SOCIAL justice

Sustainability is very important to me but I wonder if it comes at a cost.

I listened to this awesome lecture by Charlotte Gerson, the healthy 88 year old with no doctor and no problems, thanks to her vegan diet. I totally agree with everything she talked about but it really made me wonder about a few things. Really, the only thing that goes against my beliefs are social outings. By that I mean, generally, I don’t eat out, except when with friends. I don’t use disposable cutlery/cups except at parties. I don’t go to malls, except with people. In her lecture, Charlotte says she NEVER goes out to restaurants. She NEVER does anything harmful to her body (putting bad processed substances in) and I can’t help but wonder if it is becasue she is old and doesn’t have to follow social conduct as much.

Don’t get me wrong, I love spending time with people, I just wonder if we could all be happy and healthy together without harming the planet. Can we fight for social justice and be sociable?

Are you? Or do I think you are?

light trails

Earlier this year in a meeting with one of my mentors at SFU I realized that one way I can communicate (and love) others better is by explaining myself – and by that I mean this. I can be a very inquisitive creature. Some call it “questioning”.. it’s even at the centre of my manifesto (question everything). Often I am just curious, but sometimes my ego gets in the way and I am trying to make a point. Usually in these cases I am not understanding and fully listening to the person talking… but sometimes people might assume that is what I am doing even when my intentions are purely focused on learning and understanding. Either way, the point is, by prefacing my intentions with context (why am I asking this) I can be clearer for my others, and when my ego gets in the way – myself.

Recently I learned that there is another way I can better love and communicate with others:

I was talking with this girl who was mentioning how she was not very good with words and was not very articulate. I immediately was surprised and told her that was was, in fact, quite articulate. Someone jokingly said that of course I know her better than she knows herself. I was so surprised, I never realized that my act of faith and goodwill might be misinterpreted and offending like that. I didn’t mean that I knew her better than she knew herself. Though perhaps I was discovering her more than she was discovering herself (opening up  to limitless possibilities). I quickly rephrased my comment and acknowledgement to state that I THOUGHT she was very articulate. I wonder which has more power:

  • I think you are _____ OR
  • You are _______

I think the first option leaves less room for the mis-interpretation I described, however the second is more affirming – it creates someone to be something. It is definitive.

Now I am remembering my experience at the PostSecret LIVE event last year. I was given a book by Frank Warren that said “the world needs your voice” inside. It has become quite my self-fulfilling prophecy. What if it had said “i think the world needs your voice”. I wonder what the difference would be.

In contrast sometimes I myself put myself down – mostly by accident or unintentionally when speaking. I wish others would call me on this and acknowledge me. I think often myself and other do it unintentionally – but it does make a difference. Or… i think it makes a difference : P

YOU ARE INFINITE. I THINK YOU ARE INFINITE : )

PS: some background on this practice of acknowledgement can be found:

Cuddles: A Poem

CUDDLES

They mess you up real bad.

Far worse than the sex

that we never had.

CUDDLES

Breathing in your scent.

Intoxicated with you,

But that’s not what you meant with you

CUDDLES.

cuddles.

cuddles

I wrote this a long time ago and just found it recently. It was inspired by a series of similar conversations with a series of unique friends of mine. Now I am thinking I should write a follow-up called “Spooning”…

What stops you from creating connections and being in relationships?

This was how my amazing workshop, Kindred Spirit, with Matthew and Terces Engelhart from Cafe Gratitude began.

What stops you from creating connections and being in relationships?

NOTE: We are all in relationships with EVERYONE all the time. There is so much more than just intimate relationships. Friendships are relationships. There are work relationships. I even have a relationship with the Earth, Nature and our planet.

This was a really big question for me to answer. It was really cool to hear what other people expressed. Their sharing helped me to define my own challenges.

NOTE: I think sharing is contributing to the whole and making yourself available to be spoken through/ by love. I think sharing is expression love.

So what stops me? A lack of trust stops me from creating connections and being in relationships. Sometimes other people do not fulfill my expectations. By being transparent (honest + brave), making requests and communicating my experience (observations/thoughts/feelings/wants) I can face my fear and create a life of trust for myself. Sometimes I doubt other people. By acknowledging others and taking responsibility for my experience through the tool of apology I can fully trust and love others unconditionally. Sometimes I am afraid of failing, or of doing a “bad job”and I choose to work alone. Sometimes I stop communicating to other people because I think it will be easier to “just do it myself”. I think “other people won’t meet my standards”. I am not committed to this thinking. I am committed to being a source of unconditional love. I am choosing to value creating connections and being in relationships over being “right” or “the best”. Finally, sometimes I check out of relationships! I am afraid “someone better” or more suited to me will come along and I will miss out. I am committed to seeing each moment and relationship as an opportunity for learning and growth. I have to power to say yes and no whenever I like and that is okay! It is okay to change my mind but I will not let thinking of the future stop me from living in the present and creating connections and being in relationships.

I am so up for being vulnerable and committing to addressing these things!

I think relationships are a mirror, designed to reflect ourselves. I want to be a reflection of unconditional love!

I am committed to creating a life of unconditional love and unconditional trust.

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Purpose in Life

A Mission Statement:

I want to tell my story to anyone who will listen.I want to tell my story to the world.I want to share my message of love with the world.I want to travel the world spreading and seeking love.
I will do this by having conversations. By giving presentations. By speaking. By taking photos. By making films. By blogging. By graphic designing. By taking personal action.
I feel like, if I can GO TO HAWAII BY MYSELF TO STAY IN A STRANGE PLACE WITH SOMEONE FROM THE INTERNET, I can do anything.

There is this All Time Low lyric that has always stuck with me. “Girl, we’ll take the world by storm, it isn’t that hard.”

I will take the world by storm. And one day I will meet someone else who shares that dream. And our “storms” will combine. And together, we will make a whirlwind tornado. It will be magical. And I sincerely look forward to that : )

How To Be Alone

How To Be Alone.

This is one of those quirky, beautiful, lovely things. Like Juno only shorter! haha.

This year i’ve spent a lot of time alone and really think i’ve learned to be okay with that. I’m turning 19 and i’ve never been on a proper date or in a relationship and that is alright. I look at some unhappy people in unhappy relationships and I am grateful that I have just myself to worry about.

Even with friends though… My friends have changed a great deal recently and are continuing to do so. High school has ended and university is still just beginning for me. People are moving away and growing apart. Change is unavoidable and unrelenting. “It’s all for the best” as a wise musical once said (Godspell FTW).

My Mom recently commented on how much time I have been spending at home and to be honest I don’t think it has been an outragious amount, validating concern. Have I become a hermit without realizing it? And if this doesn’t bother me is that worrysome?

A few weeks ago I had a wonderful conversation on top of a rooftop in Vancouver. It was a beautiful day and the whole thing felt something like an honest, raw, offbeat short film. This girl who came here for school mentioned how sometimes she doesn’t have many friends. I was so grateful for that statement. I think in life, from my experience, there are busy times with lots of people to see and places to be and then there are quiet times of solitude and reflection. Some people like to deny it or think less of others but really there is nothing wrong with being by yourself. No matter how many lovers and pals you acquire you still need to go to sleep on your own and wake up with only you in your head. I sometimes feel I have to justify going places by myself. “Oh, I’m here alone because…” What should it matter if I have come alone? I am here now and we are conversing. That is all that matters… right? We all have some places we must go alone.

I think though, that there is something to be said for the people we meet in our alone places and the ones who pop up when no one else is around. I don’t know if that makes sense but this idea has been toying with me for some time now.

Maybe i’m all wrong. Isn’t one of the most important things in life to build community? To connect with others?

I suppose balance is the key. I’m really grateful that I have learned to be by myself and also to be with others. Really, “being” itself can be a challenge. I accept.

Journey Forth,

Jenni