Thursday, January 19, 2017

Divine Earthly Experience 4: Politics and Naked-ness

Yes, those are my naked have them too!
"Anybody who can be a good pretender, a hypocrite, will become your leader politically....if you want to see the reality of the politician you will have to see him from his back door. There he is in his nudity, as he is..."—Osho

I don't follow politics AT ALL. Call me ignorant. Call me out-of-touch, but to me it's the same game over and over and over. And it's the game we are MOST ADDICTED TO. One president is our GOD and the next president is THE DEVIL. That's quite extreme....and it's a lot of weight for ONE person to carry. When we have a GOD for president, we are elated, happy, we get tingles all over our body watching speeches. We feel inspired and proud. When we have a DEVIL for president, we are fearful, scared, worried, angry, lost, confused, embarrassed. One brings out inspiration and the belief that anything is possible and the other causes us to fall into the deepest pit of depression...all because of ONE PERSON. Why is this?

Is it because we hinge the entire future on one individual? Are we aware, at all, of what is happening inside us, or are we just reacting to outside stimuli? Have we forgotten that by tuning into collective negativity, we are actually becoming part of it? That, in fact, every single one of us has both godliness and the devil inside. So what do we do?

All of us, every single person, is wearing a mask of some kind.

From the Osho Zen Tarot Deck
We all identify ourselves with something or someone. I'm a teacher, daughter, girlfriend, dancer, writer, blogger, wanderer. Those are labels and names of parts of myself that I have identified with in this world. Those are also masks I wear that help me relate and fit into this world, but those alone ARE NOT ME. To one person, I may well be the devil and to another person I may also be a saint. We are all politicians to some degree. We are taking part in this EARTH GAME and wearing the appropriate masks for any given occasion.

So who am I, really? If I take off everything...if I take off all my masks? WHO AM I? Stripped down to the bareness of my being I find I have arms, legs, a heart, skin, eyes, feelings. I am sometimes happy and elated and sometimes depressed. I feel. I think. I move.

I realize that when I hurt people or participate in negative emotions, I also feel hurt and negative. When someone harms me, I feel bad. When someone cuts me off in traffic, curses me, or calls me names, I become defensive.

When a stranger smiles at me or holds the door for me or says hello, I feel happy. When love is extended to me, my heart expands.

This is what we are doing here, but we get so attached to the pictures we see on the screen. We are so attached to the images, shows, programs, tweets, status updates and even blog postings. We attach ourselves to something or someone that we decide is either good or bad and that's what we keep doing. Over and over we are reacting to what appears in front of us in our lives, on the screen, in our homes, on the street. It's the movie of our lives and it is all REAL, right?

But there is a perspective we've forgotten about. Not all of us, but many. We've forgotten to look at the perspective of how we feel INSIDE. We are so busy looking at everything outside, wondering how everything is going to get solved. We are reacting to this tweet and that status update and this speech and that thing that person said. But what is going on right now, right here with YOU? How do you feel in this moment?

If you don't like something, you can't change the whole world. You can't change a presidential candidate's personality. Crying, lamenting, criticizing, and engaging in negativity won't change him. The only person you really have control over is yourself. Getting angry at other people for not being more involved or being from one side or the other only provokes more violence, hatred and ill will.

So what can you do?

Start with yourself. Sounds easy, right? Sounds even trite. Peel the layers back of who you are like an onion. Maybe you are a mother, peel that back. Maybe you are a teacher, a demonstrator, a hula-hooper, a doodler, a movie star, a wife, a business owner, a Catholic, a Jew, a Muslim. Maybe you are a vegetarian or a carnivore. Maybe you like country music. Maybe you have hurt people in your life. Maybe you haven't forgiven someone. Maybe you are a bully or even a victim. Maybe you are a newlywed, just had a baby or were recently divorced.

Slowly start to peel all the layers back. I find this helps if you sit with your eyes closed and visualize yourself peeling off the layers of who and what you identify with. It doesn't mean you have to give them up or give up what makes you YOU, it just means, for these few moments, peel off these layers like taking off clothes.

Become a naked human.

Now that you are sitting here naked with yourself, with no identity, except that you are human, you have skin, a heart, lungs, you are breathing, how do you feel?

Imagine now, if you will, many other fellow human beings sitting in chairs around you with all their identities like masks laying on the floor in front of them. What makes you different from anyone else, besides the obvious biological differences?

From this place of non-reaction and non-judgement, with all of our masks on the floor in front of us, resting in the peaceful center of ourselves, we find that we are all the same.


I know, it sounds a bit hippy-dippy, right? I mean, we have real problems out there. We don't have time to go inside ourselves, we have to fight the power, we need to stand up.



All the problems out there are the problems inside too. Start with inside first. Start with what's going on with this human you carry around day in and day out. Tune in first to that BEING. Find out, without influence from everything outside, what is right for YOU to DO. Not because it looks good, or because other people are doing it.

Be kind with yourself. Make peace with yourself. Love YOU. Find that kind of peace inside you that is connected, not separate. The kind of love that does not distinguish, judge or ridicule, but realizes we are all cut from the same cloth.

Bumper sticker on Volkswagon bug in Hawaii
When you start from this place, everything you do will be right.  When the light in you honors the light in everyone else, even when the light is not bright, you are coming from a good place. We all have this light. Even the people you are SURE have absolutely NO LIGHT, they have it. They are human and worthy of love just as much as the next person. So PUT YOUR CLOTHES ON and go out and do what you will in the world. Do what calls YOU, remembering that for each person this will be different. Do good things people, but don't forget to move from the inside out. Don't forget that we are all HUMAN and we are all in this together.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Divine Earthly Experience 3: Connection and Solitude

"Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone. Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music."—Khalil Gibran

Good Evening Fellow Earthlings,

Here's something to think about:

You can't be together until you can be alone.

Yes, I believe that.

When my ex-husband walked out and left our marriage a year and a half ago, I had gotten used to him sleeping in the bed. I had gotten used to our rituals. For over 12 years of marriage, we had slept side by side and from my perspective, we were happy. We laughed, read to each other in bed, snuggled, talked about our dreams and ideas. There was a comfort in having him there. I felt like he was my rock, that we had each other's back, that no matter what happened in our marriage, we'd figure it out. From that foundation, I felt comfortable to be alone. I would go on silent meditation courses and go out to my family's lake house to write for a week by myself. I was comfortable alone because I knew I wasn't completely ALONE. My husband was there, even if we were doing our own things and pursuing our own goals.

But the day he walked out and ripped the carpet out from under our marriage, I thought I was going to die. One day we were picking blackberries down the street and making muffins and singing and enjoying the sun and the next day he was gone. Just GONE. He had an affair and left. That was it. He never returned to our house and bed again.

In the days that followed him leaving, I never felt so alone. I would reach out for my partner in bed at night, half asleep, and realize that there was no partner. My heart would race. I could almost feel it pounding in my throat. I had heard that it was possible to die of a broken heart and I was pretty sure this is what it felt like.

As much as the pain and loneliness was very real, I refused to sleep at family or friends' houses. I wanted to feel myself completely. I didn't want to take prescription medication, drown my sorrows in alcohol, or move to a commune. I wanted to FEEL everything, even if those feelings were unpleasant. Many people reached out to help me at this time, but oddly I wanted to be alone. Writing has ALWAYS been my way of working things out and seeing the bigger picture and I filled many journals during this time. I was 46 when my husband left. I thought I'm getting older. Is this my destiny? To be alone? 

I had gotten used to doing so many things together, but now I was trying to pick up the pieces and do many things by myself. Two months after my husband left, we were scheduled to lead a yoga and writing retreat in Sedona, Arizona. I had thought about canceling it, but friends encouraged me to do it anyway. Two good friends stepped up, came all the way to Arizona and helped me do the retreat. I had never done a retreat without my husband, but it was all women and it ended up being one of the most empowering retreats I have ever been a part of. One woman on the retreat said, "Look at it this way. Now that your husband is gone, you can do and be whoever you want. You are free!" I had never thought about it that way. I was free to define myself anyway I chose to. I was no longer in a partnership. I used the opportunity to develop my healing and intuition at Psychic Awakenings in Seattle and I took a burlesque class that changed my life. It was so incredibly empowering to be with a group of women and create a new identity on stage. All that pent up sexual energy came flying out of me when I danced and so it's not surprising that I got asked out pretty quickly.

I was hesitant to go out with my current boyfriend. I thought I needed more time alone. I believed that I needed to spend a good deal of time with myself first before getting in a partnership again. At the same time, I had felt deprived of affection in my marriage and here was a man that was funny, joyful and ready to shower me with affection—a kind of affection I had never known before. I'm sorry, but I wasn't going to turn THAT down, it's what I wanted more than anything. Some friends cautioned me about going out with another man too soon. I could see their point. After all, it had only been six months and my divorce hadn't yet gone through when I went on that first date. But everything in my body was telling me yes, yes and YES! So I went with it, and it was beautiful and it still  is beautiful almost a year later.

I read somewhere that you can be in a partnership with someone for 20, 30 or 40 years and not have too much growth within the relationship. Couples get comfortable and patterns set in and before you know it, you are moving through the motions with one another. That spark that once ignited the fire between you has sort of dimmed and you have no idea when that happened, but you are comfortable. You know what to expect and there is comfort in THAT. In a way, I believe that is sort of what has happened in America. We were comfortable and perhaps we needed a WAKE UP CALL! We needed an overhaul. We needed to GROW! Trust me, there will be an overhaul and there will be GROWTH.

Being in this new relationship has absolutely accelerated my growth! I feel like I'm on the AUTOBAHN of healing. It helps that I'm with a man who meditates, is an EXCELLENT communicator, is in touch with his feelings and has done plenty of his own healing. I feel like I've jumped through a thousand hoops with this person. We don't let anything fester. Things get resolved quickly and then new things appear to be resolved. So it is with and through this intimate connection that I am healing so many parts of myself. How can we grow if nothing is reflected back to us? How can we grow if there is never any conflict, upheaval or chaos? How can we grow if we never step outside our comfort zone? It is through connection that we can see how much alike we all really are. We ALL have parts of ourselves that need to be healed. Not one of us here is perfect or we wouldn't be on the planet. We are here to connect, love and LEARN. I believe that it is through connection, a deep soul connection, with others who are also willing to grow and learn, that we can evolve. That CONNECTION with others is KEY.

But so is solitude. The two go hand in hand I believe.

But before I talk about that, here's something to ponder: If you decide you don't need a partner, that you prefer to be ALONE or that you are not interested in a relationship because they are too complicated or you can't find the right person or this or that, you may have gotten too comfortable being alone. When you are alone, you get to call all the shots. No one is there to ruffle your feathers or trigger you. You don't need to worry about anything being reflected back to you because you are the only one THERE. It's easy to HIDE OUT in solitude. It's easy to become DISCONNECTED. You may have even convinced yourself that it is safer this way. Being alone is another kind of comfort zone.

I believe there needs to be a balance of coming together on an intimate level and being ALONE. I have made good friends with myself. I enjoy my own company. When I'm alone, all my ideas, thoughts, observations come flooding out. I have time to process what it is like to be in connection with people and particularly with an intimate partner. When I'm in solitude, I can step back and assess  the progress I have made. I can see if I like where I'm standing.

I feel fortunate that I have a good balance between being alone and being with my boyfriend, but I have no idea what the future holds. Do any of us? Do we really know? Even from the deck of our comfort zone, with a glass of wine in hand, enjoying the view, have we really figured it all out? What if you were to lose all of that tomorrow? Would you live any differently now? What would you say to the people in your life? Would you change anything?

I am not claiming to have all the answers. More than ever before, I'm feeling around in the dark and every now and then the light comes through. I'm not sure of anything, but I'm sure of this: a plant can't grow in a box. It needs sunlight, water, good soil and LOVE. It is dependent on the other to LIVE. We are the same. We need each other. We need interactions with each other. Through our deep connections and interactions we realize we are all in this together. If we can just realize this we will realize we are never alone. And once we realize we are never alone, we will be perfectly content to be just that.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Divine Earthly Experience 2: Choosing Love

2017 Vision Board
"I believe that every single event in life happens in an opportunity to choose love over fear."— Oprah Winfrey 

It's January 3rd, 2017! We've had THREE days of the NewYear. I originally thought I'd write my Divine Earthly Experiences everyday, but every few days seems a little more my speed right now. How are all of you? Did you survive the festivities of the New Year? Did you make resolutions, plans, dreams or schemes? I didn't do any of that, but I have a good feeling about this year. I have a really good feeling. Thoughts create our reality, right? I'm trying to choose good thoughts, even when things go wrong.

This is an experiment, but my motto for this year is CHOOSE LOVE. In any situation that I'm in, I'm going to try and do this. If the driver next to me just cut me off, I am going to try and CHOOSE LOVE. If my partner makes me mad, I'm going to try and CHOOSE LOVE. When things don't go as planned and I'm worried about how to remedy the situation, I'm going to sit back and CHOOSE LOVE. Today, in fact, I went through the car wash and my front license plate is GONE. My normal tendency is to panic, but where does panic get us? It serves absolutely no purpose other than to add more fuel to the fire. Instead, I called my boyfriend and we sort of laughed about it. It will all work out, right? I know, I know,  It's easy to say that when it's something as simple as a license plate. It's more difficult when you are going through a divorce, pain, discovered that your partner has a terminal illness or you lost your job or home. Still, as hard as is, I'm going to try to CHOOSE LOVE.

In his book, Mastery of Love, Miguel Ruiz says that humans are on two paths: the path of fear and the path of love and most of us, according to Ruiz, are walking on the path of fear. We are afraid of the government, of our partner leaving us, of our children not obeying us, of losing our jobs or our security. We think we really love people, but we only love when our needs our met. True love is a one-way street. I haven't mastered love yet, but I'm working on it. And the one we need to love the most is ourselves. When things don't work out, it's easy to fall into worry. We are constantly looking outside ourselves for answers, when in fact, all the answers are right there inside of us.

This year, I want to try and listen more to myself. I want to hear the spirit-voice within. I want to tune into my inner guide as much as possible. Sometimes I second guess my inner guide and I take the easy road. If my inner guide tells me to get up and do yoga, sometimes I sleep in instead. But guess what? THAT'S OKAY! If my inner guide tells me to not get angry and I do, that's okay too. It doesn't mean it's okay to go out and lie, cheat, steal or hurt people. It just means that it's okay if you are not perfect. It's okay if you fall down. It's okay if you don't get it right the first time. I used to beat myself up all the time for "doing the wrong thing" or "worrying about the outcome of something," now I try not to beat myself up. I try to CHOOSE LOVE. The optimal word there is try.

When others talk about us behind our backs, exclude us, make us feel small or insignificant, it is often just a reflection of where that person is. In this case, it's good to CHOOSE LOVE too. Not always easy, I know.

So I'm starting with myself. I chose to love myself the last few days by taking a long walk, taking myself out to a delicious lunch, making a Vision Board for the New Year that, to me, represents vibrant health, love, travel, abundance and celebration. And tonight I'm heading out to my CAP class (Clairvoyant Awareness Program) to work on healing and grounding myself and tuning into my intuition. Tomorrow night, I start a pole dancing class in Seattle! I'm excited to celebrate life through dance and movement. I'm not interested in New Year's Resolutions, I'm interested in being mindful of each step, as much as possible. I'm interested in tuning in and listening to what my body, mind and spirit need.

But most of all, this year for me is about CHOOSING LOVE!

How about you? What do you hope for this New Year?