When It Gets Real

by Dana Taylor

9:02 am of April 19, 1995 is forever etched into my memory. My cozy home in an Oklahoma City suburb suddenly shook as if, well, a bomb had gone off. Which indeed, it had. The walls, floors, and offices of the downtown Murrah Building blew to smithereens. Dozens died, including babies in the day care center.

(AP Photo/Bill Waugh, Flle)

A whole city of individuals was suddenly pulled together in a mutual cataclysmic event. The rose colored glasses of thinking we lived in a safe place were ripped off. Disbelief morphed into collective grief. Everyone experienced their own revelations as the days and weeks unfolded. Personally, I developed a sense of empathy for victims of random violence I had not known before. I’d lived a protected life, free from the horrors of war and chaos. When I read of bombs going off in foreign cafes or a suicide bomber destroying a wedding, I couldn’t identify. Those things happened far away. They were more like stories in movies. Not real. Suddenly I felt the reality of instant, random death and calculated hate. Real shit.

Fast forward twenty-five years. The global pandemic. It’s not just some disease in some foreign country affecting people who don’t speak my language. No, it’s here. It’s now. It’s real. Real shit.

And then this Memorial Day, it really hits the fan with the murder of George Floyd. The event is a perfect storm of people locked up and FED UP. Throw in some anarchists, stupid Tweets, and rage. Cities across the US and the world explode.

So, what to make of this? I’m sure sociologists better educated than I will analyze our collective psyches. But to me it seems the message clear: we are all in this together.

Disease and violence isn’t just something that visits other people in other lands. They are part of the human experience. According to the soothsayers, channelers and assorted spiritual teachers, we are in the opening decade of The Awakening, an appropriate moniker. A very rude Awakening indeed. This is all a slap in the face.  And yet, so necessary. Wake up! Wake up to white privilege and racism. Wake up to global annihilation. Wake up to ugly truths and well, more of that, real shit.

What to do? Play the blame game? Point the fingers? Hide in our homes and watch Netflix? Of course, there are no easy solutions. Yet, common sense tells me if we are all in this together, then we all have to play our part. This is a watershed moment. As individuals we make choices that ripple into our families and communities. No one person or organization or government is going to “save” us. We have choices. We can pull together for the greater good, one person at a time. Or we can further devolve into fighting factions. Which will it be?

There are certainly compelling arguments for doom and gloom. The chaos will continue. The wake up calls have just begun. But, we live on a planet of free will. We make the decisions that set the course of our individual lives. Collectively, we make decisions that set the course of the nations. It’s time to learn from the past, but not repeat it. Time to break the patterns, tear down the old walls, come up with fresh ideas.

Despite the headlines and upcoming uninspiring election choices, I see hope in younger leadership emerging with better ideas for the global community. Complacency is not an option. If enough people can meet the chaos with kindness over fear, with peace over destruction, we can witness positive, compassionate changes in our societies.

It took a while, but after the Oklahoma City bombing, community leaders came together in a cooperative manner.  A beautiful memorial now sits on the site of the destruction. The decaying downtown area was reimagined and revitalized.

Planet earth can also be reimagined and revitalized. It will take courage and compassionate action. No one is exempt. We are all in this together.

Bright blessings–

Dana

 

 

 

 

Let America Be Great When…

by Dana Taylor

Let America be great when
we unite in love, not fear
when we see each face as a person dear

Let America be great when
land is held sacred with respect,
not an expanse to strip, rape, and wreck

Let America be great when
people love people more than a gun,
when crowds come together not in protest, but in fun

Let America be great when
girls enjoy freedom and emotional victory
when #MeToo becomes a sad, bygone history

Let America be great when
Black is simply beautiful
When diversity of colors is totally cool

Let America be great when
people can follow their hearts to love,
when no courts destroy human rights from above

Let America be great when
animals are recognized as sentient creatures,
when their heads are not displayed trophy features

Let America be great when
food is safe and water is clean,
when city streets are friendly, not mean

Let America be great when
everyone has a place to sleep and nest,
when the homeless are given space, dignity and rest

Let America be great when
drugs no longer lead to suicide and addiction,
when our youth grow in strength, not affliction

Let America be great when
art and creativity are encouraged and nourished,
when new ideas help communities grow and flourish

Let America be great when
we cease to worship destruction and war,
when we finally embrace peace and say,
no more…..
            no more….
                    no more….

 

 

copyright Dana Taylor @ 2018, All Rights Reserved

The Amerigun Reality Show

Las Vegas, Sunday evening October 1, 2017– Retired accountant, real estate millionaire, Stephen Paddock, executes a well planned shooting spree into a crowd of country western fans enjoying a concert from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Hotel, killing 59 and wounding 500 more.

Why??? What is going on? Everyone has their world view. Many speak from political standpoints. My thinking has been molded more by esoteric material–the Bible, A Course in Miracles, The Tao Te Ching, to name a few. Like millions of others, I cried watching footage of victims and survivors, trying to make sense of the chaos.

A Course in Miracles teaches that we are all creating our own reality. Outward anger reflects inward anger. A mass murderer is killing himself over and over.

As I pondered the details of the life of Stephen Paddock as revealed in news snippets, he appeared to be a solid American guy. He bought into American materialism, amassed a comfortable cushion, loved gambling, gave generously to family, lived with a girlfriend in a nice house in a nice neighborhood. He did it My Way.

He was a smart guy, and in some twisted mentality to have a Big Finish to his life, he smuggled an arsenal into his hotel room, arranged for rapid automatic fire, and took as many people with him in a terrifying special effects ending to The Stephen Paddock Story.

Stephen Paddock is the product of American culture. He is a mirror of what we have become–gun toting, celebrity seeking sociopaths. Sadly, there are more where he came from, more on the way. The big Vegas gun show scheduled for the following weekend will probably draw a big crowd.


 

So, where will it all lead? There are roads to be chosen. We can continue down Gun Worship Trail, everyone packing heat. Hey, silencers on more weapons can take slaughter to the next level.

Or perhaps, enough people will decide guns are not sexy, not acceptable, not what we want for our children. It’s not a matter of laws, it’s a matter of mass mind set. Other developed nations are much more peaceful. People don’t carry guns everywhere. It’s an Amerigun thing. You’d have to travel to Honduras, drug cartel South American countries, or warlord ruled areas of South Africa to get shot as much as Americans.

To put Biblical scripture in modern terms: He that lives by the gun, dies by the gun. Matthew 26:52

Will this latest event cause any shift in our mass conscious thinking? Well, perhaps some of those thousands of spectators from the country western concert went home with an altered viewpoint. I’ll wager many of them were card carrying NRA members. Do they feel safer with their full gun cases? Or will looking at them now give them a sick thud in their gut? Will they downsize or buy more firepower?

Might they see the insanity or will they simply go more insane? Time will tell.

I take some comfort in the messages from Kryon through Lee Carroll. He says we will look back on this era and call it the Barbaric Age. Humanity will evolve to a point where the thought of shooting each other and living in constant fear is beyond belief. I hope so.

I don’t know about you, but I would like to cancel The Amerigun Reality Show.

Dana Taylor

 

Empowering Women, One Scarf At A Time

IMG_3406.2016-07-09_162535_kindlephoto-77292004 by Dana Taylor, wearing her Spirited Woman scarf

nancy

Meet Nancy Mills, founder of The Spirited Woman (www.thespiritedwoman.com), a leading women’s empowerment community. Known for her inspirational insight and interview style, for many years Nancy moderated the Spirited Woman Circle, an exclusive conversation series with famous women authors, actresses, radio personalities, editors, and more. She also led the creatively playful Spirited Woman Workshop in cities across America.

Almost five years ago, Nancy created a very special project, The Sisterhood of the Sacred Scarves, bringing spirit-minded women together from around the globe. The Spirited Woman Prayer Scarf (www.thespiritedwoman.com/prayer_scarf) is a symbol of spirit, empowerment and beauty.

Nancy is wearing the latest scarf, NAMASTE, now available for purchase. (I just received mine!) A portion of all scarf proceeds is donated to the Spirited Woman Foundation (www.thespiritedwoman.com/foundation) to help heal and support women through actions of empowerment. To date, there have been 16 scarves introduced, each representing a different theme. 100s of women worldwide have purchased 1000s of scarves. Approximately $10,000 has been given to 12 different non-profits, including Sojourn Services for Battered Woman and Their Children, My Hope Chest, TreeSisters and Team Think Pink, Inc.

D: How did you receive the inspiration for Sisterhood of the Sacred Scarves?

Nancy ~ “This is a wonderful story with a lot of mysterious elements. I have always loved scarves. To me – they are so much more than a fashion statement and seem to carry tremendous ancestral energy. About five years ago, I had purchased a scarf. I just loved this scarf and everywhere I went people would stop me and say – “Where did you get that scarf? I LOVE IT.” It seemed simply to attract people. At the same time, I had just moved to an area of Los Angeles called Playa Vista – which I later found out had been a former Indian Burial Ground. Strange things were happening – such as a large red-tailed hawk landed on my balcony and I felt the energy of this land as being very sacred. So, I went back to the place where I purchased the scarf and asked if they had more. They did and I ended up buying 48 more of the same scarf and I called the scarf “The Spirited Woman Prayer Scarf” and I invited women to join the Sisterhood of the Sacred Scarves. From the beginning the scarf came with a ceremony and I blessed each one. I felt the entire project was driven by spirit and the energy of the land where I lived. When I did more research, I found that the tribe that lived there was led by a woman chieftain.”

D: How have the scarves impacted women?

Nancy ~ “There have been many stories with these scarves. So very many. One of our very first scarves was named “Peace.” It had metallic threads running through it. One of the women who purchased it – kept on finding metallic threads in secretive places in her house. On her meditation stand. In her jewelry drawer. Next to her journal. She took it as a sign that she was being protected by our sisterhood. Another woman, called me in a panic. One of her friends was very ill and she didn’t know if she would make it through the night. She asked if I could send the “Gratitude” prayer scarf immediately – so her friend could be covered in it upon her transition. Another woman was very ill in the hospital with cancer. She would not do her chemo treatments unless she was wearing one of her Spirited Woman Prayer Scarves. She had a collection of them. I think “Joy” was her favorite. And finally, this story. A woman wearing our prayer scarf “Rainbow Warrior: Songbird of Life,” was eating dinner at a restaurant. At the table next to her, two men starting shouting at one another. She stood up, and without saying a word, she raised her arms, draped in the scarf and the men ceased arguing. The restaurant went totally quiet. The owner of the restaurant asked if she could come back every night!”

Sisterhood of the Scarves empowers women at every level — from those purchasing and enjoying them, the camaraderie of meeting other women through the social media, and finally, the funds that support women’s causes around the world. 

namasteNancy ~ And it is particularly poignant, now, with our current scarf NAMASTE. “Namaste” means “I bow to you,” and its meaning is often translated as, “When I see the light in you, and when you see the light in me, we are one.” This scarf I know will bring out the natural healer in all of us and act as a connector of divine feminine leadership.

You too, can become a member of the Sisterhood by purchasing NAMASTE , priced at $48. A lovely Red Jade Buddha Bracelet is offered at $18. Purchase Here

Sisterhood members wearing previous scarf, ANGEL WINGS

sisterhood

Where Malala Got Her Inspiration

 UPDATE October 2014: MALALA is Awarded Nobel Peace Prize. As a CNN article puts it, “Malala is hope.”

Dana post by Dana Taylor

“Education is Emancipation”

When my girl friends and I get together for lunch we often begin with a toast, “Thank God we were born Western women.” As college students we embraced the Women’s Liberation movement, reading Ms. Magazine, Fear of Flying, Betty Friedan and thinking equal-pay-for-equal-work was right around the corner. (Still waiting!) We turned up the radio for Helen Reddy, “I am woman, hear me roar…”  We’ve come a long way, baby. Sort of…

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, patriarchal mindsets were joining forces with Jihad and the Taliban to imprison women behind the veil. Millions of women were forbidden basic education and personal liberty. One young woman, Malala, has taken a stand, been shot in the head, and continues to campaign for the education of women in the Arab world.

This extraordinary girl comes from extraordinary parents. Watch this Ted Talk by Ziauddin Yousafzai, an educator and father of Malala. You’ll see  where her courage and inspiration began.

I Am Malala :The Girl Who Stood Up For Education and was Shot by the Taliban is available at all book retailers.

Boundless Compassion in Action

Spiritual Activism–Article Three

Putting faith into action is certainly exemplified by Homeboy Industries, founded by Father Gregory Boyle. Father Greg is the long term priest for the Dolores Mission in the gang center of the world, Los Angeles. Seeing a dire need for jobs to short-circuit the cycle of violence and prison sentences, Father Greg began putting gang members and ex-cons to work. As he relates in the excellent TATTOOS ON THE HEART: The Power of Boundless Compassion (see my review), having rival gang members work side-by-side often fostered a kinship that led to a life beyond the barrio.

“Homeboy Industries has been the tipping point to change the metaphors around gangs and how we deal with them in Los Angeles County. This organization has engaged the imagination of 120,000 gang members and helped them to envision an exit ramp off the “freeway” of violence, addiction and incarceration. And the country has taken notice. We have helped more than 40 other organizations replicate elements of our service delivery model, broadening further the understanding that community trumps gang — every time.”  – Father Greg

The Homeboy Bakery and the Home Girl Café produce wholesome food, while employing and training marginalized members of the community. Other businesses Homeboy Silk Screen and Embroidery, Solar Panel Installation Training and Certification, Homeboy Farmer’s Market, and Homeboy Merchandise. Services to the community include tattoo removal, job counseling, mental health, substance abuse, and domestic violence counseling.

Visit HomeboyIndustries.Org for more information.

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Homeboy Industries and the philosophy of Father Greg is influencing communities around the world with the Power of Boundless Compassion. Click Here to see Video.

Read the Homeboy Stories at their blog http://www.homeboystories.blogspot.com/

Order bakery goods now on-line at HomeBoyFoods.com