Dancing in the Tao

Darin: Human Potentials

We are heir to a set of opportunities and abilities that defy our ability to imagine them. Our ancestors have, in some cases, apparently been aware of some of them, however the stories they told were often as confusing as they were inaccessible.

A long time ago, most of these potentials were lost or obscured. Sometimes on purpose, sometimes through fear or ignorance.

In our generation we will reclaim them.

What’s actually going on in and around Earth differs dramatically from the stories we’ve been sold. New stories won’t do. It’s time that we had direct experience of our own nature, histories, and potentials. Together. With and for each other and our world.

We can together reMember methods of engendering unity and mutual uplift that our ancestors were adept with, and games of this nature have the power to entirely change what we believe about what it means to be human — because what we believe is misfounded, and our relational capacities are more like science-fiction than science — in general.

There is a garden of stories we can share… which rapidly unlock learning potentials barely dreamt of in our religions and most imaginative fictions… by changing how we interact with a feature of representational experience. As it turns out, the stories we share — in many ways delimit the learning potentials available to us…

For thousands of years our ancestors were attempting to piece together a way to speak about a living riddle which they had constant and direct experience of. This riddle had to do with the source of Knowledge. and the meaning of Light, Time, Separation, Darkness, Life and Death.

Each of our cultures and their knowledge-traditions (science, philosophy, religion, &c.) express different versions as well as a modernized tokens of their essential experience and understanding — but there are ways of integrating the models they left us that lead to a startling experience:

Direct contact with what they were making stories about.

If we can merely agree, we can play an ancient riddle-solving game together…

that transforms into game of impossible rescue…

and that’s only the beginning…

Darin Stephenson: Organelle.org

JUSTICE !!!!

What a morning! First Indiana, then Alabama, now ::

Palestine has been welcomed into the International Criminal Court!

ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said that the court will be examining crimes committed by both Israel and Hamas:  “We will be looking at alleged crimes committed by all sides to the conflict, in total independence and impartiality, and without fear or favour,” she said.

Without fear or favour. Yes.

May Justice not exacerbate these ancient wounds, but bring at last the balm of Restoration, of Remembrance of common Sources:

Elohim, one of the Hebrew and Christian names of the Divine, is actually a singular-plural that translates most closely as He-the-Gods. The singular form of this name is spelled, in Hebrew, Aleph-Lammed-Hay, and can be pronounced either Elah or Alah.

We are all One.

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Protective Fury

If you haven’t seen or heard Brene Brown yet, don’t even finish this post: check out her TED talks on Vulnerability and Shame here and here. Like Dr. Who calling out The Silence, she names one of the great inner demons that hampers and hinders us, and manages to stay largely invisible throughout its life-stealing games: Shame.

Her work fundamentally changed my life, and the lives of countless, countless others, and I honor her.

I read today, on her site, that Cadillac recently, consciously, co-opted her work, Daring Greatly, in their new advertising campaign. And I got mad. I wrote the following in her comments, and because this topic has far-reaching implications for all of us, throughout our lives, I’m saying it here, too:

Wow. My first reaction is fury. Glancing through the other comments, I hear my anger echoed and I feel this is one of the Most Important responses we can notice in ourselves: Boundary Violation Alarms are blaring and Kari nails the kernel of it right here:

“This is a corporation, and it IS easy for me to feel there is a “danger” that Brene’s social/academic movement is being co-opted for marketing purposes.”

I’m not suggesting we blame or fear, nor do I want to minimize the wisdom Brene and others have offered so beautifully: I’m suggesting we Pay Very Close Attention to our emotional response because it’s telling US something incredibly, even vitally important: We have the Right and the Responsibility to Protect and Hold Sacred That Which is Valuable to US. We are awakening to the awareness that there is a long and dreadful human history of converting precious, living resources, like Brene’s work, like the work all of us have done within ourselves thanks to Brene’s work, like rain forests and coral reefs and children’s imaginations into abstract numbers in someone’s checking account and we’re saying “ENOUGH ALREADY!”

Being vulnerable requires us to have strong boundaries against ANYTHING that threatens our hearts, our lives, our children, our connections, our world. This is true whether the threat arises from a corporation co-opting heartful brilliance to enhance their bottom line, or from internalized voices of shame that insist we are less than we are.

We are gaining strength, within ourselves and within our connections to each other, to other living hearts: strength to stand against any and all who would insist on co-opting or denying us our birthrights of joyous wholehearted BEING human, of discovery and exploration of this miraculous world with and for each other, in celebration of Life and All Living Things.

I haven’t read Cadillac’s statement, but we all know there is nothing daring in buying a luxury car, nothing daring in continuing to build luxury cars in a world choking in them. To consciously use Brene’s work to imply otherwise, is a LIE. And we can call it that. We NEED to call it that. We NEED to speak Our Truth. Not fearful, not blaming, simply: That is a Lie; and because it seeks to diminish something of incalculable worth, we will not stand for it.

The more we speak these simple truths within ourselves, between ourselves, the stronger we grow. As long we keep this up, then one day, perhaps sooner than we’ve dared to dream, there will be no stopping the Vulnerable.

Brene, thank you, as ever, for all you give.

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 And, of course, at this very moment jbuss & Elizabeth are heralding our need for self-protection. Beautiful.

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Lost Child Found

This story is based on true (inner) events.

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Good Morning Ladies and Gentlemen. Wonderful breaking news: Authorities were alerted yesterday by Special Messenger to the presence of a lost child. There was some initial embarrassment as apparently many earlier notifications of her disappearance had been lost in bureaucratic shuffling, and officials were overwhelmed with calls to find and rescue this child at last.

Early this morning authorities contacted a curandera renowned for locating lost children and she was able to lead them immediately to the basement where the little one was being held. Conditions were exactly as the curandera had seen: The child was imprisoned beneath one of two windowless, inches thick, bell-shaped steel containers that had been wired into the house’s 220 electrical outlet.

First responders turned off the electricity, a crane lifted the container and a special team from All Her Mercy began immediate ministrations to the child. She is currently being flown to Alcazar Sanitorius, where she will receive every loving care.

It’s too early to speculate, Ladies and Gentlemen, but one must wonder what powers this little child possesses that so terrified her captors. We wish her a speedy return to full health.

I sign off with a prayerful hope that this morning’s rescue is but one of many, and that all the children of this world will soon be free from prisons of every sort, on their way to healing, and knowing their full powers

UPDATE: A second child has been found under the second dome. No further details are being made available at this time, except that the curandera is at hand. There is rumor she’s trying to contact Persephone. We pray all is well.

UPDATE: Joyous relief after an exquisitely tense day. I’ll just say for now that everyone, including your fearless reporter, are safely arrived at Alcazar Sanitorius, and that both children are resting peacefully. The curandera asks me to thank everyone who sent good thoughts and energy, she felt the support throughout our journey. We’re all about to fall onto the nearest empty bed, so I’ll send an update in the morning about our adventures. Right after pastries. Good night, all.

UPDATE: Authorities have determined that the day’s events are too sensitive for publication at this time. Thank you.

Alcazar Sanitorius

Note: It seems to be a day of deep healing. See jbuss’ excellent counsel here, and Dee’s healing song here. I touch on traumatic moments in this piece, which may awaken any yet-to-be-healed traumas within the reader. Please proceed carefully. (Spoiler alert: All ends well : )

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On my first visit with my ninth therapist I presented a Reader’s Digest version of my history as I had figured it out up to that point. I was earnest, approaching desperate, how could I possibly still be working on this ancient crap? The therapist’s response rocked me, “You have no idea how wounded you are, do you?” An image filled my mind: Bleak concrete room, walls of hospital green, metallic doors, no furniture. And lying on the floor, too numerous to count, were small forms wrapped like mummies in gauze, many still actively bleeding through the bandages: none of them moved. I knew at once they were me, at various ages, ‘showing’ me my wounds.  I looked away, again.

Over the next few years, the image would return and I, overwhelmed, retraumatized, would always look away.

Then, in the summer of 2013, it became clear that the course I had then set for myself would require every bit of my strength to even stand a chance. I knew my first task was to heal those babies, at last.

I went to the concrete room. (These places are real, in the imaginary realm. There are what gamers call persistent servers: what we create there persists until we change it.)

Not overwhelmed this time, not retraumatized: I had a mission. The first thing, obviously, was to get these babies off the floor. With that thought, and a desire for the most healing place possible for them, I saw it suddenly, all at once: A vast chateau on an Alpine meadow, green all around, with snow-capped peaks in the distance. Stone stairs led up to great burnished wood doors, and everything pulsed with love.

Entering, one sees wood-and-glass doors immediately to the left, a sun-warmed staircase rising up to the right. Though the glass doors: beautiful, perfect beds with handmade quilts line the wall facing the windows overlooking the meadow, and in a twinkling all the little ones were now in beds, the newborn in the farthest corner, the oldest nearest the door.

Now there was a moment of overwhelm: How was I ever going to take care of all of them? In a flash, I knew: I began calling on all those ‘on the other side’ who had brought moments of light to my childhood. My grandfathers, grand aunt and grand uncle, my godfather, my sister, my uncle: they were all thrilled to be asked to help, and sorted out easily, perfectly who should be with which me. Bandages were removed, sweet jammies donned, and real healing began.

I saw to it that the freshest and most delicious foods would always be available: juices and smoothies and luscious pastries (because, of course : ). I brought in a chamber quartet to play healing, soothing or lively music to meet the ever-changing needs of the moment. Everything was seen to, every detail.

I walked down to see the newborn in my sister’s arms, stroked her tiny cheek, and met Juju’s eyes with warm gratitude. I visited each bed, bonding with each of me, and with the loved ones who came to help. And then I stood, my back to the glass doors, and surveyed all I had created. Everything was beyond beautiful. My grandmother came to the door and asked to help, but I told her she couldn’t come in near the babies. Her face fell, but she understood. I asked if she’d like to take care of the gardens, plant her tulips and begonias and fruit trees: she lit up, and set off to work.

I breathed in the deep healing of this place, amazed at myself, at what was possible within me, within all of us. I knew in that moment that I would never be the same. And I was right. But we’re not at the best part yet.

As I stood there, watching love work its magic, a lovely teenage girl walked up behind me and stood by my side: jet black hair short, plain white t, snug dark jeans, motorcycle boots, helmet under her arm, and a wild air of travel about her. I knew she, too, was me … one who had had to leave because it hadn’t been safe to stick around. She looked over all the little ones and turned to look at me, steadily, her eyes still grave. She nodded. Just that. I had done enough … enough to call her home.

This was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

The beds are all empty now, at Alcazar Sanitorius. The whole upstairs is an Imaginarium, where the little ones create and wonder, and hear stories of how they are children of the stars. When they want to hang out here, Grandpa, Aunt Clara and my godfather, great chefs all, create amazing fusion cuisine that tastes like love; my uncles rest in chairs under the trees, watching the little ones play; my sister effortlessly sees to it that everyone has whatever they need, and is always singing. So I invite you to create your own healing space, or bring your little ones here: you can find Alcazar Sanitorius within you.

Base Camp at First Light

Ready everybody? Momentum’s picking up faster than we thought possible, and we’re in the green room, getting ready for showtime. I know right? Thought we had more time to finish up all that we’ve been working on these past months, years, decades, lifetimes … but word is, we’re ready enough, as long as we focus. As JBuss says, it’s not quite time to pop the champagne corks yet. And there’s plenty of work for all, because:

We are establishing base camp in the new reality, with(in) ourselves. 

Yep. Take a long moment to breathe that in. All the work deep within our own consciousness :: standing in our truth :: trusting and developing relationships with our deepest and highest selves :: healing our ancient wounds :: listening :: releasing dogmas in all forms, especially the dogmas of our personal myth-of-self :: allowing love, deep connection, abundance :: our early successes in manifesting :: our journeys to the edges of our consciousness, to the roots of our beings :: facing our fears, and learning they cannot survive in our love :: composting our shame and guilt into the rich soil of true humility and natal innocence :: increasingly valuing ourselves, and establishing good, strong boundaries when necessary :: All this labor has been nothing less than heroic. Take another long moment to breathe that in. And if you’re a bit in awe of yourself, that’s just as it should be: we’re getting the first glimpses of who we truly are, and seeing that we’re much, much, much more than we’ve ever been allowed to know. And you’re not the only one who’s in awe of you: Kabalista at Kaballah Astrology writes, “… and it may go unnoticed by those who are unaware – that doesn’t mean there aren’t audiences upon audiences of higher beings in awe of your every effort, thought and integration of many, many levels of differentiation of source that are becoming reconnected through the complete full-spectrum Illumination.”

For more on the ‘integration’ she mentions, on the incredibly heroic nature of what we’re doing, and on what we’ve been up against to get to this moment, see Darin here and here.

Within our very beings, in all our inner work to re-member, re-connect and integrate oursElves, we’ve begun in our consciousness, unified with All-Consciousness the re-connection and integration and rescue of our world. This has been, as JBuss re-minds us, the Yintegrity portion of our journey. Soon begins our Yangtegrity: we’ll be re-membering, reconnecting and integrating with one another as we cooperate in assembling this new reality together, for and with all living beings.

So then, the focus for this next bit is to stabilize and ground these new awarenesses and knowings that we are cultivating; and to stabilize all relationships we’re developing with those higher/deeper Beings, Intelligences, Powers, Knowings … however they are manifesting to us in our consciousness and in our world. Run through daily signal checks to make sure communications with(in) yoursElf are ever more clear, and that you’re exploring, discovering, learning together with(in) yoursElf what this being human is all about.  And there’s one last great, necessary, and terrifying task: We have to conquer that last shadow demon :: you know, the one who keeps insinuating himself into the conversation bringing doubt, dejection, fear, isolation, yada yada. Yeah. We gotta own him. We’ve got him on the ropes, but he’s cunning and knows us better than we know ourselves at this point. He knows how to hone in our weak spots, and press. Hard. He knows the little tweaks that can bring us to our knees. There’s no getting rid of him (and we wouldn’t really want to) so he has to be brought firmly and uncompromisingly into the service of our highest Knowing, of Life, of All-That-Is. We’re done playing his games. He never wanted to win anyway; he’s just making sure we’re bringing our best game. When we’re in proper relation to him, we’ll have a powerful ally.

If all of this seems overwhelming, re-member: We’re not alone … were never alone, never abandoned, never separated from All-That-Is-Ever-Becoming. Turn within and ask for help with any of this, and the Universe itself will fly to your aid. Yes. Joseph Campbell said “Take one step in the direction of the gods, and they take ten steps toward you.” That was then. Now, in this hour of our peril, simply turning earnestly, passionately inward, asking: And help flies to us. Protected in any weakness, wounds compassionately attended, we arise stronger than we’ve ever been, again and again. If you get in a pinch, I pass on to you something my Self told me in a moment of overwhelm: “Just breathe.” I breathed. “And remember,” he said, with a warmly mischievous note in his voice …”you’re not even doing that.”

The paradox of ‘all this work’ we’ve been ‘doing’ is that we’re simply trying to get ourselves to relax into what our hearts have always known to be true. This is where we’re setting up base camp: in what we’ve always known to be true. How cool is that? What could be easier? (Just as soon as we finish getting out of our own way.)

Ease indeed. Growing ease, growing gently, the fulfillment of ancient promises. After a long, long, dark, dark night, we who have been so eagerly attuned to our inner skies … we are the quiet joyful witnesses to the first light of the new sun. Let us sing and dance and celebrate.

For this is the season of new life. This is the season of resurrection.

Intelligence

Darin Stephenson:

The human species considers itself the most intelligent of the life-forms of Earth, and yet this supposed intelligence, when enacted, attacks nearly everything that moves. Its appearance belies its real function, and the arrogance implicit in both our understanding and activity is overwhelmingly disastrous, because it precludes our ability to transcend our modern myopia and establish within our persons and cultures the potential for us to acquire something which can more realistically fulfil the necessities of a reasonable definition of intelligence. What we possess and celebrate, I suggest, is not intelligence at all — but a superficially sophisticated mimic. A pretender. Any species who possesses and enacts ways of knowing which, by their common activity and nature destroy both that species and their environment cannot yet be said to be ‘intelligent’. Humans have not yet learned to carefully examine the costs of our thinking and activity in terms of harm to self and environment, and if these costs were made clear to us we would reel in shock that we had ever descended to such an omnicidal position.

To understand this problem we must explore a model of intelligence that supercedes those we currently possess, and we may begin by negation — by understanding what intelligence is not. Intelligence is not the ability to speak in a sophisticated way about things and relations, nor is it the ability to formulate complex (yet invariably incomplete) models of reality and its many classes of participants and mechanisms. It is not the ability to engineer or establish technologies or complex machines. It is not simply the ability to simulate, or predict outcomes of simulated scenarios. Neither is it simply the ability to understand representational concepts such as measurement or formal identity.

Terrestrial organisms do not wander around making models of intelligence, or declaring their intelligence — they enact it. They do not assemble machines because they do not require them for their fulfillment or ‘progress’, and are severely endangered by their common propagation. They care not a whit whether or not they possess the capacity for representational cognition or formal language, and in fact, given the choice, they would likely reject such options due to the terrible dangers emergent from them! The myriad life-forms of Earth are not merely ‘intelligent’; they are intelligence as action. Their nature, character and activity are the instancing of the intelligence they comprise rather than the declaration of a possession whose actual enaction defies all reasonable definitions of intelligence!

Intelligence could be more accurately defined as a collection of ways of relation which, when enacted, create the widest possible benefit (for all beings, not merely one species) while resulting in the least possible harm. It is fundamentally relational (and thus sensitive to matters of context) rather than abstractly rational. This is a moving target which I believe to be the actual goal of what humans refer to as ‘the evolutionary process’. By this standard, humans are not yet intelligent, and it can be reasonably argued that we are not even progressing in that general direction, but instead away from it at the highest possible speed.

Our certainty that we have been ‘raised above the animals’ has caused us to consistently descend to states that animals would never inhabit nor enact, but, like Cain — rather than observe and amend this, we justify ourselves with endless half-witted rationalizations, and continue our travels away from all that is within our potential. Each of us secretly knows this; we suspect it in the depths of our hearts that something is terrible wrong within and around us, but to admit it would call into question the entirety of what we have trained ourselves to credential, and who is courageous enough to make such an admission? To do so would be to face the ultimate unknown: what we can be, verses what we have become.

If there’s one thing that terrifies a human being, it is the unknown. We would rather apply a label to some being, object, or circumstance and be devoid of understanding (while believing that because we can name or define it, it is no longer unknown) than to divest ourselves of names and labels entirely, for the sake of a moving intimacy whose goal is not the frozen model, but communion. In modeling is ignorance, but in communion is true understanding — and a learning process unlike anything we have ever imagined.

Only you

Everyone’s got to find the right path. You can’t see it, so it’s hard to find. No one can show you. Each person’s got to find the path by himself.”
A  Native American Elder
to Harvey Arden
in Dreamkeepers

No one can rescue you. Each of us is required to find our own way to the right path. Most don’t see or acknowledge this truth, and spend their lives waiting, searching outside themselves for rescue, lamenting.

When you take your life firmly and seriously in hand, and passionately, with all of your being, turn in heartful, vulnerable gesture toward the ‘right path’ you will discover the deeper, higher intelligences that wait, patiently, compassionately and hopefully for this moment of your turning, this moment that they can FINALLY help you, because you’ve opened access to them and you’re willing to work in partnership with them: Then everything changes.

You will never be the same.

You can determine the truth of what I say within yourself. Or not.

Your choice.

Changing consciousness

Our consciousness, humanity’s consciousness, must change if we, and our world, are to begin to fulfill our wondrous and infinite potentials. As we are we will never create a different future than the one so many of us seemed determined to imagine: endless war and degradation until we’ve killed off everything in our omnicidal insanity.

We, however, cannot change our own consciousness; it is an impossibility. Every attempt we make backfires because we’re trying to change limited consciousness using limited consciousness. As Einstein said: We cannot solve problems with the same consciousness that created them. Additionally, there is something in our consciousness, something that works very hard to stay invisible to us, that seems to ever be working against us and our best efforts. It is that within us which makes us double down on trauma over and over and again until we find ourselves helpless and terrified by a Global War we ourselves declared on Terror.  Obviously, we’re insane.

Obviously, we need ready access to a higher, deeper, greater consciousness. How is this done?

Although neither simple nor easy at first, it is both possible and necessary. We must re-cognize :: we must know again with fresh eyes :: the greater consciousness which has created all that is with exquisitely beautiful self-complexifying intelligence. We must re-cognize that we are a tiny band of working members of this consciousness, just as fingers are working members on our hands. We must re-member :: put back together again :: everything we have appeared to slice into every tinier slivers with the scalpels of our intellect :: re-member, as Empedocles said two-and-a-half millennia ago, that everything has consciousness, and its share of intelligence.

When we understand, literally stand under looking up in joyful awe at all that is, all that we are a part of, then we open ourselves once again and gain access to the greater intelligence that’s been here all along.

With this intelligence, billions and billions of years in self-development, we can rescue ourselves and our world. Then, at long last, the fun we all came for can finally begin.

Just one thing

There is something we most desperately need to notice, to re-member, about what is happening on our planet at this moment. If we can simply notice and re-cognize and hold in our awareness this one feature of our experience, we could immediately begin to unfold tremendous healing forces on our planet.

It is this:

Everything humans are doing right now, every last thing, was first conceived of in the human imagination. Every thought, language, word humans have brought into this world, every story, every song, every weapon, every war, every temple, every prison. All of science, religion, law, technology: everything, even math, has come into the world through the faculty of human imagination.

We don’t have a good working understanding of this thing we call imagination. And so we have never recognized our power.

If you stop to think about it for just a moment, you will see that we imagine, and then we create what we have imagined. It’s kind of like magic, notice the similarities?  For millennia now we refuse to see and to own the powers of creation that we possess, and to use them consciously and responsibly for the good of all living things. But this can change, in a heartbeat, when we begin to imagine something different. The omnicidal war we are perpetuating throughout our world is, truly, a failure of our imagination.

First we literally imagined ourselves into the situations we currently find ourselves in, now we are imagining that we are powerless to change anything we’ve brought into the world, and, in a nearly fatal coup d’etat we have increasingly imagined that our imagination itself is something insignificant, a child’s toy.  It’s very much as if we used magic to create something tremendously powerful, used magic to make it seem more powerful than us, its creators, and are now trying to use that same magic to uncreate the source of magic itself.

When we recognize and remember what this thing we call the imagination truly is we once again, in a twinkling, begin to access vastly immense powers and abilities. Then, when we recognize and remember and heartfully explore the relationship between imagination, emotions and the world as we experience it, we can begin creating a world where all children everywhere thrive, for and with each other.

There exist unseen, unmanifest multidimensional domains that we each of us have access to through the toy we call imagination. Shamans, artists, inventors, the best scientists and truest mystics all have had direct experience with these realms, yet it has been millennia since Western Civilization has had anything like a working model of this or our relationship to it. Henry Corbin, philosopher and mystic, named it the Mundus Imaginalis. Carl Jung brought gifts of deep transformation to psychology, and to how we understand ourselves, from his journeys in the Mundus Imaginalis, as was finally revealed with the publication of The Red Book.

One very limited but hopefully useful way of conceiving of this: The living consciousness of earth exists as something like a membrane between the Mundus Imaginalis and physical reality. Earth is “where” the imaginal has material, and physical hands and eyes. We’re the only place that we know of in the universe where this is happening, this living membrane. We are not, as is commonly supposed, insignificant. We are, however, fairly moronic, so far blind to the blindspots in our highly faulty intelligence.

The human dimension of the Mundus Imaginalis is currently something like a battlefield where machine-like concepts and ways of knowing are, for a badly misunderstood reason, laying waste to the living sources of imagination … this is a battle that we are playing out in the material world, in our omnicidal war against all living things, especially children.

Humans are the hero species of this planet, raised up through billions of years of evolution by all living forms to a species that could protect and further the goal-less goals of this exquisitely beautiful, mysterious self-complexifying universe. And we heroes have lost our way. What we must do is begin to heartfully explore the nature of our mind and emotions, and the relationships between what we imagine and what becomes manifest here.

Human failure to recognize even a sliver of our powers and birthrights has led to the cascading catastrophes we are currently witnessing. Human recognition and remembrance of these birthrights and their sources empowers us to participate in the creation of a living paradise that makes our wildest utopias and religious beliefs look like … cartoons.

We know what it is to create beautiful, healing, uplifting, empowering thoughts and things. It is not some inconceivable transformation that is required of us.

Except this: We must stop being terrified of who we are.

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