Monday, December 31, 2012

The Universe Closes its Door to 2012 - Sat Chit Ananda

As the universe closes its own chapter on this year, I look at all it has done.  We all have great expectations of this world we live in.  We end up placing huge expectations upon ourselves at the start of each year and if we don't achieve those expectation, we fall back on the universe in blame.

I lost my job because of....  I broke up with so and so because of...  I was passed over for a promotion because of.. and so on and so on.  We blame everything else in this universe but ourselves.  I have done it myself.  It is hard looking within at our own foibles and lack.  But then again, we are looking at ourselves and the world with our egos which aren't really us to begin with.

This grand universe that allows us to live within, giving us air to breathe, land to live on, food to sustain us.  It asks nothing in return except acknowledgement of its existence.  We are all one within it, this massive collective conscious.

Imagine if this entire universal collective looked towards this new chapter in 2013 with only the expectation of love given outwards, beyond ourselves.  Imagine the moment at the stroke of midnight if we were all to hold it in pure love, pure bliss, pure existence.  Sat Chit Ananda.  This warm embrace of love would be glorious if only for that one moment.

Sat Chit Ananda is the Sanskrit phrase for truth or love, consciousness, bliss.  It is always there for us. When the mind unwinds and becomes calmer, Bliss, Love and Happiness naturally arise.  Imagine living this always.

All of the troubles, pains, fears, hatred that enveloped the world this past year;  all those that were let down, broken down, broken apart (me included); let them go this night, for good.  If all of that pain was embraced, loved unconditionally as we let it go and send it on it's way, imagine the peace that would follow.  The empty space left behind would be available for goodness to refill it.  We would allow Sat Chit Ananda to be revealed as it is always here with us.

My wish for myself and the universe is that unconditional love that heals the heart, heals the world. Imagine yourself within it now and always.  May this new chapter open you to infinite possibilities, dipped in love.  Peace.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Connecting to the Power and Breath of a New Year

As I leave this year behind me, with its' positives and negatives, all vying for a place in my life, I choose to enter 2013 with nothing but a wink to the past and the love of potentiality.  I give thanks to all of the ups and downs, all the gifts of truths and consequences, all the people lost and found, and I breathe deeply into the possibility of infinite love and my own power.  I have no control over anything else.

I cannot control or even guide the thoughts or events of this past year that I would love to see change.  They are not mine to change, only to accept and love for the lessons they provided.  I forgive all those who have hurt me intentionally or not.   Though they may or may not be in my life currently, I need to let go of the hold they have on me.  They can no longer hold me in a place that doesn't fit me anymore.  As I let go of the grip that those events had on me, I am free to put that energy to loving the present and the gifts it holds.

I will wake with a new breath tomorrow and breathe in new air, new life and all the potential that has always been there, always been waiting for me to tap into, sighing, "It's about time you noticed!"

I've given up on what doesn't work and acknowledged I don't necessarily know what works now, but I ask that the universe show me what will.  The nothingness I feel today holds lifetimes of potentials within, bursting at the seams to get out and breathe in that new air and become my miracle; become me, whoever me is in the fresh air of a new year.

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Windmills and Spirals of a New Beginning

In my continued fascination with spirals, I was looking at one that was spinning.  You know, the kind you see when someone is trying to hypnotize you?   It represents continual change and evolution and the interconnectedness of all things.

As we passed December 21, 2012, which was to be the last day of life as we know it and not necessarily the end of the world, because we are still here, I look to what that new world  might look like.  In terms of rebirth or growth, the spiral symbol can represent the consciousness of nature beginning from the core or center and thus expanding outwardly. Or you can look at it as outward information coming in to the core of your being.  I read this yesterday about this kind of spiral movement:

And when one contemplates such an infinitely regressing movement one begins to appreciate that the words 'first movement' doesn't even begin to express the beginning - that it's all an endless beginning - it's all a one act play - an infinitely recursive and enfolding one act play. Thus the 'first movement' is everywhere you look And soon you'll look up and see the same thing in every thing you look at until your view of reality begins to shift and with it meaning itself will take on a whole new meaning and on and on and on - beginnings enfolding endings which enfold another beginning until there's no more beginnings or endings and you just are. -Robert McCoy

If you look at a spiral in motion, it appears that it is moving from the outside in.  And if you look closely at the center, it appears to get larger as it spins.  Interesting if you think of the spiral as inward reflection.  As more wonderful things move in, your center becomes larger,  I think you can also say that as things move out from the center, it also leaves space to allow your inner most ideas to grow.  The inner core stays the same as the outer grows in size.   Do we actually spiral out of control or just to a place that is new and not understood quite yet?   I like to believe that December 21st was the end of the world as we know it and an opening to something quite new and even grander.   Any way you look at it, growth is always occurring, like it or not!  You can see for yourself here: 

So the same people, places, and things are always new, always beginning again.  From a different perspective.  You get to see them from all sides, angles, directions.  And sometimes, what you have been looking at for years starts looking different. So enjoy your life from all sides and angles this holiday season.

Like a tunnel that you follow
To a tunnel of it's own
Down a hollow to a cavern
Where the sun has never shone
Like a door that keeps revolving
In a half forgotten dream
Or the ripples from a pebble
Someone tosses in a stream.

Like a clock whose hands are sweeping
Past the minutes on it's face
And the world is like an apple
Whirling silently in space
Like the circles that you find
In the windmills of your mind

Friday, December 21, 2012

A Song for My Father

Family always comes to mind this time of year.  If you are lucky, it brings wonderful memories to mind.  The holidays can also bring back some forgetable memories as well.  Regardless, those that have passed on come to mind.  So I post this again as it is apropo for me at this time of the year. 12/2013

As we head full on into the holiday season, I wanted to add this story that came to me yesterday after spending the day with my family on Sunday at a tree farm cutting down our Christmas tree. Thank you for indulging me on this one. Happy holidays to everyone! (Dec. 2011)

A Song for My Dad
I saw my dad today. He was driving a tractor in a large field of Christmas trees dressed in a Santa suit. And he was smiling.

He drove by on the first pick up and said there was no room this go around but he would be back shortly. I could have sworn I caught a glimpse of that sparkle in his eyes, the one long lost to pain and dashed dreams. His heart was so big and so open. It was an easy target for the cruelty that life can impose. 

Always quiet, and contemplative, he was a guy who could draw Donald Duck in 8 seconds flat, who drew 1950’s pin up girls with the same ease and beauty as it was for me to create a fresh floral design from a few cut flowers and greens. He could play Claire de Lune by heart on piano or organ, and apparently act in plays, something that was never known to anyone until he reminisced it to me 3 days before he died.

He was a man who was 5’11”, weighed 230 lbs at his skinniest, barely finished high school, was a paper hanger, painter, a natural artist who designed and built both of our family houses. This was a man with hands the size of frying pans who didn’t need gloves to clean the ice and snow off of car windows, whose pranks included using manure to make a small explosive that blew the mailbox off of a neighbor’s house because Dad was miffed about something he couldn’t quite remember; he was a very broad shouldered brute of a guy who could lift a full grown man over his head, which he did, during a party and “accidentally” dropped him and broke the man’s back. Which subsequently ended the party. Dad felt awful about the accident, but remained friends with the guy.

This gentle giant donned a Santa suit every Christmas for my sis and I during our toddler years. His own mother would plop into his lap each season and they both would hoot and holler with laughter for the 8MM camera.  Me and sis would watch those tiny grainy reels over and over in the coming years. I don't know if we knew what we were looking for in those home movies, but whatever it was, it brought joy for those rare moments.  When Grams died, Christmas ended at her house and we never saw Dad's side of the family again. That loss took the  glimmer from his eyes and his goodness was subsequently drowned in the drink.

This was a man who never cried, who only winced and yelled obscenities into the air after driving a 3” nail into his knee while breaking boards in half for firewood.  This man, who in his frustration with his wife and family, chose my cousin over me for his new daughter; he didn’t speak to me for 4 years for a myriad of reasons. He could be cold as ice on the outside, but cried soft tears and hugged me tightly after I told him I was finally pregnant after years of infertility.

He wore that red suit a few more years for my one brother, but it never made it to my youngest brother’s Christmases. Some years down the road, we got him to put it on for my young nephew. Sis and I got the job of dressing him and we laughed until we cried as we attempted to stuff him into the too small well-worn suit. I saw that glimmer find its way out of the darkness that night if only for that short moment.

The last time I saw that glimmer, a faint sparkle, the one that I now see in my younger son’s eyes, was after I had the nurse dose him up on morphine.

 “If we give him any more, his heart might stop.”
“He’s dying, for Christ’s sake! And he’s in pain! Give it to him now!"

I was with him at his diagnosis,  drove him home that day and begged him to take one more trip to Greece, the place his heart belonged to and missed.  I was the one who researched stage 4 pancreatic cancer and was told by a trusted friend and surgeon to tell Dad to get a great bottle of bourbon and a good cigar and head to the beach to enjoy the very short time he had left.

“If you want to go, Dad, we’ll make it happen. Someone will travel with you. But you
have to go now. There isn’t time…..”

It was me who said no to the treatments, “What for? He only has a few months to live, let him be happy in his final days.”

He was silent during that initial conversation with the doctor who delivered the fateful diagnosis. He was silent on the way home that day. He was silent during our conversation, my questions of what he was thinking, what did he want to do, did he want to go to Greece.

He did hear me that day, though, and asked the oncologist a few days later if it would be possible to travel. My heart beamed but was quickly silenced when the rest of the family said no, he was to stay and allow the doctors to concoct their chemo cocktails for him.  It was me, who was dismissed as wanting him to die, for saying no to experimental treatments that are only a playground for unrelenting oncologists.

“We can beat this thing, Dad.” was the fear coming from everyone else at that appointment.
And my heart broke as I watched him relent.

So he never went to his beloved Greece again and the only beach he saw was in a painting on the wall of his hospital room those last two days. He seemed lost in that painting his last morning, as if he was already there.

With his pain finally under some semblance of control, I sat with him after the others had gone for coffee.  He told my husband I was crazy after I asked him how he was feeling.  I saw a glimpse of his sparkle as it snuck out from under the thick blanket of morphine. I smiled and knew at that moment that we had made peace with each other, after years of struggles and heartbreaks.  He died the next afternoon.

So it warmed my heart when I saw him today. The gentle giant that was silenced during his lifetime, was driving an old farm tractor, smiling, eyes sparkling, dressed in a Santa suit.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

In Transition

I was at a monthly Meetup group this week and of course, we all gave our 30-second elevator speech of who we are, yada yada…  Me:  I am so and so and my business is In Transition.  Ooh!  What’s that? What does your business do?  And sheepishly I say, nothing.  I am IN transition.  Meaning:  I am not working right now.
It’s hard to own this.  Why?  Because I have always worked.  Work defined me.  What defines me now?  Why can’t I enthusiastically announce to the world that I am not working and damn it, it’s okay?  At least for the moment.  Why CAN’T I be in transition?   Why can’t I take the time to figure things out?  Why must I have the answer to my life when I just don’t?

That place where nothing is happening is called the liminal stage and damn it, that is where I am right now.  I should call my business The Liminal Stage.  That sounds pretty impressive, doesn’t it?  My work right now is to amass information, go over the past 7 years (the number 7 means refinement – okay, so I am busy refining myself.  The number seven symbolizes God's perfection. – okay, this is pretty intense right here!) This is when we take an inventory of our life. It’s a time of spiritual questioning and review of our life purpose.  Isn’t that a full time job in itself?  I think so.  So just lay off me!  Wait, I need to lay off myself, for I am the only one badgering me to get it together already and figure out the next step.

What is this transition and who let it in?  I have spent a lifetime as a serial entrepreneur, always dreaming and working on the next thing for my growth, always overlapping my work, never a break in between.

My business is Liminal Transitions.  That sounds even better.  It sounds business-like, right? Authentic.  What do you do? I sit in the nothingness while all the pieces of me banter and fret and cajole their way into creating the next me.  They will let me know when the work is done.  My business is to not get in the way with worry and negative thoughts.  My job is easy in all this.  I just sit still in the silence, in the quiet, knowing that within that quiet, a ruckus is vamping up and soon enough will make so much noise that I will be forced to engage in something.

The wait is agonizing.  All I do is feed the ideas and wait, like a mother with her newborn.  Eat and sleep.  Eat and sleep.  And grow.  And grow.

I can’t do this much longer.

But I can feel the growth.  There are the growing pains that come with working through the blockages, breaking loose the long held self-defeating voices of long ago.  I AM! I AM, I cry within.  I, who fights everything, must be still while this raging goes on within.  This is excruciating for someone who has never sat still for anything; the person who’s monkey brain has grown to gorilla brain; no, King Kong brain.  How do you keep King Kong quieted?  You can’t, of course.

And so I sit, feeding this silent activity, resting and waiting for that moment when I burst forth, full speed ahead.  Again.  Oh, it will be grand, that is certain.  My biggest thing ever, whatever that is.  I am not done yet.

I am Transition.  A work in progress.  Not yet defined.  But magnificent.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

And So It Is Ended

“Na, we’re just going to stay home,” was his answer to her invite for Christmas dinner and with that she knew it was over.  He was the final reconnaissance mission tactic to pull the rest of them together.  Only with this one brother’s compliance would a possibility exist for them all to come together, try to find a way through all the muck, the layers of scars, the anger that had expanded far beyond their abilities to see if there was any heart left between them to forge a path to a mend.

With that one apathetic response, she saw the door slam shut on the family she didn’t really like much but desperately sought to find a way back to loving them.  It wasn’t her fault.  It wasn’t any of their faults.  They were given no fertile ground with which to grow from.  It was the fault of two people, parents now gone from their lives.  But she knew she was too old now to keep blaming her parents, they who had no idea what they were passing along.

But it wasn’t blame that was screaming at her now.  It was the anguish in knowing her history would not be remembered or shared with those who had lived it with her.  They wouldn’t share either the joys or sorrows of her life.  They wouldn’t know her children’s spouses or their children.  Would they even know if she passed on?

Two people so caught in their own disquiet, created an aura of turmoil, disregard, indifference and lovelessness in which four children raised themselves, constantly stepping over one another, pushing each other out of the way, in search of that elusive parental recognition that never came. The costs were great.

She had asked her own family their thoughts on inviting their aunts and uncles to Christmas dinner.  “Why would you put yourself through that again?” her children asked.  But they had no idea why she needed this, a recognition of having lived a life, of being a daughter, a sister; the need for someone to bear witness to the stories of her early life. Her children didn’t need to know those stories she finally decided.  What isn’t known cannot be repeated.  No one would accept the invitation anyway.  And so it was ended.