My Resolutions

Carrie JordanEarth Wisdom0 Comments

Happy new year! 2010 was rough. I’ve never been so excited to put a year behind me and start a new beginning.

My resolutions:
1. More yoga
2. Go to sleep earlier
3. Write to Spain at least once a month

Where ideas comes from

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Seth Godin wrote a blog post about where ideas come from. When I think of ideas, I think of art and inspiration, as in ideas for a piece or something I want to create. Here’s my list of where artistic inspiration or “ideas” come from.
1. Ideas come from dreams.
2. Ideas come from listening to music.
3. Ideas come from reading poetry. And books. And magazines. And newspapers.
4. Ideas come from exposure to other creative minds.
5. Ideas come from walking in the forest.
6. Ideas come from relaxing your mind.
7. Ideas come from shooting the breeze with strangers.
8. Ideas come out of pain and struggle.
9. Ideas come out of happiness.
10. Ideas come from being present in the moment.

the great outdoors

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“…Do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am — a reluctant enthusiast… a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here.

“So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space.

“Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards.”

Edward Abbey

Wise words from a magnolia blossom

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My beautiful friend Maggie wrote this to me in an email the other day. It was what I needed to hear, and maybe what someone else needs now too, so I will spread the love:

I found this quote in my honest tea the other day and loved it. I feel like we should constantly be striving to be the “perfect you for you” … I tell the boys I work with, Imagine you can erase everyones thoughts of who YOU are, erase who your friends think YOU are, erase what your dad thinks of you, erase what your aunts, uncles, cousins, people you have just met and people you have known for years, lastly imagine you can erase what you already think of yourself to be.

Now imagine the perfect ‘you.’ How do you want to be remembered; what characteristics do you want to describe who YOU are. Are you kind? caring? organized? articulate? laid back? resourceful? motivated? understanding? Loving? Honest? Faithful? Creative?

Now everyday work towards those ‘ideal you’ goals. Today I am going to be a kinder person … I will try to be honest to myself and others, I want to be selfless. I will volunteer my time and energy to the needy, I will hold MYSELF accountable to ‘my ideal self’ because I am doing this for me and my contribution to this life I have been blessed to live. I will not and cannot fall into agreeing with what others already see me as being, because that decision is up to me and me alone.

Anyway the quote I found seems to fit this idea that I have pretty well it is…

“We cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are”
– Max Dupree

Too much stuff

Carrie JordanCreative Self Expression, Earth Wisdom0 Comments

One of my good friends is in Fiji as a Peace Corps volunteer. It’s on my mind every day and I already know it, but his beautiful letters always remind me, it’s the people, not the place and money can’t buy happiness. Also, they give me slight anxiety about how much shit I accumulate. I’m not a hoarder or anything, but someone who lives in his Fijian village would probably wonder what I need all this stuff for. The answer is, I don’t need it. It’s almost hard to control…it is just part of life it seems. Our capitalist society is built on stuff. It’s systemic.

He wrote:

“Whether in a mansion or a shack both happiness and misery is found. Cliche as it is, material is surely no sign of hope nor joy. Once you get past food, shelter, and family, the paths become infinite and unclear. The people here have little in their homes and wallets, but by god they have so much damn love to give. Their lives are so full…”



The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

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It doesn’t interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me
how old you are.
I want to know
if you will risk
looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me
what planets are
squaring your moon…
I want to know
if you have touched
the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened
by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.
I want to know
if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.
I want to know
if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations
of being human.
It doesn’t interest me
if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear
the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.
I want to know
if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live
or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.
It doesn’t interest me
who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me
where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know
what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.
I want to know
if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like
the company you keep
in the empty moments.

The Goddess Principle

Carrie JordanEarth Wisdom0 Comments

View New York Times article and slideshow on African art

I love mermaids. This has been on my inspiration board for a week.
I’m taking an African Politics class this semester and one aspect of politics/culture that we read about is the goddess principle. According to the goddess principle, women are central to the production of life. The notion that gods and goddesses exist gives women more legitimacy and power as opposed to the notion that only one God exists, which is a patriarchal idea whether we realize it or not – it has had connotations and innuendoes that we may not know are there because we grew up with that ideology. The goddess principle contributes to the flexibility of gender relations in society because the earth’s fertility is linked to a woman’s maternal powers. In the west, religion reproduces ideas of alienation as Christian fundamentalists and Muslim ideologies control women’s rights. Colonialism in Africa introduced patriarchal tendencies and imposed Christian and Muslim ideologies and undermined women’s rights by restricting their freedoms and forming gender roles specific to sexes. In pre-colonial Africa (and in many indigenous societies), the goddess principle prevails. As a result, women were very important in the economic system (they ran the marketplace), decision-making, and politics.
So this is a picture of Mami Wata, Mother Water, Mother of Fishes, goddess of oceans, rivers, and pools.
I could go on, but maybe you should just read Ifi Amadiume’s Male Husbands, Female Daughters and Malidoma Some’s The Healing Wisdom of Africa. Interesting stuff!