Monday, July 24, 2017

PsychKicks© ~ In Critical Condition: The Old Politics




Psych yourself up with like-minded sidekicks by exploring the symbols all around us—together.


Source of Inpiration
Life experience, astrology,
intuition, political observation

© 2017 by Joyce Mason


I don’t talk politics on my personal Facebook page in order to keep it a stress-free zone, an oasis for inspiration and laughter. I’ve been more willing to discuss the subject on my blog, The Radical Virgo, where PsychKicks is housed. Technically, I’m not violating my NPZ (No Politics Zone) by sharing the following opinions and inklings, even though I also share PsychKicks on Facebook. If you’d rather avoid the topic, I hope the title already scared you off. Here’s my take on the strange current happenings that mystify, if not terrify, a lot of us.

For the sake of your sanity, if you think you’re watching the Travesty of the Day every day, it’s important to see today’s political drama as Change in Progress. If your dearest dream is for the current Administration to go away, this edition of PsychKicks is especially for you. Whether or not it’s clear to us, we’re seeing the old paradigm dying, the prototype of the good old boys, back room deals and white privilege. Many Trump supporters like the old ways. A majority of Americans do not, which is why over half of them voted for Hillary Clinton or other candidates in 2016.That's also why, as of this writing, Trump has only a 36% approval rating, meaning 64% disapprove of what he's doing. It’s important to understand that there’s momentum building up toward a 100th Monkey effect, a reverse turn away from the old. A turn toward embracing progress and ultimately, respecting everyone. Oneness. Or as Buddha said, there are no others.



“If we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity.”
 ~John F. Kennedy
I see Donald Trump as a caricature of the flaws in our American system, what can go wrong if we don’t stick to our values and the principles of the Founding Fathers. If we let personal gain, denial and disinformation rule. Comedy is often the best way to get people to swallow difficult-to-take truths. God, Goddess, the Universe—however you perceive Higher Power—that energy source has a great sense of humor. Political comedy and cartoons have been side-splitting since Trump came down that escalator and ran for office.

There’s a part of me that feels compassion for this man who calls others a mess at the drop of a hat but refuses to look inward and get some help for his own disaster, another of his favorite words he applies to everyone but himself. His insecurity is sad, and I shudder to think of what in his upbringing resulted in such desperation for flattery, admiration and self-defined winning at any cost. I won’t debate his sanity or lack thereof. It’s on display every day for folks to draw their own conclusions.

But I can’t help but notice some obvious clich├ęs and principles that fit the idea of the old dying. First, there’s the maxim, things usually get worse before they get better. Do they ever! (And judging by the last few days as I write this, they may get worse in a way that one politico I respect calls chilling.) Yet there are plenty of people, to paraphrase the movie Network, who are mad as hell and just won’t take it anymore. Complacency can be overcome by threats to health, safety and even one’s own peace of mind.

The other things I can’t help but notice come from my own, literal experiences with watching loved ones die. There is nearly always a rally when the end is near. The old has had one helluva rally with Trump’s victory (legitimate or not) and the Republican majorities in the House and Senate. Most Republicans are old school, some older than others. That’s why it’s considered the conservative party.

But after the rally comes the crash, including the death rattle. The inability to reach consensus on health care is a perfect example of an administration gasping for final air. Not even the Republicans could all agree on a replacement for Obamacare. More people of diverse political persuasions see how denying medical insurance is a literal death sentence for some people. The protests, especially by the disabled, are touching and just one example of “mad as hell.” If the USA is about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, how is that ideal within reach unless health care is a life-affirming right?

I don’t hate Donald Trump. I think he is the wrong person for President in these turning-point times. (OK, anytime.) But he may just be the right person to make people so fed up; they start finding original or well-tried and successful solutions to our problems that have worked in other countries. For example, those countries that have struggled with the complexity of medical care delivery systems. Among these civilized societies, mostly our allies, single-payer universal health care is what works.

Many of us are so tired of disrespect, name calling, unpresidential behavior, sexism—and possibly far worse sins in terms of milking the Presidency for personal gain, possible collusion with Russia or downright treason. Yet this outlandish behavior may just be the catalyst to rethink where we stand with our republic and some solutions we thought we’d never need, like minimum qualifications to run for the office of President.

This won’t last. It will pass. Likely sooner than later. If you haven’t  already read it, take a look at Allan Ishac’s article on Extra NewsFeed,Trump Will Resign By The SummerHere’s How It’s Going To Happen.” Oozing with tongue-in-cheek humor that’s likely at least, in part, politically prescient, the article is hilarious with the gritty feeling of grains of truth. Ishac has the same Flag Day (June 14) birthday as DJT. He claims this gives him an inside track on how Trump ticks.

And whether or not it’s sooner—this summer—or later, Trump has dramatic astrological transits in August that are likely to catalyze major upheaval in his life and public standing. (A simple search will yield lots of opinions, but none of them I’ve seen so far promise smooth sailing.)

I believe Trump will resign because the long-held rules of checks and balances among branches of government won’t let him do it his way. (Cue Frank Sinatra music.) His way looks more like a dictatorship every day. No wonder he admires Vladimir Putin. (He probably secretly wishes he had a Siberia for exiling political enemies and disloyal friends.)

But the dethroning of Trump, whenever and however it happens, is just the beginning. The rest of it is up to us, and we’ve got a lot of work to do in order to create a better world that works for all.

How will you do your part?

~~~


This Week’s Exercise
Find one thing you can do, even if it’s very small, to contribute to positive political change. Some examples: 
  • Sign petitions, donate money or volunteer to support political causes that stir your passions.  
  • Go to a city council meeting on a topic you care about deeply. Good government starts at the local level.
  • Talk to someone with different political beliefs, engaging both head and heart—and your most respectful behavior. (This one is challenging, but it's the one we most have to learn to do.)
 Start now and build on your first steps. 

Photo Credits: Kids side kicking ~ © keigo1027yasuda – fotolia.com, Sick elephant - © darenwoodward - Fotolia.com


Resources



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Monday, July 17, 2017

PsychKicks©: You Asked for It



Psych yourself up with like-minded sidekicks by exploring the symbols all around us—together.

Source of Inspiration
Facebook wisdom

Facebook: I find so many inspirational posts there; it’s almost like going to a cyber chapel for morning meditation. Better yet, you can bring your coffee and wear your jammies.

Sometimes I save posts that really move me. Other times, I remember the gist but forget the exact wording. Here’s my paraphrase of an idea I can’t get out of my mind lately.


Everything you’re going through right now, you created to get everything you ever asked for.


All of us, at one time or another, have felt like we’re being beaten up by a cruel world. Once we’re done being a victim—ever—you asked for it conveys a profound truth. The most healing and growth I’ve ever experienced has come through challenging times. The road to deep healing and fulfillment seems to be lined with its share of rough patches and potholes. Not always, but people can be really lazy. When everything is hunky dory, who doesn’t want to skate a little—OK, maybe a lot—rather than put energy into examining and clearing those core issues? Better to leave well enough alone.

You asked for it is often misinterpreted as blaming the sufferer for his or her own suffering. Suffering is real, and while walking around in physical or emotional pain, no one needs shame on top of it. That’s putting the accent on the wrong half of the sentence, the “going through” instead of the results that the adversity course offers at the finish line. For many of us, suffering is so deeply embedded into our spiritual experience; it’s hard to give up guilt and self-blame as knee-jerk reactions. One of the things I found most repugnant about my 1950s Catholic upbringing was a fixation on the suffering of Jesus, sometimes in the most gory and detailed terms. I always preferred to focus on the Resurrection.

You asked for it simply implies that our consciousness is so strong and aligned with something bigger; we have at some level accepted a cosmic curriculum for growing. The idea that you have either a conscious or subconscious role in changing your experience is not shameful; it’s empowering. It doesn’t make you bad; it makes you captain of your own ship, willing to test your survival skills in life’s storms in order to become more. Remember why you asked for it: to get everything you ever wanted. You’re in process. The completed picture is not yet in sight.

This path isn’t for the faint of heart, even for its rich rewards. I remember how quickly I learned as a kid not to bad-mouth and exclude others once I got a taste of my own medicine. Other lessons took much longer. Several enormous betrayals took decades for me to get over, much less to arrive at a healing state of forgiveness. At that, I forgave the parties involved a whole lot earlier than I forgave myself. (Who hasn’t thought or uttered the words, what was I thinking? Or how could I have been so stupid?)

From the betrayals, I also learned the importance of saying what I really feel, no matter how afraid I am of losing the object of my affections. So much would have turned out differently if it weren’t for wrong assumptions in some cases on my part—and that foolishness of youth, not standing in my own truth for fear of the consequences.

My brush with cancer (it turned out to be a false alarm) had every hallmark of what a health scare can teach us—to embrace life every minute we’re lucky to be here and to consider how we’ll handle the ending of our own story. One thing I never expected was learning how many people love me and were willing to give their time, tenderness and resources to see me well again. I remember it was the first time a dear friend said I love you. He’s the same cynic that always kidded me about being “light and fluffy.”

In the more recent decades of my life, I can honestly say that despite my devotion and willingness to do it from the get-go, I find it hard to believe that I would have “ordered” a husband with health problems. Now that they have slowly progressed to the point that I am a caregiver, I sometimes wonder why I seem to have stuffed so much learning into one incarnation. Through this blessing/trial, I have learned how to take care of myself in ways I never thought possible. No one can take good care of another without taking excellent care of him- or herself. This necessity sent me to Mindful Self-Compassion training and catalyzed a daily meditation practice, one I have been trying to incorporate into my life since 1977. It has exposed my personal reactions to stress and allowed me to alter them. I’m learning to accept what-is which makes benefiting from the experience possible. Then there’s the experience of increased trust and intimacy. That’s just a sampler of my course in progress.

“It’s All Good”

There’s a Pollyanna way of using this expression, but there’s also a metaphysical way that can change your life. Years ago I started looking for the good in every situation I encountered. Not denying the crap, mind you, but embracing the idea that the universe is friendly, supportive and here to guide me along in my growth. Once I embraced that idea fully, life started to really work. It still does: cuts, bruises and all. Pain gets our attention. Sometimes we’ll do anything to end it or heal it, including change.


Astrology Bits

If you’ve got one of those birth charts with personal planets (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars and Jupiter) interacting closely with a lots of outer planets (Pluto, Uranus, Neptune and Chiron, what I call the PUNCs), you’re here for an advanced course in personal and planetary evolution. Transits involving those planets only ratchet up the game in certain timeframes. Rather than complaining about what these giants of change “do” to you, start thinking about what they do “for” you. Navigate to your next destination with the pluck of Indiana Jones and the assurance that nothing in that jungle out there is beyond being a stepping stone to greater good.


This Week’s Exercise

Think about a current challenge. Make notes about what you’re learning from it. If this is hard for you, imagine or ask what your favorite cup-half-full friend would say. Do this for as long as it takes to convince you that Love’s on your side.

Speaking of love, I’d love to hear your discoveries.


~~~

Photo Credits: Kids side kicking ~ keigo1027yasuda – fotolia.com, Girl begging - © victorbrave - Fotolia.com


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Monday, July 10, 2017

PsychKicks©: Relics, Amulets and Mementoes





Psych yourself up with like-minded sidekicks by exploring the symbols all around us—together.



Source of Inspiration
My old recipe box


Psychometry. Another “psych” word.  Here’s a wonderful definition from a how-to article on developing psychometric skills:


Psychometry is a common ability best known from TV where a psychic touches some physical object like a photo and describes what he sees. The ability isn’t really different from psychic reading, but this time instead of reading a person, a person is reading an object. [1]

I’m not suggesting you spend the week learning to read everyone’s jewelry, key chains and memorabilia, unless it turns you on. But I do want to explore how the energy objects hold affects our feelings about keeping or getting rid of them. Some people have good luck charms. Others have things they consider sacred even if they don’t realize it.


There are some things I own that are nearly useless and unnecessary … but I can’t let them go. One is my old recipe box. What could be more quaint or ugly than a primary yellow, plastic flip-top box for 3 x 5 cards with alphabetical dividers? 



My sort-it compromise? To consolidate a pair of matching recipe boxes into one. How could I toss the last kitchen relic, even with most of my recipes saved in my computer or easy to find online?


The recipe box reverberates with my mother’s instructions for potato bread, written with her usual misspellings and amusing malapropisms. My Aunt Faye’s dessert recipes. My friend Jinni’s peanut butter drop candy, too rich for me to even consider making anymore … but Jinni and I started as pen pals 58 years ago! I was into long-distance, written friendship way before the Internet. And those other favorites from friends long gone or barely in my life anymore. These bits of paper chewed by cabinet moths and clippings yellowed by time? A scrapbook of my life and tastes. For the small space it takes up, my recipe box is coming with me to my grave (or more likely, the crematorium).


Pictures and jewelry are pretty obvious as mementoes with tangible energy, but some “relics” are more subtle. For example, I made a magic wand from a small branch of one of our oak trees. (As much an art object as a Harry Potteresque manifesting tool.) Our present home is where my husband and I have lived in the longest in our lives. It represents stability and beauty as it sits in a stand of these ancient oaks near a year-round creek. My wand is now a relic because its parent tree became diseased and had to be taken down earlier this year. I could no more part with something containing the energy of that fatherly, protective tree than I could betray my husband or best friend.


Speaking of my hubby, he has a relic that both annoys and inspires me. It’s a brick from his high school, St. George, in Evanston, Illinois. The school no longer exists. It was torn down years ago. The brick is ugly and heavy. Tim will not part with it. I hope we can incorporate it into a planter or turn it into something more useful than a doorstop, something that reflects how much it is cherished. It comes from the city where we met when we were 12 years old.


I love rocks, feathers, pine cones or other pieces of places I have visited. I carry the places I love primarily by buying jewelry when I travel. Each piece contains a droplet of the entire ocean of my memories: Sedona, the Pelion Peninsula in Greece, Istanbul, Monterey and Carmel. San Diego.


Growing up Catholic, I was taught young to worship and live with reverence, joy and ritual. Life is a sacred adventure. In the ecclesiastical sense, relics are the body, some part of the body, or some personal memorial of a saint, martyr, or other sacred person, preserved as worthy of veneration. [2] This idea really stuck in my psyche.

That’s why my windowed cabinet above my sideboard has fewer knickknacks to make room for the little pine boxes of ashes. They belong to my late, great fur kids: Bear (dog) and kitties Duffy, Darrin and Bogey. And, oh yeah, my brother because I still don’t know what to do with him, as if I ever did. (He didn’t specify his wishes. He really had no idea or preference. It comforts me to have him near, his photo smiling nearby.)


And a pair of other cat urns in the garage. We’ll all be thrown to the winds together someday in one or more of the following: Lake Michigan, Klinger Lake in Sturgis, Michigan; Lake Tahoe, the American River or the Pacific Ocean. They’re the bodies of water that have meant the most to me. My water relics.


If you happen to be there when I go for my final swim and see some yellow flecks flying with my remnants, it’s just my recipe box sticking with me to the bittersweet end.

This Week's Question

What are your treasures that contain the vibrations of a person, place or thing you love? Make a list and maybe a special place for them. Be sure to remember to write in your last will and testament how you want them distributed. If they are/were precious to you, no doubt they will be to other friends or family.
I’d love you to hear your thoughts in the Comments.

~~~

Photo Credits: Kids side kicking ~ keigo1027yasuda – fotolia.com, Recipe box ~ 


References


  1. “Five steps to read an object with psychometry,” http://astateofmind.eu/2010/04/02/5-steps-to-read-an-object-with-psychometry/.
  2. Dictionary.com, relic: http://www.dictionary.com/browse/relic?s=t

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Monday, July 3, 2017

PsychKicks©: Independence or Interdependence Day?



Psych yourself up with like-minded sidekicks by exploring the symbols all around us—together. 


Source of Inspiration
US Independence Day,
Conversations about relationships 


"High as a flag on the 4th of July.” So go the words of I’m in Love with a Wonderful Guy from South Pacific. Change the words to I’m in love with my freedom so dear and I feel the same way. I’m not just in love with living in a free country but with being a free spirit. Independence Day bursts on the scene with fireworks tomorrow. Let’s explore what independence means to us on this red, white and blue holiday. (You don’t have to be an American to play.)

Independence Day or the 4th of July commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.The Continental Congress declared that the 13 American colonies considered themselves a separate nation, the United States of America—no longer part of the British Empire.

This breaking free reminds me of teenagers who petition the courts to become emancipated minors. Still stretching toward adulthood and no longer wanting or feeling the need for parental guidance and restriction, the teen asks the law to grant him or her early adult status with both its lesser prohibitions and new responsibilities.

This stepping away gets to the heart of independence. It is something we declare—own—then act upon. It starts within.

As anyone who has lived even a few decades knows, others can set us free, but we won’t be free until we come to terms with the “breakup” ourselves. This is true of romances, jobs, children leaving home and so many other partings or renegotiations of relationships in adult life. To declare independence before its usual time according to law, customs or other outer influences is a pre-emptive strike. It’s standing up on our own before someone kicks us out, so to speak, or at least continues to exert a parental-like hold on us. While dissatisfaction with the status quo is the usual basis of the break, the parting is not always contentious as in the expression friendly divorce.

The pre-emptive nature of emancipation is the bane of highly independent people. Lots of us (I am so one of them) tend to leave people and places first before they grow tired of us or no longer want or need us. For many there are baseline fears of intimacy or abandonment that subconsciously stoke the internal fireworks that lead us to walk—sometimes run—away.
If that smacks a little of not being 100% healthy to you, you’re probably right. 

Sometimes it’s time to leave, especially if there is any kind of abuse or irreconcilable differences involved. Irreconcilable differences are the major basis for divorce in California—an expression that says it all to me. Sometimes we just outgrow people, places and things.

Yet the heart of being a happy human is connection. I have recently read that the opposite of addiction (can’t quit a person or habit) is connection. This brings me to the topic of interdependence.

Interdependence Day


Our choices aren’t between neurotic dependency and who-needs-you when it comes to politics or personal relationships. The healthy alternative is interdependence, voluntary agreements to support each other and pool our talents and caring. According to dictionary.com, interdependence is defined:


Interdependence
Noun 
The quality or condition of being interdependent, or mutually reliant on each other: 
Globalization of economies leads to an ever-increasing interdependence of countries.


Interdependent relationships are not parent-child; they are adult-adult. In an increasingly global economy, freedom comes from growing up and treating everyone like equal partners.

The hardest part about “being the adult:” it often requires a one-sided decision to act mature when others are rolling on the floor and pitching tantrums. Those content to remain children in their citizenship or personal relationships are the least likely to break the pattern. The responsible types have to be more responsible, at least temporarily.

From the political perspective, our current US president often does not take the high road of adult-to-adult interactions. So it’s incumbent on those of us who want change to do it, even when our top representatives aren’t playing. The more we stand up for interdependence, the more people will find the old ways ineffective and backwards and ultimately intolerable. Evolution will follow. When I have stood up to gossip or petty behavior in my own life, I’ve been amazed to learn how many people felt the way I did; they just didn’t want to be the first to speak up.

In personal relationships where our reactive buttons are hottest, the same applies. Suck it up and be the bigger person. Most relationships suffer horribly from entrenched reactive patterns. One person has to stop the reaction, no matter how difficult or knee-jerk it is. The repetitive rants and fits that result destroy the bond bit by bit and become the distraction to dealing with the underlying issues that would heal the relationship … if only someone would grit their teeth and be the grownup. It changes everything.

Here in the Sacramento Area, we are incredibly blessed to have our very own Interdependence Day. A creation of Stephen Dinan, Founder and CEO of The Shift Network and author of Sacred America, Sacred World: Fulfilling Our Mission in Service to All: the event focuses on “what connects us to the human family.” Events include a global interfaith meditation and ceremony. Some other activities are sand mandala-making, a labyrinth walk, children’s art, cultural dancing and more.

During Stephen’s recent trip to Sacramento, he was inspired by the energy in our sacred-named city and plans a big conference here on similar themes in September. I hope this starts a nationwide evolution and a divine domino effect of similar events from sea to shining sea.

Happy Interdependence Day to All!


This Week’s Questions


  • What is your relationship with independence, both politically and personally? 
  • How do you feel about the concept of interdependence?
  • How will you nurture your own freedoms and those of others?


I’d love you to hear your insights in the Comments.
~~~

Photo Credits: Kids side kicking ~ keigo1027yasuda – fotolia.com, Fingers forming heart on flag © Africa Studio - Fotolia.com

Related Articles


The Astrology of Independence
Includes chart of USA, a Cancer Sun, Aquarius Moon and Sag Rising country.


Sacred America, Sacred World by Stephen Dinan

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Monday, June 26, 2017

PsychKicks© -- Am I Losing It Or Just Not Getting It?





Psych yourself up with like-minded sidekicks by exploring the symbols all around us—together.



Source
Synchronicity, intuition, cosmic signals

Like many people of a certain age, I sometimes forget words or names—or what I did yesterday.

When I couldn’t retrieve the name of two vegetables just days apart, I started wondering if I was becoming one. As far as I know, no one in my family on either side has had dementia. But really, who could forget the name of butternut squash and zucchini?



This really started to worry me. Of course, being a Virgo, I worry about my health a lot more than anything is ever actually wrong with me. In fact, I’ve had such good health reports lately; I wondered if the lab mixed up my results with someone else’s.

Since the nameless veggies really bugged me, I started to realize that my mental misses had a pattern. I forgot the names of two different squashes. Was I trying to squash something in my life?

While it might seem like a stretch to many people, the universe holds limitless metaphors for me and has a really wild sense of humor. I have just learned to listen--to consider in any situation that there might be a message.

This one was a two-parter. Soon I was forgetting names left and right, the names of movie stars and mere mortals. People I’ve known for years. I’d start to refer to them in a conversation and—presto!—whatever I was supposed to call them vanished. This kind of magic I want no part of.

OK, Universe. So I got to thinking that this pattern might have a message, too. Everyone forgets a name now and then, but this was happening with much greater frequency than usual for a couple of days.

What is a name, I asked myself? It’s a tagline of who we are. It’s our energy. It’s how people identify us. Hmm. Identity. Was I squashing mine? Squashing myself?

That was it exactly. I am a writer. I have written about how it’s the air I breathe and who I am. It was no longer bearable to let other responsibilities keep me from writing, even if I only had time to write a little.

That’s another reason PsychKicks was born. Once I unsquashed myself, the words just wouldn’t let up. You can always tell if you got the cosmic punchline by how you feel afterwards.

I feel like a million dollars.


This Week’s Question

Do you look for messages? If not, try it!

I’d love you to share your results in the Comments.
~~~

Photo Credits: Kids side kicking ~ keigo1027yasuda – fotolia.com, Floating Zucchini ~ © linakalina - fotola.com


Related Article

The Queen of Synchronicity

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