Why Bother to Play?

I once had a friend who reads charts react to my straight forward statement that I was Leo but had ten houses Virgo. She responded, “The only thing worse would be to have Capricorn rising.”
“Why,” I asked.

Her response was that I would be serious, work oriented, have no patience for small talk and focused on the bottom line at all times. All I said was, “Yep.”
So knowing that play is anathema and can only be indulged in if it is in the name of some higher goal, makes me more comfortable with what is. I am not a social freak. I am simply ten houses Virgo with Capricorn rising.
The way in which we give ourselves permission, fascinates me. There is permission for delusional behavior. The ability to create excuses is profound and creative. When I put on weight because it is “winter” or “too hot” or “not the right time” to make healthier choices, I am a genius at establishing an inclination to live in the future.
The future is such an exciting and vibrant place to live. It is like my own little Disneyland. There will be castles, jewels, ball gowns, muscled arms, trees with sparkling gold pieces growing on them. My art will be in airports gigantic and impressive. The rich, fit and handsome man will swoop me up into his bosom to blossom. And he will not have old man/woman chest.
The difference I experience in my body, the overwhelming sensation of lightness of being that sweeps over me when I change my focus from now, now, now to tomorrow is magical. It is in its very nature a sign of my delusional capacities. I am my own genii. The opium pipe of possibilities can trance me out of action.
As I recline on the silken pillows of these current hours and exhale the shimmering visions of “what if”, I lose power. However, there is always a struggle within me.

My desire to be a “good girl” has ironically enough (Yes. Alanna I know what irony means) lead me into every sewer slosh in my life.

Speaking up, speaking out has only become a skill since I started doing some serious personality rebuilding. Recently, I reviewed my Myers-Briggs profile. Being an ENFJ, my inclination is to put others first. I want to be able to make others’ lives better. So I would select a fixer-upper mate and turn my life over to that person.
The result of not seeing the anxiety and short-circuited thinking in myself combined with my laser-like focus and intensity has meant that I have been running furiously in the circular race below tide line, trying to get dry as the ocean splashed over me… anyone read Alice in Wonderland?

out the window in winter

So settling into what I am, the ten houses Virgo; the Capricorn rising; the ENFJ; the sensitive personality; the ebullient creativity and just moving forward without fighting the “what is” gives me more energy for the moment.
I have never been more authentic, transparent or curious as I move through life.

And one thing I know for sure, is that I don’t like to play unless there is a goal, a product, a statement I am making with that play.

But dance. Yes. I will always dance. Because it is good for my body. And it makes me smile. Okay you thought you got me there, right? No!!! Smiling is good for my immune system. So that is why I dance. I don’t bother to just play.
Now I can go mark, “Write in your blog,” with a check mark on my chart for today.

What Season is it?

photograph of yellow tomatoes

The last two days have been the equivalent of darning a small hole. The work is tedious, uninspiring and not moving my larger goals forward. But cleaning the oven where the spaghetti squash exploded, raking up the leaves to cover the roses, bringing in the tender plant with beautiful pink and yellow trumpet shaped flowers, taking care of bills, cleaning the finger prints off of all surfaces leaves me surrounded by more orderliness. The cleaner environment gives my home a greater sense of calm.

French class was today and I really enjoy the group of women who are taking it. The teacher is kind and gentle with us all. Between classes, I have begun to study with the attitude that I now hold about everything these days: whatever it is I have learned is more than what I knew previously. The idea of letting things happen instead of driving them is so much easier on my body and my self esteem.
After reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, I formed a group through Meetup.com. At our first meeting, we discussed our inklings. Perhaps, we thought out-loud, taking this action, or completing that project would make our lives different. It is very much a process of self-discovery and setting distinctly individual goals. We planned to create our resolutions, chart them in short, measurable steps by the time of our next meeting.

On my refrigerator now hangs my chart.

It is very empowering to put an X on the action every day and a reminder when I put on the O that I have not followed through on an intention. I have begun doing 150 crunches a day; increasing my 10 pound weight reps from 15 to 25 over the last week; drinking three full glasses of water a day seems to be helping me to sleep more deeply.

The second limb of my growth tree is establishing more of a presence in the world. During the period from January 2010 on, I was recovering from abdominalplasty; a sudden ending of my marriage; heavy debt from buying my ex out. The divorce came through in August 2011 while I was recovering from bunion surgery. My reaction was to cocoon. I was injured, lacking confidence and feeling lost. The six coffee dates that I went on in an attempt to connect were less than scintillating. I was still too damaged to feel safe in the world.

black construction of water

So my plan which the group is helping me to design includes caring for the friendships which I already enjoy; making new friends outside of the realm of Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin with a face to face interchange.

One strategy that Gretchen Rubin pointed to in her book was ,”acting as if.” So when I feel lethargic with the desire to continue hiding in my cave, I now hear Getchen telling me to ,”act as if.” It is working.

Last week I went to the streaming cafe to hear a great band. Since my art work is on show there until the 24th, it was fun to be sitting in a place with my work on show.http://streamingcafe.net/

embrace at the Streaming Cafe

The Summerland Art Gallery has a competition of Christmas images. My intention is to get back into submitting to opportunities to show my art or read my poetry. I will be reading at the Inspired Word Coffee House event next week. The Bean Scene on Burtch and Dickson Road in Kelowna is hosting a “jam” for poets at 7 pm on November 25th and it is the first time I have read since last June. A friend took a video of my reading and uploaded it to you tube.
So I am working on my body to get myself stronger; saving my money and paying down my debt to make myself financially stronger; going out and maintaining my friendships to increase my social equity; being creative while publicizing what I am writing or painting.

Since my wall paper for designyourwall.com sold, I am feeling very optimistic. I have one more class for Continuing Studies on Blogging this coming Saturday and after that my quest for employment will be a higher priority.

I am reading copiously. The main focus is on Jungian psychology, mythosynchronicity, spirituality and conscious living. The dark grief and loss that has been my companion for the last two years is a process of ego dying. The falling away of what I was, the way I lived in the world was painful.

But I feel now like I am starting to move out into the world wiser, calmer and more centered. I have Buddhism, my Shamanic experiences in Peru and the retreat with the amazing Gabor Mate to thank for my patience through the process.


So I step out of the house more, out of my comfort zone more and “act as if.” May we all live in love.

Are We Open to the Lessons?

The air is moving through the house. The Sun is bright but turned down a few degrees as nature slides us into winter. I have completed the second edit of my anthology entitled Facing In: poems posted on Facebook 2011. Each page has from two to three short poems paired with an image from my art work.

varigated gladiola

This time, because the subject was specifically the observation of self, I used the close-up shots of flowers as the theme. Last time, the anthology Facing It was about the feeling of explosive disintegration of the old structures in my life.http://www.lulu.com/product/ebook/facing-it-2010-to-2011-poetry-posted-on-facebook/15105587

So the second edit, is done. The art is selected. I am feeling much stronger as I move through my goals. Action itself is drawing me forward.

However, I am very pleased that I have not let the frenetic, robotic work addiction act as a medication for my grief. For the first time in my life, I have sat with my sadness and processed it. The time spent meditating and writing has helped me to reform myself.

So my intention is to work from an interior sense of desire rather than to drive myself forward like an oxen. And it is surprising how much gets accomplished without the release of adrenaline.

Strangely enough, a man came to my door today who had lessons to teach me. The reason he knocked on the door was fairly pedestrian. But he taught me a great deal. He reminded me about laying my burdens down in the Divine. He encouraged me to keep moving and rebuilding my life. Two years ago, his life was dismantled and he has gone on to build a more solid, spiritual and contented place to dwell.
I am learning that if I am quiet enough, the universe speaks.

So I continue to work on my second anthology, my photography images, to publicize my courses which I will be teaching at UBC-O Continuing studies and to encourage others to buy my first ebook.https://continuingstudies.ok.ubc.ca/course/category.php?id=55 The mixed media course will take students into the exploration of an entirely new concept.

Standing up in what and who I am means being able to believe that what I do is worth value. Moving forward with confidence and without ego is an admirable goal. I am encouraging myself to keep moving on that path.

Some of the courses which I intend to benefit from are Lee Harris’ energy workshop here in Kelowna.http://www.leeharrisenergy.com/

Another is an on line course through Hay House called entitled Cracking the Karma Code. http://www.hayhouse.com/event_details.php?event_id=1488

The third just came to me yesterday which is an on line extended class in Ayahuasca wisdom.http://evolverintensives.com/upcoming/jn-psychedelics-shamanism.html

I am in school. I am open to learning. What I learned today through watching others and myself is that if we put up defenses, we are not allowing the messenger to get through. Relax, accept, feel and speak from the heart. You can still go wrong. It can all go very wrong. But staying in a tight safe place is not growing. And I want to grow without having life show up with a battering ram and break down me down.

looking inward