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.


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 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.


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,


Namaste sweet humans. More soon.....

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Maui Musings Day 45: A Message for our Planet

Good evening fellow Earthlings,

I have been living out here below Haleakala, fire chakra of the planet, for 45 days. Yes, I can't believe it, but it has been THAT long! The messages that have come through the land are so very powerful. I can't even begin to put them into words, but I will do my best. If you are here reading this now, know that there is a reason. You are here to raise the vibration of the planet. You are here to live your life at the highest possible frequency of LOVE. So many people talk about it, but there is a reason why. It is true.

I get that you may be saying, "Don't give me any of that new-age bullshit. The world is going to hell in a hand basket and there's nothing we can do about it. People are dying and our government is messed up, so go screw yourself."

Okay, okay well, you can stop reading if you want and just live there, in that state. It's up to you. I've been there. I have lived in that state of "hell on earth" where negativity was my best friend.  It was exhausting. It was like I was fighting to keep the negativity alive. It was like swimming up stream. I've lived in intense anger and pain. I've felt deep sorrow and outrage with what is happening in the world. Trust me, when someone you love is suddenly gone, you don't feel like kissing people and opening your heart. You feel OUTRAGE. This is a completely normal response. You'd be nuts if you DIDN'T feel this. When my husband walked out on me, I felt like I'd been shot in the chest. I felt unbearable anger which was really just a mask for deep, deep pain.

Right now you may feel that the world is in a state of chaos. We have shootings, we are at odds politically and spiritually with one another, there are wars, relationships are falling apart, there is darkness, death, disease, ill will. The instant access to Facebook and mass media and all the news can make us feel depressed, hopeless, useless, worried, fearful or lost.

This is all happening for a reason.

The ways in which we have existed up until now no longer serve us or the planet. 

In our human minds, it may seem impossible to wrap our heads around the solution, but the solution is right here. It has always been RIGHT HERE!

"Right where?" I hear you saying,  "I'm sitting here and I see/feel NOTHING good."

Are you breathing? Do you have food? Do you have shelter? Do you have a pet, a friend, family or a significant other? Do you have a toilet and a shower? Well, that's a start. That's all good.

Did you know that what you do RIGHT NOW, even if it seems insignificant, has tremendous power. You are an energetic being. The energy you give and receive creates your reality. What reality are you living in right now? Is it the life you want for yourself and all beings? 

If your world is covered in a state of despair, anger or hate, know that love is always there below the surface. Having the intention of tapping into that love is enough. You don't have to feel it. Just have the intention that you want to tap into it.

I could not feel any love at all when my husband left. I felt extreme pain. The pain was so intense that I had trouble breathing. Yes, you can die from a broken heart. What saved me? It was my intention to heal. THAT is it. I was completely committed to healing. I believed love was possible. I made a promise to love myself deeply. I made a promise to myself to feel everything I was feeling. I believed in love and I believed, beneath all the surface chaos, love was there.

Sometimes we have to go through states of deep negativity and despair in order to see that love. I feel like this is a shedding of the old. We are are healing in order to shift into the new. Are you open to healing and letting go of old patterns? Are you open to feeling love?

I'm living out here in the land of ALOHA. The Hawaiians and the people here believe in the power of love. It is how they live. They live aloha and even BREATHE aloha. I have learned so much from this. 

Being out here in the middle of the ocean on islands that are farthest from any land mass in a place that bases everything on this ALOHA energy is pretty transformative. 

The land SPEAKS here. The people are part of the land. 

Actually, the earth speaks everywhere, but it REALLY speaks here. 

When I walk the grounds here everyday, I automatically place my hand over my heart. I keep feeling my heart open. The love is so strong that it makes me touch this area. Whatever I am doing, the land keeps calling me to listen and love. Whenever fear crops up, I'm called again and again to lay that fear down and let love in.

Yesterday, after I dropped my boyfriend off at the airport for his flight back to Seattle, I felt a pull to get in the ocean. I drove to a beach near the airport and immediately found myself swimming with turtles. Their energy was so ancient, yet gentle. And when I put my head under the ocean, I could hear the call of humpback whales. 

I couldn't understand this language, but my heart understood it. My heart understands. So I have decided not to lead with my head anymore. I am being guided by my heart. This is the part that is opening. This is the new world we are entering.

I see a world that is lead by the passion of our hearts, not the will of our minds. I keep hearing that everything is as it is meant to be. There is nothing to do but follow our hearts deeply. If we deny our hearts and forget to listen to them, we will suffer greatly. If we get too caught up in what is going on OUTSIDE of our own beings, if we leave our heart space and get caught up in trying to solve everything "out there," we will be lost.

The heart is our compass. It knows the way and has ALWAYS known the way. Let go and listen. This is what I keep getting. LET GO. If every single one of us is tuned in and following what the heart wants, imagine the world we'd have! 

Don't fall into despair, keep opening up your heart. Open it all the way. Cry, laugh, scream, feel. Let it out! And when you think it's as opened as it can go, open it a little more! Love yourself very deeply in this process. It's a very deep opening. All of us are in it whether we choose to be or not. All of us are moving towards this love.

John Lennon, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, Gandhi, Mother Theresa and so many others lived from this love and followed deeply what their hearts called for them to do. Were they too idealistic? I believe they are no different from you or me. No different. The only difference is that they put full faith in their hearts. They were called to do something that might have seemed illogical to the rest of the world, and they did it. THAT IS THE ONLY DIFFERENCE.

So what is the message for our planet and for our lives on earth? Here's the message I get from listening for 45 days:

"Go into your heart, listen to what it calls you to do. Let go of all the other voices that mix you up or move you away from being in this space. Let go of what others might say or how you might look. If it is coming from a place of the heart, it will always be right. When you operate from your heart space, you connect with all other heart spaces. This force of love is so strong that it changes the appearance of water molecules and it will certainly shift our planet. This earth, which has sustained us all of our lives, is speaking to us every moment. It speaks the language of love. Move through the pain and unpleasantness. Sit with it. Be with it. Underneath it all is an enormous wellspring of love."

 From where I sit now, I see this clearly. I hear that it will be okay. You will be okay. We are on the path, all of us. Keep going. I promise you, love is there.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Maui Musings Day 28: Living in Love

Good evening fellow Earthlings,

I've been out here on the farm in Maui for almost 28 days. About 23 days of that time has been alone. I've done silent meditation courses of 45 days, but nothing tops this. When you are on a meditation course, all your needs are taken care of. If you need a softer cushion for your butt, the management will fetch it for you. If you need to eat a gluten-free diet, the kitchen staff will prepare it for you. If you are going through a mental breakdown, the teachers on staff will walk you through it or get you the help you need.

Out here alone on the farm, it's "fend for yourself," for the most part. I'm alone, I make my food, harvest the veggies and fruit, gather chicken eggs, feed the dogs, do the wash, take the garbage down to the landfill, and spend A LOT of time by myself. There is a local living down by the gate if there are any emergencies, and there have been a few.

There were plans to paint the dome, so I moved into the big house. Two days later a large limb from a tree, that was the size of a tree itself, came crashing down and hit the dome and wiped out the yoga gazebo. I heard a huge crack, like thunder, and went out to investigate. When I saw what the tree-like limb had done, I was stunned. What if I'd been in the bathroom or on my way to the bathroom? What if the dogs had been walking back there? I thought. It was so fortunate that I had already moved to the big house. I really felt someone was looking out for me.

I knew it was Pele, Goddess of Volcanoes. I have felt her presence here the entire time I've been here. Every time a huge fear comes up or something big happens, she is standing next to me reminding me to live in love, not fear.

Again and again, I feel fears rise up and I'm able to tune into the energy of Pele or my higher self and release those fears and bring in gold light or a ring of fire around the property for protection. And then I bring in love.

I think love is the opposite of fear. When you are living in love and filled up with love from the inside, it's hard for any fears to stick around for long. It's hard to stay in a disagreement with anyone for any length of time. Usually, after a day or so, I want to make up with a person. But I realize that making up with another person can be a one-way street. If I extend love or I open the door for communication and the other person shuts that door, there's not much I can do except to continue to send love out and realize that each person is working out there own things in this life and it's nothing personal.

I am not perfect, so I will tell you that when my husband cheated on me with a younger yoga student and left our 12-plus year marriage, it was very hard to extend love or forgiveness. Instead, I felt a burning rage. I felt like Kali, Goddess of Destruction. I felt like a fire-breathing dragon ready to wipe out everything in my husband and his new-found girlfriend's path. The anger covered up a very deep, deep hurt.

It took awhile to crawl out of that hole. It took time to see the light again and to see that there was still love all around me. The only thing I was committed to at that time was loving, nurturing and healing myself. During that time, I realized that living in love did not depend on another person or situation or perfect location or right connections. Living in love started with myself.

Love was not outside myself. It is never outside myself. When I began to see love in me, I started to see the reflection of that all around me too.

Eventually, I did walk around Greenlake with my ex and I didn't want to kill him. It was a huge step! I actually wished him well, even though I did not understand his actions and had no wish to communicate on a regular basis. I felt our paths had diverged for a reason and we were on our way to becoming two very different people.

Living in love, for me, also means not always pleasing people or having people understand you. I have always wanted to get along with people. I tend to avoid conflict at all costs. But more and more, I am speaking up for what I want and not worrying or caring what others think about it.

How can you live in love when you are doing something you hate just because everyone else is doing it? What's wrong with tuning into yourself and saying, "I'm not really feeling like doing that or being that or going there." Living in love means asking yourself what you need and honoring it even if it doesn't make sense to anyone else.

I have also found that it is very counter productive to beat yourself up for not having what everyone else has. Each of us are unique individuals on the planet. Each of our lives may not look like everyone else's, but we are ALL capable and deserving of love.

Some may feel that living in love means doing things for others, but if you are not taking care of yourself, than everything will be done in vain.

Others may feel that having the perfect partner is living in love. But what if that partner betrays you or leaves you or doesn't measure up to your idea of what living in love is. Then you are left empty or angry or sad.

Coming out here to Maui to live alone and write was something I wanted to do. It was a way of honoring myself, despite all my fears about it. Again and again I have faced those fears and kept coming back to love. I have a great appreciation for myself now and my ability to be self-reliant and give myself what I need. I see that it's okay that I'm not perfect or that I don't please everyone I meet. I see that it's okay that I don't have my entire book written by now.

Being here and tuning into the land and myself was quite huge. I know I went deep and uncovered so much in these past 28 days. I have faced so many things out here on my own. I didn't resort to talking to a volleyball and I didn't go crazy. That's big!

So tonight I am honoring and loving myself for just being out here alone. I did it. I'm capable of living out in nature for 23 days with no other humans close by.

And I can also say that I'm ready for my boyfriend to visit. He will come the day after tomorrow. It will be an interesting transition after being on my own for so long, but it's a transition I'm welcoming and look forward to.

Have you ever spent any long length of time living alone out in nature? Where were you and how did it feel? Is it something you want to try?

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Maui Musings Day 21: Face the Fear and Do It Anyway

Good evening fellow Earthlings,

I have been out here in Maui for 21 days and tonight is my 12th night ALONE, besides the two pups I'm caring for. I will tell you honestly, I've been facing so many BIG fears. Some of the fears feel so big that I want to put my tail between my legs and run home. I know, I know. Right now you are thinking, "What could possibly go wrong in paradise?" Well, you've heard of those airplanes disappearing in the Bermuda triangle, haven't you? A lot can go wrong in paradise, just as much as anywhere else. After all, on the 13th of January, everyone in Hawaii thought a ballistic missile was headed right for us. If that's not something that would scare the pants off of any human, I don't know what would.

I want to report to you all that I'm alive and well. I haven't talked to any volleyballs yet, like Tom Hanks ended up doing in that movie. What was the name of it? I've had some battles with my eyes and throat. I think it was VOG (volcanic gases coming over from the Big Island). I had to wear my very unattractive glasses for many days because my eyes were burning. But, hey, I'm not dressing up for anyone right now, so who cares.

So, since I've been out here, gardeners and people who tend to the land on occasion have asked me, "Are you okay out here by yourself?" I've been asked that question so many times by locals that I've begun to think maybe I SHOULD be afraid. My very active mind has turned all kinds of night time noises into aliens, kidnappers, dangerous wild creatures...you name it. I've had to talk myself out of strange scenarios my mind concocts again and again and again.

I'm very psychic and intuitive. I believe we create our realities and circumstances or, at the very least, our minds can create a good or bad view of things. I have a strong connection to Pele, Goddess of Volcanoes. I have felt her with me numerous times out here below Haleakala. She is one of my spirit guides. She holds my hand and creates a firewall of protection all around the property. She guards this place. She protects it because the owners have put so much aloha (love) into the place and she protects anything that has to do with ALOHA. Another tool I use is GOLD. I'm able to put up gold light all around me, the property, the land, Hawaii and sometimes I can stretch it to encompass the country and beyond. I work with gold light a lot. I know this sounds like hocus pocus, but our reality is created by what we believe. If I believe gold light is all around me, then it is. It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. My higher self knows so much and is so capable, but my smaller self is a fearful, shivering child. I oscillate between these two. I believe I'm here to bring these two aspects of myself into harmony.

How does one do that? By giving that small, shivering little self a TON OF ALOHA! Don't expect it from anyone else. You have to give it to yourself. To be honest, I get ALOT of support from friends, my boyfriend (who checks in with me at least once a day) and the owners, who have been so supportive of me being out here. Also, I'm here with two pups who are going through their own fears. Yes, these two little beings that I'm in charge of are also working through things. They are here with me and I am clearly NOT their mom or dad. But they've learned to love me. I'm all they've got and they are all I've got right now.

Today, there was thunder and lightening on the property that was very intense. I had a plan to go down the hill to meet a high school friend and another friend who is in town from Seattle. I was so excited to meet these people because, well, there hasn't been much human contact out here. But the rain was so intense and one of the little dogs was shivering uncontrollably. Have you ever been so scared that you couldn't stop shaking? Well, that was this little dog. How on earth could I go down the mountain in the pouring rain, thunder and lightening to meet my friends when this little pup was practically hyperventilating from fear.

I contacted my friends and made a plan to meet them another day. Once again, it would be just me and the pups at night. I put the little pup into my lap and meditated and eventually her breathing settled and she curled up in a ball and finally took a rest. I don't know if she will ever overcome this fear of thunder and lightening, but feeling comforted and feeling ALOHA come her way was a big help in settling her down.

The pups also put me at ease. When there is someone who comes onto the property they bark and I know they are being protective of me. They also sleep very close to me. We are tuned into each other now. Feeling loved and supported by others is also helpful in overcoming fears. We are all in this together, so when we can connect and help one another, it lessens these fears. Love for myself and love for others seems to be the key. Sometimes I see that small fearful child in me and realize she is also like a separate being. She needs me (my higher self) to wrap my arms around her in a warm, loving embrace. What if each one of us did this for ourselves? What if we were able to soothe ourselves when we felt scared, alone, sad, or depressed?

This is what I've been doing out here. I've been loving that child within me. I've been hearing her say, "I'm really scared." and I've been showering her with love, gold light, comfort, kind words, peace, good food, trips to the beach, yoga classes....whatever she needs.

The other day, that small child said, "That's IT! I can't take it anymore!" She had spent too many days alone on the property and she really just wanted to GET OUT. I treated her to a day at the beach and lunch in the town nearby. I let her write in her journal, people watch, swim in the blue ocean, feel the sand in her toes, eat a cookie, listen to her favorite tunes, spin the prayer wheel at the Tibetan temple.

Sometimes that's what we need when we feel fearful or alone. We just need to tell ourselves, "I love you, you will be fine, I'm here for you."

I have found that this alone time has had tremendous healing effects. I don't need to be afraid because I have love.

Fear, anger, resentment, sadness, loss or depression can be there on the surface or in the background, but love (aloha) for oneself and others conquers all.

What is your biggest fear? What have you done to love yourself when you feel worried, fearful, sad or alone?