Saturday, June 15, 2019

Venus on Fire and a Pilgrimage to Italy

Dear fellow Earthlings,

I'm making a pilgrimage to see The Birth of Venus this summer
Four years! It's been almost four years since I set out on a very different path. And not particularly by choice. Well, at least that's how it felt at the time. It's amazing what the inside will do to wake a person up. Sometimes being asleep seems so peaceful, easy and SAFE. But we are meant to GROW and spread our wings in this life. Not sit under a rock and wait until it's all over. Life has a way of getting our attention. It starts with little signs. Something not quite right. Then bigger things, like dreams with messages in them, or things breaking or losing things.

And finally, if that's not enough, things do just simply FALL APART.

And most of the time our reaction is like this:

Oh, no, no, no, no, no! This isn't happening!

OR

Why is this happening to me?

Think of it as an amazing blessing. Something has shook up your world to allow something more amazing to enter. This is the truth I have found. But if you would have told me that four years ago, I would have told you to f@%$ off! Because people always have words of wisdom when YOUR world is following apart.

But coming out the other end of that long tunnel, I can tell you that this is what I've experienced. Every single catastrophe has been an amazing opportunity in my life that I'm infinitely grateful for. Had I not experienced this chaos, I would not know the life I know now.

Shortly after my marriage fell apart, I decided to join Miss Indigo Blue's Academy of Burlesque in Seattle. I signed up for a month-long class. In that class, I created a new identity. I became Venus on Fire. I spent that month using all the raw material I felt on the inside to become Venus on Fire on the outside. I got my inspiration from Sandro Botecelli's painting The Birth of Venus. In this painting, Venus is full of purity and naivete inside a white shell for all to admire. She is an image of femininity and beauty. But that's not it. To me there is so much more.

So I began my act at Oddfellows Hall on Capital Hill, Seattle inside a shell, just like the painting. But The Birth of Venus became a death on stage. It was the end of something innocent and what I believed to be true and the beginning of something powerful and beyond my control. The lights went out and everything turned to RED. There was an explosion. I came out of the darkness hidden behind huge red isis wings that revealed a new life.  I was fiery, sexy, powerful and wise. I was what Shocking Blue sang about. I was the "goddess on a mountain top, burning like a silver flame, the summit of beauty and love, and Venus was her name!"

I am Venus on Fire!

I was a phoenix rising from the ashes.

I represented all women who felt unpowerful or small or unsexy or under-appreciated.

That one act changed me. An image of me on stage was even painted by, not Sandro Botecelli, but a painter I admire. He captured my inner strength and beauty on canvas. The first picture is the actual photo from my performance and below that is the painting.



Recently I was in the hospital. I had to go to ER several times. A cramping pain in my stomach. A burning. I carry all my worry and anxiety in my abdomen. Maybe I carry the weight of the world there. For years, I've had digestive issues. In ER, after being probed and prodded and sent for various tests, including two CT scans, I was told I had diverticulitis with a micro perforation in my colon and that it can be fatal.

I thought, Great, not only did my marriage fall apart, but now I'm going to die.

In ER they wanted to do surgery. I sat right up in my hospital bed and said, "NO! I will not do that." It wasn't a plea. It was a command coming from deep within me. It was a waking up to life. Once I said it, everything in me shifted yet again. My inside said, "OK, you can choose to live, but if you do, there's a huge responsibility."

The responsibility wasn't about doing anything, it was about BE-ING. Being a spirit in a human body. Being HERE on the planet. Embodying who I am completely.

It was a shift from ticking off goals and becoming something, to being right where I am in this moment. And the next moment. And the next moment. One at a time.

It's hard for me to do that. I was used to just forging ahead with my agenda. I wasn't accustom to stepping back and letting go and seeing what happens. I wasn't used to letting the river chart it's own course and letting it carry me. I could still set intentions, but the realization that there were larger forces at play, that what I wanted didn't just include me, was huge. I am part of an intricate web of life that affects the entire whole. I am a co-creator of what happens to me. When I let go, there's so much more there. So much richness is there, even in the pain, chaos, unsettledness, and unknowing.

In April, I set an intention to make a pilgrimage to Italy to see Sandro Botecelli's The Birth of Venus painting in Florence. I set that intention and let it go. Now, 50 days before my 50th birthday, I will be there with like-minded seekers. They are healers, artists, writers, dancers and lovers of life. How fortunate to make this pilgrimage together with these beautiful people.

I will be in Italy and Europe for almost 6 weeks. I will work on my next book, Venus on Fire, there. I expect to finish editing the book and sending it off to be published in my 50th year on this EARTH.

I know I'm being guided. We all are. When life feels unbearable. When it feels like you can't take ONE MORE THING, lean into it. Slow down. Watch a bird on a tree sing, really smell a rose or sit on a bench and feel the wind. Life whispers to us all the time. It is only trying to get our attention. It just wants us to acknowledge it.

I have three more spots on my trip to Italy. I'd love it if you'd join me and the other seekers. Please see the link here https://us3.admin.mailchimp.com/campaigns/show?id=3487893. Sometimes we stumble upon things for a reason. It may not make any sense, but there's a point. Keep walking. Moment to moment to moment.

Grazie for reading...there will be much more!

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Hitting a Wall and Bouncing Back

Hello Fellow EARTHLINGS,

Lots of changes to Blogger here, so not sure what my next step is. Probably my very own WEBSITE with a BLOG attached....whoa! I've always only had a blog. I've been a blogger for as long as blogging was possible...well, at least it feels like that. But things change, right?

How are you all doing on the EARTH PLANE? Not an easy place to exist, so I validate you if things have been difficult, intense, uneasy, heavy, chaotic, sad, lonely or anything else. Sometimes these emotions can make us feel like we are HITTING A WALL. And that can feel intense. Change is such a hard thing for us humans. We don't want to hit walls, we want things to be EASY. Funny thing about that is that on my desk I actually have an EASY BUTTON. When I push it, a voice says, "That was EASY!" Strangely, this button sometimes sounds at the oddest times, like when I drop it by mistake when I'm having a hard day or when I have it in a bag and I'm juggling a bunch of things in my arms and "That was EASY!" shouts out from my bag. It's very ironic, but maybe there's some truth to it.

So I'm about to let go of some big things because I feel my life is CALLING ME to do something different. This call has gotten SO INCREDIBLY LOUD that I can't NOT follow it. It's piercing. But part of what it's calling me to do feels a bit chaotic. Not all of it feels rational, stable, or even very clear.

The first thing I'm being called to do is to write here, or wherever my blog migrates to, every Friday. The next thing I'm being called to do is to write a page or two of my new book (I currently have 100 pages) everyday. I need to show up here to write EVERY SINGLE DAY! It's screaming at me to do so. I have things to say. The third and scariest thing I'm being called to do is to leave my current day job and home state. I'm being called to hit the road again. This is the part that feels a little chaotic and unstable. I can't see around the wall to the other side. The unknown scares me.

Today I hit a major WALL. I had a little argument with my boyfriend, but it wan't about him, it was about me and all the FEAR I'm feeling to make these HUGE LEAPS OF FAITH! The biggest leap is to phase myself out of work that is no longer fulfilling to me and to leave Seattle eventually to travel and find my new home. But the most important leap is TO OWN COMPLETELY who I am: internationally published author, psychic, shamanic practitioner, channeler, healer and intuitive writing teacher.

My boyfriend Scott and I started Seattle Psychic Institute in November. Within 4 months, we've led 22 classes and workshops and have managed to pay our rent from student fees. This is HUGE for us. It wasn't easy to start this up, but through this 4-month venture, I see that it is SOOO valuable to our world right now. More than anything, our world needs Earthlings to step into the light. We need people to face the fear and do it anyway. Staying in the comfort zone is not an option. Everyone will be called to look around and see what's not working in their own lives and shift these things.

So this summer, I'm stepping out into the great unknown again. I'm going to hit the road for awhile in order to find my new landing pad. I will launch again, but this time I feel things will be different.

Come July 1st, after spring quarter, I'm launching!

Sounds great, but the idea of launching is what made me hit the wall today. I spiraled into FEAR and thought I had no right believing I could do it. Fear of failure, fear of not being able to survive, fear of being homeless, fear of not pleasing people, fear of others saying, "I told you so. You should have stuck to the tried and true."

Tried and True. Where did we ever get from sticking to the safe, sound, logical, predictable, unchanging, or comfortable? Well, the comfort zone does have a purpose, but I don't believe we are meant to just sit there on our haunches and never push the edges of our limits. For in not doing so, we never find out what we are capable of.

So hitting a wall might be a good thing. And there are options when you hit your wall or limit. You can settle back down into the comfort zone and lick your wounds for awhile OR you can get down to business and REGROUP and think of what works and what doesn't OR you can look for a way around the wall. Is there a path, perhaps, that you haven't seen yet? Or is there one that is faint, yet calling YOU? And you may have excuses too. Believe me, I've had excuses. Here's how they go: "Oh, I'd like to do that, but I don't have enough time, money, abilities, resources.....fill in the blank.

All the people I've admired in my life, ones I've found inspiring, were fellow Earthlings who hit walls and kept going. I'm thinking of Albert Einstein, Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi, Mother Teresa., etc. These are people who put all at risk to change the world. What if we all did that? What if we all lived to our fullest potential? What kind of world would we have?

Suddenly John Lennon lyrics and music just kicked in: "You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll find us and the world will live as one."

Yes, I've hit wall friends. HUGE WALLS. But I'm bouncing back. Watch this blog and watch for my new book. Watch for classes and workshops. I currently do psychic readings via Facetime and Skype and I'm creating webinars and online classes with my partner as well as retreats around the world. Join me.... join us! Together we can do so much. I'm not afraid. I'm energized! I'm going to feel the fear and get on the other side of this wall.

Have you ever felt like you hit a wall and couldn't go any further. What helped you to move to the other side?

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Disappeared


"I think I DISAPPEARED from here because I was afraid that I had failed in some way. I was angry at myself for not fully taking flight, but now I see that my inside is gaining energy—BIG ENERGY—for the next voyage."—Katherine Jenkins 

Dear fellow Earthlings,

Has it been six months almost? No I haven't disappeared, but almost. This earth game is intense. And sometimes life just picks you up and carries you for awhile. I got sucked into my mundane life again.

Just last February, while on Maui close to Haleakala, it felt like my rocket had launched. I was heading out into the great UNKNOWN. I was about to become an explorer. I traveled to remote parts of Australia and New Zealand...and....well, I wasn't really sure where I'd go after that.

But somehow I ended up back on that launch pad again. Somehow, this past fall, I returned to what I know, even though it's not 100% what I love. Maybe that's why it was hard to write. Because I found it hard to fully launch.

In September, I moved into my co-worker's mother-in-law in a wonderful part of Seattle after petsitting all summer in Port Townsend and Richmond Beach. By the end of the summer, I had signed on to teach an overload at the college where I've been a teacher for 13 or so years teaching ESL and Small Business to immigrants and refugees. My new living space has been good for me. It's allowed me to not be so uncertain about where I'll lay my head while I have a regular job. But, I'm not sure I've completely found my place in life.

I've really enjoyed my current neighborhood. The house I live in in Ravenna, Seattle is in walking distance to everything I love—grocery stores, coffee shops, yoga, Greenlake, a new age bookstore, massage, my counselor....everything! I can walk from here to Greenlake within 20 minutes. And the fall this year in Seattle proved to be the best I've witnessed in a long time! The vibrant colors of the fall leaves at the lake this year took my breath away. And now, on February 10th, all has disappeared beneath a blanket of snow. We haven't had snow like this in 40 years. Most winters in Seattle are rainy and wet. I managed to escape one of the worst winters for rain last year while on Maui and in Australia and New Zealand. I feel like I have hit the jackpot with the weather this year and have been in bliss since summer.

I have enjoyed the time and the new living situation, which is about 20 minutes from my job and about 15 minutes from where my boyfriend lives.

I enjoyed a trip with my boyfriend in early December to Florida to see my dad and step mom and got a taste of the travel bug again while touring around Saint Augustine (the oldest city in the USA), Tampa and Saint Pete. It doesn't matter where I travel, it could be in my own state, but as soon as I go anywhere, my eyes light up. I feel most alive when I'm on the road.

So as much as this has been one of the best situations for me right now, it isn't IT! I hear my soul calling me beneath all the hustle and bustle we humans call life. My life is calling me away from the MAZE and the chatter of a life where everyone moves in deep grooves, but no one knows where they are going.

I have to stay in touch with my spirit to make it through. Without that connection, I'd be so lost. I'm currently in a vision circle with other drummers and shaman practitioners. This group is so important to me. It reminds me of how we are all connected and how in CIRCLES, where we gather to meet with LIVE humans, we create so much energy. These circles sustain the web of life. My spirit has been whispering to me to hold steady for a little bit. It has told me that I'm on the path, even though it may seem like a detour. Even more than a detour, it feels like I've been walking in place. But then I'm reminded of the saying, "Wherever you go, there you are." We are travelers everyday within circles. We don't need to, necessarily, go anywhere GRAND, if we have a deep connection to our spirits. But going somewhere new and inspiring does spark the spirit within. At least it does for me.

My boyfriend, who is also my business partner in a new business we launched in November called Seattle Psychic Institute, reminds me that I am, in fact, journeying. I've been going on MAJOR journeys on the inside. In fact, the inside work I'm doing is so BIG that it does require a place to rest my head for awhile. So this home serves as that place while I make these inner journeys. I am an author,  psychic reader, channeler and intuitive writing teacher. I feel most at home in this work, but it's not necessarily the work that pays the bills.....yet. It WILL be though and I will find my place again. I am definitely in a gathering phase. Lately, I've been able to channel a friend of Scott's who I also knew who died a few years ago. There are such important messages coming through that he has asked that I record them, so I feel I will do that and perhaps transcribe them here or on another blog. It is such important information for us Earthlings!

Back to the present, where all things exist all at once and all things are able to manifest—blanket of snow! We are currently under a blanket of snow
in Seattle and I feel I'd like to disappear into my den-like room for the rest of the winter, only to raise my head to write, do psychic readings and meet in my spiritual CIRCLES. I feel a pull to go deep within.

Today, I walked for three hours in the snow. I looked down at the white and it almost burned my eyes, it was so bright and blank and full of possibilities. The silence grabbed me and said, "You asked for this!" In psychic circles, sometimes we call it "mocking up." I see a picture in my mind's eye and it is so clear that it comes to be right in front of me. There is so much certainty around it. Lately, so many dreams and things I've seen in my mind have happened. I'm starting to realize that the veil between what we believe and see on the inside is not too different from what each of us is seeing on the outside. How we think about things, what we believe, what we imagine and tell ourselves is so important.

A few days ago, I walked in the snow with a friend. My boyfriend had given me gold sun & moon earrings for Christmas. I adored them. When I came back home, the SUN was gone. How fitting that it had DISAPPEARED. After all, everything that required light to grow had become dormant under a blanket of snow. I clenched the moon tightly in my fist. I didn't want to accept that the sun was gone. The next day I retraced my steps. I searched and searched for my sun. When I got home, a voice inside said, "You will find it as soon as you let it go!" And I was certain I'd find it outside. I went to my Tuesday Night Psychic Reading Clinic. I debated going because the weather had been so unpredictable and I worried about the roads. My boyfriend picked me up and drove me. Two women, mother and daughter, came to our clinic that night. I saw that they were stuck in a pattern that had been passed down through a long lineage of women. They were moving in a particular CIRCLE that was not benefitting anyone. To the break the pattern, both of them needed to let go and do something different. I felt a bright light enter the room during those psychic readings. The room, that had felt a bit dark and heavy in the beginning, became light and soft during our closing meditation.

My boyfriend drove effortlessly through the streets of Seattle on the way home. It was easy getting home and I didn't see any ice the road. I said, "Good night" and gave him a kiss and then walked up the steps to the house where I live. There, on the doormat, in a little patch of snow under the bright outdoor light, was my SUN, glowing in GOLD. I said, "Oh...wow!" It was exactly how I had imagined I'd find it, but I had let that image go completely. I wasn't thinking about it at all when I found it, but I did have certainty that eventually I would.


Sometimes these images come through loud and clear and sometimes they are a little more cloudy. I am afraid to trust myself fully in this, even though time and time again, my intuition has been crystal CLEAR. When I don't second guess myself, I know what I must do. Nothing shows up clearer in this area than when I do psychic readings and channel. I'm able to relay information to people that has deep meaning for them. And I can do this for myself too.

I want to own this more. I don't want to be afraid of what others might think. I know I have these abilities and I want to be able to say that I do without feeling like others might think I'm nuts. I think one of my biggest patterns I'm letting go of in this life is worrying about what others might think of me. I grew up in a family that pretty much only believed what was tangible. It was "I'll believe it when I see it." I operate in the opposite way. My way of operating is, "I see it (inside first) and then I believe it." This is such a different way of moving in the world, but it's the way I move. I want to accept it.

I think I DISAPPEARED from here because I was afraid that I had failed in some way. I was angry at myself for not fully taking flight, but now I see that my inside is gaining energy—BIG ENERGY—for the next voyage. This voyage comes from the inside out. I am letting the inside guide me first. And I'm not going to be too concerned with how it looks like to everyone else, but more if it feels right to me.

And so I see, nothing disappears really. It's all recycled and fed back into this web of life, in which all of us Earthlings and all other life forms are living.

Cycles, seasons, circles—call them what you want. Life is moving. Inside that green shoot, covered by snow now, is energy that is FLOWING and building up so that we can all enjoy and witness a unique flower in the spring. EACH one different, but equally beautiful.

Have you ever felt like you disappeared or wanted to disappear, only to show up again in full bloom? What were the circumstances around this?

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

The Sound of a Different Drum

Hello fellow Earthlings,

There's something we are born into here on Earth. It's called family. And sometimes, even though you love them all very much, you have to wonder how you got the family you did. Some schools of thought believe that our family members were our enemies in past lives and we are here to work out our karma with them. If you believe your family is PERFECT, then congratulations! Maybe there is nothing more for you to learn in this lifetime. I think there's a reason why it's hard to hang out with family for a long time. In the beginning, we are so happy to see everyone, but as time ticks on, we realize how different we all are and we wonder how we ended up with the lot we got. Some family members have not spoken in months and some have sons, daughters, mothers or fathers who they have not seen in years. I am fortunate in that I am still in contact with all of my family members and see them when I can. Even though we all get along fairly well and manage to catch up, share and have fun, it's hard to meet eye to eye on all subjects. In fact, some subjects we just steer clear of all together. It's easier that way.

But every now and then a comment will creep its way in and it takes me right back to when I was a child seeking approval from my parents. It makes me question the path I am on. I start to wonder about myself and think, "What's wrong with me?!"  I'm not living like these people at all. I've chosen a very different path and I play a drum with a VERY different sound. Are you sure these are my kin?

Well,  to be honest, I don't think I have ever been a pack animal. Not ever.

I play a very different drum and at times I sort of wish I were a pack animal. It's not easy to forge your own course in life or take the road less traveled. Along the path, you meet up with people on other paths who look at you through narrowed eyes that seem to say, "There's one who went astray." And at times it makes you feel very isolated.

I have felt isolated, but I will not change the path I'm on.

A deeper sense of myself, deeper than my ties to family, calls me. I am a stranger, at times, even to my loved ones. Yet, I love them, each one of them, for who they are.

This morning, my boyfriend, who stayed with my family for two days, left to go to work in the city. He knew I had been feeling a little down. I felt judged by my family for my decisions and for my lifestyle. Maybe it was my own sensitivity or maybe it was my need for approval, but I didn't feel good.

With loving eyes, my boyfriend, looked down at me and kissed my cheek and said, "Don't cast your pearls before swine!" I had never heard that before, but I knew what he meant.

Each one of us holds in us the jewels of who we are. So precious, these gem stones are! So brilliant and beautiful! Yet it is so easy to dim our lights and to even trample over our own pearls for the sake of fitting in with others and not rocking the boat.

And then there's judgement.

It's so easy to dish out judgement of others too. Why do we do it? Why are we so curious about others' lives? Why can't we celebrate our differences? Why can't we say, "Well, it's not my path, but I'm happy that you are so happy on YOURS! I celebrate your journey. I celebrate YOU!"

Strangely, we humans forget that we are all connected. We forget that we are part of a HUMAN family and that the way we act towards each other can have a ripple effect on the whole. I am not immune to judgement. I don't always suspend my opinions of others. I don't always have everyone's best interest in mind all the time. But I'm trying to understand. I'm trying to realize that I'm not isolated or in this alone and that each person I meet is just as deserving of love as the next, even though I may not understand their choices.

So, this morning, I walked through the silence of the house we are all sharing together and felt a calm. I felt the quiet of everyone sleeping snuggly in their beds and all was well. I felt a deep love well up in my heart that I still have family near me. My father, mother and step parents are all alive and well. I have a great sister, brother-in-law and nephews. How lucky I am!

 And with these thoughts, I slipped out of the house, up the road and into the woods.




I walked into the thick of trees and smelled the earthy, herbal smell of Salal berries and tasted them. Next, I popped an Oregon grape into my mouth and winced at the sourness of it. Finally, further down the trail I spotted an Evergreen Huckleberry bush growing out of an old stump. I reached up and plucked the small berries from the bush—a sweet and sour taste. All different, these berries, yet here they were in the same forest existing together.

The fragrance of these berries, pine sap, and wood created a heavenly fragrance as I trotted along the wooded path with Long Pond on my left. There I saw a gathering of birds in the pond together. There were ducks, Canadian geese and a few Heron all living, drinking and eating within the same pond.

I felt my body meld with everything around me—fragrant smells, birds chirping, the touch of a soft wind through the trees, the taste of a variety of berries. Everything all blended together and I was part of it all, yet I was a unique and important element to it all.

There's nothing wrong with the sound of a different drum. Mine is made from elk. I made it by my own hands. I smoothed the wet hide over the round wood with my fingers, feeling the essence of the animal that would make a sound in my hands. That animal lives through the drum and me, yet we are distinct and different.

It's okay to make a different sound and play a different drum. What would our world be if we were all exactly the same. And there are no mistakes or ways in which we should have done things differently in my book. There is just life flowing, flowing, flowing. Things dying, things falling apart or coming together. It's all part of the great symphony of life. I don't need to please anyone in this world. I don't need to play my drum to suit you. I'm here to make my own sound and you are here to make yours.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

The Light Behind Defeat

Dear Fellow Earthlings,

I will be honest. I am still releasing negative feelings and emotions almost three years after my husband left. It is not a constant thing and most days I am quite happy, but when I am silent, I am able to dive deep down into reservoirs of darkness and negative emotions. They are there and I am trying not to be afraid of them, but rather, to work with them for my own healing.

I can't say that I've perfected being a deep sea diver. Most of the time I'm looking for my water wings. I want my noodle, or maybe two noodles, so I can bob effortlessly up and down with the ocean waves. I don't want to go deep down where there are sea urchins, sharks, sting rays and other things that could hurt me. It's dark and murky under there. I don't know what is lurking or what might hurt me and I've already been hurt. Best not to risk it again, right?

I went to a psychic recently. Actually, I am a trained psychic too. I have given many psychic readings, but it helps to also receive them. The woman who saw me confirmed that I am diving deep. So deep that most people would have turned back long ago. I've somehow agreed to do this. Even my former spouse could not go where I was going. Instead of swimming down, he doggy paddled sideways towards another woman who he ended up having an affair with. I think he believed that somehow she would save him or he could lose himself and the darkness by taking up with someone new. But it doesn't really work that way. We can get guidance and help, but no one can live this life for us. Each one of us has to go through it and the more resistance there is the harder it will be. This is what I've found.

Don't be afraid of the darkness, because behind it is a light you can't believe. Skimming the surface will never allow you to catch a glimpse of this light. You can skim through your entire life if you want. No one will stop you.  But there is so much beauty deep down in there.

I also do tarot card readings and did one for myself the other day. In my mind, there are no "bad cards," but ones we can learn from. I recently chose the card DEFEAT.



When you think of defeat, what comes to mind? For me there is a feeling of losing. I've lost something. In sports we lose to the other team. In medieval latin, the word is disfacere which means to destroy, mutilate or undo. Who wants to lose or be destroyed? No one. We are in this life to win and preserve ourselves for as long as we can.

Henry David Thoreau, in his essay called Civil Disobedience, wrote:

The mass of men leads lives of quiet desperation

We don't want waves. We don't want to dive deep and face the darkness. In fact, most of us do everything in our power to avoid the darkness. We'd take boredom and predictability over uncertainty any day.We'd rather have security and know what's what. But do any of us know what's what? I believe there's actually more struggle in holding things together than letting things fall apart. Easier said than done because, for the love of GOD, who wants to open up that can of worms and expose who we really are and how we really feel?

But what if we did let go. Instead of holding tightly to the rope of fear, what if we just let it go. Instead of clenching fists of sand, what if we watched it sift through our fingers in amusement. We are all going to die, this is true, so what is the sense of holding on so tightly?

I'm not suggesting doing anything rash, I'm suggesting to ask defeat (or any other dark emotion) to sit down with you to tea. Maybe you'd learn more than you expect. Maybe you'd see beauty where you never expected to see it.

I let defeat come in. I let it come on a walk with me and the dog I'm caring for out here in Port Townsend. There is some anger in defeat for me. I lost my spouse to another woman. The world that I believed in came crumbling down and so did my identity of twenty years. If you were to lose your spouse, kids, husband, home, animals, who would you be? Do you depend on all these others to define who you are?

I've been playing with "now what?" for awhile. I'm testing out lots of different things. Instead of quickly taking on another identity or putting all my eggs in another's basket, my larger self, or "oversoul" as I call it, is asking me to not hurry to define myself again. It's telling me to linger at the bottom of the ocean for awhile.

And at the bottom of the ocean is a deep silence. A deafening silence. And a light so bright and so warm. I  heard this silence and I saw this light in a cathedral of trees on my walk with the dog. It shone right through the dark thickness of them, inviting me to sit down and listen. This grove asked me to put down my thoughts and stories and to enter empty handed. So I did.



I currently have no home to call my own. But I do believe I'll have one again. It's easy to feel defeated when you've given away all you've got and lost so much. But the other side of that is an unbelievable lightness and joy. There's nothing to carry except the present moment. Behind the swords of defeat there is a bright light. You don't have to die to see it. It's there every moment speaking in a butterfly that flutters overhead or in a thimble berry that begs you to taste it. Life is abundant even in defeat and sorrow. Even in my darkest hour, I feel the sweetness of being alive.

No, I'm not afraid of the darkness. Instead, I feel myself outstretching my arms and asking this uncertainty, sorrow, loss and pain to dance.


Friday, July 6, 2018

Surrendering to Solitude

Hello Fellow Earthlings,

I've been out here in the woods for about nine days. Other than my boyfriend who has come over a few times, I haven't had any visitors or met many people. I realize, without the regular distractions, so much comes up for me to confront. There's nowhere to hide out here. In Seattle, my old stomping grounds, I could easily pick up the phone and meet a friend within an hour. If I was bored or restless, I could go to a movie, the gym, a restaurant, shopping, etc. Out here, there are those distractions, but I'm further away from everything. It's seems like the land beckons me to stay with the uncomfortableness and not runaway.

But it's hard! There's some deep-rooted sorrow and sadness coming up. Here I am alone with a dog out in the woods. I don't have a family or pets or a home to call my own even. I just have a small storage unit, my car and that's about it. I have my boyfriend, but sometimes I feel so far away from him too. I love him, but there's so much change going on on the inside and it's hard to express what I'm going through. Instead of feeling surrounded by love and friends, I have been feeling quite alone and, well, LONELY!

Yet, I keep putting myself in these situations. I chose to go to the woods alone. Last January, I chose to go to upcountry Maui to housesit alone on 17 acres, far from any people, for two months. Continuously, I have been choosing to remove myself from the world and go inward.

Strangely, what I've discovered, is that I want community, a lover, a life with pets in a sanctuary that I can call my own. I don't know where that home will be. Maybe, by uprooting myself, I am opening myself up to finding those things. I feel like I should not be in a hurry to plunk myself down again. I feel, as unsettling as it is, I am meant to go with the wind for awhile. I'm meant to discover what the world has in store for me without forcing it all to fall into place. I am meant to be with the unknown for a while, however unsettling that is.

Right now, I'm upstairs at my writing desk in the mandala house (round house) in Port Townsend. The dog, Indio, is asleep on the rug next to me. I'm looking out at the tops of pine trees, the last bit of blue sky and glowing pink clouds from the sun that has set.



 The silence is sometimes deafening out here. I'm not used to it. It calls me to stop and be still, but there's a fear in that too. I have done lots of meditation in my past, but I don't know why I fight being still and doing nothing. To be alone with myself for days without any interaction with other fellow humans is challenging.

Nothingness.

What is it about that word that is frightening? It almost feels that if I'm always in motion and do-ing, my life has meaning. If I stop and do nothing, there's a feeling of not having a purpose or point. I fear that I could just disappear out here.

And I still have twenty days to go! Whoa.

So what was my purpose in coming out here? I wanted this solitude. I wanted to be alone to write and tune in. I chose this. My body, mind and spirit were on overdrive in the city. I was teaching 60 students at the community college and trying to move out of my home of twelve years.

There was no BALANCE. I craved nothingness. I craved an endless stretch of time to do nothing.

And now I have it!

Isn't it strange? Humans always want what they don't have. As soon as they have it, they want something else.

So instead of running away from or changing or distracting myself from where I am right now, I am choosing to surrender to it.

What happens if I surrender to this moment right now? What happens if I accept it and even enjoy it? What happens if I forgive myself for saying or doing things I regret? What happens if I love myself and realize that this moment is perfect as it is—that nothing needs to be added or subtracted from what is happening now? It is perfect in it's own way. This is easy when things are going smoothly, but so hard when things aren't. I spent years practicing Vipassana meditation and learning to accept things as they are, not as I'd like them to be. My teacher S. N. Goenka used to say, "As it is, not as you want it to be!" Yet, I'm still working on this. I still fall down, act badly, lose my footing, fall on my face and then berate myself for these things, rather than accepting that everything is okay just as it is.

I AM OKAY JUST AS I AM.

I know this is my challenge out here: To accept things as they are and to accept myself as I am. To love myself and my life right now. To surrender to the solitude.

Physically I have been feeling a lot of burning in my body and mind. It's been going on for awhile. It's no wonder I'm writing a book called Venus on Fire. The burning shows up as burning, irritated skin on my body and anger, lots of fiery anger, in my mind. My spirit, or oversoul as I liked to call it sometimes, is clear. I am clear in my higher purpose: To follow my heart and share with others what I discover. It feels like I'm waiting for my body and mind to catch up with my spirit.

Maybe my skin burns or itches because I'm literally in need of shedding my skin. I can't fit in it anymore. And maybe the anger is a part of being afraid to let go and let things be as they are, even if others don't accept them or me.

What if I allowed my skin to shed and my mind to release this pressure? What if I gave myself permission to remain as an empty vessel, open to receiving new information? What if I let myself be who I am right now?

I'm going to give it a try....


Thursday, June 28, 2018

A New Life

Universal Love by Anyes Barber
"I've learned that fear limits you and your vision. It serves as blinders to what may be just a few steps down the road for you. The journey is valuable, but believing in your talents, your abilities, and your self-worth can empower you to walk down an even brighter path. Transforming fear into freedom— how great is that?"—Soledad O'Brien

 Dear fellow Earthlings,

It's been so long. I haven't written since February when I was on Maui. Earth THINGS got in my way of corresponding. It was harder to hear the messages from my heart as I was being tossed and turned in a more active phase of my life. There was so much I wanted to share with you, but I hardly had time to catch my breath. Within the space of 4 months, I attended a week-long shamanic workshop with Hank Wesselman at Breitenbush Hotsprings in Oregon, traveled to Australia down The Great Ocean Road with fellow blogger sisters, slept in the outback under a blanket of stars near Uluru, and toured the North Island of New Zealand immersing myself in Maori culture. It was a whirlwind and I so wanted to write about it while it was happening. There were so many messages to convey, but, instead, I just absorbed it all like a sponge. I promise you, I will share it in my next book Venus on Fire. It is what I'm working on right now.

I touched down on American soil from New Zealand near the end of March on a Friday. I could feel the heaviness and busyness of being back in Seattle, in the city, where everyone had an agenda and things to do and places to go. There was a heaviness in the air. I wondered how far it had spread. Had it infected all of the United States? I wasn't sure. People weren't LISTENING. They weren't dropping down inside to hear. They were just moving. Cars were like ants and everyone was following what the others were doing. No one was questioning this way of life. It felt destructive. The image I had was of rats in a maze running around in circles but not finding any way out. Everyone was bumping into each other and the stress was enormous. Just beyond the maze there was a vast ocean and there were forests with towering trees that stood like ancient grandfathers. They beckoned these rat-like people to step back or step out of the maze. "Step off the path and look up at the moon," a voice seemed to say.

But I didn't do that. By Monday, I was back in the classroom at the community college where I've taught for the past 12 years or so. I went from attending a Maori Hangi (feast) out on the North Island of New Zealand, to teaching small business and ESL classes to 60 students. The transition was jarring. The journey of my spirit, which was deep and expansive, was cut short as I was abruptly transported back to the maze where it seemed I too was running in circles forgetting everything I had learned—forgetting to breath, to stop, to connect, TO SEE.

I bounced through my classes and life like a car that had just gotten a flat on a dirt road. I kept trying to roll that car along, but it was a rough ride. On top of the teaching load, I had to move out of my house of 12 years during finals week. My body gave up. I acquired new illnesses. I went to doctors, counselors, psychics. The message was that I needed to slow down and remove ALL STRESS from my life right away. I was not to put myself in stressful situations until my physical body had healed. Yet, the reality was there. I had to finish teaching and I had to move out. I asked for help and many people came and pitched in. There's a little unfinished business that others are helping out with, but other than that, I'm on to a NEW LIFE. One that better suits my heart and allows me to hear and honor the messages it's been sending out.

Life is not always logical. We don't always go from point A to point B. In fact, I'd be surprised if anyone's life has flowed along in a neat little package with no challenges, woes or battle scars. Of course, the pictures tell a different story. Social Media makes us believe that everyone besides us leads a perfect life with perfect children, spouse, parents, family, etc. In The USA, we are a country of doing and acquiring. There are certain rites of passage that are considered "normal" and if we are in the maze, we'd better do them so that traffic will flow along more smoothly. But the very things we agree to do and believe we SHOULD do, aren't always the things our hearts call us to do. And those rites of passage, as important as they seem, will not SAVE us. We can have a neat little life on the outside, but it's the inside work, the work no one can see, that will make the biggest difference. It's the practice of BE-ING rather than DO-ING. All the messages we need to hear are in the practice of be-ing.

My heart is calling me to take a different path. My heart is calling me to a new life. I'm scared as shit. That's the truth. I've always been the good girl. I've been a good citizen. I've tried to do the right things and follow along in the maze of life, but I'm being called to step off this well-trodden path. I no longer have a home. I left all that I previously knew. It was a dark tunnel getting here, one where I painstakingly sorted through pictures and memorabilia of a life now gone. I sold, donated or tossed most of my belongings. A small pile of things I couldn't part with yet are now in a storage unit. I am FREE.

FREE

I left my home at 9:30am yesterday and got on the 10:30 ferry to Kingston. On the ferry, I sat across from a Native American Artist's painting called The Raven's Journey about a raven who turns into a boy and searches for a box of light. I feel that's my journey too. After disembarking the ferry, I drove on through a dense forest and thick green vegetation to Port Townsend. The Sound opened up on my left as I turned onto Cape George Road. My car was packed with what I needed for a month. I am petsitting and writing for the month of July in a mandala house (round house). It's just me and Indio, the sweet dog I'm taking care of.

My room is the whole upper floor of the mandala house and it sits high up like a tree house. Last night the strawberry full moon shone through the portal window above my bed and filled the entire room. It felt like angels had entered. It lit up all the trees around the house. It was divine.

I'm listening now. I've stepped out of the maze and I'm out with the trees and the moon. My heart is rejoicing. It's showing me things I've overlooked— little things like wild strawberries, fox glove, the smell of pine, a chorus of birds. This is the life my heart wants. Slow, mindful,

FREE

Namaste sweet humans. More soon.....