Tuesday, March 30, 2010

In the dark, in the rain

Staring at a blank page is equivalent to an artist staring at a blank canvas: it can be thrilling at times, but mostly, from my perspective, it can be terrifying.  The spinning wheels in your mind become blank, despite all of the inner dialogue that generally creeps in... you're having this conversation with yourself, inside of yourself, immune to the outer world around you, whether it's momentary or not, it ceases to exist for that moment in time (non time), and you're in it... you're in the dark.

Darkness has so many relative associations, I won't begin to bore anyone with where it comes from, the distinctions between "good" and "bad", functional and dysfunction, wanted or unwanted... it's just darkness.  If we start from there, from some sort of uniquely neutral void, it is nothing: no-thing.  Grasping that piece is rather strange in some ways.  I see it hanging in a gallery, almost self-indulgent at times, humorous mostly, like the outcast of the abstract world.

The world around me is complaining about rain.  I'm not sure if I can read one more statement of how "awful" it is or how someone is sick of it.  It's common thread to complain about rain, common thread to enjoy and embrace sunshiny days.

I love the rain.  I can recall last summer there was a good solid month of nothing but rain.  I believe it was otherwise known as June.  It rained.  Just rained.  All month.  I don't recall much about potential flooding in the way that we're experiencing it now in New England, but there was a ton of rain, and the complaints never stopped.  I found it beautiful -- the rain that is -- it was breathtakingly peaceful.  I can recall the one sunny day we had and the journey to the top of the mountain and breathing in Gaia's miraculous energy.  It was beautiful, and the rain the day after was just as lovely.

I'm at home in the rain.  It's like a shield of comfort.  The thing is, I'm too comfortable in it.  Retreating to my inner cave is of such ease, it's terrifying at times, to easily jump back into old comforts, away from the world, away from everything.

I've been continuing to work on the receiving love meditations... today... I wanted to free myself of the ego-clinging that came up and stand in the rain and wash it away... but I didn't.  The more I sat in the meditation, the harder I found it to actually breathe.  All of this stuff, rising to the surface.  My mitra said this would happen, that there would be times where things would come up and it would be difficult, and I was as prepared for that as anyone could be.  It's generally what happens when you begin to work with and heal shadow aspects of self.  Still, in the moment it arises preparation means nothing except to say that your naivety at times is faulty.

I listened to the rain, in sync and so oddly connected to my emotions: slow and drippy as I contemplated where this was coming from; faster, yet quiet as the connection of what it was became clearer; pounding against the window in furry as it came so fast, like my insides could drown in an instant.

That was scary.

I have to say that I haven't felt that way, that sort of deep, dark depressive moment in quite some time.  I'm trying not to think of the when so much as to remind myself to not run away from the moment out of deep discomfort and despair, but also not be in it in a way that I'm allowing it to live me.  It reminds me of what Lama John says about the breath: to not breathe the breath, but instead allow the breath to breathe you.  This feels the same in some ways.  It speaks to me more about allowance vs control.  I don't want to control the thoughts that arise, I want to understand them.

The rain helps with that.  It's like survival at times.  Today it's dark.  I'm dark.  I'm dark in a non-destructive way, but I'm dark.  In the darkness, in the rain, in the uneasy breath, not quite scared, but on edge.  Nervous.

It sounds so... intense when actual words are associated with feelings.  My level of being scared or nervous isn't quite the same as someone else, nor should it.  If we stop generalizing terms for everyone then the uniqueness of what we express would then fill a gallery with impressive art.  I like art.  I love how the story can change from one brushstroke to the next.  I want words to be the same.  Not this generic brand.

Maybe I'm just too picky.

I'm reflecting outside of myself.  I'm distracted.  I don't want to go to the darkness.  Even today, when I was knee-deep in it, I walked away.  I distracted myself.  Completely conscious of what I was doing, I elected to not be in it.  I elected to hold on instead of clear and transmute.  Why?

I was scared.  From an emotional standpoint, not at all intellectual, I was scared.  Intellectually I know stepping into that darkness doesn't mean I will immerse myself so deeply as to become depressed again.  It's been a couple of years since I have experienced that darkness to that deep of a degree.  But when you're feeling it, when your emotional body is screaming at you that it's in pain, intellect gets pushed aside, and you become a warrior, fighting for life... my inner dialogue reads that as "fighting for light".

Wow.

That was a powerful recognition.

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

"You're calling to me, I can't hear what you've said"

I'm extremely captivated by that line tonight.  A wonderful Cyndi Lauper song, it brings back some of the best and worst times of my inner world.  Music has that amazing capability to not only be a time traveling device, but a present moment mechanism that makes you leave the world behind for the duration of that song and sit centered in whatever the memory brings.  I've been in a "shuffle" of time travel this week, bringing back mostly fun and intoxicating memories of a time that feels so alien, in wonderful ways, but the occasional reminder of old pains surfaces, telling new (remembered) tales of when, and the image on the other side of the mirror is brilliant -- she is neither past, present, nor future, she simply is.  What power to simply BE.

This has been an incredible month of doing and being.  Each month this year has been an amazing transformation through time.  It's like a fine tightrope of linear awareness -- extremely fine threads, right in the center, and either side is a vast world of non-linear gravity.  Go too fast or spend too much time contemplating, you fall off, and the world accelerates at a time you don't recognize because you're not in that time, which is all the same to you, completely fine, but in this physical realm we have those moments where linear awareness is so key.  I sometimes lose sight of that key.  I like to hide it under the rug, make childish faces at it and do things from the comfort of my non-linear world.  Though I do feel I have good 'balance' in general there, however as I am quite often known for stating simply that I don't feel that I have truly grasped a true understanding of what "balance" actually means (to me), then this statement seems contradictory.  Playfully though... my mind feels like a paradox of strangeness this evening.

Last year I removed a few projects on my plate because it was too much.  I didn't have the time to devote to them, so I released them without attachment thinking I was doing something "good".  The truth is, I didn't want to reveal to myself that those particular projects, though all quite functional endeavors, were things I really didn't have heart in.  I don't know why I didn't want to admit that to myself.  We dip our feet in many pools of life, the water isn't conducive all the time, and that's OK.  I guess I just wanted to be invested in those projects more.

Then again, that was a different year.  I was needing to let go in order to Be so that I could then be open.  This year?  Feels like nearly double of what I let go of... and I am pretty excited about each and every one of them.  They are interconnected, and I feel like the general challenge that has been presented is one that I feel, with this intense knowing in my body, that it will clear itself -- well, that I will help clear it. 

The subject line is quite fitting for what has been surfacing this month.  My hearing has changed -- the internal hearing aspect that is.  I've made myself deaf on occasion to what has surfaced, other times allowing small portions to filter through.  Surprisingly, this hasn't been at all associated with fear, but is a result from anger.

The anger has been functional.  Sounds strange to speak of "functional" anger, but it has been.  It's active, it's moving, moving out, moving through, but being in motion.  This is important.  It hadn't moved in a while.  It grew, it hibernated, it slithered, but it didn't leave.  I wouldn't let it.  It was my prisoner, much like fear (which is all connected), and I wanted to keep it here, where I convinced myself it was safe, but it was out of not wanting to let go.

The receiving love meditation that I have been working on has been bringing up this sort of fragmented piece of anger.  It's not true anger, but it's not to say it's illusion, it's just a piece, dusty, dirtied, no longer functional, but stagnant, like chipped paint on the walls. 

I can't begin to describe how amazing these meditations are.  They have been painful, making me want to crawl out of my skin, feeling the anger move around like an unpleasant serpent under my skin... but it has been amazing.  To give myself permission to release is such a gift.  I did a lot of releasing over the years, transforming and transmuting, then I slowed down my conscious efforts after becoming a mother.  I think like any new parent your focus becomes centered on your child, but the disservice to yourself becomes a disservice to your child as well, and I found myself back at the beginning in some ways.  Joyfully back at the beginning, perhaps using it as an excuse to continue my role as "perpetual student", but the beginner's mind is one I have always treasured.

Went to the Temple's Ostara ritual and really had a wonderful time.  It was so wonderful to see so many people there, both regular members and newcomers, who were there to not only celebrate, but build in community.  There is something so different about this process of what Christopher and the Temple are doing.  It feels different.  I'm honored to be part of the work.

He felt led to start a spiral dance during the ritual and it was powerful.  Doing that and the chanting combined was such a powerful raise in energy, makes me want to do spiral dances more often!  I've participated in a couple of other spiral dances, but this one was larger and it just felt so pure. 

We pulled eggs after our journey with runes on them.  I didn't look at mine until I got home.  I wanted to sit with the energy and tune myself to what I thought the rune might be.  I don't work with runes, have been drawn to them for many many years, having a beautiful experience with them when I was in Sweden after my high school graduation and a womyn was there selling some from a street cart amongst several doing the same on this busy street, and her energy just made me stop.  I came over and looked at the runes and we briefly chatted about nothing really, but I remember picking out one, looking at her, and she held my hand and it was the first time I can remember feeling energy to the degree that I did.

The rune?  Ansuz.

The rune I pulled at Ostara?  Ansuz.

I wanted to focus on heart-centered clearing and awareness for the ritual, but when the water came my way, I found myself charging and purifying my throat.  No surprise there as I have had throat chakra issues over the years, but I was surprised to see the throat come up again.  Ansuz is very throat centered: communication, wisdom, truth... I read somewhere that it is the balance (ha, there's that word again!) between spiritual and physical existence.  Interesting, and fitting.

It is associated with Air, and in the meditation I heard Air literally telling me to "get up".  "Get up" and go to the center to the altar and choose a rune.  The synchronicity of events is always treasured.  This rune comes at a perfect time as the utilization of my throat (in all its forms) is needing to come together for several, collective, endeavors.  I'm open.  It's flowing and connecting, and tonight had a moment to connect with the root chakra for some release and recognition of a piece I didn't realize I was still attached to.

In reflecting back at the subject... it's not that I "can't" hear what is being said, it's been a choice.  The throat, the voice, it is hearing as well as speaking.  The thing about vibrations is that while it may begin in one place, it doesn't mean it's centered in that area.  It travels, much like Ansuz is traveling through my core being.

Blessed Ostara... may we embrace balance and become more awakened with each spring day.

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Monday, March 8, 2010

Planetary healing/ascension

There has been so much talk about the wind storm in New England, the massive earthquake in Chile, the tsunami warning, the reflections of what Gaia has brought to us in this early year alone... the interesting piece is where people mostly stand on this... no two answers are alike.  You have the group of people who are in pain over the destructive turns nature is taking... others who fear doom over December 2012 luring... then another group who feel it's because of global warming... those that don't even believe in global warming... I know people from each of these groups and more.  Where do I stand? 

Several years ago I did a shamanic apprenticeship with the Eye of the Eagle program.  In my second year we did a lot of work with weather spirits.  I remember clear as day one particular journey where we asked the weather spirits for a message about nature, anything they wanted to share with us that they felt others needed to know.  My journey was powerful... the collective elements joining together as One, yet each separately making their voices known.  The message I received was an acronym:  R.A.G.E: Roaring Against Global Extinction. 

The message years ago was incredibly profound, it made me look at the Earth and spirits of this realm (and beyond) much differently.  I became more aware of my footprints in this realm and on this land, and I realized I needed to be held more accountable for what was going on, for my own role in Gaia's embrace.

How did that look like?

It was a combination of practical things like looking at my waste, looking at what was needlessly being used (or abused), the things we're privileged to but often take for granted: hot water, heat, electricity... finding myself without those for the short times our power has been out has been a reinforced message from Gaia on gratitude. 

I looked at my relationship with the elements, asking myself where my being, my actions, and my thoughts all fit into them, how that aspect was working directly with them, or in other cases, working indirectly with them.  These parts takes a deep awareness, something our general society often lacks in daily life.  It meant that not only was I needing to look at actions and thought forms that extended without (outside of myself) and how that affected Gaia, but it really meant that when you have uncovered all the aspects without, you return to "The Charge" and remind yourself of what's within, and how we're all extensions of the deities, so in return, WE are Gaia, embodied in physical aspect, and our inner realm has just as much accountability as our outer realm.

That was a heavy one to digest, sometimes still is.  When you think about what's going on in the world, the constant complaints of how horrific the news is -- I, for one, hardly ever watch the news.  Some would say it's being naive, only wanting to focus on the good, being blinded by the "reality" of what's going on.  I've learned long ago and accepted that my reality is truly my own, and if others vibrate on the same wave length as my reality, then our coexistence beings that spiraling effect of harmony.

FB, for example, has become a launching pad for what sucks in our life.  I think at times we need a venue to complain to, to release... I get that, I've utilized this space for that same purpose as well.  But what about those who are simply in that state, all the time, feeding off the negative, succumbing to the shit in their lives and feel themselves worthless, loveless, less than... like finds like.  Darkness relates to darkness.  Light embraces light. 

I complain, I do, I have moments where I lay it out on the floor, emptying a puzzle box, not caring which piece goes where, but wanting to thrash it about, stomp on it, become defiant, even bend them and contort them in childish annoyance... but it's rare, and it's not constant, and it's release.  Functional?  Only when it harms none, which, of course, includes myself.  But we have those moments, where our thoughts are less than, where we feel less than, where complaining about the shitty aspects of life warrant minor tantrums... but imagine a world constantly obliged to tantrums?  How does that affect the outer world; Gaia?

I've been doing some inner work and channeling on this piece about R.A.G.E, working with the weather spirits in understanding.  It's extremely rare to hear me ever "damn" the weather.  Blizzard, rain, hail, whatever it may be, I embrace it for what it is.  My Shaman teacher once said that most of society is programmed to look at the sunny weather as being "good" days, while rain is "bad".  We don't see the balance or the action caused by one or the other, probably because most don't care.  Rain prevents summer bbq's that we love so much; too much sun prevents the land from being nourished with water to feed our soil; too much rain creates the opposite reaction...

I've been getting a lot of information relative to the ascension our souls and consciousness are rising to, otherwise known to some as 2012.  One piece I sit with silence in.  I have shared it with only two others, not out of elitism of "look at this information I have", but because they're neutral in the reception of this information, and won't judge it one way or the other.  But the piece that is equally important in terms of raising consciousness is awakening.  That's what enlightenment is all about: being awakened.

We each carry these threads in our lives; some are heavy duty gauge, pliable to some degree, others needing tools to conform to our desires; some made out of string, easy to cut, but also easy to tangle... we carry these threads, in both harmonious and discordant ways, and at times we simply knot them up, letting it build and build, and we cut them.  Some new age practitioners have you looking at who or what is at the end of the cord, but they don't delve deeply into how it was knotted, how it was created so heavily into something outside of ourselves.  We blame the other party, pure conditioning to not look at our own actions, and so we cut it, cut the cord, release the ties that bind... but what if these knotted cords is simply unconsciousness that got tangled with another unconscious being?  It's not to put a "good" or "bad" sign on it, just unconscious... unawakened.

I know many teachers and lightworkers that tell their students and clients to give it back to the Earth, whatever you release, give it back to the Earth for "Mother Earth to do what She will with it"... yes, I believe in Her transmutation/transformation of this... but just look at that phrase: "do what She will with it"... She is doing what She will with it, isn't She?  The storms, the rage, the hurt, the pain, the anger, all translating itself to our daily weather, our warming of the ice caps, our pollution... these are a manifestation of our reality.  We take the knotted cord, cut it, and give it to Her... it's like throwing a pebble into the water, the ripples, the cause and effect...

I give (and share) these pieces with the Goddess, as well.  The difference is that I feel heavily called to not only healing these fragmented pieces of Self, but of understanding it as much as I am capable of understanding it.  Then again, I think I have this constant need to understand the "why's" to a degree that can be nearly compulsive.  But if I can gain an ounce of understanding why, then I create an awareness piece that I, hopefully, will be awakened to should I come across this again.  Know Thyself, right?

When I feel content that I have this piece as healed as I can, I give/share it with the Goddess, sometimes offering it and asking that She transmute this for the highest good of all, knowing that sometimes what that highest good is may not be what my consciousness might choose -- it's embracing trust.  Most often the other piece I choose to do is ask that the transformation and what is being sent out, what I am releasing, be done in Love.  This is my piece.  I don't want to "rid" myself of these things or "lose" them... especially not in hate, not in malice, not in aggravation for the grief it may have brought, but in love.  I created this aspect for a reason, I am grateful, to whatever degree I can be regarding the situation, and I release, with love.

I think if we look at these pieces in ourselves, rewinding to the beginning of my long thought, and awaken (to whatever degree we can at this time) to what the connection of both our inner and outer realms create, we, as these spiritual beings embodied in this physical realm, can create a consciousness of love and wisdom that translates to natural healing of Gaia, which in turn is a natural healing of ourselves.

It's a lot of thought, a lot of process... but it's what has been on my mind in this ascension piece.

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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A spiral of thoughts...

I feel like life is sort of composed of connection, a span of commitments for two weeks, connection, commitments, connection, repeat.  In my own life I spend a day or two catching up on emails and connecting, then I vanish for a couple of weeks attempting to squeeze in or juggle various commitments... I can't juggle... I think this simple, matter-of-fact metaphor speaks greatly to the fact that juggling simply doesn't work. 

I'm a spirit of non-linear thinking and being, but residing in a world of linear concepts.  This is challenging.  It's not to say that it's "hard", because that's a choice I choose not embrace.  I mentioned to a friend of mine recently how I prefer my life to be easy, and she laughed, saying it was impossible... why?  If we're creators of our own realities, why, why would I create a reality in which I am knowingly making difficult choices?  Perhaps a simple concept, and it's not to say that the uncontrolled aspects of life don't have their own roles in which we do not control, but what about the control we do possess? 

With that mindset, I'm, currently, just doing what I want.  I laugh in spite of that statement, like I am somehow in defiance over the world... like I am snubbing my nose at chores that beckon to be done, at work that requires this deadline... these are factors that I choose to accept as a reality I created, but right now I'm having more fun simply doing it on my time frame.  I can't tell if this is controlled by my inner child or inner rebel, either way, it's nice to put down the facade of pretending I can juggle when juggling is more of an Olympic sport. 

I've been busy contemplating some shifts in class material, finished teaching a class a couple of weeks ago that I really love teaching, but I am always finding it challenging to squeeze nearly a week's worth of material in two days.  It's adapting the concept of "pick the best, leave the rest".  The exciting piece was that after class had ended on the second day, I came home and started to channel this vision of the intensive that we're planning at the school.  My director seems to like the outline of it, and while I know this is a collaboration of both views, I'm keeping handy the vision that came forth for future endeavors. 

I spent a good day or two after class with a fairly sore throat.  I don't utilize my outer voice much in daily life.  Communication, outside of immediate family and friends, is done in what we're more accustomed to in this world: email; texting; Facebooking... it's connection in a way that leaves us more disconnected in soulful relationships, but it's connection as we know it now.  I'm guilty of it, of simply "liking" a status and that somehow means that my relationship with someone is still thriving.  Pathetic really, but I play a role in it as well.

As a result, two days straight of constant talking is not something my vocal chords are used to, so I come home with my throat being tired and my voice done.  This also speaks to on-going throat chakra issues that I continue to work through, but I know that the "balance" in communication can't be limited to inner voice utilization, but rather composing more refined moments of outer communication.  This is a challenge for those who enjoy more hermit-like living... such as myself.  I enjoy the quiet.  I'm not a "crowd" person.  The larger the crowd, the smaller my voice.  Not "small" in fear or power-over -- I experienced that for years and found ways to shift it.  It's simply "smaller" in that I retreat to comforting moments of observation vs active participation.  There is some interesting experiences when you take on the challenge of "fake it 'til you make it".  What a funny world we live in sometimes...

We were without power last week for 14 hours when a powerful wind storm hit New England.  A few hours before the wind started to reach its climax, I was thinking about the power of Air.  Air with its relationship with communication, with truth, with speech... I started to think of classes I teach, about the utilization of my outer voice, about my avid need for journaling, utilizing my inner voice... then I thought about personal truth... there were so many thoughts, just sitting there, listening to the rain come down, thinking about Water, about love, about divinity, about its connection to Air and Wisdom... all of these thoughts piggy-backing off of the other, and the more I started to think about the center piece of personal truth, the harder the wind began to blow.  Trees were swaying back and forth, the wind was howling, really howling, and I felt like my own personal climax of thought was approaching...

Then the power blew.  And we were without power for 14 hours while I thought about Air and personal truth, and my own reflection in that connection.

There were many strands that night, beyond that simple paragraph above; the strands found themselves coming to one common ground: something I had heard in a podcast a couple of months before.  I remember listening to this interview when this one question was asked: What is the message of your life?  I literally stopped dead in my tracks and paused the podcast.

What is the message of your life?

It had a great effect on me.  I haven't revisited it in depth as I would like (potential avoidance there?), but I have thought of it often.  There is potential avoidance there.   I spoke with my spiritual mother the other day about this piece, how for years it was the general "what's the purpose of my life" question that held reign.  I remember being in an intuitive development class once and asking this very same question to my Higher Self.  The instructor had us blindly pick books, using our intuitive sense to decide if that particular book we were holding held the answer to our question.  Then in repeating this question to ourselves once more, we opened the book to a 'random' page, placed our finger where the answer was, opened our eyes and read.

That was nearly 9 years ago, and while I do have the answer written down in whatever journal I was on that year, I don't recall the exact answer, but the core of it was "there purpose of life is living, beyond that there is no purpose."  There was natural ease in the answer.  It went deeper into the meaning of life and how life is not meaningless for it never actually had meaning... my perspective then looked at it from a neutral standpoint.  My perspective now still sees the neutrality in it, like a blank canvas... a series of blank canvases... creation in motion, one painting, one aspect of life, doesn't define all of your artwork (your life).

That book exercise is still one I practice to this day.  I love the synchronicity life presents, and the constant symbols and messages that are revealed daily.

The past few days I have taken some time to ignore my work and obligations and focus on the safety and healing of Chileans from the massive earthquake.  My brother is in Chile now.  The day after getting our power back from our own wind storm my father called to tell me of the earthquake and we both silently panicked about my brother, wondering if he was ok, was he one of the injured, or worse, one of the dead.  It was a good several painful hours of "what if" playing over and over, each circumstance getting worse with each passing hour.  Thankfully, we heard from him, and he is fine.  He slept through the earthquake (as only my brother would!) and is now trying to find any way to get home.  Most of the family has been accounted for, while there are still many on my father's side we haven't heard from yet, but some of them are without power or even a phone... it certainly puts daily life into perspective.  Looking around this room, all this "stuff"... empty moments sometimes trickle through, and lack of regard or compassion for even gratitude can plague even the best of us at any moment.  I'm hearing this one line from a song a friend wrote, "I am so lucky indeed"... the context of the song is quite different and the "lucky" aspect hardly feels lucky in the larger scheme, but the mere line alone rings in my head, gratefully.

An emotionally exhausting weekend, I feel like I am easily losing track of the days this week, which is fine, thankfully there's nothing dire awaiting my attention.  Right now I have been focusing on some upcoming workshops I am putting together, which is slightly different for me in the sense of the time frame of these workshops.  I teach 2-day classes on subjects, or day-long ones.  It's been quite some time since I have done a "workshop" in the 2-3 hour sense.  It's good practice to return to this venue, though.  Not many people have the time or the finances to do the longer classes, and I have been told by so many over the years of how people want to take classes with me, but I can understand how difficult it can be to shell out $250 for a 2-day class when other financial obligations await.  Doing these workshops will allow others to take a class, feel a sense of connection to personal enrichment while not breaking the bank or worries of creating time in their own busy lives to have two straight days off.

The other up side to this is that I will feel more prepared when teaching for the Temple in terms of the time frame piece.  Christopher has asked that they be 2-3 hours as well, as he's thinking of plugging them in just before Sabbats, or as a lecture series should I want to do something that requires more than an evening.  It's more growth, more opportunity to put myself out there.  I can feel the butterflies flutter in my stomach, the familiar nerves when teaching arises.  Good nerves, though.  I think it keeps my reality and ego in check.  I like healthy nerves.  Confidence is great, I lacked it in this department for quite some time and had to dive head in before really cultivating that full self-esteem in teaching, but I think it was best routed this way for me.  I don't know that I would feel "good" about going into a class without that usual nervousness.  For me it reminds me that I still have much to learn, even in the area of the work I do, there's still always more to learn.  As I've told my students, I am up there in the front of the room as the instructor, sharing something that I have practiced and am passionate about, but in my classroom I am not the sole teacher.  As I teach them, they teach me and each other.  I really believe in that piece.  I honor that everyone comes into a room with gifts that are worth sharing.  I've had some amazing teachers along the years who have taken this approach and made me feel like my voice mattered, and for someone who has had perpetual voice "issues", this is a beautiful and empowering gift to share.

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