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Category: Global Transformation

Women Unite: It’s Time for a Jeans Rebellion

This is a rant and a personal campaign against the jeans-ing of American women. It’s time for a Jeans Rebellion!

Collectively, we’ve lost our sense of style. Men look good in jeans. Women? Not so much. So why is nearly every woman at the mall and the farmer’s market clad in them? Because they’re easy? Or are we universally depressed and want to make ourselves look bad? Well, we’ve succeeded.

A recent trip to an upscale mall confirmed it: nearly every woman wore jeans. I have it on good authority that only the rare female looks appealing in denim. Old, young, in between, tall, thin, short, plump—doesn’t matter. For most they’re terribly unflattering, says my male resource. Same with that stretchy active wear that might feel comfortable but does nothing for your, um, profile.

So why wear these things?

They crush, they bind, they confine, they pinch, they are stiff and unyielding and hot and constrict your movements. Ah, now maybe we are getting somewhere. Are they a device, a plot to keep women in check?

Are You Race Neutral?

Last Friday, the day before an event in Charlottesville, Virginia, which may soon bring down a President, a total stranger and I experienced a profound moment that made the next day’s clashes that much more horrifying, and yet, gave us an insight into how the country might heal.

It’s not your usual rhetoric from social scientists, as helpful as that might be. Our solution is what you might consider “out there” in terms of its underlying philosophy. But if this stranger and I could see, feel, and understand it—simultaneously—isn’t there hope for others whose lives seem, on the surface, to come from completely different cultures? A divide we have trouble crossing?

What unites us? We are human. As human beings, we all possess … hair. As women … it matters to us. A lot. We think about it every morning. We fret over it and we style it and we curse it and we admire ourselves in mirrors when it does what we want it to. And yet—we have a natural divide. Your hair and my hair and her hair and his hair—they are all unique, right? What you have to do with yours to get it into shape, well, it’s something I might not know about.

If this stranger and I could see, feel, and understand it …

The philosopher/psychologist William James wrote about this in a famous essay titled On a Certain Blindness in Human Beings and it’s one of my favorites. We will never, ever, ever fully understand the “other”—unless we step outside of our insular worlds and ask. Even so, we only have words to tell us and anything we can find in our own experience that relates, roughly, to that description.

I had a need to know something highly personal about an “other,” so that’s exactly what I did. I stopped a total stranger and asked her about her hair. Not so strange you say? It happens in salons? We were shopping in a Target store, completely minding our own business inside the usual silent divide. Still not unheard of? I am white and the woman is black.

The Fight to Live Naturally – or – I Refuse to Let IKEA Design My Life!

“What’s not on the menu?” This idea crept into our household, Joseph’s and mine, from an article we stumbled into on Facebook and devoured together.

What is society no longer offering you? How has your life been shrunk down into compartments designed by Others? Are you only choosing what’s on the menu? Or are your mind and spirit looking beyond, drawing from the vast infinite wellspring of options that we used to see more clearly—until Internet design took over and limited our choices to a menu devised by software developers. What’s not on that menu? Do you ever wonder?

Touching the Sounds of Silence at the Subtle Energy Retreat 2016

Close your eyes and listen. Are you one of the fortunate few who hear only a peaceful silence? Or are you like most of us, constantly surrounded by the cacophony that is life in the 21st century? So we seek for silent places in the world when we can: the dark woods, out on the ocean, lost in a tomb-like room we might have created in our homes for “retreat.” You think by now I’m going to say that Joseph and I ventured off to a silent retreat, right? But the annual Subtle Energy Retreat held at Blue Sky Ranch in the San Diego foothills is anything but silent.

Ideas and conversations and presentations and excitement and exotic musical tones echo and reverberate for three days. It is a cacophony of the loveliest kind, where thoughts merge and hearts expand and ideas get born and refined. Motion and light converge with the ever reverberating movements of sun and dust and wind and stars and a full moon—and let’s never forget Ivan the Raven circling overhead, watching and guarding the presentation tent and the lunch patio.