Judith Orloff, Theodore Roosevelt and David Bowie

October 16th, 2014

The cave dweller, ego creature covered in the unkempt hair of despair has needed care. Sometimes I say, “I was raised by wolves,” because it is kinder to those who have to listen to me than for me to unload my story.

The most effective tool that has helped to deal with the squint- eyed dark dwelling drama beast,  was reading. I was drawn to it as if I intuited that books, narratives, biographies could show me a way out.

As a teenager, I stacked books against my chest and lengthened my arms so I could get them all home. Biographies of pioneer girls who had shown inordinate courage in the face of a hostile land; stories of great female role models like Marie Curie and Golda Meir fell into my out stretched hands. Sacagawea was perfect for a 6th grade girl living in the Columbia River Gorge. The history of Lewis and Clark surrounded us. I found role models that were focused, strong, reliable, dedicated to solving problems.

Golda Meir, Prime Minister, Israel

Golda Meir, Prime Minister, Israel

Who knows, in life, what is cause and what is effect? The books and I found one another.

At times when life was challenging, I had my cupboard full of role models and I could imagine myself to be the teen aged girl reloading rifles in the besieged fort, increasing the morale of those around me until help would arrive. I was drawn to extraordinary female power of one sort or another. And it helped me survive all of the stories my ego creature could possibly hiss to me.

Lately, I noticed that the books I am reading, the documentaries I watch all seem to build an architectural form of a lesson.

 

Judith Orloff, psychiatrist, intuitive, author

Judith Orloff, psychiatrist, intuitive, author

Judith Orloff is a psychiatrist with unblemished medical credentials who is also psychic. She has “come out” and lets the world know that her intuitive powers are one of her tools. Her success as a writer, teacher, lecturer and a doctor are based on her ability to be authentic and straight forward.

I love it when she says she is suspicious of those who waft about in robes waving wands while sprinkling pixie dust. One does not need to be unbalanced or a showman to be intuitive. We all have it. The work in life is to maintain balance. Her books speak to me of how to grow the intuitive gifts I already have and at the same time maintain my love of calm, cleanliness, solitude and order.

Doris Kerns Goodwin’s beautifully written Bully Pulpit allowed me to be encouraged about my life. Theodore Roosevelt was very sickly as a boy but he decided to make himself strong. His father built a gym in the family home and Theodore worked assiduously on building himself up to radiant health. He read on average of a book a day because he was constantly curious and drawn to a path of self improvement. But it was not a harsh regime. He was just mesmerized by life and let his joy lead him. At one point, Goodwin explains that Theodore was undertaking a new disciple. I believe it was sword fighting. He was abysmally bad at it for years. He was wretched at it for years. And yet he kept going until he became skilled.

Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt

I thought of how quickly I become discouraged and close the door if I do not immediately succeed at a new task. I am short changing my future self.

This evening I watched a documentary about David Bowie who was told in the 60′s that he was too quirky and outsider to ever have a career. The music and the idea that was so clear in his head drowned out the voices of those who criticized him. He had a sense of what he wanted to be, to say. In an interview, he said that the way he was that day was David Bowie, but he was moving toward becoming “myself.”

David Bowie

David Bowie

So the recent teachers have reiterated to me that those around you can feed back to you the limiting self concepts that they are locked within. They may say, “You can’t be psychic. It is too weird and you won’t be respected.” They perhaps will hold up the mirror of disability and illness to lock you into that model of yourself. The critics and the specialists and the keepers of the scrolls may chant to you that you are too unusual or out of step.

But the glory of these three people who are so different from one another is that they pursued the imprint of who they knew themselves to be. They stepped out and exposed the power of publicly becoming so strong in authenticity that they have inspired me.

The ego has weakened its negative hold on me when I surround myself with others who did not chose the victim path; the lesser, the safer and the more disasterous path. And, finally, if we are going to choose a life to enable us to fit in….why not fit in to our own bodies with health, fit into our own spirits by honoring the inspirations, fit into our own truth by taking the risk to stand up in our endowment. Let it shine out.

Believe in Yourself

Believe in Yourself

Life becomes less crowded when the ego is quiet and the voices feeding back a smaller life are stilled. There is only you, the joy that calls to you and the excitement of finding out who you are. Thank you Judith, Theodore and David!

Yielding to Autumn

August 28th, 2014

sky lifts

My teachers, my readings bang the rhythmic message, the beats of the restrictions of attachment. I see a hand grabbing a string pulled through to cut the flesh. I see a hand reaching to the wire fence of periphery which clearly defines the territory of now and this and what is known, sustaining injury as the plane of time and habit tilt.

At times I see myself as a moth trapped in a jar. The space inside has all that needs to sustain me. Nothing is missing for continuance of all that now is. And yet I fly into the glass trying to get beyond these limits.

It is strange that being human, riding in the body is a state of such conflict. The summer is fading. A few leaves on the giant Maple tree which stands sentinel outside my bedroom window have died back. They are shriveled beige paper.

I want change. I yearn for a more exciting life, a more stimulating life, a life filled with more opportunities to step into my power supported by my tribe.

And yet I mourn the season’s change. I mourn the end of the ease of bodies walking loose in the heat. I resist the shrouding of people, the winter entombing of my neighbours, the withdrawal into a time of low, colorless light.

bench 2

The conflict of the figures of desire and release step around one another like bodies in a Baroque dance. The struggle between keeping the smallness of the simple and expanding into a larger field of energy is an illusion. I know that whenever I get to either/or thinking I am trapped. I am in a blind alley. I took a wrong turn.

And so I desire change and grieve change. The work is to stop the Baroque dance and sit. If I can yield to that which is and that which is, I am no longer trapped by my circumstances or by my reactions to my circumstances.

I bend my head to autumn but in my heart there burns a summer ferocity that is looking for a way to shine. There is no either/or, no two dimensions. All is all. I make my way the best I can.

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And so I watch the flowers fade, the sun turned down, the clouds coming to hunker down over the valley graying out the sky. I am working at releasing my attachment to the unkept promises of summer, the hopes to find a way to a larger life.

I yield to Autumn.

Kryon, Gregg Braden and Bruce Lipton speak at Mount Shasta

July 21st, 2014

IMG_7447

The message beneath the mountain from these three powerful presences was heartening. I will begin backwards with the summary of what they had to teach their audience.
1. Do what it takes to get out of survival mode.
2. Trust yourself then trust others because they are you.
3. See everything.
4. Relax into it.
5. Expect answers.
6. The universe is helping you right now, in this moment.
7. Be honest with yourself.

columbine

Those who take the upper path end up nowhere, according to mythology. The easy path that appears to bring reward is a dead end. It is by knowing oneself, by the capacity to embrace uncertainty that resilience is achieved. The two structures are: comfort, greed and profit or love, strength and balance.

The biology is stress was explained. Recently, I listened to an Ideas program about the effect of stress as having the resultant lowering of IQ as its outcome. The conference introduced these new studies to the audience. Believing in a competitive, frightening world makes it less possible for an individual or a group to move out of survival mode. Survival mode insures that you will not bring a strong mind to your problems.

The magical feeling in the room of close to 700 people was palpable when Kryon channeled that there was “no going back. It cannot be stopped.”

Humanity is now on the fast track to a more conscious and spiritual relationship with the earth and with one another.
There was a time when human kind could stop the earth. There was a time when man could destroy his home. There was a time when the end game was in sight. But Kryon spoke about how the collective awareness has grown so strongly that we have moved beyond that disaster scenario. The sense of being awake is spreading. The feeling of hopeless sleep walking is done for so many that we cannot go back. The knowing that we are here to move out of competitiveness and into compassion is so strong that we cannot be stopped.

I felt such a rush of hope, such an eruption of high heart energy that I dissolved into it. To hold the faith that we can hold the faith was like having someone hand each of us a heart torch that we could carry with us out into our lives.

believe

Bruce Lipton was magnificent. He spoke with flashing energy about allowing the limbic, unconscious mind which is active 95 % of the time choose our reactions and our actions. The conscious, higher mind is only operative 5% of the time. His recommendation was that audience members practice observation of self.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGi8KFraN-U

I was very impressed with his vitality, excitement and sense of purpose as he spoke. He lit up the stage.

Gregg Braden took us through an exercise of how it feels to be in a high heart state so that we could use the ability to “plug in” empathy and love when we meet people. My reading of Tonglin practice and my teaching in compassion practice from our local Buddhist monk, Sandon, gave me an understanding of how effective the practice is. Standing in a room of hundreds of people going into compassion mode was absolutely magical. The energy in the room shifted and became so infused with calm and light that it ran through everyone there.

Gegg Bradon brings a sense of person to person to his presentations. He is so approachable, relaxed and centered that his information comes from a place of genuine caring about others.

All in all, I felt these three presenters did much to remind me of the path I have set out upon in the last five years. The sense that there is a change in the air; there is a place for the open and authentic to dwell; there is a basic electrical field of love through us, around us and enlivening all of us was what I came away with.

Sometimes all of the reading, Shamanic retreats, vision quests and facing demons results in a moment of clarity. I am thankful for having attended the conference not for any new information which I experienced but rather for the sense of having learned chords and patterns. It was at the conference that I heard the music of the lessons.

Kryon, Bruce Lipton and Gregg Braden

July 4th, 2014

I left my fairy tale bungalow with the roses blooming surround to visit Mount Shasta and Crater Lake recently.

crater lake 6

A friend informed me that this area was a highly spiritual place for native Indians.

Standing at the teetering edge of Crater Lake is hyper real. The blues are reminiscent of 1950′s technicolored film scenes. The whites are unearthly floating in lazer blue water and sky. The contrast between the tranquility of the scene and the violence which created this high vibration sight is jarring. Even today, Native Indians and New Age mystics come to interact with the deepest water lake in North America.

crater lake 13

My friend, Laura and I stood on the dark rock at the edge. She turned to me and said, “The last time I came here was about twenty years ago on my honeymoon.”

I smiled and looked down at the bottomless water holding sky. “The last time I came here was about twenty years ago on my honeymoon.”

We were both quiet. I searched around inside my body closet for emotions… wondering if I would hit a monster memory or a little demon pain and was finding only calm. I felt good. I felt so opened up and enveloped by the beauty before and beneath me. That was all.

Afterward, I went to the gift shop to buy a tee shirt. I would wear it as a victory emblem. I had not returned to Crater Lake. I was seeing it for the first time free of any past story.

crater lake tranquility from violence

When we arrived in Mount Shasta, our hostess told us her own narrative. We found our place to stay during the conference through the airbnb.com site. Chi is a Japanese. She is a Japanese concert pianist who moved to New York. During the summers she taught short courses at Mount Shasta but it called to her. She left her life in New York behind and moved without a place to live, without a job, without a clear purpose and alone.

shasta above us

One year and six months later she now lives in a house, teaches at nearby institutions, tours with local symphonies.She now has a large and luscious garden which she planted. She found a man who loves her and is her equal in skills, openness and gratitude for their new life. In eighteen months she created an entirely new way of being in the world.

Because she trusted herself, she grew.

When she first moved to Mount Shasta, there was a blizzard that shut down the town for weeks. Her friends in New York thought she was crazy. She thought she might be crazy. Now, She has made a new structured reality to live within and it is far better.

The conference itself was uneven. Some speakers were inspirational… but I always find that a waste of time. I brought my own sparkler spirit. I was inspired to travel, to spend money, to leave my house. Yep.

rainbow sun 2

I was so high school girl giggling in the back of the room when my new friend turned to me. We are both open notebook, furiously scribbling types of people.

“I haven’t got anything in my notebook. Did she say anything?” She said.

“You haven’t got anything in your notebook and I don’t have anything in my notebook because there is no content,” I replied.

She looked relieved as we both laughed.

So much of the conference was light on actual information. I felt like a sixth grader in a third grade class and my body was unused to sitting for such long periods of time. I stop to analyze my reaction. Am I wrong to feel this way? Is it ego to want to find those beautiful revelations of information that open a person up, that challenge a person’s mind?

I frequently get up and go outside to do some yoga poses and just stare at Mount Shasta. I am yearning to get up onto her pathways, to interact with the spirits purported to be on the mountainside.

Sitting in the dark room barely able to see my notebook, I still persisted in taking notes. As I read them scrawled like a insect trail over the pages, it is like reading from one possessed. I will share a few with you to be puzzled by along with me or to amuse you.

“My baby body cleaning me.
Calling the Elders to be with us.
The Telos beings are crying.
I give this day to all that is divine.
A big white puffy woman like a cloud.
Blah blah blah blah so far nothing. only her visions.”

We are asked to stand facing another participant. I am hit. I am hit hard in the chest. The woman I face appears to me as a severed tree broken off in a storm with no branches left. She is a sharp asymmetrical point. The trunk still lives but she has lost all her foliage. I lean into her and whisper, “It will be alright.” I am telling her the truth. She needs to hope and grow her branches back.

We repeat the exercise with another person and this time the woman I face is surrounded by blossoms. She is surrounded by beautiful, healthy, radiant flowers. I tell her. I say, “You have a blooming garden all around you.” She hugs me and quietly responds, “Thank you.” She knows exactly what I have seen. She knows.

The energy in the room from the 700 people is immense. Some are on walkers, some are large with despair, some are healers or lightworkers. Everyone wants to know how to be better at this, at this being alive, at this walking the earth. There are many, many who are here to find a key to the gate of hope.

Mount Shasta 2

One speaker talks about personality types and informs the audience of a web site with a test that will lead them to an analysis of their type. She delineated the types and the percentages of the population that are that mode of person. I know immediately from her description that I am a “reflector.” I am in the 1% of the population whose job is to stay outside. My job is to not join the groups. My job is to not follow others, participate in that which others feel is fun or entertaining. A reflector’s calling is to observe from the distant place and allow others to see who they are. By not becoming part of the social organism, we can remain sociological anthropologist. No question. Absolutely.

My notes at this point say: “Moss growing on a paper cutter blade.”

And then I write a poem about falling in love…. with myself.

to be continued. to be continued.

What am I? Why do I do that? Who do I want to be?

May 15th, 2014

The question of who I am comes to mind frequently. Brain studies indicate that much of the thought habits that fill my mind are left over scenarios of survival advice from the script of childhood. We are discovering that 90% of thoughts are from the limbic brain or the subconscious mind. Buddhist, Tao studies and scientific investigation reveals to us that much of the cellular memory has been constructed from the decisions of our ancestors. The society, the culture, the sub-culture, the familial culture all create our “impact geography” of structured self.

looking for self

looking for self

Where in the conflux of all of these elements is the place to stand? Where in the dynamic of conditioning, imprinting, inheritance is my soul space?

The question of who I am comes to mind frequently. And it is to be discovered, this continent of me, in the space between thought and the habit of action. As Eckhart Tolle explained, the pain body has a driving motivation. How fully we see ourselves depends on how quickly we understand the motivation of our own thoughts. To ask the question, “Why do you want to do that?” can give me time to be curious. To ask the question, “What is your body feeling right now? can give me the manner to connect to what emotions are being triggered.

The calm place between thought and action is how I find myself. It is how I discover and learn to love myself.

At the bottom of the well, if I stick my head way, way down with a flashlight, is fear. I will crust it over, armour it in anger. Because anger feels strong and because anger will protect me, I place anger in front of fear to protect it. But the problem is that I have now hidden my fear. It is in a costume. In the deepest part of the dark cave, is a scared being.

We yearn to love

We yearn to love

The problem with anger is that it gets in the way. When I feel angry, defensive, I have now put myself into a state where I cannot love. I cannot love others, but most harmful of all, I can no longer love myself. When we step out into the world gently, with no armour, with an authentic smile on our faces, our hearts feel big. We feel at home in the world.

The problem with anger is it masks the real problem of feeling unsafe. The frightened child is still hiding and now it feels even more unloveable.

touch technology detail 3

The abused child clings more tightly to the parent who is hurting him or her. Why is that? People say, “Oh that child is not abused, look how much the child holds on to the parent.” All children have one need that ensures survival and it is the driving hunger for bonding. An abused child is like a child starving or eating unsustaining food. He or she will eat more and more in the intention of being satisfied. In order to choose to remain in life, an infant must be able to love the parent. And so the child will make him or herself take on the responsibility for the relationship. It is not a weakness to choose to love the parent that damages or hurts you. It is a survival tactic.

The unprotected child chooses to feel shame for not being loveable. The hurt child self chooses anger in order not to feel fear. Being angry, means being unloveable. And now, the coping tactics that unmindful behavior establishes begin to become a source of shame.

We become ashamed that we cannot love, that we are hurt, that we are in defensive mode. And in order to anesthetize the shame we take action. The pain body tells us that we have to numb the sharp emotions, the dull hopeless emotions, the chaotic emotions, the dead end lost depression. The mind tells us stories as we take upon ourselves once again the guilt. The acting out to quell the shame becomes a bank account to which we make deposit with every additional act.

And so we are caught. We are caught in a confused place where nothing is working. But at the bottom of the well is fear.

The time between thought and action, the space between the mind’s dialogue and following instruction is where the magic lies. We can stop and go to the dark place. We can stop and pick up the terrified child and hold that child. We can say to the child, ” I know you are afraid. I know you are afraid you will die from the yearning in your heart to be loved. I know you are afraid you are not loveable. But I love you. You are safe with me. I will protect you.”

taking action without understanding can set us back

taking action without understanding can set us back

We can stop between the conditioned, DNA driven, family damaged story of desperation and survival and encourage ourselves to do what is our greatest desire. We can encourage ourselves to be loving. No matter what. It is safe to love. Others. Ourselves. It is safe.

Who am I? I have no idea yet. I am evolving.

Grief about Grief

March 26th, 2014

Recently, I have been dealing with the deep sadness of watching loved ones go through grief. The layers are many. First there is the loss of my own expectations of seeing that sweet person filled with joy through the promises to come.

the romance of desolation draws the broken to it

the romance of desolation draws the broken to it

The “supposed to” and “It is your job to” also comes into it as well. We break upon the rocks of expectation so frequently. What we want most in life is to see those we raise and nurture to step confidently into life. What we want most is for those we have brought into the world to be somehow safe from the bruising of reality, restriction and restlessness. And death. How do we protect them from death and loss?

winter limbs

Yesterday, was a heavy day when the end of a dream came to my family member. I found that I could not manage doing much. My mind constantly went back to allowing. “Just allow yourself to feel sad,” I would say. “Just allow the dark heart to be.” I would occasionally breathe out slow releasing the tension from my body.

But the other layers came into play as always. The ego is so good at creating a mummified creature by wrapping layers of narrative around and around an already distressing event. The stories of failure, mine, theirs, his, its, the world’s, the universe’s just kept wrapping around me. Then came the swaddling of future narratives…. life is so sad that this will happen, and this, and this.

The inside of my Dark Knight Rises mind movie lead me to just crawl into bed. I prayed. I did some deep breathing but the parasite fear was so firmly attached that I could do nothing but be with it.

I thought about death. I thought about the time I had lost half of the blood in my body and floated above the hospital recovery room to hear a nurse screaming about somebody being gone and a doctor rushing over. I thought about spinning around on the Coquihalla with the sides of the car being crushed in first on one side of the highway and then the other as a semi truck was weaving behind trying not to end lives. I thought about my cancer operations and the feeling of waking up every morning to the realization that I might die soon.

I thought about the friends and family who have passed. So many of those I have loved, who were part of the holographic identity of myself that I had constructed, are in spirit now.

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And the grief. The grief of being in a body. The grief of others who cannot help their loved ones no matter how much they wish to reach out and take that burden upon themselves. The overwhelming sadness of knowing that inevitably the price of being alive is to experience the multitudinous ways in which we are limited by our own belief systems about what it is to be alive.

Finally, I thought of how each of us deserves comfort. Each of us deserves arms that will wrap around the body that we walk around in; the body that delights us; the body that condemns us. The warmth of being held for all we are, for all of our failures, all of our un-enlighted moments, all of our inability to go beyond our own limitations of thought. Just held in love.

It is the only way to make sense of this lesson of life and grief and death: that there is, finally, love.

I slept with my arms around sadness
I slept with my arms around grief.
I lay down with prayers for my loved ones
finding, words spoken in darkness
finding, a way to believe.

Creating a self

February 27th, 2014

Creativity is a phenomenon whereby something new and valuable is created (such as an idea, a joke, an artistic or literary work, a painting or musical composition, a solution, an invention or a etc.). I would add, or a self.

drink

I am a story and a chapter and a line and a word and a letter and a gesture of pen upon paper.

Most of my DNA is masked but the hidden parts map like the rhythm of language.

Science cannot understand the human blueprint.

I am static and moving and inert and dynamic and fierce and frightened.
90% of all of my thoughts are replayed stories of the old wars in old landscapes.

tulips in window 2

90% of all decisions are from the reptile brain which decides for me 7 seconds before it appears on the conscious screen.

Is my soul reborn, is my personality reborn, are my reactions causing the action?

Am I part of my body, riding in my body, above my body?
Whose voice do I hear?

Who speaks to me?

Is this a lesson?

Where is the centre? Where is the fullness? Where am I?

I reached for the wall in the hospital because I saw a polar bear.
I was a toddler. I did not know why I saw this creature.

We revise our histories. We go back and play a scene again with subtext script.
We color it in, give it a sound track, interpret it for the audience of self.

Was the bear a guardian spirit? A hallucination?
How am I to know without rewriting the story?

Within the lies of anxiety that we listen to like siren calls there lies a place. It can be reached. It is what Deluk the Buddhist nun told me is “the garden”.

It is in the centre. It is in the centre of the past, the present, the future. It is full of no time time.What happens in this garden is magic. What happens in this garden is no time time. It is no story, no narrative, no question.

My story, my childhood was violent, threatening, chaotic. I was taught fear. I was taught to fear the environment, to fear death, to fear to speak, to fear all formulations of what I was.

My confusion did not help creativity. Neurosis does not help creativity. The lizard brain is not creative, it is looking to survive.

lamp shade abstract

So how did I find myself. Here. Sometimes sitting in the garden of no self. I have learned to watch my mind. I have learned to know when I am being 6 or 10 or 15. I have learned to embrace the shadow self. And for all of these incarnations which appear I have learned to follow Thich Nhat Han’s advice and sit with them. I sit with whatever is presenting like one would sit with a baby. I hold it. I comfort it. I come home to myself.

And since I have come home to myself, I am clear. I am clear in what I say. I am clear in my art.

We are all given gifts. Much as the Fairies in fables show up at the birth. They stand next to the baby and they bring gifts. The universe has given you gifts. When you are no longer afraid, when you are no longer letting your lizard brain tell you the story, when you are no longer letting your past create the hologram of your present you simply use your gifts. It is easy. It is what we are here to do. Without ego, self judgement, without waiting for applause or condemnation, we just use our gifts.

Be curious, transform

Be curious, transform

And that is when we truly come home to self. We sit in the garden and blossom. It is why we are here.

What is the Proximity Myth?

February 17th, 2014

The holding in place a space
my body inhabits so solid this anchoring self.
I am an animal of culture and inculcation.
The impact geography of my childhood,
my alliances, my institutional experiences
sometime trap.

upcoming poetry readings

upcoming poetry readings

I saw the Tom Cruise film recently called OBLIVION and it gave me pause.

First, yes Tom’s various manifestations as characters in movies are all just a clone of himself. So many exact reproductions of the hyper-kinetic energy of his personality invested with a script build around it and differing costumes are given an enscripted name.

Next I moved my mind over to the idea that always draws me. I am amazed at how much I dwell in simple three dimensional feed back, tethered to a reality construct that I cannot release.

We are a reflection of reflections. Either cultural or of the mind.

We are a reflection of reflections. Either cultural or of the mind.

My whispering Ate spirit is my constant companion. She tells me things that keep me imprisoned.

One of the spells she weaves is of proximity. “You are better off submitting to local galleries,” she tells me. “You will find a love who lives close to you.” “You will achieve the artistic power you deserve by reading poetry locally, by submitting writing locally.”

Even after reading dozens of books and articles about Quantam Physics and the illusion of competition; even after taking classes in science of mind for two years; even after my four Shamanic retreats and daily meditation my mind locks onto appropinquity, juxtaposition, contiguousness, adjacency.

the romance of desolation draws the broken to it

the romance of desolation draws the broken to it

The surface terrain tells us that having a lottery ticket one number out from the big win means we are close. It translates to interior self talk that someone in a black Toyota dying on the highway means one must be careful when driving his or her Toyota on that same highway.

There is so much primitive grief embedded in the concept of nearly real. If it is next to me, it is more likely.

Lately I have been working with my attachment to the Proximity Myth.

There is another dynamic which is arising. However deeply I feel something, however far into my body, my essence, my heart, my imagination the more likely that energy is to manifest in my life.

So standing next to someone who seems to hit the jackpot is not the answer. Neither is it the answer to believe that a local gallery is more likely to appreciate what I create. Locality is not reality.

finding the bright steady centre

finding the bright steady centre

My work is to see my mind bind and start cutting the threads. When do I stand up fully in who I am? The work is now, for me in this time, to find the work. The work is now, for me in this time, to use discipline and reckless abandon equally and trust that I do not need to see the road to travel upon it.

Gumball
slot machine world
take a chance.
If I can touch the thing
and find the slot
Bingo baby
Payout
filling both my hands.

What lies between Boredom and Chaos?

January 30th, 2014

Flour sifting snow is falling so fine it clings to tree limbs. Their black emphatic death outline against the white gray sky is etched again by the vibrant reflected pearly layer.

snow trees 3 thumb sharp

And I have carried within me my own hibernation mind. “Soon,” I keep thinking, “soon my life will begin.”

The habits of patterns of hypnotic reformation that I experienced in my past keep me recyling, recircling when I seek drama, when I move into despair.

My growth place is when I feel boundless. So often these past months, I feel as if I am not body, or past, or narrative but just this now.

I am curious about who I am if I am not a reiteration. Who am I if I am not a montage of past pictures, glued ticket stubs, marriage certificates, death certificates, scars and stories?

Somewhere on the landscape design, is a creation. Somewhere in the molded clay self is a new construct.

I watch my mind and know and see.

There is boredom. As I get out of bed, it feels repressive, dull, predictable, lonely. There is a hardness to the shape of the day. It appears to be unbending to my will. It is a maze that I enter already knowing which turns to take to get me to the end.

My adrenal glands will not kick in. My workaholic buzz will give me no relief that day, or those days, or that week. It is so safe and bland. Thirty years in the same valley. Twenty years in the same house. A twelve page resume of art shows, publications, degrees earned seems like reading some stranger’s life.

too much can never be the sky

too much can never be the sky

And then I think, there are others who have done less and have more to show. There are others who stand taller on fewer attempts. The collapsing back to “oh well” becomes the strategy when I am projecting this flat, lifeless prairie vision.

I think of the times of chaos with envy. Until I get there. White water rafting down the week of poetry readings, deadlines, renters coming anew every two days leaves me looking ahead for calmer times. “This is too much,” I say to myself. That is when I let the “old” script play out. Climbing the side of the house touching up the paint on the second story; lugging rocks across the yard; or digging turf hurriedly before the next clock tick event, I hear my mind whimpering, “too much, out of control, you haven’t done the dishes yet.”

There are some studies which show the prevalent personality of poets is manic depressive. I do know I swing these days. I do know I am content for weeks on end.

But I cycle into the pollution of depression and gray days. Even on a day where the world is reflected light from the snow scape, I fall.

Watching my mind is such a gift for me, because I see. I see that the pre recorded message is at play. I see that my ancient, unconscious being lives between two states. One is the land of Boredom and the other is Chaos.

the darkness and the light are entire

the darkness and the light are entire

What if it is neither? What if I have reached a place where I am sheltered by my home; I have worked hard and long to teach myself routine and discipline; I have earned the times of peace?

What if working hard by itself does not achieve a goal but rather holding the goal close with a calm state of mind allows me to make the right move at the right time?

What if times of growth, times of incoming exciting events are not a threat? What if times of opportunities and passion and taking chances are the times of breaking up the field?

The mind is so often just plain wrong. Hearing only two notes does not mean we hear the melody. To see the seeker falling from grace is a gift.

To see the child like snuffling in the dark when all she has to do is open up her eyes, is a revelation.

What if life was simply more than a state of Boredom or a state of Chaos?

What if I stopped labeling what I think I see and just start living? I could walk into a new land for which I hold no diminishing language.

Be curious, transform

Be curious, transform

I know this is where true power lies: What if?

#The Deals I Make with Myself

January 10th, 2014

I am a hustler, a con woman, a sting expert. I am here to confess.

In my heart, burned into my soul is the desire to be in a position whereby I can help many, many people. How do I do that? My spirit keeps telling me to ,”Go big or go home.”

Poetry performance breaks the barriers of self to connect beyond.

Poetry performance breaks the barriers of self to connect beyond.

So I go home. I clean up. I give away unused things. I repair that which is not working. I sharpen all of my eyebrow pencils. I lay flat under the bed on my belly like some rifle sniping expert lining up a shot to make sure I got all of the dust.

Recently, I repaired the seat belt on the driver’s side which protects me after I made a challenging road trip. That belt has never, ever worked since I bought the car five years ago. It pretended to work. It latched. But it would not flex/snap back into place.

I repainted the wall behind the bathtub which is being eaten away by water a bit. And then I made lists. The shirts in the drawers hold a rave in the darkness and when I open to the light, they fall into a tangle of confusion. They must be disciplined.

I must be disciplined.

I must be focused. Working out four to five days a week; keeping the house clean and zen-like; maintaining meditation practice are the central support for holding my place in the world.

But I always fall short. My dissatisfied ego monster is continually disappointed with me. The yearning for a love, a mate, a partner comes up in my center meridian spilling into my throat like choked off air and ends with tears filling my eyes.

Today as I was sitting meditation, I received a knowing that I have been alone many, many lifetimes. I have been valiant, independent, withdrawn unless called upon to fight for others. The pain is not new.

Within the time I dwell in; in the silence I sit in; in the stillness I participate in, I have had a few things revealed to me this new month in this new year in this new phase of who I am.

I made deals. It is very like a child who does not want to go to visit the kissy crushing aunt. I cling to my threshold and barter. Yes, I want to go out and stand on a stage and speak out. I want my voice to move others to look within, to open the dark attic or cellar door and have the courage to see what truths are trapped there disguised as monsters.

But I have tee shirts to roll into tidy forms, lined up by color and length of sleeve. I have computer files that are scattered, unlabeled and clogging up my Mac. I have toe nails to clip, teeth to floss, white trim around the door to repaint.

See, if I stay home and if I am a very, very good girl I am accomplishing something.

I recently read in the book The Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot that a chair is just a vortex of neurosis. The particles are locked into a pattern of movement that creates what appears to be a chair. My body hair stood up, yep all of it at once. So my repeated, circling behaviors are simply a vortex of neurosis which formulates Cherie Hanson? I repeat this limitations ritually, circling tight the patterns predictable.

How do I get wise to the trickster self? How do I break out of the template’s designs which have kept me camoflaged and unseen? I have been hidden even from self so that I could maintain the momentum of the past self.

Grounding in order to grow

Grounding in order to grow

Watching the mind, comes back as the answer. When am I refusing to do that which would break me out of old patterns out of the fear that I may become something else? When do I set out on the ocean in my kayak, knowing I will discover new lands? Is it now? Or do I need to push back my cuticles.

What tightens habit’s hold on me is the memory of two parents who were out of control. The chaos, mental illness and unpredictable violence coupled with unethical behavior were constant elements of my childhood environment. Yes some of my attention to my environment is based on that history. However, I also know that my inborn personality, my welcoming in of that which feels right and correct has lead me to “cleaning up” my home, my life and my habits. It is a natural predilection.

So balance is the answer. The question that can unlock more freedom for me in the future is : “Why do you want to do this?” Sometimes I cannot answer. Sometimes my OCD is so strong that the action or lack of action becomes a compulsion. Hold that thought in your mind for a moment. Lack of action can become a compulsion.

As I awaken to the shell game I play with myself, I also find reasons to celebrate. The central question of identifying with a construct postulated from past experience and past protective choices is being unearthed. I feel like I am on an archeological dig and the bones I am unearthing are those of self, the shape of self, the history of self. From my perspective, this includes past lives, my soul identity and my potential.

Before Christmas I attempted to purchase a Greyhound ticket for the 18 to 22 hour ride to see my daughter’s family in Houston, B.C. “Sold out,” the Greyhound screen informed me. So I sat with it. First I could choose not to go. But that hurt me. I could feel that the choice to not connect to my grand daughters, my daughter and her husband would send me reeling into pain over the holidays. Okay, so that choice does not protect me. Secondly, I could drive.

Strangely far away, I heard that fear-flailing voice telling me I was “too old”. Then I thought of my experience of driving across the flaming flatlands in Montana, Wyoming and into the wind torrented hills of Colorado two years ago. I drove four thousand kilometers alone on a road I did not know through hazardous conditions. I was up to that task.

I sat with it and asked to feel if there were any blocks. Like a blind person feeling around in an unknown room, I have a practice of sitting quietly and feeling “it” out. No messages came. No blocks appeared. Safety was all I felt. And so I set out.

The fact that I had taken a “risk” two years ago laid the ground work for my driving 18 hours up and 16 continuous hours back from Houston, B.C. The blizzardous whiteouts; the sight of a rig and a logging truck violently hurled off of the highway; the realization that the line of rigs coming at me were in my lane and the lane I should have been in was filled with the white eyes of cars almost obstructed from vision did not frighten me. I was calm because I had the experience of driving alone in a challenging manner to act as the foundation. I was calm because I had felt no doubt. The thought that I could die did not scare me. I resided.

To shine with the gits we are given

To shine with the gits we are given

My expedition was to connect with loved ones and to connect with my larger self.

The point I have reached in my journey, my adventure of life, on the unmapped road is that I see where my “navigator” has taken me. The realization that I make deals with myself to stay small and safe has been so brightly illuminating that it makes my eyes sparkle.

On New Years Eve I went out to a local casino where my choir directors were singing. The people in the space were very, very gray. Their skin was gray, their clothing was gray. Two were on oxygen tanks. Their bone mass was a problem as their backbones formed question marks about where they fit into life. They wanted to win but had sidelined themselves.

One woman came up to me and said, “Look in your purse. Look in your purse. Look in your purse.”

I said to the three friends I had chanced upon (sorry for the play on words), “Oh someone has given me a gift.”
Feeling around in my purse for the surprise, the unlooked for treasure, was futile.

Bending forward and narrowing her eyes, the woman said, “They took it out of your purse.” She gestured with her head towards the beautiful, vibrant women surrounding me.

Her life script was that of competition and loss. At that moment she projected on to me her victimhood. There were winners and losers. There were thieves and patsies. She had made a deal with herself that she would keep on the know, well-worn path of conflict.

I understood. I saw the entire contract that she had authored, signed and intended to keep until her ceasing to exist.

But who was I? In that place of loss and sadness; in that place of quelling pain with alcohol and gambling; in that place of restricted movement, tethered to an oxygen tank or a trance inducting machine or to alcohol, I got up alone and I danced. I danced through my fear. I danced through the sense that others might judge me. I danced through the anxiety that people would think me “out of control, crazy, weird.” I stayed in the music, drank water only and smiled at other women beckoning them up to join me. Come celebrate having a body, being incorporate, hearing beautiful music, and moving as God moves through us. Come celebrate the energy of expression. Release the tight game of “I am”. Release the tight patterns of circling neurosis of “this is all I can be.”

And so I drove through blizzards in which people died. And so I danced alone within a circle of ashen, frightened people. And so I stand on stage and perform my poetry.

Sitting meditation I watch myself, I watch the deals I make with myself to avoid passion and growth. But I trust that all will be well.

I will have a tidy house, floss my teeth, drink enough water and remain always, always kind. I can be more, bigger, allowing the power of the gifts to flow through me without loosing my core.

The frightened child must be comforted and lead into the blizzard obscured road, if I am to move beyond the vortex of repeated neurotic patterns. Maybe I am not a chair, maybe I am a giant fifty year old Maple tree that can stand in every wind, branches twisting and know the roots are safely in the earth which holds me in love.