Joy Gypsies Vlog 'n' Blog

Thriving and Loving Life with

Jackie and Xochitl

Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Duo

Out to Transform the World. 

Together.

Why Do We Call Ourselves "Joy Gypsies"?

If "gypsies" is a derogatory label for a minority group, why do we use it? 

The word "gypsies" been used as a disparaging term for the Roma/Romani/Romany people, also called "Traveling People" and "Tinkers" and many other names. The Roma were mistakenly believed to have come from Egypt, and "gypsies" was slang for dark-haired, dark-skinned people from Egypt.  Genetic, linguistic and cultural evidence shows they probably arose from the Indian subcontinent in the first and second centuries A.D.

As a minority group pretty much wherever they've gone, Roma have endured centuries of oppression and marginalization.  Roma are a culturally diverse, vibrant and proud people and still live across Central and Eastern Europe.  Some Romani groups have settled down in communities and others still travel as their preferred lifestyle. 

You might wonder, why do we call ourselves a pejorative term for an ethnic minority?  Isn't that...

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"I'll NEVER Do That Again!"

How many times have you said this to yourself: "I'll never do that again!"

Did you follow that by giving yourself "a good talking to" and/or by depriving yourself of something you wanted as a "consequence" to make sure you never make that mistake again?

Have you heard anyone else say something like that to themselves? Or have you ever told someone else they'd better not make that mistake again? Or punished someone for their mistake? Maybe slammed a door or yelled at them or gave them the silent treatment perhaps? Fired them?

Did any of that really work? Or did that mistake or something similar happen again later, despite your (or their) best efforts?

Why is that? Is it just unwillingness to learn from the mistake, or rebelliousness? Or what?

What if the "common sense" approach to dealing with mistakes is all wrong?

Many people grow up believing things like:

  1. It's bad to make mistakes. (Go down a notch in self-esteem if you do.)
  2. Bad things happen when/if we make mistakes. (Watch...
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Your Power to Dispel the Darkness and Drive Out Hate

On the third Monday of January, it’s kinda hard to miss all the reminders that it’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. No doubt you've heard his "I Have a Dream" speech and read his writings now and then over the years.

After the events of January 6th, not quite two weeks ago now, you may be wondering how in the world we can unite our nation and conquer so much fear and hate with love. 

Just what can one person do?

Dr. King had an answer for that: 

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” Martin Luther King, Jr. A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches 

Dr. King pointed the way, and it is up to us to figure out how to use light and love to make the dream our reality. 

Dr. King's love is not a weak, doormat kind of love.

It's a love that is fierce in its kindness and strong in its pursuit of equity and justice. It's a love based on...

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You Can Save Democracy

Today, January 6, 2021, a mob broke into the halls of Congress

and committed violent trespass while our elected representatives were processing the Electoral College votes.

Today’s events did not just happen in a vacuum.

For a mob to rise up, there must be provocation, regardless of whether it be real, perceived or imagined. There must be extreme grievance, usually for an extended period of time. There must be a perception that there is little alternative to be heard other than to rise up. Peaceful protests become mob riots only when the conditions are ripe.

We can debate who is to blame, who is responsible for what and who should be tried and punished. No doubt that will all happen soon enough.

It is time to face certain truths:

1. Democracy is a shared agreement, a context for our relationships with each other. We do not construct democracy alone. It is something we must do together, actively, not just once, but day after day after day.

2. Democracies survive when they...

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Swimming with Sharks: How to Deal with a Bully

No doubt you’ve known at least one bully in your life.

Sometimes you can see them for what they are in the moment, and sometimes you don’t realize what they are until you’re licking your wounds. 

I’ve dealt with my share of bullies in my life, and here's what I've learned.

Whether you're the target of a bully or a bystander who wants to be an ally: 

1. Don't take anything personally that a bully says. A bully gets the pleasure of power over you by triggering you and making you feel bad about yourself. Remember that the bully's attitude, words and actions say far more about them than they do about you.

2. Be careful how you assign responsibility for what’s happening. A bully will blame you for their own aggression as if you “made” them behave/think/feel that way. Don’t fall for it. When they succeed in making you examine all the fuzz in your navel for what’s “wrong” with you, they’ve deflected all...

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