Sunday, December 21, 2008

gills would be good here...

i'm at a little bit of a loss for words lately. i'm not sure if this means i'm not thinking, or if i'm just not paying attention to my own thoughts and feelings. or allowing for the fact that so much thinking actually masks the much deeper feeling that needs space to occur. there is just a tiny bit of that that is true. for 3 or 4 months in there all i did was think, think, think and it was a refreshing change to just turn off paying attention to those thoughts altogether.

however, i'm not exactly sure how to balance the whole turn off all thoughts thing, with being concious of my own self--not numbing to my own life. and it seems that there is some numbing lately. or at least i'm going to interpret last night's dream as such. for those of you that don't know me, and many of you don't i am going to let you in on a little secret about me; i have a strange and abiding fear of water deaths. i wouldn't call it a phobia or anything like that because i totally love swimming and the ocean and even the bathtub, but the whole drowning thing gets some weird airtime for me. to avoid this fear or the thought of it, i tend to stay away from stories or movies with similar themes. to this date, i still havent' seen titanic, however i did see the original Posiedon Adventure with shelly winters when i was sort of a young kid--and i think this is where some of the water wierdness stems from.

so circling back to my point and the whole numbness thing, i had a dream last night that i was on the ship poseidon, or one very similar to it and i kept reliving over and over the actual overturn of the ship, and the water crashing in, and bodies falling to the ceiling of the ballroom, and at some point in that dream i became aware it was a dream and actually one of my worst nightmares. then i became aware i wasn't exactly scared, i was really more or less just noticing the details of what was happening, how if i payed very careful attention i could will the details to change, like i didn't crash to the ceiling, instead i grabbed one of the bolted down tables and from there swung myself out of the ballroom. the next time around i made it out onto the deck, funny how the deck was right side-up and i jumped onto some sort of watercraft nearby.

turns out we weren't all that far from shore and i did some stone hopping onto land...hmmmm--so what's that all about--this whole underwater death and drowning, reliving the moments, and finally becoming lucid enough to recognize my own power in the situation.
( some sort of wake-up call from the numbness?) a somewhat reflective position from the lessons life is bringing me right now. i get sort of freaked out and drowning, and i relive that a few thousand times, then i lift my head only to realize the shore is within swimming distance.

hallelujah for the shore!!!! you know what i mean??? sometimes it feels like if i'm not absolutely drowning, then my treading muscles are pushed to their absolute limit and i will go under at any moment. i do crave the moments when my feet touch the muddy underwater ground and my head is still above the surface.

My christmas season has had some nice "head-above-water" moments; spirit and connection have been the rule rather than the exception. i am awed by the goodness in people, i am touched by their vulnerability, i am blown away by their gifts, i am challenged to do, be and give more of these things of myself. i am so grateful that life shows up to beckon me exactly down that path--even when the water gets deep, that's when becoming an underwater breathing superhero gains in relevance:)

so get your fins on gang, the water (while a little bit choppy at times) is exactly what the doctor ordered to get his patients out of the kiddy pool!

Now playing: Duncan Sheik - Barely Breathing (acoustic)
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Life by the Drop

At what point in my life did I switch from being the one who sought my thrills in adventure to the one who sought my thrills in the stillness? This isn’t to say that I don’t want to be involved in amazing adventures, doing amazing exciting things; because I do, but these are not the things that I actively seek to fulfill my heart.

So what do I seek? At this moment I’m sitting looking out at the atlantic ocean, a gorgeous breeze cooling my oh so foolishly sunburned legs and listening to my friends talk about how they are so energized by building their network marketing business. We have just spent the last week volunteering in the slums of rio, connecting, working with people who live in the hardest and most desperate of conditions. One evening we sat talking with a group of young men, they have lived the hardest of lives, their career paths are a choice between drug dealer or dirty cop—they have never even known the concept of choosing to do something one loves—perhaps they don’t even have the smallest idea of what they love, their biggest dreams are somehow focused around sleeping a full night in their own bed, with no bedbugs eating away at their skins, while the sound of gunfire outside the thin walls serenade them into a false sense of security for the moment .

By a sort of blessed grace, this group has been swept out of the favela. Living together in a home outside the slum sponsored by the nonprofit we were volunteering for. One of them, Sidney, spoke of his emotional breaking point a few months ago. One night, laying in his cramped and dirty bed, he suddenly felt that if he didn’t find a way to leave the favela immediately he would die—selling drugs, living in the terrible hand-to-mouth existence dangerous drug culture—it was the beginning of the end for him, either the actual end of his physical life—he could actually feel that he would end up dead soon, or that he must end his way of being, the only life he had ever known. He began praying to his god that very night, “please find a way to take me out of this”.

My heart just absolutely jumped out across that room, encircled his beautiful smiling spirit with my own. I felt tears of joy welling up in my eyes as I was overcome with gratitude that he had found a way out of the only life he had ever known, into this new and shining opportunity for a new way. We talked for just a few moments after the group broke up, and with a translator he told me that he was overcome with a feeling of “saudade” for me --if my translation is correct—a feeling of longing and missing for me in his heart. Tears sprang into my eyes as we shared a brief moment knowing that we cared so deeply for someone in the world that we didn’t know at all, but knew entirely at the same time. In my world, I feel hardly old enough to be out of my own childhood, and in his world I am old enough to be the mother that loves him fiercely with all her heart.

These are the moments I seek. They appear in the oddest of ways. Of course this was a huge and obvious one, but they all come wrapped in different packages and I feel so blessed to get still enough to notice them when they appear. The past year for me has been full of very big moments, lots of traveling and larger than life ways of being in the world. And through so much of it I am learning how the exact opposite is the moments in which I find my soul… lying under a cedar tree on a moonless night, quietly hearing more than seeing the family of deer steal by on their way to slumber; listening to the visions in my mind long enough to see the story that unfolds and sharing it outloud; stepping into a kitchen full of the smells of love being simmered on the stove and spread out as a feast before the family…

So is the adventure the trade-off? It’s not that I am called to abandon the glorious pursuit; it’s just that somehow the inner adventure of the soul now is a stronger and more glorious call. For this I have felt my own “saudade” so many times—and now joyously breathe in the blessed moments of soul adventures as they fill my moments and my soul.

Now playing: Stevie Ray Vaughn - Life By The Drop
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The sway of genius...

i will be the first to admit that it has been too damn long since i have spent any real time writing. personal writing time has been incredibly limited of late; however, i will say that i have come to the coffee shop at least 6 times in the past few months with the intent of getting a little introspective, drinking a little warm brew and seeing what comes out of the mix. i did the same thing this morning and what rose to the top? 3 hours of responding to personal e-mail, visiting friends' blogs that i haven't seen for ages, reading a few chapters in books that have been buried under finance reports, spreadsheets and business requirements documents.

and through it all a few thoughts finally took form that felt like something to share more than something to pack away for later...

one e-mail i got held a simple personal call to action... or sort of action, really more an internal attitude adjustment whenever we/i feel action might be required...
"trust in the love"

when faced with the pressures of life, the pain or adversity or joy that shows up in our relationships, interactions, internal journeys and public endeavors--the admonition to see that love is at the root of all these experiences builds the lens and the attraction that love really does conquer all.
when life comes at you in the full force that it has a tendency to do, how can we respond/interpret/act in a way that becomes something we can embrace as a means of helping us on our way to happiness and fulfillment? Turning this question on myself, i love the portence of the quiet statement above. it beckons me to trust that life is always holding me in a sincere and purposeful, loving embrace. the intention for all of the experiences that life sends at me is to find the love there, the beauty, the support, the means of holding me in the greatest aspect of caring and fulfillment that i welcome as a method of learning life's lessons and moving into the fullest and most joyful expression of me.

in my reading today i came across a quote from Heraclitus--predating socrates and plato, "ethos anthropoi daimon". meaning can be interpreted in ways too numerous to count, but for me today the path i went down was this...

frequently interpreted to mean "character determines fate", i meandered through the possibility that character is something we build, it takes an infinite number of tiny moments; becomes much more the wave than the particle, and this for me is the "sway" with which we walk. not just our physical step, but our internal urgings, emotional responses, unique means of being in the world.
along with the sway comes our personal call to perform--not just the loud, public, celebrated performance that sometimes defines a man or woman; but the intimate, constant, glorious and terrible pursuit of our own genius that creates the path of the soul.

so for me this is the sway of genius--daily essence of self moving towards the inner call of the soul, in tiny- inner heartbeats, infinite strokes of genius, creating our own path of learning; may not be extreme, may not be famous, may not ever seemingly appear to deviate from the norm, but we know on the inside how we respond to our own essential call to genius. how we match the burning inner need to realize certain aspects of our own genius on this journey through life.

it was the tiny and meaningful statement of "trust in the love" that honed this realization for me today. life is built to love us/me into the most perfect sway our/my own genius can create. there was a photo accompanying this Trust In The Love...the author's child in a pumpkin patch, how else can this beautiful child behave than to trust that pumpkins will grow, mom will think he is amazing, dad will tear up when he balances on his bike and souls will rejoice as he grows in love!!!(i hope she won't mind that i included that picture bursting with potential above.)

"All life is sorrowful; there is however an escape from sorrow; the escape is Nirvana – which is a state of mind or consciousness, not a place somewhere, like heaven. It is right here, in the midst of the turmoil of life. It is the state you find when you are no longer driven to live by compelling desires, fears, and social commitments, when you have found your center of freedom and can act by choice out of that. Voluntary action out of this center is the action of the bodhisattvas – joyful participation in the sorrows of the world. "
The Power of Myth Joseph Campbell

Now playing: Peter Cincotti - Sway
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, August 3, 2008

dip your toe in, the water is fine

it would seem that my bandwidth for introspective query has been all-but swallowed of late by the realm of the unconscious. i did have a very interesting conversation the other night with a friend of mine who is going through a pretty hard time right now. he had a lot of pretty keen insight into his own direction and choices, and i found that i could layer my own choices right over the top of his and define my place in life as very similar to his.

here's what i found fascinating by that conversation--he really was quite down and struggling to gain perspective about his own direction. i wouldn't cast his position in a negative light, just extremely challenging. somewhere in the middle of the conversation he had asked me about what was going on for me, and as i described my life he commented that he would love to be in my position right now. i found this so enlightening because as i stated above i could class all the things that i'm in the middle of, in a very similar way to how he described his own life...

--i'm on a search for spiritual fulfillment, seeking meaning in my daily life that fortifies my daily choices.
--my daily job is a good one, but kicks my ass half the time. i question if i should really be doing this right now, or if there is another way to reach the goal i am yearning for. i love it most all of the time, and hate it just a tiny bit, the rest of the time.
--my personal life has its ups and downs, with relationships that show up to teach me exactly what i ask for, but sometimes not ever how i would have asked for it.

here's what i love about all of this...if i stand back just the tiniest bit and gain the perspective of what i have been praying for, asking to show up in my life, working towards achieving...then i can see that my life is giving me exactly what i ask for, without exception. it's just that i wouldn't have ever thought of having it show up the way the universe has formulated for delivery. when i recognize this, i can only feel extremely blessed to have so many prayers be answered so explicitly.

i actually feel incredibly powerful in my own life and become daily more aware that i must be so purposeful and intentional in what i ask for from life because, without a doubt, life intends to deliver!

is it just me, is this stuff obvious to the rest of the world? maybe it has taken me this far in my life to learn what is really primer level learning, but i tell ya, it has changed the way i view everything. life is a gift, constantly flowing to answer the call i have put out. i'm so grateful to be a part of the river.

Now playing: Sinead O'Connor - Jump in the River
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

we know it's there, even if we can't see it

"The World Exploded Into Love"

There is a universe that can’t be seen

It’s just a feeling, if you know what I mean

Delectable, dimension, undetectable by sight

It’ll fill up your heart in the dead of the night

Some say that it’s an astral plane

It can’t be described, can’t be explained

The world exploded into love all around me

The world exploded into love all around me

And everytime I take a look around me

I have to smile

Oh! is our life just an illusion?

There is no need to figure it out

Separation exists not love filled heart

But only in your mind, the real story’s all around you

Even now it surround you

Even now I feel the power

The world exploded into love all around me

The world exploded into love all around me

Everytime I take a look around me

I have to smile

The world exploded into love all around me

The world exploded into love all around me

Everytime I take a look around me

I have to smile

I have to smile

I have to smile

bob schneider

It's been a big few months for me--o.k. really half a year, one thing after another has shown up in the most unexpected of ways to bring in the biggest of lessons; some incredibly painful, some extremely blissful. this last week was no exception to the rule where my eyes were opened on a new level to the way i am supported on this quest. Through so much of it i have been so grateful to keep hold of the lesson that these are exactly the things i have requested.

indeed, my prayers seem to be exactly answered ,it's just that i have to get very clear with the answer to understand the gift. through it all a soundtrack replays in my rather than getting mired in specifics, i'll just share with you the music. feel free to create your own playlist for the gifts you find in your own life, i sort of like to belt mine out in the car, just to make sure i'm listening:)

Here comes the Sun............................Ben Harper

Hallelujah...........................................Jeff Buckley

Shelter from the Storm.......................Bob Dylan

I do not want what I haven't got..........Sinead O'Connor

Salisbury Hill......................................Peter Gabriel

Here Comes the Sun...........................Nina Simone

Skin On The Drum...............................Michael Franti and Spearhead

Shelter...............................................Ray LaMontagne

Let My Love Open the Door.................Pete Townsend

Put Your Records On...........................Corinne Bailey Rae

Falling Slowly.....................................Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova

Now playing: Bob Schneider - The World Exploded into Love
via FoxyTunes

Monday, June 30, 2008

Life on Earth...

(follow this journey forward to chapter 2)

My journey this year has been one of quite intricate and beautiful weave. i'm so completely grateful for all the stitches and right now particularly aware of a new pattern that emerges in the fabric. i was called on to write a bit of the old tale last year and it feels somehow appropriate now to share it as i am called to enter a new weave. i hope you enjoy reading it as much as i did discovering it:)

So long ago when time was measured not by hours and minutes, but by the star’s passings of the moon, a girl child lived in the halls of the palace of the gods. How she had come to live there, no one can exactly remember; only to say that it seemed she had always been there, tread the halls ever so lightly, peaking from behind doors, finding tiny passageways which must have been constructed for some purpose, but had gone unused for so long that not only couldn’t anyone remember their purpose, really no one but the girl could even remember they were still there.
Many servants had come and gone; grown old in the service of the palace, and they were always the ones to notice a pair of mary- janes abandoned at the threshold of the courtyard, a game of jacks left to scratch the fine ebony floors of the grand ballroom, or a window left ajar too close to the scribes’ ink in the library causing it to dry out much too quickly. The gods were always questioning who had left such a mess or been so careless, but they didn’t hold their breath for an answer, knowing the servants were quick to scurry behind their own footsteps, cleaning up whatever mess had been left behind or caused too much of a stir.
The goddess of the great dance hall, Chatelaine, was particularly known for calling the servants to clean up one mess or another. Her particular favorites—servants that is— were Fate and Destiny. These two had a way of filling the hall with music, making sure all the guests were well looked after and that all those with a dance card had filled it out in time to enter the Reel, everyone’s favorite dance, a beautiful and intricate pattern interweaving and crossing partners for its duration. Chatelaine was an exceptional dancer, and the girl child watched her in awe as she dressed in gowns of silk and damask, deftly filled her dance card with the most handsome beaus and glided among the party goers with Ease and Grace. Ease and Grace were two of Chatelaine’s most constant companions; ladies-in-waiting who attended their mistress to perfection. The girl child had watched many times from behind a floral screen as preparations for the evening’s events proceeded. Funny though, even when she sat right on the hearth to watch, it was as if she were a statue or little pet animal who went entirely unnoticed.
One evening, warming herself by the hearth and going typically unnoticed as Chatelaine prepared for the ball, the child dropped her jaw in awe when Valiant and Griffin, two of the lesser gods who often were away on noble errands to earn favor, entered the room dressed in palace finery to pay their respects. Their coats were clearly of a new fashion; woven of the finest silks and delicate sea moss. It was clear the two had been at sea and seen and done many amazing things on their quest. The child sat up quite straight from her game of Fox and Chicks to listen to what tales these two might have to tell. She was eager to know of their adventures abroad. But as they began to regale those in the hall with tidbits of the high seas, the child was overcome by fatigue and no matter how hard she tried to stay awake was lulled by the warmth of the fire and fell into a deep slumber.
It was not until the early morning when the guests had long since returned to their chambers that Constance, the morning chaplain, pressed the child’s shoulders just enough to wake her, whispering it was time to rise and tend to her own daily chores before she could be left to her own devices. Try as she might that day, it always seemed to the girl as if she were entering the room too late, or having to leave a table too early to hear a proper account of the twins’ tales from the night before. And so she was left to her own imaginings to determine what glorious times they had at sea.
This pattern continued for lifetimes—the girl living the life of one of the gods, sitting at their table, dressed in their finery, served by their servants, but never growing into a position of acknowledgement or import—always the child and interloper.
One morning the child awoke to the strangest sensation. It was if she were Sleeping Beauty, and the entire castle was asleep because she had pricked her finger—only that wasn’t quite it because she should also be asleep if that were the case. The child wandered through the hall of the palace and found everyone else deep in slumber. All the gods and servants, even the animals were sleeping. She was extremely worried and tried mightily to awaken or stir even one person—she would have been happy with simple Constance to talk to at that point, but to no avail…the spell they slept under was much stronger than the medicine she had in her power to wake them.
And so, after many tears, the child’s crying dried up—she looked around and began to try all the things she thought she had been missing. She tried on all the most exquisite dresses in Chatelaine’s closet, and then deserted them on the floor of the dressing room. She even ventured into the great hall of the Hunt where the roar-like exclamations Lord Brunehinter had always frightened her too much to enter. Here she found the most amazing and terrifying things she had ever seen. It turned out that Brunehinter was a master of the hunt and took great pride in displaying his trophies stuffed and staged in lifelike stances throughout the hall. Never having left the palace, the child wasn’t aware that such beautiful and powerful creatures even existed. Once having seen the lovely beasts, she was overcome by an amazing sorrow for their unpurposed deaths and resolved to improve the plight of their kin.
With this vow in her heart child determined she would leave the palace to see if there was anyone or anything awake anywhere else. Having never left the palace before, the girl had no idea that she should leave through the great doors at the entrance of the grand hall, and in truth, these doors were so massive, so firm and unmoving that she never could have budged them using her bicep strength. But this thought didn’t occur to the girl as she pressed open the intricate wooden shutters at the top of the grand staircase; these she had seen the servants open many times, and once had even ventured out into the courtyard when Chance, the gardener, had inadvertently left them open, but Constance had quickly spotted her and rushed her back inside.
—Now the story has long been told of how it was discovered that child had been living in the palace for years undetected--- When the girl stepped onto the patio her feet recoiled in shock and perhaps a bit of delight as she stomped through a field of tiny white crystals. By the time she got to the garden wall her delight had turned to concern as she finally realized her feet were cold and the bright with crystals of snow had cut into her pristine feet so sharply that her toes had begun to bleed. It was at this point that the girl finally thought of a good reason to actually wear the shoes that were always showing up at the foot of her bed. So on painstaking tip toes she returned to her room, through the snow, down the gallery, up the residence staircase and into the living chambers of the gods. Here she searched for just the right pair of shoes to put on. Through all of her searching she trailed little crimson toe prints, a silent witness to her passing that screamed quite loudly, eventually waking everyone in the palace and finally betraying her presence there.
But by this time the child had long since wandered into Morelia’s rooms, goddess of wing-ed flight. She had always seen her coming and going through the royal kitchens with so many beautifully appointed garments. The child often made a game of following Morelia as far as the kitchen garden wall before cook scolded her for leaving the door open and rushed her back inside. Following the goddess Morelia had always been a delight for the child and she yearned for the freedom to go past the kitchen wall—filling her pockets with delicacies, carrying bags and packages containing all the mysteries of her days beyond the wall. Now in Morelia’s chamber, the child hopped in triumph as she dressed in a thick-soled pair of riding boots which made an ever-so-clever clicking noise as the child walked; just like the horses down at the stables. The child then wrapped herself in a warm and very soft and voluminous fur stole; smelling faintly of nutmeg and mint from hanging in cold storage in the barn where Morelia had herself retrieved it just that morning thinking she would wear it to meet with the artisan’s guild later in the week. Alas, she would wear it no more, for the child slipped her feet into the boots and her arms into the warm coat-sleeves, and grabbing an empty basket and bag or two—something Morelia always did before leaving the palace—she joyously clicked her heals all the way downstairs into the kitchen. From Morelia’s chamber the telltale spots of blood disappeared in exchange from bits of dried mud shed from the sole of the boots down the back staircase, out the kitchen door and over the garden wall. Here she dropped a fine lapel pin that had been attached to her coat; it had belonged to Morelia’s mother, Florence—who had sung so beautifully whenever asked to, that the palace had retired her favorite aria when she passed out of the time of stars and moons.
Throwing her legs over the garden wall, the child didn’t think for one moment of taking the garden gate, and was suddenly overtaken by true emotion for the first time in her life. It was true that she had only just had her first experience with pain, but feeling the pain accentuated her glorious intake of breath as she left behind the old and unimpassioned life of perfection in the palace of the gods. Stepping onto terra firma the girl felt a tear of joy slide down her cheek, she quickly brushed it away with certainly as she jauntily made her way into the land and field and forest beyond the world of the palace.

Now playing: Paul McCartney - This Never Happened Before
via FoxyTunes

Monday, May 26, 2008

Anything but this...

It's amazing to me how the past few weeks of my life have unfolded. Through absolutely no master plan of my own, life has shown up to give me exactly what i have needed. The layers of each event have built this mind blowing feeling of assurance and grace in me that i have been craving for quite some time. --So here's the odd bit, in spite of all these happenstances (and mind you not all of them easy or wonderful--just what i needed) i have been fairly unable to articulate in this space what has been going on for me. The past few days as i have finally come to rest at my own home and had time to unravel my feelings, i recognize a resistance to write anything in these pages unless i have come to the perfect conclusion, made lemonade from my proverbial lemons or resolved the inner angst that plagues me.

i am called to ask myself--and you, what kind of learning process do i share if all i write about is the end result, none of the-along the way- underpinings for peace, love and understanding?

( i had someone accuse me of being a drama queen this week, what's that all about if i don't even share some of the drama along the way?)

I spent the last week with a truly perfectly called-in group of people--each one showing up with their own strengths and weaknesses, willing to learn as individuals and as a whole. as i sat before them, asking for understanding, connection and insight; i was overcome by their intention for acceptance, unconditional love when asked for it and willingness to witness the journey each member of the group had shown up to take.

and what did i learn about myself? i was asking to be seen--in the small and tiny ways that so many of us are afraid to share about ourselves. it took me almost the whole week to voice this request, to actually verbalize what i so needed from these people that they were so willing to give. this was not a request that might be classed, in most senses, as one of mythic proportions; and yet, the import for me is grand!!! Funny thing is, i was totally willing to do and say that for any person in that room--but was too afraid to ask for it myself. how does this fear get to boss me around? how does it get control of what i do or say? how do any of our fears get to be the thing that controls our actions, rather than our strengths or aspirations?

perhaps there is something to be said for making lemonade from those old lemons anyway. . . we, each of us, come into this world with the things that already hold great import and merit for us, things that we want to share with the world; but the way we learn to do, share, be in the world isn't always the easiest. i guess what i'm trying to say here is that i intend to write some of the hard things too, not just the glossy cross your fingers and we'll see what the little fingers type in the way of exposition.

Now playing: Elvis Costello - (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding?
via FoxyTunes

Monday, April 28, 2008

and the mind stood still...

self examination has come to some sort of a standstill with me. it feels like learning about the balance between abandoning the machinations of the mind-the control factor it exerts, and opening myself into some place of spirit wherein the beauty and simplicity flow.

as i mentioned below, i spent 8 days in baja this month, no tourist spots, no glam shopping, not a lot of contact with people; just one day after another of waking up with the sun and surf, feeling my toesies in the glorious sand, wading through tide pools (being bit by a mini-octopus --sort of payback i guess because i'm sure i've had one of his cousins for lunch at the sushi bar one time or another)
and soaking up the essence of breathing.

it took me about 5 days before my internal chatter finally shut off and i just started hearing the most amazing things, the sucking in of water right before the clam squirts its indignance at the interloper, the heavy breathing of a worn out puppy, the tiny sniffles of a child being deeply comforted by his own soul seemed to express all these emotions as the week went by and my own inner-child was nourished and treasured by mother-earth with abundance and bliss.

and through it all i felt blessed, blessed by warm fresh tortillas daily made from the tortilleria; the most alive beach i have ever relaxed on: with fishermen, eels, herons, seals, starfish, crabs--all manner of life;
and the love and company of people who had literally been strangers the day before.

baja full moon

Thursday, April 24, 2008

all the answers

i feel quite certain there will be more on this topic to follow, but felt compelled to get this little bit down as the thought occurred...

in my last entry i had this burning question feel about how i could find the time, give the concentration, etc. etc. etc.--i have realized it is these questions that are the problem, not my answers, or lack thereof whatsoever.

rather i assert this theory--just spend 8 days with absolutely no plans on the coast of baja, california, see how quickly all those silly questions fall into perspective--or just fall away altogether. it's amazing how simply living is such a gift. gratitude to the universe--little lama is truly blessed!!!!

i don't think there's any question that the world's hugest blazing orange, full moon rising out of the sea of cortez can't bring into perspective, i'm just sayin'... "i would gaze at your face the whole night through..."

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

same bat channel

whole new format--o.k., not really new and not different so much as just a little bit shorter.

what i want to know is how do people with full time jobs have time to fully service a blog of this nature, live a normal life and put in 8 hours+ a day? when i was just a part time worker of the world i still couldn't put the time in here that i would have liked to.

so here's my question, am i just not that hard of a worker, maybe not really that great of a writer, are others more passionate about their job--or maybe just their writing, have some discovered the secret to the space/time continuim that allows for expanding time where it is needed and contracting where it is not, is there somewhere a perfect voice recognition technology that will record my thoughts in the car and deliver them in perfected format to this blog, how do i get the sounds of water running from the shower out of the recording--that's where i seem to have my most perfect thoughts....and sometimes in that in between sleep and awake moment, when the luminous nature of the soul steps in to usher me to the other side--but it's just about then that my motor writing skills are at their worst and i never seem capable of breaking free from slumber's grasp long enough to jot a thought or two down? (how's that for a question)

anyone out there with all the answers????

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Totally different view

so i'm sort in a state of writer's block these days, really more thinker's block if you will. staying way out of the zone where the brain is always churning stuff up and spewing out really brilliant reasons why everything is the way it is. i was sick for ten days this month. in the past three years, i can only remember being sick one time enough so that i actually had to stay in bed for only one day. and suddenly--in my 10 big sick days i probably stayed mostly in bed for at least 3 of them.

here's the thing(we're back to the thing again folks) i got sick because every night for the past few months when i went to bed my brain would kick into high gear, like it was the first time all day that it had a chance to get my attention. so it would jump into front and center mode and start unraveling the day in majestic proportions.(no sleep until about 3 in the morning every night turned into really bad cold and flu, hacking, coughing up a lung,)
i literally felt like mugatu and i had taken some crazy pills together. of course i haven't done anything half so grand as invent the piano key necktie or anything like that, but my brain kept trying to come up with the solutions for all of the seemingly very grandiose problems that were circulating in my life. even as i was fully aware and choosing not to rely on my old patterns of ego and mind habits to solve the situations that arose, my ego was really refusing to play along with that decision and so because i kept on telling it no during the day, it would kick in every night as i laid down to get some sleep. i ask you to try and imagine what it was like to drift off into deep slumber, all the while having craziness of the likes of will ferrell jabbering in your head about some ridiculous accomplishments that mean absolutely nothing in the long run.

wow, did i just totally ramble on without ever coming to a point there? what i mean to say is i have been really opening to operate from a soulspace point of view in my interactions and only calling on the tactics of ego as a tool. because my ego has always been the tool in the driver's seat, it doesn't like getting put into passenger mode and so the inner struggle kicks in at night when my defenses are low.

i came to an awareness this week that shifted the struggle. i have been on the offensive with the ego; going to the depths and heights of my being seeking the places it inhabits and trying to cast it out. such an offensive has literally created a warlike interior in my inner psyche--i picture it sort of like antibodies rushing around my blood, cleansing all aspects of foreign material. these little workers aren't recognizing that the foreign body is a gestating fetus(no this does not mean i am physically pregnant, but spiritually birthing a new me) and rather than trying to cleanse the foreign body, i am becoming aware that it is possible to incorporate all these pieces of me to become a greater whole. seems a very small awareness doesn't it? bringing ego and spirit into league with eachother, but the small shift in approach has amazingly changed the outer feeling.

my brain has finally settled, recognizes a way to be instead of do , and this just flows hand-in-hand with the soul part of me that rises to the surface to be authentic and conscious . it's as if i have finally learned to "turn right" , when before all i could give the world was a brilliant flash of "blue steel", i have finally opened to allowing the essential and stunning view of "magnum" as well. it's exactly the same and yet, a totally different view.

Now playing: Gnarls Barkley - crazy
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, March 6, 2008

gettin' jazzy with it!!!!

sometimes things people say just really send me into a hissy fit of hysterics. there i am about to "spit take" my barely chewed granola and yogurt all over their chatty face and they don't even know what it is they have said. one such phrase has made its way into all-time classic status for me of late is anything to do with "jazzy". how is it that we can use a phrase like, "i was feeling seriously jazzed when i heard that new song", or "that whole new spring line just makes me feel jazzy" with any hope of a reply any more serious than "i know my whole body goes into jazzmodic orgasm when i even hear a hint that neil diamond is putting out a new album", or "i could seriously just get up and dance at the thought of the new faux leopard prints at nordies this year"?

perhaps my opinion is skewed, but let me give you the story and you tell me if i have any choice but to laugh...a year ago on my birthday, it was a full moon and very close to midnight; a whole group of my very "goddessy" friends had gathered at the local swimming hole for a full moon salute, if you will. we were giggling and shivering and dunking and diving with all the joy of any group of nubile young otters (mind you the goddesses ranged from mid-twenties to forties and all sorts of body types, but full moons just have that power don't they?)

somewhere about midway through the watterlogged event one of the nymphs told the group a work story and in all seriousness used the phrase, "i was so jazzed". we all hit a moment of silence, did she really just say that? we laughed and teased and cajoled with greater and grander renditions of the phrase until we finally came up with the "jazzy challenge"--all this in the middle of the pool. each member of the group left with the assignment to use the phrase in public, in earnestness...the more people you said it in front of the more credit you get...and if you use jazz hands then you win the challenge--hands down. then we moved on with the night. the challenge went underground, some of us forgot it, some made a half-assed (smirk) attempt to slip it into the convo--and then word came...

one of our party had used it at a board meeting, in front of around 20 people, she stood up and using the jazz hands let the whole board know she was "so jazzed" about this latest program. how do you even top that without losing your cool right in the middle of the statement?

well this week my "jazzy challenge" has reemerged with a vengeance. i have spotted the use in three separate blogs, these people were not at the full moon celebration, they never received the jazz hands challenge, they just spontaneously fit it right into convo...

one of them in reference to a dance pic he was riffing on...seriously jazzy

For anyone who knows anything about Jazz dance trivia- I'm sure you recognize the 2001 National Champions, and five-time Seriously-Jazzed Award winners, Soul Fortress…. Yes, these girls had it all- the fame, the fortune, the spandex, the Little League All Star boyfriends…. It was a true Cinderella story for this rags-to-riches squad from Caramel, Montana- until Marlie Sofer stumbled through the hotel room door, that fateful November night……

find the whole rif at casey's myspace (beware this one has graphic language and photos-link at your own risk-those who can overlook such things will find a good bit of writing and laughing)

the next i found in reference to the political process...

· It's amazing how something so incredibly exciting and inspiring can begin to take on all the charm of root canal surgery in the space of an hour; AND YET
· I am actually jazzed, in a totally politi-dork way, about getting to go to the county convention; HOWEVER
· There is no way in hell I'm going to let myself be nominated as a state delegate/alternate.

and finally, in a friend's blog about a new movie theatre in ethiopia...

I’m jazzed there is a theater in town, but disappointed that the worst of American “pop-culture” will most likely end up showing on its screens being viewed by the few Ethiopian elite who can afford to see a movie. For the average Ethiopian the cost of admission (45 birr, 5 usd) is more than they earn in a month.

so apparently, "jazzed" is the new "seriously" use it with wild abandon people, i know i will.
Now playing: Liz Phair - Turning Japanese
via FoxyTunes

Monday, March 3, 2008

"Creative Expression" or build a bear

i have found myself talking a lot lately about a bit of wisdom that was recently presented to me by my mom of all people. i know, funny that we should take anything that our mother says seriously, but i've just got a mother like that--she says a lot of great things, and when they aren't so great, there's even good stuff to read between the lines.

she's been doing this personal, inner work business (again, i know funny huh? that a blogger like me should have a mother like that?) and working with a community of teachers for a few years. having finished up a bit of learning she felt inclined to share, and i suppose that inclined me to learn. she had a lot to say and i'm sure there were other bits of wisdom in there, but the takeaway for today is about finding yourself stuck in a problem...

i can't tell you how many people, friends and near strangers, i have talked to in the past few months that have some seriously big stuff that can be described quite clearly as a problem in their life and they feel absolutely stuck, not knowing how to how to get out of it. this is not a finger pointing game, i have definitely felt this way about a few huge obstacles that sat right down on my heart and solar plexus mid-winter, refusing to budge until punxatoney phil poked his head out and meant it. what i have been utterly thrilled about is this new piece of learning and how it shifted the monstrosity right off my chest and allowed me to shrink it to a little treasure box size--the size of a thing i can take out of its place on the shelf and look at, deal with, comprehend---and take or leave as something that has any drama in my life, rather just very valuable learning that i am glad to ingest for the gift it is and move through it, with it, on with life.

so here's the gist of the thing...when faced with the energy of being stuck in a problem we are faced with a few choices
1. if stuck, choose to be still or move
2. if in relationship, choose to move towards or away from the relationship(love, business, teacher in school, taxman, whatever)
3. move into problem solving mode or creative expression (the idea being that the brain that got us into the problem in the first place isn't the thinking place that can fix it, and engaging the brain in creative expression shifts the brain waves that are even being triggered and solutions start to flow)
hello, this is such a simple model and seems a little too simplistic to actually work right?

all i'm saying is give it a try, when you feel stuck without a place to go to solve the deep shit you find yourself mired in--move towards creative expression!!!! it shifts mountains that now really do just appear to be molehills, brings clarity in times of turbulence and soothes some seriously tense nerves.

i've had some great interactions with people lately who have reminded me how wonderful it is to express the creative being inside of me. i'm so grateful for those people, showing up to remind me how luscious it feels to be a creator, whether that is dancing, painting, drumming or belly laughing until pants wetting ensues. for all these moments i thank you. i'd love to hear about what forms your creative expression takes...let me know what things work for you

Now playing: Fleetwood Mac - Second Hand News
via FoxyTunes

Friday, February 22, 2008

Whimsery in Action--pay it forward update

Sometime last december i made an offer to "pay it forward"--make some delightful bit of whimsery and pass it on to someone willing to do the same for someone else. i finally came up with what felt like the perfect idea while browsing for just the thing. i found the idea here (you gotta scroll down one entry)and whipped it up with great personal delight. It was a neck warmer--not a whole scarf, much more time consuming and basically we've all been there done the long scarf thing. this was just a tiny little neck muff if you will; and apparently it delighted many others because i sold 3 of them right off my needles before i was able to make one to send for this blog.
Honestly, not trying to sell a thing, just bringing my knitting with me to work on and that's all she wrote, or knit as the case may be. Once i was even on the way to the post office with one of my treasures and my friend saw it and decided it was that exact "bit of fluff" that she must have. always one to oblige my friends, i let her have that one and started on another.
i must say, the efficient virgo in me is extremely pleased i am able to use up all sorts of odd bits of yarnas is evidenced by this bright little treasure, which is my own personal favorite and i have managed to keep it for myself--at least for the time being.(not the best of photos, doesn't do the colors justice)

This was the valentines treasure i made to give as a birthday gift a few weeks ago:)

So there's the proof of the craftiness in me and a reminder to my errant cousin, that she must post her pay it forward to receive her treasure.
Now playing: chicago soundtrack - When You're Good to Mama
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Desert Child

This one isn't by me, it was written for me this year by a friend on my B-day. it's sort of been appearing in my dreams lately, and i find that i'm craving another dream in the desert. With the full moon upon me, joined by the lunar eclipse, i am eager for the new energy this dreams carries with it. Nice how a moment taken by another to really see just a little part of me imparts so much meaning. i am as full as the moon...

Your home, you’re home

In the valleys carved by water and wind,

These dry bowls where all bones show

Veins flow and rush to the Great,

Where hewn wheels carved ruts in salt.

From cities of sins to one of saints

To dwellings abandoned save for Fremont ghosts

And Anasazi whispers

You find shelter in the desert

Solace in exposure.

Your skin sparkles of mica, cheeks of quartz

Hair twisting ‘round like gold Mohave’s devils

Heart found huge at a narrow’s end—a

Wide, sun-beating valley of fire.

Hardened like a those of walk-a-bout’s child,

Feet that have led and sometimes followed.

Clear like a nighthawk

Clever like the crow

Laughing eyes open to a long, long path

To depths back and beyond.

In the gorge where the wren’s call clings

Down the cliffs like water,

Where coyote hitch rides on Highway 6,

Your home, you're home,

Desert Child

Pamela Ostermiller 09/12/07

Now playing: Ray LaMontagne - Be Here Now

via FoxyTunes

Sunday, February 17, 2008

when the essence leaks right through

a little over a week ago i stood in a room of full grown adults; all of us looking sheepishly around at eachother as we began to breathe heavily through our noses...

and then ever so slowly some timidly began to dance. "was this the start to some strange erotic, orgy-like group ritual"--you may be asking yourself (well i suppose that remains to be seen)? but for the moment it was merely an experiment in "getting cooked"!!

"oh now she's gone off the deep end" you say, "i'm not reading any further", but lest you sign off this downright righteous tome without discovering my topic and going to your grave convinced that my soul will rot in purgatory i urge you to stick with me for a few more lines...there was a time in the history of the world that in addition to getting very still in prayer and meditation to invite a closeness with spirit, or indeed being bathed in spiritual guidance, people from wisdom traditions all around the world used to really get their spirit moving (cooking things up), breathe in and out as if their lives depended on it, and move their bodies like their souls had something to dance for.

"why in god's name would those crazy wisdom tradtionalists do such a thing"? you may be asking
i'm told and am now learning for myself that it was exactly that, in God's name--is why the Quakers did it, in Allah's for the Sufis, it is Brahma, Ganesh, Vishnu and Shiva (among many others) for the Hindus, and the "Big God" for the Kalahari Bushmen. and "what is it exactly everybody's doing?" you ask again. among the many traditions around the world it has been called
Chi/Qi—China Yesod--Kabbalism, Prana--India, N/Om--Kalahari, Tumpinyer Mooroop--Australian Aboriginies and Manitou--Ojibway and the list goes on and on and on

and it is ecstatic breathing, dancing, movement--what has been described by Bradford Keeny, author of Shaking Medicine as "sound poetry, and sound poetry then turns into singing. Shamans, whether they're in the Amazon or whether they're the Lakota medicine people or the Bushman healers, are all about "catching" the songs. Their belief is that the Big God who expresses the Big Love can only share love through the rhythm, the beauty of song."

for our crazy little band of experimenters it was just that, an experiment, a foray into the unknown(surely unknown to us) to see what there was to see. and what did we see there? well nobody fell to the floor overcome with the spirit, no one was immediately called upon to be saved, but what i like to think happened was that we were called upon to remember, remember and awaken to something our wise ancestors knew for generations, centuries and eons before we let our "big minds" get in the way. In the middle of feeling silly, breathing heavy and shaking our tailfeathers one of our number reminisced out loud about the best time he can ever remember being moved by the spirit when it came to music was listening to "in a gadda da vida" the long version. he and his friend danced like wild men for a full 17 minutes...two teenage boys unaware of space and time and self and self-consciousness for almost 20 minutes. As he painted the mental picture for us, for a few short minutes we all returned in space and time to the moments when music, dancing, breathing heavy have truly removed our attention from our physical space and put our attention on something entirely "otherworldly". these are the moments when our skin just doesn't matter anymore and true essence starts to leak right through.

Now playing: Iron Butterfly - In a Gadda Da Vida
via FoxyTunes