Sunday, October 31, 2010

Mojo Monday ~ Women's Right to Vote

This is the story of our Grandmothers and Great Grandmothers who lived only 90 years ago.

Remember, it was not until 1920 that women were granted the right to go to the polls and vote.

The women were innocent and defenseless, but they were jailed nonetheless for picketing the White House, carrying signs asking for the vote.

And by the end of the night, they were barely alive. Forty prison guards wielding clubs and their warden's blessing went on a rampage against the 33 women wrongly convicted of 'obstructing sidewalk traffic.'

(Lucy Burns)

They beat Lucy Burns, chained her hands to the cell bars over her head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping for air.

(Dora Lewis)

They hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her head against an iron bed and knocked her out cold. Her cellmate,Alice Cosu, thought Lewis was dead and suffered a heart attack. Additional affidavits describe the guards grabbing, dragging, beating, choking, slamming, pinching, twisting and kicking the women.

Thus unfolded the 'Night of Terror' on Nov. 15, 1917, when the warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there because they dared to picket Woodrow Wilson's White House for the right to vote.

For weeks, the women's only water came from an open pail. Their food--all of it colorless slop--was infested with worms.

 (Alice Paul)

When one of the leaders, Alice Paul, embarked on a hunger strike, they tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat and poured liquid into her until she vomited. She was tortured like this for weeks until word was smuggled out to the press.

(Mrs. Pauline Adams in the prison garb she wore while serving a sixty-day sentence.)

(Miss Edith Ainge, of Jamestown , New York )

(Berthe Arnold, CSU graduate)

Conferring over ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution at National Woman's Party headquarters, Jackson Place, Washington , D.C.. L-R: Mrs. Lawrence Lewis, Mrs. Abby Scott Baker, Anita Pollitzer, Alice Paul, Florence Boeckel, Mabel Vernon--standing

(Helena Hill Weed, Norwalk , Conn.)

Helena served a three day sentence in D.C. prison for carrying banner that read Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed.

The film Iron Jawed Angels is a graphic depiction of the battle these women waged so that we could pull the curtain at the polling booth.

It is jarring to watch Woodrow Wilson and his cronies try to persuade a psychiatrist to declare Alice Paul insane so that she could be permanently institutionalized. And it is inspiring to watch the doctor refuse. Alice Paul was strong, he said, and brave. That didn't make her crazy.

The doctor admonished the men: Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity.

We need to get out and vote and use this right that was fought so hard for by these very courageous women. Remember to Vote on November 2nd.

Consider the fact that women in some other countries will go to vote even when they fear for their lives. Or consider that women in some countries can still not vote. They still do not have any say in decisions that affect their way of life.

Let us not take for granted our hard won right to vote.

What are your thoughts about women's rights and about voting?

Have you ever spoken to your mom, grandmothers or great-grandmothers about their thoughts on what it meant or means to them to vote?

** The majority of the text and all the photographs come from an email I received several years ago. I received it this year too as it is still circulating around the internet. I do not know who the original writer is so I cannot give credit to that person.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Mojo Monday ~ Dia De Los Muertos

 Cosmic Skull Girl by Michelle Fairchild

Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a holiday celebrated in Mexico and by Mexican Americans living in the United States and Canada. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember family and friends who have died. The celebration occurs in connection with the Catholic holidays All Saints' Day on November 1st and All Souls' Day on November 2nd. In Mexico infants and children are usually honored on November 1st and in fact this day is often referred to as either Dia de los Inocentes or Dia de los Angelitos (Day of the Innocents or Day of the Little Angels.) Deceased adults are honored on November 2nd.

Though this celebration is currently associated with Catholic holidays, scholars have actually traced the beginnings of Dia De Los Muertos to indigenous observances dating back thousands of years and to an Aztec festival dedicated to a Goddess named Mictecacihuatl.

Traditions for the holiday involve creating or building altars to honor the deceased. Commonly placed on the altars are sugar skulls (sweet confections), marigolds and favorite foods of the deceased. Family and friends then take these items to the graves of their dead loved ones and present them as gifts.

Here is a video showing people in Oaxaca celebrating Day of the Dead and another well-done video of Dia de los Muertos being celebrated in San Francisco.

Have you have celebrated Day of the Dead in the past or if you will be participating in a celebration this year?

Do you have any family or friends who you would honor and pray for during this holiday? If you would like share their names and if you want also a note about them.

Have you ever created any art in the Dia de los Muertos style? If you have share a photo of your creations. If you haven't consider making something this week. Perhaps you might even want to create an altar to honor family and friends who have died.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

It Gets Better

This song is available for purchase on iTunes.  All proceeds go to the Trevor Project which is the leading national organization focused on crisis and suicide prevention efforts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Mojo Monday ~ Big Dreams

We wish all the Cosmic Cowgirls could have been present for the Big Dreamin' that was happening in San Francisco this weekend. The fantabulous Cosmic Cowgirl Big Dream Cafe took place on Saturday in the elegant setting of Yoshi's Jazz club. For those who could not attend I wanted to share an overview of the days inspirational happenings.

The event featured the inspiring and visionary presentations of Shiloh McCloud, Mary MacDonald, Christine Arylo, Shakti Gawain, SARK, and Elizabeth Gibbons.

Shiloh led the group through an exploration of the What, Who, Where, When, Why and the WOW of their dreams and goals. 

Christine Arylo explored the Silent Epidemics of Women, the Antidotes and the Dares in order to create more Self Love. Christine's book called Choosing ME before WE : Every Woman's Guide to Life and Love explores more on this topic. 

Shakti Gawain spoke of Creative Visualization, of which she has written a book by the same title, and led the group through a self discovery exercise regarding Main Characteristics and the Disowned Selves which led to exploring the various aspects of ourselves and how to work towards accepting and integrating our polarities. 

SARK, always funny and inspirational, shared about her new book called Glad No Matter What: Transforming Loss and Change Into Gift and Opportunity

Mary MacDonald (aka Stella Mac), the Big Dream Cafe Host, punctuated each presentation with her wise and thoughtful sharing, as well as encouragement to journal and share in small groups the many personal discoveries that were taking place. 

Elizabeth Gibbons brought the event to a glittery finale with her sharing about the importance of bringing glitter and light into our lives and asked us all to support spreading "glitteracy" throughout the world.

The Big Dream Cafe was followed by an inspiring evening performance by Alice Walker as she read from her newest book called Hard Times Require Furious Dancing, as well as dancing in the aisles that was inspired by the music of the band Hedzoleh Soundz. You can experience Alice reading some of her poetry on her very own youtube channel by clicking here. If you would also like to experience some of Hedzoleh Soundz music click here. We must also note that the foreward and illustrations for Alice Walker's new book were written and created by our very own Chief Laughing Cloud, Shiloh McCloud.

Alice Walker on stage at Yoshi's presenting her inspiring poetry.

Hedzoleh Soundz jamming away.

Some other highlights from the days events:

Upon entering Yoshi's the attendees had the supreme pleasure of seeing in person Elizabeth Gibbons' artistic masterpiece called The Door of Possibilities which you can read more about here.

We also all had the joy of experiencing the Glitter Bar which is another incredible creation of Elizabeth Gibbons.

If you attended the Big Dream Cafe please share a little (or a lot) about your experiences, feelings, and thoughts about the event, as well as a little bit about a Big Dream you hold dear to your heart.

If you were not able to attend please share with us one of your Big Dreams. (I have personally found that sharing and speaking aloud about Dreams is one of the first BIG steps in moving forward to making it a reality!)

Lastly for a little extra inspiration. Click on the link below to watch a touching video of the song Dream Big by the very fun band Ryan Shupe and The Rubberband. I've include some of the lyrics in writing for you too.


When you cry, be sure to dry your eyes,
'Cause better days are sure to come.
And when you smile, be sure to smile wide,
And don't let them know that they have won.
And when you walk, walk with pride,
And don't show the hurt inside,
Because the pain will soon be gone.

And when you dream, dream big,
As big as the ocean, blue.
'Cause when you dream it might come true.
But when you dream, dream big.

And when you laugh, be sure to laugh out loud,
'Cause it will carry all your cares away.
And when you see, see the beauty all around and in yourself,
And it will help you feel okay.
And when you pray, pray for strength to help to carry on,
But when the troubles come your way.

Dream big….

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Mojo Monday ~ At the Movies

A new show opened up at our local Turtle Bay Exploration Park. It is called Out of this World: Extraordinary Costumes from Television and Film. My family and I checked it out this morning and I had fun taking the photos you see featured in the collage. There are more not shown such as the Riddler costume that Jim Carrey wore in the film Batman Forever. The costumes were all featured in these rather fancy lighted display cases and each costume would include information about the actor who wore it and the film.

It was interesting to get a more real feel for the size of the actors who wore these costumes. There were plenty of Star Trek and Star Wars costumes, as well as the infamous leather jackets of Indian Jones and the Terminator. One some of the walls giant screens showed scenes from various science fiction, super hero and action films.

This made me think that having a Mojo Monday post about movies would be a lot of fun and perhaps provides us all with some new titles to add to the old Netflix movie queue. 

So let's start sharing some titles of our favorite films. Can you list 10? How about 5?

My husband can easily rattle off lines from the Princess Bride and Airplane. Are there any films that you can recite the lines from? 

Are there any movies in which you just love a particular scene?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Mojo Monday ~ Quotable

There are so many quotes that I love that I am sure I could fill a book with them. So when I thought about writing a post for Mojo Monday on quotes I realized I needed to perhaps fine tune what I wanted to share. In effort to do so I thought I would focus on one writer/artist who I find to be incredibly quotable ~ Mary Anne Radmacher.

Here are several of her shorter quotes:

courage... courage doesn't always roar. sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "i will try again tomorrow."

yes! it takes courage to act upon your dreams.

perserve. plan. strategize. focus. breathe. write. let go. forgive. relax. all this failing... take a nap.

the jump is so frightening between where i am and where i want to be... because of all i may become i will close my eyes and leap!

a key to a vital life is an eagerness to learn and a willingness to change.

Here are a few longer quotes:

because i call it challenge rather than crisis; because i look at hardship as opportunity instead of obstacle; because at the end of a matter, i ask, "what will i learn from this to make me better?"; because i take a deep breath and do the difficult thing first; because my courage does not depend on the weather, the economic forecast or the winds of whim; because i know the most significant elements in my day are laughter, learning and applying my finest efforts to each endeavor; because of these things each morning is a pleasure and every day passed is a success.

all i know is... you can get there from here. you can. you can walk through the fear. travel past what is gone before. wake up! wake up and get up on the other side. dare to become that of your dreams. dare! dare to believe in your own possibility.

wishes. i wish for you the color that you bring forth in others to greatly rise within you. i wish you your own best strength. i wish you always loved ones at your side. i wish you desired possibilities before you and contentment behind you. i wish you the beginnings of all your dreams and many of the ends. i wish you peace.

Mary Anne Radmacher is on Facebook and has a website.

Do you have some favorite quotes?

Is there a particular writer whose words you find to be quotable.