Relationships Before…

Last night I had a dream about an old and dear friend.  We were two peas in a pod for a lot of years.  Early in our friendship she was there for me when no one else was.  Whatever came our way, whatever separated us-whether boys or miles-we were committed to one another.  So last night I dreamed I traveled to visit her and when I arrived she looked at me as though I was dead to her.  Life and relationships present their ebbs and flows and I think it’s safe to say she and I have been experiencing an ebb for some time now.  I miss her so much.  I miss what we were before we became grown ups…before religion and politics reared their ugly heads.

That’s what the ebb is all about you see.  When you are kids no one talks about the democrats and republicans or what the bible has to say about homosexuality.  When you’re young you share your hopes and dreams, which are always the same.  You cheer each other on in the search for love and success.  You provide shoulders to cry on when the world breaks your hearts.  Most of all you laugh…and laugh…and laugh.

When you’re young you can philosophize and dream together without judgment.  I know I had questions as a teen.  I know religion didn’t sit well with me.  I know that I cared about who was president and what the big issues were.  Yet, I don’t remember losing or gaining any friends because of that.

As an adult I’ve found that my political and spiritual beliefs are core to who I am, or at least to the me that reflects out into the world.  And I’ve also found that my beliefs don’t mesh with those of friends that I so freely shared my desires and dreams with as a teen and young adult.  In ways I could blame Facebook because it has given us a platform to announce our true values and let’s us hide behind the computer screen and not see the reactions of our friends.  And for me I have this blog, a place where I write about stuff that I don’t typically share in conversation.

Sometimes I think that my honesty about politics and religion has significantly altered some of my relationships.  I feel certain that some think I have changed or abandoned some beliefs I had at one time.  The truth is I can go pull out my journal from high school creative writing class and find entries about my support for gays in the military, the right to choose for women, and policies that support public schools.  I can also find poems and essays on the hypocrisy I witnessed in the religious people around me.  I actually haven’t changed that much at all, it just may be that Coach Walker (my creative writing teacher) was the only one who really knew me back then or maybe as teens we were smart enough to realize we all just wanted the same things.


Intuition and Adventure

Lately I’ve been in a weird place, it’s new and quite frankly it’s a bit dark.  After many years of reading many metaphysical books, I can’t help but think (and hope) this means something.  Like perhaps I’m on that edge and the break-through is pending.

I feel like I need a teacher right now, in the form of a book or a person, something to show me exactly where to go.  I’ve picked up several books.  There’s Jesus of course, or Goldsmith, Tolle or Choquette, The Hicks or Wayne Dyer, Julia Cameron or Caroline Myss.  I could also try someone new like Byron Katie or Pema Chodren.  But every time I stare at a book shelf, whether in my home or a store, my inner voice says no.  Just today at the Goodwill book store I silently asked to be led to a book, one perfect for where I am right now.  I walked out with a Sarah Dessen novel.

As I sat in meditation, I thought about how I currently feel so off the path.  It occurred to me, though, that the truest path is the one that comes from within.  I realized that maybe I can’t find the perfect teacher or reading material right now because I need to let my higher self be my guide.

But even after all of that, when I got up from meditation, I still wanted a glint of something from an outside force, so I went looking under the bed for my angel cards.  Instead of the cards I found the astrological reading that Jennifer Shelton did for me last summer.  I read until I got to North Node (life purpose) and tears begin to fall.  It said “Reliance on intuition, developing a sense of freedom and adventure.”

I realized that lately everything I’ve been feeling is a push against that.  I’ve been wanting someone or something else to provide me with answers, instead of trusting my own.  I’ve been wanting guarantees that everything will work out and go smoothly instead of just being free and adventurous.  So maybe I am at that edge.  Maybe I’m at the tipping point almost ready to put the wheels down into my life’s purpose.

It sure would be nice…


Dystopic Preoccupation

I guess maybe I’ve been watching and reading too much Sci-Fi lately, but the end of the world is on my mind.  I look at where we, humanity, are right now and I wonder where there is left for us to go?  Just how many years will it take us to nail this coffin shut?

If I believe in a second coming of Christ, it is the one Yogi Amrit Desai spoke of some years ago.  He said that “Christ” would come again through the consciousness of the masses.  I like that idea and in New Age circles it’s pretty popular.  It’s the theory that something will happen that will cause a great shift.  Like magic our hearts will open and compassion will spread through the land.  Then we will be back in the garden once again.

But what has to happen first before we get there…if we get there?  We are abusing our earth and her creatures so mindlessly.  I myself am guilty of it.  I read a book that tells me in detail the pain and suffering animals endure so that I can have eggs and cheese, yet I can not summon the willpower to give up those products.  I push it out of my mind so that I can enjoy pizza and omelets.  Everywhere you look people take more than they need, hoarding or throwing away the leftovers, while other people are hungry and homeless.  The only thing that seems to pull a community together is tragedy.  It’s only when tremendous loss is endured that people realize how much they need each other.

In the US especially we’re entrenched in a society of greed.  These wars we’ve been fighting since 2003 are no longer about September 11th (if they ever were), but simply about oil and profits.  The soldiers who come back are forever changed by what they experience there-whether physically or mentally.  On the education front, we’re saddling our young people with enormous student loan debts while many of them won’t be able to get jobs when they graduate college.  CEO’s are overpaying themselves and setting up shop in other countries where labor is cheap.  But the kids keep going to college and they stay hopeful that education will guarantee them a job…maybe even a good one.

So, I read books like Oryx and Crake, where a young man with a God-complex creates a disease that wipes out humanity because to him humanity has reached the point of no return.  Or I watch the show Dollhouse where human-beings are turned into slaves by erasing their original personalities and programing them with new ones.  Eventually the technology falls into the wrong hands and the “dolls” and real humans are literally killing one another.  Then there is the movie The Book of Eli where everyone’s illiterate because the written word was destroyed in lieu of technology that is, of course, non-existent in the post-apocalyptic world it is set in.

Most of that fiction sounds far-fetched, but when I realize that just this week I communicated with friends in India, Spain, California, Canada, and the Netherlands on the internet without thinking twice about it…anything is possible. (I remember a time when I couldn’t even talk on the phone to my friends from church because they lived 20 miles away and it was long distance.)

So if there is an apocalyptic event on the horizon (and man I hope it doesn’t happen in mine or my daughter’s lifetime)…we ought to get back to the basics-community.  We might really need each other one day, so we should start now reaching out, connecting, and loving one another.  Forget about the money and the stuff, what we really benefit from is each other.

Emotional Intuitive

Today I started reading Sherrie Dillard’s Discover Your Psychic Type.  The book (and Sherrie) have been on my radar for a long time and finally I have the opportunity to read it.  I just finished the chapter that totally gave me one of those “clicks” I used to write about.

I had pretty much guessed my type was Emotional, but the quiz score verified it.

Back in February my parents came to visit for Bella’s birthday.  It was a lovely weekend and when they left I felt sad.  In fact I felt more than sad.  I felt grief-stricken.  I couldn’t do anything that day but lay around and stare off into space.  At some point in the day I knew something wasn’t right.  I love my parents and miss them dearly, but this feeling was too much to bear.  It was then that the idea popped into my head that I was actually feeling my mother’s sadness.  It made sense seeing as she only sees me and her two precious granddaughters about twice a year.

Last week I was with a friend having coffee.  She was telling me about helping family members through difficult times.  As she talked to me I just started tearing up right along with her.  Even though she gave me no details, I could feel the pain around the situations.

Another day last week a friend told me they have a serious illness.  The news should have upset me but it didn’t.  Later I tried to figure out why I hadn’t cried (like I’m so inclined to do) or felt sad and I realized it’s because my friend is very optimistic and I could feel the optimism.

My relationship with Mark pretty much revolves around sensing his feelings.  Only recently have I realized that though.  If he is stressed out, I feel it.  If he’s happy, I am too.  I can sit in a cluttered house all day long and not notice it but the second he gets home I look around at the “hot spots” and get antsy.  Today he accidentally ordered the wrong flavor of ice cream and I was so disappointed about it.  Our relationship is the strongest and most loving one in my life, because of this when he goes out of town, I feel incomplete.  The love he has for me literally fills me up and when it’s not close by I’m depleted.

Those were a few examples of my emotional intuition. It explains why I have a hard time being in crowds and why I get so excited every time I go to Disney World (even though I’ve been there about 20 times now).  I loved what I learned in the emotional intuitive  chapter.  So much of it described me and the goals I have for my life.   And I have to admit I was crying even as I read the first paragraph.  That was a indicator it resonated.  This is what it said:

Emotional intuitives travel the path of the heart.  They are driven by the desire for transcendental love, connection, passion, and service to others.  They are in tune with the soul’s quest for a purpose-driven life and for the perfect union, which may be the union of the soul with God, the soul mate, or the twin flame, who is another person or entity that is their soul equivalent.

Ch, Ch, Change

I’ve been dealing with some anxiety this week, the kind that wakes you up at night and has you in knots during the day.  It’s sent me back to the meditation spot and had me calling on my angels before bed last night.  I did sleep peacefully last night and answers are starting to bubble up.

I’m worrying about stuff I have no control over, but the stress is coming from very real stuff in my life.  This week was a big week.  A big week that I wasn’t even acknowledging.  Yesterday I was writing to my “spiritual sorority” on FB and it was only as I was writing about Amy that I realized it was exactly 19 months yesterday that she died.  Another 25th arrived and I was feeling grief without even putting two and two together.

Other things have happened this week too.  On Sunday, I finished the first edit of my novel.  The story is how I want it to be now.  It may need some cleaning up, some added details, some punch – but the story is done.  It’s a huge moment.  On Monday I got things in order to start a part-time job.  It’s a great opportunity that I’m excited about (but I’m choosing not to give any more details other than that here on the blog).  And finally, tomorrow is my youngest daughter’s last day of preschool.  I thought I was happy about that fact until I started feeling all this anxiety.  She’s getting older and I have to let go of the reigns a little bit. I’m much more freaked about that than I realized.

My life is changing.  Over the next few months, I’ll have an entirely different schedule, with all new responsibilities.  The next chapter is beginning and I have no idea what to expect.  Even the good unknowns make me suffer a bit…but the suffering is sending me back to the silence, where I can find solace.

Cheaters Never Win?

Last night we watched a 60 Minutes segment that featured an interview with Tyler Hamilton.  Hamilton was one of Lance Armstrong’s teammates during the years of his Tour De France wins.  Hamilton was recently forced to come forward and testify to what, if any, performance enhancement drug use was going on.  Apparently they are gathering evidence to bring a case against Lance Armstrong.

Tyler Hamilton gave first hand accounts of plenty of drug use by all the major team members, including Lance.  He, himself, decided to give back his Olympic Gold Medal because he didn’t feel he deserved it for his years of using enhancement drugs.  I watched the interview, looking for indications that his story was a lie, but all I saw was someone surrendering and bringing to light something that had burdened them for years.  Aside from getting the feeling that keeping the secret had been a burden, it also seemed telling it was the last thing he wanted to do.  Tyler Hamilton is either a very loyal friend, wishing he didn’t have to be a rat, or he’s an excellent actor.  I believed everything he said.

I never became a fan of Lance Armstrong.  The yellow bracelet fad really bothered me.  I know he’s a great athlete.  I love that he beat cancer and helps that cause as he does.  But I think our American culture took a man and turned him into a deity.   He went beyond celebrity and icon to something more spiritual.  And even as this story breaks there are people who will NEVER believe it because to them he is too high to fall.

But if he did cheat (and based on Tyler’s story, I think he did) what does that say about our culture?  We try to teach our kids that “Cheaters never win and winners never cheat” but everywhere you look people are cheating and winning.  It has happened in political elections, on Wall Street, on the baseball field, and in classrooms across the country.  And when it comes to Armstrong, they let it slide.  He was the cash cow for the sport of biking.  I’d never even heard of the Tour De France before Lance Armstrong came onto the scene.  Suddenly everyone was talking about something that most of them had never cared about before.  Not only was it bad for Lance for the truth to come out, it was bad for the whole sport.  He had to perform at his best and be clean to keep America falling in love with him and biking.

In recent history a lot of truth has come to light about individuals, industries, and organizations cheating or abusing their power.  Does this mean we are beginning to shift the other way?  If they do in fact prove that Lance Armstrong took performance enhancing drugs, will he go to jail?  If he goes to jail will that finally convince us to stop making Gods of men and money?  I believe in playing by the rules.  It’s only the rules that keep people in bondage that are meant to be broken.  The rules that teach us to be fair and respectful, should be followed by everyone-especially the people who are in the limelight, setting examples for our children!

Embracing the Goddess

Lately I’ve found myself thinking a lot about the Feminine.  On Mother’s Day I taught the kids at church a lesson on the feminine aspects of God.  To start the lesson, I had them all draw a personification of God.  Each of them drew some variation of a MAN.  I asked them if they’d even considered the possibility that God is a woman.  They looked at me as if I’d lost my mind.  God a woman?  Never.

Truth be told, I don’t believe God is a woman either.  I also don’t believe he’s a Man (even though by habit I refer to God as “he”).  I believe God is energy that consists of both feminine and masculine.  We have to have the balance of both.  When the balance is off, chaos ensues.  Our world is way off balance right now.  We’ve shifted so far to the masculine that all of us are beginning to feel the pain and pressure.

There is a quote that keeps popping up on my radar.  It is something the Dahli Lama said.  Something about the world being changed by the Western Woman.  I have to admit, I sort of buy into this.  We have to shift from the patriarchal “rule the world” attitude to one made up of compassion.  I think that women can lead this.  But I also think that we have to do it by embracing the  Goddess within us rather than trying to emulate male power.

Over on FemCentral this week Jennifer addressed some feminine issues, including the popularity of high heels and the rise of raunch culture.  Since I’ve read her posts on those subjects I’m seeing it and hearing it everywhere.  Rhianna sings about sex in a way that makes me blush and in Beyonce’s new video the women wear corsets and garter belts like power suits.  I know there are exceptions to every rule but I just don’t think women are wired to be aloof about sex.  I think most of the time, for women, sex and love go hand in hand, even if it’s just the hope of love.  I don’t think it’s as easy for women to separate the physical from the emotional and spiritual.  And that’s a good thing, it’s where our true power lies.

Our Goddess resides in our ability to empathize, nurture, comfort, and create.  Women are magical.  We make the world more beautiful with our softness and our love.  My big prayer right now is that this message gets louder than the one pop culture presents to our daughters.