This is My Olympia: Olympia-Rafah Solidarity Mural

>> Thursday, May 19, 2011

Each day I get off the bus downtown, I walk by an amazing piece of street art.  Truly, it is beautiful.  It is the Olympia-Rafa Solidarity Mural.


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According to their website, the project began in 2006 (do y'all remember walking by it in transition all these years?!?) and included over 150 participants, spanning the globe, from here in Olympia, to Rafah, Palestine.  You may be familiar with two of the major sponsors of the project; the Rachel Corrie Foundation, and the International Trauma Treatment Program.  (I have a personal connection with the ITTP via my last program at Evergreen.  Dr John Van Eenwyk, a faculty member of the program, is a Jungian Analyst that spoke to our program about archetypes.  He is one of the only Jungian Analysts (if not the only one) in Olympia.)

I highly encourage everyone to go to the mural's website; there is fascinating information there, along with images showing the many stages of the mural.    One section discusses the importance of the three major symbols underlying the mural:  the wave, the olive tree,  and the wall.
Here's a snippet from the website about the importance of the olive tree:
The Israeli occupation has specifically targeted this plant due to its symbol of identity for Palestinians and its economic benefits. Since the second Intifada, more than half a million olive trees have been uprooted from Palestinian lands. Palestinian resistance or sumoodmeans Palestinians producing olive oil although the occupation limits their movement and forbids them from reaching their lands. “Sumood” is Palestinians producing olive oil although the racist Apartheid Wall prevents farmers from harvesting their olives and uproots trees anywhere near it.

You can read the full article here.

Here are some more pictures of some of my favorite parts.  (One more plug to visit the website; you can click on each part of the mural to learn more about it.)

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You can read more about the project at olympiarafahmural.org.  It's such an amazing piece of political art, and I'm glad it's home is in Olympia.  I'm proud to call Olympia my home.  

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Unity Service notes May 15

>> Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I'm starting this new thing where I type up some of my notes/thoughts on interesting Unity services.  I hope somebody on here finds it interesting (!)...

This Sunday's service was titled "Walking the Talk of Faith" with guest speaker Rev. Sue Oliver.  It was FANTASTIC. 

She spoke about faith being something that we never lack, we just often have faith in the wrong things (this is apparently based on a Charles Fillmore quote).  She used the allegory of a window.  She noted that reality   is like what's outside.  The window gets dusty, smudged, and otherwise altered, based on our sense-perception (the 5 senses), our self-talk, and what others tell us.  Over time, we come to believe that reality looks like what we see through the smudged window.  We forget that our perception is superimposed on the unchanged reality.  Be start to buy-in to our perception of reality as if it's the real thing.  This is an example of having faith in the wrong thing; that we put our faith in our perceptions (the stories we tell ourselves) rather than seeing the Truth.

Fear is faith, misplaced.

Rev. Sue talks about how to move from fear to faith in  the following stages.

Stage 1:  Have Courage.  Have the courage to recognize that you're living in fear.  Have courage to sit there--in the face of fear--without immediately trying to create stories to soften reality.

Stage 2:  Have Awareness.

  • Think of one instance, she says, that you feel fearful about.  One instance/event/thing that personally makes you tense up.  We all have these; for me it's some physical health challenges.  Rev. Sue's example was turning 50 (aging).  
  • Next, look at the reality that exists in that moment.  Ask yourself, 'what stories am I telling myself about this event?'   For example, that when you're 50 your life is somehow over.  Or you're no longer sexually attractive.  Or you're about to die any time now.  Or you can no longer have a successful career.  Etc.  
  • Now ask yourself, "What is it [my story] costing me?"  What are you losing by believing the false reality over real life?
  • And finally, ask yourself, "What becomes possible if I let it go?"  What areas open up because you're no longer attached to your stories?
Stage 3:  Surrender.  This is hinted at above.  To let go of our attachment to the stories we create about our lives is difficult.  Especially when we benefit from our stories, when they comfort us.  But surrendering to the Truth is always, always infinitely more rewarding than we'd ever imagined.

Stage 4:  Spiritual GPS:  A Gentle, Persistant, Spiritual practice is paramount.  This brings us--on a daily basis--back to our Source, back to the Truth of reality.  Being grounded in this way reminds us what we're looking to achieve; union with the Truth, with God.  This quiet reminder is always and immediately available to us.  We just need to make the commitment and give up the time.  

It really was quite a moving service.

If you want to listen to the service, click here.  It'll also give you a list of other audio tracks from recent Unity services.

When I tried to find a website for her, I learned that she is also involved in some interesting(?) website that I haven't gotten a chance to look through.  It's [I think] about 'conscious entrepreneurship'  or something.  To learn more, visit the website.  She's the 'Chief Passionier,' apparently :)

Rev. Sue Oliver


Anyways.  The end.

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