Saturday, August 2, 2014

Soul Gazing

This wasn’t always the case, but I have noticed lately that it has been becoming an issue for me. Or maybe I’m just more aware of it these days. But sometimes it's really difficult for me to look people in the eye for very long. I’ve been trying to work on it, but it seriously almost hurts to look into another’s eyes for more than a mere glance, sometimes. It's not necessarily a physical pain, but ... I don't know how to explain it. It’s uncomfortable, that’s for certain.

I’ve been practicing Kundalini Yoga and have been in the teacher training course for it for about five months now. I’ve been aware of some internal changes going on, and I’ve wondered about the possibility that my soul is more visible through my eyes to others, and maybe my subconscious mind doesn’t feel comfortable with them seeing me that up-close and personal. One of my friends told me that she thinks I am just protecting my soul from their energy, and that’s why I have to look away from some people. This Libra mind teeters from I hope I figure out the reason why to Maybe it’s not for me to know, just to experience.

I wondered if this was going to be an issue when I was to participate in white tantric yoga at the Summer Solstice Celebration on Ram Das Puri Mountain in New Mexico this summer. But it really wasn’t. I was paired with a stranger; Lucy was her name. And it was actually a gentle experience compared to the few fears that occasionally roamed through my psyche prior to the event.

Since I’ve been more aware of my eye contact with others, I wanted to share a somewhat magical experience.

To make a long story short, last weekend I was in Dallas so I stopped off to get a twig and branch pizza from Bolsa on my way back from a writing seminar. Said pizza is my all-time favorite, and the roasted grapes make it nothing short of amazing to the palate that resides inside this head. So when I reached for a piece on the 30-mile drive back to the homestead, I was a wee bit peeved that the grapes were hardly even roasted. Needless to say, this pizza did not register as something to be grateful for.

Regardless, I continued on my pizza journey, nibbling gently away at the could-have-been-crispier-crust. (NOT! I was scarfing that sh**!  I mean, come on: “…[pizza is kinda like sex]: even when it’s bad, it’s still pretty good.”)

About three pieces in, (Don’t judge me, man; the slices aren’t even that big!), I was at a stop light when my gaze came upon a homeless man clutching a sign in attempts to procure some grub. I rummaged around my car, but not quickly enough; the light turned green, and I looked in my rearview to find several cars behind me. I knew I had to proceed or else I would tick-off a lot of drivers. And if you didn’t know, a road-rager can send some seriously bad juju in your direction! “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”

In the midst of all of this, maybe the homeless man saw me mumble something that nice girls don’t say, because when my eyes, once again, met with his, he tapped his index and middle finger to his heart and nodded at me. I swear I heard him tell me telepathically, "Your heart was in it, girl, and I understand that you can't give to me right now, and that’s ok. It’s the thought that counts, so don't worry about it.” I swear I saw eons into this wise man’s soul as my car increased speed.

"Hold on, man, I'm coming back around." I said it more to myself than to him, but maybe he heard me telepathically, because he was looking back at me as I made a U-turn at the next block. (Nah, he probably just heard my tires squealing.) Coming upon the red light, he briskly hobbled over to me as I accordion-folded half the pizza and slapped it on a napkin. As my window went down, I said to him, "I picked up this pizza just now,” and handed it out the window. For an instant, I saw pure awareness in his timeless eyes, and in that moment, I was purely aware.  He thanked me sincerely and asked the Big G to bless me, and as I made another U-turn to head back in the right direction, he gave me another wave. Our eyes locked once more, and I returned the wave, with only my index and middle finger raised, which was fitting yet unintentional; the other digits gripped my wadded-up, greasy napkin.

The look in his eyes… those deep, soulful, dark eyes, made me emotionally choked-up for a good ten miles, I'll bet, and in that instant, I was not only grateful for the pizza with not-well-roasted grapes on it, but more so for that experience:  to see into that man's soul and to have no fear of him staring straight into mine.

Maybe I gave him food for his belly, but he gave me nourishment for my soul.
Thank you, sir, and many blessings to you, as well.

Friday, January 3, 2014

My New Year's Resoluton: I Resolve to Trust My Self

Part I:
Confession of a Wannabe Cat Lady
I let my cat go outside, unsupervised.
It's true.

This wasn’t always the case. At first, when he was a mere 12 weeks old, I would only allow him on the balcony after I’d tested the length of the leash to ensure he could not jump or fall the three stories down. And I would also take him out – yes, on a leash – despite all the looks and comments from apartment neighbors. And he was ok with it – at first. And then, of course, Houdini blood began to run through his feline veins, and he found magical ways out of the harness. This lead to compromise: I would take him out and walk/ trot near him while he frolicked in the yards of the complex, unleashed. I would even talk him down when he’d climbed too high up a tree. Before long, I began to allow him more freedom, and the more I allowed, the more he demanded, and eventually, I had myself an indoor-outdoor cat (unsupervised in both arenas).
When I first allowed him to go out on his own, I remained in a state of panic the entire time. “This is what the mother of a teenager feels like,” I just knew it. It started with a half hour, then an hour, then he wanted more, more, more! I’d leave the balcony door open, so that I could listen for him, and so that I could quickly step outside and peek over  the railing to see him sniffing around in the grass. He was great about staying close-by. Of course, he got more and more brave and adventurous, and the circumference of his circle of territory expanded. Regardless, when I’d go out to get him, I would click my tongue, and he would come running back to me. This gave me confidence that he could handle the outdoors and I could stay sane knowing he would come when I called.
Part II:
The Day He Didn’t Come
One evening, it was time for him to come home, and I went out to call for him, but there were no signs of him, anywhere. He wasn’t flopping around in the median across the lot where they’d just planted fun plants to play in. He wasn’t snooping around the building in the bushes or sneaking-up on a dog out for his evening pee. He didn’t come when I called around the area of the golf course. There were no signs of him when I went on the opposite side, by the field. Nothing. Not a hint of him anywhere. And panic set in. Sheer, physical breakdown ensued, starting with a rapid heartbeat, shallow breath, and soon after, tears and shakiness. I knew I would never forgive myself if something happened to him. The guilt of being an unfit cat-mother. The shame I would face from people who don’t approve of letting cats outdoors. It all flew in and around my mind incessantly. Then it hit me: He’s in someone’s apartment. I was absolutely certain. No doubt in my mind. I rushed to get my husband and I told him of this conspiracy of which I was certain. Compassionate as he is, he went on his own cat-search. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. I was sobbing as I continued my own search, when finally, after a good hour or more of the frantic search, I spotted him in the breezeway on the main floor. A neighbor was stooping down, petting him. “Oh, is this your cat?” she asked as I made my way to him, scooping him up. Our brief conversation consisted of her telling me she had just gotten home and found him in the hallway. My first instinct? Yeah, right, skank. (Only thoughts; not spoken.) Later that night, I deemed myself crazy and paranoid, and could not believe that I’d doubted the neighbor gal. I had come to the conclusion that he'd probably just ventured too far.
Well, no matter what, that wasn’t an experience I was willing to endure again, so I ended up purchasing a $100 tracker that attaches to the collar and has a 400-yard signal, and this, my friends, would save me future heartache.
Part III: A New Year’s Resolution is Born
More and more over the past year, I have discovered evidence of my intuition serving me, yet I denied the grace of its presence, for whatever reason. I tended to explain things away; to think that I was blowing things out of proportion; that my imagination was getting the best of me. To no avail, evidence would surface that my initial thoughts were, in fact, quite accurate.
The other night, JoJo had been out for plenty of the evening when I grabbed the remote to his tracking collar and headed out the door. A fleeting thought appeared: He’s in someone’s apartment. There was that ridiculous notion, yet again. I turned in a circle with the remote in hand, per the instructions, and headed down the steps. Strangely enough, it beeped erratically before I even hit the second level, so I thought maybe he was chillin’ on the rooftop: “Oh, this should be easy. He’s right here somewhere.” But he wasn’t on the roof. So I proceeded downstairs. "He must be in the tree," which he had been in before.

But, no, he wasn’t in the tree.
I heard a door open on the main floor, so I turned to look over my shoulder, and out struts the broad-chested stud himself. My mouth gaped and grinned and I moved toward him. Neighbor chick: “Oh, is it yours?” (De ja vous?) His collar still beeped from my tracker so I clicked it off. I claimed him and she said that she was in the process of moving and found him. I didn’t trust her shifty mannerisms or her words when she proclaimed to have seen his name on the name tag “but nothing else.” Why on Earth would you say you saw nothing else, if anything else was to be seen?! For the record, directly beneath his name on his collar is my cell number in the same size and font. …Not to be accusatory or negative, or anything... I walked toward her with a smile as she continued to tell me that he ran into her apartment as she was trying to move her things out. I apologized for the inconvenience but she went on to tell me how much she loves cats, and I know a bewildered look overtook my face, as I know that JoJo does not typically volunteer himself into closed doors on a fair-weather evening. And her uneasiness and shifty eyes and ill-put alibi red-flagged my intuition. At which point, the memories resurfaced of the night I lost JoJo and how I was at first convinced that he was in someone’s apartment but then later laughed it off to paranoia. It was the same neighbor.
I good and well know that he was in her apartment that night several months back, and that it was not by his doing or by accident that he wound up in her apartment again.
That tracker was the best $100 I have spent in a good while. It not only helps me find my Kitty Mr. Love Ball, but it provided me with a  valid New Year’s Resolution: this year, I absolve to listen to and trust my intuition ... unfalteringly.
I will trust my instincts and not laugh them off or excuse them at any cost. They’ve more than proven their worth.
Best to all in 2014.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Snake Visitation: Animals as Messengers from Spirit

            There are no accidents.
            Everything is in perfect alignment with Divine timing.
            Everything happens exactly as it should.

            Sometimes I have to repeat this over and over and over again and I still have a hard time believing it. But, most of the time, I believe it and accept it. Even when it hurts.

            I often pray a prayer my mom taught me: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.
            It makes sense, right? That the human brain could not possibly fathom the web of experiences and happenings of Life, or figure out the interconnectedness of all events and beings… It’s really just all a matter of perception, anyway, isn’t it?

            With that being said, I also believe that there are no coincidences. What was it that I saw recently (probably on Facebook)? “Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.” (Presumably, it was Albert Einstein who said that, but I haven’t checked-in with Senorita Snopes about that one yet.) When I run into Coincidence, it’s a sign to me that my life is on track…or maybe way off-track; either way, it’s a sure sign that I need to take note of it, because it is a Sign, indeed.

            A sign came slithering my way just last night, as a matter of fact. You see, my husband and I have been searching for a house…for, like, 3 years or something crazy like that. Last night, we finally moved forward on a bid. It was right after we'd sent the email to the realtor outlining specifics, in fact, that I'd gone out to get JoJo (our cat), as he'd been outside for a good portion of the evening, doing Feline-knows-what. It was dark, so I had a flashlight in tow, and luckily, I had turned it on before I reached the main floor; otherwise, I may not have seen the skinny, black-and-brown, 18-inch-long snake at the foot of the steps.
            I halted. It lie still. I didn’t freak-out or anything, since I’ve done a bit of educating myself about snakes (and how most of them in Texas are not venomous yet get killed due to fear and ignorance all of the time by kill-happy-hickoids – no judgment there, just observation).

                       Red touch yellow, kill a fellow; red touch black, won’t kill Jack. "But what about black touch brown?” I wondered.
I looked up to see JoJo quickly approaching. Whether venomous or not, I did not want my kitty using this creature as a plaything, and anticipation made my heart skitter briefly until I was able to snatch-up which time, the snake glided its way behind a bush.

            I couldn’t help but wonder the odds of my walking downstairs to get JoJo at that perfect moment in Time to come face-to-face with a snake. So, I decided to look it up on my iTotem app just in case the Universe was attempting to relay a message (which it always is; we just have to open our hearts and listen). Snake: Wisdom, Healing, Initiation. “It…signals a transition in your life. New opportunities and/or changes. …accept the power of the fire.”

            I like to use several sources when something unique happens to me, so I also got out my Animal Speak book (Ted Andrews): “…It sheds its skin and outgrows the old. This death and rebirth cycle is part of what snake represents… is often symbolized by the ouroborus, the ancient image of a snake swallowing its own tail…the symbol of eternity… enabling the individual to see the world from an entirely new perspective… Anytime a snake shows up as a totem, you can expect death and rebirth to occur in some area of your life…What new opportunities are surfacing that you need to strike out for and take advantage of?...When snake comes into your life, you can look for a rebirth into new powers of creativity and wisdom.”

as well as my Animal Spirit Guides book (Steven D. Farmer, PH.D.): “You’re about to go through some significant personal changes, so intense and dramatic that an old self will metaphorically die as a new self emerges… You’re about to resolve a long-standing issue, one that has required a great deal of your attention…Call on snake when…you are anxious about what lies ahead.”

            I took a lot of this interpretation to fit the situation of our moving forward in our first home-buying process, which has been causing a lot of angst in us, but there really is so much more to the snake that applies to my life. I’ll save that for another post, another day, I suppose.

            I do try to use the signs in Nature to guide me in my endeavors in life, and I hope I am appropriately interpreting them so that I can be the best that I can be in all that I Am and in all that I Am to Become.


            P.S. No lie: I just finished typing and I glanced down at the bedside clock and it read 11:11. If that doesn’t ring a bell, then you must not be my Facebook “friend”, and I say, hold tight; I’m sure a post will emerge regarding that phenomenon at some point. <3



Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Trains of Thought

It's quite possible that approximately 35-39% of my current lifetime has passed. When I see it in digits and symbols in front of me like that, it has the potential of being frightening. I mean, should I have accomplished more at this juncture? (Guess not, since everything unfolds exactly as it should, when it should, aye? Cheers to that theory!)

The other morning, I was driving to work, stopped at a stop sign, when I caught sight of a much-older woman driving in front of me, on the perpendicular street, sipping on what I guessed to be some variation of a coffee libation. Was she going to work? I'll be darned if I'm that age and still working for The Man! I mean, seriously… if I’m even close to that age and even out in the world at that time of day, it had better be the day of the week I don my purple hat and meet up with a group of sassy cohorts for some early-morning debauchery. I can only hope that’s what she was up to.

These thoughts, plus countless others, sprinted through my mind even before I pressed the accelerator. As I drove on, I actually got a bit giddy at the thought that so much more living is still ahead of me. I mean, if life begins at 40, like “they” say, then I’m good as gold!
Then my thoughts hopped onto a different train: to me as an old woman, looking back on this life. Will I feel accomplished? Will I feel secure in my endeavors and efforts, and will I be content with where I end up? Who will be integral components of my life at that point?
Then, of course, Mind had to catch a connecting train, to one that led to Mom. I often think of what her life was like at the stage where I currently find myself. I’m pretty sure she had already brought her first 5 kids into the world when she was my age. Parallel lives, definitely not! (However, it somewhat gives me hope that I may be able to conceive up ‘til I’m about 44; buys me more time in that department, I suppose.)
I have to wonder what goes through her mind on a daily basis. Having been diagnosed with a terminal illness… in pain and/or discomfort most days… possibly hanging-on to a past that can’t be changed or resurrected. She’s not exactly a talker, to say the least; not about personal past or family history, anyway. She’ll make a comment here and there that sparks curiosity in me, but I never get the full story. “I don’t remember details like that,” she claims.
Here I am, a third of the way along my path, while Mom can look back on the path of (this)Life a lot further than she can look forward.
“If you realize that all things change,
There is nothing you will try to hold onto.
If you aren’t afraid of dying,
There is nothing you can’t achieve.”
- Tao te Ching, chapter 74
The morbid part of me just can’t help but wonder what it will be like to look back on more time than I can anticipate lying before me…

One day, I’ll know…if I’m lucky.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Right Here, Right Now

*Note: This was written in 2010. It is now April 29, 2013.
Do you ever just stop, take a look around, and think to yourself how you never thought you’d be “right here, right now”?
Do you ever let your life rewind in your mind’s eye and assess the events that led up to Now? How every tiny event got braided with the next, until your life has become one apparatus with long strings hanging down to the burbur carpet?
It’s as though you can funnel those strings through your fingertips, yet it’s impossible to grasp the full picture of what they will look like once they’ve become a part of the whole. And you can trace your fingertips backwards, to the tight ball of yarn… You never imagined it would end up looking the way it does now; this half-finished product…with some gaps here and there, from days when you weren’t spot-on with your craft, days you were distracted from the image you held in your mind from when you first picked up those needles…days when you just simply stuck it through the wrong spot. But that’s ok, because when you look at the piece, imperfections and all, you can genuinely say that it still looks beautiful; it’s still exactly what it’s supposed to be, what it was meant to be, all along…
Tomorrow marks the 11-year anniversary of Dad’s death. April 29, 2010. I have a student who was born on the same exact day that Dad died. April 29, 1999.
I wonder what the time was when she greeted her loved ones. Was is possibly during the same moments that her mother was in sheer agony, so was I?
Possibly so. Except the end results were polar opposites…Her emotions took a turn for the better, mine for the worse. Her life gained purpose, mine lost meaning.
He was 65 and his crocheted piece came to fruition. No more string left to loop through … I’ve still got some strings hanging from my own ball of yarn, but they fall into the darkness of the Unknown
I hope that when I start to reach the end of my strings that I will be able to gaze into the reflection of the piece admirably, knowingly. And I pray that I will be surrounded by loved ones who can trace their fingers on it, right beside me, while we talk about how all those different paths led us to Now.
Exactly where we’re supposed to be.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

How to Make a Lucky Penny

“See a penny, pick it up; then all day, you’ll have good luck.” We’ve all probably heard some version of the saying, and I bet many of us have picked up a penny or two from time to time, heeding the superstition.

In regards to a recent purchase, my change was some bills and one penny. I know a lot of people freely give their pennies to that small dish on the counter that may or may not display some type of catchy poem about how you should leave a penny because there may be a point in time when you are the one who needs a penny.

Well, I didn’t leave my penny in the dish.

I’m kind of a penny weirdo; I always have to check the year on pennies when I come into contact with them. The reason for this dates back to an incident that occurred to me several years ago, and I suppose by checking the pennies’ years, it is sort of a confirmation to me that I didn’t conjure up some fabrication of what actually occurred. (Maybe that story can be another post.)

So, even though I saw the little red penny tray there on the counter, and even though the thought flitted through my mind to toss it in there, the penny was a bit dingy so it took some time for me to make out the year, and since I typically try not to make a spectacle of myself (hey, I said ‘typically’), I wasn’t going to eye the little slab of copper right there at the counter. Naturally, I went on my way. After exiting the store, I was finally able to decipher the year: 1994. ‘94 was an awkward year, what with being a freshman in highschool and all, and I have no real emotional ties to that one. Clearly, this was just a regular old penny.

Usually, when I get to the car bearing loose change, I plunk my change into the little space in the dash; you know, my own little “Leave a penny...” tray, just in case I ever need one. But not this time.

I held this one tight as I walked to the car, and into it, I poured love. And before I flicked it onto the pavement, I prayed a hearty prayer for whomever will be the discoverer of said penny. I prayed for any troubles they may have to dissipate, for love and compassion to encompass their life, for their life to immediately improve, and for them to learn whatever it is they are here to learn so that soul growth results. The penny clanked against the asphalt, rolled a bit, wobbled, then came to rest. I gave it one last look, sending as much positivity as I could as I walked onward.

As I got into my car and started it up, I visualized a person finding it and taking a moment to stoop down to pick it up, and I imaged in my mind that person, eyes closed, sending an intention, a wish into the Universe after having discovered their lucky penny. And for those few seconds, I imagined their life being truly blessed.

Now, I’ve come across a lot of pennies on the ground in my day: shiny ones, dull ones, corroded ones, bent ones, ones with significant years, ones with years I’d rather forget. But today it occurred to me the possibility that any one of those pennies that I have discovered on the ground during this lifetime may not have been accidentally dropped (or placed there by a guide or angel or deceased loved one)... the possibility that somewhere along the line, there may have been another individual in the world who had the same instinct as I did and blessed a penny and sent it off with well wishes... the possibility that my life is such a beautiful one due to a stranger sending out a random prayer and positive intention.

Maybe, just maybe, the previous owner of one of my metal treasures sent a similar intention:

“That thou mayest have pleasure in everything,
seek pleasure in nothing.
That thou mayest know everything,
seek to know nothing.
That thou mayest possess all things,
seek to possess nothing.
That thou mayest be everything,
seek to be nothing.”

(-St. John of the Cross, The Ascent of Mount Carmel)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Earthing for Earthlings!

My spell-checker underlines the term with that red squiggly line, but I have a feeling it won’t forever, as “earthing” becomes more familiar to our society.

“Earthing involves coupling your body to the Earth’s eternal and gentle surface energies. It means walking barefoot outside and/or sitting, working or sleeping inside while connected to a conductive device that delivers the natural healing energy of the Earth into your body… (It) diffuses the cause of inflammation, and improves or eliminates the symptoms of many inflammation-related disorders…lowers stress and promotes calmness in the body…normalizes the body’s biological rhythms…protects the body against potentially health-disturbing environmental electromagnetic fields (EMFs)…” (Earthing, p. 10-11).

I had come across a reference to the book, Earthing: The most important health discovery ever? by Clinton Ober, Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D., and Martin Zucker, and  was so moved by it that I ordered it. Now that summer has provided more free time for me, I have finally been able to begin to wrap my mind around it.

As I was reading it this afternoon, something struck me:  the difficult student who always had his shoes off. I don’t know how many times I tripped over those things throughout the course of the school year! I was OK with him taking his shoes off, if that made him more comfortable. When other kids would ask me if it’s OK to have their shoes off, my response would always be something to the effect of: “If your feet aren’t so stinky that they’re keeping a neighbor from learning, it’s fine by me!” This one student, though, never did ask; he just did it. And he did it every day. But why?

Now, let me paint a simple picture of said student. This kid was all over the place, all the time. I can handle a high-energy kid, but when you throw in bouts of disrespect for others and frequent negative attitude, then that rubs me the wrong way. He was my challenge this year. He was my “give an inch, take a yard” kid, but it was more like give an inch, take an entire football field! I loved him nonetheless. And I loved him even more deeply when I read what he wrote in my yearbook:
                 Mrs. Wright, I know we had our ups and downs, but you’re still the best teacher ever, and the only one so far who didn’t request for me to change classes…

Now, if that didn’t take my breath away and steal a piece of my heart, forever…

Every time I’d try to analyze this guy, my instinct always fell back to the idea that kids really are different these days; that they are here to change things up; to break down our current non-working systems in order to rebuild new ones, ones that work in partnership with our changing societal needs. That thought would help me muster patience, somehow (usually).

We all need it, but if there were some sort of scale to measure the degree of need in regards to grounding, he would definitely fall toward the end of the spectrum of most need, in my opinion. Could it have been a natural instinct for him to take his shoes off in order to ground himself? Maybe taking his shoes off was a coping mechanism. Maybe that was a way for him to center himself, naturally. I don’t know…but it’s something to ponder.

I’d been reading that book at the pool this afternoon, and when I got up to come back home, I began to slip my rubber-soled flip flops on, then thought better of it. My feet were much happier pressing into the grass instead of scooting along in my stiff shoe-coffins.  I think I need to make it a daily practice to let my feet embrace Mother Earth; I think we all do.

I hope we all will.