Musings

Musings

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Self Inflicted Care

 

Greetings all,


I've been pondering over this post for almost a week.  Rather than spewing weekly blogs out, I'm waiting until I have something constructive to say.  Well I've been struggling with the seemingly never ending pandemic and all that entails.  I'm back to teaching in person, but I'm not yet eligible for a booster so I've been stressed. I've also struggled with self worth, and valuing my own work.

Dark times can magnify wounds in ourselves that we haven't healed or addressed.  The pandemic has shone a spotlight on mine with most of my distractions being unavailable.  (Yes I avoid and spiritual bypass with the best of them).  Specifically I've been feeling the wounds around being worthy.  Given this time between time I still find myself dwelling in, I have decided to do my best to practice some self care. 

I use my mesa for prayer ceremonies for my community and Patreon supporters, and I also use it for session work with clients.  I often forget that I can use it for working on myself.  Like many people I forget that I can give to myself.  It isn't any more difficult than doing it for others.  The difficulty is the mental block of setting aside time for myself, where a lot of subconscious programming sees it as somehow selfish or unproductive (yay more internalized capitalism...grrr).  I mustered through those internal voices of dissent and did the thing anyways.  

What you see in the picture above is not the work I did for myself.  The picture was the weekly prayer ceremony,  minus the stones and inner cloth of the mesa.  It was doing work for me and wasn't finished in time for the Friday ceremony.  So I improvised using just the outer cloth and some things from the office, whilst my inner cloth and stones were cooking on the issue back at home.  It was kind of a big deal to put myself first and not dismantle the self care I had going on to do my service work the way I always did it.  I still showed up, still sent Spirit gratitude, set up an altar, shook my rattle, and said prayers for my community.  What I didn't do was sabotage my own work by rushing it and demanding I show up in exact the same way.  I'd like to make self care and healing work more of a habit where I give myself the same level of consideration that I give to my clients when we're in session.

Why am I telling you this? Well how many times have you damaged yourself just so you can show up in the exact same way for everyone else around you? How many times have you made yourself sick just because you don't feel like you can slow down, rest, and recuperate?  How many times have you said yes to another obligation, even though you were past the point of exhaustion? I'm not saying to throw out all your responsibilities, but what I am saying is that perhaps don't add anything more to them when you haven't taken care of your responsibility for your own needs. 

As we in the Northern Hemisphere Head further into the dark and cold months it is important that we rest more.  It is important that we value our own being enough to give ourselves what we need, despite all the cultural programming we are bombarded with.  We cannot show up for others if we never show up for ourselves, so my darlings take care of yourselves.

Peace & Blessings,

Thomas Mooneagle

Friday, August 27, 2021

Heart Fatigue

 


Greetings all,

Wow I can't believe I'm writing another post so soon. I also can't believe that I used to do this weekly, while working part time, teaching, and running my own healing practice. Just thinking about what I used to do makes me exhausted. Although exhaustion seems to be a way of life these days.

I don't know about you but I am chronically tired. The pandemic has stretched me to my limit and beyond. I spent nearly all of 2020 isolating, and the first half of 2021 as well.  I began teaching in person classes at the beginning of July, right at the start of the Delta surge.  As part of my contract, I have to avoid gatherings of 10 people or more.  Some of my social groups have been having parties this summer,  but if I want to be able to teach I have to stay isolated.  I was hoping to travel towards the end of the summer, but that is not going to happen.  I was hoping to finally get to visit my grandmother's grave, but again that will probably not happen for another year...at least.  Every activity that I would use to renew myself has basically been removed from the field in order to protect myself and those around me. In the meantime, I have observed so many people flaunt the slightest restriction.  They simply can't mask to save someone else's life, because it is uncomfortable. They don't want a vaccine, because they think they'll be fine.  So I continue to watch the circle of my life shrink. I goto work, aware that it is a risk, but really I can't just sit at home either. I am anxious constantly because I don't know who is being careful. I watch as the death tolls rise again, and I just can't seem to care.

I have caught myself thinking lately that we should just let people die.  They have chosen to not protect themselves and by extension everyone else around them. Some of them have verbally belittled those of us who took this crisis seriously.  Others have even done so much as to cough in people's faces just to 'own the snowflakes' (this actually happened to someone I know). I have friends that work in healthcare and they are beyond exhausted, and yet there is no end in sight.  I have family members that have been living with pain because they've had to put off medical treatment for a year and are now having to delay it yet again. So at what point do we just stop caring about those who have been abusive, selfish, and have actively endangered everyone around them? Why are we working so hard to save people that won't do anything to save themselves or others? 

I know that this is wrong. This is not in line with spiritual teachings or at least my current understanding of them. My heart is tired, it is broken, and it despairs. We keep coddling those that would do us all harm and because of this many of our needs can't be met.  Our lives and dreams keep having to be postponed.  

Why am I telling you this?  I know it doesn't paint me in a good light, but it's what I'm feeling.  I'm pretty sure I'm not alone. We're all going through a prolonged traumatic experience, and have been gaslit the whole time by a subset of society. Those that are currently overwhelming our healthcare system were perpetuators of this trauma.  Is it any wonder that we are having trouble mustering up compassion for those that have caused so much collective suffering? Is it surprising we can't seem to have tender feelings or soothing words for those that  said "Fuck your feelings:?

How about you?  Are you finding yourself exhausted?  Are you too tired to care?  Are you succumbing to cold logic/? Have you become numb to the numbers? If so know that you are not alone.  We are all suffering from compassion fatigue. We are all stretched too thin.  Spend your kindness budget on yourself and your loved ones.  Stay safe and healthy.  Take care of each other, because that is how we find our way through this.

Peace and Blessings,

Thomas Mooneagle

Saturday, August 21, 2021

The Big Con

 

Greetings all,

I hope you've had a stellar summer so far. It is so very strange to compare last summer with this one. We were in the early days of the pandemic.  Many of us were working from home or out of work. We didn't yet have a vaccine, and I never thought when we did get one we'd have to beg folks to take it. The conspiracy theorists were busy back then and for the most part they still are today.  

The more things change though, the more they stay the same.  It seems as though we are living in the age of conspiracies.  I should know better by now than to read the comment sections on the internet, but I just can't seem to help it.  Now I freely admit that I'm kind of out there on the fringes of shared reality.  My paradigm is weird.  I make no bones about it, but I also agree that there is such a thing as a consensual reality or if you will shared reality. The last few years have showed me just how grounded in that shared dream we call reality I actually happen to be. I do my best to not break reality when I do 'my thing' just nudge it at the edges where it is a bit frayed. This makes me sound a bit less confident than some, but it also leaves me way less open to scams.

This of course leads me to the interactions of the past week.  Let me set the scene for you: Instagram a new follower messages me. It starts with a hello.  I respond with a simple hi.  The conversation now begun he responds with a "Hello brother", and I am quite sure this man is not in any way related to me. I am already getting a vibe, the spiritual bro vibe to be exact. As I have little patience for fake spiritual sentiment I skipped the pleasantries and asked "What can I do for you?" I was then presented with a golden opportunity to join the illustrious enlightened society of the Illuminati.  They offered me fame, riches, and the ability to become as they put it part of the elite.  At this point my bullshit detector slid from the orange all the way into the red.  I responded with truth which was that I had no interest in fame. (Mooneagle likes his privacy and ability to vanish at will). Then they asked what about riches.  I told them that I had serious doubts that they could deliver such a result and if they did that the price they'd ask is not something I would be comfortable paying.  I also quoted the law of equivalent exchange from the anime show Fullmetal Alchemist.  I was disappointed when they missed the reference. Seriously if you're going to double down on nonsense you best get some good fictional source material. Well they responded that they didn't want anything.  Then they went back to the original pitch of rich and famous, and I'm like seriously read the room dude  I don't want fame.  They were hooked though, I had spoken with them and used multiple sentences. Who knows how many folks go this far before blocking.  I could tell he was getting frustrated though so I thought I'd give him an easy out and I told him that I was sorry but my soul was already under contract. They still didn't disengage though and tried to convince me that I wouldn't be selling my soul.  My last retort was that they didn't have a very good business model, I mean they are offering the world and not getting anything in return.  I just don't see that as sustainable.

Now the funny thing about this story or at least one of the funny things is that when I have told a few folks about this interaction they have expressed concern that the Illuminati might take offense and come after me. My response is that I will just ask Lara Croft to take care of them for me, and they're like Tomb Raider isn't real.  Which is exactly my point. A couple things to know about this encounter: one if the Illuminati exist I highly doubt they extend invitations over Instagram, two even if they did this guy did not look like the poster boy for the wealthy elite of the world, and three the grammar of the invite suggested that it was all being pumped through a free translation app. You may ask why did I waste time speaking with this poor fool, the answer is simple, I was bored.  This was complete bull from the get go, but I was curious as to what the pitch would be.  I'm still waiting on that, plus I figured if they are focused on me maybe that is time they can't spend on someone gullible enough to fall for this.  Also the vindictive tricksy part of me really wants to get into their heads and mess with them.  

So why am I telling you this?  Well we all have a need to believe in something.  Depending on our personality and circumstances we can be more or less vulnerable to folks that prey on people with a bit too much magical thinking.  I have no sympathy for guru grifters and metaphysical snake oil salesmen.  I work hard on doing actual mystical shit, while they get rich and wreck people selling empty dreams. There is magic in the world. It can be wonderful.  It can be terrible.  It can be wielded by those with pure hearts, but it can also be wielded by those with selfish hearts. There are leaders of cults that are simply charismatic, but there are also those with actual psychic abilities.  The most dangerous ones are those that are a mix of both.

How about you?  Have you been offered a chest of dreams only to find plastic baubles? Have you given over yourself to a facade of spiritual stagecraft? Have you seen the costumed healers hawking miracles? Real magic can change yourself and even a bit of the world you inhabit, but you have to see what is actually in front of you first. Conspiracy theories do the opposite, they try to convince you that what you see before you is not actually what is going on. In that way they function like a curse trapping you in a hall of distorted mirrors. Take a deep breath, pick up a hammer, and smash that mirror. 

Peace and Blessings,

Thomas Mooneagle

Friday, July 9, 2021

Dystopian Fatigue

 

Greetings all,


Welcome back to my musings.  It's been a bit.  I have been writing just not here.  Mostly I've been writing fiction.  I've been creating my own little world and peopling it with stories.  It's something I've always wanted to do.  Years ago I had a writing partner and we were going to create an epic fantasy, which as I look back on seems ridiculous.  I had no long fiction experience nor any in collaborative writing.  I'm pretty good at short fiction, and this time around that is where I've been playing.  After months of writing I have almost produced two complete drafts as well as created a world in which these stories take place.  So imagine my surprise when I was alerted to a contest for short fiction writing.  There was just one catch, it had to be a work of dystopian fiction.

I am at a point in my life where I am sick of dystopian worlds, post apocalyptic settings. and all otherwise world ending storytelling devices.  It has become a very popular genre, and while there is a lot you can do with it in social commentary I think it is safe to say that it's all been said.  I'm really quite tired of the end of the world in fiction.  Perhaps it became less interesting as I realized that we are living in our own dystopian society. I mean we check all the boxes: pandemic, environmental destruction, rampant injustice and inequality, religious intolerance, unsustainable/predatory economics, and genocide.  Did I miss anything? At this point it is the opposite of imaginative to create tales of woe and hopelessness.  

I get it, write what you know.  They tell you that all the time.  Still at what point does it just get stale?  Ah yes another fascist society on the brink of destruction due to insert calamity here, where those in power have created a caste/economic system, and crack down on insert group of oppressed people here.  For those tales that also charter the downfall of said fascist regime it is also equally unimaginative, as well as inaccurate.  At this point I doubt we'd be able to overthrow our corporate masters in violent revolution.  I'm also not sure even if we could that we should go that route. I mean I get the appeal of wanting to build guillotines, and shoot billionaires off into space to slowly suffocate. (Of course in our world they do it to themselves so I say let them and just charge them an exorbitant reentry fee). Personally I can't see how we'd ever throw off the shackles of oppression when so many folks still benefit from the system, or where the propaganda is so well entrenched into they psyche of the citizens.  

So why am I telling you this?  Well I have no interest in participating in creating more dystopian literature. I feel like the original intent of the genre was to serve as a warning to us to be careful of what principles we let rule our power structures.  These days it seems more like normalization or bench mark so we can say, "Yeah it's hopeless but at least we're not living in that universe." I am not all Pollyanna either, my stories are not all sweetest and light.  Hell my first one involves human trafficking.  Still the place I aim to create is a world of wonder, there may be sorrow but there is also great joy and beauty.  In any case I want to feed my mind and soul a diet of hope rather than one of resignation. Our world is worth saving, and so are we.

Peace and Blessings,

Thomas Mooneagle

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Chosen

 

Greetings all,

So we meet again.  I was beginning to think that I was hanging up my blogging pen.  (Which doesn't exist I compose these from a keyboard).  I have been musing on a few things lately and I think they have coalesced into some sort of sense. 

I tend to call friends to talk on my daily walks with the dog.  I am very grateful for both the walks and the talks. They have kept me within sight of sanity the past year.  During my talk walks, I've often batted a few ideas around.  One of them has to do with ideas that we cling to during challenging times.  Specifically living through our ideals.  I used to think idealism was a good thing.  I still think it may be in theory, but life is not theory, it is practice.  Social media has become a pressure cooker for ideas and how they affect ourselves and those around us. The problem is that we have made ideas more important than people.  I have done this too, and I am ashamed of how easy it is to fall into.  The problem with living in a world of ideas is that they are abstract concepts, people are not.  We need to be able to imagine and extrapolate, but far too often we treat others like set pieces in our ideas and we lash out when they don't follow the roles that complement our ideal imagining.

A particularly vulgar idea which has been dressed up in pretty party clothes is the idea of being 'chosen'.  It pervades our literature, movies, and religions.  Basically the idea that some people are chosen to do great things, chosen because they are inherently good.  This trope works well in stories, not so much in real life.  The people in history who made great changes did so because of their experiences and how those shaped them. They saw something that needed changing and 'chose' to do something about it.  People not prophecies bring about change.  To choose is more powerful than being chosen.  The other side of this is the idea that changing the world is about being special and important.  Which one of us hasn't secretly harbored fantasies of being beloved by many, being the hero, saving the world?  The thing is saving the world is a group effort, and what does it even mean to save the world?  Similar to the cries of people over the last year who wanted things to go back to normal, we have to ask, what is normal?  Is normal desirable?  

We all have a personal mythology even if we don't subscribe to any spiritual belief system.  You can be a scientific materialist and you still have an inner mythology.  It just looks different and uses more clinical sounding language.  The chosen one become the genius innovator or visionary tech magnate.  The thing is solutions and positive change don't always come from sources we recognize.  Wealthy tech billionaire playboys are unlikely to have solutions to the world's pressing problems (sorry Tony Stark), because they don't tend to be as affected by those problems.  Some of those problems they may have even created or worsened.  People who step forth to make changes and confront injustices are most often those that have lived through them.  They don't offer us shiny branded utopias.  They take us a step forward.  Just like us they have their faults.  They have been broken and found a way to piece enough of themselves together to try and make sure that others don't go through the same pain.

Why am I telling you this?  Well many of us are waiting for something to save us: a messiah, a leader, an inventor, or an overly idealized version of ourselves.  The thing is none of those things will work.  What will ultimately save us and preserve the world for our descendants is all of us working together to make things better.  After all, what good is technology if we don't apply it in a way that helps everyone?  What good is a vaccine if people won't take it to protect their community? What good is a code of laws if we don't demand justice?  

How about you?  Have you put your ideals above the lives of others?  Have you judged yourself and others as not worthy because of falling short?  Have you fallen into the trap of seeking a mythical savior either in yourself or in an external chosen one?  If you have step back, look at how your ideals lead you to treat yourself and others.  That should tell you all you need to know.

Peace and Blessings,

Thomas Mooneagle

Saturday, March 20, 2021

A Circle of Flowers & Bone

 

Greetings all,

Happy Spring Equinox to all my fellow Northern Hemisphere dwellers!  This past winter was challenging, darker than most of us have experienced in our lives.  Now the light returns and with it flowers and warmth.  It also meant that I was set on drumming to welcome the turning of the seasonal wheel.

I have been drumming on the equinoxes and solstices for about a decade.  However last spring there was a halt.  I had been scheduled to drum at a healing center, but I cancelled when the pandemic loomed.  I felt that I had broken the cycle.  It was one way that I honored Spirit, and I knew it was understood that I was doing it to protect lives by avoiding contact.  Still as the year progressed and time lost meaning for many of us it seemed oddly prophetic.  Spring the season of hope and new life may have come for the plants and animals but it did not come for the human family.  I did not want this year to be a repeat.  While normal is probably a relative term at this stage, ceremony can help stabilize the seasons of our lives.  Spirit may not have needed me to drum and pray, but I needed it so I set out to find a secluded space.

I went to a local park, I often have in the past if I did not plan an event at a center (or something like a pandemic occurred).  I've always been a little nervous about drumming in public spaces.  I do live in the bible belt and I really don't wish to be accosted by angry Fox news viewers.  For this reason I always look for the most out of the way space, off the path if possible when I drum.  These days it is more to avoid people who don't understand how to social distance or the proper way to wear a mask.  Luckily there was a clear sky and plenty of warm spring sunshine, this did lead to one complication.  Everybody was at the park today.  I had to park a bit down the road.  Even with a mask I try to avoid getting near people.  So I was blessed by the appearance of a path I'd never noticed before.  It took me to green clearing ringed with twisty trees and small white wildflowers. It was perfect, and it was far enough from the main path that I felt confident I wouldn't be intruded upon by nosey religious zealots.  Then something else caught my eye, some sun bleached bones.  I was amazed at how many there were, and looking at them I'm pretty sure they were deer bones.  So I got the idea to put them in a circle, and that was my circle to drum in the spring.  It is important to note that I did not plan this, I was simply looking for a safe outdoor space to do my ceremony. When I saw the bones it all just clicked though.  So I drummed, and I sang, and I prayed.  I carried the intentions for those in my spiritual circle and community.  I feel better now, like I've renewed a promise.

It wasn't until I was walking back to my car that I realized the significance of the ritual.  The bones and the flowers really were the two sides of ceremony.  So much has died since the last spring equinox, so much that will not renew but only leave a mark.  This winter really was a season of death like we've not seen in generations.  We have over half a million dead in this country since last year.  How do we move forward with that?  At the same time poking up through the soil amidst the bones were the flowers, the new life was bursting forth even amidst the ruins of the old.  There was beauty still in the world. That is what I needed, and the circle, well I needed to create a pattern, a frame of meaning for what has transpired. I needed to rejoin the broken circle of the seasons.  We all need meaning in our lives, especially when tragedy strikes.  Contained in that circle was death, but it also held the promise of life and renewal.  There is nothing more springlike than that.

How about you?  How are you making meaning in this time of transition?  Recovery seems within our grasp and yet we are still not certain what shape it will take.  We don't know what the rhythms of life and death will hold for us in this strange new world.  What broken circles do you need to bring back together? What has died that needs to be honored and mourned? As the color of the light deepens into the bright half of the year take time to reconnect with the powerful forces that exist in nature.  Call upon the spirits of wood, stone, fire, water,  flower, and cloud to remind you of your place in this world.  You are needed or else you would not be here.

Peace and Blessings,

Thomas Mooneagle

Friday, February 19, 2021

Through the Nightlands

 

Greetings all,

It has been some time.  There has been quite a lot happening in the world since my last post.  To be honest I didn't know if I wanted to write any more blog posts.  It's been a dark time.  Like so many of you I am uncertain about the future. The new pattern of my life hasn't yet crystallized.  I've felt alone in the dark, left with only pessimistic musings on how life will be.  It isn't exactly the sort of thing I like to share.  

So it's been a year since I knew this was going to hit here.  I had no idea that it would hit so hard and last so long.  Like many  the life that I was living before the pandemic seems like a dream now.  I saw people, I could simply walk into a store without having to worry about dying or bringing death home to my loved ones.  I hugged people often.  I went out to eat.  This is not to say that life was beautiful before all this for me.  I was in an unsustainable pattern, but I just didn't know a way out of it.  Now I am in a different pattern that also isn't sustainable,  and now I can't get hugs....or sushi.  

I look back and realize I had stopped asking things of life and was just taking whatever scraps were thrown my way.  I had stopped wishing and hoping.  I was drifting through a dream.  Not that I was ineffective, I managed to do a lot of good for folks.  I  just wasn't getting where I wanted to go.  A while back a friend of mine sent me a woven mat from the Navajo nation.  It sits on my altar the pattern represents the storm.  When they were looking for a gift for me the elder indicated that this was the one I needed and they were very clear about need as opposed to want. 

 I've been thinking about the storm I find myself in, what has challenged me the most about it, and what I need for myself to get through the next storm.  I am also thinking about what I want.  There were so many distractions before, but now there is no escaping what hasn't been working.  I know that I need more relationships based around mutual support.  I know that  I need to do more than just work, even if that work is something I enjoy.  I know I need to travel more and celebrate with others the successes and commiserate the losses.  

Why am I telling you this?  Well I think a lot of us had been living life like we dream at night.  We are carried along by the dream rarely questioning the pieces that don't make sense.  We've been crossing the Nightlands in a car that someone else is driving.  Maybe it is being driven by our culture, maybe by our family's influence, or maybe by our personal past.  It is like one of those dreams where you are trying to drive the car from the backseat and you are barely able to stay on the road so getting where you want to go is forgotten.  We've been treading water alone in the dark.  It's time we swam to shore and look towards the dawn.

What about you?  What has this journey through the dark shown you?  Do you have what you  need to get where you want to go? There will be a push to get things back to normal as soon as possible.  You have to ask yourself if normal was enough for you?  Were you really happy or were you just able to distract yourself from your sorrow? These can be painful questions and realizations.  You can feel overwhelmed or worried that you just can't ever find peace and satisfaction.  It's time to make our needs a priority, and while we're at it we can make the needs of our fellow travelers one too.  Safe journey through this night and all the ones that follow.

Peace and Blessings,

Thomas Mooneagle