Tuesday, September 30, 2014

a katie joy story: a parenting secret revealed

I just remembered something Katie did for several years. She would change her outfits several times a day, often wearing each one for fifteen minutes, perhaps an hour, then changing to another one. And then, she insisted that I launder them all, even though they were not soiled.

I cheated. I washed clothes that had been worn several hours. She would put all her several changes for a single day in the laundry hamper and I would tell her I laundered them but really I put the clean clothes back in her drawers and closet.

I am not exaggerating when I say she could, in that changing outfit phase, go through eight outfits in a single day.

At the time, we lived in a third floor walk up, with the laundry room down four flights of stairs. Hauling clean clothes down to the laundry room, spending money to launder and dry clean clothes and then lug them back up four flights of stairs just didn't work for me. A waste of money, detergent, laundry and my energy.

A few times, I made a big show of taking the laundry basket full of her clean clothes that she had only worn for half an hour per outfit, 'downstairs'. Then while she napped, I was able to pretend I had done the laundry.

We lived in a fancy, old apartment with a front door and a back door.  I would put that laundry basket full of her clean things at the top of the stairs. I never once saw the neighbor, or neighbors, across the hall use that firestairwell, only the front. I would stand out there long enough to convince Katie I had gone to the basement.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Paul Coelho wisdom

"Order is Joy. Order is Beauty." Rudhyar

"Order is Joy. Order is Beauty. From order to order I progress ... "

-- Rudhyar

whoever you are, no matter how lonely . . .

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting --
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
Mary Oliver

when I 'got' that all is energy

In college, I was pals with a female physics major. I mention her gender because the whole four years she was a physics major, she was subjected to a lot of sexist shit, with even the professors, all male in her department, telling her no girl ever majored in physics. She did, graduating with honors even.

We lived in a shared house owned by our university and used as dorm space but it was better than a dorm. It was a real house, real kitchen, but we paid the same rate as a dorm.

One evening, while sharing a joint, she suddenly became very excited. I asked what was she excited about. She said "I just got quantum physics, I just got that there are no solids, that everything is moving energy. This table," she said as she placed her hand on it, "is not solid, it is a quivering mass of energy. I finally got it. This changes everything for me."

Being a high impath, but never having taken a physics course, I literally felt what she felt about her exciting onset of awareness of a theory she had been grappling with for a class.  I, too, got that everything is energy.

I was 19 or 20. So i've known the whole universe is nothing but energy for over 40 years.

I know that every thought I have is energy, energy that seeds the field between myself and other humans. I try to surface my thoughts so those I relate to can be conscious of the energy moving in me and I want others to do the same, sharing their actual thoughts with me.  I don't really endorse editing, although politely sharing thoughts is optimal.

Anyway, I am keenly aware in this moment that my body, mind and whole being is a wuivering, undulating energy, that everything around me is quivering, undulating energy and that how I inhabit this energy field affects the field and those around me and the world.

being heard is being loved

Being heard is so close to being loved that for the average person,

they are almost indistinguishable.

--David Augsburger

when we heal, it affects everyone

When we heal, it affects everyone.
When we avoid our healing, it affects everyone.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

few can open gate to profound love

There always seems to be someone running away from a beautiful love connection but its seldom the brave one. The brave one is usually the one left behind. It seems counter-intuitive to romantics and those who feel ready to partner when someone walks away. But some people can only handle a half love because a whole love shines a light on their dark places. Real intimacy requires real presence, and if someone isn't ready to be truly here on an individual level, they will find it very difficult to manage all the triggers that come up in connection. Only a small few can hold the gate open when profound love enters. A blessed and courageous few.
 Jeff Brown, said on his FB page to be a public figure (that I never heard of) but I like some of his quotes.

Sunday dinner, then and now

Growing up, our Sunday dinner was always a bit fancier than the rest of the week. It usually involved mom roasting a chicken.

Today I am marinating some boneless chicken thighs, pasture raised and pasture fed, in a tikka masala marinade (or my version thereof). After canvassing, I'll come home and bake my chicken.

A huge raw salad, chicken and fruit for dessert.

Expecting a date.

I am a pretty good cook but I don't cook much for myself. Never have. I like to cook for people.

Gosh, I had to take the chicken out of the freezer yesterday and then I put the chicken in a marinade before I head out in a few minutes to canvas all afternoon. I am impressed with myself.

And I made more than we'll need for dinner so I have leftovers.

I don't eat much chicken anymore. I can live without it.  But for some reason, I am craving a hearty meal.

Say, I could bake a squash, too.

Yum.  And I have something to look forward to while out canvassing, which gets hot, hard, tiring, except when it is uplifting and happy-making.

my mother's pearls

My mom had a gorgeous strand of pearls that, somewhat strangely, my dad gave to her years after they had divorced. Technically, one of my brothers 'gave' mom the pearls but dad had bought them for her and given them to one of his sons to give to her.

One of the last times I saw my mom, she said I could have them. The strand had broken. I had the pearls restrung and that restringing quickly came undone.  I love these pearls but I don't want to spend $100 or more to have them restrung again. And pearls are more formal than I am, I think.

Should I send them to my daughter?

Last Christmas, I sent her a pair of 24K gold earrings that match a necklace given to me by a friend long ago. The friend had made the necklace and earrings for her girlfriend but her girlfriend did not wear jewelry.  I guess I gave Rosie the necklace. Or maybe she took it. When she would visit me during her first two years of college, she would take things of mine without asking. I'd go to look for something, looking and looking.

Whatever.  I had seen her wearing this necklace in a few Facebook photos and recalled I had the matching earrings. I sent them to her last Xmas. She signed for the insured package. She did not thank me.

I need to stop trying to squeeze the memory of a relationship, accept she and I have no relationship. Letting go of things related to her feels helpful, allowing me to let go a bit here and there.

I don't think I will ever stop aching over the loss of my daughter. I am sure the loss has shaved many years off my life.

My sister did not want our mother's pearls. She had issues with mom, as did all our mother's children. She sucked as a mom, but she was damaged and unable to do better.

So if my sister doesn't want them and I don't want them, giving them to Rosie seems about right. She can always give them away.

Thinking. Undecided.

my daughter's childhood photos

I have a few boxes of papers and some old photos that I have carried around for years. I have lived in CA eight years now and never opened these boxes, letting them take up space in closets, space I need for my present life, not my past one.

I have been going through these boxes, one paper at a time. It is an onerous task. I might find something, like a birth certificate, that I can't toss out so I had to look at everything.

I was surprised when I came upon a large stash of photos of my daughter, from infancy through high school.  At first, I thought I would make a digital copy for myself so I would still have images of her. But that costs money, money I can ill afford to spend. More importantly, to me, was the photos represent my loss. I looked at photos of my baby, toddler, middle schooler and I would feel overwhelmed with both my love for her and memories of how she was presenting herself in the world at the time the photos were taken. I always thought she was absolutely wonderful so I get flooded with feelings and thoughts about how exquisite she was at age one,  nine, fifteen, whatever.  It hurts to feel these feelings, reminding me of what I have lost and I don't think I'll ever get back.

I just packed them up and mailed them to her, with no digital record for myself.  I am trying to get rid of stuff to prepare for my move. I came upon a fat stash of Rosie photos that had been in a box in a closet since I moved to CA eight years ago. Obviously I don't look at them. I didn't want to spend anything to digitize them. I'm struggling over money a lot just now.
Old photos now strike me as weird. It's past. 

I never carried photos of her as many parents do because I carried her in my heart. I still carry her in my heart. I always will. But those photos, even though they flooded me with happy feelings and memories, also flooded me with a cutting sense of having lost my only child. I feel alone, unloved, bereft when I see those photos.  I had to release them.
She might have fun seeing her baby, grade school and high school photos (haven't really seen her since, eh?), showing them to her boyfriend. Or she might just chuck 'em.
anyway, I let them go but could not just toss them out. She can toss 'em but that feels like her decision, not mine.
I am surprised I had so many photos of her. And I still have an, as yet, uncovered photo album that I will also send her when I come upon that box.

​ I had the requisite nude baby taking bath photos, blowing out birthday candles, fancy dances in high school photos. Another life, one I am no longer a part of.  Every time I let go of something of hers, I feel sadness and gladness. It feels a bit like tossing things off a boat that has too much weight.​

Saturday, September 27, 2014

everything affected by evolving collective consciousness, esp. economics

Our current economic paradigm, free market capitalism, is built on the ravaging of our commons, Mother Earth, for profit without taking great, careful, nurturing care of our home.  We allow private corporation owners to extract from our collective commons without tithing a fair share into the commons. A healthy economic realm exists solely to support human life. Economics is supposed to serve humans in their pursuit of happiness and self-realization.

Biodynamics, the approach to agriculture developed by Rudolf Steiner and collaborators whose names I do not recall, aligns the timing of the choices related to growing food to the stars, the time of year. A key component of biodynamic farming is a biodynamic farmer carefully nurtures the soil as carefully as she nurtures the food she grows.

We have to begin to do something similar with the planet. And it is capitalism that is killing nature so we have to develop a new, collective consciousness around the economic realm of human culture.

We need to develop different inner capacities, capacities some people already have but not enough, so we can listen to the whole, make choices that affect our interconnectedness on our home Mother Earth from within the bell of being, from within a collective consciousness.

we need to change economic consciousness

Otto Sharmer: 8-innovations-economic-system-capitalism

This is a great article. I am a longtime fan of Sharmer's thinking. In this article, he points out that economics only address social and economic evolution, that economics does not factor in the inescapable truth that collective human consciousness evolves too. And we need to also consider that human consciousness deeply impacts the economic realm of our social order.

Read it. It's worth the short time.

down, blue, depressed . . . .

I've been sailing along. A happy camper. A few days ago, like dark, heavy fog, depression rolled in.  I have no conscious insight into why this bout of depression rolled in.

I have had the experience only a couple times, where I see depression coming at me, like one can see storm clouds many miles away when on the Great Plains. Once driving through Oklahoma, going from Minneapolis to spend the summer in Austin, TX, I saw tornado twisters on the far horizon, seeing them draped mostly just above the flat ground, seeing them touch down. In a similar way, just a couple times. Sometimes a cluster of tornado clouds can look like dark, wet laundry blowing on a clothesline.

I love seeing storm clouds dipping up and down from the earth at a great distance. It reminds me of the majestic quality of the Great Plains.  Born in South Dakota, which does have the Black Hills in its western side, I think I incarnated on the flat plain of eastern South Dakota because it fit something in my soul.

Friday, September 26, 2014

your true nature

the right people will find you

forgiveness is . . . .

Forgiveness is . .. (taken from comments on Fetzer Institute page on forgiveness. . .)
  • an act of self love
  • active love
  • the heart of love
  • love pushes forgiveness up the hill, then they roll down laughing in each other's arms
  • forgiveness is active love
  • It takes love to forgive...and once embraced love grows and grows
  • Forgiveness is the TEST of love

Thursday, September 25, 2014

love is not an emotion: Rumi

Love is not an emotion
It is your very existence.

Shareholder value killing business and the planet (and its inhabitants)


Rudolf Steiner envisioned a social renewal that would be comprised of a threefold social order:  social, artistic and economic. He indicated that the economic realm exists solely to support the social and artistic realms and for no other reason. The economic realm does not exist to allow a lucky elite to accumulate wealth generatead by the labor of others, which is what shareholders get.

Steiner indicated, in the early 20th century (so ahead of his time!) that shareholders would become a cancer on human culture. He said that when an initiative needs start up capital, that an investor should receive a modest return (interest) on her loan of capital but to give that investor shares in which the investor, or future owners of the stock, profit generated by the wealth of employees of the initiative amounted to a cancer on human culture.

Steiner sure looks right. Capitalism and its priority to please shareholders is killing the planet and its inhabitants, a slow, painful downfall.

In law school, everyone takes Corporations which was a two semester course at my school and, I imagine, most law schools.  Much of our legal system serves the corporate world and our legal system has becoming increasingly corporatized, prioritizing corporations over people.

My Corp law prof was a great professor. A showman and a brilliant legal analytical mind. And he was a corporate activist. He sometimes would buy one share in a company so he could go to shareholder meetings and protest corporate policies.  He began each new class by asking, in classic law school rhetorical stance, "What is the purpose of a corporation?"

Then he let the huge auditorium filled with law students bluster for awhile. I never have hung out a more argumentative crrowd than law students. How boring law school was for me and yet I was steadily amazed to see the guys down in front -- for the most aggressive guys always sat as close to the teacher as possible, so they could talk (show off?) more -- how they loved to argue just to argue, not to learn.Or so it seemed to me.

When all the biggest debaters in our corporations class had run out of gas, Scott, the perofessor, would say "The goal of a corporation is to make money for its shareholders." That unleashed another round of debate. Didn't corporations serve society?  Nope. Scott guided us to our case law books.  It is deeply woven into our legal system that corporations do not have a duty to the social or artistic realms:   corporations, in the legal mindset of our legal system, only has a duty to make money for shareholders. Corps don't even have a duty to provide good livings for its workers, who generate the wealth cancerous stakeholders end up owning.

I listened to arguments ad nauseum during my law school years justifying corporations having no duty to society, to nature, to its employees. The only duty a corporation had, we were told again and again  -- in tax classes, contracts, torts, even that peculiar Sub-S corp class I took -- that the only duty a corporation has is to make money for its shareholders.  I like to believe this attitude has softened.  I have participated in many discussions, conferences and, yes, debates about the various takeholders in a society and heard, repeatedly, the argument that as a participant in society, a corporation has duties to that society and not merely to shareholders. And corps have invested in greenwashing themselves, posiong as socially responsible.

I read the other day that capitalism is killing the earth. Fracking, extracting all the natural resources needed to make those bendable iphones and my laptops, etc.

I took a class in my OD MS program in the environmental department called "Building Sustinable Businesses". I heard lots of rhetoric about corporations have duties to community, employees, the education system that educates their employees, the society that provices a container in which they exist, market and, hopefully, thrive. But no laws.  I took that class in 1999. Corporate social responsbility was in it s infancy. Now I have seen it morph into a cynical way for corporations to greenwash themselves.

And now I see the sharing economy being akin to the greenwashing of corporate social responsibility -- paying lipservice to being socially responsible but not doing anything socially responsible other than make money for shareholders  (Walmart owners are multi-billionaires but they do not pay a living wage to most of their staff, taxpayers pay for their emplyees health care and food stamps and the Walmart owners get rich while evading their responsibility to the people who create their wealth).

AirBnB, Uber, Lyft. These companies don't seem to give a hoot about social responsibility. While I empathize with Uber or Lyft drivers, or Taskrabbit taskers, for any genuine need to generate enough income to thrive in the world, we still have shareholders in such companies gaining return on the workers' effort plus offloading lots of risk onto society. If an Uber driver doesn't have to carry the same kind of insurance as a taxi, or pay licensing fees to the city, Uber and their drivers are analogous to the Walmart billionaires benefiting when taxpayers provide their employees with Medicaid and food stamps. Everyone trying to make a buck that actually cost someone else. IMHO. Not being an economist or any kind of expert, what the heck do I know?

I see many inequities in these new 'sharing economy' businesses. AirBnB takes rental space out of the rental market and sometimes creates disruptive tourist-partying environments in residential areas.

I know nothing of what I write, eh?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

I am not my mother, Pure Joy

“Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy’s Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota”
by James Wright
Over my head, I see the bronze butterfly,
Asleep on the black trunk,
Blowing like a leaf in green shadow.
Down the ravine behind the empty house,
The cowbells follow one another
Into the distances of the afternoon.
To my right,
In a field of sunlight between two pines,
The droppings of last year’s horses
Blaze up into golden stones.
I lean back, as the evening darkens and comes on.
A chicken hawk floats over, looking for home.
I have wasted my life.

Long ago, nearly 30 years ago, I was in a support group in which one of the members worked, as a volunteer, for the James Wright Review.  He was gay -- the guy in my group. And wound up so tight.  He always seemed tense and, like me, didn't really fit anywhere. This guy devoted countless hours to the James Wright Review, a labor of love. I wonder if he was a writer, in hindsight. He never said he was.

Once, when my daughter and I drove to Chicago to visit my brother and mother who was visiting Chicago, this guy rode along.  Our agreement was he would stay with a friend of his. My brother's apartment was almost too small to accommodate Rosie, mom and me, much less an uninvited stranger -- stranger to my brother and his partner.

The guy spent one night with his elderly artist friend and then called me and begged me to let him stay with us. My brother and his partner were kind enough to let him, although he had to sleep on the floor. I picked him up. The artist friend lived in a huge house crammed with art.  I got the vibe that the visit had been a disaster. Having that relative stranger invade our weekend was a little odd, for I barely knew him. I had only agreed to give him a ride to and from Chicago, I had never expected him to hang out with us the whole weekend. Being the polite family my family can be, we all were nice to him.  My mom treated him when we ate out, for he was poor. My brother and brother-in-law chatted with him, included him in their gourmet meals and they tried to find some common ground around their shared gender identity.  It was a weird weekend.

My mom drove back with us when we left Chicago. We got snowed in half-way home, and checked into a pretty fancy hotel, because all the cheap ones were full with others fleeing the blizzard.  That guy just assumed my mom would pay for everything for him. He never once suggested he might have contributed something.

And then he did something that tormented my Rosie.  He used all the tiny bottles of hotel shampoo. It was a family tradition that everyone in our family used their own shampoo and gave the tiny hotel shampoo bottles to Rosie. Rosie freaked about that. We called the front desk, they went up a couple more but not the large supply initially provided for four people in that room. At least that odd interloper got the rollaway bed. Mom got one queen sized, Rosie and I share done and our uninvited guest, a very tall man who was longer than the rollaway got the rollaway. His feet extended at least a foot past the edge of the bed. He grumbled about that, hinting he should get his own room since a rollaway was the best the hotel could do. Another room for a stranger mooching oddly off us all weekend.

In hindsight, I feel empathy for the guy. I speculate that he had heard me discussing our trip to Chicago, that he was lonely and thought it would be an inexpensive change of scene. I think his visit with the elderly artist friend had gone badly, although he never spoke of the visit. And why would have have spoken of it?  We weren't friends.

I remember his voice when he called and, with a desperate tone, pleaded to be allowed to stay with us for the next three nights -- a long visit, no just a weekend -- that I felt a wrench. I felt his pain. He had imagined a happy reunion and his visit with his old friend had been a fail.

I think he had a nice time. We Fitzpatricks can be very cordial, going into an autopilot mode of politely civil behavior. Plus, I think we all sensed the guy was miserable. At the time, I didn't think much about his oddness but, in retrospect, I suspect he had a mental health challenge.

And these ruminations have nothing to do with this lovely James Wright poem.

a raw, open wound

I was a raw, open wound for years.

This wound was protected by what I think of as a blister.  I remained numb about men for 25 years. I never once questioned being alone and doing nothing to try to date again. I was content being numb, protected, the way a blister protects a wound to allow it to heal.

My numbness ended

training for the emotional olympics

This might be a transition in TLR.

A former acquaintance, who was never a friend, once remarked to me that talking to me was 'like training for the emotional olympics".  When he said that, I choked down the comment, suppressing my strong impulse to reply that interacting with him was also, for me, like intense training for the emotional Olympics.

I wonder now, and only in passing, how things might have unfolded between us if I had shared what I thought when he said that.

I often asked this man to spend more time with me. He only saw me very intermittently, never for more than an hour or two. He never allowed us enough time to get to know one another, to get past the introductory phase of truly knowing another being. And I think he projected all responsibility for our failure onto me, blaming me. At least I was willing to try.

As the Hendricks say in their book "Conscious Loving", when two people decide to get closer, there is always a stage in which things get hard, even a little scary. Consciously loving persons hang on for the rough transition, the fearful transition, from acquaintance to friend, trusting that the instinctive call they feel to get closer to a specific someone will carry them through.

In Chicago, there was a grocery store when I was a teenager that had no actual doors. No doors in Chicago, where it gets pretty cold in winter, was amazing. The store was not near where I lived or hung out but friends and I trekked to that store to see its amazing doors.  Instead of doors, intense blowers blew hot air across the open doorways to keep out the cold. It was interesting to walk, for a moment or two, through that blowing heat to get in and again to get out.

Entering a consciously loving friendship, instead of a social acquaintanceship that is mostly shallow and founded on ever-shifting social norms and, often, also founded on an agreement to avoid one another's shadows, is like going through the heat blast of those open doors on a cold Chicago night. The transition need not be long but if one does not consciously move through the intense, 'like training for the emotional Olympics' and remain engaged with the other as consciously as possible, one cannot ever get close.

And maybe the man I have alluded to made a conscious decision that he would never get close to me.  I don't know what was going on with him.

I know what the Hendricks say. They say every relationship reaches a stage at which two people decide to go forward together, even into the scary shadow work that people must do to become close, or they agree to have a relatively shallow, social bond that may appear to be close but which is not.

Any relationship, in order to become a close one, has to transition through the hard stuff. Anyone who thinks they can get close to someone with no shadow work and no scary emotional stages is afraid of discovering who they really are.

Relationships are where we discover who we are. Meditation also reveals aspects of who we are but until one allows one's ego and shadow to bump, in trust and love, with another person, one cannot know one's self fully.

This man I mentioned was never my friend. He began telling me fairly early into our seven years of emotional Olympics that he did not trust me. Yet trust is an essential element of friendship. Aristotle wrote that trust is an essential element of friendship -- good enough for me. Aristotle also wrote that friends spend time together solely because they like being around the other person and not for shared activity, that friends spend time together because they like and want to spend time with the other. This man never trusted me and never seemed to feel any real desire to send any meaningful time with me.

Past is prologue.  I hope.

Imagine training for the actual Olympics without trusting your coach and/or teammates. A nightmare.  Trust is essential to any healthy relationship. And if someone distrusts me, that distrust is about the other person, not about me. I am trustworthy.  Sure I am imperfect, become angry, offload feelings when triggered. I can't, not yet, escape my human imperfections. Yet I am trustworthy.

I believe this relationship felt like 'training for the emotional olmpics' because of fear and distrust, and because of our respective, absolutely futile effort to escape our destiny to do some work together.

begin the world over again

"We have it in our power to begin the world over again." - Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1776

Monday, September 22, 2014

we live in Grail Quest times

My favorite book about the Grail is Speech of the Grail by Dr. Linda Sussmann, who uses Wolfram von Eschenbach's version of the Parsifal story. There are several versions. First the story was told far and wide by traveling storytellers and then paper and books emerged.  Anthroposophists, and I am an anthroposophist, consider von Eschenbach's version the definitive one.  Parsifal is guidance for the millenium we live in now. Here is a snippet from Dr. Sussman's introduction:

In Speech of the Grail, storyteller and ceremonialist Linda Sussman explores a new way to speak, one that heals and transforms. She takes for her guide Wolfram von Eschenbach’s epic tale of the Grail, showing how it depicts a path of initiation toward healing speech—to “doing the truth” in word and action.
“The Grail! The word stirs a deep response in the Western imagination. Joseph Campbell called the medieval stories where it is first mentioned ‘the founding myth of Western civilization,’ because ‘according to this mythology, there is no fixed law, no established knowledge of god, set up by prophets or priests, that can stand against the revelation of a life lived with integrity in the spirit of its own brave truth.’ Campbell and many other scholars, artists, and seekers have seen the Western wisdom path disclosed in the image of each knight entering the forest where no one else has made a path. The quest is to recover the elusive Grail, thereby returning its sustenance to the world. The presence of the Grail nurtures an invisible web of relationships that connect individual destiny to service of others and to the earth, thereby granting meaning.”
Linda Sussman (from her introduction)

The Grail is Love. The speech is loving, empathic, compassionate speech always.  Of course humans are imperfect and do not always speak in love, empathy, compassion, etc but we hold ourselves aloft in our aspiration to do so. And when we stumble, others love us anyway. That's the Grail. Love no matter what.

the powerful stigma of mental health issues

The stigma towards virtually any mental health issues has the unfortunate affect of causing people struggling with mental health challenges to stigmatize themselves. I know this from painful personal experience. I was well recovered from a challenging mental health disability but for years I continued to see myself as less than whole.

I stigmatized myself.

I set myself free about a year ago. I feel happier with each passing day. It is great to see myself as I always was.  Normal.

I free myself and everyone

Sunday, September 21, 2014

love your suffering . . .

You know quite well, deep within you, that there is only a single magic, a single power, a single salvation...and that is called loving. Well, then, love your suffering. Do not resist it, do not flee from it. It is your aversion that hurts, nothing else. --Hermann Hesse

Easy to say, easy to aspire to loving my suffering. Often a struggle for me but I'm getting more adept at loving my suffering. How about you?

Saturday, September 20, 2014

society, as presently organized, needs continuous war

"The problem was how to keep the wheels of industry turning without increasing the real wealth of the world. Goods must be produced, but they need not be distributed. And in practice the only way of achieving this was by continuous warfare."
 George Orwell, 1949, from "1984"

The dude was brilliant, eh?  I sometimes wish he was wrong about something in 1984 but he nailed what is unfolding in the world.  Continuous warfare seems to be the norm these days.

Friday, September 19, 2014

the good in world is worth holding onto

  Sam: It's like in the great stories Mr. Frodo, the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were, and sometimes you didn't want to know the end because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end it's only a passing thing this shadow, even darkness must pass. A new day will come, and when the sun shines it'll shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you, that meant something even if you were too small to understand why. But I think Mr. Frodo, I do understand, I know now folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn't. They kept going because they were holding on to something.
Frodo: What are we holding onto, Sam?
Sam: That there's some good in the world, Mr. Frodo, and it's worth holding onto.

Sam and Frodo, of course, are characters from Lord of the Rings.

may my heart be kind

May my heart


Love is real: John Lennon

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Traits of an Empath

30 traits of an Empath

1. Knowing: Empaths just know stuff, without being told. It’s a knowing that goes way beyond intuition or gut feelings, even though that is how many would describe the knowing. The more attuned they are the stronger this gift becomes.

2. Being in public places can be overwhelming: Places like shopping malls, supermarkets or stadiums where there are lots of people around can fill the empath with turbulently vexed emotions that are coming from others.

3. Feeling others emotions and taking them on as your own: This is a huge one for empaths. To some they will feel emotions off those near by and with others they will feel emotions from those a vast distance away, or both. The more adept empath will know if someone is having bad thoughts about them, even from great distance.

4. Watching violence, cruelty or tragedy on the TV is unbearable: The more attuned an empath becomes the worse it is and may make it so they eventually have to stop watching TV and reading newspapers altogether.

5. You know when someone is not being honest: If a friend or a loved one is telling you lies you know it (although many empaths try not to focus on this because knowing a loved one is lying can be painful). Or if someone is saying one thing but feeling/thinking another, you know.

6. Picking up physical symptoms off another: An empath will almost always develop the ailments off another (colds, eye infections, body aches and pains) especially those they’re closest to, somewhat like sympathy pains.

7. Digestive disorders and lower back problems: The solar plexus chakra is based in the centre of the abdomen and it’s known as the seat of emotions. This is where empaths feel the incoming emotion of another, which can weaken the area and eventually lead to anything from stomach ulcers to IBS (too many other conditions to list here). Lower back problems can develop from being ungrounded (amongst other things) and one, who has no knowledge of them being an empath, will almost always be ungrounded.

8. Always looking out for the underdog: Anyone whose suffering, in emotional pain or being bullied draws an empath’s attention and compassion.

9. Others will want to offload their problems on you, even strangers: An empath can become a dumping ground for everyone else’s issues and problems, which, if they’re not careful can end up as their own.

10. Constant fatigue: Empaths often get drained of energy, either from energy vampires or just taking on too much from others, which even sleep will not cure. Many get diagnosed with ME.

11. Addictive personality: Alcohol, drugs, sex, are to name but a few addictions that empaths turn to, to block out the emotions of others. It is a form of self protection in order to hide from someone or something.

12. Drawn to healing, holistic therapies and all things metaphysical: Although many empaths would love to heal others they can end up turning away from being healers (even though they have a natural ability for it), after they’ve studied and qualified, because they take on too much from the one they are trying to heal. Especially if they are unaware of their empathy. Anything of a supernatural nature is of interest to empaths and they don’t surprise or get shocked easily. Even at the revelation of what many others would consider unthinkable, for example, empaths would have known the world was round when others believed it was flat.

13. Creative: From singing, dancing, acting, drawing or writing an empath will have a strong creative streak and a vivid imagination.

14. Love of nature and animals: Being outdoors in nature is a must for empaths and pets are an essential part of their life.

15. Need for solitude: An empath will go stir-crazy if they don’t get quiet time. This is even obvious in empathic children.

16. Gets bored or distracted easily if not stimulated: Work, school and home life has to be kept interesting for an empath or they switch off from it and end up daydreaming or doodling.

17. Finds it impossible to do things they don’t enjoy: As above. Feels like they are living a lie by doing so. To force an empath to do something they dislike through guilt or labelling them as idle will only serve in making them unhappy. It’s for this reason many empaths get labelled as being lazy.

18. Strives for the truth: This becomes more prevalent when an empath discovers his/her gifts and birthright. Anything untruthful feels plain wrong.

19. Always looking for the answers and knowledge: To have unanswered questions can be frustrating for an empath and they will endeavour to find an explanation. If they have a knowing about something they will look for confirmation. The downside to this is an information overload.

20. Likes adventure, freedom and travel: Empaths are free spirits.

21. Abhors clutter: It makes an empath feel weighed down and blocks the flow of energy.

22. Loves to daydream: An empath can stare into space for hours, in a world of their own and blissfully happy.

23. Finds routine, rules or control, imprisoning: Anything that takes away their freedom is debilitating to an empath even poisoning.

24. Prone to carry weight without necessarily overeating: The excess weight is a form of protection to stop the negative incoming energies having as much impact.

25. Excellent listener: An empath won’t talk about themselves much unless it’s to someone they really trust. They love to learn and know about others and genuinely care.

26. Intolerance to narcissism: Although kind and often very tolerant of others, empaths do not like to be around overly egotistical people, who put themselves first and refuse to consider another’s feelings or points of view other than their own.

27. The ability to feel the days of the week: An empath will get the ‘Friday Feeling’ if they work Fridays or not. They pick up on how the collective are feeling. The first couple of days of a long, bank holiday weekend (Easter for example) can feel, to them, like the world is smiling, calm and relaxed. Sunday evenings, Mondays and Tuesdays, of a working week, have a very heavy feeling.

28. Will not choose to buy antiques, vintage or second-hand: Anything that’s been pre-owned carries the energy of the previous owner. An empath will even prefer to have a brand new car or house (if they are in the financial situation to do so) with no residual energy.

29. Sense the energy of food: Many empaths don’t like to eat meat or poultry because they can feel the vibrations of the animal (especially if the animal suffered), even if they like the taste.

30. Can appear moody, shy, aloof, disconnected: Depending on how an empath is feeling will depend on what face they show to the world. They can be prone to mood swings and if they’ve taken on too much negative will appear quiet and unsociable, even miserable. An empath detests having to pretend to be happy when they’re sad, this only adds to their load (makes working in the service industry, when it’s service with a smile, very challenging) and can make them feel like scuttling under a stone.

If you can say yes to most or all of the above then you are most definitely an empath

Empaths are having a particularly difficult time at the present time, picking up on all the negative emotions that are being emantated into the world from the populace.

TRAITS OF AN EMPATH by Christel Broederlow
Empaths are often quiet achievers. They can take a while to handle a compliment for they’re more inclined to point out another’s positive attributes. They are highly expressive in all areas of emotional connection, and talk openly, and, at times quite frankly. They may have few problems talking about their feelings if another cares to listen (regardless of how much they listen to others).

However, they can be the exact opposite: reclusive and apparently unresponsive at the best of times. They may even appear ignorant. Some are very good at “blocking out” others and that’s not always a bad thing, at least for the learning empath struggling with a barrage of emotions from others, as well as their own feelings.

Empaths have a tendency to openly feel what is outside of them more so than what is inside of them. This can cause empaths to ignore their own needs. In general an empath is non-violent, non-aggressive and leans more towards being the peacemaker. Any area filled with disharmony creates an uncomfortable feeling in an empath. If they find themselves in the middle of a confrontation, they will endeavor to settle the situation as quickly as possible, if not avoid it all together. If any harsh words are expressed in defending themselves, they will likely resent their lack of self-control, and have a preference to peacefully resolve the problem quickly.

Empaths are more inclined to pick up another’s feelings and project it back without realizing its origin in the first place. Talking things out is a major factor in releasing emotions in the learning empath. Empaths can develop an even stronger degree of understanding so that they can find peace in most situations. The downside is that empaths may bottle up emotions and build barriers sky-high so as to not let others know of their innermost thoughts and/or feelings. This withholding of emotional expression can be a direct result of a traumatic experience, an expressionless upbringing, or simply being told as a child, “Children are meant to be seen and not heard!”

Without a doubt, this emotional withholding can be detrimental to one’s health, for the longer one’s thoughts and/or emotions aren’t released, the more power they build. The thoughts and/or emotions can eventually becoming explosive, if not crippling. The need to express oneself honestly is a form of healing and a choice open to all. To not do so can result in a breakdown of the person and result in mental/emotional instability or the creation of a physical ailment, illness or disease.

Violence or emotional dramas depicting shocking scenes of physical or emotional pain inflicted on adults, children or animals can bring an empath easily to tears. At times, they may feel physically ill or choke back the tears. Some empaths will struggle to comprehend any such cruelty, and may have grave difficulty in expressing themselves in the face of another’s ignorance, closed-mindedness and obvious lack of compassion. They simply cannot justify the suffering they feel and see.

Empaths may be excellent storytellers due to an endless imagination, inquisitive minds and ever-expanding knowledge. They can be old romantics at heart and very gentle. They may also be the “keepers” of ancestral knowledge and family history. If not the obvious family historians, they may be the ones who listen to the stories passed down and possess the majority of the family history. Not surprisingly, they may have started or possess a family tree.

They are just as expressive with body language as with words, thoughts, and feelings. Their creativity is often expressed through dance, acting, and bodily movements. Empaths can project an incredible amount of energy portraying and/or releasing emotion. Empaths can become lost in the music, to the point of being in a trance-like state; they become one with the music through the expression of their physical bodies. They describe this feeling as a time when all else around them is almost non-existent.

People of all walks of life and animals are attracted to the warmth and genuine compassion of empaths. Regardless of whether others are aware of one being empathic, people are drawn to them as a metal object is to a magnet!

Even complete strangers find it easy to talk to empaths about the most personal things, and before they know it, they have poured out their hearts and souls without intending to do so consciously. It is as though on a sub-conscious level that person knows instinctively that empaths would listen with compassionate understanding. Then again, for empaths, it is always nice to actually be heard themselves!

Here are the listeners of life. They can be outgoing, bubbly, enthusiastic and a joy to be in the presence of, as well as highly humorous at the most unusual moments! On the flip side, empaths can be weighted with mood swings that will have others around them want to jump overboard and abandon ship! The thoughts and feelings empaths receive from any and all in their life can be so overwhelming (if not understood) that their moods can fluctuate with lightning speed. One moment they may be delightfully happy and with a flick of the switch, miserable.

Abandoning an empath in the throes of alternating moods can create detrimental effects. A simple return of empathic love–listening and caring compassionately without bias, judgment and/or condemnation–can go an incredibly long way to an empath’s instant recovery. Many empaths don’t understand what is occurring within them. They literally have no idea that another person’s emotions are now felt, as one’s own and reflected outwardly. They are confused as to how one moment all was well, and then the next, they feel so depressed, alone, etc. The need to understand the possibilities of empath connection is a vital part of the empaths journey for themselves and for those around them. (I added the bold to this paragraph:  this is very much like me).

Empaths are often problem solvers, thinkers, and studiers of many things. As far as empaths are concerned, where a problem is, so too is the answer. They often will search until they find one – if only for peace of mind. This can certainly prove beneficial for others in their relationships, in the workplace, or on the home front. Where there is a will, there is a way and the empath will find it. The empath can literally (likely without the knowledge of what’s actually occurring) tap into Universal Knowledge and be receptive to guidance in solving anything they put their head and hearts into.

Empaths often are vivid and/or lucid dreamers. They can dream in detail and are inquisitive of dream content. Often they feel as though the dreams are linked to their physical life somehow, and not just a mumble of nonsensical, irrelevant, meaningless images. This curiosity will lead many empathic dreamers to unravel some of the “mysterious” dream contents from an early age and connect the interpretation to its relevance in their physical life. If not, they may be led to dream interpretations through other means.

Empaths are daydreamers with difficulty keeping focused on the mundane. If life isn’t stimulating, off an empath will go into a detached state of mind. They will go somewhere, anywhere, in a thought that appears detached from the physical reality, yet is alive and active for they really are off and away. If a tutor is lecturing with little to no emotional input, empaths will not be receptive to such teaching and can (unintentionally) drift into a state of daydreaming.

Give the empath student the tutor who speaks with stimuli and emotion (through actual experience of any given subject) and the empath is receptively alert. Empaths are a captivated audience. This same principle applies in acting. An actor will either captivate the audience through expressing (in all aspects) emotions (as though they really did experience the role they are portraying) or will loose them entirely. Empaths make outstanding actors.

Empaths frequently experience déjà vu and synchronicities. What may initially start as, “Oh, what a coincidence”, will lead to the understanding of synchronicities as an aspect of who they are. These synchronicities will become a welcomed and continually expanding occurrence. As an understanding of self grows, the synchronicities become more fluent and free flowing. The synchronicities can promote a feeling of euphoria as empaths identify with them and appreciate the connection to their empathic nature.

Empaths are most likely to have had varying paranormal experiences throughout their lives. NDE’s (Near death experiences) and or OBE’s (Out of body experiences) can catapult an unaware empath into the awakening period and provide the momentum for a journey of discovery. Those who get caught up in life, in society’s often dictating ways, in work etc., can become lost in a mechanical way of living that provides very little meaning. All “signs of guidance” are ignored to shift out of this state of “doing”. A path to being whole again becomes evident and a search for more meaning in one’s life begins.

These types of experiences appear dramatic, can be life-altering indeed, and are most assuredly just as intensely memorable in years to come. They are the voice of guidance encouraging us to pursue our journey in awareness. Sometimes, some of us require that extra assistance!

For some empaths, the lack of outside understanding towards paranormal events they experience, may lead to suppressing such abilities. (Most of these abilities are very natural and not a coincidence.) Empaths may unknowingly adopt the positive or negative attitude of others as their own. (This, however, can be overcome.) Empaths may need to follow interests in the paranormal and the unexplained with curiosity so as to explain and accept their life circumstances.

The Mind Unleashed

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

mushrooms --- mystery

Mushrooms are not a plant, not an animal. And we eat them. A fungus, which a mushroom is, is a kind of life form beyond plant. Actually I know nothing about mushrooms. With the possibility of rain returning to N. California, and it was supposed to rain today, I hope to take a mushrooming class to identify some commonly found mushrooms that are safe to eat.

In the meantime, with my long daily walks, during which I gravitate to green places, woods, paths in forests, I have been coming upon a few mushrooms here and there. I thought mushrooms need serious moisture. I wonder if the fog, which usually rolls in every night, might squeeze enough moisture out of the air to bring out a few of these elemental, fungal beings.

I have come upon mushrooms several times in the past week. Today, walking through a large patch of steep hillside covered in green gas, I smelled mushrooms before I saw them. I am pretty sure the ones I saw are safe to eat but, not being sure, I left them.

I remember all the places I have seen mushrooms. Maybe I just need to buy a book to identify some basic, safe ones.  I need something.

I regularly buy mushrooms at my farmers market but they are expensive. The cheapest ones are expensive. Mushrooms provide all kinds of awesome nutrients you rarely get anywhere else.

And their elusive, magical appearances, or lack thereof, make them even better.

Rain. Mushrooms appear. Knowledge arrive so I know which ones to eat. This I pray.

your own transformation is world work

verbally abused by a putative Christian

Walking home from my writer's group on Wednesdays, I usually detour onto the campus to get some extra steps walked.  I end my campus walk by walking the half ring of sidewalk that is part of the west entrance to the campus, on Oxford. On Oxford at Center, there is a steady stream of pedestians all day and evening when the university is in session. Folks walk from BART to campus, then back to BART at the end of their days. Others walk from the campus to the many restaurants along Oxford, Center and Shattuck.

I have not seen a Christian proseletizer at Oxford and Center before. Come to think of it, except for the occasional person selling the street newspaper, homeless people, I can't recall any politicizing, proselytizing or promotion at that corner. A bit south, where there is a big grassy lawn, occasionally i see some demonstrations, usually about peace. Usually baby boomer age. 

I am polite to all panhandlers, newspaper sellers and proselytizers, although i run into relatively few of the later. This is, after all, Berkeley. Berkeley doesn't seem to attract, not out in the open, anyway, bible belching Christian hypocrites.

I ran into a bible belching Christian hypocrite trying to hand out sheets of paper with quotes from the Bible. i politely declined and kept walking. And the pious, putative Christian said "It's from a book you've never read."  I kept walking but turned my head back to say "You have no idea if I read the bible or not."  He snapped back, "Yes I do know. I know you don't."

I was tired, a lugging my laptop plus hot creamed green soup from Poulet. I was very hungry. It was after 1 p.m., past my lunch time.  I could feel my glucose rising from not eating soon enough. I was tired and the computer was taking its toll. So my only retorts to the hypocritical bible belching were mental.

After I write this, and have finished my delicious soup, made creamy with blended navy beans so its dairy-free -- genius good, genius recipe -- I might, seriously, walk back there, see if he is still there and tell him some of what I thought in indignation.

I went to Christian school K-12. I attended Sunday service every year of my life until i left for college. And I returned to Sunday services, trying out different denominations throughout young adulthood and my parenting years. I reasoned I had to give my daughter some religious experience.

And I actually have read the whole Bible straight through, as well as having read parts of it for various classes. I had to take religion class K-12, plus in undergrad, I took a course on Judaisim and, yes indeed, we read some of the Old Testament. I also took a course on the history of Christianity.  I went to Sunday service with my daughter until, in the fifth grade, after I had taken to driving her to Sunday School but staying in my car to read the Sunday paper, she came out and said "I am done with Church." There, she had made her choice. That was probably the last time I have been to any church on a Sunday.

I wouldn't have told the bible belching, verbally assaulting jerk all of the above. I wanted to tell him that I have indeed read the Bible and I understand it. In my understanding, his comments to me were unChristian and, thus, suggest if he had read the book he had rudely accused me of never having read, he had failed to understand it. I am certain my Christian bible asks people not to judge others. I am also certain my Christian bible frowns on being unkind while supposedly promoting Christianity and the Bible.

I also would not have told him that for over 20 years now, I have studied Rudolf Steiner, who places Jesus Christ as the single most important being in the course of life on this planet throughout time. Through my study of Steiner, I have studied various sections of the Bible very closely. Bible belching Christians often refer to Anthroposophy as a cult. Fuck them. They know not what they speak.

Fuck that pig, eh?

He was wearing a t-shirt that said "Yahweh" on it. Fuck his vision of Yahweh, too.

I won't go back, although I need another 48 steps to hit 10,000 steps today. I am positive the guy would be even more unpleasant if I were to return and claim I had read the Bible.  I have. Really. Truly.  And I understood it. I know my Bible would not approve of me calling that bible belcher a pig and uttering fuck that pig.

I never said I am a Christian now.

Fuck that guy. He represents much that is wrong with this culture. I doubt that he could see that I had been polite to him, and that courtesy was a kind of Christian kindness, albiet Christian anything is not on my agenda.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

ending a relationship does not end it

Margli Matthews, an anthroposophical teacher and researcher at Emerson College in England:

Ending a relationship does not end it. It will find its way in time. Each circumstances of our past lives play into each incarnation. Anyone we have a relationship is someone we have had past life experiences with.  Relationships invariably have a karmic element, we share a past, we have met before. And the question is what are we doing now, what do we need to be doing now?
Steiner indicated very strongly that the purpose of relationships is to wake us up, to become more aware of ourselves and more aware of the other. It is time to let the other wake us up!!!!  We are initiators into the mystery of what is it to be human, to be who we are. We need others to awaken this way. The most challenging relationships, if worked with properly, become initiations for us, advancing our karma. 
What is calling me? Not about what one has actually done, but what is calling us forth? Relationships are where we learn this. Not just meditation alone. We need relationships.

Karl Jung called karma our story, just as an aside.

Challenge of Rudolf Steiner, documentary

Meeting Steiner's ideas and sending my daughter to a Waldorf School, which happened in tandem, has been the most influential learning path I could ever ask for.

One person in this documentary says some of Steiner's ideas seem a bit 'loopy'.  I have never read anything by Steiner that was loopy. Steiner's teachings make sense in every realm he worked within.

respect yourself

Monday, September 15, 2014

Bucky Fuller: I am an integral function of universe

“I live on Earth at present, and I don’t know what I am. I know that I am not a category. I am not a thing — a noun. I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process – an integral function of the universe.”
- Buckminster Fuller

the earth is speaking: listen

it is the root of me I seek

As I dig for wild orchids
in the autumn fields,
it is the deeply-bedded root
that I desire
not the flower.
--Izsumi Shikibu, trans. Jane Hirshfield.

unleashing the hounds of hell

I have been canvassing in West and South Berkeley the past two weekends.

Last week, I canvassed around San Pablo Park. I discovered a delightful neighborhood. The park works as a well-used and, I venture to guess, much-loved commons. Games going on, lots of large group picnics, kids in the playgrounds. Neighbors congregating on porches. It felt like a little piece of Shangri-la. It was one of the warmest canvassing experiences I have had.

This weekend, I canvassed in what, I now know,  is the neighborhood the incumbent for State Assembly District 15 lives in. I know this now because Nancy Skinner, the now-termed-out incumbent, was on my canvassing list. I rang her doorbell before I saw her name. Her husband answered. He was as gracious as a person can be, thanking me for doing the work I am doing, even as he declined to take one of my candidate's brochures. His wife, after all, has endorsed the rich, never-held-elected-office-buying-her-way-into politics opposition. His wife, Skinner, is deeply embedded in the political power structure of Berkeley and so, apparently, is my guy's opponent.

One reason for vote for my guy, imho, is simply that he is not beholding to any political power structures.

The Skinner neighborhood appears to get more than its fair share of political canvassers. I say this because even the people who were nice to me, talked with me awhile and even committed to vote for Tony politely mentioned they often are approached by political canvassing.

I also say this because in this neighborhood, West of Sacramento, East of San pablo and a few blocks south of University, had signs on many houses that did not limit to "No Soliciting". I saw several elaborate signs that said "No solicitors, No fundraisers, No political canvassers".  I've been all over the distrct by now and this was the first area that had signs saying 'no political canvassing". And I saw many such signs. And these were not mass produced signs. EAch one was individualized.

My favorite?

One sign said:

  • No soliciting
  • No fundraising
  • No selling
  • No political canvassing
  • No political polling
If you disregard this sign, we will unleash the hounds of hell on you.

I left a brochure on their doorknob. I was mildly disregading their sign, tis true, but I reasoned they could not know who I was. I was safe from the hounds of hell.

I wonder how many times that neighborhood gets hit with political canvassing. Based on what some folks said to me, it seems like a lot.

It's so weird how unevent the world is. I live in an apartment building of 97. I offered to have a meet and greet for Tony in the community room of my building, suggesting we phone bank nearby large apartment buildings to invite folks from those neighborhoods. My offer was declined. So large apartment buildings get no canvassing attention and cosy neighbrhoods get inundated. An imbalance in putatively grassroots campaigning.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

a bit on Willa Cather, on being entirely happy & golden tunnel

I have always loved the work of Willa Cather. Then I lived in Nebraska, where she set her early novels, along with some stories set in N. Mexico. Being familiar with her work, I often 'saw' why she wrote as she did because of the way Nebraska and New Mexico are typographically and culturally. I dreamily loved her portraits of the slight past of these places.

Then she headed to New York City. The big city lights draws many. As a gay woman at a time when homosexuality was shunted into closets, I imagine it was easier to be a gay artist in NYC than Nebraska. Plus writers often have flocked to the big city, to gain a community or artists and to be near publishers.

Here is a lovely quote from Willa. Gosh, I love her name, first and last. I don't know the source but it resonates with me this evening:

I was entirely happy. Perhaps we feel like that when we die and become a part of something entire, whether it is sun and air or goodness and knowledge. At any rate, that is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great. When it comes to one, it comes as naturally as sleep. --Willa Cather

I have periods in my life in which I am in an energy I call the golden tunnel. I think my golden tunnel might be similar to what Willa Cather describes as being entirely happy.

Lately, not 24/7 but for long stretches each day, I am both entirely happy as defined by Willa Cather and in the golden tunnel.

Last weekend, out canvassing on a hot, sunny afternoon, I suddenly stepped into the golden tunnel and I was entirely happy. I found Brigadoon, I got lots of commitments from people to vote for my candidate, I saw and heard a strolling violin player. That violin player was walking his dog yet turned the mundane task into the energy of classical music, vibrating his being and that vibration resonating to the space around him.  It was a perfect, magical day. Also hard hot work but the magic happiness outweighed the exhuastion and hot sun.

everyone can find their own Brigadoon,

Duh!  Heaven on earth does not have to be an invisible spot in Scotland that only appears once every few hundred years.

Heaven is right here, right now.

Heading to heaven right now.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

to awaken, let go of who you imagine you are

We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. ~ Joseph Campbell

ask God and your angels to help you

Ask God and the angels to help you to meet people who will treat you with respect and love.

a magic portal appeared in a lucid dream

I haven't had any lucid dreams for a long time. Back in the eighties and early nineties, I facilitated a lot of five day personal training intensives. That work kept me finely attuned to energies I have not often been in touch with since. During this period of my life, I routinely had lucid dreams, dreams that would come to me in an instant while I was doing something. One second I would be stepping on the first stair up to my living room and by the time my foot came down on the next step, the vision would be over. While the vision was happening, time was different. The vision could seem very long, even hours, but in the illusion of material reality of stepping on stairs, the vision took a moment.

Here's one of my favorites:

I was walking along a dirt road in a hilly area that was the foothills for mountains. I could see the mountains and I believe my intention was to hike to the mountains. No cars. I did not see horse drawn carts. Just me walking. The path I was on had no ruts in the road for carts, by the way. It seemed long, long ago.

I grew weary and became aware I was thirsty.  I was weary of the endless, dusty path for no matter how long I walked, I never seemed to get anywhere.

Suddenly, I saw a tiny shack alongside the path with a very old Asian man standing in the doorway, beckoning me to enter. I knew he could be trusted, by instinct. Or, more accurately put, it did not occur to me to not trust him. I felt so drawn to his beckoning head, his kindly hodding head to encourage me to approach him. I felt safe and happy.

I glanced ahead at the mountains that was my nominal goal. I think I was just wandering, as in life.

When I drew near the man and the door he stood in, he stepped aside, gestured for me to cross the threshold of that door and I was suddenly in a completely different place. Or reality. What is reality anyway.

It was somewhat analogous to storires I heard as a child of the Garden of Eden. Only better, as if that might be possible. It was also similar to the part in the movie, The Wizard of Oz, where the film goes from black and white to color.

Suddenly I was in a spectacularly gorgeous reality. Lush colors. Fruit bearing trees everywhere. Growing food. Happy people.

And I could stay. It seemed like a kind of heaven and I could stay!

As soon as I took one step over the threshold, the shack and the ancient Asian man who had beckoned me in, disappeared. I looked back and he was gone. I knew, without being told, that I had found the path I was supposed to be on and I happily walked down the path. I was so happy.

an inner glimpse of the universe?

I had a lucid dream (a dream that came to me while awake and active) that the entire universe was comprised of spirals, endless spirals.This happened about 30 years ago but remains as vivid to me as when it happened.  In this lucid dream,  I was a very old man of another race, not sure which race, and I had receive instruction that I should leap to another spiral, that it was time to move on. I hesitated and hesitated, fearful of taking the leap because the spirals all around me moved unceasingly. I did make the leap, landed on another spiral. I felt very happy. It seemed quite real, as if a portal had opened and I had seen a glimpse of the supersensible, and very real, realm.

I felt very happy when I successfully leaped to the other spiral.

The all of everything, in this lucid dream, was made up of spirals, mostly double helixes spiraling out in every possible direction. All I had to do was leap from one strand of the double helix I was on to the other, stay on the same double helix but on the other strand. No such a leap. Yet such a leap. What if I missed?

It was one of the best lucid dreams, or visions, I have ever had.

Friday, September 12, 2014

is karmic destiny the antithesis of free will

It may not interest anyone else but the above question interests me. I believe all beings come into this world to advance towards their destiny. We can freely choose detours along the path to our destiny, delaying, prolonging, procrastinating. Ultimately, however, I believe, and beliefs are not any more real than anything else, and certainly not accurate, that we don't have genuine free will. Temporary free will, maybe. Detour from our path free will, probably.

Ultimately, our destinies are our destinies and we cannot use free will to avoid them forever.  Only to delay them.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Universe: pls give me bluntly obvious guidance

 Ask the universe to be clear in its guidance for you.

For several years, at the end of my morning meditation, I would remind my guardian angel that I didn't usually get subtle clues about my destiny. I would ask her, every day, to be very blunt and as specific as possible if she had any guidance or clues or directions for me. "Be direct, please" I would tell her.

And then something wonderful happened.

I need something wonderful now. So I'm back to the practice of inviting my angel into my day and reminding her "Be direct, even blunt, make your advice for me obvious, please. And thank you. Remember, you need me to achieve your karma and I need you to achieve mine.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

always help

don't lose the moon while counting stars. . . .

a broken winged bird

This week already feels long and burdensome and, yikes, it's only tuesday morning.

My health challenges overwhelm me. My emotional burdens weigh me down.  I know all the self love wisdom and happy talk but I'm feeling weighed down. Like a broken winged bird.

It feels like Saturday. And these days, my Saturdays are about the hard work of canvassing. So today feeling like Saturday means I feel way weighed down.

Monday, September 08, 2014

love & fear: fear is not real

As a longtime student of A Course in Miracles, I learned almost thirty years ago that there are really only two ways of showing up in life, in fear or in love. The good news is that fear is not real, merely a creation of our mind. Only love is real.

Our minds seem to have much power but they do not have more power than our basic state of being creatures of love. Love really can conquer all, least of all fear, which is not real.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

perfectionism: voice of the opressor

"Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a shitty first draft." Anne Lamott

emotional abuse by invalidation

I have heard many victims of abuse, serious abuse that landed people in shelters for battered spouses to escape the abuse, say that silence and shunning are some of the worst kinds of abuse. The all time worst, in my view, is emotional invalidation.

I went to two different weekly support groups for women in abusive relationships, or groups for codependents, and many of the women remained in the abusive relationships. Many of them had been hospitalized, some several times, for the physical abuse. Every woman I ever met in those groups, which I attended during the years of my recovery from an abusive marriage and abusive custody petition, said, without exception, that they would prefer to get hit by their abuser than to face verbal abuse.

I recently shared the above with a feisty younger woman. She said "That's crazy. Nobody is going to hit me and I wouldn't choose being hit over verbal abuse. Those women are crazy."  I was kind and did not point out to her that she sounded like someone who had never been abused and that perhaps she judged abused women, as many do, for allowing themselves to be abused in any way. I wanted to tell her about learned helplessness, male dominator culture, Dr. Lenore Walker's book "The Battered Woman" but she was so feisty, even aggressive in completely dismissing what I had just told her. And I had included myself in the women who preferred physical abuse over emotional abuse.  She had invalidated me.

Emotional abuse doesn't heal as quickly as a broken bone, or go away as quickly as a bruise. Heck, my ex used to complain and get angrier with me because I bruised so easily.  Instead of owning that he had hit me, he'd yell at me for bruising too easy.  He invalidated his abuse by invalidating my tendency to bruise easily.

When someone tells you she went to two battered women's support group for three years to cope with the consequences of a very abusive marriage, and then you tell her "That's nonsense, no one would rather get hit", that person is sorta abusing the expert. A woman who lived through a very abusive marriage and just told you she went to two support groups a week for three years, that woman is an expert on abuse. And any woman dopey enough to say she'd rather be emotionally abused because no man would ever get away with hitting her is being dismissive, judgmental, and, as my dad used to say, "she just gives away her ignorance.

This 'photo' stood out for me. I have heard all these lines from more than one abusive man. Easy to judge from outside how someone got to a place in life where they didn't know they deserved to be treated well. Hard to be empathic, compassion and listen for understanding.

It used to make me feel so great when another woman would say "I'd rather get hit than listen to emotional abuse. Emotional abuse is harder to heal."

Once, when my daughter was one and hospitalized for something, I met a woman who was also in the hospital because one of her kids was sick. She kept saying "I just got out of the nuthouse."  People who were in mental wards can call them nuthouses, I guess. She described a series of horrific physical abuse. Broken legs, broken arms, damaged eye, cuts, bruises on end. And she said, without ever having been in a support group with me "I'd rather he broke my leg than listen to him putting me down."  I encouraged her to come to the groups I attended, which were both free. She never did.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

love is unbelievable so it is believable


James Broughton, I think.

You can see the multi-awarding winning documentary about James at the Roxie in SF tonight or at BAM/PFA in Berkeley next week.

Tomorrow night, a great performance artist will perform some of James work FOR FREE, the show called Ecstasy for Everyone. Go. Who can so no to ecstasy?

express your deepest longings

Big Joy is showing at the Roxie in SF tonight. I hear rumor that one of his films will also be shown. I have to go to find out!

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

forgiveness is an act of will

“Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.”
–Corrie ten Boom

the purpose of healing

The purpose of healing is not to be forever happy; that is impossible. The purpose of healing is to be awake. And to live while you are alive instead of dying while you are alive. Healing is about being broken and whole at the same time. Healing is about opening our hearts, not closing them. It is about softening the places in us that won’t let love in. Healing is a process.
The act of being fully in the moment, alive to the subtleties of sensation, feeling, awake to color, sound, temperature, the awareness of life as it is—not as it was, not as it could have been, not as you wish it would be—is what being alive is all about.

do I want to be right or happy?

Easy question. I want to be happy. Yet whenever I ask myself this question, an ego part of me slithers in and whispers, enticingly, "chose being right".

It's nice to be right. It's better to be happy.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

guardian angels

Rudolf Steiner, the founder of Anthroposophy (Waldorf Schools, biodynamic farming, threefold social order, threefold economics and much more -- Camphill! and still more) indicated that each human has a guardian angel. Our guardian angels need us as much as we need them, our destinies entwined.  We cannot achieve our karmic destiny unless our angels achieve theirs. Our angels cannot achieve their destiny unless we achieve ours. We need to develop our capacity to know supersensible realms for our personal selves, for our angels and for the world, for the world also needs us to achieve our destiny in order for the world to unfold as it should.

There's my too-short summary of guardian angels.

During times of inner turmoil, I often end my morning meditation by reminding my guardian angel that I tend to miss subtle clues. I remind her to send me clear, unequivocal messages, blunt, obvious.  I remind her that I miss non-obvious nudges.

Recently, I went to 89 Ramona to attend a gathering of lawyers. I'm considering taking the bar. I don't want to practice law but, as a lawyer friend pointed out, having a law license gives me gravitas. I took BART to 16th and Mission and then walked to the address of a gathering.

My guardian angel as on duty. As I got closer to 89 Ramona, I experienced intense physical pain in my lower left blank. The pain seemed to move up and down, up in my back, down in my hip. Each step was truly excrutiating. I have experienced little excrutiating pain.  I cried with each step, I hurt that much. I had forgotten my cell so I couldn't phone a friend or a taxi.  I had a low moment when I believed I could not walk.

I thought "help is on the other side of the doorbell, ring the bell". I put my finger in front of the doorbell but then, in addition to the great physical pain I was experiencing, my inner voice (my guardian angel?) began screaming "Don't go in there."  My inner voice, or guardian angel, has never been strident before, never screamed. It was such an odd sensation. The screaming of that inner voice hurt nearly as much as my left blank, hip, whatever was hurting.

The message was clear:  don't go to this party.

I learned later that a former friend, someone with whom I have been unable to achieve a state of grace, someone who cut me off in an email like I was subhuman and has refused to have one state of grace conversation with me after agreeing, in writing so I didn't imagine it or make wrong assumptions as he used to like to lecture me. He agreed in writing to have a state of grace agreement.  I am no longer sure what hurts me in relation to this man. Losing him hurts me still but his refusal to have a state of grace conversation has shocked me. In the 8 years I knew him, I never, ever would have imagined he would refuse a state of grace conversation. I know his refusal is not about me. I know his behavioral choices are about him.  I know the sharp emotional pain I feel when I remember he has refused to have a state of grace conversation with me.  As I cope with the painful sense of loss I feel, and I refer to the refusal to have a state of grace conversation, not the loss of interaction with someone who was emotionally abusive towards me, I see that I never knew him but not for lack of trying. He hid from me. He was dishonest and secretive.  I am a chump for dishonesty and secrecy because I am not dishonest or secretive.  I trust easily, disclose who I am without filter and I know revealing myself to others is a gift. Of course, being imperfectly human, I am not 100% purely honest.

Gosh, I am not writing anything related to what got me going on guardian angels altho my guardian angels saved me from seeing this former friend, for he was at that party at 89 Ramona.

I wanted to write about a new guardian angel, a human being angel, that has come into my life. A caring friend, a loving friend. Someone who wants to be my friend and, and I so needed this, support me as I deal with my health challenges.  This angel deserves a post free of pain so I will write another one at another time.

People really do appear in our lives as needed.

love is alchemy

fight the power, fight capitalism

This article about the brilliant Naomi Klein's latest book is well worth a read.


Monday, September 01, 2014

I am a delicate, hot house flower

Seriously, I really am. I am sweet, kind, empathic, compassionate and loving. Trust that I am these things and that is who you see. Project fear and distrust onto me and that will be what you see but the negative arises from within you.

I am a delicate, sweet, beautiful, hot house flower. I am loving, lovable and adorable. And brilliant.