The all too familiar feeling of being ill suited for this life has returned. I understand this earthen existence is not home as a familiar longing takes hold. So much of the routine of life mean very little to me. Each day I muster up courage and head to work knowing about this disconnect and the loneliness that is my all too familiar companion
As has always been the case, I find solace and heart in poetry. Reading Shikibu brings clarity to the confusion of the moment. Clouds float effortlessly in the sky seemingly unencumbered by what is happening on the surface below. There is a freedom to their flow, the way they change from a raging lion to a delicate flower in an instance. This idea of metamorphosis is appealing in so many ways. We are all complicated beings and it is crucial we feel the freedom to change. If something is not as we would like it to be, we have agency, we have a voice. Likewise, if facets of our character become abrasive, it is never too late to change direction and become a more loving and tenderhearted person.
Clouds are also the keepers of possibility, they are the trumpeters of weather and the shelter from the sun. Clouds are the master imitators, faithful companions and a distant reminder of the expansive energy constantly at play. One never really knows what the skies will bring. Spending an afternoon stretched out in the grass, watching the sky dance, I am reminded once again of the impermanence of all things. I question more earnestly, what is of real importance? Is it meeting a deadline at work, or taking an extra moment to stop and let someone know you care about them? Perspective is everything.
Becoming a part of this universal heartbeat speaks to me so deeply. We are everything yet nothing. So very small in the moment yet full of life energy. Looking to the clouds I am reminded of the value of allowing rather than resisting. Life has a rhythm and we are able to be most true to ourselves when we allow this flow to lead the way. Surrendering all fear and believing in a grander purpose we live more fully in the moment, less restricted by worry and circumstance.
Celebrating the spring equinox this week, I sense an ushering in of the light now more than ever. It is as if constantly looking towards a horizon with sunrise off in the distance. The light is there, but not yet fully expressed. I stand in wonder and absorb every bit of this warmth knowing that it’s full brilliance is yet to come. It is time to embrace this light, let go of resistance and float. Float above, expectation and judgment and allow metamorphosis as you would a welcome guest. Let YOUR cloud become true and light up the sky brilliantly, into the next part of your journey.
Only in this quiet can a heart beat freely, unbound by
the constant blur of thought running errant within
In silence, the tsunami of emotions
rubbed raw by the roughness of the day
subsides, leaving a softness, colored by
the gentle brushstrokes of a rolling hillside
-Lavinia Busch 2019
With the intensity of the lunar eclipse this past weekend and the air as vessel for all that remains, I find myself wishing everything to slow down, lending more time to consider things as they are. So often, when the stakes are high, I get caught up in the swell of emotion as if a leaf in a tsunami. Returning to the work environment has sent a cascade of ever turbulent waves my way and it is taking all that I have to swim rather than sink.
Honoring my need for quiet, I spent some time at Vasquez Rocks this weekend. The air was crisp and the hillside called. Acting as if young again, I found myself scrambling up the rocks wishing nothing more than to get to the highest vantage point. Feeling the cool wetness of the rocks against my hands, I climbed and climbed. As I reached the highest point my legs would allow, I took notice of the pools of emotion laid bare on the hillside. The surrounding area looked like a beautiful painting created with gentle brushstrokes rather than the jumble of people I had left on the ground below. Perspective really is everything.
Storms will come and go. It is and has always been my personal work to weather the storms with gentleness and love. At times I fall short and suffer the consequences of reacting in an abrupt or harsh manner. In these moments, it is up to me to forgive myself and reset intentions. If history serves, there will be much more opportunity for forgiveness as I stumble along the turbulent shores of life. My salvation continues to be writing and nature.
To that end, a random flock of birds caught my attention while walking on a busy street in my neighborhood. The birds looked to be rehearsing a ballet with sharp changes of direction and shape. The whole spectacular took my breath away and for a brief time, the waves of turmoil quieted. Stopping to feel the calming heartbeat in all things has become my hope and aspiration. No matter the circumstance, beauty can be found in a morning sunrise, the whip of the wind or the quiet of a winter night. These gentle brushstrokes allow for a respite from the hardships of this flawed life and a reminder of the universal breath in the most honest of ways.
Today, I headed out on my usual Sunday morning hike with the smoke from the fires appearing over the mountain. Hopeful that I could be back home before the winds picked up, I decided to take the short path. The path rests against the river wash and brings me right back to natural where my mind is able to roam free from the tangle of city life.
This place has become my sanctuary after returning from two months on the road. The reentry into city living has been jarring at best and everything feels ill fitted and wrong as if I am wearing someone else’s clothes. As soon as my feet hit the dirt path, I immediately sense “me” once again. I would be lying if I didn’t say tears have been shed on this path as well as discoveries made. Today, I clearly heard the words “I am ready to receive” repeated over and over. A trail message from my guides, if I choose to listen.
In addition to this reentry, I have been consumed with compiling my poems for publishing. This whole experience has been revealing. Sharing deeply held thoughts and ideas makes one so uncomfortably vulnerable. I wonder if anyone will read my book. The worst of it is, I do not even like my writing at times. It represents so many scrambled emotions that require a certain head space to feel and explore. So many doubts.
After having traveled in the RV, it is clear that a cabin in the mountains is where I need to be for mind, body and spirit. As fate would have it, the city apartment we moved into is very small and far from ideal. Interestingly, the new apartment number is 111 and as soon as I walked in, I knew it was just where we both need to be right now. To make things even weirder, our parking spot is number 11 and the fire engine for this area is 111…. angels and spirit guides are with me, this I know. I just wish I understood the message.
Being 11/11 today, I happened to glance at my phone right at 11:11am and smiled knowing I am well protected as I have been my entire life. Beautiful things are on the horizon if only I am ready to receive. Today is a very forward thinking moment for me and for all of us. Yes, we all have wounds and deeply held fears and apprehensions. Now more than ever, we must set aside these fears by looking with an open mind and heart to the future, our destiny. There is no way to reach this destiny by looking back, the answers we seek are in front of us.
I am a writer.. Whether anyone reads my poems, stories or blog is not of importance. I am finally at peace with transposing my voice to paper. The very same voice that has been with me all along. The fire beneath layer after layer of expectations, good girl persona and societal roles. On this 11th day of the 11th month of 2018 (11), I am ready to receive all that is meant for me. I hope to understand what my guides are leading me toward and know the path will not be easy, great things never are. I see, feel and hear the change in the wind. It is a peaceful lullaby of angels that sweeps me up in loving arms and shows me the beauty in even the smallest of seeds. Today, this lullaby is calling all of us to receive, allow and bloom.
Everybody has a little bit of the Sun and Moon in them.
Everybody has a little bit of man, woman, and animal in them.
Darks and Lights in them.
Everyone is part of a Connected Cosmic System.
Part Earth and Sea, Wind and Fire, with some
Salt and Dust Swimming in them.
We have a Universe Within ourselves that mimics the Universe outside. None of us are just black or white, or never wrong and always right.
No one. No one exists without polarities. Everybody has good and bad forces working with them, against them, and within them.~
Fire, water, air and earth; all necessary for life as we know it. As a water sign, I tend to flow with circumstance. Neither one to be overtly confrontational or flighty, I observe, listen and only speak when I am absolutely sure my thoughts are in order. Watery landscapes are familiar territory for me and I quite like living in the flow of this element.
My last post quoted a Hopi elder asking “Where is your water?”. Water can shape a landscape by simply flowing around and sometimes through rock that obstructs. This flow may take millions of years with the end result being a breathtaking canyon. Water can be incredibly strong in the gentlest of ways. Never underestimate the power of water.
What in your existence gives you life? Is it a spiritual practice, family, friends or even a creative pursuit? You must know the answer in order to be fulfilled mind, body and spirit. Without this precious element, flow will be disturbed, and life will be bumpy, dramatic or flighty. When the same challenge is constantly rearing its ugly head and you wonder why life must be so hard, ask yourself this question.
Consider approaching the challenge from a different perspective. If you have tried to be forceful and are not getting the result you desire, flow with the situation. Observe, listen, learn and gather your new perspectives. If you are like me and do a little too much flowing, consider activating your fire element and testing out the fiery side of your personality…in measured doses of course. It will take some time to find the correct balance specific to you.
Do not shy away from darkness in this venture, it is vital to the understanding of self. In order to appreciate joy, one must walk the shores of despair and swim in the tides of grief. Then and only then can joy be given breathe as seen by the sun in the sky above. Even when drowning in self-doubt one can see this distant light, a beacon of possibility. It may seem terribly far, and you might be tired from the journey. Allow the water to carry you through your grief and sadness and towards this light. There is no shortcut, one must walk the shoreline for as long as it takes.
My water has always been writing and my faith. They nourish me in every way by providing strength when the current gets too rough. As I continue walking down the shoreline, I wonder how many more twists and turns the path will take. I see the stream and know that under the surface strong currents and undertow await. I often picture myself floating above the depths, the cool wetness lapping at my sides and the warm sun in my eyes. Water caresses every cell in my body and light lifts me higher. As I float, all the many difficulties that linger below seem so far away. I am weightless, and the journey is effortless in this moment. Find your water and flow.
“You have been telling the people that this is the Eleventh Hour, now you must go back and tell the people that this is the Hour. And there are things to be considered . . .
Where are you living?
What are you doing?
What are your relationships?
Are you in right relation?
Where is your water?
Know your garden.
It is time to speak your Truth.
Create your community.
Be good to each other.
And do not look outside yourself for the leader.”
Then he clasped his hands together, smiled, and said, “This could be a good time!”
“There is a river flowing now very fast. It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid. They will try to hold on to the shore. They will feel they are torn apart and will suffer greatly.
“Know the river has its destination. The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open, and our heads above water. And I say, see who is in there with you and celebrate. At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally, Least of all ourselves. For the moment that we do, our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt.
“The time for the lone wolf is over. Gather yourselves! Banish the word struggle from you attitude and your vocabulary. All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.
“We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”
-attributed to an unnamed Hopi elder, Hopi Nation
Driving into Monticello, Utah after having been at Hovenweep for two days was like an assault on my senses. Hovenweep was a mystical place, devoid of obnoxious noise and city lights. The Milky Way and shooting stars painted the night sky, displaying the vastness of the universe. The only audible noise was the gentle breath of the wind against the canyon walls and the swoosh of wings from birds above. It was the closest I have come to peacefulness this entire trip.
The clouds rose every afternoon as if fluffy cotton balls shooting forth from the mesa. Monsoon rains could be seen approaching miles away and in one instance were escorted by a rainbow giving spectacular color to the tumultuous weather. An unexpected electrical storm the first night lite up the entire mesa revealing secrets in the blackness of night. With the ruins close by, any separateness I had felt from others disappeared and was replaced with an embodied lightness felt deeply within.
As my time in Hovenweep began to near completion, the outside world began to knock at my door. It began as a gentle knock with a few emails and phone calls and progressed to a young child’s temper tantrum with escalating business issues disturbing my peace. The only safe space remaining was outside. I could walk the campground next to the ruins, look at the dynamic sky and regain peacefulness if only for a few moments.
“We will be known forever by the tracks we leave.” – Dakota
Upon arriving in Monticello to attend to some much-needed RV housekeeping, I felt the jolt of the unwanted all too quickly. Not only was I back in Utah, the home of some unfortunate memories, but the RV park was right next to the only road through town with constant traffic. The icing on the cake was a dog barking all night. Yes, Monticello felt like the Van Nuys of Utah.
Staring at the map and considering possibilities, I was struck with a feeling of anxious awareness. I have been wandering for the past two months and feel more lost than ever. I certainly have experienced a good number of enlightened moments, but these in no way have given breathe and depth to a greater awareness. What is left is a lingering feeling of being completely lost.
I am not naive enough to believe one trip will produce revelations powerful enough to change my life in drastice ways, but I guess I was expecting something more tangible. I can’t help but think of what my life will be like when I return to Southern California. I had planned to stay in an RV park for six months or so while figuring out the where and what of my next chapter. Now the thought of living shoulder to shoulder with other travelers is not appealing. I need space to breathe, space to ponder and space to just be. National Parks have been ideal for this type of contemplation but are not a long-term solution when considering my current work life.
The question becomes, how does one extend the glow of open space and fresh air and insert this feeling into a constrictive office space with four walls. I am lost as to how I will proceed. Juxtapose this against other personal challenges, and all I see is confusion, gray where I had hoped there would be vivid colors.
Maybe it is within my wandering ideals that I have missed the mark. No matter what natural beauty is approached, I still must find the beauty and calm within myself. No amount of external prodding will assist me in this task. As the Hopi elder states, I must let go of the shore and keep my head above the water. I thought I had already let go simply by releasing my material hold on the world but have now realized letting go involves so many layers of self. I am in the middle of the river with eyes open, yet still struggling to swim.
My work now is to face this transition with an open mind and heart without giving in to a persistent inclination to withdraw further into solitude. As the Hopi elder says so well, “we are to take nothing personally, Least of all ourselves. For the moment that we do, our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt.” While I still require a fair amount of quiet, I cannot remain isolated forever. My walk in the woods has always been a temporary proposition. This too shall end. It is so important that I see this end as a beginning and find joy in all that a beginning allows.
I offer the possibility that we are all wandering home in our own way. It is a slow and tedious stroll that requires patience, resilience and compassion. I miss home so very much, this place I cannot define but know exists. This world is so harsh on the senses and so ugly at times, a difficult place for a sensitive spirit such as myself.
I suppose accepting the wandering and confusion is just a part of the package when living out a life contract. When my journey reaches an end as it will, I hope to finally understand. Then and only then will I be able to say with confidence, I was always right where I needed to be.
Mesa Verde. What words can one speak to paint a picture worthy of the actual? It seems trite to write about a place that speaks and sings as if teaming with life still today. The storms roll in and can be seen miles away in all directions. The ravens playfully squawk, taunting all those who venture this sacred ground. The sun playfully kisses the tops of the mesa and the moon shines with a silver beauty reserved for ancient souls and brilliant spectacles of light.
I could stay in a place like Mesa Verde and be content for the remainder of my life. The dynamic energy is humbling and begs to be explored, not superficially as a passing tourist might. This place is a living, breathing organism and would take a lifetime to understand if only in some small way. I am certain that given the opportunity, I would listen intently to the sky and hope to hear what it has to say.
Returning to Los Angeles fills me with a deep sense of melancholy with the knowing that Mesa Verde lives on. Maybe this is the way the ancients felt, leaving the majesty of these cliffs and the intimacy of these rocks. I understand that thumbprints remain on some walls after having been smoothed by ancient builders. What I would give to rest my finger upon this ancient graffiti and feel the spirits of long ago.
I suspect if given the opportunity, I might find a kindred soul among the ancients. Being one who has never felt of this time, the intimate relationship between people, land and spirit speaks to me as no other place has. How can one return to the bustle of city life, rush hour traffic and the disease of busyness? For the moment, I plan to soak in all this place has to offer in the whispers of the wind and the painting of the sky. I will imprint the memory of this place until I can return once again to walk with the ancients.
With all the celestial happenings of this summer, one would be hard pressed not to have great anticipation nearing the end of this cosmic tunnel and welcoming the return of lighter energy. Going into the depths of self-evaluation and introspection can be arduous and exhausting work. I for one am awaiting this end with bated breath. Cooler air brings with it a break from the heated lens of the moment both literally and figuratively.
The long, winding roads and rolling hills of this area speak to me as if the answer was always right here, waiting to be discovered. The hills say, “Lavinia, you must walk the lonely road with a beginner’s mind. No promise will be made, and the destination may never make itself known.” My hope was for some direction, a giant celestial foam finger, pointing me in the correct direction. This recent revelation is disheartening and quite intimidating.
With a sense of humor, my guardian angels have instead let me know I must walk this lonely road ahead, for as long as it takes. No final chapter has been written and no conclusion is in sight. I am acutely aware of the persistence that is now required of me. The wind is my partner, protecting, directing, sheltering and sometimes correcting me. No matter how much effort I commit to traversing the questions, I may never find the answers I seek.
Herein lies the dichotomy. The road to nowhere becomes the road to everywhere simply in bearing the footsteps of a weary seeker. It is so easy to get caught in a need to know mentality. Mysticism gently teaches once again, this simple road may be all I am given, the rest is up to me. The experiences gathered along the way become the destination. The questions become the answers.
What courage it takes to face each day with a willingness to question, seek and learn. The beginner’s mind is forever a seekers mind and one I aspire to inhabit with much commitment and vigor.
I continue to pray for protection from guardian angels as I walk into the loneliness of this eternal road, forever searching, forever seeking. Stretching on and on into oblivion, the peacefulness of this eternity is comforting, the repetition of this task daunting.
Take a few steps each day, no matter the hesitation, on your own lonely road. Let the wind walk beside you and your angels above you. I will meet you when our roads converge, be it in the near future or in the eternity of forever.
“We invent nothing, truly. We borrow and re-create. We uncover and discover. All has been given, as the
mystics say. We have only to open our eyes and hearts, to become one with that which is.”
– Henry Miller
Sitting at the base of Devils Tower in Wyoming, I feel as insignificant as one could. As important as I believe my existence to be, looking at this great monument puts things in perspective very quickly. The igneous rock making up this formation is millions of years old. These millions set aside my age, demonstrate geologic opposition placing us both in stark contrast.
Many times, I have felt out of step with the world, as if having been here before. An old soul perhaps, or maybe just with an awareness that does not allow one to get caught up in the day to day grind without considering the greater meaning. Devils Tower does not make any statements nor share any philosophical approach. Devils Tower simply is and has been for many, many years. Once again, the simplicity of existence is laid bare.
It is far too easy to get caught up in ideas, thoughts and plans. It is far too easy to forget life is so very short. It is far too easy to fall victim to illusions and supposed realities and it is far too easy to forget who we are and of whence we came.
This place is sacred and as such the energy is palpable. Without thinking, I speak with a whisper, listen closely to the wind and bow my head in gratitude and respect. This place demands a certain dignity as a powerful spiritual vortex. Native Americans have been making the pilgrimage to this tower for thousands of years around the summer solstice. I am woefully behind on this account but find myself in good company.
If there is anything to take away from this visit, it is that nothing is ever really new. Not an idea, thought, belief or otherwise. Things are only discovered as one is ready and willing to receive. It is heartening to imagine the many who have contemplated existence in this same location and feeling their energy sustains me. The wind speaks here, if one is only willing to listen.
My challenges and joys will pass as is proven by the persistence of this rock. One must not get too caught up in the worry or planning of an abbreviated life. No matter how much is done, this life will come to an end much sooner than expected. It is in the more important soul work that emphasis should be placed. Are we living a life of service and loving one another while leaving a gentle footprint on this precious planet?
Sitting here in the early morning, listening to the chorus of crickets and birds welcoming the day, I ponder what my words might accomplish. Any feeling of separateness from others is alleviated by the weight of this tower. I am just one person, one voice. When my time comes to leave this place, I pray my voice will be heard by at least one lost soul.
Spending time becoming one with all else, I move one step closer to this end by removing illusions one creates in defining a life. Leaving a small part of self on the meandering hillside below the tower, a prayerful connection is made with those who have taken this same walk before. We are one in the same, in all things.
Sun and moon dance together, with no need to defend
Silence surrenders as the silhouette of a moon remains
Softy the wind speaks, all else abstains.
-Lavinia Busch, 2018
I can breathe once again. My soul feels the weight of all that is heavy being lifted and my heart sings with joy. It is one thing to proclaim a letting go of unnecessary obligations, yet quite another in practice. The logistics of this transformation have been suffocating and at times so confounding I thought myself crazy.
Now, a few days after setting down the road of the new, I sit here typing in a place of arrested beauty rather than decay. Nestled between Mono Valley and the vast emptiness of Western Nevada is a place that has ushered in a serenity long in the making. In what can only be labeled an old dilapidated ghost town resides nourishing hot springs for weary souls. The geothermal activity that fuels these deep wells results in a healing tonic of mineral water, fresh air, open valleys, mountain views and a quiet reserved only for the most spiritual of places.
As the sun set in the evening, the heat of the road and the long day of travel melted away. Hypnotized by a crackling fire and a chorus of crickets, the warm water lapped against my skin with a smooth touch. Clothing is optional in this place and as one might expect, I have not been fully dressed since I arrived. The weight of conforming has been lifted and my skin is breathing a deep sigh of relief.
“I, the fiery life of divine essence, am aflame beyond the beauty of the meadows, I gleam in the waters, and I burn in the sun, moon, and stars …. I awaken everything to life.”
~Hildergard of Bingen. (11th century)
Absolutely nothing brings one closer to self than communing with the natural world on its own terms. This place has settled my anxious mind and soothed my restless heart. Quite a feat given the preoccupations of late. I hear the wind speaking to me as if to say, “Breathe in, breathe out…you belong here.” The trees seem to hug me as they gently sway in the softness of this system.
After a restful night, I begin the morning by floating in the hot tub listening to the rustling leaves as the sun stretched its rays between the branches. The most glorious natural piece of art appears as the light dances among all else, a symphony of spectacular beauty. I could stay in this place forever, if only the world could stop the constant beckoning of the busy. The hot springs have been rejuvenating in reminding me of this connection. The trees do not compete to see who has the strongest and best-looking branches…they just grow. I too must remember, I am enough simply because I exist. My life has no binding rules, expectations or constraints unless I allow them.
Just as in the natural world, I must continue to forge a balance between obstacles and my true self. The trees are confronted by all types of elements, yet they continue to thrive by stretching their limbs to an ever-clear blue sky. Each one is beautifully unique and impressively resilient. I leave this place knowing how important resilience will be moving forward. Let the trees be my inspiration and my salvation. Listening to the wind speak among a gallery of natural wonders, the message is clear. Breathe…just breathe.
Life is funny. Everyone hopes to be seen in some small way. Moving through life feeling invisible is such a state of separateness, debilitating to both heart and soul. The dichotomy being we are all “seen” each and every day just by being ourselves. Lest we forget when dwelling in the space of obscurity, being here right now is profound and creates a spectacular energy. We are all a bit of magic, pixie dust, elemental and soulful. Our desire to be “seen” has already come to pass simply by being in this moment. There is nothing left to be gained, we are given all we need and will ever need.
It is so very easy to forget what a miracle it is to live this very human experience. How fortunate that yet another day of a messy and unpredictable life is upon us. Many leave this world far too early, a sober reminder of the value of life despite the many peculiar and sometimes unforgiving detours it may take.
“If a man is to live, he must be all alive, body, soul, mind, heart, spirit.”
― Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude
How do we best live with this knowing? I believe the only way to honor this universal connectivity is to be true to self and share this truth with a loving heart. Living in a modern and fast paced world, the simplicity of this becomes blurred in the busyness of a task-oriented lifestyle. The ease in which we forget our magic is astonishing. As in the zombie movie trend of late, we are all the walking dead unless we stop to really “see” those around us.
“Many of us have made our world so familiar that we do not see it anymore. An interesting question to ask yourself at night is, What did I really see this day?”
― John O’Donohue, Anam Cara:
How do we see others? Stop this culture of busyness and breathe into your life. We are all wonderfully unique and a rainbow of precious personalities. I simply adore the weirdness, quirkiness and uniqueness of everyone I meet. As a subject of the human condition, it is perennially fascinating to hear stories, observe interactions and get a sense of another. Each time I do so, I learn more about myself in the process.
You see, in this magical tapestry, threads of myself are intrinsically woven within the seams of all else. I cannot help but marvel at the complexity of these interconnections. Be it the way someone catches my eye, speaks to a friend, walks to the store or holds a child close. Both the light and darkness of another have gifts of self-discovery if I choose to look closely.
Take a moment and look for the beauty in others. See the rainbows of colorful energy and honor what you see reflected back at you. Just as a mirror gives face to name, so too does the act of “seeing” another as part of self. Look for what is familiar and what is not. Remind yourself how absolutely special you are in your very own configuration. Don’t let anyone take ownership, criticize, assign blame or look down upon you as you are meant to be. Find your magic and carry it with you always. Shine brightly.