Masks

imageThere are lots of ways to wear masks. Masks are often used to disguise a person’s true identity, like a bank robber wearing a ski mask to avoid arrest. In our culture, a mask usually only has one purpose: to fool others into believing the false persona that has been created, rather than the true persona behind the mask. Masks are for cowards and manipulators. Narcissists are very good at creating masks. They can appear to be charming, while having no care or concern for anybody but themselves. Right-wing politicians hide behind a mask of patriotism, all the while carrying out policies that hurt the economy, the American people, and the country. Religious zealots wear the mask of Christianity, as they preach hate and intolerance.

Seeing the truth beneath a mask is easy. Actions speak. Watch a person’s actions, that will tell you a lot. How compassionate are they? This week there have been some disturbing cases of masks being ripped away to reveal a dark truth underneath. Ricky Gervais, the writer and actor and animal rights activist posted some very graphic photos of a Trophy Hunter, Rebecca Francis, lying on the ground grinning next to a giraffe she had shot dead. The photos went viral, reaching over 2 million people in a few days. The backlash against this animal killer was incredible. I’m sure she never expected to be exposed when she posted these photos. Her “spin” on that photo was that she was merely providing a service to the African community, where the people were going to eat the giraffe meat. And he was past his breeding years anyway. Unfortunately for her, photos one posts on the Internet live forever. Her photos of herself straddling a dead Grizzly, a dead African Lion, a dead Moose, all while grinning madly were popping up everywhere. ( Note to Rebecca Francis: grinning like a loon as you straddle a bloody carcass is macabre. It pretty much rips your fucking mask right off, revealing the truth of who you are to the rest of us. Your spin-doctor bullshit stops working immediately.) Obviously, you just enjoy killing things, based on that huge grin you’re sporting in all of your photos. Why not just say that? Be honest. Killing something makes you happy. It must make you feel powerful. Speaking of powerful women, enter Kinessa Johnson.

Kinessa Johnson is a U.S. Army Veteran who served in Afghanistan. She is an animal lover who joined VETPAW,  an organization in Africa that trains Rangers protecting endangered species from poachers.( Veterans Empowered To Protect African Wildlife).  I had no idea that over 1,000 Rangers are killed by poachers every year. That’s more than 3 a day. VETPAW recruites former military people to train the Rangers to protect themselves, and patrols with them. ( You can like and follow VETPAW and Kinessa Johnson on FB and Twitter. On Instagram, Kinessa Johnson is beautyintragedy.) Standing up for the defenseless, protecting the innocent, enlisting in the military and serving with honor, that’s the path of a warrior.  No fanfare, no hunger for constant attention, nothing to prove. Just a desire to make a difference. You couldn’t find two more opposite women if you tried. Both carry a gun. One enjoys slaughtering life, one fights to protect it. One wears a mask, one wears tattoos and fatigues.

Being honest and living an authentic life is beyond some people. It doesn’t serve their agenda of manipulation. I used to collect masks from around the world, because early on in my life I realized that a lot of people wear them. Over the decades of my life as a healer, one of the most empowering things I can do for others is to help them see the truth of who they are, and the truth of who an offender is. Peeling away the mask a sexual predator wears, or a batterer, or a narcissist, to see the reality that lies beneath, offers people a path to healing and wholeness. My prayer for the world is that we have the courage to see beneath the masks people wear to the truth beneath. If we can do that, we can move forward as a species, and save the world. It takes courage. It takes commitment. I believe in humanity. I believe there are more Kinessa Johnsons out there than that other kind of person. I believe kindness and honor always prevails. I wish to publicly thank Kinessa Johnson for her service to this country and her service to animals. Also, thank you to Ricky Gervais for using his celebrity to be a voice for the voiceless, and his generosity in donating money and time to protect animals. Blessings, Judith

Some New Things Coming

imageI just ordered 8 more pieces of Realgar, and 13 pieces of Pyrite from Peru. I can’t say no to the Realgar, it is one of my all-time favorite stones to work with. Certainly the most powerful. Yes, I have about 15 pieces, but you can never have too many, in my opinion. The Realgar is from the Palomo Mine in the Andes, 16,000 feet above sea level. I love what comes out of that Mine, gorgeous specimens. The Pyrite is from the Quiruvilca Mine, the most sparkly specimens of Pyrite I’ve seen. I bought 13 pieces of that.

I’m going to a show in Massachusets on the 24th, my first show of the season, I’m excited. I’ll report back about what I find as soon as I get home. The pieces from Peru take about 5 weeks to arrive, the shipping system is abominable. As fast as a speeding snail. Man. I just listed some beautiful Fluorite and Ametrine, and have more typing staring me in the face. I just wanted to catch everyone up on what’s on it’s way. Blessings, Judith

Reciprocity

When I think about what’s important to me in my personal relationships, one of the things at the top of my list is reciprocity. There are a number of other things, to be sure, but reciprocity is a must. I show up in a relationship, and I expect the same respect from my friends and loved ones. Being PRESENT in any given moment is a choice. So is not being present. I bring my heart into the space I am occupying. Whether it’s a shared cup of coffee, a phone call, a family get-together, I don’t think it’s too much to expect of anyone to be able to listen, to be as interested in me as I am in them.

I find this culture of cell phones, social media, and other ways of expressing,  where everyone texts each other, to be enormously superficial. You can’t express nuance in a text. It is completely without intimacy. I think this phenomenon enhances and encourages self-absorption, while minimizing a real connection between people. It desensitizes people, in a way. Social media bombards us with images, some very painful to look at. It encourages people to share the trivial, rather than stop and think about what they really want to say. I had never heard of “trolling” before social media. I thought trolls lived under bridges. Then there are the selfies. Wow. The photo equivalent of a shrine to the self. I’m not interested in seeing selfies. I’d much rather learn something about a person that I didn’t know before.

I want to hear someone’s voice when we’re communicating. I want to feel their heart, the way I want them to feel mine. I find it incredibly rude to have someone sitting in front of me, looking down at their phone and texting someone else. That makes a very powerful statement, as far as I’m concerned. It says that I don’t matter to that person. The same goes for call waiting. A terribly rude feature. How can you have a meaningful conversation with someone, and be in a flow with them, whether you’re listening or speaking, and be repeatedly asked to “hold on, I need to take this call”? Again, it says that I don’t matter. At least, not as much as whoever may be calling.

Relationships take Qi, life force. You have to fund relationships. The fuel you fund them with is heart, compassion, empathy, and time. If I’m going to be investing those things in someone, I believe I deserve to have that person invest those things in me. Reciprocity is about mutual respect, mutual caring. I am blessed with loving, caring, friends, daughters, and a husband who is a heart with feet. We all invest in each other. We all show up for each other.

I have no patience or time for takers. If someone wants to walk through life, oblivious to others, that’s fine. But they won’t be a part of my world, a part of my life. Not that they would want to be. I give people like that a rash, because I want to talk about feelings, emotions, things that matter. I don’t do small talk. It’s called small talk for a reason. It’s small.

I love life. I am pretty fearless about feelings, mine, and everybody else’s. A lot of people don’t feel that way.  We all deserve reciprocity in our relationships. The warmth, the caring. No relationship should be a one-way street. One-way streets suck. They only go one way. My energy is Sacred to me. I refuse, at this point in my life, to squander it on people who don’t give back. It took me a long time to get here, but it feels really good. Balanced. My prayer for each of us is to expect the respect we deserve from others. If they don’t have it in them to give back, to be kind, so be it. There’s really nothing more to say or do with someone like that. Give yourself permission to be free of a one-way street person. Send them a text, and move on. Blessings, Judith