Monday, February 5, 2018

It's TIME!

It's impossible to ignore how stories about women have been taking over our daily
conversations.  2017 began with the Women's March on Washington.  That was followed by determination and commitment when thousands of women not only registered to vote but began filling out paperwork to run for elective office. The momentum had begun!

Then one day, one woman, fed up with men like film mogul Harvey Weinstein who had been preying on women for years, said Enough!  She went public. The reaction to her story was noticeably different than how women with similar stories had been treated in the past. She was soon followed by a tidal wave of women across every profession who bravely told their stories of sexual harassment in the workplace. It spawned a movement called #MeToo when women realized they were not alone. Though the media covered the military, capitol hill, entertainment, technology, and medicine, the greatest numbers of sexual assaults were in the under-reported industries of hotel and food services, retail and manufacturing. Those women, unheard by the press, came out in the millions to declare: #MeToo.

Merriam-Webster (the dictionary people) announced the word "Feminism" was 2017's Word
of the Year
.  This followed on the heels of Time Magazine naming "The Silence Breakers" as their Person of the Year.  Those headlines and magazine covers were the RESULT of what had been simmering on the back burners of women's collective consciousness.  Women got over their fears of retribution and career stifling by bringing down an A-List of predators in every industry.  It's been a wake up call not only for women but also for decent men.  

There was a time when the word "Feminism" or "Feminist" came with hostility. Seeing it named Word of the Year was gratifying.  But I had a touch of sadness and melancholy that all the work done by an endless stream of women who came before, might be forgotten.  I remembered the Anita Hill hearings in 1991 when a black University Professor was vilified by a panel of all white men. Women rose up in anger after Anita Hill's treatment and ran for office. 

During the Presidential Debates that year Vice-Presidential candidate George H. Bush (who today is on the list of accused sexual harassers) was asked about women in the Senate.  He said, "Let's see how they do. I hope a lot of them lose."  Voters ignored his comments because the following year, known as The Year of the Woman, five women were seated in the Senate. Today, 25 years later, there are 21 women in the 100-body Senate and more waiting to break down the door.

Cycles repeat themselves. Anita Hill's story lives on in The Silence Breakers. These women
recognize that gender equality is an empowering movement who's time has come. It's found in the 
50/50 by 2030 UN decree asking governments around the world to make a national commitment to address the challenges that are holding back women and girls from reaching their full potential.  Will it succeed?  Yes, when more women get elected.  That will happen because Millennial women are no longer satisfied with the status quo.  They're in the workforce. They're running companies. They know their worth and their value. They vote and they've had enough!

The women's anthem of the 80's was a song called Sisters are Doing It For Themselves? The sisters of today are indeed doing it for themselves. They've linked arms across race, ethnicity and lifestyle to affect change in every culture. They are already changing the geo-political landscape. One of them will make Time Magazine's Person of the Year cover, a spot no woman has held by herself in 89 years. It's time, TIME! Women are not just in the room. They're at the table. It's Time!
 
                                                                                           Jo Mooy - February 2018

Friday, January 5, 2018

THEIR TOMORROWS

It's 2018 - a New Year.  Like every new year we embark on the same personal rituals which
usually distill down to the same thing. Transform or change something about ourselves and surely it will be a better year! Are tomorrows better than yesterdays? That answer depends on the individual's situation. But if we widen the focus on the lens the answer is clearer and probably yes. The future does look brighter though it will certainly not be familiar.

Current thinking says life unfolds in present moments. We're urged to follow "the six steps" or "ten steps" or "name the steps" that teach us to focus only on the present and the future will take care of itself. Normally, it's sane advice! But behind the curtain of all those present focused moments that consume us, the future is already screaming out about what's coming. Sadly, many who are reading this won't be around to experience it. But if we pull back the curtain on the obvious trends, the future that's ahead for the Millennials of the 21st Century and their children (Generation Z) reveal a look at Their Tomorrows.

Baby Boomers, once described as the largest population group on earth, have just been replaced by Millennials. Gratefully, they have vastly evolved ideas on ecology, technology, religion, race and jobs than their Boomer parents. That's a good thing. At 80 million strong, they're socially and environmentally conscious, better educated, will inherit great wealth from the Boomers, and are 95% electronically connected. Already they've convinced Wall Street to divest its holdings in fossil fuels proving through business models that billions will be lost if they don't.  Their Tomorrows say fossil fuels like coal are dying while sustainables like wind and solar will surge in the future.

Europe and Asia are also defining Their Tomorrows by taking leadership roles in transportation, technology and environmental issues. As these young future leaders focus on reducing fossil fuels, the companies they've built are transitioning to self-driving cars while technology companies are planning to leapfrog their efforts. Ahead of that wave, Britain and Finland banned gas and diesel cars starting in 2040. Finland leads Europe in recycling and Germany leads in solar energy.

Right now most countries are focused on immigration and whites only diatribes, but by 2050 no single racial or ethnic majority will be dominant. Perhaps that realization is fueling the anger and hatred as old ways of life wither and die off. In fact, Millennials, will be the largest racially diverse group in history made up mostly of mixed-race Asians and Latinos. A future homogenized view of society will emerge and tolerance for other cultures finally has the chance of becoming the hallmark of Their Tomorrows.

10 Billion people will inhabit the planet by 2050 with Africa the most populous. India is expected to have a population of 1.6 billion people, equal to the US and China combined. But we're all getting old. The global population is aging and graying with Japan, South Korea, and Germany having the oldest citizens and the fewest births. The US will have more people age 65+ than those 15 and under. These global demographics will rip cultures and religions apart
as they struggle to re-invent themselves, and understand and release their old beliefs and out-dated moral structures.

Will this surge of humans cope with the future changes of Their Tomorrows? Probably yes.  The same way they did when cars replaced horses; the same way they did when radios and jukeboxes replaced live musicians; and the same way they will now that technology has become an extension of our lives. But what about the psychic changes ahead?

We'll manage those too. For a great spiritual wave of introspection is forming, though for the present it's quite subtle. It asks us to examine our behavior to one another. It forces us to take a stand for the principles we proclaim. It makes us look in the mirror and accept our roles and responsibilities in our future and Their Tomorrows. It demands that all of us leave the world a better place than when we arrived. If we can do that, it's a certain guarantee that all of Their Tomorrows will be better.  I only wish we were going to be alive to witness it.



                                                                                           Jo Mooy - January 2018

Friday, December 1, 2017

THE ORDINARY PEOPLE

The Ordinary People
2017 was a year defined by endless and unthinkable catastrophes. Charlottesville was a
watershed moment for the most hideous rants of white supremacists who wanted to turn the country backwards into bigotry and racism. Three record-breaking hurricanes destroyed homes, left residents in despair, and wiped out their jobs in industries ranging from chemicals to pharmaceuticals. Still numb from the daily updates of hurricane news, Las Vegas happened. Stunned silent again by another mass shooting the why and how could not be answered even after 58 deaths. When the fires in northern California erupted the burden of its immensity swamped whatever was left of our ragged emotions.

One morning while sitting in meditation all the calamities of 2017 passed across my vision. Feeling the pain of each event, tears fell from under my closed eyes. I wondered how humans
could continue to rally despite these endless setbacks. In answer a deep voice spoke in my head. The voice said "They continue because of the ordinary people - the ordinary people - the ordinary people." After meditation was over I sat for a while pondering the message of The Ordinary People when the "ah-ha" moment arrived.

Who are The Ordinary People? They're not jet-setters. They're not on the covers of magazines. They didn't invent anything. They hold jobs like firemen, nurses, gardeners, teachers, policemen, sales reps and clerks. They used to be called the "middle class" but many now work two or more jobs to make ends meet. They define themselves as spiritual rather than religious. They are the ones we see in the grocery store checkout lines, or at the car-wash, never giving each other a thought.

But we should! For Ordinary People do extraordinary feats. Without fanfare they rush into the path of danger. Ordinary People go to white supremacist rallies with their own banners supporting diversity or turn their backs on the speakers. Ordinary People is the nurse who stood her ground to protect her unconscious patient from an illegal blood test and got arrested for her efforts. Ordinary People create gatherings to collect clothing and food for the people destroyed by hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. Ordinary People drive hundreds of miles towing their boats so they can rescue victims from the flood waters in Houston. Ordinary People are the police officers and rescue workers who rush directly into the path of 90 bullets a second. Ordinary people are terrified concert goers running away from the bullets. Ordinary People is
the man who made 58 crosses for the victims of Las Vegas and placed them on the Strip. And lest the animals be left behind, Ordinary People are those digging through the unstable rubble of an earthquake to rescue a child's puppy.

Ordinary People always say "I'm no hero, anyone would have done it." They're probably right. Ordinary People are the spiritual backbone of humanity. In the face of disasters they truly are "the first responders." When hatred becomes intolerant they hold high a moral compass setting a direction for others to follow. They open their hearts with compassion asking for no reward. They stand as beacons of service to the suffering of others.

This holiday season we remember all who lost their lives to natural disasters and those felled by man-made atrocities. And we honor all the Ordinary People who came to their aid. Like the Samoan Hotshot Firefighters who, after battling the northern California fires for days, came down the mountains singing a Samoan hymn Fa afetai i le Atua
 that roughly translates Thanks to God. Thank you and God Bless The Ordinary People!


Jo Mooy - December 2017

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

The Butterfly and the Rose

A Butterfly and A Rose
This journal is not about an unpopular election though it starts that way. It's not about who's on
the right or the left. It's actually about the aftermath of an election twelve months ago and the ensuing chaos that resulted. It's a story of what was done to deal with the chaos consuming the external world and what we did to soothe our inner lives for the next 12 months.

A year ago the unthinkable happened. Fed up with politics as usual, a man without qualifications, a man demeaned in the media, a man said to be unelectable, and a man who appealed to the darkest and most unkind parts of our collective nature got elected. On November 7th we woke up to an unrecognizable normal. The world had turned upside down.

Half of the country was ecstatic. The other half was overcome by shock and disbelief. Surely, it was a big mistake. But as the days wore on the second group realized there was no mistake. Soon they were entombed in the five stages of grief beginning with denial. They reasoned, maybe the vile days of the campaign were over and sanity would be restored. When that hope
was rebuffed, they became enraged. Plans were made for massive marches on Washington or on congressional offices.

Some, holding to the spirit of reconciliation, decided to find out who the voters were. They went out to meet them in their homes and listen to what they said. They drove to the heartland and to cities between the two liberal coasts. They attempted a bargain, determined to understand exactly what happened on November 6th. Sadly, most of the understanding they sought evaporated as anger again surfaced.

Then depression arrived. It our household it descended like a vise-grip. Seeking solace the TV was turned off. We spent sad days staring into space. We wondered aloud how we'd survive the next four or maybe eight years. We gave up some friends who thought differently to us. The endless clashes of differing beliefs only served to strengthen the bitterness and divide between us.

Big events are inescapable. They happen outside our control. But personal reaction to them is always a choice, especially when the choice is to stand in the heart. It was clear our depressed
state of being could not continue for the foreseeable future. Sitting on the lanai one morning a butterfly landed on a brilliant pink rose and slowly spread its wings for a few minutes before flying off. The yellow of the butterfly, the hot pink rose, the green grass, and the blue skies came together like a living impressionistic painting. It was a vivid reminder that there was still beauty around us and A Butterfly and A Rose could bring a smile and ease the soul.

Soft feelings of joy welled up from inside. Looking around the trees became intense green and the water on the lake was sparkling. An Osprey glided over the water searching for food. Things weren't so bleak. The natural world, oblivious to election results, proclaimed life goes on. Through that lens of reality one word surfaced slowly. It was Gratitude. No matter what was happening outside, there was always something to be grateful for. There was a choice on how to deal with the chaos around us. That choice was, "stop wallowing and work with the tools we
teach." And in that moment a daily ritual began.

Using Facebook, a photo with an uplifting message asked friends to comment on something that brought them Gratitude. No one responded at first. But every day The Call to Gratitude went out. Soon, one or two replied, then it began to blossom, affecting many who read it. Comments were posted from friends and then friends of friends. No one posted that they won the lottery. Yet most reached down deep and found some small thing they were grateful for. A call from a grandson was the highlight of one day. Waking up without pain one morning was memorable for one. It wasn't the big things in life that called out Gratitude. Instead small day to day events, like finding a perfect paint color for a living room, were posted. The summons opened the door for individuals who only lurked to realize they too had something to say. Soon, the Gratitude posts spawned others to do the same with their own circle of friends.

The last stage of grief is acceptance. Gratitude as it turns out, is much richer and deeper than
the acceptance of the election. When reminded, everyone searched for something to be grateful for. That practice soothed their own stages of grief. Many called it their morning medicine. A year later it's grown from a personal practice to a movement.

This month is the national holiday of Thanksgiving. But the Call to Gratitude practice happens every day. It reminds those who read it to a pause every morning and focus on something to be grateful for. It could be greeting the rising sun, or walking in the rain, or a friendly smile in the grocery store. That daily ritual puts life in perspective and reminds you to paint personal butterflies on roses. Wishing you all endless days of Gratitude for all the small things that bring joy into your life.



                                                                                           Jo Mooy - November 2017  

Sunday, October 1, 2017

FINDING THE FULCRUM

Finding the Fulcrum
I read an article recently where Feng Shui was described as the "art of placement." If you don't
know anything about Feng Shui it's an ancient Chinese system of orienting your space in relation to the flow of energy. Without minimizing the system, furniture, pictures, plants, color and lighting are adjusted or moved around a room (or building) by determining where energy is flowing through the windows or doors. Hard edges are repositioned or softened so balance prevails in the living space.

I wondered if this "art of placement" could be applied to living life in the chaotic years of the 21st Century. Why? Because no matter what the situation is, global or local, monumental or minuscule, vocal or visual, it results in tirades of right versus wrong causing glaring displays of disharmony and unbalance. It's hideously evident in the digital walks on Facebook or Twitter. Or any social media for that matter.

This daily digital prowl connects us with people across the globe that we've never met and probably won't. Yet, at the click of a button we're entangled in discussions with these people
where we judge their views by liking what they say or do, or we hurl insults if we don't. The old town plaza where citizens met to discuss local affairs with a degree of civility, (even if you disagreed,) has erupted into a global free-for-all where most opinions are stridently right or left and few neutral. Those on the left are perplexed at the ignorance or stupidity of those on the right. Those on the right are stunned that the lefties can't see the obvious truths of what's right in front of their eyes.

How do we get through this convoluted maze? How can we stand in balance without shattering our collective sensibilities? The "art of placement" came to mind. The inner room (the being) needed to have it's furniture (beliefs) and pictures (opinions) and even its lighting (spiritual guidance) adjusted so that harmony and balance could be restored. Doing that required an extraordinary act of Finding the Fulcrum.

A fulcrum is the place where an even distribution of weight allows something, or someone, to remain upright and steady without tipping over. Most of the time it's dead center like the
centerpiece that a see-saw balances on. But when things are unbalanced the Fulcrum has to move to right or left. WE have to, with superhuman effort, become the Fulcrum. When the demons of Facebook, Twitter and the News demolish our sense of justice, hold a moment. Recognize the constrictions taking place within the inner room. Where is the barrage of tight energy coming from? Halting your beliefs and opinions, or moving them around in your inner space will allow you to Find the Fulcrum.

Spiritual guidance always determines the balance point. The energetic poisons bombarding the room can be removed or suspended. That simple change in perspective will mitigate the contracting flow by allowing you to detach from the need to be right. Realizing the attack is a fear or a cry for help can unleash compassion. Seeing the bigger picture becomes the biggest re-balancer for this is where the fulcrum is most needed.

When something is squeezed too tightly there must be an equal release. That's the nature of balance. Darkness, or evil, will be met with light. Constriction will be met with wisdom. Criticism
will come up against respect. Despair will be met by hope. By witnessing the energies and moving the fulcrum so that our perspective changes, we do the work that moves human consciousness forward. Ultimately, the right and the left are always in balance though we seldom see it. Yet, when either is constricted it causes the other side of the see-saw to sway and rebalance. That sway is consciousness moving.

The message is one of balance no matter the presentation. Do something! If we see weeds and feel they don't belong there, pull the weeds. If we see petunias, delight in the colorful petunias. Everyone will see something different. Those with the insight to understand that will continue Finding the Fulcrum. They are the true artists in restoring the balance.



                                                                                           Jo Mooy - October 2017  

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Spiritual Significance of the Solar Eclipse

A Solar Eclipse occurs across the entire US for the first time since 1918. I've received many inquiries about the Eclipse asking about its spiritual or esoteric significance.
This eclipse is getting lots of publicity.  Each person reading this newsletter can Google the eclipse and come up with their own conclusions.  For those who really want to understand what's happening on deeper levels read on.  What I've written is based on my reflections of why this is such a major event and why we not only need to prepare for it, but determine how each will personally participate in it. 

PLANETARY INFLUENCES
As a background, ancient civilizations used Cosmology, Astronomy and Astrology to teach how planets affect life on earth.  All life including humans evolved from the soup of gases and molecules of the stars.  Hindu teachings say the orbits of stars and planets act as a 'cosmic clock' timing events that affect human life. History records many events affected by comets and eclipses.  That's why we pay attention to those occurring within our field of view, like this Eclipse.

PATH OF THE ECLIPSE - TOTALITY
The moon will pass between the earth and the sun on August 21, 2017. The TOTAL Eclipse will be seen at 9 am in Oregon. It ends in South Carolina at 4 pm.  It will be
visible in SW Florida as a PARTIAL eclipse (74% of it visible) starting at 1:18 pm with MAX viewing at 2:50 pm. It ends at 4 pm.  DO NOT LOOK AT THE ECLIPSE WITHOUT GLASSES.

CONSIDER - The path of the Eclipse - light and darkness - starts in the liberal state of Oregon and ends in the conservative state of South Carolina.  Both locations begin with sunlight, then pause for 2 minutes and 40 seconds of darkness, before the sun's light returns.  I believe we are not immune to planetary cycles and are in fact reflective of them.  Eclipses don't happen in a vacuum but build up in energy to the actual event.  My symbolic interpretation relative to the Eclipse is that the recent events in Charlottesville brought hatred and darkness clearly onto the national stage even as others held a vigil of light  against it.

NUMEROLOGY OF THE ECLIPSE
Albert Einstein developed the Theory of Relativity, but in order to prove it, he needed an Eclipse.  The 1919 Eclipse proved his point that "Space and time are interwoven into a single continuum."  Most numerologists would take the number 
1919 and total it to 20 which is the number for Duality. It would be more accurate, but I "saw" a different number.  I took 19 by itself and "saw" the 1 as the beginning and 9 as the end.  Then seeing it occur twice doubled the numerological message of alpha and omega - beginning and end.  It impressed that "two sides" must come together as one or it will be the end.

This Eclipse occurs in 2017 - another 1 year or new beginning.  The date is 08/21. Added together it's an 11 year.  11 has spiritual significance.  It is the number of Revelation & Inspiration from a Higher Plane.  It is "Brotherly Love" on a grander stage.  11 is the Spiritual Messenger.  So my interpretation is this Eclipse has great magnetism associated with it.

SOLAR - LUNAR ENERGIES
The Sun and Moon radiate different energies.  The Sun affects the Masculine Right side and is extroverted or outgoing.  The Moon affects the Feminine Left side and is
Introverted and receptive.  These energies will interact suddenly, starting and stopping in a shortened period of time.  Because of that, noticeable changes will be felt.  The influx of Solar masculine energy will be halted as the Lunar feminine energy holds sway.  Silence and stillness will result for those few minutes like a holding of the breath.  This will be like Cosmic Pranayama.

This section is the most esoteric of the teachings on the Eclipse.  12th Century Mystic Ibn Arabi said "the Moon is under the governance of Venus - the planetary symbol of Love." He said "The moon is a vehicle for spiritual revelation and it relates to the transformation of Primordial Sound.  The 28 sacred sounds that begin with HU control the Lunar Cycles."  This is a study by itself.  Retreaters should dig out their books on HU to understand its deeper meaning.  But there's an inherent message that the Moon is under the governance of Venus, the planet of Love.

As a Solar Eclipse pulls consciousness inward our personal spiritual practices are magnified.  It's an auspicious time to reflect on changes we wish to bring into our work and make a commitment to them.  There's an enhanced awareness of alternate
dimensions of time and space.  
Suffice to say, preparation for the darkness requires planning.  Will it be a time of reflection or simply "watching the eclipse."  What happens when the sun goes dark?  How will you respond?  As the sun goes dark, there will never be a more powerful opportunity to "seed an intention."  That intention will return even greater benefit as the sun's light accepts it.  

As Ibn Irabi said about sound and the lunar cycle, you might consider chants.  Sound will change atmosphere and environment.  So consider a meditation like the Medicine Buddha.  If the weather is overcast and you're unable to be outside, the effects are still upon you.  You can also do your work while NASA streams it live.

OUR ROLES
We are not scheduling any beach or ceremonial event associated with this Eclipse. Instead, we're doing our own spiritual practices in a silent Retreat.  In silence, in the dark Moon, within the containment of sound, great things can be seeded and will unfold. We look forward to hearing about yours.