Sunday, August 14, 2011

Change and Transformation - Today and Always!

It is the season of change - as summer winds down and we feel the cool autumn breezes blow in, we know change is coming. Memories of summer vacations are tucked away into photo albums, children are going back to school, summer work hours abate and we dive head first back into our work. Change. Sometimes subtle, sometimes brutal.

Change doesn't ask our permission into our lives. The status quo is comfy, settled into ourselves. If we are lucky, we can foresee it coming and try to adjust with the least amount of agitation to our current situation. Most of the time, it sideswipes us when we least expect it. Think about it - jobs, family, health. No one would ever make changes there if we weren't forced into it.

But change and the transformation that accompanies it can be the best thing we could have asked for. Of course, that is after we have made it through. I've begun the process of looking at Goddesses and their attributes and how they relate to our present lives, how they can help.

Goddess Oya, is a perfect goddess to start this coming season. She represents change and transformation. She is there to help identify and get rid of all the old wood in our lives.

The Goddess of Transformation urges us to die to the old in order to step into the new lives that we desire. OYA is always searching for the parts of you that are outdated and no longer serve you, brings them to the surface and asks that you release them.

But the funny thing is that we fight to hold on to these parts of ourselves. They are comfortable for us. These characteristics and beliefs are what we know and are tied to our identity. And the more we realize they no longer serve us and try to remove them, they hold on tighter in our body, mind and soul.

I'm at that place again; that uncomfortable unknowing that comes from letting go of one object/person/view/thought/fill in the blank,  to make way for the next, the new.  I am excited to understand that by sitting with the discomfort, the anxiety, will unfold the newness of change.  For the first time, I am stepping into an open place and letting it define itself without my pestering input!.  It knows me.  That unknown knows what I am capable of more than I do.  So I will sit quietly (well, maybe not that quietly) and wait for the gift that is coming.  Oy-Ya!
(click on blog title for more info or here on Oya)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

On Being Crazy

Marsilio Ficino said that “the soul is partly in time and partly in eternity.” Thomas Moore says, “I think it’s crucial not to be limited by the time in which you live and to take refreshing excursions from it routinely.”

Finally, someone who ‘gets me’. Or finally, I have come to realize that me being told I was crazy for so many years takes on a whole new meaning. It’s okay that I am crazy. Nowadays, who isn’t?

Actually, I am before my time. Isn’t that what Moore says what everyone is already doing? When the public sits down to watch reality TV, isn’t that numbing process taking you from present time to some other time? Has that other ‘time’ been preset, predetermined by the networks to hook you into their shows? Aren’t they and the Wal-marts and the Wall Streets the masters of our universe in determining what we buy, what we watch, how we act and live?

When I was growing up in the 60’s and 70’s, I often took these excursions. I wanted to be away from the present time. It was full of tension and hate and arguments, hurt and greed. My ‘other’ world took place in the confines of an 8X9 space otherwise known as my bedroom, where I would retreat and write music and song lyrics for the times we were in. Many war songs were written then and Carol King, James Taylor and The Beatles became my inspirations.

Oh, I did my fair share of journaling. We called it writing in your diary back then. My anger, hurt, frustrations, and hopes were played out within the confines of a small notebook. That abruptly stopped once the diary was stolen by my brother and dramatized for the rest of the family over dinner. To this day, my brother cant’ let go of the views of him by an angst-ridden pre-teen. And so I was dubbed ‘the crazy one’ because my views were not accepted by my present time family.

It was not in my parent’s home that I honed my creativity. It was on my excursions elsewhere that I blossomed and learned and created. I learned that there were other folks like me out there. Those who were also dubbed ‘crazy’ by their present time families.

Bunny Lytle hired me to work at Elgin State Psychiatric Hospital in 1990. I’ll just pause and let that resonate with you...

Working for the Bunny at the state Looney bin.  ...seriously….

What did I do for a living? Bugs Bunny hired me to teach gardening classes at the Looney Tunes hospital. And yes, we grew carrots and cabbage too.

When my family got wind of this, they took out the old photos of me and the stolen diary, studied them carefully again, and said, yep, there it is, can’t you see it? She’s crazy. As if certain smirk or frown or even giggle can be found in the DSM, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders under mental psychosis.

Bunny understood me. Our families were created from the same mold. He was deemed ‘crazy’ too. He said he only hired people like me who had the same understanding as he had growing up. He said we were the sanest people out and about. Bunny explained it best.

Who defines crazy? These folks are so tuned into their souls, the world around them, that they don’t fit it. They are special – enlightened so to speak that they are unable to live in our Wal-Mart, Wall Street worlds. They are beyond food and shelter. No medications have changed their behaviors to ‘normal’. They exist in another time and place!

So, there we were - crazy people working in and caring for the mentally insane at the psychiatric hospital. So call me crazy if you want. Call yourself crazy! It’s okay.

It’s easier to live, breathe and create in the confines of my 'other world' than live in the insanity of Snookie, Paris, Tiger-Blooded Charlie Sheen and The Situation, in the confines of 6 million square feet of Wal-Mart....