Lullabies and doggies

It’s been a strange and hard few days. I just got to the house yesterday, this incredible, beautiful house in the hills of San Rafael, California. It is not my house. It is a housesitting gig I happened upon a year ago, seven minutes from where I live. This is the fourth time where I get to bask in the relaxation and peace of what it must be like to be rich, or how rich is defined to me. If I was rich, I’d have a house like this. It has a lot of light and is surrounded by trees and hiking trails and the brilliant silence of the sound symphony that is nature.

A couple years ago, in the midst of the break up of a long term love relationship, struggling with inner turmoil while also being guided out and into a whole new world of myself, my first housesitting gig was presented to me. That was a different house; in the hills of Mill Valley, California, in an even more exquisite setting. I only live 15 minutes away from there, but I may as well have been in a different, albeit ideal, country. I had stepped into a parallel life. The view there, from the kitchen, and from the bedroom, was the very vision I’d had in my then recent dreams. I’d been imagining this exact view, it just kept coming to me, before I even knew a break up was underway. Then, in the depths of pain and fear of extricating myself out of a partnership with someone I loved, while also knowing it had to end, came the invitation from an acquaintance. A perfectly materialized replica of what I’d been seeing leading up to the pain. It was a gift out of nowhere, a haven of escape, and a glimpse of what was waiting for me on the other side of that necessary darkness. On the other side of doubt. And the best part, the house had two beings of Pure Love for me to have the privilege to care for; in the bodies of doggies.

And yet, these places are not mine. I am a borrower of someone else’s wonderful life. Of course, that is a fallacy. I know nothing of the inner worlds of the people who live in them and don’t presume that they are any happier than anyone else. But now that I am here in this latest house, that is the feeling I’m reminded of. I’m being forced to see, and ponder, what I don’t have. Depending on my mood, my occasional vulnerability to old ways of thinking, that ridiculously destructive mindset can lead down a path where, this time, I refuse to go. That is one perspective. That is the perspective of lack. Lack is what lives in all of us, if we allow it to wake itself, as the beast of illusion. “I don’t have that, I can’t be that, I’m not worthy of being or having or doing” this, that or the other.

And there is also the Light. It knows that being here now, in this house, with this lone beautiful dog Lulu as my guide, is the most glorious gift that my soul could have conjured up. And Light always and only knows gratitude. I am so thankful for my hard, panting, isolated, shot through with miracles life, I could cry. And do, fairly regularly. Lulu knows who she is, and she reminds me that I Am That too. This house and this dog, yet another signal that whatever shifts that are happening in me, however uncomfortable and discombobulating the cauldron is right now, they are exactly perfect, pushing me into something that I am being prepared for.

I had been struggling with feelings of not knowing what to do next and how to handle all the newness, and the people I’ve been “connecting” with, in an online group of creatives. I’m going to LA later this week for a “transformational” workshop. I’ve been called to do this and I will be meeting many of these new people. But more to the point, all the excitement of getting in touch with and drawing out who I am and what I want, has inevitably caused a thrashing side-to-side mind. From wall to wall it runs, from the enormity of what it could all mean. This has been happening almost every day now for a week, a back and forth, up and down, tidal crashing of both seeing the horizon from the top of the wave, to feeling the impact of the steep and violent hit to the bottom of the shore.

So last night, after another day of chaotic shape-shifting between the old me and the new me, in meditation, I felt the presence. I heard the voice. It was above me. Then it was behind me. Then it was in me. It simply began, and kept reciting, The Lullaby of God, “I Love You.” I let it penetrate me. It merged with Little Me. It became me. As I made my dinner, it was there. And then, as it does, it began to fade. The Little Me thoughts of doubt and fear, a familiar default setting, gradually began drowning the lullaby out. And yet, the schizophrenia of space was also there. I was aware of the space, split second glimpses into all the infinite aspects of me. The space was a nudging “see, we’re all listening, we can hear it too”. Though I was still falling back into the suffering of being inside my thoughts, there was also the awareness that I was outside them. Little Me was in pain. “I was feeling so much better just then, why am I feeling off again now? Why do I do this to myself? Why do I have to keep falling back?”

But the space that contained all of me was there too, noticing those thoughts and, simply continuing the lullaby. It was speaking myself to Rest, soothing the child to sleep. If we can cause our suffering, but we can also cause our awakening, how incredibly powerful must we all be?

As I look over at the innocence and beauty that is Lulu, I am reminded that every single thought and feeling with the slightest “offness”, any kind of negativity, is pain. Underneath pain, lies fear, disguised as doubt, disguised as Separate. And it’s incessant wail is crying out for love. There is a space between all of that. It is always there and, for the most part, we don’t know it. It gets wider, it gets narrower, but it is always there. It holds the antidote to the closed window of fear, and right now it is singing the lullaby of You into eternity. Don’t just listen for it, hear it. Take it in. Be it.

 

Confusion’s latest incarnation

What to say, when to say, and how to say it? What to do, how to do it, and why again? These questions have been running around in my mind lately like little oompaloompas. Instead of being the little demons they were before, their normal everyday costumes, they’ve morphed into somewhat benign little disturbances who are actually having fun teasing me, while dancing around inside me and squealing.
I’ve become aware that they’re there, and they are annoying, but I’m letting them do their thing. That’s who they are after all. And they are part of me. And because I’m expanding my ability to, on occasion, actually accept and, rarely, even enjoy their incessant chatter, they’ve taken up residence in the factory of my candyland brain. Their home is no longer a swamp of darkness that’s hiding hideous monsters underwater. Now they can come up for air, breathe and look around. They’ve taken on land, to form a whole other species, a whole new identity. Their master, the personality known as the me that is Lia, has given them permission to exist.
She now acknowledges them for the simple confusion that they are. They are her questions, they are her ambivalence, they are her uncertainty about who she is and what she wants. She can now just watch them and love her creation. She has decided to not label them or judge them or demean their foggyness as bad, their all over-the-placeness as wrong, their seeming crazyness as something to stay secret in the swamp.
She is simply seeing them for what they are to her now; confusion, wonder, little fools who don’t know any better and don’t feel the need to either. She can relax, she can simply be confused. She knows that this fog, masquerading as a mass of costumed and harmless tasmanian devils who don’t know which way is up, but are having a blast creating such a duststorm, will settle. They will need to rest eventually, the fog will lift. A new creation, a new species to inhabit, will emerge from out of the swamp, glide over the land and start to lift off, telling her what to do and who to be next.

21 Days, Day 4 – everyone else

Facebook, the good and the evil. I shared yesterday’s post on a private facebook group, of like-minded creatives and meditators and, of course, got caught up in checking how many likes and comments I was getting. Look, I’m falling for it again! Noticing how I was being affected, though not even acknowledging it to myself at first, but very soon I did.  “See, this is the illusion”.

It’s not even so bad that I was getting caught up in wanting and needing validation and approval from strangers, I let that go, I’m getting better! It’s just the overall slow moving, rising wave of confusion that sets in the more I check updates, scroll down my newsfeed, click on videos, google that person, send a friend request, scroll through their page, and wait a minute, where was I? I went from (post meditation) having a serene, solid knowing of who I am, and that there is one easy answer right in front of me, I write it down, it flows from there, to…Maybe I should do that? Maybe just try to get as many youtube subscribers as possible, just make daily videos of me talking, yeah this writing thing and wanting to blog daily and create a show is a waste of time, who cares, nobody goes to the theater anymore. Wait I could put a video of it on youtube. Who cares, nobody wants to actually read two pages of text anymore, much less sit still and watch someone talk on stage for 20 minutes. Wait, what do you think a TED Talk is? Who cares, mine won’t be all that profound if I’m just talking about my….wait, what do you think adding characters and dancing and great storytelling and music is? That’s a dynamic, life changing performance is what that is. Who cares, I’m not Don Reed, that’s not me, I can’t do what he…holy hell. Look what I just did?

No more. “Everyone else” is a destroyer. I love so many of these people whose posts I read in that private group. We’re all wanting and trying to do the same thing really, express ourselves. But I’m watching THEM express themselves! I’ve been doing that my whole life. Sure, I’m “expressing myself” on there too, but even that is within a narrow frame of what I really want to be doing. I can now admit that I’ve been trying to fit myself in to what I think the world would like. Ah, I’ve been trying to fit in. And I see their daily videos and sometimes think, “ok, I should do that, I guess that’s how you get a following”.

But wait a minute! Is that what I want to do? NO. I want to do this. So I remember again, the word I come back to when the temptation to indulge in checking my phone and watching-everyone-else chaos, mind chaos, food chaos, outside world chaos, reaches it’s tipping point – refrain. Meditate, write, dance and refrain.

21 Days, Day 3 – uh oh

“Oops, I did it again!” It’s astonishing really, how many times we make a decision, a declaration, such as, “this time I’m doing it, goddammit, as God is my witness, I’ll never (fill in the blank) again!” And then, uh oh, we do. “I’ll only be (fill in the blank) from now on!” And then, uh oh, we aren’t. I decided on Sunday, day before yesterday, again. I made a promise to myself.

And then yesterday, on Day 2, I got a bug, I felt a little sick. I woke up all puffy and achey. But because I’d made my declaration to myself, I ignored that I was actually feeling sick. “Nah, just temporary, you’re not sick, you just feel off, this is your battle, your challenge, push through it!”. And I went to class, my daily workout. This was just one little part of my declaration, my Grand Plan to be the person I dream of being, now. Then, though 95% of the time I feel great after moving my body in the way my former Dancer self used to, and it makes me stronger and more determined in my new decisions and declarations, this time, hmm, I still didn’t feel so good. Dammit! Why can’t I just keep going with my awesome self and go to my favorite cafe and write all day, on this precious day off, like I was planning to! Why am I sabotaging myself, again?

But that right there, assuming I’m sabotaging myself, that’s the pattern. I’m feeling great and then boom, some type of doubt or fear comes up. It’s either in the form of something on the outside happening that I have to stop everything and deal with, which then seemingly takes me off my path. Or more often than not, something on the inside happens. Like I feel sick, which translates to weak, which translates to “see, you can’t keep up that power, that strength you thought you had, this new life, new person you want to be, it’s just too hard, there’s too many things to overcome, I’ve spent too many years doing this over and over, I really don’t know if I can change in the fundamental, earth shattering way I will need to in order to change my life”.

All this comes from a belief that I’m sabotaging myself; which, on the one hand, on a surface level, on the level that my Little Me mind can recognize, I am. My Little Me mind has grown up and is at the stage where at least it can see my patterns of letting myself down. From a psychological perspective, it’s a pattern of believing I sabotage myself, of knowing that this is a pattern we all engage in, in one form or another. Sure, I can leave it at that, understand it, and try again.

But underneath that, is this. My soul, the Spirit that is me, the God that is me, is also whispering to Little Me, and they are having an ongoing conversation. Right now, the God that is me is speaking louder, thank heavens. “No, what you think is your sabotaging pattern is just Me speaking to you. You need not force yourself to do or be anything, you need not have to make it happen, you need not have to change, you need only to see that you already are worthy of all of it, perfect now, and I am giving you what Little Me sees as an obstacle, what Little Me sees as your sabotaging pattern. I take you beneath, to the underworld of doubt and fear, so you can see it for what it is, only that. They are just feelings, feelings that are part of what you chose to experience by coming to Earth. And when you feel it, you then come bounding out and up into your world with more clarity on the next right thing to do, with more strength and power than you actually had before I took you down there, more knowing that you are really Me.

I was, am and will be, giving you these moments, these gifts, every day until you reach the next dimension (the glorious secret I am keeping from you, the best surprise ever!), to have you feel everything there is to feel in this dimension. The more you feel, the more you experience the depths of doubt and fear and the heights of joy and love, the more you know that it is always changing. So, the less you fear the doubt and fear, and the less you attach to the love and joy. You see that you are creating all of it, to simply show you more. You see that doubt and fear and love and joy are equal in their ability to help you expand, which is the only reason you came here. The more you see this, the more love you can have for your doubt and fear, and for your human self. You can then say hello to the doubt and fear and know they are just your friends. They aren’t there to hurt you, they love you. And you learn to love them too. You wouldn’t be able to love them if you weren’t already Love, the more free you become, the more you see that you and I are One.”

So my lesson given to me today by my Creator, by the Creator that is me, is that no, getting sick and not working out, breaking my cleanse slightly last night by eating to push down the doubt and fear, feeling regret and shame this morning because of it, feeling I’ve fallen back yet again, is not my “sabotaging pattern” at all. It is meant for me, it is my gift to myself, because look, had I not gone on yet another dive into the underworld, whether in a few seconds or a few days or weeks, I wouldn’t have seen this truth. And I wouldn’t have written these very words.

It’s coming, lock your doors…The Forgetting!

I love Aziz Ansari’s show on Netflix, ‘Master of None’. In the last episode of the first season, he’s a struggling actor and is at the premiere of a bad scary movie he has a small part in. He’s invited his friends, is very excited, and before they walk into the theater he plays a game with them, a gotcha joke. “Wait, you guys, I’m not feeling well…I think ‘The Sickening’!.. is happening!” It’s adorable. And that moment is the comedic version of what happens to me, at work.

I’ve had a respite this week, my own little vacation. I purposely didn’t make any plans involving anyone else, I didn’t go out of town. Right now, not filling my precious time off with more stuff to do and people to be with was what I needed most. I decided I would call this my retreat, my sabbatical. I’d make my priorities just meditating, writing, exercising, eating mostly fruits and vegetables, in that order, and refraining from facebooking, netflixing and eating or thinking too much. I used my time wisely, today is my last day off and I’ve made huge strides. I even took huge, scary action. I’m more in touch with myself than I’ve ever been. I’m remembering more consistently who I am. Gosh, this is the life!

And yet tomorrow, I start back up with the jobs. I shall begin the day in the same way as I have been; meditating, writing and exercising. But then. Then, for the next eight hours or so and random days in the next week, month…I have to go do something and be something I don’t want to do or be. Knowing this, I have anxiety about what will happen to me. Because what often does is this: by the end of the day, I’ve experienced a dread, then a fog, then, uh oh, I don’t feel so well…The Forgetting!…is happening!

How long can I hold on to these feelings of inspiration and joy? Don’t let go! I’m losing my grip! A final plea I’m not even aware of says quick, lock your doors, don’t allow these menial tasks, that tone in a co-worker’s voice, the crappy staff food lying around, the gossip, my body’s aches, my tiredness, into this sanctuary! Suddenly it’s the zombie apocalypse and I’m back in my old identity, having completely forgotten. What? Forgotten my power, who I really am, my innate knowing that all this is an illusion. I don’t have to let this job, and the fact that my ego thinks I shouldn’t be doing this, affect me. That is a choice. I am unlimited and this job is just part of the path to what I know is on it’s way. It’s my training ground, my spiritual bootcamp if you will.

In my current, expanded and relaxed state, I know that. But the more time that goes by in the day, on the job, I start to identify with what I’m doing, the role I’m playing. And soon The Forgetting starts to weave it’s spell. The space that was allowing in all the inspired ideas and new ways I was thinking about myself starts to get smaller and smaller. The thoughts that were reminding me of who I really am, and that even this job can be fun because I know it’s temporary, can no longer even occur to me.

They are outside my limited personality that’s getting caught up in chiming in with co-workers, telling old stories, and complaining about one thing or another. Those thoughts, “that are lovely and of good report” (-Neville Goddard) are beyond this narrow perspective, just outside the barrier that The Forgetting has enclosed me in, knocking patiently. But I can’t hear them. And then, I’m back to the person who’s putting herself down because she can’t believe she’s still doing this for a living.

The endless slippery slope of what that one destructive thought creates, lands me in a state of confusion, exhaustion and numbness by the end of the night. Now The Forgetting has settled in and I go to sleep in the itching discomfort of something being very wrong. This truly is a horror movie. The horror of thinking those illusions are real is playing to the sold out crowd of insecure, doubting and fearful personalities in my brain.

But here’s the rub. Life will always be presenting unwanted circumstances. And when we do get what we want, something else comes up that we don’t want. And we want something else again. This is the human experience, and we chose it. We wanted to play a game, the ultimate game, on ourselves. The only way to keep expanding was to forget who we really are, and be presented with contrast. We can’t see the light without the dark. Thus, we would then do, then finally be, whatever it would take to remember. With each new peek of who we really are, we are now even more than we were before. And when we’ve learned all there is to know here, we’ll move on to the next planet, vibration, frequency, whatever you want to call it. And we’ll begin a whole new adventure. If we always knew that we were God, the Universe would no longer be infinite, it would keep banging it’s head against the wall and start to shrink! And the Universe would be all, “say what, God? I can’t even be called The Universe anymore? Now I’m Mini Me Universe?! This is so boring!”.

So back to Groundhog Day. I wake up, shower, make my tea, put my headphones in, listen to my favorite music or talks that remind me, meditate, and start the entire process of Remembering all over again. Then, not always, but often by the evening, The Forgetting starts sneaking under the door of my consciousness. But after all, only our minds can make a hell of heaven, and a heaven of hell.

So, tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya, tomorrow! I shall create a game out of this too, and a new determination. How long can The Remembering last? Can I Remember all the way through to when my head hits the pillow? What if I really could? What vistas, what worlds await me. Tomorrow is Day #1. Let’s find out!

 

What If

What If? Those two words alone hold within them all the power of the Universe. Oh hell, Infinity, Intuition, Source, God, Science or whatever blah blah blah. Again, I notice, I just added that quip because that was me being self conscious that you’d make an assumption about me because I used the word Universe. Yes, those types can be extremely annoying, and I’m certainly one of them some of the time. Amy Schumer did a brilliant and hilarious spoof  on that subject on her tv show. I’m also the opposite of that at other times, irritated as all get out at people who call themselves “conscious” and “spiritual” and have no sense of humor. I’d rather shoot the shit with the guy who bags my groceries at TJs. But my point being, I was already feeling the need to censor what I was saying in just the second sentence.

Act as If is the eager sister to What If. It also holds the power to create worlds, but What If is the Big Bang. What if…I truly write this thing like a journal and really didn’t give a crap about what “people” think? And Universe help me, who are these people again? Why does it matter and what’s the worst that could happen? Some of them would not like me. Great! I’m that much closer to my people then. Good riddance.

Why Not is the tipsy uncle to What If. Today, there is no answer to the tipsy uncle, it’s not a question anymore. Why Not has just become a statement. It is done. There is no reason to not. To not what? Tell the whole damn truth up in here. I simply remain with the question of What If? What if next week when I go up on that stage (if my name gets picked) and I fall flat on my face? Meaning, nobody laughs or utters a sound, I stutter, I blank out, I forget the most important parts, my heart does it’s usual beating out of my chest but this time everyone can actually see it. It’s so loud and so overpowering that it halts my voice and I can’t even speak properly, it causes me to be short of breath and I look like I might faint. Ah, that reminds me of what happened to Kyle Cease when he started having stage fright for the first time as a comedian, after fifteen or so years of doing it. It got so bad that he created this new fear about fainting on stage. “What if I could make myself faint on stage? What if I faint while taping my big Comedy Central special?”(paraphrasing). Sometimes, the worst fear leads to the deepest suffering, which in turn can lead to an awakening into a whole new way of living, a whole new identity.

I get that fear now, it just occurred to me, but it occurred to me in the best way. Because right now I’m actually trying to think of what’s the worst that could happen, taking it all the way to the the end, not freaking out and trying to figure out how to prevent that end. Because if I surrender to possibly failing the first time, the first many times, ok, so what? Failing, or even doing a meh job, would actually be just fine. The thing is, if I am great the first time, and the next time and just continue to be, the day will come eventually when I do fail in some way, and I’d have to deal with it then anyway. But it would probably be a much harsher pill to swallow.

I know this from experience. I was great at dancing and got all the lead roles easily when I was young. Then one day, I got fat, or fat by ballet’s standards. So to me, I’d failed. And it’s taken me years to come to terms with the self-doubt that created. All the attention was too soon, I wasn’t really ready for it.

What if I accepted that I likely will suck at this new thing at first, and that is A-Ok? Yay, I went through that and I’m still here and as God is my witness I’ll never go hungry again! I mean, as God is my witness I’ll never let failing stop me again! Scarlett O’Hara Redux. Because after that, if I do fall flat on my face, I now vow, in the words of Steely Dan, to go back, Jack and DO IT AGAIN. That’s what I know is different. This time, I’ve decided beforehand that if the worst happens, it’s just fine and good and I’ll be learning something. The failing itself (I now know, not just speculate) will make me get better. So now I can relax. I can maybe even have fun. It is childhood, giving adulthood a hug and a kick in the ass. It is nature’s way. It is part of getting good at something, anything, but especially something important that holds a lot of meaning and purpose and fear. On the flip side, the actual purpose of the fear itself is to let us know we’re on the right track. The fear shows us our purpose. If I’m really scared of this thing, dammit, that means I know I have to do it.

So if I continue with this line of thinking, this also means that if I’m afraid of what people think, that means I have to say it. Ah yes, thanks Self. That may seem obvious to you, reader, but sometimes things just click at the right moment. And since I’m trying this whole “I really don’t care what you think” thing out, though I love you and want what’s best for you, please move on if this is turning you off. You’re actually just an aspect of myself that I don’t need anymore. So thanks for your disapproval, it’s made me who I am up to this moment, it’s your actual (imagined in my mind) disapproval that has helped me surpass needing it in the first place. “The circle of liiife!”

I got what I needed to know by putting fingers to keyboard, letting my real voice talk and wander, and it gave me the answer it needed, however simple. Sometimes you hear the same thing your whole life, but you’re hearing it only from a certain narrow perspective, then you hear it once from a new, wider and heightened perspective and it takes on total significance. I feel fear of being more honest, which simply means that’s what I’m supposed to say. Hmm, yes that feels true. But also there is a caveat, that isn’t actually always the case. Of course there’s plenty of things that if I said them, it actually wouldn’t be the best thing; for me. Maybe for someone else, but me is all I got. So, here’s where wisdom comes in, where all these years of practice listening to my heart gallups in to save the day.

All I can do is continue to listen for the truth, trust if something feels off, and either say it or don’t say it. The reason this time though, the deciding factor, shall be wisdom and knowing, not fear.

 

 

Alien babies

I’m noticing there is a dread of this moment. On second thought, of course, it is all the moments before this, before I start. All day there were things that popped into my head, and then the inner judge, who is interestingly getting kinder, says “that’s an idea, yes you want to talk about that, good”. But then, if I make a note of that idea, and I have to leave the balm of expressing it to go do the stuff of the day, like work and errands, and I don’t immediately go with it by writing more than just one sentence, there is a feeling of anxiety that I’m trying to put a name to right now.

One part is that it will leave, which is a very common occurrence. The more time that goes by before I can sit and throw it in the mixer, jumble it around in my mind on the page and sweep it into actual words, with each passing hour that I haven’t gotten it out, I feel more nervous, irritable and tired. I then want to escape from that feeling, so then will turn to a distraction. Then I notice that all that time that’s gone by being aware that I’m not getting whatever it is out,  I could have actually sat down to do it.

But there were things I had to do! There are only so many hours in the day and I gotta pay the bills. And so, I’m going to punish myself for doing what I have to do because I’m not doing what I want to do, and even though that’s crazy, that’s actually where the downward spiral of resistance to doing it begins. I’m realizing I’m mad at myself, something I wasn’t even conscious of until now that’s actually saying to me I’m wrong or bad for not getting it out and expressing it, so I must not be worthy of it. Oh and the other ingredient in the self-beratement canon, it’s my fault. But it’s not a voice even, more like a net enshrouding me in shame; I’m not doing what I’m supposed to be doing. And I’m not even aware of this at the time. I’m just feeling off about myself in some way. I’m in doubt. That doubt is what prevents the antidote, just sitting and writing. Because now it’s turned into another thing I have to do, something difficult, something I don’t want to do anymore.

But this right here, talking it out to myself in the moment, this flow of Source is my friend. And I’d been thinking of it more like the movie ‘Alien’, this terrorizing monster that’s been in me and the process of getting it out, so I can be ok again, is going to be torture. I’ve turned the idea of this, right here, into my enemy. But look, there is an energy that’s causing my mind and fingers to move in harmony along the keyboard. Yet it’s not even linked to my body or my mind. It’s the something else I can’t exactly define.

It has transmuted from this alien baby gnarling to be born and destroy it’s host in the process, into this gentle breeze that’s whispering “you’re doing it, look at you, I’m here anytime you’re ready, no pressure, no big deal”. Then when I listen to it, like just now, it turns into a waterfall. Now it’s the river below, and will continue on downstream, pushed along by the breeze, until it becomes a waterfall again. No alien babies anywhere in sight.