Wednesday, September 19, 2018
Once again I am late posting. I am not sorry. I have been tending to my own needs, and putting time into my own healing path.
Lately I have found it difficult to write as I navigate my own challenges. In the past I have written my way through my own problems. This past summer though I've been moving through relationship struggles. I have found it near impossible to get to a more detached perspective in order to write about it in a way that is not calling someone out. That is not what this blog is about. It is about recognizing the patterns in my life that may apply to others, as well as my responses and thought processes as I encounter the world. I do sometimes rant about things, but if I rant I want it to be about a condition or pattern that many people are experiencing. I want to draw a line between someone being wrong about an issue and just being wrong. I have been labelled as 'wrong' before it is not something I wish to inflict on others.
All that said, I finally can talk in general terms about my experiences of the past 4 months. It can be summed up by saying I have not been treated with kindness. If you know me and are reading this, and are wondering if I am talking to you specifically, I am not. This pattern was pretty well spread around, it did not have one source. This has forced me to withdraw quite a bit from my social world. Many have negatively interpreted this or taken it personally. I suppose it is on a level, but mostly it was to preserve myself intact. Although it may seem like it sometimes, my heart is not made of stone or steel. It can break. The good news is that shamans for thousands of years have had the knowledge to put people back together. They have the technology to make you better, faster, stronger, and less of an asshole. So when I got to my breaking point I reached out. (Special thanks to my teachers).
When I was in a space where I was coherent enough to journey I went to see my power animal. When I asked him why people continued to treat me in this way he said, "You haven't fully stepped into and embodied your power. There is a space that is empty in you, and that space people project upon. Those that are in balance project kindness and generosity, those that are suffering project their pain onto you." He then took me to Eagle. Not the power animal eagle but to Eagle, Keeper of the East on the medicine wheel. Eagle did healing work on me which was so profound I wept copiously and shook in my chair (almost like convulsions but in a good way). After he had finished I asked him what to do about my relationship struggles. He answered, "Do what is there to do, just be." That may sound simple, but it was quite profound. My tendency is to run around trying to fix everything and make everyone okay with me. He wasn't finished with being all majestic though because he added, "To become Eagle you must become a man without enemies."
There is a lot to unpack there. I have for many years had the Mooneagle Shit List. Rest assured if you were on it, you worked real hard to get there. Now of course I am being told to retire that. Cancel all my grudges. Don't exile people into the outer wastes of the world. I would like to be clear here, me not having enemies doesn't mean I am just hunky dory with everyone. It doesn't mean I try to make everyone like me and please everyone. It doesn't mean I don't stand up for myself, a cause, or other people. It simply means I don't hold onto the adversarial energy and make it personal. Of course when someone hurts you it is very hard to not take that personally, but Eagle was very clear that the next stage of my development was about not doing that. It was about forgiveness and not carrying around the weight of the 'me versus them' mindset.
So why am I telling you this. Well I felt it was important to explain my absence these last few weeks as I did my inner work. I also believe many of us are indoctrinated into the adversarial mindset. Growing up we have stories with heroes and villains. We paint ourselves as the heroes of our life and those we have difficulty with become villains. We interpret all their actions through that lens, and odds are we misinterpret their motivations a fair bit of the time. We then have to hold ourselves rigidly during our encounters, not just with those people but with everyone. We're always on alert for the next arch-nemesis. This makes it easy in the sense that we have people to blame when things don't turn out the way we want them, and that is convenient because life rarely turns out the way we expect it to.
How about you? Have you got a shit list? Are you looking to expand it or burn it? Do you carry the weight of the past on your shoulders or is your heart light? I know have carried the weight for far too long, and I would like to be lighter of heart. I don't expect it to be easy, but I do expect it to be worthwhile. Join me in a place beyond us and them, where we simply are.
Peace and Blessings,
Saturday, September 8, 2018
I haven't been very prompt with posts as of late. It seems to be a time of changes and I'm not quite sure which way the wind is blowing yet. Whichever direction, I seem to be accompanied there by butterflies.
The butterfly is symbolic of death and rebirth. It starts out as a caterpillar and then cocoons itself away from the world slowly dissolving its entire form before transforming into the beauty of the butterfly. The monarch butterfly makes an incredibly long journey. I was seeing them all the way up in Ontario, but come the fall they start to migrate back to Mexico for the winter. Monarchs have been few and far between the last few years, but all of the sudden wherever I go, I see them. At my stopover in Chicago my friend had even planted milkweed to help attract them. As someone who seems to get a lot of messages from omens I don't see these encounters as coincidence.
Right now there are things that are dying in my life. There are loved ones that are getting close to walking their final mile. There are relationships that are changing or ending altogether. The shape of my dreams has been changing as well. So something deep is stirring. It easy to feel raw and vulnerable while I try and find my feet again in this new energy. I feel as if I've been in stasis for many years and now the container I've been in is about to burst open just like a butterfly's cocoon. So maybe all the butterflies crossing my path is nature's way of reassuring me.
So why am I telling you this? I'm reminded of a song called Monarch, by singer/songwriter Matt Alber. A string of lyrics comes to mind, "In my body there is buried some strange memory of how to fly, what to follow, it will lead me to the origin of me...prehistory." Yeah there is a lot to unpack there. To me it means that what we need to move forward is already within us. The soul waits till the time is right to stir and guide us to spread our wings. In uncertain times there is something in the stillness that is ready to help us on our path. I find that a comforting thought.
How about you? What is stirring beneath your surface? What do the depths conceal within your heart? What do you hope will wake? In times such as this, the only advice I have is to go gently. Be kind to yourself and others. It is the same advice I give for life in general, but when we are at the crossing points it is doubly important and so easy to forget. Take time to thank Spirit for the little messengers and mysteries it sends your way. They may be delicate like butterfly wings or they may roar like the wind, but in the end they are the chimes to wake us from our trances. May you wake from your nightmares into sweeter dreams.
Peace and Blessings,
Monday, August 27, 2018
It's been a few weeks. I had been getting pretty stagnant when it came to blog posts. I decided to take a short break for my trip so that I could come back with fresh perspectives.
Every year I try and go someplace I've never been before. It doesn't have to be very far away, just some place new. Well Ontario was both new and got a stamp in my passport. (You have to ask them to stamp it though). I drove across the land over a thousand miles. This year I just felt I had to go a bit farther. I am moving into a new phase of my life, with a family member walking their last few miles, and myself allowing myself to be seen in my power. Lake Superior was a good choice for that experience I think. It echoes the power of the ocean.
This summer has been one of interpersonal conflicts for me. I'm not a person who enjoys or particularly does well with conflict, but I make people uncomfortable. I don't mean to. My energy has an effect. It can be subtle and deep, or it can be loud and center stage. What I've had to learn is that it is not about me, it is about them. In the past I have purposefully made myself seem small or hidden my light. Now it is getting to the point where I simply can't hide that shine. I can only make myself crazy trying to hold it back. I do my best to be respectful, but beyond that I have no control of how my energy will be received. This is not a fun lesson, but a necessary one.
So why am I telling you this? Well the world needs us all to step into and stand in our power. It may feel uncomfortable to start with, but it is the only way we will find lasting peace and a sense of belonging. Plus the people wielding power these days don't seem to have our best interests at heart. Why should we allow them to direct us? Why shouldn't we direct ourselves and our communities with authentic power? Who are we to deny our gifts to those around us?
What about you? Have you been stepping up and claiming your power? Have you allowed it to radiate to those around you? Have you kept it locked away afraid of what people might think of it? Sooner or later, the light will leak out. What if you just opened the door? What would happen if you allowed yourself to shine? Try it out and see what shakes loose.
Peace and Blessings,
Monday, August 6, 2018
This post is late, truthfully I started it yesterday and then scrapped it. The words seemed forced not hitting any deeper truths. I try to have my writing mean something, otherwise it is just a chore I set myself.
One of my favorite artists released a new album this year which I of course I had to immediately purchase. A good deal of my spiritual path has been scored by her work. For many years I only did readings, but coming into the pathways of manifestation and communion with nature spirits went hand in hand with her music. It is beautiful, poignant, and also more often than not quite sad. The road I've taken has not been an easy one, it has left me at times broken and close to life's edges. It has seen me lose the ones I love to death and more often betrayal. This album seems to call up the regret and grief in me. Yet now all of her music echoes with time and friends past. Nostalgia is not a simple emotion, it is like a forest in the mist, concealing as much as it reveals. August is one of the times where the summers of my past tend to haunt me a bit. I was often lonely growing up with long days of solitude. At the same time I dreaded summer's end because for several years I was terribly bullied at school.
The nights are lengthening noticeably once more. The light fades and the cold and dark seasons are waiting me with their difficulties, or in the words of House Stark, "Winter is coming." So the change in the light and the air brings up memories of all those former fading seasons. This has been stirred also by the sound of this album. For a while in the mid to late 90s Loreena McKennitt was releasing an album fairly regularly. Then her fiance passed away in 1998, it was almost 8 years before she released an album of new work. On this latest album there is a song called 100 wishes. As I listened to the lyrics it speaks of wishing to be in places with someone again.
It's funny the shapes that people carve out in your life and no matter how they exit those shapes are always there. Estrangement is a funny sort of loss, final yet not final. Having so many folks leave by that door often has me wondering what is wrong with me. My twenties was one long series of soulful hellos and fiery goodbyes. As I look back now I mourn for what had to be to bring me to who I am. Despite loss, despite pain, there could be no other way than the road I've walked. If it happened any other way I wouldn't know what I know, nor do what I do. Wishing it had been otherwise would be a waste of time and emotional energy. Not that I don't occasionally play the what if game because like everyone I do. I wouldn't want to be back there again, even knowing what I know now. How could I ever let myself be vulnerable if I saw where things would go? The loss and pain shaped me as surely as a lightning strike shapes a tree, and those contorted limbs and gnarled roots are what makes it unique.
So why am I telling you this? Well many of us waste our lives looking backwards, with the words, "If only I had done differently everything would be better." The truth is we don't know, and if we did we wouldn't be who we are. Like so many, we run from who we are, believing that we aren't enough in this moment. The idea that we'd love ourselves more if only we'd done better. Realizing this is hard because it takes away a distraction from the raw places that need attention in our lives currently. The work of accepting who we are and where we are is waiting for us.
How about you? Are you losing yourself in the ocean of past never had beens? Do your regrets rule your view of your life? Do you honor the gifts and experiences your road has brought to you? Does the pain of the past bring you sadness or wisdom? It can be both, and there is nothing wrong with that.
Peace and Blessings,
Monday, July 30, 2018
I can't believe it's been almost 3 years since I published my book. It's been on my mind as I have a series of book signings and events coming up. What I remember people asking me at the time is, "When is your next book coming out?" Now I didn't say it but my in my head I was thinking, "Hey asshole I just finished this one give me a minute!" If you've never written a book you can't appreciate the amount of time and effort it takes. What's even more amazing is that while I was writing it, I was continuing to pen my blog.
I do my best to put a blog post out every week. I'm under no obligation to do it, but I feel the pressure to keep it up. It has its own momentum now and I am a afraid of losing that. I have posted almost every week for the last 5 years. Having a weekly writing assignment really helped me develop my narrative voice. I learned that I have several different tones and that I can even blend them. These days I think I have a fairly well developed writing style so I am torn between keeping the blog active, and cutting myself some slack. See I don't know that many people actually read this thing. This is like a message in a bottle that floats on the ones and zeros of the web.
So why do I do it? Well it may not be widely read, but there have a been a few times when people have told me that what I wrote really helped them. There have been instances where writing about my life helped me to see it more clearly and get my thoughts and feelings more sorted. When you have to compose things for others you have to step outside your normal perspective. It's the difference between knowing something and being able to explain it. Of course with all of this speaking of my truth, I do worry that I am making myself completely unemployable. Companies scour the internet for prospective employee's postings. My posts can be not safe for work, or quite radical.
Why am I telling you this? Well the art of the written word is the one thing that sets us apart from other species. While other creatures have language (particularly dolphins and whales), they don't tend to write anything down. Writing gives a permanence to thought, as well as organization. For this alone it is useful. Writing crosses the ocean of time to share words and ideas between people both intimate and strange to each other. However the value I find is that the stranger within myself gets to know itself. As I write I see more clearly the content of my own mind. Some things I see are not comfortable to view. Others give me hope. So I suggest you write your own thoughts down. Put pen to paper. You need not cast it onto the electronic ocean for strangers to gawk at. You may keep sealed in a secret place for your eyes only. See yourself through the lens of your words. You may be surprised at what you find.
Peace and Blessings,
Sunday, July 22, 2018
I hope you had a rewarding week. I've kept myself occupied. I got to go out of town to visit a friend and make elderberry syrup. Yes I know exciting. I've also done a lot of planning for my upcoming trip up north in August.
So this little beauty showed itself yesterday evening. Many of us, myself included have had a rough few months. I personally have been bombarded with family issues at the same time that my friends have been going through their own crucibles. So rather than supporting each other we've been pulled to our own corners. However the coast seems to be clearing for us and we're once again coming together. I'm hoping that brighter times are ahead. This rainbow was the first of 3 rainbow references to show up in a 24 hour period. Sometimes the universe just wants to make sure I get the message. You know I can be a bit slow at times.
There's a lot of bad going on in the world. It can be overwhelming and seem like things will never get better. They will, I can't guarantee it will be soon, but they will improve. The rainbow has been a symbol of beauty and hope for many ages. It usually appears against the darkness of the storm clouds that helped create it. To me that says problems or challenges inherently contain the elements necessary to overcome them. Maybe it is about taking the darkness and from it creating something of transcendent beauty. It could also just mean, keep your head up kid things will turn around.
So why am I telling you this? Well it is too easy to get discouraged these days. Between traditional media and social media, people are vying to control our attention. More often than not it is negative stories that grab our eyeballs. Some people have postulated that what we are experiencing on a societal level is a wake up call. A decidedly rude wake up certainly, but a call to ditch our complacency with the status quo. This may also be happening in our personal lives. We can become comfortably unsatisfied with our lives, but be unwilling to shake things up. The good news is that life will come in and shake things up for us. Wait is that good news?
How about you? Are you stuck in the blahs? Are you seeing only the dark clouds and missing the rainbows? It's okay we've all been there. What if you started to look around you to see the good in the world? What if you stopped scrolling on Facebook? What if you spent more time disconnected from screens and more time beneath the sky? Try it out see how that feels, and until next time.
Peace and Blessings,
Sunday, July 15, 2018
Another week gone by and another blog post to pen. The summer has finally brought its bounty in tomatoes to my garden. The sound of the summer wind is heard in the chorus of cicadas and other insects. The long warm days and golden twilight remind me of years past.
You really can't get good store bought tomatoes. They have to harvest them green and spray them with a gas to force ripen them on the way. Otherwise they are too fragile to transport. So if you want really good tomatoes you have to goto a local farmers market or you have to grow them yourself. These cherry tomatoes have a vibrance and sweetness to them that they won't have at the tail end of the season. They'll still be hands down better than any ones you could get at the supermarket, but right now they have the sweetness of the sun in them.
When it comes down to it all life is a bit of captured starlight specifically our star, the sun. Nature has found a way of taking that light and infusing us with it via the food we eat, the fuels we use, and even the very vitamins in our body. When we are children we tend to personalize nature. That's why you see happy faces in crayon drawings of the sun. As we grow older we seem to pay less attention to these stalwart celestial objects. The sun and the moon become more abstract concepts as we lose our relationship to them. As we move through a human centric world we can if we're not careful succumb to the feeling of separation and isolation, even as we engage in 'social' media. We have lost connection to the land, sun, moon, rain, and winds. A vast majority of us eat food so processed that our ancestors wouldn't consider it real food. We live in highly inefficient climate controlled boxes (not that I don't like AC believe me with the weather we've had I am grateful) and we barely interact with each other.
Why am I telling you this? Well I think so many of us, myself included, have forgotten the real elements of life. We are bombarded by empty entertainments and instant communication, but we are drowning in isolation. In short. we have forgotten what matters. Not just in the human world, but in the world of our animal cousins and plant neighbors. I have watched as neighbors and friends have put their heads in the sand as atrocities committed in our names are perpetrated against people and the health of the planet. Fouled waterways are someone else's problem, mass incarceration is not their fault, and children ripped from their families and put in cages are part of a political slogan. I can't imagine that there is much sweetness in the lives of those that would choose to harm others they have never met.
So how about you? Are you aware of your roots? Can you taste the sweetness of the sun in your fruits? Is the world of men leaving a foul taste in your spirit? There are other relationships we can cultivate beyond our human neighbors. We can be friend to the sun and streams. We can be lovers to the moon. We can delight in the song of the wind. My hope is that as we reconnect to those relationships that we'll act in a way that honors them. The echo of our soul is to be found in nature, for we too are part of nature. Remember that as you enjoy the fruits of the seasons.
Peace and Blessings,