Present Tense

Cocooning to cope…

 

It’s a turn off the news, ask Alexa to shuffle Norah Jones morning.

Very cold this here; one of those hard to catch your breath, the dogs are walking on 3 legs, super clear at 8500 feet, mornings.

The condo feels like a little cocoon with Christmas lights, warm slippers, fireplace, counting small blessings (like clean sheets) happening.

The world is so absolutely chaotic right now. I was talking to a friend yesterday about various current events and happenings, when we both came to the same conclusion: “We’re screwed!”. HAHA!

But, I/we need to put ourselves into our cocoon now and then; to inhabit the eye of the storm where there is peace, calmness and often, clarity.

Yesterday I was standing in the valley where I currently live and gazing at the huge, beautiful, ancient mountains that surround us like a giant hug.

This, too, shall pass my loves. The timeline of humanity is sooooo long and so varied and yes, ALWAYS chaotic.

We look at various other eras in history and are lulled into the idea that it was a calmer, simpler time. That everything was as it should be and that everything ‘made sense’. It never has. Ever.

There has always been suffering and violence and hunger and oppression and all of the bad, icky things that we think are at an all-time high right now.

The difference is that we are in an era where we MUST ‘see’ them. We are awakening at a fairly rapid rate, thanks in part to technology, which is both a boon and a curse.

So, as always, my loves, it is two steps forward, one step back in our evolution. As we approach the Solstice a week from today, we are called to rest; to go inward.

To retreat to our cocoons, to gather strength as the light begins to return, oh so slowly as it ALWAYS does. Respect the cycles or more accurately, the spiral that is life as we move higher and higher in our awakening.

It’s a hard job, this whole being human deal.

December 14, 2018 Posted by | Musings | , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

We are starlings…

Undercurrents…energy….

We can feel it. We are being animated by these things that we can’t quite see or describe. If we squint or remove our strong attachments to outcomes, we can begin to see it.

Have you ever watched a flock of starlings when they collect and fly off? It’s like a gray-black wave that undulates as one.

You can’t really pick out one bird; it’s a collective decision to move and that wave is thick with birds, all working in concert.

That’s what collective energy is like among humans; or the whole universe.  Collective energy affects everything. I definitely believe the Earth herself is an active participant and she has been sending out warning signals for a long time.

If we were/are able to look down on the world from space, without any concept of space or time, you would see this synchronous energy.

It’s hard to see up close, in fact, I would suspect that an individual starling sees only chaos and the other birds immediately surrounding her.

But, when we step back; when we look back at the history of the world and of our nation, we see these turning points.

These are moments of either catalysts or evolution and the true turning points are mostly a combination of both.

Very few humans are able to see this in the moment. Some are. There are a lot of people with great vision, who often sound the alarms of what is happening or what is to come.

If we choose, we can use history as our guide and mentor and in some cases, predictor. If we open up. If we take the time to educate ourselves.

We are in a time, where the collective energy is shifting. It’s like when those starlings flap their wings for the first time, pre take-off.

They have no idea where they’re going, but they know it’s time and once they are airborne, something will click and they will coalesce into that huge, black undulating wave to begin their journey.

The current situation feels like the end, or the beginning of the end, of an era.  They are often so smooshed together that it’s hard to tell where one ends and the next begins.

The truth is, we just don’t have control of the collective. We only have us. We are but one ‘starling’, moving in concert with the collective, often with no clue as to why.

It feels to us as if we’re swept up and have no control over where that flock is headed.  That’s true, we don’t, but if we trust and we fly and we feel into it, we land some place completely different than where we began.

That’s so hard for us, isn’t it? We really feel as if we can muscle things into going our way. If we argue and present facts and statistics and experts and passion, we’ll change minds and hearts.

I’m not sure it works that way; in fact, as I’ve watched the unfolding over the past 10 days…oh hell, the last 10-20 years, I’ve seen people harden into their own tribe, beliefs and bunkers.

You know what has actually softened people? What has begun our evolution on this? Empathy, feelings, compassion.

It’s like the blinders of our rock hard ‘core beliefs’ have been chipped at or ripped away.

When we can see and connect with other’s pain and passion and grief, we soften.

This is our way forward; let’s FEEL our way, let’s sense what is right, instead of spewing out facts and statistics and experts.

This is where we’ve lost our way; we live in a culture where facts are king; where we have to have scientific “proof” for anything to be real. That leaves our humanity in the dust.

That leaves us to throw facts at each other and we all know that facts and stats and all of that cold, emotionless stuff can be twisted to fit our narrative. And we don’t connect that way.

We connect on a cellular and energetic and emotional level; we can’t quantify why we all feel the pain of this community in Florida or Connecticut, or Vegas, etc.

We are humans and in this moment of collective evolution, THAT is what we tap into. Don’t THINK so much, feel into this and then act on that core love of ‘all that is’.

February 24, 2018 Posted by | Musings | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Let’s fix this mess…..

It’s become a mantra. “The world is a mess”.  We hear it and say it over and over.  The world is dangerous, it’s chaotic, it’s unpredictable, it’s a horrible place to bring children into.  All true, I suppose.  But, it’s always been that way.

Life on planet earth is all of those things and I’m pretty sure it was the same, even BEFORE all of us highly intelligent and highly evolved humans showed up.  It’s fascinating how nature and science are so orderly and rhythmic and yet life is so chaotic.  But, alas, it is.

We see this disorder and randomness in our lives everyday, but we never can quite grasp it as the natural order.  We still believe that if we follow the rules, eat right, brush and floss and pay our taxes, we’ll be okay.  All of those things won’t hurt, but if we’re honest and awake, we know that as the old bumper stickers used to warn us, “Shit Happens”.

The key is how do we react to ‘shit happening’?  I’ve often thought  that I live a charmed life.  Things just seem to work out for me and I look around and see so many people that have had really awful things to deal with.  My parents are still alive at 92, my siblings are alive and healthy.  I am alive, healthy and professionally successful.  What on earth do I know about suffering?

Well, I’m a recovering alcoholic and I’ve been on and off the wagon several times.  I spent time in jail…in two different states.  The drinking was very damaging to me and to numerous relationships.  I’m sober, but never quite in the clear.  My husband was diagnosed with cancer 8 years ago and lost one of his kidneys in the process.  We got through it and he is cancer-free.  I’ve battled almost crippling self-doubt and self-hatred.  I’ve gone through several rounds of counseling and dealt with abusive co-workers and a hostile work environment in one of my first radio jobs.  So, there’s that. Charming, eh?

So many people that I know and don’t know have been through and are going through way more brutal things in their life, but my point is that we all suffer as humans.  Nobody really has a ‘charmed life’.  It’s all in how we deal with it and how we react to the inevitable pain, setbacks and trauma that will happen.

The first lesson is to realize that nothing lasts.  Life is impermanent.  The pain of this moment will subside, as will the joy.  Life moves on and very soon we’re on to the next thing, good or bad.  When you stub your toe going to the bathroom at night, it hurts like hell, right?  For about 2 minutes.  Then, it passes.  Even if it’s broken, it heals in time.

Secondly, practice compassion.  We’ve all been ‘that person’ who is rude in line, cuts someone off in traffic, talks loudly on a cell phone, doesn’t pick up after their dog, etc.  It happens.  Be patient and realize that person may be going through something extremely painful; they may not be themselves at that moment.  Understand that we are all flawed and capable of turning into an asshole in an instant.  Silently wish them well and let it go.

I guess my point is that if the world is a mess, it’s up to us to clean up our own.  We leave little human messes in our wake all of the time.  I certainly have and still do.  In trying to temper our reaction to events, we can make the world a tiny bit less chaotic and painful.  That’s all we can do.  We can’t control other people, despite our delusions to the contrary.  But, we can cut them some slack and even wish them well on their journey.  We all suffer together in our humanity.

Stay connected.  We can help to clean up this messy world, one person, one act at a time.

April 7, 2013 Posted by | Musings | , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Love your people like you love your dogs….

dogsI was sitting on the floor in front of the fireplace reading one of the many spiritual tomes that currently adorn my nightstand.  My two dogs were lying on either side of me; so peaceful and sweet and relaxed.  As I was rubbing Junior’s belly it occurred to me that if I were to treat all of the humans I encounter with the same patience and forgiveness that I afford my dogs, my world might change.

I have two Jack Russell Terriers, Chili and Junior and have had various numbers of JRTs in the house for over 20 years.  They can be a handful, but I love their spirit and athleticism and sense of humor.  They require a fair amount of training and lots of praise and patience.

We’ve always used rewards much more than punishment and we allow them their dogisms; chasing squirrels (within reason), killing small rodents (again, not encouraging massacres), tugging, chewing, wrestling, digging, occasional barking binges.  At our house, they are allowed on the furniture and one sleeps in the bed. I just let them fulfill their nature and ‘be’.

As with humans, there are occasional bumps in the road.  A couple of months ago they got into a fight to the death over some food and I foolishly got in the middle of it and ended up in the ER getting intravenous antibiotics due to a badly infected dog bite.   Chili, the perp, was unapologetic, while Junior seemed upset about the fight and my injury.  Me?  I was pissed that I was dumb enough to get into the middle of the rumble knowing that the dogs wouldn’t have any idea who they were biting.

I forgave and moved on.  After massive doses of Levaquin and Flagyl.

But, what if that was one of my ‘people’?  What if during a rough stretch or an emotionally raw moment, someone sliced me open with a thoughtless comment or action?  Would I be so forgiving of their human-ness?  Doubtful.  The anger and hurt would fester like my dog bite, but it would not heal.  It would calcify into at best, a checkmark on their permanent record or at worst, a hardcore grudge.  Maybe even hatred.

I hear your cries.  “But, Jane! Our dogs love us unconditionally and they don’t know any better.  People are different. People know what’s right and wrong!!”

My reply is:  so what.  We’ve all been that person.  The thoughtless one who said something cruel or let someone down or lashed out in anger or frustration.  That is us being human. We all have those moments and I am going to try and remember that next time I want to toss out a ‘screw you’ to someone that I feel has wronged me.

Every religion and spiritual path in the universe teaches us two things: Love and forgive your fellow humans.  Period.  So, no excuses about how dogs are nicer than people.  You should have been at my house when Chili was clamped onto my wrist like a Great White.  Or watched them round up and murder the foreign squirrel in our house.  That is their nature and we allow it and forgive it.  Let’s try it with each other.

I’ll go first…and I hope that you will in turn, return that grace to me next time I say or do something stupid or hurtful.   Trust me, it won’t be long…..

February 2, 2013 Posted by | Musings | , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

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