Friday, September 28, 2012

Fond Memories of Saskatoon

My cousin just blogged about her trip to Saskatoon and it made me reminisce — I once lived in Saskatoon, from 1978 – 2002. But, I must clarify that I really started LIVING after my divorce in ’97.

The Saskatoon summers were awesome when the heat waves hit. For me, a heat wave was ideal weather. Heat waves made the winters bearable. Saskatoon was so hot I would dip a large overshirt in water and then wring it out to wear on the bus in order to keep cool while getting downtown (laugh if you must!). A half an hour later, walking around the street events, the shirt was bone dry. I never left home without a bottle of water during those heat waves. I loved the Fringe Festival, usually held in the Broadway District, or I’d take in the sidewalk sales downtown. I also loved to dance at the Blues Festivals and the Jazz Fests. Great music for those slow, sensuous West Coast Swings or the lively East Coast Swings!

During the heat waves, even the nights were hot. I liked to sleep outside on my balcony, where the air was moving. True, I had an air-conditioner, but I didn’t appreciate the roaring sound or the blasting cold air. Besides, I could never get used to the heat if I used air-conditioning — temperatures were too extreme! Oh, and the thunderstorms that erupted after a heat wave were something else! I so loved the thunderstorms. What impressive light shows they were!

Winters, on the other hand, were bitterly cold, with wind chills running to minus 40 and 50 degrees below zero. The steam from the traffic froze when it left the tailpipes and literally hung in the air — ice fog. These frigid dips of temperature lasted three weeks at a stretch some winters.

The Bessborough (“The Bezz” by locals) is one of the nicest hotels in the city, with one of the finest city views along the river. From that vantage point, the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) can be viewed across the bridge and to the Northeast. The trees are lush, with a differing panoramic view with the coming of each new season.

The U of S Dance Club held an annual dance event and sometimes it was held in the Bessborough’s grand ballroom. Our dance group watched a great Latin dance show one year, and then spent the rest of the night doing waltzes, foxtrots, cha-chas and rumbas. The event included dinner — and the food, too, was exquisite (first time I ever reveled in a dessert of Key Lime Pie).

I’ll always remember my dance adventures in Saskatoon. They were some of my happiest memories up till then. Those dancing days gave me the momentum to move ever forward in my life. Those days gave me courage to live my dreams to write and publish my book (which I just got back from the editor). I have a little more polishing, but it’s shaping up nicely. My editor assured me it’s a great story that needs to be told.

I celebrate Saskatoon!

Follow on Twitter: @_phoenixoffaith
Copyright © 2012.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Beliefs about Equality

I have been staying more positive lately, not sliding into great holes of anger and despair. What am I doing differently? I'm actively feeding my mind in a more positively-focused direction. For example, I watched several videos recently on Wayne Dyer's book, The Power of Intention. I read the book years ago and found it easy to believe, as it aligned with the many new things I was learning, during my theological purge of the family religion. I was filling my mind and heart with wonderful new ideas!

I believe it is imperative to replace the negative beliefs with positive ones. I'm not sure how it all works, but I do believe staying positive is important for one's emotional well-being. I believe in love and peace. I surrender to the Divinity within myself and in all that is.

The simple act of believing in these basic truths has a calming effect on my entire being. Along with believing comes a knowing.

One of my greatest realizations is understanding that religions basically believe all the same things. The divisions occur when people separate themselves from their fellow humans by believing their religion is right and all others are wrong. If humans want religion to heal humanity, then they may wish to look at all the similarities, rather than the differences. I believe in simplicity!

If we are all one with the Divinity within us, the divisions can no longer exist. Instead, love, peace and harmony shall most naturally prevail.

Follow on Twitter: @_phoenixoffaith
Copyright © 2012.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Religiously Conditioned Women

Religiously-conditioned women think differently than secular women about their lot in life. Especially about roles. In patriarchal religions, many young girls grow up being told their best life could only be in service to a husband and a bunch of children. A woman is not in control of her own body, her husband is, in what the Bible calls "husbandly ownership." — Jeremiah 31:32. Secular women often think beyond such a limited scope of baby-making by choosing a career.

As long as the religiously-conditioned woman tows the line they will fit into a patriarchal family. Provide sex on demand for her husband — fake it if necessary — raise those kids, go to church and pretend everything is perfect. Then, do even more to hold everything together. In my family, whatever I did was never enough for those patriarchal elders, until I finally burned out. Only after getting into therapy, did I discover my family religion was filled with delusional thinking.

The version of truth I was taught: the imminent coming of Armageddon followed by the thousand year reign of Christ where earthly conditions would be perfect. Other religions have still other versions of the Truth. Religions all teach they are each the only "true" religion. That in itself sounds delusional.

Looking back, it all sounds delusional. I didn't know it back then, since I was religiously conditioned, at the time. It took decades of therapy to heal those delusional beliefs.

Religious life is still patriarchal in nature, meaning the man is the head of the family and everything he says goes. The wife must support him, no matter how delusional the thoughts and beliefs.

It would be awesome for women to try some independent thinking, apart from delusional religion. First, they would have to see a need for such independent thinking, which might break down the conditioning and mind control of religion.

(revised September 3, 2012)

Follow on Twitter: @_phoenixoffaith
Copyright © 2012.