“Visionary feminism is a wise and loving politics. It is rooted in the love of male and female being, refusing to privilege one over the other. The soul of feminist politics is the commitment to ending patriarchal domination of women and men, girls and boys. Love cannot exist in any relationship that is based on domination and coercion. Males cannot love themselves in patriarchal culture if their very self-definition relies on submission to patriarchal rules. When men embrace feminist thinking and practice, which emphasizes the value of mutual growth and self-actualization in all relationships, their emotional well-being will be enhanced. A genuine feminist politics always brings us from bondage to freedom, from lovelessness to loving.”
― Bell Hooks
Powerful to be here in India today, I’ve had a chance to glimpse into the national dialogue spurred by recent events.
I have no way to prove it, but it is quite possible that I’m the first person ever to make the trip from Vieques to Varanasi. Here are a few words about my destination:
"Varanasi is the holiest of the seven sacred cities in Hinduism and Jainism, and played an important role in the development of Buddhism. Some Hindus believe that death at Varanasi brings salvation. It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world and the oldest in India.Varanasi is also known as the favorite city of the Hindu deity Lord Shiva" -Wikipedia
The work portion of this Puerto Rico trip begins today. I’ve had the honor and the privilege to spend my time with Abuelo until now.
Here is the man I adore, my teacher and elder, who has lived a most amazing life of growth, change and service to others.
Trinidad Rivera Chevere
Once again, Seth nails it with the right provocation, at this very moment in my life I feel particularly ready to engage in this process -
"If you needed to, could you argue passionately for that thing you don’t believe in today? Could you imagine walking over to the other side of the new argument, to once again hear that sound?
That’s the essential skill of thriving in a world that’s changing fast.”
I can’t quite speak of what’s unfolding. Not because it is secret, but because it is so nascent. I’m in the middle of a journey. And this one is a big transformation. The last big one was about seven years ago.
I know it’s about presence and about embodiment. I know it’s about love. I know it is about attention and about energy. I know it’s about God. I know it’s about purpose and I know it’s about voice. I know it’s about shedding another layer of fear. I know it’s about releasing another layer of shame. I know it’s about unbinding what has been bound. I know it’s about liberation.
I’m here. And this thing is so dynamic! There more it reveals itself, the more vast it becomes. Life. What a gift!
My heart flutters with joy. I’m a husband. I’m a father. I’m a friend. I try to do good in the world. I’m a lover of this divine play.
Ohhhh! There is churning! And God knows that I have churned! And I am churning right now, and I’ll be churning some more. But that’s how milk becomes butter – and I’m game.
I want to love more, and I want to cling less.
I got myself a new moon this birthday, and I know that’s most auspicious! Here is what I plan to do between 39 and 40. My intention is to pay attention. To pay attention to my energy. I might play with it, I might tweak it, I might try to better manage the ebbs and flows of it. But that’s not my main intention.
My intention is to pay attention. To notice my energy. Not to fix, not to improve, but to notice, just to notice. Over and over again. Everyday. And to keep a simple journal of what it is that I learn. That’s my main intention. To pay attention to my energy. I’ll let you all know what I learn.
Om Namah Shivaya. Let’s evolve.
We had just finished a life changing couples’ retreat. It was truly a peak experience. We spent the whole of our time at a place called Mar de Jade, in Chacala, Mexico, about two hours away from Puerto Vallarta. When we went to get our boarding passes, a whole other adventure began. Samantha would not be allowed out of Mexico because the airline could not be sure that she would be welcomed back into the United States.
It was actually pretty simple – she wasn’t carrying her green card. Samantha knew she did not have her green card on her when we left the US. But she had consulted our lawyer, and she received incomplete information. Samantha had proof that her green card replacement was being processed, and proof that she had submitted her biometrics. We were told that these would be enough for us to get back in. Unfortunately, we were not told that she needed a special stamp on her Singapore passport from the US Department of Homeland Security.
We were stuck. It was a Sunday, and Monday was a Holiday, we would not be able to talk to the US Consulate until Tuesday. We had been away from Darshan, our two-year old son, for 9 days, which added a whole layer of emotion to the situation.
We had a sweet time in Puerto Vallarta, and we would not have gotten to see it otherwise. We kept our spirits up and made sure to be the first in line at the US Consulate on Tuesday morning.
The consulate was not able to help us!
We were left with two options, flying to Tijuana and taking a bus to the border or flying to Mexico City and sorting things out at the US Embassy.
We got to the US Embassy right before closing on Tuesday afternoon, only to learn that the service we needed would not be available until Thursday.
And this is where you all come in.
We felt so much love and support from our community. We felt your love, your prayers, your support, your good energy. We also received a lot of offers for help. A number of you offered to put us in contact with immigration lawyers. Someone offered to have food for us as soon as we got home. Another person gave us a thorough tip on how they gamed the system when similarly stuck.
In the end, we accepted help from Jeffrey Thomas, who stepped into our situation with incredible care and vigor. He put us in touch with a friend of his at Senator Warren’s Office. This amazing friend of his was able to get a letter to the US Embassy and facilitated our ability to get out on Wednesday instead of Thursday. We also had some fun walking about and eating great food in that phenomenally powerful city.
It was not the end of our adventure.
When we entered Houston, Samantha and I were split up. She was not allowed to use her mobile, so I had no idea what was going on. I later learned that she was aggressively interrogated and we were stiffly fined. But we made it onto our plane, in the very last minute, and after sprinting through terminals.
Here is what’s insane – we landed at midnight, and the same Jeffrey Thomas was at the airport to meet us! We got a ride home! Talk about service and love!
We did not get to see Darshan until the next day, but today we are very happy to be together again.
We are deeply grateful for your love, prayers and energy. We are also aware that as stressful as our situation was, it was truly a “first world problem,” a problem that we had to face only because we have so much privilege in the first place. As we express our gratitude we ask you to send loving energy, and wherever possible, to take action, on behalf of those global migrants who are forced to leave their homes because of our unjust global economy.
There are too many people who are split from their families for years at a time. There are too many people who can’t cross borders at will. There are too many people that have to settle for slave labor just because they want the best for the next generation.
Let’s take a moment and send them love. And more importantly, let us think of new ways to stand in solidarity with them.
Om Namah Shivaya