Falling Upwards

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To Everything there is a Season April 5, 2014

… and a time to every purpose, under Heaven.

Today, I went for a walk. And, there was a very specific purpose for that walk. I walked to a place that is sacred to me, a place where I have, in the past, been able to reflect and find peace during times in my life when I was in inner turmoil. This time was no different. But instead of just sitting there to think and, perhaps, to journal, I needed to bury something; to physically, symbolically cut ties with a certain person who has appeared on this blog numerous times.

Without going into too much detail, I created a little ceremony for myself in order to sever a connection with “Milo” (whom I’ve written of in the past). I took heart-shaped pieces of paper and, on each one, wrote our names and the names of those I feel he and I have been in shared past lives. I tore each piece in two so that the two names would no longer be connected then burned the pile of torn paper while giving thanks to God/dess for the lessons, the love and the connection we have shared and praying for more beneficial relationships in the future that will also lead me to more lessons, love and connection. It was the ashes of the paper I needed to bury to complete my “ceremony.”

As I walked over the footbridge that crossed the lake on my hike in order to get to my sacred place, I remembered the last time I’d walked that path with Milo in mind. At the time, the lake was full, teeming with fish. And, as I looked over it, I saw the ripples in the water and composed a poem:

Karma

What effect has my one pebble
when compared to the ripples made by the wind?

Is God’s hand not greater than mine,
large enough to diminish my careless toss?

waves abound,
made by the stirrings of many

So why does my hand hesitate
to cast my stone far and wide?

Why not make my fleeting mark
upon the vastness of this little lake?

(Frances Marie Reilly – 5.21.10)

Four years later, and I finally felt the change I needed within me. And, as I walked, a heron flew towards me, then stopped at a rock and seemed to point, with its beak, the direction of my path. (Why do I mention this? Google “animal spirits meaning heron”.)

At my special spot, I sat on a rock, closed my eyes and felt the wind, listened to the birds and creek while I prayed for completion, for closure and openness. I gave gratitude for the love, the patience of the Universe (as I felt I’ve lived through this cycle and have had to learn these lessons repeatedly, over eons), and the God-given strength I knew to exist within me. I meditated, listened and felt the energy of the Earth, of the Sky and the Wind, then drank Water to cleanse. Nobody’s ritual but my own, I knew, in my core, this was all necessary. Lastly, I dug a hole near some daisy-like flowers (so fitting, because I have always associated that flower with Milo), and as I filled it, again gave gratitude and put into it the intention of closure, change and growth.

As I walked back from whence I came, I reflected on the lightness I felt in my core. I realized that I was doing something I LOVE. I love to hike. This was a significant realization for me because it was the very thing I have been agonizing over for at least two years. In trying to decide on a career path, the question of “what do you love to do?” often arises, and, to my dismay, I have thought “I don’t really love to do anything.” I have been in a dark place of sadness thinking that I truly felt I had no passions in my life and that, somehow, that made me a lesser person. And, because of this, I would never “make my fleeting mark upon the vastness of this little lake.” But, here I was… just having completed a symbolic act, and at that moment, the sense of lack, of lowered self-worth lifted in some strange way. All because I realized that I love love love walking in nature.

Almost to my car, I stopped to watch a hummingbird, which seemed to stop to watch me. Google “hummingbird spirit animal,” and you’ll find “The hummingbird spirit animal symbolizes the enjoyment of life and lightness of being.” I also love that “this fascinating bird is capable of the most amazing feats despite its small size…” because I’m 4’10”!!

Can you feel my joy through this post?! In one short walk, I managed to let go a Love that no longer served me (a very difficult thing to do indeed), to reclaim that part of my heart so that, with a whole heart, I am open to new Love, to new experiences and lessons. I remembered my powerful Self – that through intention and ceremony (and maybe a bit of magic), I reclaimed, or just recognized, my inner strength and felt my Light and knew Passion.

It is so hard, in one blog post, to really convey everything I took away from my hike. The symbolism of the two animal totems – the heron and the hummingbird – are even more significant if I could tell you my whole story, my life in the present and the truly difficult, but necessary, situation I deal with daily. But, really, we all have those challenges in our lives. We all have the times we can’t figure out who we are, where we need to be, what we need to do. We all have things we need to let go, whether it’s stuff or, with more difficulty, people. And all these things wear us down, day after day, and its challenging to keep the darkness at bay (some times, we don’t even know it’s there) and remain positive through it all.

But, look at what I remembered. We are, each of us, so very strong inside. We were born that way, born with the strength to accept and live through the challenges and lesson Life gives us, and made even stronger by meeting those challenges which, with lessons learned, increase the Light within.

This time that is upon us now is a good time, a good season. I, for one, am looking forward to the new challenges ahead and finding my passions and my strength, my light. For, it is my time, my season, as it is … yours.

A time to build up,a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time of love, a time of hate
A time of war, a time of peace
A time you may embrace, a time to refrain from embracing

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time for love, a time for hate
A time for peace, I swear it’s not too late

 

The Commitment November 30, 2012

A couple days ago, I had what I thought would be my last phone call with my life coaching group. I had told them a month ago that our Wednesday afternoon time slot was not working for me so I would have to leave the group if we couldn’t change it to another time. Well… after much discussion (some of it quite emotional), we didn’t change the time. And, I’m not leaving the group.

You see … after a month of trying to figure something out, with some of the ladies expressing that they’d be very sad not only for me but for themselves were I to leave the group, two of them spoke up with a bit of anger and annoyance towards me. They felt frustration; that my excuses for not being able to re-arrange my schedule to accomodate a standing, weekly engagement was just that — excuses.  They felt they were getting an ultimatum from me but no commitment. And, though I felt a twinge of hurt, I wasn’t offended at all nor did I take it personally. Because… they were right.

In the months we’ve been having our conference call sessions, the last 10 minutes of this call taught me the most about myself and my life.  Heck, maybe it taught me about life in general.

I realized that were I to make a definite commitment to being in the group, that were I to make it a priority in my life to participate in those calls, all those conflicts I said I had would begin to fall away. I realized that the Universe would shape around me, my desires, my goals so that I can my commitment.

After all, if we want something bad enough, we make it happen, right? Even if our goals aren’t accomplished the first time around, we keep trying, push past the failure, until we get what we want, or something that is better.

“We go from pimps to prophets, liars to logic
Zoo to drug abusers, survivors of the projects
My mind sets to clarity, predicting me well
A sign past the tragedy, commitment to self”

A conscious breakthrough I had in that group “meeting” is that I’ve been hesitant to make any kinds of commitments in my life these past few years. I can make excuses like (yes, this is the one that popped up in my head immediately) I’m unconsciously waiting for a great change to occur what with the 2012 shift coming and all… but, really? how’s change supposed to occur if we don’t consciously make the effort for it?

“I will live my life full of conscious
I’ll be the god amongst monsters
I’ll exercise more often
I’ll walk my talk and keep talking”

And, day after day, while I sit here at my computer desk trolling through Facebook and dating sites while watching t.v. and just baffled by the fact that I get nothing done and my house is a mess and why can’t I find time for myself and my kid…. gah! and, duh! I had made no absolute commitments – to helping my son with his college apps, to losing the 10 lbs. I gained this summer, to getting my home in working order, to really, really making a go of my business (which is gonna be my only livelihood in less than a year). I think about those things, but I didn’t, in my heart, commit to making those things happen.

And, why? Well… my inner shrink tells me I have a fear of failure (I was diagnosed with it in college). And, there it is again — fear. Now that I know what it is, now that I’m aware of it, I can change — my outlook, my actions, my verbiage even. I can create, or re-create, the reality around me.

“In the midst of the risk we became better people
Life is a movie, I’m a change the sequel
We owe it to ourselves, evolve out of Hell
Even for my folks behind bars in the cell
Stay well, it’s still a challenge
Reflect upon greatness, embrace it to your balance
Ultimate awareness comes from when you seek the truth
See, life is a journey, plans and patience
Know that you’re worthy, transformation
Manifestation of creation as we know it
Red’ll rip redundant abomination of culprits
The life they giving you is all subliminal
Now we must commit and take back our principles
Turn hate to satisfaction, anger into action
Greed into giving and passive into passion”

The lyrics above say it perfectly. I’m changing my story, my sequel. Do it with me … come on… change your reality, change our reality. Make the commitment. I have.

The Commitment – by Sabac Red

 

Karma, Karma, Karma Chameleon November 13, 2011

you come and go,
you come and go….
Every day is like survival.
You’re my lover, not my rival…

11.11.11 has come and gone. Soon it will be  2012. And, if the estoterics and mystics are correct, big big changes are soon coming. If these past few years in my life are any indication, I think those changes have already begun and are now really gearing up to go.

I had started this blog as a result of large changes in my life. Though the events two years ago were painful and put me in a mental fog (never a fun place to be), what happened is exactly what I needed to happen… to get on with my life, to get out of a bad relationship that I was unwilling to change for myself, to open up my life and heart to be able to accept better things.

The changes didn’t end there, though.  That was just the beginning.  And, maybe because 2012 is fast approaching, this past month has been a doozy. Outside of my intention and control, the Universe has been dotting my i’s and crossing my t’s for me (yes.. I blame it on the Universe, but in a good way). Relationships I have (had) that, in the back of my mind, had unresolved issues have firmly been ended; some very neatly, some in a messy messy way. They have been relationships from both this life and past ones.

Without going into detail, each end of each instance of relationship (friendship, business or otherwise) served to do something for my life. One ending fulfilled a karmic debt from a past life. Another severed my connection to a very negative person and dark set of people. A third ends a decade-long relationship that always had possibilities which were never filled or explored but was left hanging; a loose thread that needed to be cut to tidy things up.

Last night, I had a very bad fight with my son, resulting in him being grounded for the first time in his 16 years (maybe the first time I’ve really had to act like a parent). This morning, I gave him a letter telling him of my love for him and asking him to re-set “us.” It is a new day, after all. And, with this day, we can each make a choice… to continue our relationship the way it has been, combative, anxious and lacking patience.  Or, we can each choose to change how we react to the other, to be aware of each other’s needs and issues, to be loving and kind without taking things personally, knowing that, in our relationship as mother and son, we are both here to teach the other a life lesson.

I do not know what my son will choose to do.  It is his choice. I have no control over that. And, though it will hurt me tremendously if he decides to continue his side of the relationship as it has been, that is his path, his journey to his life lessons.  I can make my own choices: to be a gentle, loving but firm mother whose purpose is to bring light into her son’s life.

The Universe has plans for me. Far be it for me to sit idly by without helping it along and making changes for myself, for my own life.  I think this is where we are all at right now. We all have to make these choices… what kind of person do we want to be? what kind of relationships do I want to have? how will I choose to view my life and the opportunities it presents? And, we have to intentionally do something about those things. I think the Universe is done waiting for us to act so that these changes will happen with or without our consent because, I think, it’s a matter of survival now… for the World, for all of Humanity.

“Because the truth is, it doesnt really matter who you used to be. Its all about who you’ve become….” — Live Love Laugh (Facebook)

 

hey soul sister… May 21, 2010

You see, I can be myself now finally
in fact there’s nothing I can’t be
I want the world to see you’ll be with me…

… Hey Soul Sister
I don’t wanna miss a single thing you do
tonight
— “Hey Soul Sister”, Train

A few weeks ago, I started getting to know a man I’d met last Fall. We’d only said “hi” in passing at the martial arts studio my kid attends. But, God only knows how or why, we’d started texting; about the studio stuff at first, then more esoteric stuff. I guess it happened when I put myself out there and texted something to the effect of “I’ve known you before.”

About a week before that text, I was talking to another martial artist at the studio. He was telling me that he and his partner are soul mates, and in his beliefs (Judaism), God splits a soul in two, puts each half into two persons who are destined to meet in this life and complete each other. A neat and tidy understanding of soul mates. From my end, I was not surprised when my text friend answered that he knew, as much as any man could know anything, that we have known each other before.

My understanding of soul mates is not typical. First, I don’t believe that you can have just one — because, frankly, I believe Love to be boundless since God is boundless. And, my understanding of soul mates is atypical in that I believe those connections are created over Time, through several lifetimes. (Mind you, I wasn’t raised to believe in past lives, but only a dozen years ago learned the truth of them.) I have a high school friend who is one of my soul mates. She and I went to a psychic fair 12 years ago and decided to talk to a past-life psychic on a lark (neither of us believed in past lives). The psychic told us details of one life we shared together, when she and I were mates/lovers. Other people in our current life were also there. My friend and I looked at each other, both a little freaked, and knew, just knew, that what this woman was saying was true. My friend and I are soul mates. And, somehow, we knew that instinctively from the moment we started hanging out. We have a strange connection, perhaps some would call a deep friendship, so that no matter how many years have passed, it’s as if we’ve never been apart when we do re-connect. And, we are very attuned to each others feelings when we are together. Makes things between us… easy, synchronistic, effortless. It was through our past lives together that we developed this friendship.

I’ve come to learn, over the past couple of weeks, that when you refer to someone as your “soul mate,” there is a romantic, intimate connotation. This saddens me because I’ve been referring to my new friend as a soul mate though I know that, in past lives, we were not romantically connected — just playmates. I think I’ve caused a bit of ruckus in telling other friends about him, though I’ve made clear that I’m not interested in a romantic involvement with him at this time. Besides, he currently has a girlfriend, and having recently been on the “innocent party” end of an affair, I cannot bring myself to play the role of “other woman” — not now, not ever.

It also saddens me that society’s understanding of Love is so limited. I have been, for two weeks, trying to figure out a way that I can be friends with this man without that friendship hurting anyone. Here’s the thing with my soul friend (I’m dropping the “mate” because of those stupid connotations) — we seem to have a connection that defies explanation, logic. With intent, we are able to pass energy to each other. Draw from whatever belief system you prescribe to — that energy.. it’s Love. In the presence of this man, my spirit calms, I am aware of everything around me, I am present, and when I feel his energy, I feel bliss. There is nothing romantic or sexual going on. There is just joy. In the words of a spiritual person, I am in God’s Love. How can that be a bad thing?

It became a bad thing when one of my closest friends sobbed in my ear last night, as I was telling her of my feeling for this man, that I am having an emotional affair and how could I do that? She divorced her husband of 20 yrs because he loved another woman though he never had a physical relationship with her. And, she reminded me that I was more hurt by my Ex falling in love with another and not-so-much that he had sex with her.

But, this morning, I can’t help but think that those hurts had more to do with the agreements between the parties. My agreement with my Ex was one of monogamy; an agreement he broke without my knowledge. And, for me, the pain wasn’t so much that he could fall in love with someone else — after all, Love is boundless –but that he kept the truth from me; kept it all a secret. I’d like to think that I would’ve been understanding if he’d come to me and let me know of his growing feelings for this other woman. Then, we could’ve changed our agreement. It was the pain of all the lies (those of you who’ve read this blog know that more lies came to light eventually) and his inability to be completely truthful that led to our break-up.

So, last night, out of perhaps undue influence of my friend’s tears, I sent my soul friend some text messages that … were mostly not my own words. I had forgotten, in the cloud of tears, my Truth, my understanding of Love and friendship and told him we could not be friends. I could not separate the emotions and the limited understanding of those around me from what I know, in my heart, to be truth — that …

We are all capable of incredible, boundless, limitless Love. That we are all soul friends to each other. That we are all connected through this Universal Energy some would call God. And, in these connections, there is bliss, compassion, awareness … all those things that our religious leaders, mystics and saints preach, pray for and hope for.

But, it is up to each Individual to accept this concept. And, it’s up to each and every one of us to strive for it, fight for it, desire it … as an outcome for our civilization.

If, because of my hasty words my Soul Friend, I never connect with you again in this lifetime, then please know that I am grateful for the lessons you taught me these few weeks; for the knowledge that I can live in bliss because the joy is inside me, and you showed it to me. Thank you. And, to You and all my other Soul Friends — I send you Love.

 

blue skies…smiling at meeee…. December 30, 2009

..nothing but blue skies
do I see….

When I started this blog, it was all about emotion — raw emotion — and an outlet for it. I’ve since done a ton of reading, had many appointments with three different psychologists (gotta shop around for the one who fits) and taken up, among other things, meditation.

What I have learned with all this is that emotion does not serve a person well. It clouds your judgement so that you cannot make decisions well. And,… it’s usually so cloudy that you can’t see the blue skies behind all the bad internal weather, and there always are blue skies.

I read a quote recently that said something like “A breakup is the Universe’s way of telling you that you deserve better.” And, yeah, I’m sure it goes both ways. ‘Cuz even if I convinced myself that my Ex was perfect for me in so many ways, and I for him, there was still something there that was not quite right — not for either of us. Otherwise, things wouldn’t have gone done the way they did. So, once you go through all the darkness and pain, all the rain of teardrops, the thunderstorms of emotions.. what’s left? I think if you’ve ever been through a thunderstorm, you know.

As my clouds clear away, the skies are looking pretty bright and clear. Clarity has come to me by way of a new perception, a different way of living and looking… and … being.

There are no more woulda, shoulda, couldas. And, no more regrets of what the future might have been. Instead, I’m learning to live in the present, be grateful and joyful of my life as it is Now. And, I’m learning to take personal responsibility for my current situation, knowing that I am where I am in my life because of choices I have made in the past — none of it wrong. It just… IS.

I’d told myself that, in this blog, I’d include the resources I’ve come by that have helped me in this process. One of the things I’ve been learning about is (Zen) Buddhism. Here’s a great website that explains it: http://www.zenguide.com

 

Left Unfinished November 16, 2009

“Why was I born?
Sometimes I wish I didn’t know
Been times when
I wish that I had just never been
Why did you have me?
Or better yet why’d you leave?
So to the parents who could fuck
But then abandoned me ”
– Machine Head

This doesn’t really apply to anything except that I was looking for a song lyric or title that said what I wanted — “Left Unfinished” — and this is what popped up. Funny that.

It’s funny because one of the books I’ve read in the past basically says that most of our issues comes from our parents, and their parents. They’re handed down through generations.

I haven’t been writing here for a couple of reason. One, we broke up about 2 1/2 months ago. But, the main reason is that I felt this blog was so negative. It was getting me down, and the thought of writing was getting me down. Recently, a friend from college found me. Turns out, he’s got his own blog and is also going through a divorce. So, he inspired me to, at the very least, finish this thing I have started. And, bring it up to a positive level.

One thing about this blog that has been nagging at the back of my mind (that happens when you leave things unfinished).. I’ve been meaning to list the books that have really helped me through this whole process, if only to help someone out who is out there looking for this info. I know I’ve mentioned a couple of them in past posts. But, here’s a list of a few I started off with:

Extraordinary Relationship: A New Way of Thinking About Human Interactions
by Roberta M. Gilbert, M.D.

The Monogamy Myth
by Peggy Vaughn

Dance of Anger
by Harriet Lerner

For those with a Christian bent –
Jesus: The Greatest Therapist Who Ever Lived
by Mark W. Baker, Ph.D.

For those with a Buddhist bent –
The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living
by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler, M.D.

For those who are Both –
Awareness: The Perils and Opportunities of Reality
by Anthony de Mello (a Catholic priest who sounds like Buddhist)

For those with a New Age bent (like myself) –
Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself from Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life
by Judith Orloff, M.D. (an energy psychiatrist)

I am also currently reading

Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life
by Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D.

The Power of Intention
by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

Sacred Contracts: Awakening Your Divine Potential
by Caroline Myss

and,
The Artist’s Way
by Julia Cameron

There are several more not listed here that I’ve devoured the past few months, but this’ll give you a start.

From here on out, I’m definitely Falling Upwards.