Tag Archives: spirituality

this train of thought will make all local stops. transfers are inevitable at most stations.

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my fingers are positively giddy. oh how i’ve missed this space, this screen. my life and mind have been occupied and preoccupied with work and sick and health and wealth and love. that’s a lot of occupation, and with all the preoccupying going on, it may last some time. (incidentally, i did not use the word “occupation” simply to drive search results hits to my blog…though now that i think about it, i admit i’m curious.)

i’m all for a thought draw-down right about now…critical systems only, like daily survival and some infrastructure. and daydreams. can’t forget those. i’m nothing without my daydreams. someone like me is far more likely to see daydreams come true than to fully execute any long term plan…which is why i intentionally broke the  pattern of posting regularly, which was one of my famous Original Plans. (yeah…let’s go with it’s a purposeful rebellion against restrictive plans my rational mind had placed on my inner artiste.)

ahem. so. here i am and i’m SO done with the illness theme, both in my writing and in my daily experience. it’s suh-hoe retirement village. instead i will keep it brief and ponder two completely disparate things, as i revel and giggle at both:

Reiki – holy crap. and i mean that seriously, that epithet couldn’t be a more appropriate descriptor. i approached the session with hope, i dove in fully and gave it it’s best chance.  result: it exceeded every expectation i had, and showed me that what i thought might be crap was instead something downright holy. again, i’ll go ahead and self report the “i was abducted by aliens” equivalent right here in print…call me, well, call me what ever you want…(i like “enlightened” if you are having trouble)…but i had what i would define as an out-of-body experience. it was not a death kinda thing, nor did i follow any ghosts around in a foggy version of This is Your Life. but i definitely tapped what scientists refer to as the God Brain and it was really cool. i connected with, became part of, a truly greater presence that carried an energy of infinite calm and knowledge. bitchin’.

my dude did a lot more than pass his hands around me. there was a lot of release, some physical manipulation of tight spots and a beautiful guided journey built of all my “stuff.”  the next day i got up and exercised. i craved, made and ate a brown-rice breakfast bowl, then fixed one for my daughter. i meditated for more than eleven minutes…(it was supposed to be five but i set my timer for five hours instead. it took me a while to catch just how zen i was becoming and give myself permission to glance at the Ohm Timer of Peace, aka my smartphone).

i’ve not exactly made these into habits, but the benefits of that remarkable session are resonating through every day. i highly recommend a session with someone great…it’s health-promoting and potentially mystical if you can find it in yourself to go there.

Frequent Flyer Miles – i opened my kid’s first frequent flyer account today…and then lamented all the flights she’s taken already without accruing miles. it’s enough to lament. she’s two and a half. it makes me happy to give her this young life, and she seems so happy to accept it. i try to be careful not to push a personality on my kid…but it’s hard to imagine my offspring hating to travel. wanderlust is part of my DNA, like brown hair and hilarious finishing times in foot races.

well, i’m posting this late because the day has only allowed me to string a few moments together at a time…with breaks just long enough for trains of thought to make their switches and move on to other outposts. i’ve laid so much track up there lately, so many places i could wander. for now though, i’m enjoying this stop, the sound of keys and of me cursing fat fingers. they are slow for this nimble and spastic and fantastic mind, the one that often speaks before thinking…my fingers are better gatekeepers than this mouth. admittedly, neither are very effective in the long run.

happy thursday. persist, perceive, progress and peace out. all will be well and unwell…go with what you got.

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the hovering of hands…how was your metaphysical today?

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in a few hours i’m headed to a Reiki appointment. i’m so excited. a friend turned me onto a local guy who is a real guru in the field, a teacher, and whose treatments have produced visible differences in my friend’s appearance, energy and sense of well-being. seriously. i thought she saw a new shrink, or got laid. she went from crazy-hair-on-fire lady, consumed by someone else’s problems and abuse, to someone lithium-calm with a secret smile and a new attitude…not to mention some self-reported physical relief from pain and tension.

i’ll try not to set my expectations too high…a problem exactly opposite my attitude the first time i wandered into the perfect calm of a Reiki Master’s treatment room. it smelled nice, the music was chill, but come on, woman…touch me! don’t i get some kind of massage out of this!? how can this possibly work other than by placebo? how easy is it to bullshit this stuff? i guess this lady believes it...

since then i’ve participated in some group Reiki at a retreat i went to almost 10 years ago. it’s the only event of its kind that i’ve ever attended and i’d be loathe to tell you some of the “energy freeing” activities we performed with our am-i-seriously-doing-this eyes cast to the ground. i showed up in my kid-sized saints jersey with my back torqued and holding me at about 160 degrees fully upright. i was late after getting lost and blowing a toll booth because back then i had no GPS lady to tell me there were tolls on my spiritual path through the marsh. man, i was cranky, grrrrr. six other perfectly reasonable, wounded women were already there, just as skeptical and guarded as I was then. over the course of a long weekend, we each cracked our foundations and saw a permanent shift in the color of our worlds. good stuff. but there were dances with scarves involved. i wore my sour tomboy face a lot.

part of that weekend involved doing Reiki as a group on each participant. i’m here to say, publicly, that i actually felt the energy move between my hands and my housemates…without touching them at all. and now i feel like i just admitted witnessing an alien-abduction, an exorcism with visible spirits and fire, a miraculous faith-healing or some other eye-rolling claim…please indulge me. i’m one of those people who takes the right brain/left brain test and gets told to take it again because i come out right smack in the middle. not the most common result, but i’m not the only one. i like to think i’m occasionally original, but i’ve not achieved “freak of nature” status yet.

on the one hand, the dreamer and spiritual being in me wants to let go and flow with whatever it is that i feel energetically, whatever i see as synchronicity and connection. it’s a strong pull…and apparently a rather universal desire among our kind. and then there’s the other hand. the one that thinks the first hand lives in the clouds painting flowers and rainbows on its limited canvas, reading The Secret. it’s the one that has substance in my physical world. that hand is connected to a being that feels the need to touch, see, smell or at least calculate or measure everything in the natural world. i have an emotional investment in research on a unified field theory, though i feel almost nauseous at the thought of getting close to “figuring it all out.” i don’t know why, because ultimately, “figuring it out,” wrapping it up in a nice neat bow, probably only alters navigation methods and results…it likely won’t remove the emotion, the process, the experiment, the navigation of the human experience. i think we’re stuck with some of it.

so i’m going to take both hands to Reiki and let someone else’s take over and achieve what they can. i’ll do my best to hold both of mine open and let truth take care of the rest. i’ve quoted Neil DeGrasse Tyson here before, paraphrased perhaps. he’s known to mention often that one of the cool things about science is that you don’t have to believe in it for it to be true. i’ve heard the same said about God. lucky for me, and my hands.

the captain has turned on the think for yourself sign, please remain present with your intellect securely fastened

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i’m lost this morning, trying to find a simple and novel idea for arranging a few hundred words. my head is thick with morning fog and a packing list. i wish i could wait and leisurely stroll through some words in a few hours when i’m less pressed and of wider eyes. but in a couple of those hours, i should be talking to an airport bloody mary and prepping for a midday miami flight. i suppose i could be so savvy as to post from airport bars and hot spots, but i have a romantic relationship with remaining somewhat unplugged during transit. it’s a stretch for me to listen to my ipod on a plane anymore…only because i romantically hold on to the “out of pocket” notion previously associated with airline travel. my ipod usually just makes the cut, harkening back to romantic days spent snuggling my sports walkman and its boatloads of extra batteries.

how long ago did they start to allow wireless connections on flights? how long ago did the ubiquitous charging station begin to ensure we had little or no excuse to fall out of touch? the only reason i carry my laptop with me on a flight is because i don’t want it totaled in my checked luggage…i’ve never pulled it out in the air. when i fly, i write in paper journals, keep wireless switches not just off but out of sight and save my online work for later. i only read what i can wrap my little fingers around in my anachronistic ink-on-paper fantasy world.

but today, i could write a post, i suppose…observations of american tourist(er)s, jots of jokes, perceptions, ponderings…i could type away at pontifications on the noises, scents and breaths all around me…but once i embrace electrons there, in transit, i lose all my excuses for, among other things, why i will be working a less exciting assignment in my hotel room tonight instead of submitting it from american airspace today.

soon there will be no tunnel of time-to-myself, no mountain(s out of) range, no awkward passenger glances in 30 torturous seconds of elevator silence, no TSA or FAA or common decency rules regarding appropriate public communication levels and/or methods…even the “i was driving” excuse will someday fade. all of it will go the way of the busy signal, the endless no-one-is-home-ring, the answering machine, the “i couldn’t hear you yelling, mom” excuse…the best we’ve got now is, “funny, i didn’t get your voicemail until just now! i don’t know what’s wrong with my phone!” i pray that crossed communications never completely disappear. i hope that technology only gets so good at invasive contact. i hope that people will keep their expectations for instant, invasive contact at bay, while keeping with them an expectation of occasional privacy and sequestered personal time. i hope we remember to stay in our own shoes, pick up our heads and look around at what’s happening in our moment, in our worldview, in our ears, hearts and minds…i hope we remember to stop wondering what people we know are up to right this second and check out what the people we don’t know are doing right around us.

i sound like such a nostalgic dinosaur about all of this. perhaps this is the generational disease about which i will gripe and that i will treat with consternation, perturbation and the GenX equivalent of something my grandmother called liniment. oh my achin’ sentiments. we’ll see when the part of me that’s tempted always to play in this e-world overrides the part of me trying to hold on to romantic notions of unplugged solitude and delayed communications gratification.

meanwhile…i’m sure i’ll check this blog page once or twice from an airport bar seat…and my gmail account…and facebook…that’s the tempted part of me…unless i find an actual breathing human with which to dissect this trend or the MLB postseason…or pick up a gripping novel…or find a gripping, fluffy magazine through which to rifle…or some inspiration for poetry penned in blue ink, not a font…or a charging station seat and a few good tracks on my ipod. regardless, i’m off to the romantic world inside my head and suitcases for a while. i apologize in advance if you end up in my voicemail today…and one more time if i don’t return your calls or texts until friday, all while incredulously complaining about the undependability of even the smartest smartphone, and secretly lauding its ability to cover mine.

shaving my legs with Occam’s Razor

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i’m struggling this morning, emotions sitting right at the surface of my face, the rims of my eyes…it’s all so very complicated.

we say a lot about simplicity, that the simplest lives are the most admirable, the happiest. well, guess what? sometimes we don’t get to choose simple. (i can talk myself in circles here about what we “choose” or “draw” into our lives to serve us and teach us life lessons…more on that later). i know that i could simplify my life in a lot of ways…but not without substantial emotional sacrifices…sacrifices that several people would have to make based on my choices. i’m not talking about a standard of living or of “needing” career progression or a cool car. i get that “stuff” is not happiness, that simplifying the “stuff” right out of your life is a worthy endeavor and that measures of success are ours to define.

but some things in life only get so simple…and most of those hardest ones involve people. again…we can talk about simplicity, of cutting out toxic relationships that don’t feed your soul, further your purpose or nurture your relationship with your Self…even family gets the ax if they treat us badly enough. i’ve even had people whom i thought pretty spiritual tell me that if i want to own simplicity and the health of my Self, i could choose to abandon all of what i think of as my “responsibilities” and go meditate for decade in the East somewhere…like Siddhartha did. but something about my little 2 year old “responsibility” tells me that’s just not the choice to make for fulfillment and enlightenment. and here’s where we first start to butt heads with complexity. how much toxicity must be present in a relationship before it’s time to let go? how much complexity do we accept in order to support the give and take, the unconditional acceptance that we say is the purpose of family, Love and compassion? what about when it’s your daughter’s family?

i’m a co-parenting rookie with a well-intended teammate. the complexity of raising a child in two households appears to be unavoidable, especially with two brand new parents on this field of play, in a game that started in the child’s infancy, nuanced with all kinds of different rules depending on who you ask, what level you are on, and the character you choose to embody. it’s the challenge of a couple trying to invent and practice new dance steps while they each listen to different music and a different cheering section…and where nobody wants to have to turn to the expensive Officials in order to make or enforce rules. i want the best for my daughter and right now, that means accepting complex logistics, complex feelings and complex choices that impact several parties.

i’ve always had a hard time deciphering self-care from self-ish choices. this co-parenting complexity makes that even harder. it’s all so damn complicated. it would be easy for me to choose a victim role if i was so inclined…but i’m not. i’m still looking for the simplest answer to each complex question, trying not to blame…trying to own the choices i have, and continue Loving like it’s my job (because it is).  perhaps that’s why i chose this complex life, back out in the cosmos, when my soul was deciding what to learn on this particularly trip around the 3rd rock. perhaps i’m meant to traverse the edge of Occam’s Razor, slicing up shins until i learn how to fall on the simple side…it does mean that my life is never dull…if that’s worth anything. i hope so because i’m pretty sure i asked for that. i’ve said plenty a commonplace thing, but never asked for a commonplace life…i Love the blue centerlights that pop in my world and make me go “Awww!” and i love the idea of being that for someone else occasionally.

my outrageous life isn’t simple…except that i simply love to live. and that’s worth everything…even the complexity of this day.

running down a dream…sucking wind and smiling

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i’m getting a late start this morning on my post, not for lack of enthusiasm or words, but because writing something that fulfills me every day is not yet my full time job…emphasis on “yet.” i am walking a narrow wall of faith right now believing in myself and in others’ belief in me. i must stay convinced that one day soon i will find fruition, that my 25 year old dreams and fantasies were not planted in my mind to torture me, but to call me.

following your dreams is scary. i do a lot of practical things well, so why not just do those? predictable, steady, secure…or so it seems. what is secure anymore? is there anything we can count on in these turbulent times? has there ever been anything we could really count on besides ourselves? hell, we even let ourselves down often enough to question our fortitude and dependability. all i really know is that if i am fortunate to wake up on any given day, i will breathe, and i will care for my daughter…beyond that i make no promises but to approach the challenges and victories of the day with kindness and Love. security is an illusion, especially when it remains at the mercy of your boss or some anonymous shareholders…shareholders who don’t know you as a person, and who see their fortunes rise and fall with every expenditure your company makes.  security is an illusion…cataclysmic events can come at anytime…cosmic events, personal developments. here i am, back to that tired “carpe diem” concept, oh captain my ho-hum captain.

but i’m not talking about seizing a day. i’m talking about seizing a life. you get one chance to live your divine purpose…well, one that we know of anyway. i hope one day, my few readers here, and the ones who’ve pushed and encouraged me all these years, will fondly remember reading my baby steps. (and man, i hope that my walking legs come soon). i imagine the day when i will run with purpose along a path meant for me. i don’t care if i fall a hundred times along the way…bruises, scrapes and all, i will be smiling and getting back up to run again. i’ve proven to myself that i will stay in the race and find joy in it. oh, wait…didn’t i just write a few days ago about how much i hate running? that brings up another funny thing i noticed about running in real life…i’ve never minded running in the context of a sport i like to play or an outing that excites me. i might suck some wind, but i hardly notice the running part as i chase soccer, tennis or racquetballs, or sprint to the line for a rollercoaster or water slide. and so it is when you chase your dreams…suddenly what appears to be “work” doesn’t feel like “work.”  i feel that difference even now when i teach classes as one of my (yawn) regular job duties. actually training people, being in front of them joking, teaching and helping, is rewarding enough that it’s kept me solvent and happy for over a decade.

but now i want something new, something close to my heart and that’s been too scary for me to try for fear of failure. now i want what i’ve dreamed of my entire life, since the tender age of 14 or maybe younger, when i heard for the first time from a beloved teacher, “you are a really good writer.” it took a while to let that sink in. really? huh. after that i spent my secondary education as a wallflower student, thinking no one noticed me, thinking no teachers would remember me…but they consistently noticed one thing…i could write.  so, after 25 years of dabbling and hiding, i’m ready to put my heart out there. i’m ready to tell the world that i can write, instead of asking for permission. i’m ready to make a life from it, because the world needs good writers, despite how many there seem to be. because i’m ready to stop hiding my heart and talents behind walls of security and benefits packages.

at some point, if you have a fire, if you have a dream that you just can’t shake loose…you’ve got to accept it and reach out to find a way to live your divine purpose. i’m working harder with Faith right now than i ever thought i could. i’ve got my “don’t look down” face on and though it’s terrifying to float in mid-air like this, the determined trish in my heart is yelling the loudest words of encouragement, joy and anticipation, loud enough to drown the voices of doubt. and it’s important to realize that most of us can’t grab hold of our dreams without help. my teacher and mentor told me yesterday that one of my strengths is being able to seek help. ha, really? when did i build that muscle? when i had no other choice…when i was so weak i couldn’t have survived without help. now i’m strong enough to seek and give at the same time. that’s the energy and power that comes from the fire in your heart…the fire you feel when you realize that you are stronger and more passionate than you realized, more compassionate than you thought you could be.

practice makes perfect imperfection. don’t be afraid to suck. just do. it feels good anyway…trust me, have some Faith.

holy pain in the chakra, batgirl

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ow. in my summer of joyous discontent, as i spout words and express my Self in what feels a bit like ecstasy, life has delivered me one serious pain in the neck. i am not speaking metaphorically. for two days now, my worldview is limited largely to whatever appears in front of me or to my right and what i can see through a veil of pain. i’d say that i slept wrong, except that it hit me in the middle of an evening, sitting upright, and became excruciating on a short drive home. i am sure there are many other medically sound ways to dismiss this physical affliction. ignoring it, much to my dismay, has been completely ineffective. i suppose i could just grab a bag of frozen peas and a bottle of something (alleve? bourbon? both?) or even drag myself to a doctor and beg for a neck relaxer or two.

but that would be so earthly of me. and i prefer earthy and spiritual to earthly and mundane, if for no other reason than it’s so much more interesting and mystical…and a way to fill the time spiritually while earthly muscles draw my attention away from what i see as productive things. so, symbolically, i seem to be struggling with my 5th chakra. (well, what in the….? but, but?) the 5th chakra is your throat chakra, responsible for communicating and translating between your 4th (heart) and 6th (mind) chakras. according to this ancient philosophy centered on the mind-body connection, problems with the 5th chakra relate to an inability or unwillingness to speak your truths, to express yourself honestly and fully. seriously? and if that’s not confusing enough for someone who’s finally dumping it all “out there,”  and expressing her skinny little ass off, in public, for the first time ever…i read that it’s possible to express too much, which also manifests as 5th chakra dysfunction. i also found an article just this morning claiming that my own “awakening” could be the source of my pain and dysfunction as my soul and body stretch and groan from fetal to languid to animated.

ok, i get it…the vagueries are there, the ones that allow virtually any spiritual analysis to explain my discomfort. i’m chasing the mystical while my mind soaks up science like a sponge…perhaps that is the disconnect between my heart and mind. perhaps this pain is meant to confuse me, force my search deeper…or just push my hands and energy toward meditation and exercise. perhaps this pain is telling me to get my head out of my…the clouds…and get back to the truth of my everyday life, my workaday world, my paycheck. perhaps it’s telling me to run from that life and embrace something else (that would be romantic of my pain, wouldn’t it?).

sigh. so for now, i’ll take this writer’s mind and heart, give them a rest, maybe move the truths around in my bloodstream for a while on my stationary bike, warm cranky neck muscles with my cycle ergometer, and see if a quiet reality check helps ease my discomfort and my discontent. even my joy tempered would likely bring some peace for a moment. i am in pensive pain…thoughtful…when perhaps mindful is better indicated. either way, i write from my “pain body” today, which clouds insight and furrows my brow. a full and outrageous life includes pain, some overkill and some quiet healing. perhaps my two year old’s kisses will ferry in the healing part…plus any cosmic hugs offered by a gentle reader out there. and if anyone wants to share, i’m accepting advice and Universal ice packs….

shiny up your gratitude and give it a display case, or “3 Things You Should Just Learn to Accept”

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so i decided to rest my aching muscles last night by moving furniture…swapping one heavy table at ground level for a large CD cabinet in a third floor walk-up. as two girls, attractive ones even, my best friend and i were unable to find anyone with arms and a back muscle or two to help us out. we’d been trying since november. we threatened to hire an anonymous odd jobs type guy (a.k.a. a craigslist killer) if someone didn’t step forward to offer some help…there were bribes involved…but no takers. the bribes offered were of the garden variety…beer, food…plus the guilt trip of maintaining our personal safety. perhaps lap dances would have garnered more enthusiasm, but based on the response crickets we heard tuning themselves for a long requiem, i’m not sure anyone but anonymous odd-jobs criminal guy would have taken the offer.

so i went with the ol’ “date a strong guy who likes you and hit him up for favors” trick. classic. and he still likes me, even though i forgot to mention the stairs/third floor walk-up part until just before our departure. i swear i forgot. and the truth is, he offered to help, and i accepted. it was that simple…except that accepting help is hard for me, and asking is damn near impossible. now that i’m on my own and defiantly independent, with a kid, a dog, two cats and a house full of stairs and heavy things, i’ve had a chance to flaunt my strength, and stomp around all satisfied, like my 2-year old, pointing at all the things i’ve done, “all by myself” (or in her words, “by Self!”).

yesterday i accepted help that was offered graciously, from someone who offers help regularly to friends and family all around him. i also remember friends, a funny and generous couple whom i’d only just met, who volunteered to spend a day painting my townhouse with me. i remember the humble gratitude i felt that day, just like the gratitude i felt last night admiring the freshly open spot where that table was, and the CD/OCD project i now have waiting for me in my basement. the truth is, we really do very little “by Self!” there is always some village, visible or invisible, helping us out.

this asking for help and accepting it thing is part of a skill set that i’ve been working on for a long time. these are skills i never learned at home. in fact, they were discouraged there, either intentionally or through the magic of guilt or through the subtle art of underminement. (that’s a term of art, my art, or maybe al gore said it first, ew). so here are three lessons on graciousness that i’ve reluctantly learned, and with serious difficulty, accepted as practice:

1) learn how to accept a compliment – don’t qualify it. i still do this more often that i’d like. it’s that “oh, this old thing?” mentality…the need to apologize for or downplay your role in presenting something worth complimenting. i read somewhere a long time ago, that the only thing you need to say in response to a real compliment is a real “well, thank you!” ex:  compliment – “you have a beautiful home,” response – “why, thank you!” vs. “oh, it’s a mess, i really need to clean it, do that one dish in the sink, ramble, ramble, ramble.”

2) learn to accept gifts – this includes allowing someone to pick up a check at lunch or dinner when they offer. i have an employee who has managed to pay the tab every time i’ve taken her out. it’s embarrassing to me, and discourages me from meeting her over a nice lunch instead of in the stuffy offices neither of us work in very often. learn to accept gifts and favors without guilt, without feeling like you now “owe” the giver something equivalent in value or effort. most of us know how to give without expecting anything in return. we also know it feels good. give friends and strangers a chance to feel good. again, a heartfelt, “well, thank you!” will do. an old fashioned thank you card is a nice touch…but these days, an email or any expression of gratitude will typically be enough to kick start a karma bus of goodness for you.

3) learn to accept and even ask for help from well-meaning, gentle souls. it might be a new boyfriend with moving muscles, a stranger in a grocery store parking lot (a well-lit and populated parking lot), a neighbor who spots a way to help you out, new friends with paint supplies, old friends with some spare change to lend to a dependable friend in need, or friends and family who want to support you when you struggle with emotional or physical health.

giving these things, compliments, gifts and help, makes people feel good. the act of giving freely feeds the Universal energies of generosity, Love and compassion. but to give freely, one needs a recipient. don’t just be a “giver,” it’s a subtle form of control if you give and never allow someone to give back. it’s a form of underminement, and it lacks the vulnerability, intimacy, and equality that comes from reciprocity. remember to open your heart and set aside your independence sometimes to actively “receive.” it’s ok and your gratitude is only the first gift you send back to the giver. Universal Love and joy will track them down and deliver more. and of course, never be a “taker.” we all know a few of them, and they dress themselves quite differently than “receivers.”

we are a generous and social species, especially when we let our best energy flow freely. open yourself to that energy and you will find myriad and effortless ways to give and receive that make the world (your world) spin a little more smoothly.