12
Jul 16

A Call to Purpose and a New Career

Today, I'm writing background material for my soon-to-be-launched executive coaching website. Grasping for language to explain why, at the age of 51, I am starting yet another career, I am looking through old journals, blogs and other writings. As I age (and evolve), I become more conscious of my infinite choices; in my perspectives, my actions and responses, my thoughts and my values. I can choose to be guided by my self-protecting ego or by that which I sense is larger than me.

The irony is that even as I am aware that every moment is a choice, I am also more strongly compelled to follow my call to Purpose; and that is why I've been working for the past 18 months on a new career. Below is an unedited journal entry from March, 2015 that explains it well.

Ignited by a Calling (Journal notes from March 31, 2015)

Feeling a Calling—to be a conscious presence in business and to help others to become so.  But quietly, not as an evangelist. Rather, opening the way, pointing and supporting but not necessarily leading; respectful of the unique timing and path of each individual.

There is an odd sort of urgency I feel today.  Not that I have to go out and do something spectacular right now, more that each moment and each part of my being are critical to this venture and crying out to be used toward this purpose.  I sense the ethereal yet-to-be’s and sit in the pregnant space of now, eagerly awaiting my next step.

I have faith in what will unfold.  I am humbly aware that my devotion will ebb and flow; that I will wander.  But I also have faith that if I but ask (with true desire) I will be pointed back in the right direction.

I am in grateful awe of all that has brought me to this place.  I even see how my flaws and self-sabotaging behaviors can serve to be reminders to return to consciousness.  I don’t know exactly what I am called to do, nor how it will manifest.  I do know that, at this moment, I am no longer afraid to enter my brilliance and no longer afraid of the responsibility that comes with doing so.Heartwave_41448357_s-2015

Here is what I sense:

  • Some lives will be changed by what I write/publish/teach and these will go on to perpetuate consciousness and integrity in business and personal lives
  • I will play a small part directly in bringing holistic connection between the earth and her humans into the corporate worl
    d, especially agriculture.
  • My personal talents, through horses, will in some way manifest the original dream for healing that was the core of Wild
    Type Ranch

God, grant me the power, the humility and the perseverance to let your Will be done through me.

 

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8
Jul 16

Personal Compassion as an Empowering Response

In the face of recent events, it is easy to feel hopeless, powerless and overwhelmed. This is especially so, if you are particularly empathic. Neurobiological research shows that when we feel empathy, our brains respond as the person who is feeling the pain. This can lead to empathic burnout. Ironically, it can also lead to distancing ourselves from one side or the other in a conflict, actually leading to a more divisive view of the world.

So many of my deepest hearted friends have tuned out or burned out recently, because of the overwhelming amount of hate, violence and anger in the press and social media. At a time when humanity needs every bit of loving kindness it can get, the most loving people become overwhelmed.

The answer, I believe (and science backs me up) is compassion. Empathy is feeling the pain of others. When we feel empathy we feel the pain. In contrast, compassion is feeling concern for another's pain, along with a motivation to help. The same research that shows how empathy creates a mirrored response to pain also shows that feeling compassion (via compassion-focused meditation) does not activate the same pain-associated brain pathways. Instead, the parts of the brain involved in social connection and thoughtful action are activated.the heart of the earth

In empathy, we can drown in the other's pain and emotion. In compassion, we sit in awareness of the pain but are not overwhelmed by it. We are connected and are in a much better place to help or make positive change.

In compassion, I am motivated to do my small part to heal the greater wounds of our world. For me, in this moment, that involves staying mindful of my own judgments, my own prejudices. It involves having the courage to speak up in love, not anger, when I see injustice or blindness. It means keeping in my awareness my human connection with both sides of every seemingly dichotomous issue.

What I am doing specifically to heal the world, in my small way, is to pledge 30 days of compassion meditation and mindfulness. Please join me.

 

 

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29
Jan 16

Mindful Falling

I fell off my horse. A half-somersault over the left side of her neck, landing flat on my back after a full 180. From canter to zero in one very long split-second. It was one of the most powerfully validating experiences I have ever had.

DSC_0388 (1280x853)

As a rancher and horsewoman, accidents and injuries are nothing new. Typically, I'm not a stoic, big-girls-don't-cry accident victim. I go into shock easily. And because I tend to hold a lot of emotion tied up in my body, a physical injury often triggers all the frustration, disappointment and self-doubt that I normally hold at bay.

What made this accident different was the way I experienced it. I really WAS the Zen Cowgirl. I stayed present in my body before, during and after the fall. I was present and aware; I didn't panic, even as the fall was happening. I don't even remember being scared. It was as if I was just observing it. After I landed, rather than catastrophizing, I objectively inventoried: I was winded but not in excruciating pain, the horse was standing by me patiently, all parts seemed functional for mounting and riding home (at a walk). I breathed deep and released the threatening tightening in my back and my mind. I was aware of pain, but somehow there was no judgment of it as bad; it was just information my body was sending me.

I was aware that if I could mount and ride home balanced and with my muscles relaxed, the natural movement of the horse would help to realign my battered spine and ribs. I consciously turned away all the negative messages that automatically popped up in my mind; "you're incapable, too old, stupid, etc". There was no fear, only acceptance. There was no anger; neither at myself for falling nor at the horse for 'causing' the fall. Later, I was able to clearly recall every detail of the fall and identify what went wrong and why it happened.

Several years ago, I began to make contemplative time a priority in my life. Each morning, typically at least an hour before I expect anyone else to be awake, I sit. I do some inspirational reading, I journal and since August, I have included some sort of formal meditation or contemplation (even if just 5 minutes).

More recently, as part of a new business venture, I have been researching the effects of various mindfulness practices on the brain and the corresponding benefits to a person's life. This whole experience validates my research. My daily practices of body awareness, breath, relaxation, non-judgment and acceptance were there, naturally, in this time of crisis! The positive changes in my daily life have been enough to keep me dedicated to my practice. In a rather dramatic way, this fall showed me the incredible power these simple daily practices bring to handling a crisis. I just hope I have learned well enough that I don't need to be shown quite so dramatically next time.

 

 

 

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16
Jul 15

Prodigal Goddess

PRODIGAL GODDESS

To return home,
to walk as prodigal into our own life:
Will we feast on our fatted calf?
Or mete our own justice?

To know the light, we must learn darkness.
We value most, that which is nearly lost.

Treat yourself with kindness.
Turn,
and upon turning back,
Welcome yourself with open arms.
Embrace the cycle.
Hug your Goddess.
Greet yourself;
perfect in your imperfection

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1
Jan 15

New Year's Visioning

With Mother Mary as my role model, I open to the year to come. May I be a worthy vessel for what is given me to carry. May I hold it humbly and willingly and birth my small part in God's time, not mine. May I nurture the lives I touch to the best of my ability, staying open to divine guidance, keeping a clear and conscious connection to Grace.

I invite Jesus to walk with me, whispering of faith and acceptance. May he stand beside me in all my little dyings. And after, reach his hand to me, drawing me into each resurrection of my spirit.

I look to the Grandmothers to remind me that each choice is merely an alternate path along the Good Red Road. Each echoing ramification just a swirl or eddy in the great river of existence. None can alter the ultimate flow toward truth and wholeness.

From this place, I can be thankful in advance, for all that this year will bring. Being held by my sacred guides, I envision how even my worst-case scenarios carry me further on my journey. I see joy, and growth and abundance un-looked for.

I look back on the past year in humble awe of the growth that has occurred, at the truths to which I have come just a little closer to understanding. My blessings have multiplied, my soul has expanded.

Life is good.

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7
Dec 14

Advent: A Time of Longing and Tears

I shed lots of tears this time of year.  Not for what I don't have, but in longing for what is actually already mine, and what I am in the process of becoming.

Beginning around Samhain (Halloween), when tradition holds that the veil between the physical and spiritual worlds is thinnest, my awareness of what lies beneath my consciouness begins to heighten.  Like tantalizing wisps of eternal fragrance, I sense the Wholeness that is just beyond my grasp, yet surrounds me.

Advent is a season of Longing.  I feel a homesickness that no change in location can remedy.  A sweet ache of desire to dwell in unity with All of Creation.  There lies my home.

This is a season of Love.  Each relationship a flawed, but precious reflection of the Great Love that is our Life, our Soul.  I shed tears for the unfathomable beauty of that Love, and in humble recognition of how limited is my ability to reflect and channel it.

My tears are cleansing, like the winter storms of my Midwestern childhood.  In their wake, they leave peace; crisp, quiet and fresh. My Christmas heart lies open and expectant.  O come, Emmanuel.  Live in me, Light my way.

 

 

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8
Oct 14

Weaving Unattached

Today is the full moon, a lunar eclipse, the Blood Moon.  In my Native American tradition-based women's circle, we are inspired  this moon by "Weaves the Web", the prototypical mother of creative and destructive forces.  Spider medicine is strong in this season and moon cycle.

Weaves the Web and grandmother spider speak to me of manifesting the divine in my daily life.  Increasingly, my heart's desire is to simply be a daily, living expression of the Universal Love that I can sometimes touch in my meditations.  Today's lesson to me is about the importance of creating and then letting go of those creations.

Why, if I weave with the conscious intent of channeling the divine, should I not hold tightly, as sacred, to what I create?

Because I am human.

Because I am human, I am an imperfect lens through which the light of Creation shines.  My weavings are inevitably distortions of the indescribable beauty I feel inside.  To become enamored of them is to attach to the distortion.  To love without attachment is to honor the creative force embodied within them.  To let go is to acknowledge the abundance from which they sprang and from which sufficiently more will arise to take their place.

Spider shows me that much of this world can interfere with my weaving;  Substances, such as drugs and even caffeine, cause  orb spiders to create distorted and dysfunctional webs.   My addictions, lack of self-care, ego, and character defects distort what I intend to manifest in the world.  Several species of poisonous spiders, such as the brown recluse and black widow, weave "disorganized webs", as if the poison that is their survival mechanism is reflected in their self-created environment.

A spider's web is not only sticky, but electrically charged, making it an effective filter for whatever is in it's environment.  From that I learn I must be aware of the environment in which I choose to weave.  What am I attracting to my web?  What am I bringing to myself?

Spider teaches me that destruction and renewal are essential for continued evolution.  Some spiders, such as orb-weavers, construct a new web each day, systematically destroying and eating the old one.  Not discarded or dismissed, but integrated into the next cycle.  As I grow toward wholeness, my creations become purer and more clearly a reflection of what is at the core of my being.  I must be willing to create, destroy and re-create if I am to answer my heart's call.

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4
Oct 14

Stand With and not Against

Does the cliff stand against the sea?

Or does it merely stand in its Being?

The waves that crash against it are not of the cliff's design or influence.  They are driven; a force of their own and of forces beyond acting through and with them.

Does the sea feel pain as it explodes against the rock? Does it feel splintered, fragmented, as it breaks and sprays?

If there is suffering, who would say the cliff is to blame?

What "should" is there in the cliff's standing? Should the cliff will itself to dust; to ease the path for the force of the sea?  Pre-emptive self-destruction?

The cliff stands in its own truth

In Being as it is in this moment

The waves, in time, exert their influence, sculpting.  A change in form, but not in being.

As beach, or rock, or dust in the air, the cliff will stand

Not Against the flow of Life, but IN


 

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14
May 14

The Mockingbird's Song

A parable about listening to your soul

Just before dawn, I heard cardinal song outside my window.  The clear trill was coming from the trees surrounding the pool.  I pictured the red bird in the rain-wet trees, on this unusually cool Texas May morning.  But the bird appearing in my mind’s eye was not a cardinal.  I was my familiar friend, the mockingbird.

My scientist’s brain went into testing and verification mode:  Indeed, we have many more mockingbirds than cardinals in the poolside landscape.  There is one particularly vocal fellow who frequents the tree outside my bedroom window.  And as I listened, I heard other types of bird songs coming from the same apparent spot.   I concluded: Indeed, it must have been a mockingbird.

I couldn’t help but wonder how I knew, before thinking it out, that the song I heard was an imitation of the real cardinal’s song.  I bet if I heard a recording of the two, I could not discern a difference.  Even real birds are sometimes fooled by the mockingbird’s song.  Yet, intuition gave me a clear knowing.  The same knowing took my mind a while to reach.

The voice that directs my actions and decisions is a lot like this morning’s bird songs.

My ego, my small self, is a mockingbird.  It sings songs that help me to establish and defend my “territory” (who I think I am).  But in Reality, those songs are only reflections, projections and imitations.  They serve a temporary purpose, but do not reveal who I am at my core, nor help me fulfill my real mission in life.   When I listen to the voice of my small self, at best, I am listening to an echo of the Truth.  That voice may even direct me toward actions that are helpful and generous.  But in the end, such actions frequently leave me feeling empty, exhausted or used.

Through the Grace of intuition, or through the conscious humility of setting aside my own small-self-will, I can hear the voice of my larger Self.  This Self lives in communion with all of creation, and maintains a connection to the eternal force I often think of as God.  Actions taken at the urging of this voice have a different energy than those directed by the small self.  This is true even when the actions are externally indistinguishable from those fueled by the ego.  Coming from a place of infinite connection and love, I am energized, not depleted.  Even when I inevitably fail to perform perfectly, these actions create good.

The mockingbird sang to me an important message today.  My mind, my knowledge, can lead me down some false roads.  By opening to intuition and by practicing listening to my soul, I will be directed in the Right direction.  I will move toward wholeness.

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11
Apr 14

Knows Not the Rose

Knows Not the Rose

My son, you know not the rose.

I shall paint for you gardens, and close-ups of buds

I shall draw for you dewdrops on leaves

and ladybugs

and aphids

I shall brush rich fabrics against your cheek

soft and velvety like a rose petal

I shall bathe you in fragrance of musk and springtime

that the sense of rose may fill your head

You will walk with me and we will cut a bud for our vase

A thorn prick will remind us that we have not yet learned

all there is to know about roses

 

One night, you will dream

You will be the bud

the thorn

the thirsty roots

You will taste the dew on your leaves

and absorb the sun through your open flowers

You will feel the rose in your blood

and taste it on your breath

 

And you will finally know what has been true all along

You are the rose.

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