Anne Smith :: Blog for September 2015


September.14.2015

Hello Everybody!

Let's catch up. As some of you know from my FB post, I have recently lost my job. It happened very suddenly, and in a way that was personally devastating and insulting. There is really very little to say, except that my conscience is quite clear; I did nothing to deserve this treatment, and I will choose to see it as "Divine Intervention". I sincerely thank my former friend and employer (I choose not to name her) for the experiences, good and bad, inside and outside of the workplace, for the past 3 years. In fact, I will continue to refer families to her practice; that is how much I believe in her ability.

I have learned much about child development as well as some fascinating research regarding the brain and its potential-however, it is the MIND that fascinates me: consciousness and the body-mind connection, emotional intelligence and how we stop ourselves from accessing our full and authentic power. I am almost through reading an UNFORGETTABLE and amazing book "In Search of the Warrior Spirit", by Richard Strozzi Heckler. I picked it up almost instinctively at a book store that was going out of business in Lake George, one evening with my niece Maggie. The book's subtitle: Teaching Awareness Disciplines to the Green Berets. It cost me $2.50. I wish I had bought every available copy to give to as many friends as I could. Heckler, an Aikido Master, chronicles a top-secret experiment by the US Army from1985-6, in which he trained 25 SFs in awareness disciplines-aikido, mediation, vegetarianism and the psychology of the body, to name a few. In the course of his training, some powerful transformations took place, in the minds and hearts of these "natural killers". The topic challenges our notions of what is "good" and what is "evil", what it means to be a warrior on today's battlefield. Heckler's writing is so whole, both masculine and feminine in its scope. This book would make one hell of a film.

We are in a technological age that is outpacing our strategies to manage it. With the press of a button, a terrorist can activate a WMD, nuclear, or chemical weapon. As a nation, we are confronted with some very "clear and present dangers" from foreign and domestic entities- I am becoming more restless and desirous, as an American, to play a role in understanding what it means to be a true patriot, stripped of financial motives or political underpinnings; what it means to support our troops, but not to support this endless cycle of violence and death. For some time, I have subscribed to FP, (Foreign Policy), an online Global Magazine that (I feel), presents less biased journalism than mainstream television and other media. It was through one FP article that I came across a paper written by Lt. General Michael Flynn, former head of the DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency). Since reading it, I've listened to several of his YouTube interviews. I am so impressed with his intelligence, humanity, and ability to articulate a very complex situation in the Middle East. I urge you to look him up.

http://docs.house.gov/meetings/FA/FA13/20150610/103582/HHRG-114-FA13-Wstate-FlynnM-20150610.pdf

It is a long article. But the bottom line: WE as a democratic society need to take a good look inside our selves and value what it means to live in this country. Flynn made a remark during one of his interviews that struck a deep chord in me, the fact that violence and aggression as our main line of defense is not working. He advocates "the use of imagination" to out think and defeat the opponent. And what is imagination, but awareness, consciousness, set on fire! You may not see me wielding an AK-47, but I'll tell you what- I am a passionate and tireless defender of the imagination. I detest any campaign that employs the phrase, "The War Against_____ "(drugs, cancer, illiteracy, racism, poverty, etc) It's a meaningless cliche, unless you are the one laughing all the way to the bank with money from the sale of T-shirts, coffee mugs, buttons, bumper stickers, and other fundraisers. Open your eyes, friends: The War Against Imagination, however, is very real in this country. The gaming industry is thriving. Wait! Games are imaginative, right? No. Games are masterminded by someone else; all the rules come inside a box. Games are finite, and have strategies, agendas. Gamers don't even have to play with anyone other than themselves. Dare I compare it to obsessive masturbating? (Notice I said 'obsessive'- everything in moderation, friends!). If there was one thing I learned about the brain in my past job, it involves the neuro-feedback "loop" that is created and reinforced when the repeated use of an object or activity triggers the release of neurotransmitters that convert this object or activity into a very real need to pay attention to, do, or have, only "that thing". Check out something called Minecraft, and how it is now being used in public schools as part of instruction. Wikipedia: "The creative and building aspects of Minecraft enable players to build constructions out of textured cubes in a world of 3D. Other activities in the game include exploration, resource gathering, crafting, and combat".

Cubes, grids, squares, boxes. No way. It's a trap.

I'm so sure that the teachers and administrators are patting themselves on the back for anticipating "the future wave of education." What happened to the concepts of "Hands-On", "Free Play" and "Let's Pretend"? Let me not get into reality shows today…..

Albert Einstein: "Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” Listen no further than "Imagine", by John Lennon.

Imagination is not some frivolous state of reverie only experienced by artists, in which they "Get up at 9:30, drink coffee , write songs and paint pictures." If you're wondering who I am quoting, I choose not to name her; but those words were recently aimed at me, and their only exit out of the wound they caused in my heart was through the door of the building I had worked in for the past three years. Hey, it's only a battle scar. I'm alive! I'm seeking, I'm learning. I need to grow, from the inside out. I'll say a prayer, that my eyes and ears be open to go where I am needed to serve, and that my Imagination will take me there.

Until Next Time xoxox
Annie

 

Contact Anne Smith at: annesmith.smith10@gmail.com