Answering the cries of the world…


For those of us in the LGBTQ community, for people of color, for Muslims, for the differently abled, for women, for the immigrant, and for anyone else who feels a sense of being the “other” or oppressed, the results of this election may feel frightening and concerning. Our hearts broken, vulnerable, and tender.
Stay with this. 
STAY with this. Do not cover it up, do not hide from it, do not run from it. There is no need to pretend.
This brokenness, this vulnerability, this tenderness of heart, IS our strength and our power.
It is the same strength and power imbued and made manifest throughout history by artists, peacemakers, spiritual warriors, and lovers. This is what the world needs right now. Perhaps, more than ever.
For those of us who are LGBTQ – I love you, you are valued, you are loved.
For those who are people of color – I love you, you are valued, you are loved.
For those who are Muslim – I love you, you are valued, you are loved.
For those who are women – I love you, you are valued, you are loved.
For those who are immigrants – I love you, you are valued, you are loved.
For those who are differently abled – I love you, you are valued, you are loved.
For those whom I may not understand, who may hold opposite views (even views I consider harmful), who also seem to be feeling frightened, disenfranchised, and angry – I love you, you are valued, you are loved.
The road ahead will surely be work. Perhaps, very difficult to work. But I vow to continue to work in service of the values and principles that define my life, my art, my writing, my spiritual practice.
I vow to continue to work in service of the same values and principles that moved me to vote for whom I continue to believe is the most qualified and representative candidate. 
I vow to continue to work in service of all that speaks to the best of who we are and can be. 
I vow to continue to work in service of all that opens hearts, nurtures kindness, motivates fierce compassion, elevates the “other”, and opens doors to the immigrant – the hungry -the poor. 
I vow to continue to work in service of all that produces dialogue, civility, nonaggression and nonviolence.
This is what I can do, what WE can do, no matter who is President or who is in Congress or who is on the Supreme Court.
This world desperately needs healers, lovers, peacemakers – bodhisattvas.
Will we hear the cries of the world and answer the call?

~j
11.09.16

it has a name, and that name is assault…

Let us be clear about this. 
The uproar and controversy is not about Donald Trump using the word “pussy” and then simply needing to apologize for that. 
If this is not clear, I have an exercise that I would like you to try to assist in illuminating the real issue:
Picture a female person in your life. It could be your mom, an aunt, your daughter, your niece, a cousin, or a friend. The key is to start with someone that you care about, someone whose well-being is something that you care about. Now picture that person, this female relative or friend, standing in front of you. Now picture a man whom you may or may not know walking up, kissing her without her permission, and then taking his hand and putting it on her genitals. She has not asked for this, she has not given permission.
This is what Donald Trump says he can, and does do, because he is a star.
This is called assault. period.
Unless this is something that you want done to your daughter, your niece, or any other relative, or friend whom you care about, unless this is something you want done to any other female human being that someone else cares about, then I would think you would want to stand up against this type of behavior and language, with a raised voice and firm resolution, from the deepest place within your heart and bones.
~j

10.08.16