It all looks different from here

This weekend I went to a yoga retreat.  At the end of the retreat I did impromptu tarot readings, and was very struck by one I did for a younger woman with whom I had no contact over the weekend. 

Her reading focused on the tension she felt between being in a romantic relationship and being able to fully express herself professionally.  It turns out she had ended a relationship over this.  She also had no examples of successful balance in her family.  Instead, the women she knew had sacrificed themselves for family.

I wanted to draw this woman into my arms and tell her that was all illusion. I had an image of sitting in my hut, chatting with her by the hearth.  At one level, I am a professional woman who had great support from the men in my life for my career.  On another, I’ve had to psychologically address the same fear to have a child. 

But at the core of this is our definition of relationship.  Marriage has emerged from roots as political and economic arrangements, into a  romanticized Happily Ever After. Others I admire have written about the shift from traditional views of relationship to spiritual partnership. But as I listened to conversations at the retreat this weekend, I would guess that very few of us are consciously moving to spiritual partnership.

I listened to women telling their spousal stories even though the majority of people on this retreat were women. Of course, part of why that occurred is because the yoga teacher got engaged at the retreat.   But I suspect this is also because of how women still create identity. 

Is this an awakening issue? Do we need to move from feminism to humanism to Soul-ism? Is this just one more layer we’ve created between our true selves and the Divine?

Perhaps the answer is in ideas like the Divine feminine and Divine masculine.  These are not male or female – rather they are aspects of our selves that are in balance as we grow and awaken.

I realize I may be one of very few people in my life who can see the rightness in this.  Marriage isn’t necessary; love is.  Living up to roles isn’t necessary; love is.   I suspect our social structures will be sorely challenged to adapt if we move more to spiritual partnership.  But women’s social equality is a first foundation for this (gay marriage too) as this asks us to question our assumptions and values. True spiritual partnership requires deep awareness, love, and personal responsibility.

Wow, does my world look different from over here.

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Stepping into Feminine Divinity

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I stepped in dog poop last night. This fact is quite unremarkable, even predictable, since I was in fact cleaning the back yard of dog droppings. But there were many metaphors and insights that arose from this mis-step.

I needed to turn on the hose to clean my bare foot, but the hose knob is in a rocky space that requires shoes…which I could not put on. My daughter offered to turn on the hose and went in to get her shoes. When she couldn’t find them, she told me not to worry, she could walk on the rocks without hurting her feet. Her feet are still young and unstressed so she actually can walk on the rocks painlessly.

After I cleaned my feet, I thanked her and told her I didn’t mind waiting while she found her shoes. She told me her mommy needed her and should not wait with yucky poop on her feet. In that moment, I saw the most beautiful things: my daughter being pure love, and her love being of me at the same time. She knew me, empathized with me and moved to regain my happiness.

This weekend I’ve been bombarded by the poop metaphor: those beliefs we held before will manifest in our now even as we move to a different vision. Practically, I had a vision of a clean yard, and moved on it. But my prior inactivity and passive views left land mines all over the yard. My past beliefs were manifesting even though I had a new vision.

I set many powerful visions this year. The one I have the most past beliefs to clear is around relationship. This weekend, Bhikku has come into some deep awakenings in connection to me. I have been overwhelmed by the ferocity of his healing, and find myself running for cover. In fact, I’m currently in bed with muscle aches and fatigue. Any metaphysician can see the connection.

I spent years trying to walk a line between the Magus and Bhikku. I spent years wishing I could pull the best parts of both of them into one relationship. I flipped back and forth between them both. My polyamorous friends would tell me I don’t have to; I could be polyamorous. Except that also isn’t who I am.

The answer is to return to my vision. I know how I want to feel. I know what the purpose of relationship is for me. And I know that being loved for me, being seen for me, being motivated to share in connection with me is my truth. Just as my daughter made a choice from the love she is, she also demonstrated it because of ME.

I have struggled with all the spiritual guidance regarding relationships that is (metaphysically) mainstream. Teachers like Osho, Gary Zukav, Buddha…the teachings have a predominantly masculine quality to them. Who is the voice of the feminine divine? Where is the spiritual practice that resonates with our energy? We are built to form attachment; this is core to bringing life to this world. The feminine is as present in nature, so there must be a pathway to transcendence that aligns with feminine nature instead of suggesting it must be overcome.

“The Goddess can be seen as the symbol, the normative image of immanence. She represents the divine embodied in nature, in human beings, in the flesh. The Goddess is not one image but many – a constellation of forms and associations – earth, air, fire, water, moon and star, sun, flower and seed, willow and apple, black, red, white, Maiden, Mother, and Crone. She includes the male in her aspects: He becomes child and Consort, stag and bull, grain and reaper, light and dark. Yet the femaleness of the Goddess is primary not to denigrate the male, but because it represents bringing life into the world, valuing the world. The Goddess, the Mother, as symbol of that value, tells us that the world itself is the content of the world, its true value, its heart, and its soul…..”~Starhawk, Dreaming the Dark

This Practical Priestess will find her own path to transcendence and it will include relationship. Throughout history, women have built and preserved community. We have healed the world through efforts largely started by women. There is a transcendent consciousness that allows Divine Oneness and intimacy through relationship. If I am whole and perfect, and all that is before me is my tool kit, then this question of the Divine Feminine is profound and perfect too.

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If You Forget Me by Pablo Neruda

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If You Forget Me by Pablo Neruda

I want you to know
one thing.

You know how this is:
if I look
at the crystal moon, at the red branch
of the slow autumn at my window,
if I touch
near the fire
the impalpable ash
or the wrinkled body of the log,
everything carries me to you,
as if everything that exists,
aromas, light, metals,
were little boats
that sail
toward those isles of yours that wait for me.

Well, now,
if little by little you stop loving me
I shall stop loving you little by little.

If suddenly
you forget me
do not look for me,
for I shall already have forgotten you.

If you think it long and mad,
the wind of banners
that passes through my life,
and you decide
to leave me at the shore
of the heart where I have roots,
remember
that on that day,
at that hour,
I shall lift my arms
and my roots will set off
to seek another land.

But
if each day,
each hour,
you feel that you are destined for me
with implacable sweetness,
if each day a flower
climbs up to your lips to seek me,
ah my love, ah my own,
in me all that fire is repeated,
in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten,
my love feeds on your love, beloved,
and as long as you live it will be in your arms
without leaving mine.

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The Dead Woman by Pablo Neruda

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The Dead Woman

If suddenly you do not exist,
if suddenly you no longer live,
I shall live on.

I do not dare,
I do not dare to write it,
if you die.

I shall live on.

For where a man has no voice,
there, my voice.

Where blacks are beaten,
I cannot be dead.
When my brothers go to prison
I shall go with them.

When victory,
not my victory,
but the great victory comes,
even though I am mute I must speak;
I shall see it come even
though I am blind.

No, forgive me.
If you no longer live,
if you, beloved, my love,
if you have died,
all the leaves will fall in my breast,
it will rain on my soul night and day,
the snow will burn my heart,
I shall walk with frost and fire and death and snow,
my feet will want to walk to where you are sleeping, but
I shall stay alive,
because above all things
you wanted me indomitable,
and, my love, because you know that I am not only a man
but all mankind.

Pablo Neruda

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Love sonnet XI by Pablo Neruda

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Pablo Neruda (1904 – 1973)

Love Sonnet XI

I crave your mouth, your voice, your hair.
Silent and starving, I prowl through the streets.
Bread does not nourish me, dawn disrupts me, all day
I hunt for the liquid measure of your steps.

I hunger for your sleek laugh,
your hands the color of a savage harvest,
hunger for the pale stones of your fingernails,
I want to eat your skin like a whole almond.

I want to eat the sunbeam flaring in your lovely body,
the sovereign nose of your arrogant face,
I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes,

and I pace around hungry, sniffing the twilight,
hunting for you, for your hot heart,
like a puma in the barrens of Quitratue.

A New Reflection in the Mirror

faceThere is a practice known as Face Reading. I remember walking through a Mind Body Spirit Fair a few years ago, and being called over by the Face Reading “hawker”, who was promoting their 10 minute readings. I was a bit skeptical, until she began accurately reading my face as I stood there. I signed up for my 10 minutes with enthusiasm. The reader was the Master Teacher, named Herman Muller. He very accurately summed up my life experiences and my personal psychology. I was hooked and signed up for the weekend intensive to learn how to do this myself.

The Magus and I did the course together. And at the very end, we were told to wear two piece bathing suits the next day for Body Reading. I immediately went into anxiety and knew I would not return. I could not, would not, expose my pain trapped in my body in front of an entire class. I wanted to crawl into a hole and never come out. Every fear I had ever held had been triggered by this course. The Magus tried all night to see if I would reconsider, and I threw my pain at him. This process created a new healing conversation for us as well. I was able to face my binging as a result of this.facemap

Over the weekend I looked at many old pictures. It was my daughter’s birthday, and it is my ritual to look at all her photos over the years. People like to tell me to pay attention because kids grow up so fast. I think they feel that we lose something of our child in that process. In my review of her pictures, I see the soul that looked at me the first second I held her, and I see how that soul is manifesting its expressions. And I celebrate the incredible blessing that she chose me to be her mother.

As I looked at the pictures, I noticed exactly what they tell us in Face Reading: in the past few years, the way I look has changed. My face is subtly shifting to reflect my inner changes. My body is doing the same thing. I say this with humility and insight: I am more beautiful now than I have been in my entire life. When I look in the mirror, I see a beautiful woman. Sure, there are wrinkles around my eyes, my body has lumps and bumps, and if I miss a hair appointment you will see silver roots…but I am beautiful.

womanI am happy, and living in the flow of consciousness more and more. I am choosing to be in that state. I feel free of the burden of false beliefs and obligations. I feel supported, by the universe and by the love in my life. I look at my vision board, and see nothing but progress towards all aspects of my vision. I am living my passion. Having my own business has been my dream, and making the leap to choose to leave my job was the final statement of me saying Yes to ME.

I reflected that I have not blogged for at least a week. I began to feel anxious about that, as if I had somehow let people down. But this is an art form for me, a creative expression. And lately, with the beautiful weather, I have been called to sketch and make stained glass (both of which I can do outdoors) instead of writing. I have many things going on inside, many new levels of awareness bubbling up. So I will write, when it is time.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:

…a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a TreeSketchtime to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak. – Ecclesiastes 3

It’s just a jump to the left and a step to the right…

Rocky-Horror-Picture-ShowThe Rocky Horror Show was one of the kooky things I remember from being an undergraduate.  As the President of the Psychology Students’ Association, I did a number of things to show my commitment to the success of this club: I wore a rat suit and ran around the university handing out cheese/applications to psychology students,  selling hot dogs, showing Blue Velvet (the movie) and hosting a Freudian analysis of it, and organizing a 200 person showing of the Rocky Horror Picture Show.  I was a Rocky Horror Show “virgin” at the time, and had no idea what I was in for!  It was by far our most successful fundraiser. I knew nothing about it at all, no preconceived notion of how it would turn out.  I just never doubted it would sell out. And it did.

Today I realized I am tired, which is not what I expected from my own business.  I am struggling to get through my days right now, and that troubles me.  I am also not generating the business that I would like to see, even though I am making many business development calls.  So I know that the limiting belief is in me, and it is for me to reveal it.

This is what came up…

  • To be successful, I need to put in long hours
  • Work environments are fraught with “biting dogs” (nasty people)responsible for my own happiness
  • My prices are too high
  • I cannot take time during the day to refresh myself
  • I need to lie to get out of appointments that don’t support my wellbeing or my priorities that day

Those are beliefs that I have carried for a long time, and were taught to me by others.  I have found myself looking at my vision board, and looking AWAY instead of putting energy into my business vision.  My body begins to rebel when my eyes turn to my vision and I begin to clench.  No wonder my business is draining me! What is getting energy is actually the beliefs above, not MY vision!

abundanceCheck1Instead, I have turned back to the cornerstone of spiritual creation: Gratitude.  I imagined my vision when I have balanced time, where I put my needs first (me and loved ones), then those of my business, then my volunteer commitments. I imagined the feeling of helping organizations develop their potential.  I imagined the feeling of signing contracts every week, every month.  I saw people seeking me out, and welcoming me when I called to see if I could help them with anything.  I saw days where I had no appointments and focused on learning.  Days where I went to the park.  Days where I developed new products and took risks.  I have money to support the rest of my vision.  And I put energy into how great that was. I felt the gratitude of how my life feels when I let go of those limiting beliefs.  Wow!

And all that takes is just a jump to the left and a step to the right…And so it is. abundance