Our Inner North Star

The wishes of the soul are springing,
The deeds of the will are growing,
The fruits of life are maturing.

I feel my destiny,
My destiny finds me.
I feel my star,
My star finds me.
I feel my goals in life,
My goals in life find me.

My soul and the World are one.

Life grow more radiant about me,
Life grows more arduous for me,
Life grows more abundant within me.

-Verse by Rudolf Steiner


TRANSCRIPT:

Anne (00:03):

Hi, take that hair away. Thea and I are here. She’s visiting me in Texas. It’s very cold today, even though it was 87 degrees, few days ago, this is apparently Texas. So we’re crooked here, but we gotta make this quick. So, so we’ve been talking, and the theme of our conversations kind of keeps coming back to listening. We’ll get to that––basically kind of in the context of the fact that a lot is looking very different to people. These days, people are moving a lot right now, they are making choices in their lives, changing things that they didn’t realize they were going to want or need to change, but people are finding themselves having to make some very tough, big choices, big choices about whether to remain working where they were working, doing the same kind of education, the same kind of schooling as they were doing for their children.

Anne (01:27):

Living in the same places that once they thought were absolutely their home which no longer is fitting them, given things going on in the world. And in that context of having to make these choices and the fact that the, the pictures we had for our future, for our children’s future for the environment that we’re living in, that’s changing. So we don’t have those same pictures to move toward. We’re having to find new pictures.

Thea (02:11):

And those pictures aren’t holding us in the same way that they once did.

Anne (02:17):

Different motivations, some of our motivations are changing. We’re reexamining our motivations for the choices we’ve made in our lives. And I mean, on, on a very superficial level you know, we were raising our kids in California loving it in every way. Never expected to move, to want to. We figured we’d leave our house to our children and who knows, you know, to their children.

Thea (02:54):

And that has changed very much because different places––it’s a word, resonance. Like if we’re no longer resonating with the place that we’re in those avenues are no longer flowing with the external place and our inner space and place and culture.

Anne (03:29):

And growth, right. If, if, if our environment isn’t meeting us in a way that facilitates a flow forward, we’ve gotta take a look at that. And even though it was absolutely gorgeous and beautiful and on the surface at first in material ways, everything we wanted very comfortable it wasn’t comfortable on quite a deeper level, a more meaningful level for, for our family.

Thea (04:05):

Well, and I’ll just tie, like one of our initial talks, I think we talked quite a bit about image versus essence and that’s kind of it again. Here it is. You know, here’s this, that inner space that is really what gives meaning to life and, and purpose in life. And when that doesn’t have a place to be moving, meeting flowing, then it, it isn’t inhabitable.

Anne (04:42):

Yeah. It, it’s untenable at a point, and people are going through a different process of kind of coming to terms with that, because it goes up against I mean, I’m still in, in some of those leaving California sites or moving to different, moving to this, moving to that, and people keep asking you know, I wanna move because of this and this and this, but gosh, the weather, and it’s, because those were the things that drew us and, and it’s kind of hard, you know, to redefine it all for ourselves and realize, well, yeah, sure, the weather, but is it that important to us at this point? I’m loving it here by the way in Hill Country, Texas, anyway, I love it. Love it, love it. When I got my Texas driver’s license, I felt the same way I felt when I got my California driver’s license. Like I had arrived, you know, so it’s fantastic. Anybody who’s looking, check out Hill Country, Texas anyway.

Thea (05:50):

Or anywhere.

Anne (05:58):

Right. But, so, so, in that, what we have to find is a different north star, I suppose. And I’d say that north star is there for us.

Thea (06:14):

The inner star.

Anne (06:15):

And we can interpret, I think our inner star connects to the outer star. Is our inner star is our inner voice.?The voice of God? Is that spirit, the voice of GodA spirit of wisdom that we all have access to that we often don’t listen to, or, or don’t heed.

Thea (06:40):

I would say even the outer world, from my experience hasn’t brought with reverence or the importance of that inner voice as much, it’s been more––and this is my journey right too. So I can’t speak for others––has that, that quality of listening to that, that quiet tuning instrument…we’ve spoken about this in other talks too, that gives resonance you, you can sense when the way is open or the way is shut. And the more I’m noticing over these years, listening more and more to that voice, that inner voice, when it comes in small ways, turn left, turn, right. You know, look down. The more we, when I’ve practiced listening to it, the stronger it gets, the easier it is to hear and to tune in, to find where is the way open, where is the way I need to follow or, or make. Not even follow. But in flow, where is the flow?

Anne (07:56):

Yeah. I mean, we’ve all had those times in our lives where maybe something felt right to go in one direction, but our head and our framework second guessed it, or decided that it made more logical sense to go in a different direction. And even though something in, in our heart or something right here feels stifled when we move in that direction often, you know, we’ve, we’ve all done that, you know, to one degree or another. And in the end that other direction, even though it didn’t quite look as clearly logical, felt open here, felt good, had us feel more alive. And, and when we have taken those leaps, they often feel like leaps because we can’t see it as logically maybe cause we are not in control of it. All right. Maybe we’re part of a larger plan that, that we can’t conceive of in our smaller mind, smaller perspectives. If, if we go with those and then we are rewarded, as I have had much experience doing, you know so many quote unquote leaps of faith that felt right though, too, that I’ve taken, the universe responds, immeasurably, to that.

Anne (09:40):

And I think the more, like you’re saying that you just do that even in a, in a conscious practice in daily life of, oh, I, I left that, you know, whether on a hike or something, it’s like I feel like I I’m forgetting something. Don’t disregard it, go back or stop and think of it. And, and something will come to you. And it’s like, oh, there was a reason I had that thought, the more we do that, it does, it builds that muscle and we become much more able to quickly discern our paths.

Thea (10:18):

So that, I, I mean, taking it even into those bigger places is that, you know, I continue to work with this in, in larger ways so that I can find myself following and landing in places where I’m needed in moments. So that we each can fulfill our work, our purpose here.

Anne (10:49):

I mean, that’s getting back to the fact that we are all a part of a larger plan, however you want to conceive, but, but, but it’s, it’s pretty evident that we’re all interconnected in a larger perspective than just ours in our lives. So if we can acknowledge that and keep that conscious as we move through life then we might be able to just be a bit more guided by some, something that something immaterial or not immaterial. That’s a bad word for it, something non-material that,uis still a beacon still, still a, a direction. So, and it’s exciting. I, I’ve talked to a lot of people, you know, who are going through transition right now. So many people I know are going through transition and people are using language like, “I feel I’m being stationed here” at a certain point that they’ve decided to, to move to,ucompletely unexpectedly. And I think that we are all being stationed. UI, if we’re listening to that, we’re allowed, we’re able to then be,udirected to our position in this exciting new shift.

Thea (12:34):

Where I know myself being asked to let go of things that have been part of my world or, or comfortable in some way, or parts of myself, there are these, I have this picture, just the unfurling, that things can fall away. So that there’s a new emergence, a new birth growing from the––I mean, it’s the Phoenix from the ashes, or the rising out.

Anne (13:07):

But to embrace that falling away. ‘Cause This is the point, this is why we are here. We’re here to grow. We’re here to unfold, we’re here to change. I mean, let’s experience a lot, let’s adventure, right? So let’s, let’s, you know, if, if one can embrace this spirit more of adventure and the excitement of that, rather than the contracting,uimpulse to hold onto what’s comfortable, our ease––you know, ease isn’t necessarily a fulfilling life. We know that well.

Thea (13:43):

And that also brings just with that picture of the falling off, like shedding layers. As I get older appreciating the more I’m able in, in life, in circumstance, in relationship able to be quiet and to actively perceive without the, the layers of density that block perceiving with another, so that, so that things can truly become more flow, more movement, more clear reflections.

Anne (14:28):

And more conscious. And I think that’s very much what it’s about. And, and when you are more are conscious when we are more conscious of our motivations, our reactions, our flaw, our flaws, our patterns, our negative tendencies, positive tendencies or whatever, when we become conscious of that and just stop for a moment and examine them it allows us to you know, do what we want with them and keep moving on rather than getting stuck in patterns.

Thea (15:13):

And I feel like, with those places of our, of our hindrances, our weaknesses are stuckness––where the more I have the courage to observe those, the more I can pull out the, the strengths out of those places, those habits. Those kind of inverted strengths become those weaknesses, but there’s something in there to let shine forth which then can.

Anne (15:53):

…Become What it was supposed to be. To fulfill more of your potential.

Thea (15:56):

And our. The more each one of us does this work, the more, the whole shines. So it’s kind exciting.

Anne (16:08):

It is, it’s, it’s a super exciting time, it’s super exciting.

Thea (16:10):

It is. And, and, and, you know, depending on the, the mood, the state of mind, I mean, I know for myself moments where I feel a fear come, and then it’s like, oh, what’s that, here we go. Now let’s get back into that. Where’s that contracting coming from? Oh, open that up again. So that we keep moving.

Anne (16:34):

And also, I mean, I know I’m going on all these tangents, but back to being a part of the whole, each one of us having our purpose, our path within the whole I think it, I, I think that it is facilitated––if we can keep that in mind, we can get a little more released of that fear. Right. That if I can surrender a little bit and let go yes. I’m, I’m afraid of this. I’m afraid of that. Let go and have faith that we are part of something larger and then just let go a little bit and be guided. Even with that fear. And understanding fear, we all know this intellectually, hard to put it into practice, but it just contracts. Fear does not really facilitate much except for making sure you’re not eaten by the, the lion, but you know, most of the fears that get manifested these days, I think in the world that we live in, the society we live in are more contracting fears that probably hamper our thinking process and our flow.

Thea (17:49):

And our ability to be connected. And you know, in terms of fear, I’m thinking, what am I learning? How, when, when those things come, doing something, just doing something moves the fear. So it changes the, the construction of one’s space, the way I’m holding myself or being affected by what’s around me. If I move something different.

Anne (18:17):

Even if you just go for a walk, go for a walk or wash dishes, ’cause I was thinking, then, then you’re also doing something constructive and purposeful. You’re reminding yourself of your capacity as a human being to be purposeful.

Thea (18:30):

And it actually makes me think of do you remember those Orson Scott Card books, the Alvin Maker series, in which the character who’s a maker, you know, and is always conscious or becomes conscious that the UNmaker is always trying to UNmake, and so when those movements of unmaking are coming in, he would weave a little grass basket or create, make something.

Anne (18:59):

Wow. So creation versus destruction. Right?

Thea (19:04):

And so we each are here with that gift, and that’s part of that inner star to outer star. We’ve been given this gift to be creating as well. So let’s, let’s be courageous in our creating and practice strengthening, cuz we all hear it. The nature of reality is good and intelligent. And being in that, one with it. Will get us all right where we need to be.

Anne (19:39):

Yes. Indeed. Right. Let me see if I can turn this thing off.

Featured post

To those concerned that we will turn our new state into California…

Photo by Jared S. on Unsplash

I’d like to address many of the comments I’m reading in response to my recent piece Thoughts from a Recovering Californian:

While I did not devote much time or language in the article to the political climate of California, I can assure you that I and others like me––those of us who have uprooted our entire lives to move our families to a better place––are not coming to your state to recreate California. On the contrary, many of us (including myself) have spent years attempting to transform the political climate of California through legislative and campaign efforts, and only decided to finally leave upon realizing that the supermajority control there constitutes a perpetual one party rule.

Yes, we were naive. Yes, we had been a part of the problem before we woke up. But wake up we did, and we fought to turn back the tide. We figured it out too late. But we will be the last folks who will sleepily let it happen in our new state. And we will do it with more than just our vote. We understand where it happens––from the local level on up to state. We will be watching. We will be getting actively involved. We will do everything we can to prevent what happened to California in our new states.

Thank you for taking the time to read the original piece, and to express your concerns and perspective. While we may be coming at it from different experiences, perspectives, backgrounds, we share the same concerns. Let’s work together to keep these still great states great.

––Anne Mason

Thoughts from a Recovering Californian

by Anne Mason

Photo by Joshua Sukoff on Unsplash

It’s been 20 months since we left California, and I’m still peeling off layers.

My heart was in San Francisco

I had lived in the SF Bay area since 2004, when I first moved to San Francisco. Wow, did I love that once beautiful city by the bay, with its European feel, hip culture, Mediterranean climate, and more. The city was a “happening” scene, and I was a short walk or drive to the ocean beaches, the redwood forests, the snowy mountains or the tranquil rivers. Every corner you turned was a new, magnificent vista. I loved my work and colleagues, made great friends, and was always meeting new and interesting people from all over.

It was a short hop down to SoCal, and I frequently made a weekend of it to spend on the world class beaches and warm water in the San Diego area where my sister was raising her family. Work brought me into the Hollywood studios, and I got to visit with and hang out with friends from all over the world who had eventually made their way to Los Angeles. My husband and I met on a flight from San Diego to San Francisco, where he also lived. We had a blast together making the most of all the city had to offer, then moved across the Golden Gate Bridge to Marin County once we started our family.

Fairyland across the bay

Marin was another type of paradise. It had been developed very consciously, so that its natural beauty was preserved. The land hadn’t been razed and cleared for development. Instead, the neighborhoods were built around and within the trees, mountain and foothills, and saturation was deliberately prevented. Most residents had a very short walk to acres of forested trails, lakes and streams, and the trail just outside our backyard led to breathtaking vistas, edible and medicinal plant gathering and natural wildlife all around. Our little town alone boasted 4 waterfalls.

Our son had been born in our apartment in San Francisco, and our daughter was born in our house in Marin. Our community seemed so like-minded, into natural health and living, focused on consciousness raising and metaphysical awareness. My husband walked to work, where he operated his business out of offices in our little downtown. Bumper stickers were sold that referred to our town as “Mayberry on Acid,” if that gives more of a picture.

It was idyllic. For a time.

And then it wasn’t. We had to leave.

What happened?

So many of us––those who have left, those who are leaving, and those still there––are still trying to put the pieces together, trying to unravel the “unraveling,” trying to understand it, trying to explain it. Yes, the political environment is responsible for much. The socioeconomic policies and environmental regulations that were gradually being implemented over the last few decades there––which exponentially accelerated the last few years––have dramatically transformed the California that once was. And the Covid lockdowns and policies over the last two years took it beyond what any of us really could imagine. But there was something there, already underlying the culture, which facilitated all of that, permitted all of it.

And it isn’t until one has been living out of it for awhile, experiencing the cultures of other states, that more of the subtle differences become apparent.

Where to go?

When we decided to leave, we were planning on moving out of the country. We couldn’t imagine that it could be that different anywhere in the States, and we were planning to move to Belize when we put our house on the market two days before CA Governor Newsom implemented the first “shelter-in-place” in the country in six SF Bay area counties, ours being one. Everything changed for us, our business went dead, the Marin real estate market went dead, Belize borders closed. We changed course and expectations, sold the house for less than planned and spent a year in Idaho near the Montana border. A few months ago, we found our permanent home in beautiful Texas Hill Country.

I’ve commiserated with friends who have left. Many have settled in Idaho, Florida, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arizona, Montana, Arkansas, Alabama––and here in Texas. Everyone I talk to has gone through a similar process of awakening. Waking up to how much more messed up it was back there than we had even realized.

Living in California had changed me

I hadn’t realized, until I had lived elsewhere for some time, that I had learned to operate under the assumption that I couldn’t trust folks to follow through on their commitments. That there was always an underlying assumption that folks usually had an ulterior motive when being helpful. I hadn’t realized until I lived in a place in which folks truly value character, kindness and friendship, that I had been living in a place which prioritized material status and image. I hadn’t realized until I lived in a place with a healthy distrust of authority, that I had been living in a place with an almost religious reverence for government.

I hadn’t realized how much focus was on passing the buck and playing the blame game in California until I lived in a place in which people owned up to their mistakes. I hadn’t realized how indirect and passive the day-to-day communication was in California until I lived in a place where people were so straightforward and tell it like it is. And I hadn’t realized how narcissistic and selfish the culture was there until I lived in a place where people truly want to be of service.

Goodness for goodness’ sake

I am so grateful for the standard of humanity I have found here. I get the sense that folks here are honest, helpful, kind and generous, not because of how it will look to other people, but because it is the right thing to be, because they honor themselves and others too much to behave or conduct themselves otherwise. Whereas a culture pervaded the area I lived and worked in California in which folks would often behave in any manner they could get away with––while virtue signaling their supposed regard for others with “We Believe…” signs in their front yard.

We have made so many friends, met so many cool people––folks who think for themselves, folks who think outside the box, folks who don’t care what skin color or gender you are. I have never been made so aware of race, gender, sexual orientation than when I lived in the “anti-racist” SF Bay Area.

You do yours and I’ll do mine

We don’t wear masks anywhere. The folks that do wear masks don’t seem to project any hostility or concern about those who don’t. Morality isn’t wrapped up in people’s choices surrounding Covid. Ever since I left California, folks have always shaken hands, hugged in greetings, exhibit no fear of one another. And there just seems to be a high regard and respect for individual choice, in general. There is a tolerance, an acceptance, a generally charitable attitude toward others I find here in Texas––and in Idaho––which is very different than the judgmental, condemning attitudes I was accustomed to back in California.

The SF Bay Area culture prides itself on an identity of tolerance, diversity and large mindedness. It is quite the opposite in practice. But I didn’t feel its full impact until I moved to an area which is truly diverse in ideas and people. And the fierce individualism at the heart of this culture naturally sustains a tolerant regard for others’ individual expression, practice, choices. Where conformity isn’t the virtue, other traits like honesty, generosity, kindness, sincerity and responsibility weave the social fabric.

There is a world outside California…and it’s better!

California is beautiful on the outside, but seems to have rotted from within. We have not been back to visit since we left, and we have no desire to return, even for a short stay. Most of our friends still living there have come to visit, and more still plan to––as they all need a respite and healthy dose of sanity from time to time. Others will stop by on their frequent recon trips to different parts of the country as they search for a new homeland.

We live in an astonishingly beautiful country. There is a kind of prideful lament among Californians that they can’t leave, because nowhere has as beautiful a landscape and weather––and the outdoor lifestyle that facilitates. Beauty abounds in every state––from purple mountain majesties and sea to shining sea. And at half the price!

If you are still living in California and are struggling with the decision to leave, realize that not only is there a better world outside California, it is better than you can even imagine. Freedom awaits you all over––freedom to experience a different standard of humanity, and freedom to exercise your own.

**1/2/22 –– I have written a response to the many commenters concerned that folks like me will turn their state into California ––Anne Mason

Featured post

Charity

TRANSCRIPT:

Anne (00:03):

Hi, Thea.

Thea (00:04):

Hello, Anne.

Anne (00:07):

So it’s been a while since we’ve done one of these recordings recorded chats, but we’ve been chatting a lot throughout the last few months as I have settled here now down in Texas Hill country. And you are there up in Portland, Oregon where it’s rainy and wet. And treesy, as I see behind you. And we have been, and continue to try to understand how’d you put it, this accelerated journey that we’re, we all seem to be on the lesson that we’re all supposed to, or the opportunity to learn. And it has brought us to this concept of charity.

Anne (01:04):

I was asking you and, and Drake, your son home from college is there, is in the house. I was asking what’s, you know, what’s the opposite of, of judgment, condemnation, criticism, and he threw out charity, true charity, the highest love. And that resonates with me because I was trying, I was talking to you a little bit about this, this journey that I’ve been on in terms of, you know over the last year and a half or more having concerns, anxieties, focus that has shifted where I am not feeling so caught up in the chaos out there. And I was trying to put some language on it and explaining that I’m attempting, striving to transcend that duality, because I think that’s where the answer lies somewhere for us all to kind of keep moving forward to, evolve. And you, you know, rightly took a little issue with that term because that almost suggests not being here in this, and committed in this present moment.

Anne (02:50):

Right. So we found a better word for it, I think. And I’ll just throw a few thoughts out there, but I think the answer has to do with definitely charity of spirit and, and understanding. That’s what we keep coming back to. What are we trying to do here? What does the answer often seem to be? And let me give a very very mundane example. We adopted these lovely cats, once we got the house and quickly in–– I mean, things have been busy. There’s been a lot of, busyness and movement. And in the past when we’ve had cats before, we’ve always used crystal cat litter, silica, and we pretty quickly transitioned the cats to that. When we first got them, it was a last minute thing, we had just grabbed some of that clay litter and a pan.

Anne (04:09):

Everything was fine. They were trained already. But we moved them to the silica cat litter and long story short, there’s been some, some difficulty for the last month with the male cat who keeps peeing areas that he shouldn’t, and I’ve been racking my brain with it. And, and long story short is I realized I was trying everything except the litter, the type of litter. Changed it back to the clay litter and it solved it immediately. And there was this, like, just this sense of something, kind of like just clarity, right? I mean, it was so.

Thea (04:55):

Clayyyrity. <Laugh>.

Anne (05:13):

<Laugh> He wanted that clay litter. He wanted the clay. It was so simple, but it was so for some reason, challenging to figure it out and, you know, I just kind of am seeing this as an example, <laugh>…

Thea (05:32):

…don’t go for the crystal folks, go for the clay.

Anne (05:36):

<laugh> Well, it’s just that, it’s all so simple. What we, he, and I couldn’t understand each other. You know, and I, I had other issues with other cats with that, you know, and I’m like conflating it all. In the past with peeing and litter boxes and like, what were the issues? And this one was very simple. And I think that’s the case with all of us, for all of us, with our, certainly our disagreements and this polarization that’s happened and continuing to happen. And I think that, you know, a whole other part of it––to get a little woo woo––you know, I’m really grocking that we are, we really are creating our own reality. We manifest our reality with, with, with our thoughts, our mind, our intentions, and that suggests if we are manifesting our realities, and each of us are manifesting that, that suggests that that person’s fear or concern is just as valid as my fear or concern, that that person’s reality is just as valid as mine. And, you know, if we accept that, that we are manifesting our own realities, then obviously it seems the next thing to, to shine some light on is, is perhaps you know, even letting go of those fears so that we don’t, neither of us, none of us manifest them, but there’s charity simply in the understanding that their, everything is as valid as mine,

Thea (07:34):

I’m gonna chime in. I think that within all of that is one, interest. Even if it’s not one you must pursue, but when we are faced with another’s perspective or experience, is that there’s a space of interest and that then creates a pathway, a connection from them to you, and you to them. And when you are speaking about these polarizing experiences, that many of us are having it’s, it’s about interest. It’s about creating the pathways. It’s about rounding out our individual perspectives and therefore making a space or allowing a space that we can be connected, that we can be connected and interested and create pathways together. Because as you’re speaking of communication with your cats, you know, if you are holding one idea so firmly, there’s no space or room for anything else to come. And so if we can find our own way, and that’s where charity is, is a practice. Rounding ourselves out to be softer, to be perceiving without holding our own torch so strong.

Anne (09:08):

Yeah, exactly. And right, you’ve, you’ve talked a lot about gentleness too. You’ve brought that up when we’ve discussed these concepts and my experiences. You know, we can’t really go wrong by being gentle in our reactions or responses to people, to beings, to animals…

Thea (09:48):

…to ourselves…

Anne (09:50):

And to ourselves, right. To be gentle. Yeah. Because in the fact that we’re all, we’re each having our own reality, unique to each of us

Thea (10:13):

And unique to what we are wanting to learn and experience.

Anne (10:18):

Yeah, right. I mean, we, we are each on an individual path that converges with others and in one form or another assists others on their paths, but it it’s unique to each of us. And so we are basically, we’re, we’re doing the best we can, we’re each doing the best we can, you know? I mean, there are levels, I think, of muckiness or clarity in our intentions. Hopefully we can grow past mean spiritedness. But even if we’ve grown past conscious mean spiritedness, it doesn’t mean we’re going to avoid unconscious mean spiritedness, you know, so you can take it pretty far with that, recognizing that each person’s triggers that may result in a very negative response or seeming offense is, is just, you know, it’s just them doing the best they can with where they’ve gotten, you know, how they’ve gotten here to this point. So, yeah, generosity of spirit and, and love. I mean, it keeps coming back to––love is the answer, love is the way.

Anne (12:43):

So, okay. So, you know, the other part is we all know that these are things to strive for––charity, compassion love, love and understanding. I think the journey that, you know, we struggle with is how to do it, ’cause it’s easy to say, but sure is hard to do in our reactions.

Thea (13:14):

And it shows up in, in numerous ways and we may discover this is how I find it here. And then we get a new opportunity to find it in a new place. I think one of the things, I don’t know if this is a place you wanna go, but we had been discussing a little bit, I mean, and where I am. I see it so vividly this culture of finding offense. In so many places. And it’s so easy to be critical to, to have a critical perspective. And it’s easy to find what’s wrong with things. And we were kind of talking a little bit it’s the holiday season and people celebrate many different holidays and our conversation had been a little bit, you know, if I can say this, a joy in being able to say “Merry Christmas” to people. And, and I simply commented that, yeah, we all know that the, the impulse in these sharing of celebratory gestures to people, greetings, of honoring this holiday time is good. So it doesn’t really even matter what we say, in a certain way. Because let’s, let’s take the good and move on, move along, rather than this space of getting stuck on how we’re being offended by someone not saying to us what we want to be said.

Anne (14:51):

Yeah, right. Certainly let’s be charitable in spirit in how we receive folks’ intentions, right?

Thea (15:01):

And, and let’s not cut ourselves short. Let’s not minimize our capacity to perceive what is being offered. The words are one of the pathways and words are important, but we can frequently sense what’s behind or around the words. And if we allow ourselves to be that big and that perceptive, we’re very rarely gonna be truly offended by anyone! Because most often, people are not trying to offend. Most often. I mean, there are other times, but that was another part we had talked about.

Anne (15:38):

Exactly. And I’d say that extends further. And let me just make one quick note, I’m choosing to, to, to avoid certain terms as I’m discussing things, just because there are some restrictions in terms of what, you know, how visible this video can be. <Laugh>, you know, depending on the terms and, and some of the language I use. So if I seem a little vague it’s for that reason, but I think people can get the idea if they’re following along. But so back to offense, you know, back to honoring ourselves as humans, honoring others, as human beings, in the greatness and glory of being human, by being larger than maybe we have been led or misguided to believe we are, rather than reduce our perceptions to the word itself, “Merry Christmas.”

Anne (17:05):

I mean, for example, right? There’s, this trend of saying “Happy Holidays,” right? To avoid offending someone who’s not Christian. The reality is, if somebody’s saying Merry Christmas, they’re just wishing you love. Right? So so let’s not reduce ourselves just to the, the words themselves. We can perceive their spirit, we can perceive the emotion behind it. We can perceive the intention behind it. Right? And, then same goes, I think for––let’s go from offense to fear, cuz they’re a bit related in, in terms of our triggers.

Thea (17:53):

They’re contracting. They’re a contraction.

Anne (17:59):

Yeah, exactly. And so we can practice that same charity in how we receive news, in how we receive other people’s gestures and their own responses. If we are more charitable with that, it will probably help moderate our own fear responses and triggers. And the more we can do this regularly, I think the more we find ourselves not caught up in…just to, to kind of get above the duality, if, if, if I can call it that. I’m trying to not say transcend the duality, but just, or get outside the duality. How about that? Not above it, but outside the duality.

Thea (19:18):

Yeah. Like, so if the duality is this <hands facing each other>, we can exist and embrace it all.

Anne (19:25):

Yeah. Yeah. Because the duality requires this perspective facing this way, this perspective facing this way <hands facing each other>, pretty much only.

Thea (19:42):

Precisely. And I was thinking about you know, friction, right? We need a little friction to become something, but if you’re only existing in the space of “against,” then you don’t see very much. And so if, if you think of, I don’t know if I have a good analogy, but it’s like, it gets pressed so finely that it now has to go outside of it and exist all around and include it. So if it’s smash, smash, smash, smash, smash, it goes so small. It turns inside out. And it’s now bigger than that little space in here.

Anne (20:27):

Like the torus.

Thea (20:30):

Precisely. Yeah. It’s an inverted sphere.

Thea (20:41):

So if we think of––there’s a need for this coming together, pressing against, forming, distilling even, and then it becomes vast as well. And when we were speaking about this sort of accelerated time we’re in that’s––I think I know I’ve definitely felt these moments where it’s like, ugh, uncomfortable. And then when I can remember that I don’t have to only exist in that, I can be bigger and include all of it and embrace it all. Then you can breathe again and you can see a little more fully all of the colors around you and not just this space of despair or the space of challenge.

Anne (21:30):

Right. So you’re suggesting that it’s necessary as part of the process for us to get kind of myopic in that perspective until it gets so a small, we go inward and it comes…<encompassing hand gesture>

Thea (21:52):

It’s a thought, I mean, I hope that we don’t always have to get there, but maybe that’s, I mean, we all have heard this, the eye of the needle. Yeah. That’s the birth, it’s a birth. So if, if there’s a birthing into functioning, becoming in a new way, it’s not always gonna be easy going, you know? You come through a channel, you come through something that’s pressing upon you, and then you can expand.

Anne (22:26):

Well, you know, as has been discussed, the light needs the dark to reflect itself. We need reference. So that’s a–– and that friction that you’re talking about too––but that’s an easy way to explore one perspective is to go against another’s perspective. And to really kinda, really get in this experience of this one particular perspective. And maybe we do that, exhaust this, and then it’s time to move on, widen, widen our scope and try another perspective.

Thea (23:18):

Well, the thing I want to interject, or add, is that I think my goal <laugh> I’ll say is to be able to come into that without only existing in that. So one can go into this discussion, this pressing against, but not be only there. To not lose the roundness of objectivity. I wonder if, if one cannot connect with that broader sphere, when coming against something, you do simply stay in this against, against, against? This is a question, because it appears sometimes there’s not the evolution into a broader seeing.

Anne (24:20):

Well, maybe without charity, you can get stuck there. But, but, you know, charity is, is also related to our oneness, our connection. It recognizes that I am you and you are me. And that makes it easy to maybe a little more fluidly step into your shoes. And switch my perspective up and not get so stuck in mine.

Thea (25:15):

Yeah.

Anne (25:41):

So in the end, and I know this has been a mishmosh of, of thoughts and ideas, but what I will simply say is that I appreciate the journey that it has been this last year and a half––almost two years now––that has been challenging and grueling at times. Because personally I do feel––and I think when we think we’ve gone through the eye of the needle, we’re like, oh yeah, we went through like one of those big ones and now we got a teeny one to go through, you know––just another state, I do feel there’s been a shift. I’ve had my own shift that has been in rewarding to, to peer from this perspective, even, at my journey this last year and a half or so. And I do not feel, like I said, so so caught up in, in the chaos. And obviously all of the cliches are true––I mean, you know, we spent a year in the most remote area, with no distraction. That kind of gives you some time to go inward.

Anne (26:58):

And that’s a, that’s a good thing to do as well. Meditation, prayer helps all of this process. But I think another part of it that’s been a key for me, is getting in touch with this understanding that I am having––just my own perspective right now<laughs>––but the perspective I’m having that we really create our reality. And so what we choose to focus on is the reality we’re going to probably be experiencing to one degree or another going forward. When we truly know this, it becomes a little easier to very consciously not feed a reality that we are not wanting to see in our future and, and to control, I guess, our reaction to those who may be dwelling in a reality that we are not wanting to see, by forgiving them, by loving them, because they’re just on their own journey.

Thea (28:28):

Charity.

Anne (28:31):

By being charitable. So for whatever it’s worth.

Thea (28:37):

Happy holidays.

Anne (28:40):

Merry Christmas. <Laugh> Happy Hanukah. And just, you know, love to all. Love to all.

Thea (28:51):

Love to you.

Anne (28:54):

Yep. Love to you. Love you.

Thea (28:56):

Love you too.

Featured post

To All the Friends I’ve Loved Before…

by Anne Mason

Photo by Jennifer Griffin on Unsplash

…I still love you.

Even if we no longer relate to each other. Even if you’ve “unfriended” me (or threatened to). Even if we no longer chat or text or see each other. Even if we’ve completely lost touch.

We don’t get each other

We no longer understand each other enough to maintain a friendship. Some of you have put conditions on the friendship, in what might be considered a valiant attempt to maintain it. Some of you requested that we introduce new rules to the relationship. Some explicitly requested some topics be deemed verboten. Others have been more subtle and implicit in said request.

And there are some of you who haven’t made any conscious request like that, at least that I am aware of. But we no longer seem able to relate to each other. I’m not interested in the things you choose to talk about, and you don’t seem interested in the things I choose to talk about. We don’t seem to share the same concerns or priorities or motivations that govern our life choices.

Why fake it?

I suspect neither of us is really very different than we’ve always been, but that we were relating on a different frequency when we first became close. We were in different stages of our lives, and our similarities were more prominent than our differences at the time. As we’ve each moved through subsequent stages of life, our responses to those stages have revealed more of our differences. And who knows? Perhaps future stages will reveal more of the similarities again.

But for now, we don’t seem to be existing in the same reality as each other. So why force it? Why fake it? I know many folks whose familial relationships are constrained by off-limits topics. And perhaps because they’re accustomed to this parameter within their families, they’re more able to apply the same constraints to their friendships.

I’m not.

What are we supposed to talk about?

It is through relationships that we learn, that we grow, that we gain insight, understanding, perspective. I can somewhat understand the etiquette that advises “never talk politics or religion in polite company” in the context of, say, business associates or drinking buddies. It’s not that material to the basis of the relationship. But with good friends? Family? If we can’t speak about meaningful, core value issues with our close friends, then with whom?

By the same token, if one friend’s perspective is too far out there for the other to even entertain or consider as a possibility, then how are they to relate? My own perspective on a number of issues has been labeled “conspiracy theory” by mainstream media. If a friend of mine dismisses my perspective or belief as a “conspiracy theory,” how are they to relate to me, or I to them? Do they compartmentalize that part of me to reject, then accept the rest? How do I resolve that they compartmentalize and dismiss one or many aspects of me?

Such arrangements and navigations seem contrived at best, shallow and dishonest at worst.

Love never dies

Let’s cherish the friendship we had, because we both derived so much from it. Let’s honor the friendship by letting it go as it was, and not bastardize it by contriving rules and regulations to make it fit. And let’s go forward with the new friends we’ve made, friends we can each talk to about the things that are important to us, friends who can understand us, friends we can relate to.

As Dolly wrote, “I will always love you.” Even if we’re not friends anymore.


Featured post

Outside the Spell

Together we can break the spell.

TRANSCRIPT

Anne (00:03):

We’re going to talk about the spell that everybody’s, that many folks seem to be under. We want to talk about it very directly. I feel like I’ve, you know, throughout all of these recordings, I’ve I, I’m not quite as loose as I am in person about my thoughts on everything. So I want to be more direct and real about it. You know, and I think I’ll just give a background again. We were planning to move out of the country before all the lockdowns hit, because I’ve been involved for years in the legislative fight and consciousness fight against vaccine mandates. It was in California, as many of us have been involved in and over those years, I woke up to the reality that medical fascism was the, the means by which those in power were going to try to control the masses.

Anne (01:43):

And California is in the belly of the beast as are other key places across The States and the world, Western World specifically. Of course the, the less developed world is a target as well in a different way. And we didn’t make it out of the country because Newsom’s first shelter in place came down two days after we listed our house, but we did whatever we could to get out of California because we knew that that was going to turn crazy. And it has. I knew the masks would be, would be mandated and, and I knew it would turn into a kind of Stasi police state in which neighbors are turning on neighbors and reporting, et cetera, et cetera. Anyway, a lot of us have seen this. A lot of us saw this. COVID you know you know, I’ve never been afraid of germs.

Anne (02:54):

Really, I mean, especially as I, I mean, I think just my sense has always been, I, you know, I think we were raised not to be germaphobic on any level and understanding of our place in the balance of our environment. And of course, as I’ve gotten older and had to educate myself about vaccines, about infectious disease, I’ve learned a great deal more. That certainly makes me understand that tiny little microbes aren’t are they aren’t the ghouls that they’re made out to be, the monsters they’re made out to be, you know, we, we are, we have a great deal of control over the environment of our body what we put into it, how we fuel it, how we feed it and in terms of how to keep our immune system functioning well. So that’s basic stuff. So it’s been pretty crazy from that vantage point to watch what’s what’s gone on and watch the way people have succumbed to this fear and have fallen under the spell that they were already primed for.

Anne (04:10):

We live in an extremely medicalized society, and I don’t even like to use that term medicalized because medicine suggests something that is intended to heal. But what it’s become of course, is just pharmaceuticals. It’s become drugs. People have become reliant on pharmaceuticals and biotech to live their lives, to manage their health. They don’t even manage it themselves. They, they don’t largely, they, they look to someone else to tell them what to do to manage their health. And those that they’re looking to––the barber surgeons, the MDs, largely, I say this broadly, I mean, there are some brilliant MDs who are, you know, who are totally awake to what’s going on and know health. But largely they’ll listen to what this MD tells them to do, or this radiologist, whatever, just, just whatever expert is doing the scans and telling them what the problem is and prescribing the drugs and the test.

Anne (05:13):

They just, they follow orders. That’s generally it. So we have found ourselves in a society in which people don’t even feel responsible for their health. And even if they actually have a sense that what they’re being told is not correct. It takes them a lot to even reject that and take their health into their own hands. You know, so it’s, it’s been primed, right. We see in the media all over the place for, for decades you know, pandemic blockbusters, you know, that that’s, that’s the new fear people have been primed to, to get to this point of, of perceiving each other as a biohazard. So, okay, so here we are.

Anne (06:15):

Right. and, and so what’s been heartening is folks that didn’t pay a lot of attention to this until, you know, 2020 have woken up to the fact that something is amiss, something doesn’t add up something doesn’t make sense. And I, I see that there is a such a gradation, such a spectrum of folks coming to this. There are some that are all the way where I am and have been. There are some who, you know, don’t necessarily trust experts more than themselves in their own gut and their own instincts, even though they may have gone along with the program with doctors and all that until now. And then there are some who are definitely just coming to that new, fresh realization that they need to start questioning what these so-called experts are telling them.

Anne (07:39):

And then there’s a whole other contingent that I don’t know yet if it’s the majority, it kind of seems to be, I mean, I, the media certainly wants us to believe that. The propaganda machine wants us to believe it’s the majority. So go ahead.

Thea (07:55):

I’m was just going to say, I think a lot of that depends on where we are, you know, is, is, does, it definitely feels like the majority where I am right now. Right. But I don’t know if it does where you are. Yeah. I don’t really have anything to add to it except the, the thing that I’ve been, I think we’ve touched on this a few times in our talks in various ways, it’s like being, being, creating one’s own path and not to be a solo player. I think that’s a tendency that I have, you have, we were, you know, we were singles tennis players.

Thea (08:47):

So there’s that part, but, you know, we definitely need people, need our social spheres and, and, and collective community in a way to live. I mean, we have our families, I’m definitely going through a lot of isolation these days, but some people just need to be in a group maybe, or that’s the overarching draw. And I think that’s a lot of what I see. And I think that’s a lot of the way the, the spell works in the media propaganda is to be with others, to be surrounded by many, you follow these lines, you know? And so when you strike out on your own, you are alone for a bit. I mean, there is that loneliness for sure. And then there’s that essential quality of something real that blows loneliness out because then you’re touching something that’s real and true, which connects you to all anyway, I’m getting a little out there, but I think that part of that, that following that sense of safety, the herd, you know, “don’t notice me, I’m just with the group, let me go along and have a nice day.”

Anne (10:12):

And I might, I might put a name on that. I mean, it may be God that you’re, that you’re referring to that, that something, right. And whatever your concept of God is, but cause that’s a, that’s a, that’s another branch of the thought process in conversation. I as I’ve touched on, I’ve now been in two different locations since spring of 2020, I’ve been in Idaho and I’m currently in Texas. And these two areas of these two states that I’ve been in are much more people here are much more inclined to belong or practice some sort of traditional religion.

Anne (11:11):

And what I have noticed is that these folks are the ones who see what’s happening. And I remember asking, so I had a conversation with a friend back in Idaho before we got here several months into it. And she had come from Seattle, Washington. She and her husband had moved to the area we were in, in, in Idaho, which was not far from the Montana border. It was a very remote area. And she had moved there 15 years ago because she saw what was happening. They saw what was happening. And I said, how did you, how did you see it back then? What, you know, why did I not see this 15 years ago? And she said, well, because I have faith and I, and I was like, what, what is that, what, how does that open your eyes to it? And, you know, and I’m still trying to figure that out.

Anne (12:15):

I definitely you know, my own faith has reawakened over the last many, many years, and I am more in touch with my faith connected to it in practice with it than I had probably ever been in my life in a, in a structured way. But at least more than I have been since childhood when I spoke daily to God. Right. so there’s something to that, right. That because, because in, in faith is a true freedom and, and there’s something to understand there, something to examine in terms of what true freedom is. True Liberty is. And I don’t mean I’m not talking about the same faith––I was just talking to another group of, of amazing women yesterday who made the distinction for me as I’m kind of just like learning this, you know, coming, coming from the San Francisco bay area, atheist central, Atheist headquarters where talk of God and faith and the higher realms and all that is just met with suspicion and derision.

Anne (13:36):

So I’m still finding my way in terms of navigating and understanding the practices, the culture, and all of that here. And they made the distinction between those who practice a religion follow religion and go to church and those who follow and have taken in the spirit of, of Jesus Christ. There there’s a difference, right? Who live by the principles of, of Christ. Very big difference. Sorry, I’m not going to go on a big religious tangent, but…

Thea (14:20):

No. Yeah. And I would just want to distinguish too, you know, of course that the different religions than different practices that people follow it’s, it’s coming to, what is the essence of what the doctrine talks about or what it tries to synthesize from the core of whatever that belief of the spirit of God or, or God itself is so sorry, I’m getting lost too, but I mean, we’ve talked about it. It’s like, is it coming, are you practicing and following as to the best of our ability to penetrate to the essence of the practice? Or are you lost in the trappings, the appearance that’s outside. Right. I mean, that’s Plato, right.

Anne (15:10):

Well, and, and that’s then speaking to, to what you were talking about with the collective. I mean, that’s what I’ve been trying to figure out here, right? It’s it is clear. It is, it is to anyone to any objective observer. It is clear that the collectivism tendencies of now the political Left are seem to be following along with this spell. Folks on this collectivist Left, this collectivist leaning left are under the spell. “Ah, A germ! I’m going to put a mask on and wear goggles and, and stay six feet away from you. And I’m going to get a magic shot that I don’t, I don’t understand anything about it. I’m going to get a magic shot and that’s going to protect me. It’s going to put a big force field around me and for the good of humanity. I don’t understand that this doesn’t even prevent transmission, but a vaccine…” It’s a spell. It is a wackadoo spell that they are all under, right. And, and I’m again, because of the different places that I’ve been in, in the country over this last, this “pandemic” the, the, the political Right, generally are the ones who are cutting through the BS of this. They seem to see through the spell! And, and generally the political, Right, certainly to one degree or another practice a religion and have a faith that acknowledges certainly at least these higher realms, these other realms beyond this materialism.

Thea (17:10):

So the thing that I’ve been actually working, the other day when you and I were talking about, you know, some qualities of the work I’m in and, you know these, these realms of group workings and how it seems the, the political Left and then these other bodies are going only into the collectivism. Right. bear with me for a second. And I, and I’m like, oh, it’s, it’s the same, it comes back to the same thing of the point and the periphery, that as an individual, I must be an individual AND a part of the whole, not just a part of the whole. And that’s what it seems, that the Left seems to be going just to “you’re a part of the whole,” and we have to maintain, there’s something between the two. It’s not just the individual and it’s not just the whole, it’s gotta be, there’s gotta be that togetherness and the honoring of both. So that’s what I’ve been coming to. That’s my breaking of the spell. It’s not one or the other, it’s both at the same time.

Anne (18:25):

Yeah. And I guess that must be the key. So I also, I remember. I was, I was sharing with these women a big wake up I had a few years back. So, you know, prior to 2008, and, and the ACA, when the CDC was awarded a billion dollars a year to market their vaccines, basically it was a very common place thing in educated circles to delay or modify the CDC recommended schedule for children. It was just something that people did. It was something that the my, you know, best friends did when they had their kids, because I came to the party late with kids. Right. You had kids before me and they did too. And so, you know, it was just taking everybody’s lead. I was looking into this and I just assumed we would do a modified schedule, all that, blah, blah, blah. Well, you know, we start looking into it and you start looking into it and you start really looking into it. And you wonder why people are doing this at all “Oh! Herd Immunity, oh, let me go down that rabbit hole.”

Anne (20:08):

And then you, you discover the con job, right. Anyway, specifically one of these friends you know, and as I’m just discovering all of this, this information and sharing it, one of these friends really could not handle it. And, and got upset with me, finally blew up at me one time and told me that she doesn’t want to talk about this kind of thing with me anymore. And we’ve all had that experience with a lot of people in our lives I know. But anyway, a few years later, and I didn’t, so I didn’t, it’s like, okay. I mean, I didn’t realize this was such a trigger issue. Why? This is just information, right? That I’m sharing to, to help you with your kids. Me with mine., And so a few years later, after the defeat of SB277 the bill for anybody who’s listening to this and doesn’t know, SB 277 was the bill that passed through the California legislature that removed personal belief, personal belief, and religious essentially exemptions for any parents who wanted to exempt their child from any one of the 72 doses––well, it’s not exactly that, but the California schedule. So on this, the California schedule for school children, the vaccines that they were supposed to receive, they could no longer, after that, make that choice. The only option at the time was a medical exemption. As we’ve talked about, as we’ve gone through now, those medical exemptions basically don’t exist anymore, either with the passage of another bill SB276. Anyway, after SB277, I was talking with her and she acknowledged, she knew that I had devoted a lot of my life to, to fighting this and opposing this and trying to stop it. And she basically explained to me that she understood that, you know, the, the regulatory agencies are bought, that there’s corruption, that corporate corruption has infiltrated everything. But she said that she prefers to be wrong and in good company––that is following what the crowd is doing––rather than be wrong and have gone with her own decisions and choices and gut.

Anne (22:50):

She’d rather not buck that good company. She’d rather be in the company of many and be wrong than stand alone and be wrong. And I really, that hit me and I realized we’re the opposite. I’m the absolute opposite. I don’t have a problem going along with the crowd if it sits right with me. But if going along with the crowd does not sit right with my gut, my sense, might intellect, I will absolutely not forgive myself if I’m wrong about my child’s health and safety, but because I decided to go along with the many and went against myself. So we were talking about this last night, this, this group of very smart women and I, and they said that that’s, that’s really what it’s about. That’s why folks are under the spell. Because it absolves them, to some degree of responsibility.

Thea (24:01):

Right. Interesting. And I think this just reminds me, I had a quick conversation today because going through the things I’m, you know, my job is, is requiring getting the shot. You know, we still have religious exemption here, but those of us that are going to claim a religious exemption are also going to be shamed into wearing a certain type of mask or, and having to maintain distance. We’re teachers mind you. So it’s ridiculous. And that, that thing, you know, and we each, I think come to these places at different times in our life where, I mean, I’m going to try to articulate this succinctly, but, you know, through my life, one of my greatest journeys has been through the relationship with my children’s father and that dynamic that, you know, really pushed me to claim myself in my own space. And, and once you, once I’ve done that, I’ll speak for myself once I’ve done that in a really hard nitty-gritty life choice, it’s not like you’d give that away easily. Right? I mean, that’s the part you know, each of our journeys, each of us has this journey that we’re faced with moments of, are you choosing, listening to yourself or are you choosing to step away from yourself? Are you choosing to inhabit yourself and fulfill your destiny with courage? Or are you choosing to sidestep your path? This is how I look at it anyway. And through my life, there were moments where maybe I was a little more cowardly. I chose this, this seemed easier. This seems safer. But then it takes, took me on this circuitous path to an ultimate challenge where it’s like, it was very clear to me. I’m either choosing myself or I’m choosing to divide myself to split my soul. I’ll call it Voldemorting, right. For our popular world. That’s the splitting of the soul.

Thea (26:22):

When you choose to be false to yourself, you know, you choose to split your soul essentially. Anyway. And so from that, when I had to make that choice, it’s either I’m either going to, you know, lose myself entirely and give myself over to something that feels wrong, or I’m going to choose myself and I’m going to have a fricking battle, now, like I’m going to have to step into the trenches. I can’t sidestep it anymore. And so I did choose that, you know, and so here I am, life’s not easy, but it’s true. And, and once you do that consciously, once I did that consciously, there there’s nothing, nothing is more valuable than choosing what is true and right. Nothing. And, and so in that layering, when we were talking about, you know, is it God, you know? Yes, but it’s like getting in touch with that, which is truly the substance under all the appearance.

Thea (27:33):

Like that is what this time is pushing so many of us toward in a very concrete way, which is, we also had an intimation of this when our parents died, the fabric of reality crashed, and we didn’t have that holding anymore. So all we had was the essence of God to keep us, of love, of each other, to keep moving in life. And so, you know, I feel like that’s the crux we’re at, you know, many of us, and we’re all in different places. I kind of went over in that. But, but that’s it, once you have the value of that, you’re not going to choose something else. How can you? I mean, how can you? I don’t know.

Anne (28:23):

Exactly. And, you know, you just, you made me articulate something again, that I keep coming back to again and again, in terms of, you know, just, just, what is God? I think I sense, I’m getting closer. You know, you get glimpses that God is perfect alignment, right. Being in perfect alignment. That is, what is the Christ consciousness? That is being in perfect alignment. And so, so, so when you choose that, when you choose to keep your soul whole, choose to not split it by taking the easy path, you kind of get, I think you find a groove that is a pretty solid framework that is hard after that to step out of. Because you have found this alignment that is deep, infinitely deep and right, and real and pure. And, you know, and that’s, those are the things those are the times in life. It’s that awareness, it’s that memory, it’s that feeling, it’s that connection that gives us courage next time there’s, there’s a choice to take an easy way or not. So anyway, sorry, I’m, I’m again in my head. So yeah, I mean, I will definitely say that, you know, you know, we’ve also talked about this before, but with every human being and with, with every discipline, every, every component of our lives, everything takes practice and everything takes muscle building. And the, the fewer muscles you build along the way, the weaker you get, and the more muscles you build, the stronger it gets.

Anne (30:39):

I think that, I think you’re right. I think probably there’s a difference between the folks that haven’t even thought twice at all before because they, their lives and their circumstances and lives haven’t brought them to look at it or examine it versus those that I, that I’m even talking about who actually have had it there in their faces and have chosen, consciously chosen to step away from it, to look away from it and, and, and follow the crowd. So, so back to where I kind of wanted to, to get to. This is a spell, you know, and, and there’s, there are so many folks I know who are trying from every angle to convince those under the spell, and it’s just not going to work. There’s no point in trying, I think at this point, in trying to convince anyone who has chosen to remain under that spell. And the more you try to convince them, the harder they’re going to fight to cling to that spell.

Anne (31:58):

And that spell has been woven, I can’t even conceive of all of the forces behind this spell. I think they are spiritual, metaphysical, material, human you know, Borg-like mind and more. And also very directed, I mean, my husband was, I can’t remember what he was reading or watching, where he was articulating something that I think we talked about before, but, it’s pretty clear to me. It was pretty clear to me early in the, again, I’m going to call it the lockdown craziness, not, you know, I don’t like to even call this COVID. COVID did not do this a virus, little microbe didn’t do all of this. Human beings did. And, you know, CIA and, and related organizations have a lot of tactics up their sleeve. And, you know, there’s some pretty basic, pretty basic techniques that have been employed successfully over time. Also just cults. Just like small examinations of isolated cults and how they have effectively brainwashed people.

Anne (33:29):

You start out with an insane, ridiculous premise that really doesn’t have any foundation in logic at all in the first place. And you, you accompany that with fear. I mean, you couple it with fear, it’s fear, fear, fear, fear of this boogeyman, right? Fear of this boogeyman. The bogeyman doesn’t make any sense. And the, the defense against the boogeyman changes, the, the recommendations, this is what’s going to work. This is what’s going to work, got to do this, this, going to do this. And at the same time, let’s erode your material security on every level. Right? All of us small business owners. The middle-class just, just, just pull that out from under them. Right. So they can’t even think too much about what’s going on and what, what this messaging is about, and whether it makes sense or not. Make them so desperate to be holding onto their survival.

Anne (34:37):

And then just change the game again. And then change it again! Masks, no masks, goggles, six feet, three feet you know, no school, school, no school. School. I mean, this is so clearly designed to screw with everybody’s sanity, right? So there’s an onslaught, certainly, from all sides. But you know, we talked before we got on camera about kind of keeping your path to some degree in, in focus. You have one, what was yours?

Thea (35:24):

“Row, Row, row your boat, gently down the stream.” You’re rowing it. Anyway, go ahead. Do your thing.

Anne (35:37):

You’re rowing your boat down the stream. You don’t know what’s around the bend. You don’t know what’s around the next bend. You don’t know what boulders are coming up. You don’t know what currents are changing. You don’t know what the weather is going to do. You just got to keep rowing forward. Right. and along with the current, right, you don’t even have to go against the current and that’s a key.

Thea (35:59):

But finding the current you want to be in and having a destination, right.

Anne (36:06):

Having a destination. Yeah. So, and I, I said, actually, what comes up in my mind, I realized is, is the video game “Pitfall” that I, I loved playing when we were young. And I do look at life to some degree like that. It’s like a video game. I mean, there’s, there’s, there’s pros and cons to video games, but that lesson, I think, is a helpful one, is to realize that it’s, it’s a story, right. We’re in a story. Right. And, and, and how’s our story going to end? Our story, every great story has obstacles and tragedies and triumphs and testing and, examination. It’s a hero’s journey. Right? So, so what’s the goal. I think in this spellbound world, I think that one of our goals is to, I mean, it goes without saying, to remain in alignment with oneself, one’s being, one’s soul, one’s purpose, one’s destiny. With courage. And another part of the goal is to find each other. There are a lot of us here. There are a lot of us in this, story. And we all understand that we need to reach the end of our story intact. And so, because when, when we also find each other, the spell, gets weaker and weaker and weaker. When, when I’m sitting there with five other women who, you know, we come from very different backgrounds, we all see it. We see it clearly. We see the spell. We’re, you know, it seems like, you know, people seem insane, but we see the spell. So when we are sitting around a table or a river or whatever it is with others who can see beyond that spell and see the spell for what it is, we weave something else together that is much stronger than this spell.

Anne (39:00):

Because back to this collectivism versus individual, and like you hit on, we do need our community, our community, and this fabric, this fabric of the human souls that are all here. We are connected, part of a one, but we are also individuals within that fabric. So we need to not isolate ourselves. On the contrary. We need to find each other to keep strengthening that fabric until that spell dissolves.

Thea (39:44):

Like a dust bomb. I think we need to wrap up, but the other part I just wanted to say is like, in the end of Row, row, your boat” it’s “life is but a dream.” And so the waking up in this dream, the spell, it’s waking up, stay awake in it. So the more we can stay awake in the spell, it strengthens the awakeness for, for everything, right. For each other, for all of it, you know, to be awake in the dream, I think is a lot of the goal.

Anne (40:20):

Yes. And the dream, the dream spell, I mean, Sacha Stone uses that all the time. It’s the dream spell. Yeah. And I’m hearing more and more folks call it a spell. I mean, different doctors some brilliant minds that are out there publicly, looking around and saying, “it’s like, it’s as if my colleagues are under some spell,” so that’s fascinating. So this, this term is actually making its way more and more surfacing into our consciousness. That it’s a spell.

Thea (40:52):

It is. And it’s you know, and thinking of, I don’t know if this is even worth saying, but I guess a kid growing up, hearing that the Age of Aquarius is coming and we’re in this, this turning point. It’s like, you know, while we each have our challenges, there is something so palpably happening to our consciousness right now. It’s like, it’s like the fricking bootcamp, you know, is kind of what we’re in, in a way, kicking in hard, it’s coming in fast. And you know, let’s get tethered to ourselves, to our destiny, to our purpose. Cause it’s, cause it’s, it’s now, or it’s, it feels like it’s now or never, you know, here it is. So, so we’re working to, to wake up, to stay awake, you know? Stay awake and to, and to, and to raise it up with, you know, love, love, love our connection, our real connection, and then connection to self and connection to God, you know?

Anne (42:23):

Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. So just, yeah, for anybody who bothers you look at this, it’s like, we’re here, we see it too. You’re not alone. And there are so many, and I’ll tell you what, there’s a lot more here in Texas than there are in California or Oregon or whatever. So just get out of the West Coast if you can. It’s crazy. It’s crazy. It’s like, it’s, it’s like a different reality of, of, of mind and consciousness. What a breath of fresh air. It’s like, wow. Humanity still exists.

Thea (42:58):

Gosh, well, wonderful to hear. Love you so much.

Anne (43:07):

I love you too.


Featured post

When Did Men Get Canceled?––Part 2 of 2

We continue our discussion with Anthroposophist, artist, teacher and coach Veronica Cardoso.

Veronica Cardoso––Anthroposophist, artist, teacher and coach––is currently specifically interested in working with heterosexual, middle-aged men going through a mid-life crisis. She can be contacted at veros.almeida@gmail.com.

Part 1 of this video can be found here: When Did Men Get Canceled?––PART 1

TRANSCRIPT:

Anne (00:00):

Okay, recording in progress. We got interrupted. We’re going to have a part two of this conversation, which I’m finding fascinating. Here we are again with Veronica Cardoso, and Thea Mason and me. So Veronica, we were talking about, why don’t you, why don’t you phrase what you’re seeing as the issue, first of all, and how we, how we address it and where we go from here.

Veronica (00:32):

We were there in the shell, in this hardened shell. We’re observing that society’s operating out of this shell, out of these hardened dead concepts of right and wrong and of real and unreal, of you versus me, and this lack of curiosity, this lack of interest in the other, this lack of interest and curiosity in the other. Because this hardening, this lack of curiosity, I have found that there’s been somehow in this hardening of ideas, a lack of fostering of an inner landscape, of a spiritual architecture that allows us to––even if the world’s moving fast and we’re getting all these attacks or all of this information––we have that space to slow down within us and take it back, and take a look at things as they’re happening and not be such in a flash and ready to go out, right? It’s like those little children that you can observe in the playground that are running with their chest fast-forward and their feet are almost left behind. Right? We want, we want to go in there in the middle. And there’s a big angst these days to be with oneself. So there’s an interesting phenomenon where I find myself when I come up against you. It’s a rubbing of the, as you said, how did you say it of this generation, that arrested development. Because as you, when you play games with the middle schoolers, one of the most important games is to wrestle, come against each other. And that’s very human, but we need to grow out of it.

Anne (03:22):

Right. Fascinating. So this susceptibility and tendency toward identity politics, political identity, racial identity, sexual orientation identity, which is just one facet of anyone, right? So it’s like, why would we identify ourselves by just that one thing, when we’re so much more. But so then the need to make the other wrong and not just, not just even make them wrong, maybe not even quietly and internally being like “uh…,” But like being way out here and having to cancel them out, that is in essence wrestling with them so that we can discover who we are.

Thea (04:28):

And it’s not wrestling with them with the centered quietness of objectivity. It’s a flailing, like you’re drowning in the sea and you’re looking for purchase. You’re looking for your lifeline rather than, “oh, I can float actually. I’m right where I am.”

Anne (04:49):

Right. Well, because, I like this visual that you’re giving Veronica, which is, rather than where the goal is, to be inner centered, instead we’re out here and when we’re going up against someone else, we’re almost merging with their edge too. We’re like, we don’t know where we begin or end, and we’re kind of trying to maybe even draw something from their edge to, you know, to strengthen our edge. I don’t know, I’m not being articulate.

Thea (05:32):

And also, when we’re living in a world where a lot of people don’t know where they are, I mean, and I’m on this journey and been working with this for a long time, you have people coming in to your center without knowing it. You are going into people’s center without knowing it. And we have a huge explosion of backlash when you realize you’ve been invaded, or you’ve invaded someone, because nobody is knowing how you meet them at your gate. Out of choice. And then we’re talking about the friction, like the finding in that way. Because yes, in the center, but you need to know how to be out here. So you should be able to be here. We want to be able to be here as adults, and here. So we know where the pathway is.

Anne (06:39):

And then to maybe transition a little bit to what our original topic was going to be. So, you know, in simplistic terms, it’s a lot easier to find one’s center in the quiet of nature there, out of the madness and frenzy certainly of the urban life, the scheduled life, the American…

Veronica (07:14):

Dream.

Anne (07:14):

Yeah, right. Totally. Exactly. And so we were sharing before this, again, each one of us, we all to one degree or another fled California’s crazy. Certainly surrounding, and even more so when all this last year hit, and we each sought different places for different reasons. And, what I was observing to Thea a few days ago, and then with you guys a little bit was that it took a year…so I, I spent the last year in very remote Idaho near the Montana border. We had actually planned to leave the country, and listed our house two days before Newsom’s first shelter in place––and all of our plans changed. But we had planned to leave the country because we thought in that bubble of Marin, you know, of San Francisco Bay area, it was hard to conceive that it could be that different anywhere else in the country. I’m fortunate to have discovered by all these turns of events that there are some really cool places in much of the rest of the country outside California. But you know, I’m still processing the change that I’ve gone through, having been out of there. And one of the observations that I had made and had was that I didn’t know I was living with a kind of low level anxiety all the time back there, in all of my interactions with everyone in the world and in my community, that I couldn’t exactly trust people to be responsible for themselves and in possession of themselves.

Anne (09:29):

So that I didn’t really trust wholly what they were saying to me, not because I thought they were lying, but because I didn’t think they were even fully aware of what they were saying to me, what they were committing to, what they promised to do, whatever it was, right? Minor or major things. Living where I was living this last year, where people––I mean, Veronica, you were talking about this, right? Like the difference between people who live where their survival depends on their word, right? Their honor, their relationships, their true relationships with their neighbors, the reliability…

Veronica (10:26):

A real network.

Anne (10:26):

Their reliability to their neighbors and on their neighbors, all of that.

Thea (10:34):

And to their surroundings.

Anne (10:36):

Absolutely. To the earth, their true investment in the land, in their trees, in how well they maintain the shrubbery around the house, whatever. The snow, the snow and everything. So it’s like, I woke up just a few weeks ago realizing this, like, “oh my gosh, I got accustomed to not second guessing people too much, really taking them at their word,” which shouldn’t be so remarkable, but it was living there in that area of California that we lived.

Thea (11:34):

Well, and also part of that is the suing culture, like, you know, they have signs at playgrounds that say “no running” because they don’t want…

Anne (11:46):

The litigious culture. Yes.

Thea (11:50):

Yes.

Anne (11:56):

Well, because when you have money, right? That goes hand in hand with moneyed areas. Litigiousness. That’s one thing for sure that hat’s a go-to. If somebody wrongs you, you sue them, or if you simply perceive you are wronged, you sue them. Not to mention a culture, a state, that has every single protection in place for every person so that they really don’t have to be responsible for themselves if they are wronged. If they are wronged, here’s this measure, this measure, this measure, this measure that they can take to file their grievance. And, you know, obviously there are balances in protections of citizens. But when you give them everything so that they don’t have to even think twice about being responsible really for themselves, that doesn’t set them up very well. That doesn’t help them develop a kind of core, you know, of integrity.

Anne (13:23):

I mean, you know, like I’m going all over the place, I guess, but I’m just thinking about how, when I first was working there, I remember one employee, I don’t even think they showed up. Like they just, all of a sudden didn’t show up for a certain time they were supposed to be there. And it was because they had a therapy appointment and, you know, and I’m getting on them for not having shown up. And they don’t even realize that they were irresponsible, but especially because it was a therapy appointment, that’s supposed to be excused.

Thea (14:04):

Well, I think as we travel with that, bringing it a little bit back to this picture of the inner landscape, that’s where that core lies. And so if there’s not the incentive, in a way, in your world out here to know where that center is, or that core is––and then the shell is hard––how do you even get there? How do you even find, or what’s the point, how do we get drawn into finding that core center to be self-responsible and to have the ability to be objective and have engagement with another that’s true and good.

Anne (14:54):

(Interruption) Can you go back Veronica to what your thoughts and theory is about World War One, the beginning of the cancellation of a heterosexual male, as archetype, at least?

Veronica (15:35):

Well, I’m ust going to start with, there’s a great book called “The Boy Crisis.” And, he speaks, they both speak (two writers) but I’m going to connect it to something that happened back then with the book, because men, because of war they’re out of the home, they’re out of the father, they’re pushed out of a leading holding. And it’s not that the women don’t hold and don’t lead, but there’s two very different energies. The mom is introducing and drawing us into the world, right? The mom can, can bring in a storm and clear out the waters. The dad can as well. Or the father can as well bring down the storm, but the father energy brings it differently. The father energy gives temper like an on and off switch. And I remember my father with this word that it’s “enough.”

Veronica (16:59):

And my mother and I would be in this dance, “but yes, but no, but you said, but I said…” The mother gives us a lot of our social. Right? But my father would be annoyed at us bickering at each other at the dinner table. And he would just say the word, “Enough.”And that was enough, for both of us. It was, as you say, right, it’s this, it was the entering of the Pope. Zip it. And it wasn’t like, “shut up. You can’t say anything.” You’re not going anywhere. So it’s enough. And take a hold of yourself again. And there’s so many different things that we learned from the father and we learned from the mother.

Anne (17:54):

Well, it’s why men are great leaders of organizations. Right? And in my opinion, more suited to that top dog position. Not that women aren’t leaders in their own way, but men are more naturally in their element in that capacity of just laying down the line. Agreed. Though, I would say a little bit of my question is just, I’m curious why World War I in particular? Thea had said when we were off camera, something about the mechanization? Because the war has been going on for time immemorial, as far as we understand. So why World War I?

Thea (18:48):

I don’t know. And I’m just going to throw out that the mechanization changed the quality of fighting, frankly. I mean, one, it was more atrocious and there were so many deaths and the enormity of it. Two, there’s more distance now between you and your foe, right? I don’t know, I’m just throwing ideas out because I don’t know.

Veronica (19:26):

Well that’s the big question right now, right? Like where did that cancellation begin? And maybe someone will comment and say, you guys are completely out of it. It was in 1590. I don’t know.

Anne (19:44):

It occurs to me, I mean, it’s the industrialization. You know, in the same way that the Amish––I never really understood, I don’t know much about the Amish, but I remember learning not long ago that the reason they don’t drive automobiles is in order to ensure that the husband and father can’t work far from the home. So, you know, when we were an agrarian society, and we’re there on our farms, our ranches our land, the father was there. But with industrialization, that takes the father outside the home to go to work. Which also is interesting too, leads me to speculate that this whole––and I don’t even like to call it COVID nonsense, because COVID didn’t cause all of this, lock downs and everything, people did, the governments and all that.

Anne (20:49):

But so all of those lockdowns caused many men to be working from home, back at home with their families all the time. So I wonder what’s going to result from that too. Huh? Maybe something good. Maybe a lot of good stuff can come out of that mess.

Veronica (21:04):

Absolutely.

Anne (21:07):

So, yeah. So I thought maybe you were also saying just on the scale of the war, the first world war, which resulted in untold deaths, well not untold, but just so many more deaths of men, fatherless children, fatherless families. For that entire generation.

Veronica (21:36):

And then where the woman was placed––and that is the single mom. And it’s not that I financially have had to be a single mom, I’ve I’ve had the financial support of the fathers, yet I’ve lived in the home by myself, with my children. And that every day, and that everyday holding and that everyday routine and they everyday conversation and all the habits and everything one has to produce by oneself. And not only the habits and the education and the forming and the this, but now I need to be mother and now I need to be father. So there’s a breaking in me as well. There’s a type of bipolarity that needs to be managed within myself to reproduce something artificially. So I mean, just this word, mechanization, even in those inner systems, we have been mechanized to reproduce artificial things that, for that––in those archetypes, in those ancient archetypes that we know by instinct that are so important––when there’s a lack of it, we’re still reproducing them in so many ways.

Veronica (23:10):

So in the reproduction of the father system within my mother, it’s an appreciation, a saying yes to how important the two roles and the father is. I mean so many things to talk about with the father and the man. But where do we as educators, how can we support now the new generation of boys that are coming as a canceled individual? And I’m going to say the unpopular––so one of my other worries in society right now is these young babies, even, the babies of white, heterosexual males that are coming into this world right now, and they are coming into a world of being canceled already. And I can hear the shouting already of many people listening to me. And I’m going to respond to that screaming that I can hear with this little story. I have a friend that, randomly because of genetics, she’s a white woman and the husband randomly by genetics, he’s a white man. Beautiful people, farmers, marketers, beautiful people. And she lives in LA and she works the Santa Monica market. So she’s in it. And they just had a baby. By genetics, a white baby, a boy baby. And he’s super cute. And one of the comments that she was sharing with me that she receives constantly is, “Oh, another one of those.”

Anne (26:02):

Oh, oh my God!

Veronica (26:06):

“One of those, white hetero males. You had one of those?” So, and these are people that love her, and these are people that see her in the market. And these are people that they think because they’re in a good movement, that is something appropriate to say, or even funny. So it is, it is a real thing for me to––and I’m not popular at any table when I talk about this––

Anne (26:46):

You’re just in the wrong state.

Thea (26:48):

Wrong table. Let’s turn those tables.

Veronica (26:50):

Exactly, some tables. I’m very popular, but most tables, many tables, I rub the wrong corner. So what are we as teachers, as mothers, as fathers, as society, what are we doing to prepare men to be men and men to be healthy men and in a way, save masculinity because it’s under attack.

Anne (27:38):

And therefore save our world.

Thea (27:41):

Well, I want to say what I had said off camera with you, Anne, briefly, is that that picture of canceling the hetero male with industrialization to a certain degree has allowed us to be in this place of lack of self responsibility. Of, “it’s out here” rather than. “Enough!” Just in terms of one of the ingredients lacking. And I don’t think we need to clarify, we’re not talking about being a toxic male. Really, that’s a wounded male. But you know, to be masculine, to be able to step into and to draw upon the archetype of masculinity so that females that want to feel feminine can, also.

Anne (28:36):

Because we want to.

Thea (28:41):

We want to!

Veronica (28:41):

Absolutely.

Anne (28:44):

Even those of us who have, like Veronica was saying, we’ve been, we were raised to be

Thea (28:53):

Alphas.

Anne (28:55):

Yeah. Right, right. And, and, you know, I’m 50 years old and I’m still working on recognizing how good it feels when my husband takes something over that I don’t even have to think about. You know, I’m a professional woman. I’ve worked in the world successfully and have navigated all of the worldly, administrative, financial tasks in the world. So I’m, I can be good at it. I don’t particularly love doing it. And, you know, and it’s nice to just relinquish certain things so that I can focus on other things that also need attending, especially as a homeschooling mother. Or just mother. So, yeah. So, okay. So this has been long, and we totally went a different direction than we planned, but it’s been great.

Thea (30:02):

We’re just talking about the weather.

Anne (30:08):

You’re just still hanging on to that one, huh? We’ll see about that title.

Veronica (30:16):

Speaking about the weather, in trying to just close with the other topic, but within the topic in itself, my strongest experience of being outside of LA is––outside of LA because my partner was in LA and I was in San Diego, so it was LA and San Diego for me––but outside of that jab, a, a constant jab, a constant, “oh, are you Mexican? Or are you native American?” And it’s truly being in a place where the weather is very real because it’s not artificial. It’s not held by a city. It’s not held by liability. It’s not held by the dad, by Uncle Sam. It’s just us in a home with neighbors, with a micro-community in a way. And all the survival and all these things have to have a play. But I, as a mover, as a seeker, as a migrating being––I don’t know why I have that impulse, I’ve just had it––the further I’ve gone from my hometown, the less I have time to do biographical work with my neighbors. And those come. Slowly. But because we can’t talk about the drama of auntie Vanessa and whatever, we end up talking about the weather. And how much it rained or how much it didn’t rain, or, what is the season in comparison to last year? And what I’ve noticed is that through speaking about our perception of the weather, we end up using it as an analogy of how we are feeling. And talking about the weather, which is so funny in sophisticated cities, it’s always used as like, “oh, I feel so superficial. We talked, like, about the weather.” My experience of talking about the weather has been such a connecting moment. ‘Cause we’re connecting. Because it’s not about your political stance or my political stance or this and that or whatever. It’s like, “you have ideas. Guess what? Me too.” And we can share one thing. The weather.

Veronica (33:21):

And it’s because we can, we can be curious about each other, but as well, we can be curious together. And these are two beautiful geometries, right? The line. And the triangle. Where we’re like, “Oh, how are you? Good. How are you? Good.”

Thea (33:42):

“How are you?”

Anne (33:43):

“And how are you both?”

Veronica (33:56):

And objectively speak about something that connects. And that is for me, beyond. We need to find connectiveness and things to practice it. Is it weather? Is it the carpentry is it sports, whatever is. But we’re so insisting, and I say, the society is so insisting in finding the place of disconnect, where the activity should be the contrary.

Thea (34:31):

What connects us. Yeah. We strengthen what connects us.

Veronica (34:39):

Oh, “you’re a toxic male.” If that’s the case.

Thea (34:43):

“Me too!”

Anne (34:45):

Well I’m a toxic female!

Veronica (34:45):

Me too! I think I am even a toxic male as well. I mean, I’m such a macho asshole.

Anne (35:04):

Totally, totally. Absolutely. I love that. Yeah. Well you really, you really went to bat for her on that one,Veronica. We’ll consider using that as the title. But no, I totally get that. I love that. And you know, in the same way that, this entire cancel culture, identity politics culture also focuses on our differences rather than our similarities. And similarities doesn’t mean we have to be the same, but more similar perspective, similar…I mean our humanity, right? We’re all human beings, right? And that’s what I had observed too, and maybe this is part of it, but when we’re not perceiving through a lens of sexism, racism, whatever ism, then we can simply be human beings. And when human beings are regarding each other as human beings and treating each other as human beings, the result is humanity.

Veronica (36:24):

Yeah.

Anne (36:27):

All right. Well till next time, this was so fun. I do wish I was up there with you. Actually I wish you guys were here.

Thea (36:35):

Maybe we’ll make that happen somehow.

Anne (36:38):

We will. All right. Let’s say goodbye to the audience.

Featured post

When Did Men Get Canceled?––Part 1 of 2

We discuss with Anthroposophist, artist, teacher and coach Veronica Cardoso.

Veronica Cardoso––Anthroposophist, artist, teacher and coach––is currently specifically interested in working with heterosexual, middle-aged men going through a mid-life crisis. She can be contacted at veros.almeida@gmail.com.

This conversation wasn’t the one we intended to have, but that’s what it turned into. And we laughed a lot throughout:)

PART 2 IS AVAILABLE BELOW, but will also be posted separately when its transcript is complete:

Part 2

TRANSCRIPT OF PART 1:

Anne (00:00):

Okay, folks. Hello. It’s been a while. Here I am with Thea Mason and Veronica Cardoso. So is that right? And Veronica and Thea are there in Oregon. I’m actually currently in Texas. We’ve all been all over a lot this past year. And before we begin, Veronica, would you tell us a little bit about your background, who you are? I know you’re a Waldorf person, a bit of an anthroposophical scholar, an artist, but just give us a little background please.

Thea (00:59):

Two minutes.

Veronica (00:59):

A two minute quickie? Okay.

Anne (01:03):

Which means different things in different situations. My husband might think something different!

Veronica (01:17):

Mine too! Especially in the laundry area. So yeah, I want to talk about the birth because, you know, being born in the U.S., it reappears then in my life. I was born in Austin, Texas then grew up in Mexico City. Grew up, prepared to work as an artist, then left Mexico City to live in a rural place called Chapala–woods and lake. And was a little bit pushed out of this––what was the word––utopia, of this utopia? Through the violence of the narco war in those years in Mexico. Had my ticket, which was this American citizenship that I had never considered to be important and migrated to California.

Anne (02:23):

How old were you then?

Veronica (02:27):

Thirty three.

Anne (02:30):

Interesting.

Veronica (02:30):

And I mean, one of the biggest jokes of my identity growing up was that I was a dry front instead of a wet back. My father loved to say that, because I was an American immigrant going into Mexico illegally. I grew up as an illegal America in Mexico City. Finally, I come back to my country and into California. And the only real part of America that I knew was Texas. So I was very used to a very different America.

Anne (03:19):

And where in California did you land?

Veronica (03:22):

I landed in San Diego and studied Waldorf after many years of studying Anthroposophy, prepared to be a teacher, worked as a teacher, and left because of COVID. And I am rethinking, well through COVID had to rethink of what I wanted to do. If I wanted to, you know, work with masks and all this, which I said, absolutely no, I can’t and migrated again to Oregon, to the middle of the forest to continue my anthroposophical journey and studies to become a teacher of adults––trying to bring that deep philosophy in practical, everyday tools for the mother, the spouse, a child mother, conflict resolution, mediating in this different tools that Steiner called “The Seven Steps of Initiation.”

Anne (04:39):

So in other words, bringing it to the householder without having to go through the many years of scholarly study to be able to grasp some of it. Yeah. Which is great. And I’m understanding that you are teaching this also online. You have online courses?

Veronica (04:56):

I have online students and work with individuals. Right now, the age group that I’m working with are 25 to 27, mainly. And mothers are, are very popular. I’m very interested and I am trying to find people of this group that are middle age men, which I’m very interested––in heterosexual––I’m going to even be more specific––heterosexual, middle-aged men that are going through it. That are going through their middle-age crisis in this world right now. And I’m, I’m very curious. And I’ve been seeing these characters come ask questions. No? And I’ve had, I’ve had a contact with this crisis and, and it’s really one of my biggest curiosities right now of what is that the substance of, of what that man of 45, 50 years old right now is going through. Because it’s a huge bridge, the world right now. For them.

Anne (06:23):

And there’s so many things I actually want to ask, so I want to ask a question about that crisis in a minute first, but before we do, so if people were interested in contacting you to perhaps learn from you, you would be open to that?

Veronica (06:39):

Absolutely.

Anne (06:41):

So I’m going to, we’ll put your details in the comments, or, you know, when we put this on, on the Sacred Osiris website and the YouTube site. Okay. So that’s interesting, the middle aged male’s crisis. So do you think, or have you found that, that men didn’t used to go through this crisis, this period of this middle-age crisis, I guess until modern, recent times?

Veronica (07:14):

I mean, I think it’s, it’s very old. I saw my father go through it. I saw my father not being able to cross the bridge in the nineties, in the early nineties. I think he was hit with a whole lot of technology with the new language. And they’re uncared, for me, men are very uncared for, and it’s a very unpopular opinion. And they’re very uncared for in their processes, in their coming of age, it doesn’t exist anymore. So by the time that they come to this middle age, I feel them fussy. I feel them like, “eh, eh, eh.” And I’m wondering, what is it that they’re asking, and what can we do to bring that to them, in this age where it’s––for me, I can even sense sometimes like even a toddler, “I want it and I want it now!” “You’re an idiot, and you’re an idiot…” And for me, that’s a call for help.

Thea (08:37):

That’s a call for landing in oneself. And I think there are––and this isn’t talked about too much in many circles–– there are a lot of groups of men coming together right now, Mankind Project, and a few other things where men are realizing what they have not had through their lifetimes and are holding spaces for men to come together and go, what does it mean to be a man right now? And how can we own our being here on earth and our journey in life and how can we show up for our family and our communities in real ways, you know? And that’s the conversation that we can go through so much more as, as people have moved away from church and religion, without these guideposts and different community elders or whatever. It’s like, they’re lost at sea.

Anne (09:29):

Yeah, I mean, and definitely without traditional rites of passage, milestones for men. But the thing that––I know we weren’t planning on talking about this––but the thing that first strikes me and has struck me is just, I mean, we’ve all been with men, and men just like women can be childish, but men can definitely be childish. And it strikes me that it is really it’s the duty of the woman with that man to help them grow up. I mean, we’ve all seen our men encountering the challenges of life, challenges of becoming a parent. And how obviously scary that is for them, and I’m trying to be better and not so critical of the women in this society, but whether or not it’s a failing of those men’s mothers, which I do think largely is that. I mean, I think that the last couple of generations at least had been raised by grown-up children in a way, right? A lot of, lot of the women, even the 70 year olds that you’re going to meet somewhere along their traumas in childhood, they were arrested. That development. And so there’s still little girls crying at the drop of a hat, that never grew into themselves to be able to be these strong women who are like, “Nope, here’s what you do, my son, this is how you become a man. And, and here my husband, this is what a man means.” So, it’s complex.

Thea (11:28):

I just want to add in just quickly in that. Like yes, to the women and yes to this is is part of that disassembling of our societal holding, cultural holding of one another, that hasn’t been there to guide. We we’ve been hijacked through these movements that have––we’ve talked about feminism, not that they don’t have seeds of truth and goodness. And like every movement we’ve talked about gets hijacked and we’re robbed more of what makes us family and guideposts to one another. And, I don’t know if I can communicate it properly, but I have two dogs right now, and I’m learning a lot about human beings through watching these two beings that have come into the world in very different ways. And when we talk about men hitting these different ages or women or whatever, when we as people are held from our own exploration and development of our inner landscape, we then tend to feel robbed and bitter at what’s outside there, because we haven’t had our wells filled up with our own development of our inner landscape.

Veronica (12:50):

And a big word for me right now is canceled. What, what it is to be canceled. And the more that I want to say that to be canceled is a new activity, it is a big activity and alarming, the way that we’re handling it right now, because social media explodes everything. Yet I was asking myself yesterday, “When was the heterosexual male canceled?” Twenties, thirties? When did that happen? When did that cancellation of them start, and how, I mean, I totally understand that male toxicity, but the one that I really understand is the female toxicity because I have to dismantle that in me constantly. I have to dismantle my feminist that my father, you know, “Cut them off! You cut them off.” I had these scissors made for me, just to caught off their balls and just be done with it, you know? So I have to dismantle that in myself to be fair, to be in service of the male and to be able to then commune and receive the male. And when was that heterosexual male canceled. And in the school system, in every single layer you don’t receive, you are severed off the fountain of growth.

Anne (14:47):

Yeah. I know this wasn’t what we were going to talk about, but Thea and I, we’ve talked about it, but not in this depth. And not looking at it from these angles.

Thea (15:02):

We’ve talked more aa mothers to sons, in seeing this, too. But this is definitely rich.

Anne (15:12):

I know. When did they, when did they start getting canceled? And Veronica, when you’re saying twenties, thirties, you mean 1920s, 1930s. Is that what you’re saying? Do you think so?

Thea (15:24):

With the wars. The World Wars.

Veronica (15:26):

When you talk about having lived through a patriarchy, I mean, men have had it really hard. Not a popular opinion.

Anne (15:46):

No, not, but I think less unpopular than the media wants you to believe. Right?

Thea (15:55):

That’s the other topic.

Anne (15:59):

It’s another topic. So, okay. Well, I don’t know, do we want to keep talking about this? I mean, Veronica, do you want to add a little bit more insight that you have into it from an anthroposophical perspective?

Veronica (16:20):

Well, yeah, that would be a great jump outside, like to bridge into what we’re here to (talk about.) Because we come back to finding ourselves or being human. And we harm each other in our communities, for Millennials, for the evident stamp that we have of gender, of color, you know, all these things and we cancel something. “Oh, you’re too big. I don’t want to be little. Then I cancel you. I sever you. I hurt you. I fight you.” Instead of being, “oh, wow, there’s a bigger person here. Let me open up and listen.”

Anne (17:29):

And be inspired by their bigness to become big myself.

Veronica (17:34):

Exacto. Or, “Oh, wow, I’m with a smaller person. I’m bigger. Let me be a good elder. What am I going to produce? What am I going to consume?” And that dance and that relaxation comes by, I would say, curiosity in the other person, true meeting of the other. And I don’t know how somehow I would even say this craziness, but curiosity kind of now comes as the counterpart of fear. Because if we live in fear, then you’re a toxic male, then you’re a white whatever. Then you’re a slave descendent. I mean, I don’t know. All these labels appear out of fear and other things in history and whatever. I’m not going to cancel that either, but we, in this time. Where we’re pulling in that’s I feel still out of the fear, out of the trauma, out of unresolved issues. When, if we meet the man with with interest, what does this human being need? This woman, what do they need? And, it’s like let’s be Joan of Arc without the bandana. Traves? Como?

Anne (19:19):

Bandana? Joan of Arc with the bandana?

Veronica (19:21):

The flag, the flag!

Anne (19:22):

Oh, the banner, the banner. Got it.

Veronica (19:32):

Without that etiquette, like “what is there without putting myself out there” could be the start of a lot of understanding and shedding of the fear of.

Thea (19:49):

And I want to add one thing if this makes sense. When she was giving the picture of someone who’s got a big presence, and someone who’s feeling a little contracted––I mean, that’s the, “don’t make your candle brighter by blowing someone else’s out.” Right? And with the big candle, this is something I have talked about, it’s like, how do we, when we’re feeling big and we’re in a fullness of ourselves, allow space for someone else to experience their own fullness as well, because that’s there too. Not that we get smaller, but that there’s the allowing and that holding of a space for, and that comes with interest. That’s a way we, we encourage. I’m mean, I’m thinking of as a parent with our kid, what are the dynamics we work with to draw them into, or out of their box a little bit.

Veronica (20:59):

It’s the shells. And those, Steiner would call them dead concepts. They’re dead. It’s a dead end. They’re not fertile places, but we have so many of those. Dead concepts versus the curiosity, the opening, the fertile. No?

Anne (21:56):

Yeah. What strikes me too, is that when I think of all this, the identity politics, that’s a plague now, perpetuated by the media and the divisive puppet masters, I’d say, when I think of the different factions and groups who are embracing a victim mentality, and finding a villain to target, to attack, to cancel, when I then think about this, this word that you talk about, “the counterpart to fear is curiosity,” when we are curious, where we are curious about people, we have to be––not just have to be––but we’re not self-absorbed, right? We’re not, we’re not inside ourselves when we’re curious about someone else. We kind of expand outside ourselves in being curious about someone and kind of seeking to understand them, to interact and engage with their being.

Anne (23:38):

So like you say, I mean, I’m just kind of echoing what you’re saying, but I’m understanding it now. This shell, this shell of self absorption is like a traumatized child or something that just doesn’t know how to get outside of it. Right? So what do we do for those folks who are caught in this cancel culture cult of identity, where they’re seeing the other as a villain, any other as a villain? I want to help those men who are victims of the “Me too” craziness, but how do we help the ones who are victimizing them?

Thea (24:45):

It makes me think of, have interest in the villains in the fairytales. Like learn the qualities of each of the characters, not only the villain, but all of this, starting with the other, we start there, I start with, where are you? What do you need? What are you thinkig? Interest, I mean, that’s what Steiner talks about. Interest. Interest is love. And that’s how we transform these dead ends, because fear and cutting you off takes us nowhere.

Anne (25:24):

It’s an end game. Right?

Veronica (25:28):

And we’ve seen, you know, the eighties and the nineties and the two thousands, and we’ve seen this culture grow into what we’re in the pit that we’re now in of the wrong. “You’re wrong!” Versus my opinion and your opinion, and versus truly being scientific and thinking out loud, thinking life. And there’s very little spaces to think live because we need to be liked. And sometimes when I’m thinking loud and live, it’s not a prefab and it’s going to come out because words, what we bring from the unseen that is our consciousness into the material––It’s messy! Because language is so limited in what we truly access. But then there’s this dance culture of likeability, because if you’re not liked, you’re out.

(PART 2 TRANSCRIPT WILL BE POSTED SEPARATELY UPON COMPLETION)

Featured post

The Moment is Now

Anne Mason and Thea Mason

“Imbue thyself with the power of imagination.” Our conscious participation is essential to manifest the Christ Consciousness. Rise to our soul’s responsibility.

TRANSCRIPT:

Anne (00:01):

Okay. Thea, we’re recording now. Hi.

Thea (00:05):

Hi.

Anne (00:08):

And so we want to cover a lot and we’re going to want to do it in like 20 minutes. And we want to get a bit deep and real, and I’m going to open though with a kind of more personal mundane perspective on what I want to get into. We are each going through various situations in our lives that seem to be revealing, more starkly, patterns that are not serving us. And we’ve each witnessed many of our friends, family, and associates going through a similar kind of what I call it, a bit of a dark night of the soul, where, you know, I mean, throughout our lives, these patterns emerge that we have an opportunity to recognize, put language on and work through and try to heal, try to repattern.

Anne (01:22):

And I think we’ve each done that to more or less degree, but it almost seems like it’s accelerated right now where perhaps what hasn’t been addressed or “pushed into the past,” as Paul Tillich says, maybe those are now just really just rearing their head. We’re being given this opportunity in a kind of more compact time to just knock them out of the park and, and come out the other side. And I say this with an awareness of a larger cosmic and human event taking place on a more macro level.

Anne (02:17):

This, this past year has been enormous for everyone. Existential fear, existential threat has been perceived by most of us, whether or not we are afraid of a virus––which I’m not––or afraid of tyranny, which is more my concern, or afraid of an increasing evidence of cult programming among human beings around us, or more and more and more. There are many, many different things we can choose to focus on and be fearful of. I think that this is coinciding with what many people in many Christian denominations would suggest is End Times, or whether you go by the Mayan calendar, or moving into a different age astrologically, or more. I mean, we’ve touched on this a bit, But we are in a moment in time, a very significant moment in time. And we have an opportunity now, and I want to share my insight. I am right now, living in an area very different than the area I moved from. There are many people here who are followers of one sect, denomination of Christianity or another. And I’m witnessing folks being very aware of the significant time we’re in, but who from my outside perspective seem to be awaiting an external event to steward them out of the darkness.

Anne (04:35):

And I think that is missing the mark. If that is the focus. I, as you, as folks who are familiar with us know, we are, informed by a lot of Rudolf Steiner’s insights, lectures, and writings, and the way he presents it is that the––so let me back up, people are awaiting the return of Jesus Christ, the Lord Jesus Christ. Right? So Steiner explains that humanity has the opportunity to manifest the Christ in the Etheric, rather than..go ahead. Would you help me?

Thea (05:41):

Just maybe instead of going directly like that, but more that humanity has the tools to work with the Christ impulse as we are, but it takes the will to do so. So we have to direct that action. But we are responsible. We have been given that––as humanity’s state now––to have the Christ impulse within us, as well as outside of us. And that’s where the importance of the relationship of each human being to the greater whole of humanity and the cosmic order, that relationship and directed action is essential. And that’s what I think you’re saying. You’re seeing and hearing a sleepiness, a childlikeness––which we’re all––I’ll speak for myself, waking from. There is this waking up into my own tasks and my responsibility, but that it is mine. It’s not going to come to me or directly lead me. I must seek it. I must take a step and it will come to meet me when I’m doing that work of creating the movement of, with my will and with will itself.

Anne (07:28):

Yes. And perhaps that’s the distinction that I am seeking to articulate. That it is––I believe it is––more than just being a good Christian or, or good Muslim, good Jew, good person, good atheist. I believe that it is requiring a consciousness, uh, of our, of our responsibility in bringing this event about, and, and I don’t want to get too literal about what the event is, but I do think it’s an actualization of our true human nature. And I believe, see, we have a unique perspective as human beings in relation to the divine beings. We have entered matter in such a way that provides a unique perspective, and we can bring it through that perspective of perceiving through matter, and through the intellect, the very heavy intellect that we have developed as a result of our material inhabitation. We have the remarkable opportunity to recognize our eternal nature in that temporal matter.

New Speaker (09:30):

I want to add something if you don’t mind, please, to your stream, because I’ve been thinking about this and we’ve been talking about it, there’s this––what is it when you’re saying this developed intellect, if I’m not missing it, but the idea that the intellect is not bound to our head, right? It’s not severed from every other perceiving aspect of our humanness. And I feel like it’s important because I think an old view of our intellect, or maybe just a lost view–– maybe it’s not old, I don’t know––because what about our humanness that’s so individual or so necessary for this evolution of the Involution is, is that we are thinking, perceiving. Thinking is not just of the head, I guess that’s all I’m trying to say.

Anne (10:53):

Are you talking about Aristotelian logic as intellect?

Thea (10:58):

No, I don’t think, I mean, I don’t know what I’m thinking of. Exactly. Just that true intelligence, intellect is not just of the head thinking. It is of the wholeness of perceiving and understanding that we are keenly designed to do.

Anne (11:24):

Well, that’s the intelligence. Right? And my understanding is that because we have had this, have this experience, on the material plane, there s a danger in separating the intelligence from the intellect and that, in order to merge that again, to be in communion with the intelligence, we have to infuse our intellect with spirit. But that doesn’t come in the same manner it came perhaps 2000 years ago, 600 years ago, 150 years ago. It has, it requires more consciousness on our part to infuse that intellect with spirit and to see the spiritual, see the divine in matter in the material world around us.

Thea (12:42):

Which also includes us.

Anne (12:47):

Exactly. Well, exactly! Our divine being or eternal being is inhabiting matter right now. So we’re getting heady and abstract and who knows who’s going to even follow any of this. But what I’m recognizing is, so maybe how about you read that Terence McKenna quote that you were sharing with me?

Thea (13:19):

Sure. Yeah. This, this quote I have come back to again and again, through different stages of life. And it continues to resonate, exponentially. “Nature loves courage. You make the commitment and nature will respond to that commitment by removing impossible obstacles. Dream the impossible dream, and the world will not grind you under, it will lift you up. This is the trick. This is what all these teachers and philosophers who really counted––who really touched the alchemical gold––this is what they understood. This is the shamanic dance in the waterfall. This is how magic is done. By hurling yourself into the abyss and discovering it’s a feather bed.” And we as a whole society right now are on this ledge, or walking to this ledge of, of all of the structures that we have grown into filling and functioning within are cracking and crumbling and dissembling. And we must, I think simply imbue these structures with this divine nature of each human, that we each hold, to transform what we’re living and seeing.

Anne (15:03):

And what I realized as you were reading that quote is hat’s faith. So, you know, don’t, don’t misperceive what faith is, right? Faith is a belief in possibility really, right? It’s even a belief in the impossibility, right? And that guards against fear.

Thea (15:35):

Well it’s because it is strengthening courage. It is, it takes courage to have faith because there’s a moment of unseeing of not seeing or not the tangibility it’s intangible in a moment.

Anne (15:55):

Yeah. Yeah. It’s intangible, which is all the more reason. I mean, gosh, it’s like so many conversations I can think of to go tangent on. Okay. I’m thinking about the fact that that’s why it’s very important to recognize how limiting, the purely material vision is. You come up against how narrowing, how narrowing it is, whether it is allowing your intellect to override your instinct and intuition and imagination. If you let your intellect do that, you can spiral just into the smaller and smaller and smaller points of being that in my experience leads to a more fearful, anxious state of existence.

Thea (17:05):

Well, it’s a contraction. So, so that’s exactly what that is. And we’ve all experienced that at some point, right?

Anne (17:18):

Totally! In many levels and capacities of our lives. And of course I can see where, you know, this crazy, seriously insane obsession with this like, these flying germs that are to be feared. When, when you are focusing your fear into this tiny little concept, it’s neverending the measures that you’re going to try to take to safeguard yourself against it. It’s just, it’s reductivism at its absolute insane possibility, but whatever. I mean, whatever, we’ve all got our stuff and we all came in for a reason with this. And we’re all facing our fears in different ways. The key is to face it with consciousness. And, let me just read this, this one thing I’ve shared with you from Paul Tillich’s “The Eternal Now.” He said, “This is what ‘last judgment’ means––to separate in us, as in everything, what has true and final being from what is merely transitory and empty of true being.”

Anne (18:43):

So I guess I just kind of want to conclude with my understanding right now, my increasing understanding or my journey of understanding, I guess, is what I should say. I just thought of something. There’s some meme that I saw going around, that’s this picture of a butterfly sitting across the table, having coffee with a caterpillar and the caterpillar says “You’ve changed.” And the butterfly says, “We’re supposed to.” And I think to myself with that, you know, beyond that, like, “And why haven’t you?” Right? “Why haven’t you changed?” It’s very important to continue examining what we are being presented with every day. I think that we can transcend this, the fearful state of existence and bring about the Christ consciousness by recognizing our freedom to do so. The power of our thought, the fact that we now control our thoughts and consequently control our reality.

Anne (20:26):

We must be conscious and put into practice anything we can to be conscious to when the fears––I’m starting just to refer to them as––when the demons try to enter. When the Ahrimanic spirits try to get in there, when the fear tries to enter, and throw us off course. Now, first off, think about this. When we are in a state of fear, we are not clear. We are certainly never at our best. I don’t think clearly when I’m in a state of fear or anxiety. Let’s just also talk about anxiety because some of our obstacles and patterns come to us as just anxieties about this or that or that, right? When we are in that state, we are somewhat paralyzed to a greater or lesser degree. Some of us are very functional in it, but still not free to dream and be our full self. So that alone should be a sign that that’s not a state of being that one should cultivate for any reason. It doesn’t mean to escape from it, by zoning out in whatever way you can zone out. But it means to recognize that those fears are our enemies. Like the FDR quote, “We have nothing to fear, but fear itself.” What were you going to say?

Thea (22:20):

Well, there are a few things along the way. One, just to go to the beginning of it was with your Caterpillar meme––which I love that my friend calls it a “Memé”–– is that with that “And why haven’t you?” I would say, it’s the timing. It’s the season. And I was going to say for the change, now is the time. And so that’s one part. And then with the dynamics of anxiety and fear––which as, you know, talking about those movements of feeling that spiral into a small space to inhabit in ourselves––and we can know that when we feel anxious, we get smaller, we get tighter, which means we’re less present. And so if finding our ways to become more fully present, when those contracting energies are coming at us or coming in towards us––one of my main teachers kind of describes it as––fill up all of the spaces. That’s something we’ve spoken about. If we are not filling ourselves up, something will fill that if it’s simply a void of fear, if it’s of an unknown anxiety. So, like a glass of water, let’s fill it to the top and spill over the top so that we are like a fountain of light and fullness of being.

Anne (24:26):

Yeah, you just made me realize, I mean, it’s so obvious, but fear prevents us from being present. So it kind of drives parts of ourselves out, away somewhere, into the shadows or something. So I shared with you that something I’ve been saying is my own mantra, whenever any of those things, whatever they are come in. I say, “I choose faith and freedom over fear.” And I focus on that. “I choose faith and freedom over fear. I choose faith and freedom over fear.” And it doesn’t mean that I’m going to not––at a point that I’ve moved past that initial kind of danger zone of letting the fear take hold––it doesn’t mean I’m not going to return a little more consciously and even keeled to that thought that maybe I need to address. But I’m starting to recognize this as a metaphysical battle. And I think we’re all warriors in it. And I think the sooner we all realize that, the easier time of it we’ll be having. Because kind of like, you know, a drug trip, right? When you’re having a bad drug trip and you realize, if you don’t let that take hold and you recognize that it’s something that you’ll move out of once the drug itself leaves your system, kind of the same goes. So kind of meta-conceptualize these fears, these anxieties, put them a little further away from you.

Thea (26:15):

Or even turn them inside out is what I think of when a fearful habit or journey or thought, or a descent into darkness is coming in to your sphere. I have the picture of wrap it up and then turn it inside out. So it’s not even I have to push it away, but you can just turn it around. And it just made me think of the song in “Battlestar Galactica,” you know, “There must be some kind of way out of here….”

Anne (27:00):

Yeah. And of course, “Battlestar Galactica” and any hero’s journey, tale, describes this beautifully and illustrates it. And by the way, of course, I’m getting the signal from my son that we went way over time. So let’s wrap it up for now.

Thea (27:26):

And I’d love to conclude with the Steiner verse that many people that are familiar with Steiner are familiar with. And this is one that I work with quite a bit too, which sort of wraps it up in a nutshell.

Anne (27:54):

Oh, and you know what, let me say something right before you do it. It’s not just fear. It’s not just anxiety. It’s grief, it’s sadness, it’s pain. It’s anything that we can drown in. And it doesn’t take away from the realness of that pain. The realness of that grief and struggle, it doesn’t take away from it at all, but we can separate ourselves to a degree whether it’s turning, or maybe separate ourselves, isn’t the right word. We can take it, we can be mindful of it. Let’s just be conscious of it.

Thea (28:37):

Yeah. And I mean, it makes me think of, with a young animal or a young child, or anyone when fear is coming in, our gesture to dissolve it is to embrace them. Right? We give them the warmth and holding, and we can do that with ourselves too. Because you know, I haven’t thought of fear this way before, but that it needs to be held to be transformed out of that singular way of being. That it can be, it can be changed, and maybe that’s part of the opportunity. I haven’t seen it this way before right now, but with the world and people living in so many different qualities of fear that that’s really what it’s asking for. Is for us to open our arms fully and embrace it all so that it can be transformed into warmth and light and love. Which makes me want to cry a little bit. So…good old Rudolf––”Imbue thyself with the power of imagination. Have courage for the truth. Sharpen thy feeling for responsibility of soul.” And each of those lines means more and more every day. I see more in each one. So you know, this task of humanity, responsibility of soul, the courage for the truth, which means it’s a dispelling or a transforming of the fear, you know? And the power of imagination to dream the impossible dream. So we’re here together to do it, yo. And the earth, the cosmos need us to. That’s it.

Anne (31:00):

All right. That’s it!

Thea (31:03):

Until next time.

Anne (31:06):

Okay. See ya.

Thea (31:08):

Bye.

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Bring Community Back to Family

Anne Mason and Thea Mason

TRANSCRIPT:

Anne (00:01):

Okay. Hi Thea.

Thea (00:02):

Hey, Anne.

Anne (00:02):

So today we’re going to talk about bringing the community back into family. And this topic was triggered by a conversation we were having about, well, first of all, the ways in which the dynamic of family rhythm and really life’s rhythm has changed throughout the course of this last year and the restrictive lockdowns that have brought people to remote working and remote learning, and how much time families have suddenly found themselves spending together contiguously, continuously. And it was also triggered by a conversation we were having in which you had been observing children who seem to have difficulty taking really any direction, especially in a group context. And I had remarked at the time that I wonder if you have not had as much exposure to that as I have having been in the homeschool community for a long time and taking on a leadership role within that, where I’ve met a lot of parents who, and children who have come to homeschooling as a last ditch resort, because––and these aren’t, I’m not talking about the families who have decided that the system just wasn’t healthy or working for their child, and so decided that really the best option is homeschooling––but rather parents whose children have had so many challenges just functioning within the system, working and being in, not just the system, but in groups and have then come to look at homeschooling as an option. And the thing that I had observed to you is, because I could see the parents and children together for the course of a few hours navigating, and the parents didn’t, often don’t seem to have really any ability to exert or exercise their authority over their child, which is a necessary thing as a parent.

Thea (02:46):

And from that conversation that we were having and sharing those pictures, the idea or notion that I thought of is really how throughout my time, as a parent, which has been now 21 years, the way our culture seems to have flipped the script in so many different places and tricked out of parents the freedom and the understanding that to be a parent is to be an authority, not to be an authoritarian, but to be an authority. And I think somewhere along the way, that got lost in the shifting away from the authoritarian gestures and the oppressive ways that can be seen throughout history and through different systems and through households. But without an authority in the household, no one knows where they are and no one knows who’s the captain of the ship, so to speak. And when that’s not established, children don’t know how to respond to those sorts of directions that come out of the world for their own good, for their safety, because there is this time in which children must be reared. It’s like training a dog. There is a training period so that there is safety, there’s learning social cues and social norms, which are always, something for a good discussion. And then when they come into themselves, hopefully at 21, they’re able to make true judgements because they’ve had a framework that’s allowed for a safe sphere for them to be walking within to then now navigate with their own honed judgment. So that’s a long, I don’t wind through it, but we were discussing just the, the need for authority. How do we as parents––how do we as adults––become a healthy authority for our child, for our children, for our communities, and how does that then ripple out? Because we notice when we look to the world and we look at the people in leadership, it’s not necessarily what we’re talking about. We don’t see many true authorities in our world. And so what a task to be a parent, to be a true authority with love, with compassion, with generosity, with clarity and with firmness.

Anne (05:49):

Yeah, I agree. And yeah, well said. And I guess we would like to explore something to provide folks with, to work with, to think about as some, and not all, but some are struggling with this, this setup, this new dynamic and being there at home with their children. Because I think what has happened in our modern world, where we have moved away from the home base and we send our children to school, we send our children out for extracurricular activities, both parents work. Rather than a rhythm dictated by the needs of the family as a whole, it’s more of an external schedule and rhythm that’s imposed, that the family learns to work within and around. And so it’s, I think in many ways, the dynamic––especially as the children get older––of a family is, it follows the comings and goings of each person rather than the being together, consistently. And, I think we touched on this in our discussion, but the first and foremost thing that parents I think need to be comfortable with is saying “no”. And, I mean, there’s been so much kind of, psychology, exploration, examination about saying “no,” I’m sure you remember. I remember when I first had little ones that, you know, you’re supposed to design your house so that you don’t have to keep stopping them from doing things and taking things away or saying no, but you need to set it up in a safe way, so that that impulse of just the no, and the negative, doesn’t need to be inserted so much.

Thea (08:18):

Well, and it’s interesting because there’s truth in that. There is. Because what that means, but it gets lost, I think, into an avoidance of saying no, rather than use your “no’s” when you mean it, like make them be real as I’m looking at training a dog, you know what I’m seeing is––it’s the positive affirmation is what trains something well. Animal, child different, but similar, especially in the early years and be very clear when there’s a “no” and be distinctive in that “no,” but you don’t want to be saying no all day, because that will have no power, you know, if that’s all that’s happening. So with that picture of building a home where you minimize the necessity for the “no’s,” that’s sensible, but it kind of can get lost in translation, I think.

Anne (09:20):

And you just made me think of a friend who had described his childhood and he had described it as such that, because his parents weren’t that involved on a day-to-day level, they put a ton of restrictions in place. And so it just makes me realize, well, yes, I mean, as long as the positive input and involvement outweighs the negative, I think that’s what we should strive for. We want to avoid just being all negative and no, and limiting. But I find saying “no,” you know, yeah, there’s, a fairly regular occurrence throughout my kids’ childhood. And, I’m now realizing as we’re talking about it more, how many even friends I’ve got, who have some challenge with saying no to requests, requests that are really not even that healthy, but they feel a guilt in saying no in that way. Depriving. And I remember saying to a friend recently who had described a video game that I guess her son had requested and she had agreed to it until she realized the nature of it. And she felt it was too extreme, and changed her mind, but was kind of struggling a little bit with having said yes, and then had to take it away. And because he was also angry about that, of course, as any kid would be. And I remember saying, “you know, first off you can never go wrong by saying no to a video game. I don’t care what video game it is. Like, liberate yourself there. You know, you can really never go wrong, saying no to almost any acquisition. That is not going to damage your kid in later life.” Right? And so I think, perhaps that’s one thing. Just recognizing, it seems kind of obvious I think, but recognizing how much privilege (I hate that word, it’s been so stupidly used), but the more someone has, the less they appreciate what they have! Right? So that’s just simple. And that goes for privileges, that goes for experiences. You know, you don’t want to saturate a child with so much that they lose the value of each experience.

Thea (12:27):

Absolutely. And I think with this dialogue, the other element that we had sort of pulled in through recollection of parenting through different stages was the importance of feeling we have our community behind us in our parenting. And I know that where you are right now in a more rural place, you have a sense of that. That the adults that are around you when you’re out in the public sphere, they’ve got your back because they’ve got the parents’ back. And I will say from my experience when I was in Southern California, I didn’t sense that as much. It may be shifting now, as parents have now been home with their children in a more consistent way, but in the years past––so this was my experience of it was that, you know, I was attentive. I could sense the judgment of people, if I was having a situation with one of my young children where I had to be very firm. Not abusive obviously, but firm. I have three boys and, you know being a mother, sometimes there were moments where I had to hold them with my firmness to stop them from flailing, kicking, hitting me or whatever walked by. But I could feel it in those moments if I was out, you know, if I had to run an errand, if that happened, I could feel people not saying, “Hey mom, do you need a hand?” I never had that. I never had someone come and say that. I mean, I wasn’t in this situation often, but. And how important that part is in the investment or the faith in ourselves, in the authority that we have, that we have to make those decisions in those moments. And how many people have seen a child throwing a crazy tantrum in a store and a parent, just either acquiescing kind of ignoring it, letting it happen, and maybe trying to appease the child––rather than “No! We leave now, we’re done” or whatever. And I don’t say that without understanding it, sometimes a child needs a nap and these are the things.

Anne (15:04):

And that’s most of it, right? That’s most of it. The child needs a nap.

Thea (15:07):

They’re out of rhythm, they’re tired, but you know, those are the things that establish that ability to say no. You start that holding. The children need to know they’re safe with you. And then when you say it, it means something. So. There’s overuse of no, which is to no purpose.

Anne (15:32):

Absolutely. But I think that we’ve gone far in the other extreme. And, it isn’t just, I mean, we both were raising our kids on the West Coast. I’m now not there on the coast. But it was all over, but it wasn’t just there. I remember in the middle of America too, you know, I think you and I remarked about someone we had known you were gathering with, they were just following their young child, wandering everywhere in a park or whatever, instead of kind of holding the space for the child. Being like, “no, you’re going to be in this area, but I’m going to sit here and talk, I’m not going to go follow you anywhere you want to go because you know, we’ve got to coexist here. I got my stuff and you’ve got yours. So yeah, so it is across the board. I don’t think “no” is particularly the extreme problem at this point. So, I think that what you’re referencing, perhaps things have changed some, as parents are there home with their kids all the time. I mean, we’ve all been put through so many different challenges. And so parents that are both working and also having to manage their kids, out of necessity, they’re going to probably have to get a little bit more real about it. Right?

Thea (17:13):

Well that’s the other part of it. It’s the getting real part. Where you say privilege, I also would say soft. There’s a softness and I don’t want to interrupt your stream right there––but one of the pictures that I’ve always had, which is sort of traumatizing when I think about it is like, I want to know that if things really get nitty gritty somehow, and I need my kids––and I remember thinking this when they were babies––if they need to be quiet and still, I need to know that can happen. That’s like a survival from trauma of lineages and ancestors who’ve had to flee war torn places and I know that exists today. But that thought has always been there. That that’s the kind of authority a parent needs to be able to have.

Anne (18:08):

Absolutely. And that’s the kind of direction a child needs to be able to take in the moment that that is necessary. And the child also has to be able to read that, you know, there is a spectrum. But yeah when we’re out and about, and I had similar kinds of concerns or just, you know, in a situation that might just unexpectedly be a dangerous one, I need them to, in that moment do exactly what I say, get in the car, whatever it is. Right? No questions asked until afterwards. So that’s a good point. That just on a level of just, safety,

Thea (18:48):

Survival.

Anne (18:48):

They need to be able to do that and have that capacity. You need to have that relationship with them, that when you take on that very serious tone, they know “Okay. Mom is in charge and let’s follow that order.” And let’s find out later what that’s all about.

Thea (19:08):

And out of that, speaking about family culture, family community, when a family is in a rhythm out of the living rhythm of their life, they recognize, I notice my children recognize, we’re a team. We are in this together. And of course there’s conflict and such here and there. But when there’s a real sense of the importance of their participation and purpose within the community of that family, I mean, I guess what I’m seeing through our dialogue is like, it’s that sense of purpose, place and necessity. That’s where we can step into those roles properly.

Anne (19:59):

Yes. When they know that they are integral to the team, right. They are not just, kind of, peripheral…

Thea (20:12):

Baggage, luggage.

Anne (20:13):

Kind of, yeah, I don’t even know what the word is. It makes me think of, a friend of mine really has an issue with how––many times you go to gatherings or even restaurants, and there’s all of these healthy food choices for the parents, but the kids menu or what the kids are served is some crap, you know, white bread crap. And it reminds me a little bit of what you’re talking about. Kind of like, they’re not treated like

Thea (20:52):

Like an afterthought.

Anne (20:55):

Yeah, like they’re not treated as valuable members of this unit. And the same goes for chores. We’ve talked about this in previous recordings, but, Parents, feel very good and not just good, but just like, know that you’re doing right by your kid, the more you say no to them. You know, obviously in a measured and intelligent way, but I’m just saying, you know, “no, you can’t stay up late again. You can’t go do this again, when you were supposed to do this first, you can’t…” Those are good things and they need it. But the other thing I was going to say is like chores, right? And chores and responsibility. The more responsibility and chores you give to your kid, again, appropriate to their age, the more they are going to feel a valued member of that team and that unit, of course more self-worth naturally anyway, but then there’s more investment in actually listening to what your authority is bringing to the situation, because they know that you’re all kind of like, we’ve all got different roles. And there’s an operation.

Thea (22:12):

And with all of that and the picture of the child, having that sense of purpose, that’s where as a parent, that’s our purpose. Like that sense of purpose is just as much to be able to make it so the child is safe, so they know they’re safe. They know they’re seen, so that there’s that quiet. There’s that center, you see who’s there in charge. The children can then relax and breathe.

Anne (22:46):

And that’s the key, right? It’s that they, I mean, frankly, we all feel this at different times in our lives, when we see someone else taking charge, we can really relax. Right? And so imagine a child at five whose mother or father does not even seem to be in charge enough to, to tell them, to get it together and stop with the tantrum or whatever it is,

Thea (23:16):

Or to give them their clothes to put on.

Anne (23:21):

This is what you’re doing, this is where we’re going. And that’s it. If the child doesn’t even have a sense of that, then imagine the stress, the kind of anxiety, an ongoing anxiety that that child can take on.

Thea (23:41):

Absolutely. Because can’t we all relate to a sense of “who’s in charge? Is anyone in charge?” Cause if nobody is in charge, so that means what’s going on?

Anne (23:52):

Right. It’s kind of this, “Well, because if no one’s in charge, then I am on my own.” And that for a child is scary. And it’s really not what they should be burdened with yet.

Thea (24:08):

And that would be one of those things that, you know, we’ve had conversations and I don’t want to go too far into left field, but, the resistance for adults to step into being self responsible. Because maybe, maybe are we a part of this generation where the parents were afraid to be the authority so that it’s like, it’s still being looked for, as we grow, where, where there should be more of that. I mean, I feel like I’ve mostly come into my own sense of self responsibility, but it’s still growing and emerging. But when we look to the world and what’s happening, we see a lot of that. People wanting to see who’s the father in charge. Or, I mean, that’s usually what I see.

Anne (25:09):

I agree. I mean, it’s a larger issue that we could examine at at length. And even in terms of unhealthy levels of compliance with government BS and all of that, too.

Thea (25:27):

So that’s like Part Two, But this one was simply about parents to have the faith in themselves that they can make the right choices for their family.To rear their children with a gentle and firm hand.

Anne (25:46):

Yes. Yes. They are the best equipped to do this. No one else. They are the best. So knowing that parents, we are all the best equipped to guide our children with a gentle, but firm hand, let’s feel free to exercise that without guilt, without concern that we’re not doing it. And see what happens. And I think we all know this from growing into parenthood. Versus, when I was, you know, first a parent and I’m at your house and my kid is, you know, climbing on the table because he’s one and a half or whatever, and I’m letting him explore everything. And you tell me, “We don’t do that here. We don’t climb on the table.” You know, it makes things a lot simpler and clearer when you get comfortable with that and realize that again, and this is back to healthy boundaries, right? Boundaries are necessary. Good, strong or good, firm boundaries really make life smoother.

Thea (27:03):

But it’s also you saying that, and I know we’re trying to wrap up now. It’s interesting though, because it does remind me of the beginning of parenthood. It’s like, you are born anew with your child. I mean, if you’re paying attention, I think, and you’re looking to the world and the constructs and the norms and going, “what?” When did we decide this is reality, this is the way? And so that’s that impulse of change, which is what our youth bring as they come of age as well. There are a lot of layers to it. It’s not simple and it’s not easy, but I guess it’s simply like–– we can be awake, we can be kind, we can be compassionate and nurturing and clear with clear boundaries and clear direction for our children. Even if we don’t know where we’re going quite yet. I mean, that’s part of it, you know, you learn as you go, but they need that from us and it does get clearer. And then you get to a new stage and you can’t see it again, but, you know, hey.

Anne (28:27):

Totally. I agree. But being comfortable, being comfortable with it and being comfortable with boundaries, I think is important. And exercising, exerting those boundaries and sometimes, when we screw up and we’ve exerted too much of a boundary, we can always change it. And that’s, you know, that’s another thing. I think that’s gone wrong. This notion that you have to hold to your decision to establish your authority over your kid, or for your kid and not be wrong. I think on the contrary, when you screw up, it’s important to let them know, “You know what? I screwed up. That was, that was wrong. I’m going to change that.” It’s a good lesson for them. It’s a good lesson for you. It’s a good lesson for them to know that you’re, you know, in a moment of seeming unfairness that you will come to your senses, and that that’s not going to be as much of like end of world feeling for them, and also to know how to be that as an adult too.

Thea (29:24):

And we’ve had those conversations too––I mean, there’s so much here. It’s fun––that the way in which we address our own mistakes, how we can recognize that allows for them to have the freedom and the safety to recognize their own mistakes. So that there’s actually a space for transformation and improvement, because if we’re just blocking that, “Oh no, I didn’t mess up. No one saw that,” then there’s no room for something true and real to be transformed in to develop better. Because they’re learning by what we do. Right?

Anne (30:04):

Totally. And just to share, I mean, I don’t know if this is what most parents say or not, but I have had conversations with my kids in certain situations where I’m just like, “You know what, Daddy and I have actually not been here before with this. So, you know, this is the best I can come up with right now. If you’ve got some input…I don’t know I’m doing my best here, you know, we’re first timers.” So to just acknowledge that.

Thea (30:35):

Absolutely. Well, thanks. Good chattin’ with ya!

Anne (30:43):

And you! All right. See you next time.

Thea (30:44):

Nice to see you.

Anne (30:45):

You too. Love you. Let me figure out how to do this. It’s been so long.

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