Blooming means taking root wherever you are


IMG_0626I am at a mid-point in my life and not just in my chronological age. I am also at the end of a depression brought on by tremendous personal loss and that has helped put me at this crossroads. Having faced such vast personal loss I have been unwilling to look forward. I just moved through my days, no one day different from the next.

For a long time I thought my indecision about what to do next was more of a response to my need to be reclusive, a reaction brought on by the humiliation of betrayals and the loss of my mother. But now I know it has been so much more than that. I thought I wasn’t moving forward because I had wrapped myself in a blanket of emotional distance to give myself space, you know for healing. What I was really doing was using every excuse I could think of to stay where I was, lost in depression. I had every right to stay depressed for as long as I needed. That was until I was ready to grow again spiritually. Time to move forward.

Spiritual teachers move through dark nights of the soul just as everyone does. Especially when greater spiritual awakening is a life long desire. Suffering in any form is a great teacher and it separates the wannabe’s from the I will be’s. When as a spiritual student I thought I had finally found my path, my teacher, my way and was living a Godly life I stopped looking any further for guidance. I thought I had everything I needed and wanted. I thought I had control over my situation. Big stop signs threw me off course and I thought as anyone would that there had been a mistake. I am a spiritual person things like this don’t happen, obviously, God had other plans for the seeds that I was using to pave my life.

Of course I am reminded of the spiritual story about blooming where you are planted. When I am in LA I see sprouted seeds all day. There are flowers everywhere, growing everywhere they can. Plants and flowers exotic to us grow like weeds and are barely acknowledged they are just blooming where they are planted. The moral being not to wait for ideal growing conditions to sprout your seed but do your best to grow wherever you are at.

But after this rather long break from my life I see the idea of our spiritual seed blooming where its planted being applied to our mental lives as well. We may never get where we desire in our spiritual lives or what we think we deserve. We may have to suffer through many dark nights of the soul and feel we are never getting anywhere in our desire for spiritual growth. Rather than thinking we need a teacher to get out of our rut, or spiritual direction from someone to move forward, we might want to think on the idea of blooming where we are planted. Even when that means growing in a temporary garden of doubt and misery. Into every garden a little rain will fall.

A seed will work to fulfill its mission of sprouting, no matter the cost or the time spent, and it is driven to do so, I think it the same with the spiritual seed born within each of us. It is driven to sprout and just a little spiritual rain will do. We may think we need the perfect church, faith or religious community to bloom spiritually. We may think we can only practice our faith or belief system under ‘these perfect’ conditions. Not true. Anyone who has ever been locked up either in body or soul understands that freedom is all in the mind. A spiritual life is sprouted from the seed’s desire, in it’s will to be.

The spiritual seed can be awakened by living waters anytime anywhere. Just the smallest spark of spiritual understanding can be enough to sprout the Divine in man. Bloom where you are planted and start with the garden in your mind. And remember where ever you are is where your garden is at, and whatever you say waters it, and whatever you think fertilizes it, so tend to it correctly and there is nothing you cannot grow.

Walking under trees


filepicker-AXRWjWTF0ErRcHCehQgg_treesI am in LA while work is being done on my house in Duluth. It is an understatement to say it has been hot. The kind of heat that makes everything hard and getting outside is a far away dream a very hot far away dream. It’s funny after all those years growing up in Florida and dealing with the heat, I thought I liked the heat. Now as opposed to ass biting cold I do enjoy being hot rather than cold but being too hot is a miserable and dangerous situation if you can’t get away from it.

But, I like to walk and I love to be outside. Here where you would think it an easy thing to do can’t understand the nature of heat in the city. When we have heat in Duluth it is the kind of hot you may hate but it’s equally the kind of hot that doesn’t exist as soon as you move out of the direct sun and say move under a tree. Immediately there is a break from the insane heat and your body relaxes. It is one of my favorite things, that moment when the breeze moves the heat out of way, even if just for a second. Here the heat seems to chase you.

Yesterday again ass kicking hot I went to find a cafe to hide in and was going to see a movie, both good indoor activities. So I don’t know what possessed me but I changed my mind mid route to the movies and for some insane reason kept walking. I was just too early I guess and headed instead to a my favorite bookstore. It’s the only one I know like the ones in Paris, a book store for readers, books for the art of reading not just for entertainment. You know what I mean if you know what I mean. Anyway, it was not a smart move as it was already mid-day and busting ass hot.

Driven by the heat I instinctively became aware of every street along the way that had shade trees and would walk that direction. The rest of the way there and back I walked on street after street under the shade of the most magnificent trees . Some were so big as to bridge the road making an umbrella that stretched for blocks. Before I knew it I was there hot but not dead.

The walk back after the wonderful hours sent perusing the shelves was made all the less horrible as I remembered my trail of shaded streets. I quickly stopped in a cafe for an iced chai for the walk back as the heat outside the shop was overwhelming. I had to walk a few steps in the heat to cross the intersection and I hurried towards the shaded streets.

Outside I was surrounded by the noise of the traffic and as I turned the corner I was all alone on a quiet street surrounded by trees. It was like stepping into a fantasy world. I felt the wind and I become aware of the breeze making the leaves sing a tune and suddenly another gust and the air was alive with birds. For a moment it was as if I wasn’t in LA at all but a street I knew not where. But I was somewhere on the planet lost in a magical moment surrounded by trees.

traveling alone and dealing with fear


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There can be no doubt we are by nature fearful creatures. I figure it comes from being chased as prey, a deep-seated memory that frankly does us good for survival, and hurts us when spreading one wings to become a more well-rounded person. A person can be so filled with fear that traveling or doing is not a good idea, thank you I’ll be staying at home. We are not as safe as we think we are, nor are we as unsafe, maybe we should relax our grip on fear. Not to mention that after being on the planet for so long fear is not as much of a tool as intelligence for staying alive anyway. Reminds me of horror movies where they will inevitably run towards the horror rather than away. Why do they always go and check out the basement? Plus running away screaming is not a good look on anyone, esp men, just saying.

Cut to me walking across Paris when I spy with my eye the very same ferris wheel I had seen the last time I was here at Christmas, the pic above. It is huge, my words, and you sit in a covered car, seats facing each other for a slow up and around to enjoy the view of Paris. I tried to stay in line last time and chickened out as every excuse came to mind; I am in a foreign country what happens if it falls apart and starts wheeling its way to China? What happens if I am up there and it stops? With this cold I would freeze to death. What happens if I pass out and slip through the crack to my death? followed by the line is just too long. Whew, didn’t have to do that. Lost in a fog of memories and fear I was actually walking right towards it.

As luck would have it, cursing myself under my breath, and why did I walk this way? I walked right up to it and got on. No time to think and if I had it would occur to me that a ferris wheel never just loads and goes it has to slowly be loaded as each car fills and slowly unloaded, and you become stranded at the top, waiting for each car to empty. There you are swinging, being blown by the wind while you wait, God my stomach hurts just writing this. I nearly screamed when my brain woke up and told me all the horror I could expect.

Not to embarrass myself in a foreign country, I had a death grip on my seat, why gritting my teeth. Voice in my head, I am sitting in car alone, no one to balance my car, I feel the wind, ok, gently swaying, screams are forming, death grip continues and eyes closed. The ferris wheel went up and around, nice and easy, be calm it was so quiet, and then I looked out.., snapped a fricking picture…

 

 

 

 

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picture for proof as none of my kids would believe I did this and rode it by myself, fu*king hell yah. It was scary. I was scared every minute, and I was excited. I know the more I can make myself do these fearful things I will pull myself up and out of this horror that has been my last few years. There is no fear like real fear, it’s a motivator, and people made up fear, well it can kiss my lovely ass.

Following said ferris wheel adventure, I kicked the hell out of the subway again, went for a walk without a map, got lost but now I am found. Off for a massage, so I can continue making Paris my bitch, ok that’s was harsh, but you get the drill.

Distorted internal images, enter the false self


imagesI wish I was the internal version of myself. The me on the other side of the mirror. You know the me that is so perfect. Her hair is always perfect. Her clothes are always right. Her weight never fluctuates. She never over drinks, or over eats and she never talks to loud for God sakes! She gets up every morning with a smile on her face sipping her cup of herbal tea, no caffeine for her. She does yoga effortlessly and is in touch with her higher self. You should see how awesome she is. She rarely gets angry and is a great help to everyone. She is selfless and generous. My life would be perfect! Right?

Really!

I get a glimpse of her sometimes trying to be me and frankly she gets on my nerves with her always right shit. “You really shouldn’t eat that” raining on my parade with her “right” thoughts and “right ” behavior. She never gives me a break. She sits inside of me being this perfected version of myself. She has been haunting me for years. Problem is she has been trying to get me to “see” something.

I have just reread Eckhart Tolle’s book “The Power of Now”. (READ THIS BOOK) A great book stating simply that our unhappiness can be found in our resisting the present moment or our lives at any given time. We will be stuck in thoughts of the future or past, never the now. And now is where all the action is. The one place no one wants to be. Can you imagine that most people that surround you are completely living in the past or future. That is not reality. It is not now.

This internal perfected view of myself is a trick of my ego to keep me upset with the me of right now. I become worried endlessly about my weight, my kids, my life, my lack of a life, my lack of a love life, whatever might be upsetting in my life situation at any given moment. My perfected self judges endlessly, it is not reflective of the real me. It is just a version of me and my life that I sometimes hold onto as “right”. It keeps me constantly upset rather than allowing me to revel in the beauty of the present moment. This “right” self becomes a false self.

We are hiding behind a “right” version of ourselves becoming scared of exposing our true selves. This feels very similar to only showing a part of yourself to your parents so they will be proud of you thinking that if they saw your true self they would never speak to you again. The false self is a mother fu*ker and constantly changes so you are never right and always wrong, see it’s a mother fu*ker! Destroying peace everywhere.

When I daydream of my perfected false self, dancing in harmony with mother nature, not shaving her legs, smiling in her perfected beauty living her perfect life, I can also see me making fun of all of it. I laugh at women projected like that, smiling through their periods, and having orgasms through child-birth. Perfected females. I don’t think of them as being righter in their womanly experience as me, it’s just another version of experience, I guess, it sure as hell wasn’t mine. This female body went through hell bringing 3 kids onto the planet and the battle scars are still visible 30 some years later.

This is my present moment self with all my horrifying life experiences and bad habits standing up to be counted. This is my now. In the present moment of now everything is fine. Anything that is negative can be corrected through right thought and action and this can change your experience of now. But right now is right now and every minute is flowing in the eternal moment now. Being in the now is where life is flowing. When you are not in the moment life is moving around you. Resisting the present moment makes for a miserable life. Clear off your mirror and see. Stop identifying with your false self and just let your self be.

My perfected self better watch herself because this version of me is going to kick her ass, false self out, true self in!

Spiritual refills from a big body of water


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I needed a break so I headed up the North shore of Minnesota for a 3 day retreat. I found a place with cabins on the lake and not much else, meaning the people here want the quiet of the lake not the noise of a resort. I can be silent here without it being a political statement of some kind. I needed the quiet and some time without interruption by people animals and thought. I needed to refill my spiritual well.

I love being near the water. I was raised in Florida so I have always had a great affinity for big bodies of water. Here I have mighty Lake Superior. Yesterday the lake was calm and the surface was flat. You could see across the surface and watch the mild ripples move back and forth as the water hit the edge or a partially submerged boulder. Today the water is different. There is fog rolling in and the water is agitated. Reminds me of myself, lately.

I think on the ocean and all the drops of water that make the ocean what it is. The surface just a mere reflection of the depths and secrets kept underneath. Each drop of water can be like I have been, a separated little drop In a vast ocean of drops, completely unaware of all the other drops and really unaware of the field of drops they are swimming in. Or the drops can feel each other and know they are not alone.

The ocean doesn’t care if the water drop is unaware of the other drops, it contains the drop anyway. The ocean is like God it loves each drop regardless. I am a drop in the ocean and I forgot I was surrounded by so many other drops held in a field of drops. Some of the drops try to help remind me of where I am by jostling the water around me. Some of the drops try to remind me by getting really close to me and speaking really loudly. Today I was above the drops, watching them and listening to them tell me even above them I was still a part of them, they could still feel me.

I am a drop in the ocean and I am full. Now I can go back and be the ocean I am, having been reminded of the ocean we are all swimming in.

I am sitting on a platform high in the sky waiting for clarity


IMG_1048There is a sensation in my chest, a sense of urgency. It’s the feeling of ‘have I forgotten something?’ It feels like the sensation of an answer being on the tip of your tongue but not quite in your consciousness. Something feels off. What the hell? I could look for someone to talk to about it, but who? Who can answer such questions? Seeking and desiring answers, is it just attachment? Am I allowed to know what I don’t know? Am I just bored? Am I stuck? Am I in a holding pattern? Am I just unwilling to seeing what is front of my face? So I must go into myself and sit on a platform high in the sky trying to get better perspective. I believe nothing can be seen clearly from where I am here on the ground steeped in the physical world.

Here I constantly want to be distracted. I want to walk towards food, or fun. I do not want to focus or figure it out. I am tired of that. I just want something to take my mind off of what I don’t know and can’t figure out. I have to pull myself up because the pull down to the material world and all of its distractions can be intense. Oh the worry, oh the stress and tomorrow is another day.

I read on social media one after another of these spiritually enlightened messages wondering who is following these wise words. Because if spiritual platitudes made us enlightened the world would be a very different place. I see multitudes of spiritual teachers in video trying to help us see. They say, (they?) spiritual lessons can be learned from a book or a teacher but if they are never put into practice what difference does it make that someone can sound good, but in the end they can’t do any good, not for anyone much less themselves. What difference does it make what I know, has it helped?

We say we want spirituality but most desire money and power and control. The new age has us living far away from ourselves as we thought the accoutrement of living a spiritual life was the path. Dress the part, chanting or no chanting, hair or no hair, meat or no meat, this is what is important, from down here. We are missing the heart of the teachings. I need to see, more.

So I move to my platform in the sky, the one in my mind’s eye. I sit in silence because I am sick of my own voice. I sit with my eyes closed I am sick of what I see, could we have a little more pain on the planet thank you very much. But the thinking does no good. Stop thinking! I am up here to be, just be, just be, and figure out what just be means. The hardest thing I have heard is just be who you are. Just be, just be who? Me.

I am going to sit here on this platform in the sky in my mind’s eye until I see clearer. I going to sit here until I hear clearer. I am going to figure out which voice is mine , you know the one in my head. I am going to force my body to be quiet and quit taking so much of my time and energy. I am going to still the stupid voice in my head so I can hear someone else talk, you know inside my head.I am going to try to hear through my heart not just my head. I am going to sit here until I see God, hear God, feel God. And then I will come back down knowing the voice in my head is the voice of God and the feeling in my chest is the presence of God. Then the words coming out of my mouth will be the wisdom of God.

Where did we think wisdom comes from? It is inside of us accessible all the time, we must desire it. I desire it!

 

Finding peace on the walk, puppy style

Finding peace on the walk, puppy style

The weather around here is awful lately, it’s chilly, foggy, and grey. Nearly summer I am still waiting for the heat.

“Rainy and damp, look the sun has forgotten us”, I lament to my dog Zeus as he pleads for a walk. “Please don’t make me go out there”, I plead right back to him. The last thing I want to do is go out there in that chilly damp horrible weather. He stares at me wagging his tail. He could care less what I am saying. He, as a 6 month old puppy, would like his walk now, thank you very much! Cabin fever has definitely set in. If I don’t figure out a way to help him release his building steam there will be a tornado in my house. The cats hate the tornado!

I changed my clothes and we headed out the door. Grrrr…

I took him into the woods as to avoid other humans and their dogs. I didn’t want to have to play nice with some stranger walking by. I was in a sour mood anyway and now mad at the dog for making me walk in the rain. I would rather have been doing anything else   Soon my breathing was off. He kept pulling me and pulling me. He was driving me crazy. Pretty soon I was pulling him as much as he was pulling me. He wanted to go this way I wanted to go that way.He was making it a game and I was just getting mad. Like having a power struggle with a teenager who is sure they know it all I needed to nip this game in the bud. I didn’t need to be screaming at my dog in the street.

I pull him to make the turn into the woods and things got quite. The road noise which is slight to begin with was gone and the only sound left was the creek running from the all the rain. Though the fog was lifting the green in the budding leaves was nearly electric and it took up lots of space, it was like walking through a movie set. The air was thick with freshness and soon the dog and I were walking in sync. He wanted to go this way and so did I. He walked and ran and sniffed everything all around me and I just walked slowly giving him lots of time to burn his energy. The road curls around, we walked further up the hill and then it cleared up a bit. We stopped at a clearing to look at the rushing water below us. It’s where I snapped this picture of Zeus being king of his rock. We just stood there for a few long moments, watching.

After a while we both started moving and walking back the way we came. We were alone and absolutely quiet on our walk back to the house. His pent-up energy spent and my sour mood lifted. It is hard to feel frustration when surrounded by the natural world. Though the weather had been nasty the beauty of our environment was in evidence everywhere. Scores of birds were singing while flying over head and a deer family waved their tails while running from the dog who never saw them. This place is brimming with wildness. As we reached the walkway to my house I realized we were walking happily along. Both of us smiling. Both of us peaceful. Must be one of those presents from the present moment!

Finding peace on a walk.