It’s Pride Month…

I’m not sure how wide-spread Pride Month is, but I know in a lot of cities in the US, at least, there are events during the month of June to celebrate people who are LGBTQ+. As the parent of someone who fits into those letters somewhere, I’m glad to see these events exist. It isn’t about shoving one’s sexual orientation or gender in other people’s faces, and despite how offended some folks get, it isn’t about pissing people off either.

It’s about acknowledging the prejudice and discrimination those who are LGBTQ+ have faced throughout history–and continue to face today. It’s about acknowledging people as human beings, regardless of who they love or who they are. It’s about celebrating diversity, love, and respect.

In past years, I’ve gone to the Boston Pride Festival as someone who considered herself an ally. I’ve been an attendee and a volunteer. But I’ve felt like I was watching from the outside, and felt privileged to be allowed to be there.

This year, Pride means something different to me. After years of wondering why I grew up not feeling like a girl (and not particularly wanting to, if “girl” meant acting like the bullies and backstabbers I knew), and why that feeling persisted into adulthood, and after doing a lot of soul-searching and inner work, it finally made sense. I didn’t feel like a girl because my gender isn’t female. It isn’t male either. I’m agender.

Agender means not having a gender. It’s important to note that gender has nothing to do with anatomy/biology (that’s sex), or with whom someone is attracted to (that’s sexual orientation). Gender is who your brain tells you that you are, and how you identify. Although I was assigned female at birth, my brain was never comfortable with being considered female, and male didn’t fit right either.

Gender is a spectrum, not a binary. And this year during Pride Month, I’m going to celebrate having finally recognized where I fit on that spectrum.

“How Dare You Charge?”

I haven’t heard the exact words I used for the title of this post, but I have heard similar. A number of times. There are plenty of people out there who believe that someone who practices energy healing, or channeling, or readings, or anything along those lines has no right to ask others to pay for their services. After all, those skills are a “gift from God,” right?

Well, sort of. First of all, that’s presuming a practitioner believes in God in the first place. I believe in a higher power, but not in “God” the way some religions mean. I don’t belong to any of those religions. Nor do some of the other practitioners I know. The person from whom I learned Chios and channeling in the first place didn’t believe in any higher power at all; he was a staunch atheist. It’s worth remembering that not everyone believes in the same things, even among people who practice the same things.

Second, maybe the ability to practice energy healing, channeling, etc. is a gift, but that doesn’t mean a person who possesses those abilities is automatically able to offer them to other people. I believe you need to learn how to effectively use those abilities if you plan to make those practices into your life’s work, just as someone who’s born with a talent for singing won’t make it to professional level without vocal training. The ability might be a gift, but you need training and education to have the skill.

Some people spend years learning the skills they need to offer their talents to the public. Even those who don’t spend quite that long still devote time and energy to learning effective ways to do what they do, and the best ways to offer those things to others.

If practitioners choose for themselves not to charge for their skills, that is entirely their choice, and there’s nothing wrong with it. The issue comes when those who choose not to charge start vilifying those of us who do because we’re “dishonoring” our gifts.

The thing is, money, at its base level, is an energetic exchange. We are exchanging our gifts for abundance energy in the form of pieces of paper, or other types of currency. If we give our energy with nothing in exchange, a vacuum is created, and negative energy loves to fill vacuums. But if we receive some form of exchange, whether that’s money or a massage in return for an energy healing session or whatever, there’s no vacuum.

Practitioners don’t have to charge outrageous sums of money. Some do, but some keep their rates lower, and some accept barter in addition to money. The point is to have that exchange.

Everyone’s different. Everyone has a different view of the things they’re able to do. And, as far as I’m concerned, no one’s choice is wrong as long as they aren’t taking advantage of their clients. It would just be nice if we could accept each other’s choices instead of having loud debates and insults when we disagree.

Studying

I’ve been doing a lot of studying over the past few months. So much that some of it kind of leaks out of my brain. It’s a good thing I take notes!

When I was in school, studying was something I tried to avoid at all costs. I didn’t care about the things my teachers were trying to drill into my head, so I sat in class and mostly listened, took notes if I thought I should (or if the teacher required note-taking as part of the grade), and pretty much took tests from that. I often did homework the morning it was due, as I sat in the school cafeteria chatting with my friends.

The traditional school structure didn’t work for me. I didn’t fit in as a student, or as a peer. I wanted to do and learn my own things in my own way.

As an adult, fortunately, I have that option. I’m taking some courses, but they’re online home study courses that move at the pace at which I decide to move. I’m reading a lot of books and taking notes about the things that resonate for me, or things that I believe will be beneficial for me to know.

I wish I’d had the option to learn this way when I was in school. For years, I daydreamed about starting a school where kids could do exactly that: Learn at their own pace in ways that made sense to them.

There are schools like that in existence, and may well have been when I was growing up. Some forms of homeschooling, such as unschooling, operate on exactly that concept.

I hope someday it’s widely recognized that people are not cookies cut from the same cutter. We learn in different ways, and have different interests and needs. One thing we do have in common, though: We can all succeed if we’re given the right tools and opportunities. I wish that happened more often.