Friday, January 22, 2010

Dying for Health Care

What's the difference between the outpouring of support for the Haitians after the earthquake, and the inability of our Congress to support American citizens with a bill providing health care for all?

It's the video, stupid.

We are deluged with videos of Haitians dying on the streets of Port-Au-Prince, their screams heard around the world. We see bodies piled by the side of the road, and mass graves being dug by backhoes. In the midst of this, doctors talk about preventable deaths.

There are 46,000 preventable deaths each year in the US, too. When the US story is told, however, all we see is town hall meetings -- people talking in a hearing room, tearfully telling stories about how their mother, or brother, or daughter, died because they couldn't get health care. Yes, their emotion carries, but it does not have the gut wrenching impact that it would have if those deaths were seen.

What we need is uninsured people dying on the Capitol steps, both in Washington, DC and in every state capitol, as well as the Federal Buildings in New York City and Los Angeles, to shame our government into passing universal health care. We need brave people, who want their deaths to count for something, to volunteer to die in public. (I realize this may be thought macabre, but the idea was born more of desperation than anything else.)

We need their families there with them to tell their stories, because the dying probably can't.

We need videographers to document these deaths, and put them up on YouTube, because the corporate media won't carry these stories until they are shamed into it by the viral nature of the 'amateur' videos.

We need an attorney to write a statement for the dying to sign, that they are volunteering to die in public, of their own free will, in order to protect those supporting them from any prosecution. We will probably need other attorneys to support these families, in case they are arrested for their civil disobedience. (Though it's difficult to imagine the police arresting a dying woman.)

We need other volunteers to support these brave souls, to provide care for the dying, and to provide logistical assistance.

So, if you know someone who is dying because of their lack of health insurance, ask that person, "Do you want your death to count for something?" and get into action.

"If the people lead, the leaders will follow."
Mahatma Gandhi

[This vison was given to meby by guides a couple of years ago. I never mentioned it to anyone. A couple of days ago, I 'saw' it again, and this time, I told my husband, who suggested I write it. Please don't shoot me, I'm just the messenger.]

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Can meditation make you lucky?

Did you know that there's a structure to luck? There is.
And if you've ever lost something, then relaxed and felt yourself being led to just the thing you though you'd lost, you may have wondered if there were a connection between the two. There is -- learn what it is tomorrow.

Join me tomorrow for a FREE teleclass, in which we'll explore how you can be luckier, as well as the surprising ways in which happiness, success, health and luck are connected.
When: Jan. 21, 10AM PST
Where: wherever you are
To sign up, click here.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Have I become a cyborg?

I have always laughed at those folks, walking around with the blue tooth headsets, seemingly talking to no one. (How can you tell if that person talking to no one is normal or schizophrenic? By the presence -- or absence -- of a blue tooth headset.) I jokingly call them cyborgs -- the next step is implantation of that headset in the ear.

Actually, I think that blue tooth technology and wireless devices are just proxies for the coming of widespread human telepathy. Or maybe we're using technology to reclaim part of our birthright.

I obviously don't have a blue tooth headset. But I'm beginning to wonder if I'm part cyborg, myself.

I've been without my Mac for over a week now, except for one day, during which I rescued the two main documents I'm working on, and a bit of my calendar, which I had to (eek!) write down by hand. The substitute Mac I have is even more unreliable than my main one, in that it shuts down randomly (save your work often!), and it doesn't have my address book (BOTH my address book backups died simultaneously with my Mac hard drive), nor can it access my email.

I'm feeling really out of sorts. Everything takes twice as long on this old machine, and the keys and the touch pad don't feel the same. I feel unproductive, at sea. There are lots of things I can't do, but I'm also avoiding things I can do online, like write this, just because it's not the same machine. Have I become so attached to this computer, this thing, that I'm not myself without it? And does that make me a cyborg?

But here's the even stranger thing: I'm noticing my own telepathy more.
I am planning to hike with a friend, M, in Marin on Saturday afternoon. Since I don't go there all that often, I decided to visit another friend, J, afterwards, around 5:30, and arranged that over a week ago. This morning, it popped into my mind to stop and see a third friend, A, but I dismissed it, because I don't have my address book, so I don't have her phone number. Here's what happened:

I was talking to a client this morning. We were almost done with our conversation, just saying our goodbyes, when the phone cut out. I hit *69, as she had called me, but got connected to M instead!

M said that she was planning to visit A on Saturday (wow, what a coincidence!), and could I shift my plans to accommodate that?

Well, I had to call J to see if she could meet at 6 instead of 5:30 -- but I wanted to visit A, as well. Luckily, M had A's phone number (remember, I don't have an address book), and it turns out that A's birthday is Saturday, so I was invited to her open house!

And J had emailed me this morning (but I have no email) to ask if I could arrange our meeting to be at
6 instead of 5:30!

Maybe I'm connected on the innernet, even when I'm not connected on the internet. And maybe you are, too.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

What is a Teacher?

George Leonard, black belt aikidoist, prolific author and co-founder of Integral Transformative Practice, dropped his body permanently yesterday. I learned a number of things from George, one of which changed my life, or at least my experience of it, completely and permanently (I'll get to that later). George was a Teacher for many people, and it got me to thinking about what a Teacher is.

Lots of people are teachers, which I define as having knowledge or skills that others don't have, which they pass on. But a Teacher is more:
  • A Teacher has wisdom you don't have, and passes that on, along with the knowledge and/or skills.
  • A Teacher sees you, in the African, or Na'vi, sense -- seeing into your soul, seeing who you really are.
  • A Teacher, by passing on what (s)he knows, and by seeing you, allows you to have more access to yourself, and to universal wisdom.
One person's Teacher may be someone else's teacher. It has to do not only with the teacher, but also with the student. Perhaps the student doesn't want to be seen, or isn't ready for the wisdom the teacher has.

Or maybe there's just a connection between the two that allows the teacher to be a Teacher for that particular student. I had a chemistry teacher in high school like that. I don't think she was a Teacher for much of anyone but me (and she was only a teacher for a couple of years, before going back to school to get her PhD and into industry). However, I learned not only chemistry, but also that being an adult didn't mean being serious all the time, that it was okay to explore the offbeat (she taught me how to do grave rubbings), and lots of other things.

A parent, while always a teacher, is not necessarily a Teacher. Maybe the parent is very screwed up. Or maybe the parent is so invested in what (s)he would like the child to be that (s)he is incapable of seeing the child.

Teachers don't have to be human -- nature is a wonderful Teacher. For me, it's the ocean. For others, it's the woods, or the mountains. Animals can be Teachers, too. I've sure learned a lot from my cats.

Teachers don't even have to be physical. Throughout history, people like Jesus and St. Teresa of Avila have talked about their discarnate Teachers.

George invented this exercise, which he called 'Take the Hit as a Gift', which came from his aikido training. It involved someone scaring you half to death, and you using the energy and moving with the energy till you actually felt that you had more than before you were frightened. It totally worked for me! and my neurology has never been the same. It used to be that when something lousy happened, I'd crawl into bed for a while, usually a few hours, but occasionally more. Now, I just go for a walk -- and the worse the hit, the more I walk. And staying in action makes me feel less like a victim, and more like there's something I can do, even if I'm not in control. So thank you, George, for this and many other lessons. Have a great trip -- and take the hit as a gift! :)