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

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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! …

Madness.

crazy

This photo from this site: http://stottilien.com/tag/shadow/ (a great read btw)

 

Madness – “Crazy” and Depression are two different things. Madness or Crazy were thought to be a gift bestowed upon individuals in Aboriginal societies. You have to be sort of mad to see god or the workings of the universe. Gurus (saddhus) are mad with the knowledge of god and their culture supports and even reveres them. Most of the Saints would have been thought mad by our standards. Madness or crazy that Robin Williams was talking about I can only IMAGINE what he meant -is the crazy that is the true Creative Spirit. The spirit that makes you act in spite of criticism, in spite of rules like gravity. I don’t mean rules like laws – I mean rules like you can’t fly. The crazy that comes from seeing the truth about life. The madness is the creative spark that it takes to turn this knowing of the true workings of god or the universe, this intuitive vision into art – funny, sad, poignant, inspirational, dirty, truthful art. Depression comes from the pressure of being constantly asked, chided, cajoled, ridiculed, forced to conform to the systems of the material world – the bigotry, the separateness, the fear. It goes directly against the truth that is real and tangible only to the artist. Depression is the weight of keeping your head in this world and your heart in the creative energies of the universe. Depression is the weight of knowing you can really fly but you are tethered to this reality. Depression comes from knowing that if you don’t conform you will be isolated by and from our society (madhouses and asylums, psych-ward). There is no support or acceptance of those who fly outside the Norm. FLY in the face of it. And let those who don’t get it try to figure it out later.

 

This is in response to this comment about #RobinWilliams standup piece about keeping a little madness. He was full of the Creative Spirit. You can see it, hear it… beautiful Robin.

http://www.upworthy.com/robin-williams-advice-for-people-who-are-depressed-is-really-touching-and-important?c=reccon1

Wisdom

Old Woman

Photo Credit: Old Lady by Kevin Demers, Ecuador; cropped

Wisdom can come at any age. Aging just reminds us of it in the nick of time… You don’t have to wait for it to come upon you. The Life Within is constant but unseen to most like the water that flows under the crust of the earth. Dig deep and you will find it and be refreshed!

Link to article: http://www.ramdass.org/the-life-within/

 

 

What I Offer At The Studio Has A Lot To Do With What I’ve Experienced In My Life…

I grew up with the notion that women were less than. This attitude was perpetuated by both parents and then siblings. I did not believe this but was victim to it time and time again. I became quiet and reserved with my feelings yet expressed my opinions aggressively. I was confused a lot of the time about who I was and what I was doing, who to love and who loved me. It took me a long time to unravel the mess that was my childhood because it was all about me trying to appease those around me, rather than listening to myself… I lost sight of who I was.

My spiritual practice and training – once I realized that it was do or die, allowed me to become whole again. Through this work, I realized my fullness, and I was able to see a way through.

This is (one of the reasons) why I practice and teach yoga, meditation and offer Transpersonal Therapy.

I believe I can assist those who want it, to see a way through as well. I realized both victim and perpetrator are in constant protection mode because of their feelings of emptiness and vulnerability. I can guide the process of unravelling and then the reasserting and rebuilding that comes after.

I grew up in a family that believed that you have to be “crazy” to go to a therapist. But I soon learned that this is a process of growth and discovery (when done well) and not an exercise in labeling and pointing fingers.

I believe EVERYONE should seek out self-knowledge – to practice self-awareness/self-observation through any means – the best of which are: yoga (taught by a teacher that practices this not only the postures), meditation (taught by a teacher that practices to see passed the egoic nature), and therapy (facilitated by a person who believes that the spirit is a huge part of the equation and that it’s not about “fixing” you). All of this can bring you leaps and bounds into another and more full sense of self that calms the storms of self-absorption/self-centredness. (Self-observation/awareness is opposite to self-absorption/centredness).

Why am I telling you this? Because this is what I do. I offer those who seek it – wholeness through the therapy I offer, and the yoga classes and meditation (private or semi-private) I have at the studio. I believe I have experienced all this – the prejudice, the name calling, the putdowns, the self-doubt, etc. – in order to work through them and come out the other side with understanding and equanimity so that I can be a light to those who are still in darkness and who believe and feel that there is more to them than what those around them are saying, and who would like to live more fully and more present in their own lives.

 

Here’s the article that inspired this note:
http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/why-women-arent-crazy/

Beauty in the expression of the body… that which transcends

Beauty in the expression of the body... that which transcends

another link to something similar… http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2011/04/26/tony-orrico-human-spirograph/

Learning from Ourselves… Injury in Yoga

This blog post is in response to this article which was making the rounds on Tumblr. It’s about avoiding injury in yoga. yada yada yada. Yes. I have a fair amount of dismissiveness toward those who insist that we be careful all the time – what are you my mom!? Sure go easy when you’ve never done something before and so on that’s just common sense (as someone said in response to this article on Tumblr).

But I say that sometimes (when it comes to yoga especially), it’s a good thing…

Image

What follows is the conversation.

me: If you look at the Pema quote …

“We regard discomfort in any form as bad news. But for practitioners or spiritual warriors – people who have a certain hunger to know what is true – feelings like disappointment, embarrassment, irritation, resentment, anger, jealousy, and fear, instead of being bad news, are actually very clear moments that teach us where it is that we’re holding back.”
– Pema

… you would understand that injury (pain) is sometimes a big part of the whole practice (not just asana but includes it). Sometimes the body needs it. Sometimes the mind needs it… if you’d like to know more, ask me a question! 🙂 Peace! #1barefootgirl

#playitbackward: Injury is not the same as pain, but I would like to know more!

Me: Yes. True the kind of injury I’m talking about is not just pain. What I’ve found in my years of practice of asana that an injury can be one of two things (but is not exclusive to these two):

1. when I say injury is for the mind what I mean by that is it reflects outwardly what we are manifesting psychically. The mind has its own agenda and sometimes the body can’t keep up. We are told to push, to not give up, etc. (not in yoga necessarily – but there are some…) in our lives and unconsciously we bring this to our practice. A lot of people think that they can overcome their “egos” easily by just practicing asana or sitting in meditation but sometimes these are exactly the places where the ego will assert itself. Strongly sometimes. You can not eradicate the ego entirely and it’s very good at playing tricks. Injury is a sign that there is something you’re doing in your body that needs to be listened to (body/mind) that the ego is refusing to acknowledge. For example: I was teaching this woman for the longest time – good student and very flexible (naturally). She complained about lower back problems all the time that were so specific that it could only be coming from the way she did forward bends. I adjusted, I explained, I pleaded with her but to no avail. Every time she would go into the forward bend, she would over extend herself (I can explain how some other time).

What it would take for her to be deeply in her forward bend without creating “injury” are two things:

one – She had to change her mind/ego about what sensation in her body is telling her that it feels good. Her “feel good” sensation in her forward bend was telling her that she was deep in her bend but was neglecting or overriding the feeling of pain in her low back. So every time she came out of it she was reminded of the pain.

Two: If then she changed her approach to the posture and were to pull back and start to work into the posture enhancing protective measures for her back which are basically muscle engagement issues (she had weak abs and so on) and pivoting issues, she would have slowly worked the bend by letting the posture unfold from the very top of the posture. She would have enlisted her body/mind consciousness better and she would work into the bend more along the lines of her body’s reality rather than what her mind was used to which was her “chronic” body and therefore into the injury.

So here I’m talking about the mind latching onto a sensation that is only part of the story. But the ego is satisfied because on the outside it looks like (and feels like) a very deep forward bend. What I always tell my students is to look for the depth of the posture not just the surface sensations and then I try to teach that through meditation and deep asana work. In other words, work on the body/mind connection deeply.

We throw around the phrase body/mind a lot but most do not know what it is because the work is not forthcoming. It takes a great deal of sincerity and surrender. IMHO.

2. When I say the injury is good for the body I mean that the body has chronic holds and old injuries that sometimes can only be dealt with by breaking it apart first. Sometimes the injury is in a place in your body where there was deep scarring, early (sometimes in vitro) injury which needs release which manifests in “injury”. We talk about injury in negative terms always and never really talk in terms of the body actually healing itself by readjusting itself or releasing itself and so we call these “injuries”. Perhaps the word is inaccurate for these types of “body manifestations”.

Let me give you an example: I had been practicing and teaching asana for years. My body is such that it takes a long time to unravel into a posture any of them no matter what. So I work diligently day and night to unlock the mystery of my body. Because of my body’s reluctance to open up without creating a lot of pain for me (at night I would wake with excruciating pain in my hips and legs), I would be very clear (cultivated slowly through my own practice) as to how I was moving and not to move anything that didn’t need to move. One day I was working on Upavistha Konasana – simple right. But I ripped the tendons and leg out of the hip socket. I don’t think I’m strong enough especially in a seated posture to pull anything out so securely in place, but it came out. And the reason, I think, was because the femur head was in the wrong place in the first place. Forever I had pain in that leg and the knee. I didn’t run because of it. My lotus sucked because of it. I had trouble in most postures because of it. After the “injury”, it took 3 years to recover (I lost all the forward bend capability in my body) but as I taught and practiced I was very aware of the injury and moved in a very methodical exacting way. For the three years, I became acutely aware of how I moved my body especially in forward bends but also in other postures. After healing, I got the worst hamstring pulls, still do every once in a while, and my body still took time to move and advance in postures. But, there was a huge change in the sensation in my hip socket and leg. It felt looser and there was actual sensation deep in the tissues so I could finally develop more body/mind. What I learned was that the injury actually readjusted my leg in my hip socket. So my forward bends became deeper, and especially my body/mind deepened. I move my leg from a different place in my body now because of the injury – in a good way.

I am not saying we should all go out and injury ourselves for the sake of self-discovery. But there are times of injury that can’t and shouldn’t be avoided just because that’s the place where the real learning is…

(…and that’s why you can’t separate asana practice from the rest of its counterparts… without the spiritual aspect yes then injury is just about being an idiot…)

Hope this helps… 🙂 Peace! 1barefootgirl.