What Made Michael Jackson So Dangerous?

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What is it about Michael Jackson that provokes such outrage, even seven years after his death? Why the sneers and distain? Yesterday I was called a “moron” on social media for questioning the “new evidence” against him. I had to sit back and ponder, yet again, why he was both so beloved and yet perceived as such a terrifying threat. For a couple years I’ve seen three different ingredients to this threat: his race and his insistence on equality, his … Read More

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IN THE FACE OF VIOLENCE: He Held His Head Up

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It is difficult to write anything right now, given the violence in this country. And yet ten years ago one man stood up against what Armond White aptly described as “torture on a global stage with the whole world watching.” Michael Jackson held his head up. He knew who he was, he believed in himself, he believed in humanity, and he won. I needed to remember this. Thank you Jude for reminding me, and thank you Michael for showing us … Read More

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Bernie, Trump, and Michael Jackson

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Fasten your seatbelt: this might be a tad provocative. But give me a chance to explain why these names are connected and critical in this moment. Bernie and Trump are both tapping into something powerful and important. There are a lot of angry white men in this country who believe they’ve been screwed, and they’re right. Though they have some privilege, being white and male doesn’t protect them from a system which systematically crashes and burns. Turns out they are … Read More

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Finding Gold in Armageddon of the Brain

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As I leave my eighth home in seven months, making my 15th move in three years, I’m exhausted. But a mind-blowing and glowing quadruple rainbow graces the sky upon my exit.  Sections of it follow me all 15 miles to my next home, a tent in a friend’s back yard. I’ve never seen anything like it, and feel instantly blessed. Have you ever stretched you wings and jumped out of your comfort zone? I’m guessing yes. Any time you grow, … Read More

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The King of Fools

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Only the bravest of souls sign up to be sacred clowns. Birth is the easy part, as memories are generally wiped clean. But as the years pass and young holy fools figure out they’re that, many run as fast as they can in the opposite direction. Their job descriptions are impossible, you see. Sure, deflating egos, mocking sexual mores, ridiculing religious practices, subverting stuffy traditions, tipping the world on its head and letting people in on the great cosmic joke … Read More

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ADDICTING US TO CHANGE: Michael Jackson’s True Genius

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Allow me to tip addiction on its head for a moment. Human beings were addicted to Michael Jackson’s music. Millions around the world could not help themselves—they had to dance to his songs and they devoured his albums. Late to the party, I was suddenly riveted to his voice and videos, day and night, just last year. Call it an obsession or an addiction, I was hooked. Helpless. For months. But this cyber-needle in my vein fed me. Inspired me. … Read More

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62 PEOPLE AGAINST THE WORLD: Why Michael Jackson Matters

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Have you heard? Sixty two people now own half the world’s wealth. A stunning new report from Oxfam America also shows that the bottom 80% of the world owns just 5.5% of the world’s wealth. Wealth is power and the elite are pack rats, wanting all the shiny, pretty things for themselves. As we struggle to feed our children, these few people are grabbing the entire pie. Like the pack rats, they build sharp, prickly fortresses to defend “their” pie, … Read More

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THE BLACK PANTHER’S GIFT

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In this season of chaos and giving, here is the true story of one black panther’s gift. In just 13 minutes, it movingly illustrates everything I wrote about in last week’s blog.     Like Spirit the panther, and like Michael, we are sometimes the chaos for other people, and also the gift. I invite you to talk to the chaos in your life. What is it trying to tell you? How does it want to be treated? What is … Read More

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NAVIGATING CHAOS: Michael Jackson and the Black Panther

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Ever feel paralyzed by too much bad news? That’s been me for the last three weeks…frozen in writer’s block by the news of terrifying attacks in Paris and San Bernadino. I’ve been saddened to observe the press trying to pit all Europeans and Americans against all muslims in a way that lacks sufficient historical context or factual information. In addition, the focus seems to be on establishing an external enemy to avoid the greater issues at play in our own … Read More

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JAMMING IN THE FACE OF VIOLENCE: Michael Jackson’s Resilience

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Is your head spinning from the violence in this country? Mine is. But the media spins it even more: it fans the flames of fear, which solves nothing. Michael Jackson showed us that to really heal the world, we have to confront injustice and fan love’s flame. I’m taking a break from writing this week, but I’ll be back next week to explore how Michael managed to dance through the chaos and keep changing the world. Meanwhile, I invite you … Read More

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THIS IS WHAT RESILIENCE LOOKS LIKE: Living Michael Jackson’s Lessons

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Was I angry? Absolutely. Did I feel powerless, like they wanted me to? Not at all. I knew Spirit was right there with me and speaking through me. Who else was quietly demanding that the men with guns treat me with dignity? Who else had the courage to say, “Even if others decided to evict us, you are carrying out the orders. You are responsible for your actions.” I know the men will be chewing on those words for a … Read More

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REVOLUTIONARY, COMPASSIONATE ACCOUNTABILITY: Michael Jackson’s Power

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My shadow is tearing me apart today. Every character flaw I’ve got has been magnified x100 in the people around me this week. All of the things I’ve seen them do—lying, manipulating, cashing in at the expense of others, bribing people to not be angry at them, inventing stories with no basis in reality, turning allies into enemies, disrespecting elders, wallowing in victimhood and arrogance—I also do myself. So I’ve been working like crazy to heal the remnants of these … Read More

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HE ROCKED OUR WORLD WITH INSPIRATION: Michael Jackson’s Power

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Have you ever been forced to do something, and dug in your heels? When I was a kid, I “forgot” my first piano lesson, then “I couldn’t find the teacher’s house” for my second lesson. Finally my parents dragged me to the lessons, but when they made me practice, I could make them regret it : ) with my uninspired banging on the keys. As much as I hated it, that pattern of forcing change stuck with me. Two days … Read More

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Ten lessons in Vulnerability’s Power from Michael Jackson

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If vulnerability is power, how do I nurture it? How do I use it? And what would happen if vulnerable people used their power to change the world? In my last two blogs, I’ve been exploring vulnerability, looking at it as our best measure of courage, why vulnerable people are targeted by society, and how vulnerable people bring out our best selves and create community. To help us use it effectively, I’m pulling out more such lessons from Michael Jackson’s … Read More

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WHEN YOU FEEL POWERLESS YOU ARE ACTUALLY VERY POWERFUL

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Last week I started blogging about transparency, and ended up discovering power in vulnerability. It was a wild ride, and I’m coming back to it this week because the lessons were so, well, shocking I want to understand them more deeply. In that last blog, I was trying to untangle a couple of key questions: Why would Michael Jackson, one of the most powerful people in the world, expose his vulnerability to us over and over again, even though he … Read More

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RAW NAKED TRUTH: Michael Jackson’s Power of Vulnerability

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Raw and naked were not words I liked in my childhood. I experienced these terrifying feelings all the time, and I protected myself from them by weaving an invisibility cloak out of the fraying threads of my life. Long before J. K. Rowling gave Harry Potter his magic cloak, I was wearing mine so consistently that it melted into my skin and my subconscious. As I grew into an adult, transparency was not a word I was drawn to either. … Read More

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FINDING THE COURAGE TO LEAP: Michael Jackson’s Power, Part 7

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Yesterday, I jumped off another cliff. In the final crazy move from Willits, CA to Ashland, OR, I was laughing at how insane the journey looks from the outside. Why would I move to an expensive town with scant rental housing when I could live in Willits for free? Why would I move into a house that just had an eviction notice posted on the door? Would I be able to find work? In the midst of my fears, I … Read More

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SPIRITUAL ACTIVISM: Michael Jackson’s Power Part 6

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Ever hit a brick wall trying to change the world? I did that repeatedly while trying to stop wars, defeat industrial development, fight fracking, etc. The brick wall hurts. It’s exhausting. It can be devastating. You need a lot of power to overcome that wall, or wildly-creative tactics to circumvent the wall. That is why so many effective change-makers have partnered with Spirit. Source. God. Goddess. The Force. Nature. Whatever you call It, It has vast power, is deeply creative … Read More

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