Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Born Again Through the Word

Photo by naturalpastels on pixabay

I bring my experience to the page. It is here the Great Work plays out for me. I live and die on the page in order to be born anew.

The book Lessons from a Lifetime of Writing stared back at me from the shelf so I picked it up. In it David Morrell asks his writing students why they write. They are stunned and when they answer they miss the truth. He suggests they write because they have to. I’ve heard this before. Is it my truth? Yes.

That same day The History of Magic by Eliphas Lévi made itself obvious. I was drawn to the chapter “Initiations and Ordeals” which was already bookmarked. It was about the Great Work, that inner journey to transform ourselves and our lives.

Why did these two books come to my attention? I believe it has to do with the type of writing I’m to do. I wrote about what Nature had to teach me yesterday on the Nature Is My Guru blog. Nature simply expresses itself. But it’s not straight expression, there is intention behind it. What I write isn’t just straight expression. Well, my journal may be, but I’m transmuting my experience in much of what I write and share.

And why am I transmuting it through words? Because it is healing for me. If it is healing for me, it may be healing for others. To be healed is to reveal our wholeness. To be healed is to be born again. This is the Great Work. To know ourselves again, for the first time. To know the world with our heart. To know we have the power to create because we are that which creates all.

My words are full of life, my life. My emotion expressed is what moves others. Life is motion. Death is letting go into stillness. Stillness is the place of possibility.

I put pen to paper and begin again.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Meeting My Mother Outside of Time

My mother Margaret Young

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about how I finally released most of the anger I had about my mother and my childhood. Now, I just miss her. In so many ways, I miss her.

The other day I saw a woman walking her dog. Her gait and size were like my mother’s. It felt like she was right there. In some ways she is, but it’s not the same as her being her in flesh and blood.

Years after my father died, he came to me in a dream. It felt so real. It was good to hear from him. He told me he was sorry for leaving so soon. There was a sense of release and relief in that experience. I hope my mother will come to me in that way. I’m open and will continue to open and practice being with what is, with all of my feelings.

I may have released my mother, but I have yet to release myself. I can still feel the guilt about not seeing her for so long. I talked to her on the phone, but… It’s not the same as being there in person. I have to let it go. I wasn’t ready to face the past. I wasn’t ready to deal fully with my present. But it’s time to let that all go.

Grief helps us lean into loss if we let it. We may feel lost, which is okay because then we can just be. Psychologists have come to understand grief can cause us to lose our sense of identity. Maybe that’s a good thing, at least temporarily. Maybe we need to no longer live and process life in the old way in order to fully grieve. Grief can then become the unknown where all is possible. This is where I can meet my mother again. Free from the old stories, perhaps we can meet as though for the first time, perhaps where we first met, in the cosmos, in the swirl and pulse of Life before time and story made us.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Home in Uncertainty, Home in Infinity

Photo by TheDigitalArtist on pixabay
The world is lived into existence at every moment. The world is being created anew in me in each millisecond. Time is not real in the larger sense. Eternity is not endless time, it’s timelessness. I breathe the infinite in every breath. I belong. I’m at home.
~ Rev. Dr. Arvid Straube

While doing my morning spiritual work, I came across my old fear of uncertainty and how much it’s a part of my need to control people and situations. This isn’t a new insight. I’ve been over this one before, but today it was time to move towards this fear. Writing about it brought a book by Pema Chodrön to mind, Comfortable with Uncertainty. In it I found some tools I can use to help me feel at home in uncertainty.

I also discovered a talk by the Rev. mentioned above this morning. There is something about belonging here in this world as it is lived into existence in every moment that resonated. I belong here and I belong to Eternity itself. I am home in It and It is home in me. To be home in the Infinite is to be home in uncertainty. It’s to be upended by something so huge that you can’t begin to orient yourself. And yet, when you let go, all feels right with the world.

These are just musings. When I step outside of these words and live my world into existence it can feel scary. Anything is possible on the edge of creation. *I want to be the Fool stepping of the ledge into the uncertain, but more often I’m the Magician laying my tools before me, making a plan. I believe in magic, but the next moment yet to be lived can never be known for sure. We intend and we create. But ultimately until we step out and begin to live we don’t know what will really happen. The point is to live it as it shows up. Co-creation begins as we step out and live life as it unfolds before us. Eventually the Fool becomes the World.

For at no time are any events predestined. There should be no such word in your vocabulary, for with every moment you change, and every heartbeat is an action, and every action changes every other action.
~ The wisdom of Seth as channeled through Jane Roberts

*These are references to the Fool and Magician in the Tarot as is the World at the end.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

The Merry-go-round and the Swing

Photo by 44833 on pixabay

Sometimes the past is a blur as though I’m riding on a merry-go-round. There you are and then there you are. Moments like a single breath. The relief of seeing you again even in the blur.

I remember the first time I climbed on that huge plastic horse amongst other horses and various fancy creatures and carts. It was white and regaled in gold and a beautiful array of colors. I held on tight. Up and down, round and round we went. You were my focal point. So many faces and then there you were.

You anchored the swing set and pushed us ever higher, the weight of you holding us to the earth even as we soared into twilight sky. I can still smell the freshly mowed grass and the damp air of a late summer evening. I can feel the joy of sky, the joy of coming back down to earth, back home to you.

And then you left. The first time you became a passing image. I could only feel the weight of your being as a distant mooring. The pain you felt when Dad died drove you out to sea. My mother now frozen in time to that long ago focal point, that anchor that kept us close.

Your second leaving last year left me unmoored, drifting in a sea of pain and regret. But today, you came back because I finally let go. I let go of the past and the painful stories that have kept me company for over 30 years. Now I see you. My focus is back and as I ride high into the sky once again, I know you are there. Your foot on the swing set, reminding me heaven and earth are one.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The Unraveling

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The anxiety has been building. Everything seems to slowly be unraveling. I grasp at threads but can no longer weave them together. It’s time to let go and go within.

I seem to have lost sight of my inner wisdom. The connection has been tenuous at best for quite some time, but there are times when I become nearly untethered. Right now is one of those times.

It also feels as though time has sped up. Really, I’ve sped up. My mind reaches out into the future and rummages around in the past. I feel caught between “I haven’t done enough” and “I will never be good enough”. All the while I’m spinning in indecision. There is no way to be a weaver of my life when I’m in chaos. I can’t connect fully to my inner wisdom until I slow down.

When I do slow down I know Peace and Joy are my names even though right now it feels like they belong to someone else. The other night while in the class I’m assisting with, we did a visioning session. What came through for me as Spirit’s idea of my highest and best life was joy, full-bodied joy. I know this is who I really am. What is this anxiety about then?

The root of the word anxious is angh which means tight, painfully constricted. That is how it feels. I’ve constricted myself. Not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes things need to come apart to come together in a new way. The deepest wisdom about this came through my email today as a quote from Pema Chodron:

Things falling apart is a kind of testing and also a kind of healing. We think that the point is to pass the test or to overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.
― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times

 My anxiety is related to trying to control the process rather than just live it. When I do what is mine to do as a situation arises, it usually works out. But this time I put a wrench in the works by being indecisive about my next steps for my health and not taking action on some money issues. So I finally took one small action on a money issue.

I called my health insurance company again to remind them of the problem I was having with a medical group billing me for something I already paid. I called them since the medical group was ignoring me. I had done an affirmative prayer a while back stating that this issue was taken care of. What I forgot to do is move my feet. I called my insurance and they simply stated they would send me a check for the amount so I wouldn’t be out the money. Simple. I’m breathing a little easier now.

Sometimes we forget we don’t have to do it all. Sometimes we let situations loom large in our minds when all it takes is focused intention, an allowance for grace to enter and movement towards our highest good.

Life unfolds before me. I don’t look back, but I know the anxiety I felt has become a part of the path I tread. It need not become a part of the path before me. If it does, I know I can simply go within, remember who I really am and know that Life is always revealing my good.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

My Heart, the Global Heart is Breaking

My heart hurts when people want things that will end up harming others.

I have conservative minded friends. I know a few people who voted for Trump. I’m all for having a discussion about what’s best for everyone and listening to others in order to understand where they are coming from. But I have yet to understand how they can want things that will hurt others.

They want to do away with sanctuary cities and affordable care (a misnomer but that’s another post). They want to ignore the gun problem in fear of losing their right to own…which isn’t what most are saying. They want to build walls and take human rights away from people that “don’t belong” here. They want to hoard their money and be allowed to do business in a way that doesn’t factor in their fellow humans.

I suppose what I do understand is that they are afraid. All of these desires rise out of fear, mostly a fear of “other” who they see as a threat to them personally or their way of life.

This country, and really it’s happening around the world, is becoming more and more polarized. I don’t want to be on the other side pointing fingers and calling them names even when I hurt due to being misunderstood based on a false narrative of what they think I believe because I’m liberal. I know from talking to them that they don’t fit the conservative stereotype any more than I fit the liberal one. People are not stereotypes. People are complex beings ever becoming.

I’m sad and I’m frustrated and I have to realize I can’t change others. Perhaps I can be an influence, but if I’m all about changing them to my way of seeing the world, I’ll only end up more frustrated. This isn’t a good use of my energy. If they aren’t willing to meet in the middle to see how things could be done in a way that harmed none, I have to accept it. Then I need to find ways to help make a world that works for everyone. Everyone includes those I disagree with.

*A world that works for everyone is a challenging vision. When we let ourselves be polarized, living in an “us vs. them” worldview, it’s easy to leave out the other side. But there is no other side. From the spiritual view there is only one of us here.

When we believe we are separate from one another, it’s as though we’re living with a broken heart. The global heart is breaking, maybe even broken. The poet and musician Leonard Cohen said in his song “Anthem”:

There is a crack in everything (there is a crack in everything)
That's how the light gets in

Perhaps this is the way. The path to healing is being broken. It lays waste to our old beliefs and opens us. Hopefully we open to love, so much love the fear can’t come back in.

But a little part of me still feels fear of what might happen. The beginning of the song mentioned above goes like this…

The birds they sang
At the break of day
Start again
I heard them say
Don't dwell on what
Has passed away
Or what is yet to be

The only thing to do is be here now, to let your heart break and let the love in. Allow compassion to grow like grass in spring. Don’t worry about controlling what others believe and do. Move towards the light that comes through the cracks. That’s where the love lives. That’s what’s real. And when someone is actually being harmed, let your heart move you to do what can help us/you heal.

*A world that works for everyone is a part of the vision of Centers for Spiritual Living, the organization that licenses me as a Religious Science Practitioner.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

To Walk the Path of Fearlessness

Photo by Dino Reichmuth on Unsplash

But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
~Mary Oliver from The Journey

I’ve been thinking a lot about values lately. I know freedom is my top value. I used to think that wasn’t a good thing to have as your most important value. Shouldn’t I value others or compassion more? I realized it’s okay to value what I value if it comes from my soul. So freedom is number one. Fulfillment is another. I don’t feel alive if something I’m doing doesn’t fulfill me.

Trust is something I value highly, too, but when I was writing for my Home page on my website the word fearlessness came up. Of course as a poet I love alliteration so the three fs just felt right. But I wondered, didn’t trust seem the better choice? Though I’m working on trusting more, it’s really about releasing the fear.

What Is Fearlessness?

To be fearless is not to ever feel fear. Fear is a gauge that can be helpful. Trust is the point of fearlessness. It’s not just “feel the fear and do it anyway” though that can work and can help you move toward fearlessness. Fearlessness is a state of such deep trust that fear vanishes. You could reach this state and jump off a cliff to the rocks below trusting you’d be safe. Maybe if you were completely enlightened you would make it. But most of us would meet our end. Fearlessness is not about transcending our physical reality but our made up one.

The fearlessness I’m talking about comes into play with fears not based on facts but stories we tell ourselves about how it’s impossible to try to do what we want and be who we are. It's the voices that tell us we're not worthy or good enough. To be fearlessness is to trust ourselves and hence Spirit.

Fear & Me

Fear has been with me for so long it has become a friend. It’s not a healthy relationship mind you. A healthy relationship to fear is a good thing. We don’t want to go climbing without the appropriate equipment and skill or ride our bikes down the middle of the highway. Fear can be a helpful friend. In many ways it hasn’t been that way for me.

I let fear rule my life for too long. It dictates my choices and makes me want to control everything and everyone. It makes me listen to the voices of the past that told me I'm not enough. I’m not living as though freedom is my highest value. I’m not free while fear rules.

I’m learning to release fear and to trust a little at a time. I hold fearlessness as a vision for myself. Boldly writing these words and sharing my story is a part of it. The next step is to have others publish my words and gain a wider audience. That scares the hell out of me. I’ve written something that has taken me a month to complete and I finally let go of the fear and sent it out yesterday. I could have finished sooner, but I let fear get in the way. One step at a time I move forward into fearlessness trusting Life.

Big Dreams & Our Creative Impulse

I have big dreams. Maybe you do, too. It’s time for me to not let them scare me so much that I never act on them. Action builds trust hence fearlessness. The less fear I feel, the more creative I am.

When we hold back and dim our light out of fear our creative impulse begins to turn on us in negative ways. A dark night ensues. But the impulse to create can never die. It can become an impulse to destroy though. Don’t let that happen to you.

And if you find yourself in the dark, know the stars are just behind the clouds. All it takes is one act of creation to bring you back to life and the path to fearlessness. One act can open the sky and spill starlight onto the path that was always yours.