I make mistakes.
That should not be surprising.
Everyone that I know makes mistakes.
I have no problem admitting that I commit oversights, slip ups, blunders, errors and have accidents from time to time.
I am not perfect, will never be perfect, and striving for human perfection is a pressure that I am ready to release.
I have taken on that burden for a way too long, and the vestiges of it are still very present.
Why am I doing this?
It's important to get better at admitting when we may have made a mistake, and to try to right wrongs/make amends.
We must collectively get better at doing this if we are going to end up in a world that we actually want to live in.
I also think it is a good practice to get in the habit of being more public about sharing mistakes and oversights--only when it feels right to do so.
This doesn't mean that I am going to share publicly every mistake that I make. It feels a little edgy at times, so I am going to share what I feeling comfortable sharing. Also, I am sensitive to the privacy of ceremony participants so I will keep this in mind.
It was an intentional decision that this column is not currently part of the main menu.
This is an experiment in vulnerability and I don't think it needs to be front and center. Maybe at some point, I'll change my mind, but for now it lives here.
As long as we inhabit these human meat vehicles, mistakes and oversights will be made :)
A big part of a living ceremony is the continuous effort to be in "right relationship" with everything. It is a big topic and it's not always easy to do!
All mistakes bear fruit in the form of lessons learned and wisdom gained.
The column will focus on mistakes or oversights relating to ceremony, but may include other topics. There will likely be no shortage of new entries to make.
October 21, 2020
When I put together the ceremony plan for October 31, 2020, I called it a "Day of the Dead" ceremony.
Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Latin America. The primary intent of the holiday is to honor and celebrate the recently departed. That was also my intent. Celebrations go from Oct. 31st to Nov. 2nd.
When I initially posted it in a FB group, someone had politely asked me if I was going to have someone of Mexican heritage lead that part of the ceremony.
I've been giving a lot of thought lately to cultural appropriation. It's certainly not a black-and-white issue. There are shades of grey. It's very personal, and every person comes with different sensibilities and sensitivities. No AI algorithm will ever be able to solve it. It requires human heart, and the ability to hold multiple perspectives.
The question that was asked of me in the FB group got me thinking that perhaps in some people's eyes, it may be seen as cultural appropriation or culturally insensitive to call it a Day of the Dead ceremony and use associated imagery.
I sat with this one for a while. There was no intention to culturally appropriate. It was definitely an oversight. I guess I wasn't being thoughtful.
For me, the important thing for that ceremony was not the name or associated imagery. The intention behind the name was to honor and celebrate our ancestors/recently departed, and bring in the spirit of the season.
I decided to rename it as a Blue Moon & All Hallows' Eve ceremony, which energetically felt better in many ways.
I recognize that there are much worse things one could do, and that is not the point here.
September 26, 2020
People like to look at photos and I do too.
It's nice to see photos of something before you try it. Photos and videos tend to engender greater feelings of trust.
But a journeywork ceremony is a special circumstance. This is a sacred space where people come for healing.
I never felt good about taking photos while in ceremony. I've been in a couple other ceremonies where photos where taken and it didn't feel good to me.
I'm not overly dogmatic about this viewpoint. Perhaps I'm a little self righteous, about this topic but I give space for others to think and act differently about this.
Others may take photos and videos during ceremony, and if it is done properly with consent, I may be able to get onboard with that.
I only speak for myself and I can say that there will never be photography or videography in a Highest Light ceremony. Not everything needs to be recorded.