The stupidity of sending donations to PP and Meals

Trump threatens Planned Parenthood defunding.

Private donations soar in.

Trump threatens Meals On Wheels funding.

Private donations soar in.

Y’all just effing proved him ‘right,’ that government doesn’t need to take care of women’s health and the elderly, because the private sector will.

Congratulations.

To some people this doesn’t sound like a problem, but it is.

Why?

Because the lower the incomes of people the higher their proportion of ‘giving.’

The widow and her tythe come to mind. Remember what Jesus said?

So, it might make you FEEL good in the moment, but by playing into this narrative with your few dollars, means you let the RICH OFF THE HOOK.

‘Whoever has been given much, much is expected.’

Remember that?

Government as we know it, at it’s best, allows a large population of humans to have a thorough attempt at objective mutual aid.

‘Of the People. For the People. By the People.’

Remember?

By all means, go volunteer time with Meals on Wheels or do a counter protest at PP to help women get in the doors for healthcare despite deranged lunatics outside, but keep your money in a savings account (because if you don’t have one, you need one or you will be the next needing a hand up) or give to a localized charity. Or just give your tithe to your faith community.

Better yet, support candidates who are true statesmen not party puppets.

Do not DO the government’s job outside of the government.

Finding Your Voice from Dr. Richard Twiss

I have officially been convicted of being the ‘nice Christian.’

Twiss is an important Lakota Christian theologian. While his book, “One Church, Many Tribes,” didn’t really challenge me, I’m finding the precious YouTube videos of his speaking massively influential.

(Though I’d love to read his ‘Rescuing the Gospel from the Cowboys.’)

This video below is awesome, too, if you can ignore the White agnosia.

Twiss speaks eloquently of taking young Christians teachers into a traditional Lakota inipi and how the Holy Spirit ‘doesn’t know where it’s allowed and not allowed.’ He then speaks simply of how a Christian inipi then is one that invites the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ, and not the spirits of the grandfathers as Traditionals would.

However, he challenges these people first to realize that Jesus goes wherever He likes.

This is the masculine Lakota understanding of the Holy Spirit as being different than our other spiritual relatives.

I hadn’t realized that Dr. Twiss had passed away in 2013. Rest in Peace, sir.

 

Tough parents vote for Trump?

When I saw the headline:

Childrearing Beliefs Were Best Predictor of Trump Support

I just about screamed.

And called bullshit.

But as I wrote an angry Facebook post, I realized, you know, probably smart to read the damn article.

(I’m extra tired today, so yes, this took a few extra seconds to occur to me, ugh.)

Good thing I did.

Are tough parents more likely to vote for Trump?

If that’s true, then I seriously take issue with that.

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I adore Downton Abbey. The Dowager is one of my absolute favorites. Does ‘propriety’ lead to authoritarianism? Hmm.

I would call BULLSHIT, except there’s a twist.

You see, I am a tough mama. I might hate Dr. Dobson’s politics, but I still use his The Strong-willed Child book as a parent.

I am absolutely the Queen and Governess of my home. I am not domineering, but I have the last word and my children will behave within the pre-set standards I have set.

No other options.

But, ask me WHY I parent the way I do, and I would tell you it is to raise strong, independent and vibrant children.

That in setting age and child appropriate boundaries and rhythms of safety and expectations, I raise my children to feel free to explore and grow.

Even Dobson’s advice for when, how and why to spank children are to this purpose.

So, how does this Tough Mama Nomadian measure up to ‘authoritarian parenting?’

From the post:

Specifically, he asked whether it is more important to raise a child to be (1) respectful or independent; (2) obedient or self-reliant; (3) well-behaved or considerate; and (4) well-mannered or curious.  It turned out that these questions were, for Republicans, by far the best predictors of who planned to vote for Trump—better than gender, age, race, income, religiosity, or anything else that was asked.

There was method in MacWilliams’s seeming madness of asking questions about childrearing in a political poll.  Answers to these questions had been shown in previous research to be an excellent index of an authoritarian outlook on life.  People who choose the first in each of the adjective pairs (respectful, obedient, well-behaved, well-mannered) have been shown to be generally high in authoritarianism and people who choose the second (independent, self-reliant, considerate, curious) have been shown to be generally low in that trait.

Well, I’m 3/4 of a non-authoritarian parent, according to this.

Even though I think I raise my children to be respectful, I do value independence more. In fact, in my own life, I believe independence is how I show respect, which is why I find it very hard to ask anyone for help or to receive it. This is something I am working on, actually.

I also believe that to ‘obey,’ a human anyways, is not as important as being self-reliant. I have always acted in this manner as well as a child and now. I do think there is a place for obedience, but it’s secondary.

I would also value consideration over being ‘well-behaved.’ Arbitrary rules have never appealed to me. Even as a mother, the rules I set are for specific reasons (Dobson’s ‘safety or hateful rebellion’ rule of when to spank or take corrective action even fits this). And in fact, I believe if one is considerate of others, what real need is there to be ‘well-behaved.’

Now, the last one, as a product of fairly strong WASP-like women, digs at me a bit. I absolutely value curiosity, but the idea of a someone who is merely curious, but not also well-mannered, bothers me a bit. It falls back to being considerate of others, but yet, if one were to be so curious as to interupt here and there or rush into a building, because they stopped to figured out what sort of leaf they found…well, those are rather forgivable to me. In fact, I think it’s rather ill-mannered not to make space for curiosity in others, as well ourselves, because I am curious as to what lights up others. 😉

So, do tough parents vote for Trump?

Do only unschooling liberal parents not?

I share with C.S. Lewis a lasting disrespect for wishy-washy schooling, however, I do believe in child-led learning in a well-organized school. My oldest son attended such a Kindergarten at South Dakota State University.

The lead teacher? Well, it might surprise the author of this article, the teacher of this democratic school was a fairly conservative-leaning wife of a pretty conservative-leaning Lutheran denomination.

[I think some of the most unorganized, wishy-washy, inconsistent parents who ‘give in’ to their children constantly can also be some of the most authoritarian, because they have to feel like they are in control even if they aren’t.]

Another quote from the post that got to me:

Our conventional schools were designed at a time when pretty much everyone had an authoritarian mindset, at least regarding childrearing (see my blog post on the origin of schools here).  Still today, despite more liberal attitudes among many teachers and school personnel, schools, by design, enforce an authoritarian mode of teaching.  The primary requirement for students in our conventional schools is obedience.  It’s almost impossible to fail in school if you do what you are told to do; it’s almost impossible to pass if you consistently choose not to do what you are told to do.  And for the most part, you must obey unquestioningly.  Children who continuously question the assignments, or the teachers’ judgments, or the textbooks’ or teachers’ answers to questions, are in trouble.  The great majority of children learn not to question.

I loathed school as a child for these reasons. I have told my children, actually, that I don’t want them the most behaved, because the only other institution that tells you when to pee and where to eat is jail.

I don’t want them that comfortable with their every movement dictated.

So, how do I lead them to deal with such things?

I tell them to play along. I tell them to play the game, and always keep the bigger picture in mind.

Plus, we will all face times where we need to just do what we are told or what we know we have to do.

It’s a useful tool to learn.

Just don’t get comfortable.

This is a wisdom I could not put into practice as a child, for the most part, and I often paid for it.

So, I’m one tough mama who DID NOT vote for Trump.

Just ask my kids.

100 Days of Nomadian Reality

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Took this photo at Bear Butte Gardens a few years ago. I love it. Food and prayer. Growing food as prayer. Prayer that nourishes us and defines us. #sdnomad

Sherman Alexie remarked one time that America is like a petulant teenager.

Next month, I turn 35, so like a responsible woman, I finally established care with my primary care provider and set up a women’s health appointment with my long-time obgyn.

Perhaps, this is the best thing any of us can do in today’s political climate: freaking take good care of ourselves!

Act our age, and thus, nudge America into growing up a bit, too.

As a mother of four, I’m big on routines and daily rituals that keep family functioning. Since we are finally in a house, I need to step up and refine our daily patterns of common life together.

I am not the only one feeling this way, either.

Recently a former colleague of mine shared this post on Facebook about how to engage in political self-care. Read it.

When I see something like that about what I’m thinking, I know I’m on the right track.

For my part, after a visit with my obgyn about stubborn body fat and the glycogen process of sedentary Americans after eating large dinners, I firmly believe we must MOVE.

“After dinner rest a while, after supper walk a mile.” – English Proverb

Many years ago now, when I was still a Charismatic Evangelical, I was standing in a mid-week worship service, pouring my heart out to God about my inability to make nice, big suppers like my mother for my own family.

It was one of those moments as a younger mother and wife, when I felt I was betraying all things feminine and destined in my world.

Suddenly, instead of freezer meal plans and the perfect to-do list, what came to mind was the story of Daniel and the Hebrew youths in captivity to the empire.

If light fare kept God’s people in shape, indeed, kept them in safety even, from the debauchery of empire’s powers and political intrigues, why was I acting so torn up about failing to peel potatoes and frying meat every night?

Today, I walked to the library, so I could get some head space to plan.

The walk rejuvenated me, too, so I decided to buck my Facebook feed and Google walking.

I found this quote:

For author and scientist Katy Bowman, walking is a biological imperative like eating. In her book, “Move Your DNA: Restore Your Health Through Natural Movement,” she suggests there are movement nutrients, just like dietary nutrients, that the body needs. – See more at: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/381353/lifestyle/healthandwellness/walking-is-the-superfood-of-fitness-experts-say#sthash.pUco1BoS.dpuf

What if nourishing ourselves is way less complicated than we’ve been led to believe?

So this is what I propose for myself and my family to do for 100 Days of Reality:

Food

  1. Cook and eat breakfast at home re: stout English and Euro-American foods no guilt, following 100 Days of Real Food guidelines (think local foods, real fat, real grains, fruit, eggs, lots of butter).
  2. Follow the No S Diet.
  3. Dinners are catch as a catch can (work on this next time, lol), but Supper will be roasted vegetables, meats, broths and other high-protein, low carb, low fat fare and eaten before 7 p.m.

Movement

Ideally, we would move regularly, but minus that, we are aiming for movement:

  1. Stretch together at 6:30 a.m. in the dining room. Takes only a few minutes, but it can reap major rewards.
  2. Walk: Best for last…we will take a walk together as a family after dinner at 7:00 p.m. for a four block radius (just shy of a mile).
  3. Clean: This includes dancing, because I do that, but mostly following the daily tasks and daily routines by Clean Mama. She’s my favorite cleaning blog, since I’m a KonMari Method organizer.

Ritual

While this includes prayer, too, it is also a form of prayer by itself. This is also part of combatting the insane influx of media (more on how I’m intending to diversify further later on) and messaging at us.

  1. Family: Work in the Book of Common Prayer’s devotionals for morning and evening prayers for myself and family. I always have the best luck if I do this after some form of exercise, so right after our new routine of stretching in the morning and walking in the evening.
  2. Self: Brush my hair before bed. I know this sounds crazy, but as my hair has been growing out, I’ve found that I sleep better if I stop and brush my hair carefully and kindly before bed. (Also sorta a Lakota thing, though I’m just doing it for myself.) It takes like 2 minutes!
  3. Outdoors: Greet the sun. Again, once a day, preferable morning, stop and face the sun (it’s kinda a Lakota thing, too) and thank it. This also reminds me of my name for daily focus. After our evening walk, call our spirits back to ourselves, to make sure we haven’t gone wandering, which makes us unfocused, sick or worse (another Lakota thing).

I’m going to track our progress, it’s pretty ambitious for a family of five, on my Instagram. Come see how we manage!

Here goes!

One Woman Armies Win No Wars

Yesterday, I asked God why he hated me.

Today, I feel peace and hope.

Such is a life lived in the footsteps of Jesus.

This last month has been really tough, and by yesterday, I felt like the whole world was crushing me.

I usually am a lot more together than this. God has put me through a great deal of training, so that I could keep myself more together.

Like a turtle, the Lakota image of the feminine, God has bestowed on me a tough shell.

Yet, in today’s ever more industrial and deranged world, there are things that can crush even me.

I have absolutely no doubt that my life, my body, my spirit and my mind have been under assault in the past weeks…

And I know many of you feel the same.

I am here to tell you that there is hope and peace in our Elder Brother. And if you can’t quite believe such a thing, lean into what I’m sharing then.

You are so not alone.

Everywhere, we are confronted by the current American political ideology: neoliberalism.

This ideology is a rabid form of enforced Darwinism based in economics.

And it rips families, faiths, communities, and yes, entire democracies asunder.

We are left locked into one-woman and one-man armies, locked inside ourselves, burning alive in a sea of people who can’t see past themselves to throw a bucket of water on us.

America has fallen in global rankings of democracies as a flawed democracy, and not just because of Trump.

We are so locked into our races to the bottom or the top that we no longer have the goodwill, Christian or otherwise, to work together for a COMMON good.

I am here to say that this is CHANGING.

And it starts with me.

And it starts with you.

While there’s been undercurrents for awhile, the Christian Church at large has launched into an awakening of new monasticism and common life.

Many others are also, in there own ways, revamping family and relationships into new ways of relating and caring for one another.

As ambitiously ALONE we seem to be, there is hope everywhere.

Over and over in the crisis of my life, I have seen proven what Brene Brown says, “Vulnerability is courage.”

In the words of that Garth Brooks song, “I have friend in low places.” And I add, in a few high places, too.

Bridging these artificial neoliberal divisions is the only way forward. We must join hands–across gutters, roads, highways, borders, employed, unemployed, quiet, loud, single, married, poor, not-so-poor, houseless, landed, white, red, Republican, Independent, woman, trans, male, gay, straight, sane, sick, healthy, tall, short, Christian, pagan, Rabid Right.

We do not all have to get along, but we do need to create allies, relatives, family. And then work together.

My current socio-tribe is that of Nomadians, but you wouldn’t always be able to pinpoint them. They are white and red, male and female, privileged and non-privileged, single, less-single, poly and divorced. Spiritual or Christian or traditional. Some haven’t moved in decades and some even more than myself.

And those I speak with most sometimes changes, they flow in and out of my orbit, pushing and pulling on me, creating and challenging me. And some are my very own sons, whose work ethic, courage, intelligence and curiosity about the world keep me going at times I feel incapable of it.

This is how we beat neoliberalism.

We allow ourselves to need each other.

Not to own each other.

I am a proud woman who has found herself having to need other people, and it’s often as revolutionary as it is frustrating and embarrassing.

Having need in this world because of perceived weakness in our current political system is the Creator’s single greatest way of keeping me in truth and blessing.

Yesterday, in the midst of my community making me feel so less alone, I was able to pray, to give this crushing weight of America and my own circumstances to our Creator.

One woman armies win no wars.

And we can build no worlds, either.

Retrain your Facebook’s echo chamber

Entirely fed up with politics on Facebook?

Becoming livid despite your best attempts?

If you are over cussing at Facebook’s about whatever latest outrage it’s telling you to scream about, then do something.

Facebook creates an echo chamber of reinforcing the same information over and over again, in various formats, which as annoying as seeing stuff you hate might be, is really more dangerous to your health and relationships than seeing only what you ‘want.’

Sounds great, but what’s the catch? If you’re like many Americans, you receive most of your news from Facebook.

To escape the rut, you need to do two things:

1.)  Get News Feed Smart Afraid you won’t keep informed if you dump Facebook? Cue the news aggregator. This post has several options. I use Google News, myself, slightly personalized (easy if you already use Gmail) and after reading this I’m definitely looking into Fark.com. Read Fark’s note at the top of the screen, too. These are real freaking people running the show, which I think ROCKS. Pro Tip: Set up a time of day to check your news sites and don’t deviate. Make it part of your daily morning or afternoon rituals, AFTER prayer and nourishment, so that you keep perspective.

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Screen capture of my own Google News feed. The local stuff is on the bottom right. Blogs don’t show up, so for those you intend on following, use Facebook or sign up for emails.

2.) Retrain Facebook Go to your Facebook profile and rid yourself of pages you don’t recognize or that are hyper partisan. Get rid of most News outlets, as well, unless you feel they truly add some balance to your day. What do you want to think about during the day? Make sure you’re following pages that add to that, instead of detract. Not all pages are created equal, so use the KonMari Method: does it spark joy? Keep it. If not, hit ‘unlike.’ (Hmm, I was half-assedly doing that I just realized…I should redo my cleaning with that in mind.) Whatever then is left in your Newsfeed that is going to be keyword based on Facebook’s marketing algorithms that have been reading you, learn to hit ‘hide post’ on those things that don’t spark joy. Repeat.

Cultivating FOMO in their users is how most social media outlets work. Recognize that even professional journalists don’t spend the whole day on social media anymore. Do not let the FEAR OF MISSING OUT steal from you the real life you ought to be living.

Now, doing these two tips won’t keep all the drama out of your newsfeed, but it will help. I also suggest that we all stop SHARING news posts so much, unless you really know the person behind it. Instead, share pieces from bloggers and people you actually know.

And make it a point to create a Facebook Newsfeed that is nourishing you, not full of junky, HFCS that makes you nuts.

Questions? Comments? Suggestions on more ways to tame the social media echo chamber? I’d love to hear from you…leave a comment.

Nomadians marry…congrats!

This is a fun story about a fun couple of the Nomadian sort. I couldn’t help but share. Enjoy!

At the wedding of Smriti Keshari and Matthew Danzico, which took place on Nov. 19 at Basilica Hudson in Hudson, N.Y., the groom mounted a horse and led a parade of guests who sang and danced their way to the site, in an Indian tradition known as a Baraat. A Hindu priest lit a fire to symbolize the illumination of the mind, knowledge and happiness. And the groomsmen and groomswomen wore top hats and cartoonish striped socks.

All of these things were meant to reflect the couple’s similar personalities and diverse backgrounds. But the most intriguing element was quieter and almost hidden: a video playing in a loop, behind curtains in a small room inside the reception hall.

Instant Chemistry, Caught on Video by Steven Kurtuz, New York Times, December 2016

The Emotional Genius of Brené Brown

How can vulnerability be a good thing? Its the scary sort of good. Vulnerability lets people see you, without glamour or false humility.

Click here for well-researched social genius

Watch the video in the link above and consider: The act of vulnerability.

How does shame trip you up?

How does it keep you from engaging with government as a citizen or serving in public office?

We must have courage, and there’s no courage without vulnerability.

If more of us starting living into this, could this change your community?

Do we have anything to really lose by trying?

Initiated Measure 22 attacks bigger than a single issue

Rick Weiland is reminding South Dakotans that Initiated Measures are our heritage:

As one of the original sponsors of IM 22, I’m very concerned that the Republican leadership in Pierre is once again trying to undo the will of the voters. That somehow they know better than the 180,634 South Dakotans who voted for this anti-corruption measure. I’m also concerned that these same leaders are going to be working overtime to effectively end the initiated measure process, which is the only direct way the people can pass legislation that overrides the action or inaction of the elected political class.

I urge you to reach out and let your legislators know that you support IM 22 just as it was passed, and that you oppose any effort to shut down or weaken what S.D. passed in 1898, the initiated measure process, which allows the voters a direct voice in Pierre. They are only a phone call away. State Senate: 605-773-3821; State House: 605-773-3851.

“My Voice: Let legislators know you support IM 22” by Rick Weiland, Argus Leader, January 13, 2017