After being canceled for the NFL to perform the Anthem at the season opening game because of my vaccination status, I decided to sing anyways. Except this time not for the theatrics of a football game.. this time I sang for America. To remind her who she is… the land of the free and the home of the brave.
This is dedicated to anyone that has taken a stand for freedom. I stand with you. ❤️🙏🏾🇺🇸
The totalitarian systems of the 20th century represent a kind of collective psychosis. Whether gradually or suddenly, reason and common human decency are no longer possible in such a system. There is only a pervasive atmosphere of terror and a projection of the enemy imagined to be ‘in our midst’. Thus society turns on itself, urged by the ruling authorities. —Joost Meerloo, Rape of the Mind
What else are parallel structures than an area where a different life can be lived, a life that is in harmony with its own aims and which in turn structures itself in harmony with those aims? What else are those initial attempts at social self-organization than the efforts of a certain part of society… to rid itself of the self-sustaining aspects of totalitarianism and thus to extricate itself radically from its involvement in the totalitarian system. —Václav Havel, The Power of the Powerless
The time for people to “wake up” is over. At this point, you either join the fight to preserve what is left of those rights, and that sovereignty, or you surrender to the “New Normal,” to global-capitalist totalitarianism. I couldn’t care less what you believe about the virus, or its mutant variants, or the experimental “vaccines.” This isn’t an abstract argument over “the science.” It is a fight … a political, ideological fight. On one side is democracy, on the other is totalitarianism. Pick a fucking side, and live with it. —CJ Hopkins, from their article The Road to Totalitarianism
“I recite these words if only to wake people up from their sleep! If only to remind us that many have gone before who suffered and died for the freedoms we enjoy. The freedoms to read and write, to worship and pray and speak as we choose. Not just for Christians, but for everyone. Everyone. The freedoms to agree and disagree. Even to believe outrageous “conspiracy” theories.
The internet has created a crisis even greater than the invention of the printing press. In those days, the information of the texts was limited to biblical knowledge. As time went on, that information grew. Now, a seemingly infinite wealth of information is at our fingertips. We are being told that information is dangerous. That we need to put it into the hands of the powerful once again. We must trust them as the doorkeepers between our minds and the mysteries of the universe.
Just as the reformers stood up for their rights to interpret texts on their own, so we must stand up for our rights to do the same.”
—Karen Hunt, from her article The Demonization of the Unvaxxed
“Withholding information is the essence of tyranny. Control of the flow of information is the tool of the dictatorship.” ― Bruce Coville
You will not find me on Facebook.
You will not find me on Instagram.
You will not find me on YouTube.
I want no part of that.
I’m callin’ it.
We are, in fact, sliding down a point-of-no-return slippery slope and rapidly descending into tyranny and dictatorship.
If we do not believe we, ourselves, possess the ability to discern what information is true and good, and simply leave the rest, and make choices that are in alignment with our values and stay out of the business of others, without the government or ‘big tech’ telling us what we can and cannot see and hear, then we are… truly fucked.
Believe it a ‘conspiracy’ if you wish.
Continue to demonize, shame and judge ‘others’.
Abdicate all sense of reasonable, nuanced, sophisticated, discerning thinking.
Close your eyes. Plug your ears. Shut your mouth.
Let’s see how that works out.
Hey. Watch Bo Burnham’s new Netflix… INSIDE.
It’s excruciating to do so, actually.
Aaaand, delightful… shocking… raw… depressing… affirming… BRILLIANT.
It’s… a lot.
Just watch it. If you’re not wake-the-fuck-up impacted by it, well… maybe it is too late.
Faceted. Fearless. Fallable.
Fit-ish. Fuller-Figured. Fart-y.
Frustrated. Flabbergasted. Flummoxed.
Flexible. Fluid. Flowy.
Fey. Fly. Fa-la-la!
Fresh. Fierce. Ferocious.
FREE. FREE. FREE.
Well! It’s been a while since I posted about anything having to do with PATH of Authentic Voice. Just over… three months?!?!? My, how time flies in the midst of, as they say, that ‘only constant’… CHANGE!
Back in early April, I was highlighting the import of nervous system regulation and of the use of the ‘PATH Protocol‘ as a way to effectively navigate our, just developing, Turbulent Times, via regenerating and honing our relationship with the Four PATH Personhood Pillars — Power, Acceptance, Truth and Heart. I’ve been vigorously walking that PATH ever since.
Then, at the end of April, I asked the mother of all questions, ‘Who Are You?‘, the point of which was to deliberately conjure a personal reckoning with the Value and Meaning of Life… to, in turn, fan the flames of a Guiding Light by which one can steadfastly steer towards a Desired Direction, while being yanked around by forces beyond our control. Brick House, baby.
Since then and next up has been an internally emergent and rigorous exploration of ‘Voice’. Capital ‘v’ intended. What is the Voice in PATH of Authentic Voice?
Contrary to such superficial attributes as (on one end of the spectrum) being a utilitarian word delivery device to (on the other end of the spectrum) being an entertainment delivery device, to stoke with accolades or shut down with criticism, to enter into competitions to ‘win’ and receive awards that stroke eggshell esteems and insatiable egos…
Nooooo! Voice is sooooo much more than that!
Voice is your Essential Expression… unique and incomparable… potent… the Vibration and Sound through which one can actually shape their world, and one’s connection, or lack thereof, with the Four PATH Personhood Pillars — Power, Acceptance, Truth, Heart — is nakedly revealed.
It is by this definition, especially in our current, cathartic times, that what one gives their Voice to is starkly and utterly consequential.
What comes out of my mouth matters to me. I mean what I say. I say what I mean. I choose my words, with great care. My Voice is not just the aforementioned superficial qualifiers. My Voice is an expression of what I am aligned with, what is meaningful to me, what is true for me, what I stand for and, even, what I’m willing to, yes, die for. My Voice is the instrument through which I assert my Heart and Soul… what I Value… to such a weighty degree that I have become mercilessly mindful of what I Give my Voice to.
I’ll use a chapter of my own singing journey as an example…
Several years ago, I was offered the opportunity to teach students who were studying vocal jazz. Accepting the job required me to work with the literature from the well-known Great American Songbook. I gleefully accepted the position and thought it appropriate and necessary to become more acquainted with the songs from said era than I already was. I was surprised to discover that as much as I loved the music itself — the form, the melodies, the harmonies — I could not, ultimately, stomach… the lyrics.
So many tunes from the GAS (surpressing giggle) are what I call ‘pain body’ or ‘old story’ songs. What I mean by that is that most of them are about love and relationships of the unrequited, tragic, sad, victimy, and dysfunctional kind…. all wrapped up in a blanket of intoxicating romance.
Since I initially referenced our constant companion, ‘change’, I’ll continue the trend and pull up the song You’ve Changed as an example.
The music itself? Gorgeous, yes? The words, though, well… I’ll pull no punches. The narrator of this worn out story seems to dramatically bemoan and argue against the reality of the changing of a ‘cared for’ person… as if change is a bad thing! The lyrics seem (to me) virtually accusatory in tone. Clearly, the narrator of this sad story did not get the memo about ‘I’ statements and the much needed support to process what was, understandably, painful. There’s plenty more to mine from the depths of the text. However, I’ll put it to rest.
Now, if someone had sent that message my direction I’d be inclined to respond. Aaaaand, maybe I’d actually sing my own response using my Voice, ideally calling upon the energies of Power, Acceptance, Truth and Heart, ‘cuz I am that PATH chick, after all. Supposing I did, it might look something like…
I ultimately stepped away from that teaching position, with a whole lot of gratitude for the opportunity to serve, for the learning and growing that came from it, the wonderful people I met and collaborated with along the way, and with an ample supply of respect and admiration for those who so meticulously and masterfully deliver their vocal gifts through such a particular and stringently complex genre of music.
But Not for Me, when all was said and done. Joke intended. Click on the blue link at the top of this paragraph to enjoy yet another greatest of the Great American Songbook! Doesn’t Judy make suffering seem so elegant? Poignant, actually. Given her tragic life and death.
Speaking of life and death matters… as the echoes of the past die away, as we face an onslaught of censorship not seen since the McCarthy years, and as we forge ahead as Creators of a Whole New World, we will change. Everything is changing, whether we want it to or not. The quality of that change is dependent on how we choose to respond. It is through Power, Acceptance, Truth and Heart and our Raised-Out-Loud Voices that we will carry ourselves into a future we all cherish being a part of…
With you. For you.
When people are scared, angry and confused… when their nervous systems have been on overload, perhaps since childhood… throw in a global pandemic, racial equality tidal wave, political election of a lifetime… job loss, loss of income, potential or actual loss of home, drowning in debt, illness, death of a family member, death, death, death all over the world and ‘you’re next’… Goddess knows what else…
And then, ‘pop’… they lose their shit. Do something ‘reprehensible’, ‘stupid’, ‘selfish’. Seen the videos? Seen the memes? Many more to come.
Have you never had that happen? Le ‘Pop’? I have. An embarrassing tirade at New Seasons long ago comes to mind, when a gentleman got condemingly upset with me for not seeing him as I was backing out of my parking space. What I needed most was not to be shamed and humiliated for human error and then, for my subsequent loss of composure in a moment of understandable-if-examined madness… following said gentleman into and throughout the store…doing-unto-him-what-he-had-done-unto-me… on and on the chain-of-pain goes…
What I needed, what he needed, was tenderness, and space for the vulnerability that was surely within both of us, underneath all the reactivity. I had no idea what was going on for him any more than he knew what was going on for me. No attempt made. Tragic.
Therein lies the potential for r(E)volution. Every breath. Every moment. Every day. + + +…
Compassion. Mercy. Forgiveness. Empathy. Grace. Holding. Helping. Healing.
We’re in trouble if, as we dismantle the police, we let policing each other become the norm… if we don’t heartily look to see who is behind that mask, or beyond why they are not wearing one… if we fall asleep at the wheel of endeavoring to discover what’s *really* going on… in all the canceling, might we be lobotomizing our ability to Respond to complex and complicated situations with discernment, *nuance* and the Creativity *absolutely* needed to get ourselves out of the jams we find ourselves in… if we let anger, judgment and hostility get the better of us… be the boss of us… adding fuel to inferno… if we let the latest news story make enemies of us…
Unless we’ve walked in another’s shoes, we’d best be care-full. Take a moment. Wonder. Smile. Wave. Count to ten. Ask, with genuine concern, “You doin’ ok?”, “Anything I can do to support you?”. Even ask self, hell, “How am *I* doing?!?” and prescribe accordingly…
Breathe. Breathe again. Before opening mouth. Flapping gums, waving fingers. Before righteously hitting that ‘post’ button.
What will be my contribution, then?
Stay awake. Regulate. Regulate. Regulate. Calm. Calm. Calm. Be the Balm, Balm, Balm… not, a detonated bomb. If that’s too much, silence… contemplation… will suffice.
There’s no going back. Only forward. We Choose. We Create. May we do so with our Ultimate Aim in Heart, Soul and Clear Mind.
Thriving, Pulsing, Honorable, Dignified Unity…
Oh, and… Joy. Remember Joy? Yeah.
Bless Us ALL…
With you. For you.