Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The paradox of Alignment

Something amazing happens when we are calm, centered and open.

There is a Zen saying that speaks to this principle from a different vantage point. You have heard of the expression don't fight the river? The idea is when we release our resistance we are swept away by a force more powerful than ourselves and that body then directs our course.

That is close to what I touched upon in my last post...

I was just thinking about that.. it is scary and exhilarating all at once to take this chance.. to "LEAP", trusting the net will appear... or to give ourselves to the flow of white water that surrounds us seeming to want to pound us into the riverbed.. but, when we release.. we are lifted and carried away..

This morning I awoke contemplating the boxes I sorted through yesterday.. knowing I could pare down even further.. just pack enough to put in my back pack.. or little more.. JUST enough dishes to meet my most basic needs.. I was excited with this idea of reducing further my material goods. A dear friend in Geneva put it wonderfully when she recently did JUST that. She said she wanted to "release the things that no longer served her completely". That is it really. There are things that serve us well when we "collect" them and then in time we move into a new direction or develop further and our needs/ desires change.

Please understand I am not proposing that all people should shed all their belongings. I recognize the inarguable truth that we all are on paths that serve us and the planet in our own unique way. This just happens to be mine at this moment in time.

So, I came downstairs thinking I could bring myself down to the two china plates I inherited from both my grandmothers, a cup I use nearly every day, and a small handful of other items for the kitchen. I fed the pup and proceeded with checking morning email.

As I went through my email.. I came across a note from my mother, responding to my recent pronouncement that Lee and I had closed the door on the chapter of our union. Her remarks struck me with a rare kind of strength and clarity that mothers are known to carry for "their own".

She expressed to me she was not surprised. She had a sense when she met him that filled her with a substantial collection of ideas about who he is and how he would behave with me. She did not like fully what she saw. But she opted to remain silent about her visceral response.. feeling certain that all people are drawn together for a reason and that I had my own walk to manage. If she felt powerfully compelled to tell me, she would adhere to that .. but, she did not. So, she trusted me to the universe.

In addition to this clairvoyant response to her initial meeting with Lee she felt something else rising. (BTW: every single thing she identified was dead on correct.. none of which I shared with her in detail. Of course this is coming from the woman who knew in CO. that I was pregnant in PA without me whispering a word to her or anyone of that fact.. she called when I had not spoken with her for many months... the first words out of her mouth were, "Baby, should I be knitting baby booties? " I had not even heard "hello" first. ... So, you have a sense of where this comes from in me.. my mother's genes are strong in this arena.)

Her profoundly solid "sense" of knowing struck me with enough power that I was forced to take note of her new revelations. She told me she had a vision of my sitting under a tree with my big boy dog laying next to me in the grass. I was sitting there contemplating the next shift in my journey and asking for guidance from the Great Spirit. She had the profound sense that it was too soon for me to leave... and asked I consider slowing down and look more closely.. listening and opening myself to Spirit.. to discern.

(My mother, in the face of her clarity, has also her personal history that at times colors her vision as we all do from time to time when we fluctuate from the idea of limitation to that of abundance. With my dear mother.. fear can take hold of her in such a fashion that her otherwise very clairvoyant vision is dramatically restricted.)

For that reason it would be easy to think she was worrying too much and that it was her fear speaking.. but under the circumstances, my heart suggested I really slow down and take in exactly what she was saying. I wanted to feel my way into her words.. to get a sense, if any, of what was there for me to take in.

I responded with gratitude and finished email then sat with my step mom, Carrie, as we found our way into a wonderful pocket of sharing about life, Attah.. her clarity, the remarkable clarity animals can bring to us if we know how to listen, a dream my dad shared with me when Attah was just 4 that told him "every life has significance" and how that dream transformed his relationship with that dog I loved so dearly and finally about Spirit, the gift of challenge and how Carrie and I were similar and different in our notion of that experience.

I recall feeling so full, so centered in my belief that all really is well. That no matter what, the goodness offered by our Creator is not something that comes in the form of redemption.. but rather something that just is and that always is and that we always have access to depending upon how we perceive the world, ourselves and how we fit into that scheme.
Our chat was cut short by an unexpected call... it was my dear friend Ellen Gaida, (a healer who focuses her work on body/ mind/ word...) She is remarkable, she resolved for me in three months what 3 physical therapists and medication and exercises could not do in 8 years. Anyway, I grabbed the phone and stepped outside with Yona, (my boy dog.. the dark faced boy below) to get better reception.

As we got caught up, she made her way to the reason for the call. She explained to me the situation she is looking at with a certain client that I know who recently faced the death of his wife to suicide. Something came to her at the close of their meeting together. They were looking at ways he could actively manage his emotional life to do what he could to not fall into clinical depression. One idea she had was to get him into walking a dog daily. Then suddenly, I popped into her head and her idea expanded.

The idea is in its formative stages.. but her question was when was I planning on leaving and where was I living in the meantime. She asked if I would give any consideration to holding off on my departure and consider a completely uncommon idea that would incorporate Yona's love for people, her client's need to be responsible to someone/ something to have a daily task, and allow me a chance to chart Yona's progress as a therapy dog of sorts. This would give me the opportunity to gather information on a much deeper level about the emotional life we share with our animals where they act as our allies/ our companions.

I have not decided.. but the call left me with such a sense of excitement and purpose.. and lit me up like you would not believe.. largely.. the timing of things.. Ellen is remarkable in this fashion. My mother's openness, given her life challenges, is remarkable in itself.. but, mothers at times, just have a way of being open with regard to their children. So, what I see here is thanks to the open hearts of these women, consciousness flows.. and offers a fashion to lift the lives of all involved.

My mother, she is lifted by knowing in her toes.. her own enormous wisdom.
I am lifted by the comfort of my mother's clarity and strength and desire to secure my good while still stepping back and allowing me to grow up as the individual I am.
I am lifted by the openness, warmth and acceptance of my step mom, Carrie and reminded that the only thing that separates her notion of "God" with mine of the "Creator" is language and a bit more optimism.
Carrie was lifted by our conversation, finding God in all things from a new vantage point with my influence.
Ellen was lifted by the sense of being aligned with my mother's concern for too early a departure, and by the idea that she might be part of initiating a process, like the catalyst she is, that will be rewarding to all involved.
I would suspect Christopher stands to be lifted by the loving presence of a great big silly boy dog.
The dog stands to be lifted by offering his direct link to source to another.. I am convinced this is somthing this particular dog would relish being a part of.. but I need to speak with him to be certain and will not do it unless I have the inarguable sense he is up to it... and eager for it.

So, you see.. life unfolds in its own time and its own course.. but, when we relenquish our grip on fear and limitation, all other things flow so wonderfully.. and alignment returns since we are no longer squeezing the life out of it.

I just HAD to share.. no, I have not made the decision just yet.. there is more here than I am telling.. but until I look at it from a very quiet place for a few days.. I need to keep that part within me.. but this much I can say;
It is not what I planned.. but the moment I heard the words.. it was as if something within me was singing.

- Carrie said.. " I know we are only made of dust" ... I said, "Yes, we are made of dust.. but not just any dust. We are made of dust from the stars!" 

Life is a paradox!

Peace to all..
(inspirational video up top has warmed me over and over and over again.. I hope it does you as well.)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Love's Threshing Floor

The signs of fall are building.. green is shifting to the colors of warmth.. reminding us of the passing summer's heat as we ease into the beauty and quiet of fall.

Big change is in the air... on more levels than one.

My romantic heart hums with recognition of the alignment of life in larger and more intimate ways.

As I recognize these external seasonal changes I acknowledge my own internal rhythm shifting. As if in perfect alignment with the universe, I find myself separated from the man who has been my partner since March. We have had our cycles of learning and now find ourselves returning to our separate worlds.

One can never really know the rhythm of the universe.. or that of another heart. We assume changes will occur that do not and assume a stagnant immovable pattern will hold only to find it too has its own, unexpected fluctuation in due time.

Nothing in life is static.

The seasonal shifts always remind me of this. It is the ebb and flow in all things that keep our lives ever changing, fluctuating into and out of experiences, offering a chance to grow and expand. While we may retract temporarily in a fashion that soothes or feeds the soul... in due time we reach out and effort again at opening ourselves further to the powerful flow of life around us.

When it comes to love, whether it is toward a human partner or an animal friend.. challenges surface that require our attention. These moments of challenge can bring about a punctuated moment of change.

Do we react? Do we have the where with all to respond mindfully? Do we try to tuck life into some "safe" box and avoid risks? How long can we hold the balance of clear assessment and conscious response without our past hurts, our fears snapping us into reactionary mode? In those moments, if we are doing well, we measure and weigh how we feel about that experience, that individual or ourselves... and hopefully choose a path that helps to expand the opportunity for vulnerability and further growth.. and a deepening of love and understanding.

It is of course a worthwhile challenge, risking love. Like all the unknown aspects of this life experience it requires that we make a choice and often, do so blindfolded.. not knowing the outcome. "Leap and the net will appear", ancient Zen wisdom reminds us of the value of risk. When it comes to love, if we are to truly invest, risk is an inevitable part of that experience.

I am reminded of Kahlil Gibran's "The Prophet" when he spoke of love.

"When love beckons to you, follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.

...For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you.
Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.
Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,
So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.

Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.
He threshes you to make you naked.
He sifts you to free you from your husks.
He grinds you to whiteness.
He kneads you until you are pliant;
And then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God's sacred feast.

All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart, and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life's heart.

But if in your fear you would seek only love's peace and love's pleasure,
Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love's threshing-floor,
Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.

Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.
Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;
For love is sufficient unto love..."

I am filled with immense appreciation for the man who has been my chosen partner since March. And find in the memory of those shared experiences great growth and and expanded sense of self. He is a lovely soul, whose personal challenges suited mine in such a way that I can see myself more clearly now. For that I am thankful and optimistic that new realizations will follow because of the risk taken on both our parts.

It is a bit of a strange feeling to know that I am approaching the 1 yr mark from the time I purchased the RV intended for my year on the road. And I know there are those dear to me who see this summer as a waste of my precious time.. a distraction from my important trip. Knowing there were challenges intertwined with that lovely man does not make it easier for those who love me to feel supportive of my choices. If we think of Kahlil Gibran's words it is easier to consider the value of facing off with such powerful experiences where love is involved.

I have no regrets. My heart has been devoted to following my intuition since Attah's passing last year. I have done exactly that and find purpose in every step along the way. The fact that the picture of my journey continues to shift in its timing and its nature no longer disturbs me. I have given myself to the flow of the stream that knows more than I could know in its course. And, I recognize that my inner journey is the deeper part of my larger journey.. it informs me of the next bend in the river.

If you want to know.. ask me about the dream I had about the frog and the snake the night before it all ended.. that whispered to me the coming of a big shift.. snakes and frogs both speak of transformation.. the dream was so powerful it woke me at 3:30.. I was wide awake.. sat and contemplated the impact of the dream and drew the threads between the dream and my waking life.. and feel comforted by the alignment of the dream with my magical life.

Until next time.. take to heart Kahlil Gibran's words:
"And think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course"

Animal Conscious is BORN!

Animal Conscious is BORN!
The New Mobile Business is Solidifying... website to come.