Bending Time

I am told time feels slow when you are young and passes too fast when you are older. 

It is a matter of belief. 

If you believe your remaining time is getting shorter, this is a false belief. None of us know the day we will take our last breath. People who live to be 100 may have expected to pass at 70 – what a waste if they lived those 30 years believing time was getting shorter. 

When we are kids, we are more likely to live in the now. The now is infinite. It is when we live in the past or the future that we get messed up. Neither exist, so they are easy to project our beliefs and fears over top. 

My days are no shorter or longer than before. I experience my days in terms of energy – intense, loving, flowing. I surrender to the moment (at least that’s the intention). 

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Called to Silence

wpid-2014-02-03-23.39.13.pngI have been a person who defines herself in relation to others.  My needs are usually put second to those around me, like my daughter or my siblings.  At some point, I realize how bad an idea that is, but it is often prompted by anger.  I have learned that anger in me always means that a need I have is not being met. (It also means something that is happening is making me feel like I am not enough, which tends to intersect with my needs not being met.)

I own all of that.  It is mine to change.  So lately, I have been changing that, actively.  Like any new choice or skill, it takes practice.  I have run the gambit from doing it so badly that I needed a lawyer, right up to graciously taking time to reflect and find my silence.

In fact, I am called to silence more and more.  I was a woman who liked to get out and do things – try new restaurants, travel, go to concerts, see a play, work hard, keep my house to a standard.  I was a perpetual motion machine!

Now, as I begin working on my vision, listening to the source is more important than going to a menu of options and trying to set goals.  If I look at my creation lists of the past, they are more like wishes than they are reflective of the flow of the current of consciousness.  Some of them I laugh at now.

If I listen to my silence, it is longing for more silence.  I have joined a new community, and what draws me is the silence.  We sit and meditate.  We connect, but it is not over the mundane.  I look at my work, and I create silence in issues as they are shared with me.  In that silence, the next thing that is needed arises.  From the silence, all that needs to be arises.  It does not need me to force it.  It does not need me to be its stick.

This poem speaks to the insight that is coming to me.

 

The waves of the mind
demand so much of Silence.
But she does not talk back
does not give answers nor arguments.
She is the hidden author of every thought
every feeling
every moment.

Silence.

She speaks only one word.
And that word is this very existence.
No name you give Her
touches Her
captures Her.
No understanding
can embrace Her.

Mind throws itself at Silence
demanding to be let in.
But no mind can enter into
Her radiant darkness
Her pure and smiling
nothingness.

The mind hurls itself
into sacred questions.
But Silence remains
unmoved by tantrums.
She asks only for nothing.

Nothing.

But you won’t give it to Her
because it is the last coin
in your pocket.
And you would rather
give her your demands than
your sacred and empty hands.

**

Everything leaps out in the celebration of mystery,
but only nothing enters the sacred source,
the silent substance.
Only nothing gets touched and becomes sacred,
realizes its own divinity,
realizes what it is
without the aid of a single thought.
Silence is my secret.
Not hidden.
Not hidden.

Adyashanti – Emptiness Dancing

The Fastest Way to The Heart Is Through the Belly

Chicken Kiev, homemade mushroom risotto and tabouli salad. Organic mushrooms and thyme baked in filo dough. Spring greens, watermelon, feta and cashew nuts tossed in lime, ginger and sesame oil. Arugula tossed in lime juice served with a poached egg and prosciutto.

Not the menu from a restaurant – my meals this week, all homemade. 

I have always loved good food and I really enjoy cooking excellent food. I had a long standing belief that I had to cook for someone else to invest in cooking amazing meals. So if I was alone, I ordered in garbage or I ate popcorn.   The clear message was that I was not worth the investment. 

Flash backwards about 3 years ago as I prepared to go to John of God in Brazil: I have to set an intention so I chose loving myself. I have no idea what that feels like. 

Shortly after, my whole life came into alignment around loving myself. Many of the relationships I was in all dissolved away (romantic and friendships), leaving only my deepest friendships. My career changed. My health changed. My home and garden changed. My spiritual process deepened exponentially.

When I was growing up, my grandmother used to say that the fastest way to a man’s heart was through his stomach – meaning men loved good cooks. For me, one outer proof of my love for me is the food I am eating. My meals are a celebration of my creativity and my recognition of what I deserve – true nourishment.

New Year, New You? That’s Not What It’s About

For the last few years, I begin my year with a numerology reading. I am an 11, and most of my character is about deeper spiritual pursuits and enlightenment. No surprise there. 

Everyone asks what your New Year’s resolution is. When everyone else is setting goals about weight loss or fitness, spiritual people often set goals like being more present, doing sunrise yoga or switching from vegetarianism to raw foods. 

But, those types of resolutions, more politically or spiritually correctly relabled as intentions, are ways of recreating a more acceptable ego structure. That too must fall away. 

I have heard Adyashanti say that he sat on a bus bench, and told the universe he would accept anything the universe put in front of him that would help him achieve enlightenment. If that meant he would be rich and famous, so be it. If it meant he would be homeless and face challenges, so be it. No more conditions.- Huffington Post 

Could you do that? Could you completely accept what is with no conditions, no meaning, no judgements? I am poignantly aware that Neale Walsh and Byron Katie hit rock bottom as part of their turning point. 

 So how do you begin a New Year in alignment with Consciousness? I find the answer in these words:

“Once we come back to our Self, then whatever is created is happening not so much from a perspective of “What do I want?” but from a pure intention. Not an individual intention, not a collective intention, but the intention, the primal intention. It’s not an intention with a choice or a chooser. It’s a primary creative energy that comes from the Source.

When we really have returned to the Source, creation is no longer distorting itself through our wants or desires. That’s when we’re seeing, “What is? That’s what I want. What is actually happening? That’s what I desire.” And I’m no longer interested in creating anything, because I realize that everything, as it is, is what I always wanted it to be. It was always my intention; I just didn’t know it. I didn’t really want to manifest my individual intention, I wanted to come into the purity of intention itself.” – Adyashanti

Wow. What if I wanted exactly what is? How do I move into intentionality itself?

Ironically, despite everything I have said, moving into intentionality is my intention for 2017, for life. 

For A Thought: Justifying Fear

I am not really that political. I don’t volunteer for candidates at election time. I don’t vote for one party consistently.  I am more of a social leader. I challenge values like sexism, ageism (young and old), and support environmental issues, albeit inconsistently and not ascribing to any one movement.. Mostly I define myself as a humanist. 

Yet, as I watch the American election, one I cannot vote in as I am Canadian, I can easily get riled up. I feel compelled to challenge people to examine their beliefs and mental models. I feel compelled to do something to combat the insanity I see. 

How easy it is for us to begin to feel threatened and fearful over someone who doesn’t think as we do. How often do we see violence or murder, just for a thought that is different than our own? 

Consider Malala Yousafzai. As a young girl, Malala Yousafzai defied the Taliban in Pakistan and demanded that girls be allowed to receive an education. She was shot in the head by Taliban gunman in 2012, but survived and went on to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. (Wikipedia) Despite political violence, her stance is to promote non-violent dialogue and greater education.

“I started thinking about that, and I used to think that the Talib would come, and he would just kill me. But then I said, ‘If he comes, what would you do Malala?’ then I would reply to myself, ‘Malala, just take a shoe and hit him.’

But then I said, ‘If you hit a Talib with your shoe, then there would be no difference between you and the Talib. You must not treat others with cruelty and that much harshly, you must fight others but through peace and through dialogue and through education.’

Then I said I will tell him how important education is and that ‘I even want education for your children as well.’ And I will tell him, ‘That’s what I want to tell you, now do what you want.”  – Malala Yousafzai, I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliba

Just as relevant for all countries is this view:

“He believed that lack of education was the root of all of Pakistan’s problems. Ignorance allowed politicians to fool people and bad administrators to be re-elected.”  – Malala Yousafzai, I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban

More clearly than ever, this is an opportunity for awakening. Politics are a siren call for our highest collective consciousess to shine. Politics triggers our fears and unexplored ego issues.

When is it more clear than in politics for us to ask if what we believe is really true? When else are we more clearly called to live our values? When else do we as individuals show as clear an image of how easily we become fundamentalists?

And we do it all for a thought.

A thought.

Thoughts change. Thoughts are ego chatter. Thoughts are lenses that obscure reality.

And for a thought, we allow violence in our words and actions. We allow violence in our energy field.

Today, ask yourself what happens when you believe your thoughts. Who would you be without those thoughts? What would change in the world?

Dancing in Starlight in a Capricorn Moon

“This is crazy,” I thought, as I left my bed. It was so late it was early, as Shakespeare said. I was answering some tug on my soul.  

I quietly went on my back deck,  careful not to let any of my pets slip past me. But unlike me, they were not crazy. They were still asleep. 

I stood listening to the wind in my poplar tree. I had been discussing it’s inevitable removal with an arborist today.  But tonight, it was alive with whispers. 

A soft rain fell. When I was under the tree, it protected me from being soaked. Instead, I was gently sprayed, as if I were standing on the ocean’s edge at night. 

“Come play,” whispered the tree. “Yes,” teased the raindrops, “Dance with us.”

“This is crazy,” I muttered a second time. I was recovering from a back injury. I needed sleep for work tomorrow.  I needed…

…to dance in the rain. I needed to feel the wind in all its wildness. I needed starlight.  I needed to answer the pull of the Capricorn moon. 

“I will pay for this tomorrow, ” my mind tried one last futile attempt to push me back to bed. 

“Maybe…or maybe I have paid for sensibility too long. Maybe it’s time to follow my soul when it longs for something. ”

And I sang softly. I sang to the coaxing tree and to the silken grass under my bare feet.  I sang to the moon and the stars. I sang my freedom and peace.

I used to  wake and sit alone in my living room at midnight feeling unfulfilled longings. No more. 

Honoring My Commitment To Me

image

When you are committed,  you will do whatever it takes…

To what am I truly committed?

I beat my self up regularly for dropping yet one more commitment: yoga class, spiritual community opportunity, dinner with a friend, Skype with my kula mate…

And yet, I am responsible at work and with my family when it comes to my commitments.  I brought my ill child to a workshop I was teaching and cared for her there rather than cancel it for the participants. So, the issue is not my ability to follow through on a commitment.

I recently read that there are two reasons people don’t honor commitments:  Poor decision-making skills leading up to the commitment and an effective process for following through on the commitment. Since I can demonstrate that I have effective skills in following through, it must mean that my skills in deciding on what I will commit to must be questioned.

I love the opening quotation as I believe I have confused being interested in something with being committed to it.  I am interested in many things, and will participate when it is convenient.  In doing so, and opting out, I am honoring my commitment to me and my need for balance.

To what am I truly committed?

I am committed to me. I am committed to those I love. I am committed to my spiritual path.

I am interested in everything else.