Vacation, Migration, Crossings.

View looking south towards Squamish, BC, Canada.

Homelands of the Sk̲wx̲wú7mesh Úxumixw, the Squamish People,

descendants of the Coast Salish First Nations People.

We're back from our trip to BC where we camped with friends, all the kids, and got some paddling and rock climbing in to boot. Also one trip to the local hospital's ED, Emergency Department. It was finger vs. hatchet.

To note, the hatchet was thankfully dull, nothing was left behind after the blow, but a few gnarly stiches and a long wait in the ED were indeed required. The injured party (not me) is doing fine and well into recovery.

Also to note if curious, US citizens do not benefit from Canadian socialized healthcare. Make sure you have travel insurance.

And still, what a privilege to travel like this. Passport in hand, papers lined up, and permission to be and exist across borders, seamlessly.

I lived nearish the Texas / Mexico border from 1999 - 2005 and also was able to easily go between the two countries - which I did, often - when I was a college student and a couple years after in Austin. During breaks I'd hop a bus and spend a few days with friends exploring a new town and place, like San Blas in Nayarit, the colonial cities of Guanajuato and San Miguel de Allende, surfing in Puerto Escondido, checking out Monte Alban in Oaxaca, visiting Mexico City, or rock climbing at El Potrero Chico. Once when friends and I were backpacking in Big Bend National Park we were also able to cross the Rio Grande with a boat (no ID required) for $1, then pay $1 to ride a donkey up to the tiny village town of Boquillas for tacos and Coronas overlooking the Chisos mountains. (Out of curiosity, looks like the fee to cross the river is now $5 in 2022, and now you need a passport.)

In the natural world, the borders show up in an estuary where fresh and salt water mix. The transition zone along the edges of forests and meadows. The plant and wildlife transition between sub-alpine and alpine environments. Transition zones abound in our natural world. Walk the mile down into the Grand Canyon and have it unfurl before your eyes, real time. These are where the real, geographical, climatic, or physical topography boundaries delineate where different plants and animals can or can't exist, or co-exist, or sometimes, only exist.

I have always been fascinated by borderlands and the in-between spaces. I've learned more and more over the years about the human ones, how easy and hard it is for some more than others.

It's a tangled, complicated world, and we're all just humans on the planet living very different lives based on origin, and the social constructs of class, race, culture and religion.

Crossing the political borders to seek asylum status is about asking permission to be in a new place for survival. Crossing without papers is giving oneself permission to survive despite conditions, with high risk and potentially precarious outcomes.

These borders and transitions also exist within the psyche.

Our identities are shaped by who with live with, where and how we grow up, the schooling we receive. And then, for many of us, we get to a point and look around us going:

Who's identity am I fulfilling? Is it my own? Is it the will of my parents and others? A combination? Does my truth match the culture I was raised up in? Do I want the things I was taught to want?

While it's not the exact same thing, crossing the borders in ourselves to come into our truth can be just as precarious, especially when the external conditions don't match or support what we really want inside.

I believe that the more we are willing to step into the truth of our real selves, to step across the internal borders that hold us back, the more we impact the external world to have more flexibility and grace for those trying to do the same in outward ways.

Somehow, we release within ourselves some pent up energy that then has a mirror effect outside of us, elsewhere, energetically. When we create room within, more space appears, externally. I don't have proof of this, but it's a feeling and sensation I have every time I choose my internal truth, that there is less restriction outside of me as well.

For some people who's truths really go against the dominant paradigms I know it also sparks fear and rage into those most bought into or benefitting from the systems of dominant control. Where being different is not allowed and means life or death. And these believers will go to extremes to uphold and maintain these specific standards. They might be the ones who have the least permission to have their true selves. I do not think anyone was born into this world to use violence and oppression to maintain power. I think it's a culture we have learned and are struggling to unlearn, deeply.

Almost each and every one of us on this modern planet has been steeped in this, regardless of our beliefs, political stripes, and upbringing. It's older than we are. It's permeated further than we might be conscious to.

It's here, where I, along with many of you, wonder how to gain skill in unlearning these ways with safety and integrity. Where we can have our multiple truths and allow them to co-exist without harm. It may push boundaries and give room for thought and consideration, but without physical or mental or emotional or spiritual harm to others.

I don't have answers for that. I do believe in influencing where we have influence and building safety for personal truth as much as possible. And if you have the privilege of that safety, advocating for it for others who may have less say in the matter in today's systems and cultures of dominance.

I doubt that in my lifetime the full manifestation of personal freedom to be in our full truths will exist, though I am committed to working on the foundations for it best I can, with a lens looking forward to least harm on outcomes I cannot possibly predict.

I call it my 500-year plan.

What actions can I take today that will have the best chance of leaving a positive benefit to those 20 generations from now. How can things arc for the better for us all? How will the one person I've been able to help, or how will me working on myself, have a positive benefit to someone, somewhere, somehow, 500 years from now? I don't think it egotistical to think this way, I think it practical. My parents and the teachers I've had have left an impression on me, and they are the result of the past 500 years of their upbringings and raisings. So, I know that I will have some kind of impact because I am a human interacting with others. So I think about it, what I can do that creates lasting change and the least harm.

I know it's idealist, futurist, and possibly on the cusp of sci-fi. And yet I aim for this. To help people make the transitions internally to make more space for themselves, which creates more space externally for others. We have so many internal borders to cross, to open, to allow more flexibility within ourselves. For those ready, willing, and interested.

There is no forcing. No proselytizing. If you don't like what I say or share, delete and unsubscribe. No hard feelings. I'm not some guru. I have strong feelings about truth and permission to Be for all, and that there is a better way than we're doing now. I explore them out loud and in my work. As Maya Angelou advised, “Do your best. Then, when you know better, do better.”

That phrase could be the underpinning statement to my work in this life.

I fundamentally believe this work is a part of wholeness and healing for many. How we are on the inside becomes reflected to us externally. Healing ourselves becomes a healing for others. It creates new ways of being within the systems we create and live inside of, and we will continue to require editing, refinement, reflection, repair, and still to move forward.

Imagine 1,000,000 people taking this on together. Then 10,000,000. Then an entire country of 300,000,000+. What we could do together. To be whole. To have our whole selves. To have the space for others to have their whole selves.

It's idealistic, and this is where I aim.

It starts within.


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