Turned on All the Time

We’re supposed to be “ON” all the time. Right? On at work. On at home. On in bed. Where the hell did that expectation come from anyway? Even a freaking light bulb burns out and needs to be changed occasionally.

Maybe this is pure projection on my part, but it seems like it’s not acceptable to be tired anymore … or at least it’s not acceptable to admit it. It’s not acceptable to be bummed out about your life. It’s not acceptable to not give a shit about something you really do give a shit about but have finally gotten to the point where the load of it has become so heavy you can’t get it up anymore and you drop the baton you’ve been carrying over hill and dale for miles and miles and miles without stop …

You stumble and fall and don’t want to get up. Or maybe you don’t stumble at all. GASP! You … just … simply … lie … down.

Yeah. See how bad that sounds? Like you’re Frodo and you gave up half a mile outside the gates to Mordor or something and the whole Shire just got flushed down the toilet and everybody dies because YOU took a nap for an hour – or a day – or a month.

Whatever. It’s not the length of time. It’s the fact that you stopped at all. Read More

Road Trip!!

I don’t know what it is about the words ROAD TRIP … but it sure gets the juices flowing—even when it would seem there’s no juice left. Frankly at the moment I feel a lot like one of those pithy green limes that keep showing up in the grocery stores nowadays. You know the ones. No juice, just dry limey-green interiors with a little dribble of lime taste to them. That’s me!

Somehow I forgot that the creative process is an inhale exhale process – a journey with two beats to it … like my heart. START/GO and FINISH/PAUSE.

I got so wound up in the GO process I forgot to stop and take a breath. Writing a book is a crazy obsessive thing for me … up at 4 am, wide awake with ideas seeping from every pore. Can’t wait to get to the computer where I find myself 6-8-10- hours later in a daze with pages written and a satisfied feeling that can’t be beat. Then up to do the same the next day.

Not so fun is editing … but still rewarding. Then comes marketing once the book finds a publisher and then it’s the RACE TO THE LAUNCH DAY. And then it’s talks and interviews and travel and excitement and and and … all wonderful. And all very draining. Two and a half years of draining.

Which is why the road trip. I could have flown to my destinations in California and New Mexico where I’m doing a few talks. But why? This has been a looooong dreary winter in the Pacific NW with record rainfall. It’s spring. And the desert with its vast empty spaces and wide skies call.

So I’m taking my pithy lime-green self to go lay down on the desert sands and soak up a looong hit of LIFE … it is, after all, an exercise I actually recommend in my book. (Not the laying down on the desert sands stuff. Just the STOPPING part.)

Continuing to race like a crazy person … to push and push and not pause is just my ego driving me – telling me that what I’m doing is so important it can’t wait. That I can’t rest. That I can’t pause. Really?

Ha!

Watch me!

 

 

Lions and tigers and chemtrails … oh my

So I was on a radio show the other day, talking about (what else?) The E Word, the ego, evolution, and enlightenment.

Thankfully I never get tired of sharing this information with people. It’s new every time. Plus every show host brings her or his unique perspective and questions to the material and I never know exactly how the conversation will roll. That said, most interviews run within the normal boundaries of psychology, spirituality, the evolution of consciousness and the myth of enlightenment. (I say “myth” because the way enlightenment is explained by most New Age spiritual people is truly a fable!)

But not this time around.

About ten minutes into the show my host casually mentioned “the Ascension,” confidently announcing how all the less evolved people on the planet were going to meet their own negative, fear-based Armageddon while the rest of us more evolved souls—apparently about 20 percent of the planet’s population—were going to be whisked away to our well-deserved, better-intentioned Nirvana.

Not knowing what to say, I stammered something about “everybody being subject to evolution and growing up someday” and talked on … until somehow chemtrails came into the conversation.

Chemtrails? What did that have to do with learning about the ego? Read More

Now the real work begins

Okay. He’s president. Now the real work starts. But first there needs to be some healing.

One of the best ways to defuse the pain of this particular POTUS change is to recognize how much of ourselves we invest in political figures. It wasn’t Donald Trump or Hilary or Bernie who won and lost. In a very real sense it was us.

The ego is our sense of self. It’s our personal story. And all our hopes and dreams and fears, our values, our interests and concerns are contained in that story. If you’re deeply environmentally aware … if women’s rights and LBGT and ethnic minority rights are important to you … if you value honor and reliability, honesty and integrity … and you just watched the Inauguration of Donald J. Trump, then your ego–hell, your whole world–has just taken an enormous hit.

POTUS is more than our representative in government. Read More

MORALITY vs CONSCIOUSNESS – clinging to the past or letting go?

I was reading More Than a Life, the biography of the Indian mystic and global humanitarian Sadhguru this morning, and was stopped cold by a quote from the man I call my guru: “You don’t need a moral structure when you have consciousness.”

It didn’t stop me because it was a new thought. I’ve known this for ages. What stopped me was the context. He was talking about our modern “civilization” and how he perceives we’re rapidly coming to the place where as both individuals and society we exhibit neither morality nor consciousness.

And I realized yet another aspect to the whole Donald Trump “win.”

When there is no awareness of what life is—when there is no knowledge of the self—when there is no sense of interconnection—when there is no compassion—when there is no capacity for inner regulation and restraint—when there is no striving for wisdom … in other words, when there’s no higher level of consciousness at play in the world … we are reduced to the need to impose rules and regulations from the outside. We are reduced to the Law of External Morality.

Which is exactly what a vast number of people in the US are striving towards and obviously yearning for.

With no inner compass to guide us we blindly turn to Authority—to the loudest voice and the biggest stick. With no strong compassionate feminine presence mitigating our fears, teaching us that it’s safe to turn inwards to search our own hearts for answers, we automatically turn to the Authoritarian Male for leadership.

In our fear we fall prey to the need for rules. Order at all costs! Whether the order imposed is egalitarian doesn’t matter. Whether the order imposed is ethical doesn’t matter. Whether the order imposed makes sense doesn’t matter. Anything to save us from the gaping maw of chaos and dissolution …

For decades Western society has been sliding into chaos—that unstructured frightening time and place that inevitably comes when old philosophies and systems no longer work and are falling apart, before new systems have been birthed to replace them.

Instead of going gracefully into the unknown we clutch at the old and the known and fervently cling to it no matter how dysfunctional and corrupt and painful it might be.

A rise in consciousness is the only alternative. But how do we get to that?

We must turn within and follow the guidance of own inner spirit. And if our inner compass is wobbly it helps to find a great teacher. (Not surprisingly I highly recommend Sadhguru!)

We must support the voices calling for change from within. We must be loathe to impose rules and laws and be quick to open doors to new ideas. And we must be even quicker to reach out our hands in unity—shattering boundaries and barricades wherever we find them, both inside and out.

Healing Seeking Sickness

When the accepted truths of religion and society fail to satisfy the hunger inside for truth, there’s nothing else to do but seek alternatives. And therein lies one of the primary problems with spiritual seeking.

After leaving one system of thought, it’s just human nature that most people are quickly and easily enticed into an alternative system. The human ego likes the comfort systems provide. We’re trained from childhood to believe having the “right answers”—whether to a math problem, a history lesson, or what happens to us after death—is of paramount importance. The need for right answers is so deeply ingrained we don’t even notice it.

So what happens when we leave an established religious system that no longer suits us? Most of us go straight out and quickly adopt a new system of thought that appears to have the answers we seek. I certainly did.

Read More

The Deepest Yearning

We may need the survival basics of water, food and shelter and a little money coming in. And we may want a nicer house or better car or faster computer. But our most fundamental yearning is not tangible at all.

It’s connection.

Sure, connection looks tangible. After all, connection means hooking up with some other living breathing beinga person or animal—and developing an emotional bond with that being through give and take interactions that satisfy both ways.

But what if you don’t have a partner? What if you don’t have a lot of people or animals around? What if, like me, you spend most of your time buried in your office in front of a computer working alone? What if you work from home and don’t get out much?

Just writing these words I had the sudden urge to go look for my housemate’s cat. I rent her downstairs apartment and she’s out of the country for a couple months and Sprout—a fluffy, grey, rapidly-growing-out-of-his-kitten stage of life cat—is under my care for the time being. And I’m so glad he is!

It’s been three years since my last cat, Grace, died. And because I’ve been moving and traveling it hasn’t been appropriate to adopt another kittie. 🙁  Ah – found him! Under my bed!

Thing is, just thinking about being alone can make us feel disconnected and lonely—even when we’ve got people in our lives. When I was contemplating writing about this doing the laundry this morning, the first thing that came up were emotions around my lack of connection. And I almost didn’t write this because of it.

Yes. I have a lot of friends that I see regularly. And I speak at churches and centers usually one or two times a month. And I’m constantly connecting with people via email or Skpe. But just because we’re around people doesn’t mean we’re connected. You can lie next to someone in bed every night for years and never feel lonelier. Read More

Freed by Brownie Brittle

So I’m in the store with an 88-year young friend I sometimes assist, getting groceries at 4 pm on a rainy Tuesday afternoon. And while she’s looking for free-range organic eggs, I turn around and on the aisle end cap spy a display of salted caramel brownie brittle.

Really? How irresistible!  “Hey, Cora,” I say, grabbing a bag. “Check this out. Brownie Brittle!”

“Put it in the cart,” she says, grinning.

Now Cora is roughly the same age my mom would be if she hadn’t died way back in 1993. I’ve missed mom a lot over the years and often regretted I would never be an adult with her and have the opportunity to assist her in her elder years. I’m also very conscious that in a lot of ways Cora fills the gap. And for that I am deeply grateful.

Tossing the Brownie Brittle in the cart, suddenly something happened.

Forty years fell away and I was no longer a 65-year-old 30-pounds overweight adult. I was 15 and skinny and hungry and happy and didn’t have a worry in the world. Life was my oyster. I didn’t have homework and I was going to eat Brownie Brittle on the way home in the car.

Life couldn’t be better.

Forty years of information about sugar and diabetes and gluten allergies and GMOs evaporated. Concerns about carbs and pesticide-laden canola oil didn’t exist. Forty years of envying the emaciated models in the glamor magazines and the last 10 years spent looking in the mirror in disgust at my expanding waistline crumbled to nothing.

Emotionally and kinesthetically I was free. And the liberation was shocking. Read More

Hogtied By Lilliputians

We can all identify with Jack Black in this picture. Day in, day out, we’re tied down by Lilliputians in the form of zillions of picky-boony tasks, errands, to-do lists and obligations, laws and legalese, too many emails in the in-box, too much junk mail in the post box and too little time to deal with it all.

It’s like WHAT???? The day’s hardly started and suddenly it’s 3 pm and what have I accomplished? What happened to all those hours today? Hours of my life? How did I spend them? Where was I during the process? How did it come to this?

To deal with this situation without actually changing anything, a lot of spiritual people talk about the importance of being present … be present while you’re chopping wood and hauling water … be present while you’re taking the dog in for her rabies shot … be present while you’re stuck in traffic … be present in that argument with your spouse over the bills at 11 pm at night.

And I’ve kinda gone along with this. I’ve never made it an actual practice. But I’ve nodded my head in unconsidered agreement for years. And then yesterday a friend sent me an email with a link to some talk by a guy called Bentinho Massaro http://www.bentinhomassaro.com. And because I deeply respect this particular friend’s insightfulness into all matters spiritual, I checked him out. And was impressed.

I watched a few minutes from a couple clips and one thing he said that jumped out at me was this: Forget being present. Presence is what you’re looking for.

And my mind went DING DING DING!!!! And my heart leapt and my mouth smiled and everything in me went: BINGO! Read More

Don’t Take the World Serious

Back a couple centuries ago in the 1980s there was an Orville Redenbacher popcorn commercial with a World Series baseball theme where Orville’s wife made a play on words saying to her husband who was glued to the TV day in day out watching the games: “Oh, Orville, don’t take the world serious …”

I started to run with this theme in my last blog and somehow the whole thing morphed into a riff about furry blue aliens in space eating popcorn watching the US political race because it was post presidential debate #2 and there was still one more to endure and all these women were coming forward to talk about Trump molesting them physically and verbally and all my own female indignation buttons were getting triggered and I spent hours everyday, glued to the pages of the political blog site Daily KOS.

I wasn’t prepared to take my own advice … I couldn’t even manage to give it. Now—ha! Now, post debate #3, I’m ready to lighten up.

Hopefully things have gotten as bad as they’re gonna get. It’s a lot to swallow, but I’ve finally accepted that at least a third of America is still stubbornly clinging to misogyny, bigotry, Islamaphobia, rifles, ignorance, hatred and fear.

I’ve accepted that millions of men and women will follow the prattling of a raging egomaniac with limited intelligence, no plans, no knowledge, no experience, no ethics, no morals, no real business sense, no responsibility, no communication skills, no relationships skills, no compassion and no interest in developing any of these attributes. These people love The Donald and will follow him no matter what—even over a cliff—because he’s in a position to publicly bluster and incite and point fingers and lay blame on all the things they hate and fear and blame.

I understand my fellow brother and sister Americans are at the stage of evolution where they have not yet developed autonomy, common sense, and self-responsibility … that they desperately hunger for an authoritarian figure of Biblical proportions who can lead them by the hand out of their self-created misery into greener pastures.

I get it. I also get that the whole thing is just a story – a ginormous human movie drama playing out on the world stage. Bigly. Read More