I'm talking about me, well the old me anyway.
I got into Chico state through the last year of affirmative action. Turns out being a broke native hybrid woman from the inner city had its perks. I came to Chico state with a punk rock attitude, 2 milk crates and a sleeping bag.
Ill never forget my first day at the dorms. I had moved out of my moms house at 15 and was very self reliant and responsible. The dorms in my expirience, were a rich white suburban teeny bopper nightmare in which I could not live.
My dreams of college as the Mecca of the enlightened, tolerant and educated were quickly crushed in a sea of newly unsupervised hormones bent on frivolous exploration of their freshly found freedom.
I had already had "freedom" for a while and was bored and irratated with the whole scene.
I gathered my crushed ideals, my crates and sleeping bag and moved on to a little studio by the tracks. I went in search of the underground social expirence. I explored past the fight it or f*<k it mentality, past the Abercrombie and Fitch dress code, I delved deep and found the feminist movement.
I was home! I let my leg and pit hair grow, I revolted against all normal standards of beauty. I got my backpack at the army surplus and spent a good chunk of money on feminist slogan pins for my backpack...
"Sorry I missed church I was busy practicing witchcraft and becoming a lesbian"
"I thought I was a slut once, then I realized I was acting like a man"
"Another woman for Peace"
"This is what a feminist looks like"
"Doing my Part to piss off the Religous right"
And so on..you get the idea.
I interned at the Women's Center, I became Equality chair for The Feminist Majority Allliance. I had my minor in multicultural and gender studies as well as Native American studies. I organized marches, rally's and demonstrations.
I was pissed! I had every right to be. My anscestors had been persecuted by white Christian males, my own family had suffered countless injustices at the hands of men, that I had witnessed before my very eyes, I myself had been sexually abused and subjected to domestic violence.
I did something about it and made sure everyone knew how I felt!
In 1996 I meet a Yoga Nun on campus, she offered free yoga and mediation class. I began going regularly, taking in more and more of her teachings and advice. I was already a vegetarian, mainly because of the whole animal rights thing, but I began to look at it a little differently through the lens of yoga.
Yoga was really hard for me in the beginning (except for the limber part I got that naturally), every pose felt hard, I was mad and irritated a lot. I felt uncomfortable and stupid.
I don't why but I kept going and after a while I began to feel better, I began to do better. My mind set shifted, my whole life looked different. My activities at the women's center reflected this change too, I began volunteering to answer the phone (a large part of this job sadly was to redirect women to the rape crisis center), I co ran a Moon goddess healing group with a dear friend. Even my feminist theory classes found me in a weird position.
I began to challenge the US vs THEM mentality.
I remember my last march for Take Back the Night....
We were marching around downtown and the campus area, singing out songs while holding our candles, we came up to a bar on 5th and ivy named Riley's... Someone started chanting, "We're not bitches, we're not chicks, men stop thinking with your dicks". Fists were pumping in the air towards the bar, the tension was rising, heads poked out of the bar and people on the street stopped. Something changed In me at that moment that altered my consciousness forever. I looked around at "my tribe" I saw men and women and children, I saw shame and sadness and confusion on some faces and I saw hate and rage on others. I wanted to jet the scene right there. I finished my last march with heavy thoughts in my head.
Why had the group made an "other" why had we ostracized, generalized and demeaned our brothers and innocent bystanders, why had we given those children in the crowd a seed of hatred towards men?
My yoga picked up quickly after that, the yoga nun aka DiDi gave me more responsibility and convinced me to start a student group. I went on retreats and got deeper and deeper into my studies. I became less angry punk rock and more loving eco hippie.
I still suffered from ego problems (ha! Still do) and considered myself a feminist. I still hated Christianity and therefore most Christians.
I was A Feminist Lettuce Killer.
I lived in a state of separation and duality, the US vs THEM, the "enlightened" vegetarians vs the evil meat eaters, the oppressed women VS the men who suppressed them.
Time went on and my love of yoga eventually led me to become a Religious studies major. I blossomed more and more into a peaceful mindset. One day I realized that I couldn't call myself a spiritual person if I had hate in my heart.
My new mission became to heal my hate of Christianity. I mean it wasn't Jesus that started the Crusdes, burned the witches or gave my ancestors smallpox blankets.
It was imperfect people.
I began researching Jesus as a historical person, what language did he speak, what was the social framework in which he lived? I learned a lot about Jesus. I learned to love him with all my heart, I learned about John the Baptist who as far as I could tell was an awesome yogi! I learned about The Essenses and The Gnostics, I learned about the Dead Sea scrolls and the bibles selective history.
Most importantly I found the Lord's Prayer in Aramaic, which was the language Jesus spoke.
The Lord's Prayer translated from Aramaic
O Birther! Father- Mother of the Cosmos
Focus your light within us - make it useful.
Create your reign of unity now-
through our fiery hearts and willing hands
Help us love beyond our ideals
and sprout acts of compassion for all creatures.
Animate the earth within us: we then
feel the Wisdom underneath supporting all.
Untangle the knots within
so that we can mend our hearts' simple ties to each other.
Don't let surface things delude us,
But free us from what holds us back from our true purpose.
Out of you, the astonishing fire,
Returning light and sound to the cosmos.
This prayer is my religion!
I had found my own "personal Jesus".
I found the beginning of unconditional love and unity conciousness.
I learned that no one is free when others are oppressed, that even the oppressors are oppressed by their hate and their separation conciousness. I learned that all food is alive and that I had been a lettuce killer. I thought I was holier than thou. But I was separated and judging.
I stopped calling myself a feminist, a Native American, a vegetarian etc. I started calling myself a human, a divine reflection of the one.
The one true reality is that we are all connected and that there is no "other", that all of life is sacred and it doesn't matter if you eat animals or vegetables you are still "killing" something for your sustenance. It doesn't matter if you are a man or a woman, a Christian or a Jew.
It matters if you are loving and tolerant. It matters if you have peace in your heart and in your life. It matters that you can love yourself even after your sordid and misguided past as a feminist lettuce killer.
I do! I love me and I love you, no matter what your beliefs, your challenges or your lessons that you haven't yet learned. I love you as a reflection of the creator and I thank you for your part in this divine reality!
In love and light and personal/planetary peace,
I am a passionate humanitarian on a quest to create a beautiful, peaceful life that is available to the whole world!