Tag Archive: wellness


Is it getting harder for you to find things to celebrate? Not me. This is the time when the crema of being human rises – rich and strong. We remember we need each other to survive. People are reaching out to their neighbours, sharing what they have, sharing small graces. I hope this pandemic changes everything and the new world order is a kinder, more considerate and generous place. Where’s the party at when we beat this?

#onward #whakahari #celebrate

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ELAINE BROWN

There is no such thing as a part-time revolution.

We’re not here for black liberation but for all liberation.

We didn’t come here for a better life,
or religious freedom [like migrants to US],
we came kicking and screaming.

We provided the conditions for people to bring about the revolution –
gave them free education, a free breakfast, access to a free clinic…
they have the human right to food, to health care –
we gave them the experience of something worth fighting for.

Are we breaking the glass ceiling to be oppressors ourselves?!
No. We have a common enemy.
Can’t see ourselves in competition with anyone else.
What is our agenda as women?
To find solidarity with the others who are suppressed.

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PAOLA BALLA

Learn how to situate yourself.

Do not let your feminism drive your racism.

Mind and heart, mine is a matriarchal tradition – 
you experience yourself as a part of others.

Activism is radical self-care.
It is a form of activism to thrive, not just survive.
Art is not living but living can be art.

“The world will crumble one day.
It’s ok. We know how to be poor.
We know how to live without electricity…”
– Rosie Egan

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NAYUKA GORRIE

(of WOW/speakers)
To see your reality reflected back you.
Very powerful.

How much of my gender came out of a book? A ship?
The convent that beat my grandmother?
We need to consider: how is gender colonised?

Your black body is never quite yours in this country.
Hyper-sexualised vs. not attractive at all. Strong vs. not strong at all.
Used for labour (work) vs. in labour (baby)
A shaved head means either a Britney melt down (dysfunctional)
vs. fundraising for cancer (held up as a role model) –
What other personal reclamations can I make of my own body?

Keep this flesh vessel tight [runs regularly].
Doing well is resistance.

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On the weekend of 24-25 September Whitley College hosted a conference called Constitutions and Treaties: Law, Justice, Spirituality – these are notes from session 3 of 9. We acknowledge that this gathering, listening and learning occurred of the land of the Wurundjeri People of the Kulin Nations and offer our respects to their elders past and present, and all visiting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island visitors present.

What are the drivers and transcendent values that inspire us?
What are the pathways to change?

9830410   We live in a polemic/binary time… issues like gay marriage, immigration… seem to have no middle ground – you are either for or against. Tolerance for diversity is at an all time low.

This way of arguing gets used manipulatively too… if you aren’t with me you’re against me – in ways that close the conversation down… what are some examples we can think of?

  • faith and justice
  • recognised and sovereignty
  • for the intervention or for child abuse

It is an Aristotelian idea: 2 ideas – thrash them out = one truth

Previously you had to be broad spectrum because you couldn’t afford to alienate anyone. Now the ways we access media and communications, we get exactly what we want to hear – an echo chamber…

  • hard to hear voices from the edges
  • hard to hear, listen, and engage different ideas
  • minimal dialogue and openness to being convinced

Need a strong spirit to imagine a non-polemic future… how do we change without losing our souls?aboriginal-spirituality

What is lost and found in translation?  Getting a (white fulla) education… what do I lose of my own culture and identity?
Industrial revolution and reason vs. everything has sacred significance.

Government talks to a small slice of who we are and how we understand the world.

I want to explore the sacred internal emotional resources that sustain and empower people:

Land, language, law, kinship, ceremony – 5 areas that make up a Strong Spirit.

img_1961Polemics can replace cultural identity… what do you do when a section of your strong spirit has been lost or damaged?

Identity not fused with the fight… not defined by or stuck in the fight. Overcome by the oppression/pain of where we are.

  • conservation (what we don’t want to lose)
  • restoration (actions to restore/share/teach/pass on)
  • innovation (new and adaptive ways)
  • respect (is our work underpinned by mutual respect?)

Strong Spirit audit tool: what have we got/not got?

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We need to remember who we are.
When our weapons for warfare start to look like our colonisers I start to worry.

(not just post-colonial reactions)

 

CAR AS A METAPHOR FOR TREATY/CONSTITUTION

Can’t rely on vehicles as they are (old and rusted car), won’t get us the whole way (breaks down) we need a new way of getting there (highly modified car).

walk on country
reconnect with people and place
“I’m going back in my memory” (one word that means this), where are you going?[at the kitchen table, able to reflect and be present at the same time]
pilgrimages
dardirri (deep listening)
yarning circles
dinner table
dreams
poems

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Some prayer stations we set up around our backyard, if you’re interested in this as a resource just post your email address in the comments and I’ll send it through (or email me directly if you know me).  Set-ups aren’t meant to be prescriptive, use whatever you have lying around… the numbering on the stations isn’t significant, you can do one or two, or them all in any order…

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Welcome

Please come around the side of the house

Just in case you haven’t come across them before.

Prayer stations are essentially several points of “focus” that invite you to encounter God in some way. You can spend all your time at one or make your way around several, or all of them, as you like – spend as much or as little time at each of them as you like.

This space is for silent, personal reflection.

You are welcome to come inside for a cuppa, catch up, time of sharing afterwards or you can go – however you feel…

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Set-up: A bicycle propped in a bush so the wheels were free-spinning.

“Spin the wheel of the bike fast, then watch it slow… more of the detail comes into focus instead of being blurred.  Is there an area of your life where things are moving fast right now? They will slow.  Think about your breathing.  Be present in your own body… become aware of where things feel tight, or weighed down… This time, spin the wheel again, then close your eyes and breathe more slowly and deeply as the wheel slows.  Do this as often as you need.”

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Station #2

Set-up: Cut bird templates and a birdcage.

“We can sometimes feel bound by the things we feel we ought to or should do… there are roles we play ‘responsible mother’, ‘dutiful daughter’, ‘reliable helper’
In your mind, complete the sentence “I would love to ____________ but I can’t because…”
Give freedom to that part of you today that feels bound.Take a piece of paper out of the birdcage as a symbol of release/freedom from this captivity.  Write on it.
Pray for the thing that binds you, or for freedom from that.
Choose.
Do you take it with you or is it left behind still stuck?

 

Station #3

Set-up: Video footage/photo of the desert with soundtrack from Beirut playing

“This video footage is of sunset over the Nullarbor.
We can often think of the desert as a bleak, harsh, a dry, desolate and deadly place.

Hosea 2:14 says “Therefore, behold, I will allure her [Israel] and bring her into the wilderness, and I will speak tenderly and to her heart.”

The desert is not where God isn’t, where life isn’t… but where God is, where life is
Watch and listen to God soeak tenderly to you.  What life-giving thing is God calling you to?

 

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Station #4

Set-up: Chair set up facing a corner with pictures of women posted all around (different ages, different nationalities, different religions, different social class, different capacities, different life stages…)  and a mirror.

“All around you are images of normal everyday women – made in the image of God… rest in these images and feminine words and phrases from the bible and know also that you are made in the image of God.  Blessed are you among women.  You have found favour in God’s sight.”

Station #5

Set-up: Fireplace/brazier

“Fires can be captivating sources of light and warmth;
Feed the fire.
Feel the light and warmth pour over you
Feel the nourishment of the Holy Spirit
pour over and around you.”

Light of the world, we confess that you are here

Shine your light into the hidden places of our lives

and bring warmth to the cold places of our hearts.

 

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Set-up: Small stones and a cross

“What is weighing on your mind/heart right now?

(locally, globally, personally…)

Hold a rock as you pray for these heavy things you carry

Then put them down as a symbol of giving these concerns into God’s care.”

 

Station #7

Set-up: Some blankets and pillows laid out under a night sky

 

lift up a stone and
you will find me there
I am the hole of your doughnut
the spaces between
the stars
I am down behind the sofa
cushions with the lint and
loose change
I can be seen in raindrops
sliding down the window pane,
smelled in Johnsons baby shampoo,
heard in the drawer opening
to put away your clothes.
In the soft folds of the wrinkles
at the corners of your eyes
I am there

Lie back.
Look at the stars, the bats flying overhead
Listen… what can you hear?
Be present to the God that is with you always.

 

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