Reason

I have had a burst of inspiration since yesterday.  There are so many blog topics flying around in my head that I’m not quite sure where to start.  I just left my friend Ray and have already changed the subject I’d told him I was going to write about.  Yesterday I picked up a book that I’d borrowed from a friend.  I’d been coveting this particular book on her bookshelf for over a year now.  Finally, she asked her husband if I could borrow it and I had a chance to read some of it.  All I can say is that I get it.  I get why something in me wouldn’t let me forget about that book.

A couple of years ago I had a very vivid dream.  I dreamed that I was hanging out with Thomas Paine.  I was in his inner circle, a member of the entourage.  I woke up the next morning and jumped on the computer.  I needed to be reminded who Thomas Paine was.  A quick search uncovered that he was (most commonly known as) the author of “A Common Sense,” “The Rights of Man,” and “The Age of Reason.”  I knew then I needed to read (or reread b/c I probably read some of it in school) his works, especially “The Age of Reason.”

I’m pretty sure that the writing and releasing of “The Age of Reason” ruined Thomas Paine’s reputation.  After his truth was out he was deemed “that filthy little atheist” (from the intro to “The Age of Reason” in The Thomas Paine Reader).    I have found, in what I’ve read so far, that I share a lot of the same ideals as Thomas Paine and he was most certainly not an atheist.   What he urged people to do was to apply reason to their religious or spiritual quests.  Don’t just believe it because someone said it, try to discover it for yourself.

He pointed out that the Bible was written by man.  He poses the question of how an unfathomable God and Omnipotent Creator of the Universe could be brought down to man’s level and recorded in the pages of a book.   He points out that nothing written about Jesus was written by Jesus.  Everything we know of Jesus is hearsay.  He is quite critical of the Bible and it’s authors.  (This is still something I can’t speak to since I haven’t read the Bible completely.)  But again he pleads for us to use our reason.  He concedes that our ability to reason is a gift from God that we seemingly throw away when we decide to believe without question.

Thomas Paine was a deist.  He believed in one God.  He acknowledges that God is not in the written words of man but rather in the creation itself.  I realize with each new book I read that everyone tries to record their experiences of God.  By the time I leave this earth I will probably have read thousands of descriptions of what God realization feels and looks like.  That does not make me a God Realized individual.  I can step outside and watch the sun rise and set, go to the beach and observe the tides change, acknowledge the death and rebirth cycles of the trees in my yard, and feed the visiting finches.  In these activities, I can reasonably see and feel God.  I can embrace the patterns in nature and know that there is a Creator that brings forth miracles right before my eyes every single day!

I salute Thomas Paine for owning his truth and being brave enough to share it with the rest of us!  And I thank C and L for lending me the book that may just lead to my biggest “click” yet!

Another Oldie

Here’s another old 1990’s poem… I can’t even remember exactly when or why it was written, but I liked it enough to type it up separately (I may have even entered it in a contest).  At some point I’ll start writing new ones, but until then I’ll keep digging through the stash.  The stash of course is getting low though and I’m starting to get embarrassed to post them (for various reasons).

Take a step

Which way, which one

Confusion

Sex and desire

Loyalty and Faith

Red rose

I love you

Sharing secrets

Sharing passion

Dreaming

Bareness and fire

Running through

Burning and longing

Smile and stare

Dream

Desire

Fantasy of it

All

Boundaries

Between

Holding back

Feelings

Passion

Desire

Existing

Never fades

Try, try

Forget

Yesterday

Fear and Flow

The other day I found this article called 8 Strategies to Improve Your Quality of Life on the web.  The strategy that jumped out at me was “Find Flow.”  That is what I really want to do these days.  I want to (as I’ve said before) be present and enjoy my life and my activities fully.  There are a lot of moments where I feel this way, engaged and connected, but there are also a lot of moments I find myself thinking about the future and feeling fearful.  There is nothing that can put a damper on flow the way fear can.

Thursday night, Mark and I sat together with the TV off and talked.  I finally expressed to him the fears that have been going through my head.  I never really planned to be a stay-at-home-mom and although I love it, being a one-income family makes me nervous at times.  This Spring, Mark’s dept. at work was on the list of those that might be cut.  It wasn’t and as far as we know will not be, but the thought of it pushed me out of neutral and into fear.  I have faith and try to have patience, but I can’t help but wonder what my career will look like in a few years when both of our girls are in school.  I told Mark that I just feel like I need to be doing something but yet at the same time I feel paralyzed.  Mark reminded me that I have time to relax and let things happen.  The man who used to crack jokes about me going back to work almost daily told me, in essence, to just flow.  I like what he said and liked it even more because it came from him.

Later that night I went to sleep and had a really interesting and affirming dream.  I dreamed that we were considering taking this big raft/boat down a river.  I was in the water and walked over to the place we planned to launch from.  The river was raging and I was afraid.  The girls did not have life jackets, amoung other things, and I just didn’t want to risk it.  As I headed back, Mark’s father (who died in 2005) showed up and said he wanted to go with us on the boat.  Since it was his request, I went back over to the launching spot and gazed at the water again.  I was still terrified and came up with a solution.  I decided we would drive our car along the river to see how rough it was and figure out where we wanted to end our rafting journey.  That was when I woke up.

Immediately upon waking I knew what the dream meant.  The river was representing my life and that idea about driving the car along to see where it went, is in a way what I’ve been trying to do.  Of course no matter how many times I ask myself “What’s going to happen?” and “How will this end up?”  I won’t know until I get there.   So really the only thing I can do is put fear aside, get on the boat and go with the flow down the river.

Birth and New Beginnings

I just found out today that a friend of mine gave birth to a new baby last night.  It doesn’t really have anything to do with this post, except for when I typed the title I thought of her and how coincidental it is that I am writing this now as she has just brought new life into this world.

Last year I took part in a Goddess Retreat that was held at Amrit Yoga Institute.  Amrit Yoga Institute is a beautiful ashram tucked away near Ocala, Florida.  The four days I spent there rank up towards the top of my all-time-greatest-experiences list.

The first day of the retreat we were all given cards with the names of archetypes written on them.  I was given “Magical Child.”  We were then presented with the characteristics of this archetype and some questions to reflect on.  “Magical Child” as it turns out was representative of “Birth” and “New Beginnings.”  As I looked at myself sitting amongst these amazing women (yoga instructors, artists, healers, writers, and business owners), I definitely felt like a child (maybe even a magical one) and that this was the beginning of something.

Our assignment was to complete the worksheet.  I thought for my blog post today I would share my answer to question number one.  The following was written in June of 2008 and at the time I was working on my second novel.

What is trying to be birthed through me right now?

“For starters a book.  I am trying to write a novel and I am coming to the edge and backing down every time.  If I am learning one thing it is to push through when I get to the edge.  But what I am trying to birth is more than that.  I am trying to find a never ending fountain of creativity that I know is within me.  I am trying to live my dream and create a dream career I left behind long ago.  I am trying to birth a life of balance ,though too, that holds all of this sacred (my dream career as a writer, my love and care of my family, and my love and care of myself).  I have a greater purpose in this life, more than just my past and present roles of teacher, mother, wife.  I want to give to others messages of life however I may, but right now through my writing.”

That was what I wrote on the second day of that retreat.  I will share more of my thoughts and experiences during my stay at Amrit in other blogs I’m sure.  But I want to leave you with a quote and a question.  This quote was at the top of the worksheet, under the title “Birth” and “New Beginnings.”

“Change and growth take place when a woman has risked herself and dares to become involved with experimenting with her own life.”

The question for you is….

What is trying to be birthed through you right now? (Share if you’d like…or just think about it.)