Repaired With Gold

gold potOne of the fun parts of my incarnation is that I fall a lot.  When I was a teen, I would fall going UP the stairs.  In university, I would run for the bus and slip on grass. I have fallen down stairs and broken my wrist.  I fell when climbing a fence a year ago, and hurt a few spots.  This month, I fell on my own knee while planting my vegetable garden, and bruised my ribs.  Bruised ribs and broken ribs feel the same, but have less risk when bruised.

I have a high pain tolerance, yet these ribs tested that.  I would say my pain history in life would go: broken wrist, child birth, bruised ribs.

And yet, I am deeply grateful for this injury.  I learned how many people love me in my life – a reflection of how Life loves me.  I had friends show up out of no where to help.  Some picked my child up from school because driving was too hard and probably unsafe for me.  Some friends fed me.  Some friends watched my pets.  Some friends checked in on me and sent me love. As much as my rib could not support me, my circle DID support me.

More than that, it was a deeply spiritual experience.  No one but you can explore your relationship with pain.  For the first time, I understood what my teacher, Christopher Wallis, meant when he said that you get to a point in life of being grateful for everything, even dog poop.  My gratitude for what this has opened in me is profound. When I shared that with him, he wrote this to me:

“You’re more beautiful for having been broken.

People tend to think that something has gone wrong when they’re wounded, or hurt, or broken, and that healing is fixing that wrongness and getting ‘back’ to a good or ‘normal’ condition. But consider this: just as, in the context of weight training, the muscles need to actually tear (get damaged) in order to rebuild stronger, why not consider the parallel possibility that we actually *need* to get hurt/wounded/broken in order to grow stronger and more compassionate?

In that light, nothing ever goes ‘wrong’. And being wounded can be a gift.

The Japanese have a word for this, from the context of artfully repaired pottery: kintsukuroi, “more beautiful for having been broken.” – Christopher Wallis

When I told a friend I could not visit her because I needed to rest, she offered to do healing work with me.  I turned her down, because I was loving the work I was doing on my own.  I shared that with her, and she commented I was handling it with ease and grace and a smile on my face.  I absently agreed, but inside I knew that was not the truth of it.

To handle it with ease and grace and a smile would be to deny what is.  The pain is.  Sometimes I am at ease.  Sometimes I am not.  Sometimes I am smiling, and sometimes I am irritable or crying.  Why should I be at ease and grace and smiling? That is some form of spiritual overlay on how we think spiritual people are – these detached spirits walking on air and sunshine.  What is true is that I am not suffering from the beliefs I lay over the pain.  I remember the quotation: In life, pain is inevitable.  Suffering is optional. – Haruki Murakami

I like the words of Matt Licatta on what happens as we grow spiritually and heal:

“There was an idea that as you healed, you would feel less. That as you awakened, the emotional spectrum would narrow, into some safe, consistent, happy, resolved calm. But you are seeing that love continues to ask you to feel more, to hold and metabolize the full-spectrum of a broken open world.

There was an old hope that as your heart opened, the vulnerability would diminish, the shakiness would fall away, the tenderness would yield… but you are more raw now than ever before.

There was an old belief that as you deepened on the path that you’d be more detached, untouchable, not care so much about others and the world, resting as the great “witness” beyond it all, in some safe, constructed place of observation. But somehow, everything and everyone matter now more than ever, in spontaneous, unexpected ways.

Something new is being born inside you, but something else is dying. Rather than prematurely forcing rebirth to emerge, turn into the uncertainty, the contradictions, and the purity of the death of an old dream. For it is here that the womb of new life is to be found, where the raw materials of resurrection are woven into being by the Great Weaver herself.

While this level of trust may be disorienting to a mind longing for resolution, the body knows… the heart knows. Trust in the fires of disintegration. And the birth that can arise only from the ashes of that level of grace.” – Matt Licatta

Gratitude: Keys to Happiness and Wisdom

A friend and I went to see a lecture on the secrets to happiness (The Happiness Equation: Want Nothing + Do Anything = Have Everything by Neil Pasricha). His research suggested five practices that lead to greater happiness. One of those is the practice of gratitude. This is supported by other research too. 

My 9 year old and I share our gratitude list every night. It is the cornerstone of our connection time. It is also when she is most likely to tell me what spiritual truth she has discovered, independent of any teaching. Here are a few:

*If you work against the universe, it goes bad.

*All this feels like a video game

*We don’t need labels like rich or poor, popular or unpopular. They aren’t real.

*What if we lived in harmony with nature? 

*Why do people let their thoughts make them unhappy?

Is it possible that gratitude opens you to wisdom? Most likely, it opens you to being in alignment with the Divine. From there, everything else can flow. 

Openness

I lay on the couch, covered as much by my blankets as by my self pity. It had been a sad day, possibly more intensely felt because yesterday had been such a good day.

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“Do you want to go to the ballet tonight?”, flashed a text from my spiritual partner. We had not been face to face in 2 months.  I began to text yes then deleted it 

The quiet of my house, recorded TV and withdrawing to my meditation altar were powerful magnets. I wrote No but couldn’t hit send.

On New Years, I set an intention of openness. I also want a best friend, spiritual partner and from that relationship, possibly a lover. And it requires me to act as I would if every person in my life were my best friend, spiritual partner and lover.

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In the past, I would have gone out of Fear Of Missing Out. Eventually I would feel resentment because my fear had overwhelmed my ability to recognize my own needs. I would beat myself up for the cycle.  I would close off instead of opening up.

So I went to the ballet – Shaping Sound. It was the most profoundly powerful artistic experience of my life. Was that proof that Fear of Missing Out is real? Maybe. What is more true is that it was proof of what happens every when I am open and connected to the flow of consciousness .

I had the added joy of sharing it with someone as passionate and aware as me. I shared it with another open soul. It was a mutual connection.

And that is what openness means to me: being available to what is, recognising experience and emotion as energy, feeding the things I value and not grasping at any of it.

PS I know I wrote a farewell post and said no more blogging. Get over it. I evidently did! More importantly,  I write to see what I know. That is a different purpose than the one underlying mt Farewell Post. 

Thank you for Loving Me Imperfectly

My love,

There is only gratitude when I think of how imperfectly we loved.

Thank you for loving me. I am grateful we lacked the skills and wisdom for a lasting and healed relationship. 

Thank you for living your egoic consciousness with me. Through it, I saw a perfect reflection of my own egoic patterns.

Thank you for the moments of wisdom, compassion and kindness. Through those, I also saw my true self.

Thank you for ending, transforming. If we had continued, I might not have broken open. I might have continued to believe my thoughts. I might have strived to live as though I had control in this Life.

Thank you for Loving Me so Imperfectly.  Through releasing that attachment, I have touched my soul’s desire, my deepest longing.

If we had continued,  I would not be this Me. I am so deeply in love with who I Am. So complete, enlivened, awake and aware.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

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One Little Soul

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A year ago, my 2 year old dog developed an auto immune disease and nearly died. He needed a blood transfusion and at first it didn’t seem to take. We said our goodbyes, and I hand fed him his last meal with tears and sobs. Twelve hours before he was scheduled to be put down, everything turned around. His blood count began to climb.

Since then, we have become an animal rescue home. We have a badly abused chihuahua and a one eyed cat. My dog Frodo has healed them all. He persistently loved them into happiness.

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The chihuahua plays now and is willing to learn new expectations. The cat was aggressive and there were moments I seriously reconsidered keeping him.

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But my Frodo never gave up on them. He loves them both. He takes care of us all.

Being Gentle With Myself is About Freedom

hand-2I am told to “Be gentle with myself” quite often.  It irritates me (don’t be offended – YOU don’t irritate me, just the idea does) and so I am exploring that now.

To say I am a perfectionist would be true at times.  I have very high personal standards, but they are meant to be in service of what I am capable of being.  My standard is about being loving, awake, in truth, accepting, surrendering, and living from consciousness.  I have very little problem in looking at my egoic bumps and lumps to release them.

But sometimes, I feel disappointed or like a failure when the same conditioned reactions arise in me over and over.  I feel even worse when I act from them.  I think at times, I even feel proud that I am telling you about them – see how responsible I am? See how awake I am? I own my stuff with pride!

Possibly, that is a subtle form of ego. If nothing else, when I am busy doing that, I am unconscious, so it goes against my own desires.

“A thought or emotion emerges, you notice it, and it passes by because you allow it to.  This technique of freeing yourself is done with the understanding that thoughts and emotions are just objects of consciousness.  Wen you see your heart start getting anxious, you are obviously aware of this experience.  But who is aware? It is the consciousness, the indwelling being, the Soul, the Self.  It is the seer, the one who sees. The changes you experience in your inner energy flow are simply objects of this consciousness.  If you want  to be free, then every time you feel any change in the energy flow, relax behind it.  Don’t fight with it, don’t try to change it and don’t judge it.  Don’t say “Oh I can’t believe I’m still feeling this.  I promised myself I wouldn’t think about that car anymore.” Don’t do that; you will just end up going with the guilt thoughts instead of the car thoughts. You have to let them go.

But it’s not just about letting go of the thoughts and emotions.  It is actually about letting go of the pull that the energy itself has on your consciousness.  The disturbed energy is trying to draw your attention into it.  If you use your inner will power to not go with it, and just remain seated within, you will notice that the distinction between the consciousness and the object of consciousness is like night and day.  They are totally different things.  The object comes and goes, and the consciousness watches it come and go.  Then the next object comes and goes while the consciousness watches it.  Both objects came and went, but the consciousness didn’t go anywhere.” – Michael A. Singer

My resistance to “Being gentle with myself” is that I don’t want to identify with a self.  I want to return often to that awareness of consciousness and act from there.  I can celebrate that I return to that place more and more quickly – minutes now, not hours or days.  I can also celebrate that it hurts and feels uncomfortable when I act in a way that is out of alignment with with my Being.  I know it will take time for inner energy shifts to show up and dissolve old patterns.  I want to be aware of them, without energizing them when they occur. 

So, next time you want to support me, and you tell me to be gentle with myself, I am going to remember that you want me to be free of myself, my guilt, and my ego.  And I will be very grateful. 🙂

 

Living a Life In a Day

Canada's_fireworks_at_the_2013_Celebration_of_Light_in_Vancouver,_BCI don’t believe in getting old.  I don’t mind aging – January 22 is my birthday.  I am proud of every minute and every year I have lived.  Occasionally I quip “I am too old for that…” but  I use it as an excuse.  It is an excuse to deflect from something I am not comfortable doing.  There are things that are more in vibrational harmony with who I am and where I am at, but that is not the same as being old.

I met with a Vedic Astrologist, and it was a thoroughly enlivening experience.  We went over my entire life, and the synchronicity of things showed again the beautiful flow and pattern in life.  She captured how the last year was a purge of the old and a true clear slate.  I noticed how profoundly different 2015 has been from pretty much the first minute on New Years.

What I notice as  I reflect over the last year is joy.  Love.  It is like when I make a wish, it is fulfilled within days.  A friend housesat for me for free as a gift.  A new friend – someone who has known me for a few months – chose a really interesting gift that made me feel valued.  I was struggling to plan my birthday party – a big old party with dancing, drumming, and laughter – and the universe gave me a free DJ.  My spiritual practice is deepening.  My daughter is recalling past lives and we are working on that. I am spending a week in Las Vegas.  I am going to India.  And it is only 22 days into the year!

In the Vedic reading, I found out that I have entered a new cycle, and that this year will be auspicious for fulfillment of my intentions.  I have clarity in most areas of my life of my heart and soul’s desires.

It starts with the Now. My joy is in Being Now. Living my life in a day.

“As soon as your idea of enlightenment becomes time-bound, it’s always about the next moment. You may have a deep spiritual experience and then ask, “How long will I sustain this experience?” As long as you insist on the question, you remain time-bound. If you are still interested in time and the spiritual accumulations you can have in time, you will get a time-bound experience. The mind is acting as if what you are looking for isn’t already present right now. Now is outside of time. There is no time, and the paradox is that the only thing that keeps you from seeing the eternal is that your mind is stuck in time. So you miss what’s actually here.” –Adyashanti