Monthly Archives: January 2013

Subjective Beauty

It is my belief that the most effective teachers are those who’ve lived amidst the greatest extremes. Those whose words of guidance are defined by first hand experience. There is a level of understanding that can only be achieved by having stood in the place of intimate knowing. Teachers come in all shapes and sizes. But when mine are brought to me, they must have the ability to say, “I know. I’ve been there.”

The other night I sat and watched a beautiful photo presentation of someone’s youth. With each loving picture that filled the screen, the stability of his home life became palpable. My heart softly made the realization that in this lifetime such a memory will never be mine. I can not teach what it feels like to spend one’s formative years surrounded by steadiness, security and normalcy. I can’t teach what I did not experience.

I can not teach others what it feels like to bolt from the gate knowing of their self-worth. I can not teach the feeling of never doubting in one’s ability. I can not teach how to live with blinders, for I’ve never owned any. And I can not teach how to live a life sans an inner demon or two. But I can teach how to navigate and ultimately find one’s self worth; as it was there all along. I can help others to understand the delicate dichotomy that is love and fear, confidence and doubt; as the two extremes are always up for the offering; the secret is choosing with intention and awareness. I can also advocate the benefits of a life panoramically viewed, as the best things in life are often hiding in the peripheral. And lastly, I can offer true empathy when it comes to the exhaustive work required when forming an armistice with one’s demons.

I also know prayer works, and miracles exist. More so, I know within each of us is the power to completely reshape our world – if we choose. I only know these things from facing devastation that brought me to my knees; from watching the impossible become possible; and from being forced to either reshape my world or suffocate within a life that offered no air. Often, it is when we are put to the test that we discover our deeper truths, our greatest potential and our reason for being.

There is great compassion within knowing through experience. And my words echo with the truth from my past. I am profoundly blessed to have had this particular life. Due to such, I will forever move in the direction of love. Each re-birth within myself; each level I’ve ascended; and each inner demon made to surrender carries with it its own voice. I’ve never jettisoned these parts of myself, or stifled their timbre, as they are what makes me whole. I have, however, healed them, transformed them, and given them a new platform from which to speak. It’s a continual process. But now when someone is lost, at their end, or feels so very alone, those echoing voices help me to say, “I know. I’ve been there.” And the love that lives in the sincerity of that statement is a very beautiful thing.

Sane

Like That Of An Iceberg

Split View ice Berg, Pleneau Island, Antarctica Photograph by Jonathan Green

Split View Ice Berg, Pleneau Island, Antarctica Photograph by Jonathan Green

A man recently told me that my energy is like that of Southern California air; I warm the spaces around me. I think he said this purely to win my heart. It worked. But that isn’t my point. Energy is everywhere. And no more is this evident than the energy that surrounds each of us – as it is the purest representation of who we are.

Some gifted souls can see energy; its color. But all of us can feel it. One can deny its presence. We can push past its presence. There are times when this is a must. There are also times when we do this because we truly do not want to accept what we feel. But also one’s energy can prompt us to gravitate in its direction; it can cause us to instantly become soothed, invigorated and replenished. All of us have this energy emanating from within, but rarely do we give it our attention. Generally, we pay more attention to the clothes we wear. All the while, everything we use to carefully cover ourselves with is forever cloaked under the energy we radiate.

This transparent layer that surrounds us is more under our control than we might imagine. We can change it, if we so choose. But never do we manipulate it directly. Instead, its shape, essence and feel are simply that of a mirrored reflection of our inward beliefs. Therefore, to change this outer layer, we need to first grasp onto our most inner layer. It all begins there.

The most exquisite looking individual will also carry with them the shadow of insecurity if they do not truly believe in their own beauty. Those around them may upon first glance see their attractiveness, but with time, their insecurities will shine through. Such is also the case with the most educated amongst us whom inwardly does not feel confident in their own knowledge; if not immediately, in time their self-doubt will shroud even their most erudite of comments. It is that inward person, those inward beliefs, one’s inward opinions that swirl together to form one’s translucent outer covering. No fancy baubles or accouterments can disguise one’s aura.

I look at people much like I would an iceberg standing deep within arctic waters. We are all from the same glacier; and what rests above the surface is merely a small showing of what rests below. Although one’s soul is everywhere, the mind can easily grapple with the magnitude of one’s omnipresence by equating it to an iceberg; its beliefs are the mass that sit unseen except for the sneak peek that juts atop the water. The inner being supports and forms the mass of ice that is presented for us to view. If we could all swim deep, we would easily see the true makings of one another; the part of us that can not be hidden. It shows itself even when we don’t want it to be seen. It is the tip of the iceberg. It is the mirrored voice, color, feel and energy of who we believe ourselves to be, right now, until we choose otherwise.

Sane

Breathe In. Breathe Out.

Model on the Eiffel Tower, Harper’s Bazzar, 1939

Model on the Eiffel Tower, Harper’s Bazzar, 1939

Love, I feel, is one of the most misunderstood of platforms. I say platforms, as love is the foundation on which all things reside. Even fear, has its place within the broad reaching realms of love. Love is what fuels everything.

Rarely is love fully embraced. Rarely is it allowed to live and breathe at its full potential. But oh when it is, it is the breath of God moving through one’s being. And, in my opinion, there is no other way to breathe. But doing so, requires a bit of surrender. Oddly enough this surrender has little to do with frailty, subservience or powerlessness, and everything to do with harnessing the powers that turn planets. Our greatest teachers felt love on this level. They loved all mankind. Never was their perception of love perverse or tainted. Never did it contain judgement or anger; as is often the case once man’s mind and ego get involved.

When one can stand and look at the one that pained them, and feel love, then they are tapping into the breath of God. We don’t have to like someone, to love them. There is a vast distinction between the two. We also don’t have to condone one’s actions, to love them. Love just is. It means I am allowing you to be and accepting you as such. I may choose to distance myself from someone, but I do so from a place of love. Love for me. Love for them. On the most basic level, that is the feeling I own. It is what’s in the air I breathe. The breath moves in. The breath moves out. I must share with you that it wasn’t always this way – I had to first love me. It took me four decades, but I finally got there. And I do not regret one year of that forty year journey.

What we feel about ourself is always displayed outward. I may not like all of me, but I sure as hell love all of me. I am exactly as I need to be to carry out this journey. My struggle to trust can, at times, infuriate me. But even so, I shine my love on it and bring it to light. Nothing escapes this light. I will continually be a work in progress. But I love that I am constantly evolving. I love me. And because of that, the love I offer others is pure in form, empathetic, and its intent contains the tangible breath of All That Is. And when this breath is released onto my lover, he feels it. He inhales the breath deeply within that of his own. He savors its ethereal qualities. He knows he is safe while this breath is upon him. And when this love is shared with my friends, they rest in the soft place of my nonjudgemental hands. This love is imbued within each word printed in my novels, my books and my posts. This love is sent around the world. And when I’m called upon to speak, the essence floating through my voice is that of acceptance. I simply see all of us as works in progress. We are quite perfect in that regard.

I can only hope that those who read my words and hear my voice; those who receive my love directly as my friend or as my lover, feel the intricate layers, the subtly and the raw depth of my love. Like a well crafted, full-bodied bottle of wine, its flavors are inherent to its making. I can only hope they taste it.

Love, when pure, no longer becomes questionable and uncertain. It possesses within it the energy of the universe. It is the stuff that sustains us, and allows us to live. I want nothing more than to breathe life into those too weak to do so for themselves. Because I will never forget when I too wasn’t breathing well on my own. So breathe, breathe, breathe. Some will exhale it back in your direction, and how exquisitely divine that is; but many will simply inhale. Either way, breathe.

Sane

Ever Changing Perfection

Sidesaddle! Cirque Molier, c. 1880-1904.

Sidesaddle! Cirque Molier, c. 1880-1904.

“All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them,” Galileo Galilei 1564–1642.

Our growth rests in what we do once those truths are discovered.

For reasons of which I’m not entirely sure, it is vitally important to me that people turn their thoughts inward. I guess, this is because I see so many people moving about without any thought given to the direction of their internal compass. Instead, we often let our movements be guided by outside forces. And yet, the force of the universe rests inside each of us.

During a radio interview today, the topic of self acceptance as it relates to body image, was the prevalent topic. How does one feel good about themselves when they don’t like what they see? So many of us are wanting to become a better version of the person we know ourselves to be. Whether we are changing our outer shape or inner shape, whether we are dropping thirty pounds or bringing to light scars from our youth – accept the person you are. We are, after all, forever changing beings.

The person on the outside shifts and adjusts. The person on the inside moves through various stages of enlightenment. We will never be truly stagnant. The human body has no choice but to push toward regeneration and growth. The spiritual body wants only to churn through the plethora of moments given it, as opportunities for its expansion.

So when we base our acceptance upon a moment in time when we will be exactly so, please know that moment is fleeting. As it should be. But right now, we can accept ourselves. We can accept the things within us that we feel honor us, and we can accept the things that do not; knowing all of these things make the whole. Accept even the things we want to change. If that thing is on the outside, then so be it. Don’t love perfection itself, because one’s idea of perfection will change, as all things do.

Love the constant that is you. The you that is buried beneath this ever-changing outer self. The you that is discovering deeper and deeper truths. Recently something within me came to light. And I wasn’t happy when it did. But this part is still me. It was birthed from a painful circumstance. And now, it wanted its release. Like a small child, it wanted my acceptance, not my banishment. Like a good mother, I looked at this part of me with loving eyes. From there, and only there, can we surrender, release and heal. If there is perfection in anything, it would be within that process. The process of turning one’s eye inward, and with no excuses, and no cloaks to hide under looking deeply – and loving what we see.

Often our greatest hurdle is the one thing that will cause us to reach new heights. Often our most deep-seated wound will be the one thing that will give us the insight needed to turn our lives in a new direction. And always, all of those things within us, if loved and accepted, reveal a beauty that is ours and ours alone, and second to none.

Sane

Bold Adventurers

Everyone is on a journey. I’ve said this before, and I will say it again. Even my dog is on a journey. Although I feel hers has more to do with providing an energy balance to that of my own, more than anything else. As simplistic as she is, I often accept the fact that she has a better connection to what life is about than me – but I’m battling the human mind. And that’s one stubborn steer to wrestle, and bring to the ground.

We are all living within our truth. Our words and actions reveal what that truth is. Some run from it. Some of us run directly into it as if running into a burning building; knowing that within, there are lives waiting for our rescue; all that lives within us. Those who live like me will understand that line. Those who are running away, won’t. There is no right or wrong journey. Although many will say there is. There isn’t.

Sitting at a stop light yesterday I read a bumper sticker that read: Don’t believe everything you think. When the world tells you that you are living a life that is wrong, it’s up to you as to whether you choose to think their words are true. I only believe those things that resonate within me. I’ve lived this way for quite some time. I am wealthy in that regard. I’m wealthy in the flow of energy that comes from living in resonance with something that lives just beyond my sight line. I wouldn’t trade it for the world, quite honestly.

I live two forms of life. I live as the participant and the observer. I hope that never changes. As I never grow tired of putting into action my desires. And I never grow tired of observing the actions of others. Both are testaments to what it means to live within one’s truth. My truth growths deeper each day. I have to wonder, at times, what will become of me after logging a few more decades. I will be earlobe deep in these truths, but profoundly at peace.

I wish I could say to those courageous adventurous like me, who choose to step into what makes them tick, that doing so will be painless. In fact, just the other night I said to someone how I wish my greater truths would show themselves on the heels of joy, not pain. Of course, knowing this, one should never cast aside all that hurts them – as there is something deep-seated living within that moment. Later, when the time is right, that living thing, having been dormant for many years, will breathe again. It will scream with the same tears it held at its onset. But that’s okay. All I can say is, if it’s coming alive you need to listen to it speak. See it and feel it. Nothing can be healed if not first examined.

No one is superior to another. We are all of purpose and of enormous value. I wish I could touch everyone and bring upon them a sudden awareness as to the beauty that rest within them. Perhaps a few of my words will provide that touch. Either way, please know it to be true. Of course, it is my truth. I can only ask that you make it your own.

Some of us are bold adventures. Our journey requires of us to ask, why. Our journey requires of us to dig deep within the pain of our lives as to help others do the same. There is not a day, even within my most painful of moments that I do not give thanks that, not only am I one of these bold adventures, but that I am able to spin the stories that will help you do the same.

Sane

Dedicated to you, Clark Kent, a very bold adventurer.

Listening to: Go With the Flow – Queens of the Stone Age

 

Eyes Wide Open

I find that the scars we carry with us on the inside are far worse than any we might carry on the outside. Often, those on the inside not only work to change our appearance in the most indirect of ways, but also they work to change our perception of the world. I know mine do.

Like most people, I have worked all my life to mask my internal scars. It wasn’t until I began writing that I made my scars visible. My first novel taught me the beauty found in what I thought were my most damaged, ugliest areas. Four years later, I’m still bringing scars to light and working to discover their beauty. In many ways, I am a living, breathing gallery exhibit. One in which lining the walls are all those moments in time that painted me a different color. Moments that reshaped the me I presented to the world. I spent years standing too close to these images. My inner being taught me to step back. And by doing so gaining a new perspective. I now see these works as complex masterpieces that each tell of their own story. Many of the stories are quite painful. But often pain births what will become our greatest joy if we have the courage to push through.

I know for me, my joy will never be experienced and known on an intimate level, unless I fully line the gallery walls with all that is within me. From that point on, I can stand back and carefully see each painting, each brush stroke and all the energy that formed them. I can once again absorb the moment and allow the moment to absorb me. The way good art is intended.

These paintings make up the culmination of my life. They have purpose. They have created in me a sensitivity that is extraordinary. One that hid itself early on. The small child in me buried her head often; closing her eyes to make it all go away. Now, with a few years of spiritual and self discovery behind me, I stand with eyes wide open.

I wish I could say this has been an easy gallery exhibit to view. It hasn’t been. It has caused more tears than I would have thought one human could produce. And yet, waiting on the wings of those tears is clarity. With each tear released is a bit more room for peace to enter. I have been asked of the pain assumed in sharing these things with others. Please know, once the masterpiece is viewed in wholeness by me, the pain is no longer active. For me to heal another, I need to first heal myself. When we step foot on our destined path, things happen. These things are quite necessary. For me to grow, I have to first push through the soil of all I once hid beneath. I think we all do. What do we have to offer anyone, if we are not first true to ourselves. How could my compassion ring with authenticity, if not for having first experienced the pain myself.

I am not ashamed of these portraits of my life. I see them as the masterpieces they are; poignant, painful, graceful and divine. They are me.

Sane

Doing a Binky

A Binky: that amazing sideways hoppy-jumpy, skippy, twisty, throwing-themselves -through-the-air thing rabbits do when they’re extra-happy.

I often say: That’s okay. Sometimes when I say this to someone it’s accurate. Sometimes it’s not. Instead, it’s my way of trying to let go of the topic so we can move onto something else. All the while, the inner me is breathing furiously into a paper bag in an attempt to stop hyperventilating. My inner being has brought this to my attention and is telling me that my methodologically is skewed, at best.

Sitting here, I’ve discovered why I do this during times when I’m clearly not okay. I now know why I express this plainly inaccurate, and in many ways false, reply. I do it for two reasons. First, to spare the other from the truth and any associated pain once that truth has been realized and absorbed. Secondly, I do it to escape the situation. This being my chosen method since I was a small child, when there were so many pains from which I needed to escape.  All of my life I’ve worked to avoid drama. In many ways my, ‘That’s okay,’ reaction is a mechanism that helps to avoid the drama of dialogue. Dialogue such as, “Oh hey, you just completely let me down. Let’s talk this over. Oh, are you surprised and now also feel immense discomfort? Let’s talk about that too. Hell, let’s make a day out of it.” Nothing in me wants to have that conversation. Never has, and I’m quite certain never will.

As a result of my seemingly unchanged demeanor, its easy for people to conclude not only am I unfathomably strong, leaning towards impervious, but also that I’m unattached to any desired outcome. For the most part, both are accurate. Not that the initial characterization is anything to write home about; as it generally just means due to one’s deep sensitivity they have built a thick wall around their inner being as to not become vulnerable. The latter, however, is the way of the great sages: No expectation. The teaching says: Detachment from the outcome, to live without the need for a specific result, is to live a life of freedom.

In my opinion, no truer words could be said. And yet, I find it nearly impossible to apply them when it comes to matters involving the romantic heart. And taking into consideration the comments of my closest friends, I would have to say they too would agree. I have to believe this is why most sages remained single. Giving love without condition or expectation, is something that resonates deeply within me. It is my natural course of action. But it is a different feeling when one gives their heart, or at least it is for me. This may hint that I am light-years away from spiritual mastery, or it may simply hint toward my frail human form. Oddly enough, even as I walk steadily down my spiritual path, I do not see this human characteristic as flawed. It simply is what it is. In these matters, from onset of the desire, there is an outcome for which one is most hoping. When asking someone to accompany them, there is an innate hope the invitation will be accepted. When a kiss is offered, there is a deep wish their lips will be well received. And when extending one’s heart, the desire is that within warm, safe hands their heart will be held. It’s apparent that attachment to the outcome is formed directly on the heels of the desire when it comes to romantic love. And when the desired outcome does not manifest, its anything but a binky inducing moment.

I believe with all my being this is why matters of the heart are usually the one’s that cause us the most pain. Even without walking down the center of a deliberate spiritual path, one’s heart sits at the center of one’s inner being. In that respect it is almost easier to extend one’s heart, without expectation, to people the world over, to teach, to heal, to love, than it is to extend it to one person with the unintentional expectation that they will embrace it, nurture it, and treasure it.

Easier to give your heart to many, than to give your heart to one. The great sages knew this. But then again, even though I’m learning the ways of the one’s that practiced this, I’ve never been one to take the easier path.

Sane

Foo Fighters – Resolve

Weeds

oldtimeycats.com

oldtimeycats.com

I have great appreciation for gardens, but do not possess of my own, a green thumb. By no stretch of the imagination would one call me a gardener. But I am becoming skilled when it comes to weeding through those things that grow within my mind, heart and being.

With deliberateness, I plant seeds in the fertile ground of my soul. And with equal consciousness, I uproot all that grows within me that chokes the life from those things I want to see flourish. Seeds of fear, doubt and mistrust grow with the same remarkable speed as those in a physical garden; sometimes growing next to that of the newly planted seedling one has worked hard to cultivate, making it difficult to tell the two apart.

But a good gardener knows. The trick, is to pluck the new seedling, before it has a chance to pull our focus from the newly developing seeds of love, hope and trust. Sometimes, due to hastiness, misguided eagerness or for the sake of appearances, we glean all visual signs of the weeds from the soils surface. In the process, the roots are left to grow deeper. And before long, a more robust plant takes its place.

It amazes me the weeds that grow within me. Painstakingly, I carefully dig the spade within my self and gently uproot that which no longer serves me. Due to such, I can not look at anyone else’s garden and criticize. The wayward weeds that grow within them are merely the outpouring of an untended soul. We all have weeds.

I’d like to say that my weeds are all of the tender young variety; easily yanked from the ground and done away with. But that isn’t the case. Some have stalks rivaling that of a small tree. And when pulling them from the ground it requires a bit of methodical releasing of the soil that surrounds them; rocking of the plant to loosen them; then finally a mighty pull.

My garden, you see, is far from flawless. But my eye is forever scanning its surface. My intention is forever tilling the soil. And unlike some who turn their back on what rests within, I walk the rows within me as if a form of meditation. I like the way the soil of my soul feels on my bare feet; much like I do in the physical world. I see no flaw in admitting to one’s weeds. And I gladly help others uproot theirs. There are times, when I too need to call in a helping hand or two. Sometimes a pair of fresh, sincere eyes, can spot the weed taking root under one’s flourishing growth of new formed trust. And, like I said, there are times when what is within me requires the metaphysical equivalent of a tractor with chain. I’ve had all of this within me, at one time or another. Because of such, I understand the efforts required when one finally finds the courage to open the gate of their heart, and begins walking amongst the growth of their soul. At times, it’s absolutely startling what has sprouted and awaits our discovery.

It is up to us to decide what grows within us. Nothing is there without our choosing. And please know that doing nothing is still a choice. So, tend to your garden. Once the soil has been released from the burden of nourishing the weeds – you will be amazed at what comes to life.

Sane

If Snakes Do It

There is nothing wrong with shedding one’s skin. Snakes do it. And I feel as ever-evolving beings, so should we. This skin being the ideas, beliefs and habits that no longer suit us.

For whatever reason, we tend to feel that if something has been with us for a long time, then there it should remain. A relationship that has logged many years, even though highly dysfunctional, is retained solely due to the investment of time – not value. A particular viewpoint that bucks against even that of our own heart, we continue to hold onto simply because it feels familiar – not because it makes us feel better.

I can’t say why we do this, other than we humans, seem to be creatures of habit more than anything else. But not all habits are worthy of our devotion. And such is true when it comes to those habits that are toxic and restraining.

Those in the animal kingdom, more often than not, never interfere with their natural process. I am quite sure that humans are the only ones that feel their cognitive understanding is superior to natural and spiritual law. A snake, without thinking, lets go of the old; knowing that doing so is necessary for developing into its new form.

Research states that the body with which we are born, is not the body we own upon our death. Depending upon from which source you glean your data, the rate at which the body turns over its cells varies. However, all conclude that the turn over happens. Our cells do not remain constant. Whereas, the voice that accompanies us through life does. Its tone stays much the same, even though the ideas voiced by it vary greatly.

When we hold on to that which does not serve us, it is much like that of holding onto and wearing clothes that no longer fit. And in the doing, we weigh ourselves down. Some draw their final breath buried deep under layers of beliefs, ideas and theories that feel as misaligned and foreign to them as would dressing up in clothes belonging to a stranger. When we embrace the old that is no longer in our best interest, we do so only because it is familiar, not because it is the best choice, the healthiest, or the one that feels the most natural. Human’s scare easy in this regard. The new, the unknown, is often frightening. And yet, there and only there is where our growth can be found.

Use the date on the calendar as your catalyst if it helps. Or use the knowledge that shedding the old is vital if we are to make room for the new. Whatever the reason, stop for a moment and embrace that which rests on the edge of unfamiliarity. Because it is there where we evolve.

Sane

The Price of Love

ThePriceOfLove

As generation after generation emerges before us, I have to wonder from what source they will ultimately form their definition of what it is to love. Surrounded by a world of judgement, criticisms given to others equal to those we give ourselves, will they ever understand the difference between love and that which comes with a price tag.

As with most things, love’s definition has changed along the way. Maybe it’s true meaning has never been known and acted upon by the masses. I really can’t say. But I do know this – the vast majority of what is shown now – is not love in its purest form.

Instead, this particular emotional expression is like most everything else in society – it comes at a cost. And yet love, above and beyond all else, is the one thing that should never require payment from the one to whom it is given.

Today’s love has turned into something that is bought and sold, or is used as a bartering tool. Love is not a commodity. And yet, even when young we are indirectly led to believe it is. To a child, nothing represents love more than the adoring smile from one’s parent; expressions reserved for when we do good. The opposite is expressed when we do what is perceived to be wrong. Early on, we learn that love is earned through proper behavior, high marks and good deeds. Children learn not just through words of instruction, but by the actions surrounding the words; more so by the energy imbued within all.

And because of having deemed ourselves as an object that was either worthy or unworthy of love, we in turn became the first person to whom we gave conditional love. When we succeed, we claim love for ourselves. When we fail, we hate who we’ve become. Again, even when dealing with the one sacred source from which our first line of love originates, ourselves, we opt not to love freely. Instead, we demand of ourselves that we produce a desired outcome before looking at ourselves fondly.

One might think that what I’m proposing is that we give our love to another regardless of how they behave; regardless of their treatment toward us. This isn’t the case. That is only the misguided illusion of martyrdom within a relationship. I believe in the opposite. Due to a lack of love for one’s self, many of us stay with a partner even when they show us the cruel side of humanity. We don’t do this out of love for them. We do this out of a lack of love for ourself. How we allow others to treat us is directly linked to the love we hold for ourself.  And if children are watching this treatment, imagine what they are being taught about loving oneself, and how to love another. Their definition becomes askew and twisted. And thus the cycle of ill-defined love continues.

When we love who we are – only then can we give love to another in its purest form. Love that does not come with a price. By continually honoring one’s self, we step away from those with whom we are not in alignment. But we step away while standing in a place of love. We can wish them well and hope they find that for which they are searching.

I hope that as I carry out my last few decades – I can continually provide to my children an example of what it means to be love. The love I have for myself, as flawed and complex as I may appear. As well as the love I have for others, as flawed and complex as they may appear. If my children do not learn it from me, then from where will they learn it?

Sane