************************************Denial covers the pain of the past * A blanket over the world * Lift a corner * Don't be afraid * Your life awaits you*************************************

Friday, June 25, 2010

Beach Fun

Smell the coffee
A last few gurgles as it drips into the pot
Morning music

Pick up shovels, boards, towels
Do you have the key?

In and out of shade on the boardwalk
See the golfer staring out across the green
A ball dropping
A satisfied smile

Steady breeze
Life seasoned with sea salt
Scorching sand
Merciful shade under a colorful umbrella

The water is close
Powerful waves reaching up to touch towels and take sandals
The beach is vast
The rushing water a background noise to the laughing gulls

Either way
In the sand or in the waves
Or doze over a story that carries you away
But notice, from time to time, exactly where you are

Sand covers you in a gritty layer
And creeps into everything
Determined to tag along for the walk back

Cool AC and colder beer
Eyes closed under the luke-warm shower
Run your hand through your hair
Grateful to be clean and dry

Another perfect day
On Kiawah

My beach chair

Sand Crab Sculpture from a couple days ago

Dolphin Sculptures I made in the sand yesterday
with the help of my daughter and my inner six-year-old

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Soul Retrieval - Pieces of the Puzzle

When I was a teenager, there were times when I would look in the mirror and not see myself. If I wanted to fix my hair or look at some other part, close-up, I could see that part, but I couldn’t step back and see what I really looked like. I can’t explain exactly what this was like any better than that. I remember knowing that my reflection was there, moving a hand to see it move, but also being aware that I was not seeing it as it was.

During the Soul Retrieval, yesterday, I was told there would be a mirror. I turned and saw the mirror and for a moment I felt terrified that when I looked in the mirror I would not see anything. I knew I was really sitting on a couch in an office on a sunny June day and at the same time I was entrenched in the dream of the room on a crystal mountain, with the mirror. Part of me wondered what she would say if I told her I didn’t see anything. Part of me wanted to open my eyes in the real world and not look at the spirit-mirror.
But, I had to know.

It was a relief when I looked and saw it was just me. I look as I do in my head, younger than I am, less detailed, perhaps, but still it looked like me. I knew it was not really me I was looking at. It was both more and less than one would see in the “real world”. In a way, it was very much like staring into the “hole in the soul” as I wrote about it in this story.

Then she said something about missing pieces. I don’t know exactly what she said because it seems as if I wasn't hearing the words, but was understanding the concepts without hearing.

I looked at the mirror and the area around my abdomen faded out. There it was, in the middle of me, a missing piece just as she had suggested.
Again, the hole in the soul idea flashed through my mind.

She asked me if I could find the missing piece. I knew I could. I knew exactly where it was, and in the next instant, I was standing there.

This was so much like doing the DNMS work with C, with two big differences.

One is that when I am working on an issue with C, she will ask me where I am in whatever memory is being triggered. When I know, I am instantly there – just like I was yesterday during the Soul Retrieval. However, with C I always AM the missing piece. I relive the events as if they are happening in the present, as if I am that little child again.

Yesterday, it was more like standing in the room, watching.

The second difference is that while it felt safer, or more in control, to approach these pieces as an empowered adult, in another way I felt less in control during the Soul Retrieval than I do with C. When C works with me, I feel as if I am leading all the time. With this deeper hypnoses, or guided journey, I felt as if I was being pulled along.

I’m not sure how much of this is just me, how much is the trust level I have with C after two-and-a-half years of working together, and how much is the actual processes, but that is how it was for me - as if I was being led and I ws never quite sure where I was going to be taken.

So - its all about control! I saw C, last night, several hours after the Soul Retrieval,a nd when I said something about this control issue, she laughed and commented on my codependent nature. I had to smile at that. You mean I'm not supposed to want to be in control all the time?

This is a somewhat edited, tamed-down version of what I saw when I went looking for the first missing piece:

As if from above, I see the bedroom I had when I was growing up. I see myself as a toddler, lying in bed. My father is standing in front of me. Behind him, I see the missing piece. She is watching. In her wide-eyed stare I see confusion and terror and so much sadness. I reach down to this little one, standing behind my father as he looked when I was little.

I pick her up. I hold her close for a while, and then I look at her face. I tell her she is safe, it is safe now. I promise that I will always keep her safe.

The Rainbow Lady asks me what gift this missing piece has for me.

I say, Innocence.

Next, she tells me to breathe through my mouth, in a certain way, to bring the missing piece into me. I do the breathing, expecting that this is how this piece will come home, but that is not what happens. It isn’t in the breath, at all. The breathing is like a doorbell, but it isn’t the door. As soon as I start the breathing, I feel this little one – who it still seems I am holding, right now – absorb into me.

She is right here, in front of me, with me.

When I tried to explain this to C, last night, I was saying something about how these pieces were right with me, now.

She asked, “they weren’t before?”

I said, “yes, but now it’s different. Before, it was as if they were behind me, following me. Now I feel like they are right here,” and I put my hands on my arms in an embrace.

I can still feel them… right here.

I went back to the mirror three more times.

The second time, the missing piece was in my throat. When I find this piece she was also two-years-old. This time, she was standing outside the cabinet where I hid one night. Inside the cabinet, I saw myself curled up on top of the extra baby blankets my mother kept in there. Outside, I sensed that this is when I first knew that I could not say what was real.

That night, when I was two, was the beginning of this difficulty I have in expressing myself verbally – and maybe it is another key to unlocking that flow of words, for me. While I can write just about anything, in person you would probably be surprised by how little I am actually able to say. It is frustrating how the words just shut off, how they refuse to make the journey from my mind to my mouth, and how – if I try to force it – they disappear from my mind as well.

This is what I try to explain to the Rainbow Lady when she asks what gifts this piece has.
She is easy to understand.
She knows how to be safe.
She is good, and none of this is her fault.
There is no shame here, and it is safe to talk.

I turned the watcher away from the little sleeping child in the cabinet. I picked her up and brought her home.

The third time I went to the mirror, it was my hands that were missing. At first, when I went looking for the missing piece, I saw only a piano. Gradually, I realized there was a twelve-year-old version of me looking at the piano. She didn’t want to touch it. Inside her, I sensed that she did not want to be heard. Unlike the two-year-old who was afraid to say what she needed to say, the twelve-year-old’s silence was motivated more by anger than fear. It felt like an attack.
In her narrowed eyes and tight-lipped expression, I sensed stubbornness that I remember well.
You will never know me.
I am not going to let you in.
I have gifts to share, but you will never hear them.

And who is the “you” in those statements? It is the whole world. My mother used to tell me I always looked like I was mad at the world… and in this adolescent staring at the piano, that is exactly what I found. If I can really get her to the place where she feels safe, she can give me so much.

I have something to offer, but I am not going to let you have it, yet.

I did bring this one home, but her stubbornness is not gone. I feel it is going to take some coaxing to get to the gifts she has. What she brings is confidence to express myself and to allow my talents and gifts to be heard.

The final trip to the mirror was different. Instead of a missing piece, I saw a gray area. At first, I thought that was because this piece was closer to coming home, but that is not true. I believe this piece is not really ready to come home. Interestingly, she is the one I am the most aware of, right now, but instead of sensing her calmly inside, I feel as if she is clinging tightly to me, terrified I am going to let go. I’m not sure what I have to do to make her feel safe.

When I looked in the mirror that fourth time, the gray I saw was on my legs. I knew it was about the time when I was sick, when I was six-years-old. I didn’t see just one place, or one image, I saw a bombardment of images of me at age six.
The doctor touching my legs.
Screaming and squirming and then being held down so they could draw blood or give me shots.
Lying in bed, waiting for someone to come get me because I couldn’t walk.
Lying on the sofa in front of the TV, alone.
Needing to go to the bathroom, but no one was around to carry me there.
Annoyed expressions when someone would be saddled with the task of taking me to the bathroom.
Waiting as long as I could to ask.
Then waiting some more.
The doctor touching my legs.
Screaming and squirming and then being held down so they could draw blood or give me shots.
Needing to go to the bathroom, but no one was around to carry me there.
It was swirling around in my head, and I started to panic. I tried to open my eyes, but it was hard. I blinked and the room literally swam in front of me.
I hadn't realized I was lying down. I'd been sitting, last I knew.
I saw the Rainbow Lady.
She said something.
I said something.
I don't know what.
I sat up.
I felt embarrassed and agitated at the concern on her face.
Telling her I needed to use the bathroom certainly didn't make me feel any less embarrassed.
She got up and moved the curtain from the door, and I went out into the bright hall.

In the bathroom, I wondered how I was going to explain this. I felt really mortified and wondered if I’d screwed up the entire thing. There were still forty-five minutes left in the appointment time.
Is that going to be enough time to get back to where I was?
Do I want to?

While I washed my hands, I looked in the mirror.
It was just me – older than I expected, looking tired and a little afraid.
But just me.

I went back in the room.

She asked, “Was it too intense?”
I tried to explain about when I was sick, when I couldn’t walk for two months, how helpless I felt. How I always felt like a burden to whoever was stuck taking care of me, and how the worst part was having to go to the bathroom because I couldn't go myself and no one wanted to be bothered with it and how I saw this six-year-old there and I had to help her...
all the thoughts came out in some kind of jumble that she seemed to understand.

I still felt embarrassed.

She said, “You spoke up for her, and you took care of her.”

Yes. That is what I did.
That’s exactly what I did.

I sat down, closed my eyes, and soon I was back to the six-year-old. I found her easily enough and when I picked her up she held on and I felt how she’s been waiting for me, all this time.

In a way, it hasn’t been long, for her, because she is still six, stuck in time… but in a way, it was a very long time because two months of not being able to walk, and then having to relearn how to walk is a very long time to a six-year-old.

I brought her back, but as I said, this part is different. I know I have more work to do with this one. It’s important that I do this work because she has a very important gift.

Personal power.

Time was short, by the time I held the six-year-old. The Rainbow Lady went through the rest of the things, and it felt a little quick, in a way. Even so, I knew I had done enough for one day. I was emotionally drained and physically felt as if I really had climbed a mountain. When she talked about other missing pieces, she said something about them all coming home, and for a little bit I saw that twinkling, like it had been in my dream. Spirit fireflies danced over my head... and some came towards me, but others stayed where they were.

I went back to the purple meadow, and she played a song I know. It is one by Shaina Noll, which C has played before, and I found it very comforting.

Then she counted up to five.
The world came back a little more gently than it had when I'd suddenly pulled my self out of it to go to the bathroom.

She asked how it was.
I told her it was intense.
She said, “you did a lot.”

Yes… I did.
It was a wonderful experience and I’m glad I did it.
It doesn't feel like this Soul Retrieval was complete, and maybe there is no such thing. There is no one thing we can do to get back what we've lost along the way. It's all a process, a lot of hard work that brings about a gradual shift towards our true selves. For me, this was a special piece of the puzzle that I will always remember, and I might even try it again, someday.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Mirror Mirror

I slept last night. If I dreamt, I don’t remember. I woke up rested, with only an hour before it would be time to leave. If there is a word for how I felt, I don’t know it. Calm-excitement, peacefully-energized… Whatever I might call it, I knew I was exactly where I was meant to be.

I ate and drank my coffee, still debating what to bring with me. The Rainbow Lady hadn’t asked me to bring anything, but I felt as if I should have something of mine there.

A connection to something... A comfort item... Some kind of symbol or representation of

I’d been thinking about it for days, and had vetoed every thought I had.

Fifteen minutes before I left home, I decided to draw cards. It was a spectacular draw.
Harmony, first.
"Let yourself be softer and more receptive now, because an inexpressible joy is waiting for you just around the corner. Nobody else can point it out to you, and when you find it you won't be able to find the words to express it to others. But it's there, deep within your heart, ripe and ready to be discovered."
Yes, that is definitely the issue of the day… harmony - with myself. And I have to figure it out myself. Interesting.
The internal influence – The Master
The Master the only card that has no number. The purple diamond of a Major Arcana sitting under the picture is the only designation.
"The Master in Zen is not a master over others, but a master of himself --and this self-mastery is reflected in his every gesture and his every word. He is not a teacher with a doctrine to impart, nor a supernatural messenger with a direct line to God, but simply one who has become a living example of the highest potential that lies within each and every human being. In the eyes of the Master, a disciple finds his own truth reflected. In the silence of the Master's presence, the disciple can fall more easily into the silence of his own being. The community of seekers that arises around a Master becomes an energy field that supports each unique individual in finding his or her own inner light. Once that light is found, the disciple comes to understand that the outer Master was just a catalyst, a device to provoke the awakening of the inner."

Divine guidance
The external influence was We Are The World
This is the fourth time I’ve drawn this card in the last four days. Four draws, and four times I had this card, and three of those times it was in this exact position – the external influence. Out of 79 cards… what are the odds?
"This card represents a time of communication, of sharing the riches that each of us brings to the whole."
What is needed for resolution? Nothingness.
Another Major Arcana
Drawing this card does not mean than nothing is needed… it means that there needs to be space, an opening, a place where there is room for something important to come in. That seemed exactly like what I needed – space for the missing pieces to return to.

The final card… the resolution… what would I get if I resolved this?
A third Major Arcana: Completion.
“Here, the last piece of a jigsaw puzzle is being put into its place, the position of the third eye, the place of inner perception.

Whatever has been absorbing your time and energy is now coming to an end. In completing it, you will be clearing the space for something new to begin. Use this interval to celebrate both - the end of the old and the coming of the new.”
Enough said.

I was very glad I’d drawn the cards. It felt as if all the signs were pointing in the same direction.
I decided to take the five cards I'd drawn, and the book with me. It was time to leave.

I was early. I parked a little ways away so I could walk a bit, but I was still early.
I paced in the lobby, went to peak at her door – slightly ajar.
What does that mean? Should I knock?
It was still a few minutes before eleven. I decided to wait.

It wasn’t long before she came out and found me. I followed her into the room, taking in the comfort of the space – white noise with soft birds’ sounds, sweet scented essential oils with floral undertones, soft light made softer as she pulled curtains over the window and  closed door.
She pulled a curtain over the doorway, making it feel safe... protected from the outside world.
She turned on soft music.
I moved cushions aside and sat in the deep couch, pulled the cards and book from my purse, and congratulated myself for not panicking.

I know how I am… in the car I was telling myself that I was going to “go for it.”
This is the exact phrase that had run through my head the day I did my Soul Declaration, back in November. Too often, I don’t make myself “go for it.” I hold back, I allow fear to keep me from saying what I want to say, being who I want to be.
I’d met the Rainbow Lady only once before, and I’d been tongue-tied and awkward as an eight-year-old. Here it was, only the “second date” and I was jumping into something that felt very personal and very important. The only way this was going to work was if I made myself do what I was going there to do – and that meant speaking up.

The soft light and the sense of being so separate from the rest of the world really helped. Even so, I was nervous as I first started to show her the cards I’d brought. I  asked her if she knew these cards.
She said she hadn’t seen this kind before… but she did have some other cards.
I’m still not sure what she thought of them, but she seemed receptive to what I was saying. She could tell I was excited about them, and she seemed to share my excitement. She said I could leave them where I'd set them out, if I liked.
I did.

Then she asked me some hard questions.
Maybe these would not be hard for everyone, but for me asking what makes me uncomfortable makes me very uncomfortable!
From what I’d written here about our first encounter, she gathered that I’d been uncomfortable with the long pauses. I would have to go back and see what I wrote… I don’t remember saying that, but most likely I did because I am uncomfortable with long pauses. I feel as if it is my job to fill them and that makes it hard to find any words inside my head except, "Say something!"
She asked if I had suggestions about the pauses... I didn't. There's no way not to leave space for people to say something, I guess... even if they have nothing to say. How can she know if I have anything to say if she doesn't leave space?

We also talked about how I’d reacted to the idea that, during the meditation, I would have to imagine going down ten flights of stairs. I know, my mind is pretty concrete about things, so that is probably part of why I felt a little panicky at that thought. In my mind, if I have to go down ten flights of stairs it means I am either up ten stories or I will have to descend ten levels underground. Neither of those appealed to me.

Maybe most people would not think about it so literally, but I think that is also part of my “hyper-vigilance” about knowing where I am. So many times I’ve awakened to find I didn’t know where I was, or even when I was… and I’ve felt responsible for myself since I was very young. These things make me feel as if it is important to know where I am, and if I am going to head down ten flights of steps, I guess I need a starting point.

She asked if the tower I’d created as a starting point, last time, felt safe.
I said yes.
Then she asked if I was ready.

She dimmed the lights more and then began to talk me down the flights of steps. Again, I glanced out the windows I found at each level. I think she said something about seeing a number, but I’m not certain. At any rate, a number appeared above the windows at each level, indicating what floor I was on.

At the bottom, I felt excited. I knew that the bench and the purple meadow were just outside the door. When I stepped outside, I could see the flowers, the bench and the woods beyond. It felt like coming home. I could smell the lavender. I could feel the sun. It was peaceful, and more perfect than reality could provide.

I sensed the deer just beyond the first trees – not just one, but several – but I could not see them. I understood they were going to stay back and let me find my own way, this time.

She said something...
A hill?
I knew there was no hill near the purple meadow. Regardless, just as the water that had appeared the last time I was in this idyllic space, I understood that there was now going to be a hill. I turned, and there it was, rising up behind the trees.
I followed a path to through the woods and then started up the hill.
A… crystal mountain?
This was harder. I felt so relaxed and calm that I didn’t panic, but I did wonder how a crystal mountain could suddenly be there –
But she said it would be there, and it appeared to be true. I reached the top of the hill, and saw a path leading up the side of a beautiful crystal mountain.

As I climbed the path, she had me put down a heavy backpack, and a little later, another pack. I can’t remember what they had in them… but it made perfect sense at the time. I left the packs behind and continued my ascent.

At the top, surrounded by enormous spires of crystal, there was a castle. When I looked beyond the mountain and the castle, nothing else seemed to exist – just an indigo sky. The castle walls were sturdy and thick. The door was huge, heavy, and strong. I looked at the pointed arch above my head, at the metal studs that lined the edges of the doorway…

whatever is behind this door is safe and secure.

Even so, I was sure the door would open, for me. I pushed it just a little, and it opened right up.
I waited to see what she would say next with quiet anticipation. This entire time, the excited-calm had stayed with me. Expectation – a child running down the stairs on Christmas morning – wrapped up in amazing peace.

And then she said,
"In this room, you’ll find a mirror."

I don't know why the idea scared me so much. I had a sudden nightmare sense -
the mirror won't be there
the mirror will be there
Why does that scare me so much?
The mirror appeared
An antique, full-length oval in a metal stand, right in the middle of the room

I edged towards the mirror...

Crystal Castle

         And all the time, they were safely waiting inside.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Flickering of Spirit

The more in tune I beome with my own spirituality, and the more I share that with others, the more people I come across who are willing to share their views and beliefs. Consequently, I have incredible conversations – some in person, some in email - with quite an eclectic group of people. From New-Age to the oldest Religion on the planet - Shamanism, and including those who follow Christian, Hindu, Budhist, and Muslim teachings, and my friend the Rabbi, I hear so many truths - and they are all a piece of the whole.

There are themes that run through every belief system I’ve come across, so far, but it is the ideas that push the edge of my own understanding that call to me most.

This morning, I received an email from a young man who has a lot of interesting, mind opening ideas about faith and spirituality. While he was raised Christian, can quote the bible better than many Christians I know, and still holds Jesus in his heart, his thinking is as far outside the box as my most new-age acquaintances. For someone so young (I think he is in his late twenties), he seems to have done more spiritual growth than many people two or three times his age.

So I will ask you to read his words with an open mind. What he says will not feel right to everyone. Mostly I believe the problem lies in semantics. We don't have the language to describe that which we can't see, hear or feel. It's a little like substituting words we might use for smells to describe color. It just doesn't work.

To me, the essense of his words is very thought-provoking.I would not push any ideas on anyone. I only bring this up here because these kinds of discussions are the most interesting and important ones to me, right now. I would value whatever you have to say - whether you agree or not - and hope to read some comments that can bring out the same kind of explosions in my mind and Mind (The distinction should become clear, soon).

A small part of the email JB sent this morning:

Recently, my 'spiritual' path has led me to a realization that may be a culmination of all that I've learned. It is a sort of truth that I will in no way be able to escape, nor would I want to. So I'm gonna be honest and share it, and although it may seem strange or ridiculous, maybe it could be of benefit to you in some way.

Ok. My search for God, Love, Truth, Soul, etc has led me to this unavoidable realization: My own Mind is my God! And when I say God, I mean the real deal...I don't mean it as a way to devalue God, I see it in such a way that God now is realer and greater to me than I have ever imagined. And it is just that - Whatever I imagine, think or believe about God, it is contained within my Mind, my Mind gives me the power to imagine it, think it and believe it.

I know you're somewhat familiar with meditation and eastern thought, and one of the concepts is that our Minds need to be controlled. Like that [Osho Tarot] card says, 'The Mind is meant to be a Servant'. Well, we cannot even think or state that 'the mind is meant to be a servant' without using the power of the Mind. What we have a problem with is not the Mind, it is often the content of the Mind, certain automatic thoughts we experience, often irritating, worrying, or negative. To me, those thoughts are actually Good, because the Mind, my God, is so graciously showing me something I need to deal with, heal, work with, take care of. If I avoid them, it is neglectful, If I fight them, it is harmful - so essentially, I must treat them with love and respect, because just like those thoughts...I am part of my Mind.
I read this with a little skeptisism, at first. Yes, the concept of worshiping ones own Mind could be seen as blasphimous or even kind of crazy. We are not supposed to see ourselves as God...
Or are we?

Here is part of my reply to him:

The question of mind and Mind...

To me, Spirit (God) is like another dimension that is overlaying what we see and feel in the physical world. God is everything. Everything is God. It’s as if everything we experience in the physical world is the dream while the overlay - the Spiritual dimension - is what's real.

I can sense Spirit [God], but not with my mind... More like Spirit is in, around and through my mind and body. It connects me to everything else. The separateness is the illusion – and it is a necessary illusion.

So when you say your Mind is your God, I feel that it is close, but not exactly it. It isn't the physical brain, chemicals, electric impulses, etc. that are God or "You", it is this overlay of Spirit. I suppose it is not unlike the "third eye" or the sixth chakra. It feels as if "I" am inside my head, but my head, my mind, my body are all just a physical representation of me! It is the invisible connection between my brain-and-body and everything else in the universe that is God.

You say you feel as if your Mind is your God – to me it seems as if we are all God. That's how I see it, anyway.

So - the capital M - Mind vs. the small m - mind = Spirit vs the physical world.

There is a guidance that seems to come from the Mind, but there is also chaos and deception which comes from the mind. How easy it is to fool ourselves! How easy to distract, ignore, deny... and that is not God. The physical mind will lose it's brilliance, and one day it's light will go out completely. It is that overlay of Mind that will shine on... and it is that clarity of Mind that can guide us on a true path while we are here in these physical bodies.

The illusion of this planet, our physicalness, is necessary or it would not exist. We are meant to be here on this planet. There are obviously many lessons still to learn. Becaue we are all part of the same thing, the lessons learned by one faction of the whole will be gained by the entirety of Spirit. We can't all have the gift of understanding God or interpreting the Mind. If everyone had the kind of connection to Spirit you speak of, no one would fully invest in the physical world and learn the lessons we need to learn.

Sometimes I feel that I am completely connected to Spirit, especially recently. Maybe the lessons I still have to learn have more to do with things beyond this physical world? As I am letting go of the burdens of the physical world, and at the same time going through a letting-go process as my children grow up and move on, I am less connected to what is here and more connected to that invisible overlay - more Mind and less mind. More and more often I feel guided, moved by something I can sense almost as strongly as seeing something right in front of me.

Tomorrow, I'm doing a Soul Retrieval. To me, it is about fine-tuning that overlay - the Mind  - and bringing it more together, more inline with the Universe, and more to the surface of my mind.

I've had some fear as the Soul Retrieval gets closer. Part of my fear has been that I am moving closer to releasing the physical world with each step I take. While the Mind may be willing, the mind is also overwhelmed with the worldly need to survive, and so I think that is what the fighting, the fear, has been about.My mind is working very hard to hang on to everything because it runs on a physical kind of instinct - as opposed to the directed and guided Mind.

So… tomorrow is the Soul Retrieval.
I haven’t slept well in several days – between the dog waking me numerous times each night and the chaotic dreams that persist, I am tired. I’ve stopped worrying about the lack of sleep. I am going with “things are as they are meant to be”. Whatever state of mind (or Mind) I am in tomorrow, it will be exactly as it should be.

Last night, in the dreams – in which I am still sometimes on a ship, and am constantly in near total darkness – I saw little pieces of light in the distance. Sometimes the lights were stars. Sometimes it was more like seeing something out of the corner of my eye, and when I turned the light would be gone.

At 2:30, I went outside with the old lab and as I stood on the driveway, waiting for him, I watched the fireflies flickering in the fields. In my half-asleep state, the fairy light of the fireflies seemed a profound reflection of the lights in my dreams. I was thinking, just as Spirit is within us and we are all Spirit, these little flashes of brightness are also a part of the entirety of God. I saw each as a soul piece, a tiny part that was flying free in a field, showing off it’s brightness to anyone or no one and waiting to be reconnected to the whole.

And that’s when I knew I was ready for tomorrow. Sleep or no sleep, dreams or no dreams, tomorrow I am going to search for the flickering lights in my MInd - the Spirit that overlays my mind.

And I know that whatever I find will be exactly what I am meant to find.

Monday, June 14, 2010

What Lies Beneath

I thought I was only the six of diamonds
It was enough
I thought
When I lived on top of the deck
With everything else safely trapped below

And so I wonder
Why I called upon the cosmic magician
To shuffle the cards?

Poor six of diamonds cannot even know
How far down in the deck she is
What lies beneath corrupts the balance
Between progress and chaos

I thought I’d let it go –
This fear
This screaming panic
The grinning ghosts of sardonic jesters
Pretending joviality
In their circus-colored garb

But now the six of diamonds
Is only one of many
Trapped inside
Surrounded by twos and tens and jacks
How can one lonely six see through the depths?
How can I know the aces and queens
Who have taken over the upper realms?

The frantic feeling
Like magma
Bubbling up
Undercurrents of agitated heat
Jumbled rumbles
Building pressure
The shuffle
The bridge
And I am stuck between a seven and a three

The blindness of ignorance is gone
Oblvion at the top
Was easy
Voices that want to be heard
Faces that hide in the dark
The eights and nines pry open my eyelids
Whisps of their thoughts drift into my soul
Deviously forcing me to know
The one true terror
Which should be denied at all costs

The nightmare
Returned to
When sleep is done...
The actual face of madness is the fear of losing myself

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Journey to the Safe Place

The room smelled sweet. Soft white noise blocked out the world. Pillows covered the white plush sofa. She pulled a curtain over the door, and another over the window, closing the space off from the outside.

I sat down. We talked for half an hour, her asking, me trying to answer. There were uncomfortable pauses that I felt I should fill.
Mostly, I didn’t.
I knew that if I tried too hard to find something to say, all the words would leave and be replaced with the panicky fog.
I waited to be asked.
I answered as best I could.
It was good enough.

When I dared, I looked at her face.

Calm – no, serene.

There was no rush there, no expectation, no judgment.
It felt right… as it should be… as I’d hoped it would be.

And then she talked about finding a safe place.

I was told I would have to walk down ten flights of steps. This was a little disconcerting. Either I was up ten stories – not something I enjoy – or I was going to descend to an underground cavern. The thought of going deep into the ground made me feel like I couldn’t breathe.

I closed my eyes, lulled by soft music.
She spoke.
I had to choose.

I was in a round tower. I told myself it was safe, strong and secure. No one else was there. In front of me was the arch of an open window. I couldn’t see too much, but I knew I was high above the ground. I wasn’t yet certain what was down below. I found myself wanting to approach the window, but I was afraid to, being up so high. It made my hands and feet tingle as heights always do.

It was time to head down the winding staircase. I ignored the numbness in my hands and feet and walked down the first flight of stairs. I rounded a bend and saw an identical arched window. Outside it was bright and the sky was summer blue.

After descending another flight, I found another arched window. I got a little closer. Below I saw green grass with lavender patches spread out in the sunlight.

It's the purple meadow!

I knew the bench was there, but I couldn’t see it yet.

It must be directly below me, near the tower.

Another flight down and then another. From the sixth floor, I was even with the tops of the tallest trees that surrounded the meadow. I remembered being in the meadow - the one in the real world. I remembered how exhilarating it had been the first time I stepped out from the trees and saw the open space surrounded by trees and covered in grass and lavender. Anticipation turned the memory to reality. I hurried down to the next level.
Half way down. No time to stop at the window.

Safe, protected, warm, inviting.

Fourth floor.
Third floor.
I had to see if the bench was there. On the second floor, I paused, hands on the window ledge. Leaning out a little, I could see the bench. My clipboard and pen were there, waiting.

The bench in the purple meadow
(taken during my private retreat last month)

Only one more flight to go. Down the steps, around the bend...

At the bottom, I found an arched doorway where the windows had been. The door was open. A warm breeze wafted in.


I stepped into the light, heat radiating on my face. I walked to the bench and put both palms on the seat, feeling the warmth of the sun on its surface.

The Purple Meadow
(Taken during my private retreat, last month)

Sitting, I looked around at the blooming meadow. Like a waiting friend, a deer took a step toward me, moving halfway out of the woods beyond the meadow.
I smiled at her welcome.

I reached down to run a hand over the tops of the blooming lavender, feeling the caress of their soft petals on my palm. The breeze moved my hair against my face.

So safe and warm, so incredibly comforting...

When I looked up, the deer had come close. Cautiously, I reached a hand out to stroke the side of her face. The instant I touched her, she stared into my soul.
It was intense.
Strength and knowledge, love and wisdom emanated from the moist and dark-brown depths of those eyes.

Leaving my body behind, safely seated on the bench, I stood up and walked with the deer. She led me across the meadow to a pond I hadn’t seen before. Pushing aside the tall grasses and cattails, I stepped to the edge and looked at my reflection in the glass-like water. I was beautiful; ageless, knowing, light, and unafraid.
In my eyes I saw determination.

I don’t have far to look to find myself.
I am here.
I’ve always been here.
I’ll always be here.

“When I count to five…”

It was so unexpected, so sudden.


I was swept back into my body.


The deer watched me from the edge of the forest.


I rose from the bench and turned towards the tower, but already it was losing substance, wavering, fading before my eyes.


I closed my eyes, locking the vision of the meadow behind my lids. I felt the gaze of the deer on my back and I knew it would always be there.
Watching… guiding…


I opened my eyes.
I was back in the room with the pillows, the sweet scent, the white noise…

Back to the real world.

Or is it?


(Here are two computer drawings I did this afternoon.
I posted these a few hours after putting the rest of the post up.)

Seeing the Pond


Meeting the Rainbow Lady

With a son graduating from high school last weekend and a daughter graduating from eighth grade this past Monday, it's been a very busy, emotional week. Somehow or another I made it through all of the inner turmoil I felt as I thought of my children moving up and moving on. We got through the dinners and award nights, the "I can't find my dress shoes" and "Why do I have to iron my shirt if I'm putting that robe over it anyway" and "Can I have fifteen friends over for a bonfire in two hours?"

Mostly, it was fun... but I'm glad to be in the lull before summer really kicks off. In just over a week, we are heading out of town for a family vacation. We are returning to a place which was our Summer destination at least a dozen times when the kids were little. All four of my children will join us for at least part of the two week trip - and my future son-in-law is also going to be with us for a few days.

But first... I'm going to see the Rainbow Lady.

I mentioned a few posts ago that a friend of mine had told me about an experience she had that sounded a lot like Soul Retrieval. Since this is something I've been looking into for some time, I was naturally intrigued. I referred to her as the rainbow lady because my friend mentioned something (of which I am not entirely clear) about finding a rainbow symbol that defined her in some way, during a session with this therapist. My friend also told me that she has seen a regular therapist for years, but has seen "the Rainbow Lady" a few times, as well.

Today, I'm going to meet the Rainbow Lady for an hour. After that, the plan is to return next week for a two-and-a-half-hour session, if all goes well today.

I'm not sure what is going to be included in today's session or the one next week... from what I understand, there is a massage table in her office, there are pillows that are for throwing, hitting and probably comfort as well. There are candles and a there is a teddy bear. I know this from what she and my friend told me, and because there are pictures of her office at her website.
I also know there will be hypnoses involved.

What am I hoping to gain from this?
I'm not really sure.
I'm not going in with any specific expectations.

The original reason I was looking into soul retrieval is because since I've been integrating these compartmentalized thoughts/alters/other sides of me, I have been able to communicate with and understand these very separate pieces. However, most often they do not feel like me. Instead, when I am aware of other sides of me, it is like multiple threads of thought running through my head at the same time. Sometimes this is quite confusing and can cause anxiety if these sides don't agree.

As a fictitious example, imagine you are standing in a grocery store trying to decide what to eat for dinner. In your head are eight different opinions. It is not a reasonable conversation as one might have with any decision. There is not just, not spaghetti, I had it last night, I know I should eat more fish, but I really feel like beef.
Instead, it’s more like this:

I can’t eat beef every night!
I should eat more fish.
i hate fish
I’m not hungry
Let's get out of here

All at the same time, followed in the next two seconds by

the candy looks good
I’m not eating anything except macaroni and cheese.
I’m not even hungry!
If you get that, I’m not eating it.
Get me out of here!

And so on. Meanwhile, I’m standing still, staring through the glass at the beef and fish on ice while the butcher is waiting for a response.

What I’ve read about Soul Retrieval makes me think it could help further integrate these pieces of me – help bring them all the way home.

Do I expect that the Rainbow Lady is going to be able to do that in two sessions?
I only hope to gain a little more insight into myself, and to try something new.

I’ll let you know how it works out.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

What is Harder Than Letting Go of Anger?

I was going to begin this post with the words, “I was trying…” Right there, I’m already on the wrong track. It came to me between the time the words were in my head and the time they would have made it to my fingers.

Trying is not what is needed now. I’m beating myself up for not doing when doing is all I've been about. 
Doing is not what I need.
Feeling is what I need.

What a scary place it is, the place where one exists only in the feelings, the inner passion, the sensations that reflect the past and call us to the future. It isn't a place I can stay in very long. It's not a place I’m meant to occupy indefinitely, but I should walk in the door once in a while.

This place has grown dark and full of cobwebs through disuse and avoidance. It’s time to light the candle, open a window, take a real look around and then move back out into the world.

I am turning a corner. I've been hovering near the wall... digging my nails in... hanging on as if the world is tilting me towards the edge and I don’t want to fall off.

Before I had children, I had no purpose in my life. With the third of my four children graduating high school on Saturday, the “empty nest” is something I can see and feel. It’s so imminent that it’s becoming difficult to enjoy the present. I know that I need to feel the loss as my son moves more towards his own life and more out of mine, but it feels so big.

Feeling loss is not something I’m very good at. I've been doing everything I could to not look at these feelings. The schedule of events with two kids graduating – one from high school and one from eighth grade – is already hectic. Even so, I've started new projects and thrown all kinds of other things into the mix that didn't need to be there, right now. The things that might have forced me to look at the present have been avoided at all costs, replaced by frenetic activity and, when necessary, Xanax.

So, here's my dilemma  It seems obvious that I need to get out of the denial and begin to feel what is real. I need to look at this little black stone, turn it over in my hands and feel it's weight, put it's coolness against my cheek, and then toss it into the pond...
a pebble in the pond
a splash and ripples moving both towards me and away...
Yes, obviously this is the next, dreaded step.
However... as I've been frantically avoiding this, I came across something that feels like much more than a distraction.

I first read the phrase “soul retrieval” a couple years ago. I was immediately drawn to the idea. It felt right. It felt like the exact thing I needed to do – someday. It still feels like what I need to do, and now the opportunity is here - I could begin this process as early as next week.

I read quite a bit about it, researched it online, and even looked for people in the area that do this. I didn't find anyone who seemed right. I wasn’t ready to fly two thousand miles to meet someone who called themselves a Shaman and claimed to do Soul Retrieval. It was something I wanted to do, but it had to be done right.

I've looked at it several time, since then, always with the idea that one day it would feel right. Then – last weekend – I went out for lunch with a friend and she said the words. Soul Retrieval. Of course I was instantly mesmerized by what she said. Here, from this unlikely source, was a clue to something I've been searching for.

I’ll be talking about this more, in future posts, but for now I’m going back to today.

I've had a dilemma since I heard my friend say those words. With all the anxiety, sadness and even anger inside me as I embark on this transition from motherhood to other-hood, it would be very easy to throw a distraction up and avoid all the pain. On the other hand, actually doing the soul retrieval would take some real guts, too.

So, am I holding this up as a distraction, or was thrown up in my path because it’s what I’m meant to do next? I feel a pull towards something, which is much easier than walking away from something, and I know it is something I need to do –
The question is:
Am I rushing into it because I want to avoid the present, or is this really the time?

This is a drawing  seems related... but I'm still not certain what all it is about.
The title I gave it was: Holding On

Co Creation

Co Creation
We create the life we live

Love your inner child...

...for she holds the key...

...to your personal power.
A lesson is woven into each day.
Together they make up the tapestries of our lives.