Monday, 26 October 2015

Jack Out of the Box

I believe it safe to say that if I was granted an audience long enough, and without a specific theme just jammed (I know of spoken word performances peripherally, but have no idea if what I'm about to propose, is already contained within that oral form), I'm pre-supposing that the current voiced expressions are rehearsed, mine would not be, I suppose it could be called a spoken stream of consciousness - eventually most everyone would have me pigeon-holed in a variety of "ism's" and "archy's." I'm not suggesting I'm exempt from their influence - as all humanity is in the the same stew-pot, I'm not sure that anyone comes out without having been marinated in all of it. I further suppose it is then up to each to examine for themselves how they hold themselves in relation to any of it, at any given time.

I've never been a card carrying member of any of these paradigms in as much as I am not inclined to use any of these labels as a means of introducing myself. I suppose this is partially true because a significant portion of my life was lacking in an solid sense of identity, at least that was my story, later I would come to realize - "one with no identity" was part of my identity, or at least part of what I identified with. My adolescence was spent drifting throughout the various sub-categories of the student population: "jocks," "heads" (a semantically modified label for the more stigmatized "druggie") "geeks," I'm not sure there was specifically a "popular" group that existed independently of the other groups - I perceived that some from each of the other categories seemed to hold varying degrees of "popularity," in my mind I had the unique distinction of being rejected across the board). Believe me when I tell you I am reticent to label anyone, knowing the pain this exclusion and intolerance creates - for the sake of this continued reminiscing metaphor, I will continue emphasizing that my perception was that I was a "geek" a social outcast, a teenage pariah even among the geeks. How the hell is that even possible?

I wish to muse upon the paradigm of patriarchy - but first another anecdote from my "formative years" at high school (though I guess many schools of though suggest the die is cast significantly earlier than that). It was during P.E. class. Ironic that there is any inference to wellness bestowed upon this class given the emotional carnage it piles in its wake. The activity du jour was to be "wrestling." The sadist of a gym teacher was "in charge" of pairing us off for the subsequent "bouts."
"Bouts" was a stupid word - what "about" interest, what "about" experience/skill-level, what "about" attending the next class? I was "matched" with this orangutan that wrestled on the school team, the sum total of my experience was trying daily, to wrestle my dignity out of the sewer. Seriously what the hell can possibly be gained in such activities? Anyway, the whistle blows signifying the beginning of the end. Very few options exist in the ensuing moments, though completely contrary to any rational thought, facing this dude head on occurs like less agony than just running right out of the circle and out the door. Okay "Tarzan" let's do this. Maybe this was a classic living representation of yin and yang, him seemingly intent on dishing out some serious pain and me more embodying something of the quest for survival. In very short order he has me in this rib-cage demolishing bear hug and my "flight" is soon proved to succumb inevitably to his "fight" - literally. Close as I can remember, it's difficult to accurately assess such eventualities from the perspective of the "throw cushion." I believe, he picked me straight up and then dove with the two of us adjoined, me becoming increasingly aware of what a rodent in the grips of a python must feel like, the impact instantaneously accordioned what remained of any air in my lungs and I'm sure most effectively broke his fall, leaving him unscathed. Not that the "bout" to that point was very taxing on Godzilla just the same, I'm sure at that point, the requisite three count pinning of me to the mat, didn't cause him any excessive energy expenditure. The whistle blows and the teacher yells next bout. I'm lying there dazed wondering where the next breath is coming from and this asshole wants more blood?

"Come on Mason clear the mat!" 
"Yes of course, by all means, let's not let my massacred physical form clutter the friggin' mat!" I got up and moved to the periphery of the circle to the chorus of snickers and outright guffaws! Once I could breath and subsequently talk, I managed an attempted face-saving smart-ass retort, "ya had him right where I wanted him!" If only that was to be the last of the humiliation I was to be dished up that day!

After a series of other matches, much to my surprise/disgust I hear my name being called again this time I'm matched with a fellow that might possibly have absorbed more abuse through school than me - in that cess-pool of "dog-eat-dog," I likely kicked him when he was down on some occasion rather than be the target myself. At any rate, I thought -"well at least I can vindicate myself!" That would turn out to be one of the more fateful erroneous assumptions I would make. The whistle blew and the two of us collided in a frenzy of arms and hands, grasping for a useful purchase with which one of us could use to topple the other. We both hit the mat and continued to grapple for the upper hand. I soon began to realize this "geek" was friggin' strong - he either was "fighting for his life" or right at this point, all the collective ridicule gelled and created the perfect storm of power, aimed at vengeance. For the love of God why now? Our tussling resulted in him pretzeling me in some fashion and much to my horror I couldn't break free. I knew nothing of energy conservation in such scenarios at this point, so I just panicked and gave my all, in one last attempt to escape the three count and much more gravely, the absolute mortification of being bested by the class "geek." Clearly on that day fate had spoken, the kingdom of Geekdom had a new monarch!

Not necessarily an incident that was of itself a standout experience - it and any number of others were the sort of self-image influencing fodder that prepared me to step out into the world where as the years rolled on I was to hear with increasing regularity -"it's a man's world." Though I didn't chose to engage the debate - I often went away thinking, how in God's name do you figure that?

Now eventually - through insight and self-education I began to realize that there certainly existed conditions where I could be afforded various "advantages" based on my gender. I'm certainly not saying that's right, it had nothing to do with merit and though I might have believed at some points in time, that I never really "capitalized" on it, I would also have to say that there are untold numbers of things that I wouldn't have been aware of due to absolutely never, having to fight for them or experiencing the denial of them based on my gender.

Needless to say there are endless treatise on "patriarchy" I don't imagine that I will necessarily break any new ground, other than to share my experience of living in it, contributing to it and walking a healing path, despite the continued influence of it on the world around me. I don't know if the stereo-typical male persona created partriarchy or vice versa. All I can say is that it damned near was the death of me (well before my time) or at least well before the time that I have subsequently been afforded.

It seems to me that by and large there is a widely held assumption that women are the only ones negatively impacted - without question this impact is widespread, misguided, and unacceptable. I just watched a brave young women from Ireland on a YouTube post share her story of violence at the hand of her spouse, her choice to get herself to safety which results in her now being a single mother of two young children - I know this story is far too common. Violence is not something anyone should have to experience. How then to introduce the reality that statistically, men are more likely to die of violent causes than women? I am not trying to position one over the other - it is not a competition. I just don't happen to believe that any solutions can be found in further divisiveness. My personal experience is that mindsets and continued behaviour that operates along, "us and them" lines (whatever the sub-categories are comprised of) leads to violence, they are in their divisiveness, intolerance and exclusion - violent! In order to hold this to be true one would need to broaden the definition of violence to include collective oppression and generalized acceptance of "role" expectations that severely compromise people emotionally, mentally and spiritually (not just physically).

I'm not suggesting that I'm about to advance the solution to the whole matter nor do I wish to over-simplify and thereby leave any vital elements unaddressed. I am just adding to the conversation. Neither gender has the monopoly on perpetuating stereotypes. Given the suggested broadened definition of violence previously mentioned, no one gender can claim to have the sole ownership on victim or perpetrator. These are conditions that are prevalent at the very least in part, because of a collective lack of personal responsibility resulting in continued entrenched blaming and reinforcement of the walls of divisiveness. If as Einstein suggested "a problem cannot be solved at the same level it is created" then the "growing pains" of humanity will not be resolved at the consciousness level they were created and are proliferated, which suggests to me the sooner a tipping point is reached in realizing "we" are all in this together the better.

Returning to my own story - I consider the negative reinforcement of anything viewed to be remotely feminine as a young man, the indoctrination begins early. Breaching these "social agreements" can and does, have severe consequences. So pray tell how does a young boy grow to embody such qualities as empathy, compassion and intuition (all of which are numbered as feminine qualities) when to do so can invite social and emotional crucifixion. Even though each gender embodies a blend of both masculine and feminine - trust me when I tell you, I can't say how others weathered it, but I saw no choice but to deeply repress, vilify and hate anything about myself that would seemingly incite the kind of rejection visited upon a boy that doesn't measure up and "Man up!" To spin this scenario further - if it is true that in order to love another, one must love themselves first (that would be both the masculine and the feminine within) then how does anyone suppose that if we accept to be true, my hetereosexuality - therefore an "attraction" to women, how well is that really going to go with all this unhealed disdain for the feminine within me, which until it (if ever) is recognized I would project outwardly.

I am presenting as one that is in the process of taking personal responsibility which affords me the relative comfort to allow transparency of my process and insights along the way. I have no idea where it is all going - I am not suggesting my experience specifically mirrors those of all men. As I suggested earlier humanity is in the same collective stew pot but the variants to that human experience, are apt to be located diversely, represented by various positions on gradients of responses and variations in consciousness (if such things could be measured).

Additional variables in my story include adoption, being placed in a home where there was a mother with overt and covert anger toward men, which, prompted me to learn to compromise myself further to try and win approval in that environment as well. If one embarks into the world and has made decisions that both the masculine and the feminine are what continue to invite the pain of rejection upon him - let me tell ya, it doesn't leave much of a leg to stand on. I have read some of the post-mortem analysis on some of those mass-shootings and not for a moment, do I condone, or wish to dismiss, the pain and suffering brought to the families of the victims, or for that matter, the family of the individual responsible - but I do understand. For better or for worse my anger and self-contempt were more frequently turned inward, which is not to say that my temper hasn't been the cause of violence directed outward. That it almost exclusively has taken the form of raging diatribe neither diminishes it's impact or makes it any less a form of violence.  I'm not trying to quantify my pain or even suggest my story is unique, surely over the millennium the themes have been repeated countless times. The narratives of human consciousness I believe are what uphold suffering. If it was more consistently recognized that suffering is suffering - it is not more or less in terms of intensity, it is not more or less acceptable based on the stories that suggest, one group of humanity over another, "deserve" to suffer more greatly.

Maybe my life contribution will be not much more than an end to my own suffering - but whose to say what the ripple effect of that might be? There is no particular virtue in my coming to know myself - nor the paths I have walked in order to do so. I wanted the pain to stop and I have enjoyed incremental and expanding grace that increasingly raises my belief that it is possible.

I take responsibility for my healing I don't take credit for it. I take responsibility for my part of the collective suffering of humanity, but I no longer take credit for all it.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Through Me or Not Through Me (that is the question)

It baffles me at times, that various people undergo some form of journey that seemingly bestows on   them insights into the very "mysteries" of life and that they then go on to continually impart with such clarity and certainty. Consequently hundreds even thousands of people seeking direction for their own lives, refer to the work of these few individuals. I have been that person seeking truth and certainly I suppose, have been so convinced of my inability to connect to any form of metaphysical source, that I sought the answers instead, from a fairly far-reaching variety of these "leaders," "teachers," and gurus and while their work and perspectives certainly have contributed to wherever it is I am now, It hasn't been until somewhere along the line that I deepened my own connection to my own experience that I began to court more frequently, who I might more authentically be, at least, potentially! I can say that it continually places me in terms of orientation on relatively unfamiliar ground.

I don't wish to dismiss or devalue the life work & path of others, at the same time I don't want to depend on it either. Somehow I need to be more certain of the road I have walked and that the ensuing experience can be and is, of value to others. I cannot have been compelled for so long upon this continual seeking path, without there being some purpose that reaches beyond self-soothing. Though I recently, (today) revisited the idea of service and questions around the balance of self care and the care and concern for others; where does the responsibility begin and end for me as an "individual" and me as one of "we are all one?" I'm not sure what the answers are for me having just been re-presented with the questions, but given my habituated inclination to employ "either/or" thinking, it occurs to me that I may engage this as well with extremes that might look like either too much concern for the needs of others at the cost of my own; or swinging to the other end of the spectrum and not giving any consideration to the needs of others. I'm guessing I will find my answers somewhere upon the Buddha's middle road or the grey between the black and white.

I get that the energy with which I serve makes a difference. There is very little benefit to doing so from a place of guilt or obligation; serving with resentment while perhaps not entirely fruitless, in as much as the task is completed, just the same energetically people know if your heart is not in it and you are begrudgingly going through the motions.

I think the reflections of these various spiritual mentors and pioneers are of great value. To me, they expand my mind as to the existence of further possibilities and how that has presented to them, from initially viewing from an extremely limited perspective, when I have considered the musings of others, even while at same time becoming further acquainted with my own skepticism - I gradually began to "wonder if" about more and more (while becoming less sure about my belief in so little).

So in effect, the wide range of teachers and teachings I have visited and in some cases continue to revisit, have harnessed my natural curiosity and continue to hone and refine my ability to "ask a better question." What I believe to be the natural evolution of my path will be the sharing of my experience with the answers to those questions, even when the answers come in the form of more questions - they will be derived from my direct experience, lessening the need to cite and recite the experience of others.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Do You Hear What I Hear?

There are times when a coffee tastes particularly good! Naturally one would first need to agree the flavour of coffee was generally enjoyable - if not, sustitute your beverage of choice and perhaps the remainder of these musings won't be held suspect due to their association with the bean rendered ambrosia, that alternatively might for some represent instead, a scourge.

To begin with I have the luxury and the leisure to be sitting mid-day and enjoying said coffee. I walked to the mall after the recreation centre to have brunch. How opulent is that? I have the good fortune to access the center (having had a light snack first) after walking there, I continued around half the golf course trail and then sat in the woods adjacent to the course. While sitting and contemplating among other things "exercising," I realized both what doing weights and other calisthenics would ask of me and I was hearing from my body "forget about it" - if it helps, hear that as though spoken off the set of the Sapranos. In truth, there is likely little to be gained by demanding of my body a known physical "cost" when it (my body) is attempting to convey an alternative message.

An altogether different paradigm exists whereby a conversation with the body ("checking in") entails a dialogue that invites its participation and brings awareness to what level (if at all) it cares to engage a particular activity. Certainly the concept of "listen to your body" is familiar enough to render it trite and cliche. However I believe that frequently the conversation takes the form of a premise of checking in, but the mind like some sort of despot tyrant, drives the body devoid of anything a kin to "mindfulness" and entirely devoid of compassion.

To be clear I am not employing semantics in order to explain away a "fitness commitment" that might involve various forms of self-sabotage and self deception. The latter is entirely different energy(s) and underlying motivation. I am talking about if one is doing various activities under the guise of being "good for their body" would it not seem reasonable to ask "the body" where it is at and what it feels would currently be of most benefit? A symbiotic cycle of expression/absorption, action/yielding, effort/release, inhale/exhale, talk/listen, contraction/extension exists throughout nature. The culture I'm influenced by puts more emphasis on "doing" than "being," listening can be nothing more than waiting for another to finish speaking, in order to now invalidate what they just said. Given that orientation is it any wonder we learn to ignore the gentle yearning of our own body which can escalate to attention getting circumstances of ever increasing magnitude, which become harder and harder to ignore.

 I find it ironic that even "so close to home" i.e. my own body, I can be employing a relationship based in dominance rather than collaboration. In this exists another version of the chicken or the egg conundrum: did "we" (I) first buy into the idea that we were to dominate nature and by extension drive ourselves (myself) further toward "dis-ease" in the form of devaluing and self exploitation or did it begin with the self (and therefore the collective) and then become projected on the world and all its inhabitants? If we are in the universe and the universe is within us, then destruction of any part is destructive to the whole, though I don't believer the utter destruction is enevitable.

From where I sat in the woods on the perimeter of the golf course I considered it was a walk to get home, it was a walk to the gym. I could have easily justified the rigors of a workout with any number of viable notions that range from pep-talks to those that are nothing short of abusive. I chose to listen, really listen and opted for some stretching and active relaxation, my body was pleased and responded favourably.

If you are one that appreciates a good sign to affirm and validate then let it be known that directly across from my sidewalk table, where I sat to scribble this story, is a "sign" that reads "Time to Relax." "See you Soon" (emphasis mine).

A sun warmed seat outside the mall (I had sat inside initially while I ate, but the drone of the mall made it difficult to hear any else but) blue sky, a dollar store journal, pens that bleed ink superfluous to the printed word and the opportunity to indulge myself in all of it, how prosperous am I?

As a final confirmation of the value of listening and trusting what you hear, when I first sat down and began to write I "thought" I heard the cry of an eagle - my mind reflexively was quick to dismiss this given the predominance of asphalt, concrete and adobe patio tiles. I "heard" it again , stopped and looked up, sure enough there was an eagle engaged in flight being "chased" around by four crows. I watched the air show while having my first sip of coffee, a Timmy's dark-roast transformed to nectar of the Gods, listen first, next, a story is born. I resume my writing and once again was called to the song of the eagle, overhead two eagles circled  - coffee now becomes a sacramental communion beverage.

And so it is - Amen!

Saturday, 17 October 2015

A "Flood" of Relief

As I'm walking I am guided/inspired to great heights by the intricate, bold and creative solo as expressed on the track "Texas Flood" by Stevie Ray Vaughn. Perhaps not the first artist or genre that one thinks of when referring to "inspirational music" if even they hold to be true the existence of it. Just the same this was the experience for me in the moment. Who is to say what defines such contributions to moments of inspiration - perhaps more widely accepted sources might be  a choir such as that featured in the Mormon Tabernacle - or Mongolian throat singers, Aaron Neville or the Webb sisters (that sing with Leonard Cohen and the rest of the musical magicians that appear with him). I've done what I can to select random examples - of course I have experienced then all, have been touched, moved and inspired at different times by all of them - my point is the source of inspiration can allow the net to be cast much further. Who can say that Stevie Ray Vaughn wasn't or isn't an avatar, a unique expression of the divinity of creation through his music - regardless of whether you "approve" of his life, his genre - Texas etc. I'll grant you - the same song on a different occasion might do little more than irritate me, however, to be fair I'm apt to be non-receptive to any input on such occasions or I'm seeking to connect nonetheless, but perhaps through a different vehicle. Fortunately creation is virtually (perhaps more accurately) limitless, in the ways it can express, which would then suggest that if I'm looking for the limiting factor to experiencing creation I need look no further than in the mirror.

In contrast I have had many deeply "connected" experiences that haven't had as vehicles of transport any form of sound per se, they were encouraged through a focus on getting increasingly more quiet. I'm certainly aware of the inherent challenge of "stillness/silence" as one that has been influenced by our western world orientation to all things external. As it happens I am naturally inclined to go "inward" - however that doesn't mean that in the ongoing quest to deepen that practice and relationship I haven't been faced with various noise of my own creation and sought in various ways an alternative to being in the company of the various ways I show up along the path to silence. Ironic wouldn't you say, that there is so much racket present while one searches for "inner peace."

The imagery I received while walking on this day was profoundly different than my orientation has likely ever been - in no small part as I felt it along with seeing it.  Contrary to my lifelong inclination to look outside myself for the source of my pain and angst (naturally with the corresponding supposition that in order for my pain to cease, the external source, quite frankly, must be extinguished along with the pain being anesthetized) - to be clear I have not "eliminated" anyone over the course of my life.  I've also not historically been successful at any ongoing relief of my pain. I most certainly have justified my behaviour in effect, as though I had no choice but to act as I did based on what occurred outside of myself.

My point is that "collective discomfort" with the silence has correlations to the individuals that comprise that collective and what they hear in the silence. In the silence I heard my own screaming - a call for my attention, a scream that could only and can only, be soothed by my own unconditional love and acceptance. No amount of attack directed toward "forces" outside myself has or will, soothe this inner scream. No one else is responsible for it. Slaying others mentally, emotionally, spiritually or physically won't bring about peace, as the scream will live on.

How is it that I can make such suppositions? Well as one song suggested "the answer my friend is blowing in the wind." May I expand my capacity to listen rather than "blow-hard." As another song invites: "Let There Be Peace on Earth" ..... "and let it begin with me."

Let it be done!

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

The "Knows" Have it.

Yesterday seemed to be a day of, shall we say, recalibration - of me within me, but perhaps not entirely of me. For my part, It would seem that what was required was for me to become aware of some "system" of beliefs that were present within me, operating as truth though entirely erroneous. This goes beyond a laundry list mental recognition (as a new intellectualized veneer would merely be like new carpet laid upon rotten floor boards- although, even that analogy is only partially accurate, as there is nothing "rotten" within me) because, energetically I embodied them - i.e. "your biography becomes your biology." Beyond that, uncharacteristically I don't have a comprehensive explanation, which as it turns out, might be one of the necessary elements of this internalized reset - "I don't know" (I am saying I don't know with regard to what just stated? - No, I am actually saying the element I'm describing is, "I don't know.") Not necessarily my go to mental framework, "knowing" largely has been for me, a long-standing oasis of perceived control and safety.

So, what if you don't know and you know, you don't know (maybe you once knew and then later determined what you knew was nothing, or at least, when it came time to "apply" what you thought you knew upon deep-seated fear, which was also the creation of that which believed itself to know, the result was nil.

Suffice to say, a significant crisis of belief results! A false claim of knowing is an ineffective form of relief when brought to bear on such forms of soul angst even when the source of the angst isn't "real" even though the ensuing experience of it certainly feels real enough. It would seem that imagined knowing leaves much to be desired when summoned to respond, to the perfect storm of imagined fears; as imagining relief will be brought about by what you don't know, will very quickly demand of you: "let's get real!"

Of course the one experiencing the "dilemma" was me (not just waxing philosophically for its own sake) the knowing I refer to, is God (or if you will, that which is sometimes "known" as "God." Obviously there are no shortage of systems and adherents that claim, in no uncertain terms, to "know God" and the will of God.

In the interest of brevity, suffice to say, that a personal spiritual journey that claims to have more answers than merited, is no less problematic when "it," hits the fan! I was convinced I had to "understand" God in order to "know God." Of course even using the term "God" already places the framework upon "it" that comes from the tenets of systems that speak in terms of a "God." My experience would seem to indicate, the more I think "I know," the more limitations I place on whatever one decides they want to call, "all that is." Couple this with my earlier described "need to know"safety net, and I literally could be upon an endless quest of knowingness - which as I've indicated, doesn't necessarily provide ongoing inner peace.

The "new" not knowing perspective for me looks like this: I do my best to maintain the conditions whereby, I invite God to continually introduce itself, to me.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Nothing from Nothing yields Something?

The nothing
 I have tried to build something,
Is of unfathomable depth,
A chasm through which runs
A current so powerful,
Establishing any lasting foundation
Is denied.
A wind swept
Barren wasteland,
Replete of daylight's reprieve,
An insatiable timeless oceanic void
Which devoured the stars.
The swiftest feet
Along with
Evasion most cunning,
Have fallen emphatically short of concealing
My reflection upon the infinite darkness.
The unexamined heart concealed terror's reign,
"It is not where I am - it is who I am!"
After a lifetime procession of failed earthly pursuit.
A "self" preserving notion
Born of desperation
"Oh by the way - I know God"
Spawned of irony,
"I'll be someone & mean something" via
The ultimate in name dropping.
I deeply regret my charade
Submitting humbly,
I wish I knew him now.

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Resistance is - Futile

Conformity has been on my mind, naturally if it's on my mind I am considering it with regard to the various ways it has impacted me and what underlies that. Much of what I currently seek in my life is a more authentic relationship with myself and greater expression of that in the world. I don't know that makes me unique, but as it's not necessarily a frequent topic of discussion in my day to day life, I can't say how many others consciously are in pursuit of this same thing and for those that are, how they are experiencing that walk of life. For now I'm working (so to speak) toward deeper clarity regarding the motivating energies that drive my behaviour. As what might be dressed up as altruism could be driven by a mistaken belief like for example, "I don't belong" and so I align with a cause looking for acceptance from those others with the group that might extend the illusion of community and connection as we are "united" by this common ground. It is also possible that this group is inclined to glorify angry opposition then I can find an apt battlefield to keep alive the various forms of inner conflict, pain and unhealed energy without ever resolving it and very likely not bringing anything even close to my "A-game" to the situation I have unconsciously chosen as my diversion.

So then there is a vast difference between my peacefully representing myself (without the need to defend) or going against the grain with a whole lot of "f-you" attitude and then coming off like a victim if my approach elicits an "unwanted response." The same unconsciousness would have me assert the "other" person, place or thing, was the aggressor when in truth, I set myself up in the first place. This might not be a one time interaction i.e. A+B=C (though it could be) just as likely, I've been setting the stage for quite sometime so the wheels are set in motion already.

There are ways to bring about change within and without. My desire is to master myself. I have been long enough, the "rebel without a cause," engaged in "a cause" as somewhere to indulge in gratuitous rebelliousness, I have made wrong: individuals, whole groups of people, and various beliefs and ways of being in the world; rather than face my own angry cover story and the unresolved pain and grief that it was designed to repress. How could there possibly be peace, how could the world ever occur to me safe, when I harboured so many attack thoughts directed at myself? I could not (until I could) begin a process where by I could take responsibility (albeit incrementally) for being the terrorist in my own life and at the same incremental rate, look toward myself to be a loving presence toward myself. 

The difference is, when I lovingly express myself as who I am I do so without attacking that which I don't align with. The "mythical" creature the hydra demonstrates the truth of my experience very well. When attacked, even cutting off any of its multiple heads simply resulted in it growing back two heads for every head cut off.

My experience is I can't do away with what I don't want through resistance or attacking it directly, doing so just hurts me and gives whatever it is more energy and then it has five heads (a more entrenched presence in my life). The answer lies in being able to love what is and lovingly create and express what I want.

Friday, 9 October 2015

To the Giving of Thanks

What if anything is the significance of these arbitrarily established holidays? Today (Friday) begins the "long weekend" of October - Thanksgiving. One of the many annual events that is treated as license for excess. A brief look at the history of the holiday informs me that there is nothing I align with in terms of its origins except, the theme of appreciation.

My observance of events that elicit a collective response throughout society has over the years drifted to an air of simplicity as I continue to search within myself for a meaningful relationship with life itself (not just these proclaimed "high days and holy days").

I renounce engagement in activities that revolve around elevating a "celebration" into a highly stressful event - where any number of people come together out of obligation and due to the nature of their relating year round the holiday pilgrimages are strained at best and can become rather volatile on many levels. Too much expectation is placed on these few days. Too much expense. Too much consumption. Too much unconsciousness. It is not my aim to cast myself as the scrutineer of holidays past, present and future - I can honour and bless for each their choice of observance.

For me there is a need to restore the sacred into the day, in other words put the "holy" back in the "holi-days." Having said that, I'm not an advocate for a particular religious observance nor am I suggesting this sacred resurgence be restricted to only certain days in the calendar year. If more sacred observance and appreciation were brought to everyday - it would be a different world. I know this as this is how I walk in the world. This is the change I wish to see in the world. This is, who I am.

I may or may not find myself in the company of anyone on this occasion, immediate family have transitioned "to the other side" so there will be no "family gathering." I can appreciate their absence and presence in my life and the ongoing impact upon the shaping of who I am becoming. Where there is sadness I can appreciate a heart that feels so deeply the "slings and arrows" of life along with elation for an experience of life that cannot be contained within a Hallmark greeting or upon the grandest dining room table.

I know I will not hunger, not on any level, for that I have the most profound appreciation. The food, the shopping, the football games, the parades etc. - none of it matters (unless you want to make it matter then, let it be so). It's all there for the taking, unimaginable abundance - therefore the only place scarcity could possible exist is in the form of imagination. I'm not about to debate whether the "fish and loaves" event actually occurred, but just as I wrote the previous I got that the parable most certainly could represent that where there appears to be inadequate resources, look again, deeply and completely, "miraculously" there is more than meets the eye - more than "enough."

For this I give thanks!

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Write-fully So!

Attention to the "craft" of writing has once again surpassed thirty consecutive days. Not of itself, unique for me - but it is part of an over all intention to keep right on writing. I wasn't born with a passion to write, at least not that I recall. As school subjects go "English" was one in which I achieved consistently good grades (without even trying) - which was a hallmark criteria for me while attending school, as for the most part, I wasn't interested in being there and certainly couldn't imagine why I would exert myself in the absence of said interest. I was an enthusiastic reader and no one ever had to hold my feet to the fire for this to occur - so perhaps these represent some natural proclivities and developmental means that have asserted themselves later in my life. Still there has been no "formal education - i.e. art's degree or journalism school (not that I haven't grasped at this very fact when in search for fodder to assail myself with to demonstrate just cause for certain failure). Nothing has changed regarding acquiring these credentials, the difference is I choose to ignore this and deepen my resolve to write.

I certainly can't predict where this intention to write will lead me, I'm sure it will be augmented by my natural curiosity about the world around me and a long-standing eye for introspection. I've also most of my life had what some might deem an intolerance for mystery. Even though this has softened some, truth compels me. Given these qualities I don't foresee ever running out of things to write about. I am therefore of the mind that as this has become my intention; I will let writing be my teacher, inspiration my invited and sacred guest. I have systematically or perhaps constitutionally run out of reasons "not to write."

The beautiful thing about this new mindset is that neither approval, "education" or even readers is necessary to write - minimally all I require is paper and a pen or pencil. In a pinch I could carve into any yielding surface, whatever it is I feel called to write. So far I've yet to encounter restricted access to writing tools From here on it is then up to me to provide the will and engage form relationship and establish harmony with, all that I encounter which interferes, erodes or disrupts that will. Am I guaranteed income, acclaim or awards? Most certainly not! Are any of the a fore mentioned reasons just cause to quit writing? Well, anything can be made to be justifiable - if my intention is to write and I derive joy and fulfillment in doing so, then these are the soul reason (pun intended) for continuance.

So far my lifestyle seems to require income so I have a need to attend to that in some fashion. As for its bearing on my choice or ability to write (along with those other factors already mentioned) - No, they are irrelevant! Even if I was to injure what is primarily my "writing hand" - "handedness" is not a deal-breaker, I am effectively ambidextrous so the show must go on!

I was born to write - through writing I can be reborn again and again. Where I once hid in reading, I am revealed newly upon the blank page, each a portal to vast new frontiers and exploration.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

What a Wonderful Life

I began my day reading a text message "that something wonderful will happen today." Well to begin with, I woke up to read the text, if that weren't the case then something wonderful might well happen (maybe that would have been it) however, I'm not sure at what level or if, I would be aware of the wondrous event. Beyond that I'm not sure that I the "I" I've grown accustomed to referencing everything from, would still exist? At that point I'm apt to have a different set of parameters with which to define "wonderful," or perhaps, there would be no parameters and this in itself, is the cause of wonder I can't even begin to grasp, as even when I catch a glimpse of more spaciousness, that part of my mind which is the self-proclaimed manager of defining, categorizing, analyzing, assigning, associating, rationalizing, misrepresenting, simplifying, dismissing, diminishing, minimizing, segregating, eliminating, proclaiming, guesstimating, asserting etc. attempts to rush in and just as space on this page was consumed by this description, so then is the vast space of the unknown reduced.

I came into town in part to complete a couple of errands and I considered that something wonderful might not knock at my door, I might need to take myself out into the world where I am more accessible. Not necessarily an absolute - I suppose my being accessible isn't strictly speaking, dictated by where I am, shall we say, geographically. Accessible (open) is more defined by a decision, not just a one time decision, though it could be, rather, a recognition of choice throughout the day that a decision can be made at any moment to be open, curious, willing to experience something unique.

It's interesting to notice that don't particularly need to let go of expectations about what shape this wonderful event might take, as I largely don't have any. I'm open, I consider myself of ample worth, I just don't know what to think. Truly something unforeseen has often been a source of wonder to me. How would I know exactly what might happen that would "blow my mind." If something were to happen outside my "experience" how could I preconceive of it?

Of course the wonderful something that was foretold to me might have nothing to do with me. Perhaps she that planted the seed in the first place is to be the recipient. Maybe this is to occur within her family circle, maybe this is to occur at the community level, nationally or internationally, interplanetary, intergalactically. It might have nothing to do with me or everything.

Maybe I was being baited to be on the "lookout" for something wonderful, in doing so, my awareness might be "tuned" to what is wonderful going on around me. I don't feel as though on this day I needed that prompting, I didn't feel low or unappreciative, however I didn't necessarily feel as though this day would be as good for something wonderful to happen to me as any other day. There didn't need to be some real or imagined criteria met first, that today could be the day!

All the preparations have been made - in fact in a way, there never were any, just let it be!

Monday, 5 October 2015

Live and Let Die (Easy?)

"He's such a die-hard!" - a comment I overheard while I was walking the chip trail around the golf course. It was a beautiful autumn morning, sunny with a stiff breeze, just enough to add a little to & fro of the trees and to entice some of the fallen leaves to dance.

The recipient of the title "die-hard" was a Jack Russell terrier - a tenacious breed to be sure. If you have ever played tug-o-war with one you know the truth of this.

The leaves in contrast, I would say were such "die-easy's" - when the time was right they simply detached from where they had been doing their photosynthesis thing (thank you for that, I presently continue to enjoy a regular oxygen indulgence) & float gently to the ground, transitioning from multi-coloured tapestry carpet until they decompose and yield further still, to provide their  composite elements.

So why does the title "die-hard" have implied and conditioned within it,  qualities of virtue? I suppose at the root of it is the fear of death. As an a side, maybe that could be subdivided to include fear of dying before actually really living?

Those that are "terminally ill" are often referred to as having "lost the battle" with whatever was ultimately their ticket to ride. Life I believe is a beautiful, miraculous gift, but I also don't believe that "death" need be indentured as "defeat." How is it that someone's "recovery" from some disease is "heroic" but their peaceful transition doesn't seem to merit the same heroism?

"Die-Hard" movies feature one person "evading death" while destroying innumerable lives, property and real estate - this is touted as admirable and is subsequently box-office magic. "Die-Hard" batteries are marketed as though they thwart the inevitable impermanence, as do those that created the "energizer bunny" - just keeps going and going and going.....

Real bunnies - otherwise known as rabbits actually stop sometimes! They sleep, some breeds hibernate and like leaves eventually die. I remember being on a farm I used to spend time at and the resident dog chased and caught a rabbit. I came on the scene seconds later and saw first hand the dog had not begun to "physically traumatize " the rabbit. When I got the rabbit away from the dog, there was no bleeding, it didn't feel as though anything was dislocated (it's limbs were functional) and there were no protrusions anywhere on it's body. It was still breathing, albeit rapidly and trembling, understandable given the shock of the event. Then as I held him, he just stopped breathing and that was it. Visually I'll grant it would have been more graphic had the dog mauled the rabbit "to death" - but it went "there" nonetheless though held and "comforted" by me? Easy really. Died easy.

If there weren't so much fear of death maybe more people could "die easy," with peace. If we weren't so convinced that death is to be avoided at all costs - maybe there would be more living brought to life.

"Old habits die hard" someone said - not a life enhancing mindset! Maybe if we fought less for our habits of behaviour and thinking, living and dying would be a whole lot easier.

Birth, death, rebirth - what could be more natural than that?

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Let It Begin With Me (I'll let it).

"Forgive them for they know not what they do." Words from the bible, claimed to have been proclaimed by Jesus while he was "dying" on the cross. I now know in my heart the power and truth of them (the words) - or perhaps better said, the power conveyed within the words. They came to me while reading something completely unrelated, although, the book is entitled "There is a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem" so though what I was reading didn't contain those specific words - a "spiritual" solution found it's way to the door of my heart. Rather than pulling the curtains shut and hiding in the basement, treating this visitation like a door to door solicitor, on this occasion the door was allowed to open and "out of nowhere" breezes in those words, I'm immediately filled with a sense of warmth, tears (of God know what...) flow freely and I am simultaneously struck with the staggering power of unconditional love, Jesus' ability to wield it (even under those circumstances) and that I could, can and will exercise that same power of love and forgiveness on the various characters in my story - "they knew not what they did." How simple, poignant, beautiful and freeing is that? Incidentally, I'm not leading up to a planned "flash-mob" event which includes a rendition of "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" - although "we" (which I will reduce to "I" for the purpose of ownership/responsibility) most certainly do, which is to say, have this friend/brother/teacher/rabbi - made all the more wondrous when one considers this claim in light of my not identifying as a Christian or of the Hebrew faith.

A Consciousness was represented, through example and presented, not to be feared, worshipped or denied, but for personal (& collective liberation) by the man Jesus (if that was his name) some sources claim "Yeshua" - "Jesus" the name resulting from multiple translations of the original writing of the bible. "Christ" used so routinely as to become something a kin to his last name, denotes the consciousness he was demonstrating (not the sole possessor of, though certainly one who attained "mastery" - "Christ consciousness.")

Along with this soul recognition of the power to free my heart from the torment of these "multitude of villainous characters" in my life, I realize I could extend this same love and forgiveness to all the various ages of myself within me that created a myriad of beliefs and stories which do nothing but created continued suffering. Once again, "forgive them, they know not what they do." (Well they knew very well what they did, when they originally did it) it's just that no one until now, has told them it's okay now, you are loved, you are safe, the war is actually over now. Of course it's up to me to offer this update. How could "they be convinced that within me exists a safe haven - if there continues to be "attack thoughts" - me upon me,  which then become projected outward rather than bringing a lasting amnesty/peace inward, the ushering in through my heart the divine love energy in order to heal my heart and subsequently all that I relate to and with is healed.

They didn't know - I didn't know, does that then call for vengeance or teaching/learning??