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Category: Musings of a Mystic

Finding My Way Home

Finding My Way Home

 

“This magnificent refuge is inside you. Enter. Shatter the darkness that shrouds the doorway. Step around the poisonous vipers that slither at your feet, attempting to throw you off your course. Be bold. Be humble. Put away the incense and forget the incantations they taught you. Ask no permission from the authorities. Slip away. Close your eyes and follow your breath to the still place that leads to the invisible path that leads you home.”

― Mirabai Starr, The Interior Castle

 

Frustrated by disparity between the self-help movement, religions that profess acceptance and actual practice, I find myself in the gray once again.  People are imperfect, yet it baffles me when those that profess to be pious judge with utter abandon. It is for this very reason I made the personal decision to explore all practices but claim none. Each has something to offer along with something that speaks directly to me. In my view, if everyone practiced love as a core belief, judgment would be counter to any belief.

 

In this way, reading the words of the mystics has offered a specific calmness in my life. I share their depth of feeling as well as a misfit sensibility demonstrated by disconnect with the progression of others. Everyone else may be thinking about a to-do list or how to capture success while I am in that quiet place of serenity and solitude dancing with my thoughts. No one seems to notice, I make no outward appearance to this fact. I slip in and out of this realm with a practiced ease, questioning everything.

 

Of the many questions I ponder, one remains. Why is it that so many faiths lay down strict rules of engagement prescribing how one should experience the Divine? Who has the authority to tell me how to experience what should be freely given.  It is important to allow room for spiritual discovery in the way that speaks to one as an individual. No organization, ideology or otherwise can hold weight over this self-discovery. Mysticism allows for this space, a space to experience spirit in a personal way, a space between all else.

 

“If you truly loved yourself, you could never hurt another.”

― Gautama Buddha

 

There are many ways to the same end. The faithful practitioner may come to the same conclusions as one that has spent a lifetime of immersion in mystic thought, empowering the individual experience over the group. No one-way is the only way; I refuse to accept that premise. Mirabai Starr speaks to this beautifully with, “Be bold. Be humble. Put away the incense and forget the incantations they taught you. Ask no permission from the authorities. Slip away.” Another soul that feels as I do!

 

Never second-guess your path. It is unique to you and therefore requires no further scrutiny from others. Be bold yet humble, just as Ms. Starr states. Take chances, but ask questions of yourself. Face your fears and do so with a loving heart. Forging your own way does not require announcement or explanation. Quiet the voices and silence your mind. Trust in your ability to discern the truth from all else. Take as many detours as needed, approaching all misfortune with patience and love. Find your way home.

 

Find Your Song

Find Your Song

Can you sing a song to greet the sun,

Can you cheerily tackle the work to be done,

Can you vision it finished when only begun,

Can you sing a song?

 

Can you sing a song when the day’s half through,

When even the thought of the rest wearies you,

With so little done and so much to do,

Can you sing a song?

 

Can you sing a song at the close of the day,

When weary and tired, the work’s put away,

With the joy that it’s done the best of the pay,

Can you sing a song?

-Joseph Morris

 

Having passed the fall equinox, the days are becoming shorter and the darkness of winter fast approaches. In addition to seasonal change, recent chaotic world events have left me feeling the approach of this darkness heavily. I wonder why evil exists in this world and why so many suffer. I ponder the fragility of life and that this one precious life can be taken anytime in the most senseless of ways.  In the midst of my inner turmoil, I try to make every effort to focus on the light rather than allowing darker energy to fester thereby clouding my every thought and action. Sometimes I see this light more directly and can embrace this sensation wholeheartedly. In other cases, I put forth great intention to recognize good when all I see and hear is so unforgiving.

 

It is difficult to soar with little motivation to lift the voice, feel the spirit and sit in gladness. Freeing my voice requires a commitment to self. I refuse to allow opinions, heinous actions, physical limitations or even my own negative self-talk to bring me down. I choose love. I make the decision each and every day to let my voice sing just as Joseph Morris states by posing the question, “Can you sing a song?This choice is never one made from naïveté but rather with a loving resistance to the darker elements.

 

We are all fighting the good fight. Each one of us greets the new day, fighting the same battles from before. These battles may not be visible to others, but are challenging and painful nonetheless. For some it may be addictions, for others an illness, procrastination or even self-doubt. All are shades of darkness in an otherwise beautiful world filled with so much loving kindness.

 

Today, on the eve of a powerful full moon, turn off the news, silence the mind and take a few moments to feel the light, the inherent goodness of mankind. Don’t let the darkness consume you. Listen to music, dance with abandon and hug those that you love. Choose to lean into radiating light that brightly projects the inter-connectivity of all and embrace hope for what is left to come. Find your song and sing it beautifully.

 

 

A Dream Within a Dream

A Dream Within a Dream

A Dream within a Dream by Edgar Allan Poe

Take this kiss upon the brow!

And, in parting from you now,

Thus much let me avow–

You are not wrong, who deem

That my days have been a dream;

Yet if hope has flown away

In a night, or in a day, In a vision, or in none,

Is it therefore the less gone?

All that we see or seem

Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar

Of a surf-tormented shore,

And I hold within my hand

Grains of the golden sand–

How few! yet how they creep

Through my fingers to the deep,

While I weep–while I weep! O God! can I not grasp

Them with a tighter clasp? O God! can I not save

One from the pitiless wave?

Is all that we see or seem

But a dream within a dream?

 

Many times, I have considered the possibility that my view of the world is nothing more than a reflection, a shade of supposed truths that I hold. What if the real truth is one that I do not see and instead find myself in a familiar comfort of a false projection? This thought tends to percolate at times in which I feel completely out of step with the rest of the world. Times when I find nothing in common with those around me; those spending their days gaining wealth, prestige, stature or power. Times when I see people suffering with no one stopping to assist, times when I witness hate and anger and wonder why these emotions still exist in an intelligent world. Times when I am completely overwhelmed by the daily grind of life finding little joy in the mediocrity of the process.

 

Long an Edgar Allan Poe fan, A Dream within a Dream touches on the deeper questions of existence and serves as a perfect example of the exceptional metaphor Poe was known for. None strike a chord more directly than the following passage:

 

I stand amid the roar

Of a surf-tormented shore,

And I hold within my hand

Grains of the golden sand–

How few! yet how they creep

Through my fingers to the deep,

 

The repetition of daily life, as represented by Poe’s surf-tormented shore, can be mind numbing at times. We get up each day, go to our jobs and come home to families only to begin anew over and over again. Where in this rhythm do we take time for introspection, creativity and even love? I understand that much of this journey is finding grace in living the mundane in both a loving and gentle manner. To this end, I do not need to be lectured on the importance of accepting even the smallest of tasks with pride and I certainly do not need to hear that life has some deep and unknown purpose beyond the daily grind. I know these things to be true.

 

I simply feel as if the grains of sand are slipping through my fingers soon to be gone with both the wind and waves of time. Nothing is permanent, not me and not even this world. This begs the question, where does energy go if all that we know is not what we believe it to be? When we transition and our soul is set free, do we become a part of the larger universe? Do we become one with all that is and ever was? Does the footprint of our human life persist or become lost as with sand to surf. So many questions. Just because I am comfortable living in the questions does not mean that I do not ask them repeatedly. It is okay to question things by constantly examining the status quo. I alone am accountable for the end result of my journey. It is for this reason that others opinions mean very little to me. I take full responsibility for my beliefs and no organized practice or tribal unit can absolve me from this responsibility. The problem becomes when I get caught in the cycle of constant questioning, never stopping to just be. In these moments, I am perpetually stuck in a holding pattern of evaluation.

 

The human condition is limiting and it becomes all too easy to get caught up in the mundane. Our job is to find more moments in which we free ourselves from these limitations and feel the energy of the universe as best as we can. Poe speaks to the agony of holding on to something that is not ours to be held. Our lives and this world are all impermanent and no amount of holding will change this fact.  I plan to take more moments this year of letting go, letting go of all the limitations that I place on myself, that others place upon me and the constant need for more. I pledge to let go of the “less than” mentality and accept myself as fully as I can “as is”. I pledge to do this before it is too late and sand has slipped through my fingers, taken back by the ocean from whence it came.

 

Creative Energy and the Feminine

Creative Energy and the Feminine

 

“I can tell you that it takes great strength to surrender. You have to know that you are not going to collapse. Instead, you are going to open to a power that you don’t even know, and it is going to come to meet you. In the process of healing, this is one of the huge things that I have discovered. People recognized the energy coming to meet them. When they opened to another energy, a love, a divine love, came through to meet them. That is what is known as grace. We all sing about amazing grace. It is a gift. I think that it comes through the work that we do. For some people, it can come out of the blue, but I know that in my own situation, the grace came through incredible vigilance.”

Marion Woodman

 

Surrender, easier in concept than practice. Surrender implies weakness, a giving in that comes from a lack of resolve. This implication could not be further from the truth. Surrender is an action of incredible strength. One that takes much courage and a facing down of fears that otherwise go unchallenged. As a woman, I have spent much of my adult life learning about this strength firsthand. I have experienced a complete missing of the mark in this regard and the intervention of spirit at these junctures. While terrifying, this collision of fear and spirit can be spectacular in every sense of the word.

 

The feminine spirit personifies receiving and all of the nuances required to bend but not break. Women are expected from a very early age to be soft spoken and service orientated. As women age, the Divine spirit continues to burn and will do so until set free by choice or circumstance. For some women this fire is set free much earlier than others, but timing is of no real consequence. What does matter is that this feminine energy ultimately finds it way into the light and serves as a beacon for other women not quite ready to shine.

 

As one that has always relished the role of mother, I have towed this line with practiced accuracy. I am one that enjoys every aspect of nurturing another life. It feeds my maternal instinct. Conversely, I have a creative fire that burns hot beneath the surface. I abhor being told how to express this creativity, especially when outside influences unwittingly attempt to cool this heat. My journey with the written word began in elementary school, but it took four decades before I greeted my feminine spirit with love and published this blog. I had already raised my children, suffered a difficult relationship and lived the better part of a very raw and real life. Life had gotten in the way and my creative spirit had suffered until words set me free.

 

“Rage and bitterness do not foster femininity. They harden the heart and make the body sick.”

Marion Woodman

 

Unexpressed creative energy can manifest as rage, anger and depression. If I had never picked up a pen again, my life would certainly be a wandering from point to point with no compass, perennially lost with a heart sealed so tightly nothing could permeate. I have only grace to thank for my current situation. With copious amounts of grace, I have managed to find myself in a new space, feeling spirit in ways that amuse, mystify and make whole my entire being. I am so very thankful for this discovery.

 

“To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything, is to succumb to the violence of our times.”

― Thomas Merton

 

By embracing this Divine feminine completely, I am now able to explore other areas of my life without fear of retribution or even failure. Do I wish to stay in my current profession? What qualities do I value in another? How do I envision my life moving forward? I can dream boldly without the voice of fear drowning out my thoughts. I give myself permission to fall short while learning to shine as brightly as possible. This evolution is all a part of the process of discovery. It requires the shedding of an uncomfortable skin layer upon layer until the very core of self is revealed. No more hiding, no more false representations, just me.

 

I am most in companion with my Divine feminine when I quiet the noise around me, becoming apart of the natural world once again. I purposefully let go, surrender to this change of pace without persecution. It is only in this quiet space that my creative energy begins to flow. It is in trying to attain this flow that I most often fall short. Surrender is just that, a letting go of the outcome. I must accept that I may have nothing of extrinsic value to say. It must be enough that I have put it down on paper thereby releasing it from the jagged corners of my soul. This writing in some ways is selfishly for me as I continue to allow grace to have its way with me, as it will. Only in this way can I find my way home.

 

Feel the Universe

Feel the Universe

 

“This magnificent refuge is inside you.

Enter. Shatter the darkness that shrouds the doorway.

Step around the poisonous vipers that slither at your feet, attempting to throw you off your course.

Be bold. Be humble.

Put away the incense and forget the incantations they taught you.

Ask no permission from the authorities.

Slip away.

Close your eyes and follow your breath to the still place that leads to the invisible path that leads you home.”

― Mirabai Starr, The Interior Castle

 

Can you relate too feeling you are not living as fully as you could? Having a constant nagging feeling, as if something more is necessary to live authentically? Personally, I don’t think I can recall a time when I did not have these feelings in one form or another. Never one to feel a part of a group, I am a drifter plagued with feelings of loneliness and a specific separateness from all those around me. This feeling creates a constant sense of melancholy, a sense that something is amiss.

 

Mirabai Starr speaks so beautifully to this with, “Close your eyes and follow your breath to the still place that leads to the invisible path that leads you home.” These words bring tears to my eyes. Being well familiar with stillness of the mind, I suffer from a permanent homesickness for this still place that has no geographic identity. The place within that contains all that is and all that will ever be. When closing my eyes and tapping into this energetic freeway, I experience an overwhelming feeling of calm, as if all my nerve endings have been suddenly soothed by the connection.

 

Observing me when I’m in this place must appear strange to others. It is not mediation, a practice that I do not particularly care for. Rather, it is a visceral connection to the energy of the universe, that which is the creator and the created.  A look of complete surrender and abandon appears on my face. For a few moments all of the shadows of this world are lit up by the light of eternity. Quite spectacular.

 

I make every attempt to take a few moments each day to slip into this space. I try to let these moments go unnoticed as to not cause concern or worry to those around me. They may or may not understand my practice and this is never a consideration for me. Each person has their own rhythm of discovery and I am in no place to judge the speed of another. In this same vein, it is important that others do not judge or raise an eyebrow to my experience. I have no other compass to guide me except this space and the light. It provides clarity, direction and serenity in a world that has very little patience.

 

Take a few moments today and “Enter. Shatter the darkness that shrouds the doorway…….Slip away”. Let the universe speak to you and communicate back all of your loneliness, trepidation, fear and joy. Let your internal dialogue flourish and ignore the external voices that nip at your heel. Be yourself, feel your energy flowing and remember that your heart speaks in every moment; you just need to tune into the right channel and listen.

 

Quiet Now…Listen

Quiet Now…Listen

 

“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.”

― Henri J.M. Nouwen

 

I have felt under a microscope of late. This may be some of my own doing, but it is unsettling nonetheless. My friends, my family, my coworkers, everyone seems to have an opinion for me, albeit unsolicited. Receiving unsolicited “feedback” can be unnerving, especially when purposefully making a decision to not extend the same to others. I may be going about my life in a manner that is unique to those that I love, but that does not make it strange, wrong or in need of constant correction.

 

Listening as an act of love has become a lost art. It is rare to stumble across a soul that happily listens to another’s ideas, theories or troubles without feeling the need to offer opinions. I simply have never understood the need for others to force an ideology or otherwise and find it difficult to be around people who speak rather than listen. I am everything, yet I am nothing, drifting in and out of a collage of ideas. Nothing is taken but everything is observed. It is only with constant observation and introspection that I begin to see clear lines in place of blurred boundaries.

 

“If you want to identify me, ask me not where I live, or what I like to eat, or how I comb my hair, but ask me what I am living for, in detail, ask me what I think is keeping me from living fully for the thing I want to live for.”

― Thomas Merton

 

It is also imperative to listen to oneself. I have many ideas of my own of which I hold tight. I rarely share all that I am even with those that I am closest too. There exists a constant discomfort that by revealing all, I will frighten away loved ones with my utopian ideas.  Similarly, I have a constant fear of losing myself in the energy of another. When deeply listening, I often become an unlikely participant in the others goals. The sharing of personal goals is often a covert invitation of participation. While honored to be included, I am constantly vigilant that my dreams do not get lost or rewritten inside the vortex of this exchange.  Having made this mistake far too many times in the past, I am protective of my own imaginative endeavors. By privately holding new ideas, I have time to come to terms with how I might bring them to fruition, irrespective of others opinions. I choose to listen intently to myself in the quite space of uninterrupted thought.

 

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.”

― Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Listening in all forms is an act of compassion, much different from criticism. Excessive criticism, even of self, will not toughen one up as many of our parents’ generation thought. Excessive criticism is just that, excessive. It has no place in a compassionate relationship. I am very sensitive to criticism and as such find that when my shields are up, I tend to fall back into criticism as a defense. It is a pattern learned from childhood and one that I am not proud of. Never one to yell, this criticism can be muted, but still hurtful and definitely not compassionate. I see others fall prey to this same pattern at work and can now recognize that somewhere they learned the behavior and have not yet mastered self-compassion. We all carry with us learned behaviors that do not serve well. It is our responsibility and life lesson to recognize these habits and actively work to disarm them.

 

I feel the energy becoming quietly agitated of late, ushering in a time of intense work and thoughtful and compassionate listening. With so many possibilities on the horizon, it is time to listen and slowly come to a place of decision and or action. Nothing need be rushed. My daily commitment is that I am gentle with myself during this process. I actively choose to listen, feel the shift of energy, see the Divine signs and hear my calling. Change is brewing just as with the seasons. The darkness of winter is looming on the horizon with the light airy feeling of summer fleeting. Take a moment and set some intentions, some aspirations and internalize them. Give seed to an idea that will blossom in the spring given some deep listening, compassion and patience. Dream.

 

Fragile-Handle with Care

Fragile-Handle with Care

A Song of Living

Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die.

I have sent up my gladness on wings, to be lost in the blue of the sky.

I have run and leaped with the rain, I have taken the wind to my breast.

My cheeks like a drowsy child to the face of the earth I have pressed.

Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die.

I have kissed young love on the lips, I have heard his song to the end,

I have struck my hand like a seal in the loyal hand of a friend.

I have known the peace of heaven, the comfort of work done well.

I have longed for death in the darkness and risen alive out of hell.

Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die.

I gave a share of my soul to the world, when and where my course is run.

I know that another shall finish the task I surely must leave undone.

I know that no flower, nor flint was in vain on the path I trod.

As one looks on a face through a window, through life I have looked on God,

Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die.

Amelia Burr

1878-1968

We are such fragile creatures. The gentleness of the human disposition is often shrouded in a rigid shield used to navigate a somewhat unforgiving world. Underneath all of this protective gear we are naturally soft, exuding light and love. I feel this light from others even when I do not want to, inspiring instant connection regardless of outside packaging. I do not care what religion, political affiliation or race you are. I only care what softness you hide inside and how I might see it better. I question how many layers have been sewn in order to function and how long it will take for me to unlock these layers witnessing the brilliance of a soul. I have little time for those that hide indefinitely under false pretense. I want to know the real person and deeply so.

As one that walks this edge every day, I tend to wear my softness on my sleeve. I cry, laugh and become sullen at the most inopportune times. Labeled sensitive as a child, I was told to grow a stiff upper lip, toughen up and not be so sensitive. This struggle persisted and is one that I grapple with even today.  I have found the only way I can manage interacting with others is by putting up a few walls. If I hold hearts too closely, I am ineffective as a leader in becoming sensitized to the lion’s share of their pain. Once again, I find myself walking the edge. I find ways to be receptive while at the same time creating some necessary distance. The whole charade can be exhausting and one in which I never relish the process.

 

My soul is full of whispered song;

My blindness is my sight;

The shadows that I feared so long

Are all alive with light.

Alice Cary

1820-1871

 

In addition to the energetic qualities each of us exhibit, we inhabit a delicate disposition and our physical bodies often fail us. Recently, after having some unpleasant side effects from a medication, I found myself feeling my fragility more than I liked. Having no illusions as to the longevity of this body, I am well aware that I am on the backside of midlife and am heading into the next chapter of my life. You will not find me wishing to be twenty; I welcome the wisdom that only travels with age and experience. I aspire to remain functional for as long as I am afforded and do all within my power to facilitate this. It is only when I have done all that I can to improve my environment, but still find myself falling short, that I get frustrated.

In moments such as these I call upon my faith and remember that I too am fragile. I try to honor this vulnerability and treat myself with as much empathy as I would another. On days in which I am far less than perfect, which is every day, I try to be gentle with myself. I cradle my budding and precious soul as I would a beautiful piece of stained glass forged by multiple life experiences in the heat of living a full life. After all, we are all just shards of glass reflecting our light out into a world made of rocks and stones.

 

“Some people look for a beautiful place, others make a place beautiful.”

― Hazrat Inayat Khan

 

It is with this revelation that I find we should all have a “Fragile, Handle with Care” sign worn daily. This fragility warrants gentle handling in all instances, one crack and we become weak and prone to breakage. I would venture to say that we all have moments in our life in which we are in danger of being shattered. Amanda Burr’s poem, A Song of Living speaks to this with, “I gave a share of my soul to the world, when and where my course is run. I know that another shall finish the task I surely must leave undone.” We are all unfinished in some way, jagged pieces and all.

Simply by showing up,  we forge these broken pieces into a beautiful and loving piece of art. We will never be perfect and should never ascribe to this paradigm. We can only be the best version of ourselves each new day, learning and growing as we go.  I have known some older and much wiser people whose souls shine as brightly as the sun. They have lived into the truest version of self and their brightness is more beautiful than the greatest works of art.

Know that all glass breaks, it is only just a matter of time. When your fragile pieces become damaged, take heart in the fact that you can forge them back together with love and light. It takes much time and reflection to pick up all of the pieces and lovingly create a new version of self. Enjoy the process, look to each day as a creative expression of self, built upon newfound wisdom and the oldest of scars. Use every experience to reinvent yourself shining more brightly with each attempt. Slowly, over time, you too will shine like a thousand stars in the night sky.

The Sacred Rose

The Sacred Rose

Just as the rose consists of many petals held together, so the person who attains to the unfoldment of the soul begins to show many different qualities. The qualities emit fragrance in the form of a spiritual personality. The rose  has a beautiful structure, and the personality which proves the unfoldment  of the soul has also a fine structure, in manner, in dealing with others,  in speech, in action. The atmosphere of a spiritual being pervades the air like the perfume of a rose.

Hazrat Inayat Khan

 

Life can be limiting at times. Despite these limitations, I have the deeply held desire to unfold completely by sharing my light even when I feel constricted in the process.  My light, my spirit longs for the freedom of eternity. This journey of a lifetime can be difficult, the  pathway strewn with thorns. One is meant to walk this path with the intention to become more like a rose in its infinite perfection, greeting each new day with a continued commitment to purity of the heart.

This journey requires a freeing from the entanglements of a thorny and messy life. Rilke speaks to this unfolding of the soul in the opening poem of  “Unfolding”. His words serve as a powerful metaphor for a spiritual journey and one that has led to much introspection and participation on my part.

Reflecting on the beautiful imagery of Rilke’s poem, I cannot help but see associations in my own life. My favorite flower growing up was never the rose. Roses were far too perfect and classic for my taste. Draw to lilacs and lilies, I feel in love with their elegant yet simple aesthetic. My home had a gorgeous lilac bush right behind it. The vibrant purple color and seductive smell wafted into the house cementing the sensation of these flowers into my senses. My first memory of roses was as a dancer. I received bouquets of roses after performances; big beautiful and colorful roses that intimidated me with their boldness. I always felt undeserving of this grand gesture and found the whole experience a bit over the top for my liking.

As a newly married young woman, I rarely received flowers from my husband. He didn’t understand or enjoy the practice of gifting, stating it was a commercial enterprise and one he refused to participate in. I witnessed the many times my father bought roses for my mother even into their fifth decade of marriage and was sustained by this display of everlasting love, something I was sure I would never have. All the while I had begun the journey of spiritual awakening by taking tentative steps toward the unfolding of self. It was a rocky time in which metaphorical thorns pricked at me constantly reminding me of my own imperfections and mortality.

 

“Often the prickly thorn produces tender roses.”

–  Ovid

 

Within the darkest of days, one can always find some small ray of light. During this rocky time I gave birth to my children, rediscovered a love for education and cherished the many days spent dancing in the studio. The thorns irritated only when I choose to step off the path, distracted by my limitations. These limitations seemed to abound; a long term marriage in which I was not valued, silencing my voice while allowing others to speak for me and shrinking away from my inner light. I was tired, frustrated, sick and disillusioned. Finally, in a moment of severe distress, I was forced to evaluate everything leading to a deeply uncomfortable unfolding. Extremely vulnerable, I was forced to break down walls I had built over many years in order to navigate my unhappy life. Fearful yet determined, I choose not to look back and asked my guides to help me “see” which direction was meant for me. I did not trust my inner voice, at least not yet.

In this intense moment of unfolding, I recognized and honored that young girl inside who loved to write, dance,  sit in the grass while making dandelion chains and was a truly free spirit. Gentle-hearted by nature, the hard exterior I had worn for so long was now ill fitted to my new sensibility. I began to recognize that I was in fact a beautiful, intelligent, creative and loving soul. No amount of thorns could take that from me unless I choose to give it. Light was shining through the cracks in my armor ushering in a necessary yet chaotic fracturing of self. My old self that had moved about the world hidden and invisible, as well as my true self that was free to express all the light and beauty within. Each part of this fractured self was important to my wholeness. Nothing exists without a balance and as such, we are nothing without having visited our shadow and making peace with it. I continue to use light and spirit as my guide and have not looked back since.

I cannot help but be mystified by spirit. In shining my light outward I found another soul, one that gently tended roses out in the desert. Having been witness to the beauty he nurtured, in times of unimaginable grief, I can only say that when souls speak to one another it transcends all else.  I am astounded that our lives have intersected at this point, one blooming rose calling to another. A call finally heard and answered.

                                 “Little flower, but if I could understand what you are, root and all in all, I should know what God and man is.”

–  Tennyson

 

Today, I still encounter thorns on my path but they are far and few between. I am a trembling young bud continuing to bloom completely into eternal life. Each day requires a rejection of fear and a conscious acceptance of love and the unknown. As I continue to unfold, I find the thorns less piercing, more manageable and the blossoms breathtaking. When I refuse to hide who I am, I  find the limitations less constricting. They have loosened their grip and I can finally breathe. I know complete perfection is unattainable and just as each bloom is unique so too am I. With this I allow myself to just be and bloom into the unique and beautiful soul that I am called to be.

 

   

The Space Between

The Space Between

Oh Beloved,

take me.

Liberate my soul.

Fill me with your love and

release me from the two worlds.

If I set my heart on anything but you

let fire burn me from inside.

Oh Beloved,

take away what I want.

Take away what I do.

Take away what I need.

Take away everything

that takes me from you.

-Rumi

 

I comfortably reside in the space between, constantly vacillating between two ends of a spectrum. The space in which night meets day, darkness greets light and in which ideas percolate like a strong cup of coffee. This space is calm, no unnecessary posturing. Ideas bounce off the boundaries as if molecules of a much larger universe. Nothing is claimed but all is examined. It is a space of introspection and deep thought, a place I like to stay in until ushered out by the demands of the world.

 

If asked what my favorite color, book, food or movie is, I have no answer. It is not that I don’t harbor strong opinions, because I do. Nothing floats up to the surface from this between without great introspection and review. I prefer to let things simmer, mulling over the merits of all positions and the reasons why people hold the beliefs they do. Rumi speaks to this with “Fill me with your love and, release me from the two worlds, If I set my heart on anything but you, let fire burn me from inside.” I wish to be released from the world of right and wrong and black and white. I wish to live in the muted world of gray. I wish to be left alone with an uncluttered brain, free to think and write without the noise of others constant chatter about things that mean very little to me.

 

“When you start to notice the mystical, the mystical will start to notice you.”

― Dacha Avelin

 

Because of these desires, I am often seen as wishy-washy. On the contrary, I have a constant internal dialogue going at all times. I am able to see all sides of an argument, the only exception being when an idea goes against my core beliefs. If this should happen, God be with you. I can be very stubborn and disagreeable about the few things that I hold dear.

 

All of this makes me question what really makes something wrong as opposed to right? Obviously, some values are clear and non negotiable. Thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not bear false witness and so on and so forth. I don’t think many would argue the merits of the Golden Rule. Rather, it is in all other instances, that I vacillate. On a thousand fronts whether it be tattoos, religion, reading material/genre, intimacy or political ideas. I stand in the middle and enjoy a panoramic view of the world discussion.

 

Why then is this space foreign to so many? Would it not be a better world if everyone dwelled closer to the middle rather than the extreme? We are all fragile souls having a very imperfect and human experience. It can be a painful experience when not given breath and space to live an examined life. We require this space to spread our wings and learn how to fly, each in our own unique and beautiful way. The next time you are pressed for an opinion or pulled into a debate, move gently and quietly away from the noise. Do not make a scene; do not hurt the other person. Retreat into the space between and into the calm and serene waters of understanding, faith, hope and love.

 

Messages from Spirit

Messages from Spirit

 

Spirit; It moves within, around and beyond. I feel it most intensely when I relax my body and go to that space, the bridge between this place and the next. The heaviness of gravity lifts if only for a moment and I am free. I love the tranquility and crave the calmness of this space, especially during my daily wade into the sea of uncertainty.  I know that soon enough I will reside here and be free from earthly restrictions. I don’t really mind what others think or what definitions they place.  I do not require specifics…..I just know.

Of late, I have been receiving numerous messages from this space and have taken quiet notice. I have become far too aware over the years to let these messages go unnoticed and instead make the conscience decision to trust this voice without hesitation. I experience these messages in many forms: be it the white butterflies that are representative of my grandmother’s wisdom, the visceral moments of universal connection representing spirit or in vivid dreams that are far too telling to be happenstance.

 

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.

Henry David Thoreau

 

I had one such dream last night that had me pondering its meaning well into the morning.  Having often dreamt of one particular animal my entire life,  I now view this animal as a guide that only makes an appearance during times of great transformation or emotional wrangling. Similarly, water in my dreams always serves as a spiritual medium for transformation. Last night’s dream had components of both and clearly sent the message that my deep subconscious is harboring fears.  Fearful of new and deep emotions that I have become acquainted with, yet knowing it is precisely these feelings that I require most for growth. 

I accept that these messages are Divine and meant specifically for me, but still wonder what it all means?  My mind circles back and forth between current situations, what aspects are troubling me and what decisions I am wavering on. I often fall back on the metaphor of a candy store to frame this give and take. Walking by this store and looking in the window, one may find it impossible to resist the sweets within. If I choose to enter the store and gorge on the sweets, I will most certainly suffer for this transgression.  If I call upon my will power, I can continue on my way knowing that I have averted a sugar binge. We are all faced with this metaphorical candy store window in many ways. The easiest route is represented by the immediate satisfaction found when entering the store and eating all the sweets.  For me, the spiritual way forward will undoubtedly be looking at the sweets but choosing to continue down the sidewalk into the unknown.

 

“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.”

Gautama Buddha, Sayings Of Buddha

 

Messages are as individual and unique as each one of us. One person may look at the sky and see a cloud while another may take away a deeper meaning from viewing this very same sky. The balance for me lies in learning to disregard the outside noise and trust my inner voice. The very same voice that speaks through spirit and knows me better than I know myself. A hallmark of true wisdom is seen in one that recognizes and acts upon this voice more often than not. I continue to aspire to be wise by listening to my spirit when it speaks.