Friday, December 4, 2009

What Do YOU See in the NOW?

A couple of nights ago, an opportunity presented itself at the last minute.

A full moon.
An opening in a sacred medicine ceremony for the night.
The person who made the opening available to watch Dec for the eve and morn.

We met the shaman lady who wanted to make sure we weren't schizo or had any health problems. She's very interesting... originally from Austria. Very earthy, with a Garbo-esque accent and Egyptian-like haircut. She's totally groovy.

We got the green light and was told to meet at her place at 8:30p... about a 15-minute walk. We could have a light lunch but then should fast for the rest of the evening, except for water. And bring a blanket and comfortable clothing because it was an outdoor experience.

The full moon lighting our way, we snipped some flowers for Pachamama as part of the ceremony which also included something sweet and some red wine. We also brought some nuts and fruit for the next morning.

The all-nighter began around 9pm when everyone assembled. 7 of us, plus Felicia: Mike, me, Scott and Whitney college kids from Tennessee, groovy Jane and Pedro. Oh, and the giant parrot who echoed "hola" when we approached.

Felicia gave us all small barf bags just in case - didn't want anyone walking around and stepping in someone's "purge" - and showed us where the toilet paper was in case we had to go somewhere outside.

We sat around the fire pit - a huge fire pit surrounded by a beautiful garden and somewhat raised up as a terrace. We sat evenly spaced from each other on the grass.

Felicia called us up one at a time, clockwise form her left, to be cleansed - first with sage (amazing sage, not like at home), finishing through each chakra. Then once around again using a thoroughly harmonious rattle that struck exactly some point on either side of my ears so as to make a perfect stereo experience, ending behind me at the very top of my head with a swirly, sonorous finale that eventually... just... tumbled... to a rest. Then she whispered "thank you" near my ear, and I went back to my place in the circle.

That was enough right there to make my night - I felt as light as a feather.

Next came the thanks and blessings for all of nature and the universe and especially Pachamama and the gift of the medicinal cactus, San Pedro, which she had a most wonderful specimen of just sitting there high against the night's skyline looking over us like an angel. It was blossoming and the flowers, though huge, were absolutely delicate and beautiful beyond any description.

After that, a frame drum made of ocelot skin was passed around and each of us was encouraged to play a little something from our hearts and chant if we felt the urge. Mine came as a quickish soft beat with an extra thump on every 8th note or so. It came naturally and was nothing I'd ever played before.

Then, she brought out the cutest little platter of demitasses with a thin, dark liquid and wedges of limon "to wash down the bitterness", she explained in a whisper... yes, it was a bitter medicine, but we all know that the more bitter, the more medicinal it is.

She did explain that it was all she had for this journey, but it should be enough. Sometimes she has a little extra for those who are more "tolerant".

Then we were instructed to just relax and maybe lay down and rest as it may take up to 2-1/2 hours to start feeling an effect. I had no concept of time since it gets fully dark at 7pm here.

Mike and I snuggled up together as the evening turned chillier than expected. It may have been my "low blood pressure" or the altitude, but I was freakin' cold. And yet, smiling at the same time. We huddled together for a good while (again, no concept of time) and occasionally peeked our heads out to look at the sky which glowed with the moonlight, in turns with the halo of light through the passing clouds.

My legs were jumpy and twitchy - never experienced that sensation before except mildly when I was dehydrated... but I definitely was not. I thought maybe it was major shivers from the cold, but I can't be certain. All I know was that it made me smile more.

It was really pleasant lying there with myMike, neither of us trying to possess the other, but just sharing our conjoined heat and a perfectly-fitted snuggle. We do fit well together...

Just when I thought I would go sit by the fire, Felicia came over and asked us how we were doing and whether we needed anything... "we're a little cold" was the response and at that point she noticed our extremely thin blanket from our apartment. "It was all we had," I said sheepishly. She came over with a pretty thick blanket from inside and we re-arranged ourselves as best we could given that we were on a slight downhill incline and that the medicine was beginning to take effect.

I couldn't stop smiling and wondered if I needed to hurl, but really I just dry heaved once and that seemed to satisfy the purge. I giggled at the action. It was no different than doing magic mushrooms.

I got up and walked around under the moonlit glow and touched whatever plant was near me, feeling it's sleepy radiance. I felt connected to each of God's creations, especially the Earth upon which I stepped and slept, foraged and crept. I was never more thankful for my place in the Universe.

I could not stop smiling. A feeling of bliss came over me and stayed. I ventured back to the fire to reheat my core. Mike and Felicia joined me there and we whispered profundities of everyday life that took on a different meaning. Or did it?

Everything seemed the same: my thoughts, my beliefs, my intuitions... except one thing was different and I knew it immediately as I know who I am. I had no ego. It wasn't allowed to co-exist with this journey through the night. It simply couldn't.

I wasn't looking for anything in this - only to be. And I was. It came to me out front like an epiphany, but I have no label for this knowing I had because I already knew it before, it's just that my ego has been pushing it into the background with more important things to do:
The way to connect Declan back to nature was to show him how to draw it... landscapes, flowers, animals. Things I took for granted growing up, because that's what I was drawn to as an artist. This was what I needed to do to get him back to nature. It was crystal clear.

As we ventured back to our spot to once again refit ourselves together, Mike and I spent most of the rest of the time just watching the clouds drift past the moon as it rotated through the theater of our night, layers of clouds separated and yet connected. At some point in the early morning hours, a light sprinkle fell softly on our faces and we both smiled and felt not a drop of fear that we may get rained on. It was priceless.

And I understood more than ever that our perspective changes every moment. We choose to look at things with our ego rather than with our hearts. It's what separates us from each other and nature.

As the sun raised itself up over the mountains and the sky gradually lightened, replacing the moon as it went, I began to feel tired and tried to rest, but smiling took precedence and my consciousness would not sleep. All through this journey I thought not one bad or negative thing. Not one. Curiously, I also thought of no one else (other than how to bring Declan back to nature, and that was a fleeting moment).

I stayed in the present the entire time.
That's a record for me.
I wandered through God's creation.
It was all within me.

I smiled at the wonder of love all around.
And knew that I was unbound.
It was not even profound.
Being not lost and also not "found".

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Heaviness of "Stuff"

I'm moving more "stuff" around. Not sure why I'm calling it "stuff" rather than "shit", which is more appropriate at this point in my life. I think it's because this is a public forum and I really shouldn't use words like shit, fuck... not even crap. Some people will take it the wrong way, so I'll just use the word "stuff".

It actually lets me off the hook in a way - as if I made a good decision about its acquisition. It was for a good cause... it was a gift... because it was cute... because it was cheap. Scratch that... it was affordable. What a load.

Lately I have been looking at my stuff. As Mike alluded to in it a post months ago - we are responsible for everything we touch. Holy crap!
That's stupid unless you look deeper and realize that it's absolutely true when practiced absolutely.

You see, I've come to notice that much of our ego is about making us "feel better". A safety mechanism. A defense system that runs on a program. A program we allow to grow and manifest as reality - every impulse, every thought, every command to action, every excuse we make to show that we are reasonable in our choices. Or we had no choice... Or better yet - I meant to do that.

That last one's fun, ain't it? Slow down for one second and feel that impulse. Watch that thought become something real. Even if it's just an emotion. When we look at our own patterns we find the truth of our nature, but with that also, the control panel for how it works.

I'm not a meditator yet, but I'm trying something very different in my mind. I'm trying to "manage my stuff". How entangled all that stuff is, especially the mental stuff that I carry around like luggage. It's an ego trip to be able to control all that stuff floating around my senses. I mean, it's everywhere even when you don't want it. I feel like I mastered all that around 25 or so, didn't like what I felt, and decided to start allowing more intuition to dominate the field.

What a difference. It's kinda scary still when I feel how much power I have in making decisions. I tend to use my powers masochistically, on occasion. But I digress, right Mike?

This is about "stuff". Physical and Metaphysical. My responsibility to myself (mind, body and soul), my family, the Earth, the Field, and everything I "own" has increased significantly over the past 7 years since I've been in New Hampshire. Every step we've taken the past 12 years has been giant compared to most people. Always conscious of how much "stuff" we had, we cut down and so, holiday gorgfests became more taboo and less forced. A vital paradigm shift, I must say.

Now I am trying to find good homes for all my stuff, and it's hard. Not because people aren't worthy of my stuff, nor that I am "attached" to it so deeply I have to "keep" it somewhere. I just don't want it wasted. If it's one thing I have grown to despise, it's waste. Disposable this, over-indulge that. It's everywhere because our egos tell us that affluence = waster. We are programmed to shop for all kinds of reasons and dispose if it for even less... because we CAN. Wow.

I can't do it any more. Camping has taught me more about how we live than living in my last house has. But both have something in common. I can pick up and leave it without remorse and attachment. On to the next beautiful place... the next unadulterated experience... what so I want my next home to be like?

So simple a question, "What do I really need?"
The stress on "really" to bring out the God-awful, but truthful worse case scenario.

So many levels of an answer wiggle back and forth on a sliding scale of ego and consciousness.

Where's your balance?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

And So I Write...

Mike and I are on a journey. Together. It was always a trial for us to stay together, but it was also inevitable. We are bound to each other by intuitive threads, and conventionally with love and friendship. My ideals of the perfect partner in my lifetime was mainly someone who would be able to understand what I was thinking without really saying anything out loud. A bizarre notion that I wanted a mind reader, when just the opposite was true. I needed someone who didn't speak much, who would then draw from me, MY words and thoughts. One who would frustrate me because he could not put into words what I was feeling. But it occurred to me some time ago that what I needed was to speak what I was feeling.

I used to write. When I was younger, thoughts flowed from my mind to my hand to the paper. It was nearly effortless. But I wouldn't show anyone either. It was because I couldn't speak. When I realized that I was only speaking through my writing, I decided to change. It was painful and my ego was shocked that I would do such a drastic thing like taking it outside of it's perfect shell in my head where I was always right. But catharsis begins when you know something is wrong and that something needs to be purged. [As an aside, I want to thank Lori Bell W. for making me remember that I was a writer even though I've always known it.]

And then I met myFriendHolly. And I dubbed her Abbie, both for being "abnormal" and for being there to hear me and work things out of my head and into reality - like Dear Abby (very popular with me at the time). Together we shared and understood what we had each been going through - in a manner of speaking (no pun intended) - that our family lives were distorted but not uncommon. That we were tortured, but it was only our thoughts which twisted things because in the end, what we did together was the most powerful and cathartic of all - we wrestled on neighbors' front lawns. We waited to be hosed down like animals and hoped that no such action would be taken. But the best purge was the laughter in the face of the growing pains that felt like a heavy meal grounding our levity at a perpetual dinner party with an ever-present, ever-vacant, robotic group of people. Our families.

Now, don't get me wrong.... I love my tangle of family. But I learned a long time ago, that what I was experiencing was only a mask of each person. We had love and we could finish each other's sentences, but we hardly ever spoke the truth apart from whether we liked something Mom served us or the weather or the recent ballgame. All true. All superficial. All masking the deep feelings we had for each other and our shared human condition.

So, I try to speak the truth by working out the thoughts in my head. The process is simple now, and I don't have to damage a part of me to deserve to do this one simple, loving act for myself. I have a thought. I speak the thought truthfully inside and gauge the feelings I emote. I try to understand the feelings and the thoughts and adjust it to the truth within. And then I speak it to those I trust will respond honestly - my touchstones in life (those who accept what I say without projected judgment). Biofeedback. My own version.

And so I write... I write to speak words reserved for my ego. I write to share my thoughts with more than only those whom I trust. I write to let it go, after things are in perspective.

I write because I am the only one who can speak for me.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Inspiration Take 1

Today was just one of those unbelievably poignant synchronistic days when everything happens for a reason - and not just any reason... but like, a really perfect reason. Two puzzle pieces that looked bizarre on their own.

For the last week, I have been meaning to make my friend, Joseph, a cake in thanks for helping us out with a rooster issue. But for as much as I had all the ingredients out on the counter... waiting for inspiration and the time necessary to follow through and not rush... I had not been able to muster the muse to get it done.

But, as it turns out, there was a real, universal reason for my procrastination.
I definitely wanted to deliver it before we left for a long trip out of town... so as Thursday blossomed into being, I decided I would get it done. I loved making that cake. I did not dread it as I would a chore. It meant something to me to hand him something from my heart.
So, the carrot cake came into the world from my heart... and was decorated with a heart.
I also decided to put two squiggly candles, interlocking at the center of a heart in the middle which I simply drew out with a knife.

I smiled.

It was 4pm. Exercise class was past his house at 6pm, so I called and left a message that I would be dropping it off then.

And I did.

Joseph was thrilled and so appreciative of it for a deeper reason than a reciprocal "thank you"... it was his birthday... and he had no cake for the night.


Truly... the universe spoke, and I listened. I did not judge myself for putting it off. It was for a reason. I did not force myself to "get it out of the way". I waited for inspiration.

And it came at just the right time.

The perfect time, in fact.

I'm going on vacation with a floaty heart and clear mind - with the love of my life.