Friday, October 28, 2011

Me a “writer,” who after releasing words to “the public,” often has writer’s remorse. The more vulnerable the sharing, the more transparent, the greater the “What have I done?!” feelings that are likely to arise. Will this always be?

I recognize the roots of this in my childhood when I was shamed and ridiculed in school for being me, so different from the rest: the non-native English speaker of immigrant parents. The Yiddish words for things were always hovering over the English ones and often when I most needed a word, it wasn’t there in either language.

Then there were the feelings—especially the impermissible ones like anger at the teacher and my parents—that were swallowed before they could be clothed, let alone expressed, in words.

Now, I write about feelings a lot, if not predominantly. There is no obviously menacing outer authority dominating my life. But there is an inner patrol threatening me with shame for speaking up, especially in a self-revealing manner. The guards at the gate of my throat want to slurp the words back that have been carelessly released, i.e., let go as if without a care.

I have so many words lining up all the time ready to march or dance or stumble into the world. No gatekeepers manage to restrain them. But, once the words (vessels carrying my thoughts and feelings) have made their public appearance, the fear-inflated inner authorities indict the fool I have made of myself.

A nobody special blog tucked away, with zero search engine optimization and few visitors adventuring here from cyberspace, makes speaking freely like I am this moment less consequential. Hence, more fun. I still may encounter criticism (my own) of what I am writing. But in this venue (potentially public but rarely so), the inner patrol is less likely to overpower the release of my take into the world. In relative obscurity, there is a sweet spaciousness and relaxing of the guard.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Exquisite Solitude

Three nights back, I drove a half hour to an unfamiliar destination to attend a religious service. I had gotten dressed quickly, acting spontaneously on the urge to be in community rather than pray on my own.

I got lost—despite my printed, map-quest download and two locals giving me directions, which proved wrong. (When I said synagogue, they looked like they had never heard the word.) Using the street name did not help that much either.  I found the right street finally and then what appeared to be the building housing the congregants, whose cars lined all the surrounding streets.  I hunted a space to park.

Then another urge took me: the urge to keep on driving.

I told myself as I drove back the way I had come that I had chosen not to remain because of my diminishing night vision:  if it was that challenging to see in the dark at six-thirty, how would it be in two more hours?  But I knew this was not all that pulled me.

I had come that close to being social—and the moment passed.

When I got home—even before entering my sweet abode, just turning off the motor in my gravel driveway—I experienced the simple pleasure of hearing the night creatures so delightfully audible in the quiet, serene location of my farmhouse. I lingered outside awhile staring up at the moon, drinking in the deliciousness of the air, savoring the crisp, unique clarity of autumn.

I was so happy to be home.

Go figure... It’s not like I am away from here that much.  I work at home. I rarely participate in recreational and other local events, or travel, largely because of my necessarily frugal lifestyle at this time. (Although frugality is not the only reason, just like darkness was not the only reason to not park my car and join the congregation).

Why, I wondered, was I so contented to turn the key and step across the threshold?  I already knew, but it continually surprises me how true it is...

My modest farmhouse has become a sanctuary.

When I started this post, I was actually prompted by a single thought that arose the night of my escapade to the synagogue:  There are those who sip fine wines, tasting subtleties. I savor exquisite solitude. 

I relish solitude's varied fragrances, the bouquets, the aftertaste—and every aspect that comprises a unique night’s solitude. I sip, lick my lips, feel humbly grateful.

As the days and years unroll themselves, more and more I choose to live them in solitude. This surprises me and doesn’t. Occasionally, I wonder if I should question my preference.

Tonight I am on my screened porch. It is one of the last nights that it will be comfortable and not too cold to hang out on the oversized sofa that never made it through the narrow farmhouse door, and has become my summer bed.

The crickets are a considerably thinner blanket of sound than they have been throughout the lush summer. Several nights recently with the temperature dipping toward the 30’s there were no creature sounds. The call and response tonight is noticeably less populated or—what would be the right word: cricket-elated? Each night this summer, except those nights when heavy rains were louder, I have fallen asleep wrapped in boundless delight, absorbed in the crickets' chorus.

Connoisseurs of elegant wines savor each sip as it touches the palate, (I imagine, knowing nothing really about wine). I am, however, a connoisseur of exquisite solitude.  I am sipping tonight.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” - Steve Jobs’ Stanford Commencement Address

Thank you, Steve Jobs.  You walked the talk.

Friday, September 30, 2011

To Be or Not To Be

I have come to treasure and "aspire to" contentment more recently. Excitement and highs are actually becoming less desirable than deep contentment. To be content is to be present; they are one.

Contentment I discover again and again is not something to attain in the future when all the conditions are right or as I want them. Contentment is to be found,to be known now and here. There is a gentle focussed effort (of letting go or accepting) required some of the times. At other times, I fall into a state of contentment despite my ducks not being at all in a row, but rather out splashing around in assorted puddles, lakes and even turbulent seas.

It is actually happening more and more that I am feeling contented as is--contentment becoming its own peak experience.

Tonight, after thunder pounding the roof actually made me jump, heavy rains fall now. I sit typing this post on an oversized sofa that would not fit in through the door of his farmhouse and got stranded on a narrow screened front porch. The windows are open and the rains loud enough to have overpowered the cricket chorus. This is its own heaven. Complete. Nothing missing if I remain here in this moment, in this night, rather than in tomorrow.

Contentment thrives when I allow and embrace not knowing, not needing to know the outcomes of matters weighted with "significance.". Just Here. Just Now. On the front porch. Sweet rain. Fresh air. Unobstructed breathing. Legs that bend and bear my weight easily and gracefully. No regrets.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

It is a marvelous paradox—integral to this blog—that none of us is special and each of us is special.  I find this truth at once inspiring and humbling.

Special: of a distinct or particular kind or character; having a specific function or purpose; unique.

I submitted two book proposals this past weekend as nobody special and someone utterly special with distinct, valuable and unique contributions to make.  These proposals were offered in conjunction with The Transformational Author Contest sponsored by Christine Kloser, with the support of Marc Allen of New World publishers (Eckhart Tolle's publisher) and Sandy Powell of Balboa Press, a division of HayHouse.

It was profoundly fulfilling to have honored me and my writing in this way. It is also a deeply self-honoring posture to surrender the outcome to the process.  When the demon of doubt and what Max Simon recently referred to as "comparison despair," reared their many heads, I was able to choose to keep my focus on the intended gifts.  To seek and speak the deepest truth in relation to the subjects at hand with eloquence and respectful awareness of my readers is a gift to my readers—and to me.   Nobody special speaking to other nobodies; a soul divinely created down to the last detail addressing other remarkable creations.  It's all going on at once.  And as I "do" it, it is doing me.

I love the paradox, despite the days I stumble through caught on one paradox' horns or another.

From my heart to yours,

Sunday, July 17, 2011

My Latest Lesson in Entrepreneurship

It was the little one, maybe four years old— jumping up and down waving a piece of green construction—who caught my eye first.  I was driving home from a shady path next to a brook where I'd taken my beat-the heat walk, knowing it is expected to top 90 degrees today.

Slowing down, I glanced in the direction of where the enthusiastic girl pointed: a table on which sat a large blue pitcher and behind which sat her older sister—selling lemonade.  I pulled over then walked towards their table in the shade, a fair distance back from the road—not where a marketing expert might have suggested they place it for the most traffic. 

"How did you know this was just what I needed?" I thanked, exchanging my quarter for a cup of outdoor temperature lemonade.  I sipped it there for a few moments, delighted to be in their energy field. 

"Look a truck!" a little boy, also holding a green paper, shouted excitedly.
"A truck!  A truck!" his little sister repeated jumping up and down, waving her sign.

I was so moved by their sense of possibility.  Every vehicle coming down our relatively unbusy road represented the possibility of someone wanting lemonade and stopping.  I remained long enough to watch the truck drive by.  Instead of lamenting—I didn't even hear a sigh—the young crew turned its attention to "A blue car!  See that blue car!"  

All I could feel coming from these four children was the pure unconditional joy of being there—not diminished by sales being slow, by trucks and blue (or whatever color) cars passing them by

I suspect their mama has nurtured and protected their hope—her children's Yes.  Even very young children can become intimate with deep disappointment and start to cap their joy and unconditional faith in life. I did not sense that shadow over this bunch.

I drove away with just a bit of lemonade left in my blue plastic cup, but filled with the joy of possibility, for which I was thirstier than I realized.  

Monday, June 27, 2011

Long time friendships with deep roots in the heart are treasure. Tonight, hours sitting on the porch talking deep and wide with a friend of 25 years (in this lifetime and probably many more years over many lifetimes). We have journeyed through many seasons, parted ways, reunited, parted--winding, braided paths. Now we land again in Love, recognizing again, with more veils lifted, a companion soul.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

There is a species of moth able to detect a mate's aroma at a distance roughly the equivalent of that between New York and Boston.  

Amazing, the perfection and intricacies of this remarkable Creation of which we are each a part.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

No small thing: Shelter.

There's a big old soft sofa that was meant for the living room but couldn't make it through the narrow farmhouse doors even with doors lifted off their hinges and framing dismantled. So that big sofa stayed out on the narrow screened porch.

Tonight like the past two, I am bedding down here, not wanting to distance myself from the soft rains and the chanting of the tree frogs. A roof over my head. A comforter to wrap myself in. Pure water to drink. Quiet. Safety. The night's beauty. And to top it off, the magical luminescence of lightening bugs. A plethora of blessing.

I wish safe shelter for all. Clean air. Good water. Hunger appeased. Love.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

About Callings

From "Callings," by Gregg Levoy:
"...Nikos Kazantzakis, author of "Zorba the Greek," described an incident in which he came upon a cocoon cradled in the bark of an olive tree just as the butterfly was making a hole and attempting to emerge. Impatient for results, he bent over it and warmed it under his breath, by which he succeeded in speeding up the process. The butterfly, however, emerged prematurely, its wings hopelessly crumpled and stuck to its own body, which needed the sun's patient warmth, not the man's impertinent breath, to transform it..."

Monday, May 2, 2011

I pray for liberation from the Egypt of my deluded thoughts and grasping mind.
I pray for liberation from the Egypt of my mistaken ego. 
I pray for liberation into the expanse of TRUE SELF KNOWLEDGE, which is naturally accompanied by self love. 
I invite the experience of who I really am. 
I pray for the peace and joy of self-love that births me into true, abiding, flowing love of all.

Heart of mine, source of my prayer and its destination, hear and grant this prayer.

Guides, angels, teachers, ascended masters, lead me home.
Please. Thank you. I love you.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

When "outer" incidents reflect and offer lessons about the inner life, I am grateful. Some times, I am also quite surprised by how creatively messages are delivered. Here's an example:

For three days straight a robin has been returning to my sky blue Toyota and leaving abundant (less than pleasant) evidence of its presence. I have shooed the robin, cleaned the driver side door, mirror and window of bird droppings, even went to a carwash--so covered was the car--only to have the robin return and make its mark(s). 

I live in a town of long time farmers. Yesterday at the landfill, I asked an old farmer if he had any experience with this sort of behavior, wondering if he would look at me dubiously like I was imagining the whole thing.  Instead he smiled and said: "He's fighting with himself."

My turn to look at home dubiously: "Fighting with himself?" I replied, not sure I had heard him right.

"Yep, he sees himself in the mirror and doesn't know it's him. He's fighting himself thinking it's a different bird."

Now back to small miracles. The minute the farmer explained, I knew there was a reflection in this of something going on within me. 

I have been fighting myself for a few weeks now. Scared by what I think I see in the mirror, I have been resisting. I have gotten riled, ruffled my feathers, and felt cornered by illusion mistaken for truth.  Without getting into content for now: suffice it to say that I have been making a mental fuss about what I imagine I am seeing. I have been fighting a projected "enemy," in the form of (imagined) unwanted circumstances.  My resistance has been making a mess. I clean it up with meditation and then before I know it, I am perched staring into that mirror afraid of what I see.  

So now to contemplate my options. Not in terms of what to do about "the enemy," but rather how to see the truth of who i am clearly. 
This below from Women Food and God by Geneen Roth: "When I am willing to question and therefore feel whatever is there--terror, hatred, anger--with curiosity, the feelings relax, because they are met with kindness and openness instead of resistance and rejection..."

"Recurrent negative feelings--those that loop in the same cycles again and again without changing--are unmet knots of our past that get frozen in time for the precise reason that they were not met with kindness or acceptance."

"Can you imagine how you life would have been different if each time you were feeling sad or angry as a kid an adult said to you, 'Come here, sweetheart, tell me all about it.' If when you were overcome with grief at your best friend's rejection, someone said to you, 'Oh darling, tell me more. Tell me where you feel those feelings. Tell me how your belly feels, your chest. I want to know every little thing. I'm here to listen to you, hold you, be with you.'"

"All any feeling wants is to be welcomed with tenderness. It wants room to unfold. It wants to relax and tell it's story. It wants to dissolve like a thousand writhing snakes that with a flick of kindness become harmless strands of rope."

Friday, March 18, 2011

I'll be back any minute now

I have not posted for many months as I have been completing my historical novel, The Tremble of Love. I am eager to return to posting...  Will be back SOON.  With good news, too.