Wednesday, December 23, 2009
I just want to wish everyone the best for the holidays and the New Year. I've found my Christmas Spirit, I think she lives in the kitchen. I'll spend tomorrow baking bread for my family and listening to Christmas music, laughing with my daughter. It's the children who remind us of the magic. Her excitement is contagious and no matter how down life tries to get me, her sweet smile and bubbly anticipation is more than balm enough. I've also been given a LOT of help this year from friends and family. I find it so difficult to express my gratitude to these people. I can't say 'thank you' enough. I've shed many tears in private, overcome by how generous and supportive the people in my life are. I am truly blessed. I think we really learn about the blessings in our lives at hard times. When things are easy, we don't need anything. We don't need help or support because things are going well. We're tooling along with no training wheels, no hands, full of smiles and laughter. When there's a bump in the road, we find out who, if anyone, will be there to help us steady ourselves. The past month or two, I've had friends and family holding my seat and handle bars, not letting me fall. How amazing is that? No wonder I have such a hard time expressing my gratitude- it's so big! Like love that can well up and make us feel as though we may burst, this gratitude fills me and goes beyond my borders. I'm going to carry that through the new year, into times that are less difficult than now, and remember to always be grateful for what I have because once I get my balance back, I still know that if I wobble, there are many people waiting in the wings to help steady me.
Friday, December 18, 2009
Yesterday I visited my daughter's class to talk about the Winter Solstice. She's in the fourth grade and her teacher sent home a note asking if any parents would like to come in and share something about our holiday traditions. I decided ours is something different and wanted to share. The kids were all so great. I started out by telling them I was a little nervous to talk in front of people, "but you're all nice, right?". And they were. I told them that to understand why we celebrate the Solstice we would have to talk about history. I explained that we were agricultural people and asked if they knew what that meant. One kid even had farmers in his family- so cool! I asked if any of them had seen the show "Little House on the Prairie" and some had. So I said to think about those times and for many years before that era. Before the industrial and technological revolutions, when we didn't have freezers and refrigerators and people had to dry their meat and find ways to make their food last through the winter. And everyone was dependent on the farmers and so we were very dependent on the sun and very aware of the seasons. So. What happens to the sun during the winter? They knew that it sets earlier. So I explained that it sets earlier and rises later until the Winter Solstice. That is the longest night of the year- the day with the least daylight. The next day, the sun rises a little earlier and sets a little later. So even though it feels like we still have so much winter left, we have a little sign that spring and summer are coming. They understood why it would have been so important. I also told them that to celebrate we have dinner with my best friend and we have a sort-of mini-Christmas, exchanging gifts but we also talk about the year. What we're thankful for, what we want to work on in the coming year. So then I got out my guitar! I can't believe I played in front of so many people. In certain situations kids can be really cool. They were all so excited because it's purple. So I told them I've only had it a few months and might make some mistakes. I played "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" and "Frosty the Snowman" and they all sang along and covered up my mistakes. Then I played "We Three Kings" and several kids sang along. It was really nice. I felt great for having taught them something. After the fuss that was made over that Gap commercial, I was glad to explain the holiday to some people who didn't know what it is about. I wonder what their parents said when they got home and told them they learned about the Solstice? If they repeat what they learned there should be no reason for fussing. It's not as if I told them we call the quarters and cast a circle and pray to God and Goddess before opening our presents. I wish it wasn't such a big deal. I wish I could talk about those types of things openly in any company but the world isn't quite ready for that so I'll start in small ways. It's not important that people have the whole picture, only that they see it's nothing to be frightened of and maybe even see a little beauty in it.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
I think I may have found my Christmas Spirit! I've mentioned how much trouble I have when I'm focused on one thing. It's like I can't see around it. I've been focused on the hows and wheres of moving. And since money is short this year I haven't done much shopping and that usually gets me excited about the Christmas morning unveiling. I've finally gained some clarity about packing and I can see it getting done so that left me a little room in my brain for Christmas- and I'm a little excited. It's always a bustle and sometimes a drain. I always seem to expect myself to do too much. Like I think I can bake a loaf of cinnamon bread for everyone I know. When it takes about 4 hours to make 2 loaves. This year my preoccupation has stopped me from over-burdening myself. I'm going to make bread for my family and a few close friends. I'm looking forward to celebrating Yule twice (!). Once with my daughter and a close friend of ours and again with my little group. I get to go to my daughter's school and talk about Solstice to her class. And once I've lived through Christmas, I still have moving to look forward to! Ok, I don't look forward to moving because I hate it. I think we all can agree that it's one of the most stressful and physically exhausting tasks on the planet. I do, however, look forward to being in a new place. I love setting up a new home. And I'll be moving to a new area so I will have a whole new city to explore! I love learning places. It's such an adventure! I have a pretty good sense of direction so I always dig finding new ways to get from point A to point B. Learning a whole new city will be a great challenge. There will be new businesses, new restaurants, new people. And I'm so glad to be leaving the apartment I'm in. It has so many issues I don't even want to get into it. Just thinking about it gets my fruit dirty. So I'll stop. I have great things on the horizon. I love the fact that even when money is tight- or feels like it is- I can still see that I have such great abundance and so many things to be thankful for. I am truly blessed and I feel as though I just keep being given more and more. I hope that in this season of family and friends, of giving and charity, of love and light, that we all can take stock and be thankful for the wonderful things we have in our lives all year round.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
I find it almost impossible to believe that Christmas is in 10 days. I have always been the girl with the irrepressible Christmas spirit. It hasn't arrived yet. No shopping. No bread-baking even. I'm just not that into it. Ug! Maybe it's because I'm focused on moving soon? Maybe I'll be more connected to Yule this year with it's quiet, gentle affair whose purpose certainly rivals Christmas' hooplah. I feel a little left-out but honestly, I haven't seen many examples of the Christmas spirit outside generosity shown to me in my own life. There is no abundant joy in passers-by. Everyone is elbowing and grumbling like always. I see the lights but they're not sparking that same kind of awe and revelry that I usually associate with this time of year. In a way, I'm leaning on my daughter's excitement. You can always count on a kid to find the joy and remember why we're supposed to be excited. She's so sweet. We have our little Christmas at home, then go to her Grandma's (dad's mom) and then to my mom's house. She tells me how much she loves our little Christmas mornings at home, watching the parade and eating cinnamon bread. "Even if there aren't any presents", she tells me. What a gem! So I'm switching the radio to the Christmas station and forcing myself to start baking for her. Sometimes when we do the things we associate with a particular feeling, we can bring that feeling on. I hope that works for me now because if I remember correctly, I LOVE CHRISTMAS!!
Monday, December 7, 2009
Ok. I promise, well I think, this will be the last blog about the monkeys but I'm just having so much fun with it. I was thinking about fruit. It's what we put out into the world, right? Like the 'fruits of our labors'. So that is a great reminder that what we think and the mood we are in ARE our fruit. Our thoughts are really going out into the world and affecting things - including ourselves. So if we think of thoughts in terms of fruit, it benefits all of us to keep our fruit clean. It's most difficult when we encounter a person who is clearly eating fruit that's not only covered in mud but possibly rotten as well. They've been carrying that same dirty fruit with them for a long time. They're used to the people around them eating dirty fruit, too, since we tend to see ourselves reflected in our surroundings. We have to do our best to not let their dirt get on our fruit. The best thing we can do is to offer them some clean, fresh fruit. Maybe it's a kind word or a different perspective. Maybe just a compliment or a door held open for someone's heavy arms. It's a heavy task to try to change the world, even if we all see the need for change. If we all start at home, in little ways, change will grow in it's own time.
Friday, December 4, 2009
I realize that sweet potatoes are not fruit but I still refer to the story as "fruit-washing monkeys". So I've been using the metaphor in my daily life and I love it. When someone is rude or cruel, I think to myself, "ooo, they're eating dirty fruit" and it helps me to not feed into their negativity. It's a funny thing to say so it takes the edge off of the yuckiness. Then when I'm being negative, whether it's thinking yucky thoughts or being judgemental, I think, "Ooo, I just ate dirty fruit". It works in the same way. So I had a hard day at work Wednesday because I was tired and not in the mood to be there. I just focused on 'keeping my fruit clean' all day and it really helped. I realize it sounds crazy but that's why it works for me. Try it out and see if it works for you. Or if you have a similar statement that you use, please let me know. We all need a full tool-box of ways to stay positive and this is my new shiny tool. I hope it helps you all too.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
I just want to thank everyone who reads my blog. I do read comments and write back. It means a lot to me that people are interested in the same things I am and that they take the time to comment about the things I write. I'm gaining more confidence in my writing this way and getting feedback is such a blessing. I really feel the need, lately, to connect to as many people as I can and spread a loving message. I love reading things that make me think and I hope to offer springboards for others to take off and have ponderings of their own. I am so blessed in my life right now. I'm a little overwhelmed by how many things are opening up for me right now. I have a new-ish little group of beautiful witches who I meet with weekly and the joy these times bring me is immeasurable. I've found a closer, easier communication with one of my spirit guides through a reading from a friend. I've found a new place to practice massage that spurned a beautiful business idea that will be very successful if I stay true to my vision. In that same place, I found a new group of friends who are generously and supportivley shining a light for me to come further down my path. I met a beautiful practitioner of my faith who I can keep in contact with through writing and I feel an absolute abundance of opportunity for learning and sharing in that relationship. And even before all of this came into my life, I was blessed with a beautiful daughter who is my greatest teacher, and some very special friends whose help has been greater than I will ever be able to thank them for. I have some serious money issues right now (bills, holidays coming, low-paying job) and for once, I have absolutely no fear or worry about it. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that everything is just fine. There is way too much good right now for me to even think of falling into the worry trap. I will pay what I can when I can and life, as always, will work itself out. This weekend was a real wake up call about the value of money and in the grand scheme of things, it's worth-less. We all need to support ourselves and our families and I will always manage to do that. But money is worth so much less than friendship and love and growth. Money is energy and I have a lot of good to put out into the world. I trust with all of myself that the Universe will take care of me and mine in turn.
Monday, November 30, 2009
I found this on-line and copy/pasted it here to share the idea. It's been called myth by some or even 'Urban Legend'. Well, remote monkey-covered Japanese islands aren't exactly urban, but I understand. Whether or not all the facts are accurate, I love the story and I've been thinking of it a lot in relation to people. Check it out: "The Hundredth Monkey by Ken Keyes, jr. The Japanese monkey, Macaca fuscata, had been observed in the wild for a period of over 30 years. In 1952, on the island of Koshima, scientists were providing monkeys with sweet potatoes dropped in the sand. The monkeys liked the taste of the raw sweet potatoes, but they found the dirt unpleasant. An 18-month-old female named Imo found she could solve the problem by washing the potatoes in a nearby stream. She taught this trick to her mother. Her playmates also learned this new way and they taught their mothers too. This cultural innovation was gradually picked up by various monkeys before the eyes of the scientists. Between 1952 and 1958 all the young monkeys learned to wash the sandy sweet potatoes to make them more palatable. Only the adults who imitated their children learned this social improvement. Other adults kept eating the dirty sweet potatoes. Then something startling took place. In the autumn of 1958, a certain number of Koshima monkeys were washing sweet potatoes -- the exact number is not known. Let us suppose that when the sun rose one morning there were 99 monkeys on Koshima Island who had learned to wash their sweet potatoes. Let's further suppose that later that morning, the hundredth monkey learned to wash potatoes. THEN IT HAPPENED! By that evening almost everyone in the tribe was washing sweet potatoes before eating them. The added energy of this hundredth monkey somehow created an ideological breakthrough! But notice. A most surprising thing observed by these scientists was that the habit of washing sweet potatoes then jumped over the sea -- Colonies of monkeys on other islands and the mainland troop of monkeys at Takasakiyama began washing their sweet potatoes. Thus, when a certain critical number achieves an awareness, this new awareness may be communicated from mind to mind. Although the exact number may vary, this Hundredth Monkey Phenomenon means that when only a limited number of people know of a new way, it may remain the conscious property of these people. But there is a point at which if only one more person tunes-in to a new awareness, a field is strengthened so that this awareness is picked up by almost everyone! (from the book "The Hundredth Monkey" by Ken Keyes, jr. The book is not copyrighted and the material may be reproduced in whole or in part. You can look at the whole book also.)" This idea really gives me a lot of hope. Since the 60's our culture (and even more so our counter-culture) have been moving toward some type of enlightenment. It's not something that comes strictly from one source. Yoga, meditation, energy healing, shamanism, holistic living... All of these ideas and many more are converging to teach us a better way. So many of us are moving away from the fear and towards the love. I'm so glad to be here to see it. I love the idea that if a certain percentage of us open up to this and realize the power of love, the rest of humanity will find it impossible to turn away. Like everyone will suddenly gain a realization that love is the most important thing and it's not just a feeling but a way of living. It shows up in the things we do and how we treat ourselves and others. I was talking to a woman over the weekend about how difficult it can be to stop judging others, even when we consider ourselves to be loving people. We're so conditioned to it that it's automatic. And it's even more difficult when the others are judging us harshly. In the interest of helping myself unlearn this judgemental reflex, I've decided to bring a little humor to it. When I encounter these negative people, I'm going to quietly remind myself that they are eating dirty fruit. I guess I would be grumpy too if my sweet potatoes were covered in sand.
I went to the Holistic Festival at Gibralter Trade Center this weekend to practice massage. I've never done anything like that so I had a lot of anxiety in the week or so leading up to the event. All of the 'what should I bring?' and 'how do I do this?' kinds of questions. I knew that once I set up Friday morning I would relax because after that it's just one person at a time. I was hoping to make some money and I didn't manage to break even. I covered my space and probably gas and food but I had to get a hotel and didn't cover that. The experience was worth so much more than money, though. The people I met there were so kind and supportive, so generous with their advice. There were several other witches there as vendors so I immediately felt at home. There was some great merchandise- books, stones, statuary, oils, great organic nut butters... There were some great readers too. Just a wonderful little bunch of people. The first person I met as I came in was a girl who works at Gibrlater and helps the vendors find their places. She was so sweet and told me she loves to work that show because all the vendors are so nice. She was right. I am so overwhelmed with gratitude I'm not even sure what else to say. I got an amazing reading from a medium (Gary Gurgold) that really opened some possibilities for me. I'm finding it very hard to articulate the joy of this experience. I was set up near- literally surrounded by- people who offered me so much support and encouragement. When I got home last night I took all the cards I had collected out of my purse and I looked at them and there were six people who I met that really stood out. Each of them, aside from sharing amazing and interesting conversations, said one or more things to me that meant more than I have the ability to thank them for. It was so great to be out and around like-minded people for three days in a row. I loved getting to know them and feeling friendships starting to form. The woman who was set up next to me was practicing Reiki and using crystals for her clients and watching her work was so beautiful- like seeing a glimpse of the type of things I may be doing in the future. I'm so grateful to her for her abundant kindness and the time she took to give me such thoughtful advice. I'm working out ways to continue going to this show without losing money. If I could go and break even every time, that would be great. I wish I could say more but I'm a bit tired and trying to slide back into my day-to-day while holding on to all the great energy we all shared over the weekend. To all who were there, I owe you my unending gratitude!!
Thursday, November 26, 2009
I've been thinking of my ability (or lack thereof) to manage my time. Alanis Morissette said once in and interview that she sees time management as being synonymous with energy management. That makes so much sense to me. I've learned that I'm not great at multi-tasking when it comes to upcoming events or plans. Whenever there is a big holiday or I'm planning my daughter's birthday party or planning to take part in a big massage event, I find it all but impossible to see beyond that event. There is a voice inside that keeps telling me, "You just have to make it through this ________ and then you can make other plans." I'm working at an event this weekend and I've found that I can't seem to start planning for Christmas because a part of me- or most of me- is totally tunnel-vision-locked on doing well and making sure I have everything I need. In one way this is good, I'm giving attention to planning. However, how much of me has been living in this weekend since I signed up for the event? And if so much of my conscious thought is going to something that hasn't happened yet, how much of me is here now?
Monday, November 23, 2009
Have you seen the new holiday Gap commercial? I am so happy about it! They recognize Christmas, Hanuka (spelling?), Kwanza and Solstice!! I'm so impressed that a mainstream store finally decided to advertise to pagans- in a way. There is a group who is upset, insisting that this commercial is "anti-religious" but give me a break. First of all, all four major holidays are mentioned. I read a comment on the convocation conversation that pointed out that if it were anti-religions, wouldn't they have just said 'Happy Holidays"? Not to mention the fact that Solstice is also a secular holiday, if you can't accept it as a witchy day. It's the longest night of the year and the beginning of the lengthening of daylight. That was something to celebrate even when I considered myself Christian. So what's up with all the hate? It's supposed to be the most loving time of year. We're constantly inundated with Christmas blah blah. It's hard to even see the religious meaning of Christmas through all the lights, tinsel, and blaring music. So what are people afraid of? It comes back to Fear vs. Love in my mind. There is such a tendency for people to start screaming about things being unfair or unbalanced. It's really sad. I've never heard a single witch complain about the propensity of Christmas ads and the complete lack of anything that mentions Solstice or Yule. It's been out of balance for so long!! I'm glad to see balance brought to advertising. I've never been into the Gap but I will be buying some gifts there this year! If you're on the side of Love and acceptance, I hope you do too!!
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
So I watched the Zeitgeist movie over the weekend. I'd been putting it off till I felt strong enough to handle it and I'm glad I did. I don't want to go into what the movie is about here other than to say that I wish everyone would watch it. It's terrifying but meant to be a wake-up call. I haven't been able to really focus on all the info because the whole thing is looming in my mind in a kind of crazy barrage of imagery and revelations. What I keep coming back to, in an effort to avoid letting this thing drag me through the emotional mud, is the ending. It wasn't an apocalyptic message, but not a positive one either. The final point was that we, as humans, have a choice right now between FEAR and LOVE. We can keep our heads down, mindlessly meandering through our lives being bumped around like pin balls, or we can wake up, look around, and find reason to love all we see. The idea that fear and love are the main opposing forces in the world is starting to make more and more sense to me. Fear is what causes anger. We fear that which we don't understand. We fear that which will cause us to lose power, or what we perceive to be power. We fear anything that is different from whatever we consider to be 'the norm'. Organized religion (I'm not trying to be offensive, it's in the movie) perpetuates fear by instilling in its followers a feeling that theirs is the only way and all others are following the wrong path, or worse. In society in general, we define differences by borders, skin colors, genders, sexual orientation, age, beliefs, levels of education, income, perceived limitations, parenthood, political tendencies, physical appearance, creative expression... just about any way we can think of to make others seem not-like-us. And the sad thing about that is we do it in order to somehow make ourselves feel superior. "I make more money than this person", or "Well, my son gets much better grades than hers". These are the types of things that we let define us. There seems to be very little interest in learning what we are really all about. I know I'm being a hypocrite again. After all, that seems to be what this blog is about. But at this point in my life, I desperately want to let go of all the fear. I want to do all I can to love everything I see every day. Even what's staring back at me in my mirror. As I believe the mirror is where it has to start for each of us, maybe I should make a point to love myself every day just for the fact that I so sincerely want to be a force of love on this planet. I'm so sure that's my path here. I haven't learned how to put it into practice but for all I know, I'm already doing it. I hope so because as much as I try to relax and trust life and time, there is a part of me that wants to just start running from person to person, telling them that I love them and somehow giving them the ability to love themselves. So what can I say? If you're reading this, I LOVE YOU!! I don't care if I've never met you. You're on this planet with me and you hope and grow and hurt just like I do. It is my deepest wish that each and every person find some calm inside themselves. A place where the frantic mind that we all live with gives reprieve. If you can find just a second of that calm, you will see a glimpse of your own perfection. Don't let your ego talk you out of it or shadow what you see. We all come from a core of perfection. Carry that with you always and do your best to honor it with your actions. I will do the same, and even give up this fear that I won't be able to proclaim the message of love, because I just did.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
practice: 1. to do or perform habitually or customarily; make a habit of 2. to do or perform (something) repeatedly in order to acquire or polish a skill. I was thinking of this word today and it created some interesting questions for me. First of all I was thinking of all the things that we practice in this world. A doctor doesn't 'do' medicine, she practices it. Lawyers practice law. I'm a massage therapist and I don't 'do' massage, I practice it. I'm also a witch and we don't 'do' magic, we practice it. This is one of the things that drew me to this path, that we are always learning what works best for ourselves, not dependent on what others have done, simply using their experiences as guideposts for our own exploration. One of the most common things we think of as a practice is yoga. Hatha yoga is a practice of physical poses but the practice of yoga goes much further than that. Yoga is a life-long practice of integrating our mind, body, and spirit and can be applied to anything we do with meaning in our lives. Meditation is an important practice, whether it's a part of our yoga or not. There is so much beauty in the things we practice and the very idea that we are practicing gives us the feeling of not needing to be perfect. So I wondered, what if we take this practice a step further? What if we agreed that we're all always practicing everything? If we knew that we are all practicing friendship, for example, would we be more forgiving, less judgmental? If we agreed that we are practicing love, would we be more patient with our partners and remember that our relationships take effort and that they deserve work? If we realize that we're practicing parenthood, would it help us to strive to become better at it? I think that's the thing that struck me today about that word and gave me so much comfort. If we're practicing, we don't have to have it all figured out. If we're practicing, we know that there is room to get better, room to grow into what we're doing. So when we're letting our inner critic run her mouth, lets take a moment and remind her that we're here to practice, for goodness sake, and we'll do better next time. Sorry for using the word 'practice' so many times but I'm just a writer practicing.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
There's this anonymous quote that I absolutely love. It says, "Be kinder than necessary because everyone is fighting some kind of battle." I think it's so true in our world today. And if anything could be even more true it's the fact that we are not usually as kind as necessary. Again I find myself to be the unstoppable hypocrite. We tend to view the behavior of others through the lens of our own experience, assuming reasons for their actions or behaviors. What we so often forget (I forget) is that others are likely going through life experiences that we could never understand or will never have to deal with. And why, for that matter, do we need to qualify the actions of others at all? It's like we need this information so that we can put people in the right box. Or we think we need to know, to have everyone figured out. Is this a case of looking outside to find answers because we can never really seem to figure ourselves out? More often I think it may be a way of explaining away something that has made us uncomfortable or we've taken something personally when almost nothing is. I'm looking for the bottom line here and I think it's this: "Be kinder than necessary because everyone is fighting some kind of battle.", and "mind your own fucking business." Ok, that last one was just to me. And let's go one step further and see the beauty and love in others. If someone is short with you, it's not about you. We can't possibly know what that person is working through in their lives right now. So rather than taking everything personally, the next time you feel slighted or you simply can't understand or "figure-out" why a person is acting the way they are, stop. You don't have to know. It's not about you. Offer up a little prayer of support for that person and move on with compassion and a little grace.
Friday, November 6, 2009
So I don't think it's all that uncommon for people to have feelings surrounding a relationship long after we have stopped seeing that person. What I'm wondering about are the best ways to let go those things that may be holding us back. In my situation, I'm thinking of a person I have known half my life. We never really escalated our encounters to a full-fledged romantic relationship but it would have seemed so from the outside. Nothing was lacking except the commitment. My feelings for this person were magnified to a degree that still gives me shivers. He had equally deep feelings but for him, these feelings hovered comfortably in the friend zone while I was shamelessly desperate for more. We tried so valiantly to say everything at the end, not really sure it was the end as there had been so many ends for us before that one. It takes a goodly amount of time, I think, to start to see something like this with even a shred of objectivity. For me to see that when he said, so emphatically, "Don't settle!", he may have been talking about himself. It took me years to see how much I was willing to give up for him. Even now, when I haven't heard his voice in three years, I'm overcome with emotion at the thought of actually seeing him in person. How is it that this person affected me, or still affects me, so deeply, when it wasn't meant to be. Well, I think I've made peace with that part of it for now. I need to believe that he was put in my life for me to learn about love. I learned from him the depth and breadth of the love I have to give. I learned what it feels like to be treated lovingly, respectfully. I learned what it feels like to make love and be so in-tune with your partner that all else melts away, and then suddenly returns but as a part of you. I learned about comfortable silence. I learned about unquestioning, unwavering support. I learned about being in love with someone who is a friend first. I even learned a bit about the beauty in myself. These are all great things to know, so what brings me to the keyboard today to whine to anyone who will listen? Fear. I know that I can love someone with all I have. Having been mostly single for five years, I think I can even do that without giving up who I am- now that's progress!! But I also know the danger. So I find myself, as I so often do, struggling with balance. Fighting between two, or more, instincts. The deepest instinct tells me that all is well. The world is an intrinsically kind place, in spite of all we see. The man who I'm imagining will come into my life and we will have BIG love. He will love me back in every way and all will be happy and well. Sounds great. But then there's the fear. (Oh Rozencrantz, I am afflicted!) Will I be able to give of myself in that way again? Will I be able to trust another? More importantly, will I be able to trust myself? After having spent so long believing that someone was my one, only to learn that I was very wrong, how can I trust my heart? And Goddess help us if I start letting my mind make relationship decisions! So if I know that seeing or even talking to that past lover is a mistake, I know that initiating contact is detrimental, where do I go for closure? Any contact between us would try so hard to be friendship and would come out twisted with want and sodden with fantasy. And that's if we managed to keep it out of the bedroom, which we never did in the past. So to the question of my moment- Is it functional to imagine closure? I know I could write a letter and burn it, releasing all the uckh into the Universe, but I crave a dialogue. Is it totally crazy for me to re-invent a last conversation? One in which we both really say everything. One from which we walk away feeling content, feeling heard and understood. One that gives me the courage to go forth and the strength to love again.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
I started this blog to share my writing with people- anyone who would share their opinion or rant with or against me. The problem I have so far is that I haven't found a way to share with people without specifically inviting them. I also haven't found a way to search through other blogs and read what other people are writing about. I think this is operator error. I will do my best to figure it out. It's weird too because I'm not holding a pen. When writing in my journal, or on any available scrap of paper, there is a sense of privacy that is lacking here. I know that I can re-work and edit to my heart's content. I think that's why I like this format. It's so immediate. It lacks the organic feeling of putting pen to paper but it affords a kind of frankness that I tend to curb when I share my writing. If nothing else, blogging has quickly become a great outlet for those in-the-moment ramblings when I'm near a computer and an interesting new format and tool.
I was paying my rent yesterday, (yep, on the 3rd), and while I was in the office there was another woman there who had apparently not paid something. She was being 'talked-to' by one of the women who works for the soul-sucking company from whom I rent an apartment. The other renter was a middle-eastern or Indian woman. In truth, I really didn't look. I was just so shocked by the condescending tones used by the Office Worker. She was talking to the woman like she was a slow 2-year-old. Actually, I would speak to any two-year-old with more respect. It was really grating on my nerves because this was the company who, years ago, when I was dangerously close to getting evicted for late payment due to medical issues, literally laughed at me when I tried to work out a way that I could pay part of my rent- the part that I had- to try to keep myself and my six-year-old in a home. When I explained my situation and asked their accountant (which is who they said I should talk to) what could be done, he literally laughed in my face and told me I should start looking for somewhere else to live. Now, set aside the fact that if I couldn't come up with my rent on time, there was certainly no way I could afford to move into a new place. And the fact that this weaselly little man knew that better than most, after all, he was in charge of taking all our money. What struck me so briskly and stung, well, honestly till this day, was his lack of humanity. This is a business, yes. I understand that businesses are out to make money. However, when you are dealing with someones HOME, I believe that business has the obligation to have a heart. Or at least to hire a few people who have hearts to help deal with otherwise up-to-date renters who have unforeseeable, unavoidable problems. If you are out to make money and you don't want to be considerate of people's needs, don't go into the business of providing homes. So, back to my bitchy little friend and the poor renter under attack. I can't say why I was so upset on this woman's behalf. I was feeling hormonal? It cut a little too close to home? I am just fed-up with the general state of unfairness that seems to be the state of things? I was too tired to keep it to myself? My fifth chakra is on a rampage? Whatever the reason, I just couldn't take my receipt and walk out of that office. When the woman realized that the Office Worker wasn't listening to her, she said, "Maybe we should go to court. See what the manager says." She said this in the same tone of voice she had been speaking in all along. She was simply tired of listening to someone who wasn't listening in return. Office Worker had made up her mind and there was no point in the renter wasting her breath. So then Office Worker raises her voice and tells the renter that she has raised her voice and is becoming argumentative, or some similar word. I was appalled. The woman DID NOT RAISE HER VOICE!!!! And quite frankly, I probably would have. So Office Worker is having a little fit/power trip and hallucinating that this woman is yelling at her, so she asks the woman to come to her office where they can talk. Great, where Office Worker has an even more inflated sense of power. So, I couldn't help myself. No, that's not right. I didn't have time to talk myself out of it, the words just came. As we were all walking into the hallway at the same time, I said, not quietly, "You know, she really didn't raise her voice and you were being terribly condescending." Office Worker started to respond and I just said, more loudly this time, "terribly condescending". I heard her thank me for my opinion as I rounded the corner so I muttered a welcome and heard her go on slating me for speaking up. I held the door for a woman coming into the building and it felt good to know that I wasn't puking my rage on others. I got in the car and started driving home, asking myself not why I spoke up, but why it upset me so. I'm still pretty sure it's the unfairness of it all, but for some reason I took it very personally. I cried all the way home. When I got home, I ate a piece of pumpkin bread and went to sleep for three hours. It's amazing how much a moment out of someone else's life can so affect our own.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
So, why am I a witch trying? Well, I'm not going into why I'm a witch here. That could take days to explain. For now let's just say that it's the right path for me. So. What is it that I'm trying? For a long time I was trying to figure out just what it is I'm supposed to be doing here in this life. How arrogant that I assumed I could figure that out with my mind. I don't think we're supposed to know why we're here. In a funny way, that is why we're here, to find peace in the not knowing. So letting go of specifics, I learned that I'm here to help. It's not up to me to decide the ways in which I can help. I just have to be open and willing. So I am. Open and willing to do my best in any situation Goddess puts before me. But what am I trying? I'm trying to figure out this place, this crazy country, this outrageous planet we're on. There are a lot of things that need to change so I'm trying to find ways in which I can help make those changes. It can be hard to imagine but I really do believe we can all be the change we wish to see in the world. It seems overwhelming at first. How could my changing my habits or attitudes really change the whole world? But think about it, what if one day we all woke up and decided that we want to do our best to make the world a more loving place. Do we have to end world hunger and war that day? No. We have to be kind to those around us. We have to help out where we're able. We have to speak up for those who are going unheard. We have to love ourselves first so that we can see the beauty in all others. We have to immerse ourselves in an impersonal love for all-that-is. When I say impersonal love, I mean that it's not a love that is dependant on the actions of others to evidence itself. It's love without attachments or expectations. We know we don't all like the things others do, but we don't like things our family members do either and it doesn't stop us from loving them. I really think this has to start with ourselves. It's a hard thing to love yourself in such a judgemental and image-conscious society. It takes a tremendous amount of courage and a bit of surrender to see ourselves as lovable, as good enough. Sadly, that's a task that doesn't usually come to us all at once. So I have a suggestion. When you're out in public this week, look at a total stranger and think, "I love you!", with absolute conviction. You can't help but be filled with this warm feeling that you, too, are loved. It starts the feeling of connectivity. I really and truly believe that "Love is all we need", "What the world needs now is love sweet love", and "Love can keep us together". We've forgotten how powerful a thing love is. In most religions, there is a statement somewhere that says: God is love. We seem to fumble around this planet ever seeking more stuff, more status, more recognition, more, more, more! As I am just another person out there seeking stuff, I have to ask, WHY? What is it that I think I'm going to find? How have we been fooled into believing that something outside ourselves can possibly fill us up or make us whole? Everything that spiritual teachings, yoga, meditation, etc. have been trying to teach us is true! There is no ultimate in acquisition. Peace is waiting within. It's what will cause us to all wake up and realize that the world and its course are up to us. We have the power to usher in an era of peace, of growth and balance. We're finally starting to remember how powerful our thoughts are. We're finally starting to see that intention has real, tangible effects on the world. Remember that when you're speaking. When you're angry, don't say, "I could just kill her!". Watch your fleeting thoughts and consider the meaning of them. Words have great power. They can hurt and they can heal. I'm asking for a raise in consciousness. Or maybe it's a raise in awareness, in attention. Lets start to slow down. That's got to be the first step. Rushing around is getting us nowhere fast. So this is what I'm learning and the trying is just me trying to apply these things to my life. I'm like everyone else, I can talk forever about what I should do and I know very well how to get and stay healthy. It's a whole other thing to actually do these things. I think we need to be there for one another, support one another's good habits and desire to change and grow in positive ways. Please share these thoughts and ideas. I need to know that I'm not the only one trying.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
I realized that I kinda started this blog out of nowhere and as it seems to be a place I'm going to do a lot of ranting, I feel an introduction of sorts is in order. I rant a lot, but it doesn't come from a place of expecting others to change so that the world will be as I wish it to be. More, I'm sitting in my glass house and rather than throwing my bucket of stones, I'm searching for reflections. If I bitch about the actions of others it's likely that they piss me off because I see something in them that I want to change in myself. This isn't always true but often. Obviously if I bitch about war, it's not because I believe in or support war, but what wars are going on in my own life? What things do I war against and so waste my energy? Basically, I use writing as a way to think about the world, to pick it apart and see if I can figure out what's going on. In studying the world, I learn more about myself. I'm coming to feel an urgency to be of service to those around me. I have to investigate to see where and in what capacities I can be most helpful. I also, like we all do, have a lot of growing and healing to do myself. I don't think I should sit and wait to help while I devote all my time to healing and trying to perfect myself. I do know that I have to work hardest at my own healing so that I have more to give. I envision a world where we all work together for the good of all. Where we know we all are one, where compassion reins supreme. We all are the custodians of this planet and of our race. Soon we'll be able to see the beauty in all others and, perhaps most importantly, in ourselves.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
It's funny how even in the 'fringe' groups of society there is still such a lack of cohesion. I'm amazed to see adults choosing to function in cliques rather than welcoming new people. The truth is that regardless of what group or groups we may feel we 'belong' to, we are all individuals making individual choices about how we respond to the people around us. What the world needs now, (and yes, I just sang that in my head), is less division and more togetherness, less judgment and more acceptance, less bitterness and more love, less hypocrisy and more honesty, fewer perceived differences and more recognition that WE ARE. One of my dear friends is always saying that we should 'draw the circle bigger' and I think that's brilliant. Her meaning is that there's always room to include someone who wasn't there before. How beautiful! We need to be working harder to be accepting of and curious about the people with whom we come into contact. I really think we all have things to teach one another and if we stay stuck in the same exclusive group, what new things will we learn?
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Ok, I've never blogged before but I write incessantly so I thought I might try this. I'm learning and thinking of feminism lately in life. I have to admit, although I'm a bit ashamed, that in the past the word brought up images of man-hating women. I just didn't understand what it was all about. It's not a movement trying to attack the white-male-patriarchal society we're in and cause its downfall. It's about balance. Feminism isn't trying to turn the patriarchy back into a matriarchy, but isn't it sad that we have no word for the balance that should fall between? This planet has taken a serious beating. We're consuming resources as if they're inexhaustible. And when people speak of sustainability, most think they're talking about being more 'eco-friendly'. To sustain means to keep alive. It means that if we don't learn to live in a more sustainable way, we will perish. I can't think of a more frightening bottom line. So where are the changes? We're all worrying about money and trying to get the economy back to how it was before the collapse. Is that really a good idea? We seem to have forgotten that money is an illusion. It's paper and metal. It's a system we use in place of bartering. So- it's not the economy that we need to worry about so much, not the value of the not-so-mighty dollar, it's the people! There are so many people out of work and it hasn't occurred to the government that there is so much work to be done!! Why don't we offer to train these people to build wind farms and solar arrays? Then people can support their families and we become less dependant on foreign oil. Or better yet, not be dependant on oil at all. I have to admit, I'm not very politically savvy. There are so many obstacles that prevent us from growing and changing and helping others. I really believe that in the world, every person has the right to shelter, clothing, food, clean water, education, and health care. We have the resources, they're just greatly out of balance. I live in America and look at this place. It's gluttony central. I'm not immune to this, I'm pissed off because I'm a part of it! In this culture, we're raised with an "every man for himself" mentality. And we try to get all we can hoping to feel fulfilled, hoping to get to that point where we can rest or where we will feel complete. I can promise you that 'stuff' will not fill us up. And I really don't believe we can feel done while there is so much suffering happening. Maybe that's the little Bodhisattva in me but I know we're all connected. We need to start re-evaluating our priorities- quickly. It's true that we need to be the change we want to see in the world. Maybe the best first step we can take is to learn to fully and deeply love ourselves. Our true selves, not our accomplishments. We need to remember that we all have Divinity within. When you're in a moment when you really do love yourself, it becomes impossible to be hurtful to others. If you believe that you love yourself yet you act without consideration or compassion, your ego is fooling you. You love the image of yourself you've created. Find something deeper. Forgive yourself everything because we're all innocent. Each of us has the power to change the world. Our thoughts have been proven to be actual, physical things that go out into the world and affect other things. We have amazing untapped potential and if we don't put it to good use soon, it will disappear with us. As women, we bring our sensibilities to the table. All of life is sacred. There is no possible outcome of war that could ever justify losing even one life. All people are our brothers and sisters, regardless of borders. When we allow people to starve, a part of ourselves starves as well, no matter how gluttonous we are. There is vast wisdom out there, most of it ancient, some of it brought forth in new forms. Find your own unique path. When you learn something that brings you calm, know that it is true. Know, also, that you are perfect. We all get lost as we grow through this world but we can find our way back. I'm at the begining of that journey now and I'd like to invite the whole world to walk it next to me.