In movies, a writer sits down at the computer or better yet, typewriter, loads a fresh page and types a title then a byline. The writer, hungry to tell a story, begins at the beginning.
I've always found this a delightful fantasy. The implication, if one can begin with a title and then the beginning, is that one knows the arc of the story - knows its shape and contents before writing.
I wish I could do that.
My writing style is messy and disorganized. I get through entire drafts before I start to understand what it is I'm doing, where the story is, what's important.
She honored me greatly by inviting me to be part of the entertainment at her slumber party. She requested that I show the girls how to decorate hula hoops, dye their hair rainbow colors and tell fortunes. I didn't expect any of this to play out exactly as imagined because I have been a seven year old girl and I know the way of the slumber party, but I thought the request was fantastic. It was perhaps the proudest moment of my life when I arrived at the party and Ava announced to her friends, "The famous LaLa is here!"
I didn't always know what it meant to be empathic, but I always was empathic. As a child, this led to many stomach aches. As an adult, I started to figure out how to tell the difference between what was mine and what wasn't, but I couldn't necessarily do anything about it. When I began to learn about intuitive and healing work, it became obvious that I would have to come up with a method for releasing all the stuff I was carrying around in my physical and energetic body - both my stuff and the stuff I picked up from other people.
In addition to shielding and grounding practices, I have several methods for release that are working for me right now, and one in particular that engage in a couple of times a week. I want to share it with you because it's a practical use of Reiki, it's something you can do whether you know the symbols or not, and its result is a powerful transformation that you will definitely feel.
As with all things, you can follow your own guidance and come up with a clearing and releasing method that works for you. This just happens to be what I'm doing lately.
My friend Amy and I like to walk and talk. We're very good at it. We have a lot to say and our conversations are no-holds-barred. You absolutely need people in your life with whom you can talk about anything and everything and when you can do that while walking in nature, all the better.
We went hiking at Raven Run this morning. The temperature has dropped just enough to make being outside bearable. Even though the creek beds were dry, the trails were lush with life: spider webs glistened in the sunlight, damsel flies and butterflies swirled around us.
We sat for a while at the overlook by the river.
Lately, I have felt a pull toward the trees. I find myself daydreaming about cabins in the woods, campfires, window screens, the canopy of stars, smoke rising from chimneys. Perhaps it's my usual late summer longing for fall, but I feel so strongly this need to live closer to nature for a few days or a week, to spend my days walking with the leaves and bark, listening to the animal music.
This, I've come to understand, is an essential part of my spiritual practice, one of the primary ways I connect and know mystery. The back yard is good; into the woods is better. We are a part of this energy; the pulsing cyclical nature of nature. We don't live on top of the earth, we are a part of it.
And nature speaks.
It's the heartbeat I need to hear; the place I need to place my head; the embrace I crave.
I was urged to commune with the earth mama today and I got the opportunity to do it in friendship. There was no peak experience, except that every moment is a peak experience.
Thank you, blue butterfly. Thank you for the whisper I can hear in my soul.
for the August Break.
A few nights ago, my niece asked me, "What does 'surround' mean?"
I explained it to her as best I could and she said, "So a hug is surround you?"
"Yes," I said, "a hug is surround you."
I've been thinking about how true that is, how a hug really is about surrounding. I told Emme that when something surrounds you, it is all around you and her mind immediately went to that feeling, of being inside the circle of someone else's arms.
On Saturday, I shared a particularly moving reading with a client. The whole room was like an opening lotus and we were in the middle, we were surrounded by it. Love. Afterwards, we hugged like old friends even though we'd technically not met before that moment.
What we do with our bodies.
What we do with our hearts.
It's the language that matters most.
What we say to one another with our chests pressed, the energy exchanged.
It's the language that matters most.
No room for defense; no room for anger; no room for fear; no room for jealousy; no room for judgement; room for release; room for understanding; room for quiet; room to hear the pulse of life. The oneness. The truth.
In one another's arms we take off the masks and breathe.
This is to surround you.
This is all there is.
On the new moon, Jamie asked us to consider, "How can I shine?" This full sturgeon moon in Pisces is also a great time to strengthen connections and relationships, and that's what is speaking to me now when it comes to shining. Shining with and for others, creating space and exchanging energy for the betterment of all.
I feel that I'm in an expansion stage, gathering what I've learned so far, bundling it with the questions, and moving out into the world of conversation and give and take. I'm open to finding out where partnerships can lead and I'm honoring my friendships, the connections that feed me, the connections I feed.
The full moon energy is helping me release to make room for the new and I feel its particular brand of medicine stronger now than every before. I'm swimming in the emotional waters of Pisces and delving deeper into meditative practices.
And it's not that I think I'm attracting anything to me; it's that I feel relationships, gifts, big love is being revealed.
My dreamboard after the jump:
Words are approximations. We name and label and sort because we need to communicate, but the words we use aren't really the thing.
I don't want to have to say I think or I believe all the time. It's self-evident. If I've written something here, it's just a thought or an idea. Anything written anywhere is just a thought or an idea. When someone tells you that something is or something works, they are only telling you that the something is and the something works for them. At the moment.
No one - no healer, writer, sage, guru, doctor, scholar, psychic - can tell you anything more important than what you already know. No one is holier or better than anyone else.
"Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense." - Buddha
It's a quote that gets tossed around a lot and for a damn good reason.
Increasingly, I am aware of a subtle hostility. The backlash against the positive. (There isn't really positive and negative, but we have to call it something. We approximate.)
So many people saying so many things. So many teachers teaching. Because we're each a teacher for another; because we have a message and another message; because we make discoveries and we want to share; because we have questions and we want to learn.
But I know what it is to want it to stop, to want to be left alone. So I understand when people push against the positive. And I understand what's uninteresting about happy, happy, happy.
The thing is, bliss isn't always about the happy. Sometimes it's just balance. Sometimes it's just easing off of the blade. Sometimes it's just breath.
Yesterday, we were on the interstate and a car whipped into us. The driver decided to change lanes, moved before he saw us. We collided but he corrected and no other cars were involved. We pulled over the shoulder to call and wait for the police. My car was damaged but Tracy and I were not. The other driver was not.
In every moment, there is a choice. We place our focus. Sometimes it doesn't feel like a choice; other times we know that it is. I'm not talking about emotion. You can be sorrowful and grateful. You can be confused and grateful. You can be angry and grateful.
Sometimes you question your very identity. The solar plexus swirls, the heart clenches, the tears rise. You retreat. But it's still bliss.
We do what we can.
We're not stuck; we're not lost; we're on journey or we're resting from the journey.
We smile. We say good morning, good night. We mess up. We push restart.
We flow on.
And I love you. I do.
for the August Break.
This is a morning of fresh starts.
The weather broke and I am able to come outside again. Woody got me up early, bless him, and brought me outside where he snuggled in to the wicker sofa on the front porch (his most favorite place) and I covered him with soft throw and he fell back into a deep sleep. It's raining, gently, and cool enough that he needs the cover, cool enough for me to wear a robe over my t-shirt and yoga pants.
I made my coffee and brought it to the table with my laptop and began working on the writing project that's been calling to me, the nonfiction thing that's been nagging at my consciousness. The writing this morning is coming easily, the words flowing on the screen like water.
I'm telling the story I need to tell.
So, Jamie's question, as always, has great resonance for me, Where do you wish to make a fresh start?
On this morning of fresh starts, the fresh start so immediately available and tactile, I turn my attention (again) to my physical well-being and what it means for me to listen to my body. My daily walks were ended by insufferable heat and humidity this summer and not replaced. The yoga mat languishes next to my meditation altar.
I wish to make a fresh start here: in the muscle and bone. Let me begin to move again and move in new ways, stretching open, gathering strength. The walks, the poses, the way my body speaks as it moves through space. I wish to care for my physical self in a new and expansive way so that all aspects of this life flow the way the words are flowing this morning.
Just because I don't have clients booked, doesn't mean it isn't a business day.
For one thing, I got some writing done today, although not without a great deal of teeth gnashing. Why I must first do this dance of resistance is still a mystery to me but the point is that some writing was accomplished and this is good.
I also spent over an hour attempting to create a podcast. The attempt failed, but I'm still feeling drawn toward communicating in that way. Oh, it was almost really good until it wasn't.
The work (I'm still looking for a better word for this stuff - the stuff I do that lives beneath this dream life canopy) is growing. It's cutting off the dead branches and sprouting new ones.