Reflections, Visions

Answering “the Call”…

BRRRRRIIINNNNNNGGG… BRRRRRIIINNNNNNGGG…

“Hello?”

Hello?!  Can you hear me?

“Yes, I can hear you.  Who is this?”

“Doesn’t matter right now.  Just listen…  Carefully…  To what I’m about to say.”

“Okay.”

“Tread cautiously today…  Watch your steps…  Place each one consciously, paying particular attention to what you are stepping on…”

“Good advice, I guess.  Always.  But is there something specific I should be focusing on?”

“Beware of open doors and planned deceptions; misperceptions are everywhere!”

“Ok, now you’re just starting to sound paranoid…”

“Shhhh!!…  Listen!…  Just listen!”

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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

“The Surface of ‘Things’…”

I find my self upon the ocean

far, far from land;

I cannot sense a hint of it,

even far, far beyond.

I’m floating on the surface of things

riding a raft of my own creation,

made up of pieces and parts –

tokens of my own broken past…

know there mustn’t be solid ground near

for no birds fly here,

not even the albatross who often follows me

with his self-destructive tendencies.

But the water is calm today, as am I,

the waves gently rocking…

I lay back, stare at the clear blue sky

and gently drift to sleep…

I dream…

Glancing over the edge of my make-shift raft

I see many glistening beings

swimming just below the surface –

a hint about those “things.”

My thoughts reach deeper still

to where the currents flow,

sensing potential danger (or enlightenment)

in the power of the undertow…

“Is this where tides begin?”

“And change?,” I’m wondering…

“Or merely the point of no return,

when whatever IS just drags you in?”

Deeper still the shadows grow

as even Light begins to hesitate;

“things” there are larger still

and frightening, perhaps, to contemplate…

Beneath them in the ocean’s depth

where Light completely fails,

blindness is a gift, protecting me

from what might be revealed.

But there…

Far, far from the surface,

where the greatest mysteries dwell…

That is where true Power lives…

and breathes…

in the most haunting “things” of All.

But floating on my make-shift raft

upon the surface of things

such power seems much too remote

to ever even touch me.

Until I wake…

To see those blue skies overrun

with storm clouds tall and threatening.

To hear the rumbling thunder

and watch the distant lightning.

To feel the swells begin to rise

as chaos stirs the surface.

To sense the instability

of my raft of broken memories.

Surprisingly, it is not Fear who comes to judge my progress…

Nor a desperate need to act.

Rather, the calm of the ocean I slept on

has strengthened its hold upon me.

And as the storm approaches,

I find my self… wondering…

just what I’ll choose to do

when this fragile raft I’m riding on

dumps me into the surrounding turmoil?…

Will I struggle to remain afloat?

Grabbing pieces of my broken raft,

renewing my commitment here and now

to staying on the surface?

Or will I let my little self go?

Sinking beneath the things

past the glistening beings

to the power far below?

Or maybe…

Perhaps, even…

If I trust my self enough…

You think?

One of those behemoths living in the deep…

Will slowly rise to meet (and greet) me.

And slipping gracefully beneath my feet,

will lift me up, just high enough…

for me to find my wings!

Freeing me at last

from the ocean’s clinging grasp

to fly far, far above

the ever present surface of…

things…

 

 

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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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Poetry, Reflections

“The Glass Prison…”

Trapped in a prison of glass…

Free to see…

Free to feel…

But unable to touch those outside.

Watching as they self-destruct,

dragging along as many Others

as each can touch…

Only windows here,

but no doors I can find.

Bearing witness to the fury that consumes…

Nothing more.

Or less.

There are airholes high above me,

allowing me to breathe.

The stench of death and rotten things

nearly suffocating me…

“It’s only glass!,” you point out,

your tone a measured mix of disdain and disgust.

“If you feel trapped by it, you can only blame yourself!”

“True,” I think, knowing you are right.

“But if the only weapons I have are my hands, and feet and head…

“If I can only turn within this space, but not take a single step…

“Then how do I escape without also destroying my Self?”

And do I really want to?

***

Standing in a sanctuary made of glass…

Free to see…

Free to feel…

But unable to be touched by those outside.

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Essay, Reflections

The “Value” of a Gift…

For all of my adult life, I have chosen to walk hand-in-hand with the “just getting by financially” crowd, and I have no idea why.  I know that it doesn’t stem from lack of talent, or even ambition, because I have plenty of both.  Numerous “investigations” into this facet of my life plan have led to some interesting possible excuses and explanations, but all of them have one common denominator: the primary obstacle to financial security in my life is, and has always been, me…

The why of this only becomes relevant when I am looking for ways to change it.  I understand that now (2017 America) is neither the time nor place to change my path, as everything in the state and economy is rigged against such success, but perhaps that makes it the perfect time to explore why none of my previous efforts to change it worked.  After all, there is nothing to gain, and little left to lose these days.  And as my working life becomes more difficult to sustain, the questions swirl in the background of what I should expect next…

One of the most common recurring themes revealed by previous research is a tendency to self-sabotage, to underrate my own value, to seek the least productive path, financially speaking.  When asked to rate my own value (as in setting prices for work I do, or services I provide), I always go low.  Perhaps I am lacking in self-confidence, or self-esteem, as most people assume, but it doesn’t feel that way to me.  Rather, I feel I am protecting myself from unsustainable expectations; after all, “you get what you pay for,” right?

The “problem” for me is that I have always believed I must “earn” my way.  Every acquisition of resources need be by “fair and equitable exchange.”  It doesn’t mean that the monetary value of the exchange be equal, but that the perceived value to both parties be equitable.  For those who value money (businesses, for example), actual dollars have been exchanged.  For those needing services, a barter might suffice, providing both parties receive something they consider as valuable as what they are offering.  That makes any transaction more difficult in its subjective assessment, but also ensures a more “even” exchange, providing both parties are open and honest about what they perceive as valuable…  It is also a test of integrity, to see if one party will try to “take advantage” of another…

In a society based on the selfish pursuit of all things “me,” such integrity is often hard to find.  For me, personally, I always choose to err in favor of the other; give more, take less, thus ensuring my conscience is clean.

But is it?  Really?

By under-valuing myself, am I being fair to me?  Could it not be said that I am taking advantage of myself?  How can I label such exchanges as fair and equitable if I refuse to fairly assess my contribution?  Am I not placing unsustainable expectations upon myself?  After all, if I am doing my “best” as my integrity demands, while asking for “less,” have I not just created a scenario where my needs will never be met, no matter how determinedly or diligently I work at it?

Disturbing thoughts…  Made more disturbing by their reflection in my reality.  For I have proven, time and again, that no matter how hard I work, I simply can’t get ahead.  There is no safety net in my life, no financial cushion to fall back on; there is only the knowledge that if I stop moving, the entire house of cards I’ve built may well collapse.  And while that collapse may cripple me, it will be unlikely to shield me from the consequences of it happening.  Eventually the piper will have to be paid, one way or another…

I recently ran into a friend who has a debilitating and terminal illness; less than 6 months ago, he was in a hospital, and medical wisdom determined he would likely never leave.  But he survived, thanks to new (and expensive) treatments.  Being a laborer by trade, he is unable to work, and yet he has been denied disability benefits (which would have likely only paid him a third of his “working value” in a best case scenario).  Furthermore, he told me he has to wait two years to appeal the decision.  And while it is common knowledge that all disability claims are denied at first, and later paid out retroactively when approved, it baffles me how this is supposed to work?!  With a home he needs to live in, and expensive medical care he needs to survive at all, what is he supposed to do in the meantime?  So, like many in his position, he has turned to criminal activities to provide a subsistence income.  Where is the integrity here?

I am not so foolish as to believe that life should be fair.  Nor do I assume that doing right means you will be properly rewarded.  And I realize that very few control almost all of the available resources to hoard for themselves, and use those resources to mop up what’s left for themselves, making sustainable living an impossible dream for most of us.  But still…

I love crafting, and all things creative, so I used to make things and try to sell them.  I wasn’t so much trying to make a living, as I was trying to get my hobbies to pay for themselves.  Such efforts were disastrous.  Not only did I undervalue my merchandise, just trying to get rid of it, but I invested a small fortune (for me, anyway), in opening the channels in the first place.  I found that if you under-price things, most will not buy, but if you over-price things, none will.  I would find myself at craft venues, reaping in praise, but only selling items $5 at a time.  It was necessary to have these low prices on some items simply to make up the cost of the booth.  And there was never a profit in it for me.  So I would wind up selling stuff to friends, and online, at below cost prices (not even covering materials, much less time invested), or giving stuff away as gifts, simply to get rid of it.  And now my tools rust in a damp basement, unused for years, because what, after all, is the point…?

Which brings me in a long, typically roundabout way, to the point I originally wanted to make.  Just this week a co-worker made a piece of jewelry partially inspired by a suggestion I’d made, that I absolutely fell in love with!  I wanted it, though I have no use for more jewelry.  Still, I want to encourage and support her efforts, as she does amazing work!  I asked her what she would charge for it?  The price, while reasonable, was far beyond what I can afford these days, and I told her that.  She offered me a “discount,” suggesting I pay her whatever I thought I could and/or should; a typical dilemma among my co-workers…  I struggled all day with how to respond.  I didn’t want to take advantage of her generosity, but I really couldn’t afford to buy it at all, being a non-necessary item.  I could sense her confusion growing as the day dragged on, and I did not make an offer, but I honestly didn’t know what to do…

Finally, I sought advice from another co-worker with whom I have often discussed this very dilemma.  I thought we were zeroing in on an appropriate offer, when she suddenly turned and walked away from me.  I was stunned and disheartened by her “abandonment.”  A little while later she reappeared, and when I questioned her about her abrupt dismissal of our conversation, she plopped the necklace on my desk and told me it was a “gift.”

I could not respond…

It was not her willingness to purchase it for me that rendered me mute, for she is often thoughtful and generous in the giving of things.  Rather, I later discovered, I was paralyzed by my inability to imagine how I could “make it up” to her.  For while she often gives graciously, she does not receive well…

A familiar theme…

So…  While there was much value in this gift she gave me, I found myself swamped by the many forms it took.  There was the necklace itself, which I love.  There was the revealing of the nature of exchange, as Lisa views it, revealing a worldview automatically biased against myself.  There was the acknowledgement that receiving is something I do not do well; I am so uncomfortable with it that my insides still cringe when I remember her dropping that box in front of me.  And there is a profound understanding growing in me that, though I may consider myself empowered and capable of manifesting whatever I truly desire or need, it does me no good whatsoever if I cannot receive the fruits of those efforts graciously…

Truly a valuable “gift” my friend has given me…

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