Friday, December 20, 2013

Merry Whatever..."Joy to the World"

Yesterday I saw a Facebook post that said, “Mery CHRISTmas”.  A young, man whose writings I often find quiet insightful posted a blog titled. “Who needs Santa when you have Jesus?”  If these people and millions like them knew anything of history and the evolution of Christianity they would not be claiming exclusivity over the Holiday Season.
But it does remind me that I should say something about this time of year. I am not going to tell anyone what to believe or how to celebrate. My pagan friend is having Christmas dinner with her Mormon family; my Wiccan friend will have ceremony on the solstice and attend chapel on Christmas day. My reformist /protestant Christian friends will celebrate with family and not see a church. More orthodox friends will be at mass and my Asatru (ancient religion of northern Europe) friend will have 12 days of celebrations.  Even diehard atheists will have a celebratory dinner and gift exchange.

Whether a person chooses to celebrate Jesus or Santa or the flying spaghetti monster really isn’t the important thing from the standpoint of spiritualism/ energetics.  At this time of year the vast majority of the world’s population finds some reason to come together in love and gratitude. There is more kindness pouring into our communities then at any other time. My friend Brenda volunteers as a driver for food distribution and she has been run ragged for the past month. That increased vibration (good vibes) makes the whole planet better then it was.

This morning someone pointed out that not everyone is happy; that holiday season has a very high suicide rate. If a person chooses not be grateful for the gifts of this life, of this world; that is not something we can fix for someone else. There are so many reasons to be grateful for this Holiday.  I am grateful to have people who love me and know that I love them, without the need for “proof”’ (i.e. gifts). I woke up to snow today, wet but still fun to see. And today I discovered that the 7-10 (soup kitchen) will be having a Holiday breakfast on the 25th.  My kids won’t be here for Christmas but I will spend a beautiful day listening to music, maybe writing and relaxing between phone calls from family and friends. My big Holiday plans are fasting and meditation over the solstice this weekend. I am saying choose to be happy! This may not be the best Christmas/ Holiday you have ever had or ever will have; but it is the only 2013 Christmas you will ever have.  It is hard to not be happy when you are feeling grateful.

Now about the Santa (lie) thingy. If your kid is old enough to ask, “Is Santa real?” then he/she is old enough to handle the truth. Until then let the kid enjoy the fantasy or folktale, either way the old guy is a vibrant part of cultural (albeit recent) tradition. When I was 5 my Grandmother told me that, Santa is the spirit of giving that we all feel at Christmas time. So in reality we all get to be Santa. That spirit of generosity is shared across the board this time of year; from atheists to the most devoutly religious… we have a shared sense of gratitude and that is what I am celebrating this and every Christmas.  

Have a joyous holiday season.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Again heads up on the new web address being

These days I'm volunteering at the Nanaimo Men's Resource Center and a few weeks ago I was able to attend my first annual general meeting.  After the business portion of the meeting was finished each person was asked to introduce themselves and share how they became involved with the centre. My final thought and bottom line was men need to catch up… the feminism bus pulled out of the driveway and men were left standing there looking like Macaulay Calkin in the “Home Alone” movie.  And like Macaulay they stood their ground assuming the family would return.  
Feminism spent the past 50 years evolving women into whole beings… we left behind oppressive stereotypes and kept the things that were working for us.  Were mistakes made? Hellz ya! First we wasted way too much time in a gender war, before recognizing that patriarchy was the enemy. The women who came into political power in the early days focused on insignificant crap like semantics instead of important issues.   Getting women into good jobs like the post office is far more important then whether you were called a mailman or mail-woman. After women started taking those job the titles change to gender neutral words like letter carriers.  One of our biggest mistakes was not bringing men along for the ride. We could have found the best from their world and shown them the best from ours as we all moved forward into breaking free from the shackles of patriarchal social convention and into living as whole beings.
Now guys… you can’t entirely blame feminism for not letting you on the bus, some (enlightened) guys drove themselves to the party.  Even without the feminist movement gender roles were changing as we moved from an industrial society into a technological society; the employment landscape was leveling. So let us not waste anymore time in a new gender war as we address the need for a Masculinity Movement.  For those of you who want to say the whole world has always been about men, it is NOT about today’s men.  The patriarchal privilege we fought against in NO way serves or represents the 21st century male.  It is for us who have fought this battle before (and did well) to share what we have learned and help men to vanquish the patriarchal dragon once and for all.
Before patriarchy and the self-serving empire building models grew; humankind lived as tribes with all its members (male and female) living in service to the community. Women never really lost that; even as we moved into the breadwinner / powerbroker roles, we remain skilled at connecting with each other and building support networks.  Men need to re-establish that skill. Men’s Centres (there aren’t nearly enough of them) provide a safe place for men to get together in supportive groups. Usually there is a purpose in the agenda (anger management or parenting etc) but the most important thing being learned is (I hope) how to get support and be supportive.      
The biggest hurdle for men is redefining their roles. “Man-Up”… WTF does that even mean any more.  It is just another example of patriarchal oppression squeezing the human-ness out of men. The true purpose of a place like The Men’s Centre is to help men become happier healthier people; who will then be better husbands, fathers and members of our community (tribe).
I’ll probably talk about this and related issues again but for now have a joyous day my friends.