Your Christmas Gift of Disruption

I am frequently like some floppy large-eared cartoon character. I just doh de doh down the road with a semi-hopping rhythm and singing stories to myself.

Doh de doh de doh, I bring my knees up to a gangly kind of energetic goofy gait. And it is fine. This is my road. This is my way. This is how I walk.

But when disruption hits, the old messages become more easy to see. That stumbly crumbly road was not a good choice.

 

Find Your Way

I stumble on the path. The path fails to hold me and crumbles. So whether it is a stumble or a crumble, I am on the ground asking the question, “How did I get here?”

The world is going through a disruption right now. The US election; the blatant disregard for the lives of entire groups of people; the phantom haunting fears for the planet; the sense that we have lost our knowing where we belong, are all acting as disruptors.

Recently, I have been going back to Daryl Anka’s channel Bashar for some clarity. Last night as I viewed a You Tube Video I heard him talk about Dissociative Cultural Conditioning Disorder. It is actually a wonderful moment when a person is disrupted so violently that he or she begins to see the cultural conditioning that has held the person as a hostage.

The mental constructs; the tribal values; the reinforcing of what is “correct” and what is “deviant” is deeply embedded in our consciousness.

 

When an individual achieves Dissociative Cultural Conditioning others may see it as a disorder at first. The woven fabric of a society may interpret it as a tear or a shredding. It is a bad thing. But as more and more people leave behind the concept that validation comes from exterior sources, they will step up and change their lives from an interior understanding of power.

So the old systems are experiencing shock. The road is crumbling and people are stumbling. As they fall and scrape knees or elbows or bang their noggins, they will blame someone else for it. They will become angry at their facebook friends, or get into a values knife fight at the family Christmas table.

Holding on to the understanding that every single disruption in my life has helped me to grow is helpful. It is the time now when the failure of the old system is so blatantly obvious that there is absolutely no space left for stopping and discussing it.

Find another road quickly, find another way of thinking quickly, find another way of being in the world as rapidly as you can. And embrace Dissociative Cultural Conditioning disorder in order to find a way to be more compassionate in the world.

Ultimately, it is a good thing. And try not to jab a fork into your relatives at Christmas.

September: Is it Sexy?

Sexy Summer

Sexy Summer

The onset of Summer always brings with it copious manifestations of optimism. Crocus, tulips, roses pushing out to the sky liven our hearts. However, the Latin meaning for the month of September is in no way “flash” or evocative.

It is the 7th months. It comes after the dog drooling days of August heat. Inevitably August was the month where we reacted like someone at a spa who had had a four hour massage. Our legs became rubberish. Our goal was just put something in the body to satisfy hunger and we practice the mantra, “Later. I will get to it later.” And then we have naps. We have naps at noon, or three o’clock or at six to prepare for a long night of sleep.

garden sculpture with pumpkins

garden sculpture with pumpkins

I wonder if we in our work and status focused society could institute a competition for August, Dog day naps. Maybe, then we would treasure them more fully.

The gardens go to ruin. The workout plan dissolves in the face of the continuous presence of heat and the arrival of family and guests. August is when we finally attain what the promise of summer brought to us: long slow days of not particularly anything happening.

And then we have the seventh month. I pasted my calendar on the wall this morning and filled in the dates that I have already made an appointment with myself.

My intention was to work out today… but so far I have only had time to workout what my intentions are for September.

The birds are not so noisy today. The black squirrels are manic in their attempts to bury walnut every where that is possible. My planters are dug up. I saw one trying to start a tree in my neighbours untended, over flowing ease troughs. They fly along the branch highways from roof to roof flicking their tails. Quick! Get Ready!

Tarot card image, the world 5 1/2 1 3/4 $10

Tarot card image, the world 5 1/2 1 3/4 $10

September does not bring the perfume and seduction of summer. One ponders more quietly the coming days. They form a rhythm. It is up to us to make the music.

 

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.

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.

Vicious Toast and Weak Sunshine

I am turning a corner; shifting gears; flipping a leaf, a finger; snarling at my own snarling; stepping up; pushing the inertia; daring to hope; planting the seeds; tired of the tired; yearning for change. It is the cusp, the edge, the definitive line dot dot dot tear along here, the boundary of a new country, reality, dimension, brane of existence.

Weak sun whispers promises

Weak sun whispers promises

The breath in for so many days has not connected to vibrancy. It has been about clearing, clearing, clearing. It is like an existential Japanese movie wherein the sand just keeps flooding in. The sand of gritty thoughts. The best I could hope for was stillness.
Every day I would begin again and the wind would rise around 10 am and bring more sand. Clogging up the works. Obscuring the vision. Choking off the fresh air expanding sweep of possibilities.
But today, there is weak sun outside. It teases and seduces. It touches the black trees and if one looks closely cups the budding baby leaves.
I have done well are refusing to walk down the alleyway’s dark back of thought structured buildings and stayed on the sunny side of the street. I walked there even in the rain, the atmospheric gray down to the ankles of winter. I stayed there knowing that there would be sun on my back eventually.

 

where am I
On Thursday I broke a front tooth on a piece of toast. My first thought was it isn’t even darkly baked toast. I removed the fragment and looked at it in my hand.
Because of my training, I took my thoughts immediately to the sunny side and said, “You have all of your teeth. You can still chew. It isn’t big. It isn’t painful.” I continued on with the plotting of possibly disastrous alternatives. But a piece of me had fallen off.
The drama queen voice played its dialogue. “What do you expect. You have lived a long time. You will fall apart. Things will fail.” I could feel the ego witch searching around for other things to add to the list. This would be a great time to list every single fall from the perfection of a new born body. Oh, she wanted to go there. She was pulling hard at me the ego witch.

Reaching

Reaching

And then I decided. “It is fine. The dentist will repair your tooth. You will continue to write your book. You will continue to eat well, sleep well, draw opportunities to you. And one thing I can damn well guarantee you, you will grow. Because, “my beautiful Empress parent said to me, “because I got this.”
And then I just looked out the window at the weak first attempts at Spring and shut up.

Losing the way. Is it necessary?

I was born into a war zone. The chaos and random, unpredictable violence along with the lack of a sense of protection left me in a world in which I believed that “the work of her hands” would allow me to enter the gate. Only through effort would I ever be free.

 

2013-03-04 18.57.02
I climbed upon the skinny horse of striving and kicked me heels into her sides.
All of my adolescent reading was about real people who had emerged from adversity through the virtues of stoicism, stamina and able strategy. Marie Curie, Sacagawea, Eleanor Roosevelt, Golda Maier fascinated me.

 

Golda Meir, Prime Minister, Israel

Golda Meir, Prime Minister, Israel

To be able to create the self triumphant using discipline, focus and momentum was my waking dream.
I earned two degrees, took three minors because a choreographer and a dancer in the three and a half years of undergraduate school.
I was driven, fired up, hungry for knowledge and it carried me. It carried me until it did not.
All systems failed in a spectacular fashion when my body developed cancer then rheumatoid arthritis. I had whipped my self with the stick of my goals.

 

images
I was not at home in the physical connection with myself. And so I failed again and again until I finally knew.
As I lay on the bathroom floor in the hospital with a twisted bowel, I prayed it would just stop. I prayed I would just stop. I had endured enough.

 

all is effort and confusion

all is effort and confusion

Work no longer worked for me. Badges and degrees and certificates and plaques with recognition and accolades no longer worked for me.
None of it could kill the pain.
It was while I was baby curled on that floor that I could feel the c old truth. I knew that I had no clue.
I had done art therapy, group therapy, one on one therapy, dance therapy, journal writing and it left me outside alone.
I had walked like a vampire under the full moon, under partially lit trees, outside the picture life windows of others. I was alone. I was outside my body, outside my spirit, outside of society. I was a vagrant soul.
All doors closed and it was then I knew that I did not know and so I fell into love.
I sat meditation to save myself. I sat with Gabor Mate and with shamans and with mystics. And what I discovered was myself.
What I discovered was that no matter how many assaults I had experienced first from others and then from myself, my super power was that I could love. No matter what, my heart could find a way to love my mother, to love my father and that is why I did not perish.
I could find a way to love like one stepping from rock to rock crossing a wild water river. My love for my brother, my love for my children, my love for my students, my love for my friends. One each of these points of balance I could stand for a while and be safe.
It sustained me so that I did not perish.
And it changed everything. It changed my life in ways I could not anticipate. I began again.

And as I said, “I don’t know,” I fell in love. I fell in love with the silence in my house. I fell in love with a peaceful body not pushing, not striving. I fell in love with the bird choir in my Maple tree.
I got off of the dying, scrawny horse whose ribs were showing and I sat.
I sat in circles, I sat in groups, I sat alone, I sat in not knowing.
Within a year my body begin to trust me. It began to heal.
Five years ago I had Rheumatoid Arthritis and all of my testing showed me to be operating as a fifty year old.
Because my body knows it is safe with me now, it has healed. I have no signs of R.A. I have the bone mass density of a 20 year old and medical tests indicate that I am average for a 30 year old woman.
What I have learned is that no attack, no scar, no broken bone, no onslaught of injury has ever, in truth, touched me.
My spirit is loved and supported. I am here to be a source of love, to see and create beauty and to speak words that heal. I was born into a disaster zone and it has not touched me.
Because I can love.
It is by allowing the not knowing that I have not perished but instead have flourished. I have become curious. What will next arrive?

I don’t know.

Reconciliation

What I am told by those who say they know, is that the first year of a new decade is a bit like a toddler just pushing up off of the floor and into a wobbling stance. The progress is hesitant, lacking confidence and more about adjusting to the new point of view than anything else.
The teachers say the first year of a new decade is a bit like the first pancake in the pan. It is basically a throw away.

 

speaking from the heart
It is in the place of being 41 or 51 or 61 that the individual goes, “Oh so this is how the new decade feels.”

Becoming acclimatized to 70 is, apparently, what last year was about.

That is not to say it was a throw away. I learned new technology; I learned new methods of meditation; I established new habits which serve me well.

 

growing into self

growing into self

However, I clearly see that I am in a period in my life of reconciliation which includes: reunion, fence mending, remedying, harmonizing, balancing and achieving peace.

All of the ferocity of my youthful and adolescent desires are still burning in me. However, my confidence in my abilities is at an all time high.
I know how it is I wish to be in the world. That image has never been more clearly reflecting in the preceding hours of my life.

I organized a family reunion and set the intention of ending the chasms that had grown in the clan. Part of those rifts were from left over stories; from connections that were forged in violence and addiction; from my defence mechanism of running away from the pain of connection.

 

head shot 4

In my 71st year, my remaining family who have not passed are closer to me than ever before. With joy, I watch them discover and connect with one another. Like tribes in a war zone the emotional diaspora sent groups fleeing. There is a stronger tie between us today.

As far as remedying goes, at this stage in my life I have come to understand from my reading; from my experiences; from my patterns that I am nothing more than a bundle of habits. To create another aspect of self, I see with clarity that the remedy is in watchfulness. Like any good author, I sit back and observe. What story will unfold? If “the character” moves forward with these particular sets of behaviors what is the inevitable outcome?

And so, I use mindfulness practice and watch myself. To reconstruct the ending, I need to teach myself new behaviors and new habits. In my 71st year, this will be my main “project.”

The inevitable outcome will be to harmonize my youthful, jagged and unskilled methods of reacting while keeping the goals and the heart felt yearnings in place.

 

fitting in

fitting in

The result for me, in this year of finding my feet is to allow fire. The result for me will be knowing how to rest peacefully at times and how to burn brightly at others. I am finally reconciled to my own nature. And I thank whatever miracle happened to keep me alive to experience this time of acceptance.
“Life teaches you how to live it if you live long enough,” Tony Bennett said.

Summer Bright

The thing about summer is I always wait for it during all the long, gray preceding months and then one day while I am bending over the spring flowers, putting in new seeds and weeding the snake like vines slithering between the strawberries, it hits.

 

bare foot gardening

Living in the Okanagan means that it hits at 38 degrees celsius. Living in the Okanagan means it explodes through the windows after days of over cast semi-light and flirtatious temperatures. “Hi, there,” the day says, with its 20 degrees followed by a manic wind storm, bolting off the sky with dark clouds and monsoons.

It toys and coys and ploys with us, the weather. And then it blasts us stupid. It was 42 on my deck today. I spent most of it with my face turned side ways on my bed, dog sweating from my tongue. I think I either slept or hallucinated for a good two hours. There is an entirely separate brain wave patterning for that heat zapped coma.

 

Turning the fan on is just an annoyance because that entails readjusting the stream over several hours.

The first night of heat I did not get to sleep until 3 am. The fan was always off target. It was too high and passed innocuously over my bed. Then it was cooling the space under my bed doing nothing more than making aesthetic choreographies with dust motes.

 

I identify with this response to heat

I identify with this response to heat

My friend and I decided to go for a walk at 5 pm because surely by all that is rational it would have cooled down by then. The cement buildings and sidewalks were just beginning to off gas stored up heat. It was rather like being dropped onto an Urban barbeque. I turned to her as she said, “Maybe we could just walk up a few blocks to a coffee shop?” Her forehead was a glistening water fall of sweat. Her eyes looked a bit dazed and she was leaning to the right away from the building’s blast as she walked.

The day that I decide I can’t take it any more is when I turn on the Paddle Wheel sound of the wall shaker air conditioner. The room throbs a bit but if I turn my body just right, a cool stream of air blows the sweat off of me into the room somewhere. That is a good feeling. It is the season I have so longed for.

 

Georgia O Keefe Rose1

And then the beauty of blossoms begins again.

Yielding to Autumn

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.

IMG_7025

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.

DIY is it an Illusion?

Embracing the Power Dragon

Embracing the Power Dragon

This last month there have been so many lessons learned. When Pay Pal made a deposit to my account twice and then had to remove a payment, I flipped the anxiety switch off. Like a current of negative electricity that threatened to run through my mind, the story started to play. Flip the switch.

open draw

My thoughts immediately went to a statement which I had read in a library book, Zen and the Art of Falling in Love by Dr. Brenda Shoshanna.

She asked the question, “What is the host and what is the guest.” It was simply put. It got through to me. Is a feeling of being at home, loved, supported and respected the host in my house of emotions? Or is the sense of lack, scarcity, vulnerability the host? Are moments of sorrow, grief, anger, numbness the elements that take up most of my mental floor space? Or do these emotions just visit for a while to a place that is more fulsome and joyous?

So $600 that I had not expected to flow out of my account would leave. First, I said to myself, “That was never your money. You are glad to pay back that which is not yours.” Secondly, I went into my practice of asking, “What are you supposed to learn?”

Going to that place lead me to understand more fully how my relationship with money is less than adult. Do I know how much is in my account as if I were an adult? Am I anticipating payments that must come out such as my house insurance which I had “forgotten” about?

So much of managing my money has been about deprivation because that is what I have become an expert at living. My parents worked four jobs yet when we went shopping my mother would visit every store on both sides of the Columbia river to see what items were cheapest. When she died she still had every receipt for each and every item she had purchased since 1960.

I was in graduate school for an extended period of time and lived with no heat and little money. My way of living has always been as a poor student. With over 2,000 books, I moved from one boarding house to another. The thrift stores provided me with clothing and household items. Each time my life fell apart it cost me thousands of dollars and I had to begin again.

So being cold, underfed and wearing thrift clothing became a sign of competence. It meant I could live within the constraints of my pay check. But this month, I was once again directed in a more powerful mind set. What if you took your assets and managed them more mindfully to allow plenty to flow in?

I went to the bank and sat down with the investment banker. I was reassured that my understanding of the world economy was accurate. I do have two years before inflation will begin. I have two years to pay down my “reverse dowry” line of credit obligation taken out to buy my freedom.

I felt actual fear as I took the money out of the self directed account to allow the bank to manage it. But the jar of coins under the bed attitude was not serving me. The wrap up in a blanket and keep the lights off mentality was not serving me.

It is against my very cautious nature to go out and buy expensive items just to feel powerful. Today, I replaced the stove element on the second hand simple appliance all by myself. It cost $37 and it worked. But I have the heat up and bought some lovely food items on sale.

centered

centered

It is walking that territory between fear and delusion that is the trick.

I am so proud of myself for the head way (and don’t you just love that word!) that I have made. For the first time since my divorce, I have begun to eat breakfast sitting at the breakfast table. I went through the double financial lessons of house insurance payment and having to pay back $600 without drama. It was a lesson and I took the homework with me to the bank. I called a handy woman to repair the tiles that have not worked properly in the bathroom.

Only quietly, like a whisper down a well, was I hearing the anxious beasty voice telling me I would shrivel and die dehydrated and starved. And as I was watching my mind, I could see that I did not have what I call “push back” on the ego voice. I just left it whimpering in the well.

surrounded by blessings

surrounded by blessings

The other wonderful awakening has come through using the tests for the seeds of intention that I found in the book E2. The first test is to ask the universe for an unexpected/unusual gift. The test was for 48 hours. I noticed my negative, ego voice growing louder and louder. “It is 40 hours now and nothing.” “It is 42 hours now and nothing.”

At 46 hours a friend came to my house with five CD’s some by Liquid Mind. I had heard of the artist and thought I wanted to check him out. And now I am standing with his works in my hand. People bought me coffee, Three polka dotted zipper bags showed up in my mail. An old friend left me with a big bottle of Lavender oil she had crafted from her garden.

So what my lessons have all pointed to this month is a sense that I am using the skills I have worked toward. I have been able in the moment of an event to shut off the negative current, to get down into the structure of the thing and ask, “What am I supposed to learn?”

The biggest realization for me has been that it is not about solving problems. It is about developing technique. I was on the tennis team in high school and spent hours hitting balls that were coming at me fast. Some I had to hit back handed. Some I had to smoothly connect with on the forehand side. Some bounced wildly and the ability to calm the ball down with the surface of my racquet and then send it with intention was necessary.

I understand now that that is exactly what is happening. Balls are coming at you. Lessons are coming at you. They will not stop. Hitting one does not mean there will never be another. It is a deluded mind that thinks, “I will solve this problem in order to solve all problems forever.”

IMG_5978

The light came on for me. It is about the skill. Am I standing with my feet balanced holding the centre? Are my hands relaxed? Is my mind calm and alert? As things come toward me, there is no place for negative emotion. As I watch myself, I understand that over time, with intention and patience I am building skills.

How did I reach this place where peace, joy and gratitude are the hosts and lower energies are the guest? It is because of my coaches, because of those who have taught me in books, on you tube. It is because of my friends who have moved forward to live more authentically and fully. It is because of my spirits, angels, guides surrounding me.

I eat at the table. I repair those things which need to be repaired. I watch my financial situation with a more alert eye. I am not a Do It Yourselfer. I have been taught with loving wisdom. I am growing to trust myself and others more fully for the first time in my life. Now where is that screw driver?