Part 1: Nature
Part 2: Multicultural Awareness
Part 3: Indigenous History (North America)
Part 4: US History (1600s-1800s)
Part 5: The Binary, The Holistic Self & The Gender Wheel
- The Binary & The Holistic Self
- Toward a Holistic Perspective of the Self
- Calling in Your Holistic Self
- The Holistic Self and Gender
- The Gender Wheel
- Part 5: Imagine for a Moment
- Part 5: What is Commonly Taught and Thought
- Part 5: Back to the Truth and Practical Daily Application
- Part 5: 4 Areas of Action
Toward a Holistic Perspective of the Self
TOWARD A HOLISTIC PERSPECTIVE OF THE SELF
How do you come to know your whole self when judgment, conformity and performance are culturally embedded and valued? How do you find truth about yourself when rational, empirical, logical thinking are your primary options for thought within a Western frame of reference? How can you understand your own unique dance when linear, rigid, externally approved formation is generally required for physical survival?
what can you hold onto as you learn your way through Western thinking back to your fully fabulous queer/trans/intersex self?
I’ve learned that honing a holistic perspective means beginning as large as possible, with the intent of full inclusion. And then slowly and thoughtfully, you create the path inward, imagining as whole of a perspective at each step as possible.
To this end, I teach what I’ve learned about myself.
The HOLISTIC SELF includes: BODY, SPIRIT, MIND, HEART and the UNKNOWN.
CALLING IN the WHOLE self helps make sense out of our experiences. Many of us have had to separate or silence parts of our true self because of Western, patriarchal thought and society. In fact, a split between body and spirit, body and mind, even body and heart are as imperative as a split between humans and nature, males and females, queer/trans/intersex people and cis, straight people.
To become more aware of what the whole self is consider the following questions and perspectives. The more whole, the more present and embodied queer/trans/intersex people are in the world, the more true our world will be.
How to make it real? You can gauge the personal impact our Western culture has had on you by asking how free do you feel to be your true self? In your heart of hearts, are there places that you suppress and silence yourself to feel/be safe and supported in the world? Never judge. Just see. And feel.
There are disconnects between all of these aspects of self in Western culture. Research in multiple disciplines show the importance of reestablishing these connections, for example body/mind medicine, social/emotional learning in schools and more. Expanding and calling in the whole self makes a huge difference in our ability to heal ourselves inside and out and negotiate the world. It locates agency and authority about who we are within ourselves, but there’s more.
The self, however whole, does not exist in isolation. The self is not WHOLE until seen in CONTEXT.
Context includes: FAMILY, COMMUNITY, SOCIETY, HISTORY, ANCESTRY and the UNKNOWN.
Similar to the holistic self, consider the following questions and perspectives. The more queer/trans/intersex people know our own history within each of our own racial/ethnic communities, the more our purpose and meaning will be understood.
Western culture often wants us to compartmentalize, simplify, reduce, assimilate, sublimate our true selves only to be rewarded with living in survival mode.
Seeing the HOLISTIC SELF makes you strong because it naturally helps you see through Western culture and the patriarchy. Through your own experience and understanding of yourself, you begin to transform Western culture and the patriarchy from a concept, a theory, something far away–into a personal story within the context of the larger sweep of history and consciousness. You step into history. Which means it is yours to change.
As Gloria Anzaldúa says, “We change ourselves, we change the world.”
Once you see, you can’t unsee. Once you know, you can’t unknow. There is a world of truth and beauty that includes queer/trans/intersex people and experience and always has. We have been invisiblized. We have gone underground. We have coded ourselves into history. We have hidden ourselves even from ourselves at times.
There is no place on mamiearth that does not have queer/trans/intersex expression in nature, including people. We are. We always have been. We always will be.
But always, we have persisted.
There is no place on mamiearth that does not have queer/trans/intersex expression in nature, including people. We are. We always have been. We always will be. That is truth. Our presence is a constant reminder that we as humans are a part of the power, mystery and diversity of nature.
The patriarchy and Western culture took a very long time to develop to this point. In some ways it seems that we are at a pinnacle moment. A heightened expression of the binary. But simultaneously, there is an awakening in the makes, gaining momentum. Lines are being cast, webs are being woven, bridges are forming between what is natural and true, between ancestors and spirit. We are becoming WHOLE again.
I ended this series at 1899 for US history because I wanted to court that moment when it seems gender and sexuality were still very fluid, before they tipped over into a more highly Westernized frame. I wanted to feel that moment before the binary became so deeply entrenched. When third, fourth, fifth genders were still singing through the edges of Western culture across the globe. Before colonization had obliterated or sent everything far underground.
The Bugis of Indonesia still sing today. They continue to believe that all 5 genders must be held in unity. Only if everything and everyone is connected can the whole world remain balanced and safe.