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detoxing the spirit

THE DETOX PERIOD
“When you refrain from habitual thoughts and behavior, the uncomfortable feelings will still be there. They don’t magically disappear. Over the years, I’ve come to call resting with the discomfort “the detox period,” because when you don’t act on your habitual patterns, it’s like giving up an addiction. You’re left with the feelings you were trying to escape. The practice is to make a wholehearted relationship with that.”
(From Living Beautifully With Uncertainty and Change-Pema’s new book!)

Thank you Shambhala Publications for our weekly Heart Advice of the Week!

Half the Sky- Premiere tonight on PBS

2012’s most inspirational film airs on PBS: Mon. & Tues. 9/8pm C. Half the Sky: Turning Oppression to Opportunity for Women Worldwide.

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide premieres tonight at 9/8pm CT. on Independent Lens | PBS!

Please share, and invite your friends to join you tonight!

Let Your Light Shine

 

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.

There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.

It is not just in some of us, it is in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

– Marianne Williamson (Nelson Mandela’s 1994 Inaugural Speech)

 

grounding ethics in religion is no longer adequate.

All the world’s major religions, with their emphasis on love, compassion, patience, tolerance, and forgiveness can and do promote inner values. But the reality of the world today is that grounding ethics in religion is no longer adequate. This is why I am increasingly convinced that the time has come to find a way of thinking about spirituality and ethics beyond religion altogether.

A Day of Remembrance

Robert Peraza kneels by his son’s name on the memorial wall.

I don’t like to intrude upon someone else’s grief…just so you know that’s not what this post is about.(this photo was on Upworthy.com’s Facebook page.)  THis man that died was this man (in the photo’s) son…maybe he was someone’s father, husband, uncle, nephew. I don’t know….what I do know is that on that tragic day 11 years ago many innocent lives were brutally taken. TOday I learned that the flight attendants on the flights of those ill fated planes had their throats slit as the hijackers took over the plane…I still don’t understand the acts of violence of that day or the ones leading up to and after that day.  so many more lives from many different countries have been lost in many different wars …sometimes I feel that I am very naive because I don’t understand or condone this violence.  Today I offer my sympathy to the families and friends of the victim’s of that day…and I offer it to the people in the different lands that have paid the price for the horrific acts of a few.-Jen

This Impossibly Badass Prosecutor and ‘Rape Kit’ Advocate Is Our New Hero

AUG 28, 2012 11:00 AM28,186 81

This Impossibly Badass Prosecutor and ‘Rape Kit’ Advocate Is Our New Hero

Plagued by rape fatigue? Meet Detroit prosecutor Kym Worthy, the woman who’s been leading the charge to sort through more than 11,000 untested police “rape kits” since 2009. Worthy is hellbent on getting the kits, which contain evidence of rape such as semen and saliva, logged, tested, and entered into the national DNA database — and, if it wasn’t for her dedication, the women whose kits have been ignored for years would have no support at all.

You’d think that everyone could agree that prosecuting serial rapists should be a priority, but Worthy’s had to fight hard over the past few years, not only to get funding to test the kits but to get the police department to care about them in the first place. She was instantly outraged when she heard that there were thousands of untouched kits languishing in a dusty police warehouse, but the police chief didn’t take action until someone in his department leaked the news to the press. “No one really paid attention to what I was saying and yelling about ’til about four months in,” she told The Daily Beast‘s Abigail Pesta. Finally, the public took notice, and Worthy’s team received a $1 million federal grant to start testing the kits.

Worthy’s colleagues “literally had to dust [the kits] off” and “physically go through and open them to get the name of the victim, the date that it happened,” she said. But, as expected, it was more than worth the hard work: the team identified twenty serial rapists — meaning they had been involved in at least one other rape case — from the first 153 kits tested this summer, and found DNA matches for another 38 suspects. Unfortunately, the DNA matching is only the beginning; all the cases still need to be re-investigated (or, too often, investigated for the first time), old-school detective style. But hopefully the work they’ve accomplished will lead to more money — Worthy says she only has funds for about 1,600 of the 11,303 rape kits — and more attention from police. Here’s just one example that proves the testing of kits is crucial:

In one especially horrific case, Worthy says, a convicted rapist named Shelly Andre Brooks had raped and murdered five women after raping a woman whose kit was just recently entered into the database through Worthy’s initiative. If that rape kit had been tested and entered into the database sooner, the man could have been caught sooner-and five women’s lives could have been saved. “That’s why it’s so horrible, this whole thing,” she says.

Here are some other fun facts about the anti-rape superhero, who deserves a zillion awards and a major motion picture based on her life: she’s a single mother of three, the first African-American and first woman to be Wayne County prosecutor, and famous for indicting former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice in 2008.

A not-as-fun fact: Worthy was raped thirty years ago, while jogging around her law-school apartment complex. She didn’t report the rape. Now, she wants to help those who do, and develop a blueprint for cities across the country to follow in her footsteps.

Rapists, Beware: Detroit Prosecutor IDs 21 Attackers in ‘Rape Kit’ Probe [The Daily Beast]

What we call a self…

What we call a self is actually a story about our experience of life. And we construct the story because we’re trying to give some order to what is actually a remarkably chaotic process. And then we get seduced by the seeming consistency of the story that we’ve constructed. And now, instead of just relating directly to our experience, we relate to our experience in terms of the story, and that’s where the difficulties start. One way of looking at Buddhism is as a way of learning how to relate to life without believing the stories that we come up with. And that just opens up extraordinary possibilities.

Ken McLeod, Buddhist teacher and writer

 

Our stories….my stories have had me living a small life….a fearful life…a shameful life…letting go of the stories I’ve wrapped around past hurts and trauma…weaving stories around intense emotions…making them solid and constricting. I discovered the practice of meditation about 15 years ago…I came to it during a crisis in my life when my world was falling apart and everything I thought I knew imploded…meditation helped me stay somewhat sane…at first I thought it would fix me, make the pain go away..it didn’t, it brought me closer to the pain…it took time but I realized that to heal I needed to feel it all…meditating is a tool that helps me to let go of the story, to see the suffering I put myself through…helps me to open to this life in this moment and the next.-Jen

never too late

revolution