“Death is not the biggest fear we have; our biggest fear is taking the risk to be alive – the risk to be alive and express what we really are.”
Don Miguel Ruiz
This quote came through in an email I received, it was from a man who had just been through some big health challenges, where the fear of death was very present. Having come through it he was feeling a rush of energy and commitment to living his life to the full, I guess it was what we sometimes refer to as a wake up call. We’ve all had them, in a mythic story it’s known as ‘the call to action’ , in such tales our hero or heroine responds to the challenge and sets off on a journey of discovery. They meet allies along the way as well as new aspects of themselves and at the end of the story they come back triumphant to be acknowledged by their community.
Everyone has this opportunity at some stage in their lives, but how many actually grasp the chance with both hands and take the risk of being fully alive! It isn’t the easy choice, it will usually take you right out of your comfort zone, frighten the living bejesus out of you at times. But the alternative is to live in a comfortable mediocrity, always wondering what might have happened if you hadn’t been so scared.
One of the many good things I’ve found with getting older is that you care a lot less what other people think of you, makes risk taking a lot less riskier. My mother is a good example of this, at 71 she had her first ever art exhibition, and has been madly painting ever since. She sold some paintings at the exhibition but has a long way to go in order to be truly successful, and I am so delighted to see her determination to let nothing stand in her way.
Art by Cheryl Laizans.
Whether you achieve big successes with your dreams or not, the fact that you are following your heart is a recipe for a happy life. So don’t wait for life to trip you up and try to shake you awake, do it now, and now, and now!!
Just do it.
I’m beginning to really enjoy my little contractions and expansions, not always so little of course but I seem to be cruising through beautiful tropical waters at the moment, where the storms that sometimes blow up don’t last very long at all. That’s the thing about persisting with your healing and personal growth, you do begin to reach levels where stuff comes up, and you deal with it relatively quickly. You often don’t even need to go into any story associated with the feelings, just allow them to fully express and move on out.
One of the things I used to complain about was that no matter how big the release, the period of calm and peace that came afterwards never seemed to last very long. I wouldn’t even get as much as a day of clarity sometimes before something else would be triggered, so you end up spending a hell of a lot of time being ‘in your stuff’, with these little islands of peace bobbing up here and there. It really is worth it, at least it has been for me, I hardly recognise myself from two years ago much less five or ten, and ask anyone who has known me for a long time and they will tell you this represents huge improvements!
After a magical weekend at The Maleny Music Weekend I am feeling one of those contractions, it’s an uneasy feeling in my belly that has no particular cause. I was on a high all weekend, singing with my choir, listening and dancing to wonderful music, connecting with lots of yummy people, having a great time at my regular sunday market. It was a big expansion and so now I move through the contraction which is pretty minor, it certainly isn’t a storm, maybe a mist on the horizon that will be cleared by the sunlight of my afternoon out in the world.
To sunlight and love, to good music and good friends!
Here is a short video of one of the bands that played on the weekend, Gypsy Loco: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMeVwq54ljc
Neil Murray also played and this song brought tears to my eyes, it’s about Australia: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1YIQtuTx7I
The darkness doth swallow me and no matter where I look, no matter where my footsteps take me, despair and misery follow at my heels, hopelessness dogging every step. How can I go on and yet what other choice is there? The voices of traumas past cluster inside my soul until I am wont to scream, but my voice is caught inside the prison of my self-made armour. To reach for succour is but to polish that armour and make it strong, no comfort can take me to the bright dawn that is waiting upon the other side of forever. The only way forward is to sit with these feelings that drag me down into an icy pool of horror and loss, abandonment and madness.
And that’s what I did, I sat with those feelings, much of that time is hazy in my memory’s eye, but there are moments that do stand out in the fog. A time when I was on the edge of the abyss and wrote the mythical story of my life as a tool to clamber back over the lip of the cliff on to solid ground. I began with my birth and wrote up to the moment that I was in, then I continued the story to a triumphant conclusion, as you will find in any good mythic tale. By the time I came to the end of the story I had gone from the depths of despair, to ecstasy and joy.
My time in the desert cracked me open in ways that I didn’t really understand at the time, I knew that things had shifted on a profound level of my being but much of what was occurring was below my conscious knowing. The spiritual emergence that followed was harrowing at times, but I don’t regret a moment of it. I don’t believe that everyone has to go through something like that, but for me it was necessary, and the gifts that have come from that time are a rich bounty that continue to support and nurture me in my growth.
I am grateful that my evolution comes now more through bliss and joy, and that the moments of darker challenge are like bubbles floating up to dissolve in the sunshine, merging into all that is, the unity consciousness that is beneath all things.
Towards the end of 2005 I went to the Central Desert and participated in Women’s Desert Ceremonies with about 80 white women and a number of Aboriginal women. I was fortunate enough to share the experience with my mother, it’s probably the most amazing ceremony that I have ever been a part of and something I will never forget. I can’t tell you about it because it’s Secret Women’s Business, and we agreed that we would only speak about it with other women with whom we had shared the journey.
So now you are thinking I am an awful tease, but it’s a necessary prelude to my subject here today, the long dark night of the soul. That time in the desert had a profound effect on me and when I came back I found I needed lots of time to myself. My flat mate moved out and even though I really couldn’t afford to live there on my own it seemed impossible to find the right person to move in. So I lived on my own and slowly but surely got more and more behind with my rent, and began to spiral down into a very dark place.
I couldn’t afford to use drugs or alcohol to dull my senses so I had no choice but to be with the intense feelings that were coming up for me. I remember a time when it felt like every cell in my body was screaming, if you’ve seen that painting called The Scream, that’s what was happening in every part of my being and I just didn’t know what to do about it. In the end I decided that if there wasn’t anything to do then I would do nothing, and I immediately fell into one of the deepest meditations I have ever experienced. I don’t know how long I spent there, but when I came back to myself, I felt that peace that passeth all understanding in every part of my being.
More on this dark time of my soul in my next post…………………it is darkest before the dawn, yet when you are in that place of hell and brimstone it truly doth feel like eternity, with the dawn a distant memory trailing on the edges of awareness……….only faith and sheer bloody mindedness will pull you through!
My challenge in this moment is to be ok with the fact that my bank account suddenly, mysteriously, appears to be in the red, shouldn’t be possible with a debit card! I’m seeing a client this afternoon and was able to buy what I needed in town so everything is fine, tomorrow a big pay goes into the account so there is actually nothing to worry about. An earlier version of me would be freaking out at this point, but instead I am sitting here with a slight bit of uneasiness in the belly.
I feel a sense of trust that my finances will unfold in the best possible way and that everything that I need to do will happen in divine timing, which is always perfect even though we sometimes only see that in retrospect. This feeling of trust is quite amazing, the more I focus on it the more it grows and becomes a bubble of joy, and the uneasiness in my belly dissipates. I really, really know as a body knowing, that I am always taken care of on every level of my being, there is no fear coming up at all.
That dis-ease is more about not knowing how the situation came about, the information tends to be slow coming through on my online banking so it isn’t telling me what I need to know. But the more the feeling of joy blossoms the less I need to know, may not sound like much but for me it seems like a small miracle. The old patterning that says ‘there’s never enough’ is a distant echo as I move into my prosperous and abundant future!
To manifest what you desire you have to become it and this is what I feel I am doing, as I let go of the excess baggage that I’ve been hauling around for so long. What exciting surprises await me as I continue down the path of fullness and love? Whatever they may be it can only be good, I love life and life loves me!
Can you think of times in your life when you’ve had trouble getting someone out of your mind? You really don’t want them continually inside your head, but you just can’t seem to evict them, they might be lover, friend or even enemy. Whatever their relationship to you, there’s a pretty good chance that you’ve formed emotional cords with them.
It’s generally a two-way street, there is something in each of you that feels very similar, a trauma or wounding of some kind. If the connection is strong enough and you’re very intuitive, you may even find you just ‘know’ when they’re around, bump into them in what seems to be the most random fashion. If it’s somebody you really like you might be tempted to think it’s a good thing, but make no mistake, emotional cords are not healthy. Wound calling out to wound is just asking to create dependency, which ultimately leads to unhealthy relationships.
So what can you do about it? I find that meditating and cutting the cords works very well, although you may have to keep doing it. Use whatever imagery has meaning for you, I ask the Archangel Michael to cut the cords with his sword of truth, but if you prefer Tinkerbell to dissolve them with fairy dust then by all means go for it. Or maybe Coyote from Roadrunner cartoons can blow up the cords with his faithful TNT, just don’t do what he usually does and blow yourself up too!
In the end the best solution is to heal the wounds, as long as they are still present there’s always the possibility of creating more cords. Use whatever methods you’ve found that work for you, and stay focused on the journey of healing. Above all don’t give yourself a hard time when you become aware that you are forming cords, just deal with it as best you can and know that you are a work in progress.
Here is an example of how to cut emotional cords:
“Life is sacred. Life is art. Life is sacred art. The art of sacred living means being a holy actor, acting from the soul rather than the ego. The soul is out of space and time and hence always available, an ever-present potential of our being.”
Maps to Ecstasy (Gabrielle Roth), Nataraj Publ 1989, p 147.
Letting go of the last parts of the loss and abandonment that I felt in my last contraction, I read these words at the perfect moment. Those feelings come from my ego self, the part of me that identifies itself with the current paradigm, that needs confirmation from the world around her to feel worthy and whole. Gabrielle Roth identifies aspects of this smaller self with names that vividly convey a sense of the personality, the ones that I particularly identified with were, Judy Judge, Fay Fairytale, and Nellie Needy. I had a moment last week when I was feeling dread in the pit of my stomach about the dentist, when that neediness came up and wanted to translate into reaching out for comfort. I managed not to go there thank the Goddess!
To always come from the sacred part of myself, the soul, this is a vision worth pursuing, but it can be harder than it sounds, especially as the ego desperately trys to cling to its comfort zone. I mentioned before that I have been feeling an attraction to someone for the first time in a long time, that’s something that the ego keeps wanting to obsess over, while my larger self knows there is plenty of love around, no need to spend so much energy on just one possibility. When I am in the full flight of passion, when I am doing what I love and going into ecstatic spaces, I fly away from the ego and into that inspired place that is the birthright of all of us.
May I always come from my heart and soul, be inspired, loving, passionate and kind, may this be the energy that infuses everything I do no matter how ordinary, may I live my ordinary life in an extraordinary way! Love and blissings to you all, shanti, shanti, shanti………..peace, peace, peace………….