Breathe with me…

February 24th, 2012

Greetings godswappers,

I can be so particular. I want things a certain way. I am also a picker. If it’s not my certain way, I have trouble letting it be. There has been a reoccurring theme of, “let it breathe.” I got an oil burn on my lip that is taking forever to heal, because I won’t leave it alone to heal. I’ve been processing on many fronts in life and having to be conscious of letting it be; let it breathe.

I very nearly killed Peter, the spider plant! …A spider plant!!! That’s when I really started to get it. It’s so acute in my day, but when applied broadly things start to make sense. I can be a bit of a zealot when the mood strikes me. The fact is that I really think I’m helping.

It’s possible my body realizes what is happening, but is somewhat limited in its expression. My brain is the picker. It’s possible that nothing is wrong at all. It’s possible that letting go allows for healing and healthy expansion. I don’t get to know unless I let it breathe. These little things recently were like lighthouse beacons. Shining light in all directions revealing subtle connections.

My brain was running the show here at godswap, too. I’ve been judging and allowing myself to become frustrated, so I pick at it. My body was taking its sweet time to understand what I needed, what was possible, how does it feel? … Just let it breathe and see how we feel about it when it’s settled. When its time, you’ll know to act.

It’s time. It’s time for godswap to grow up and get out of my house. I begin the real work today, writing. There is much writing, editing, and rearranging to do. I’ve started making contact with people to support me through this process. The goal is to have an open source godswap manual and rework the website into a wiki format, rather than a blog. Oh the copying and pasting fun we will have! The writing, blogging, website maintaining is boring work. Doing too much of it has burnt me out. I can’t allow that to stop the things that I do enjoy.

More important to me than all the new web action, is that I cleaned and moved my altar this weekend. Dusted the figures, stones, shells, and other bits. Polished the brass. Washed and pressed the altar cloth. Seeing it all done makes me so happy. That’s the muse that inspires my words here today.

It needed to move because it was up on a shelf too high for me to see it. I haven’t spent any time with my altar in over a year because of the height. I moved it down a shelf. As you can see, it’s now occupying two shelves. :) Fire safety and a possible metaphor for the spreading of love.

 

 

Taking inventory, the altar cloth is getting thin. I’m still working on making new candles. I don’t know if I still want the Obama ‘el presidente’ candle up there. The ‘make dildos not war’ sticker is really curling badly; would a frame make it look classier? I also think I need a new disco ball… Bigger this time.

I’ve caught myself blissfully staring at it every morning since. I pause with it when I come home from work. I’ve missed it. It looks so nice all spread out and uncluttered in this new space. Being the type of spiritual being that is drawn to sit with my altar is what brought me to this work. I need to remember to breathe more when doing the hard parts. Spending time with my altar was the first of many steps forward to kickstart this project into something complete and standalone.

I know my posting has been haphazard for a while and i don’t know how much that will change, but in the future you can host your own events and getting my hearsay won’t matter. It’ll be your godswap. :)

Would you be interested in hosting your own godswap? Want to get your friends together and deepen your understanding of one another? Please email me at godswap@gmail.com. I’m still looking to help bring these events to new venues, maybe your church, gym, or local dive bar.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to offer comments and suggestions in the comment section below.

The god(s) in me honor the god(s) in you. Let’s go play.

Rebekah

P.S. Peter, the spider plant, appears to be on the road to recovery. He’s been in planty ICU for about a week. Please pray for him.

http://godswap.com

godswap@gmail.com

http://twitter.com/godswap

http://www.facebook.com/godswap

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=117283251633938

http://www.facebook.com/pages/San-Francisco-CA/godswap/117505801602078?ref=ts

Fun with personal development

October 1st, 2010

Greetings godswappers,

I’m really looking forward to the next godswap. The countdown begins! Three more left for this year. Next week we will be talking about “personal development”. This can be following a long standing tradition or figuring out your own. A lot of people may find that their path is a combination of the 2. I’ve been really trying to expand my awareness to find another path to develop, but I guess I may just have to wait and see what shows up. :)

When I think of existing traditions, there is so much to respect in the fact that the practices have existed so much longer than I myself have. Personally, I have a short attention span and would find it really hard to commit to something of that nature. Observing others taking to it, makes me more aware of the beauty of our differences. We can all have a spiritual path, it’s just unlikely that every path will suit everyone.

When I think of creating a path I get excited! I think of the people I know who are just doing their best to find things they love and come closer to them. In its simplest form I don’t see a spiritual/inspirational path as being much different than that. People really passionate about whatever it is that they do may not even think about it in terms of being a spiritual practice.

I find it’s often the case, people need only to be asked and they can see things that were there, but went unnoticed. Over the summer I was talking to a kid in the desert (you know, like you do…). He was happy to put into words that his religion is fun and play. He really enjoys consciously putting play and fun into the world. He believes it makes the world a better place to live in and adds unquantifiable meaning to his life. He participates in “flashmobs”. Events that coordinate people into silly, fun, sometimes political, sometimes for no reason at all, displays of play. You can often find him and his friends doing dance numbers in big box stores, sending grown people down steep hills riding big wheels, having pillow fights in the streets, and really making excellent use of marching bands, bright colors, clown make-up, and unusual fabric textures. If you see them out, play along, it’s pretty sweet!

Have you created your own path? Would you like to share a path handed down to you or adopted from another culture?

Come join us.
Monday October 4th, 2010
7:30-9pm
2519 Mission St
San Francisco, CA

Would you be interested in hosting your own godswap? Want to get your friends together and deepen your understanding of one another? Please email me a godswap@gmail.com. I’m looking to start having these events hosted in new venues, maybe your church, gym, or local dive bar.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to offer comments and suggestions in the comment section below.

The god(s) in me honor the god(s) in you. Let’s go play.

Rebekah

http://godswap.com

godswap@gmail.com

http://twitter.com/godswap

http://www.facebook.com/godswap

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=117283251633938

http://www.facebook.com/pages/San-Francisco-CA/godswap/117505801602078?ref=ts

September 15th, 2010

Greetings godswappers,

As the end of the year approaches, so does the end of our lab time here at godswap. I’ve been hosting events locally, mostly to prove that it is indeed possible to have these amazing conversations with mutual respect. It’s not always perfect, but people really want to understand one another. Given tools to do so, they are all too willing to listen and share.

The next step will be compiling all the data into a comprehensive manual . This will be available free of charge so that you can have these events anywhere you feel inspired.

I’ll also be taking this message and medium to where ever they will have me. Would you like to have a godswap hosted at your church, temple, gym, or coffee house? Would you be interested in having me speak about this process at your school, rec center, or local dive bar? Bookings page @ godswap.com, coming soon.

I’m committed to this work and making it accessible to anyone willing to play. These first 2 years have been mind blowing on many fronts. Things I didn’t expect have become a part of my daily life, seamlessly. It’s easier for me to have curiosity about the experiences of others. I’m more open and welcoming to new ways of thinking. I find myself excited to learn things I’ve never thought of with new friends. It’s easy for me to be fearless, creative, and accepting of my own inspiration, especially the unique parts.

As with all things communal, I need your help. Those of you who have been able to make it out for a live swap, write a review about your experience. Have you tried to have these conversations at home with your friends? How has your experience with godswap influenced your experiences elsewhere? What do you think is the most important aspect of godswap – the listening, the being heard, the special handshake? If you were to change anything what would it be?

If you haven’t made it out to godswap, what kinds of things do you need to make you feel safe discussing your inspiration? Are you drawn to understanding the inspirational paths of others? Are there things in the world that we could understand better with a better understanding of the individuals affected?

There are only 3 godswaps left on the schedule! If you’ve been curious and just haven’t found the time in the last couple years, now is the time. If you love that I get excited and just want to help, show up and cheer me on. If you’ve been here before and would like to confirm your experience before writing a review, that would really help! If you’ve sent money and would like to see how your resources are being used, check it out. :)

Join us
Monday October 4th, 2010
7:30-9pm
2519 Mission St
San Francisco, CA

Or check back for our bookings page to schedule your own godswap.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to offer comments and suggestions in the comment section below.

The god(s) in me honor the god(s) in you. Let’s go play.

Rebekah

http://godswap.com

godswap@gmail.com

http://twitter.com/godswap

http://www.facebook.com/godswap

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=117283251633938

http://www.facebook.com/pages/San-Francisco-CA/godswap/117505801602078?ref=ts

Fun with inspiration:

Godswapping with Gaga

August 17th, 2010

Greetings godswappers,

I swapped god(s) with Lady Gaga. I love her! Last night in San Jose I saw the Monster Ball. She talked about her religion and I danced for her.

She said repeatedly, “You are my religion!” to me and her other dancing fans. I felt honored and mutual worship. Did I mention I love her? With overt religious symbolism in the set, mixed up with a punk grit, I can’t resist. I was totally not expecting this from the radio performer I thought I knew.

Dancing is how I prey. I danced till my legs ached and then shifted my weight (I had a belt holding jacket and backpack with carabiners.) resting until I could do it again, for hours. Bending my knees was it’s own special pleasure after we were done.

That was great godswapping! The best part being, there’s not much I could have done to see that one coming. :) It was awesome and spontaneous and it’s so cool that my life includes the perspective to see it that way. It’s a choice any one of us could make any time.

I hope you enjoyed your summer, godswap LIVE returns for the final few lab sessions Oct 4th. Next, I start digging into writing a manual so anyone can host a godswap, anywhere.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to offer comments and suggestions in the comment section below.
The god(s) in me honor the god(s) in you. Let’s go play.

Rebekah

http://godswap.com

godswap@gmail.com

http://twitter.com/godswap

http://www.facebook.com/godswap

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=117283251633938

http://www.facebook.com/pages/San-Francisco-CA/godswap/117505801602078?ref=ts

godswap July 5th Canceled

June 30th, 2010

Greetings godswappers,

Part of my daily spiritual practice needs to be self care. With that in mind, there will be no godswap July 5th. Join me August 2nd for “fate/freewill”. Happy 4th of July!!!

The god(s) in me honor the god(s) in you. Let’s go play!
Rebekah

Sacred scripture

June 14th, 2010

Greetings godswappers,

Hi there! Rumors of my death are hella exaggerated. It’s unfortunate that immediately after my little vacation I am unavailable to write due to the general necessities of life. I’ve been in a classroom where typing would be disruptive. I have done my best to keep tabs on the site and it’s really awesome to see so many comments and people supporting the work. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!! I’ve been bouncing in my seat everyday when I go to see more. :)

While I’ve been away, I’ve started a practice of reading sacred scripture. I hear about religious folks doing it all the time, they must be getting something from it. As with any part of my spiritual practice I open my heart to see what I really want out of the actions proposed.

What is sacred text? It’s my understanding that it is a collection of stories meant to inspire the reader to his/her highest self. Using those inspired by their god(s) as an example of how to behave in the most troubling of times. Some see it as a test of our worthiness. I see the awareness of the test itself as proof of worth. Though I must accept that it’s not for me to decide anything other than my perception… What would I do? If … when my god(s) test me … have they already? Did I pass? Is this a pass/fail situation? I look to the examples of my elders through, what I conciser, sacred writings.

They offer huge questions, some I’d never considered. They hope to offer answers, from complex ritual to simple inaction, from pacifism to violence, from prayer to silence. They are created out of the images that we will recognize so that we feel safe exposing our darkest secrets, vulnerabilities, and fears. The more familiar the more we are capable of trusting. There are countless ways of building that trust. Different people, even when worshiping the same god(s), will be called to them by different things.

There are no stories I love more than fiction. I believe it gives the storyteller more space to explore the options of tragedy without having to actually be tragic. The stories of my faith are fantasy and science fiction. The most important, to me, is cyber-punk.

“Classic cyberpunk characters were marginalized, alienated loners who lived on the edge of society in generally dystopic futures where daily life was impacted by rapid technological change, an ubiquitous datasphere of computerized information, and invasive modification of the human body.” – Lawrence Person (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyberpunk)

The one distinction that makes cyberpunk special to me is there is always a part of the story that is virtual. Critical parts of the story involve characters putting their consciousness into a computer and doing things in there. Thing brings up many questions about the nature of consciousness. What is it? Is the body we know necessary to have it? It expands my respect for animate things and inanimate. How am I to know for sure what is sentient? I don’t. Cyberpunk teaches me to question even my most basic assumptions. Also, really important to me is that the protagonist is often someone who doesn’t seem like a good guy. The hero of the story is often faced with difficult choices around survival of self and survival of humanity. There is never a clear right answer. As with life, the hero is forced to juggle the complicated needs of both. Its really easy for me to relate to it all on a much deeper level than what I find in traditional scriptures.

I’ve created my religion out of the images I trust in popular culture. It only make sense to me to find the sages of this time and sages of the possible future for guidance. Admittedly, the authors have little faith in humanity. However, their impossible questions aren’t all that different than what I’ve found in the Judeo-Christian bible. To me science fiction seems more real. It’s closer to what my heart knows. My heart feels safe learning there.

Learn about this and how you explore your inspiration at godswap LIVE

Our topic will be “applying inspiration daily/regularly”
Monday July 5th, 2010
2519 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110
Suggested donation is $10, no one turned away for lack of funds.

I get that this is that day after 4th of July and I plan on making this happen. If no one else shows up, I’ll be reading. :)

Thanks for reading. Feel free to offer comments and suggestions in the comment section below.
The god(s) in me honor the god(s) in you. Let’s go play.

Rebekah

http://godswap.com

godswap@gmail.com

http://twitter.com/godswap

http://www.facebook.com/godswap

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=117283251633938

http://www.facebook.com/pages/San-Francisco-CA/godswap/117505801602078?ref=ts

godswap LIVE today June 7th

June 7th, 2010

Greetings godswappers,

Next month our topic is “Signs/messages”. Do you believe that your god(s) reach out to you with signs or messages? If so, what form do they take? How do your god(s) leave makers in your life’s path? Do your god(s) direct you in that way? Are the signs you see passive or orders? Have you never experienced such a thing and are curious how this shows up for others?

Come explore how inspiration can show us the way, wherever we may go.

godswap LIVE
June 7th, 2010 @ 7:30pm (PST)
2519 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110
Suggested donation is $10, no one turned away for lack of funds.

The god(s) in me honor the god(s) in you. Let’s go play!
Rebekah

Signs in your path

June 1st, 2010

Greetings godswappers,

Well I’m back after a short vacation. Vacations are always too short, but I’m back to get my swap on. Welcome new readers who’ve found my site now that I get listed in search engines! It’s really exciting seeing how quickly things change when you switch hosts!!! (dreamhost.com)

Next month our topic will be “signs/messages”. Do you believe that your god(s) reach out to you with signs or messages? If so, what form do they take? How do your god(s) leave makers in your life’s path? Do your god(s) direct you in that way? Are the signs you see passive or are they orders? Have you never experienced such a thing and are curious how this shows up for others?

There are moments for me where things are so synchronized, I can’t help but feel it’s purpose. Recent signs in my life have been around my relationship to service. I love being of service! It makes me really happy to know I’m useful in some way. Recently my god(s) have shown me the ways that I can end up putting others before myself in unhelpful ways. Basically this looks like getting worn out and not being able to fulfill my obligations. To the eye of an outsider, this just looks like the trial and error that makes up life.

To me, I choose to see the hands of my god(s) at work. I choose to see the lesson, message, sign, etc. I’ve worked so hard for my god(s), my signs recently are pointing to “work-aholic”. My work ethic is getting in the way of my god(s) work for me by wearing me out. Now, I love this work. I love reminding people that their relationship to whatever inspires them is theirs, no one else has the power to dictate it for them! Watching people bloom with that empowerment is amazing!!! I’m all too quick to believe that it’s more important than sleep or other self-care.

Sometimes it’s something as simple as seeing a picture on the internet of an animal or image that reminds me of a friend. I take this as a sign that I would like to call them. :)

In life you will experience and see many things, to the outside observer, that appear mundane. However, your personal experience about said “thing” has the potential for you to see something in addition to that. Your Inspiration will often add itself to what you see and experience. Some people relate to animals and will often see images of them when they are headed toward what their god(s) are guiding them to. Some people move toward the direction that the fear comes from. Lucky pennies, shooting stars, and superstitions are all used in this way to some degree or another by those that believe in their powers. I could be something no one else could see or know, a feeling in your body, your favorite color, or connections to old memories, that signify a message is being sent.

Come explore how inspiration can show us the way, wherever we may go.

godswap LIVE
June 7th, 2010 @ 7:30pm (PST)
2519 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110
Suggested donation is $10, no one turned away for lack of funds.

Ways you can help godswap:

*Come early or stay late to help assist me during the event, to answer the door after the discussing has started, brew tea, set up, or tear down the space.

*Host your own godswap event. Would you be interested in learning how to facilitate this event and are willing to be my guinea pig while I figure out how to put what I do into words that other people will understand?

*Send me interesting current events. I can use people who spend time during the week finding interesting news articles that would be fun to add to a godswap newsfeed.

*Write an introduction for any of our upcoming topics. If you have special thoughts about a particular topic coming up and would like to write the introduction, I am totally into that. Send me a draft.

*Make a video. If you have a really creative spiritual path, produce a short video showcasing it. I’d be happy to post it to the site!

*Contribute however you’re positively drawn to do so!!! Contact me at godswap@gmail.com.

I want this to not be about me, as much as possible, so that this project is sustainable without me.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to offer comments and suggestions in the comment section below.
The god(s) in me honor the god(s) in you. Let’s go play.

Rebekah

http://godswap.com

godswap@gmail.com

http://twitter.com/godswap

http://www.facebook.com/godswap

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=117283251633938

http://www.facebook.com/pages/San-Francisco-CA/godswap/117505801602078?ref=ts

godswap LIVE today May 3rd

May 3rd, 2010

Greetings godswappers,

Godswap LIVE is today! Our topic is “traditions”. What traditions have you learned from your elders? What traditions do you wish to pass on? How have you influenced old traditions?

Join us.
May 3rd @ 7:30pm (PST)
2519 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110

Please help keep this alive. Donate what you can to help godswap in our effort to make our god(s) fun to share!





Money is always accepted, but time is, too.
Ways you can help godswap:

*Come early or stay late to help assist me during the event, to answer the door after the discussing has started, brew tea, set up, or tear down the space.

*Host your own godswap event. Would you be interested in learning how to facilitate this event and are willing to be my guinea pig while I figure out how to put what I do into words that other people will understand?

*Send me interesting current events. I can use people who spend time during the week finding interesting news articles that would be fun to add to a godswap newsfeed.

*Write an introduction for any of our upcoming topics. If you have special thoughts about a particular topic coming up and would like to write the introduction, I am totally into that. Send me a draft.

*Make a video. If you have a really creative spiritual path, produce a short video showcasing it. I’d be happy to post it to the site!

*Contribute however you’re positively drawn to do so!!! Contact me at godswap@gmail.com.

I want this to not be about me, as much as possible, so that this project is sustainable without me.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to offer comments and suggestions in the comment section below.
The god(s) in me honor the god(s) in you. Let’s go play.

Rebekah

godswap@gmail.com

http://godswap.com

http://twitter.com/godswap

http://www.facebook.com/godswap

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=117283251633938

http://www.facebook.com/pages/San-Francisco-CA/godswap/117505801602078?ref=ts

godswap LIVE next week May 3rd

April 29th, 2010

Greetings godswappers,

I have concluded the godswap church/cathedral tour! In my efforts to reach out to the religious community, I’ve started going to various houses of worship. I started with the Christians partly because we use the same lexicon, also it’s America and there are churches all over the place, and it’s actually hard to just walk into some places. I’ve spoken with folks from every type of Christian denomination you can imagine. I’ve left a lot of voice mails that haven’t been returned and talked to folks that were quite clearly “no”s. I also spoke to people who were really interested. There are lots of people who want to know more and come check it out. Most importantly, there are people who are doing similar work!

The Episcopalians started the United Religions Initiative and Grace Cathedral is, “a house of prayer for all people”. My tour began there at the EpiscoDisco. It’s what is my opinion the 2nd hottest name in interfaith action! There were several moments that stood out to me. I talked to people, made critical connections with the man who organizes this party and a reporter for the SF Chronicle. My favorite moment was realizing I was in a Christian cathedral, that has a prayer labyrinth in the middle of the dance floor, while they were playing Hot Chip. That right there is hot godswapping action! They already know how to play this game!!!

My second stop was the Catholic Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption. Last week was the “Interfaith Youth Leadership Summit”. This adventure lead me to a room full of high school students. I’m debating bringing the godswap conversation to high schools. The idea of consenting adults aids my illusion of safety. I’ll likely be over it soon. :) In the mean time I ran into a friend from URI who recognized me from the Circles of Lights dinner. He was one of the organizers for the event that day and was very helpful getting me connected with a few more folks, most notably the director for the San Francisco Interfaith Council.

Something about being in 2 cathedrals in 1 week, they are beautiful!!! I’ve never really spent any time in them before. It’s all art dedicated to the god(s) of these people, the tapestries, paintings, sculptures and of course the building itself. I’ve never looked at them with that lens before, ever. Grace is a more classicly styled long rectangle building with many peaks filled with stained glass that, while looking up, you almost don’t notice the gray walls. I think the area up front for, what I assume, is the choir and organist, is about half the size of the main seating area for my mother’s church. They must be able to seat 100′s in the pews of the main seating. It was definitely stunning and surrounded you with beauty.

St. Mary’s is a much newer style. It’s certainly a unique landmark while driving past. Inside the huge tower made of cement and stained glass, it’s remarkably bright. I was there while the sun was setting. Color from the windows was splashing all over the walls, covered with tapestries and paintings. It looked like Superman’s ice fortress in full color. There is a huge cement pedestal with the organ pipes displayed on top. On the stage people were rehersing what was to be an interfaith service for the night. Children were singing traditional Sikh prayers.

Yesterday afternoon I made it to my final stop, Unitarian Universalist Young Adult Network was having their bi-monthly lunch after service. These are the folks that I have no doubt understand how we play. They have a workshop for creating your own religion! Much like the Christians this church is beautiful and filled with art. There is more kid’s art, though, by a lot! I had a fun time with the young adult group. We talked about books, bikes, and burlesque. I made connections with critical folks and I hope to see 1 or 2 at the next event.

Oh yeh, godswap is next week! Have a tradition, new or old, that you’d like to share?

Join us. Our topic will be “traditions”
May 3rd @ 7:30pm (PST)
2519 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110

Please help keep this alive. Donate what you can to help godswap in our effort to make our god(s) fun to share!





Money is always accepted, but time is, too.
Ways you can help godswap:

*Come early or stay late to help assist me during the event, to answer the door after the discussing has started, brew tea, set up, or tear down the space.

*Host your own godswap event. Would you be interested in learning how to facilitate this event and are willing to be my guinea pig while I figure out how to put what I do into words that other people will understand?

*Send me interesting current events. I can use people who spend time during the week finding interesting news articles that would be fun to add to a godswap newsfeed.

*Write an introduction for any of our upcoming topics. If you have special thoughts about a particular topic coming up and would like to write the introduction, I am totally into that. Send me a draft.

*Make a video. If you have a really creative spiritual path, produce a short video showcasing it. I’d be happy to post it to the site!

*Contribute however you’re positively drawn to do so!!! Contact me at godswap@gmail.com.

I want this to not be about me, as much as possible, so that this project is sustainable without me.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to offer comments and suggestions in the comment section below.
The god(s) in me honor the god(s) in you. Let’s go play.

Rebekah

godswap@gmail.com

http://godswap.com

http://twitter.com/godswap

http://www.facebook.com/godswap

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=117283251633938

http://www.facebook.com/pages/San-Francisco-CA/godswap/117505801602078?ref=ts

http://www.gracecathedral.org

http://episcodisco.com

http://www.sf-interfaith.org

http://www.uusf.org