C’est fini! and then it begins again!

Today is my last full day in Sancerre with one class left to attend and only 24 more hours to experience life in this very old tranquil village. Tomorrow I head back to Paris where it is beautiful but I would not call it tranquil, but I do love the bustle of a big city.

This morning there is a fog sitting on the grape vines below the city center of Sancerre. This morning fog that feels all to familiar to me. For me it is a fog of unknowing of what tomorrow will bring. Like the grape vines below beginning to think of the process of the spring’s renewal and what the earth will give in exchange for a delightful bouquet that can be found in a bunch of wonderfully sun-drenched grapes. Can those vines feel the excitement in the air of that cloud that hides from us what is going on? Each year those vines have to begin again.

Maybe last year was not so great for growing and when the fog settled before the spring it said to the vines, ‘I am sorry this year will be tough. The yield will be less and your taste will carry the struggle you will go through in order to survive the harsh summer to come’. Maybe as the fog caresses the vines this morning it is whispering hope, “hold tight, just a few more cold days and then I will release the warmth of the sun and bring enough rain to sustain you , this year will be a good crop and all of you will survive and thrive.’

It has to be a mystery to the vines as well as us as to why some years are good for growing and other years are good for dying. Yet I believe the vines walk towards their destiny with their hearts fill of hope and knowing that as one vines dies because it could not survive the harsh conditions the one next to it says, ‘I will tell my brothers of your struggle and thorough your fight others will gain wisdom.’

Some of these vines sit on the side of a mountain that is very steep and their lives are much harder than the vines sitting down below in the valley where the rain can sit and drench their ground. Those on the steep incline must take from the rain as it goes by, flowing unstopped down the side of that hill. It is a difficult life for those vines yet they are the ones that produce such an exquisite taste, a taste developed by their struggle and gain. The vines at the foot of the hill have a good taste but their taste is shallow lacking in experience.

Just as in life there are those who would fight to climb the mountain of unknowing first. They push to survive under difficult situations seeking the summit, a climb that would destroy weaker beings. They move forward and struggle to show the fight is always worth it so one can feel the sun as it brightens our days. They know that we fight not for ourselves only but for those who are weaker trying to walk behind us. I seek to be as those vines, I desire to be one of the vines at the top whispering to my brothers and sisters below me that it is ok, there is nothing to fear, keep climbing.

In the sky past the layer of fog are the hints that maybe the sun will shine today after many days of grey, grey skies. The sun that brings life back to an area heavily drenched in fog, a hopeful sign of good days to come. That same sun is doing that job everyday to those on our earth drenched in the fog of forgetting about the climb that is the journey we take in life. Life is climb, a journey up, not across. Unless you seek not to find the summit but are complacent in the mediocrity of an unexplored life, the life of your soul.

There is only growth when we step away from that which we know and that which we would hide behind in order not to grow. When we choose life we choose to step out in front of those who are afraid and cannot. Way-showers, those who move even when the fear is great, pushed on by the yearning for the feel of the sun on their face. The fog has settled around my heart and the sun’s rays are just at the horizon. I hear it! The fog is whispering my name saying sweetly, ‘keep going Leanne we are not done with you yet.’

A reaction to a facebook post

I stand for rational self interest as a primary value for one’s life. And, understandably I stand against the virtue of selflessness, this utterly false concept that you live your life in service to others. I stand for man’s ability to create, produce and achieve for his own happiness. What do you stand for? Scott Martineau

I read this post this morning and just couldn’t get past the language and frankly the thought. I try hard to let people be who they are but those who would stand in front of others as an expert must be held accountable for what they say, so I had to respond, the following letter was what I sent him, mistakes and all.

I have read and reread this post about what it is you ‘stand for’. I am having trouble with your statement and mostly because you stand in a public forum. The concept of rational self interest is one thing, In the spiritual traditions as well as in the material world the concept of seek and ye shall find, ask and it shall be given, is very much alive. If there is something you desire one can work hard and get it. I get that you are saying one should get off their butt and do the work it takes to make yourself a success at life. Very true, very true, Also very Ayn Rand. Are John Galt?

The idea that we live in an insulated world of just me and mine is how the idea of I must work for “myself” and those who will not and do not shall perish by their own thinking, perish not meaning death just an unsuccessful life.

Here’s the rub, in a world of interconnected beings which we are, everything I do for myself affects the whole. Every trail I blaze can be used for another, every success I have benefits the whole. I as a teacher share my concepts of faith and success, prosperity and love, so that those who would not know would then know. A selfless task of sharing. I share because it lifts me as well as the whole. To assume that grabbing the gold ring and then cleaving it onto my chest for my success and no one else is the very reason this earth is in this mess.

I do not advocate giving away your goods I do not advocate giving away so much as to be reckless to yourself and your family. I do not advocate for stupidity. But this concept that living in the service of others is false, is a huge problem for me. If it were not for those who have done just that, serve others, our world would have no hope. As those who have held the truth away from the masses keeping people ignorant and frankly as slaves, those are the people who live in “a rational self interest world” wrong thought, sorry.

Every act has a consequence and I believe in the power of the word. You have a public forum that I hope you will always use, striving to help others, not hurt. This world concept of mine versus yours has to stop. Yes we are all on our own journey, no one can live for another. Yet those who walk the path of light have been given a gift that will extinguish if one chooses only their self interest. Not to share and understand that your success is everyone’s success and their failure is your failure is to have missed the point of a light worker altogether. It is not living selflessly to be in service to others each journey is important to that universal energy which created us all. Being in service to others is what we were told to do, by whom you ask?, hmmm, is that life in your chest, every breath you take, every beat of your heart, yah that’s who…there is a bigger picture, we do not know everything and cannot but we can be “in service to each other”

I would have posted this (on his facebook page) but I do not need 10,000 emails from others nor do I need to defend my beliefs to 10,000 others.. I just wanted to share my thoughts with you and implore you to be careful with your words, they are vibration affecting many souls, oh you who would not be selfless, no offense Scott but you wanted to know what I ‘stand for’, so there you go

Leanne Zeppa

Monday morning, e.e.cummings style

To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.
e. e. cummings

Found this quote this morning and it about sums it up. A fight begins in me on the many mornings when I wake and find I have forgotten. When the past is a cloud wrapped around me caused by dreams of regret and pain. I wake in that fog of forgetting where I am and why am I here. The loneliness of loss, and missed opportunities rain on me. It falls as tears running down my face tearing at the fabric of my soul. Oh my God not again.
I have become sick of this game. It is like a serious of trials where I must stand before my accuser defending myself over and over again. I scream out, “It’s my life, I get to live it the way I want, and as who I am!” said with as much passion as I can muster in the face of such an accuser. This morning I added as I looked to the heavens “I am a child of God and I will answer only to God! I will answer to no one else!”, said with a little more conviction this time. Then my ever popular phrase, “you are not the boss of me, so there, back off , get away from me and while foot stomping, you better let me go”Accuser backs off, “chicken” I yell as I run back to my life.
I have paid a dear price for my freedom that is when I can remember that I have it. For the world would often have me believe I am not free and I owe somebody somewhere something, never a defined anything, as it changes with everyday. Awww, the game of life.
As e.e. cummings so beautifully puts it, it is a fight to be who you really are and you have to keep fighting. And I do. And I will. I have watched countless people turn over their lives to something other than the power within themselves. And I tire of the countless spiritual teachers who would seek to take away power rather than empower, can they not smell the karma in those acts. We are unique pieces of a greater whole. We are part of a grand design connected like a single being with multiple bodies minds and hearts, if you will, vast beyond our understanding.
We are limited in our own minds, prisoners of our own thinking, falsely mistaken every time we identify with this said limitation. What e.e. says can be used like a mantra, fight for your voice, fight for your identity, fight for your way of seeing and finally fight for how you feel in your heart. The fight changes as your understanding of reality matures and this is good, it is growth. But never give up fighting for as you move to the next level of understanding there will more naysayers, those who would seek to utilise your strengths and power and it’s not for them unless, you are giving it away.
Fight like you mean it. Fight because you know you are somebody, gifted, unique, and part of a dynamic and beautiful whole being. I will! I do! Will you?

A post in the dark!

I wake up in the morning and the sky is as dark as pitch. This picture is out my window at almost 8am. I thought Minnesota was dark in the winter nope. I go somewhere to get out of the dark of Minnesota and frankly the cold and here I am nearly at the same geographical location and worse it seems. I am at the top of a hill and that is still the picture at 8am. Ah the dark.

I am amused at the dark and it’s attempt to keep us down not knowing where we are going or having the light to figure it out. When I have to get up in the morning for class, thank you God it is only 2 mornings a week, I have to check the clock, check the clock, check the clock, the is no outside sign of the impending light of day, you just know it will be dark, get up and yes it’s 7am. Though I would lay money on every time I look at that clock it is wrong, wrong, no way it’s 7am, 3 am for sure, check the clock on my phone, yup 7am, pitch black, 7:30am pitch black, finish your homework, make some coffee, it’s going to be light eventually.

It’s how I feel right now about so many people and organizations spreading fear of upcoming doom for 2012 and beyond. Come on people, snake oil sales men have been around since the beginning of time and every single time chicken little proclaimed the sky was falling the sun came up the next day. Isn’t it comforting to know there is a higher power in charge. Really, if it were up to naysayers we would be so dead so long ago, or in 1984, or 1999, or 2000, or or or or or….

“I have never seen a wild thing feel sorry for itself.”

I have never seen a wild thing feel sorry for itself. A little bird will fall dead, frozen from a bough, without ever having felt sorry for itself.
D. H. Lawrence
English novelist (1885 – 1930)
Silly as it seems this line came to me in the movie G. I. Jane. I watched this movie when I was searching for films with strong female leads looking for the courage and strength I needed to forge ahead as just me, a single woman of power and means. On this trip that is the image I am once again trying to hold. Here I have watched both movies about Coco Chanel. Another strong woman and very much a woman with her own voice. If I was a young woman I would so have my hand up saying I want to be one of those.
Fast forward to January 2012.
All weekend long I have been having issues being alone. Not being alone, just that I have worked hard to get over just taking it and have tried to put myself out there and ask for some company, you know stuff like that. Each time was a complete failure. Like that night I climbed up and down the city streets trying to find the couples house who had invited me over, failure, followed by more missed opportunities, I had had enough. After the last time I decided fine, wasn’t going to do it again. If God wanted me to have a social life he/she would have to put it right in front of me.
I woke up this morning feeling just fine. I had gotten dressed last night and had gone out to where I thought a jazz band was going to play, no luck. I either had the time or location wrong, just went back to the apartment and read. Clearly saying whatever, loudly, though not in French. This morning I looked out the window awesome day, sunny, birds singing, I was going to be working on homework and you know how distracting birdsong can be, I felt like I should be out there, walking.
I was having this weird feeling inside of me.
I thought maybe something was up with one of the kids but it was way to early in the morning for that. So I got dressed and for some reason put some money in my pocket, thinking maybe I would get a coffee and headed out. I had forgotten it is a festival day here of some kind and as I looked right down my street there was an open air market going on. I headed over as that feeling in my stomach grew more intense. Kept walking, came to a table with a wonderful cup I just loved it for some reason, got brave asked the cost, in French, bartered in French made a deal, treasure is mine. Ah the sweet smell of success. So I needed money after all, cool.
As I moved away from the table a voice aimed at me, ‘so you missed having a glass of wine with us’. After 2 days of trying to locate their house, finally finding it but they had not been home, there they were right in front of me. We laughed together as I explained trying to find it in the fog, going the wrong way and those scary dogs. I am heading over again this evening for that glass of wine. God had put it right in front of me. I began walking back to my apartment with my treasure and a social engagement.
It may not seem like so much but I had done it. I had kept going even when I didn’t want to. I went outside when I felt a strange feeling, all in all, what I realized was I had stopped feeling sorry for myself and was just doing it anyway. At first I felt this need to be validated just because I had become brave enough finally to live again but, the Universe with all of God’s love put many obstacles in my way. It was making sure I meant what I was doing, that I was really ready even as I understood I may well be hurt again.
And as I walked with the sun in my face, feeling pretty good, the line came right in to my head. I have never seen a wild thing sorry for itself…. this wild thing says me neither….

Is that hope?

The sky has been grey all day. It has been hazy, overcast, and drizzly(my word), in a bunch of words, it has been a dreadful day. So on my walk back from class I am overwhelmed with sadness and loneliness. It is so difficult to stay up and not succumb to the energy of this day, Friday the fricking 13th.I had tears in my eyes as I finally reached my door.

I did it again, I got brave last night at the cooking class and asked this other female student who is traveling alone if she would like to go to dinner tonight. It’s the weekend and dinner is much harder to eat out alone and there are a few really good restaurants here in Sancerre. We made no firm plans just a, ‘sure sounds like fun’ thing. Problem was this morning.

There is another woman here traveling alone and at the wine tasting earlier in the week I had noticed the rather noticeable signs we lovely women give to each other when you run into a personality that is either threatening or just puts you out of the limelight. I got it, she doesn’t like me. For me it’s the big ‘whatever’, said very dramatically. I’ve gone through so much a person not liking me is as small a thing as a fly buzzing around my head.

This morning both of them together I go over to say hi, other woman walks away, stuck woman has to say I was thinking  so and so would like to go to dinner as well, ‘of course’, I said knowing immediately what had happened and what was going to happen. No real skills needed here.

There are no phones in these apartments if you don’t make plans while together well it’s almost impossible to coordinate what you don’t know. Both are staying at apartments in the school while mine is a distance away. She would have had to make a time right then, leave a note or come down when my class was over which would have been simply down the stairs through the must have a security code door, she didn’t. She happened to say they were going to Paris together in the morning, blah blah blah you get the picture.

I walk into the kitchen area of my apartment just sick over human relations, why do they have to be so hard? I am having this dawning realization that soon I will be as hard as nails, or is it as hard as steel or is it as hard as iron. Whatever! What I do know is there will be nothing left that can move me as I just stop reaching out at all. Do you know what happens to a piece of coal when it is put into the fire of pressure and change.

This blog is called Livingwords11, that 11 is my transformation, this diamond not yet fully transformed has been dumped into a fire that is going to make me so bright you will need shades to see me.

With wine glass in hand tears in my eyes. I looked out my window into this ridiculous day of nothing but clouds, haze and there in the sky, well you can see, the sun peaked out at me. The clouds parted allowing me to see an ever so slight piece of the sky. Was that sun trying to make a last-minute plea, Leanne it is always darkest before the dawn, on a every life a little rain must fall, I am here, I see you, I hear you. Was the Universe talking to me when it seems no one else will? Was that break in the clouds, and it was just a break the sun went down soon after, a message of hope from my creator?

Was there hope in those clouds? It is often all I have, hope…

Disappointment with a huge ‘d’

Let’s talk about disappointment for a minute. I know all of you wanting to jump on the spiritual bandwagon trying to help me deal with disappointment, it’s God’s will blah blah blah, line up and wait your turn.

I have been fighting with myself for the last 3 years. Pulling myself back from the edge of despair over and over again. Obviously there are big lessons for me here. Pain is that indication, at least for me, the more pain the more important the lesson. Choose what you want to believe, but I feel that getting my ass handed to me over and over again is not me being a bad judge of character but  an indication that I have a thought stuck in my head about how things are supposed to be, suppose to go. After a series of disappointments from some men and women both ‘spiritual’ and otherwise I have just about given up in the idea of being social. I just am tired of it, this lack of integrity on the planet. Ok so I was being super harsh really, just protecting myself from the pain of letting someone close just to have them careless about me, really. Acting proactive while being reactive.

Still with me?

I am here by myself as I am at home. This is an intense period of being alone, both forced and desired, depends on the day. Today while walking to school I ran into a couple who asked me if I was English, pissed me off at first, Come on don’t I look French to you? Well she had heard me earlier, there you go! So we stood talking for a few minutes. I got brave enough to ask if they would like to have dinner with me one night. Just like that, right out of my mouth, I never do that!

They invited me to their house for some wine. Awesome! So after class I went back to my apartment to get a bottle of the wine I had gotten at the winery yesterday. Down the hill, back up the hill, off towards the direction he gave me. It became very foggy and cool outside, then it got very dark and I walked where I thought I was to go. I couldn’t see a thing, these freaking dogs heard me tell them to shut up in multiple languages. I challenged them to come over that fence if that wanted a piece of me, I was getting so mad. Where did he say it was? I felt stupid, he made it sound so simple but when I got down to where the turn was there was of course, 3 possibilities. I tried 3 times, up and down, up and down, up and down, in the dark, in the fog, it was no use.

I was so disappointed and I felt rejected by every body. I felt rejected by my God. I felt slapped in the face for putting myself out there, for getting excited not to have to sit alone another night. But alone I walked back to my apartment with my bottle, which is in front of me, right now, open, first glass down…..

I tell you what, if this universe thinks that that small act of screwing me out of a nice evening of good wine and conversation is going to send me back to the hell I just came out of well, you have no idea who you are messing with. You want to see strength, you want to see what, ‘so the f*&k what’ looks like….

See you in Sancerre!

Lundi – La deuxieme semaine, Monday the 2nd week

Kitchen French style

I went to the coffee meeting today curious to see what the new students would be like and I left in about 5 minutes. I don’t know what it is I am expecting but it has become quite clear to me that I am indeed waiting for something. I certainly hope I have gotten over waiting for someone.Who ever I hoped to see or how ever I expected it to be it was not. This is neither positive or negative. I am waiting for something and it has yet to arrive. But my groceries did so I carried 6 bottles of water and a bag of food back to my place, swearing the whole way.

Girl, hey look at this body, I need to work out!

I returned back to my apartment and wondered for myself what I hoped to get out of all of this. Besides the obvious language improvement. I am forcing my hand each day they I get up and my life doesn’t feel right. When everything hit the fan and my life scattered I have been waiting for all of the pieces to fall back into place. I am a person who likes the feeling of security and safety.

Once I began living alone and spending most of my time alone there has been the feeling that things are just not right. Now for a while I thought it was because I was alone when almost all of my life I’ve been surrounded by people and the business of life. But it is not just that, I don’t feel right, something is off something is missing. I just keep moving, keep looking, keep waiting, and at the same time I am trying to continue to live.

Dramatic pause, hand on my heart, head down…., Please, I smack my own self back into reality!

Today live means deal with the dishes, clean up, maybe do some laundry. Here in this apartment it’s all in the same place, it’s all on the same wall. So much easier than the up and down 3 flights to tend to everything in my house. There is a simplicity of life for me here that I have to say I do enjoy. Everything is harder to find and things I am use to I can’t get so my needs grow simple. Now pleasure comes from the walk back and forth to the school, trying to make friends with the local cat, and yes learning to say it all in French.

I still have that strange feeling, it comes and goes but I would guess many of you are dealing with the same kind of feeling as the entire conscious world is going through its huge change. Here in my slow-paced world I will spend my time thinking and practicing “being” rather than always “doing”. So after I wash my dishes,and my clothes I will wash my hands and go find that cat!

Have a beautiful Lundi mes amies!

Day 7 Le week-end

It’s Saturday here in Sancerre. No class and it is very quiet around here. A great day for introspection. Each day passes and the realization of why I am here far surpasses my desire to master French. Just as the time spent on my 10 day silent retreat went way past the need to be silent. I am here to be alone. Alone, strange word, maybe I need to be -a lone- in order to become -al one-. I am here to practice self-mastery.

I am realizing that self-mastery is often very hard to achieve when occupied by human need. Here there is no one but me and when I am alone my needs dwindle to almost none. A little food, a comfortable bed, maybe some company every once in a while. I have gone through too much to depend on the company of those I know, each human so self-possessed, its human behavior after all! You can not even have a conversation with someone without watching their eyes trail off and their attention wander. Much less get them to say something they mean. I am learning, ummm probably remembering that which I already know, something that the laziness of this lifetime has tried to veil, that there is no ‘other’ human that can tell me anything at all. And believe me I look, listen and wait!

I believe self-mastery comes when your God removes everything from your life and you are left looking at empty hands. My God where did everything go? God I use to have a life. I use to believe my life had meaning. The human falls to their knees crying, My God, why has thou forsaken me? This is the anniversary of that day for me , Jan 7 2009. It was also a birth-day of sorts. The day I became a new me. But I didn’t know it at the time.

Self mastery is just that mastery over the self. Something the teachers are to teach, and the great ones do! Mastery is not found in being a slave to another human – parent, child, friend, lover or teacher. There is mastery in serving another. Serving – slaving two-way different things. Slaving humans takes their power away, teaching them to serve brings their power back. learning to serve first begins with serving of the self. Thus opening your heart to that energy of your creation so it may pour in and upon you. You begin to recognize that when you serve your self you serve your God  and then and only then can you serve others. How do you know the wants of others if you do not understand the wants of yourself? How do you give to others if you can not give unto your self? Our freedom starts with self-mastery.

Jan 7 2009 I began to be my own master. Three years later is the realization of that sentence. Self mastery is difficult and many teachers have no interest in students becoming self actualized. How do the teachers pay for their high lifestyles if their students realize they are their own masters? There is no ego here. Self mastery is about burning your own karma so you may see the light within your self and then to become a light for everyone else. But only a light. I can not help you make your walk I can only provide some light for your journey, the journey is your own. Like mine was, like mine is!

Self mastery is the ultimate understanding that you have everything you ‘need’, and you will find everything you are looking for. Self mastery is also knowing you have no need for anything and there is nothing really to even look for. Self mastery is Aleph, the beginning, the one point. When you begin the journey of self-mastery whether of your own accord or being pushed by an outside force there is a reason and it is a great blessing. That is when you can step outside of your human self.

When you find yourself at an Aleph point, a place where you have to start your life again, give thanks for this is a sign of the work you have done to move yourself above the fray. When you do, it is your time and be willing to begin the work. Once you realize that you are on your journey to self-mastery worry not for if you have spent your lifetimes well  you will find in the blink of an eye your hands which were at once emptied become filled once again.

The light, Oh my God the light!

Day 4- Le vent

Le vent, the wind! Today there is so much wind. My class every other day is in the matin, morning, as in I had class this morning. When I woke up and looked outside, didn’t really have to because I could hear the wind whistling through my apartment, there was nothing to see, all rain, fog and the sound of the howling wind. I walk to class each day and uphill to get there. Nothing like walking through a howling wind to bring life into perspective. Funny to is the nature of a woman in a town where she is known(does my hair look ok?) fast forward to a town where she is unknown(who cares how my hair looks?)

In New York City I will do just about anything not to have to leave my hotel if the wind is blowing. You walk between those sky scrapers and that wind will take your breath away, pull your coat off, I’m not going out there! Mais, but, here I go right out the door. That wind this morning was pouring rain down my neck, blowing my ankle length coat up over my head and all I could was scream and laugh, my God it was funny. Moi, Leanne walking in the rain and the wind laughing her ass off. I’m sure by the end of these 4 weeks the towns people are going to really wonder about me. I say wonder away!

I am having so much fun and that wind represented to me a good reason why. Even in Duluth if its windy I will not go outside. I can not stand having the wind blowing in my face. Hmmmm, Funny how that which cleanses the world is mighty difficult to take. Wind does a very good job as it blows things down around and away, it can be very destructive, fire burns things away, can be very destructive, cold freezes things to death, very destructive, yet all of these acts cleanse the earth from that which time has come.

All summer long every time the wind blew I would think breath of God and let it caress my face, gentle was that breeze. Yesterday it was so beautiful here, so much sun and a gentle breeze, God’s breath on my face. Today the wind howls and rather than stay inside afraid of what that wind would do to me, I imagined the breath of God blowing the debris of my life away, I imagined the rain cleansing my body and spirit of that which would not move away with the wind. Water and air cleansing me from the past for my renewal. Like I tell my teacher C’est nouvelle annee pour un nouveau moi, It’s a new year for a new me. To make the healing complete there would also need to be fire but I am a fiery person so there is more need for water and air, pour moi! Thus today’s howling wind and blowing rain, I was pretty fiery about that.

Moral of the story, if you find yourself being blown away by the wind don’t be afraid just let the transformative powers of change run through you until nothing is left of the old. Remember not to look into a mirror or store front reflection while outside you may scare yourself with what you see, scared the hell out of me this morning( I can not go in there looking like this) I did! We are often unprepared for such a wind but that’s the point. If we were on this planet on our own time schedule I think we might never evolve so the great creator chooses for us when its time. So accept the wind, keep you head up so you can see ahead of you, and allow your debris to be cleared away.

Oh la la I am going to be so clear you maybe able to see through me. Hmmm