Sunday, December 21, 2008
While January 1 is a great time of celebration and "ringing in the new year" with those who are on consumer time, I recognize the Winter Solstice as Earth's New Year; a time when the shift to light brings longer days.
From an early-morning meditation, I found action through inspired thought for 2009...
1. Breathe Deep Every Day. Do several deep and slow breaths in a row, until you feel slightly light headed. Do this when the thought of deep breathing comes to you; even if you only have time for one or two deep breaths, breathe in deeply and consciously, exhale consciously.
2. Meditate. Heard it a thousand times, but this is key to our awakening. You will be provided with time every day to meditate 10 to 30 minutes – it is up to you to recognize that the time is there and that your intention for that time is for meditation. To deep breathe with meditation is even more beneficial.
Meditation is key because time is speeding up, and as it does, events and situations stick and pile up faster, forming a clotted mound as the day or week goes by, giving us the sensation that we are overwhelmed and confused… not to mention the fact that our big issues come slamming into that mound, sticking even bigger masses to the clot, creating more confusion, fogginess and frustration. When we meditate, the speeding up of time not only stops, but time stops period. Our mind is no longer worrying about the future or torturing ourselves about the past. We are simply in the Moment. The effects of speeded-up time are neutralized and defused, allowing chunks of the clot (issues) to release into the flow of universal energy. Being in the Now is the only way to stop time - Now is the only time that is real or matters. The confusion will be left behind, you will recognize the beauty of this moment in your journey, and recognize that “what is” is perfect in this moment.
3. Become Aware of Old Patterns. Simply becoming conscious of your patterns will begin the process of undoing and breaking the pattern. But you must make the concerted effort of identifying what patterns you have (when you have strong negative emotions about situations or people, there is a pattern present). If you become aware of a pattern, try using the Byron Katie 4-question technique. For more information, please visit her website http://www.thework.com/index.asp , and read her books "Loving What Is" and "A Thousand Names Joy". If you're not a reader or would like to watch her technique in action, check out the videos on her website
4. Focus on Your Issues, Stay Out of Other People’s Issues. This goes hand-in-hand with #3 and can be applied to personal, national, and global situations. You cannot force change on other people or situations and expect it to work out just as you wish. If you want a person to change, first question your own desire to see them change (Byron Katie questions) and discover what is true for you. Often when you think someone or something should change, you are getting into that someone else's business. Ask the 4 questions that Byron Katie poses, and see what your turnaround is.
Resisting, struggling, or fighting against another person or situation will leave you with overwhelming feelings of negativity, and any "progress" you may find through pushing your agenda is often temporary, empty, or results in worsening the situation.
Ultimately with other people, their issues and behaviors are not yours to fix. You cannot make another person behave the way you want them to. You can only point out to them how you feel when they behave that way - that is your truth. Then they can decided what that means to them - which is their truth.
"John/Jane, When you do XX, I feel XX." Let them decide what their truth is; let go of expecting them to see your point or to change. No one "should" or "shouldn’t" do anything; for there is no "proper behavior" barometer out there. There is only the barometer of truth within each person, and that truth is for that individual only. If someone else cannot accept you for you, and you are having difficulty accepting their behavior, continuing in that vein is only harmful to both parties.
This empowering action is the Universe lining you up with, and disconnecting you from, those who no longer are in alignment with you. This is the Universe working through you, and it shows you who you are, so that you know your truth.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
I step out of the car expecting to be assaulted by the Arctic temperature, but the air and cloudless sky reveal a dry cold that poses a greater risk of my face becoming a poster child for Oil of Olay than my fingers freezing to my camera.
Warm in my downy jacket, I boldly move to a better position across the parking lot to take pictures of the moon.
I shoot, look at the viewer. That can't be right. Shoot again, look at the viewer. Hm...the largest the moon has appeared in years, closer to Earth than it has been in years, brighter to the human eye than it has been in years, and yet it looks so small in the viewer. I look up, it is enormous. I look down...tiny. I zoom, shoot again, zoom, shoot again. And again, observing whether the reality of the viewer has changed. It has not.
It occurs to me that a "master photographer" could possess the right lens, filters, or camera to shoot the exactness of what I see - but I know in my heart that this is not true. No matter what camera, lens or filter I have, no matter who the photographer is, only variations of this beautiful specter can be created as it moves so slowly across the morning sky that it seems to hang on the frozen atmosphere.
It also occurs to me that to believe I might replicate it in a physical medium such as photography, has a misunderstanding at its core. For every physcial thing that we see before us has an energetic element too. This is why our breath is taken away when we "see" the beauty of nature. We are not just seeing with physical eyes. What makes a site so beautiful is not about what the "naked eye" sees, but the what the soul sees, too.
I look at this enormous moon. It is larger than life. Yet it is so small I can barely conceive of its role in the cosmos. It is humorous that a little physical being such as myself is attempting to reflect in the format of photography what the universe has created in its profound power and vastness. Luckily, being a part of the universe makes me a part of that joke, and I smile at my smallness, and at my vastness.
Life shines through us like the light of the sun reflecting off the moon, reflecting off of the Talkeetna Mountains. We are never doing, we are never thinking, we are never breathing. We are beign breathed, being thought, being done.So this morning I released the need to capture the essense of the moon, and just allowed the moon to shine through my photos as it would; allowed myself to be thought and breathed, allowed the doing to flow through me.
That is as close as I can come to honoring the vastness and reality of the moon and my life.
And now, here comes the sun.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Poppy, on the left, is the Evil Genius and the Queen of the Pack (note she has the remote control), though she does suffer occassional embarrassments from her hair fetish, which can be difficult to get untangled from. Cali, on the right, is a Zen Buddhist Kitty by Day, and a Ninja Kitty by Night. She actually has a "look" for each of her personnas. Above we've caught her in "the change" - like the Hulk, her green eyes are beginning to show, and soon she'll become Ninja Kitty by Night. Aagh! Run! Flee!
Nicolai, named after the Alaska village and Iditarod checkpoint by an 8-year-old Iditarod enthusiast (now 15 going on 30), is the bad-boy scapegoat. He's the Boss, and the loaner. If he could smoke and grease his hair back, he would. He's Thomas O'malley the Alley Cat with an attitude.
This is his most innocent face.
"Yeah, I'm real innocent. Just wait until she leaves the room!"
Cute to a one-time observer, but when this happens all the time, and you see the waftering fur on the counters, and they're grazing on watery chunks of God-knows-what in the drain trap, and they're licking on what laying on the counters?...Agh! No!!
So, since I've lately been studying Byron Katie, I decided to apply her four-question technique to this situation. It starts with making a statement about something that really really bothers you in your life - something that creates struggle. My statement: I don't want the cats to get on the counters. Then you ask these four questions:
1) Is it true? My firm and emphatic reply was "YES!"
2) Is it absolutely true? My more thoughtful, still firm reply was "Yes."
3) How do you react when you think this thought? I get tense, I feel anger and frustration. They're impertinent! Disrespectful! It pisses me off! (Disprespectful? At this point, I'm sniggering at myself, but this is really how into this "story" I get!)
4) Who would you be without the thought? I felt good, peaceful. I had visions of the cats playing on the counters in the sunlight. In front of me. Never-before-seen-footage of them walking about the stove, the toaster, the fruit bowl. No problem. In fact, I was calm, more relaxed, more loving toward them and everyone around me in the room. I felt nothing but love toward them.
And the final step to the process is that you turn your statement around: I want the cats to get on the counters. And as Byron Katie says, "Yes, that's good, but there's one more way to turn it around - what is it?"
I want to get on the counters.
I laughed out loud! (The cats flew off the couch - "Run! She's gone mad!") How hilarious! How silly! And yet I think about the cats and me on the counter, playing, being happy. And why not? Let it go. There are better battles to fight.
And that's just it, isn't it? The Universe is always loving and humorous. Always, every time, without question. The only battles out there are the ones we choose.
And I found that the real trick to this process is that after you ask the questions and see the wisdom, you have to embody the wisdom. You have to walk your new-found truth. Not an easy walk, but one worth taking. All over the counters if you have to. I'm working on it - me and the Ninja cats...
Monday, November 10, 2008
- Byron Katie, A Thousand Names for Joy
How can you find peace when you are surrounded by unpredictable and antagonistic situations, people, and events?
* Am I judging me or someone else?
* Am I defending my position for feeling bad?
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Much love and light to everyone on this day of choosing. Off to do those little things for me.
Monday, October 27, 2008
A News Junky Unplugs
Mind Your Unconscious Mind
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Take for instance the Dow Jones. It seems to be matching my rollercoaster ride. This is symbology at work, reflecting an inner feeling of an individual to an outer-world reality.
This month I have seen my shadow side frequently, and often plunged into its depths, distraught at my failures, frustrated with my inability to create or manifest, feeling so alone and apart. Then suddenly a wave of light arrives, and on that wave of light comes the realization that without the dark, I could not see the light, the truth of who I am. The darkness is just the other side of the coin. And after night, comes day. My eyes open and I see the perfection around me: the winter trees, the rocks covered in snow, and my place among them.
And so follows the Dow Jones. Strange, isn’t it? What baramoter have we created that we were unaware of? Go to the Dow Jones to see how you’re feeling today. What came first, the chicken or the egg? The plunging dow or my dark side?
But it is just so: Wall Street is looking for good news, then sees bad. It goes up, it goes down. And like Wall Street, every individual’s inner barometer is measuring their inner turmoil right now. Like Wall Street, every individual is being asked to look at their situation and question their reality. In the words of Suze Orman, we thought there was a house with a foundation, but under the foundation was an enormous sink hole.
Ask yourself this: Do you have a home now? Where is it?
Some might say the home is that beautiful house you had to give up, or one answer might be "not this stinking apartment." But your home is none of these, is it? Because as long as your heart beats, your home is inside of you. You carry it with you, it is not an outside object made of wood and slab. It is the part of you that keeps your family whole, that speaks to who you are as you go through your day. So long as you have your home and your health, you will be living a truth. Not a lie.
When individuals begin to balance their polarities, that is to say, balance their struggle between material (house outside you) and the immaterial (house inside you), right and wrong, good and evil, masculine and feminine, being and doing - whatever their struggle is - the new economy will become stable.
For example, the polarity I am working through is integrating the male and female aspects within me. This doesn’t mean I’m a guy trying to come out of a female body, it means that within all of us there are male aspects and female aspects. I am learning to integrate the feminine concepts of allowing, acceptance, creating, and surrender into the masculine concepts of doing and powering through.
When I burned out in the corporate world - “cratered” - I lived off of saved money to invest in the time I needed to discover what I wanted to become. Eventually, I sold the snow machines and other items on Craig’s List (not the cabin!), and did the "big taboo" of the financial world: I re-framed the purpose of my 401K and IRAs.
There is a new economic trend coming. It is to reframe the concept of wealth. People and the planet will matter more than money. What we needed yesterday, is not what we need today. What we need tomorrow is not money for security; what we need tomorrow is to know that if we are cut off from utilities, can we get heat, light, and sanitary water? If we are cut off from food sources, can we get food to eat?
It is what we are being that is valuable now, not how good we look as we are doing. Not what money we have saved or hoarded. If you want your money to matter, find out who you want to be in earnest. Take time to sit alone and think about what you want your future to look like. Does it matter if it involves a fancy car, or that your family is healthy?
Money will be taking a back seat soon. Money will no longer matter because you can’t have enough of it to keep your stocks from “cratering.” You cannot have enough money to protect you from a world that lived in lies about money. That world was based on greed, dishonesty, disrespect, and “not enough.” Always never enough.
A good question to ask in times like these is, What do I know about sustaining myself? If you know nothing, then start to learn! It is never too late and time only goes by. One of the best schools from which to learn about living is the cooperative extension services at your local universities. Most of their programs are free or priced very low. They have the classes that teach you about collecting and growing foods in your area, composting, raising farm animals, master gardening, canning, and so much more. When I started to learn sustaining methods 3 years ago, I didn't realize that was what I was doing. I took master gardening classes, learned to can, played with building structures, and learned to use a chain saw. But it was not until this month, October 2008, that I had the “epiphanies” that all that I had learned will pay off in the next few years.
After I left my job, I used my 401K and IRA money to determine the most important question: In the present, what am I representing as I put my energy forward? In the past, what has been my “passion” – those themes that pepper my life with joy? In the future, who do I want to become?
If you know all that you are and you are comfortable even as the stock market soars and plummets, then ask yourself what your community needs, because it is your community that will be your foundation in the future. An example of this is the banks: big banks are “Cratering”; small local banks are fine because they didn’t use the bad business practices, didn’t get greedy, and stayed true to their customers, the local community.
In the end, we’re all going to be fine. But in an almost Taoist way, we must come to terms with who we really are. We must face our polarities, bring our energies and money and resources into ourselves and our communities, and allow this global economic ride to unfold.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
I saw them this weekend. At the Bioneers in Alaska Conference. They were men, my second favorite topic. Rising consciousness is my first favorite. So imagine my excitement when I went to my first Bioneers Conference and these men weren't the stereotypical male lightworkers: the healer in a turtle neck; the Native American elder or shaman; or the young dread-locked rebel. Don't get me wrong, I love the male lightworkers, dreads and all! They have been my anchor in the belief that men are a part of this world and actually will come with us females as we move into consciousness. It's just that my perception has followed that they looked like John Edward and live on the East Coast (most notably Long Island), or Arizona, or San Francisco. Or Great Brittain. Or Europe. Definitely Europe. But not really in Alaska.
Now, one might understand my ignorance because when you live in Alaska with He-Men of the North, many of whom shoot, hunt, and grunt next to pitbulls wearing lipstick, you will understand that it is uncommon to see flannel-wearing peoples of the male variety attending a conference on the health of humanity and the planet. You betcha.
I have attended other Alaska events with spiritual themes, and can quite accurately say that most Lightworkers in Alaska who go to these conferences tend to be female.
So when the topic turned to similiarities between the systems of ecology and economy, which was laced with spiritual overtones, I watched these flannel-clad men most carefully to see if they looked stunned or flinched. Afterall, they are men ... would they admit to this more feminine approach to reality without feeling challenged?
But they did not flinch. Instead they nodded. Woa. They concurred. Whether they would concur to the fact that I'm calling them Lightworkers might be less certain, but it was clear as daylight that they were nodding their agreement to the belief that consciousness is on the rise.
Talk about awakening. If ever there was proof that consciousness is rising, it was at the Bioneers Conference this weekend. These men were engineers, construction workers, biologists, and inventors. They talked about their toys: biocomposters, whole-home systems, biofuel to run cars, non-toxic wood preservers, and, my favorite, the 3,000 square foot house that paid the local natural gas utility $190 for one winter - ONE WINTER IN ALASKA. That's an 8-month season folks. My little 1,400 sf house uses that in 1.5 months.
So today I woke up and suddely understood how enormous this shift in consciousness really is.
This morning, I needed to get the word out. Everyone has to know: there are men out there who are lightworkers, and they wear flannel. I am fairly certain that in 2012, we will see the Holy Grail of awakening proof: men in Carharts and steel-toed boots at the Bioneers conference. Just hang onto your seats for that crazy ride!
Thursday, October 2, 2008
In studying egos, I have learned that they work inside every individual like a separate entity. The ego’s job is to give the person an identity. That is not bad–we all need our egos to function in this world. But the ego will try to form an identity for you that will judge everyone and exaggerate your status in the world around you: “I’m all that and a bag of chips” is a familiar ego type; but just as notable is the “I’m not as good as they are.” And yes, even when a person experiences “Yet another Tuesday” with the feeling that you’ve missed out or aren’t getting it right, that’s the ego too.
In the end, the ego is giving you an identity to let you know where you measure up in the world around you by judging people, situations, events, objects, creatures, whatever comes before you. These judgments define and label these things and can be useful. But when you hear criticism come from your lips or your mind, about yourself or another, that is always the ego.
The way to stop the criticism is to bring attention to it. Bring your awareness to the feelings and thoughts that are behind the criticisn. Observe yourself feeling the negative, critical thinking. When you do this, the criticism and negative emotions tend to melt away.
Also, be careful not to beat yourself up for criticizing, as that’s the ego too. Instead, go back to the observing (even of the self-criticizing), and see what happens. This how you bring awareness into your world, and how you begin to awaken. This is being fully conscious.
I’m not waiting for anything better or more to come into my life! When I told a curious friend once that I wasn’t really job-job hunting, she said, “Oh I get it, you’re creating!”
I suppose “creating” can be construed to imply I am hoping to finish making something, but hey, this creation stage of my life is really all that life is, and I am doing my best to work on “not waiting for anything.” I am in the moment as much as possible, and have an entirely new approach to life: I take a step, stop and observe where the Universe opens a door or urges me to go. So an opportunity comes up, I take a step, stop and observe. And though my life now may seem to not fit into America’s definition of successful, I can tell you that my life once did fit into that definition, and I paid a high price for that success. I learned a lot, and earned enough to financially cover me for the first several months of creating, and for that I am grateful! But to be honest, I have no idea how the money continues to come in just when I need it and how much I need. I don’t live “well” or have extra money lying around but if I told you I was in Hawaii a month ago, you’d probably think I was lying (photo is of the harbor on Kauai).
Life is about creating - and when you feel like you don't have control, that's when you know your ego is trying to take over and get control. The ego needs to feel in control and needs to narrate that control. So when I heard my ego say "It's another Monday" this morning, I realized I needed to let the desire to control go, and acknowledge that I am successfully creating.
Friday, September 19, 2008
I am grateful for this difficult period because it pushed me to recognize I must change my life - I no longer liked what I did for a living or who I was becoming, I couldn't be the mother I needed to be, and I certainly had no time for family, friends, myself, or an intimate relationship.
I made the decision the night I arrived home after making the commute in my gas-guzzling truck because the car had a flat that I didn't have time to fix. When I walked through the door, my teenager announced, "Hey Lady Who Lives at the End of the Hall, we're out of dog food."
So, right after I fed my dogs cat food because I didn't have the energy to go to the store, I wrote my resignation.
Those first few months After Job (A.J.) I decided I would start a nonprofit, write a business plan, woo Bill Gates, and basically save the world. The other crucial thing for me was that I felt ready for a meaningful relationship now that I had time to actually see other human beings.
So I can honestly say one year and one month ago, I would never have believed that I would be spending the predominant amount of my time with my daughter and with my dog hiking in the mountains. This picture is of an area just 10 miles from my backdoor.