Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Consciousness or Now I Wake me from this Sleep

As I sit and ponder this idea of "Spiritual awakening" - becoming "more conscious" in preparation to create this next article a few things spring to mind.  I first become conscious of the fact that seemingly, the blank template is going to become occupied by writing with that focus. So one could say I have become conscious of consciousness - perhaps even "inspired" by it. Could even go so far as to suggest that consciousness wishes to say something - and a moment ago, chose me as the vehicle.

It's a little bit like "Rob - take a memo" (I wonder if anyone - anymore, says "take a memo?" It's not exactly part of my typical lexicon, however if "we" can entertain for the moment that I'm taking dictation - then as I believe Elton John once sang "Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player" hmm.. I wonder if anyone - anymore, asks of another "take dictation."

The next thing that ought to be made clear is in the opening sentence I made reference to "this idea" so I better clarify right out of the starting gate, that what follows, might just fall short, of being the definitive works on "awakening/consciousness."So consciousness is about to be conveyed through my unique expression - just the same I'm not going to look upon this as the "gospel truth" if for no other reason than - new information constantly presents - therefore this is more of a snapshot than a feature length movie - more an ongoing story than a fixed testimonial. However if with regard to  consciousness, I am observing myself somewhere in the process of awakening, I can at the very least acknowledge a departure from unconsciousness, enough to know that was my previous state - I am journeying past and through what I didn't know (and have since come to know) heading onward further, toward what I don't know and even spend varying lengths of time visiting what I don't know - I don't know. But, if "I know, there is that which I don't know - I don't know, then couldn't it be said, I'm aware of and therefore "in the know" - so perhaps consciousness of further unconsciousness paves the road to further consciousness?

Are ya with me? (maybe a better question is, are you willing to stay with me?) The interesting thing about this process of writing for me is - I'm not entirely sure where it going at all times - so I suppose I would ask the same of those that read what I write that I ask of myself - "trust that there will be something of value within." What follows is that which is yielded through my becoming the instrument - I am more "written" than I am writer. Therefore once completed (and edited) I post because, who am I to say what is of value? Contained herein might well be the right and perfect thing for someone to read. So if there are those that struggle with what I have written because they are hung up on some aspect of my personality - I urge you to see past the messenger and look for value somewhere in the message.  I can't guarantee that I will out live the short-comings in my personality - however I assure you it is my intention to serve - through carrying "the message." What message? How would I know? If I concern myself less with thinking I need to know - think even less about being recognized as the one who does know - then that leaves far more room for something to flow through that is of value to others. All I need to do is get out of the way!

So back to pondering - if indeed I ever left! I consider what I once thought about matters such as Spiritual awakening - higher consciousness etc. - were I to go far enough back in my history I would have said, the whole thing is a lot of horse feathers! I'll spare you the intricacies of how I came to become more "open"(read in my case, desperate)  to the necessity of considering the need for spirituality in my life, but the further I got down that path - the more I became enamoured with various aspects of the "Hollywood representation - the mystical, magical, altruistic and let's not forget dramatic. Now I'm not saying that elements of all of these qualities don't exist - or that they are "bad or wrong." I can say that my experience is that placing all my energy, attention and focus upon these and these only proved to be a trap of sorts. There are many things upon a given path - that might appear as attractive, some can even be amusing and entertaining for some period of time, however they may well prevent one from reaching what is truly available further down the path if they are allowed to become longstanding distractions. A mentor of mine once cautioned me about becoming too concerned with the "gifts" rather than continue to seek a relationship with the giver. (I can't say I really understood what he was talking about at the time - but it is beautiful how the seeds of ideas are planted at one place in my life and they sprout, flourish and yield fruit, sometimes many years later).

I've been on this path for quite sometime now - this is not to try and convey some eligibility for "frequent flyer points" but rather to say - my initial naiveté which on the one hand - allowed me access to the journey (if I knew at the outset what laid ahead I likely never would have began). I had no idea of the degree to which I would be called to level my pride and begin to become acquainted with humility (neither of which am I claiming to have full mastery of - class is still in session). I can certainly say that the "glamour" and "image" that I fostered (for myself) of "Spiritual warrior" "lightworker" etc. (which again, of themselves are not "bad or wrong" the pitfall for me was in believing that even if what I was doing was in alignment with these qualities I thought it made me special - oh indeed, there is a "special kind of pain" when I wake up to discover my spiritual path has been hijacked by my ego" - this has nothing to do with "punishment" it's simply consequences. The path that was heading in the direction of connection, purpose, love and acceptance - suddenly becomes darkened by isolation, disconnection, fear - maybe a necessary experience along the way to further growth - but if I may be allowed to use a less than sophisticated summation - IT JUST SUCKS!

So with no intention toward either false humility or self-deprecation I suggest that my journey toward enlightenment is no longer about my being "special" it goes a little like this: I seek the truth and light as I have spent far too long in the dark and though I have fostered an affinity for suffering (wore it like a fricken' badge of honour)  I have exceeded my threshold for pain - I seek the light so as to lessen the need to bash my head off the walls and stub my toes in the dark.

What of the mystical and the magical and the dramatic? Well ironically I stopped looking for this sort of thing and didn't it come looking for me! Does this once again make me special? No! I believe it absolutely speaks to the wonder and power of consciousness (or the source thereof) in it's ability to get one's (in this case mine) attention. I reckon sometimes for some of us that are - shall we say, wound a little tight - there is a need to "demonstrate" that beyond the rather complex, however nonetheless limiting aspects of my mind there exists infinite possibility. So consciousness says (in a manner of speaking) "just because you think it, it doesn't mean it's true" nor does it matter how tightly you weave these thoughts together" - because ......... take a look at THIS!! (Whoa! did that?.... is this?... it would appear that..... ya.... it could be sometime before...... LIKE NEVER!!! that I can talk about that!) just the same paradigms and orientations to "what is" are somehow never the same again. So while some might be chanting the ever popular "love & light" - I gotta tell you my experience of some of this "awakening" is that it is DISTURBING! (in hindsight I reckon it's supposed to be - can't very well re-orientate without temporarily becoming disoriented) I can't even say emphatically that these awakenings aren't in fact "an act of love"when I consider the alternative is to remain in ever-lasting ignorance (which some say is "bliss" - but probably only as long as I stayed completely unconscious - once I began to realize I was in pain and I had a hand in the creation of it (or at least in perpetuating it) well suddenly the "bliss of the darkness" isn't so cushy.

What I missed by skipping over the fine print was - it's not going to be any cake-walk this walk toward the light - but you now know there is an end to your suffering (not pain - but endless suffering) you can't not know that again - and you must continue to seek the light, to stop, would invite the return of the suffering. Oh and just so the whole thing's on the up and up - you have and will always have "free will" (it's your choice).
Well now..... thank God for that! Gotta say was feeling a little manipulated here...... CHOICE?  what choice? Let's see here, stay put - perpetual suffering..... move forward toward the light/truth - pain, disillusionment, grief, anger, fear, humility, joy, peace, freedom - I don't know.... what else ya, got!?

"Okay...... okay it's kinda convoluted - however it's possible I'm making some of the necessary steps toward higher consciousness (read the work) out to be "punishment" or bad - given the outcome I can see the whole thing in a context of love (are ya sure there's not an easier way?) in that sort of toss the baby bird out of the nest teach it to fly - throw Rob of the end of the pier so he can learn to swim kinda way!"

I heard the expression "in order to come to your senses you must lose your mind" and there is no doubt that some of the experiences I've had seemed to suggest that was exactly what was going on. Now I don't claim that the presence or absence of "mystical experience" define awakening - as has been noted there is much in the way of wisdom to suggest, that one largely ignore these (though that is sometimes easier said than done - of course no one said it would be easy). Undoubtedly there is no shortage of those in our largely secular society that would be quick to look for "rationale"to explain away all of it. Considering I was shall we say, a "chemistry major" in the 70's back in high school, perhaps my consciousness expansion is an extension of my choice to take "the blue pill" back in the day?

Not so long ago I was having a conversation with a friend and I was trying to convey some aspects of my expanded awareness with respect to my own life. I was over-joyed to be able to express the experience of deep heart-felt connection and the presence of love in my life (which included the person I was having the conversation with and that I was having the conversation) but she was seemingly struggling with the further sharing that my ability and willingness, my gratitude and joy to have these experiences was not overshadowed by, but at least currently included, sadness and repressed grief - why, because I was aware that while I was having this experience now, there were many that had come and gone in my life (some that were in my life for quite some time) and I didn't share these connections with them - sure I did my best, with who I was at the time and there is no value in lamented over the past endlessly. Nevertheless, the awareness of what was possible now - came with the awareness that it was possible then and therefore the accompanying grief. Likely more grist for the mill - for further expansion and growth. My stance is that such feelings and awarenesses must be embraced brought to the light - held in love, but healed and expressed, which means a spectrum of feelings and confusion and moments of darkness (that can present and convince, it is a return to the darkness that ends all darkness). My caution is that they cannot (nor should they) be dismissed with admonishments that "you must not be meditating enough" or "well if you were really embracing the light you wouldn't have such negative feelings - I believe this is known in some circles as "the spiritual bypass." (Which has looked like to take an example from my life: I have some deep-seated anger toward someone in my life and I get the idea that what I need to do is forgive them - that's what a spiritual person does!) thing is, this is true enough and maybe some advanced beings can just go right straight to forgiveness. But when I tried that it didn't allow for me to come to know what I need to know about myself and express the feelings along the way. There was the anger itself - repressed but not gone. There was shame that I felt this way about this person. There was fear that if I honestly expressed my truth I would be rejected and seen as unloveable. Concern for being seen as less than spiritual in the spiritual community because I wasn't forgiving. That is a considerable repression and I can tell you it doesn't just go away because the years roll by (time itself does not heal anything - healing actions taken over time, bring healing)

Awakening to me - is coming to accept my ticket to ride and embrace my entire humanity. Sometimes that is the most joy-filled, delightful, blissful encounter imaginable - other times it's really, really messy and everything in between. My walk toward more fully realizing my potential as a human being through spirituality (has had very little success while trying to be "more spiritual"& by ignoring the darkness) first of all it's not a competition!! Second ignoring it - doesn't mean it doesn't exist, my experience is that it comes leaking out in some way, shape or form regardless, therefore no one is fooled by my pretense except me through self-deception.

There you have it - all that consciousness and still, if I take a walk down town and decide to take a short cut across the Inner Harbour - I'm pretty sure I'm going to get wet!!

Monday, 27 May 2013


I was happy to see that upon awakening this morning, the deluge had subsided. It was actually a bright clear morning “what a difference a day makes.” I was still bathing in the afterglow of yesterday (the date November 11, 2011 – 11/11/11) the day known here in Canada as “Remembrance Day” which honours the veterans (and civilians – perhaps the latter is my personal acknowledgement) that died in various wars – far too many wars in my mind. It saddens me, the tragic loss of lives. Perhaps I haven’t reached a consciousness whereby I am willing to relinquish my survival. I wonder if everyone on those battlefields is clear why they are there – I wonder if even the reasons they are told they are there are true. Of course many of these situations have long complicated histories – there has been and continue to be oppressive regimes operating in the world. How then, does the attempt at violent eradication resolve the problem – my concern is that in doing so, there is so much collateral damage (the term conceived to represent those who had wanted no part of this insanity however they were in the wrong place at the right time and consequently lost their lives) how does that not create in the mind of the survivors a vengeance consciousness. 

I suppose it is equally possible that they might be more profoundly convinced by the pain of their loss that the atrocities of war must not be repeated and thereby become a cause for peace. Does it really have to repeatedly unfold this way? Clearly parts of my story make it obvious that I haven’t always had much in the way of a reverence for life (mine or anyone else’s) and I do recognize the depth of conviction these men and women embrace and lay their lives on the line to uphold. Maybe this is an example of the need to allow oneself to be fully consumed by something bigger than themselves – perhaps this doesn’t always result in loss of life – rather it becomes the defining catalyst for that life, rather than just self preservation. I have to acknowledge that my life, when deeply examined, could be said to have been more about my survival and what I wanted, than to serve a greater cause. I spent many years working in health care as a nurse and though there certainly is a service component inherent in that work and I supported many people – I didn’t really feel  “called” to the work – therefore my personal dissatisfaction meant increasingly, I had more difficulty hiding my frustration – particularly with co-workers. In hindsight it may not have mattered what I was doing – there was a need for me to find some peace and it was going to need to come from the inside out.

 I don’t accept that violence is the only way to resolves differences and conflict. What if to begin with, differences were embraced? What if they were to give rise to curiosity and inquiry rather than fear and contempt? I believe continuing to develop and stock pile new technology for the purpose of war fare – continues to hold as true, the next war.  If I’m walking around carrying a knife or a gun (which I can’t “legally” do in Canada anyway) – what does that say about the level of my fear – wouldn’t those in my community see it as preferable that I deal with the fear? If I’m that scared what’s it going to take before I think the use of one of those weapons is warranted? What of the need for safety of everyone else? Is my neighborhood safer because I’m carrying my knife – how long before word gets out and then the neighbors think – “he’s got a knife – I better get a bigger knife – maybe a bat, let’s see him get close enough to me to use that knife when I start swinging my “Louisville Slugger” Better still we’ll organize a group in the neighborhood and we’ll all carry bats – maybe a couple of machete’s – but this is not cause for concern, because these machete wielding blokes are the “good guys” they are intent on upholding freedom and peace in the neighborhood. We saw that Rob character the other day – he shaves his head and has two earrings (in the left ear – don’t know what that means but it can’t be good) and he took his knife out in broad daylight (well ya it was a Swiss army knife but this is Canada – what was he doing? Well he had the scissors out and was trimming his finger nails but obviously that was just a diversion, he was listening to some old song called “Imagine” – I think he’s delusional, I mean really “Imagine?” let’s get real!! Did I mention he’s left-handed? He was sitting near the playground, what if all the kids started to think they could use their left hand? First we got to keep an eye on that guy – stick to him like “stink on a skunk” and then we go upstream and severe his supply line – that’s right the “Swiss” from now on those in the Neighborhood Libertarians will no longer purchase or consume that cheese (it’s full of holes you know – would you eat an apple that’s full of holes? I rest my case – this is not only a neighborhood threat but also a direct threat to the economy and sovereignty of Canada) – are you with us or against us?

I have to admit that in the grander scheme of things (i.e. the forwarding of human evolution) I can’t say that all the wars and lives lost weren’t “necessary” to create some sort of shift in consciousness. It just seems violence results in more violence – attack brings on retaliation. So I work at holding a vision of peace. So even having done my regular morning meditation I sat again at 11:11 a.m. and lit a candle and meditated holding in my mind and heart gratitude and honouring for the lives lost but also that they did not die in vain – that peace would become the way of the future.

The current date was also said to be of great significance with respect to consciousness, and paradigm shifts – many different perspectives and likely no one really knows for sure what the outcome might be. For all I know maybe the inspiration to take on this morning practice of mine was brought about through these shifting energies. If nothing else, if hundreds of thousands of people are on this day, coming together collectively in circles or individually and focusing on such higher ways of being such as love, forgiveness, connection, healing - it’s got to be better than everyone thinking “dog eat dog.” That evening I attended a Bhatki night, which began with a multiple course, vegetarian East Indian meal (which was prepared in a devotional way). The rest of the evening a Kirtan was held (call and response chanting) an evening of heart – centered devotion to God (Great Spirit etc.– there was no insistence on any particular belief system).

Meanwhile back in the here and now it’s time to sweep the labyrinth. I notice though there has been a great many leaves fall since yesterday – there are relatively few on the labyrinth surface. They are all around the perimeter – it’s as though some force repelled them from the inner core of the labyrinth and pushed them to the outside. Maybe the “Jedi” was here already – it’s pretty early, but possible. Not important really, I’m just noticing. The other thing I noticed is a pair of squirrels (that I have seen other days here) one grey, one black. I don’t actually know if they are partners – I have observed them seemingly chasing one another, so maybe they’re rivals or could be running off somewhere together. Anyway today they are together on the trunk of the oak tree I meditate under. As I stopped what I’m doing to watch them they scramble up the tree – round and round the tree trunk as though they were ascending a spiral staircase (there’s that spiral shape again). I’m reminded of the concept of ying and yang (particularly because of their dark and light colouring) though it’s not clear to me whether they are collaborating or competing. No doubt some form of harmony will be achieved eventually – though I won’t be witnessing it, as they run down from the tree and disappear across the churchyard.

I resume my sweeping when a car pulls up on the street adjacent to the church grounds – the stereo in the car is playing loudly – so I am able to hear clearly the song which is playing – Louis Armstrong singing “What a Wonderful World.” The song and my surrounding touch my heart and my eyes well up with tears – I am in that moment embraced in “Wonderful.” The car remains only for the duration of that one song and then leaves. Random? Coincidence? Maybe, unless it wasn’t! I was struck by the beautiful interlude, a short window in time, where an alignment of seemingly unrelated occurrences connected and then ended just as suddenly – leaving me wondering, “did that just happen? Further to that I wondered how many beautiful moments do I miss on any given day because I am so ensconced in the catacombs of my mind, that I am unaware of what is unfolding right under my nose. I am grateful this day for the driver of this car who provided my movie with a very fitting soundtrack and of course thanks as well to the dancing squirrels.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

There's No Place Like Home

Given the amount of time that have resided upon planet earth - 53 years so far (which of course only accounts for this current go around, for those that embrace the ideas of reincarnation) I am open to the views and experiences of those on this path - though I tend to lean to this being the one physical manifestation - the opportunity for the spiritual being to have the human experience and evolve through the various attendant lessons here on this galactic campus of ours. Continued development then takes place on alternative planes of existence where the physical body is no longer required. I consider that past lives might be recalled as a result of soul or cellular "memory" that contains the imprinting of ancestral lives, experiences, wisdom etc. rather than "I" myself have lived these lives and have subsequent lives waiting in a cue for me to assume when this one is over. This is by no means meant to represent the definitive paradigm - when I consider such matters (which seems to occupy many of my waking hours) this seems to make some sense to me (which is an absurdity in itself) what makes me think the "mystery" or even a portion thereof, will be explained by an answer that makes "sense" to me? My view on the matter may not stand up to the scrutiny or cross examination of someone more learned (which of course doesn't mean they have it all wrapped up either) perhaps they just have a far more complex explanation for that which defies explanation - but that continues to unfold regardless. My current postulation on an aspect of existence could be nothing more than my lack of willingness to embrace the alternative, that there is this unfathomably immense, infinitely unfolding, creation story that I for this moment in time, have some vague awareness of, and to consider I have no understanding of it and my part in it, strikes terror in my heart, so if I can give some plausible explanation that offers some measure of comfort (if to no one else but me - I'd be happy to share it with others, I just can't guarantee the longevity of it's effectiveness) then I don't have to ponder the weight of my insignificance in the grander scheme of things - then should any thoughts creep in around my hybrid theology, I can always go for coffee and avoid the perceived pending annihilation). Perhaps this speaks to the power of the "oral traditions" the consciousness and cultures that lived from them, with them and within them. Consider the time I have taken and the verbiage involved to essentially say "I don't know" - "I'm part of it" - and "though I'm in it" "I don't know what it is" or "where it's going" or even "if it's going the way it's supposed to - "don't know for how long I'll participate" or "if I'll be back." Maybe those from these ancient "primitive" cultures were so busy being consciousness - they didn't need to spend fruitless hours doing, in order to try and make being, meaningful - it just was. Then someone spoke up around the fire and said - holy shit (it was after all, a sacred gathering) - what you said there that was so good we should write it down!" There was great confusion and commotion around the fire - and a collective question rang out - "what the hell are you talking about?" "What does write it down mean? and "why would we do such a thing?" 
"To preserve the wisdom - it would contain the explanation."
"The explanation to what?"
"To life - to being - what to do next!"
"But the knowing - with regard to being, is alive in the moment, future generations have always learned how to be - while being, this is the truth of being."
"Well..... I've been thinking..." (they should have at that moment run him out of the village or bludgeoned him with his stone tablets) or perhaps this was part of the "intended" unfolding of humanity - I can't help but wonder if had it been otherwise - would I be now sitting in a coffee shop, with a laptop, trying to give shape and meaning to being? I could just send out notice of a new blog "post" and when you open it there before you is a blank page for you to to do with as you please. When someone asks "what are you doing?" You could reply - "I'm describing being."
"Does it need description?" "Aren't you already being - without doing, anything?"
"Well yes, but, I need to validate my reason for being - by doing!"
"But didn't we already determine that your being, is a given?" You can't "be more" by doing - you already are!"

"Holy shit that was good - we should write that down!"

Right then, where was I - oh yes, 53 years I've resided in this body therefore one might presume I am fairly well acquainted with said body. Alas, not necessarily true! Oh sure there have been periods of time where I have been more aware of it - because of the symptoms of some virus I have hosted or through some physical injury (which in many cases was brought on by lack of awareness of body signals or attempts to communicate with "me" and therefore placing excessive demands upon it.

Given the proximity wouldn't intimacy be a given? After all, no matter where my address has been - no matter where I have been on the planet - this body of mine has been "home." Just the same I have come to realize on an increasing basis that my own "home" is an unfamiliar neighbourhood. In hindsight I spent so much time in my head - the body was largely treated as the vehicle designated to transport, make nourishment possible, provide blood supply and oxygenate the brain. (Of course there does exist a synergy of systems that collectively sustain physical life - this is a "cooperative" not a monarchy or oligarchy) which is how I lived it.

I have heard references to the body as being "the temple" of the soul (and even if your viewpoint doesn't consider the existence of a soul) one could reason that as the one and only body - an air of reverence for the sanctity and sacredness wouldn't be overstating it's significance. Admittedly, the metaphor was lost on me - my body could be aptly deemed "the temple" (of doom).

Even when I began to be more "health and wellness"aware - I fell into extremes and bought into the "no pain no gain" school of thinking. Now - unquestionably any new physical activity, even with moderation - introduces challenges during the undertaking and may result in some stiffness afterward. That has come to mean to me that there needs to be some balance between pushing the envelope physically and rest/recovery. More is not necessarily better and too much is counter productive.

Granted there is much more information available currently as a result of a great deal more research with respect to "exercise physiology." This is useful (though at times confusing because of the sheer volume and conflicting perspectives) this is where wisdom that stems from ancient practices introduces (in my case) or has asserted, since the days of "oral tradition" that if one tunes into the body the answer is there - further to that wonder upon wonders - the information is very specific for each individual body.

My current "body awareness" has been given a breath of fresh air through a recent opportunity to participate in a early morning Kundalini Yoga class. I'm talking 5:30 a.m. start so the first epiphany was "Holy Shit" (after all this is a sacred under-taking) there are people engaging their bodies in activity beyond rolling over, round about the time the sun is rising. Speaking of which, what an amazing time to actually be experiencing some variation of being (albeit while "doing" my utmost, to keep the car on the road while witnessing sunrises, the urban migration patterns of deer as they visit their favourite neighborhood salad bars and just generally appreciating the locale, before the heartbeat of the city is stirred into a frenzy by the defibrillator of collective alarm clocks.

I can recall some early experiences with "movement" focused activities - instructions such as "just be aware of where your body is in space." My first thought was - "what the hell are you talking about?""I can see that I am taking up my share of "the space" (maybe more given my coordination - truly there probably should have been some tape lines around me - because after I managed to "assume the position" following the direction of the instructor - imagine a variation on the old party game "Twister" "weight evenly distributed on both feet, front knee 90 degrees not beyond the toes, pelvis level -it's a bucket of water don't let any water spill, shoulders down and relaxed, chest extended, head and neck relaxed and in alignment over the spine as though being suspended by a cord from the ceiling" and breath"

"Breath!!" The cord from the ceiling is around my neck and it's only a matter of time before this pose and me from within it, implodes - give me space - I'm going down and there's bound to be collateral damage if you get too close!!"

Then there was the (to me) oblique cue, to breath into (let's say) hips/buttock/low back and place your awareness in your feet." I'm thinking - "I've got news for you - I breath into my lungs - at this moment I'm aware that I'm standing on my feet"- I take this on faith, because I can't actually see them right now but what I perceive to be the ceiling is still above me." "However another alignment cue may well upset the delicate balance and then my awareness will be in my butt as it lands upon the floor!"

"As for the suggestion that I check in with my body and invite some further spaciousness and perhaps ask that any tension be released - the answer would seem to be a resounding NO!"
"I did ask - even visualized the whole thing taking form - my body tuned into the visualization and said "forget about it." "You think that after all these years during which time, you have mastered Lazy-Boy- asana you're going to waltz into a yoga studio and badda-bing, badda boom you're like - Gumby?"

Anyway as I was saying there has been a new practice that has become available to me recently - "the student must have been ready - because the teacher indeed appeared." Of course there has been much water under the bridge since the initial yoga experiences previously described (not that it has involved exclusively and consistently only yoga). In fact I apparently needed to spend the time I did - trying to reap gain from pain - not fully understanding that if I continually place excessive demands on my body there will be consequences. So rather than "listen to my body" my mind took on the role of fitness tyrant and though becoming trained and certified to coach others lessened my incidence of injury, the way in which I related to my body wasn't really all that respectful, though the excesses were done under the guise of "wellness."

So though only 5 days into this new practice I have to say - it's life changing! No I'm not exaggerating, whether this is a long term practice or not, the fact that I am up and in the car for a 15 min. drive and on the mat for 5:30 a.m. has forever changed my orientation to what is possible. Even if the practice is short-lived I can never deny I have what it takes to make this happen. Of course the different time frame is creating the need of an adaptation period. (The first couple days by 10:00 a.m. it felt like I'd put in a full day). But even only five days in, I can feel a shift occurring and the practice (plus frequent follow up walk in the woods) is energetically and spiritually up-lifting. I am already feeling within my own being this is good for me (and I don't mean like "knowing I should eat more green stuff because it would be good for me) this is - I now, through various processes have an increased capacity for body awareness and my body is saying - "yes, this is a very good thing."

Movement - nothing short of a miracle! When one considers the various elements working in harmony to achieve this, it is mind-boggling. Perhaps it starts with a thought, then there are opposing muscle groups simultaneously lengthening and shortening, as microscopic fibers expand and contract asserting a force on the long bones of the skeleton which through the connection of ligaments hinge at the joint articulations - all which is innervated by a volley of nerve impulses to trigger the contractions. The eyes gathering visual information - the middle ear houses a mechanism that contributes to balance. Proprioceptors (specialized nerve receptors, sense changes in the slope and contour as well as the consistency of the surface being walked on providing information that the body needs in order to stabilize itself. Digestion and metabolic processes take the food we eat combining it with the oxygen we breath to create fuel to power all the processes (including the flow of the blood which is circulated by the heart throughout the body which includes the lungs where it picks up life giving oxygen and releases waste products through exhalation). Stand up, sit down, push, pull, reach, run, walk, climb, dance, hug, caress, make love, make war, comfort, kick, throw, jump, swim, write, sing, paint, sculpt, dig, chop, build, destroy, fight - all made possible through the bodies seemingly endless potential for movement (though without awareness and consciously applied consistent activation, the freedom of movement can begin to deteriorate). Not everyone needs the range of motion of a cirque de soleil performer, however the limitations that are often presumed to be a "natural consequence of the aging process" are more about lifestyle patterning. Chairs, cars, mind-sets such as "act your age" all contribute to one moving their body through ever decreasing planes of movement until literally the ability to do so is lost.

 Fortunately this doesn't necessarily have to be permanent - through reactivation flexibility, strength, range of motion and coordination can be restored. The key is a moderate approach utilizing qualities such as patience, perseverance,  consistency (which can run contrary to the "instant gratification" dictums that are fostered in our modern world). This is where the development of more acutely attuned body awareness is made possible - as with patience and attention the language and communication of one's own body begins to become apparent. Subtle cues and improvements can be appreciated but only with a willingness to develop the sensitivity and ability to "listen."

At this stage my ability to be conversant with my body is probably a kin to the period of my life when I was learning to read through Phonetic training and the epic adventures of "Jane seeing Spot run."Just the same it's a beginning! I find it exciting to realize I don't know everything there is to know about myself and my body. If this is true, imagine what that means to any given person in my life with whom I relate - there is always something new to discover about them too - we could go about discovering newly of each other endlessly - what a gift!

When I arrived at the coffee shop there were no seats inside, so this look at movement was inspired while I was sitting at one of the sidewalk tables enjoying the sunshine. I looked up from the book I was reading as a women walked past and to coin an old metaphor it was "poetry in motion." There it was embodied for the witnessing, the miracle of motion, grace, poise and symmetry. The gentle sway of the hips and rhythmic rocking of the pelvis, fluidity and energy in motion held fast between the stabilizing forces of the spine and legs and feet rooted step by step upon mother earth. Ah but there's more, the sensuality of the moment was joined by an awareness of my own heart beat and life energy coursing through my body and a breeze stirring the nearby trees in motion. Branches sway and leaves singing all vibrating in harmony and unison. I am "moved" by the splendour of it all!

All is not as it seems - life is so much more than "meets the eye." To an observer, they may have concluded I was sitting idly by at a side walk cafe staring aimlessly into space - when in fact I was participating and witnessing the sublime orchestration of the creation symphony in "see sharp" in infinite movements.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Open Heart - Not Paint by Numbers

As I sit and ponder that which is to be my next blog post, I entertain that it will be created from a personal platform of openheartedness. Right away some might ask, how would you know that to be true, is it open-hearted because I say it is? Or would the content and context reflect for itself, drawing the reader to conclude that a heart felt connection was attained, therefore that which was read was created beyond just the realm of the intellect, as it rang true beyond mind?

I don't "know" the answer - so perhaps I will consider that my musing and reflections while eliciting my mind and intellect to utilize languaging skill, will endeavour to convey the authentic expression of my heart without being censored by my mind, thereby creating heightened vulnerability.  The question then arises, can I claim vulnerability when prefacing my disclosure with the idea that I would allow myself to become vulnerable in the doing - rather than just doing?

Increasing one's tolerance to vulnerability it seems is an ongoing proposition. The alternative is to remain in a place of "safety" and "security." The problem with that is that the sorts of experience that I equate with a life that is more about "thriving" seem far more prevalent outside the confines of safety. Now I'm not speaking of being "reckless" or "careless" - more a willingness to take some emotional risks. Of course that is to be defined by the individual - there is certainly no guaranteed outcome, not even if it involves the same person on more than one occasion - so many variables, so much mystery, no formula!

Why wouldn't I open my heart - live openly and authentically with everyone? Fear of getting hurt comes to mind (criticized, ridiculed, shamed etc) It never occurred to me that at some level I believed poorly of myself so I took on the negative reflections of others because I believed (albeit unconsciously) them to be true. But once again there is a cost to watching everyone else diving into the deep water from the shore. Sure I can cling to the past experience of the water being cold and dark - and maybe some went up my nose, might have choked some - but what of the exhilaration that was part of the experience - the full-bodied delight of being embraced by the water, the pure sensuality that can only be accessed through immersion? Am I really willing to deny myself all of that? Apparently often the answer is a resounding yes? Which is to say, I don't actually consider what I might be missing - this is not even a case of a "gut-feeling" or intuition that might facilitate averting a potential crisis. This is just an opportunity or invitation that is met with "NO."

Interesting when I consider there have been times in my life when "no" would have served me very well - however I couldn't find my voice - or the courage to exercise my power. However in the case of connections with people or opportunities - whether I answered no, or my action or inaction said it for me - the result was the same - "access denied."

Then as I walk the continuum of authenticity I wonder "how much honesty" is warranted? How does one (by which I mean me) navigate the seemingly prevailing consciousness of "too much information" in response to open expression/self-disclosure and embrace full self-expression? I wonder whose problem is that? I share of myself and I get the afore mentioned reply (or something like "well.... I don't know if I needed to know that!"). I have gone away thinking - shit! ....... I guess I shouldn't have said that - but more and more I'm thinking alright then ...... if I'm being open, honest and sincere and this in turn results in "rejection" from someone else, it's the rejection or my perception, that must be managed not the authenticity - somewhere, someone might actually appreciate the honesty and I know I stand to benefit from "to thine own self be true."Therefore I begin to realize authenticity is not about managing response or the reaction of the other. Still it is not without it's challenges and growing pains.

Personally I seem to experience mixed messages from this variety of openness, emotional honesty and vulnerability. First many are not quick to recognize that it takes significant courage to go there (particularly for a man) - yes this is likely a gross generalization, it has definitely proved to be true for me, that to continue to be emotionally repressed and unavailable really wasn't working for me. So I begin to explore this previously to me, uncharted territory and much to my surprise I receive more than a few reflections that it is admirable and courageous. I discover some spaciousness and freedoms for myself that previously didn't exist. But still it seems there exists mixed reviews and responses. On the one hand I have heard so frequently, women wish the man in their life was more emotionally available - open hearted, but at the same time these same women recoil at the expression of some of what this man might be carrying on his heart - why, because when he expresses this, he no longer represents the image projected on him that gave her some sense of security. So authenticity takes a back seat to "image management" and where he might have benefited from being fully seen and heard and she by creating the space for a deepened connection through empathy and compassion - security (and an illusory one at that, is preferred) even seen as "attractive."

The confusion for me is immense - I gleaned from the overall intention of the "women's movement" that empowerment of women was paramount. I want to live into the balance - I want to uphold respect, and honouring, autonomy and competence etc. for the women in my life. I don't want to rain on your parade, burst your bubble, or in any way diminish who you are. I value connection, intimacy and authenticity (granted I might still have the training wheels on) but I'm willing to go there - but don't ask me for emotional availability and openness and then try and orchestrate the content of that or impose limits because my openness threatens your story around attractiveness, male strength etc. as it relates to your security.

I might be feeling a need to express some fear, pain or grief but that doesn't mean I don't also have the capacity to have your back and that if the right (or wrong) circumstance was to present, lay down my life. It also doesn't mean that I won't do what needs to be done despite my fear or misgivings - it just seems to lessen the grip of fear to acknowledge it's there. My want to connect and be fully who I am means to me, that I would be fully loved and accepted (all of me) not some contrived image that makes someone else feel better. That would not represent to me a relationship built on a foundation of honesty. To those that would question my ability to be there for them, based on expression of some of the "less attractive emotions" I might ask, what is it in you that would have me be less than who I am or live up to impossible expectations so you can feel better in the world?  It also doesn't mean that I lack the capacity to fiercely love and protect my friends or partner if that is what the situation calls for.

Clearly this matter represents to me an area of personal growth and if I have any consciousness around it - that would be due to making significant errors along the way. I don't believe I have to continue to repeat the same mistakes (though I have done that too). I also don't believe that rigid gender roles, expectations, stereo-types must be endlessly upheld. But I do believe all parties concerned would need to examine all of these for themselves - decide what if any, ring true to them and then find a way to connect with the people in their lives (or those they meet) and enter in to an ongoing conversation that invites and upholds the quality of possibility. How can everyone win? More cooperation, connection and creativity. Maybe the stage, concert hall or canvas is not the only venue for creative expression. Maybe the world, within communities - person to person, heart to heart, is the greatest call for creativity! The canvas upon which some of the most exquisite art could be rendered - it might just be that the "collective" needs to become willing, to once again, colour outside the lines.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

"Be a Man"

I was watching a TED talk today, the speaker introduced his topic by saying he was going to discuss the three "scariest words that every man receives in his lifetime" BE A MAN! It was rather synchronistic to "stumble" across this talk (having just recently spent a full weekend at a men's "initiation weekend"- put on by an organization called ManKind Project). For me it figures to be one of those life changing events that will be unfolding and integrating for quite sometime - it will certainly go down as one of the most powerful experiences in my lifetime (so far anyway). During this weekend there was ample opportunity to explore what it is to be a man - the stereotypes, the myths, the gender expectations, roles, emotional/spiritual wounds (at the hands of other men & from women) - all in the company of nothing but men, it was an extraordinary experience.

So what of this idea "be a man?" As the speaker suggested more often than not the context was that as a boy, one is being told not to act a particular way - while at the same time being told they should be a man. The unspoken and sometimes spoken messages of my youth were - "don't cry" "your feelings are not welcome here - particularly anger, that almost always meant someone was going to get hurt. Never mind the heart - "be realistic," "rationale," "practical," "don't be so sensitive."These messages came from parents and teachers (men & women) and were even enforced to some degree by other boys in my peer group or slightly older. These guys could sniff out sensitivity or any sign of perceived "weakness" from across a playing field and took it upon themselves to desensitize one accordingly. As I recall the male role models in school - the likes of P.E. teachers etc. did little to discourage this behaviour - I recall being matched with this orang-utan-esque class mate for a wrestling class, God knows what I was supposed to learn from this experience. It was pretty clear to me that given the choice, I wouldn't have put myself in the position to need to match brawn with this guy - that was evident to me before he made me one with the mat. There was seemingly very little choice, I could commit peer-group suicide by refusing (not that I was "man" about campus anyway) or suffer the pain of humiliation (not to mention the physical pain) of going a round (well, truth be told, probably didn't go a full regulation round) with Godzilla. Somehow I don't think these kinds of experiences did much for me to form any sort of character. I certainly mastered the head/heart split - in fact it would be many years to come before I ever "felt anything!"

To add to the confusion I understood there to be "ladies men" and a "man's man - how in God's name is that possible? Seems to me I'd need to cleave my psyche (which I'm going to go out on a limb and say is ill-advised) in order to pull that off. Seemingly as a teen I was equally unpopular with - young men and women, so I didn't have to try and figure it out.

I remember being at a barbecue one evening and one of the female guests says to me "you going to "man" the bbq?  That's a male's domain - how about cooking my steak?" I'm thinking, where's it written that by virtue of being male I know how to cook barbecue steak - is it supposed to be in my DNA/genetic code? Must be dormant trait in my case - if my forefathers cooked on open fires, there must be a break in the lineage somewhere, I didn't get the download. Of course, what did I say? "Oh sure leave that bad-boy with me, I'll flip in on the "barbie" for ya!" "How'd ya like it done?" What the hell, a little bbq sauce & a few Hail Mary's..... (and while I'm at it I'll rebuild your carburetor and recite sports statistics from last night's TSN).

I say this tongue in cheek but given the divide between what it appeared to me, being a man was all about and the complete lack of any discussion from any other men, that they believed anything was wrong with this paradigm - I didn't have an overwhelming sense that I measured up.

Let me also say this, the media has not been helpful in modelling healthy masculinity. Rambo, Tarzan, James Bond, not to mention all the advertising and marketing that portray a very specific imagery of what it is to be successful. Granted that messaging is directed at women too, but I would submit that while there has been movement with respect to empowerment of women -  the importance of which I'm not bringing into question,  however, mixed in the consciousness remains the idea, that a man is what he does - which can lead to his worth being measured by his net worth (which is potentially more damaging if one values himself by the same criteria). Now I can tell you, I'm "not what I do"- that I (like everyone, I have innate worth and value as a human being - but I still feel the presence of the societal value system directed at me based on my gender.

How do I know it's still in operation? What's nearly the first thing anyone asks during a social situation (after how are you?) "WHAT DO YOU DO?"

"Well - I'm developing my passion as a writer and healing through singing, I'm exploring avenues of personal development, studying non-violent communication and peace - building, experiencing spirituality through participation in fire circles, sweat lodge, shamans, stone circles, mosques, temples, shrines, tombs - I want to create a world of inclusion, peace and connection!"

"But what do you do for work?"
"Oh well, ah.... nothing, at the moment."
"Well hang in there you'll find something!"

  Then after the influence of multi- generational conditioning and nearly all the humanity is programmed out of men  - the pendulum comes swinging all the way back to the other side and there's a call for emotional intelligence, to be conversant in feelings, sensitive and compassion. For God-sake that was beat out of me years ago - and where that wasn't managed from outside of myself - I did the rest to myself, I made darn sure I wasn't going to be seen as "too sensitive" and no one or nothing was going to hurt me again - ever! What does that look like - well from my experience it's "dead man walking" It's no surprise to me that men "traditionally" died younger than women - I suspect it was the human equivalent of the demolition of a sky-scraper - ("don't cry," "don't grieve" (got to be strong) "don't get angry (unless it can be advantageously exploited in the sports world or the military) - men just virtually imploded.
Heard at his funeral "he was a good man!" Ironic I'd say - what might he have accomplished, how many more lives might he have touched - if he didn't die prematurely trying to live up to this "good man" dictum?

I remember a book that was available back in the 70's "Real Men" (do this, don't do that) I was amazing to me the number of people that took it seriously. I was inclined to do just exactly what the book or someone quoting the book, told me I couldn't. Yes of course this was altogether not an authentic representation of who I was - just a knee jerk reaction/rebelliousness and aversion to authority. (Not that I believe in blindly following authority - but I now value things such as autonomy, freedom, choice and would like to think, I can make a more measured choice based on my values - not just do it because someone says I shouldn't.

The world is undergoing rapid change - along with those changes are evolutions of consciousness that may given time, narrow the gender divide and create new visions for humanity. Increasingly I want to stand in my authenticity - which means for me examining values and belief systems (conscious and unconscious) and determining for myself which truly fit. Now that I have found my heart - I want to experience the full range of my humanity. This redefines qualities such a courage and vulnerability for me and outlines a journey, not a one time declaration. After years spent repressing and controlling and living through a persona that was created by me, in order to survive, I work at letting this go and coming more completely into responsibility and accountability.  I hold a vision of thriving, living fully from my heart - discovering how to direct my unique gifts and abilities to service and a life mission that will invariably be much bigger than myself.

I am male - by birth (the more I am able to stand in my truth) will determine for me, what it is to "be a man." I will honour and respect the choices of others to determine that for themselves and continue to develop the same respect for myself.
 Is it a job?
 No - but it's certainly a - full time vocation!

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Only the Shadow Knows

Quite a number of years ago (26 to be exact) it was suggested, rather bluntly I might add, that if I wanted to save my life it was necessary that I have a "spiritual awakening" I had no idea what that meant, but I was in a state of profound willingness - otherwise known as desperate. It's really quite simple I was further told "put the plug in the jug and change your whole "fricken" life. At that point the willingness that held centre stage, was joined from the wings by skepticism - "my whole life, ya right!!"

"Yes Rob, of course, maybe you're different - a smart guy like you will probably rewrite the whole program, we've all been waiting for you to show up." If you've ever read books or watched movies depicting the master/student relationship and witnessed the wise teacher (who appears to be older than time) gently sharing quotes from the Tao with his student along the river bank (that's how I visualized this was going to go). Instead I got this crotchety bugger - that used sarcasm in the place of beatitudes. In hindsight - he spoke a language that got through to me - no question at the time one of my prevailing personality traits was "smart-ass," he could cut through that in an instant.

During our first meeting he informed me that "he was not here to be my friend" but that I could count on him to love me enough to tell me the truth." "You've had people telling you what you want to hear all your life." (which has nothing to do with what you need to hear) - the difference might well, save your life." Was this some of the changing I heard reference to? Certainly this guy's presentation seemed to me to fall outside the parameters of what I thought of as love. The state of my life (even though the external circumstances weren't as bleak as can be the case for some) my view of the world and myself in it were pretty dismal - so I had reason to believe, this guy might have something to teach me.

He asked me - "can I follow direction?"
"Ya sure - of course, I can do that," I replied.
He looked at me over top of these little half glasses of his and grunted - "we'll see won't we?"
Over time I was to become very familiar with those eyes peering over the spectacles - like little truth seeking missiles. I eventually knew that the look itself spoke volumes. I will paraphrase to provide clarity for the reader. It began with "I'm listening - and willing to cut you some slack." Followed by, "watch you're step, too much rope and you may just hang yourself." Finally, "all right, would you care to start again and this time begin with the truth!" All this in under thirty seconds.

Speaking of truth - the next thing he said (during our initial meeting) - "do you give me permission to call you on your shit?"
"Huh.. what was that? - er..... um.....uh? - what do you mean?"
"Let me give it to you straight - at this point, you don't even know when you're lying, I'm going to help you sort that out!"

Indignantly I looked at him straight in the eye and said "I'm not going to lie to you." (which in hindsight was absolutely, a lie). Of course he already knew that and said - "oh yes you will, you just did, now I asked you a question, what's it to be, yes or no?"

A myriad of answers swirled in my mind some of which were anatomically impossible - but what came out was - "Yes okay, I agree, let's do it your way!"
I wasn't sure I liked this guy - in fact frequently on the path to "spiritual awakening" he really pissed me off. (Certainly he was no Obewan Kanobi or Master Po)

I couldn't have known it at the time - but the gut level honesty that was the container within which we operated, continues to this very day to be the lens through which I continue to examine myself (or more accurately, that I return to when I'm ready for some more "the truth will set you free" - if anything has changed I am developing the capacity to have more love and compassion for what I find. I can still hear him - "what's your part?" (during our meetings in the early days my answer was "what, no you don't get it - he/she/it/they - are doing it to me!")

"I've got news for you - were you there?' he quipped.
(oh shit here we go) - "yes of course, I was there."
"Well then, you have a part - tell you what, we're going to simplify this - unless it's an absolute emergency, in which case do call, otherwise, unless you have figured out what you're part is, in these stories of yours - save your breath." "Understood?"

"Ya - got it!" (thanks a lot - where's the love? Not feeling it?)

In the last couple years I've come to know of a line from one of poet David Whyte's works: "leave everything you know behind" I'm struck by the similarity to the idea from all those years ago - "change your whole fricken life." I used to think that meant dash about changing all the external realities of my life and I certainly expended plenty of time, energy and resources into doing just that. It could be that external realities do change - but I've learned that unless I change from the inside out - all the external "fixes" don't amount to much. Added to the mix are ideas with similar themes from various sources - "Let go - Let God""Change the things you can" (12 step rooms) "attachment is the source of all suffering" (Buddhism) "  "One doesn't become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious" "Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves."(Carl Jung).

So just how much does one need to change? I'm certainly not about to make any sweeping declarations about what "must happen for everyone" I've been there before, I make some progress on my own journey and believe I have the answers for everyone - the process itself seems to have it's own ability to level such grandiosity (so now I try and walk some sort of balance between wanting to be of service, recognizing that I have traveled some distance over which I've learned a few things worth sharing and developing some grace and humility to realize not everyone wants what I have nor are they asking and above all else to force feed someone what I believe to be the "truth" is an affront to them and a form of violence. It robs them of the dignity of their own journey and their power of choice, imposing my will upon what otherwise might be seen as a schedule of divine timing (in other words I'm playing God in their life).  It's not cool - it doesn't work, it's not welcome and it carries with it consequences in the form of additional personal suffering (this is my experience). I'm not sure that I can be one hundred percent conclusive - however I'm reasonable sure that the examination of anything but my own "shadow" will elicit more pain than it will resolve. Which brings me full circle to those "immortal words" of my sponsor all those years ago - "what's your part?"(what do you know the "old fart" was right - I actually mean that in the spirit of love - wow what a trip!) I think I need to track him down and tell him - I'm pretty sure he'd enjoy hearing that!

Jung also said "until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate."So,  my road-map of the journey to enlightenment looks something like this - first I near killed myself with my addictive lifestyle (then I was told that I was also going to need to let go of "addiction" to "being right and thinking that no one knew what was good for me but me". So over time my mind is opened and I learn "new ways of being." Then I get to thinking I really got it going on now - only to find out what I think I know isn't going to help me with what I don't know and beyond that what I don't know - I don't know. (Cue the organ music...... enter the "shadow").

Why would I bother with all this sifting through the minutiae of my psyche - trust me at times I wonder that myself. But over all, it has (and is) yielding me answers to long-standing repeating patterns in my life. See if this at all sounds familiar - you've changed jobs, or relationships, circumstances etc. only to realize after awhile, the faces have changed but "I've been here before" - maybe one consoles themselves for a time with "this time it's going to be different" however it isn't and it won't be! (this certainly describes various scenarios in my life - of course it's entirely up to the individual to decide when they've had enough of something - conversely if it's working for you - go for it. The thing is where ever I go, there I am - I can run but I cannot hide (from "myself") - the unconscious goes about contributing to the creation of my reality even if I don't acknowledge it - a walk toward "wholeness" and "self-love" cannot be complete until I learn to acknowledge and love all of me. (which is turning out to be an exercise involving a willingness to walk through "short term" pain in order to lessen long term suffering) perhaps not an attractive prospect at first blush. This is the truth of my experience - any attempt to employ what some call the "spiritual bypass" which is the equivalent of trying to cover a mound of manure with daisies (after awhile it begins to stink again). My garden was full of weeds that must be pulled out, including the roots - just plucking them  or covering them over at the surface will result in them growing back.

These patterns (as per the Jung quote earlier) - I chalked up to "fate" or more truthfully "bad luck" or my being victimized in some way (personal responsibility and accountability have not been a walk in the park for me).  Oh how it hurt to find out I have indeed had a part "in all this" - it seems the quality of life in the present will not significantly improve until I grieve the limits I created that shaped my past (and could continue to shape both present and future). So when I hear people flippantly (in my opinion) tossing around phrases like "love and light" and how much they enjoy "coming to know themselves" - well suffice to say, that's not my experience. Yes eventually I have benefited from this expanded self-knowledge and experienced increased freedom - but I don't mind telling you it was hard-earned. These characteristics it would seem have been deemed "shadow" because that's exactly where "they"want to remain - if you imagine a fish looking through the water in it's aquarium and being asked to describe the environment it lives in - it defies observation because the fish is "in it." So I see the world the way I am (not necessarily as it is) this will remain the case until I'm willing to see something differently. The shadow resists examination largely because I don't want to view myself in a "negative light" or worse have someone else know that is true of me - but that which I refuse to see will invariably keep "taking me out."  I'd much rather point my finger at someone else - problem is there is zero chance I will see the need nor bring about, necessary change for me this way.

I've heard it said that one of the only things that remains constant is change - so, I have tried to keep things the same, I have fought tooth and nail and resisted change or denied it was necessary (for me) did any of this prevent change from occurring? Not so much!

God grant me the Serenity
To Accept the Things I cannot Change
Courage to Know the Things I Can
And the Wisdom to Know the Difference

"Leave everything you know behind." That just may include everything I think I know about myself. The jury is still out - however, it would seem, that in order to become more authentically myself, I have to determine who I am not. Not only that, but who I am meant to be, is limited by who I believe I am and without taking a look,  I won't even know why I believe that and could keep right on believing it - seems like a good case for making a change! Have I had a "Spiritual awakening" yet? I'm not sure I can make that determination for myself given the afore mentioned skewed vision - I do believe I'm learning how to ask a better question?

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Call to (Open) Arms

Can you be in love, with me?
Not are you, or will you?
Would you meet me there?
I ask not that you move closer
Can you be present from where you are?
Proximity may yield closeness
Though can too, echo the hollow resonance of loneliness.
A soul longs to be discovered and known
Will you walk with me in the shadows?
I dare to look beyond the wall,
Where vast treasure resides.
The tyranny of survival
Thriving authenticity denied
Will you hold steadfast
As I reveal for myself,
That which I’ve been unwilling to love?
How quickly infinite love
Suffers stifling limitation
Innate worthiness
Then overshadowed by doubt
Can you patiently await the truth?
Rather than judge or uphold a story
Yours or mine
Will you witness and celebrate?
Find victory in defeat
This is my call to love
Contained therein
I am responsible
To create a world
Where friendship flourishes
Honesty prevails
Dreams are held
In reverence
In this moment
We hold the delicate fibers
Of the most exquisite embryonic memory
When I fall (and I will)
Remind me how and for what, I stand