Monday afternoon I went to a gathering, a private event to which I was asked to bring a rattle.
That best part about it, as Sarah, the guest of honour, pointed out, is that none of us even questioned the request. My rattle (pictured above) is on loan to me from Mary, a massage client, a woman I have known for almost seven years, a woman who has had me into her home for coffee and whose bird I have met. I casually mentioned to her that I needed one – and why – and she didn’t hesitate. I hope I have the story right… After the war, Mary’s husband was stationed in Jamaica, where he picked up a souvenir for her. He sailed with it all the way from the Caribbean to Victoria, B.C. From there he had to take the train to Saskatchewan. I cannot tell you how honoured I was to be lent such a generous gift. That said, I’m terrified by the burden of it and cannot wait to get it back into her hands today! :D
The event in question was a very well-attended healing ritual. I believe we were fifty open-minded ritual goers. See, Sarah was diagnosed with breast cancer in July. I won’t go into detail – it’s her story to share (which she has been gracious enough to be doing) – but would like to tell you about how this pertains to my personal journey.
I have known Sarah for about six years, I think. Though the rattle-ask might have given you a clue, she’s a ritual practitioner. The first workshop I took from her was So, You Wanna Be a Death Midwife? (I might be paraphrasing.) Something which has stuck with me all these years is her image of ‘shamanic chili peppers’. It’s like when you go to a Thai restaurant and they let you know how hot you can expect a dish to be by how many cartoon chili peppers are beside it on the menu. Aside: I was in Thailand maybe seven years ago and I would order my dishes Farang, or ‘foreigner’. In other words, “Please don’t hurt me!!”
Let me just say that within that weekend workshop, I was also feeling like a bit of a Farang. The average number of shamanic chili peppers in that room was probably pushing nine, with Sarah herself leading the charge at around a hundred and seventeen. Me? I fancied myself a two. Maybe. I was raised without any sort of spiritual leaning whatsoever. All this talk of chakras and anointing with essential oils, and, y’know, the human soul had me wondering what better things I could’ve been doing with my time. Gynaecological exam? Root canal? Shaving my head with a cheese grater while chewing on aluminum foil? But I stuck it out, obviously, and by weekend’s end I had at least doubled my number. Today I’d give myself about a 7.5. I have even started a collection of healing crystals which get cleansed more than most everything else in my house, other than massage sheets.
Here’s my point. Probably. As you know I seldom know where I’m going until I get there. My point is that science is just beginning to bear out what spiritual pilgrims have known all along: Everything is energy. That chair you’re sitting on? It is not solid. Particles moving at such speed as to appear solid. If a butterfly flaps its wings in Mexico, it will effect a hurricane in China. Does it do it alone? No, of course not, but it is one of an infinite number of factors that have to happen in order for that hurricane to develop. We are all connected.
Further, every molecule of air you breathe has been breathed by everyone else on the planet. I mean everyone who has ever lived. Take a deep breath. At least a molecule of that breath was breathed by Jesus. And by Leonardo da Vinci. And by the Buddha. And by a Kardashian, if that’s your thing. We are all connected.
Now maybe you’re one of those people who won’t believe it until you see the math. To you I say, “You’ll never understand the math!” :D Leave that to people much more learnèd in the field than we. Beware anyone who tells you that they understand quantum mechanics. Even if they correct you and tell you that it’s actually quantum physics. Today the terms are interchangeable and equally correct!!
We are all connected energetically to absolutely everything else in this universe. Period. That’s what it comes down to for me. I think of the universe as an organism. You and I are single cells in that organism, and we impact it every moment of every day. Like all cells, one day we will shed our mortal bodies which will slough off to make room for a fresh new one, but the law of thermodynamics reminds us that energy cannot be created of destroyed, so we remain part of the greater whole forever and always.
In sum, the energy you put out matters. It touches the entire world. So, my question to you is, “How do your anger, your judgment, your irritation, your bitterness, your vengeance, your shame, your discouragement, your apathy, your despair, or your outrage serve the greater whole?” What if you choose to show up with patience, forgiveness, gratitude, kindness, and love instead? Imagine how that would impact your family, your friends, your barista, your fish monger, or the nice lady at the call centre. Check your attitude, change their day, heal the universe.
There’s the math.
Leave the world better.
Oh, how I wanted to continue to keep things light this week with more shout outs to classic 70’s cinema, but Jason Kenney has thwarted my good intentions. Though those of you who have been reading it can likely see its leanings, this blog isn’t intended as a right/left, conservative/liberal battleground; I am shining the same light I always choose: Legacy.
By eliminating Alberta Health Care premiums in 2009, Ed Stelmach took $1B annually out of Alberta’s coffers.
One Billion Dollars.
Maybe you didn’t like having to pay your premiums – who did? – but I feel it’s necessary to remind you that all seniors and lower income households had their premiums subsidised up to one hundred percent. If you paid your full share, it’s because you were making good money. It was still a heck of a lot cheaper than paying a provincial sales tax on all of those big-ticket items you could afford, wasn’t it? Imagine how we could have fared in this economic downturn with those extra dollars. We’d be $400M ahead of this UCP panel’s numbers, for starters!
“The panel’s report recommends matching spending with Ontario, British Columbia, and Quebec, which it estimates would drop total annual per capita spending by $10.4 billion, eradicating the province’s deficit by the 2022-23 fiscal year. It focuses on several areas of spending, chiefly health care and advanced education, as well as primary and secondary school education, public sector compensation, and capital spending.” From The Star, September 3, 2019.
So, what does this all mean? What I’m reading is that this Alberta government wants to keep working class people in their place. The panel’s recommendations scream privilege. Maybe you don’t care. Maybe it doesn’t bother you that people who can’t afford a car are having transit routes slashed. Or that lower-income families won’t be able to give their kids a post-secondary education, shit, even a decent secondary education. You can afford private schools, private cars, hell, even private healthcare once that behemoth resurfaces.
A well-educated, healthy populace is the only way forward.
Make better choices, Alberta.
What do we want our legacy to be?