February 2018
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meme: ask me anything

from queerbychoice:

Ask me anything, and I will answer as truthfully as I know how. And if you ask me something, and then post this on your journal, I will ask at least one question of you. No promises that I won't touch a nerve though.

connecting: ,

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notquiteright ══╣╠══
explain who you are in one sentence
belenen ══╣transfixed╠══
I am a constantly-questioning creature who yearns for communication, touch, creation, trees, and magic, and acts to create a better world.
notquiteright ══╣╠══
that is an awesome sentence!
classical_wolf ══╣╠══
Can you tell me how your thoughts on your gender (or lack there of gender) came to be?
belenen ══╣gender is a lie╠══
hm, I suppose just through long-term self-examination. My understanding of myself evolved pretty slowly. Here's a relevant story: http://belenen.livejournal.com/551055.html#cutid2
classical_wolf ══╣╠══
Thank you for sharing ♥
queerbychoice ══╣╠══
In your own opinion, what are the best and worst things about you? (The things you personally are most pleased with or would most like to change . . . not your own opinion of what other people might like most or dislike most about you.)
belenen ══╣voltaic╠══
oooohhh, cool question!

I like most: my efforts to give to others, and the various ways I have learned to do it (intimacy practice, crafty parties, energy work, art, etc).

I would most like to change: my ADD-PI/memory. If I was properly medicated I could do so many things, and be counted on to remember things and have energy to do things etc. I don't like that I can't predict myself or count on my brain.
ssjspider ══╣rock on╠══
If you had one superpower that only appeared once a year but for a full month (of your choosing), what would it be?
belenen ══╣powerful╠══
transformation: the ability to become any shape -- from a whale to a chair to a stream of atoms. I'd use it to do lots of removing people from power :D
ssjspider ══╣rock on╠══
Oooooo neat!
blimeyzawn1 ══╣╠══
I think I already posted this on my journal, so feel free to add a non-survey question ;-)

My question to you: How do you balance your interests in other cultures/religions with the tendency of white people to culturally co-opt? In other words, what (if any) steps do you take to ensure you're not using other cultures' spiritual beliefs as something akin to fashion? What sources on these beliefs do you trust to guide you on your path?
belenen ══╣interconnectedness╠══
Hm, well, I don't know how exactly to explain so I guess I'll give my list of self-rules with regards to spiritual ethics.

1) don't pretend to be an expert on anything; all things I tell to others are specified as my experiences. For instance, I wouldn't tell someone that 'energy flows like this' but rather that I experience energy flowing like this (always with the consideration that my perception could be wrong). And I'd only tell them that if they expressed curiosity about my experience (reading my journal counts as expressing curiosity).

2) if I don't experience it, it is not part of my beliefs. I don't know if I culturally co-opt, but I know it is not like fashion because my beliefs are about how I experience life -- like, if I had never come across the word chakra, I would still have experienced these energy tubes running through the body I just wouldn't know what to call them. I feel sure about this because I felt them in the wrists before I knew that any other people believed in wrist chakras.

3) the only source I trust is my own experience. Everything else is only a jumping off point to see if it works with my own self. Pretty much everything is right for me in some ways and wrong in others.

4) I don't use cultural markers, even if something feels very resonant to me. A bindi would feel protective to me, but it is deeply part of a culture that I am not part of, so I will not wear one. Instead I will find another way to express that spiritual feeling. I do things like put stickers on my cheeks and next to my eyes, with a similar spiritual intention but without cultural reference.

5) if someone tells me I'm co-opting or if I find out that a word has a different meaning/connotation than the way I'm using it or that something is considered specific to that religious practice, I try to find a different way to express my spiritual experience. Basically I'm open to being corrected.
llama_friendly ══╣╠══
Ohh this...thank you for the well thought out answer. I was wondering something similar.
keiwontia ══╣╠══
I believe you covered this, at some point, in your journal, but I'm only remembering deal breakers, I think? I'm having trouble remembering specifics... My questions: What top four (4) things are you looking for in your next partner?
belenen ══╣connate╠══
I don't know about top 4, because I need all of these: http://belenen.livejournal.com/528383.html
call_me_katya ══╣╠══
I'm very interested in some of the things you've mentioned, like the rituals and intimacy practices. Can I ask how you 'learned' these? Did you research them in books, or were self-taught, or taught by others? Are some of them existing practices or invented by you?

Also, it's great that you lead the practices! How did you get up the courage to start them, and confidence to continue them with a growing membership?
call_me_katya ══╣╠══
[also, I'm using inverted comments around 'learned' not to be offensive, more because I don't know if you did learn, or if you created these things yourself!]
belenen ══╣artless╠══
Pretty much everything I do is invented by me. Being poly can teach one a lot about relationships -- I've learned through experience. Here's an explanation of intimacy practices, and kinda the story of their creation: http://belenen.livejournal.com/532220.html Please let me know if you have any questions on that.

I started them with a group of people who at the time were all interconnected with me, and all wanted intimacy. It didn't take much courage because I wasn't doing it alone. I want to write the story of it now, so I'm going to turn this into a post ;-)
call_me_katya ══╣╠══
In that case, I'm glad I may have inspired a future post! Your description reminds me a lot of games I created between the ages of 8-11. Entirely non-sexual, but my friends and I used to give each other foot rubs and play Hairdresser, sometimes using our long hair to tickle the palm of each other's hands. We had tickle time which then turned into a game I made up where we wrote words with our fingertips on someone's back or arm, and the other person concentrated on the touch to try and 'read' the message. I'm just remembering this now and realising how much touch must have meant to me at the time! We all need it, but there aren't many situations I know of when you can ask for it.

Are your rituals and affirmations created by yourself? Sorry about the questions!
belenen ══╣artless╠══
You need never apologize for questions because I love them!

Yes, I create my rituals and affirmations. I often draw on a variety of sources to get the seed for the idea, and then build my own.
camilleyun ══╣Camille Claudel╠══
I'm not entirely sure how to articulate it but here is the best way I can formulate my two-part question: What process did you use/how did you come to figure out what you like/what you are like and what methods did you employ that has enabled you to have such strong self-acceptance?
on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.