Illusory Dreams

I have a dream journal next to my bed but it has very little written in it. Most mornings I wake up with a sense that I have been in another place; visiting another time and it feels like whatever structure I have been inhabiting while I have been asleep was crowded with other souls or beings.
I try to grab onto the tail bit of the dream cape as it exits my awareness. Sometimes, it is like a detective story and I hold only a sheered off strip of fabric of the dream caught on the thorny entry way to day light.
Almost always, I feel as if I have been in a busy place and there has been much information passing between those who have gathered there. These beings or souls or creatures are on purpose: This I know.
Recently I remembered as I woke up that there were over 200 people who had come to where I stood. They were hurt, anxious, depressed, confused. And I knew that I was to find a way to help them. That I could find a way to help them.
The original 200 stood quietly in the architecture of space of that particular dream, but others were pushing into the classically structured semi-cave ampitheatre.
I had to ask two helpers to stand at the door way and keep the winding lines of new comers from entering the already filled space. There were too many. There were too many levels of injury to ameliorate at once.
Sadness along with a clear feeling of necessity was still upon me as I woke up.

The land of dreams
There was only enough time, space and energy for those who first came to learn something.
And then two nights ago, I awoke with numbers in my head. I knew that during my dream, I had gathered a group of 86 women who reported only being happy 10% of the time in their lives.
I was immediately suspicious. I don’t do maths. Even the word maths seems specious. I can barely add, let alone fly among the tree hanging vines of more sophisticated enumeration shifting from one to another.

 
My attitude towards my dreams is something I am working out. Are they messages? Are they astral travel? Are they memories of past life times? Are they echoes or are they callings?
I don’t know. Right now, I am just trying to allow them to stay with me long enough so I can catch a glimpse of them. Their purpose remains a mystery to be solved.

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The “savings” account.

carrying shadowsI read in one of the many how to save your marriage books, while I was still hopeful, some interesting advice. (Obviously the methodology requires two so THAT didn’t work.) The coach-therapist suggested that the couple store up good feelings so that they could draw on them when it was necessary in times of stormy weather.
Coupled with my reading on discipline fatigue, I was thinking about designing a life strategy. As I did my daily five loads of laundry, hanging the purple sheet, I thought of how edgy and irritable I get when I stick to my check list, and work with a total focus on building new habits.
I kick like a four year old… “don’t want to”. The promise land of supportive habits is mapped out on my giant calendar check list pasted above my reading chair.
“But what happens when I am just plain tired of making myself do better, be better, push for bigger goals,” I thought as I hung the golden colored bed sheet.
It was then it hit me. I have a less than peaceful relationship with myself. There is tension between me, myself and I.

Basically, she is always dissatisfied and reaching for more. I make a plan… and the vast stretch of the day with undulating hours like some ocean or desert spreads before me. I am both overwhelmed and bored..
“What I need,” I advised myself, “what I need is more treasure in my treasure chest of good feelings.”
Bingo, bazat. There it is. That could help my primary relationship.
Instead of only allowing myself a beggar’s hoard of joyous moments, what if I went after them with intention in order to help out when I was just so done.

Saving positive moments

Saving positive moments

“But not just indulgences, “I remind myself. “You need to stick to the habit building plan.

I stood back and looked at the purple, golden, yellow and hot pink sheets waving on the line. Beautiful. So simply beautiful. I start with that image. I start now.

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Summer no beach

So arrest me, already. I went to the beach which is a 20 minute walk away one time this summer and I almost immediately regretted it.
The water was churned up by the flopping of bodies. The sand was searing. Mating rituals involving the showing of skin, the flexing of arms, the tossing of hair were enacted everywhere.

 

no beach

no beach

Mothers hobbled by little wagons, backpacks, carry bags were limping either toward or away from the radiant heated beach trying to set up what looked amazingly like a nomad’s village of plastic toys.
The only element that I found uplifting were the line of toddlers marking the tide line. They were intent on learning. Physics of dropping objects, trajectories, weight, force fascinated them. They are trying to understand the rules on the planet. They are intent, absorbed and innocent.
I thought about reading my ever present book; however, the sound of radios, family members screaming to one another important messages just created too much background static.
I sat for a while on the benches next to others wearing hats, long sleeved shirts who looked like the very beach toys that were so laboriously lugged to the water. Only we were all a little deflated. We were slightly hunched over in the 38 degree Celsius heat magnified by the sand and water.
I could barely hear my imprinting ego say, “But this is fun.”
“Oh just shut-up,” I thought.
I gathered my book, towel and sweated my way back to the car.
I have learned physics. There is no way I am going to seduce a mate to appear while posing in my bathing suit. And I just want to read my book.

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Where Am I Now?

Life for me has been such an experience of making progress, lurching forward and then falling back into old habits of thinking and action. Trying to be patient with the process is like everything else: Sometimes quite easy and at other times just a condemnation to some caves of Hell volcanic spewing in a limitless black pit.
Today, it was cooler which always causes a rise in my optimism. When it is 30 + Celsius I am like a Newfoundland dog locked in a room with no AC. I become dispirited, lacking the urge to run. I can push my self for a while in the morning and then I am just laid flat sweating out of the side of my face.

Cloud give relief

Cloud give relief

Always, my mind wants me to prove that I have been working toward my goals. Not one goal, six goals or nine goals. Too much, too fast gives me a high.
It is cooler today and so I can feel that there is something possible between the two walls of night. I awake and my thoughts turn to my goals again.
And then, and then comes the questioning: What is it that I am not asking?

 

Questioning in a Circle
Like a small bore drill, what repetitions of digging into the hard wood knot of my life are going on? I want to bite into something. I want to see something become easy and reward me for the tenacity of holding on. I want to sink into this new place of keeping a grip, of holding out.
And so I ask: What is it that I am not asking? What is it that I am not seeing?
But, as always, as I walk my guests to their car, it is the mundane that calls me. It is the next thing that engages my taking action. I stand bare foot, bare faced in the garden and pull out weeds that have grown in the garden bed. I load the dishwasher. I strip the bed and begin the laundry.
I turn my mind away from the grandiose promises I have made to myself. Soothingly, I murmur, “Patience. Go back to intention, woman.”

What Path?
And as I piled up the weeds along the walk way, I pile up the yearning and the frustrations and the sense of being outside. I rip out the old stories of not deserving, of being somehow inherently wrong. I tear out the old, habitual feelings about who I am as I move through the world.
I am right here, standing with slightly earth colored bare feet on the ground. And this now, this now is who I am. The questions, ultimately, are irrelevant. The day is cool. Time will pass. And each breath fills me up. I trust that I am growing, that what I cannot see is moving toward me. The questions, ultimately, are irrelevant.

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Hinges and Hindsight

When I shut the door to my garden shed, I noticed two of the four hinges are not firmly screwed into the wood. The seam in the plywood was opened and the screws just kind of float in the space between the sandwiched wood.

 

 

Yard of flowers
I push the door up and into place to close it. Every. Time. I close the door.
I know it is needing to be reseated. I know I need to take all of the screws out and find another place to establish a firm connection. And yet, I get out my screwdriver and simply sink the screws back into the space that is not working, where there is no grip, no security, no future.
This is life. The work-arounds are usually about not solving a problem. The small surrenders to that which is failing are a type of disbelief in self.
If I trace the weakness back to the source I see two statements which my ego uses to keep me in a state of competent dysfunction. There is no time. Right now I do not have the time.

 

chained to thoughts
Isn’t that rich. Isn’t that genius. “Right now I do not have the time.”
There is no time right now. There is only anxiety, pushing ahead, living in the future. Hoping as an antidote to doing.
There is no time right now. The ego is brilliant in its ability to distract me from growth.
The second seduction is the statement: You are too tired to take action.
This one leads me into the hours of entertainment addiction that goes on each night.
Ego says, “It is dark. You are now tired. You need to stop and just lay down.”
And so I walk away from the hinge having only temporarily, partially, incidentally made it functional. Later tonight, when I have finished my time anchored tasks it will be night. And “It is dark. You are now tired. Just lay down.” will start playing in my head.
How do we become unhinged? Because we allow it to happen, slowly, one decision at a time. The ego sings to us. It knows how to Infomercial hard sell to me a life of low grade, barely operating at competence level.
When we turn and look at our past, when we have hindsight, we can see the thousands of things that could have been prevented… if we had only had Time and were not Tired.
Maybe it is time to just reframe our concepts. We have time and we have a beautiful ever flowing energy if we stop dancing to egos tune, we can do a bigger, more effective dance. And maybe sing while we are doing it.

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The Dragonfly on the lock

One day recently, I stepped out onto my bubble gum pink front steps and turned automatically in order to push the lock button. It rests at the centre of the keypad. As I distractedly moved my finger into place, I felt something soft and structural against my finger tip.
I looked to see that a dragonfly had rested across the pad.

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It laid and stayed. It’s body was spread diagonally, organically contrasting with the metal plate. Quickly, I pulled my hand away and stopped my mind. I came to. I focused. I zapped into my body. I astral returned from whatever graphic novel scenario I had been sketching taking me out of my life.
In that moment, I was absolute. I stood on the bubble gum pink stairs and felt the bottom of my feet the strength of my legs; my being, my physicality, my existence, my particularly manifested form.

I stood and looked at the dragonfly and it waited for me.
It waited for me to return from my deadened walk, blind eyed, drooling idiocy, color commentary method of seeing life as some kind of game. I stood on the step with my finger lifted in the air and I remembered how the dragonfly felt to my touch.
I have never touched a dragonfly before. I am over 70 and I have never touched a dragonfly before.

 

Relax into life

Relax into life

I wonder how many new experiences I am having each day that I am not having. Because I do not see them, I do not see me.
The dragonfly waited for me. It was patient. And then my mind pulled focus, the 1st camera assistant did her job. How clear. The detail of its structure, its beauty, the iridescent wings were so clear. And for a moment, I forgot to breathe.
So many things have been stuck, broken, inhabited by technological gremlins lately that I have become resigned to the no progress scenario.
I sit meditation, chant, let the darkness of recycling doubt move through me. I have not been insistent. I pray for patience, I pray for guidance, I pray for a sign daily.
Today, a dragon fly laid across my door lock and would not move.
When I looked up the significance I learned it is a sign of mental and emotional maturity.

All of the careful reformation of my mind, my body, my resetting of intention in the world has been guided by something outside of me. I have trusted that I would find a way to live with more grace in the world.

 

signs of love

signs of love

Today, a dragon fly laid across my door lock and it would not move until I received it.
I am grateful. Thank you, beautiful messenger.

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Spring, #DemocracySpring, Spring into action

After days in the garden digging up the encroaching weeds and grass, pruning back terrifying thorny roses, holding the vibrating weed eater steady in my hands, I can stand back and view the newly cleaned out beds. Perhaps it is the farmer’s DNA in me from both sides of my family that sends me bolting out of the door barefoot and armed with shovel or rake. My mother’s people from West Yorkshire knew things about the land that I could only squint at. My grandmother and grandfather raised things, had many different types of honey labelled and stacked in the honey shed. The jars of preserves were in the cold cellar. And making do was something prideful.

 

Daffodil line up

Daffodil line up

My father’s people were Serbian. Even when my grandfather moved to a farm in Portland, Oregon which backed onto a rail line, Emile Covitch kept chickens, rabbits and a cow. His yard had trees that were spliced to maximize the variety given the space. One of the only pictures that was passed down to me of him, shows a stout, square man proudly holding a rope tied to his cow.

 

out the door

out the door

I have other projects, like the book about my trip to Europe which are waiting. But I can’t force myself to stay inside writing. I want to be painting new shining surfaces on my deck, on my fences. I want to be crouching over rearranging bricks into another sitting area.
My nails are broken off and perpetually rimmed in dirt. My feet are getting callouses because I garden mostly barefoot.

new hope

new hope

But I feel such a release of hope when I plant a garden.
It is exactly how I feel about Bernie Sander’s run for president and about the action of #DemocracySpring. There is a sense of escaping from out of the enclosure of sadness and futility that has surrounded so many for so long. I spend anywhere from 3 to 5 hours a day sharing good news about Bernie. Because I am of farmer stock. And I believe that seeds planted with care and optimism lead to a beautiful garden.

New hope

New hope

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Sisters at the Well

In 1997 when I visited Rome, I had a transformative, informative experience. In the center of one section of town there was a stone well. It was at the heart of the neighbourhood. And it was here that the women came together to work the stains, dust and dirt out of their family’s garments. It was here that women used the narrative woven by wagging tongues which maintained civil order. Women warned one another what would happen should the undisciplined urges be followed. A tongue lashing was not trivial.
Gossip is a powerful manner of structuring mores and habits which are the foundation of any society. The cultural threads that make the fabric of society were woven, mended and attended while the women worked together on their laundry.
Side by side, they rewarded or castigated certain forms of behavior. While a woman repeatedly rinsed, and twisted her husband’s clothes, she could hear what would happen if she dared to indulge the secret flirtation she felt toward another man.

The heart of the sisterhood, the public laundry.

The heart of the sisterhood, the public laundry.

Alliances were formed. Problems were worked out. Questions could be asked and answered by those with more life experience. The repetitive actions of the hands, arms and backs were strenuous and soothing. There was a place where connection was customary and expected.
Today, we have lost the power of the women at the well. All too frequently the closest we get to one another is via text or sitting without speaking next to another in a coffee shop.
Or it is an artificially arranged, special occasion when women plan a networking meeting for some pre determined goal. But the habit of the women meeting at the river or at the public laundry allowed for the comfort of contact in a way we no longer experience today.

 

women meeting at the river

women meeting at the river

Women do better in all aspects of their lives when they are in contact with other women. The terms ‘connectivity’ and ‘social capital’ are used in sociological studies which show the benefit of women having frequent, anticipated interaction with other women. These women are healthier. They live longer. They are more cheerful. They are more likely to discover alternative methods of solving problems and thus thrive more easily. They meet challenges with a more relaxed, creative mind because they know they can seek advice.
And last of all, they are more light spirited. Because who doesn’t like to tell outrageous stories while doing repetitive, necessary daily drudgery!!

And, lasty, when society is mirrored back to us from advertising and media, women feel overwhelmed with choices, confused about the very manner of being a woman, a wife, a mother, a friend and a sister. The background anxiety is like the sound of violins in a scary movie.

How do I fit in? Where is my place in the world? Who am I as a woman?

The old, restricted cultural choices are rapidly disappearing; however, women still need their sisters to mirror back to them who they are to be in the changing world. We need to work it out at the well, or the river. We need support and advice.
I think society is much the poorer since the central meeting place for women is no longer a feature of daily life. But thank goodness, we no longer have to do laundry by hand. In addition, we have made progress by allowing greater choice and freedom in discovering what it means to move into the world as a woman. And for that I am deeply appreciative.

I just wish there were some middle ground upon which women could meet face to face in order to bond and prosper. Meeting at the well is no longer for the purpose of restricting our choices and locking us into a place in society. Now it would be an occasion to discuss and expand our individual version of who we wish to be. The companionship, advice, feedback and habitual contact is still necessary, however the world changes.

 

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If Wishes were Horses….

Being in life, being in a body and standing on some floor or ground in wide bare feet, toes splayed or wearing shoes with toes strapped together, is puzzling.
To find a place to stand has been the journey for me. Wearing a body with the inherited stories chiseled into my DNA is confusing. I question where I begin. I question which decisions are done from intention and which from distraction. I question my questions.
There have been so many times in my journey that I liken to driving alone in a low-down to the road car in a where the hell did the world go blizzard. Is the road under me? Have I veered into some one else’s lane? Do I know how far I have come?
Even looking for the signposts, milestones, markers is hopeless because of the “obstructions”. The ego voice is chatting away, the memories replaying hijacking me into the past so the present just spins under my wheels unheeded, flattened out.

 

And the passenger was so frequently Anxiety nagging away in the seat next to mine.
With the massive amount of reading and study I have undertaken about inheritance, imprinting, brain formation, it becomes clear that everything is about habit. Forming a new habit is the ultimate act of faith. It is driving the road blindly knowing that the very effort of staying on that road will eventually lead to a clearing.

 

April workshop

April workshop

One day it will be easier. Up ahead will be a calming, a slight hill side which allows for a clear view.
At the present time, I am seeking to build out habits that will make me more fit, more deeply committed to my meditation practice and a better friend.
I found a site on line that lays out a fitness program and I am happily into day four. My arms and back are warm with the fresh awakening of those muscles. I am super feeding and every three hours I am eating a high protein meal. I make contact with my sweet sister/friends continually. These are the new aspects of my life that I have plotted on my GPS and as they appear I welcome in.
It is a life upgrade, new software, faster connection, better quality existence.
I am continuing to draw to me people who are in crisis with the feeling that there is no purpose in the life he or she is leading. I am continuing to run my week end workshops to teach others the science of how they became so blinded to what and who they actually are in the world.

maybe angels
My journey makes sense now. All of the broken bones, violence, chaotic turmoil of my childhood were for a reason. When I speak, people know I am not speaking down to them. I get it. I get it.
It is the struggle that makes us heroic. It is the continuing to drive blind with the hope that soon the weather will shift. Belief that we are on a road that leads somewhere, is enough to sustain our focus.
I am living on purpose. But it is not a magical fairy land. It is not a sparkling meadow of fresh singing streams and the lion snuggled up to the lamb.

Relax into life

Relax into life

This life takes courage and stamina and most of all someone who is further down the road who can call back to us the encouragement that it gets better. Keep going and soon you will be able to see where you are, what you have left behind you and it is easier to create a future. Just stay on the road, keep your hands relaxed on the wheel, tell the Anxiety passenger join you in singing a silly song.

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Birds singing in Snow

I have been dealing with the pervasive, invasive panting existence of the “real” world. Getting the old, stained, stuck, peeling of paint, putty loosening windows to continue functioning reached the end of the story recently.
“How much longer can you live with this frustrating, compromising scare-city mindset situation?”
Well, for the windows, basically 24 years. I re-puttied the panes of glass with a kitchen knife, cleaned as far up the glass as my hand would reach, and struggled the warped inner layer open during the 41 Celsius heat summers for 24 years.

 

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I kept waiting for more money to come in; for just the right time; for my struggle scenario to stop because that would be the time to put an end to it.

In my Firestarter’s women’s group I asked my friends, “Should I get new windows. Is it time?”

They said,” yes” and so I did.

The grimy, chipped, leaking air windows with caught spiders between the inner and outer layers are now gone.

The Home Hardware crew put in a new fan over the stove and ended up having to pay additional money to get electricity to it. The extra cost triggered the old ‘dying in the alleyway of exposure and hunger’ fear.

Thinking about spring and getting the car out for longer trips, sent me to the mechanic for an oil change. It ended up being $1,400. The battery was gone and the steering thing a ma jiggy was mal functioning.

Then I broke a front tooth on soft toast.

Three weeks ago my furnace stopped starting or started stopping. I tried to plug in an electric heater and an entire wall of plug ins stopped working. I spend days flipping switches on the panels.

My internet began habitually dropping out. So I went on Youtube to watch what for me is someone speaking Urdu. You go here, you click this, then you go here, and set this up.

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“Stop,” I want to yell. I could feel myself like Alice in Wonderland shrinking after taking the smallerizing pill. I literally felt like a confused child unable to reach the doorknob.

It was time to seek help. I got the window replaced by a Home Hardware crew. A new actually functioning fan went over the stove. My car can now travel without the steering suddenly becoming possessed. I have a newly constructed front tooth.

I called my neighbour who is a certified furnace magician. He came over, looked at the metal sculpture with surgical concentration. He then removed the front panels which always causes me to gasp in wonder. And did something to make it come on again.

So now after almost three weeks I have heat.

The physical world, keeps butting up against my urge to be a floating mote creature.

In a few minutes, another friend is coming by to see what entities have possessed my internet.

Today, I am feeling more optimistic. But it has been a land of torpor alternating with turmoil lately.

So maintaining those things around me: the car, the furnace, the windows, the internet is vital. The problem I now sit here facing is that I do not know what else needs on going preventative care? It does not even register in my field.

 

Becoming an adult

Becoming an adult

But that is a good place to be, right? Coming to a point of wanting to know what I have not known is growth.

Sitting in a house with heat is like taking an anti-depressant.

A life has so many moving parts. And there is so much to learn. I am grateful for those who have skills that I lack and help me to keep my racing car on the road. The pit crew is so necessary.

I did my receipts and took them to the accountant. I told her that I could see exactly where I had messed up in my choices.

I was so proud.

“I think I am becoming an adult,” I told her.

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