Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Heart as path and destination

Am I the author of my existence? no.
Am I the driver of my life's journey? yes.
Did I create the path I am driving on? (still no answer to that one)

I am wondering about where thought can lead us - is it true that we create our reality by our thoughts, that I can visualize what I want, and focusing on that draw it to me?

I guess it depends which reality we are talking about.

The house I live in, the job I do, the family I interact with, are one level of my reality. But there is a space inside my heart that is already enjoying serenity and tranquility, is anchored in deep waters. On the surface, the waves may be choppy, the storm may be howling. But in this deep protected place of the heart, another weather system predominates. And this, too, is real.

In that deep contentment where the heart is full, my desires seem to pale. I still want to get paid a good salary, have recognition for work well done, interact with my children without too much angst, rest when I am tired. But there is not the driving need to get all my fulfillment from my surroundings, because inside my cup is full. It helps me relax into life and appreciate what comes.

This river of full-heartedness exists inside of me, you.

So I guess my previous post about The Secret and its hype, in response to Bella's blog about the Secret and its hype, is about acceptance and not-knowing.

Bella used childbirth as an exampe (the field in which she works). I saw it in my own experience of two very different births. The first one, I was letting the doctor and hospital schedules run things, and not trusting my body very much. I imagined that if I wanted a natural childbirth without drugs or intervention, it would pretty much happen. The I Ching that day said "reality never coincides with its ideal". Well, after a day of being induced with oxytocin didn't help bring a child down, a week later I danced myself into labour, then spent a fruitless night with contractions and no dilation.

The next day, after hours of intense back labour (and more drugs to speed things up), I was begging for an epidural. They put it off as long as they could so as not to delay things any more. It was a relief when they gave it to me, and after pushing a short while, finally, beautiful blue-eyed Julien slid out of me. I was so tired, but too excited to sleep, transformed by his passage through me. Of course, the journey had just begun.

I was determined the next birth I would listen to my body, but after two weeks of waiting past a 'due' date, Caitie's arrival was helped along by an old grandmother's recipe of castor oil, sex and sit-ups; she blasted out of me on the back seat of the car on the way to the hospital after 1 1/2 hours of labour. While I was relieved that she was pink and breathing, and laughed all night with relief, there really was no way of picturing that in advance. We considered our prayers had been answered, in a way, because no doctors or midwives were in attendance, just my husband catching her slippery body and covering her with his shirt.

We also lost two babies to miscarriage previously; and grieved those little fish thrown back into the sea. Was it ambivalence about having children? or nature's way? We had to surrender to those realities.

So I guess I see it this way: I am driving the car, but I do not create the path in front of me. I may take side trips over rocky terrain, then come back to the smooth highway. I may exit for coffee and gas or find shelter from the rain or snow on the side of the highway. I may extend my trip or have it shortened. But I can enjoy the ride, no matter the weather, trust that the highway will bring me to my destination. The ride, with the heart as guide, is more pleasant. A compass to help me find my way home.

knowing only one thing for sure,
I carry home with me, whither I wander,

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Tao of Letting Go


If you realize that all things change,
there is nothing you will try to hold on to.
If you aren't afraid of dying,
there is nothing you can't achieve.

Trying to control the future
is like trying to take the master carpetner's place.
When you handle the master carpenter's tools,
chance are that you'll cut your hand.

Ancient wisdom: the thing about the Tao Te Ching is that it still makes sense, its essence rings true. We are thousands of years away from that Chinese 'time and place' but still Lao Tzu makes perfect sense.

Just read Bella's blog about The Secret, and how painful it is when bad things happen to 'good' people. How disease, hardship, a difficult birth, all bring us face to face with a larger reality: I am not in control. Even if I use my 'affirmations' every day, or prayer, or positive thinking, I cannot always draw to me what "I" want or desire.

There is comfort in knowing that a higher power or creative force, whatever you want to call that 'master' carpenter, is shaping something for me. There is peace in letting go of 'wishing' the future into being.

My most powerful experiences are not of being the conductor of my own life, designing, creating and drawing towards myself what I can imagine, but of having gifts unfold that I had never imagined, whether jobs, houses, children, projects, friends or challenges....that come my way through no apparent design of my own, and yet, at a deep level are exactly what I need (and not always what I want). Growth feels painful at times.

Yet aren't we in the 'earth school', as I told my husband this morning, as he left the house for another day of battle on the financial frontier. You just duck some days, (keep the ego low to the ground), keep centered in the midst of the fire.

Peace is not the absence of war, peace is found deep within you, says Maharaji, a living sage.

If I wait for the external world to bring me peace, I will wait a long time.

Sigh....deep sigh. I want to begin each day with a new breath, a new moment, and let the serendipity and synchronicity of life surprise me. And bring me strength within to focus on the light, yet accept the dark.

If I can lift my chin, look up from my inner kaleidoscope of desires and wishes and wants, and appreciate this day...

learning to let go,

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Building a mini-retreat

Sometimes a retreat away is not possible. Sometimes, although every bone in your body is calling to get away and find time alone, you have to stay home.

Because I'm a stay-at-home mom, and have dogs and cats too, when I can't get away physically, I make myself a mini-retreat. I can spare an hour, even two at least once a month.

The original idea came after I attended a retreat called the Writer's Spa in Taos, New Mexico, with Jennifer Louden, Comfort Queen. (Especially during your menstrual time, or anytime during menopause, these times set aside for sacred space are very nurturing and comforting. A great way to slow down and meet your inner feminine).

Recipe for a mini-retreat: (in any order you like)

Unplug the phone.

Light a candle from Zena Moon candles http:// http://

Meditate in silence for as long as you comfortably can.

Put on some soothing music (Nigel Holton, Eversound, Zen flute or Pure Peace)

Stretch into yoga on the floor, open your hips, legs and chest in Pigeon Pose or just lie in corpse pose and surrender.

Open Native American animals cards and do a Medicine Wheel Spread
(like a tarot deck, inner wisdom through our healer animal spirits)

Write in journal, sit and feel whatever emotions arise. Acknowledge them, without judgement.

Make a cup of herbal tea to calm stomach.

Don't turn on the computer or read emails until later.

Put off laundry, the list of things to do, and rushing anywhere;

Hope you have a wonderful inner peace retreat! It works for me.

(don't forget to blow out the candles!)


Friday, November 16, 2007

Essence of wisdom

Tao Te Ching #14

Look, and it can't be seen.
Listen, and it can't be heard.
Reach, and it can't be grasped.

Above, it isn't bright.
Below, it isn't dark.
Seamless, unnameable,
it returns to the realm of nothing.
Form that includes all forms,
image without an image,
subtle, beyond all conception.

Approach it and there is no beginning;
follow it and there is no end.
You can't know it, but you can be it,
at ease in your own life.
Just realize where you come from:
this is the essence of wisdom.

If we consider the source of our wisdom as the source of being, wow, that opens up all the stops.

It may mean slowing down and breathing into your center.

It may mean, accepting and flowing with the life force inside your body.

It may mean temporarily letting go of control :)

It may mean finding your voice.

It may mean speaking from authentic experience.

It may mean you are a wise woman, before you get old.

be close to your wisdom today,