Dancing With The Light

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“When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor.

It’s to enjoy each step along the way.” – Wayne Dyer

 

When I go out in the mornings, the last part of my walk has me heading due East.  The walking trail is sprinkled with trees lining one side, and hilly residential backyards and empty lots on the other.  At certain hours in the day, those same trees provide shade over half the trail and provides some shelter from the hot California sun.  The sun is taking longer to come up now, and I know my early morning walks are soon to be packed away for the Winter.  But I love to observe the changing of  shadows and light that comes slowly over time. Spring transitions into Summer…Summer into Fall.  And now, Fall is ready to yield into Winter.

One morning not long ago, as I came around a particular bend on my way home, I was absolutely blinded by the 8:00 a.m. sun.  At that particular time and angle, it was hitting me full force in the face.  I kept walking, eyes almost completely closed and gazing downwards through my lashes.  I could only see about one to two steps in front of me at most, but since I’ve walked the trail so often, I just kept walking – feeling my way more than seeing it.  The path is familiar, and I could see just enough to know that I was heading in the right direction and wouldn’t go two-wheeling off into the rough dirt.  I ‘knew’ the trail was there, so I felt confident and at peace – even though my vision was almost completely obstructed.

As I walked, I began thinking about the interesting dynamic of having so much Light in front of me vs. having it behind me – like when I walk in the evenings.  What a difference that makes!  With the light behind me, the walk is easier, cooler and I can see clearly – at least, for a time.  A small shadow is cast in front of me, and as I walk, that shadow goes along….lengthening in front of me as the sun lowers in the sky.  The shadows around me begin to grow as well, closing in on me.  What initially began as an easy walk becomes a more speculative walk into shadowy darkness, as the sun sets behind me and I lose the light completely.

When I walk full face into the sun, however, the shadows are all behind me.  On this particular morning, I was enchanted with the fact that if I held my eyes almost closed, I could still just see the where I was going to step next.  And it so perfectly symbolized this spiritual journey that I’m walking.

I have a definite idea about where I want to go, and how I want to end up.  I also know that there are multitudes of paths that get ‘there’, and sometimes I speculate on which path to take that will continue to take me in the direction of the Light.  At times, all I know to do is to put one foot in front of the other, and keep moving.  Keep moving and believing that the next step will be revealed to me.  And the next.  And the next.   And that I won’t end up falling into a ditch or tangled up in the bushes. 

This particular morning, When the Light is very bright, my sight was so minimized that I was left depending on my other senses more.  I could feel when the power and the strength of The Sun was hitting me square on, so I could make minor adjustments to keep moving directly towards it.  Even with eyes closed, I knew which way to go because there was light breaking through my lids.   I could ‘see’ without seeing that I was going the right way.  It guided me with a light from within, behind my eyes. 

There were no shadows there.  It wasn’t the ‘dark’ blinding me, it was the Light. It’s brightness was prohibiting me from seeing more than just step or so at a time.  It was a walk of faith, born from desire to keep moving and to stay out of the shadows.  I felt some familiarity with the path, and yet I surrendered my need to see exactly every step I’m going to take.  I knew to keep walking towards the East.  Towards the Light.  Because that is where Home is waiting for me.

And I always get there – to exactly where I want to be – taking just one step at a time, enjoying the scenery along the way.

Body Talk

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It’s been an interesting week.  Here it is Saturday and I’m just now beginning to see how so many of my experiences tie together.  I’m finally beginning to understand the next phase of the Inner Journey I’ve started a couple of months ago.  My body and my environment are speaking to me.

On Monday, I went to the doctor with pain in my left breast.  Intuitively I knew what was going on – and the answer – but since I hadn’t been to the doctor in a year, I decided to go and get checked up.  The tissue was all inflamed – no lumps, gratefully.  Just aggrevated by all the caffeine in my diet.  Fiber cystic tissue syndrome is pretty common, and I was diagnosed with it about 25 years ago.  In all this time I haven’t had much issue with it but lately, I’ve been sore. 

Breasts are an interesting body part, energetically.  They hover about the main area of the Heart chakra.  They provide nourishment to babies, and gratification for both partners when making love.  Breasts are ultimately ‘feminine’, and as a woman travels through the seasons of her life, her breasts travel with her.   Their tiny buddings herald a young girls’ ripening into womanhood.   We spend untold number of hours focused on them….buying just the right bra, fretting about their size (or lack of it)….wondering if we’re showing them off enough, or – in this day and age – too much.  And just as we’ve hit our stride as mature women, lifted higher with wisdom born of experience, our breasts decide to take a trip South. 

I realize now that my breasts were speaking to me.  The last several months have been a purging of sorts for me, on an emotional and spiritual level.  Lot’s of revisiting, letting go, and transcending.  And I’ve felt so good!  I’ve in so much peace and really feel connected with my life again.  And just as the inner chatter left, my body started talking.  It’s saying that it’s not enough to focus on what comes out of me as I evolve and ascend.   It’s also about what I take in.

I love that.  Whether it’s through food, media, sex or environment, “taking in” is ultimate Feminine energy – which, as I’ve mentioned before, seems to be the theme for my journey these days.  So what better spokesperson than my breasts to call attention to my need to detoxify and clean up my diet.  

It’s not a bad diet.  I eat alot of raw fruits and veggies, grains and legumes.  I eat low fat and low carb.  But I also loved coffee, the occasional cocktail, some chocolate, and some lean poultry or fish.  By most standards, it’s ‘healthy’ enough – but it’s not holistic enough.  It doesn’t adequately reflect my spiritual path and leaves me feeling somewhat hypocritical.  I’ve allowed myself to collect some flotsam and jetsom along the way – sort of like I had emotionally.

Tumel over at Thoughts and Things posted a video for the Bloggers Against Abuse campaign, and I just this morning made it over there to see it.  And it spoke to me as well, in a powerful way.  I hope you’ll take a visit, and a look.  I wasn’t able to view the whole thing in one sitting, but I intend to go back and try to finish it when I feel less convicted. 

So the ground has been weeded and cleared, and seeds of change have again been planted in my heart.  The message is clear:  It’s time to allow my inner life to be reflected even more in my outer choices.  And to allow my outer choices to support and inhance my inner journey, in a more loving and nonviolent way.

The Power of Us

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People all over the world today will be blogging against it.   I imagine that there will be  multitudes of people retelling their own personal stories with it as well.  Stories of pain, heartbreak, fear, courage and triumph.  People will be blogging as to the nature of it, the root of it, and the answer to it.  It involves children, women, men, animals and the Natural world.  Governments and Politicians do it.  Judicial systems and military systems do it. Sick demented people do it.   Average, every-day people do it.

Abuse

Can anyone read that word without reacting strongly to it?  And what is abuse, anyway?  So much comes to mind.  For the sake of my post I’d like to define it simply as this:  The abnormal use of personal power. Ab-Use.

With each new day, each of us is given a blank slate.  From the moment we open our eyes, we have the opportunity, given to us by our Creator, to be the Masters and Mistresses of our lives through the gift of free-will.  We have the use of our bodies and our intellects, our creativity and our feelings, our spirits and our words.  And we can direct them in whatever way we choose.  What power we have been given! What enormous potential for good – in both large and small ways.  Unlike any other creature on the face of the planet, we have the wherewithall for self-realization and self-actualization.  We have the mental processes and physical capabilities to give shape to anything that our minds can imagine.

Humans are extraordinary in their ability to transcend even the most horrendous, heinous situations.  We’ve all seen the beauty that can arise from the most impoverished conditions.  We’ve seen faith shown in the face of insurmountable odds, and courage, grace and joy demonstrated in the midst of complete disaster.  We’ve been witness to an outpouring of love – and with it, forgiveness – in direct response to the most unloving, unforgiveable of human atrocities.

To me, these examples define the ‘normal’ use of our personal power – normal in the sense that we are most like the One Who Created us when we utilize our free wills in ways that perpetuate good will,  harmony, community and safety towards one another.  Towards the Earth.  And towards those that will come after us.  To me, it is normal to be a good steward of our resources, to offer a kind word rather than a harsh criticism, or a healing touch rather than a slap to the face.  It is normal to want to make sure that each person and each animal and each resource is treated with respect, honor and a sacred awareness that we are all connected on a deep, mysterious level.  It is normal to give.  To protect. To love.  When we engage in anything else, we have forgotten our sanity and our humanity and our divinity. We have become abnormal.

Today, I would like to offer a prayer.  A prayer for all of us.  May we be ever mindful about the way we chose to use our personal power towards one another and towards our selves.  May we be in our right minds as we interact with each other – minds that have been renewed and healed by the Spirit of God.  May we demonstrate to our fellow citizens, to the Earth, and to our children that it is normal to be kind, brave, generous and truthful.  And may we never forget that we have been granted the unbelieveable honor of demonstrating the power of Love – the very nature of God – in every choice we make.

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THANK YOU to RubyShooz for making this blogging event known to so many of us.

Fear of Flying


Betrayal.

Some word, isn’t it?  It’s one of those words that brings up feelings of the very ‘worst’ in human experiences.  Adultery.  Lieing.  Cheating.  Faithlessness.  Duplicity.  Broken promises.

How those promises are broken, and by whom, is what I’d like to write about today.

A couple of posts ago, I mentioned going through the worst betrayal of my life.  A month ago, I spent 48 hours in the sort of emotional pain that literally took my breathe away.  I was left in shock, disoriented and crushed. It was one of those “out of the blue” moments, shown so powerfully in tarot Major Arcana card, The Tower.  The Tower represents Sudden Unexpected Changes in our lives, where we are metaphorically tossed out of the window of what we believe to be a very secure and stable structure:  Our Own Thoughts.  Our foundational beliefs.  Just looking at the Tower is enough to make one cringe back in horror, fingers splayed in the Sign of the Cross, muttering “No! No!”

Not a pretty picture, is it?  How many of us have spent years constructing permenant impenetrable belief systems about others, life and – most importantly – ourselves?  We become experts at arguing our case, justifying our stance, and holding tight to our own versions of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, ‘good’ and ‘bad’, ‘what is’ and ‘what is not’ True.  There is a sense of safety born of  having strong opinions and beliefs.  They can help us navigate our personal lives with some sort of continuity and structure.

With new eyes, I’ve come to look at that same structure as a prison of sorts.  I’ve come to understand that the tighter I hold on to “my” beliefs and “my” interpretation of things and “my” experiences, I can completely lock myself off from ever experiencing the So Much More that is out there.  When I let go of what I think and believe – and the judgements that come with that – and begin to look at life (and other peoples lives) – from an Observers/Students Point of View, something miraculous happens.

The details of my recent Tower experience aren’t nearly as important as the effect that it had on me.  I do remember the morning I woke up, on the second day, and Everything had changed for me.  Everything.  It was like a huge Gate had opened up in my consciousness and I could See – maybe for the very first time – how intricately interwoven all events in our lives are.  First, the events of my own life – and second, those intersections of my life with another.  In a very real way, I felt the Karmic Wheel of Life being worked out in my own reality and – because of that – I could see that every single person in my life, whether I have ‘judged’ them good, bad or inbetween – is some aspect of my own personality.  They are each important contributors to my spiritual evolution and awakening.  They all come to me, as I come to them, with gifts, lessons, and opportunities.

Because of this….because of being able to see how all is connected…. I knew there was only one thing for me to do.  I would honor the Law of Sowing and Reaping as a harvest came to full fruit in my own life by doing nothing else but forgive.  The choice was up to me but, having seen my own Face reflected back in the face of the other, forgiveness and release were my response. And I could honestly forgive with a grateful heart.  With this one act, the Circle had been completed, and an entirely New Life had opened up before me.

The Tower experiences of life can feel alot like something is being completely destroyed and we are left free falling falling falling downward to our death. Today I’d like to suggest that the Tower Experiences – and our response to them – are ultimately designed to shake us up in such a way that we have the opportunity to view life – and ourselves – from a Higher Perspective.  We have a choice when tossed out of the window of our safe, secure lives: We can fall to a painful death.

Or we can fly.

Namaste.

The Gift

The Queen – Photo by Grace

 “Can I have one of those?”

On the highest branches of a tree that grew along the walking path, I could see several large red fruit hung like Christmas ornaments.  After weeks of gazing at them hungrily, I wanted one of my own.  Not for food, mind you, although they are delicious, but for what they had come to mean to my Soul….and to the ongoing process of personal transformation I had been undergoing.

I’ll never forget the day I first became aware it.  Nearly falling flat on my face, I had tripped over a mangy clump of seeds in the middle of the road.  Who knows if it was tossed there by man or beast (although now I’m just as apt to believe it was the Tree Herself calling for my attention than anything else) but it definitely caught my attention and brought me to a dead stop.

A Pomengranate?  Why would someone be eating a pomegranate out here in the middle of  nowhere?  The thought of trying to eat such a juicy, messy, seedy fruit while bouncing up and down the path was laughable. I could just see myself trying, only to end up with a ruby red river trailing down my chin, staining my white T-shirt, and fingers, and everything else it touched.

As I was standing there pondering the pile, something crept into my line of vision, up and to the right.

Barely discernable in the natural compost piles, I could just make out some pomegranates in various states of decay, scattered around the base of a  wild looking tree.   It was adorned with pomegranates in various stages of bud, bulb, and burst. Well, whatdoyaknow? Pomegranates.  Out here!  Having my intial question answered, I headed back down the trail taking my thoughts with me.

Back in those days, I was just embracing the idea that everything I “stumble” upon in my life has meaning – if I pay attention, and take the time to look it up.  Hawk feathers at my feet.  Monarch butterflies landing on me from out of nowhere. Dragonflies and hummingbirds buzzing me, demanding my attention.  Even the trees that surrounded my home – Olive, Eucalyptus, Birch – were all rich in symbolic meaning.  Now, I added the pomegranate.

The Pomegranate has held the imaginations of humans – of women – for thousands upon thousands of years.   In art, literature, mythology, religion and handcrafts, the Pomegranate is as glorious in spiritual meaning as any other fruit – including the infamous Apple – and then some.  I had no idea!  But as I began to study the stories – especially that of Demeter and Persephone which speaks of the cyclical nature of life, death and rebirth –  I could see the Handwriting of the Divine all over the Wall.

So, I asked for one from the Tree.  I can’t tell you exactly why I asked (although speaking to plants and animals is something I do and they speak back, don’t cha know), but I did and then ran up the berm to gaze up into the low hanging branches.  I was eyeballing all of the fruit looking for Just The Right One, and I  found it – much higher than the rest, but perfectly formed and without injury from any creatures.  I pulled down a couple of the branches, stretched my hand into her Depths, and captured my treasure.

Ahhh, the weight of it in my palm was magnificent.  Not quite ripe on one side, as it turns out, I wondered at her perfect little crown and shape, and about how I might ripen it indoors.  Oddly, as I continued down the path, I felt stronger with it in my hand – as if I were running with some Sacred Flame.

Then, I saw it.

Blood.  There was blood dripping down my forearms from two scratches – two inches of bright crimson – one on each side.  I had been marked by The Tree and before  I had the chance to wipe away the blood, a powerful message struck me.

We were Bloodsisters – the Wild Pomegranate and I.  The Queen had just cut a covenant with me – exchanging her gift for something from me.

We were now One.