it ain’t my fault…


o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-oH!
it ain’t my fault!
it ain’t my fault!
it ain’t my fault!
it ain’t my fault!
it ain’t my fault!
it ain’t my fault!

Mos Def, Lenny Kravitz & The Preservation Hall Jazz Band – for Gulf Aid

 

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get by – Talib Kweli


Just to get by, just to get by
Just to get by, just to get by

 

Get By – Talib Kweli

[Verse 1]
We sell crack to our own out the back of our homes
We smell the musk of the dusk in the crack of the dawn
We go through episodes too, like Attack of the Clones
Work ’til we break our back and you hear the crack of the bone
Just to get by, just to get by, just to get by, just to get by
We commute to computers
Spirits stay mute while you egos spread rumors
We’re survivalists turned to consumers
Just to get by, just to get by, just to get by, just to get by
Ask Him why some people got to live in a trailer, cuss like a sailor
I paint a picture with the pen like Norman Mailer
Mi abuela raised three daughters all by herself with no help
I think about her struggle and I find the strength in myself
These words melt in my mouth
They hot like the jail cell in the South
Before my nigga CORE bailed me out
To get by, just to get by, just to get by, just to get by
We do or die like Bed-Stuy
Through the red sky with the window of the red eye
Let the lead fly, some G. Rap shit, Living to Let Die

[Hook]
This morning, I woke up
Feelin’ brand new, I jumped up
Feelin’ my highs and my lows
In my soul and my goals
Just to stop smokin’ and stop drinkin’
I’ve been thinkin’ I’ve got my reasons
Just to get by, just to get by
Just to get by, just to get by

[Verse 2]
We keepin’ it gangster, say fo shizzle, fo sheezy, and stayin’ crunk
It’s easy to pull a breezy, smoke trees, and we stayin’ drunk
Yo, I activism, attackin’ the system
The Blacks and Latins in prison
Numbers have risen, they’re victims lackin’ the vision
Shit, and all they got is rappin’ to listen to
I let them know we missin’ you, the love is unconditional
Even when the condition is critical, when the livin’ is miserable
Your position is pivotal, I ain’t bullshittin’ you
Now, why would I lie? Just to get by? Just to get by, we get fly
The TV got us reachin’ for stars
Not the ones between Venus and Mars
The ones that be readin’ for parts
Some people get breast enhancements and penis enlargers
Saturday sinners, Sunday morning at the feet of the Father
They need somethin’ to rely on, we get high on
All types of drug, when all you really need is love
To get by, just to get by, just to get by, just to get by
Our parents sing like John Lennon: imagine all the people watch
We rock like Paul McCartney from now until the last Beatle drop

[Hook]
This morning, I woke up
Feelin’ brand new, I jumped up
Feelin’ my highs and my lows
In my soul and my goals
Just to stop smokin’ and stop drinkin’
And I’ve been thinkin’ I’ve got my reasons
Just to get by, just to get by
Just to get by, just to get by

[Outro]
Yoyoyo, yo, yo
Some people cry, and some people try
Just to get by, for a piece of the pie
You love to eat and get high
We deceive when we lie, and we keepin’ it fly
When the people decide to keep a disguise
Can’t see they eyes, see the evil inside
But there’s people you find
Strong or feeble in mind, I stay readin’ the signs

Some people cry, and some people try
Just to get by, for a piece of the pie
You love to eat and get high
We deceive when we lie, and we keepin’ it fly
When the people decide to keep a disguise
Can’t see they eyes, see the evil inside
But there’s people you find
Strong or feeble in mind, I stay readin’ the signs

 

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weird shit that’s difficult to talk about…


The language of “mental health” makes difficult talking about human experiences and just that – human experiences.

There’s a whole pile of clever-sounding language imposed on us – words and terms and ways of thinking we’re led to believe we’re supposed to use and indoctrinated into.
and it is everywhere.

Whether or not you believe that people have a thing, an “illness” that causes them to struggle is moot – because what the person experiences is still a human experience.

It’s time to drop the language that makes stuff we can all experience and difficult to talk about even more difficult to talk about.

Time to drop the language that’s more concerned with categorizing us than helping us express our pain and heal.

Time to drop the language that’s more concerned with allowing a few to tell themselves how right they are in diagnosing what’s wrong with us

Time to drop the language that is more concerned with the needs of those who manage huge administrative systems behind “healthcare”.

Time to drop the language that fragments us and disconnects us from our experiences and from each other.

Time to drop the language that would have us believe that we are all disordered.

Time to drop the language that dehumanizes those of us it us used by and those of us it is used against.

Time to use ordinary language that lets us just talk about what we are experiencing, and especially when we are struggling with finding words to talk about.

Making it hard to talk about makes it hard to talk about.
It’s time to make it easier.

It is,  after all, just weird shit that’s difficult to talk about.
And we all have some of that.

Time to get real.

We had a great time last evening in downtown Oshawa , southern Ontario, at the first gathering of a new Hearing Voices cafe hosted at very cool place Cocoa and Joe .
Southern Ontario now has two hearing Voices Cafes.

The hearing voices cafe is based in a very simple premise, that:

We can talk about difficult experiences
in ordinary ways
and in ordinary spaces.
So we do.

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Open your world


Yes, it’s an only advert for beer
but it’s also much more…

 

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What does change look like?


Well, I dunno but I do know it’s complex and messy.

Change would be easy if only the rest of the world would recognise they need to do what we want.

It rarely works that way.

The world changes when we change it, change how we are in it, the way we relate with it. 

We don’t build peace by only talking with our friends or coercing those who see and do things differently- those who are different. We do it by learning with and from each other.
At some point we need to do it differently too – we need to be differently…

At some point we realise our part in continuing what we have and how it sucks. At some point we take responsibility for acting to bring about a different future that works better – for more of us.

These drawings are about capturing some of that.
by Kelvy Bird at/for the Presencing Insttitute

The three images above fit together to form this…

 

 

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listen like you remember…



Listen
No, not that listen-for-the-next-opportunity-to-interrupt kind of listening.
Nor that listen for my next opportunity to sell you my favourite treatment, my favourite modality, my favourite, favourite kind of fix.
Just, listen.

Nope, not listen so I can tell you what’s wrong with you listening.
Not listen so I can tell you what you should /should not do who you should / should  be who you should not be listening
Because there is no list
and there is no should in listening.
Listening doesn’t should baby,
should, baby.
should baby, baby.
Just shut the f-ck up and listen,
baby.

Not the kind of listening that’s about jumping-in with my war story – upping yours with mine- listening.
No: not that kind of listening.
Just shut up and listen
Listen

Not that #fakelistening, either.
Not that working so hard to remember the list of what somebody says  listening looks like
that
I forget to actually listen
listening.
Not, not that mentally-ticking-off-a-shopping-list-of-things-to-do-to-make-me-look-like-I’m-listening listening
– that means I’m  actually doing everything but
actually listen.

Not that listening.
Just shut the f#ck up and listen, listen.

Try instead some of these…

Listening  so you feel listened to..
listening in a way that lets me imagine for a moment what its like being you
listen in a way I feel some of THAT pain
listen to what’s in me fighting that…
to what’s in me wanting to do anything right now
-but listen
real, hard, actual just shut the fuck up and listen listen
listen as a way of healing- healing me
listen as a way of healing bringing together
listen as an act of generosity
listen like you life depended on it
– because it might
listen because you can.
because you choose to.

“If you want to learn how to listen
try listening with your bones.”

Listen like you remember
– like you remember how it was
when you felt listened to…

 

 

 

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(I don’t need you to) set me free – Grinderman


“(I Don’t Need You To) Set Me Free”

I saw you walkin’ down on the street
I called out from my window but you didn’t hear me
I lay down and I tried to sleep
I waited for you to walk on by again
I don’t need you to set me free
I don’t want you to set me freeWell every time I see you, I get sick
And every time I think of you, well I get sick
And every time I dream of you, well I get sick
And every time I cry for you, well I get sick
I don’t want you to set me free
I don’t need you to set me free

I don’t want you to set me free
I just need you to set me free
I don’t want you to set me free
I just need you to set me free
Alright come on Grinderman!
Set me free
Set me free
Set me free
Set me free
Set me free
Set me free
Set me free
Set me free
Set me free
Set me free
Set me free

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well now that is some f#cked up sh#t…


 

 

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Workshop: Carnival des Voix – Toronto 14th Jul 2017


This event is sponsored and hosted by CS Info Centre

Free workshops for those who struggle with experiences like hearing voices that get called names like “psychosis”, and that can be isolating and difficult to live with, and difficult to talk about.

 

Friday 14th July
1pm to 4pm

Location:
Training Room A
CAMH 1001 Queen St., West

Limited Spaces Available

RSVP / To  Register:

Phone    416 595-2882

Email:    csinfo@camh.ca

Workshop

This innovative practical workshop – do stuff ! and make stuff !  – introduces simple ways we can express and give voice to human experiences that can be both difficult to live with and difficult to talk about.

Includes mask making and puppet making;  and an easy introduction to simple yet powerful approaches we can use to reclaim our power and find our voice.

Carnival des Voix workshop introduces a creative innovative approach that will be showcased at the World Hearing Voices Congress.

Easy print poster [pdf]   carnival des voix Poster-CSInfo-14Jun2017

 

More Info…

Background

Many of us hear voices – even a majority of us will at som epoint in our lives, often in association with trying life circumstances and teh large majority do not struggl eand even find the experience beneficial.

Yet some do undounbtedly struggle with what they experience. What we do know is that people who struggle tend to be left to deal with their difficult experience alone – leaving them feeling powerless and disconnected from others.

Voices give voice
Yet we know finding ways to express teh pain can, talk about eth experiecne can be very helpful.
Also voices, and especially those most difficult to hear, often give voice to that which a person cannot yet express themselves

Taboo
Voices can be very taboo – talk about subjects which are taboo, or use language that is taboo, making it more difficult to talk with those who don’t understand.

Avatar, therapy with dollar store supplies?
There has been much interest in “avatar therapy”, expensive technology and studies to demonstrate that people who struggle with voices can work with them.

Many of us have for a while been doing similar things, not as treatment or intervention by others but as creative exploration of experience, expression and emancipation.

It works with  much smaller budgets and much simpler technology, no wait lists or otjer paraphernalia that comes with waiting on experts to fix us.

A real workshop
This is a real workshop – as real as the voices themselves – participants will use simple materials to sketch and make puppets to represent the voices we hear, and let them speak with each other.

We will create safe space to see and be seen, hear and be heard, witness and be witnessed.

A celebration of the creativity of voices hearers, and variety of human experiences, a polyphony, a Carnival of voices …

After the workshop we will display work and parade in front of the whole of congress and on prominent display for its duration.

There is rich meaning in these [and other] ideas not only for formalized “treatment” situations but also in our groups, in our society and also in our personal experience – HVN is at the forefront of embracing the dialogical -or conversational -nature of being.

Let’s take opportunity that congress offers to share examples of ways we can create space for difficult-to-hear voices – “safe-enough” to dismantle some taboos and barriers, create space safe-enough to explore the carnival of living with voices, with being human.

Dr Vitor Pordeus [of Rio de Janeiro and Montreal] uses theatre: puppetry is a form of theatre, can allow for a person to express and share what is yet now too close, too painful to share.

In “the west” we regard puppetry as firmly in the domain of children’s entertainment, yet around the world it is a ancient, diverse, and serious art form too , puppets, like voices can give expression to that which we cannot easily express in our society or culture at least in ways others are prepared to hear.

 

 

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Dialogical Self – Hubert Hermans


Hubert Hermans summarizes dialogical self  – a way of understanding the complexity of what we experience within what we call “I”…

“What happens is that the society between people can also happen within the self.”
– Hubert Hermans.

Hubert Hermans summarizes “dialogical self”

Dialogical Self –  Hubert Hermans

What is the dialogical self?

We can understand dialogical self when we realise that we are living in a space – not only an external space but also an internal space.

Internal space
In this space, we can be high and low: I feel high or I feel bad, low.

You can also feel very close to yourself and also far removed.

This happens within the skin.

Extended space

The space we are living in is not only internal, but is also an extended space, larger than that within our skin.

There are many people in the world who play a role in our minds, our mind is populated by other people.

We are thinking and we are feeling about other people, they are there also when we are alone.

In fact, we are never alone.

 

Society of Mind

Because there are so many people in our minds we could say we live in a society of mind. The self is a society and is at the same time part of a larger society.

In this society of mind there are two kinds of “I” positions, Internal and external.

Internal “I” positions are, for example:
I as an optimist, I as pessimist, I as ambitious, I as vulnerable.

But it can also be I as a child with my parents, I as a father, I as talking care of my parents.

External positions refer to the world, to the extended space, can be my father, my mother, my teacher, an inspiring teacher, can be my brother; can even be my opponent, my enemy because they are loaded in this effect and are existing in my mind.

The point is that in this society of mind what happens is that the society between people can also happen within the self.

For example,
People can criticize each other: I can also criticize myself.
People can have a conflict with other people: I can also have an internal conflict.
People can make an agreement with other people: I can also make an agreement with myself.
People can consult with each other: I can consult myself.

So what happens between people can also happen within the mind.

…and now it becomes very “dialogcal”

I can listen to myself:
I have an optimist in my self related to my father.
I have a pessimist in my self related to my mother.

Different positions react with each other.

But then I’m an optimist and a pessimist at the same time.

My optimist can listen to my pessimist
and my pessimist can listen to my optimist.

This can be easily understood because all of us, we know that you can respond to the situation in an emotional way but also in a reasonable way.

There is a point at which I have an impulse, I want to do something.
But I say: 
“Stop!”
Just wait a little bit…
My reason comes in, listens to the emotion,
the emotion listens to the reason.

And in this dialogue the particular decision can be taken.

 

 

 

 

 

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