Monthly Archives: October 2011

Occupying Milwaukee, Occupying Everywhere

Hello Readers,
It seems we are in the midst of a time of great Change and Promise. Each day brings more news of  communities organizing, reaching out and demanding Justice.
I intend to devote some attention to the voices of the 99% and the recent “Occupy” movements that have been emerging into the public field of vision over the past month. All over the U.S and abroad local chapters and occupations have been born in Solidarity with the incredible tenacity and commitment of the original “Occupy Wall Street” action. I might add that although the OWS is the most recent highly visible manifestation of Community Action, there have always been and continue to be organizations, affinity groups and individuals who have been committed to the cause of Social Justice. When I use the term Social Justice I refer to any cause or group whose purpose is to improve the quality of life for all living things including our Mother Planet. It happened that OWS made their appearance at a time when many of us have reached a point of critical mass. The people have been communicating, educating ourselves and one another and watching the incredible Social Revolutions that have taken place in Egypt, Greece, Spain and many other countries throughout the world. It seems that the Collective Consciousness has been germinating the seeds for change, nurturing the soil with love and care and our efforts are now coming into full bloom.

It is crucial to acknowledge that historically great change takes place in steps, and movements for progress have their own ebb and flow. If we track history as far back as we are able we are likely to discover periods of “Social Unrest” and Revolution often followed by seasons of what may appear to be complacency. We must not allow ourselves to be discouraged by these times of apparent stagnation, they are necessary for regeneration and stabilization; and even in such times there are those who persist in our roles as educators, rabble rousers, rebels and rogues. That’s you, my readers, all of us who never quite fit in, who have struggled with rules, questioned the “norm” and dared to imagine a different reality.
I believe our time has come. We, as individuals who have no fear of challenging the status quo, who have  applicable street smarts tempered with the wisdom of experience are well suited to the changes and challenges of a mass shift in consciousness.
You may say you are not a “political” person, or you may not identify with one particular movement or cause. You may feel you want to help but don’t know how. Or you may feel the world can clean up it’s own crap just fine without you, which is equally valid and certainly understandable. I am not calling anyone to action specifically; I am a Messenger, not a Recruiter. However, as a Messenger, I must say that we are in the midst of some pretty exciting times and it’s worth tapping into that energy even if only to charge up your own juice.
This post is just the beginning. The planting of a seed, the nudging of a thought, the “bug in the ear”.  Look around you. Read or watch non-commercial media. Talk to your friends and neighbors. If you are already active in a cause (even if it’s your own) give yourself a hug. Evaluate your experiences. Do they feel authentic? If not, what’s missing? What would feel right for you? If you have found yourself in a good place, a group or action where you feel energized, productive and passionate by all means take a moment to appreciate how that feels, to be empowered, to be part of a community and say I am the 99% and I am joined by Brothers and Sisters everywhere. Reach out and love your family, all 99%!
As always I’d love to hear stories, feedback, thoughts etc. My next post will include a mix of some of my personal experience with the movement along with some practical information for those who are interested.  I will also be adding some mini-posts of stories I have heard, actions I have witnessed and pictures, words and events that have struck a chord resonating the sound of change.

© 2010-2011 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard


Dorothy’s Quest-Part 2

Following the Yellow Brick road is a an adventure that demands clever use of all our resources, both internal and external. We undergo a quest with our lunch basket well stocked with the skills. talents, values, wisdom and curiosity we have accumulated over the years. In previous travels we have collected these qualities like souvenirs, brought them home where we pick over them and rearrange, keep some discard others until we have refined our explorers kit.
Those of us who have chosen the path less traveled have a different set of souvenirs than most folks; and it has always been my mission to help us realize that our basket of goodies is no less valuable than anyone elses. Now as I see the state of the world, the economic woes, high unemployment, government that is barely functioning and millions taking to the streets in protest I can’t help but feel that perhaps our time has come. Obviously the “normal” way of doing things isn’t working out. Those who have been complacent, who have always done the “right” thing aren’t faring so well. This is not their fault, by any means. It is the fault of the greedy and self absorbed who take advantage of money and power and feed  on the backs of those who work hard, do the right thing and follow orders. Now people are beginning to question the status quo but many don’t know where to turn. Maybe now is the time for those of us who think outside the box to offer our perspective. If you’re wondering how, well that depends on you! I think the most meaningful opportunity lies in our personal relationships. We all know someone whether a family member, friend, associate, who is being disenfranchised in some way. Maybe they’re losing benefits at work, or maybe they’re about to lose their home. Maybe they can’t find a job and are suddenly living hand to mouth. In times of crisis those of us who have survived instability and uncertainty know how to manage. We have earned our sea legs as the tides of life shifted and raged beneath us. Louisa May Alcott said “I am not afraid of storms for I am learning to to sail my ship”. We have learned to sail our ship in spite of storms, we have survived Dorothy’s twister and we did it without getting in to the cellar because we were busy attending to other matters. (What would have become of Toto if Dorothy had followed orders?) Maybe our tendency to non-conformity and rebellion is the power within us that we needed all along to solve our problems, find our way home and rescue a friend along the way. Think of someone you know who might be struggling. I bet there’s something you have to offer, even if only the gift of how to maintain one’s balance in shifting tides, to hang on to the house as it is wrenched free by the twister. Maybe the two of you can look out the window as the cows and grandmas and fishermen float by and hold each other close.
Please, though, watch out for that loose window frame!

© 2010-2011 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard

The Quest for Dororthy

We all know the queasy feeling when our mind is at odds with our heart, it’s unsettling to have our ‘parts’ not agree. Sometimes we just can’t all get on the same track. The constant chatter and disagreement between the two can be like living with angry parents on the verge of divorce and we just can’t tune out the noise.
It happens in any area of our lives, work, family, love, friendship. Our minds and our hearts aren’t the only players in this drama. There is also Ego, an unruly and sometimes destructive collaborator, and yet also a function of self preservation. Ego is a gatekeeper of sorts in it’s best manifestation, at it’s worst it is an unforgiving and suspicious master.
In the film The Wizard of Oz the elements of character are personified by the Tin man (the heart), the Scarecrow (the mind), and the Lion (the ego). Dorothy is the individual self struggling to discover her identity, her place in the world. The journey down the Yellow Brick Road is the hero’s quest, the Existential Crisis we all face at times in our life when our world has been shaken underneath us (the twister).
There are external influences on our quest as well. Professor Marvel, the wizard who tries to help but being unsure of his own identity, is incapable of offering real solutions. Miss Gulch/the Wicked Witch is the critic,the gossip, those who are jealous of our spiritual and intellectual pursuit and therefore attempt to thwart our development. Glinda the Good Witch is the Wise Woman, the guide who knows we need to find our own way, but is there to support us while we fumble along our quest. And Toto, goofy little Toto, is the dear friend who stands by no matter what choices we make sticking with us to the bitter end.
None of this is new thought. The Wizard of Oz as modern mythology has been analyzed from every angle and theoretical perspective. For me it remains a personal mythology which serendipitously calls to me in times of need.
Now as I embark on another journey from student, career woman, mother followed by a year of illness I am on another quest for The Emerald City. Having either completed or cast aside my former roles I am off to see the wizard to find my hearts desire. I am set to carve out my niche as a middle aged woman with no attachments. No job, grown kids, my illness behind me. My strongest attachment at this point is, ironically, my dog who bears remarkable resemblance to Dorothy’s Toto.
So off we are to follow the Yellow Brick Road….and I will be sure to gaze into the crystal ball and send postcards of sorts.

© 2010-2011 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard