Poetry, Reflections

“Discombobulated…”

And confused…

Out of sync… or even time?

Some moments passing before I can grasp them,

while others simply refuse to move!

Spiritual whiplash… my body aches.

Caused by this stop and go act?

This heavy push forward, pulsing,

while something else holds me back?

I “fail” at everything normal I try,

but “feel” success haunting my steps.

I feel reluctance, resistance…

while the voices are all screaming, “YES!!”…

Frustration boils up, disturbing my peace,

while that deeply calm center still anchors me…

‘Tis no wonder I feel unbalanced these days…

uncertain, bemused and unsure.

Nothing makes sense in a world gone mad…

So I grasp for the truth in a Word:

“Dis-com-bob-u-lat-ed”…

Made up, created, to capture a moment,

comfort found in humor and sound…

 

 

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Poetry, Reflections, Visions

Shifting Sands…

The world around me is a desert, drowning…

Blood, sweat and tears stain the ground.

I walk slowly, purposefully…

among the shifting sands.

The trees’ roots are strong beneath me, supporting…

granting peace, comfort and stability.

Allowing me to pause and wait, consciously…

when the ground shifts beneath my feet.

And when it has settled once again, temporarily…

I can adapt my course appropriately.

And this… these words… serve not to guide…

nor hamper any progress…

but to remind…

that I am both navigator and traveller.

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Poetry, Reflections, Visions

“Stream of Consciousness…”

I am teetering at the edge of an abyss,

but I do not worry about falling in.

I am standing in a room, watching, as the lights begin to flicker and fail.

Shadows creeping ever closer, my mind alert…

yet my heart no longer fears the coming darkness.

I am wandering through a dream, visiting with real friends,

when, suddenly, they start shouting gibberish at me…

I hesitate, confused, before shrugging and moving on,

understanding that this conversation no longer speaks to me…

I am walking alone in the woods, communing with the trees,

and suddenly realize that animals are now surrounding me.

My mind tells me to be cautious, for these are not domesticated wildlife,

but I cannot fathom them attacking me…

From whence arises such confidence?

To whom should I direct my gratitude?

For these very situations, not so long ago, would have sent me running,

seeking shelter, refuge, sanctuary

from others

who always let me down.

And I feel none of that today…

No fear of what lies before me in my path…

No anxiety or need to see (or know) what is happening all around me…

No concern for my own “safety” in this unknown world.

I trust…

Simply, and purely

I trust…

Whom or What hardly even matters anymore.

Until it does.

I guess I trust myself today…

To maneuver and adapt to wherever my path calls me…

To find my way through whatever darkness settles around me…

To comprenhend truth when it reveals itself to me…

To walk calmly among those seemingly so unlike me, knowing I mean no harm, and so expect none…

I trust myself to do the “right” thing,

instinctively

and not just “right for me.”

If I have lingering resistance within me, it is this:

Frustration.

With those who insist they can be counted on to always do “what is right…

for them”.

A principle for which they offer sound advice, direction, and justification.

It sounds “good”

in theory…

but it still makes me uncomfortable.

know the Universe has my back; so I know I can proceed…

know that I have my own back; so I walk forward confidently.

And I know that the Universe,

and All it holds,

is Me.

I am Its equivalency!

So “doing right” is doing right

without conditionality…

without a conscious separating

of “mine” and “yours”

of “one” and “otherhood”.

Unity.

No “true” duality…

No “real” plurality…

A stream of consciousness

spilling into a river of time

seeking a sea of potential

in an ocean of possibilities.

Deep sigh…

Behold the “Cauldron of Creation”

where I am both Stirrer and Slime,

and the Magick that makes it sublime…

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Reflections, Visions

The Axis of “Power”…

No, this is not a political post; sorry to disappoint you.  It is about my favorite topic – reality and its creation and manifestation.  (In spite of the variety my posts display in form, they nonetheless remain essentially true to topic, after all… lol!)

Today I’ve had another epiphany, and one I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit to.  Not because it’s an embarrassing topic, but because it’s so simple.  I’ve tripped over it so many times before, I don’t even notice it anymore.  I’ve received confirmation, validation and reminders from sources too numerous to recall and/or credit.  I’ve known this all along, and yet it feels new to me somehow.  That’s the embarrassing part, but the truth is often humbling, I’ve found…

So, here’s the deal…

In looking to “change” my reality, to create an outer world that reflects my inner desire, I have looked for ways to project my creative visions into the world I live in.  I “see” it happening.  I “believe” it will.  And sometimes it actually does!  Easy to use such validation to reinforce such methods…

The problem, of course, or perhaps better to call it the challenge, is a lack of consistency.  It doesn’t always work.  And that creates doubt.  Doubt is a block against manifestation.  Thus a self-defeating pattern/cycle emerges…

But all of that stems from the misguided belief that I am a human trying to develop a working spiritual practice or power.  All of that visualization, projection, validation (or lack thereof),  is done on a purely horizontal level!  Done within the confines of this particular (small) self I identify with most closely; the self writing this blog today.  But that self is such a small part of who I truly am, that it is almost (though not) inconsequential!

Many, many years ago (decades now, if you can believe it!) I had a vision of “reality” I called the Figure-8 Cross.  It taught me that for every paradox we encounter in the search for Truth, there is a solution, if you are willing to follow a path perpendicular to the first path.  But that new path you’ve taken is itself a paradox, resolvable only by the first paradox.  From the center point (where the paths intersect), you can see how they interact, but you cannot alter them; while travelling along either path, you cannot see how it interacts with Others, but you can manipulate it.  Figuring out how to use that info has proven daunting, troublesome, and frustrating…

Which brings us to today…

When suddenly I see the cross again, but it is the perpendicular relationship that catches my eye this time.  The actual “power” (to escape the paradox, or to manifest change) comes not from the horizontal plane, but from the vertical one!  And it matters not which plane you are currently oriented toward, as the Other always remains vertical (perpendicular) in relation to it!

So…

The “answer” literally does “come from above.”  Things literally do manifest according to the axiom “as above, so below.”  But that “above” is actually Me – my Universal Being – that I am only Now beginning to truly recognize…

(I will allow myself one simple “uh duh!” here in acknowledgement of my stubborn resistance to letting go of my ego… lol!)

This is not earth shattering, new, improved, exciting, self-help guru kind of stuff; this is simple fact, known by countless Others through many generations, expressing it in many forms.  But this is me, finally grasping yet another fractured, obscured part of Me.  And that is the accomplishment I choose to accept…

***     ***     ***

The most recent vision that has been haunting my waking moments is of a group of people standing around the edge of an empty swimming pool, holding hands.  No, the pool isn’t actually empty, I suppose, as it is full of people rather than water.  We, of the “circle” above, are watching those Others milling about in the empty pool, bumping into one another, causing friction.  Every once in a while such jostling leads to conflict, which quickly spreads through the crowd below, as they cannot move without stepping on each other.  The crowd in the pool grows agitated, sensing perhaps that they have outgrown their space, that there is no escape.  That something “awful” may be about to erupt among them…

Those of us above the pool want to help, but we don’t know how.  We try yelling at those below, pointing out that there is a shallow end much easier to climb out of.  Some seem to vaguely “hear” us, but that slow migration not only causes friction with those they pass, but also increases the crowd in the shallow end, making it more difficult for them to maneuver there.  The way out seems totally blocked.

So, some of us above try reaching down into the pool to “rescue” certain Others.  But that, of course, puts us at risk of falling in ourselves.  I have, in fact, witnessed more than one brave “rescuer” get dragged into the fray; once there, they struggle like the others to free themselves…

What I “see” now is that those Others gathered around the pool are all “me’s,” in their own rights, which makes them actually Me.  As are those below us, milling about in the empty pool.  I am so caught up in trying horizontal approaches to “reach” and “aid” them, that I totally miss the truly verticle approach.  (Reaching for them down below seems verticle, but it still rests on creating a horizontal connection; in essence, I am stepping off one axis to “reach” for the Other.)  My eyes are drawn to the skies above me…

And so it begins to rain…

And the water begins to collect in the pool…

And the crowds there begin to panic…

And those gathered around it become “concerned”…

And I can only smile…

***     ***     ***

You may now return to your regularly scheduled rants about political powers.  Or was it political rants about power?

Whatever…  ;D

 

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Essay, Reflections

A Question of Competence… or is it Commitment?

I notice these days that there are a lot of people out there “selling” belief.  I get inundated every day with emails and ads, suggestions for how to improve every aspect of my life through holistic healing, energy work, prayer, divination, spirit guidance, contemplation practices and fitness regimes.  Everyone has an angle that they guarantee will work for me.

But I’m not sure I agree…  Why?

Why can’t I embrace any of these techniques?  Why can’t I even bring myself to try them out?  Clearly my life needs healing in so many ways, and I’ve always been open to both mainstream and alternative means.  Non-judgmental.  Yep, that’s me…

Or is it?  Because I find myself discounting these believers and teachers without even attempting to test their theories.  I find myself hitting “delete” without even listening to their spiel.  Is it just a question of competency?

To be sure, times have definitely changed.  I remember, not so long ago, when “experts” in any field were judged by the length of time they had invested in an area of study, as well as by the efficacy of their results.  Anyone new to a particular field had to “earn” their stripes, so to speak.

But in this digital era of instant gratification, and You Tube, everyone becomes an “expert” by saying they are, and by earning a “following.”  An interested party does an internet search on their topic, then chooses what site(s) to visit, or what videos to watch, not so much by researching qualifications, but by the number of “hits” or “followers” that “teacher” has.  “Mob rules” defined and practiced…

But I’ve never really been a follower type, preferring to take someone’s idea or theory and research it on my own.  Always looking for flaws in reasoning or data, critical in my assessments, judging what part(s) appear to work, or not, for me.  Self-defined reality…

And I can’t honestly state which path is “better” or makes more sense in the end, because both ways have their pros and cons.  Self-definition provides flexibility and adaptability to any path or belief system, but it also prevents any commitment or benefits of dedicated practice; you basically believe or do what you want, while discarding the rest, and that rarely leads to deep knowledge or wisdom.  But mob rule, while clearly directing your practice and belief, without requiring deep contemplation, also requires you to accept a whole lot of stuff you might not normally agree with; much harm has been perpetrated by those following a path too strictly, without regard for how it may affect the lives of others…

Hmm…

I know that in these tumultuous times people are desperate for something hopeful to believe in.  I know everyone wants to feel empowered, capable and competent.  We no longer believe in the “system” to provide for our needs consistently and competently, and we are correct in questioning it; the society we knew and trusted is collapsing around us.  So spirituality has become big business, and gurus are hawking every corner.  And many are providing (and feeling) some relief.  That’s good, right?

Too bad it doesn’t feel that way.  At least to me…

I have been asked twice in the last week or so, to offer my advice/guidance in a public setting; to “teach” on topics I used to be well versed in and confident to teach.  I have refused both opportunities, claiming “incompetence” as my excuse.  I no longer feel “qualified” to offer advice, even on those topics in which I was formerly an “expert,” recognized by both “time in” and “results of.”  And I find the whole situation rather amusing; but then, I’ve always had a twisted perception of reality, and a great appreciation for irony.

The bottom line for me today is that I no longer know what is “real” or not, or what is worthy of believing anymore.  My daily life is so overrun with time inconsistencies, and “bleed-through” from other realities, that I feel like it’s one continuous, unsubstantial, channel surfing adventure.  It’s like being on one of those rides at Disney World, where you sit in a little car that takes you through different scenes, changing rapidly, each trying to capture your imagination and “feel” real, while a part of you remains focused on the hard plastic seat you’re sitting on, and the wealth of darkness framing every scene.  You want to throw yourself into it, to wholly embrace the vision before you, but that seat is so uncomfortable, and the people behind you won’t stop talking, and your stomach is growling (oh, did I forget to eat again today?), and…  well, you get the drift.

I had a dream recently…

In the dream I was one of a half dozen people or so invited to attend a special retreat.  At that retreat we were to be trained on how to “pray” for others, and to teach them how to pray for themselves.  In this case, though, “prayer” referred to the actual practice of miracles; in other words, we would be taught how to manifest real change in the world, and how to pass that skill to others.

At first, I was excited, but then the doubt set in.  I knew that these prayers (this technique) came from a tradition I was familiar with, but not a follower of.  I began questioning whether I had a “right” to attend, coming as I was from curiosity rather than belief.  I found myself speaking about my concerns to a friend I know in real life.  We do not “believe” the same, but we share a mutual respect for each other that often allows us to discuss ethical or moral concerns, and actually learn from each others’ perspective.  When I finished explaining the situation to him (in the dream), he grew very stern, pointed his finger at me accusingly, and said, quite seriously, “you better make damn sure you can commit to this, Lisa, before you go; otherwise, don’t go!”  His whole demeanor spoke of dire warning, as though this were not some trifling matter, which is very unlike him in real life.  I woke, telling myself I’d better test my commitment to this path before attending the retreat…

When I shared this dream with him in real life, he pointed out my use of present tense in the waking world (as in “I’d better be sure before attending…”).  I started to say that it was just a grammar/language error, then stopped myself.  He laughed, quick to catch that, as we both know how careful I am with words in the real world.  I believe our language affects our reality, so I am meticulous about saying what I mean, and meaning what I say.  So there is no room for such a “slip of the tongue” in my world, especially when speaking to him; he will call me on any bullshit he hears…

So…

It’s not really a question of competency plaguing me, I think, but one of commitment.  I know I could learn these “techniques,” whatever they are; I’m basically intelligent, well studied, and own a long tradition of learning and practicing competently.  I am a born teacher.  But I am hesitating, even knowing that such “techniques” may bring actual relief…  Why?

Because I am reluctant to commit to any particular path these days.  I am thoroughly enjoying the free flowing nature of my reality these days.  Because I do not want to be restricted by rules or expectations if something new and more appealing reveals itself to me.  Because I do not want to accept responsibility…

Ahh…  That’s it, then, isn’t it?

Commitment comes with responsibility, and I do not want that in my life.  I do not want to be responsible for others, to be held accountable for what they do with any knowledge (complete or not) they may gain from our interaction.  And that’s what’s missing in the wealth of big business based spirituality, too.  No one wants to be responsible.  No one wants to be held accountable for the “wrongs” committed by their beliefs and believers.  And while I have always believed that people should be held accountable for their own actions, rather than blaming their past or their preacher/teacher, I recognize that there is a line marking where such independence becomes hypocrisy. Because some people truly do influence others who want to be influenced, and we do become at least partially responsible for anything they do “in our name”…

Could I actually learn to change the world?  Could I make it a better place? Could I then competently teach others to do the same?

Can I wholeheartedly commit to finding out?

That is the question, isn’t it?

 

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Dreams, NoBloPoMo, Reflections

Living “Debt Free”…

I had a dream almost a week ago in which my dream mentor told me, quite plainly, “all your debt is paid…

When the words were first spoken, shock set in, followed rapidly by disbelief, which morphed into thoughts of consequences and caveats…

“But what about the taxes?,” I asked.  “Has any provision been made for that?  I mean, if you write off that kind of debt, there are tax consequences…”

My mentor cocked his head and just looked at me, exasperated.

I didn’t say your debt has been forgiven; I said it has been paid…  You are now able to begin living debt-free.

As these words were spoken, I allowed my doubt to leave, watching as it burst into a tiny flame burning somewhere near my heart.  Slowly that flame grew into excitement, anticipation, and yes, even hope, spreading rapidly throughout my body.  The expanding warmth finally reached my head and toes, and with it came clarity…

Laughing, I said to him, “ohhh…  You’re talking about Karma, aren’t you?”

And then I awoke…

Ok, so maybe my financial debt remains, a holdover from when I believed I owed the world something, simply for taking up space here.  But still…  this “gift” is huge!!

Debt free, karmically speaking, what does that really mean?  How does it feel?  How does it translate into daily activity?  These are the questions driving my experiences today…

The first thing I noticed was a certain “lightness,” a lifting of an ever-present weight upon my shoulders.  I stood straighter, calmer, more confidently in my space.  I realized, with a growing sense of wonder, that I owed nobody anything (can’t figure out how to make that work, grammatically, but you get the idea…).  I understood that everything I do now truly is by choice, a choice freed of guilt and expectation.  What do I want to do, right now?

And the first thing I did was go to work.  Of course.  😉  Not because I felt I had to, but because I wanted to.  I looked forward to spending time with coworkers, to enjoying my work for its own sake, to doing something helpful and productive with my physical being…

Then I went for a walk in the woods, spending time with the trees and the animals who shelter and live there.  Only this time, I wasn’t there seeking messages, lessons, or learning, but simply enjoying the beauty of the moment, the sharing of time with Other beings, similar to, but so unlike my self.  It was quite gratifying…

And today…

Several days have passed, and slowly I revert to the “should’s” and “ought to’s” of life…

***

One of my “grandkitties” had to be euthanized two days ago, and I ached all over, for my daughter, her family, and the animal himself.  I know it was the “right” thing to do.  I struggled with what part I should play in that unfolding drama.  I offered myself to my daughter, whatever she needed.  But I understood that she was the “adult in charge,” and the decisions were hers to make.  I respected those boundaries, even when it became obvious she didn’t “need” me at all…  My baby is all grown up now, and I couldn’t be prouder of her, or the way she handled this unexpected tragedy…

But I had to catch myself, more than once, reminding my self that debt-free goes both ways; I may not owe anyone else, but neither do they owe me.  She didn’t need my “help” this time, and she did brilliantly!  There is absolutely nothing I could have said or done to improve that experience; she, quite literally, got the job done in the most compassionate, loving, and responsible way possible.  With no urging or guidance from me…

And it truly came home to me this morning, after two days of “grieving,” that this, also, is part of what it means to live “debt free”…

And being free just took on a whole new dimension for me…

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Conversations, Reflections, Stories..., Visions

“A Lesson on the Evolution of Rocks… and things.”

The Teacher led us to a rocky ledge, basking in the early morning sun, and bade us sit and make ourselves comfortable.  “Steady your breathing and claim your space,” she instructed us.

After some time had passed, she sighed deeply, and began to speak…

This stone I’m sitting upon is warming beneath me…,” she said.  “It’s almost as if it’s absorbing my own heat energy and reflecting it back to me.  Why do you suppose that is?”

No one responded…

Hmm…,” she mused aloud.  “Rocks evolve in a crucible of heat and pressure.  When the proper levels of each are achieved, they transform themselves into entirely different form.  Same matter, maybe (?), but a totally different expression of it, with different qualities, different strengths, different weaknesses…  The same, but different…”

She paused a moment, seemingly lost in thought.  Silence reigned upon the rocky knoll…

So the question then becomes, for me anyway… [a smile tugged at the corner of her mouth] … are the rocks then feeding me (by warming me), or are they feeding off me (by draining off my heat energy in the first place)?  Is the growing heat beneath me reflective of my healing or my weakening?”

Silence held the listeners’ tongues…  Laughing, she turned to look at each of us in turn…

Did you all follow me up here to listen to me talk to myself?”

One seeker spoke up, hesitating and awkward…  “I feel only good coming from the rock I’m with.  The experience is pleasant, comforting, blissful…  I feel more grounded, more centered, more… whole somehow…  I think the rock is helping, rather than hurting me,” he concluded quietly.

Ok, then,” the Teacher responded.  “From your perspective the rock is serving you…  Beautiful!  Wonderful!  How empowering and validating it must be to be loved in this manner!…”  She turned and looked sharply at the speaker.  “But why do you suppose the rock should choose to serve you this way?  Does it gain nothing from its interaction with you?”

Another seeker spoke up…  “Perhaps the good feelings are merely a side effect of the draining of energy…?  Some predators drug their victims so they don’t realize they’re in danger until they are too weak to respond,” she suggested.

Ahhh…,” responded the Teacher.  “In which case, the very rocks upon this Earth may be our enemies, draining us, enslaving us to fuel their evolution…?”

The student did not respond…

Seems curious to me,” mused the Teacher, “that we have so many ‘stone masters’ in our collective human history, if we are indeed their slaves.  Perhaps that is part of the shared delusion the stones create to bend us to their will…?”

Silence settled once more upon the small group.  The sun warmed as it rose higher in the morning sky.  The humans warmed,  absorbing its heat and light.  The rocks warmed, creating a haven of peace and serenity, soothing city souls…

“It seems to me,” a third seeker began, “that everything in the Universe, in Nature, revolves around the principle of exchange…  From the grossest planetary matter, to the tiniest sub-atomic particles, all forms freely exchange energy.  Each expression of matter may use that energy differently, but we are all using the same energy…  Why, then, would this be any different?  Why cast it as an either/or question?”

He looked directly at the Teacher…  And continued.

“Can we not suppose, perhaps, that the exchange of heat energy between us and the rocks is of mutual benefit somehow?”

Interesting question,” the Teacher responded.  “Perhaps we could explore that a bit…?”

When no objections were voiced, she began to speculate aloud…

So, the rock absorbs my heat energy to use for some internal process, and then returns that heat energy to me, making me feel good…?”

No one in the small gathering responded…

But is there then a purpose to this exchange, beyond the mere cycling, or recycling, of energy…?”  Chuckling softly, she continued, mostly to herself.  “Talk about the proverbial waste of time…”

“Unless…,” the third seeker began.  “Unless the rocks transform my heat energy in some manner before returning it to me…?  In which case, it’s not precisely the same energy…?”

Smiling broadly, the Teacher looked directly at the third seeker…  “From which we might conclude that we also transform such energy before passing it back to the stones…?  Or other beings we might encounter along our way?”

“Like bees!,” another seeker exclaimed.  “We, as humans, have mobility that the stones do not innately possess.  I mean, they move, of course, but not nearly as easily as we do.  Perhaps our mutual exchange allows us to carry the stone-transformed energy elsewhere, while leaving some residue of our travels behind!  Such an exchange would benefit both parties, empowering, informing, even directing the evolution of all matter…”

Another seeker jumped in, excitedly… “Gently pushing us all in the same general direction…”

And yet another seeker found her voice…  “Both pushing us forward while reigning us in, so no one form alters too dramatically in a single step!”

All eyes focused on the Teacher…

She sighed deeply, drawing in the early summer morning, then lay back upon her warmed rock.  The seekers waited, expectantly, though none could voice their need.

The same… but different,” she murmured softly.

Soon the Teacher’s gentle snoring became part of the ambient summer soundscape…

 

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