A SYMBOL OF OPPRESSION IS FINALLY REMOVED!

There has been much controversy and discussion about the removal of the Confederate Flag lately.  Many claim that it is a symbol of victory and an important part of history but there is much violence, racism and hate associated with this flag:

Bree Newsome (with assistance of a friend) took the initiative and climbed the flag pole to take down the flag herself.  We all understand and know what transpired during the civil rights movement.  There was no equality for people of colour during that time.  People of colour couldn’t use the same fountains and washrooms of whites, they couldn’t go to the same schools.  And if you spoke or advocated for equality; you were beaten, degraded and even killed.

I applaud those who came before Bree Newsome and stood up to their oppressors, people who demanded respect and equality and who didn’t want to be treated like they were unworthy.  All over the world people like; Harriet Tubman, Representative John Lewis, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Booker T. Washington, Mohandas and Kasturba Gandhi, Cesar Chavez, Malcolm X, Desmond Tutu, Bob Moses and Ella Baker fought their oppressors and demanded change around the world.

Today, this type of oppression continues by those who are supposed to serve and protect everyone.  It is common to see videos of white policeman beat and kill so many people of colour.  When politicians are debating creating barriers, fences and walls to keep immigrants out, what else are we supposed to conclude except that these same politicians are pandering to the white racist America.  If they are treating minorities from other countries this way, it isn’t inconceivable to believe that politicians and legislators want to keep America’s minorities disenfranchised, poor, uneducated and oppressed.

So, when you hear your friends say things like; “they do it to themselves”, “if they were not committing the crimes, they wouldn’t be in jail”, “they are supposed to listen to the police” and so many other ignorant statements, they are just regurgitating the sentiments expressed by corporate media to insure we keep those same minorities lucid and submissive.

The REVOLUTION OF LOVE continues – we are the many that have had enough of those few who want to continue this oppression.  Knowledge is power!  With knowledge, determination and passion POSITIVE CHANGE is inevitable.  So many have given their lives to ensure those people who have oppressed others and their symbols are removed but never forgotten.

Together, we can make the world a more positive one!

SUGGESTIONS TO HELP YOUR DAY BECOME MORE POSITIVE

It is sometimes difficult to maintain a positive composure when so many people are you are rude, inconsiderate, angry and sometimes hateful.  I try not to let the negative energy of others affect me by doing things that keep me in positive light.  Here are some suggestions:

  • Compliment everyone you meet throughout the day.
  • Buy a positive affirmations calendar and connect with each daily affirmation.
  • Create positive affirmations that allow you to stay connected to positive energy.
  • Take notice of the triggers of your ‘low level energy’ and avoid them.
  • Surround yourself with people who love to laugh and have a positive energy aura.
  • Sit, walk, exercise in a natural environment (park, lake, river, etc.) or peaceful place and affirm that you are happy, healthy and ALIVE.
  • Be kind to others.
  • Be kind to yourself.
  • Surround yourself with LOVE!

Remember that people who are negative, angry and rude may have not had the best day.  You don’t know what anyone else has or is going through, try not to make judgments on them.  You will never know when you will be in need from the kindness of strangers.

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Together, we can make the world a more positive one!

HOPE FOR THE NEW GENERATION

When you allow your passion to shine – anything can happen.  This is a video of a young 15 year old who passionately speaks on climate change at the United Nations.  This speech is one that we must ALL listen to and stand behind.  This young man is our future – a future that is concerned about their well-being, the well-being of the planet and of future generations.  Listen and share the words and passion of Xiuhtezcatl Roske Martinez:

For more about this great and passionate individual, please visit:

http://www.earthguardians.org

Together, we can make the world a more positive one!

WHY GAY PRIDE?

How do I feel about GAY PRIDE parades and celebrations?  I have had reservations about gay pride parades and celebrations in the past because I believed the things that people who have never gone before would say because of what the media focused on.  Yes, you may see some nudity and yes you may encounter a festive and partying crowd but these things are evident in many celebrations that are considered to be mainly heterosexual like; Mardi Gras (New Orleans, USA), Carnival (Rio, Brazil), Caribana (Toronto, Canada).  The only reason that television stations show the nudity, or the party animals is to get people to watch their broadcast and to instigate controversy – that is what sells and that is what people pay attention to the most.

I have attended many gay pride festivities, celebrations and parades and have only taken away what was important to me.  I always got emotional when PFLAG (formerly known as, Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) would march by in support of sons, daughters, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters and mothers and fathers who happen to be gay.  I was also filled with inspiration by people who lived authentically and marched in the parade indicating the fact that they were gay professionals such as; police officers, paramedics, firefighters, teachers, members of parliament, doctors, etc.  The most emotional moment of pride parades of the past was when they had a minute of silence (die-ins) for those affected and that have passed due to HIV/AIDS.

Today, the message and advocacy continues but it is drowned out by those wanting to focus on the sensationalism of this celebration.  I hear people say things like; “it’s a marketing tool for big corporations now”, “publicity for politicians”, “it’s just one big party without a clear message”, “it’s too mainstream now” – Isn’t this what the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community want?  To become mainstream and not be victimized on a daily basis, to be considered outcasts and sexual deviants?

Most people who have issues with gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people are usually those hiding behind their religious ideologies and beliefs that being gay is a choice and that it is a sin.  Well, as I have stated in previous posts – I  DID NOT choose to be gay, I happened to be born this way.  If I could so easily choose to be gay that would mean that any heterosexual could choose the same.  If those people who live strictly by the world of God and what is written in The Bible – I say this:  If God has created us in his image, than wouldn’t that make God gay, straight, bisexual, transgender, black, hispanic, German, African, Chinese, black-haired, blue-eyed, etc?

I know this – Many people have lost their freedom, died and have become martyrs for what they believe in such as; Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Dian Fossey.  That is also true for people who marched for rights for gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgendered people.  For me, that is what I celebrate when I celebrate GAY PRIDE – I celebrate that we have become mainstream and that corporations are raising our flag because so many gay, lesbian, bisexuals and transgendered people have lost their lives to ensure we have the rights and freedoms we have today because they lived their lives authentically and without shame.

HAPPY GAY PRIDE and THANK YOU to those who have paved the way:

JEREMY BENTHAM – Wrote first known argument for homosexual law reform in England around 1785 at a time when the legal penalty for buggery was death by hanging.

NEMAT SADAT – The first public figure from Afghanistan to come out of the closet as ex-Muslim gay, atheist, and Zionist.  August 22, 2013, Sadat made history by being the first native from Afghanistan to come out as gay.  Sadat is considered to have broken the taboos on cross-dressing and homosexuality by coming out and raising awareness about gender orientation and sexual identity.  Since coming out, Sadat has received numerous death threats.

SVEND ROBINSON – As the longest-serving British Columbia MP of his time, in office from 1979 to 2004, Sven is notable for having been the first Canadian MP to come out as gay, in the spring of 1988.  Robinson, a self-described socialist, is commonly regarded as being one of the most left-wing figures in Canadian politics.  He is best known for his negative views on American foreign policy, especially towards Cuba, his challenge of corporate power, his strident criticism of Israel, and his strong support for Palestinian leaders.

CAMILLE CABRAL – French/Brazillian politician.  The first transsexual woman to be elected in the history of the French Republic.

SHALEEN RAKESH – Poet and Gay Rights Activist.  Shaleen has been an important part of the Gender and Sexuality Movement in India for over 20 years.

ARSHAM PARSI – Activist and founder of Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees.  Lives in exile in Canada.  Parsi has faced death threats and excommunication for his activism to ensure Iranian gay citizens are not being improperly treated.

HARVEY MILK – First openly gay politician to be elected into public office in California when he won a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.  Milk served 11 months in office and was responsible for passing a stringent gay rights ordinance for the city.  On November 27, 1978, Milk and Mayor George Moscone were assassinated by Dan White.

NIKOLAY ALEXEYEV – Russian LGBT rights activist, lawyer and journalist. Alexeyev won the first ever case at the European Court of Human Rights on LGBT human rights violations in Russia.  The Strasbourg-based court unanimously ruled that by banning threes Moscow Prides in 2006, 2007 and 2008 Russia breached three articles of the European Convention on Human Rights.

FANNYANN EDDY – Founded the Sierra Leone Lesbian and Gay Association, the first of its kind in Sierra Leone.  Activist for lesbian and gay rights in her native Sierra Leone and throughout Africa. FannyAnn, traveled extensively addressing the United Nations and other international groups.  She was murdered on September 29, 2004 leaving behind a 10-year old son and girlfriend Esther Chikalipa.

DAVID KATO – Was a Ugandan teacher and LGBT activist, considered a father of Uganda’s gay rights movement and described as “Uganda’s first openly gay man”.  He served as advocacy officer for Sexual Minorities Uganda.  Kato was murdered in 2011 by a male prostitute, shortly after winning a lawsuit against a magazine which had published his name and photograph identifying him as gay and calling for him to be executed.

JACKIE FORSTER – Was an English news reporter and lesbian rights activist.  Founding member of Gay Liberation Front (GLF) in London and was on the first Gay Pride march in the UK in August of 1971.  Was married to novelist, Peter Forster, but divorced him in 1962 when she realized her true sexual identity.

PATRIA JIMENEZ – Mexican politician and head of El Closet de Sor Juana (Sister Juana’s Closet).  in 1997, she became the first gay member of Mexico’s legislature in the country’s history-the first in any legislature in Latin America.  Both as a civil rights leader and a member of the government, Jimenez is a major Latin American voice for LGBT rights and civil rights.

KATHERINE ZAPPONE – She and her wife, Ann Louise Gilligan, founded An Cosan which supports individuals and communities to actively engage in the process of social change through transformative education.  Katherine is the first openly lesbian member of the Oireachtas and the first member in a recognized same-sex relationship.  She is a former CEO of the National Women’s Council of Ireland.

IRSHAD MANJI – Well-known critic of traditional mainstream Islam and was described by The New York Times as “Osama bin Laden’s worst nightmare”.  Manji is an author, educator and advocate of a “reformist” interpretation of Islam.  Born in Uganda of mixed Egyptian and Gujarati descent.  Her family moved to Canada when she was four, as a result of Id Amin’s expulsion of Asians.

2015 GAY PRIDE is dedicated to all these people mentioned above for creating positive change in the world and for those not on this last – past, present and future for their efforts in making this world a more positive one!

WORLD PRIDE

Heart In Turmoil

Together, we can make the world a more positive one!

SONGS/VIDEOS TO MAKE YOU FEEL PROUD – IN CELEBRATION OF PRIDE and LOVE EVERYWHERE!

In celebration of Gay Pride, Love and Positive Energy – I decided to share some music videos that have thought provoking messages, are relevant in terms of the songs message or simply make you feel like you want to dance.  Whether you identify as gay, straight, bisexual or transgender – let your true colours fly and do it without judging someone else’s authenticity.  Now let’s celebrate PRIDE by spreading love and positive energy into the world:

NOTHING REALLY MATTERS (REMIX) – Madonna

YOU DON’T KNOW – Cyndi Lauper

FEEL WHAT YOU WANT – Kristine W

FREE – Ultra Nate

POWER OF LOVE – Deee-Lite

PROUD – Heather Small

MODERN LOVE – Rupaul

A LITTLE RESPECT (HMI Redux) – Erasure

AFTER ALL – Billie Ray Martin

GLASS & PATRON – FKA Twigs

BRING THE NOIZE – M.I.A.

LIGHT IN PLACES – Peaches

LIVING FOR LOVE (Remix) – Madonna

Let music move you towards creating positive change in the world.  Allow LOVE into your heart and live with positive energy within your heart.

HAPPY PRIDE to everyone!!!

Together, we can make the world a more positive one!

BE KIND and SPREAD LOVE

When you look at people – look them directly in the eyes and smile.

Help anyone who is struggling to open a door or to walk up a flight of stairs.

Compliment everyone you talk with today.

If you encounter someone who is asking for money, ask them if you can buy them lunch.

You don’t know what another person is going through or what is happening in their lives – so be kind and act from love and without judgments.  Just because someone is homeless and asking for money, it doesn’t mean that they are dependent on drugs or alcohol.

When you act from a place of love without accepting to get something in return, you will only receive what it is you give out.

Path To Love

Together, we can make the world a more positive one!

WHAT HAVE YOUR EMOTIONAL SCARS TAUGHT YOU?

What has made you the person you are today?  Every single event that has happened in my life, both good and bad, have shaped me to become who I am today.  Along the way I have accumulated some very deep emotional scars – it is how I death with these scars that have allowed me to move towards positive acceptance of how I received those scars.

The first major scar that I can remember was the outcome of the physical and emotional abuse I suffered.  Unlike physical scars, the emotional scars could not be healed as quickly.  I managed to bury my emotions – I hid them in the deepest recesses of my mind because I thought if my emotions, feelings and thoughts were witnessed by others, I would end up with more emotional scars.

I thought by drinking and experimenting with drugs would allow me to deal and live with my emotional scars.  That was not the case.  Hiding behind drugs and alcohol only exasperated my need to hide further within myself.  I buried the authentic individual I was meant to become.  I buried his dreams and his hopes.

Eventually, I knew I had to deal with my emotional issues and move towards a more healing and positive life but I didn’t know how to get to that point.  Mental illness was frowned upon as being weak and crazy, homosexuality was definitely not accepted in my family or in society.  I thought the only way I could heal was to find someone to love and to hide my sexuality – which only created more emotional scars.

After the constant lying to myself and to everyone in my life, I figured the best way to rectify everything was to die.  I contemplated suicide many times and the failure to do that became an emotional scar.  I hated myself and began to hate everyone around me.  I couldn’t trust anyone and felt everyone I met was only going to hurt me.  Looking back now, I realized how important alcohol was to me.  It was a means to escape and I escaped so well that there were moments that I blacked out from the alcohol.  For me, that was sweet relief.

I can’t pinpoint the moment I “woke up” and began to turn my life around but I do know two incidents that awakened my soul.  The moment I acknowledged that I was born the way the I was supposed to be.  Being homosexual was part of who I was – I didn’t wake up one day and decide that I wanted to be gay, I just was.  If there is a God – he created me in his image as he created women in theirs, or people with darker skin or lighter eyes.  I couldn’t change because that was a part of me.  The other moment was when I fell in love.  I realized love is supposed to hurt, it is supposed to make you angry, to make you feel sad and to assist you in becoming your authentic self.

I know so many others in the world have gone through much worse than I did and haven’t even begun to deal with their emotional scars.  Looking back, I love my scars.  My scars have allowed me to have so much love for animals that I have decided not to eat them or wear them.  My scars allowed me to fight for our planet because there is no other planet as beautiful as our home.  And finally, my scars have allowed me to inspire people to create positive change in the world – to spread joy, wellness and love.  My scars are beautiful because they helped me become the person I am today.

BEAUTIFUL SCARS

Just take me with all my stupid flaws
Changing me’s like shooting in the dark
Patience please, I’ll never be as perfect as you want me to be-lieve me I want it just as bad
Forgive me, wish I could change the past
Take it ‘cos I’ll never be as perfect as you want

I think you’re confusing me with somebody else
I won’t apologize for being myself

Take me with all of my beautiful scars
I love you the way that you are
I come to you with all my flaws
With all my beautiful scars
I love you the way that you are
With all my beautiful scars

Don’t judge me, just gotta let me be
Accept me, although I’m incomplete
My im-per-fections make me unique that’s my belief

I think you’re confusing me with somebody else
I won’t apologize for being myself

Take me with all of my beautiful scars
I love you the way that you are
I come to you with all my flaws
With all my beautiful scars
I love you the way that you are
With all my beautiful scars

Never say never
Anything is possible
Always been a rebel
Overcoming obstacles
I can’t give you perfect
But I can give you forever, oh ohoh oh oh

Take me with all of my beautiful scars
I love you the way that you are
I come to you with all my flaws
With all my beautiful scars
I love you the way that you are
With all my beautiful scars

With all my beautiful scars
I love you the way that you are
(You got to love me, you got to love me…)
(You got to love me, you got to love me..

MLVC (2015)

Rob Pavao

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TOGETHER, WE CAN MAKE THE WORLD A MORE POSITIVE ONE!

THINGS HAPPEN FOR A REASON

A couple of days ago, a few work colleagues and I decided to go to WholeFoods to buy our lunch.  While my two co-workers paid for their lunch, I decided to scout for a table.  I approached a table in which an elderly lady was just leaving and she asked if I wanted to take her table.  I said yes and thank you.  I sensed that this lady wanted someone to talk to so I listened to her as I waited for my co-workers.  Her name was Gladys and she basically gave me a brief overview of what she has gone through in her life.  It was a fascinating 20 minutes.  The things she talked most passionately about was her 52 year marriage to her now deceased husband.  She indicated that she still missed him very much after 8 years since his passing.  She also talked about the lack of compassion in health care professionals today – mainly doctors and that they are just in it for the money.  She indicated that she is a firm believer of God and that He is the only reason the she continues to live today.  I wrote a blog a few days ago entitled: THERE IS NO WAR ON CHRISTIANS, THERE IS A WAR ON LOVE.  Everything happens for a reason and this woman came into my life so that I could be reminded that not all people who are religious are hateful and without compassion.

Gladys was an amazing woman with much compassion, a love for her faith and God, honest and very warm.  This meeting was a reminder for me to not judge and to learn that there is much more love in the world than evil.  The message I received from meeting Gladys was to keep going and to continue my passion to promote love and create positive change in the world.

I may not believe in organized religion or many of the writings in The Bible but, what I do believe is if others receive comfort in their belief in God and do not judge others for because they don’t believe – than I’m okay with that.  Isn’t that what GOD really is all about – to have love for everyone without judgements?  I thank Gladys for reminding me of this and for being the great Christian woman that she is.

Together, we can make the world a more positive one!

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WHAT WILL INSPIRE YOU TO CREATE POSITIVE CHANGE IN YOUR LIFE and INTO THE UNIVERSE?

Today, I want to share a personal goal with you in hopes to inspire you to create your own personal and achievable goals.  I’ll share my thoughts via this blog in what I hope to gain through this personal goal.

I have always believed that I was fairly healthy after I stopped smoking and eating meat but that wasn’t the case.  I still drink socially (sometimes excessively) and I sometimes eat what I call ‘processed healthy foods’.  I’m not unhealthy but I know that I could look and feel better.  Knowing this, I decided to set a goal to become the healthiest I have ever been in my life by the time I reach 50 – that gives me 4 years.

I have made a commitment to juice more, eat more healthier plant-based foods and decrease my intake of alcohol.  In the past 5 months, I have gone to the gym at least 3 times per week.  Now that my membership has finished, I have decided to enjoy a more holistic workout by jogging outside, doing weights at home and other strength training exercises without being obligated to a gym.

The last 4 days of jogging haven’t been easy – I am so used to cardio training on an elliptical machine and not the rough terrain of country roads.  The first day was hard, my breathing issues kicked in and I had to walk have of my route.  The second day wasn’t as hard and I managed to jog most of the 5.3 kilometres.  The third day was okay and today’s jog was okay.  I completed my 5.3 kilometres in 38.13 minutes – that’s a pace of about 7:15 minutes per kilometre.  It’s hard but I enjoy it because I know results can’t come without hard work.

Here are some photos of my jogging route (which makes it much more enjoyable):

The start of the jog.  About 1.5km

The start of the jog. About 1.5km

Jogging on the 15th Concession

Jogging on the 15th Concession

Another km on Tiny Beaches Road North

Another km on Tiny Beaches Road North

Meeting friends along the way.

Meeting friends along the way.

Getting a littler closer to my new friend.

Getting a littler closer to my new friend.

Petting my new friend.

Petting my new friend.

Dressed for the killer mosquitos.

Dressed for the killer mosquitos.

Together, we can make the world a more positive one!

THE WAR ON LOVE

There is no war against Christians – There is a war on LOVE!

Where and how is there a war on Christians?  It seems to me that every time a business owner refuses to bake a cake or print wedding invitations for a same-sex couple – the business owners argue that it is against their faith to provide service to those couples.  I don’t know about you but, when someone decides to run a business they can’t pick and choose who they want to provide that service or product to.  Imagine if a business owners said, “I don’t want to provide my service to people of colour, women or someone of a different religious denomination.”  It would be preposterous.

Let’s just call it what it is….DISCRIMINATION hidden behind religion.  There is no war on Christians – what there is a war on love.  I don’t really believe in any religious doctrine and identify as agnostic but I do know that many of these Christians who feel that they are being attacked only feel that way because they know what they are doing is wrong.  I also believe that these same Christians are not following the basic teachings of their God – to love without judgement, to be compassionate and to treat everyone as you would like to be treated.

If people would just open their hearts – they would feel the energy that is bigger than all of us and they would know that same energy would want them to spread love, kindness and compassion into the world and not hate.  Imagine if a business didn’t turn someone away because of their sexual orientation, colour of skin, religious beliefs or gender – imagine the positivity that they would receive for their actions instead of stress, negative publicity and negative energy.  From my understanding and common sense, that would be a great example of Christianity.

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Together, we can make the world a more positive one!