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

Stream of consciousness….

natureI’ve got so many things on my mind right now that I’ve felt too scattered to try and write. In fact, I’m sitting here now, just typing and hoping that something materializes that makes sense.

I’m reading 3 or 4 books at once and all seem to focus around one message, despite their divergent authors and subject matter: get in touch with you.

You, meaning the natural, authentic, ancient you. I’m kind of obsessed with a theory that the ancient peoples of the world actually knew MORE than we modern humans. They lived directly on and with the earth their entire lives. They intimately understood the natural rhythms of the seasons, the eco-system and the energy that animates us.

I feel as if we are so separate from our roots in nature, that we have lost touch with the elements of life that keep us healthy, happy and human. Most of us embrace technology as something that has greatly enhanced our lives, but the more I think about it, the less I believe it. I think we are distracted, numb and out of touch with what animates us as living, breathing organisms. The natural world is where we came from and yet we’re destroying it in the name of growth, progress, and ‘better lives’.

Yes, I’m guilty. I have all of the modern conveniences, including a giant iPhone 6 Plus, that I obsessively carry with me at all times. I have a conflicted relationship with that frickin’ phone. It contains podcasts, music, meditations and various apps that I use for fairly healthy pursuits, but it’s the email and Facebook and texting that addicts me. Every time I spend more than 20 minutes Facebooking, I hate myself. It drains me; it often depletes the spiritual work that I’ve done that day, particularly if I get sucked into some stupid self-righteous argument. And yet…I go back to it.

So, what to do? I’m seriously considering dropping the Facebook page that many of you found this blog on, but then how do I publicize Present Tense? I enjoy writing the blog, but is it time to just completely retire from public communication? Do I write because I need constant validation? Is this merely my ego striving for attention?

Last week, I went out to dinner with some girl friends and out of the blue, they all told me to never stop writing the blog; they said it gave validation to many of the feelings and struggles they were having. Then, during another discussion about my astrological chart, I was told that I was here to communicate; to talk about and share my own spiritual quest and help others along the way. Okay. Blog will continue.

So, my next phase will include a lot of rumination on how we can go backwards as humans to a time when we were in tune with our world on a much more intimate level than we are right now. Some have never lost that connection, but most of us have. The ancient people who are responsible for much of our current spiritual roots, knew much more than we give them credit for.

There is a spirit in everything and we would do well to honor them all; the trees, the rocks, the flowers, the birds, the fish, the foods we eat, etc. Many of us have pets and we have no doubt that they have spirits; we know them intimately and believe that are connected to us. Extend that connection to everything around you, including other people, no matter how hostile or annoying. Everything and everyone has a spirit and our job as residents of earth is to honor every spirit.

This may mean disconnecting and going outside more often. Touch the actual earth, rather than concrete or asphalt. Eat REAL food, that was lovingly grown. Limit the chemicals in your house and on your body. Stop believing the ‘conventional wisdom’ that is usually disseminated to control your thoughts or gain power or money for someone. Listen to your body and nurture it. Begin some sort of meditation practice. Be introspective and honest with yourself. Above all, recognize that we are all connected; everyone and everything on this planet. Even those you fear and may not understand. Don’t hate. Dig deep and begin to love more.

January 30, 2015 Posted by | Musings | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Be Fearless…And Save The World

I actually wrote this a couple of years ago, but not much has changed, sadly.  So I thought I would dig it out and re-publish, since it’s what has been on my mind of late.  The media and government-fed fear of EVERYTHING is  making us aggressive and hostile and bigoted.  We need to stop.  We need to tap into the better angels of our nature: love, compassion and most importantly, empathy.  So what if people laugh at you for being ‘too nice’ or ‘soft’ or a ‘bleeding heart’.  Seems like that would be a badge of honor; be different. Be the real, loving you.   That’s what God/creator/cosmic energy intended.                                                                                                                                                     fear-198933_640

We live in a time of fear.  Fear brought on by global events, national events,economic catastrophes, other viewpoints, other religions, no religion, health care, no health care…you name it, we’re scared of it.

Life has been chugging along on our big blue marble for thousands  of years for us humans.  And before we-of-the-huge-brains came along, things chugged along without us.  Why are we suddenly so freaked out by everything?

I have a few theories.  One is that we’ve seen such huge technological advances over the past century, that we tend to believe that technology can fix all that ails us.  We are so smart that we should have solved all of the problems by now and when it occurs to us that we haven’t and won’t, it’s kinda scary.  And frustrating.  One solution begets another round of problems.  We don’t like that.  We humans don’t have the control over our world that we’d like.

Despite our best efforts to eradicate pain, suffering, war and disease, the universe remains infinitely powerful and troublesome and that makes us nervous.  I also think that it may be the catalyst for so much of the religious fervor that is bubbling here in the U.S. and around the world.  If we can’t solve all of the problems, maybe a deity can.  Science has let us down, so let’s turn it over to God and go whole hog into religious zealotry. Screw science and technology.  Let’s demonize our fellow sinners, as a sacrifice for the gods.

I’ve been re-reading my favorite book on Buddhist teachings by Steve Hagen, a zen priest.  It’s called “Buddhism Plain and Simple”.  It’s my favorite because I tend to think that spiritual beliefs should be plain and simple.  Fear and unease is referred to in Buddhist philosophy as duhkha;  the concept is that we often feel uneasy about the world around us, particularly because much of life is out of our control.  Buddhists don’t believe that the lack of control is good or bad, but just “is”.  To overcome this feeling of unease or suffering or anxiety or duhkha, you accept reality as it is.  Simple.  The tired phrase, “it is what it is” was probably uttered by Buddha thousands of years ago.  A  Zen parable called “Maybe” illustrates this simply and succinctly.

The older I get, the less fearful I am.  When I was young, I was incredibly selfish.  I did what I wanted to, without weighing how I affected other people.  I’m not proud of that, but there was a nugget of fearlessness in my behavior, mostly due to the fact that when you’re young, you really do think you’re invincible and immortal.  Even though I look back and cringe at some of the things that I did that adversely affected others, I am grateful for my bravado.  I never would have had my radio career without it.  I was willing to take risks to achieve success and was humble enough to learn from my (many) mistakes.  Plus, when you’re young and starting out, you have nothing to lose.  I often say on my radio show that your 20s are your ‘mulligan’ or your do-over decade.  If you’re gonna screw up, do it then so that you’ve got plenty of time to regain your balance and momentum.

Now, my fearlessness comes from knowing that my fears are rarely realized in the ways I’ve imagined.  Obstacles get tossed into your path and you go over or around them.  The next day dawns and you move forward. You learn with time and age, that you’re stronger than you think you are.  I have recognized and begun to accept the concept of duhkha.  There is a lot of stuff that just isn’t within my control and wishing and hoping and praying ain’t gonna make it so.  Accept what you SEE and KNOW to be true and the fear begins to dissipate.  We all end up in the same place in the end.

Accept the inevitability of  life/death/time/change.  It’s amazing how clearly you begin to see.

Morbid? No.  Freeing?  Yes.  “It is what it is”, friends.

 

January 25, 2015 Posted by | Musings | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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