Interest Free Debt? Why not.

I’ve been exploring my beliefs about money, abundance and scarcity. Money, and the lack of it, triggers a great deal of anxiety in me. I’ve got good idea of the core beliefs I have about money…I can either have my health, friendships, community, or I can have work and have money, there is only so much to go around, money can separate me from other people, etc.

Now, I’ve started exploring the cultural and collective institutions that have contributed to my experience and beliefs. And one of them is how the government spends money, takes on debt, etc. The main messages I am getting from our governments are that there is only so much to go around, that cuts are needed to ensure future prosperity. Yet, I am bothered by that.My reality is that there is plenty to go around, we can live in a both/and world.  So, I started poking around and found this video. It is  the most succinct description of the collusion between banks and governments to keep us in a scarcity mind set. Twelve-year-old Victoria Grant (Cambridge, Ontario), gave this lecture at a recent Public Banking Institute conference in Philadelphia.

I have learnt that prior to 1974, all three levels of government could borrow money from the Bank of Canada at zero interest. The government could use the  interest free loans  “human capital” expenditures (education health, other social services) and / or infrastructure expenditures.  (For more details http://actionparty.ca/news/monetary-reform/canada-debt-free-is-it-possible-/)

Interest charges on Canada’s public debt – money borrowed by the federal government over the years and not yet repaid – cost $30.9 billion. That’s about 11 cents of every tax dollar spent. (Source Department of Finance Canada 2011). More of our federal income is spent on the debt than on health transfers to the province. How crazy is that?

A huge change can be make to the Canadian financial landscape without a wholesale change of legislation and regulation. How cool is that?

The Pain of Power or The Power of Feelings

It gives me great hope to see an article on the power of feeling your feelings in  the Harvard Business Review. Clearly, leaders are human beings and human beings cope with feelings in different ways. Much of the suffering the the world is because we have never found a way to make peace with old hurts and wounds.

Peter Bregman, May 07, 2012 writes Most leadership trainings are about ideas, techniques, theories, and methodologies. But the workshop I took this week was designed for the heart, not the head. It was about feeling deeply the emotions we spend our lives avoiding, like the pain of failure and loss.

This act of diving deeply into the feelings we avoid, the feelings we don’t necessarily even know we have, is, I have come to believe, our only hope of breaking our link in the chain of hurt, suffering, and ineffectiveness.

That’s a leadership issue. Because every leader is a human being. And when we avoid feeling the suffering we naturally experience as human beings, we perpetuate it and act against our best interests in our relationships with our colleagues and the people we manage, as well as with our families.” Read more: http://www.dailygood.org/view.php?sid=229

Norwegians Refuse to Step into Fear or Hate

 

Singalong protest in Oslo

People gather in central Oslo to sing a song hated by mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik. Photograph: Kyrre Lien/AFP/Getty Images

Up to 40,000 Norwegians have staged an emotionally charged singalong in Oslo near the court building where Anders Behring Breivik is on trial for the murder of 77 people in a protest organisers said showed he had not broken their tolerant society.

“It’s we who win,” said guitar-strumming folk singer Lillebjørn Nilsen as he led the mass singalong and watched the crowd sway gently in the rain. Many held roses above their heads, and some wept.

The protest followed several days of defiant testimony from Breivik, who has admitted killing his victims but denied criminal guilt.

The crowd chose to sing Children of the Rainbow, a song that extols the type of multicultural society Breivik has said he despises and one he dismissed during the trial as Marxist propaganda.

People then marched to the district courthouse where Breivik was on trial, close to the site where he set off a bomb that killed eight people on 22 July last year.

Thousands more Norwegians held similar musical protests in towns across the country. The protest came as survivors lined up inside the courtroom to take the witness stand and describe the bombing. …..

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/apr/26/thousands-sing-anders-breivik-hates?newsfeed=true

The Grace of a Poem

Quote

Yesterday was filled with a painful challenge that was nourished by the calm of the sea and the play of the otters during New Moon Fire Ceremony. I came home and fell into the grace of this excerpt from the poem Temptress Visions.

All the stars in the sky

recall the purpose of your hallowed light.

Burn hole in through the layers.

Peel all the mockery away.

Enjoin the powers

to answer this call:

Bring the luminous vision

hidden behind the whirling particles

of the Mapmaker.

Let it enter me

like a shaft of light that enters a cave’s deepest measure.

Ancient fires still burn in these depths.

Who tends them?

What eyes are watching?

Waiting.

Waiting for time’s flower to bloom.

To submerge in the relentless subtlety

that moves beyond my reach

with a jaguar’s stealth.

To dream of elder ways

that leap over time

and leave behind the puzzle of our making.

                                                                              James, Wingmakers.

Photo credit smokeycat6, flikr creative commons

The Healing Sounds of The Bell Chant

Video

I’ve been feeling waves of sadness lately, along with the grittiness of irritability. I also seem to have misplaced what little patience I had been nurturing over the past few years.

I wonder my experience is part of it is the collective sadness that comes with living in a world that doesn’t value the uniqueness of each being, that doesn’t value and honour the beautiful blue-green planet we call home, Pacha Mama.

The inner tension between hope and despair is increasing. At times I look out at our world and see all the wonderful acts of kindness, the indications of economic change, the growth in the local food economy and my heart delights. Other days I hear the rhetoric of our politicians saying how we need to fast track approval processes for resource extraction and I burst into tears, recognizing the model that sees the earth as a commodity to be sold, regardless of the larger impacts on communities, the ecosystem and our souls.

Perhaps it is simply part of the process of evolution – we need to experience the polarization of human consciousness between those who would imprison and those who would free the human spirit.

I’ve been using this beautiful Bell Chant from Buddhist teacher Thich Naht Hahn and Brother  Phap Niem to soothe my soul and heart. To help me water the seeds of compassion, within and without.

I’m curious, are you feeling this tension? If so, how are you meeting it?

http://vimeo.com/6518109

 

A Meditation for Occupy

Video

This afternoon, anger washed over me, and it has been seeping through my cells as I read about our government’s latest decisions to weaken the Federal Environmental Assessment Act as well as the Fisheries Act. (The Fisheries Act,  states very clearly  that “no person shall carry out any work or undertaking that results in the harmful alteration, disruption or destruction of fish habitat.” But the Conservataive government wants to change the Act to make it legal to destroy waterways provided that it does not “result in an adverse effect on a fish of economic, cultural or ecological value.” Arghhh…..

My heart is breaking.

Thankfully, I came across this video, which aims ” to help its audience relax, engaging the sacred, feel the power of the Occupy Movement, and release that which no longer serves, clearing an inner path to envision and create an inclusive, equitable, and peaceful world.”

Watching and meditating on the video, I am reminded that I can use this pain, this anger, this deep hurt, as an opportunity to dive into love, to dive into the truth. I am called to strengthen my practice, to stand with and for life, to remember that nothing, absolutely nothing is what it seems.

Spring is here, consciousness is rising – I wonder what flowers will blossom.

Moving from Shame to Vulnerability

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One of my hero’s is Brene Brown. She researches, teaches and talks about the unmentionable emotions: shame and it’s companion, vulnerability. Her work has helped me bring awareness and compassion to the shadowy, sticky, uncomfortable experience of shame. Brene Brown is bringing light to the dark corners of our collective psyches. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Brene Brown’s TED talk on shame and Vulnerability

(image is from Brene Brown’s blog.)

 

 

Seeing the Other with Love

Video

My body is till buzzing from watching this video posted by an Israeli couple. In it Ronny Endry says:

“To the Iranian people, To all the fathers, mothers, children, brothers and sisters, For there to be a war between us, first we must be afraid of each other, we must hate. I’m not afraid of you, I don’t hate you. I don t even know you. No Iranian ever did me no harm.”

This call for peace has initiated conversations between Israelis and Iranians, and sparked support from around the world. It has sparked hope in my heart and fire in my soul.

An image from a poster on the 'Israel Loves Iran' Facebook page.

(An image from a poster on the ‘Israel Loves Iran’ Pushpin Mehina Face book page.)