Monthly Archives: September 2015

I Can’t Keep Quiet: Vote Harper Out

Last night I watched the lunar eclipse with fascination, gratitude and wonder. I was wired afterwards, and had a hard time falling asleep, or deciding what to write about. So I got up early this morning to write.

And as beautiful and awe-inspiring as the eclipse was, I decided that I need to write about something that has been pressing on my mind all week: strategic voting for the Canadian election.

Stop Harper: VoteIn Canada, our federal election is coming up in a few short weeks, and the results are going to be key in deciding whether Canada remains a great place to live, or becomes a fascist regime. Pretty harsh words, especially coming from me.

For many years, I couldn’t vote in Canada. I wasn’t a Canadian citizen. So I didn’t give much attention to politics, especially because the differences between the US and Canadian political system confused me. (What do you mean, the government can decide when the election will be? What do you mean, senators get appointed for life and aren’t elected? Four, or more, political parties? And I thought two was bad enough.)

Because politics were essentially out of sight, out of mind, it hasn’t been easy for me to get back into it. However, the current government has been pretty hard to ignore. Prime Minister Stephen Harper has renamed the government. That’s right. It’s not currently the Government of Canada (like it’s been for…ever); it’s the Harper Government. Egotistical much? I’m sad to admit I missed that one when it actually happened – FOUR YEARS AGO. (Yes, I’m an ostrich.)

Electoral fraud, fiscal irresponsibility, no separation of church and state, muffling scientists, voter suppression tactics that make it not only hard to find your polling station, but also hard to prove your eligibility to vote, the atrocities go on and on. I didn’t even mention Bill C-51 (oops, I guess I did). These articles may not even be the best examples. They are merely the issues that come to mind when I think of Mr. Harper. Ugh. Even typing it makes my skin crawl. Helen Austin sings it so eloquently:

I’ve heard of strategic voting in the past, and I disagreed with it. Why vote for someone you don’t support? I mean, if everyone voted for who they supported, wouldn’t the result be more accurate? And maybe that candidate that you support would actually win, if everyone voted their beliefs. Normally I would say, “I don’t care who you vote for, just vote.”

Well, for this election at least, I’ve changed my tune. I actually DO care who you vote for this time. We have to do everything in our power to make sure the Harper Government does not get reelected. And that means strategic voting – voting for the candidate who stands the best chance of winning against the Conservative candidate in your riding. You can find out who that is at several sites, including Anyone But Harper and Vote Together. Strategic voting can make or break the future of Canada.

Please register to vote. And please vote Harper out.

Blessings,

Mary

PS. If you’re not convinced that Harper is bad for Canada, consider his actions in comparison to Fascism (def. an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization. Examples of fascist leaders from the past are Benito Mussolini and Vladimir Lenin):

harper_fascism

Can you tell I feel strongly about this?

Fascinated with Dystopias

I’ve been re-watching Babylon 5 recently, and I’m almost at the end of Season 3, when things really get ugly. I was thinking about the characters, and how difficult it was for them to take a stand against the destructive forces in their universe.

speak out against injusticeAnd then I started thinking about other films in modern pop culture, and how there really seems to be a focus on the dystopias – societies that are harmful to the large majority of the people, or that utilize fear and ignorance to gain power over the masses. Books like The Hunger Games, Divergent, and The Maze Runner are all being turned into popular films.

The concept isn’t new. Classics like Nineteen Eighty Four and Animal Farm by George Orwell, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, The Lord of the Flies by William Golding, and many others have warned of horrible futures for many, many years. Recent years have seen many more stories of dystopias, though.

What’s the appeal?

I think it is because we are living in more of a dystopia than we would like to believe. The uncomfortable conditions that so many people live in, the fear of speaking out against those in power, hits awfully close to home.

We like to see the heroes and heroines win. If the more or less ordinary individuals in the books and film can overcome the nearly impossible odds, perhaps there is still hope for us. Perhaps one day we, too, will see an end to the oppression, to the power struggles, the racism, sexism, classism and all the other -isms that separate us, that use our differences to engender hatred instead of celebration.

Perhaps. But it won’t happen if there aren’t those courageous enough to stand up, to speak up, even under threat of violence. Those in power play the fear game well. Big Brother is watching you.

And I admit, I have observed in silence. I have been afraid to speak my truth when I have seen abuse of power or privilege, or even instances of ignorance or hatred. I am somewhat ashamed to admit that I recently unfollowed a friend on Facebook who was posting items of intolerance rather than calling that person out.

I am constantly in awe of my friends who speak out regularly, on a daily or hourly basis. You constantly educate me about my ignorance and privilege, and I am honestly grateful. I appreciate the opportunity to be more sensitive to the experiences of others.

I am working on speaking my truth more frequently. I’m a peacekeeper by nature – I don’t like conflict. So this is very challenging for me. I look to my warrior friends, and I hope one  day to have as much courage and understanding as you do. Thank you for the work that you do. You are my heroes and heroines – my Katniss Everdeens, my Beatrice Priors, my Thomas’s. Please keep it up, because you give me courage.

Do you find it easy or difficult to speak your truth?

Blessings,

Mary

 

Feeling Grateful

In the United States, Thanksgiving is not celebrated until late November. Here in Canada, the official Thanksgiving is in mid October. For many pagans, the upcoming autumn equinox is the time for giving thanks.

Thank you universe for all my many blessings

Even knowing that is what the season marks, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself feeling intense gratitude the last few days.

I am grateful for my family, both biological and spiritual.

I am grateful for my mentors.

I am grateful for friends, both near and far.

I am grateful for the opportunities to help others.

I am grateful for the opportunities to share what I have learned.

I am grateful for opportunities to learn new things.

I am grateful for all of the abundance I have in my life.

I am grateful for my challenges, because they help me to grow.

I am grateful for my health. I am especially grateful that my health is improving.

I am grateful for the amazing artist that provides artwork for my blog and guided meditations!

I truly have a lot to be grateful for. Thank you, Universe, for all my many blessings.

What are you grateful for?

Blessings,

Mary

I Don’t Want to Bother You…

This past week I’ve been called on to help some friends in my spiritual community. It is service that I gladly do – it is part of my calling as a priestess and a life coach.

I’ve also heard something a few too many times this week.”I know you’re a very busy woman. I don’t want to bother you.”

"When you choose to suffer in silence, you prolong your suffering. When you refuse to receive support, you deny me the joy of sharing my gifts with you. So we both suffer."Warning: incoming rant.

Yes, I am an extremely busy woman. I have a lot on my plate. And I sometimes struggle keeping my balance. But you know what? That’s my responsibility. Not yours.

I *chose* this path. I *chose* to the path of ministry and life coaching. I understand that means supporting my community. It is a path of service. I accept that.

That means if you call me, if you send me an email, or a Facebook message, I will do my best to respond. If you ask for my help, I will do what I can to provide it, or connect you with someone who can.

Being a busy woman means I may not be able to come running at the drop of a hat. However, I *will* find time. It’s up to me to manage my schedule – not you.

When you choose to suffer in silence, you prolong your suffering. When you refuse to receive support, you deny me the joy of sharing my gifts with you. So we both suffer.

So please. Stop trying to protect me. Reach out to me if you need to. I’ve gotten a lot better at making time for myself. I promise.

End rant.

Honestly, I really enjoy helping people, and seeing them (you) have “aha” moments. It gives me great joy!

Blessings,

Mary