Saturday, September 28, 2019

My Personal And Political Journey With Marianne Williamson


For as long as I can remember I have been fascinated with American history. I participated in making a film about United States presidents in elementary school. I got a perfect score on the final test in my American civil war class in junior high and I read books on the revolutionary war just for fun.

When I was old enough to vote I was ecstatic to finally be an active part of our democracy.

However as time went on I began to feel disillusioned and disappointed that our government didn't seem to live up to its founding principles. In my view it often failed to do the right thing for its people and when I complained about this to others I was invariably told that I was naive and didn't understand how the world worked these days.

Eventually I accepted this and turned to my other interests: Art, music and literature. Psychology, philosophy and spirituality. I decided that it was foolish to look to external forces to improve the world. The real revolution, I concluded, happened within.

I don't think I was entirely wrong. In many ways I can see how the personal transformation movement had positive effects on the world at large and how our culture did evolve to reflect our higher values in some areas. However, I can look back and see now that even while this was happening there were forces working against it. The fact that not everyone in the world shared my values became disturbingly clear on September 11, 2001 and the fact that not everyone in my own country agreed with my principles became shockingly apparent on November 9, 2016.

How the hell did this happen? I found myself asking that day but there seemed to be no satisfactory answer or any plausible solution. “Resist” and “Persist” were excellent maxims for those who had some power in the system of our government but as an average citizen I felt there was little I could do other than use the skills I had to encourage others and wait for the next election.

And pray for a miracle.

Enter Marianne Williamson. Like millions of other people, I first became aware of her when she appeared on the Oprah Show in 1992. I read her book “A Return To Love” and it earned a place on my bookshelf alongside other publications that I considered my “manuals for life” such as The Road Less Traveled” by M. Scott Peck and my collection of Merle Shain books. My best friend and I would purchase and swap cassette tapes of her lectures, listening to them so many times that we could quote parts of them verbatim to each other as advice when personal challenges arose.

I continued to read her books and follow her career. Unlike some other “Spiritual Authors”, Williamson was not a fad for me. Her message remained consistent but evolved to address the times we lived in and reflect her own process of maturity. Her extensive charitable work gave her credibility. She was someone who walked her talk and I admired her as a person as much as I appreciated her wisdom as an author and a lecturer.

When her book, “Healing The Soul Of America” came out, some people saw it as a departure from her spiritual teachings but I didn't. It was obvious to me by then that she had an interest in American history and social justice. However, when I read that book I realized she was even more knowledgeable than I had guessed. Not only that but she spoke of things I hadn't thought about in years, things that awakened the love I had for American history and democracy back in junior high school. I actually remember clearly thinking one night as I was reading that book, “she should run for president.”

I didn't seriously think she ever would at the time but she was clearly moving in a more political direction, co founding what would eventually be known as The Peace Alliance, launching the Sister Giant conferences and joining the board of RESULTS, a non-profit citizens' advocacy group.

In 2018, however, I was experiencing a personal crisis and though I still practiced many of the things I learned from Marianne Williamson to cope with it, I wasn't aware of her Love America Tour or even when she declared her candidacy in early 2019.

I only became aware of her candidacy a few months ago when, after a long hiatus from Facebook, I logged in and saw a video she posted talking about it.

My first thought: She finally did it.

My second thought: This is the miracle I've been praying for.

Marianne Williamson is a bridge from the personal to the political. Just as she knows the core principles that allow a person to thrive individually, she understands the founding principles of our democracy and how they can be restored, renewed and re-imagined so that we can all reach our full potential collectively.

Unlike our current leadership, she sees beyond what divides us to what connects us; our common humanity and our ability to do great things.

For people like myself, who have found themselves stalled on their personal spiritual journey and frustrated by the horrors happening around us, Marianne Williamson is offering an answer to the question, “What can I do?”

That answer is ultimately different for everyone but at it's core I believe it is this:

Do what you have been doing - what you love to do, what you have been trained to do, what you know you're good at – but do it in service of something bigger than yourself. Do it not just for personal reward or enlightenment. Do it even if it doesn't earn you money or accolades. Do it in spite of being judged or mocked for it. Do it for others, for your country and your planet. Do it because you know in your heart it is the right thing to do.

That is the path that Marianne Williamson has walked her whole life and I believe it is the path to the next level spirituality all of us seekers have yearned for and the next level politics this country was created for.

Learn more about Marianne Williamson and her political platform at Marianne2020.com

Thank you for reading.

Peace, love and justice for all,

Victoria


Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Greta, My Husband and Doing The Right Thing


One of my self imposed guidelines for social media is, “take nothing personally.” However, I am not always successful in following it and when it comes to others attacking people I care about, directly or indirectly, it tends to fly out the window.

Recently the personal attacks on social media directed at 16 year-old Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg by climate deniers has gotten under my skin.  Still, I managed not to engage with any of these hateful people until I happened to come across a glaring example of complete ignorance that someone tweeted in the form of this sentence:

Greta, has autism. Aspbergers which means she believes all that is said to her and repeats it.

And then I just had to set this person straight. I did manage to do it without violating Twitter's guidelines, though not my own, and I'm perfectly okay with that.

For the record that sentence is not true. People with Aspergers Syndrome (aka, Level 1 Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD) simply have difficulty with social communication and are likely to have sensory challenges as well but they are just as intelligent and often more so than anyone who is neurotypical.

Source: https://www.verywellhealth.com/what-are-the-different-types-of-autism-260611

I know all of this because I happen to be married to someone with this mild form of autism and trust me, he doesn't believe all that is said to him. In fact, I believe that his sense of right and wrong is more objective than mine because he doesn't follow or even take notice of social cues that might influence him otherwise. He believes in following the rules as long as they are based on logic and fairness and if they are not, he won't follow them or he will complain about them and pays no heed to what the consequences may be.

Greta reminds me of him in that way and she has helped me to further see and respect the value of that. I realized that, just as she is speaking to the collective conscience of our society with her unequivocal stance on the dire reality of our planet's climate emergency, my husband's insistence on doing what's right keeps me honest and in tune with my own higher principles. Because of him, I never throw away a recyclable item even when I'm tempted to for the sake of convenience and I always make sure my car comes to a complete and full stop at any stop sign when I'm driving. But more than that, I have learned from him, and now from Greta, that I do not need social validation to believe in or to act on what I know is right and just.

It has been said that Aspergers makes Greta Thunberg a better activist and I think that is true because both she and my husband have inspired me to be a better person.

So be warned, if I catch you saying ignorant things about either one of them, all bets are off.

Peace, love and justice for all,
Victoria

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

5 Myths And Facts About Marianne Williamson

Marianne Myth Versus Reality

For one reason or another, there is a lot of false information about Marianne Williamson on the internet these days and, if they didn't know anything about her before she became a presidential candidate, I can see why some people may be confused or misled by it. So this is my attempt to debunk some of the myths I have seen with what I know to be true.  How do I know what is true? Well for one thing I have read most of her books, listened to her lectures and followed her career for the last 27 years. I have also taken the time to read many of the articles that are perpetuating these misconceptions and research other sources when necessary.

So here are the 5 biggest myths that I have seen about Marianne Williamson and the facts that counter them.

Myth #1: Marianne Williamson is some kind of "airy fairy" new age hippie.

Fact: Marianne Williamson is a best selling author, an activist and a spiritual leader.

Marianne's bestselling books and successful career have nothing to do with crystals, astrology or sage burning. Her writings and lectures for the past 35 years have been based on a series of books called, “A Course In Miracles” which is a self study program of spiritual psychotherapy. I myself have studied “A Course In Miracles” and can tell you with certainty that it is not a cult or even a religion. It is simply a book of instruction on love and forgiveness. Many people of all different kinds of religions and spiritual beliefs have studied and benefited from it. I was raised catholic and found nothing in this text that contradicts what I learned in church. Marianne herself is Jewish.

What makes Marianne Williamson an effective spiritual leader, in my opinion, is not just her knowledge and ability to communicate it but the way in which she consistently “walks her talk”. She doesn't just preach about love, she demonstrates her compassion and empathy through service and activism.

Here's a short video that outlines Marianne's humanitarian efforts:



As you can see, there is nothing trite or comical about her many accomplishments.



Myth #2: Marianne Williamson is anti-science and anti-medicine.

Fact: Marianne Williamson is pro-science and pro-medicine but skeptical of "big pharma".


This general myth can be broken down into four sub myths:

Myth 2a: Marianne Williamsons's spiritual beliefs preclude a belief in science or medicine.

Fact: Marianne Williamson's spiritual beliefs are inclusive and in accord with science and medicine.

There are people and articles on the internet these days quoting select passages from Marianne's book, A Return To Love, where she talks about how our thoughts affect our health or how prayer and visualizations can aid our healing.  This is used as evidence to justify a conclusion that she doesn't believe in taking medicine or that people who are sick should be able to heal themselves through prayer and visualization only.

As someone who has read that book more than once, I can tell you that conclusion is false.  In fact in the very same chapter those quotes are taken from she clearly states that people who are sick should take medicine and describes an incident where she needed to take antibiotics to heal. 

Furthermore, many medical experts currently take a holistic approach to healing that includes prayer and meditation as well as medicine.

Myth 2b: Marianne Williamson told AIDS patients not to take medication.

Fact: Marianne Williamson never told AIDS patients not to take medicine.

This is such an ugly rumor and so out of character with Marianne's accomplishments and reputation that I knew it was false. However, I did my due diligence and read the articles that purported this but couldn't find any credible evidence to support the claim. 

However, there are many credible witnesses to Marianne's work at the time of the AIDS crisis that have come forward to refute this claim.  This video is a compilation of just a few of them:



Myth 2c: Marianne Williamson is anti-vaccine.

Fact: Marianne Williamson is pro-vaccine.

Marianne was accurately quoted as calling mandatory vaccination policies “Orwellian” and “draconian” but later apologized, telling Los Angeles Magazine, "I am sorry that I made comments which sounded as though I question the validity of life-saving vaccines. That is not my feeling and I realize that I misspoke."

Her campaign also released the following statement:


To spite these clarifications there are people who still believe she is antivaxx and that is their prerogative.  However, my experience is that antivaxxers are fairly passionate about their beliefs and don't back off them so easily.  I also think it is fairly apparent that Marianne is someone who doesn't shy away from having a controversial opinion.

Myth 2d: Marianne Williamson doesn't believe in depression or that depressed people should take medication.

Fact: Marianne Williamson believes that medications can be helpful for people with clinical depression but is concerned about the over-prescription of antidepressants. 

I have previously discussed my personal feelings about this on my "My Depression and Marianne Williamson" post.

For Marianne's offical statement on science, mental health and depression as well as her very legitimate concerns about the role that big pharmaceutical companies are playing in the over-prescription of antidepressants and other drugs, please click here.



Myth #3: Marianne Williamson is a grifter who is using her presidential campaign to promote her books.

Fact: Marianne Williamson is running for President because she believes she can provide the moral leadership this country needs at this time.


This is the silliest myth out there.  The idea that an already successful, best selling author would endure the rigors of a presidential campaign for mere publicity is beyond absurd. 

Whether or not people choose to support her campaign, I feel she deserves their respect for not just writing or preaching about the problems currently facing our country but stepping up to actually do something about them.




Myth #4: Marianne Williamson is not qualified to be President Of The United States.

Fact: Marianne Williamson is qualified to be President Of The United States.


Legal requirements for presidential candidates have remained the same since the year George Washington accepted the presidency. As per the Constitution, a presidential candidate must be a natural born citizen of the United States, a resident for 14 years, and 35 years of age or older.

Marianne Williamson meets these requirements.

She has also clearly demonstrated many of the leadership qualities that, according to ushistory.gov, our most revered presidents have had in common, such as a strong vision for our country's future, an ability to put our times in the perspective of history, effective communication skills and crisis management skills.

Click here to view a video of Marianne explaining her qualifications in her own words.



Myth #5: Marianne Williamson doesn't believe in plans.

Fact: Marianne Williamson has detailed plans on how to address the critical issues our country is facing today.

Just because she said the democrats were not going to beat Donald Trump by simply having plans does not mean she doesn't have any.

In fact, Marianne's well thought out plans are on her website, at Marianne2020.com/issues for anyone to see.  I strongly suggest you go there and educate yourself about them just as you should with every other candidate's policies.  Then you can base your decision on who to support on facts, not myths.

Thank you for reading and if you have any questions about something you have read about Marianne Williamson, please feel free to leave them in the comments and I will do my best to provide a truthful and well researched answer. 

Love will win,
Victoria

Friday, August 9, 2019

Marianne Gets It (Music Video)

Here is a video of me performing a song I wrote about presidential candidate Marianne Williamson called "Marianne Gets It":


Here's the lyrics:

Marianne gets it
Cause she gets deep
No dark, psychic forces
Are gonna catch her asleep

Marianne gets it
She's wise and she's strong
And when faced with a challenge
She says, "Girlfriend, you're on!"

Marianne gets it
She knows what we need
A politics of love
Not a politics of greed

Marianne gets it
And if you get it too
Got to Marianne2020.com
And you'll know what to do

And here's the story behind it:

You may have gotten a clue lately that I am a strong supporter of Marianne Williamson's campaign for President Of The United States.  I've never been that active in the realm of politics before but that was my mistake and one I think many people in this country are owning up to now that we are seeing the consequences of that neglect.  Supporting Marianne in whatever way I possibly can is my atonement for that lapse and I truly believe it is our best chance as citizens to get our democracy back on track. So not only have I been donating to her campaign and writing these blogs but I've been very active on social media and basically have been telling anyone who is kind enough to listen why I think she is the leader this country needs right now.

However, there was one thing I hadn't done before now and that was make a video to convey this and I actually wasn't planning to.  Many of my fellow Marianne supporters have made these kinds of videos, including celebrities (I love this one by Russell Brand).  I told myself that was enough and I should just stay in my lane but the truth is I was terrified and when I realized that I knew I had to face my fears and do this for the campaign and for myself.

So recently I spent a lot of time trying to do this but it just wasn't happening.  I kept getting tongue tied and felt stupid and self conscious.  I was worried too much about what people would think and trying to convey all of my thoughts succinctly. Finally, I took a break and meditated to clear my head and then opened my journal and just started jotting down random thoughts about Marianne without judgment.  One of the first phrases I wrote was something a fellow supporter named Jane had said in her video about Marianne: She gets it! And then a breakthrough occurred and I found myself writing the song I'm performing in the video above.  I let myself have fun with it but I hope people can see the love and reverence with which it was made.  If you like it, you could show your appreciation by donating a least a dollar to the Marianne 2020 campaign at: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/marianne-williamson-2020-committee

Thank you for reading and watching.

Love will win,
Victoria

Thursday, August 1, 2019

My Depression And Marianne Williamson



There have been some opinion pieces in the media recently about Marianne Williamson and how the spiritual philosophies she ascribes to and has written about are “dangerous” to people with depression. She has addressed these claims and other lies and misinformation on her website and I have faith that most reasonable people can plainly see how her words are being taking out of context for the purposes of serving other agendas. However, as someone who struggles with depression I feel compelled to share my personal experience.

Marianne Williamson is not a recent phenomenon to me. I have been reading her books, listening to her lectures and following her career for more than 25 years. I am also familiar with depression and anxiety, having struggled with it for the majority of my 50 years, and am currently taking medication for it. So for the record I am telling you that I have never thought for one second that Marianne Williamson was advising me or even believed herself that I should not take medication for my mental illness. I also never got one inkling from her words or actions that she thought my depression was due to a lack of spiritual awareness on my part or that I should be able to “pray it away.”

What I have learned from Marianne Williamson is that sadness is sometimes an appropriate and necessary response to what is happening around me and that my willingness to feel it and learn from it rather than seek to deny or avoid it makes me strong (and not weak as others would have me believe). I learned from her that five minutes of meditation or prayer is a more effective coping mechanism for stress and anxiety than cigarettes or chocolate chip ice cream (both of which I was able to give up thanks to this practice). Most importantly I learned that no matter how sad, afraid or inadequate I feel, I am worthy of love and forgiveness and that loving and forgiving others, even when I feel deeply hurt and betrayed by them, can bring me peace.

So you see that not only is this wise and compassionate woman not dangerous to my mental health but I owe her a debt of gratitude for helping me improve it.

All that being said, I would like to clarify that this alone would not be enough to gain my support for her presidential candidacy. This isn't about that as much as it is about defending the good work she has done before now. However, I would like to ask that anyone reading this judge her candidacy based on the facts of her words, her actions and her stance on the issues our nation is facing rather than on the reactionary opinions of those who are uninformed or are actively seeking to discredit her for their own gain.

Thank you for reading.

Love will win,
Victoria

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Why I Think Marrianne Williamson Can Win


No one has come out and said this to me but sometimes even I think it is weird that I am suddenly blogging (and tweeting and posting on facebook) about a political candidate these days, so I imagine people who know me do too.

Well, actually I read an article last night that made me realize it isn't so weird. The article is on Instyle.com (You can read it here) and its headline is, “The Women Who Want Marianne Williamson to Be President.” As I read about the stories of these women and the different ways they came to be supporters of Marianne's campaign it struck me how many of them, like me, were moved by her to do things that were outside of their comfort zone. For example, one woman has gone from not even voting in the last election because she was, “the type of person who had to vote her conscience” to being a passionate and active voice for her candidate on Twitter (which she just started using a month ago for this sole purpose.)

Unlike that supporter, I did vote in the last election because I consider it my civic duty and I voted my conscience in the sense that my conscience told me to make the choice that would most likely defeat Donald Trump. That is also what I will do in 2020 regardless of who the democratic nominee is but I think it should and very well could be Marianne Williamson.

Obviously I am not a political expert but I am basing this on more than wishful thinking or a hunch. You see, I pay very close attention to the things I'm passionate about and I have noticed that its not just me and the women in that article that are willing to step out of their comfort zone for this candidate. I read numerous comments on her Twitter, Instagram and Facebook posts by people who say that they have never been inclined to vote for anyone before but they will be voting for her or that she is the first candidate that they have ever felt passionate about. I also see numerous comments from people who say that they were skeptical about her at first but after hearing her speak or reading about her stance on the policies they think she "makes a lot of sense".

Of course, there are many comments from the haters as well but even some of that is encouraging to me. There is a certain kind of fear generated among the status quo by the presence of Marianne Williamson in this race that speaks to her dynamism as clearly as the outpouring of love by her followers. Among her “Top Fans” on Facebook are people who take every opportunity to tell her how laughable her candidacy is, the irony of their faithful attention to it escaping them.

And lastly, there are the comments that I alluded to in my last post by people who want her to win but are skeptical of her chances. I read one last night that said something to the effect of, “I want you to win but unfortunately that's not the way the world works these days.” And yet the way the world works (or doesn't) these days is a lot different from how it used to work before another so called unlikely candidate for POTUS came on the scene. As Marianne says, “those of us who love must love with as much conviction as that which is displayed by those who hate." I truly believe that if that were to happen she not only could win but would win.

If you agree with me, please consider donating at least one dollar to Marianne Williamson's campaign so that she can qualify for the next debate: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/marianne-williamson-2020-committee

Thank you.

Love Will Win,
Victoria

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Lovers, Haters and Playing It Safers



"...those of us who love must love with as much conviction as that which is displayed by those who hate."
 - Marianne Williamson (source)


It's not the Marianne Williamson haters that dishearten me. It's the people who say they like or love her or think she has great ideas, etc. BUT, "She could never win!" So for once and for all, let me just say to that: BULLSHIT!

WE decide who wins, People! How many times have you sat on your couch watching political ads thinking all politicians are the same and wouldn't it be great if someone different ran for president? And now she's too different to win? What if the others are too much the same to win? Trying to play it safe all the time can be a dangerous thing. 

But okay, I get it. You want to wait and see who the frontrunner is going to be. But in the meantime, why not put your money where your heart is and donate a dollar or two to her campaign. Or just do it for me because you know I wouldn't ask if it wasn't really important to me. Thank you. 


Friday, July 5, 2019

What's Old Is New Again

My darling Hippie husband is great about supporting whatever I do but not always forthcoming about his own opinions. So I asked him the other night what he really thinks about Marianne Williamson and her campaign for President and he said he thought she made a lot of sense but he wasn't as confident as I was she could win the nomination because, "people are resistant to new ideas," and then before I could respond, he added thoughtfully, "though her ideas are really old ideas." And that is so true! Her message isn't new, it's as old as this country is. And if you think it's radical now, imagine how radical it was in 1776 or during the times leading up to the civil war or the suffragette movement or the civil rights movement. Anyway, she says it better than I can so I urge you to watch her moving speech posted below. Thank you.



Monday, July 1, 2019

A Personal Story (Not A Political Rant)

Resting Witch Face


This is a personal story, not a political rant. However, I am hurt and angry right now and these feelings just happen to have been triggered by the appearance of Presidential Candidate Marianne Williamson on last week's televised Democratic Debate and how she was treated then and subsequently by the media and many casual observers.

I admire Marianne Williamson very much but that is not why I am upset. I am upset because I identify with her. When she was basically ignored for the first 30+ minutes of the debate, I saw myself in Middle School being denied a voice and opportunities to participate because I wasn't “popular”. When I read a comment posted on Facebook during the debate comparing her to an SCTV character, I remembered all the times I've been made fun of because I am different. When rollingstone.com published the article “11 Absolutely Bonkers Things You Should Know About Marianne Williamson”, it reminded me of how members of my own family would point out all my faults and worst moments to distract and discredit me whenever I tried to get them to focus on the real dysfunctions that were occurring among us. And when that same publication and so many other outlets and people chose to characterize her as some fairy dust sprinkling, crystal worshiping, sage burning, hippie witch because she is a spiritual leader who dared to talk about the forces of love versus fear in a political debate, I could easily recall all the snickering and derision I've experienced for being a spiritual seeker and a deep thinker.

Did I mention I was hurt and angry? I am and probably have been for most of my life. However what really pisses me off and scares me is that I thought things had changed. Maybe it is because I have insulated myself too much within my tribe of like minded individuals but I thought that Middle School world was behind me. I thought the world I live in now was moving towards embracing or at least tolerating peoples' differences. And I guess the popularity of philosophers' quotes and Woodstock generation memes on the internet gave me the mistaken impression that it was okay to talk about peace and love in public forums these days without being ridiculed. Also, I could have sworn the days of calling women witches to demonize and discredit them had ended with the Salem Witch Trials. Either I was wrong or we have backslid as a society even more than I realized.

I am sure there will be people who read this and think I am taking this too seriously. I disagree. I don't think I have taken these issues or occurrences seriously enough until this moment. I think I have allowed this kind of behavior to silence and subdue me to an extent that I wasn't even aware of before now.

So let's get one thing straight: Marianne Williamson is not a fairy dust sprinkling, crystal worshiping, sage burning, hippie witch but I am and I'm not taking anyone's crap anymore.

Thank you for reading and have a nice day.

Peace and Love,
Victoria

PS: If you want to know what Marianne Williamson really stands for, please read the issues page on her website: https://www.marianne2020.com/issues