Practice: The Broken Truth
A wonderful children’s book, Old Turtle and the Broken Truth, tells a story of how the world came to be so fragmented when it is meant to be whole and how we might put it back together again. I invite you to read this tale as a child might, with wonder and imagination.
One night, in a far-away land that “is somehow not so far away,” a truth falls from the stars. As it falls, it breaks into two pieces; one piece blazes off through the sky and the other falls straight to the ground. One day, a man stumbles upon the gravity-drawn truth and finds carved on it the words, “You are loved.” It makes him feel good, so he keeps it and shares it with the people in his tribe. The thing sparkles and makes the people who have it feel warm and happy. It becomes their most prized possession, and they call it “The Truth.” Those who have the truth grow afraid of those who don’t have it, who are different. And those who don’t have it covet it. Soon people are fighting wars over the small truth, trying to capture it for themselves.
A little girl who is troubled by the growing violence, greed, and destruction in her once-peaceful world goes on a journey—through the Mountains of Imagining, the River of Wondering Why, and the Forest of Finding Out—to speak with Old Turtle, the wise counselor. Old Turtle tells her that the Truth is broken and missing a piece, a piece that shot off in the night sky so long ago. Together they search for it and, when they find it, the little girl puts the jagged piece in her pocket and returns to her people. She tries to explain, but no one will listen or understand. Finally, a raven flies the broken truth to the top of a tower, where the other piece has been ensconced for safety, and the rejoined pieces shine their full message: “You are loved / and so are they.” And the people begin to comprehend. And the earth begins to heal.
Free Press fights for your rights to connect and communicate.
We’re working to create a world where people have the information and opportunities they need to tell their own stories, hold leaders accountable, and participate in our democracy. We fight to save the free and open internet, curb runaway media consolidation, protect press freedom, and ensure diverse voices are represented in our media.
We believe that change happens when people have a real voice in the political process. To that end, we mobilize our growing base of 900,000 activists to sign petitions, meet with their elected officials, attend rallies and town-hall meetings, write letters to the editor, and take part in other targeted actions. We also craft policy proposals, conduct research, testify before Congress and argue in court for policies that serve the public interest.
The companies trying to kill Net Neutrality, crush competition and build media monopolies have way more money than we do. But we have two powerful things on our side: people … and a plan. Click here to join the movement.
Free Press is completely independent: We don’t take a single cent from business, government or political parties and rely on the generosity of individual donors and charitable foundations to fuel our work.
To learn more about our work, click here.
To donate, click here. (Thank you!)
Throughout our 13 years of existence, we’ve never faced a moment like this one.
With the grave threats to immigrants, people of color, Muslims, women, the LGBTQI community and others, we’re joining with our allies to counter the Trump administration and RESIST.
Now more than ever we need a free and open internet, journalism that holds politicians and corporations accountable and protection from unwarranted surveillance by government and law enforcement agencies.
With the Trump team already on the record attacking Net Neutrality, press freedom and privacy protections, we’ve got our work cut out for us.
But we promise you this: We will never — ever — stop fighting for your rights to connect and communicate.
Building and sustaining this level of opposition will require an immediate influx of cash to expand our lobbying, legal and organizing power. That’s where you come in: We can’t do it without your help.
We’re supported solely by gifts from individuals and charitable foundations. Unlike most groups, we don’t take a cent from business, government or political parties, so your contribution makes a big difference — and helps us stay independent.
We need to raise $100,000 by Dec. 31. We’re making good progress, and a generous donor will match all donations up to $16K to help us get closer to our goal. Donate today!
Could this really happen?
[Tandem stories by historian Robert McElvain and Washington Post op-ed columnist Michael Cannon]
“I have been pushing for the Electors to do what the Framers of the Constitution intended and save the Republic from the presidency falling into the hands of an incompetent demagogue who had been assisted by a hostile foreign power. I called upon the Electors to choose as president a sane Republican who believes in facts and would not have such people as Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn and Stephen K. Bannon whispering in his ear. That could transform the looming catastrophe into a rebirth of America through a compromise that would create a National Unity Government. If Hillary Clinton releases all 232 delegates pledged to her and asks them to vote instead for a Republican who lives in the real, factual world, is not a misogynist and thin-skinned bully, does not associate with white nationalists, and has an attention span longer than 140 characters—perhaps John Kasich or Mitt Romney—provided that a minimum of 38 Republican Electors agree to vote for that same candidate, that person would become the President-elect on December 19 and the Republic would be saved from the likely disaster that a Trump presidency would bring. But Democrats and Republicans need to go farther and negotiate, before the Electors meet, a Compromise of 2016 that will produce a National Unity Government, with all Democratic Electors and at least 38 Republican Electors also voting for a Democrat (Elizabeth Warren? Joe Biden?) for Vice President, an agreement by both not to run in 2020, a division of Cabinet posts between the parties, and agreement on certain key measures to restore trust in American government and politics. Such a grand compromise would not only save America and the world from the untold disasters that a Trump Presidency would be highly likely to precipitate, but also deliver to the American people what most of them so desire: a Washington that works and an easing of the bitter partisan division that has marked the federal government since the 1990s. Such a selfless, patriotic act would be a crowning achievement for Secretary Clinton’s career of public service.”
Rolling Stone: ‘At last count, proposed cabinet had a combined wealth of $14.5 billion.’
When a plate breaks, we call it an accident. When a heart breaks, we call it sad. If it is ours, we say tragic. When a dream breaks, we sometimes call it unfair.
It’s not that we moan, but that we stop living to hear ourselves moan.
Still, stars collide and histories begin. In our world, something is always letting go and something is always hitting the Earth.
Often that which lets go survives by releasing, by not holding on until what needs to go is ripped from it.
As humans, we take turns letting go and being hit. Love softens this process, and peace slows it down, until in moments that are blessed, we seem to play catch with what wee need.
I am an ignorant pilgrim, crossing a dark valley. And yet for a long time, looking back, I have been unable to shake off the feeling that I have been led.
The character Tyler Durden in Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club notes that “we buy things we don’t need, with money we don’t have, to impress people we don’t like”, concluding that “the things you own end up owning you.” There seems to be a growing number of people interested in changing their lifestyles by owning and consuming less. “Minimalism” has become one of those lifestyle options and in the documentary film Minimalism, director Matt D’Avella profiles several minimalists, including Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, authors and founders of The Minimalists web site. A simple lifestyle is not simply for single guys, as Leo Babauta and Joshua Becker attest, but more attention to just how the diverse needs and interests in a family are respected in a minimalist household would have enhanced the film. (goodmenproject.org)
Evil deals with shadow; Truth deals with light, which dispels the shadows. We are of the Truth. Evil is neither person, place, nor thing.
All the sages have plainly told us that we already walk the streets of this city, but, like the slaves of Plato, our vision is blurred by shadows cast on the wall of human experience.
This is the true city of God ~ the city of right thoughts and right actions, the city that is four square, the length and breadth and thickness of which are equal.
I am one with all other citizens who inhabit this celestial metropolis. Here, in a true communion of Spirit, I find unity, peace and joy.
~Science of Mind
︶⁀°• •° ⁀︶
‘Each person you meet is an aspect of yourself, clamoring for love.’
~Eric Micha’el Leventhal
︶⁀°• •° ⁀︶
‘…honor each obstacle as something flowing in its own right in the Universal stream, to see ourselves and the obstacle as two limbs of the same tree drifting in the same river, bumping into each other, and even blocking one another for a moment.
All the while we are invited to question that in us which insists that what is before us is an obstacle in the first place. It may be something small that our history of struggle has enlarged into tragedy or bad luck.
If something appears to be blocking our way, we must try to understand what is moving it and what is moving us. If our movement in the world is still blocked, perhaps we are meant to be still.
We must not damage ourselves unnecessarily by trying to force a movement to happen before its time.‘
This month is all about turning our focus away from anger, blame, self-judgment, hopelessness, frustration, fear and worry. These are all attitudes and emotions that belong to a lower vibration and they do not serve us at this time. We need to be turning ourselves in the direction of the higher vibration of COMPASSION if we are to be effective in our lives, with ourselves and with others.
The definition of COMPASSION is: “Sympathetic consciousness of others’ (or personal) distress together with a desire to alleviate it.”
COMPASSION is a state of being that helps us all remember that we are not separate, that we are all in this great game of life together and that going about it alone is not effective or rewarding.
COMPASSION is best practiced from a neutral state of non-judgment and a perfect follow up from November’s theme of forgiveness. With everything that is going on out there in the world today, the best way to use your time and energy this month is to focus on yourself with COMPASSION for all the ways you have judged, blamed, suffered, and felt powerless and ineffective.
If you truly want to “alleviate the distress” on the planet, you need to start with yourself. All change begins at home. When was the last time you were truly kind to yourself? Not just rewards and gifts, but true kindness?
KINDNESS is another theme this month that goes along with COMPASSION. It is easier to be kind when you have compassion and it is easy to be compassionate when you practice kindness. So they go along hand in hand.
As the big wheel of evolution slowly turns away from the young soul, goal oriented, combative struggle where there are winners and losers, it is the masculine energy in each one of us that needs the most compassion, kindness and healing. We are emerging from a cycle of over 2000 years where the masculine standards of production, success, taking action, winning competitions and doing whatever it takes to get to the top have been our guiding principles.
In this process the masculine in each one of us has taken a beating and needs a lot of kindness and compassion to heal its battle wounds. Many of us have turned away from our own masculine in reaction to the negative aspects we see being played out by the masculine out in the world. The masculine within is suffering and needs compassion and kindness, not judgment and rejection.
Healing the masculine is a theme that begins for us this month and will continue into next year and probably into the next several years.
As you reject the masculine and what it represents, you also reject the positive aspects of generosity, protection, boundaries, action, focus and appropriate will. These positive aspects of the masculine are necessary if we are to be effective in the world. So the work starts at home with yourself in healing your own masculine, your relationship with the masculine and reconnecting with all the positive aspects so you can be whole. If you are whole, it will be easier to be of service where and when needed.
Remember that evolution only goes in one direction and that we are in the process of completing one cycle and transitioning into the next. Our task this month is to hold the bigger picture, to take the higher road of compassion, to practice kindness, and to do what we can to begin the process of healing the masculine beginning with ourselves.
This month is all about helping yourself first. If you don’t have compassion and kindness for yourself, you cannot possibly practice it for others. So start with yourself this month. Review all the ways you have judged yourself for not being good enough, smart enough, known better, ineffective, not successful enough, not strong enough, not brave enough, not powerful enough, not perfect enough, not useful enough, the list goes on and on.
How have you judged yourself for not showing up, for feeing fearful, for missing opportunities, for not getting your life together, for staying in bad situations for too long, for being weak, for being indecisive, for not setting good boundaries, for not protecting yourself or putting yourself first?
This lack of compassion and kindness for yourself will keep you mired in this lower vibration especially if it includes blame, anger and resentment. This is the month to turn all of this around. There is much work to do on the self. It is easy to be distracted with “what is going on out there” in terms of injustice, negative behaviors and bad choices. You cannot do anything about that. You cannot change what is “going on out there” but you can change what is going on in your own home and your own life.
So this is a month to focus on personal change through compassion and kindness and the healing of your own masculine.
After reviewing all the ways you believe to have let yourself down, focus on the changes you wish to make. You might start with a simple commitment to set better boundaries or to speak up around your own truth or to make a plan of action to improve your life. It is also very important that you practice being in a higher vibration as much as you can. Beauty, wonder, awe, love, and of course compassion and kindness will always lead you to a higher vibration and a higher centered experience. After all this is a higher centered time when we have the opportunity to experience the lowest of the low and the highest of the high. You decide.
Relationships with others take a back seat to the relationship you have with yourself. “Me first” is the motto this month. Of course your other relationships will all benefit from the work that you do on yourself. Relationships in general have been challenged lately and fraught with a lot of projection, blame and confusion. Larger scale issues are being worked out and relationships are taking the hit.
It is important to remember that there is so much work going on now at a personal level that everyone needs a bit of space. Especially as we enter into the agreed upon social holiday time, don’t be afraid to say no and to limit your social interactions if you are needing time to yourself.
Treat all your relationships with compassion and kindness. This month kindness will go a long way to keep relationships from unnecessarily imploding. Give people room to grow, to change, to heal, to express their truth and to be creative in their own way. There is a lot of energy right now for change and it will be affecting some relationships. Stay out of fear and judgment and allow change if that is where the wind is blowing.
HEALTH AND THE PHYSICAL BODY
Compassion and Kindness, Compassion and Kindness, Compassion and Kindness. Our bodies have been through a lot and carried much for us. Mostly this month the body needs rest and rejuvenation. We don’t even know how exhausted we are. There has been so much work in the dreamtime collectively as our conscious personalities and bodies are “asleep”, that we don’t feel rested. We have been psychologically and psychically hypervigilant, holding a very big container for positive change and evolution and we are afraid to put it down. It is time to take a break and let what has been put into motion play itself out. The path is clear ahead of us and it is all about the personal healing we need to do on ourselves.
Health challenges this month could include fluctuations in energy levels with periods of great fatigue mixed with sleeplessness, physical agitation and restlessness. Knee and joint issues from the waist down are working out our masculine traits of moving forward and energetic mobility. Intermittent nausea and digestive issues are related to our will and the masculine energy of how we choose to show up in the world.
Take care of yourselves this month. You only have one body this lifetime and it deserves your kindness, compassion and love.
Being a very personally focused month, your personal environment is the most important thing on your “to do” list. You will experience a sense of power and accomplishment and purpose in changing or improving or fixing what is in your power to do. You cannot change what someone “out there” does or decides. But you can make changes and good choices and improvements to your own space and environment. When was the last time you took control of your personal environment, cleaned out the clutter and improved something that needing to be fixed?
Pace yourself this month both in your expectations as well as your physical output of energy in all the doing and fixing and changing you are inspired to do. Allow yourself to be guided by the environment you are in. If it is snowing outside, stay warm indoors if that is what your body wants. If it is sunny and warm, go out for a walk. If it is rainy or windy, honor the environment in the ways that it can support your own process of change, cleansing, or letting go of something. Practice working intimately with the environment instead of against it. This goes for all aspects of “environment”: physical, emotional, political, psychological, intellectual, global, personal and collective.
We are still in a highly creative period of time and although the creativity may seem to be very underground and hidden at this time, it may come out in the environment as weather anomalies, unexpected events, extreme temperatures and wild weather systems. Enjoy it!
This is a good month to focus on the foundations of your business and projects. What was the inspiration behind your ideas, choices and action? Is there anything that needs to be revisited or changed or refined? Take and inventory of everything that is working and serving you best as well as what is not serving or needs to be changed or eliminated. This is about acknowledging what YOU need and how your personal business, partnerships and projects will serve YOU first. Is your life task being supported?
As you inventory be careful not to judge or blame and remember that compassion and kindness goes a long way to healing what may not have been addressed that needs some clearing. It is a good month to tell the truth to others about what it truly important to you, and to tell the truth to yourself about what is not important to you that may be important to others.
There is great support for working on details, sealing up energy leaks and setting good boundaries. There is a fine line between functional community involvement on a project, and a dysfunctional free for all with no boundaries. I am reminded of the various experiments of the late 60’s with the communes, free love, and the break-down of social and economic boundaries. We are in a similar time but with hopefully more maturity and spiritual consciousness. These are indeed interesting times and it should be inspiring to all of us to think about the possibilities of what we can collectively create for our future.
December 1-7: It is a week of self-focus and taking care of the body, mind and spirit. The best use of this time is to keep your eye on the small goals you can easily accomplish as well as to practice being on that higher road of compassion whenever possible. Whether you are in the grocery store becoming irritated at the incompetency of the cashier or the confusion of the person in line in front of you, or witnessing an argument or inappropriate aggression among others, stay in the field of kindness and compassion. No one WANTS to be like that. But many are lost. If you can practice being in a higher state and a higher center, it will have a ripple effect.
Another good practice during this week is the “inner smile”. If you heart can smile and you can radiate that smile outward, that is the inner smile. It is effective, can bring you joy and possibly even a desire to smile outwardly. And it will certainly support a higher vibration and a higher centered state.
December 8-15: This could be a week of confusion, depression, energetic ups and downs, one day feeling hopeful and good about your practices and the next day in despair about all the things you cannot change. The only way past these challenges is through. The only way to navigate is to acknowledge the feelings and then do your practices of compassion, kindness and taking care of yourself anyway despite how unmotivated you feel.
Keep your tasks small and doable. Set boundaries when appropriate and protect yourself from the conjectures, projections and negativity of others. This is a good week for one on one interactions that are meaningful and to make plans and set intentions about how you want to feel in your life in the future.
Even though the month is very much about you personally and much of the energy is focused within, there are times that support community. The powerful time around the Full Moon moves us into a more expansive picture of sharing our vision and prayers with others on the same page and compassion and kindness are the magnetic force that will bring people together for a common cause.
Don’t underestimate the power of prayer.
Spend some time today being inspired by your own life. Forget about what others are doing for a moment and focus on what you are doing and what you wish to do. Are you true to yourself, your spiritual and moral compass, and your true desires? If not, why not?
Acknowledge all experiences as useful even if uncomfortable. For things happening in your life that are less than “great”, adopt the following attitude: “Do I like it? No. Does it feel good? Not really. Is it necessary? Probably.”
And most of all, have gratitude for all of it. After all, it is a great ride.
December 16-22: This is a time frame to work on relationship. Relationship with your body, with yourself, with your masculine, with your right work, your right action, with your unique personality and with your personal environment. Have you had enough gratitude for yourself and your life lately?
Stay close to home and pay attention to the details that may come up during this time that require your attention especially in the area of your personal environment. This is the time that supports fixing, changing, refining and improving what you can and have the power to do. Instead of worrying about what you can’t change, focus on what you can.
Mercury goes retrograde on the 19th to support even more focus on detail and clear communication. Set good boundaries around your time and energy and work on eradicating the habitual energy leaks that tend to surface around perceived obligations at this time of year.
December 21: Winter Solstice is Wednesday, December 21 at 3:44 AM. Solstice time is always a good reset and transition time. We move from the darkest time of the year (in the Northern Hemisphere) to the first day of bringing back the light. Especially this year, the significance of bringing in more light is palpable.
Honor this solstice by anchoring something you are transitioning into. It could be a new relationship, project, practice, or way of thinking. There is much that remains the same as we enter into a new cycle but what can change is the foundational patterns underlying all the judgments of the past. The way we see and perceive the world can be radically different if we allow it to be. This is the bigger picture that wants to seduce us to be more inspired, more creative and more hopeful. It is all possible.
December 23-31: The focus of this time is on clarity. Clarity of truth, clarity of what brings you joy, clarity of your direction, clarity of what needs to be complete and what needs your attention. This is a good time of year to make an inventory of anything that just does not feel right and decide what you are going to do about it. Watch for health issues around joints and bones during this time as the main “structures” supporting your body.
Part of your inventory should include an assessment of all the structures in your life and whether they are supporting you in ways that serve you or not. Structures are also containers and you might find that some have leaks, some are too small and some don’t hold together because they are just not meant to be. The categories are anything from relationships to work to study to personal environment to new projects, old projects, health support, where you get your knowledge and information and who you go to for any kind of support. When you find something lacking, instead of getting upset or self-judging about it, practice the compassion of the month and be kind to yourself and to others that you perceive to have “let you down”.
The truth is that what we want or dream of doesn’t always last. It tends to serve its purpose in our development and then fades away, losing its relevance. And we can do enormous damage to ourselves by insisting on carrying that which has died. Living up to a dream is rarely as important as entering it for all it has to teach.
Older now, you find holiness in anything that continues.
-Naomi Shihab Nye