Chaya's Narpa talk

Submitted by chaya on Mon, 11/26/2007 - 14:23
Below is the talk I wrote for Narpa.  Feel free to
pass this on to others.

I did not read it (below) word for word, but refered to
it and touched on most of these points. Other topics
I mentioned that I gleaned from Freedom Center
organizers were:

new leaders
more funding for young people to go to conferences
new speakers
dangers of teen screen
reach out to schools
internet communites for young people
college campus outreach (from activists)
make the movement fun
address the ADD/ADHD drug emergency

I recently went to a CPS training that ended with a
talent show. I realized that if everyone in the room
took their talent and ran with it, we’d have a room
full of artists, musicians and craftspeople rather
than people who identify as ADD, manic depressive and
“mentally ill”. We could have a roomful of people who
know they have gifts and need to nurture their health
through exercise, good nutrition and less toxins.
Instead we had a roomful of people on one two or three
psych drugs each (with a few exceptions) who smoke a
pack a day and drink a few cokes and a few coffees.
This is the average lifestyle I picked up on of those
at the training. Some took care of their physical
health as best they could but psych drugs are
generally a minus on that chart. I could see the
unresolved hurt under the layers of psych drugs,
nicotine and caffeine. As people worked to speak
through the layers, I could tell that their brains
were not functioning optimally. When there are
problems, do we want to see more or less clearly?
This is a question that needs to be asked directly
before getting hooked on psych drugs.
I know because I have been on those drugs. I know
that difficulty. In fact, being on neuroleptics was
the only time I identified as having a mental illness.
I was unable to think clearly.
What is the answer to all of this? First things
first, get the biggest problem and crippler (on the
physical plane) out of the picture. I know that this
is not immediately possible for everyone, and I also
know that for the future of our movement, for the next
generation it must be done. And when it is done, it
will strengthen our movement a zillion times.

What else do we need? The things we talk about all
the time that we know are healing-all of the arts,
exercise, meditation and prayer, access to alternative
medicine like acupuncture, herbs, bodywork and
excellent nutrition. Our relationships with one
another are a cornerstone to all of this and they grow
stronger and healthier when we take good care of our
souls, bodies and inner creative artists.
You cannot
afford to withhold your brilliance from the world,
even if it is labeled madness. Whatever society calls
it, and people will find all different names and
explanations, it is your gift and the world needs it.
This is what we can think of as passing the
torch—taking the risks to show your brilliance and
inspire others. In the new paradigm “normal” and
“stable” and “sane” will no longer be desired. You
will realize that they are not the options you would
choose, if you chose from your soul. This is true
even if you have reached what has been labeled as
stability. The world itself is not stable what with
earthquakes, hurricanes, lightning storms, night and
day never becoming one long daynight. If you have
come to be labeled stable, you have challenges too-you
must bring forth your gifts. The ones that will help
others and this means change. It is a change that
will threaten not only the status quo of the mental
health system
and the whole world, but your own place
in your life.
For the future generation of activists, that’s us, we
have a mental health system gone haywire that appears
to be capturing people faster than they can be born.
When you take the chance and offer your gifts, it is a
huge leap of faith. I say this as someone who, like
you, is able to take the leaps sometimes. I have much
farther to go with sharing my own gifts. And so do
you, that is why you are here. I must say “I love
you” to myself and to G-d numerous times everyday, and
take the leap. I have met many young activists, around
the country, and I sense that faith is one of our
strongest points.
To drug people into stability is to take away their
essential humanity. Imagine someone found chemicals
that could keep the sky stable-free from much rain,
free from much sun. Or if the earth were stabilized
so there were no mountains, no deserts, no valleys, no
large bodies of water. Just as there is order in the
natural world, there is an order in my life, and
yours. There are natural forces that I see as
spiritual forces, which keep me on track. They keep
me in line with my destiny-they guide me to heal
myself and others with love and brilliance. I make
space for these possibilities. I treat my life as a
garden. I must fertilize it, water it, I must take
care of it. The bulbs I planted long ago will grow
and I plant new ones all the time. Wildflowers grow
too-ones I never expected. The whole thing looks
messy sometimes.
How does this relate to the mental health system?
It’s a mess for one. But seriously, your life has its
own wisdom. The world itself has its own wisdom. The
tragedy of the mental health system has things to
teach us. You will find your own lessons and
opportunities in the years to come. The entire new
generation of activists will. Genuine healing from
anything happens organically and spiritually and we
are finding those pathways. We will return to an
awareness of the sacredness of life and to wisdom from
a time when medicine, especially for the mind, was
seen as sacred. Our job is to magnify this
sacredness, and to protect each other from harm as an
expression of that.
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