Tag Archives: spirituality

Happy Gay Pride Phoenix –

On this grand and glorious day of celebration, I seek to help us remember how far we have come and not lose sight of how we have accomplished getting to where we are!

I’m moved to make this request because, in the last 24 hours, a conversation took place on FB that involved language that I felt was violent. A LGBTQ activist used the terms “racist,” “charlatan” and “bigot” to describe a community leader. I felt frustrated and saddened because for decades the Gay community has been a leader in creating cultures of peace and understanding in the midst of exceptional anger and fear.

We — the LGBTQ community — are the happy people! Using violent language and judging another individual doesn’t embrace the values of Gay Pride. Judgmental, violent language isolates and backs people into corners, forcing people to become entrenched in defending their positions. Our need for equality doesn’t get met. When we use violent language we are hurting others and, in turn, hurting ourselves. Gay Pride – to me, is making a connection – a heart-to-heart connection. It’s all about the love!

I too feel angry, frustrated and concerned when people espouse points of view that are in direct conflict with my set of values. I feel absolutely compelled to act decisively and quickly when I discover a teenager has been thrown out of his or her house or after learning someone has been beaten to death or someone has been shot. I have a need to make a difference and i am so tired of the violence. Can you relate? Today the path i choose is peace.

I want marriage equality. I want equality and justice for all. I want us all to be safe. I want our kids to grow up in loving and life-enriching environments at home, at school, in the neighborhoods they play, the movie theaters they attend and the places they buy their blue jeans and ipods. It is my belief you want this too. Are you willing to choose peace?

If ending violence means having to change how I speak, or finding a path to compassion and empathy for others with whom I don’t agree – I will do that and I will practice doing it minute-by-minute, day-by-day, as the weeks turn into months and months into years until I can be the change I want to see in the world. What steps are you taking to end violence and creating a culture of peace?

I’ve evolved. I’m not the individual I was three months ago, three or 30 years ago. My evolution has sometimes been quick and sometimes not. Day-by-day, I am learning to treat others in a manner in which I wish to be treated. Will you stand with me and open the doors of opportunity for others to walk through as new and evolved individuals?

As an active member of the Gay Community I’ve watched us be angry, hurt and sad and yet have the capacity to rise with grace and dignity and respond with love, peace and understanding. On this weekend, let’s recommit to being examples of a community of peace in the midst of exceptional violence. Let’s be the models of the change we wish to see in the world. Let’s make a choice to use language that connects with people’s hearts. Are you willing to be the change you wish to see in the world? Are you willing to choose peace?

Long Live our Legacy of Creating a Culture of Peace and Understanding.

 

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Filed under culture of peace, life, liberty & happiness, Living Life Out Loud

Listen To Me!

Peace Walker Drum Community Drum Ceremony

Peace Walker Drum Community Drum Ceremony

It is easy to get distracted today – there is so much competing for our attention. So many are shouting out: “LISTEN TO ME!!! Do you hear me? Please listen to what I am saying.” People want to be heard, to know you care, to be validated.

There is a saying Ubuntu: “I am what I am because of who we all are.” Archbishop Desmond Tutu offered a definition, a person with Ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, based from a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed. Continue reading

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Yatra – a journey of enlightenment & discovery

whitejewelstupaAcross little planet earth people journey to a multitude of external sites seeking to answer an immensely overwhelming or underlying urge for a pilgrimage to the birthplace of their roots – their genealogical, cultural and spiritual roots. This search for knowledge seems to have two distinct routes: the external journey and the internal journey.

When I was young, I recall having deep yearnings, an emptiness within for which I had no name, no words to explain, no conscious comprehension for which I was searching. This deep desire for discovery, I came to know as “a burning desire.” As the years progressed, and I began to awaken more fully to these desires and as I gained bits of understanding, I came to call them “spiritual awakenings” or “moments of clarity.” This feeling of a burning desire remains a vibrant flame glowing within me today and it is a force of nature that continues to propel me forward. Continue reading

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Filed under Weekly Essay