Ok, let’s talk: A response to the Bell Let’s Talk campaign

Yes. Let’s talk about how pharmaceutical companies have made natural human physiological changes occurring from stress, hormone imbalances, etc. into diseases so that they can make more money off of people who don’t understand that if they made some life changes as their lives change that they can do without the pills that doctors push on them that have more side effects and are less effective than say: exercise, eating better, etc..

Thanks for this. It is very well said.

Let’s stop talking and start listening to ourselves and our bodies.

Vision Passion Action

This post was written by Danielle Landry. She teaches Mad People’s History as part-time instructor with the School of Disability Studies.

A drawing of a road side stand with the words "psychiatric help 5 cents" on top. Inside the stand there is a person with a blue text box. The bottom of the stand reads "The corporation is in"Ok, let’s talk.

Let’s talk about how those two new workplace scenario commercials only reinforce the idea that it’s unsafe to talk about mental health to your boss or co-workers, instead of establishing that employers in Ontario actually have a duty to accommodate disabled workers, including those with psychiatric disabilities.

Let’s stop positioning disabled people as charity cases through a-nickel-for-every-text campaigns.

Let’s talk about the erosion of our social systems through corporate greed.

Let’s ask why Bell hasn’t instituted any programs to support its low-income customers, such as if they need a reprieve from paying their bills during a hospital stay.

Let’s talk about why it’s not okay that we have to rely on corporate sponsorship to sustain our mental health system. Let’s ask if corporate influence serves to…

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Movies – Sex vs Violence

This is a response to an article about how sex in movies is the biggest concern for parents and not the violence in movies

Of course it is the biggest concern. How scary is it when two people who are mutually attracted to one another get it on!? Oh dear! As opposed to – of course – when two people who mutually despise one another get to rip each other’s heads off.

It makes sense when you want to see life in black and white, good and bad.

It’s not the violence that people respond to – it’s the aftermath; how good it feels to come out victorious from a seemingly and albeit blind, righteous battle – seeing the bloody heads of your enemy strewn about – it’s a wonder, the heroes of movies don’t look into the camera and say without any irony, “I did that.”

What violence in movies represents (or more the point, our acceptance and love of violence in the movies) is the shadow of our culture. 

Our society and the people in it (that means YOU) – point the finger at other cultures and exclaim that they are the ones who are barbaric or evil and without god! They are the ones who are killing each other. But you forget to look at yourselves. Here in America/Canada, you are just as blood-thirsty as the next guy or culture. Don’t fool yourselves.

Every one of us needs to be the “hero” of our own story. It’s human nature – fine. What isn’t fine is not knowing that you are just as “good” or just as “bad” as anyone else in this world. You are just as imperfect as the rest of us. Without knowing this, you can not look at someone else without making them your enemy – and that goes for those who are close to you or those whom you don’t know.

You make the righteous argument that you decide what is right and what is wrong because of some arbitrary notion that somehow in some other universe, you were “chosen” to do so. You think you are the ones who are the purveyors of justice and you get to hold your righteous indignation over the heads of all others while you sit pretty in your ivory towers looking down, way down on everyone else.

You, my dear fellow human beings, are not better and no worse than the guy/guys who gunned down/blew up/mowed down/blew to smithereens people the other day, last week, two months ago, a year ago, 3 years ago, 5 years ago, etc. etc. etc. because they also thought that what they were doing was righteous and just – whatever was going on in their heads.

Violence, contrary to your belief, no matter the cause, is NOT a virtuous act. As much as, keeping your daughters locked up and keeping sex out of the lives of living breathing human beings is not a virtuous act. God doesn’t want this – the powers that be do. The fight between good and evil is all made up in your head and was planted there by those who wanted to make you afraid. First it was the church, the clergy and those powers, and now it’s your conservative powers – who want to keep you afraid and angry and righteously indignant and armed.

The feelings that rise up in you about sex has been planted (again by the same powers) in you that they are bad – why? Because it serves them to do so. Feelings of sex are natural. They raise up out of attraction, desire, and natural body functions. Feelings of violence raise up out of hatred for the unknown and a fictional enemy that has been made up – depending on who/what the powers that be want to vanquish. Violence is not a natural body function. It comes from the intellectualization of fear.

So those of you who don’t like sex in movies – it’s not about the sex itself – it’s about the fear that it brings up and the feelings associated with that fear. That fear doesn’t feel good so you blame sex for it and therefore make it the culprit for your imagined fear. And you feel violent against it. Anytime you feel you need to protect yourself (through the proxy of your children), there always has to be violence behind it.  And there is the violence again. The thing that you are more comfortable with because somehow it makes you feel more virtuous.

Parents are afraid more often than not and put it on their children – if you don’t believe me, ask the millennials.

And sex in movies brings up that feeling. Fear brings on feelings of protection which ultimately begets feelings of violence. Most people feel this way most of the time. So when violence is in movies, it justifies your own feelings of violence – because ultimately in movies, the violence is virtuous (good against evil) and therefore just. You feel better about your own feelings.

It’s terribly basic and frankly frustrating to a person like me, who can see through all the stories that we are told – what to fear, what not to fear.

I do fear one thing though, that this shadow: the fear that people are not talking about, the hatred that is in their hearts; is not being looked at.

People’s hearts have hardened in the last few decades – because people are afraid. That is what makes me sad. Their hearts are only open to the easiest things to love in this world: puppies, funny cat vids, cute children saying cute things, really nice people, beautiful people – those are the easy things to love. How about trying to not fear and love those who are really difficult to love? It doesn’t mean you have to accept what they do. That goes for those you love – you don’t have to swallow the kolaid. But when we can see that violence is never called for – that love is the only answer, then and only then can we be free.

This is in response to this article:

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/movie-ratings-sex-remains-top-845507

The Story of the Girl Undressing in Public (Written by Jae West)

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Courage. Perseverance. Love.

Inspiralight

As I stepped onto the streets of Piccadilly Circus with white board and markers in one hand and blindfold in the other, I couldn’t help but feel an overwhelming sense of vulnerability at what I was about to do. Observing the

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SPRING CLEARING – Meditation and Yoga Session

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SPRING CLEARING  4 week Meditation and Yoga Session

At Restless Spirit – Toronto!

Starts: Sunday April 26th – 9:30-11:30am for 4 Sundays (NO class Victoria Day Weekend)

Give yourself the opportunity to tune yourself into the season of Renewal and Revitalization! Come join me for 4 weeks of yoga and meditation to clear the senses and open up the body and mind to Receive the Richness of Spring into Summer!

Please go to our FB page for more info!

Why Easter Is My Favorite Holiday…

Easter should be my favorite holiday of the year.

Not because of the bunnies. Although I love bunnies!

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Not because of the chocolate and I do love chocolate!

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Not because it is Spring or Equinox although I wait impatiently for it throughout the entire winter.

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It is because it is the only social cultural religious public recognition of Transformation through Death that I know of. It is the only time we, collectively, recognize death as a part of the human experience.

It is also a time that illustrates an aspect of Spirituality that isn’t talked about much: Transformation – the cycle of Death and Rebirth.

Of course, if you think about it from a strict Christian stance I think, Jesus was the only one who could die and be reborn or resurrect. But put the word resurrect aside and call it Spiritual Rebirth then it does seem that conceivably I could do that and have done throughout my years of practice.

This kind of Death that Easter represents, to me, is not in the corporal sense as in a person dying, leaving this earth. It is not only about rebirth as in only Jesus can do it. It is about the psyche and the heart’s ability to transform.

We Die And Are Reborn In Every Moment – If We’re Lucky

I think of Easter as a celebration of the Death and Rebirth of our Psyches over and over again. Going through Transformation(s) is a necessary part of the Spiritual process toward Awakening. We die and are reborn in our lives. You may not know it, but you go through small death/rebirths with every moment. You may ignore the signs of wakefulness or ego-death, and in response to it, in fear of the little ego-death (Thanatos), you refortify your self (small ‘s’) every time you run into difficulty thereby starting the death/rebirth process all over again (karma). Without awareness, we slip back into our neurosis that veils the True Essence of our own Beings.

The Work – Practice

Any practice worth its Spiritual Weight puts the practitioner through the throes of a kind of death any time (maybe not every time) they sit on their meditation cushions or stand on their mats, or chant or do breath work, etc.. And any practitioner wanting Samadhi which is a state of transformative essence, has to accept this as part of the practice.

You’re On Your Own – As You Should Be

Growing up Catholic, Easter was about suffering and resurrection and what Jesus can do for us.

Now as a mature woman, I realize that I’ve always known there is a flaw in thinking that. No one can do this work but ‘me’. The work is available to me as an adult. It needs a certain kind of maturity that comes with experience. But not the experience that is about traveling a lot (external world) or having a lot of schooling or street smarts (intellect). It’s the experience of existence, moment to moment, life unfolding that opens you up to this process (internally) – only you, the individual can know when that time is to delve into this work.

If You Let The Divine/Universe Guide You

As psyches, we are constantly in flux. It’s like our True Self is in a cocoon for our whole lives and it starts out as an opaque vessel, hard and impenetrable. If you let the Divine/Universe guide you through your life then metamorphosis will take place. The cocoon becomes transparent and it is apparent that growth and change are happening inside. Transformation from the inside out. You can’t see it happening until the outer layer/outer body becomes transparent. And finally what emerges into the world is something other than what it started out as. The butterfly doesn’t need to die corporally in order to change and Be this change. It needs to die to the caterpillar it once was. But not only does the physical body change and it only changes in order to Serve the Essence or Spirit of what has emerged: “Dying ego-ically” as it were, in order to transform is the crux of the success of Transformation.

So then symbolically, Jesus’ story represents the Spiritual Transformation from a Secular life to a life with god, union, Yoga. This is what I would like to think the celebration of Easter is about. The celebration of Transformation from one state to another, the death of one immoveable identity to an existence without labels; An existence of Openness and Self-knowledge.

And although Christians to a certain extent can be very maudlin about the whole process, it is a time of celebration – Spirit over Ego, Awareness over Blindness, Wakefulness over Sleep. It is a celebration to recognize that we all have the capacity to change and grow Spiritually.

 

 

The Continuing Saga of My Relationship with My Computer

Last night, I left my computer in the living room in the cubby hole space I have to do my practice in – I need it there to play music. I didn’t leave it there on purpose – I just left it there.

After my practice, I sat at my desk for about an hour without my computer in front of me. I had a feeling I had not felt in a long long time at my desk – breath, air, space. There was a feeling of such relaxed contentment that I could actually think! My thoughts were my own. I felt creative!

I was not deterred or distracted from just staring out the window or looking down at the empty page in my book. I was really there observing. Not partaking in anything that constantly needed my attention because there was nothing to do but to be in my space. It felt good – really good.

I think I’m going to do that every day for an hour – take my computer off my desk and sit there with my own thoughts. ahhhhhh.

When the World Turns Fearful…We Lose…

I feel so sorry for all of us. In light of the US mid-terms, I can only surmise as to what is happening in the psyche of the North American privileged western resident, and I feel so sorry for all of us.

The Legacy of the American Dream

I’ll go back to watching funny baby and kid vids on my FB feed and forget that I live in a place that has so many privileged individuals that are so blind and protective of what they think is their legacy that they can’t see the fraud – they can’t see that what they (the elite) have can’t ever be theirs – EVER.

But here we go – hoping and wishing and working so hard that our fingers bleed – as most people in the world do just to get a piece of that pie. Difference is – that we in the western (North American) world believe, however erroneously, that that pie – at least a piece – can be ours. Ha! It is not ours and can never be ours. And please don’t tell me that I don’t try hard enough or have vision enough or believe in the “Secret” enough. The system is not programmed for you or for me – we have to stop fooling ourselves.

And why would you ever want to be a part of it anyway. Horrible greedy individuals who would stab you in the back first chance they got – yeah I guess if you didn’t get to them first. Is that a way to live!? NO.

It’s All A Game

I feel sorry that we have to play this game at every turn – human rights, consumer rights, student rights, women’s rights, children’s rights, elderly rights, right to die, right to live, right to health care. We fight and fight and fail because fear is stronger, more resilient than any petition to save a whale or a prisoner’s life. I can’t watch any more.

It’s All Distraction

So as I sit here watching that sweet lovely little kid who’s parents dressed him up in a costume too big for him for Halloween – as I watch him fall over and with incredible compassion and absolute singularity ensure his parents “I’m OK. I’m OK.” I smile and say, in our own way we are all OK, yes but – the world in all it’s complexity needs us to know that not all is OK.

I wish that it was as simple as a funny vid on FB – and sometimes it’s as simple as that. But when the powers that be around us are reacting and determining the structure of our lives out of fear and not JOY then we must be vigilant.

Fear Not and Open Your Heart

We have to act in spite of our fears not in servitude of them. Open your hearts to the world around you and see that there’s a lot of fight left – we have a lot to achieve – there are a lot of people suffering because of the attitudes of a few.

Living in fear of the unknown diminishes the rights of the many and makes an island of those who live in fear. Fear makes you powerful – because you will do anything to protect and that means violence. Resolve to be bigger than that. Resolve to champion those who are less fortunate. Yes – this does mean that I believe that the results of the mid-terms is a response from the elitist ideals of (North) America. Them against us. Resolve to include and not exclude. Give your life for the ideals of brother/sisterhood, ecology and love. Believe that life is more than your bank account and the protection of which you would sanction the marginalization of anyone on this earth for your own protection (without cause).

Like Warriors

I have watched and listened and wept at the discrepancies between what some in positions of power say and what they do. I have marveled at their tenacity and blatant disregard for the livelihood of those within their own borders let alone outside of them and I see greed and protectionism.

Yes – this is a response to an increasing disposition toward conservatism that strangles the creative impulse of the heart that seeks new ways to combat socio-pathic tendencies to control a nation by a select few (see Iceland). We need voices who crawl out of the burrows of stagnant pastures to give voice to those who would contribute greatness but have no standing. Give voice to those who would stand up against fear-mongering.

I feel sorry for all of us. These are dark times. Yes. I will look it straight in the eye and yell – Let’s do this! Bring it on! …