Coming Back to Life

Hi there! This is the second time I’ve come back to this blog after a long hiatus. The first time I shut it down, it was because I felt that there was nothing that I was saying that other people weren’t also saying, and usually better than I did.

Then the 2015-2016 U.S. election cycle began, and I realized that there was still a need for voices to remind people of the ways they could still find love, enjoy their life, and build constructive practices.

Practicing What You Proselyte

In 2016, though, I found myself feeling spread really thin. I was starting a new project – a startup called “Consent Rocks”, focusing on improving the consent practices in the altsex community and beyond – and it was going to need far more of my attention than I’d first realized.

It probably seems obvious, given the 2017 headlines full of sexual harassment and assault allegations and revelations, but back then it was a truly new approach to handling these kinds of incidents in ways that would reduce the trauma for everyone concerned.

As someone who had many times explained, both in prose and in person, that ”you can’t do everything”, I realized that I had to give up something. I had to choose between doing many things poorly, or choose to focus my energies on something and really do it right.

Almost Did It, Too.

We built something good; we helped a lot of people, and more importantly sparked discussions and inspired actions by individuals and organizations. We were, I believe, responsible for people to begin using the more accurate term “consent incident” rather than “consent violation” (which pre-judges circumstances).

Unfortunately, two things happened: First, I began to see that my own role as a Director and Producer of events like Open Space was a conflict of interest to my work with Consent Rocks.

Second, there was a consent incident where the process of Consent Rocks was inadequate to address the needs of the person who most needed it. There were a lot of factors involved with more people than just the Consent Rocks Crew, but our methods contributed to making a bad situation worse.

We shut down operations and right now the organization is going through some restructuring, and part of that is my resigning from the Board (yep, it’s a real-live non-profit organization) and from my duties as Training Director.

Finding a Reason

I now have time again to write!

But…let’s be clear: just because I have time to do something, doesn’t necessarily mean that I should. Even if I wasn’t a fan of things like the Bored and Brilliant project, my inner Zen Buddhist would be whispering to me, “Don’t just do something; sit there.” I wanted to avoid the ego-trip of writing simply for the sake of seeing another article appear on Medium or on my blog.

And besides…it’s 2017. We have a self-confessed sexual predator and narcissistic liar in the highest office of the land, and things don’t get much better the further down the tree of government you travel. The U.S. is more fractured than ever, with people shifting the discourse from “I disagree with your ideas, but you have the right to have them” to “You are a danger to me and mine because of the ideas I believe you have”. The possibility of a bloody civil conflict is not only real but possibly we’re already in it, just without recognizing that it’s begun.

It’s scary. It’s depressing. And somehow writing a personal development blog may be the most inconsequential and narcissistic thing one could do with their time.

Help Yourself

I’ve been learning how to escape zombies.

That is, I’ve been doing the “Couch-to-5K” training program that Run, Zombies created – and you can bet I’ll be writing about the experience of being a former letterman cross-country runner starting on the “couch” end of that program.

Rehearsing my “Zombies don’t eat me!” Expression.

The thing is, I don’t like running – or, at least, I don’t look forward to it. But it does provide an outlet for anger, as well as a treatment for depressive episodes that come from watching the things happening in the world. So I was puffing and wheezing and shuffling along, angry at my body as much as anything else…and I realized, at that point, that I did in fact have a reason to go back to writing this blog.

Not for you. Well, ok, for you, you know who you are, but not for those of you who read this and who don’t really know me.

No. I need to write this blog because I need to be reminded of the reasons to carry on. I need to be reminded that it’s ok to love fearlessly, to live joyfully, and to build constructive practices to carry me through the dark times.

So yep. I’m back, and this is your Life post – because Life is worth it. There’s a lot of sayings that are appropriate for this kind of gritty determination in the face of hopeless odds. Things like “nil illegitimi carborundum” or “C’mon you apes! You wanna live forever?” or even my most recent favorite, a quote from the Duke of Wellington when his mistress tried to blackmail him: ”Publish and be damned!

But I think the one that I’ll close with is one that a good friend of mine, who works with me on creating spaces where people can find their authentic joy, mentioned to me. This is the battle cry that we’ll take as we restart the engines of LoveLifePractice:

“JOY is PROTEST”

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