“We Used To Feel Like You”

“Don’t give up
Cause your life is like a book-
All you got to do is turn the page.
There are friends yet to meet,
There are songs to be sung
There are beautiful sunsets
And battles are won.
There’s love to be found if you just stick around
Don’t give up- your life has just begun.”

Amen.

Buy it here.

White Sulphur Councilman Accused Of Racism

Homecoming never used to be such a problem when I was a kid- but then there were only white kids in my school.

The Great Falls Tribune reports:

Senior Kody Mondragon and the other 10 homecoming king and queen candidates planned to take the traditional ride in the back of convertibles during the Oct. 8 parade.

But Mondragon said when he tried to climb into the car owned and driven by Councilman Heith Stidham, Stidham refused repeatedly to let him in, saying he couldn’t let someone who looked like Obama ride with him. (emphasis mine)

WTF? Full story here.

Cowgirlgate

Montana Cowgirl has had a bit of a shitstorm over a man-purse reference involving candidate Roy Brown.

I’ve had a lot of correspondence with Cowgirl over the past few months, and I think she gets it- she’s expressed a willingness to be educated AND expressed remorse at her regrettable comment. Cowgirl has never presented herself as anything other than an ally in the struggle for LGBT Montanan’s rights. She’s entitled to a little tongue-in-cheek humor as far as I’m concerned- and I’m not naive enough to believe that everybody or even anybody agrees with me.

Pseudonymous commentary is almost as old as writing itself. It has it’s place. She’s not doing her job the way I would do it, but there’s got to be room for her here. It takes all kinds doing their jobs (as they see them) the best they can- and I believe it’s my job to try first to educate rather than picking up the “Offended” stick and responding in outrage.

There are a lot of us out there, great people who are passionate about the same issues- activists, bloggers, reporters, letter writers, commenters, etc. We won’t always agree, but we all deserve to be heard and, conversely, to try and respectfully hear each other. that means taking responsibility for our words and actively working to educate each other about the power of some of those words.

It’s not a perfect system, but we can make it better by first calmly pointing out rather than screaming in outrage- unless of course, the calm pointing is continually or habitually ignored….

Then it’s on.

Bullied: A Student, a School and a Case That Made History

On the heels of Yesterday’s Spirit Day (wearing purple in honor of LGBT teens who have committed suicide and expressing solidarity with others who struggle) I watched Bullied.

If you haven’t seen this movie, I highly recommend it.

If you’d like to own this movie, you can do so for free through Teaching Tolerance.
And to maybe do some good, pass this on to an educator in your community….

Self-Torture

I owe a lot of my peace and contentment in this world to one particular insight:
Much of what makes me suffer begins in my own mind.

It comes from overthinking: taking an issue and blowing it completely out of proportion by obsessing on it, or looking at the painful past and re-inflicting myself with the pain it caused. Often, I’m creating more pain than ever really happened or is even possible in any real situation. I have come to realize that if I want to feel helpless and/or scared on purpose, I simply have to look at my regretful past or create an impossible future.

This kind of thinking is either untrue or unprovable. Period.

In other words, it’s a waste of time- and yet we talk ourselves into believing those untrue, unprovable thoughts.

How much of thinking is completely in the moment? Not much, it turns out. Most of us are either thinking about the past, worrying about the future, or constructing scenarios that may or may not happen in order to “be prepared”. How much energy is lost in this? It seems more efficient to me to stay as completely in the moment as possible, to practice awareness of the present and thinking on my feet in order to skillfully and purposefully respond to whatever happens. That means taking ownership of my thoughts and directing them, not vice-versa. It is my mind after all. I can teach it not to torture me. In so doing, I am teaching myself not to torture me….

Having said that, I know it’s not that easy. It takes work. I don’t succeed in this as often as I’d like, but I’m improving. I’m becoming more successful at staying in the moment with meditation, intentional breathing and daily reminders that I’ve strategically placed in my daily life. Side effects include a drop in stress and a lift in happiness and serenity. Loving what is- simply by acknowledging it and staying with it.

I love the following quote by Fulton Oursler:

‎”Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves- regret for the past and fear for the future.”

Time to get off that cross- it’s not my place.

New Scooby Mix

 

From my favorite DJ:

“My latest mix was inspired by my brother getting married. As I was making the best man toast to my little brother, it really dawned on me just how essential of an ingredient the right to marry is to what we so cherish as “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”.
So here’s a toast to one day soon, marriage equality and the “Pursuit of Happiness” for all… 

Download continuous single file: http://www.mediafire.com/?dy7hdihzd9910y5

Cheers,
John (DJ Scooby)”

 

Fall Men’s Retreat

Today I begin the Fall Men’s Health Retreat in Greenough for gay/bi men- it’s one of the highlights of my year. This is my fourth in a row, and the first without Ken (we actually met (or re-met) at the first one I attended). I can’t say enough about the positive effect that I’ve seen happen in these guy’s lives….

I really love these weekends away- it’s a rare chance for me to have a bit of time for self-reflection and teaching. It’s also a rare chance for the men of Montana to make some connections, to share some intimacy that goes beyond the ordinary and maybe discover a bit about themselves. I know I never fail to find some deeper meaning in my own life as a result of experiencing life through the eyes and lives of the guys during this weekend.

So, I’ll be out of touch for a bit, but doing some good things.

And if you’re a guy who wants a deeper connection to himself and others, you could do worse than attend one of these retreats.

Peace,
~G