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Kingston, NY, Friday, Feb. 19, 2010

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Willing The New
By Judith Gayle | Political Waves

What a strange and exasperating period we're living in. What has become habitual no longer serves us. Our existing patterns of behavior reveal themselves as increasingly unworkable, and our nation, along with most others across the planet, finds citizen pitted against citizen, political party against party. We are seemingly at a standstill here in the USA, where even our Vice President admits that, "Washington right now is broken," adding, "I've never seen it this dysfunctional." The President finds it necessary to toot his own horn, emphasizing that the year-old stimulus has been a success, keeping folks in jobs, creating new ones, and providing tax relief to ease the pain. The minority party argues that such assessments are all just speculation, that those jobs might have been funded anyhow -- yes, when piggies fly, but that's another story. What is ruthless and self-serving is deeply entrenched, while all that is hopey-changey, to quote the caustic Ms. Palin, must defend its very existence.

This week Evan Bayh, a Blue Dog Democrat who once served as Governor of Illinois, announced he wouldn't be running to retain his Senate seat. Calling himself disillusioned, Bayh finds the Congress too partisan, and urges electoral "shock" to fix the broken system. Vote incumbents out, he proposes, and vote in those who want to reform the process for the good of the people rather than for special-interest groups. Those of us who watch these things carefully wonder at a statement like that, since Bayh was one of those who set out to kill the Public Option; also his wife is a member of the board at WellPoint, the nation's largest health insurer, earning millions in the last couple of years. Gosh, doesn't that seem like a deeply personal 'special interest' to you? Those who hoot and holler because Democrats couldn't get anywhere with their supermajority should carefully scrutinize this man and his fellow Blue Dogs, because the Dems' ability to utilize their power successfully this year was obstructed by him and those like him who serve the corporate middle.

Evan Bayh has been pointed to as an example of a centrist. He campaigned faithfully for Hillary Clinton, who aligns with her husband as a domestic centrist and military hawk. There is another word for this: establishment. While embracing Obama after his win, even briefly being considered as a vice presidential nominee, Bayh immediately organized a Blue Dog block and threw the e-brake on progressive legislation. Over the last thirty years and longer, the political stance of this nation has been diligently moved so far to the right that I think of it as a little left of Moses. In compromise with this supposed center, nothing has changed over the years but the lineup of players urging that liberals everywhere take them seriously since they represent the majority.

The Republican meme, faithfully reported by the press, proclaims that the nation itself inhabits this center, which is not true. Polls show that the public is much more progressive than its leadership, with a healthy majority currently supporting a public option in healthcare reform, another jobs stimulus, and stringent reforms of business and banking. The Party of No asserts that these things cannot happen and demonizes Obama because he won't take No for an answer. It should come as no surprise that those who insist on this kind of bipartisanship are looking to sustain their own powerful interests. Public good, indeed! How many people do you know who think corporations should have more power over our lives than we ourselves have?

This week a taste of reality was introduced into the conversation when political commentator/comedian, Bill Maher, told Anderson Cooper on CNN in no uncertain terms that Bayh is not a centrist, but rather a corporatist.

Bill nailed Evan Bayh as being "what's wrong with Congress," having turned the Senate into the place "where legislation goes to die" because "corporatist Democrats" like Bayh act like Republicans. When asked about the problem of polarization, Maher asserted that in his view politics are not polarized enough, that our problem is that the U.S. lacks a real progressive party. I confess sheer pleasure at his commentary. It's remarkable how energized I can become when the blah-blah-blah of the newsies is interrupted by plain talk and truth-telling.

As difficult as our personal and political challenges may be, it's time we heard more good sense and plain talk. Obviously, these should be echoes of our own mind and shared conversation. If not, we are part of the problem that is keeping humanity in a dark vortex of indecision and downward spiral. We need to stand up for what we believe, inhabit our own principles and vision for the future. We need to 'move in' to that new thing that comes and goes within us -- sometimes strong and determined, sometimes peeking shyly out from behind our learned response. We need to live there, fully committed to a new way of thinking and being, to ease this birthing process for ourselves and the world. We have skills we don't depend on. We still look behind us at what we're constantly told can't be fixed or changed. We are still swayed by cynical voices promoting desperation and obedience to what was.

In the discouraging process of dissolving structures and institutions, we must affirm that they are poised to reorganize themselves as more functional, more appropriate to the public need, and better designed to serve the infinite possibilities of our future. As their employers, we must encourage our legislators to stop stalling and do the work of the people. We hear a lot about how the nation just doesn't have the 'political will' to make tough choices in this transition period. Fine. Then it's time we turned to our personal will to impact our own reality and add to the collective Shift.

How does that work? Use your words to affect the vibration of your experience, lifting it up. Call into being that which you want to out-picture in your life, not only adding power to your intention and direction to your day, but influencing your conscious and subconscious mind:
I WILL contribute to the lives of those I meet and, in turn, they will bless mine.

I WILL see the possibilities that present themselves today and act on them as a Gift from Spirit.

I WILL celebrate the happiness and laughter this day offers and express my gratitude in all things.

I AM poised and centered, prepared to turn challenges into opportunities.

I AM provided for, all my needs are met by a loving Universe.

I WILL take my world and myself Lightly today, knowing that I AM love, loving and loved: an agent of change for good.
We can choose our coming reality if we are response-able with each moment in which we find ourselves. Viktor Frankl, the neurologist and psychiatrist who survived a concentration camp to write the powerful 1946 book, Man's Search for Meaning, defined that heart-opening within us where creativity and right-action can be born: "Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom." In these volatile times we have a choice, either to keep looping in Old Paradigm thought as we face ancient and familiar goads and fears, or to enter in to the co-creation of this new thing that is struggling to birth itself. It begins in this very moment, if we Will it.

The Buddha told us, "Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment." I don't believe he meant that we must dwell in the current instant robotically, wearing blinders to all we know. We are informed by our experiences in the past, and especially at a moment such as this, our dreams play a vital part in the construction of our future. The wisdom of carefully attending the present is obvious: there is no other moment in which we are fully empowered. THIS moment, and our response to it, creates not only our own tomorrow but that of all humankind. We are capable of raising our own vibration, entering into the stream of lifted consciousness and adding to the collective Shift, or we can remain undecided. Now is the time to decide.

It's no wonder that progressive websites have noted the Senator's retreat with quips like "buh-bye Bayh." Evan Bayh is the quintessential DINO -- Democrat In Name Only -- fully immersed in the old business model and loving it. He will not be missed. To quote this would-be Lefty, "The only way we are able to govern successfully in this country is by liberals and progressives making common cause with independents and moderates. Whenever you have just the furthest left elements of the Dem party attempting to impose their will on the rest of the country -- that's not going to work too well." Seriously, does that sound like something a Democrat would say?

The day for compromise has come and gone. We cannot compromise with what we've already outgrown. This nation is polarized into progressives who work to expand possibilities for the people, and regressives who represent the corporate model, determined to preserve its ability to bleed us from a thousand cuts. Politics is by nature a fight, and we must faithfully and responsibly lend our energy to the side we want to see succeed, but we don't need to immerse ourselves in battle and create more negative resistance. The choice we make, if it informs our every thought, word and deed, is powerful. Making the choice itself, and living as if it has already become our inevitable national model, brings it closer to fruition. That's our own personal center. That's our own living truth and authenticity.

We're maturing past the old way. We are finishing with our old roles, shedding the cocoon that kept us wrapped in collective tribalism and separation, no matter WHAT the Teabaggers want us to believe. Our old notions of God have given way to Goddess, to Gaia, to respect and inclusion and self-acceptance. James Baldwin pointed us to this kind of authenticity: "Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within." What's so difficult about this moment in time is that we can no longer live within its default activity. Closeted bigotry and posture and pander are as visible to us now as the Emperor without his clothes. We can see this self-serving energy for what it is, and its unlovingness is apparent as a dark stain on the heart-chakra of the world.

Sister Joan Chittister, a Benedictine nun who shines as a spiritual prototype within her Catholicism, said it best for those of us seeking change. "We are living in a period of commercial globalization. What we really need is spiritual globalization." Our better instincts and Higher Angels beckon us forward into a new way of thinking, acting and living with one another. If you think it might be possible but you aren't sure, then listen carefully -- not to the loud, unctuous and frightening voices around you but to that Still, Small One that whispers in quiet moments and finds its way into your dreams and daydreams. A new reality is available for us to choose, to activate and to establish. WILL we?

This is pretty simple stuff, when you think about it. What do we care about passionately? Are we through with hate and war and fear and lies? Do we no longer hesitate to love? Where's our heart in all this chaos? If our answer is betterment for our children and ALL the world's children, a return to ethics and compassion and an end to the fear-driven Old Paradigm slavery of corporatism, then we're on the side of the Angels, ready to step into the lifting energy that is slowly but surely establishing itself.

If that's what you feel, if that's what imprints your hopey-changey little self with excitement and happiness, then LIVE THERE! Increase your vibration by leaps and bounds by BEING hope and change and love. Draw to you not only what you need but what you want. Play with it, work with it, put it in your mouth and taste it. Feel how it fills your heart. It can be done, and the more we do it, the easier this transition and transformation will be. The only question now, is: what WILL you do, today, beloved? Come, create a new thing with me!

Planet Waves
Weekly Horoscope for Friday, February 19, 2010, #805 - BY ERIC FRANCIS
Planet Waves en Italiano

Aries (March 20-April 19)
You're not the goodie-goodie you like people to think you are; this, despite how you flaunt your wild side. Though you would probably never own up to that contradiction, it's time to worry less about your image and more about how being authentic draws authentic people toward you. I suggest you admit to your chaos, your passion, your craving for freedom. I suggest you admit to the true fact that your attractions follow no special logic, no rules, and in the end, know no bounds. You could spend a lot of time worrying about why you have tried to pretend otherwise; you could wonder why you're caught in the structure that you're in. Or you can simply be free.

Taurus (April 19- May 20)
You have an active imagination; it's so active, you rarely give yourself a chance to step out. Yes, Taurus is the sign most often associated with physicality and grounding and all of that, but lately you seem more in your head than usual. You seem to be searching and dreaming and exploring in there. That's fine, as long as you take some of what's in your head, and put some of that pancake batter onto the griddle. True enough, you don't have to. You can keep stirring it in your mixing bowl. You can keep adding sugar. But as long as you do that, you're always going to have batter and you're never going to have hotcakes.

Gemini (May 20- June 21)
Don't expect your social experiences to follow a plan, or even your vaguest notions of what you thought you wanted. I would propose that you will figure out what you want in a series of experiments, at the end of which you will have given up on a few old friends and made some brilliant contacts with some new friends. This is the time to desire new people, places and experiences. In fact, it's time for them to desire you right back. I would say if you don't want attention, don't leave the house, but not even that will work. Remember this attention parlays into your workplace or professional activities. You will be rewarded for good work, so keep your focus.

Cancer (June 21- July 22)
You cannot control the outcome of events, and you don't want to. What you can do is pay attention to the flow and skate along with the game. And it looks like a fast game, for sure, where the rules change. Mars finally stationing direct is likely to improve your attitude about money, as long as you remember to invest it in what has lasting value, or in what fits a long-term plan. You feel like you have a lot of mojo, which remains true as long as you apply every molecule and photon of it consciously. There is a direct relationship between awareness and power, and at this opportune moment I suggest you add some ambition. Not a lot, just enough.

Leo (July 22- Aug. 23)
You're about to get a surge of energy -- though I suggest you go for the slow burn. Keep your flame blue and clean and just the right temperature. In other words: plan for the long run. Mars is about to station direct in the first degree of your sign; then over the next 10 weeks it will work its way clear across Leo, touching the natal Sun of everyone born under your sign. Through the long Mars retrograde, you've done a fine job reinventing yourself. I suggest you stretch gently into this new concept of who you are, rather than inflating like an airbag. You'll be tempted; yet the long-term outlook says that if you pace yourself, the very best is yet to come.

Virgo (Aug. 23- Sep. 22)
You now know the truth about a health situation that has long troubled you, taxing your peace of mind in a way that you've let on to only a few people in your life. Though you prefer to be truthful, you were correct in not spreading your anxiety, mainly because you knew it would come back to you. Now that your worst fears have been proven unfounded, you can spread something else, which is your unmitigated vitality. And that will come back to you, just like anything else you broadcast. In the next six months, this echo effect is only going to intensify, and you'll need to be clear what is yours and what is not.

Planet Waves

Libra (Sep. 22 - Oct. 23)
This is not the time to seek stability in your relationships -- it's time for something better. This theme repeats over and over this spring, any way you shuffle, slice or dice the planets. You need to trust the stability within yourself. Most people seek structure on the outside, and give their relationships a too-difficult job. The difference, in the end, is about maturity; when your life moves as fast as it's going to move, and becomes as unpredictable as it's going to become, you need to know where your center is, and you need to know how to get there fast. Then you will be able to play fast and loose, something that is unusual for you, but which you've craved for a long time.

Scorpio (Oct. 23- Nov. 22)
It may be driving you half-mad that a partner can't home in on their sense of identity. But then, you've been wavering on a commitment for many weeks, and this commitment has a lot to do with who you are; or rather, with acknowledging who you are. There is more to this commitment than meets the eye, because of the depth of the understanding involved. In a sense, you're making an agreement with yourself about the role that you deserve in the world; which in turn is a reflection of how powerful you are willing to believe you are. True, over the past few months you've given yourself many reasons to doubt, but in truth you've discovered just as many to have confidence.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 22)
Few astrologers would advise someone born under your sign to take a little extra risk, fearing what you might do. However, I'm aware the extent to which you have put the restraints on yourself in recent months, and have retreated far from your usual swashbuckling self. Here is the key: respond to your feelings and not your mind. Start from where you feel safe. That is a feeling you can actually trust. From that space of safety, take a step; then when that works out, take another step. You may, along the way, feel the impulse to leap in feet first, and I wouldn't want to stop you; just make sure you're absolutely willing, with no hint of hesitancy.

Capricorn (Dec. 22- Jan. 20)
It's time to make some fast, bold professional moves; primarily this is the time to make sure you're as visible as possible. If you stay where people can see you, you'll increase the chances of success significantly: success as you define it. I have an idea what that is: the privilege of expressing the person you actually are in your professional life. Capricorn is often accused of being ambitious: I see the matter differently, as a quest for authenticity that brings you through many incarnations of your career and your role in the world. In actual fact, you must try again and again till you find the place not where you fit, but where you are free to exist.

Aquarius (Jan. 20- Feb. 19)
In astrology there are, occasionally, before and after moments. That is the easiest way to understand, or to even see, the meaning of how the planets move. You have now arrived at an 'after' moment: after a very long spell of the need for clarity, coexisting with yourself in a kind of misunderstanding. You have resolved something, or perhaps you've just observed something, but it goes so deep into who you are that it seems to reach across all your lifetimes. In any event, however you choose to think of it, you have turned one page of your life and embarked on a whole new volume of existence. The territory changes fast from here: take careful, conscious steps and always notice where you are, and whom you're with.

Pisces (Feb. 19- March 20)
Know good times when you're in them -- and you are. These are not the kind of good times that melt into the background of history, forgotten because of their comfort. Rather, this is a moment that stands out rather than stands back, and which you may consciously, willingly and lovingly use to enter a new phase of your life. I trust that you feel a certain energetic relief, the ability to relax and the growing sense not that you have enough, but that you are enough. Keep that feeling, and remember the idea, if you lose contact with the inner orientation. It is fair to say that everything is about to change -- in ways you would have wished for, if you could have ever predicted what was possible.

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