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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5
Jul 12

Eintag is Today

As a child, my vision of Heaven was of a place where all knowledge was possible, but you had to ask or wonder about it before you could know the answer.  A place of eternal learning.

Twenty years and a couple marriages ago, I first began to take self-improvement seriously.  I used to look forward to the day when I was "done".  Done addressing my shortcomings and done fixing the things that were wrong with me so I could get on with real living.

Some day, I imagined, I would be "finished". I could relax; enjoy life and stop fretting about what else I needed to fix to make things "right".  I would be the person I wanted to be, so therefor, life would also be what I wanted it to be.

If my childhood vision was the wisdom of the innocent, then what I wished for as an adult was not heaven, but death.  How did I go from knowing that happiness is growing, becoming and learning to the thought that happiness is being "done", or reaching the end of the journey?

When I brought horses back into my life several years ago, I couldn't afford a "finished" (well-trained) horse.  Consequently, I purchased a pair of very nice, but green horses.  When I acquired them, I had in my mind a vision that in a year or so we'd be "done" with the training period.  I'd have a finished horse and could go about the business of riding, carefree.  Three years later, I still have not cantered on either of my young horses.

In those three years,  I have learned much about myself, and come face-to-face with my own limitations as I've built a partnership with them.  Recently, I realized that I have had far more fun and a more enriching experience for having played, worked and learned with them than if they were "push-button" horses from the start.  Just as my children have, my horses have taught me far more than I have taught them.  Once I learned to enjoy the horse that is on any given day, rather than looking for the horse that will be, I rediscovered my childhood satisfaction of horse ownership and the innocent joy of learning and growing.   [BTW,  I now own a 26-year old finished horse and  my greatest joy, besides cantering bareback, is what he teaches me].

It's finally dawning on me that the process of challenges, self-examination and growth is not what must be endured before life can truly be lived, it is life itself.

"Eintag" is Today.

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6
Jun 12

Old Gold

Pardner came to live with us about 6 months ago.  He's 26 years old and blind in one eye.   He's not registered, pedigreed and, as far as I know, has never won great accolades in horse shows or competition.  He's got a few health issues and needs a little extra TLC.

Pardner is a very fortunate horse in that he was raised and trained with Parelli Natural Horsemanship principles.  Most importantly, this means his outlook on humanity is that they are partners, not predators to him.  He has lived a life expecting mostly good things from his humans.  He has never developed vices because he never had anything to escape from.

As Pardner and I have developed our own relationship, he has begun to greet me at the gate each morning, usually waiting to be let out to graze as I work with one of our younger horses, or do chores around the ranch.  More and more frequently, I'll jump on his back and go for an impromptu ride.  He's helped me to find the confidence in my body's; balance, flexibility, timing as we(I) get increasingly brave about riding bareback again, chasing cows, cantering and riding without reins.

He's also teaching me many things.  Especially about aging.

He's the oldest horse on the place and the most physically limited, but he's worth his weight in gold.

The sum of the good experiences in life have left him with a positive outlook.

The fire of impetuosity has given way to a quiet power.  No wasted energy on fidgeting or fighting against what is, but he's still got what he needs, when he needs it.

He's got a large enough perspective to be gracious to the young and inexperienced, but has maintained the sensitivity to respond to subtle cues from the right people.

He's doesn't need to be the boss of the herd, but DOES have a limit to what he will put up with from the youngsters.  He's got the boundary thing down.

His innate goodness has landed him in a good place.  He's got a home for his remaining years where he is loved and accepted as he is.

He's passing on his experience to my boys as they learn to ride and to me as I use him to hone the skills I need for my younger horses.  His ability to teach is probably greater now than ever in his life.

I've decided I want to be like Pardner when I get old.

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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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