Erica Joy Olsen: Life Musings WiseWomanArtistMomPisces

A quote from an old friend, John Faithful Hamer (who incidentally has a podcast called Likeville which you should check out):
Just as the health of an immune system can be measured by its ability to resist microbial challenge, the health of a mind can be measured by its ability to live with doubt and uncertainty. Weak minds are attracted to conspiracy theories for the same reason that the immuno-compromised are attracted to sterile rooms.

John and I both grew up in cults. He had been out of his longer than I was out of mine and meeting him was critical to my detoxing from my upbringing in a high control brainwashing fear based self righteous childhood. He gave me a book: If You Meet the Buddha on the Road, Kill Him. Author Sheldon B. Kopp. It was about not following along as anyone’s disciple. They walked this life as examples of what we were capable of doing for ourselves.
From an early age, as soon as my logical part of the brain began to develop, I began questioning what I and everyone around me was being told. I was quickly shut down at every turn, and dismissed with my lack of faith being put to question. But all my friends and most of my family were in there. I had to choose between ostracism and shunning or social acceptance and security. So I chose the latter, until a car accident at age 17 smashed my frontal lobe into the windshield. We didn’t have health insurance so no further tests were done to see about permanent damage.
Years later I read Temple Grandin’s book: Animals In Translation, where she talks about frontal lobe damage mimicking autism. That really struck me! It gave me a sense of peace to know that there were different ways of seeing and processing the world and it allowed me to accept mine. I got straight A’s in school, with little to no effort. I could have gotten a full free ride to college. But that accident did a number on me. I got way more introverted, introspective, and impetuous. But I also became way more of a critical thinker. I had the brains but almost no common sense as a kid, because critical thinking was discouraged. We had our beliefs spoon fed to us, sprinkled with shame that kept us from delving deeper into what they were actually saying, or reading any literature that was written about our organization that wasn’t BY the organization.
That sent me off into the world with a deep skepticism, combined with a deep longing for acceptance and a fear that I would never get it….unless I didn’t argue. Most of the time I had no education about the subjects being discussed. For years I just sat and listened to not only their arguments, but HOW they argued. I studied body language, tone of voice, tactics….Actually, I had been doing this since I was raised standing next to grown ups at peoples’ front doors while we were proselytizing, making note of the peoples’ reactions to the tactics we’d all been trained to use. I saw how speaking in a lullaby voice made people more likely to not object. I saw what worked and what didn’t work. Most of the “worldly” people who actually let us “witness” to them were ones who were too nice to argue, or ones in a desperate situation and longed for the support and kindness of a community (that was how my mother got involved). The promise of the erasure of sickness and abuse and a return of the earth to paradisaical conditions.
We were raised with black and white logic. Good vs bad, good vs evil, truth vs lies, right vs wrong…..either or… no room for nuances. I wouldn’t even know what that word meant for decades.
I didn’t find very many answers out in the world, the one I’d been warned about. I found too many perspectives to count. As a Pisces (same birthday as the scientist who created the Theory of Relativity) I thoroughly enjoyed stepping into other peoples’ shoes. I would wear them around long enough to see how my self responded to them, to see how it made people respond to me, before trading them out for another pair. I relished my time alone, barefoot. It was critical to my health and safety. I could see and understand how and why folks felt the way they did, which made it difficult for me to form my own opinion. If someone asked me how I felt about a topic all I could do was express all the varied perspectives I’d encountered. My opinion was the collective opinion, which is why I spent so much time collecting the collective opinion. I kept switching my associates so that I would always maintain a fresh, varied outlook on life and the issues therein. I was a total sponge.
I couldn’t argue with people because I couldn’t remember dates, times, specific facts and my research mostly consisted of talking to people and hearing their take on the facts as they were presented. My own reading was primarily focused on alternative medicines. My first job “in the world” was at a chain bookstore. My first book was on aromatherapy. As the years progressed I would become more Earthy, which translated to stinky, dirty, crunchy, anti-anti, smoked a lot of pot, obsessed about the weeds, didn’t like how city water made me feel, stopped all pharmaceuticals (anti-depressants, birth control, over the counter pain killers) and I gravitated to people on the fringes of society. I’d seen enough of how the mainstream operated to have it remind me of the cult I grew up in. People unquestioningly following along with the official statements, accepting a life full of toxins, buying products without questioning them instead of looking for natural alternatives, too busy and stressed to question much, and any debates that did happen usually got placed on the back burner by whatever was on the television, placating them. I watched a lot of screen as well, checking out almost every film in almost every genre at the university video store, especially the ones that weren’t made in Hollywood (I already knew better).
I met a lot of amazing people over the years. My twenties were spent in University towns and my early thirties were spent traveling, oftentimes living outside(aka homeless), so I met a lot of professors, artists, doctors, naturopaths, veterans, musicians, vagrants, primitivists, questioners, and people who had “been done wrong” by society. These were my people. If they could tell a story that opened my mind and made me laugh they were friends for life. Often these people (especially the older ones who came from mainstream) had a bitter cynical quality. Yeah, they knew what was going on, but they didn’t think they could do anything about it. And they were elated to have someone listen to their story. These stories prompted me to delve deeper into some subjects. In addition to my love of alternative medicine I delved deeply into the world of words, language, etymology, poetry… I saw early on how words were used to control the narrative and peoples’ emotions. When I learned how a lot of these conceptual words had been developed, where they originated, how they’d evolved in different societies, I was floored! There were many times I would be reading the etymology of a word and a geyser of tears would start gushing out of my head…. I read and wrote a lot. I started doing performance poetry. I would soak up the sentiments of the collective and then use that to create my own pieces of art.
I have always felt like more of an observer than a participant of this world. I can relate to just about anyone. I can blend in most places (it’s gotten more challenging over the years, as my own personality emerges). I often consider how my blood type falls into play here. I’m an O negative. Anyone can receive my blood. But I can only receive my own. I have an ability to adapt to my surroundings and I have used that gift in order to survive some pretty horrendous situations. I’m like a chameleon, usually coming out relatively unscathed, but emotional damage did inevitably happen.
I have had to learn over the years how to not be swayed. I’ve never held so tight onto an opinion as to not be moved, aside from knowing that my upbringing was wrong. But I associated unfaltering beliefs as a surefire way to lose people I cared about. (I’ve also had to question how much I actually cared about certain people vs how much I cared about what they thought of me). I recently watched a video (Teal Swan, to be transparent) claiming that people who need a lot of alone time, who are always asking for space and feel that their space is being violated, actually just have really poor personal boundaries. Ouch! It hurt but I needed to hear that. She went on to explain that personal boundaries are simply meant to delineate, define, who you are, what you like, what you don’t like, what you’re willing to accept, what you aren’t. Boundaries are what keep us in our own skin. With the advent of the New Age, unity consciousness, mind expanding philosophies we are being challenged to think outside of our boxes, which is necessary for our evolution. But we still need boundaries (and alone time). They keep us safe, responsible, dare I say ALIVE. There needs to be things that I stand for, stand against, stand up, stand down, sit with, avoid, block, protect against, defend, challenge, serve, stay open to, allow, accept. For the safety and well-being of myself and anyone dependent on me.
There has to be a balance of acceptance and defense. Allowance and offense. Otherwise I’m just “going with the flow”, letting life simply happen to me, serving as a conduit for others. It’s a practice I think everyone should incorporate because it can keep you out of harm’s way and is sometimes necessary for survival. But the opposite is also equally true (shout out to Einstein) that “only a dead fish goes with the flow”. Gotta love the paradox of life. I do love it. What’s true and necessary for me (and you) is to notice where you stand (or don’t stand) as compared to where else I/we could stand on the spectrum. To use the example: I always went with the flow, so in order to come to a healthy balance, I need to get more firmly planted on some things. How else can I protect myself from being taken advantage of? How can WE The People protect ourselves from being taken advantage of? Here’s just a few quotes illustrating this (ironically, I’m not taking the time to fact check the source of these quotes because they stand on their own regardless):
The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing. (Albert Einstein)
All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent (Thomas Jefferson)
Softest on the people who need discipline, hardest on people who need compassion (Unknown)
He who does not oppose evil, commands it to be done (Leonardo Da Vinci)
What you allow, you encourage (Carrie Heinze-Musgrove)
Your silence is consent (Plato)
If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. (Desmond Tutu)…….

I was raised to be neutral. Our community/organization opted out of everything we could, reserving our faith for Jehovah, giving Ceasar’s things to Ceasar, but God’s things to God. So I avoided politics. I never voted. I saw the system presented to me as inherently self-serving to those in government and damaging to the ones being served. I questioned if something so corrupt could actually be utilized and was worth standing up against. I still question, but I know that there’s people within the system who are there to help keep things in check, who are just trying to serve the citizens. I know some people started out with good intentions but were corrupted by greed and power. I know there are people who are moved up the ladder, are given access to their dark desires and them bribed into secrecy. I saw that within the very organization that I was raised.
I have always been a truth seeker. I read the book Zen and the Art of Guitar. It really impacted me. I even got the character for “truth seeker” or “traveling monk” tattooed on my arm. I remember reading that one must learn all the theory and practice all the exercises. But when it came time to play, you needed to be able to forget everything you’d been learning and practicing and JUST PLAY.
All of this is to say: When I read these multi-sourced articles, videos, reports, from special interest groups, from official statements, from front liners, from actors, from conspiracy theorists….I soak it all up, put on the shoes, see how it feels, sit with it…but I can’t let it define me, or my belief system. Choosing to believe anything automatically means that I’m choosing to NOT believe the things that contradict it. And it can keep me from seeing what’s right in front of me (thanks Satya Vayu). But this still gives me trouble because we can’t see what’s going on behind the scene. I do not doubt the gravity of this current situation. I don’t doubt that too many people are dying. I’ve seen and heard things that don’t fit into the narrative we’re being given. They only seem to fit into the alternative narratives, but wholly swallowing a narrative that seems on the surface to make sense can be just as dangerous of a pill. There are nuggets of truth found everywhere and there is too much to filter through! I know; I’ve tried.
Here’s what I DO know:
There are forces at play that are beyond any human’s control, and some that aren’t beyond us…. When I work and play in the dirt I feel a stronger connection to all of life and a deep sense of faith and trust washes over me….. It helps to remember to focus on doing the next “right” thing, placing one foot in front of the other and taking that step, then waiting for the next step to reveal itself. (A journey of a thousand miles starts beneath your feet)….. I’ve heard enough from the outside and now I must trust my gut, that whisper of a voice that has never done me wrong (as long as I listen to it). A dear friend told me that angels only speak in whispers. They will not yell to get your attention. You have to still your mind to hear them. (you don’t have to call them angels) I have made decisions that outwardly make no sense. When asked to explain myself, all I can say is that I have a feeling, which oftentimes doesn’t go over well. I’m often pressured to conform to another’s logical choice on the matter. I’ve lost dear ones because of this, sadly, because I often attempted to give in to their pressure, only to take it back because I couldn’t continue in good conscience, and that was hurtful. My insecurity in myself has hurt many dear ones and for that I’m sorry.
Looking outside of myself for approval, for validation, for who I can trust, has only led to more separation. I have been focusing on strengthening my core, physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. They all need strengthening. So when I stand, I trust my stance. When I yield, I know why. When I say NO, I mean it. And I can say the same about my YES.
I’ll leave you with a poem by Oriah Mountain Dreamer:

It doesn’t interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart’s longing.
It doesn’t interest me
how old you are.
I want to know
if you will risk
looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me
what planets are
squaring your moon…
I want to know
if you have touched
the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened
by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.
I want to know
if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.
I want to know
if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations
of being human.
It doesn’t interest me
if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear
the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.
I want to know
if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
“Yes.”
It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live
or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.
It doesn’t interest me
who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me
where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know
what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.
I want to know
if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like
the company you keep
in the empty moments.

yours in solidarity….

Sex without consent : Denmark Stats

“Incredibly, Denmark has become only the 12th country in Europe to recognise sex without consent as rape, although momentum for change is building in other countries to amend their laws.
Rape in Denmark is hugely under-reported and even when women do go to the police, the chances of prosecution or conviction are very slim.
Every year, 11,400 women in Denmark are subjected to rape or attempted rape, according to the Danish Ministry of Justice. The University of Southern Denmark’s research estimates that this figure may have been as high as 24,000 in 2017. However, in 2019 just 1,017 rapes were reported to the police and only 79 resulted in convictions.

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2020/12/denmark-historic-victory-for-women-as-law-changes-to-recognise-that-sex-without-consent-is-rape/?utm_term=5a7c04623445aea24a02be6b721fff32&utm_campaign=TheWeekInPatriarchy&utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&CMP=weekinpatriarchy_email

Watch “I believe in You- Don Williams HD LYRICS” on YouTube

I do believe in organic foods !

I played this song a few weeks ago and of course

I cried at the throw back to my Dad and Mom

and what were seemingly simpler things .

I cried at the very basic , simple heartfelt

message , timeless .

I cried because of all that has come between

my core beliefs and has only reaffirmed many

core beliefs remain and are worthy .

I cried for losses and I cried for all the gains

as corrections ensure change , reclaimation

and endings of generational abuses and trauma

that need never be experienced again .

And after the crying , tears dried , I smiled

knowing the presence and presents , gifts

that have been revealed even in shadow

and acute and devestating loss , change and

reclaimation are realities and Blessings

outweight the blips in the radar as others

need prevails to do much harm , their actions

have a reverb that reveals their character and

lack of consciousness that is a gift also.

Letting go…✌️

I Do Believe in You 💕🧚🌟

I Do Believe in me .🐸

I Do Believe in US .💯🙏

Blessings & Peace ,

Dona Luna ©️✌️💞

Randy Travis – Diggin Up Bones Lyrics

Às Beloved and I communed on Sunday , part of

of our day was excavation…One of us thought of the

following song , and pulled it up.

Fully enjoying the song together in it’s intent , agreeing

healing by 1 chosen in their family to hold truth

and light , even if you go throught hell, that

does end and we are chosen by ancestors .

Signs abound …

And yes it’s like digging up a grave , digging up

bones ..

Much thanks to Amanda , my guide and beloved

soul sister , which holds many connections .

A Blessing 💘, in her wholeness , her great love

and her journey with me and others as we

collectively dig up the bones , know the stories

and heal them compassionately that we may begin

brand new, as we deserve and have manifested

over lifetimes .

Blessings & Peace ,

Dona Luna

Mother



In the beginning was the Mother.
On the first day, She gave birth to light and darkness.
They danced together.
On the second day, She gave birth to land and water. They touched.
On the third day, She gave birth to green growing things.
They rooted and took a deep breath.
On the fourth day, She gave birth to land, sea, and air creatures.
They walked and flew and swam.
On the fifth day, Her creation learned balance and cooperation.
She thanked her partner for coaching her labor.
On the sixth day, She celebrated the creativity of all living things.
On the seventh day, She left space for the unknown.
-Patricia Lynn Reilly, Be Full of Yourself


Painting by Danielle Boodoo-Fortuné

Witness Truths Heal , Tell Your Story

“The truth is, in order to heal we need to tell our stories and have them witnessed…The story itself becomes a vessel that holds us up, that sustains, that allows us to order our jumbled experiences into meaning.As I told my stories of fear, awakening, struggle, and transformation and had them received, heard, and validated by other women, I found healing.I also needed to hear other women’s stories in order to see and embrace my own. Sometimes another woman’s story becomes a mirror that shows me a self I haven’t seen before. When I listen to her tell it, her experience quickens and clarifies my own. Her questions rouse mine. Her conflicts illumine my conflicts. Her resolutions call forth my hope. Her strengths summon my strengths. All of this can happen even when our stories and our lives are very different.” — Sue Monk Kidd (The Dance of the Dissident Daughter: A Woman’s Journey from Christian Tradition to the Sacred Feminine)
Arna Baartz Artist

Why Do kids lie?, It’s easiest to avoid pain

Why do kids lie? 

There are many ways to avoid pain and lying is one of the most common. Ever wondered why children lie? It is usually to avoid perceived or real psychological/physical pain. Our brains are wired for protection and protection means avoiding pain. 
Lying is a protective measure. It’s comforting to the brain when we feel that we are able to protect ourselves. The reason why adults lie is more or less the same reason – protection.  
We don’t want to hear the truth, because that involves change and change involves struggle and struggle is pain. We also don’t want to admit the truth because admitting we were wrong or did wrong brings shame and shame is psychological and social pain.  
We want to get our own way without perceived obstacles. Obstacles in the way of getting what we want are perceived in our brains as pain because it involves struggle, so to avoid pain we lie. 
Lying is an avoidance of pain. It’s the avoidance of having to work through the fall out of something you did wrong or avoiding obstacles on your path to getting your own way. Lying can lead to inhibited emotional growth and maturity. This is the sad, and inevitable personal consequence of lying. 
If we punish lying with pain it will lead to more lying. To help kids to stop lying, sit down with them and discuss the consequences for doing it, (inner and outer).  
Usually, the antidote to anything is its opposite, tackle lying with the truth – make the truth a way of life – make the truth known, and hold your kids personally accountable to it. 
For more parenting help and resources like this visit my pagehttps://www.facebook.com/victoriousparenting