A Message for Those Who Lost Their Inner Compass

North Star Speaks

Between the inky black universe and the crisp white explosion of stars, an infinite number of possibilities begin. Grab them, any one of them, it doesn’t really matter. Wherever you start is exactly right.

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The Sombrero Galaxy

The gravitational pull will lead you home, vibrations in your spider web bones. 0b3d71954a6acf381b084cbb2bc59910--leap-of-faith-have-faithIt feels like a first kiss, or Christmas, or a dip in an icy lake after a hot day, or seeing a whale off to starboard, grand body so quiet it cracks you open inside. This pull you are following is your destiny. But destiny is not pre-determined. Destiny shapes as you form words to articulate this longing. Your Stillness finds Itself emerging into words and, like rungs in a ladder, your next steps materialize. Follow this. It is just for you, a world created as you are creating. It leads you home. Don’t fret, love, it will lead you home.

 

The isolation you made for yourself to feel safe is a lie. Break through the walls you are trapped behind. Reach your hand out to grab another’s. Feel the power of wanting to be reached in the strength of your grip. It’s okay to want help. Take this journey with loving hands at your back, holding your weight when you stumble, smoothing the worry lines from your face, massaging the tension from your shoulders. Ground yourself in the help of others, your oasis of rest. Receive their loving touch and let it melt your bonds. Move freely. We are never meant to travel alone for the entirety of our journey. That’s the secret I can offer you. Write these helpers in to your story. They don’t know they are in your play. Cast them so they can find their gifts in being your ally.

beach-best-friends-bff-blonde-Favim.com-1859745And then, you will find yourself in a place of disconnect. It will feel dark and lonely. It is the natural way of things to come to this place, so call on your allies to meet you when you come out. You will come out of this, dear one, don’t worry. It only feels like you won’t. Sometimes we swing so far away from our pull, we feel like we are lost. You aren’t. It is your aphelion. The blackness out in that part of the universe awaits its own storytelling. You will feel the gravitational pull again, reminding you that you were never ever separated from the perfect alignment that makes up the galaxies.

 

 

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Photo by: chris-lamprianidis.deviantart.com

On the path of remembering, we often forget.

This, too, is just another step in the Sacred Dance. 

And so, with wild abandon, we leap.

By: Michelle Welles

 

I forget stuff. A lot. The most insufferable forgetting I have are the life lessons. I’m forever saying to myself, “But I KNOW that already! How did I forget?” Things like, I’m enough. I’ve got something to offer the world. I’m not stupid.  I’m pretty solid with knowing where my car keys are, though, so there’s a high five for me there.

Lately, I am determined NOT to forget that everything will be okay. I don’t say this as a way to avoid the realities of the world, I say this because it is the most true thing I have learned, again and again. Hard things are happening. There seems to be no end to hard things. However, we do not need to allow the hard things to take us under and render us useless. I’ve learned to find the spark, the creative voice inside that brings forth the change that I want to see, that I know is meant to happen. Here’s a tip I’m remembering from the last time I forgot: if it seems like there are only two choices, wait. Sit with it. Don’t make a decision until you see more than two options. This is where creativity becomes our best ally. Like a dandelion that somehow took root in the cracks of cement, we, too, can find ways through the hardness.

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Photo by: elizaveta.typepad.com

Let me ask you one thing about stuff that is hard. Do you notice the difference in hard stuff? There is the kind of hard that comes with working a job you hate, or having the same arguments about the equality and rights of others to people who don’t see people this way, or the same old family issues that yank your chain every damn time you speak to your family. These examples are one kind of hard. Let’s call it hard-hard. Then, there’s another kind of hard. There is the hard of leaving your work and life to go sit with a dying friend, or to set up camp to support resistance of the Dakota Access Pipeline, or finally getting in to therapy to do some deep healing work. When we follow our passions, our kindness, our purpose (or whatever little tickle happens in your body that tells you to go do that thing that feels big and meaningful), something shifts. This hard, let’s call it hard-shift, moves something. It moves us in to connection with others. It moves mountains of no-way outs in to moving forward.

I’m okay with forgetting the hard-hard stuff. I’m not okay with forgetting the hard-shift stuff. So why do I do it? Why do I let the hard-hard be so real when it’s not? I don’t know, but my writing friend, Michelle Welles, gave me pause when she wrote this piece I share with you here at the beginning of this blog. And that is, maybe forgetting is part of the process. Forgetting is not some separate experience keeping me from my path, rather, it is part of the dance of change and healing and meaning. It feels good to remember something that was once forgotten. Like that song from high school you forgot about, or the ice-cream you forgot you purchased that you stumble upon after dinner. Score!! It is savored more than when you first experienced it. Unknown

I recently forgot that I was a teacher. I forgot that my joy comes from taking my emotive, non-linear living and spiritual practice, and playing with it, sharing my ups and downs with you all as a way to say, “Yeah, me too. Stuff sucks sometimes. But look what I found!” We are not the same, but we are similar in our desire to love and be loved, to know that we matter. I forgot this for a long time, and I guess fear and doubt and not enoughness filled in the gaps. After speaking to a friend, it came to me. What I had forgotten came back and I let it fill me inside all the way in to the nooks and crannies. It’s taking root, again. And I know this little bloom is going to be a wild weed because she is familiar. Ah, the joy of remembering again!

 

Emerging Into This

 

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My heart feels like this lately.

This just happened. I wished a woman good luck at the lotto kiosk. I watched myself turn to her on my way out the door and say, “Hey! I hope you win!” I genuinely meant it, too. I’ve never done that before. Ever. At first she looked at me with a sarcastic look on her face. Her mouth was closed, as if she were holding back saying a retort of some kind. But once she looked at me, I held her gaze and let the reality sink in for the both of us; I meant it. A softening spread across her eyes and she said, “I need it!” I think she meant the money AND the good luck. I get that. I have certainly had my fair share of ups and downs where the only option I knew I was to throw two bucks down and play for my prayers to be answered.

 

There’s something in the air and I just can’t quite put my finger on it. Everything in the world is terrible right now. The environment, the politics, the violence, the poverty, it’s all just terrible. So why am I loving on people and not continuing my recoil from horror? Here’s another example, a family member of mine just no-showed on me. Again. Usually I’d be throwing down about this, pointing out the hurt I feel, the issues that need to be addressed, the vow to ‘never again’ that would be erased for some other opportunity for connection. But what do I find myself doing? I’m letting it go?! I actually understand that she is who she is, that she is trying her best. I can keep my own promises but I don’t need her to keep hers. What in the HELL is happening?

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Get a taste of this!

I want to document this. Put it on the record as saying, ‘Dear Me, This is happening right now. Love, Me again’. I don’t want to forget, because that’s how I create my own demise. I forget and put others’ experiences in front of my own and then navigate my world from their sights, their expectations, their needs. I let them act as captain of my reality ship, then I do tedious and unnecessary work to make things happen their way. This has worked never, so I don’t know why this is my default modus operendi. It’s not even easier. But I have been doing one thing lately that has been different than any other time before. I have been sharing my writing. That means I have taken my raw data and masticated it for awhile and then painted a picture with the flavors that are coming out of my mouth. TMI? Well, how would you describe it? It’s not that I have a finished product to give you, like 10 tips on how to be sane in an insane world. (Note to self: write next blog post on 10 tips on how to be sane in an insane world). You are getting the canary in the coal mine, except this canary is singing to you a love song of freedom and light and fresh air.

 

And you know what else is happening at the same time? Other people are saying beautiful, kind things at random. Example: this 93 year old woman starts to give me sweet tips on how to baby proof my house. We are in the community pool shower room. I know she is 93 because she tells me this, and tells me her children liked to throw each other down all the time growing up. She had to get rid of the glass furniture. I laughed. She said they are now 65 and 67. I asked her if they still throw each other down a lot and I give myself a giggle thinking about that. She didn’t hear me and I was disappointed that she didn’t get to share in that joke. She then says that there were spiders in the pool changing room and she told the receptionist. The receptionist said they would spray

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Or spiders.

for it but this sassy lady pointed her finger to the floor to emphasize that they would not be using any harsh chemicals for fear a child might pick something up off the floor and eat something toxic. I can’t make this world safe for my son all on my own. I rely on the grandmothers to give their fiery advice, even if some of those tips I have to learn on my own. There are such great kindnesses happening all the time, and this is just one. So, I rely on the kind person who tells me I left my headlights on, and I know for a fact that someone has turned mine off for me without even waiting to tell me they did it.

 

From the depths of chaos and despair, of abuse of power and greed, the page turns…a new chapter taking us to the part in our collective life drama where we look down at our shoes and realize the colors of our own distinct living, splotched on our boots, is the story we paint made by our own brushes.

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Well, look at that…

And now, confession time. I got really angry the other week. My one-year-old son bit me and drew blood, and I got so upset. Sadly, in a kind of knee jerk reaction, I yelled. And I instantly regretted it. Sweet baby had to hear his Mama yell and that is not okay. I will not let this happen again because this anger wasn’t even for him. Something was not in check in me. I took my own time out. So, who was I really angry at? I do what I always do. I sat and listened for the response that comes, much like the responses I have been giving in kindness. And it came, eventually. I was angry at what I thought was a situation I was stuck in. I felt I had no way out and no one to help me. But the gift in my having this sad experience was that the anger cleared long enough for me to see that I wasn’t really stuck at all. I just believed that I was. And you know what they say about beliefs and sphincters of certain kinds. Like my underwear, I opt to change my beliefs when they start to stink, stain or not fit anymore. Fresh underwear feels good and moves with you.

I let the kindness of this clarity about my son touch my heart, because that is part of this, too, to give yourself humble approval to experience the lessons in life and then the sweet forgiveness that comes in the learning. These experiences of kindness are cyclical in nature. They must be received, as well as given. And they come when they come, not saved for certain people or withheld. Like bursts of sunshine through the rain clouds, they touch everything and anything that is there in that moment.

phoneIf you find yourself enjoying some magical connections, some kind moments, some words that come out of your mouth that make someone laugh, or feel cared for, or change someone’s zombie-like disposition, and you didn’t even mean to do it, do this. Get curious about it and share it: write it, talk it through, make a song or dance of it, make art. There is a revolution of some kind happening and it’s not one we are cognitively organizing. Instead, we are getting out of the way and it’s moving through us. Feel it as this something is rising in us, with us, for us. It’s kind and beautiful and is powerful enough to save us all.

A Taste of my Own Medicine

 

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Homeopaths don’t usually look like this

Last week I went to a homeopath. Do you know what they are? Pellet pushers. Tiny, tiny pellet pushers being pushed by tiny people. Tiny people in tiny clothes eating tiny lunches. Unless they are of a certain age, and then they are tiny people in enormously billowy clothes, eating tiny lunches. Like all alternative medicine people, their look and lifestyle is the marketing. You wouldn’t, say, go to an alternative medicine person if they had teeth missing, for instance. They think that you want to go to someone who radiates who you aspire to be. The marketing says, ‘You, too, would be living la vida loca if only you did what I did. Eat tiny pellets and you could be just like me, all wise, spiritually serene, naturally good looking and tiny’.

 

The pellets are so easy! They taste like candy. It’s not like that hardcore Chinese medicine. No sir. That shit is for real. They have nothing that tastes like candy, not even the candy. Chinese medicine is like gargling your yard. So, no thank you, I am having too much of a hard time with what I’m already dealing with. I don’t need to choke anything more down. I want easy.

 

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This is what a freaked out mother looks like….

 

So, I’m happy to try this homeopath because one, I will get to have sugar pellets, but also because the treatment looks at the whole person. I need what I am going through to resolve in its entirety, so if the person can give me pellets to change the past, I am in! My past needs a good talking to, and I know there’s a name for doing that. What’s it called? Oh, right. It’s called therapy. I don’t have time for that right now. No, I’m desperate, like many of us who decide to try a new alternative medicine route. I need something new to believe in, not something old to process. Yuck. I’d rather clean out my toilet. You know why? Because at this point, I haven’t slept in three weeks. If someone so much as looks at me wrong, I want to either go flail my arms around in anger or flail them in sadness. Either way, I want to flail.

 

I had hopes for this homeopath who came so highly recommended. So, you can imagine my reaction when she came out in her caring-but-only-on-the-outside front. It was her handshake. Why is it that so many alternative medicine people have shitty ass handshakes? What’s wrong with meeting people in the physical world from time to time? I ask you? And then, she didn’t even shake my wife’s hand and that’s a big no-no. You don’t meet a lesbian couple and only shake one of their hands. Everybody knows that. Other than a random dead body being present in the room as an excuse, you need to shake both of the peoples’ hands. It’s just nice. Also, because we are both women, you don’t know which one of us is playing the boy part, who pays for the appointment. So just cover your bases. JUST KIDDING! There’s no boy part to play! But can I tell you just how many people I’ve met who actually think that? I suppose this is a cultural learning process. Some are just faster at realizations like this than others. No shame in it, but let’s just speed it up.

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This sucks

This leads me to another reason I am turned off by this woman. It’s her thinness masked as healthy. Does she have celiac? Probably. How do I know? Because she is hinting towards that kind of diet. I don’t have the celiac. Not every damn body does well on a gluten free diet. The Chinese proverb fits; ‘When you are a hammer, everyone looks like a nail’. So stop hammering on. Not EVERY kid is going to need to be dairy free for the rest of their lives, even if they have an ear infection. Which was another reason we went to see her. Yes, I went for my son, but I was hoping for compassion from her in which she sees the whole family as part of the healing process. My family of five is like a whole galaxy, and yes, I’m including my two kitties. Don’t even think I wouldn’t. We move based on the magnetic pull and movement of each other. It’s a beautiful dance…until it isn’t. Right now we are like the white guy dancing 80s style, all stiff and no rhythm, with the arms doing some kind of pumping action. It looks and feels uncomfortable and clunky. How is it that I’m missing the beat? This sucks.

The homeopath did one last thing. She made me cry. Oh, I know. No one can MAKE you do anything. Let’s just say, with a kid being sick for three weeks and getting no sleep, I could’ve used more understanding and listening and less blame throwing. Like flame throwing except it keeps burning through like shame. Blame, shame, flame thrower lady, you are NOT HELPING. Then, she started giving me nutritional advice. I have a certification in nutritional therapy but when I told her that, it was like I was speaking quietly to myself. She wasn’t listening. She just kept talking. The issue was cow’s milk for baby. Yes, I give my kid whey protein formula. Well, she heard that one. She put her pen and clipboard down, spoke slowly for dramatic purposes I guess, and explained how babies, or any human, should not be on cow’s milk. Ever. “So, do you have recommendations for what to give him that will have comparable nutritional value?” I asked her three times during her milk hating rant. Finally, she replied. ” If you really need to give him something white to drink, try coconut milk”. What? Why would I be hell bent on the color of his drink? I pressed giving her our history again, to help, so she interrupted by saying that she, “only had 17 years’ experience to back her up”. What? I’m just trying to TELL YOU SOMETHING! How does your defensiveness help me? Then, she asked if we vaccinated. Well. That’s always the card that gets thrown down in the alternative medicine world as to whether you are a true member or not. That, and stretchy, organic cotton clothes. And being vegan. And herbal tea. And tiny lunches with kale, with apple cider vinegar for dressing. I happen to like vinegar for dressing, but it’s all or nothing, sister. You’re either in or you are out.

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She gave us some sugar pellets at the end but never informed us what it was. We left angry, disheartened and like we should have been doing more than we were. I gave the pellets to my son anyway in the parking lot after the visit, and he eventually got better, but only after he projectile vomited the entire contents of his stomach, including the sugar pellets. My son has a way of getting the message across.

 

Staying When Something In Me Says, “Go!”

A part of me got downright pissed off today in spinning class. Imagine the scenario: It’s 6:30 a.m. and I’m pumping my legs to the music of Hotel California. It’s a hard morning for me, especially because I am forced to listen to Hotel California, but also because my legs can’t keep up with the rhythm.

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Most spinning classes offer a nice large video screen and the instructor can choose videos for the class. Imagine some of the videos you might want to watch while exercising: Something encouraging perhaps? Maybe something that shows the beauty of the outdoors? Me, too.

Now, how about a wolf running down a baby antelope after five minutes of chase? Probably not the first thing you might consider, but you understand that the Planet Earth video directors might also want to show the drama that is nature. And nature is brutal beauty.

So, we watch the wolf thing, and after that a shark starts eating seals. The last time the instructor showed a Planet Earth video we watched TEN WHOLE MINUTES of orcas hunting down and killing a humpback mama and baby. There was blood, let me tell you, and lots of it. Was this the same video? I kept cringing with each changing scene, hoping it wasn’t that one.

Some of you may be wondering what the fuss is about. It’s nature, you say, it’s part of life. Others may agree wholeheartedly about why I was pissed off. Why should we have to watch that? It’s not something we need to see first thing in the morning. Or at any other time, for that matter.

For me, it wasn’t that I had feelings one way or the other. It was that I had BOTH of those feelings, and I was not sure what to DO about it! A part of me wanted to leave. It was uncomfortable. Another part of me wanted to stay, finish my good workout, and be with the gang. And from this conflicted dialogue in me, anger rose about the whole scene in general. I even sensed a part of me angry that I even had to have this conflict to begin with!

I am sure having more than one feeling about something is familiar to you. I am sure, at some point, you have felt opposite feelings about the same person or situation. For example, it’s your birthday and you know your Dad and step mom will be there with her kids. You like them and all, and you actually like that your Dad is happy. But you just wish you could have your family together just ONCE the way it was before the divorce. You want to feel the way it used to be before the changes that came with the

60062056new and blended family. You acknowledge the feelings of longing and loss for the old way, grateful and glad for the new way, AND maybe feelings of dissatisfaction that what you are wanting for your birthday will probably not happen.

It’s hard being human. If the only emotions we had were happy or sad, it would be so much easier. But we are complex and have wonderful things like words to help us articulate the full expression that our feelings offer. I can be sad—but is it a happy sad, like in a romantic comedy, or is it a never-ending gray-cloud kind of sad? If we can actually pay attention to our inner world long enough, we get to learn more about ourselves and what it is that we are really feeling. In doing so, we are developing a rich inner relationship with ourselves so that we can get to the place where we know what we really want and what the next steps are for that.

So, back to spinning class. My legs are still not going fast, and the instructor yells at us to “increase your resistance!” And I feel all that in my body. I feel resistance to stay at the same time that I feel resistance to leave. I feel the part of me that is angry because I have to deal with this whole scenario, and so I turn inward and find out that, in fact, it isn’t really that I’m angry. What this part of me feels is sad… and from the inside I hear the word “sacred.”

And then I finally get it. I am upset because to me, the cycle of life is sacred. When I went salmon fishing for the first time, I cried and prayed and gave thanks that this salmon gave its life to me. I knew it was a gift to me and my family. We ate that fish with appreciation and love for its life. When we ate it, its body became a part of our bodies. And that is good.

Witnessing the sacred act of dying so that another may live is not honored when I am doing so while sweating to the oldies. It isn’t honored when I watch one, then another, and then another killing, without being able to give myself any pause for grace or connection. I want to honor and appreciate that as much as I do the cinematography and the stamina and heart it must have taken the film crew to spend the hours waiting for those images to occur.

Now that I know what all of this internal dialogue wanted to share with me, I am left with a feeling of relief and light heartedness. I don’t have the pressing need to stay or to go. Instead, I am able to naturally glide off the bike and say farewell to my friends as I move into the morning light that awaits me outside. I love life and everything that’s in it. It was just re-affirmed by my spinning class. How cool is that?

This blog is a way to share what it can be like to live in an embodied way. I use my background in social work, my many years of bodywork, and the skills I have learned as a certified Focusing teacher. Please read more about what I offer as a mentor and teacher on my WordPress site. I hope to hear from you!