Whatcha Gonna Do When They Come For You???


Some of you may be surprised to know that I am taking a 9 week course in my town that is a Citizen Police Academy. No, this doesn’t mean I will walk around with a gun or even a taser when I’m done. But it is giving me a close up perspective on what the women and men do on my city police force.

The idea behind this Academy is to build community between the citizens and the police department. Of course, the folks who show up for the course aren’t necessarily the ones they need to preach to–we are their choir already. But we’re also tax payers and some of us are future police officers, and it’s a good show they put on.

They give us all the bells and whistles; or at least dogs and flash bombs. Every section of their department gives a presentation from the marine unit to the SWAT team to dog officers. We’re up close and personal with equipment, loud noises…and maybe not too close to the German Shepards.  Not only do they present the history of this department, but of how certain units came to be initially; like SWAT units started during the race riots in the 60’s.

Having been a paramedic I’m used to working near the police, so some of the stuff is familiar. But I admit, this is a medium city and this department has some pretty big advantages. This also means different types (and more) crime. In some ways being in the class gives me the willies knowing what goes on around me, like the gang violence for instance. Who knew they are high school kids? But in other ways in is comforting to know these people are quite dedicated to serve and protect in some extremely dangerous situations.

An interesting thing I have noted is how many women work in this department; the Chief is currently a woman and one Assistance Chief too. Even one of the SWAT members is and the program is incredibly rigorous. It’s also a very culturally ethnic department.

This department does other community events like Coffee with A Cop where they meet the public at none other than Dunkin’ Donuts just to have open dialogue. Not a bad idea in these troubling times.

We get to sign up for two ride-alongs with an officer on duty. I’m looking forward to that one. Hopefully I’ll get some action that night. Maybe we’ll catch some bad guys? It might bring me back to my ambulance days…sigh. One (silly) man asked if he could bring his gun that night if he had a concealed weapon license; the answer was a resounding NO. Really?!

Anyway, a lot of effort goes into this course, and I know it’s really a bunch of PR for them, but they do have a hard job. My cop friends would tell me over and over that all they saw was bad stuff and bad people. It got old for them and some were pretty bitter. Maybe this is a way for these guys to do something good for a change? And to get a good rap for once? It’s not an easy job by any means; trying uphold the law when there’s so much negative stuff in our world these days. I don’t envy them.

And some of these Officers do this stuff on a voluntary basis simply because they love what they do and are committed to it. There are certain teams (like SWAT) that are voluntary to be on call until you’re called.  That’s pretty amazing when you think about it. And yet they train constantly! These Officers were not folks I would want to meet up with at any time! Yikes.

So, I’m learning some interesting and new things. And trying to look with an open perspective. Even though there are some police that don’t exercise good judgement , I wonder what it would like without any of them?

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Poem: She Who Has Gone Before


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She goes to battle

Every day

Heart dripping with caring too much

For those She loves

Her womb shielding life in an ocean filled pear

That life floating gently

And sucking lifetimes through tiny pathways

Eventually struggling to break free

She faces the octopus world

Which grabs at her with suction cups sticking

All over exhausted limbs

A bruised body

Often scorned and threatened

A warrior whose only weapons are often

The very things that are used against her

So many centuries the war rages on

She deals with the pain

And loses some flesh

But each time when the belly is round

Through blood and waters comes a daughter

A new story is told

The Grandmothers and mothers through stories

Pass on the tales of the war

How they are still here and how courage can grow

Each generation faces the battle anew

They will walk onto the fighting fields and into the blinding light

Knowing they carry the wisdom and power of those women

Who have gone before

 

Seeking Joy


How many of you believe words make reality? It seems that way to me, especially lately. Some of you may recall the mantra I created a month or so ago. It was short and sweet, but very necessary to my life. It was a very positive paragraph and something I have recited at least twice a day–and sometimes more. Basically a positive affirmation of what I would like to see for myself. And, well, it’s all happening in this short time.

Of course, we all know that positive or negative thoughts/words only lead to the same in actions. This is no great new revelation to anyone. It has come down through the ages. The very act of prayer has been going on for centuries. “Ask and ye shall receive” is a most familiar saying we all may know, whether we go to church or not. Many religions believe that the very act of writing something down or speaking words releases their power. And therefore one must be careful what one asks for as it may not come quite as you ask. We as people know that words can harm or heal, whether or not they say: sticks or stones may hurt my ┬ábones, but words will never hurt me. Ah, not true!

This is why I kept my words quite simple in my mantra. But the simple act of saying it over and over seems to have brought the things for which I ask. Two lines in particular: “I am seeking joy” and “My first priority is love” are coming with delightful abundance. One might think these things have dropped from the sky, but in reality I have created them in my life by focusing on them and drawing them to me.

Numerous books have been written on this subject and have made millions. Positive self talk will in turn bring good. And so the opposite is true. I once read that if you are angry you should try to force yourself to smile because it is almost impossible to stay angry when you are smiling. It’s all about changing one’s reality. And I believe this is possible.

I’m sure you’ve met the people who are eternally grumpy and always draw the negative stuff to them. Or the people who are constantly having bad stuff follow them wherever they go–they draw this black cloud around them. And then there are the people who carry the light around them! I decided I wanted to be like them. And so I made it happen.

Armed with my mantra, my smile, my attitude adjustment and my hope the tide had changed and my world is slowly changing. Some really big things are changing, but even the little things are noticeable. For each one thing that changes, I surround it with gratitude and more positive energy. I want each small movement to grow into something bigger.

My two favorite yoga moves are the sun salute and the warrior pose. I am trying to do these as much as I can now, not only to heal my body, but to ease my spirit. As the sun rises, I know the past is behind me and I greet a new day filled with new possibilities. And the warrior woman within me can face any situation with strength and perseverance and the steady balance of one who has seen empires rise and fall.

So I will continue with my positive speak and keep a clear mind. Not every moment is perfect, but as a warrior, I can shield against the difficult moments armed with my light and the vision I have in my head. And with these tools, some humor and the understanding I may have to lick my wounds now and again–I am confident I will find the joy and love I am seeking.