Temenos Journal II

October 14, 2016

Why Trump’s accusers didn’t come forward sooner

Filed under: Feminism,Politics,Spiritual Activism — by Genie Webster @ 3:35 pm
Tags: , , ,

I’m an average middle-aged woman… average looks, average build, above-average intelligence, talent, and competence. I don’t know what the national average is for women who have been degraded and inappropriately toyed with in the workplace, but I can speak from my own experience. It’s happened to me at least three times that I can clearly remember.

Yes, I’ve been fired from a job I loved because I spoke out about inappropriate behavior towards me by the president of a company for which I worked. What he did would not be considered harassment and it was not illegal, but it made me uncomfortable. It made me not want to be in a room alone with him. In retrospect, I regret explaining to my immediate supervisor why I stopped having one-on-one meetings with the boss. The company offered me two months salary when they let me go, but only if I would sign an agreement not to say anything negative about the company. Of course I agreed.

That’s why we don’t speak up. We know that if it’s our word against his, we will never win. Men in power know that working women can’t usually afford to lose their jobs, so we rarely speak up. We just shake our heads and walk away disgusted.

I’m proud of Trump’s victims coming forward. I understand why they waited. There is strength in numbers. Women’s stories are being validated and perhaps our collective self esteem will be healed from talking about what we’ve had to endure. Like our first lady said, “It hurts.”

Donald Trump, your attitude towards women and the way you’ve treated them is not okay. You are a lousy role model for our sons and brothers. Sit down and shut the fuck up. Or change.

 

Advertisements

October 21, 2012

… which reminds me of Richard Nixon

Richard Nixon was famous for being the lying president who would rather be king. He tried to control the media because he was president. He famously “unplugged” a newscast that was reporting something he did not want aired. He proved not to be of good character.

I wonder… Were there any clues in his campaign that should have been “red flags” to the American citizens? I wonder…  If the Internet had been around at that time, would he still have been elected?

I’m thinking about Richard Nixon because I was reminded about him as I reflected on the life of George McGovern, who just passed away.

Oh how the youth supported George McGovern in the day. George McGovern was the anti-war candidate. The election was very, very close.

Anyway… It seems to me that more and more red flags are popping up around Romney. Who is he really?

A dear friend of mine, who is an open-minded Republican who very rarely votes Democrat, had been sitting on the fence about this election until the last debate. She called me in a panic… “Oh my god,” she said, “I can’t possibly vote for Romney.” I asked her why she seemed so upset about that. “Well I thought my mind was pretty well made up and I can’t believe I am actually leaning towards Obama. I can’t stand Romney. He gives me the creeps and I can’t get past that.”

It was as if a light bulb went off in her head… three weeks before the election. It was an intuitive gut feeling about the candidate’s character, and she’s going with her gut feeling, the way a lot of women do.

Mitt Romney lies too easily and too often. Even the Republicans don’t trust him. Who does that remind you of?

 

March 17, 2012

What I wrote re: Sarah Palin in 2008

Was 2008 a good year for women in politics?

Hell yes 2008 was a great break-through year for women. Hillary proved that she is equal to any male candidate (except Obama, obviously). Of course I was disappointed that she lost and of course Obama made me nervous at first. He had a different style of communicating and I didn’t always follow his line of speaking. But I really hadn’t been paying attention to him because I had been more focused on supporting Hillary.

Once I knew my choices were now limited to Obama and McCain, I started paying more attention to Obama but he still made me a little nervous because of his lack of experience and I thought McCain was one of the more honorable Republicans. So I could probably have been swayed to vote Republican this time. My mind was open and I started paying more attention and doing more research on both of the choices available.

When I heard the announcement that Obama had chosen Joe Biden as a running mate, I said wow! What a smart decision. That eased my mind, and Obama earned huge points in my book because Joe Biden had good solid experience and I liked him.

Then McCain chose Sarah Palin as his running mate and, as an open-minded feminist, I was offended. “How transparent can he get? How dumb does he think we are?” were the questions my women friends were asking one another. (And not all my friends supported Hillary!)

He might have redeemed himself if he had decisively replaced Palin when he realized he had made a mistake. But McCain continued to defend his choice, saying “I’m very proud of her,” as if she were a child. It was apparent that he did not consider her his peer. His patronizing attitude towards her was obvious. (Why weren’t feminists talking about this?)

Sarah Palin has done a great job of helping the advancement of women in politics because all sides have learned so much from this huge Republican blunder.

I came to believe that Barack Obama was the smarter candidate in 2008. I thought he would make better decisions than McCain would about who he would surround himself with. After all, besides his smart choice for running mate, look at who he chose for a life mate. Very smart. I believe that Michelle is one of Obama’s best political assets, just like Hillary remains one of Bill’s.

I say: Hillary in 2016. But be prepared to replace Obama in ’12 just in case he doesn’t do what he says he’s gonna do. Of course 2008 was a great year for women! We have proven that we don’t vote for a woman just because she’s a woman. We vote for a woman because she’s the best candidate for the job.

And Sarah Palin was not ready to step into the national arena. She blew her chance. A veteran recording star once advised me (after listening to my raw demo): “Do not make the mistake of getting into the spotlight before you’re ready because you only get one first chance. If you’re not ready, you’ll blow it because you won’t get another shot.”

Sarah Palin should have waited until she was ready. Now we know she puts personal ambition ahead of the good of her country and political party. Now we know she’s not the sharpest tool in the shed. Now we know we can’t trust her to go the distance.

But thank you, Sarah Palin, for inspiring this conversation, and for helping to accelerate the women’s movement forward. Thank you for helping many undecided voters make their decision more easily in 2008.

Sarah Palin  Related: Dear Mr. Romney

July 30, 2011

Confessions of a Recovering Angry Feminist

RosieRiveterYes, I admit I am a recovering angry feminist.

I still abhor the patriarchal values that perpetuate a fear-based society, where money buys power and bullies rule.

I still get livid when a woman or child is abused — physically, mentally, or spiritually.

But I have changed my thinking in one major way…

During the 70s and 80s I worked very hard to prove that I could make it in a man’s world. I worked my way up in a nontraditional job in a piping construction firm — from clerical worker to project manager — and learned to wear a hard hat and read a blueprint.

Then I went into my own business. First I went into publishing, which evolved into graphics and printing. I negotiated contracts, raised working capital, and had power lunches with bankers, lawyers, and CEOs. I became a successful, prominent business woman who was often profiled in the press as a role model and a leader.

A big part of my mission was to help pave the way for other aspiring business women. I was a charter member and active leader in the local Women Business Owners Association and I organized a roundtable discussion group of successful business women. We learned how to network and make things happen alongside the good ol’  boys of the Cleveland business community.

We were the women who learned to compete and win in the male-dominated competitive and greed-driven business world. We (or most of us) had become part of the system. Right around the time that George Bush Sr. dropped the first bomb on Iraq… I realized that I no longer wanted to be part of that system. I felt something like ashamed.

That moment of epiphany was the beginning of the decision to leave the business world and become the artist and writer that I was born to be. I did not like what I would have had to become in order to go to the next level of success in business. I did not like playing by the rules that were invented by men in suits. I announced my decision to my friends in my business women’s roundtable and I had their full support.

As I began the process of easing out of business, I gained a new appreciation for what men have been accomplishing for so many centuries. As I slowed down, the numbness caused by the continual onslaught of adrenalin began to subside, and I started to realize how bone-weary I was. I ached from head to toe. My brain was worn out.

I remember thinking, “Men can have this. Running a business is for the birds.” I reflected on all the giant things that men have accomplished… building the railroads, building the bridges, inventing commerce, etc. This is way too much work and you really do need broader shoulders than I have or want.

I just wanted out of the game. It did not feel like defeat, it felt like liberation.

I am still a feminist. That is, I will always work for equal rights for women and girls. Thankfully, there’s not nearly as much work to do now as there was when I was starting out in business. But I am no longer an angry feminist.

I feel compassion for men, not anger. My mission has changed from “making it in a man’s world” to “changing the way we look at the world.” I have many male friends who share the same vision. Men are not our enemy. They are our brothers. The enemy is the patriarchal system, created before our grandparents’ time. The enemy is corporate greed, that holds so many of our men (and women) hostage.

We allow ourselves to look the other way and become numb so that we can provide a certain expected lifestyle for our families. Well, that’s a short-sighted sell-out because we lose our integrity in the process. We lose our health, our peace of mind, our self-respect, and ultimately our souls.

We need to participate more as conscious citizens who can think for ourselves and make up our own minds, instead of coasting along like passive consumers, most of whom are also self-medicating themselves just to be able to withstand the insanity.

As citizens, we need to stay vigilant to keep informed about what the prevailing game is, and to know the rules. If we don’t like the game, we don’t have to play. We can help invent a new game where the object is not necessarily to win — the object is to keep the game going. We need to revisit the rules every so often, so that we can change the rules when they no longer serve our highest collective good.

Yes, the angry feminist has mellowed. Now I am a spiritual activist. I don’t think we can change the world… but I think we can change our hearts. And so my work is to reach peoples’ hearts through my music and my writing and my art. Yes, I believe we can change the world by changing our hearts, one heart at a time. This is about as feminist and feminine as you can get, I think.

 

Related: On the Strategy of the Dolphin

Related: On Spiritual Activism

July 28, 2011

On Bullshit Busting and Allergic Reactions

nobull

Besides being allergic to cats and shellfish, I am allergic to bullshit. Cats give me hives and cause my eyes to turn red and burn and itch. Bullshit causes me to go insane. So, naturally, I avoid cats and I avoid bullshit, whenever possible.

Bullshit can be defined as “anything which impedes clarity.”

Perhaps someday I will be strong and solid enough so that bullshit will just roll off me like water off a duck’s back. But I hope I don’t become too desensitized. Even though I’ve been in recovery from codependency for many years, I’m still vulnerable to its seductive lure. I guess you could say that I am a recovering bullshitter myself.

My friends call me a bullshit-buster. That’s because I will expose bullshit when I encounter it (and my bullshit sensor is keen). I will invite it to either transform or leave. Or I will leave.

I’ve found that when you are dealing with other bullshit addicts (i.e., codependents) – especially if they are still in denial – to expose their bullshit is to invite intense defensiveness.  It will undoubtedly cause tension and sometimes an emotional reaction. This intimidates a lot of people and so they allow themselves to be manipulated into going along with the bullshit. Or they go away without at least trying to smooth the tension.

But I’m not easily intimidated. I stand up to it and call it what it is. Because I know that bullshit is only that… bullshit. Pshaw!

Bullshit takes many forms.

1. DRAMA

A few years back, a couple of girlfriends and I were planning a garage sale. Peggy, Maryann, and I decided on a date and a time for the event and then we went back to our busy daily lives. When Peggy called me to see if we could move the date back a couple of weeks, I agreed. I just assumed that Peggy would also call Maryann and check with her, too.

When I spoke with Maryann the following week, I discovered that she had not yet found out about the date change. “Oh… Didn’t Peggy call you about the date change?” No, she hadn’t. It was an unfortunate – though innocent – oversight, I thought.

Maryann did not think this was so innocent. She reacted in anger, insisting that she had been intentionally left out of the loop. I apologized for the oversight, but that did not satisfy Maryann. I asked Maryanne what I could do to help make amends for this mistake. She said, “I want you to admit that you didn’t call me because you have little regard for me as a person.” I thought to myself, “That’s bullshit.” And I answered, “No, Maryann, that’s not why I didn’t call you. I mistakenly assumed that Peggy was going to call you.” This only aggravated Maryann, who replied, “This conversation is going no place!” and she hung up the phone.

Maryann was determined to create a drama that would support her self-image as a victim. When I refused to participate in her drama, she left the friendship. (There was no garage sale.)

2. IMAGE CONTROL

A person will modify or cover up the facts in order to engineer a desired image – either for themselves or for someone they are protecting (for whatever reason).

To quote Anne Wilson Schaaf from her book When Society Becomes an Addict"":

Codependents refuse to see people or things as they really are. In doing so, we are fundamentally disrespectful of them. It is only when people are seen as they really are that they can accept and honor and take responsibility for themselves. It is only when they own who they are that they have the option to become something else.

3. OVERLY GULLIBLE

Codependents tend to trust people who are untrustworthy. This only contributes to perpetuating more bullshit in the world.

Bailing someone out is often a kind, compassionate thing to do. To bail out the same adult person over and over again is not helping them, it is hindering them… and it’s participating in the person’s bullshit that they are not capable of taking care of themselves.  It is hindering them from learning to take responsibility and become self-sustaining.

When I first met Connie, she confided that she struggles with a compulsion to rescue people. She liked to feel needed, especially by her children. She continued to send her grown son – an intelligent, capable, resourceful adult – money whenever he asked for it. “I believe in him,” she would say. But she really didn’t. Because if she truly believed in him, she would have allowed him to learn to live within his means. By continuing to bail him out, she was helping to perpetuate his bullshit – his lie about himself that he was not capable of taking care of himself. She robbed him of an opportunity to grow.

Another way to describe people who are overly gullible is to say they believe what they want to believe. “The polls are wrong,”  for example.

5. IMMEDIATE GRATIFICATION

And then there is the bullshit of expecting instant gratification or quick-fix enlightenment. I know this one well. How many of us have gone from workshop to workshop, read book after book, tried one method after another… only to be disappointed that instant transformation or instant salvation did not magically occur?

So many seekers think that enlightenment is like instant mashed potatoes… no peeling, no boiling, no mashing… just add hot water and you’re done. Many are even reluctant to add the hot water! There are no shortcuts to an authentic and lasting bullshit detox. It’s an ongoing process and requires practice, like any life skill.

Step One = Stop bullshitting yourself. Take an honest moral inventory and start cleaning up your act. Simple… but not easy.

Group Bullshit

It seems so ironic that a person like me — who is allergic to bullshit – wound up in Reno, Nevada for 17 years… home of instant weddings, quickie divorces, neighborhood pawn shops, billboards promising the biggest  gambling pay-outs and the prettiest girls. This city depends on bullshit to sustain its very existence! The bullshit habit had become so ingrained in that city’s culture that lying (bullshitting) is not only tolerated… it’s expected and accepted… in its government, in its media, and its business climate.

I’ve heard that there are more nicotine addicts per capita in Reno than in any other city in the U.S. There are also multitudes of alcoholics, drug addicts, sex addicts, and compulsive gamblers. For every addict there are the accompanying multitudes of codependents. It is a culture of denial, avoidance, and getting numb.

Naturally, such a culture makes an imprint on its inhabitants. The psychic atmosphere is so muddy there that you cannot help but get your feet dirty.

What if we made it less acceptable in our communities and tribes to tolerate bullshit? If we can’t do that in our homes and families and neighborhoods, then we can’t change the world. We have to start with cleaning up our own little circles. We can do that in our homes and our workplaces and communities by sticking with a very simple guideline:

  1. Do what you say you’re going to do.
  2. Be courteous and respectful.
  3. Take responsibility for your own equanimity. If you feel you can’t be kind and emotionally stable while being truthful, then walk away until you figure it out
  4. Don’t exaggerate. Be truthful and reasonable.

It’s a start.

 

You might also like: On Spiritual Activism

July 25, 2011

A David & Goliath Tale – No. 1

I’m not afraid to take on the big cats.

The first time I took an unpopular stand against a daunting authority figure was when I was 19 or 20… working for a company called Tube Craft in Cleveland, Ohio.

I was quiet and focused on the job then, just like I am now. I started out as a “shipping clerk.” I learned quickly and soon got promoted to something like a production expeditor (? I don’t remember…). I do remember that the guy who worked side by side with me and who trained me was a tall blonde young man around my age. He was a nice guy, happily married, and we became pals and sometimes went out to lunch together.

The company was expanding and soon there was another guy around our age… a dark-haired shorter Italian guy. This time I was the one who trained him and we all did the same kind of work and became pals and often went out to lunch together.

One day, the tall blonde guy was complaining that he had to ask for a raise. “My wife and I have a baby on the way. We can’t make it on $XX per week.”

I think he was making about 30-40% more than I was.

Now I had been a feminist since the 6th grade when I challenged the recess monitor, Mr. Lehman: “How come the boys get the good kickball field and the girls get the junky one?” It just so happened that when I got home from work that day, the headline in the Plain Dealer said something like “GE (or some other huge corporation) must pay ($ some huge amount) in back wages to female employees in class action pay discrimination lawsuit.” It was a huge victory for feminists who were working to achieve equal pay for equal work at the time.

The next morning, little soft-spoken Genie went in to see the immediate supervisor, Frank Petrovich. I showed him the headlines and asked him “Did you know that it’s illegal not to pay women the same wages for equal work?” Frank was a really nice guy and a great boss. He said, “I was wondering when you would bring that up. I’m sorry but I can’t do anything about it. You’re going to have to take it up with Mr. Wiley (the president of the company).”

Bruce Wiley was ancient, but authoritative and an intimidating figure. Everyone was afraid to talk to Mr. Wiley and I was no exception. Although he did have a soft spot for young girls like me. So when I asked to see him, I was given an appointment.

I brought the Plain Dealer headlines with me. He was friendly and all smiley with his pale complexion and fine white hair and he invited me to have a seat. I sat across from him at his huge shiny desk and I put the newspaper headlines down in front of him. He adjusted his wire-rimmed specs and took a look and his pale face turned a bright shade of pink and his smiley-smiley face went dark.

I bravely asked him, “Mr. Wiley, are you aware that it is illegal to pay women less than men when they are doing the same work?”

He was angry that I would even ask such a question. “Young lady,” (I’ll never forget his words) “In this company we compare the women with the women and the men with the men.”

“I know you do, Mr. Wiley. But now that’s against the law.”

Mr. Wiley was really angry now. “What makes you think you’re worth more than Viola May, or Betty Sadowski?!! I don’t care what the law is! We compare the women with the women and the men with the men here.”

Then I did something that amazes me now. I mustered up all my courage and I said, “With all due respect, Mr. Wiley, this practice is illegal, and I am going to take steps to protect my rights by the law.” (My heart was pounding!)

Mr. Wiley never spoke to me again and I became a pariah in that company. The guys wouldn’t eat lunch with me anymore. The women would avert their eyes. And I was just a sweet young girl!

I think I took a day off to go downtown to fill out a report at the Ohio EEOC. Long story short… I won the case. And Mr. Wiley’s Tube Craft had to pay me all the back pay which was the difference between the guys’ wages and mine. I think that was the first time I took on Goliath and won.

But it wasn’t the last time…

July 3, 2011

On Spiritual Activism

There are animal rights activists. These are people who call attention to abuses to animals and who work to defend the rights of these often defenseless creatures. These people risk being ridiculed and sometimes risk their own necks in their work.

There are gay rights activists — people who call attention to injustices and abuses towards gays. These people also risk their jobs and sometimes their personal safety in this work.

There are political activists — people who call attention to corruption within our government and abuses of power. These people risk their jobs, their reputations, and personal safety to work towards changing political systems… in our communities, in our country and in the larger world.

I am a spiritual activist.

Let me define “spiritual” as that which pertains to the human spirit… that spark of energy that generates love. The human spirit is the manifestation of that spark, or power. It’s invisible, like electricity. The human spirit is invisible to our eyes, but discernible to our hearts.

My agenda is simple. Like animal rights activists who expose abuses to animals and like environmental activists who expose abuses to our environment, my agenda is to call attention to and expose spiritual abuse. My agenda is to raise awareness and reduce spiritual abuse in the world.

Spiritual abuse is anything which attempts to break the human spirit.

The human spirit is manifested by the more honorable qualities of a person’s character… qualities such as courage, the capacity to love and forgive, compassion, and generosity.

That which breaks the human spirit can usually be narrowed down to having originated from fear. Fear takes many forms, some insidious and some obvious. Some of the forms that fear takes include malicious gossip, manipulative or controlling behavior, bullying, and betrayal of trust. These types of acts are, at some level, all attempts to break someone’s spirit… usually because a fearful person’s proprietary vision of reality has been threatened.

On the positive side, it is also on my agenda as a spiritual activist to call attention to examples of authentic soulfulness. Author Sarah Breathnach writes:

The authentic self is the Soul made visible.

The soul is pure love. In an authentic soul, there is no fear. And so the human characteristics of courage, compassion, generosity, and the capacity to love and forgive are manifestations of authentic soulfulness. I try to walk my talk on this. I tell my stories not to brag, but to share lessons I have learned on my own humble  journey towards a more authentic and soulful life.

Like other activists who put their jobs, reputations, and personal safety at risk, I have sometimes encountered intense resistance to my work. That comes with the territory. An activist must be thick-skinned. I am not easily intimidated and I hold fast to staying connected to my Authentic Source.

Because of the risks involved, activism is not for everyone. Not everyone has the stomach for it. It’s sort of like a “calling.” If you are called to be an activist… whether it’s spiritual, animal rights, political, or whatever… you can’t not do the work.

You might also like: On Bullshit Busting…

(c) copyright 2011 Genie Webster. All rights reserved.

June 18, 2011

On Speaking Truth to Power

anitahillquote

I was spellbound by the Anita Hill hearings regarding the Clarence Thomas nomination to the Supreme Court. I watched it every minute that I could be in front of the TV. To me, it was a bizarre drama that was being played out live in front of the entire nation (this was before “reality TV”). I knew this was was an important moment in our society.

I admit that I became fascinated with the cartoon-like drama being enacted by members of the senatorial committee, and the whole event had a big impact on me.

The senators were being confronted with having to deal with a woman who was not going to back down from her assertion of the truth. It was as if they had never confronted a situation quite like this before. And Anita came across with such dignity, intelligence, and grace… that the contrast caused the senators to come across as cartoon-ish caricatures of themselves.

Only Joe Biden stood out as human and real, from my perspective. If only he had been a stronger, more powerful influence in those days…

Orrin Hatch came across as sinister and adversarial, and Arlen Specter could have been cast as the evil Sheriff of Nottingham–he had that creepy vibe (at least on camera).

I remember thinking to myself, “These are our nation’s leaders??” What a bunch of pompous clowns. I couldn’t believe there was so much drama and posturing. I wondered why they just didn’t put on their white wigs and robes and admit that they were just going through the motions to make it appear as if they were giving Anita Hill a fair hearing. The decision had already been made by the powers-that-be to discredit her.

Anita Hill came across as real. She remained consistent and solid and her testimony rang true. I believed her then and I still do.

I remember when Anita Hill appeared at a big fundraising event in Cleveland in 1992. She appeared on the bill with Gloria Steinem and Anita Roddick, the founder of The Body Shop chain. My then teen-aged daughter Melody and I went downtown to the Cleveland Music Hall to hear these prominent women speak.

They were all inspiring. But Anita Hill’s message was the most specific: “Speak out about your truth.” She said things would never change if we allow the truth to be swept under the carpet. “Speak out,” she kept saying. “You may pay a price, but the price is worth it.”

It was an important affirmation for me, as I was beginning a big transition in my life (although I did not know it at the time). I think Anita’s influence may have had an impact on my daughter, too, who courageously continues to speak out about the truth.

I was so impressed by Anita Hill that I bought a bumper sticker for my car, “I believe you Anita.” I didn’t know how else I could support her other than by sharing some of the heat.

Six years after the hearings, my hero wrote a book, Speaking Truth to Power. The book is about her experience before, during, and after the hearings. It goes a long way in helping the public get to know Anita Hill, and to better understand her motives in standing up for the truth, despite the punishment she had to endure for bucking the white male system (at the time).

She came forward with information that she, as a citizen, felt was vital in assessing Clarence Thomas’s character. If only Clarence Thomas had come forward with (something like): “I understand how my actions may have been construed as offensive or disrespectful. I will make amends for those past actions and I will be more conscious of being more respectful moving forward.” But, of course, he denied any responsibility at all. Even worse yet — Clarence Thomas, along with the senatorial committee — tried to get him off the hook by bullying the witness and trying to discredit her character.

Many of us can identify with Anita Hill. Our confrontations with denial systems may be on a much smaller scale, but the courage required to stand your ground despite punishment and attempts to discredit you is just as real. It astounds me to see the lengths to which some people will go to defend their version of reality, and how threatened they feel when challenged.

I am grateful to Anita Hill for telling her story, and for inspiring others to have the courage to stand up for their own truth.

I caught Anita on “Bookwatch” on C-Span when the book Speaking Truth to Power
came out in 1997. The interviewer asked her if she could ever forgive Clarence Thomas. She paused thoughtfully, then answered, “I’m not necessarily looking for an apology, but I would like some sort of acknowledgement that he understands what he did to my life by calling me a liar in front of the entire nation.”

I believe you, Anita.

June 8, 2011

The Weiner Admission

What strikes me about the Weiner Admission is how childish this guy is. No, he did not break any law (I don’t think). I don’t know if he broke any rules job-wise.

But he certainly revealed his true character. He certainly revealed what he focuses his mind on in his spare time (seems to have a lot of spare time, doesn’t he?)

It’s one thing to be emotionally immature… that’s his and his family’s problem. What concerns me is that I wonder if Mr. Weiner has control over his impulses. Shouldn’t he be focusing on his job? If he can’t control his impulses in his personal life… will he be able to control his impulses while he is representing the people of his district?

It all comes down to the Peter Pan Syndrome, which was explained in the 1983 book, The Peter Pan Syndrome: Men Who Have Never Grown Up, by Dr. Dan Kiley.

The Peter Pan syndrome is a desire to remain young emotionally, and not face the responsibilities of being a grown-up. It’s like being in a juvenile rut. Although not wanting to grow up is usually a normal part of the adolescent mindset, it can become a problem if Peter Pan continues to shun adulthood emotionally in his “grown-up” years. He would rather… play.
 
Wendy: I guess it becomes clearer when you grow up.
Peter Pan: Well, I will not grow up. You cannot make me!
 
 

Hook: If I were you, I’d give up!
Peter: If you were me… I’d be ugly!

June 5, 2011

What is a goddess?

What is a goddess?

(Just to clarify… of course this is a metaphorical question!)

Before I get into my definition of “goddess” (with a small “g”), I offer my personal view on the Goddess (with a capital “G”). Metaphorically, the Great Goddess is a co-creator with God. Together they form the One, the creative essence of all life.

For purposes of illustration, I will call God (as we know “him”) Father Sky, and I will call the Great Goddess Mother Earth. Many, many thousands of years ago the Earth Goddess was worshiped and honored. Ultimately, the world view has become unbalanced, and the Earth Goddess has been put aside and hidden from our collective psyche. As we are aware, the lopsided view of the Sky God became an excuse for raping the earth, dominating women and weaker nations, and keeping the common people in ignorance by discouraging inner knowing and by punishing questioners of authority. Even the Sky God’s churches are phallic symbols reaching towards the sky.

The Earth Goddess rules intuition, while the Sky God rules the intellect. Together they create a balance. Yin and Yang. The Earth Goddess rules birth and creativity, while the Sky God rules structure and forward action. Together they create balance. The Earth Goddess rules water and earth, while the Sky God rules air and fire. Together they create balanced life.

If this sounds Native American…. it is. And more.

When I speak of a goddess with a small “g,” I speak of an earthly representative of the Great Goddess. I speak of someone who teaches us about the Great Goddess, just by virtue of their being. I don’t merely believe — I know that bringing back the essence of the Goddess is not only important — it is essential in turning around our world situation so that it is more… balanced.

Bringing attention to goddess-like women and their visions — through their work and their art — will help expand the consciousness of our society at large. It is an activity with consequence.

There is a lot of confusion and misunderstanding around the word goddess, when it is used to describe a mortal woman. Some people automatically think of sex goddesses designed by men — tall, buxom blondes in high heels and lingerie. Other people assume that goddesses must participate in pagan rituals. Other people think that the description is pompous or arrogant, and that the word “goddess” conjures up images of self-aggrandized women who put themselves up on pedestals, a notch above ordinary women. Don’t confuse a goddess with a diva, or a queen bee.

Charlie Sheen called his live-in porn starlets “goddesses”… whatever!

To help clarify the vision for all those who may want to help promote this concept of bringing back the feminine aspect of deity, here is what “goddess” means, when used to describe a mortal woman. No goddess-like woman (hereinafter referred to as goddess) is perfect, nor can every goddess demonstrate all of these qualities all of the time. We are, after all, mere mortals of our own imperfect imaginations. However, a goddess demonstrates most of these qualities most of the time:

A goddess invents her own life, and lives according to her own vision. This quality requires the companion qualities of imagination and courage.

A goddess is autonomous. She seeks no one’s approval, but listens to her own counsel. Perhaps she also listens to the Holy Spirit. She does not try to impress anyone. Her work speaks for itself. She never makes excuses and rarely offers explanations for her actions. She is not defensive for she is not threatened by what other people may think of her. She is the queen of her own life and this is reflected in her demeanor.

A goddess is passionate (not to be confused with manic). She has a palpable energy and enthusiasm that is contagious and beneficial to those around her. In esoteric terms, she raises the vibration in a group situation. She inspires others.

A goddess is continually learning and evolving.

A goddess is authentic. The mask she presents to the outside world is the same as her innermost heart. She has learned to express her emotions cleanly and healthily. What you see is what you get. A goddess knows her own truth. She does not impose her truth on others, but will share her wisdom when invited to.

A goddess takes care of herself. She does not expect others to take care of her. She treats herself as well as she would treat her best friend. She is compassionate and forgiving with herself and others. She gets enough rest and gives her body the right fuel — both in oxygen and in food and water. She also feeds and nurtures her soul. She knows what she needs.

A goddess is committed to universal healing and works towards peace and understanding — whether it is on a large scale or simply within her family and closest circle of friends. She contributes to cleaning up the environment–both in earthly terms and psychically– and teaches the next generation to do likewise.

A goddess sees her body (and the earth) as sacred, and is in tune with natural cycles. She is comfortable with her sexuality, and responsible in her choices.

A goddess has learned balance and patience. Flow and ebb. Waxing and waning. A goddess does not freak out during ebb or waning times. She uses it wisely for rest, reflection, and planning.

A goddess has learned to trust her intuition and inner knowing. She has learned to tap into this source at will, and can discern the difference between what is real and what is an illusion.

A goddess has learned to let go of the need to control the flow of the river. She has discovered the futility of trying too hard. She has learned to ride the wave and go with the flow, to ask for and accept help when required. She is flexible, fluid, and adaptable. She has given up the need to control or manipulate. She does not pout or whine when she does not get her way.

A goddess communicates her boundaries. She is gentle but firm when her boundaries are violated. She respects others’ boundaries. She asks for clarification when necessary.

A goddess recognizes and honors other goddesses and gods. She lends her support to the work of other god/desses. She does not feel competitive or threatened by other goddesses and understands that what is good for one is good for all, and that when one shines, the light benefits all. A goddess knows how to share and is generous of spirit, but she does not give more than what she can afford — emotionally, financially, physically, or energy-wise.

A goddess’s natural state is one of joy and gratitude. She is also at home with her shadow, and will honestly mourn her losses and explore her fears. She understands that everyone experiences pain — it is part of life on earth. Therefore she works through her own pain with courage and dignity, not trying to sidestep it, or numb it, but to get through it and learn from it.

A goddess is comfortable with death, and has learned to let go…. of relationships, concepts, and material possessions that are worn out, or that are no longer needed for our growth.

A goddess will sacrifice when necessary… for her children, for her elders, for her brothers and sisters. And she will kill when necessary, and understands the energy of Kali, and Mother Nature when she is fierce.

Mary, Holy Mother of Jesus–dearly beloved by Catholics and other devotees–is a perfect example of a Goddess with a capital G, because she represents the feminine aspect of God the Father. And a nun could also have goddess qualities, based on the above criteria.

We will never have true equality of the sexes until God is universally perceived as both male and female. Father and Mother.

This is the goddesspell according to Genie. 😉