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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13
Jun 13

To Speak the Truth

We must See and Listen before we can Speak the Truth

Faith

Humility

Innocence

Faith is needed so we may turn from our own egos and trust in the universal wisdom within

With Humility, we speak without fear.  No ego = no protective shadings on our words.

If we know our own Innocence, we speak without defense.  If we know another's, we listen without judgment.

In humility I have been silent; humbled by a growing awareness of how far I have yet to go on this journey of growth.

In humility, now I speak.

To teach so I may learn.

To share without ego.

Aware my perceptions are clouded, I listen for clearer vision.

As I seek for where I am wrong, I find where I am close to truth.

Laughter

Balance

Suspending judgment

 

A new moon meditation for the June Moon cycle, associated with the Clan Mother "Speaks the Truth" (The 13 Original Clan Mothers by Jamie Sams)


 

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14
Oct 12

Suffering Evolved

  • That which doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger
  • Pick up your cross and follow me
  • All life is Dukkha (suffering)
  • Be One with your trials, for they bring you gifts of learning
  • Be One with the brother who causes you strife, for he is your greatest teacher
  • To be born again is to accept the gift of life consciously and with humility
  • Enlightenment is Living as part of a greater whole
  • Grace is those moments when God works through us, in spite of ourselves

The preceding phrases have resonated with me this month, through meditations, daily inspirational readings and prayer.

This moon cycle is the third month of a major translation: From introspection and concentrating on self-healing and growth over the past 7-8 years toward living consciously as a contributor to humanity’s spiritual evolution.

My view of suffering has evolved significantly.

Previously, in therapy to work through prior spirit and life-threatening experiences, I envisioned myself as a Monterrey Pine; one of those real-life bonsai trees, shaped by the salt winds and hard-scrabble existence on the cliffs over the sea. I value these experiences as the forces that have shaped me into a person who embraces life and understands love. Suffering is the clay from which our lives are shaped

In present life, I strive to see daily trials as learning experiences. Each encounter with less-than-perfect situations, people or myself  is one more opportunity to practice being present, to stay centered. Suffering is a Gift of learning

Raised a devout Catholic, I was taught to carry my cross, to bear my burdens. What if our Cross is not our burden, but our Purpose? Should not one’s life purpose be big enough that sometimes we might stumble beneath it? But how much easier it is to carry our cross as Purpose rather than burden! Not suffering, but Purpose

One of my favorite mantras is “Nothing real can be threatened, nothing unreal exists” (A Course in Miracles). It reminds me that at our core, we are Light, we cannot be harmed. I envision darkness as encountering that bright light and being transformed. There is nothing so bad, that it cannot be transformed by the Light of Creation. Darkness is transformed by Light

Over the past few years, I have gradually gotten better at living the perspectives above. All of them have been fluttering through my head these past few weeks. I have sometimes experienced Grace; times when I responded to situations from my core of light and not from my small self.

At the end of this cycle, a new perspective made itself briefly apparent. I have trouble putting it into words, as I Knew it only briefly. It has since faded to a shadow of words and memory that do not do justice to Truth: For an instant, I was aware that there is no real suffering, only Oneness. There is no bad, no suffering, for all springs from the same Source. All energy is part of Creation. It is our own small self’s perceptions that cast the energy into shades of dark and light. When we are not afraid to transcend our small selves, we become co-creators.

Grace is God acting through us in spite of ourselves. Amazing Grace is losing ourselves in God.

 


 

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29
Sep 12

Integrity in Work Clothes

After a couple months of procrastination, I finally committed to doing a daily review; short journaling at the end of the day about areas of disharmony or discontent, what I did and felt and how I would like to have handled the situation.  I was feeling rather satisfied when, in the first week, I had several days with no events of note for which I recalled being in disharmony.

On further reflection, it seems that disharmony has a meaning beyond being in conflict with another.  This just-past Blue Moon cycle of reflection called me into "living the truth";  manifesting Purpose as a way of daily being.  From that perspective, any moment I am not in alignment with Purpose is a moment of disharmony.

Maybe that's the real reason I've found it so hard to take up the daily review practice.  My "events" are not harsh words with, or ill will towards, another.  My disharmony comes in the form of wasting time, not caring for my body and allowing imbalance to develop in my life.

Eight years ago today, I pledged to live my life in integrity, in all areas, no matter what the consequences.  When I act with integrity I can feel it through my entire body.  Spirit and body harmonize.  Integrity = Oneness.  For me, integrity is much easier in big ways than little.  When I make a major decision based on integrity, I have faith that things will work out as they need to.   For the past eight years, I've laid the mosaic tiles of my life with integrity.  The composition is not what I envisioned, but it is harmonious.

The mortar between the tiles is where I have my issues.  I am great with integrity, but not so good at the discipline that it takes to anchor those mosaics firmly in the earth of daily living.  When I DO have the discipline to work through the seemingly endless piles of "do" necessary to keep the mill wheel turning, I feel more at ease.   Clearing my desk, catching up on bookkeeping or having a clean house give me harmony.

What if discipline is really just integrity in working clothes?

I've made an effort to be more conscious in the mortar of my life.  Observing the effects of my daily derailments and self-sabotage, I have become aware how pointless they are.  It is amazing how often I still do them, however.  Awareness has not been enough.

Maybe it's time to reach for that feeling of oneness when I notice distraction.  Time to bring integrity into the small moments.  Discipline is not forcing oneself to act correctly.  It is a gentle traction that brings action into the service of Purpose.

 

 

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16
Sep 12

Becomes Her Vision

The Blue Moon cycle has just concluded.  It is a time to reflect on where we are, a pause in the normal progression of cycles.  

What lays before me is a time of care, a time of caring

I sit with my spirit guides in my safe and sacred place
Jesus on the left end
Buddha on the right
Flanked left by She Who Heals, who Serves the Truth
Flanked right by Sunset Woman, who Lives the Truth

Where is Becomes Her Vision?
Her place is between
She is here, with me
I feel the vibrations of Being as I hear her voice

"You have the tools you need to do the job you need to do.
What you need will be there when you need it.
You are not done learning and growing, but you have learned and grown enough
to move out, move beyond
and take your place among the sharing.

With each cycle, the wisdom you need will present itself.
You have learned to nurture yourself,
to look within.
There, you will find your strength, your wisdom.
Each year, you will revisit and refresh your access to all
the medicine the Grandmothers have to teach,
to remember again how it touches your whole self.
We are here, all of us,
with you and within you always."

And with that, I begin to hear soft murmurs,
humming sweet and low, the sound of soft summer rain.
I feel the souls of my extended wisdom circle and many whom I have not yet named
Surrounding me, supporting me, part of me.

And I know, just for a moment
what it is to be part of ALL
And I know that to heal is to bring that Joy of connection
to what must be healed.

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12
Jul 12

Yin my Yang

We went fishing tonight, to catch catfish for tomorrow's dinner.  The catfish only begin to bite as dusk descends, so we fished until we couldn't see our bobbers any more.  I tripped on the way home in the dark and skinned my knee.  Prescription:  A soaking bath in eucalyptus, tea tree oil, grapefruit seed extract and Patchouli    Considering that we had just caught and killed 7 catfish, it was fair payback.  Blood for blood doesn't seem like an unfair trade to the Universe.  Creation always finds a way to balance herself.

When I started my Circle of Self  journey four months ago, a search for balance was one of my primary goals.  My bath was a good time to find it.  About fifteen years ago, in a book by Oriah Mountain Dreamer, I read that every person has a Word which summarizes their mission in life.  I immediately knew my word was BE.  I have come to know the indivisible shadow of that word is Balance.

I recently returned from a vacation with my extended family.  Three generations spanning almost 70 years, made possible by the financial foresight of our deceased parents.  I confess to being a typical self-employed entrepeneur; I took my computer, self-improvement material, documents to review and "projects" to work on.  I participated in one corporate conference call and  finished one macrame bracelet.  Shamelessly, I spent the rest of my 7 days enjoying sun, surf, sand, sons and siblings (as well as grand-siblings and siblings-in-law).

When I came home, I had to fight the primal message that I must "pay" for the time off.  That somehow my good times must now be offset by bad (suffering).  Instead, my morning meditations show me a vision of discipline leading to peace.  At the start of this month's moon cycle, my focus was on working with my creative self to create balancing among financial, work and leisure aspects.  I am experiencing how love and nurturing feed productivity and growth.  The best self-discipline is fueled by love and Love knows the fruits of discipline.

My image of the traditional Yin and Yang symbol is dynamic, not static.  I envision it as constantly swirling. The light or dark contra-point in each half growing to subsume the original.  Then a point of the opposite aura immediately appears in the center of each color to repeat the cycle.

The yin-yang symbol is central in my life-imagery.  I've rendered that image in tie-dye, macrame, window art and doodling.  In my life, my creative drive leads me to leave things before they are finished.  Then the unfinished things fester until they swamp me and I have to deal with them.  Soon, all work and no play make Jill a cranky wife and mother, and I need some horse-time to get me back in balance.

I have spent much of this month facing and embracing my constraints.  Tonight I can see how they are interconnected with my talents.  The blossoming of one part of my life pulls behind it the seed of its counterpart.  Recognizing it as an ebb and flow; the swirling yin-yang,  I can utilize the balance that is inherent in the cycle of life.

I realize how my constraints and struggles are also the source of my greatest feelings of satisfaction and accomplishment.  I am coming to value the effort I put into daily accomplishing tasks such as bookkeeping or housekeeping.   Doing so gives me peace of mind for playing with my horses or playing my guitar.  Each time I experience that small dot in the center of either side of "creativity" or "productivity" growing and cycling through, I know I have grown.

After all, work without creativity is not truly productive and creativity is only wind without work to bring it to life.

Well, Yin my Yang:  This cowgirl just might be on to something.

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11
Jun 12

Embracing Irritation

What would it be like if we gave up fear?  How much of what I wish to change about myself, the actions and reactions I don't like, have their origin in fear?  What is it that I'm afraid of?

My most pervasive and tenacious negative reactions are in the form of irritation and impatience with the daily spinning out of Life's inevitable happenings.  I am most irritable and controlling with those I am closest to, and love most; husband, kids, horses. Is irritability really fear coming out sideways?  What fear is threatened by the beings who vibrate within my inner circle?  My irritability is triggered primarily by control issues.  If something doesn't go my way, has unanticipated difficulty or "should" be some other way, it is obviously not controlled by me.

My authority (and therefor my control) is threatened when life doesn't happen as it "should".  And why is it so scary for my authority to be questioned?  Because, at a deep level, I don't really believe in it to begin with.  Even writing  "my authority" is difficult, because I feel an impostor for claiming it publicly.  In my most personal and important relationships, there is a fear and an ego-created illusion that I would cease to exist without it.

When I am confident, I can react to misunderstandings, mistakes, random glitches and disagreements with compassion.  I assume a positive (or at least neutral) intent on the part the other or the Universe.  When I am centered, open and connected with All, I don't feel threatened.  When I am irritatible, I am closed down and lose my center. (I wonder which comes first, the irritability, or losing my center?)

I pride myself on being able to go with the flow, especially when life really hands me a whammy.  I am better at flowing with life's big challenges because my mind can attack these philosophically.  I can see the lessons and the opportunities for growth when they are written by God in capital letters.  I need more practice at reading the fine print.

Daily life can be a scripture
Each irritation an invitation to look at what I fear
A call to BE
 
Rather than unanswered prayers for help
in staying present, in BEing
Can it be that Life
has been chanting clues to me?
Singing, shouting 
"come enter this fear and learn. And grow"
 
Today, I will see the gift in each moment of irritation
Heed the call to awareness when I feel threatened
See my frightened rabbit
Be aware of my cornered dog
Name the fear
Then seek to Be
Where there is no fear
 
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19
May 12

Praying to the Cultured Marble God

The Dark of the Moon coincides with the peak of  my PMS.  As the month's actions and intentions are designed to come to fruition, I frequently am at my most vulnerable, self-critical and drained.  It's as if I use up the entire month's life energy in the first 25 days and am running on empty by the cycle's end.

This month, I recognized that pattern, opening a space for me to step outside myself, observe and ponder.  While still emotionally charged, I wasn't overwhelmed by the usual feelings of inadequacy and irritability. By stepping outside I felt more as if I was merely participating in the periodic shedding of the earth's and mankind's accumulated dukkha/sadness to make way for renewal and rebirth.

I wonder how much more ease I would have in my life if I accepted and planned for this stage of emptiness each month, rather than trying to power through and plow on?  Surely I, (and those around me) would be better off than when I deny the need only to have it come upon us like a rogue wave.  What would it look like to schedule self-care and appropriate mental "quiet time" in acknowledgement of the natural rhythms?

One way I DO indulge myself is with aromatic bubble baths, to soothe mind, body and soul.  Carefully choosing the right essential oils, lighting the tea lights around my deep tub and sinking in to the gentle pulsing of the jacuzzi jets, my mind drifts, body relaxes and my soul finds a resting place.

After getting out of the bath, the sight of the flickering candles around the perimeter of the tub recalled the offering bench at the Catholic church of my childhood.  Like an altar, it called me to kneel in a prayer of gratitude; for the beauty and peace of my big cultured marble tub in the house we so recently finished after 7 years of working and saving on our ranch.  For the husband who understands the breadth of my spirit and emotions and who encourages me to accept, nurture and express myself.  For my children and the gift of the challenges they bring that help me to grow and discover myself along the way.  For ranch life and how it keeps me connected to the natural world and the circle of life.

To be honest, it's been a tough week on a lot of levels, and I'm not sad to see it end.  It is nice, however, to be able to see it as just the turning of the wheel.  And so, I roll on to the beginning  of the next cycle of my life.

Namaste.

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9
Apr 12

Spending the Now

The moon has reached its fullest glory and wanes its way to the end of this first moon-cycle. It is a time not for retreat, but implementation. What is it I need most to bring forth into my life right now?

I find myself facing my own tendency to get derailed. I am very creative at distraction and sabotage. Perhaps by not sticking to something nor seeing it through, I am avoiding some fears:

  • Imperfection. In conception all is perfect; implementation is flawed. I must learn to see the outcome as being perfect in its own way. It is right for right now.
  • Boredom. I’m a ‘new’ junkie. I eagerly plunge into new projects, new ideas, while neglecting the existing children of my mind. I shall remember that old 4-H song: “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold”. If I don’t value the things I already have brought into my life, I devalue my self.
  • Unworthiness. There is a part of me that, deep down, feels guilty and undeserving of luck, success and happiness. Therefore, when I sabotage myself, I am only creating what I deserve (even if the Universe isn’t smart enough to know it yet). When I commit to care for myself and my self, I affirm through all parts of my being that I AM worthy.
  • Responsibility. Some days, I channel Peter Pan. Living in Neverland without deadlines and responsibilities and unaffected by other people’s schedules. One of the ways I don’t care for myself is in allowing enough space for Pan to visit, not allowing enough down-time for free-play (mental or physical). Then that time sneaks in sideways through dawdling, distractions and unwise choices in using my time. I will acknowledge and embrace my need to be unscheduled part of every day.

Just for today, I will be aware that each moment is worth its weight in gold. I choose to spend each now in a way that is nurturing. I will use what the Universe serves up to support my vision of how I wish to exist in Creation.

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5
Apr 12

If you would have wisdom

If you would have wisdom, you must first give up judgment

In my morning meditation/visualization I started beneath a tree, covered in tiny new spring-green leaves and began a slow walk down a path of 13 large flagstone steps. At each stone, a ghost-whisper of one of the 13 Clan Mothers joined me. At the fourth step, Looks Far Woman came and took my hand, walking with me the rest of the way. The steps led through lush grass, sloping gently down to water’s edge and curving to end at a hidden cut in the bank. There, in a horseshoe shaped alcove, lined above by rocks, sat a well-worn stone bench. There I sat with Looks Far Woman.
I asked her to be my guide this month; to call me back when I lost my sight or to hold my hand and keep me on the path of my desire to stay connected with the All and to let go of critical thoughts and judgments.
“It is not for me to call you back or to hold you, but I will be here when you remember where you need to be”


I asked for help in seeing my connection to all things and in feeling that connection, especially in times of stress. I had a vision of a vast web, stretching across the horizon of earth and into space. My perspective was from edge of the web, but I knew that I was also part of its center.
“You cannot yet see your connectedness unless you are still. As you learn to be and feel your own center, your awareness of your place in the web will travel with you. But for now, be still”


I asked for particular help with my tendency to be critical and to blame others when things were not perfect, or when I am feeling less than perfect myself. I asked for wisdom to see that all things have their place and things are as they should be.
“If you would have wisdom, you must first give up judgment”


And so begins the journey of my Circle of Self.

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