Hello friends. It's been a while.
I'm at one of those exquisite places...when I fall off my bike. Slide off the chair, step in a puddle, hit myself in the face with a door. You get the picture...
What exactly...do we think we know?
I've had more and more folks approaching me, talking, chatting about spirituality. Spiritual awakening, what is it? Relating to things I've said or written and I relate to what they say, and in those moments...we grow. We acknowledge each other, we nod, we smile. Even if we don't see eye to eye in our interpretations, we ponder the same things. We are no longer alone in what we were experiencing. And this is beautiful no matter where we are in the circle. Because the secret is... the further we go, the less we know. And that's the real gift: it's faith, trust, and appreciation for the unknown. Freedom of mind, of other people's thoughts. The journey of the Self. Gratitude for the exploration. Gratitude for rising each morning, starting our days intentionally, and not knowing what wonderful things might happen or what challenges we might face. What a kick in the pants. And I wouldn't change a moment, the whole ride so far has helped me to become a more compassionate, patient, creative, appreciative person, finding more courage, grace, and persistence than I've ever known I had. Humbled in gratitude. <3
This is a loaded question. And I will say, that it's different for all of us, yet similar in its scope. Awakening...is transformation. Talk to people, observe, look around, notice things. Simplicity: nature, beauty, sunsets, smiles, ocean waves, birds in flight. Kindness in strangers. Patterns, trends, similarities, differences. Pay attention to how the world works, how nature works, how people work, most importantly, yourself. How YOU work. And you'll begin to understand. There is such beauty, a stillness, a peacefulness, a great Love... all around us, despite what media tells us. See...that we are all connected. Your awakening may be different from mine in what you see, feel, and know. But yet, we change. We grow. We're evolving.
I can't paint you a picture or write it all down succinctly, or explain anything to you. I can't give you a how-to list. Not really, no one can. It's about you. I can tell you about me, but I can't tell you about you. Only you...can. And that's pretty much the whole basis of waking up. Understanding that you are an individual that is multifaceted, dynamic, interesting, shocking, boring, all of it. You are a story. A grand collection and enactment of hopes, fears, dreams, and struggle. Dark and light, sorrow and joy. A dance of all of these things. And we can change what our stories say, if we see them for what they are. Once we know who we are. We get to choose, once we can see clearly. Some of us see magic, some of us see science. It's all the same to me. The true nature of the human experience... is amazingly magical and incredible to me. So the science IS the magic, and the magic is proven. It's just reality, one that most of humanity has fallen asleep to.
Who are you?
That's a whole blog in itself, but this is the direction I will leave you with: remove time. Who you are isn't your breakfast, your clothing, your mate, your job. If you were dropped into another time, far removed from this one, and you woke up, searching, exploring, seeking, feeling, acting...who is that person? That...is who you are. A soul, a being, who observes, adapts, and moves. We make the rest of it up, based upon history, experience, the thoughts of others, the ties we make, family, friends, jobs, adventure. We create stories of identity. Wake up to the idea that...you can create your life, on purpose. Consciously. Intentionally. Not as a victim of life, but as a creator of life.
I can tell you that there is great freedom to be found in facing fear, although I can't tell you what your fears are.
I can tell you that you're worthy of an amazing life and that it's okay to want things, although I can't tell you what to want.
I can tell you that I've had the most humbling, beautiful, awe-inspiring glimpses into the worlds of spirit and energy, although I can't prove them to you or tell you how to "achieve it" yourself.
I can tell you that all you need is within you and that all you need to do is listen.
I can tell you what an awakening might feel like, in terms of internal thoughts and feelings and experiences:
- suddenly seeing the world with new eyes, as if you were reborn
- finding yourself more aware of your connection to others and to the world around you, often without reason, and often at times of great grief and sorrow
- vivid dreams that seem to convey messages to you, sometimes abstract, sometimes crystal clear
- noticing patterns and synchronicity more often, and asking questions about whether they might mean something, when you had never entertained those thoughts
- consciously wanting to learn more and more; you may feel like a sponge, wanting to soak up input, constantly
- you may begin to notice things you weren't aware of before about societal function and structure, and you start to question those things as well (government, education, food, medicine, social groups, equality)
- you may feel driven by impulse, you may feel more creative, you may feel urged to follow your heart and trust your gut feelings more
- you may find yourself in battle between fact and fiction, science and spirit, what you know and what you imagine
- you may explore religion, if you never have, or you may disband with your set religion altogether, favoring freedom and compassion, but something will cause a shift in your understanding of spirituality
- you will just KNOW...that there is more. More than you ever imagined before. And you'll find yourself drawn to others who share your new views and perspectives, and your life, as you know it, will change.
Transformation is a gift. Allow it, allow your Self to rise up. And be kind, patient, and gentle with yourself. Treat yourself as if you were reborn, because you are. Parts of you must die, in order to truly live. Know that you're not alone. Know that once you fight through the jungle of doubts and torment and pain and fear and nastiness...that you'll find beauty, joy, wonder, awe, and hope. That you'll wonder how you made it through...before. Every sleepless night of thinking and rethinking and praying for peace. Every book, every new adventure, every new soul you encounter is meant to help you and guide you...not punish you. See everyone and everything as a teacher, and you'll come through lessons very quickly.
Learn. Grow. Evolve.
And always, always, always...come back to Love. <3 It's who we are, beneath it all. xo
I have been dipping in and out of novel writing since I put the Ana paperback out. And for a while, I had writer's guilt: I would punish myself for not writing. Get back in your cave, write more! Write harder, write better!
However, something epic that I learned this summer, via my garden, was embracing slow. Nourish. Nurture. Balance. Refresh. Allow. Patience. Love. I've also incorporated this mindset into my creative life. I refuse to force myself into...anything. I've learned to let myself and others...be. For the most part. I still struggle with challenges and say stupid things all the time. We're allowed. No perfection here.
So while I have notebooks full of novel ideas, I really enjoyed embarking on a food writing challenge this summer. I have an affinity for sustainable dining, and dining out in general, so I was happy to eat out and take photos and comment on my meals and environment. I love it, it was the perfect project. You can read about my eating and writing through the North Shore of Long Island here.
It was during this project that I realized how important the sustainable, slow movement is to me. From gardening to dining, I want to know where my food comes from. Was this animal pastured? Where? Under what conditions? Where do your crops come from, were pesticides used on them? How are the farm workers treated? If these ideas interest you, take a look at Slow Food. It's the right thing...I feel. Balance and sustainability. Whether you're vegan, carnivore, or omnivore...this is something that just makes sense.
All of this is inspiring the sustainable dining - LI guide that I'm working on.
And while all of this went on...in the background...my senses paid attention. I was absorbing, learning, expanding, all the time. New ideas, new perspectives, and a new story to tell. Now, when I have free time I "get" to dive back in and work on the current novel I am focusing on. Yes, I've narrowed it down to one. (Yay for me! This is a big deal.)
So...what I can say is, don't force creativity. Allow it. If it starts to feel like a chore...step away, do something else. See something else. Allow inspiration to return. Some can lock themselves up and live inside their minds...and just write. I must interact with the physical world to round out my writing and to add more dimensions to it. I need to feel my stories, smell them, touch them, not just write them.
Care for your creative gifts, nurture them, protect them. Don't torture them. Let them rest, when they need to. And when you're ready...they will be sitting up, hollering for your attention. Allow your process, whatever it is. To create is divine, give yourself what you need. xoxo
Home sick. After two days indoors, riding it out (much like my Florida friends are doing right now, be safe), I had to get out and get some goodies to help me coast through the ickiness. To the right is my arsenal...lovely tea, bee pollen granules on applesauce, Manuka honey lozenges, used some essential oils in my tea and water today... steam... naps...and yesterday's pot of homemade soup. Today, I had to get out of the house. I just saw myself moping in bed...thinking...I am sitting at the scene of the crime. Breathing in the same air, stuck in the same thoughts. GET OUT! So I drove out to Huntington Village.
It's been quite a while since I've been sick, I don't think I've been ill in a year or so. :knocks on wood: And of course, as things do, it's really got me thinking.
Why haven't I been sick? A valid question. I used to get colds constantly, I used be achey and whiny all the time. I used to be obese, too, and still shocked when I fit into smaller sizes. (And I still whine often, don't worry, I am in fact human.)
All I can figure is that I was living in constant stress, in that former life. Not to mention the not taking care of myself part.
Without delving into the past, I just want to say how important it is to tend to one's own needs. And to get to a place where we know how to discern what those needs are. And there isn't one stock answer on how to do this. And why is this even a thing? Why is it so hard for some of us...to allow that? Why are we so driven to push and pull and deplete and exhaust ourselves? Who are we trying to impress? (Newsflash: whoever it is, they don't care.) I know I'm not alone in this: within the past year alone, mostly since I finished the book, I've become a magnet for empathic, sensitive, free-spirited women. Some of them don't know how amazing they truly are, some of them are light years ahead of me. I love that.
Just tonight, at a favorite, new to me, lovely shop, I had a talk with a woman (total girl-crush on her gorgeous red hair...wow). Self-professed hippie. Me too, I said! We couldn't stop gabbing, such a lovely soul she is. We were talking about the propensity for sensitive folks like us to be drawn to head-strong, in-the-box, must-be-right thinkers. The hustle and grinders, the cold, hard, fact pursuers. And why? Why, why, why, are we? They can eat us up and spit us out, why do we go? She seemed to have a good strong sense of boundary-setting and knowing her limits. (Also bought this gorgeous lotion and the softest flannel shirt ever there...because...I decided that I deserve presents as well as presence, today.)
In the past two days, I've come to realize or remember a few things. Balance. I've always been drawn to the old ways and I still am. Back in the nineties, I was on a quest for all things ancient, mystical, and spiritual. These ideas felt more like me than anything that exists today. This quest continues, to this day... although I had quite a pause in the middle. But what I am now remembering and choosing to honor and focus on, is balance. Regarding the Earth as our mother, we can witness miracles, everyday. Just in the simplest acts of nature. The natural world...IS the magic...and we are a part of that world.
The water of Life. Water that sustains us, feeds vegetation and every species on this planet, just about. The water that our Indigenous ones are standing to protect right now. I won't get into an argument about pipelines and so forth, because it's about more than that. The pipeline was the impetus, the catalyst for this epic coming together. Our early brothers and sisters understood the psycho-physical-spiritual connection to the Earth and it's time that all of this comes back, when our Earth mother needs it to. When humanity needs it to. And have we learned? Will we choose profit over humanity...again? Everything comes back until we learn the lesson. Everything. I am still hopeful.
Air, fire, earth, water. These are the basic building blocks of life. Harnessed, utilized, and cherished...through Spirit. These old beliefs, not that old in the scheme of things, helped us to maintain a connection to our environment, our home. We understood how connected we all are...from the microbe to the ocean. From the human body to the universe itself. Insects, animals, people, trees, birds, oceans, dirt, the wind. All interconnected and interdependent. So therefore, homeostasis and balance were the forefront of their decisions and motivations, from planting and harvesting, to their hunt, to meeting other tribes, to marriages and relationships, and so on. Some call old Native beliefs spiritual hocus-pocus, but friends...they were not. The underpinnings of these beliefs were scientific and nature-based and not unique to the U.S. Indigenous cultures all over the globe understood these things. Pagans (which simply denotes any religions that were not Christianity) and other early civilizations understood these things.
Somewhere, as we became "civilized," we gave away this power to controlling bodies: big agriculture, medicine, government, etc... Becoming civilized took away the tenets of our civilization. Ironic. Today, we are completely dependent on infrastructure that is mediocre and utterly flawed (ironically, while the hypocrite types on her Macbook), and which depends upon limited resources. The insanity is that alternatives exist and are waiting to come into play. Energy. How do we provide energy, electricity, power? Read about Tesla, if you haven't. I admit, I have frustrations with this and it's a nearly daily practice of letting go of the stress that it causes me. Why not change, when we can? Why? Sometimes it makes me so angry that we got here and sometimes...that anger gets out and spills onto everything. Anyway, I have to proactively change my mindset to focus on positive ways to work toward a better world...in my own life, as one woman, making simple, everyday decisions. And I consider it to be part of my purpose to encourage others, quietly or loudly, verbally or through example, to do the same.
I digress...the point is...empathic, peacekeeping folks are drawn to their opposites because of an innate desire to find balance. Yin and yang. Light and dark. Moon and sun. If we are more light and seek to avoid conflict and stay joyful and inspired and so on, we are drawn to darkness and mystery and strength to protect our perceived weaknesses. It's about seeking balance. The trouble is, oftentimes, the allure is more trouble than it's worth.
Now, of course, we seek to provide balance within. To find and draw out the dark and love all of it, rather than seeking the dark outside of us. But make no mistake, the end game is always...balance. Equilibrium.
Tending a cold: it's about more than decongestants. Just as our world is made up of numerous systems, working together, so too are our bodies. Gut flora, bacteria, white and red blood cells, blood sugar, hormones, life-force energy, muscles, and so on. Recovering from physical illness has as much to do with our mental and spiritual state...as it does our bodies. I've gargled, taken in steam, rested, ate soup, all of it. And they all did their part, little by little. Time and rest is crucial, to be certain. But also... came the idea that...I could choose not to be sick anymore. Thoughts matter. Intentions matter. With all of the physical and herbal tricks up my sleeve utilized...I meditated. This is where we access our true gifts. And here, I was able to remove all the toxic thoughts that were causing toxic buildup, physically. Make sense? Well, it works, when I get my head out of my ass and remember to make time to do it. Consider the placebo effect...how could the human body have the same healing effects with a sugar pill...as it does with a prescribed medication? Because the control group thought that it was taking the meds that would cure them. Which shows us, plainly, how much power the mind has over our other systems.
So, with a healthy mindset and a recovering body, I needed fresh air... and I have to say I'm feeling so much better overall. No drugs. Passed a new place while I was out, that offered me a free detox foot bath if I listened to a consultation. So curious...they do all sorts of alkalinizing therapies and such. I'll check it out tomorrow. Can't fight free.
Balance, balance, balance. Now, to practice holding and keeping it despite...obstacles.
Time for some medicinal wine. ;-)
Goodnight. Be blessed. xoxo