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Relationship

Words

So often we talk about what we don’t want in our lives. “I don’t want a partner who lies to me.” “I don’t like my job.” The insidious, “I can’t sing, I can’t resign from my job, sell my house, live alone … ”

The ubiquitous “I’ll try to” that reflects our ambivalence and disempowerment. Or the threadbare, “I’ll see what I can do”, or the terminal, ” we’ll see”… Thickets of thorny don’ts barricade our path to change and new growth. The slippery, non-committal words that signify nothing. The “buts” that negate and nullify.  They are the fear and self-righteous judgement that bind us to the ever-spinning wheel of Ixion, tormented by our self-defeating thoughts and habitual behaviours.

Words wound and scar. With reptilian-like dispassion our forked tongues spew the putrid gossip that oozes around the office or our homes. We lacerate our partners, our children, our colleagues with words that make fragile hearts weep. Most of us have a habitual vibrational frequency, well-worn neural pathways in our brains that allow us to keep thinking those thoughts, feeling those emotions, saying the words that resonate with that frequency. Our aching bodies speak of our inner conflict, symptoms of a frequency that can make us literally ill.

Last year, the Italian clothing company, Benetton’s “Unhate” Campaign, was aimed at fostering tolerance and “global love”. It featured the provocative and superbly Photoshopped image of Pope Benedict XVI kissing a senior Egyptian imam. This image of love was too strong for the barnacled bastion of the Vatican, but it was the slogan, “Unhate”, that drew my attention. Bob Nicoll, author of Remember the Ice, uses the NLP model to reframe words and eliminate what he dubs the (K)notty words – the not’s, the don’ts. So, if we say, “don’t talk about Bill’s affair with Susan,” our confused brain will do just that! When I read “Unhate”, my energy dropped as I registered the word, “Hate”.

In the dark shadow of the cataclysmic First World War, a woman called Blanche Ebbutt, compiled two slim volumes of do’s and don’ts for a happy marriage. I would like to share these “how-tos” of 1913 with you in 2012:
The Don’ts for Wives:
Don’t be out if you can help it when your husband gets home after his day’s work.
Don’t let him have to search the house for you. Listen for his latch-key and meet him on the threshold.
Don’t omit the kiss of greeting. It cheers a man when he is tired to feel that his wife is glad to see him home.
Don’t greet him at the door with a catalogue of the dreadful crimes committed by servants during the day.
Don’t think your husband horrid if he seems a bit irritable; probably he has had a very trying day, and his nerves are overwrought.
As Bob Nicoll, points out, when faced with the don’t, this is what we are advised to do: Be out when your husband gets home. Let him have to search for you. Skip the kiss of greeting. Greet him at the door with a catalogue of dreadful crimes. Think your husband horrid if he seems a bit irritable.

I could not resist the Don’ts for Husbands, in the interest of gender balance, of course:
Don’t sulk when things go wrong. If you can’t help being vexed, say so, and get it over with.
Don’t “nag” your wife. If she has burnt the cake, or has forgotten to sew on a button, she doesn’t want to be told of it over and over again.
Don’t shout when you are angry. It isn’t necessary to let the children or the servants know all about it.
Don’t scowl or look severe. Cultivate a pleasant expression if Nature hasn’t blessed you with one.
Don’t “let off steam” on your wife or children every time anything goes wrong in the garage or the garden, or the fowl house, or the dark room.
So, if we remove the (K)notty words, the message we receive will be:
Sulk when things go wrong. “Nag” your wife. If she has burnt the cake or forgotten to sew on a button, she wants to be told over and over again. Scowl and look severe. “Let off steam” on your wife or children every time anything goes wrong. (This last one could be grounds for building a case for how potential abuse occurs…. says Nicoll.)

Words are potent tools to change our perceptions, lift our energy to a higher vibrational level. Each one has meaning and a vibration and can change the course of our lives. By judging anything bad, or wrong, we stay stuck in the swamps of negativity and block our inner Guidance. Let’s self-censor before they slide out, razor-sharp, and cut someone today. Instead, try this on, see how it feels: “I love you, I will never leave you, and I will always take care of you. (Said to oneself.)” Elizabeth Gilbert

Bee Gees, “Words”

4

That’s Just The Way It Is

 

The first month of this much heralded calendar year, is named in honour of Janus, two-headed god of thresholds. “This year will be better…” I hear people say hopefully, perhaps as a talisman to ward off the disappointments and hardships of the year gone by.  “2012 will be exactly what we make of it,” from a pragmatic, more self-actualised perspective. As the effervescent bubbles of New Year’s Eve flatten into the sober days of January and we minister to the minutiae of our daily lives Fate may enter softly through the open door, catching us unprepared.  She brings news that your baby needs heart surgery. That your best friend has been injured in a car accident. That you no longer have a job, a home, a marriage. That your life will change irrevocably. News that sends you skidding off the smooth tarmac of your carefully scheduled New Year planner.

“God never gives us more than we can handle”, is the trite kneejerk response to desperate calamities and unspeakable suffering that so many endure. A visit to a psychiatric hospital, a war zone, the trauma unit in your local hospital, witnessing an execution on You Tube, makes me question what kind of Monster we have created as a god who would gift us with this kind of suffering. The uncomprehending stare of a young mother’s eyes when she is told her child has died, a young man paralysed from the waist after diving into an azure pool one hot summer’s day, the black dog of depression that gnaws at so many, trapped in a snare of excruciating loneliness and loss. For many of us this year, we will have to bow our heads to the necessity of getting out of bed each day and finding something to be truly grateful for.  We will yoke ourselves to the inevitability of change: children who leave home, a lover who no longer loves us, a dear friend who moves far away, a beloved parent who now needs the same vigilant caring as a toddler.

Our ancestors lived close to the cycles of the seasons, the rhythm of Life. During the unrelenting grip of famine or displacement by war, flood or fire, they walked with the primordial goddess of Necessity. She was Ananke, also called Force or Constraint, she was mother to three daughters, the Moirai, the Fates. As omniscient goddess of all circumstance, greatly respected by mortals and  gods, it was she who ruled the pattern of the life line of threads of inevitable, irrational, fated events in our lives. Ananke  determined what each soul had chosen for its lot to be necessary – not as an accident, not as something good or bad,  but as something necessary to be lived, endured, experienced. Necessity is variable, always irrational, and errant.  She has been outcast in our mechanistic material culture where we, in our hubris and our self-inflation, actually believe that are all powerful.  Like a narcissistic two year old, we believe we can fix, cut away, or buy our way out of any mess we make.  And when something in our lives breaks us out of our usual patterns, seems not to fit, this is when it would serve us well to know that our unique and very precious soul has chosen this experience and with an out-breath, accept the  imperative requirement of Necessity. The “good” or the “bad” that we make of this experience is our mind’s doing, the perpetrator of our own suffering.

Ananke is an ancient goddess, and the resonance of her name has its tap root in the ancient tongues of the Chaldean, Egyptian, the Hebrew, for “narrow,” “throat”, “strangle” and the cruel yokes that were fastened around the necks of captives. Ananke always takes us by the throat, imprisons, enslaves, and stops us in our tracks, for a while. There is no escape. She is unyielding, and it is we who must excavate from the depths of our being, our courage, tenacity, and acceptance of what is.

So this New Year, Necessity may lay her hand on a defining moment in your life. She may still the tug-o’-war of the heart’s calling, block the mind’s plan, and fasten the collar around our neck. There will be no escape, except a shift in perception, and the courage to accept that which cannot be otherwise.

We will gracefully accept the necessary ending of a love affair, a not so exciting job that pays the bills, an ageing body, a severe or chronic illness, a barren womb, in the surety that everything is in motion: the cycles of the seasons, the orbits of the planets, the rise and fall of the stock market, birthing and dying, dis-ease and healing, tears and laughter.

So this New Year, may we have the courage to bow our heads to our hearts and honour Necessity, in the knowledge that as painful, challenging, frightening, hopeless, as things seem right now, this too shall pass. A Course in Miracles says: “Seek not to change the world, but choose to change your mind about the world.”

Phil Collins on Youtube sings That’s Just the Way It Is”, and moves my spirit today. 

 

 

 

8

Miracles Happen

There comes a moment, and often many of them, in most relationships when one partner says to the other: “I feel no passion for you anymore; there’s no spark.”  Sometimes she adds: “And there never was!”  Often it’s said in anger, sometimes in despair.  But there’s no mistaking the soul-wrenching pain that lies beneath.  And beneath the pain…?

We tell ourselves deeply disempowering stories about passion, and falling in and out of love.  Scientists talk of neurotransmitters and pheromones, secreted and acted upon beyond our control.  Psychotherapists remind us of childhood wants and wounds that overwhelm us.  Even believers in “The Secret” hesitate, invoking the mysterious workings of the soul in this, the most vital of life’s callings.  Because, of course, very few of us indeed have never been either the pained sender or the unwilling recipient of this primal rejection.  And fewer still have been willing or able to recover a relationship when one of us has declared love dead.  Where are the miracles?

And yet, none of the mystics or visionaries has ever said “Faith can move mountains… except that one.”  Neville, for example, is quite clear: “Man’s chief delusion is his conviction that there are causes other than his own state of consciousness.”  (This was written in the late 1950s; woman was not being excluded.)  Neale Donald Walsch is equally unambiguous that thought is the sponsor of all creation.  So why do these miracles seem so seldom to happen?

Follow the pain trail.  Back to the very tip of its deepest tap root.  Can you recall that moment of tender or flaming passion when you said “I love you?”  And gently, ever so gently, can you touch the immediately following though, however fleeting?  Ah yes, there it is.  For so many of us it was “Does she love me back?”; “Does he love me less than I love him?”  And, on high alert, we find the evidence, however flimsy, to prove our case over days, months or years.  Slowly or rapidly, we count the wounds and the hurts.  Passion cannot long survive such enumeration.

And so, if you’ve lately said or heard the dreaded declaration, and you still believe in your relationship, your first task is to find the self-doubt, self-fear, self-hatred—whatever it may be—that caused you to believe you were not sufficiently loved.  For that single belief alone is powerful enough to derail any train of thought, however positive.

And then choose to believe that Miracles Happen.

The stream of passion and love
Flows both towards you and away
You alone decide which direction to look

4

Heaven’s Door

Sooner or later, each one of us will have to sit in the deep silence of death. In the Western world, death, like old age, is shadowed by a terrible taboo.

 I believe the veil between the living and the dead is gossamer thin. The dead are with us in invisible presence, transfigured into butterflies, free of their fleshy cocoons, close once more to the Creative Source. The work of Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, the hospice movement, the mainstream acceptance of psychic mediums like John Edward and Sylvia Browne, to name only two, has brought comfort to so many. Yet in a world where contemporary thinking offers a narrative of death as an elemental process or an abrupt unravelling of a life with the promise of some far away realm in outer space, many of us live in fear or denial of the inevitable, ultimate, transformation. Sooner or later, Death darkens every life. Death is dreaded, denied, sanitised, and softened with euphemisms, like, “she passed away, or I lost my husband”… Like the hypocritical Victorians who covered the legs of the chairs in their homes, and unbuttoned their repressions with prostitutes in dark alleyways, death is demurely concealed behind a damask curtain. For those that die, it is their end of this world. For those who watch and wait, death unravels feelings of compassion, sorrow, and rage, and the deepest love. Silent stitch by silent stitch.

I believe that our ancestors lived more bravely, more honestly in the rawness of death than we do today. The rigid grasp of our religions, our governments, our medical profession, our skewed clutching to the sanctity of life, hold hostage those who long for the still sleep of death. Billions of dollars are spent on weapons of insane destruction. Vital lives are doused by laws that still uphold the ancient lie “an eye for an eye”. We shoot horses, euthanize pets, execute adulterers and criminals, slaughter young men and women in the absurdity of dulce et decorum est pro patria mori.  Yet, so often, we embalm those we love with chemicals, life support systems, in our need to keep them in ensnared in a lack-lustre half-life. Death transports us to the imaginal realm, those who have experienced NDEs report. To non-ordinary states of consciousness, known to the shamans, and to pioneers like Stanislav Grof, one of the founders of the field of transpersonal psychology, as a realm that is accessible from this world.

I believe nobody dies empty, but full of radiance, ripe with the sweet fruits of a life lived, experiences garnered in a final harvest. Even those souls who come to this physical realm for a brief flicker, little buds that never unfurl, or souls that are jettisoned from their bodies in the mindless violence of war, or by murder, or fated accidents, will have a flame of inner life contained within the soul. In some traditions it is believed that the soul shelters the body and has a deeper knowing than the mind. Death empties the physical body, and it is the indestructible soul that carries our Essence beyond frontiers. All our experiences are transient, like dappled shadow and brilliant light. We carry a kaleidoscope of experiences that vanish like the smoke from a flame extinguished. Only our essence remains in the cycle of life and rebirth. Now as we approach the solstice, the dark dormancy of winter in the north, with the hope of rebirth of spring … the brilliant blaze of summer here in the south, soon tempered by the burnished bronze of autumn, we must pause, as the sun stands still, to cross the threshold into a new cycle of the year. I am comforted in the knowing that with every in breath, every emptying out breath that sustains my physical body, when the time comes for death to empty me, my soul will ferry me silently across still waters, where I will fly free as a butterfly sipping the nectar of new experiencing. And for my beautiful ya-ya sister, (I dedicate this to you) what more exquisite tribute to a life well lived, now so gracefully ending, from poet and visionary, William Wordsworth who writes, “our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting; the Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star hath had elsewhere its setting and cometh from afar; not in entire forgetfulness, and not in utter nakedness, but trailing clouds of glory do we come From God, who is our home.” 

Dylan singing Knocking on Heaven’s Door.

Mama, take this badge off of me I can’t use it anymore. It’s gettin’ dark, too dark for me to see I feel like I’m knockin’ on heaven’s door. Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door Mama, put my guns in the ground I can’t shoot them anymore. That long black cloud is comin’ down I feel like I’m knockin’ on heaven’s door. Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door.

6

As Tears Go By

No life is without loss. No life is without a blackened wasteland where we wander, ghostly wraiths, haunted by the shadows of pain, anger, or bewilderment.

The lover who did not love us enough to leave his wife,  the woman who could not make space in her life for  the lucidity of a real relationship, the friend, spiritual teacher, colleague or boss, who unilaterally leaves us stranded, unheard. The child, who grows to a man, leaves our mother-love to answer his call to adventure, leaving us without identity and purpose, directionless, bereft. Like Demeter we mourn our loss, wandering aimlessly across the barren winter landscape of what is loosely, lazily labelled today as “depression.”  

I often wonder how celebrities endure the fifteen minutes of fame solicited by their relationship break-ups. The glamour of new love, the stalwart, much acclaimed “moving on” is captured by the Cyclops eye of the media. It is commended by society, eulogised by psychologists. The searing burn of the secret private death of that union, that love, must be mourned in a slower, more painful way, I imagine. Moving on is dealt with in Kübler-Ross’s Five Stages of Grief model, and loss must be honoured one tear at a time. Externally, we appear to have “moved on”, as we step out into the busyness of our lives, embracing new passions. But the vacancy of our loss remains, an empty room in our heart. 

Losing the people we love transcends age, gender, race and the accumulation of material wealth. My beloved 73-year-old aunt says, stoically: “getting older has meant losing the people I truly love.” A young client, inconsolable in her discovery that her lover has announced she is “moving on”, her passion cooled. A frozen couple, their marriage resembling a steel tramline as they live their parallel lives, strangers in the night. Their silent ache for the soft comfort of intimacy, their unspoken yearning for connection, now a distant echo of a passion once shared.

Part of our human experience is to experience and embrace loss as part of life.  We feel low, blue, heavy, heart-sore, weary, lacking our usual verve, frozen, numb, with the icy claw of the pain of our aloneness. We embalm our tears, make our thoughts our prisons.  Tie the tourniquet on our bleeding hearts so tightly that we close off to anything that might leave us open to the risk of loss again. We lose the wide-eyed idealism of youth as corruption in political, religious and corporate structures blights the seeds of hope for a better world.  We become infected with the virus of perfection as we scratch and claw, strive and struggle against our flaws and failures, losing our belief in our own unique potential.

We’ve read the books, cognitively know that suffering, anxiety, the unravelling of worry, the emptiness of abandonment are all smoky mirrors that keep us feeling separate from Source. We know that we are all interconnected, sacred drops in the Ocean of Divinity, God-Goddess. And yet, perversely, we choose to feel alone, to sup with sorrow, in the haunted rooms of our own memories. To ignore the soul’s knowing that lies buried beneath the fragmented surface of our fractured experiences. We may keen in our desolation; walk through the grim valley of the shadow of death, until we climb the mountain to the light above the dark clouds. Or we may choose to numb down the pain with busyness, with food, alcohol, or pills. There is no “right way” or “wrong way” and it may take a life time to learn to inhabit our loss, to endure the long silence in the wake of loss.  And yet, because each life, each birth chart,  contains an acorn of unlimited possibility, each one of us will experience loss differently and see the world through different fantasies that veil the truth.  Each one of us will have to decide to find the healing in every situation and solace in the secret shelter of our soul, before “moving on” with new strength, to transfigure our fear.

Marianne Faithfull

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHUQuD7ZzYg&feature=related

 

4

All Along the Watchtower

 

Ten years ago, I made a conscious decision to step aside from the torrent of fear that gushes from the media.  I have not watched TV news, read a newspaper. I’ve shunned magazines, except a desultory glance at those stacked along the shelf at the hair dresser.

I’ve allowed those friends who choose to live in a miasma fear to slip out of my life. I’ve smiled as people have called me an ostrich, unpatriotic, because I do not watch Carte Blanche, or gorge on the maggot-ridden garbage tossed out by crooked politicians. I question conspiracy theories. I choose to eschew urban myths. I am aware that there is a very noxious, very dark Shadow on this earth. I am aware of gluttonous greed, a surfeit of suffering. I choose the messages I feed my mind, because I like my serotonin high. I know what the stress chemical, cortisol does to my body.

Today, I came across an eloquently written blog which made me feel like the ugly duckling who finds her swans. It is worth a read.

We are living in challenging times. Novelist Charles Dickens wrote A Tale of Two Cities in 1859, during a time of huge social and political upheaval and violent revolution.  It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”, and in 1846, it was time for the planet Neptune to be “discovered”. Now as then: “It was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us…”

 The celestial markers of our human journey, Neptune and Chiron have been in tight conjunction in the sign of Aquarius all through 2009. Together, they dipped briefly into the compassionate, ouroboric waters of Pisces for the first time, in April 2011. Neptune fully enters Pisces in February 2012  and remains there until 2025. Neptune is about sacrifice, victim consciousness, addiction, pain, renunciation, delusion, romance, spirituality, a longing to transcend this earthly realm. Neptune can embalm us in a glutinous cocoon of immobility. Or lift us up spiritually and creatively. Neptune also symbolises the energy of Christ Consciousness and compassion.  Chiron was “discovered” in 1977. Like Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers, it was silently, invisibly there all the time. Chiron embraces the archetype of the “wounded healer” or Shaman, and compels each one of us to imbibe the sacred medicine of suffering as an initiation into our wisdom and conscious understanding on  our spiritual journey.

Times are tough on so many levels for so many. As above so below, the macrocosm is reflected in the microcosm of our lives when we open the Pandora’s Box of relationships and intimacy. We fear we are not loveable enough, not good enough, beautiful enough, young enough … the shoulds, musts, and the buts, which entomb us in a mausoleum of self-imposed limitations fly out, shrieking. We keep ourselves small, in the darkness.  Though inner saboteur and the inner critic have their place in our psyche, their voices need now to be silenced as we follow our hearts, trust our intuition and cast off the self-imposed shackles that bind. Fear hides behind perfectionism. Fear lurks behind cruelty.  We fear death, change, poverty, love and loss. We fear happiness. We fear the pleasure of sensuality and the soul connection of sex. We fear telling the truth, or making those smallest behaviour changes that will save our relationships from tumbling over the dark abyss. We fear reaching across the expanse of the bed in the dark of the night to hold our lover’s hand after a fierce argument. We fear saying, “I’m  sorry” or “I forgive you.”

So we continue to continue… leaking leak vital energy; remaining trapped in what Eckhart Tolle calls the “pain body”. We use the instrument of our minds to scare ourselves with repetitive and useless terrors that corrode our joy and leach our life force. Says Marianne Williamson, in A Return to Love, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?”

I’m going on a fear fast while Mercury is in retrograde until December 14th. Would you be willing to join me? To commit to being aware when you shame or criticise yourself. To watch for the “Victim/Persecutor” dance in your relationships.  To avoid watching or reading “the news”. To lovingly examine the hidden agendas in the melodramas in your own life and in the lives of those around you. To choose to set aside time each day to focus on those things that nourish your spirit.  To stop scaring yourself. 

Open your heart; embrace the changes and challenges in your life with a sense of curiosity and wonder. Know that you are held and supported at all times on this rollercoaster of life. Remember, that after all the evils of the world had flown out of Pandora’s Box, it was Hope that remained.

Hope and All shall be well, all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.” St. Teresa of Avila.

All Along the Watchtower, written by Bob Dylan: YouTube

“There must be some kind of way out of here,
Said the joker to the thief,
There’s too much confusion,
I can’t get no relief.”

 

 

3

Moon River

 

“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls” urges Joseph Campbell.  Following our bliss has become something of a cliché, a well worn, gung ho, onwards and upwards kind of thing we toss out. For most of us it signifies nothing.

What is your Bliss?  What makes you truly Happy? How do you know what your bliss is, really?  And when you awaken, carpe diem, how do you consecrate your Holy Longing?

The Hero archetype is much misunderstood. Psychologists say it is the immature adolescent that blocks men and women from full maturity. In its purest form it is the impetus that squeezes us from the too-tight bud of our yearning and gives us the courage to dare to take the risk to open. Myths and fairy tales describe the Heroes’ journey – the journey from innocence to experience: our heroes and heroines follow trails of bread crumbs through dark forests. They slay fire-breathing dragons. They discover who they truly are when they leave the quacking ducks and find the slender-necked swans.  

When we set off on a journey, either literally, or metaphorically, we dismantle the brittle structures of a life outgrown. We discard the coarse dullness of our timid perceptions. We quicken with a molten life force. We set sail in the open seas, take the road less travelled.  Johann Von Goethe writes of this spark of courage that rekindles the heart, illuminates our lives, brings the Magic. “Distance does not make you falter. Now, arriving in magic, flying, and finally, insane for the light, you are the butterfly and you are gone. And so long as you haven’t experienced this: to die and so to grow, you are only a troubled guest on the dark earth.”

This is the adventure of being fully “alive”. The daemon–the driving spirit that invites us to experience passion, fantasy, emotions and our imagination–is as vast and as mysterious as the night sky. We may feel this aliveness when we are kissed awake by Love or when we break through our imprisoning walls of self doubt–the shoulds, the musts. When we finally turn towards initiative, creativity, and embrace Hope and Faith.

So my heart bloomed, when, I  read a blog entitled When a Frenchwoman meets an American man … excerpts from the adventures of Elise and Scott as they explore the world by sailboat. Elise and Scott’s response to this ancient impetus reflects the new zeitgeist of Pluto in Capricorn times, in that they have taken the heated rush of the Hero and transmuted it into the Warrior Archetype. They aren’t rushing off unprepared into the high seas. They are doing this with the slow hand energy of the Mature Masculine and Mature Feminine.

It is a timeless Love story that presents the luscious full-flavoured ingesting of Life.  Like all good stories, it describes a fated meeting, and begins, Once Upon A Time…. So I share with you the beginning of the story of Elise and Scott this new day.

 Elise: “Once upon a time, a French Woman who had been living and working in Paris for many years and who was fed up with the daily grind and both the gloominess and selfishness of Parisians decided in October 2010 to go to a place she has always dreamt to go to… TAHITI, in FRENCH POLYNESIA…”

Scott: “I went to Polynesia alone to rediscover myself and as a sort of ceremonial re-launch of my new life.  Elise and I ran into each other on Huahine a few days before the end of my Polynesian adventure.  Since then, we’ve spent about 3,000 hours together…  The only way I can describe it to you is the word “harmony.”   We found that we both shared the same ever-deferred-dream: to explore the world by sailboat.”

My soul stirs as I celebrate this impetus to embrace happiness, to answer the call to adventure. This daring to write the poetry of Big Love, to rearrange their lives so that their hearts sing and their souls may soar. I honour their courage to set sail at the anointed hour. To de-stigmatise the norms, conventions, rules that tether them to the lives that have grown too small for their soul song.

“Doesn’t everything die too fast and too soon? Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” asks Mary Oliver.

Scott responds: “We spent our first evening together in Huahine on the beach staring at a full moon and a million stars, above and on the water.  It was a magical, mystical conversation about life and self and others… And, we both felt inspired- – by each other, life, whatever.  So, the moon has become a bit of a symbol for us.  Anyway, we chose the name Mystic Muse for our boat in remembrance of the moon’s inspirational power.”

I dedicate this to you, Elise and Scott, and to your dreamboat, Mystic Muse, as you discover new depths of Love, and a new perspective on Life.

Carpe Diem!

Scott and Elsie, this is for you:

Moon River, wider than a mile,
I’m crossing you in style some day.
Oh, dream maker, you heart breaker;
wherever you’re going I’m going your way.
Two drifters off to see the world.
There’s such a lot of world to see.
We’re after the same rainbow’s end–
waiting ’round the bend,
my huckleberry friend,
Moon River and me.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOByH_iOn88&feature=related

 

 

6

Stand by me

“Everyone wants to be in a relationship,” declares my vivacious friend, Julie, as we supped on smoky noodles at Saigon. Does everyone yearn to be an us? Cosily coupled, snugly secure in a twosome, I wonder?

“We’re relational creatures,” she continued, as we finished off the bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon, “which is why we all keep on searching for our soul mate.” We do?

The astrological birth chart, which is the acorn of our life’s potential, the daemon of our fate, suggests otherwise.  Not everyone wants to be in a relationship. Many of us pay lip service to love, and choose to end it with the well worn “you’re too good for me” exit line when intimacy beckons. Like Pandora, we open the box and release a screeching swarm of demons that devour us with fear, turn us to pillars of stone.

Many of us hunger for Love with an appetite so voracious that we gorge on empty encounters that leave us starving and malnourished. Many of us fasten our hearts with love-proof padlocks and swear to never love again. Like the poet W.B. Yeats, who loved an Irish beauty for 30 years with a passion that was never consummated or returned, “we fed our hearts on fantasies” and ache with the memory of broken promises, still-born dreams.

Intimate relationships can be messy and convoluted, often disappointing. Relationships with friends, colleagues, a beloved cat or dog, are often far less rigorous in their demands. To form a committed bond with another, to take the necessary actions to set up home or parent children demands courage, endurance and a sense of safety as we rest in one another’s arms, for better or for worse. Real relationships require the ingredients of two willing people who love each other enough to stand strong as the cruel winds of doubt, fear and hopelessness buffet the bond of commitment.

But, if you have the soul of a gypsy, or the heart of a hermit, you may choose, consciously or unconsciously, to defy social convention and never become “an us”. As the years pass by, the thought of sharing your home with another person, of stretching wide to accommodate differences that jostle you from your routine and entrenched beliefs becomes too big a stretch. So, you stay safe, eschewing the tantrums, the misunderstandings and compromises that polish us smooth in intimate relationship. It’s easier to stay contained, to shop for one, to keep things neat and simple – uncomplicated. Many of us have loved boy-men, or girl-women who fell asleep when we beckoned them to enter the fragrant Garden of Love. They did not – could not – love us enough to make space in their orderly lives for fierce love, for the chaos of the Feminine or the pointed vision of the Masculine.  They turned their heads away and walked towards another destiny.

It is when we nurture, trust, encourage, and truly value ourselves, with all our complexity and contradictions, that we begin to dance deeper and deeper into Being. It is then, if we are willing to lower the red flags of fear and judgement, that we will invite The Beloved into the sanctum of our passionate heart. It is then that we discover the comfort and the joy of saying, darling, Stand By Me. And we just know that the answer will be OH YES!

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4_ghOG9JQM

When the night has come
And the land is dark
And the moon is the only light we see
No I won’t be afraid
No I won’t be afraid
Just as long as you stand, stand by me

John Lennon.

10

Another Day In Paradise

 For most people on this planet, 11/11/2011 will be just another day of routine chores. The commute to work, the myriad modest tasks that call for our attention. We will  hasten about the minutiae of our daily lives, not pausing to gaze skywards at the glittering stars or to marvel at the moon tonight, as she spreads her numinous milky shawl, bringing magic and mystery to the landscape.

For most people on this planet, this new day will involve finding sufficient food, water, a safe shelter before nightfall. As a world financial crisis looms, this day many people will face bedrock fear about physical survival.

11/11/11 has been heralded in blogs and movies as a day of foreboding, as we indulge our perverse addiction to drama and the horror of death and oblivion.  

For others, today is a day to meditate, to pray, to acknowledge that this day has special significance for our planet.

Many of us live divided lives. Longing for fulfilment in our work, more passion in our relationships, more depth in our friendships, more money, love, and eternal youth. We strain against what IS. We neglect our own natures and yearn for some ideal of perfection, somewhere over the rainbow….Modern psychology and allopathic medicine attempt to redeem us from the messiness of our lives, to fix, cut out, remove those things that cause us pain. Those unhealthy compulsions, painful choices that make us fully human, in all our complexity and in all our suffering. So maybe today we can be fully where we are. Working at our daily tasks no matter how mundane and humble they may be, entering our Fate and honouring the ebb and flow of our emotions, so that we can fully savour our brief lives, in the dappled light and the terrifying shadows.

The astrological chart for 11:11am in Cape Town on November 11th 2011 places the Lord of Karma, stern Saturn, ruler of the Ascendant conjunct the Midheaven. This represents a pinnacle, a time of responsibility and duty, a culmination of what has come before.  In other places, the event chart will reflect a different sky story. In the microcosm of our personal lives, this might suggest that 11/11/11 is a day to reflect on our life direction and the choices we make from moment to moment. The Full Moon in the sign of earthy Taurus yesterday, trail-blazed a solid grounded, realistic energy that echoes my feeling that today we need to honour the simple things in our lives. Come down to earth in some symbolic way. Perhaps we might see the beauty in the smallest things that make this world a paradise of delights if we choose to perceive it in this way. So you may wish to take some time today to marvel at a jewel dewdrop on a blade of grass, or breathe in the fragrance of a flower. And “to see a world in a grain of sand, and a heaven in a wild flower, hold infinity in the palm of your hand, and eternity in an hour,” as mystic and poet, William Blake inspires us to do.

Our ancestors were star gazers, who observed the cycles of the planets and the Sun and Moon. Astrologers use these celestial time markers to track the unfolding of our lives and world events. Pope Gregory XIII is credited for the reformation of the Julian calendar back in 1582. We use the Gregorian calendar in most parts of the world today, a system that marks time, in a linear manner. So 11/11/11 is just a number in a man-made system of ordering the passage of time. We can choose to give it meaning, or not. “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.” Freud is purported to have said. So, for some,  11/11/2011 will be just another day in the wheel of the year, in the saga of an individual life, in the colourful  tapestry of human history, as  “we come spinning out of nothingness, scattering stars like dust” (Rumi).

If we choose to be in this moment, in this precious day, today will be like a birthday, an anniversary, a holy day, to celebrate in the knowing that long after our bones have disintegrated and we are without form, there will be an unceasing pulse of life in this vast universe, in a timeless space without beginning and without end.  “The clouds preceded us… there was a muddy centre before we breathed. There was a myth before the myth began, venerable and articulate and complete,” writes the poet Wallace Stevens.

Rumi said that “only from the heart can you touch the sky”, so in gathering together to pray or meditate, or to light a candle as a ritual to set a heart-felt intention, there will be, as Noetic scientist, John Hagelin, describes a profound shift in a field of pure, unlimited, creative potential. This will ripple through the quantum field and influence our individual lives and our planet in powerfully positive ways. So today, I will honour the brevity of life here on earth, the miraculous joy of a synchronistic meeting of a kindred spirit, and the comfort of knowing we are never alone.

Gone “viral” on the internet – watch and be inspired! Murmuration: http://vimeo.com/31158841

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_f7WyUnf_A8  Phil Collins sings Another Day In Paradise.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sghNjGaDbJ0 Johnny Clegg, It’s a Cruel, Crazy, Beautiful World.

 

 

4

I Wonder

 “I know he still loves me,” my friend with the luminous green eyes declares, deftly lifting her sashimi with ebony-varnished chopsticks.

We can never know what is going on inside someone’s head. We can wonder. We can make up stories, soothe, or torment ourselves with assumptions and lies. The best we can do is to visit their world, invite them to share their thoughts and perceptions with us. Listen with our hearts; even though we may not agree with what they are saying, we can imagine what it must be like, living in their world. We can savour the fragrant dishes of their experiences, vicariously visit the library of their memories, and embrace the wonder of our uniqueness as human beings. Rupert Sheldrake, Lynne McTaggart, Bruce Lipton, Greg Braden, and other prophets of new consciousness talk of a new science of Life. Sheldrake talks of Morphic Resonance, Gregg Braden refers to a  “Divine Matrix” that surrounds us all. A  matrix of energy without beginning or end, no cause or effect.  On some level we all sense that field of energy when we enter a home, walk into an office or visit a sacred site. You may feel it between the couple you invite to share a meal with you. A field of energy that lies between them – warm and connected, or heavy with unshed tears, or seething with anger and the bitterness of betrayal.

So, if we come from a lineage of ancestors who lived in dire poverty in a war ravaged valley, we have a blueprint, a template, that life is hard and dangerous. Our sponsoring thought, as Neale Donald Walsch calls it, may be that money is scarce, strangers are not to be trusted, and we are unworthy of being loved in our totality. If we are unwilling to consciously shift this consciousness, we will keep doing what we’re doing, and keep getting what we’re getting. The story my friend tells herself (unconsciously) is that she is not worthy of Love. She seeks out the married man, the boy-man with Will Never Commit invisibly tattooed on his forehead.

I do not believe in the old model of Nature/ Nurture any longer. Too simplistic, as we cross the threshold into this new paradigm, this new awareness of our unlimited potential to change our perception of what we see around us. The Field where we meet each other on our journey through this life time is the Universal hammock where we writhe or lie, enraptured by the magnificence and Divine potential of each human being to Greatness. Says Neale Donald Walsch, “It’s time, in fact, to re-create ourselves anew – in the next grandest version of the greatest vision we ever held about who we are.” The astrological birth chart depicts The Field, and the transits and progressions, our evolving consciousness, if we choose to meet each other there, to truly listen, and take action.

As science converges with the wisdom of the shamans and sages, we now know that what we think is “true” is seen through a glass, darkly.

If we believe that all our relationships are simply our perceptions, that the stories we tell ourselves about the Other, and the thoughts that torment, or soothe, are our own imaginings, and that “life is but a dream”, then we can exhale. What we think about the other person may not be their truth at all.  

The Trompe-l’œil of relationships, the subtle ambiguities, the mystery of the human heart, continues to intrigue me.  What is real? It depends upon our perception. Did those doomed men and women of the Americas really not see the tall death ships of the Conquistadors as they sailed close to shore? Or were they great butterflies, harbingers of a new Messiah? We can wonder.  And we will never know what they were thinking, and like all of his-story, we can make up the stories that suit our perceptions, as well as those of the place and time we’re living in.

My beautiful friend knows he still loves her. I wonder, don’t you?

Sixto RodriguezI Wonder

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMHdq4jm0oQ

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