An advice column for folks who don’t like to be told what to do.

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We’re all just walking each other home. — Ram Dass, Photo via Pexels

Dear Asha,

As far as I can trace my lineage, I am of European descent. When it comes to where I would choose to live in the world, Europe is last on the list, or maybe before Antarctica. I struggle to come to terms with the idea that it’s really acceptable for me to call home a place that is my home as a direct result of colonization.

So when asked, I say I’m from the universe. I can tell you where I grew up and where I currently live, but I’m from the universe. And yet that answer avoids an entire undercurrent of cultural ignorance, privilege, and prejudice. …

An advice column for folks who don’t like to be told what to do.

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We’re all just walking each other home. — Ram Dass, Photo via Pixabay

Dear Asha,

I have a daughter who I am watching become a teen, daily, before my eyes. And let’s be clear, she is very much only a tween. On top of the attitude and mood swings, the child who never wanted anything, ever, is now full of needs and desire for things she swore she never would crave — fashionable clothing, a phone, her own room.

Honestly, I support most of it. We discuss the deeper needs, creative solutions, possible outcomes. We let the desire marinate and develop. With my daughter, the longer a desire marinates, the more specific her vision becomes, and the greater the eventual disappointment when confronted with limitations of reality, even with conversations all along the way. …

An advice column for folks who don’t like to be told what to do.

Image for post
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We’re all just walking each other home. — Ram Dass, Photo via Pexels

Dear Asha,

Throughout my life, my mother and I had a complicated relationship. My mom was fun-loving, whimsical, imaginative, creative; she fiercely loved me and my sister and showed that love in many ways. She also lived through significant physical and emotional trauma from her childhood and in her marriage to my father, who also lived with mental illness and substance abuse disorders and perpetrated physical violence and emotional abuse against her. …

An advice column for folks who don’t like to be told what to do.

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We’re all just walking each other home. — Ram Dass, Photo via Pixabay

My dear ones,

I just can’t today. I can’t reach in the metaphorical hat and pull out a question. I can’t engage in conversation about anything other than our present moment. If there is any wisdom or insight available to carry me, and maybe you, through this moment, please God let it come through me, because my little, personal “I” has got nothing left this morning.

The word that has been circling around me in the last day or two is “liminal”. Do you know this word?

An advice column for folks who don’t like to be told what to do.

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We’re all just walking each other home. — Ram Dass, Photo by Onkundi Nyabuto on Unsplash

Dear Asha,

It is a crazy time in this country. We are in the midst of a seemingly endless pandemic that may surge again. Yet our leaders seem unwilling to set out clear tactics and expectations of behavior to help mitigate the threats to keep us and our loved ones safe.

The pandemic seems, also, to have finally laid bare for many the ways in which our society is crumbling. …

An advice column for folks who don’t like to be told what to do.

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We’re all just walking each other home. — Ram Dass, image by Juli Watson via Pixabay

Dear Asha,

There’s a lot of stuff out there in popular culture today about how to be our best selves, but what does that really mean?

Ideally, the “best self” should hit at all four levels — spiritual, physical, emotional, and mental/intellectual. But also, what are the actions that must be taken to be that best self? I’m not just talking about getting there. I’m talking about being there and sustaining that Best Self over time.

This is a universal question; the answer will be different for each individual. And yet it takes on new meaning when thinking about systemic racism and civil unrest in the US today. …

An advice column for folks who don’t like to be told what to do.

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We’re all just walking each other home. — Ram Dass, image by Polina Zimmerman via Pexels

Dear Asha,

I am an artist. I made the decision a long time ago to follow my muses where they lead me. When the muse hits I am obedient to the detriment of my dishes and laundry, and possibly my 16-year old daughter.

It’s always been like this. Even when she was young I would stop long enough to feed and care for her, but would forget to feed and water myself. And that’s ok with me, because…art.

Yet, there are times when I use art to escape from my other responsibilities. I know there should be cooked food at some point, and I also know none of us are starving. I find myself at times only wanting to be responsible for art. …

An advice column for folks who don’t like to be told what to do.

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We’re all just walking each other home. — Ram Dass, image by Charles Deluvio via Unsplash

Dear Asha,

I’m struggling with the pervasive sense of satisfaction, and even outright joy, that I’m experiencing as I watch President Trump suffer, both physically and politically, from COVID-19, a disease that he has done everything in his power to avoid containing.

I know this viewpoint is harmful from a spiritual perspective; nothing good comes from wishing harm upon others. The word “schadenfreude” came up in conversation on this topic recently, and I admit that’s exactly what this is in all its unsavoriness.

And yet, his policies and posturing have caused direct and indirect harm to so many people. As of the day I’m writing this, over 215,000 Americans have died. It is hard not to feel that some kind of cosmic justice is being served. How does one then balance this: the spiritual ideal to not “other” our enemies, with the political impulse to revel with our compatriots in watching bad things happen to bad people. …

An advice column for folks who don’t like to be told what to do.

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We’re all just walking each other home. — Ram Dass, image via Pixabay

Dear Asha,

I am generally a very kid-directed parent. If my kids ask for my opinion I’ll give it, but they know they’re free to make whatever choice they make. They live with the outcomes and take responsibility for their choices.

At this point in my kids’ lives they know they don’t have to ask for permission for anything. Sometimes they ask my advice and I give it, and then they do what they think is best. …

An advice column for folks who don’t like to be told what to do.

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We’re all just walking each other home. — Ram Dass, image via Pixabay

Dear Asha,

I have been a single mom for 8 years. The last several years I’ve been a solo mom. Though my ex is local, there is absolutely no communication from him. He has never asked if he can help with anything, not even during the pandemic.

My son is a high school senior. By all accounts he is remarkably responsible, respectful and relational. He is getting through the pandemic by working a lot and earning money. He is a sweetheart with his young nieces. …

About

Asha Sanaker

Asking questions, telling stories, giving my people information they can use to make change happen.

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