2020 was not an easy year on planet Earth, and yet there are people who have made it extra special. People who give and love freely, and make a kinder world possible. Even when we are separated by oceans, divided by continents and far from each other’s loving embrace, we still touch each other with our good deeds, kind words and unconditional positive regard. This is to say “Thank you!” to all the amazing people who have contributed to Karma Compass during 2020 and are helping us create a community of thriving artists.
Our gratitude goes out to these amazing human beings without whose contributions to Karma Compass we wouldn’t have made it to the present moment.
We love Sarai W for the way she wears her heart on her sleeves. We couldn’t do this work without her.
We remember every word Aria Zavocki wrote and miss her fierce gaze. Thank you for your gifts.
Youth Writer Colette J blesses us with her earnest accounting of adolescent’ triumphs and challenges. She is our future.
After his donation to Karma Compass, Creative Sponsor Peppo Valetto wrote, “It was the best present for my own birthday.”
Thank you, Poet in Residence Georgina Marie. You opened our hearts with the fires of your love and grief. We will always remember you.
Thanks to Sponsor Jonelle Tucker, who frequently comments on our posts. We feel her love and presence regularly.
Thank you, Taylor Duckett for your offerings on African Spirituality and healing. We miss you.
Sponsor and Guest Contributor Hal Huntsman is an ally and a worthy partner for our work as healers and hope dealers.
Resident Artist Kristine Moore brings sunshine and joy to our horizon each week. We are grateful.
Special thanks to Ashton Huntsman for his contributions to Karma Compass Films. Mad skills are necessary to move mountains.
Your donation, given from the heart is a powerful affirmation of our work. Thank you, Ilana Maxwell.
Thank you, Edissa Nicolás-Huntsman for holding a vision of inclusivity and love as the standard mode of operating.
Special gratitude for early Sponsor Robin Lovell for believing in us when few oth.
When Will Preston wrote about Early Childhood Development, we felt his conviction and understood the truth of what it takes to thrive. So grateful.
Special gratitude goes to Laura Joyce Davis of Shelter in Place Podcast for offering transcripts of her poignant storytelling for audience members of all abilities. We need allies like her to reach everyone.
When people show up year after year and give everything from time to money to encouragement, they must be recognized as a blessing. We’re so grateful for our Sponsoring Angel Adrienne Cacitti, miracle-working visionary.
Welcome back, dear friend and Earth Angel Dovanna Dean and Kim Mendoza. With your leadership, we will transform every open space into a source of food and spiritual nurturance.
We also want to thank all our subscribers, guests and Living Artist Project contributors who make our work possible in the here and now. We recognize that your readership and participation elevates our work to the realm of meaningful contribution, and you matter to us. As Karma Compass grows, we look forward to co-creating our virtual, visual and in-person connections through new positions and expanded offerings. Stay connected to the people who make your life better.
Donate to Karma Compass today. Your tax-deductible investment goes directly to content and program development.
Want to open the floodgates of abundance? Start a gratitude practice. Maybe this sounds difficult. Perhaps you see little value or have had no practice. A young woman, a classmate in psychology, commented during a discussion that affirmations don’t work. Reflecting on her words for a few days, I understood that such a statement is unattached to practice, because anyone who applies deliberate focus to a situation, behavior or habit will see results. It’s really a question of time. The real issues is whether we have focused our attention on something of value. This is where the motivation to engage, change or attract is most potent. And yet, gratitude, a practice is passe for many, is a mainstay in my rituals of friendships, professional etiquette and a fallback when at a loss. This simple practice, remembering, honoring and finding the words to say and express gratitude will transform your life for the better.
How do we express love? Gratitude is a connection to our heart language and the current of flow. Gratitude is the action of love. The energy of love, when present, is harmonious and resonates for most people. Suzan Hilton explains in her book The Feng Shui of Abundance that “Gratitude and abundance vibrate in harmony and create more flow and ease.” Yes, this is right. This ease, experienced as harmonious vibration, is what we feel when we are close to a loving couple, a kind clerk, an old, dear friend—it’s the essence of love. Without some physical, tangible demonstration of love, people would not know, perceive or understand that love is present. This is even move important when there is physical distance.
Despite being a historically controversial Catholic figure, Valentine’s Day is culturally embraced by millions of people each year. Valentine’s Day as an important holiday in the United States, adopted and adapted by people of all faiths and beliefs, languages and ethnic group. Somehow, for people of all walks, Valentine’s Day practices are acceptable, and we make grand gestures of our love on February 14th. What is special and unique about the muddled story of the real (Saint) Valentine is that in most versions there is at least one Valentine, who wrote letters to his beloved intending to communicate his devotion and regards for her in a manner she could feel despite his absence. In other words, his letters were an expression of his love, his feelings made visible. He showed her love in the act of writing to her, and we remember his example with fondness. Valentine showed us how to express love in an intimate, private way that celebrates the beloved with gratitude.
Many people think showing gratitude is a sign of weakness or a waste of time. After a dozen years in a committed relationship, now tried in the fires of COVID-19, I’m convinced that daily expressions of love far outweigh a yearly grand gesture. (My chocolate is yummy, however.) Maybe love is an evolutionary imperative, designed to benefit the survival of humans. Otherwise, why we would bond, pair and mate? We need the emotional entanglement to draw us in, and at the same time recognize that not all emotions provide the same blessings and fulfillment necessary to sustain two people in a committed relationship. Gratitude is a form of emotional intelligence that shows a person’s empathy pathways (mirror neurons) are open and can acknowledgement and reciprocate the receipt of an act of love. Reciprocity is vital to increasing the flow of desirable emotional energy. It’s like a call to gaming partner, a text or a ping: We have to answer and connect if we want the relationship to continue. Without acknowledgment or reciprocity, the energies of love and kindness will dissipate or transform to a different emotion, just like anything that is the recipient of sufficient neglect. Neglect is not an aspect of love, gratitude or abundance.
We must use or energy channels wisely, cultivating conduits of energy that lead to greater harmony, “the good vibes” that bring happiness. Witness in your own life that when you water seeds, your nurturance gives them life. This ageless lesson persists in its truth until now. Through our careful cultivation of and attention to the seeds we want to flourish, we define our lives and our reality for ourselves and our communities. Be sure to water the seeds of love and kindness all around you so that you magnetize the goodness you deserve and bring your gifts to the world on a beam of light. When I see that, I will thank you personally, with all my heart.
Edissa lives with her husband in SoCal, where they work and garden with love and gratitude all year long.
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Chances are you voted November 3rd, 2020. The evidence is clear that most of us voted. It was a historical turnout for our nation, one I’m proud to have participated in and witnessed. Voting is a wonderful start to a life of civic engagement. Yet, like any good relationship, what you do, when you do it and how you do it matter most of the time. We’re in a pivotal moment in our history as citizens of the United States of America. Who governs and how is all of our concern. If and when we abstain from our duty to give voice to our concerns and communicate with your elected officials, then just like any neglected relationship, we will encounter disappointment.
“They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest…” ~Article I, Section VI of the Constitution of the United States of America
Today, we have a chance to call our elected officials and tell them how we want them to vote. Personally, I want all our officials to be held accountable for their actions, just like any of us. What’s more important than that is that as many of us are heard by our elected officials as often as possible, especially when there are key votes and legislative reviews. Without our involvement, our elected official would otherwise serve a few active constituents, or worse, their own interests. Don’t give away your power. Take the next step, and tell your senators how to vote on the second Impeachment of Donald Trump. The United States Senators elected by every state work for us. Remind them of that fact today. Make calls to your state senators. It only takes about ten minutes. We need a two-thirds majority vote in the Senate to convict Trump, so every vote counts. It’s now, or never for our democracy.
Find your two state senators on this list of all U.S. Senators for the 117the Congress. Yes, Trump is gone from office, and now we must make sure that his brand of rabid and toxic masculinity does not resurface. He lost his privileges, honor and trust when he elevated lies above truth and our democracy. It’s up to “WE THE PEOPLE” to make sure he doesn’t come back. He’s earned that. Let’s hold him accountable for words, deeds, actions and inaction. That takes more than flying a flag on a lawn; we have to active in our democracy.
Each Senator has one vote; make sure they get instruction from you which way to cast it. Republicans are the main opposition to holding Trump accountable.
Ted Cruz (R-TX): (202) 224-5922; Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) (202) 224-3344; Richard Shelby (R-AL) (202) 224-5744; Rick Scott (R-FL) (202) 224-5274; Dan Sullivan (R-AK) (202) 224-3004; John Boozman (R-AR) (202) 224-4843; Chuck Grassley (R-IA) (202) 224-3744.
“Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgement and Punishment, according to Law.” ~Article I, Section III of the Constitution of the United States of America
Check the government website to find your Senators’ contact information. Here’s short list of Republican Senators who need a nudge from their constituents to hold Trump accountable for his actions.
Mike Braun (R-IN) (202) 224-4814; John Barrasso (R-WY) (202) 224-6441; Kevin Cramer (R-ND) (202) 224-2043; Deb Fischer (R-NE) (202) 224-6551; Roger Wicker (R-MS) (202) 224-6253; Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) (202) 224-4124; Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) (202) 224-6665; Tom Cotton (R-AR) (202) 224-2353; Joni Ernst (R-IA) (202) 224-3254.
Our lives depend on our political engagement. Not just a few of us, but all of us all the time. It’s not enough to vote every four years, though that’s definitely important. As we have witnessed from the past five years, political power is about reproductive health, Women’s Rights, Education, Immigration policy, wages and corporate oversight, technology oversight, Family Care, access of healthcare, liberty and justice for all. From where I’m working, not one of us can afford to ignore our elected officials ever again. They work for us. And yet a small minority of big spenders controls public policy, domestic security (that farce), education, riparian rights, access to vaccines, the prison-industrial complex, the stewardship of our environment and women’s reproductive rights, and at least in two branches of our government, the Senate and the Supreme Court, not one of those people looks like me, or has much interest in my welfare. That may be fine for you, but I think we deserve better.
Without our continued vigilance, engagement and activism from broad sectors, of white Nationalist, White Supremacists and apparently unabashed Congressional representation of a White Q-Anon believer from Georgia, of all places. Someone explain to me how that happened, please.We even have life appointments of three conservative Supreme Court Judges placed by a blatantly and unapologetic White-Nationalist, Neo-Nazi sympathetic leader. Who knows what the next fifty years will bring for future generations if we do nothing?
Do White Nationalist, White Supremacists and Q-Anon members know something that the rest of us don’t? Yes! They know that political activism is the best way to move policy in any desired direction.
Agitation and activism are the best ways to move policy in any desired direction, but this requires sustained effort, a luxury for people struggling with basic survival concerns. That’s why anyone not worried about food and housing should keep their public officials on speed dial. When you know who you are and what you stand for, waiting for crumbs to fall from the master’s table is unacceptable. Partisanship got us to the present moment, and looks like partisanship will get us out of it, too. And like I just read Abigail Weinberg of Mother Jones frame it: “So be it!” I’m sick of seeing daily representations of toxic masculinity modeled for our children, while exhibitions of Fascism and ineptitude in the face of a pandemic were utterly normalized. That’s not a normal I can tolerate.
If you loved the status quo, do nothing, and we will all see that White Nationalist ethnocentrism resurface again soon. If you want to see change, have your children grow up into kind, intelligent contributors to our democracy, then you better keep your foot on the pedal. Call your senators, and congressional representatives, regularly. Schedule your calls. Keep our elected officials working for us!
I’m also acutely aware that other systemic changes could really help. For example, adding one or two more Senators to each state may be the answer to the population growth of the past 200 years. More representation is better in a pluralistic society. Likewise, Supreme Court term limits and an expansion of that body to include two more Supreme Court Justices could give more people more voice in the direction of our country move in in the years ahead. But these ideas are for the future. First, call your public representatives regularly and remind them that they work for us, and not just a sector of the population that has a strangle hold on our systems of Government and the power such privileges wield.
Live your practice wholeheartedly!
Event is Sunday February 7, 2021 10:00 am – 5:00 pm PST
Closed Captioning Provided | Time Zone Converter
While this year of pandemic has been disruptive and challenging in many ways, it has also created an opening, a space for greater awareness and urgency around issues of racial harm.
As white people, especially those of us with class privilege, this can be both upsetting and overwhelming. Our compassionate nature registers the suffering, yet our confusion makes it difficult to know what to do.
In this workshop, we offer brief talks, group discussion, reflection and time for Q&A to explore these states of distress, and examine how to move from the overwhelm, confusion, guilt, uncertainty and isolation to the joyful practice of compassion, fueled by the energy of the Bodhisattva vow.
We hope you’ll join us and support the important work of East Bay Meditation Center though this benefit workshop!
This program is a benefit for the
East Bay Meditation Center in Oakland, CA.
In registering for this daylong workshop, we are inviting you to support the work of the East Bay Meditation Center (EBMC) in Oakland, CA.
Founded and led by a majority of POC teachers and practitioners, EBMC opened its doors in 2007 to provide a dharma refuge for people of color, members of the LGBTQI community, people with disabilities, and other underrepresented communities.
Through conscious cultivation of practices of Radical Inclusivity, Shared Leadership and Gift Economics, EBMC seeks to foster liberation, personal and interpersonal healing, social action, and inclusive community building. Through our writings and workshops such as this one for white people, we offer support to other dharma communities and practitioners who are seeking to more fully live their practice in the world.
Please give as generously as you can to support this important work.
Most likely COVID-19 does not kill compassion. Probably four years of proactive modeling of toxic masculinity did kill some compassion. If it didn’t affect negatively, recognize that for many the toxic fallout from the Trump years is akin to PTSD, ravaging hearts, minds and spirits from coast to coast. In fact, few regular people could thrive under the conditions characterized by instability, lies, bullying and unpredictable rage—all the traits of David Koresh and other cult leaders used to control their followers. Now it’s not fair to blame the victims, but it is our responsibility to heal ourselves now that the tyrant is gone. In other words, time to relocate our moral compasses.
For me and many people, most of 2020 but the especially the last few months of the year and January 2021 have been traumatic and painful. The constant racial stress people of color have experienced combined with totally ineffectual response to the pandemic has led to distress and many socioeconomic problems. Compound that with sickness, food insecurity and isolation, and it’s clear that we need to reconnect with ourselves so we can help others.
Here are some steps you can take to heal society and yourself from the moral depravity of the last four years:
- Acknowledge the global pandemic and the toll on everyone’s lives in every country in the world. Accept that truth. It’s horrible. If you can help in some small way, you can be being to alleviate any feelings of helplessness and pain.
- Act in your community to protect your family and neighbors from casual COVID-19 spread:
- Wear a mask
- Distance from others wearing a mask
- Respect the six-feet rule around public ingress and egress paths; public spaces are for everyone.
- Take time out: Stay home with your family and cool off from social media.
- Watch a Disney movie, and turn off the news.
- Set up a family jigsaw puzzle table for the family.
- Have a weekly family game night after dinner.
- Work to reconcile with those you may have hurt. Start by toning down the volume even if you’re upset, a reprieve may bring a new perspective in the morning. Us the cool-down time for discernment. You may need to end some relationships that are unhealthy and cause distress.
- Engage in social activism to repair the damage. People are dying. Ask how you can help if you have extra resources, food and clothes. This is a global crisis. Many people need help in the US and abroad. Giving feels good. It also heals.
If you love me, hold me accountable. If you love yourself, be willing to be held accountable for your words and deeds. Accountability requires communication, compassion and desire for wholeness. We have a chance to bring about a new era in our society, one that demonstrates liberty and justice for all. Start with preventing the spread of COVID-19 and embracing the compassion that sees us all as humans worthy of life.
Edissa accessorizes a mask when she leaves the house to protect her family and community from COVID-19. She’s cool like that!
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Even a small stone will remind you of your intention to change or grow. What would happen if you invest in your new direction with a customized Reiki Talisman?
It’s definitely time to ratchet up self-care now that we know COVID-19 is not going anywhere anytime soon. Sigh! As much as it breaks my heart to know we have to go through almost another year of seclusion, I’m grateful for the basic habits that keep us well. Let’s face it, it’s exhausting to not go out, see friends or even live without fear. It’s on us to give ourselves the care we need to thrive in isolation. Rituals are the anchors of life; they’re why so many of us don’t want to change, and why we’re hurting without them. People can’t even stop themselves from going to the gym, because of the social rewards of that ritual. But we don’t have go without the people and things we love!
One ritual I especially miss is going to the spa once a month. I’ve been doing this for years as a way of getting regular relaxation, fasting and a blessed massage–remember those? As I’m not able, nor do I want to go to a communal spa right now, it doesn’t mean I can live without that dedicated sacred time. I schedule time to have a weekly bath, do my hair, meditate and shave my legs. Recently, I found my Neti Pot in the back of drawer and was delighted to use it to clear my sinuses, which get clogged in winter; now the Neti Pot is back in rotation as part of my regular bath and spa ritual. Bath time is a precious gift of love for my family so I can bring my best, strongest and happiest self to our relationship. This ritual also sets a powerful example for friends and family to make self-care a priority.
Most of us function optimally when we’re in community—connected to friends who know and love us as we are. That’s the reason so many folks are having a difficult time adjusting to the loss of prayer and faith community. Here’s what I know: Even without church, you can make time for prayer individually and collectively. Hopefully by now, most churches have adapted to online presence or some outdoor community space. I schedule regular phone calls with my closest friends, many of whom live in distant places. Facetime calls and Zoom classes and groups keep my mirror neurons sharp. It’s really up to me to connect when I have the opportunity.
Emotional intelligence functions in many ways, not just during physical proximity. You can be a jerk over email, text, Facebook or Zoom as easily as you can be kind and generous in the same platforms. You choose how you show up.
What’s more, the gaps in connection owing to COVID19 means that even casual contact with strangers is highly risky behavior. And yet, I need to see my brother’s face to know that his distress over the January 6 Insurrection is a force I counter with my compassion and humor. I want to see his mirror neurons fire, and see his face brighten into a smile because he’s been heard and appreciated. Likewise, new virtual friends and teachers need physical and verbal affirmation to know that instruction is on point and the community is well. I understand that too much isolation only causes problems for everyone, and although I’m an introvert who can happily go long stretches without social contact, I show up on virtual platforms as a gift of my presence to my community. By showing up for quality contact that demonstrates lovingkindness, good will and generosity of spirit, I help make sure that many isolated people in my community can thrive. Anything less than that represents a scarcity of resources or lack of the necessary traits to give to others. I am able to give for those experiencing deficit because I have enough resources and emotional intelligence to give from my surplus reserves. If and when I withdraw, it’s an intentional act of self-preservation, like staying home to keep my immediate family members, including myself, safe from Covid19.
Help pay writers like Edissa for the work you love to read! Karma Compass is a Non-Profit Health and Wellness Content Developer.