my life is now, except we'd be living in a place closer to the ocean. i would spend my days painting and writing and reading and exploring and having adventures - and showing bebe EVERYTHING. i would have an organic garden. i would live in a community, in the truest sense of the word - and be an active part of that community, that village. bebe could actually play outside to his heart's content and not know the fear that has surrounded me for the majority of my life. he would be given the opportunity to develop a sense of self before being bombarded with all of the culture's twisted messages.

that was a lot harder than i thought it would at first glance! i've literally been working on it for hours and i know i still left something out... and so it goes.



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