Category Archives: culture

Ramblers, Rebels and Rogues

I have spent many years of my life in opposition and I rather like the role.
Eleanor Roosevelt

Hello My Rebellious Queens,
I have had the opportunity to chuckle at myself a bit since yesterday. forgetting a blog post, horrors! Yet on the other hand when I decided to make this a daily commitment, a routine with an actual schedule; I did it knowing i was challenging myself stretching my limbs a little farther.
I’m not always, um, shall we say, focused? or organized? or consistent? at least I haven’t been in the past. But in the now, i really do want to commit myself to a consistent effort, a solid path stone by stone set before me as I travel. Don’t ask me where I travel, one commitment at a time, please. I see it like this, some of us tender the hearth, build the home, and nurture the garden. these are the people who go to the office, get to work promptly on time day by day. They have savings accounts and good credit and lead fairly predictable lives. They keep the wheels of enterprise going and they are ok with that. And so am I; I’m happy to know that my garbage will be picked up on Tuesday and that my utilities will work when I turn on a switch and such comforts as we are accustomed. Our society relies on the consistency and reliability of the hearth keepers to function.
our culture uses them as a Blueprint for “normalcy”. They exemplify the way we “should be”. we are promised rewards like all inclusive vacations and funparks and new cars for low, low financing, as long as we tend the hearth. Then there are the rest of us, the Ramblers, Rebels and, rogues. we are the dreamers, the ones who can’t seem to pay attention to the power point presentation and who don’t wear the latest designer clothing.. What we do is create, innovate and motivate. We are the Women with the Past, because no true rambler doesn’t run into some trouble on her journey. We are the rebels because we listen to our heart, not just our head and we aren’t afraid to speak up when something doesn’t feel right. We know we have to take action because, most likely, we learned the hard way that if we don’t speak up, if we try to fit in a place that does not align with our nature, we will suffer. our spirit will shrinks and wither, leaving us vulnerable to the desire for escape in the form of drugs or alcohol or to illusion of acceptance in a relationship that may not be healthy or of becoming shrouded in the depths of our own depression and isolation..
Some of us have had more encouragement and freedom to live by the call of our inner voice than others.. Some of us have had to discover it later in life, and some of us are just awakening to the knowledge.
Where ever we are in our travels, we must remember that we do have our place in society. If it weren’t for those of us who question authority, who go against the grain, there would never be progress, change or, I believe, true freedom..
What “rules” have you challenged? How did it change you or your perception of you?

© 2011 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard

Advertisements

Self by Definition

self 

noun, plural selves, adjective, pronoun, plural selves, verb
–noun
1.a person or thing referred to with respect to complete individuality: one’s own self.
2.a person’s nature, character, etc.: his better self.
3.personal interest.
4.Philosophy .
a .the ego; that which knows, remembers, desires, suffers, etc., as contrasted with that known, remembered, etc.
b. the uniting principle, as a soul, underlying all subjective experience.

In recent days I’ve been making a solid effort to keep myself moving in a positive direction. I had a bad couple of days last weekend and found myself slipping into old attitudes and thought patterns that are no longer comfortable. Like a pair of damn stilettos, sharp, spiky and binding. I needed to put those shoes on, just for a bit, and to be angry, just for a bit. There were valid reasons for my anger, and many of them beyond my direct control.
Anger gets a bad rap in our society. Just as money itself is not the root of all evil, but greed for money that causes all the problems; anger is not a “bad” emotion. It’s what we choose to do with anger that becomes a problem. It’s the belief that we attach to the feeling that gets us all wound up. The biggest troublemaker is the belief that anger is “bad”…”don’t be angry” “stop pouting”, “Be Nice”. The vast majority of us have had those words tossed at us, sometimes gently sometimes harshly, since we first learned to crawl around and assert our will. Is it any wonder that we will do just about anything to avoid it. We will drink ourselves into a stupor, stuff our faces with food, ingest drugs and chemicals and don’t forget sex and rock and roll and compulsive shopping and get on that hamster wheel and keep running. Keep running and it won’t catch you.
But it does. Our emotions always win in the end. They are not going to let us off the hook, no matter how hard we may try. So why does our culture tell us not to feel?
I guess if I knew the answer to that I’d be writing a Doctoral Thesis. I do know a few things about feelings, a few insights I’ve picked up along the way in my endless observations and analysis of Human Behaviour.
First off, we are lazy. We like things to be easy. We like simple answers, solid evidence based solutions, and we want them to work quickly. Personally, I see this as kind of cheating in the game of life. Sitting on the sidelines pretending to have your period. Fact is, feelings are messy and complicated and they get in the way and mess up and complicate our “self directed” lives. And God forbid, sorting out feelings takes TIME!
Another thing it takes is Honesty, and we aren’t so good at that either. Especially not with ourselves. We lie to ourselves more than we lie to anyone else, we’re so good at it most of the time we don’t even know we’re lying! We are amazing creatures!
One last thing we need to do in order to know our emotions is feel Pain. ouch! You don’t have to watch more than an hour of television to know how much we hate pain. The alleviation of pain and worry is a multi-billion dollar industry that sells us happiness in a pill.
But wait, didn’t we learn in school that drugs are BAD? Hmmm this leaves us in quite a conundrum. Apparently drugs are only bad if you buy them from someone who is not authorized and licensed to sell them to you. And by all means don’t even think about growing your own drugs in that back garden.
So let’s summarize…don’t be angry, drugs are bad, anger is bad, take some drugs so you don’t feel angry. Oh and if you do decide to be some whacked out Hippie nut-job who wants to explore your feelings…don’t expect insurance to cover it. It costs far too much money to spend all that time getting messy.
Now I propose that we replace the last set of assumptions with a new one.
Feelings, including anger, are a natural part of being human. They are our bodies way of communicating with us. If we don’t listen to the voice of emotions how do we really know what’s going on? Especially given that we are so good a deceiving ourselves with our brains.
Once we accept that our feelings, even the “bad” ones are really our friends trying to tell us something, we can stop running away with our hands over our ears screaming…”lalalalaaaaa I can’t hear you” when really what were are saying is “Go away! You scare me!”
Once we stop all that nonsense, we can LISTEN without judgement, without defending our Ego, to what those feelings are trying to tell us. Don’t be discouraged if it takes a while (remember time is a factor?) Be patient and listen. Do some art work, or write some words, give your feelings a name, a persona a character. Get to know that person and ask her what she needs. Trust me, this CAN be fun, although it probably won’t be painless. You will survive the pain, I promise, you have survived the pain of repressing those feeling, of denying your true self (remember, we lie to ourselves). You wouldn’t want to lie to someone you love, right? And you certainly wouldn’t want someone you love to lie to you…so what are you doing lying to yourself?
Ha, look what’s happening, you are beginning to develop a relationship with your Self! Go slow, don’t worry if it’s awkward at first. Take your time, be honest and get messy!
Next time: Taking your relationship to the next level (no not that, silly!)
Peace,
Nana

© 2010 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard
Definition of “self” courtesy of http://www.dictionary.com


An 11-Year-Old Bride Escapes

Follow link for an amazing, sad, inspiring story…one of so many. I’ve always been interested in other cultures and their implementation of, or disregard for, human rights. In college in my Women’s studies courses I found the curriculum to be extremely Eurocentric (no surprises there). There is so much work to do in the cause for Peace, Equality and Justice, but I’d like to remind all of us including me, that there are atrocities being committed against women and children all over the world. Often these atrocities are condoned by the culture in which they occur whether covertly or openly. Since our ‘involvement’ in the Middle East we have heard more and more stories from women who are finally able to speak up. And we hear the stories of the amazing courageous women who provide shelter and safety for these women. I think that once in a while at least, it’s important to look outside of our own culture(s) and remember that oppression against women and children is worldwide; and often happens in situations and conditions in which the level of horror and powerlessness is beyond our imagination. And yet we also discover amazing stories of hope, courage and compassion that cross borders, cultures, and economic status. I’d like to propose a reader challenge. When we were kids we played a game where we would spin the globe and with our eyes closed put a finger on a spot on the globe, stopping its rotation. In our game we would pretend we were going to travel to wherever our finger landed and imagine glorious, dramatic and sometimes gruesome adventures we encounter. I challenge my readers to do the “globe game” and then take some time to research the Human Rights conditions in that area, and especially the role of women and children. This can be fun…it can be educational. It can open our hearts and minds to a world we never knew existed. Give it a try, I’m going to do it too. I’d love to hear your discoveries!  © 2010 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard