The Great Uncharted Territory

 

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Image by Anna NIcole

I think of you often.

They say to live the life you wish, you must be intentional, imaginative, and purposeful about it. You must find a way to step into the feeling state of already having that person, place, situation or thing in your life. Really live it inside your mind and let it seed your heart, body and soul.

How would you experience the world and yourself if you were already living that experience? Who would you be? What would your life look like? How, if anything would change? How would you be different?

In many ways, the things we hold most intimately to our hearts with ever growing passion and longing, are often the things we spend the least amount of time investing our imaginations in. The nature of the things we wish to manifest in our life, are also the same things that show us our greatest weaknesses. When we want something deeply and profoundly it leaves us vulnerable. There’s an emotional exposure we don’t know how to balance with our longing. We see that longing inside of us as a weakness – something outside our control.

Maybe we aren’t a species that lacks focus, so much, as a species that fears witnessing all the ways we feel deficient, unworthy, and unlovable. Standing before something we want and don’t have, we are much more inclined to see things wrong within ourselves, as a means of explaining that something’s absence. Sometimes it’s just easier to not want anything at all, or to not delve too deep into what we most hunger for, because there may be things lurking there we’re not ready to face.

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I’ll confess, it was hard at the beginning to step into this space of you. I felt much as the Tin Man must’ve felt, rusted in the rain and needing a good oiling to speak properly again.

Having spent many years alone, intentionally, I’d rather lost the practice of cohabitating with someone else’s energy. It took some time to understand the need to fall in love with myself first, before another. It’s been a delicious, if not at times, stormy journey. It wasn’t merely necessary for my own growth and expansion, but now I see it’s the only way I can find my way to you.

The downside of this particular path is you forget basic things. Flirting has become as foreign to me, as shuffleboard. I couldn’t seem to find a groove with you, even in my imaginary mind. A way of interacting that didn’t sound forced and stiff even to my own ears. Sounds ridiculous, but even in my head interacting with you was like a bad date. To imagine myself with another felt completely awkward.

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More importantly your energy felt too big in my space, or maybe if I were wholly honestly, in the beginning I just wasn’t willing to share. I’ve built this lovely cocoon of ‘me’, after years of not having any authentic sense of myself. I found myself struggling with understanding how to hold onto ‘me’, and still invite in a ‘you’. The more I played lets-pretend with who I fondly referred to as my Back Pocket Man, the more I realized how much I needed the practice.

We so often think it’s about the luck of meeting someone, but really it’s about becoming who we wish to be in the presence of someone, as a path of actually inviting that someone – in.

I realized how all my alone time had brilliantly given me a much clearer sense of myself, but left me with no understanding of you. Who do I want to invite into my weird little world now? What is it I need? What are my greatest longings? What inside me needs to grow?

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Balance by Windfalcon at Devianart.com

You were foreign because who I was- who I had been – had changed completely. In one way, the old me had become what was foreign and who I might love to fall in love with was still a construct of my previous life. Yet, I could feel strongly the lack of interest in the types of men I’d been attracted to in my past. That fire has long gone cold, but there is an ember in my hand that still looks for a hearth filled with timber.

For a while, I felt I was an ancient key discovered in the Earth, sifting in the same Earth for my lock. But maybe ancient isn’t the right analogy.

I’m sensing my way into someone totally fresh and wonderfully new. I am playing a game of Blind Man’s Bluff, and I am it, but with just one other player. You – my Back Pocket Man. I am feeling around getting a sense of you. Creating a space within my soul you can come play in.

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Spalenka Eye

And if you are new, fresh, unexpected than I cannot predict or know what will happen next or how anything will unfold. I am in a house of love, which for the moment is stunningly blank. The prospect of checking my mental ‘me’ at the door of this house gives me a playful thrill. I have to risk showing up only with my heart and instead of mentally finding my way, I must feel my way to you. There is a nakedness inside of this that I simply love.

Romantically speaking, you are for me, the Great Uncharted Territory.

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Urban spiritual wordpress.com

Talking to someone who is no one, but might actually be someone, is no mean feat. Half the time you simply laugh at yourself, because it feels a little crazy. Still, I’ve kept it up and over time, you’ve begun to occupy my space. Not just inside my head, but often in my home or sitting next to me in the car. Roaming rooms, taking up space in my closet, sitting on the edge of the tub, asking me what I want for dinner.

Like all the great discoveries I’ve made about myself, discovering you inside of me, is a wondrous adventure. With persistent focus and time, I’ve gotten better and better at feeling my way into my day with you.

One friend I told about my curious exercise, just a few months into it, asked me if I wasn’t afraid I’d create a relationship impossible to re-create in ‘real’ life. It’s hard to explain to someone the ‘sensing’ of another more than the ‘creating’ of a specific someone. Having an awareness that doesn’t involve lists of characteristics or specifics, so much as a sense of yourself in response to a feeling of someone.

There’s this wonderfully lively and cheery guitar piece by Mark Kroos called “Joy”. I heard it one morning and felt this deep longing to climb back into bed with you and just listen to it as the sun rose. I didn’t need to know you like my music so much, as I felt a certainty whoever you are, you would indulge me. That being in the presence of two people indulging the simple joys of living with one another, is one of the things I embody now. What I hunger to give and what I long to draw in. I suspect you could say that’s pretty specific, but it doesn’t feel that way. Feels like the love I’ve found for myself being mirrored back by another.

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Psychedelic Spiritual Lovers from AliExpress.com

You show up a lot in my dreams and always talking to me about something. We seem to spend a lot of time in my dreams walking nowhere, talking casually about nothing especially important or just sitting together. Lately, two dogs have joined us. Maybe Labs or Goldens. One stole my wallet and hid it somewhere, the other appears to be a chewer. Two dogs, two cats, two people. If any of this is real, seems we’ll need a bigger bed.

The one specific thing about you seems to be your hands. I see them often in my dreams. Hands that have crafted, sculpted or affected life somehow. I doubt I’d recognize you personally, but something tells me I’ll know your hands in an instant.

And the smell of your skin. The scent of another isn’t something you can fake. You either share in the delight of it or you don’t. We don’t like to think of ourselves as animals, but we are as affected by scent as any other creature. To be drawn by the simple smell of someone’s skin is one of the Earth’s great intoxications.

Sensations appear randomly and at great delight. Once, in the middle of a work project, I sensed your razor stubble brush my left shoulder blade. Fortunately, I was never much interested in that project anyway.

Another friend said if I’m so happy imagining you, maybe I don’t need to meet you at all. Maybe my imaginary friend is all I need. It is true that I am deliciously happy wandering around with you as my Back Pocket Man and I suspect if you were to never show up in real time, I’d remain just as happy. The more I practice the more present you become in my day to day life. I don’t know if that’s the purpose Spirit has in bringing me to this game I play with myself. I have decided I’ll make the most of the experience regardless of what happens next. Next is a big word, in so many ways.

Still, there is a captivation here, in this situation with you, that I often feel playing with collages. Random pieces suddenly coming together and creating something beautiful, out of such disparate parts you could never have imagined it wholly on the front end. In art, there’s the vision and the starting off and then there’s what happens, which often has nothing to do with the beginning of the piece at all. And when we create, we rarely know how deep the heart of a vision goes, until it’s manifesting before our eyes, showing us something two steps beyond the vision we began with.

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I got a cut on my wrist not too long ago. Something about the way it crossed the creases leading to my hand intrigued me. I decided to let it scar over instead of healing it with Neosporin. I just knew I’d like the scar.

Perfection dulls me to the point of a good, hearty yawn. I’m not looking for certainties or something perfect. Where would the surprises be in all of that? Where would the cracks that make the mosaic be? We are all half dream/half spirit rising up from imagination and nothingness onto the Earth. So much is meant to be unknown and then discovered.

I want to discover your scars.

See the shadows and where you broke and stitched yourself back together. I don’t want to see the pattern or mold you came from, but the Velveteen Rabbit version of you, twenty years later, well worn, and missing an eye.

I don’t want to craft the perfect relationship, but rather feel my way into the mystery of a ‘you’ and a ‘me’, that I can touch with my breath, but can’t wholly know until you show up. I want the surprise of you, all the while making you so familiar to me, I sense you before you ever turn that first corner.

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When I was younger, I would’ve found such clear awareness of what I hunger for from another unsettling, too vulnerable and exposed. I would’ve gone to great lengths to escape or hide. Make it seem as if the veneer didn’t have any cracks at all. Work hard at being liked or seeming competent.

Lately this question has risen in me: What would happen if I saw the parts of me worn and tarnished and didn’t flinch knowing you saw it, too? It scares me to ponder it, as I would before a roller coaster ride. We are meant to laugh and rejoice in our imperfections and our tiny fractures. They bring dimension and vitality to an otherwise seamless landscape. If I cannot drop my facade and show you my wounds, how can you know the battles I have fought and won? How can either of us know what primordial forces shaped the other?

There is an alchemy to any two people coming together for whatever reason. Who shall we be, affected/effected by the presence of the other?

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“The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances – if there is any reaction, both are transformed.: – Carl Jung

We are all mirrors for each other. Alone, I can only see the image of myself I’m willing to tolerate seeing. I can only see what I’m ready to deal with. I can only see what I decide is acceptable right now to witness.

In the presence of each other, there’ll be curve balls.

When we enter any kind of relationship we are agreeing, even if unconsciously, to the idea that there’s a spot in the middle of our back, no matter how much we twist and turn we just can’t see or reach. That to see or reach that spot, someone has to hold a mirror up, or touch it for us. I want to be shown a me I’ve never met and can only meet in the company of you. Such intimacy is terrifying and I can’t resist doing everything I can to draw it in.

I love the idea I could do that for you. Show you a ‘you’ you’ve never met. Touch parts of you, you simply can’t reach, but hunger to know and experience within yourself.

I haven’t any idea who you really are or what you’d actually be like. I do have a clearer sense of who I wish to be and become in the presence of you. I do know I hunger to grow, because you entered my life. These things are solid and firm inside of me.

“They say to have the life you wish to live, you must be intentional, imaginative, and purposeful about it. If you want something, step into the feeling state of already having that person, place, situation or thing in your life. Really live it inside your mind and let it seed your heart, body and soul.”

1453308891_The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances_ if there is any reaction, both are transformed. - Carl Jung

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I love anticipating you. Maybe in this lifetime, maybe in another. The how and the when are not my purview or my task. Those are Spirits. For now, I let myself sink into the feeling of you resting upon me, drifting in and out of my days and nights. Roaming about my life, making yourself comfortable.

There is space inside me now for you.

 

 

If you enjoyed this piece, I would be honored if you checked out my book, either using the line on the upper left of this page or via this link to Amazon:

White on Black

 

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Feather on Block Island State Beach: Photo by Noelle

I am enthralled with bits of light. The hunger for the right sort of light, is at the heart of my interest in black and white photography. It’s an odd feeling, that moment, when the piece you are working with suddenly strikes this perfect balance of white on black. As if a piece of me suddenly solidifies out of the ether, into this very potent now, that didn’t exist before.

Possibly it didn’t exist.

Maybe we are all manifesting ourselves, moment to moment, by what we create and connect with in our lives. Versions of ourselves no different than photography filters. Each choice, each passion, each belief, steadily constructing this moment’s version of ourselves, that could change with the next decision.

It’s said that the distance between molecules is so great within us, that we are really made up of more nothing than something. That at a subatomic level what we think we are is ether, nothingness, vast empty landscapes of potentiality waiting to erupt into existence. Dynamic vapors each of us, winking into existence over and over again at such high speeds, we appear like something out of nothing.

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Visit From My Old, Atlantic Friend: Photo by Noelle

In photography, I can pull out light and deepen shadows, dramatically altering the quality of an image. I can tweak the shades of gray and imbue a scene with opalescent highlights.

I can do this in character and perspective, too. Change who I am, drawing out more of one quality over another. I need only change my mind, make a new decision, intend something I have never intended so powerfully before.

These days I lean toward more light, less darkness, but it’s there – my shadow side. She is, in every sense an old, if not often deluded friend. But her delusions about how the world works, have just become the backdrop for seeing my way into more profound truths. My darker side is not an aberration, but part of my artistry.  A necessary depth in the dimensional me I come to learn anew each day.  She lurks in the dark spots of the wave, the dense parts of mountainsides, the vanishing portion of a blade of grass. My shadow is what sets the stage for my light.

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Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado: Photo by Noelle

It’s clear there is always some focal point or object at the heart of my search in each image. Yet, it can only come by its contrast to structures around it that are darker. The contrast of white on black, shows me something I came to see.

Look at any of these images and the sea of darkness far outweighs the light. In fact, at a qualitative level, the intensity of the light is in direct proportion to the amount of darkness that surrounds it. The greater the sea of darkness the more intense the bits of light.

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Old Harbor, Block Island, RI: Photo by Noelle

Dark matter in the Universe, in a sense, seems to work this way, too. We can’t see it with any known measuring scale or technique because it interacts with nothing known to us. We know it exits however, by it’s gravitational pull on the objects we do see. It is the force that surrounds the things illuminated to us.

I feel this inside of me more and more each day. The more I turn into what disturbs me, darkens my doorway, makes me want to pull away from myself, only accents how powerfully light the other parts of me are. They go hand and hand, this white on black.

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Wildflowers in a dark wood: Photo by Noelle

All of this is really to say we don’t understand darkness.

We don’t appreciate its value, weight and importance in understanding what we deeply wish to see. That each goes hand and hand with the other. We have such fear of pain and suffering we can’t perceive what part darkness plays in our lives, inside our psyche or in how things are unfolding all around us. We break things down into good or bad, right or wrong, but this really robs us of a larger context and meaning to the people, places and things we interact with.

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Wild on the trail, Colorado: Photo by Noelle

I look upon the shadows cast by these mountain trail wildflowers. They are of the flowers, of course, and yet they have a beauty unto themselves that changes throughout the day, as the sun moves across a boundless sky. The beauty of the flowers is bolder against the dark shadows that dance around them all day long. Even more delicious, the darkness of the shadow can only be experienced by the white sand that rests beneath the shadows themselves. White on black, black on white.

When I look at how my own goodness has come to me, or maybe its better to say floated to the surface and shown itself, it’s on its arrival in my darkest moments. It’s weight and quality are not understood exclusively alone, but by how I perceived the darkness around these pieces of luminescence within me. Or how it seems the darkness itself refracts back to me a light, I could’ve only seen by the very darkness I dreaded to face inside of myself.

I look at the image below, and feel a deep sense of peace as the light of small leaves rises out of the dark forest floor. I understand the balance I feel inside myself, as the image finds it’s right balance of white on black.

So much of me is light petals on dark, earthy mulch.

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In a wood near Allenspark, CO: Photo by Noelle

 

If you enjoyed this piece, I would be honored if you checked out my book, Into Your Meditation available by clicking on this link or the one on the upper right  hand sided of this post.

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Photo by Noëlle — At Garden of the Gods

I stare at its gnarled and boney presence. Ripped up by its roots, bent away from it’s natural form and twisted into something barely recognizable as tree in the psyche.

Many still have leaves green and thriving at their tips. Life tenaciously holding on whilst facing winds so brutal nothing holds shape against them. It takes years of wind and water and baking sun to create such beauty. I look at the image closely, pondering the story that lies in every turned branch. Graceful, elegant are words that arise, even as the limbs seem tortured in their present form.

Photo by Noëlle— At Garden of the Gods

I look upon the hands that hold the image between them. I feel a shift of feeling here. Root-like veins cross the knuckles, age spots and deep creases over crepe like skin cover the bone structure. My fingers rise to touch the wrinkles at my eyes and mouth. Many years of wind, water and sun, metaphorically and literally, have weathered this form, too. Why do I, and so many others, not see the same beauty here. I see my reflection in the smart tablet screen. Do I see and experience the same grace and elegance as that moment on the trail?

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Photos by Noëlle— Hand

I look back at the images. Remember the feeling of magic and delight as I stepped into their presence along the red stone path. Felt the good fortune to see them with my eyes first, and then now, enjoying them again in a photograph. No wondering, just instantaneous recognition of something beautiful before me.

Photo by Noëlle— Garden of the Gods

Can I translate that to my own body now? Can I step into the presence of my aging process that looks back at me in the mirror and see how gnarled, bent, stretched, twisted life has made me and delight in the sudden discovery. Know it is beauty, not decay. See it as persistent life, thriving against all odds, rather than life slowly destroyed by time? Feel the grace of me, as instantaneously, as upon the trail?

The tree spoke of no sorrow or loss, as I stood before it. I know this. My other senses, those beyond my five standard issue senses — tell me I’d feel their suffering if they felt pain in their change and loss. Something in me knows this to be a deep truth. They live in the world, as it is and become what each moment brings to them. Bending to what is, rather than fighting against it. In this way, I see now that the grace and elegance I experience looking upon them in their gnarled form, is as much from their bending with the present moment, than just mere form.

Phot by Noëlle— Garden of the Gods

I can feel the world. I can feel it’s pulse and it’s movements. I can sense it’s shifts and it’s tides. I am more kin to the natural world, than I realize. Like so many, I am often lulled into a detached sleep from the natural evolution of all things by canned air, computer screens, shoe soles and walls.

Photo by Noëlle— Garden of the. Gods

I wish to return to this level of awareness. To be present to the weathering my path offers me. And in that presence, experience the beauty of my own changes — bent, twisted, bleached of all that was me — and know this as grace. I want to remember the wisdom that is inside of me, that is like the trees. Knows there is only what is here now and to bend to it. Allow it to shape me and alter my structure. Allow time and space to bring me into a new form that may have no appearance of it’s former self, yet is something that has become fresh and beautiful. Something so alive and tenacious that even faced with the elements of my own time on this Earth, I grow leaves of love, light and hope at the edges of all that I am.

If you enjoyed this piece, I’d be honored if you checked out my larger body of writing in my book “Into Your Meditation” at the link below or on the upper right hand corner of this blog site.

Welcome Ravished Guests

State Beach, Block Island

Low Tide, Block Island, photo by Noelle

The surf comes slow and steady, lapping quietly only a few feet away, and never desists. She seems a persistent child, playfully pulling me ever further away from my thoughts. I match my breathe to her comings and goings, at first a difficult task. I am full of the busyness of life at work and the chaos of travel. Yet, after a time, she in her great depths and I in my shallowness upon the beach become one. My muscles sink deeply into the sand, as I rest motionless upon the towel.

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State Beach, Block Island photo by Noelle

At mid-morning, the beach is not yet busy, and the gull’s calls are distinct from the din that comes with afternoon beach goers. I open one eye and see a large gray-breasted gull inching toward me. He is surveying for any booty to steal, pirate thief that he is. His beak nods dismissively, as he finds nothing and walks on down the beach. I find a sudden longing that he stay awhile longer. He speaks to me of sea and sky, salt and sand.

The ocean laps, my eye closes and the meditation drops deeper still.

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Beach Access, photo by Noelle

There is no effort in this sort of meditation.

The Earth and sea work on me, as they have on the driftwood that litters the beach around me. Softening my edges, tempering my life force, wearing away abrasiveness, leaching from me all that is no longer essential to my purpose and form. Clues are there – tasty salt upon my lips, a breeze lifting my hair – that unseen forces work steadily at this disassembly. An effortless altering of my biochemistry. We think it’s back to some baseline peaceful state, but I think it’s to a new version of me at peace that is forming. I am not the same, as I was before. The same as other peaceful times. The quality I know as peace, changes as I change. Each return to me, from a wound up person in the throes of life, shows me a me I have yet to meet.

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State Beach, Block Island photo by Noelle

Thoughts barely rise, before the sun evaporates them off my mind blurring my sense of where I end and the sand begins. This feels essential. A kind of reset where I am wiped totally clean before rebooting to my new form. It is hard to remember when I used to lie here and pull my other life with me onto the beach towel. Endless, frenzied thoughts about life elsewhere, hardly noticing the call of the sea and the gulls. Somewhere inside of me, I think I have always known my troubles only existed if I kept thinking about them. That they would evaporate if I wasn’t there tending to them and where would that leave me? If I gave up thinking about them, then I might not exist anymore either, for who was I without them?

What a tragedy, not being me, once seemed.

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Block Island, photo by Noelle

Now I call the wind and the sea to me, ravish guests to an abundant feast. There is nothing I won’t give them. There is nothing they can’t have. This ship has beached here and has lost all defenses. Pirate gulls and marauding wind, my treasures, such as they are, are yours for the taking.

If you enjoyed this piece, you can find more in my book of meditations called “Into Your Meditation” available on Lulu.com, Amazon and Barnesandnoble.com.

Kaleidoscope: A Divine View of Ourselves

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Image from Devianart.com

Today, I send into your meditation a Kaleidoscope.

Imagine you have picked up a beautiful kaleidoscope off the shelf in a lovely, out of the way shop you stumble upon, down an unexpected alley. The shop is full of all sorts of curiosities and beautiful trinkets, games and pieces of art. You have been wondering the shop for a few minutes, enjoying touching and admiring many things when you come upon the kaleidoscope.

There’s something of the unexpected in a kaleidoscope. You never know what patterns and beauty you will see within. Thus, you follow your impulse and pick it up. You are surprised at how substantial it feels in your hand. Clearly very well made of a porcelain-like material, with these intricate designs and writing that appear similar to Sumatran script down its sides. The rims are made of gold and you find yourself even more entranced than a moment ago.

You place the kaleidoscope to your eye and peer in. As with all kaleidoscopes the objects that create the patterns within are made of rich colored glass, but there are also beads of gold and silver that seem to refract light into the glass. When you turn and face the sunlight streaming through the shop windows the colors explode in every direction, bringing to life the most amazing patterns. Each turn of the scope gives ever greater delight. It’s as if you can feel the colored patterns seeping into your body through your eyes. Whatever the price, you decide you must have it. You can’t help feeling there is something truly magical about this kaleidoscope and an immense good fortune for having found your way to this shop. You want to look into it again and again.

And there is, of course, something magical about it. This kaleidoscope is your human life and the viewer is your spirit gazing through it.

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Image from Devianart.com

Your life was chosen from a myriad of options in the divine shop of human existence. Your life was an intentional decision and there was such delight and sense of wonder and eagerness to see what patterns this life you are living would create. Feel the power in that. There were an infinite number of choices, and your spirit chose your life to experience itself through. Not random, not accidental and not the last trinket on the shelf some unlucky spirit got stuck with. No one is a lump of coal in some spirit’s Christmas stocking. Everything about your life was a magical moment of conscious decision and creation, entered into with pure joy and awe.

Pay close attention now and let us see something even more powerful and unique about this kaleidoscope. It’s size is of your design. The number of colors within it, your choice. The number of times it’s turned and the pattern allowed to change, your decision. Each of us are sovereign beings with complete freewill. The limitations we experience are of our own choosing. The level of diversity, depth, color, range, complexity of our nature is something we build and create daily.

It’s important to understand there are no wrong choices. No matter what we think of the events of our life or the changes we’re experiencing our highest self is always delighted with the patterns of our nature. It peers into us only with the eyes of love and wonder, and as such it can see nothing else. It does not see the person you harmed or the person who harmed you the way you see them. It does not interpret your losses or successes or those of your enemy the way you interpret them. It does not see the unexpected, as unexpected, or the confusing as confusing. It sees into your life with immense clarity and vision that envelopes all of who you are and all of whom and what everything else is, simultaneously. It sees the beauty and grace in all things.

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Image from Devianart.com

There is never disappointment in our beingness or even a hair’s breath of regret in the choice to live through us. All those feelings of discord are only our level of disengagement with that love offered freely and without restraint or limitation.

Your higher self is an infinite being. It can live an entire lifetime gazing enthralled at one particular pattern that never changes, reveling in the patterns beauty. It can spend ten thousand lifetimes, turning the scope again and again, seeing millions of configurations if it so chooses. Nothing is ever lost to it. Nothing is squandered, diminished or thought less of for being the pattern it is. It knows only delight, excitement, wonder at what it sees in the pattern it is witnessing now, for no matter how far down a hole we may think we are, it knows completely our potential to climb out. It waits with delicious anticipation for us to take our next step toward love, in each and every moment. It will wait a minute, it will wait ten thousand lifetimes with the same anticipation. It’s infinite. Only love and potentiality matter to it, not time.

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Image from goosart.com

This life you are living is a kaleidoscope. You are choosing the limitations of the tube, the color of the glass, the aperture of the spy hole… all of it. Even more fascinating, at no time, does your spirit rail against the limitation of the tube, either. For the tubes limitations are what allow the formations of patterns. They are chosen limits, until one decides to change the limits for something smaller or broader, depending on what serves us. Spirit can’t look into vastness and experience an individuality. It must confine itself for a time in a human life that has distinct edges, created by our beliefs and perceptions. We may decide to change a belief and expand our point of view or our way of being, but we chose to be inside this tube for a time. And in that choice we are playing with the limitations we set to ourselves to build our kaleidoscope. We wanted something we could look through and that decision gave us this very unique and specific life.

We have a fixed sense of who we are, our personalities in particular, largely because we’ve created – through our beliefs – the limitations we live within. It is an illusion though to see them as fixed. We can make them so, if that serves us, but if the confines we’ve found ourselves living in have become constricted, boring, dull, diminished, dark, negative, self-limiting, imprisoning, than truly we need but turn the glass tube. Make a decision to change. Make a decision to imagine ourselves as something new, and the tube begins to turn. The colored glass and metallic balls begin to tumble and who we are shifts into a new pattern.

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Image from Pinterest.com

Do not let your old stories of who you are define who you can be. Disengage from other’s points of view of who they think you are, and ask yourself if that is who you wish to be? Allow yourself to imagine that any configuration of you, that no longer serves you can be let go, freed up, re-designed into something else. As Einstein said, “Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another.” You are pure energy, in a constant state of flux and evolution. Know the limitlessness of that!

As you sit today, see if you can feel the porcelain tube with it’s magical script etched down its sides turning just a little and then allow yourself to open to whatever comes next.

If you enjoyed this piece, I would be honored if you checked out my book, either at the Amazon link below or the Lulu link at the upper right hand. Many blessings to you…

Healing Comes with Awareness

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Ohsu.com


First, this from the Enneagram Institute’s daily quotes:

Wisdom teaching about waking up: “Awareness is vitally important in the work of transformation because the habits of our personality let go most completely when we see them as they are occurring.”

I’m sitting in a meeting and someone I don’t care for much, speaks up. No surprise, I don’t like their idea. A very non-spiritual, unenlightened or even kind thought crosses my mind. I catch it almost as quickly. I’m immediately disappointed in myself. I note that the thought comes with a feeling of tension in my belly and irritation. I breath to relax and notice my left toes are curled up in my shoe. I release them. Another breath, but my chest is tight. My brain is wanting to give a rebuttal to my colleague. History has taught me the rebuttal will fuel more than I care for. I hold my tongue, but feel the effort causes my jaw to tighten. I breathe again, and relax my face and shoulders.

I now notice my thoughts are quickly winding into a story. I ask myself, “Why are you telling yourself this story now?” The answer back is “I’m still irritated and I’m right.” Since I’m not giving that impulse to rebut my colleague’s statements sway, my brain is unleashing the tension in some sordid tale where I, of course, am more brilliant, kinder, innovative than my counterpart in the meeting. I breathe again. I feel the boat that sails on the sea of peace within me listing a good bit. I feel my deep desire to be right, to have greater influence over the meeting battling inwardly with the part of me deeply rooted in peace, that wants to let go of this whole mental and emotional affair I’ve got going.

My mind suddenly throws up a picture of an old circus ride from my youth. The Gravitron which spun you round and round with centrifugal force. I feel like I’m watching myself on one side of the ride and feeling myself on the opposing side, simultaneously.

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Soft.net

I check in, my toes are curled up again. I unravel them, take another breath, and loosen my tongue that I’ve cemented to the roof of my mouth, apparently, to not speak up. I’m still irritated, but the self-inquiry has infused curiosity in there, too. I feel a sense of command over my reactiveness arriving, that’s comforting somehow.

I breathe again and relax my butt cheeks, loosen my hands in my lap, undo the tension that’s grown behind my eyes. The activity has taken me off my colleague. The meeting has moved on. No decisions were made. I feel relief. I relax. I note the pettiness of my thoughts, the need to grab control over an outcome I desire, the tension that built, the emotional ride I took myself on all aloft inside of me. I breathe again, letting it all go with a growing commitment.

I query myself on what is at the heart of this? Why does this person’s character disturb me so or their ideas?

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Espritsciencemetaphysiques.com


The answers arrive like parade floats passing across my mind. I’m competitive: a familiar idea and I feel the yucky feeling of catching that in me, yet again. They have a condescending tone when they speak to me. I feel that even yuckier twinge of unworthiness or ‘less than’ vibe roll through. If I’m wholly honest, I might have to admit they are smarter than me. Again, competitive, and an idea I’m not willing to concede quite yet. An amused smile crosses my lips as I catch my own arrogance. I feel the outcome on the issue is outside my control, and feel a helplessness there. I dig down deeper and sense a boredom in the meeting and have the very unpleasant realization, that some of this internal drama was simply to give my mind something to engage. That might be the most unflattering notion to me of all of them. Drama as a kind of mental amusement. My desire to rebut likely had a need for attention, too. Huh… some self-esteem issues there and I’m finding the ‘drama as antidote for boredom’ returning to my mind, as if it has bells on its feet.

I move from looking inward to looking outward. I see the politics of the issue that are affecting my colleague and me. I sense the uncomfortable temperature of the room and the length of time I’ve been in the meeting and how all of those, too, are affecting what is happening to me here.

I check in. My toes are curled up in both shoes now, my shoulders have risen up, my breathing is shallower, stomach tight, the irritation – now focused on myself – has grown. I don’t care for much of this, but also see the value in witnessing these things in myself. I don’t try to change what I’m seeing. I breathe and let myself see them as I detach from them. I feel my meditation practice in full swing. I am a witness to my personality’s various machinations. They are there, noted honestly, but I focus on offering myself compassion. I breathe into it. Unravel everything one more time, only this time, I keep going for several minutes. I focus on a point just outside the window. I let the noise of the meeting pass over me, as clouds traveling the breadth of the sky. I stay this way until I feel myself return to a monk sitting quietly in the conference room chair.

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In5d.com


Now, I am ready to practice some ho’oponopono with my colleague. The Hawaiian prayer of forgiveness, “I love you, please forgive me, I’m sorry, thank you”. By the time I begin, I see the gifts I’ve been given of insight into my personality’s weird little dynamics. I’ve had the chance to disengage the machine and return myself to center. The boat floating inwardly on my sea of peace is no longer listing.

When I begin the Hawaiian prayer I mean every word. My colleague has not changed at all, and I may never be close friends with them, but the part of me that was attaching who I am, to who they are, has been unhooked. As such, I can see them more clearly. They, like me, have the same little shit show going on inside their personality. That single insight softens my heart tremendously. A gift to me of awareness. I’ve been shown something and given the chance to practice a new pathway, charter a new course. I don’t ask myself for perfection. I might have to repeat this little scene at some other point today, tomorrow or next week. This is the path. I am not the same at the end of the meeting, as I was at the beginning. As the quote indicates I am, by means of my awareness, transformed.

Day in, day out, this is the road we travel. Thousands of years meditators have been walking this path. I am comforted to know I am in good company.

If you liked this piece, consider checking out my book either at the link below to Amazong or the link above to Lulu.com publishing. Thank you

Jeopardy: Part I: Consequences

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From: peterjnorth.blogspot.com

Today, I send into your meditation Jeopardy: Part I: Consequences. This from A Course in Miracles (ACIM) which I have doctored slightly to remove gender-specific/religious specific wording.

I must have decided wrongly, because I am not at peace.
I made the decision myself, but I can also decide otherwise.
I want to decide otherwise, because I want to be at peace.
I do not feel guilty, because Spirit will undo all the consequences of my wrong decision, if I allow Spirit to do so.
I choose to let Spirit do so, as it will bring me that peace I seek.
(Chapter 5: A Course in Miracles by Helen Schucman, 1976)

I read this prayer often. At the heart of it’s value to me is the undoing of consequences. That single line may be the greatest gift I have ever allowed myself to receive. The allowing of true forgiveness to wipe clean what I did not see, what created error, what took me down paths that thoroughly blinded or caused me to harm myself or another. It makes clear, I can allow my karmic path to be healed and set anew. It is a gift I take with immense gratitude and appreciation, for surely my mind’s efforts at offering me the same have never come close to delivering this peace, as those sparse few words have.

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gwenrutz.com

Much of our ‘stuckness’ is in our laboring, incessantly, over those consequences. As Lady Macbeth so eloquently demonstrated to all:

Out, damned spot! out, I say!–One: two: why,
then, ’tis time to do’t. –Hell is murky!–Fie, my
lord, fie! as soldier, and afeard? What need
we fear who knows it, when none can call our power
account?– Yet who would have thought the old man
to have had so much blood in him.

The Macbeth’s had indeed committed a horrific crime, yet for most of us this is not the case, but you’d be hard pressed to believe that by the weight of our suffering over what we have thought, said or done. We desperately want a reset button and fear we are in jeopardy of something bad happening to us. We can labor hours over misspoken words to a colleague or dissect every moment in an event where our actions took us astray. We see consequences around every corner for us not being our best selves and don’t know how to make right what we have done or not done, as the case may be.

Sadder still, many of us are so frozen by the fear of consequences we can’t make any decisions at all. We see trouble down every path. Thus, we make no choices, and in so doing, live a life that unfolds by the ‘no-choice’ choice, that never feels like a life of our own. A life by default.

This is, of course, reinforced in a world that seeks justice more than it seeks healing. Desires rightness more than it desires wholeness. Or possibly, we confuse the first in each instance, as the pathway to giving us the second. We don’t know how to forgive and heal ourselves in such a way that the guilt, shame, anger, and fear are truly relinquished and our mind’s made clean again.

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From: astrobites.com

I use dry eraser markers to write on my bathroom mirror. A brilliant idea given to me by my dear friend Nancy Markow who facilitates groups on intentional living. I write many things to myself on the bathroom mirror, in many colors, but one is never erased and written boldly in black so that I can always see it.

“I am not in jeopardy and neither is anyone else. I can be free, I need but ask.”

I read it every single day, sometimes twice…. or three times… depending how spiritually-centered I am. If I’m in a good place, than the reminder comes simply, if I am off kilter and running amuck, the reminder is a life vest I offer myself when I am barely treading water. It brings me back to the present moment, because my sense of jeopardy will always take me either into the future or the past. It robs me of the present. It sucks away any awareness of this precious now and what I can/could do to assist myself and truly live my life consciously.

Fear of consequences keeps us victims to our past, our mistakes, and our unworthy, imperfect self-perceptions that we seem to always be diligently trying to improve and correct. Our own efforts, however, will never clean our minds or heal our choices, as relinquishing what we’ve done, with the humble request to be healed, to be made anew, to start again, to be assisted in finding a new way.

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From: canacopegdl.com

Sit for a moment and imagine the feeling of picking up a sponge and a heavy bucket of bleach and water and attempting to clean a wall covered in every misspoken moment of your life written in spray paint. Feel the weight of that bucket. Feel the enormity of that job. Feel the effort it will take. Now, imagine you kneel before that same wall hands free and open and humbly ask that it be erased, that the consequences to all be healed and that your mind be freed to see a new way. Imagine a love so great that in that instant the wall became clean and the air was free to move in and out of your lungs without restriction once more. Feel how the muscles of your shoulders and belly relax. Feel how open your heart becomes in that instant to that very same love. Feel the lightness of being that comes with releasing such a burden.

Imagine in this moment, that is exactly what is being offered to you. A force of love so great, consequences are not beyond it’s reach to heal. What if you let that love in? What if you gave yourself that?

If you enjoyed this piece I would be greatly honored if you would check out my book using either the link above at right or the link below. Thank you.