Thursday, March 30, 2006 ~ Santa Fe, New Mexico
I wake from a restless, largely sleepless night - no doubt the result of all the energy still moving through me from last night's new moon/solar eclipse teleconference.
This month's dreams have been vivid, though not always clear.
This morning's dream is stunningly clear.
In the dream, a client offers to give me a chiropractic-style adjustment for my still-hurting back. As she's about to do it, her roommate emerges and says, "Wait. Let me try something."
Exit client. Enter strange-looking contraption that resembles a room-size, farm-like windmill with hinged, pen-like blades.
The roommate explains that his machine was first used during World War II, has been particularly successful with hip and back problems and is designed to "restore soul memory."
As soon as I hear that last bit, I refuse treatment.
"This isn't about restoring soul memory," I insist. "All the energy of this time is about letting that memory go, about letting it be purged, about starting fresh, from this moment."
At which point I wake up alert and with total dream recall.
Could it be true? I ask myself.
Am I in the midst of a soul-memory purge that is erasing everything my soul has been hanging onto since the beginning of time?
The answer, I believe, is yes.
It explains all the disorientation, dislocation and distress I have been feeling. It certainly explains why my lower back has been acting up these past weeks.
If tens of thousands of years of my soul's memories are being washed away, all the perceived structure and support they represent are dissolving with them. And all aspects of the identity linked to them are also disappearing.
It's enough to give my lower back - and all its fearful inner friends - a panic attack!
Yet, as I wrote a few days ago, how can I truly live in the present moment unless I give up the past?
How can I make space for the new if I'm clogged up with a soul-lifetime of past energy?
A few months ago, when my computer's hard drive was overfull, I did a radical purge, erasing scores of programs and documents I no longer needed.
That's what's going on right now within the hard drive of my soul. There's a little pac-man racing through my beingness eating up the past.
Sure, the resulting void is at times uncomfortable. Sure, it pushes buttons and triggers fears.
But it also creates space for the new, the unexpected, the wondrous and the miraculous. It makes room for me to express my potential and live the Divinity that's been squeezed out by all those lifetimes of old programs.
Perhaps that soul-memory restoration machine of my dream would make my back feel better. But it would do so by restoring the false security of a past that no longer works.
That's an old technology.
Better the true security of a life of trust lived in the moment.
That's the new technology.
And that's the one that seems to be working. Since that dream my back feels better than it has in days.
Thursday, March 30, 2006
Thursday, March 30, 2006 ~ Santa Fe, New Mexico
Wednesday, March 29, 2006 ~ Santa Fe, New Mexico
The image that tops my previous entry is a card from Doreen Virtue's beautiful and powerful Magical Mermaid & Dolphin Deck
It's a card that has turned up for me at particularly significant moments in recent times.
Perhaps the most stunning was on November 2, 2004, election day here in the U.S. That was the day my marriage of six and a half years ended.
My daughter, then 5, loved to play with the deck. A favorite activity of hers was picking cards she liked and copying their headings on a lined paper.
When I came home late that afternoon, unaware of the life change my wife would initiate after dinner, I found a yellow pad on my desk. In careful childish hand on the top sheet was written Time to Move On.
Two hours later, a stunning disclosure from my wife revealed that it truly was time for me to move on.
The card turned up again a few days ago. I hadn't looked at the deck in months but felt called to pull a card. As I shuffled I asked for a card that would reflect the energy for me of tonight's teleconference.
The card? Time to Move On.
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Wednesday, March 29, 2006 ~ Santa Fe, New Mexico
I'm lying down, resting for tonight's New Earth Initiation Teleconference (last night's, if you're just receiving this via e-mail).
Tonight has great significance to me for several reasons. First, it marks the two-year anniversary of my first God Activation Teleconference, launched in 2004 with a certain degree of trepidation - around both its concept and name.
Now, two years and three names later, these twice-monthly teleconference calls are coming to an end, at least in their present style and format. Which is another reason for tonight's significance.
The guidance to end these calls couldn't have been clearer. And, when I realized that the final teleconference would fall on this anniversary, all doubts as to its rightness vanished.
For those of you old enough to remember The Mary Tyler Moore Show, you may remember an episode where Mary Richards has accepted another job and is going to leave the WJM newsroom that has become her second family. At her going-away party, she is so overwhelmed by the outpouring of love that she decides to stay.
Part of me feels like Mary and longs to announce tonight that it was all a mistake...that staying is preferable to leaving...that the calls will continue...that nothing will change.
Even when leaving is the right choice, it can be hard to let go, hard to embrace the unknown when the known still seems to be working just fine.
Twelve years ago, I was living in a comfortable one-bedroom apartment in downtown Toronto. It was cute, convenient and affordable. There was no logical reason to leave.
Less trusting and more fearful than I am today, I resisted the guidance to move.
I delayed and delayed and delayed, rationalizing my decision to stay put (ie, remain stuck) in many inventive ways.
Finally, renovation work on my apartment building became so unpleasantly disruptive that I had no choice but to surrender and move on.
Seven months after carting all my belongings (including 40 boxes of books) to Toronto's west end, I had sold or given away most of them, bought a Dodge Caravan and was on my way to start a new life in Nova Scotia.
It took a lot to blast me out of my stuckness back then. I had been in the same Toronto apartment for 11 years. I haven't been in any one place longer than 21 months since.
Over the years I have grown to understand the value of trust and to experience the rewards of surrender. And today, as I prepare for my final regular teleconference, I surrender more easily and heed my guidance more willingly.
Today, I recognize the need to move on...whatever that means.
Of course, I mourn the losses I wrote about the other day and have certain fears about the void I am creating. But unlike Mary Richards, I won't change my mind tonight, even as parts of me long to hew to the known.
Author Ray Bradbury once likened the best kind of writing to jumping off a cliff and trusting you'll sprout wings on the way down.
Authentic living works much the same way as authentic writing. Why wouldn't it, when both are profoundly creative acts?
Over the years, like the Tarot Fool I wrote about in my March 22 newsletter, I have stepped, jumped and allowed myself to be pushed off more cliffs than I could count.
Not once have I failed to sprout wings.
Many years ago, before I was pushed out of that Toronto apartment, I had a dream. In it, I clung to the roof ledge of an old office tower. "Let go," I kept hearing. "Let go!"
But let go I would not!
In subsequent days I revisited that dream in meditation. Each time, I heard the same call. Each time I couldn't let go.
Finally, I did. While I didn't sprout wings, nor did I plummet earthward.
Rather, I floated gently, feather-like, until I landed in what I can only describe as the arms of God.
Today, as I contemplate a life without these regular teleconferences, I am once again letting go an old structure. Like the office tower, it has served me well. Like the office tower, it serves me no more.
An hour before call time, I already feel those wings starting to sprout. Whatever is next will be newer and better than what I'm leaving behind. Whatever is next will be Divine.
The above image is one of the cards in Doreen Virtue's Magical Mermaid and Dolphin Deck
Monday, March 27, 2006
Monday, March 27, 2006 ~ Santa Fe, New Mexico
As I drive home from the UPS Store to pick up my mail, I find myself in tears over A Year to Live, a Year to Die, a radio feature on National Public Radio. It's the story of how a man's diagnosis and ultimate death from cancer affected him and his family.
It's a difficult, heart-wrenching story, one easy to cry over.
But even as I cry for Stewart, Rebecca and their two children, I know the tears are really for me.
Stewart's audio diary records the gradual loss of life as he knew it. Rebecca's commentary records the gradual loss of a life partner.
The key word is loss. And what their story, so different from my own, triggers for me is grief over my own losses.
I wrote yesterday about letting go the past, about facing forward with a fresh start in every moment.
What I didn't speak to is the fact that letting go the past is a form of loss, even when it's the kind of conscious choice it wasn't for Stewart and Rebecca.
As far as we know, snakes shed no tears over their old skin. Nor does a butterfly mourn the loss of the caterpillar it was.
Humans are different.
Someone once told me that all change is stressful, whether it's change for good or ill.
Loss carries a similar dynamic. When we shed an old skin, even if it's an old skin we're happy to be rid of, there's still a mourning period. When we sprout the wings of freedom, we still grieve the loss of the cocoon's protective embrace.
Without fully knowing where I'm going or what I'm becoming, I know that who I was is falling away. Without fully knowing what my work will be, I know that much of what I have done is also falling away.
Through all that is a profound sense of loss.
Grieving the old is part of how I embrace the new. It's an honoring of all that I have been and all I have done, an honoring that celebrates the past rather than tossing it into the nearest dumpster. It's an act of true self-respect and self-love, for it says that who I was had value.
If I value who I was, I can't help but value who I am. And if I value who I am, I can't help but value who I am becoming, which makes it easier to welcome the new, however scary it might be.
The tears are done for now, but the grieving continues. So does the celebration. For the best memorial is the promise of continued life, continued evolution and continued joy.
I'm committed to all three...and to the tears, when they come again.
Sunday, March 26, 2006
Sunday, March 26, 2006 ~ Santa Fe, New Mexico
As I lie in bed this morning, I'm barely aware of the twinge in the back of my knee I first wrote about 11 days ago. That's the good news. The other news is that the pain has shifted to my backside.
My question this morning is: Do I return to the chiropractor?
Confronted with a similar pain 20 years ago, the me I was then would not have hesitated. He would immediately have called for an appointment.
It's not that I was a hypochondriac. I didn't make up symptoms. Nor was I extraordinarily anxious about my physical well-being.
I was a Fixer.
Whether it was my health, defective merchandise or a mistaken bank charge, it had to be set right without delay. If I broke or lost something, it had to be replaced right away.
That was one of the many unconscious ways I fed my perfectionism and controlled my environment, in the belief that such actions would keep me safe.
Another was to live beneath my means.
Of course, there's nothing wrong with sound personal finances. Yet my financial management style was more about fear and control than responsibility.
By paying off my credit cards in full each month, I avoided the disorder of finance charges and running balances. By not spending more than I knew I could repay in a given month, I maintained what, for me, was obsessively risk-free control over my financial life.
A clear advantage was that if something needed fixing, the funds were always available.
Again, there's nothing wrong with avoiding debt...unless the behavior is fear-based.
This is not a judgment. That's who I was then, which was an important stage in what I have become and am growing into becoming.
With marriage, parenthood and a move to Hawaii, certain things shifted.
Supporting a family on one income in Hawaii's high-cost-of-living zone meant that my finances were no longer quite so tidy. Yet we managed, even as bills weren't always paid in full and I became intimate with a new term: "payment arrangement."
My controls were, of necessity, being eroded.
When we moved from the Big Island to Maui in 2000, they dissolved altogether.
Despite my two jobs and sundry side gigs, we rarely met all our monthly expenses and were often late with those we could meet.
Having landed on Maui with perfect credit, I left two years later with none.
During that period, the Fixer was forced into retirement. Unless it was an emergency, all I could do was pray that the problem would fix itself. Funds were simply not available to do otherwise.
In the years that followed, that ingrained habit of lack stuck with me and spawned a new form of control: avoiding spending any money that wasn't absolutely necessary for fear that there wouldn't be enough.
That fear thing again.
The end of my marriage and my 15 months on the road began to bring things into a balance I had never truly lived.
First came the call to trust that I would be taken care of.
In those early months, with minimal income and no home other than motel rooms and the floors and spare bedrooms of friends, I lurched from day to day and week to week, never knowing how I would manage financially.
Every time I descended into fear and worry (frequently at the outset), I felt myself guided back to the present moment and to the fact that in that moment all was well.
All my guidance insisted that if I focused on my abundance of the moment, then tomorrow would take care of itself. As I found that focus, not always easily, tomorrow was always fine. To my wonder and relief, I never lacked for any necessity and no bill went unpaid.
Slowly, gingerly, I began to expand. Hotels instead of spare rooms...then better food...then better hotels. Somewhere in there, a new computer materialized, then a new car. Gas prices skyrocketed, and still I managed. I began paying for my daughter's school, and still I managed.
I managed by continuing to surrender to the present moment. I managed by relinquishing layer after layer of control. I managed by trusting that I would be supported, and then watched in awestruck wonder as miracles continued to unfold.
Then one day, a credit card offer arrived in the mail. This wasn't the usual, high-interest, high-fee, credit-repair offer I had been receiving for over a year. This was a low-interest, no-fee offer from a real bank. I applied and, amazingly, was approved.
Once the card found its way into my wallet, it remained there, all shiny bright...and virginal. My Maui experience had been so scarring that I was afraid to use the card.
And then I saw it for what it was: An opportunity to relieve myself of yet another layer of control and come into a healthier balance.
I realized I wasn't the same person I had been - either in Toronto in the '80s or Maui in 2000.
I realized that I was being given an opportunity to transform the past and live in a state of discernment I had never before experienced.
As I write these words, I'm interrupted by a phone call. It's a client. She has just rear-ended another car and we talk about how important it is to not live in the past, to accelerate forwards not backwards.
Which brings me back to the chiropractor.
I realize after our impromptu phone session that my message to my client is the one my sore butt is sending me: Don't live in the past.
This month for me has been one of much letting go - of who I thought I was, of where I thought my work was going, of how I thought I would be financially supported.
Yet even through the letting go, I have been trying to figure out my future based on my past.
Trying to figure out anything through this time has probably been pointless. Basing it on the past has definitely been pointless.
In 1989 American philosopher Francis Fukuyama published an essay titled "The End of History?" Whatever Fukuyama's thesis, his title is apt. The past is irrelevant. Each moment is a new life based not on the actions of a no-longer-existing energy but on the requirements of the now.
There's a coronation scene in my novel, The MoonQuest, where all the old ruler's robes and raiment are burned before the new king is crowned, that he might chart his own way. "The past is passed. We let it go," the crowd chants through this ritual.
I recall this mantra and Fukuyama's title as I focus on the message my body is sending me.
I recall it too as I contemplate how the new me can best respond.
When I saw the chiropractor two weeks ago, I allowed myself to transcend a past that empowered scarcity. It was an important honoring of my body. It was also an important honoring of my inherent abundance. That was reinforced when I returned for a second visit two days later.
Today, the call - whether in terms of my back, my finances or any temptation to fix and control - is discernment.
There is no black-and-white. There is no historically based determination. There is simply this moment and its requirements, which may differ from those called for by the next moment.
There is no guarantee that today's right answer will work tomorrow. Chances are it won't.
Today is tomorrow's past and I must be prepared to let it go, if that is where my discernment carries me.
I remember this as I ponder my sore backside and determine that in this moment, my wisest course of action is to heed its message and wait.
I remember that, too, as I ponder my next direction and recognize that listening and waiting is my wisest course there as well.
There is no past. There is only this moment...the opportunities of this moment, the wisdom of this moment.
The past is passed. I let it go.
Saturday, March 18, 2006
Saturday, March 18, 2006 ~ Santa Fe, New Mexico
I wake up this morning with an oddly disconcerting thought. What if all this guidance about writing my novel is nothing more than a make-work project to keep me out of my own way?
This is not to denigrate The StarQuest. Nor have I stopped working on it.
But consider this (I tell myself). Even as I have no clear idea of what to do next or where to live next (given that my agreed-upon time in this casita is drawing to an end), these truths are self-evident:
1) For the past two weeks, I've had little energy to do much other than sleep.
2) The only "work" I have felt called to do has involved writing.
3) My daughter arrives tomorrow for a week's stay, during which she will occupy 100% of my focus.
What if all these have been set in motion (including the timing of my daughter's visit) to guarantee that I make no plans, seek out no housing and relax into the beingness of waiting?
Interesting question, to which I have no more answer than to any of the other questions of recent times.
What I know is this: With more energy and without the call to write, I would have felt more of a pull to try to figure out what's next in my life. I certainly would have felt a need to call in a new housing situation.
I say none of this to minimize the importance of writing in my life. It has been the one constant in the midst of more than three decades of flux.
Yet it's an interesting question. And it reminds me that, at the human level, I am largely blind to the greater forces of divinity at play in my life. Even the human imagination, as wondrous as it is, has limits that my divine pilot willfully ignores.
More times than I can enumerate, my life has looked one way in one moment only to be irrevocably transformed in the next - in ways I could never have planned, plotted or imagined.
The evening I met my ex-wife was one of the those. The moment my daughter was born was another. The day my marriage ended, yet another.
Of these, only my daughter's birth was expected. Yet its impact on my life could never have been figured out by a mind bound by the limits of its imagination.
In this moment, I have no plans to suspend work on my book. I also have no plans to make plans.
Over the past several days, I have created two new drawings (pictured above) - one of St. Francis Cathedral here in Santa Fe and one of Round Mountain in southern New Mexico. If you're familiar with my art prints, you know that once completed, they speak to me of their energetic qualities. (These are vibrational attributes that can assist with healing in much the same way that crystals can).
It's no coincidence that the first drawing works with things like unlimited faith and trust in the unknown, while the second helps with unconditional commitment to your path and surrender to higher power.
These are clearly energies that I can use some help with as I allow the forces of the invisible to work their magic.
In my book The Voice of the Muse: Answering the Call to Write, I write about the miracle of the seed. The seed germinates and begins its growth underground, in a place protected from our prying eyes and hands. In its time, not ours, the tender shoot pokes above the surface, ready to continue its journey in the realm of the visible.
We pass through similar phases throughout our life. At such times, a seed of our mastery lies beneath the level of conscious awareness, the only place it can begin its journey untouched by our human fears, conditioning and perceived limitations.
While the seedling we have planted is still underground, all we can do is provide the light, water and fertilizer it needs - in unconditional faith and commitment.
Today, many of us are nurturing a similar seedling within our souls.
I know I am.
Even in my frustration and fear, even through my consternation and concern, all I can do is provide it the sustenance it needs to mature into a physical expression of my divinity.
All I can do is trust in the unknown and surrender.
Interestingly, the drawing of St. Francis Cathedral also works with expansion and illumination, while Round Mountain is an activation into spiritual leadership.
Ultimately, that's where our faith and commitment carry us. In the meantime, whatever we think we're doing, in truth we're watering a flower whose beauty and color are still in genesis.
In the beginning, the Bible says, God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
Whether I'm writing or sleeping, whether I'm worrying or wondering, the spirit of my divinity is engaged in the miracle of the creation of my life.
The best thing I can do is get out of the way.
Whether writing on The StarQuest is simply that or something more doesn't really matter. What matters is that I trust and allow the expansion, that I free myself to grow into the illumination.
God didn't force light and form onto the emptiness of the void. He allowed it. And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.
So it is for me. And so it is for you.
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Wednesday, March 15, 2006 ~ Santa Fe, New Mexico
I'm sitting in my chiropractor's waiting room...waiting for my chiropractor. For nearly a week, I've been experiencing an odd assortment of aches down my right leg, the most ubiquitous being a hamstring-tugging, growing-pain-like discomfort behind my right knee.
During my visit two days ago, Peter, my chiropractor, pinpointed the source of the pain to my lower back, one of those weak links in my physical system that erupts every now and again.
Being forced to wait for Peter (in a chair that's not chiropractically correct and heightens the discomfort in my leg) triggers connections I had not previously made.
If you're familiar with the traditional chakra (energy center) system, you'll know that the first chakra, related to identity, survival and security, is located in the lower back area, at the base of the spine. The thing about hanging out in the void, as I've been doing in recent weeks, is that it definitely attacks the certainties that keep us secure in our sense of who we (think we) are and puts us on Survival Alert.
My lower back has kicked up a fuss during other periods of radical transformation. But it's never before expressed through my right leg. In some schools of alternative healing, the right side of the body relates to the divine masculine energies of being out in the world in one's power and purpose.
At a time when I sense that I'm being pushed out into the broader world with my work, it's no wonder my right leg is in crisis. It's expressing perfectly the fears that parts of me still hold around taking these next steps.
And then I think of hamstrings. All my life mine have been tight and now, in a peculiarly eloquent way, my anxiety is attempting to hamstring my progress.
How perfect is that!
Our bodies carry much wisdom, expressing most divinely where we hold emotional and energetic blocks. They offer us clear cues regarding where and how we carry our wounding. They tell us, in magical metaphor, what's really going on.
Today, mine tells me that I still carry residual fear of the path my heart longs to take. The answer is to neither abandon the path nor ignore the fear. Rather, it's to honor and take care of myself. Not only my body but the scared parts of me that rarely need anything more than love and the reassurance that, despite the upheaval of these times, they are safe.
When I explain my New Earth Initiations to people who have never experienced one, I often liken them to chiropractic adjustments. Like the chiropractor's hands, the sound vibrations of my voice shift you back into the closest alignment with your divine nature that you can handle in that moment. And like with a chiropractic treatment, once you're back in alignment, it's up to you to live your life and choices in ways that hold the restored resonance and alignment in place.
We do that from a place of self-love and self-respect, which are the cornerstones of all higher-vibration life choices.
Eventually, the chiropractor will crack my spine back into an alignment that will free my back and leg from pain. But unless I treat myself gently and with love as I continue to move forward, that alignment will not hold.
Committing to my passion and purpose is a journey of balance that demands that all parts of me are heard, treated with love and respect, and carried forward in gratitude for the roles they have played in my life.
Ultimately, self-love and self-respect is the path. Without them, meaningful relationships are not possible. Without them, healing is not possible. Without them, peace is not possible.
Today I honor my path by working on my book. I honor my body with a visit to the chiropractor. And I honor my emotions by proceeding as gently and lovingly as I can...and eating chocolate. Dark chocolate.
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Tuesday, March 14, 2006 ~ Santa Fe, New Mexico
It's midafternoon on a day that's shaping up to be my first in more than week not requiring at least one nap. (Sunday I took three!)
For the past 10 days, I've been living deeper and deeper expressions of the void I wrote about in my March 8 newsletter (What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?). Like a monster balloon, this void has expanded to engulf just about every aspect of my life and has left me with neither the energy nor will to do much about it.
No certainty has been spared by this marauder. Gone, for example, is the certainty of my departure from Santa Fe at month's end. Gone is the return to the road. Gone is a journey to the east and midwest in the spring. Gone is whatever sense I had of what staying in Santa Fe might mean. Gone, too, to my surprise, is the schedule of two to three teleconferences per month that has been a fixture in my life for the past two years.
Gone is any sense of fixture — apart from writing.
Whenever I connect with my higher wisdom, regardless of the question, I hear an irritatingly unchanging three-word refrain:
Write. Don't think.
It's one of those divine examples of karmic retribution that the identical refrain - writ large across a blackboard or flip chart - has greeted most participants in my writing seminars for the past dozen years.
And so I write. And, too tired, to think, I sleep.
And I write.
I write these blog entries when they demand to be written. And every day I write on my novel.
And I sleep...
In fits and starts at night. In naps during the day.
In honoring the call to sleep, I honor my body by allowing it the rest and integration time it needs. I honor my mind by freeing it from its desire to "figure it out." I honor my unconscious, which is doing double- and triple-duty in dreamtime.
I wrote in my newsletter about the period that runs from tonight's full moon until the new moon on March 29 as one in which we are laying the foundation not just for the next weeks or months, but for all the next years.
In that context, what I have been experiencing is perfect. I've been forced out of my own way to allow everything about who I am and what I do to be questioned, to allow what no longers serves my highest path to fall away in order that the fullest possible expression of my joy, purpose and mastery can be realized.
It's not always a comfortable process. But that's where exhaustion and sleep come in. There's simply not enough energy - or waking time - to resist it.
I feel like an antique table today, a table whose centuries of finish are being stripped away, layer by layer by layer by layer.
As the table, I have no idea what new finish will be applied, when it will be done, how I'll look or to what use I'll be put once it's complete. Even though I know I'll still be a table and will experience greater joy in my renewal than I ever have known, it's still a disconcerting transition.
As the restorer, that higher part of me that is returning the table to its natural beauty and highest function, I have absolute clarity about what I'm doing and about its outcome.
Perhaps I'll be largely a writing table. Perhaps other uses that I cannot now imagine are waiting for me.
About one thing (and perhaps only one) I'm certain: Whatever the outcome, as I surrender to this process I will be supported fully and in joyful ways that express my highest purpose. For that is the ascension path. That is the heart's desire.
Friday, March 10, 2006
Friday, March 10, 2006 — Santa Fe, New Mexico
Another groggy morning.
Windows are rattling and things outside are knocking about so noisily that I fully expect to part my curtains and find myself in Munchkinland, atop a flattened Wicked Witch of the East.
But, no, it's still Santa Fe out there...what I can see of it through the swirling dust and dirt.
Today when I stumble to the computer, I again find 10 new e-mails waiting for me...this time from supportive subscribers.
I'm gratified...and a just a bit relieved.
Again the numbers double as the day progresses. And again I monitor my response.
I think back 26 years to Sally Field's embarrassingly human outburst when she won an Oscar in 1980 for her performance in Norma Rae: "You like me! You really like me!"
At some level, we all respond that way when we're praised or honored. We may not parade our vulnerability as openly as did Sally Field. Yet from that place of near-universal wounding, we're just as amazed and wonderstruck as she was.
Of course, I'm gratified that many of you find these writings inspiring. After all, that's my aim in sharing them.
But the error that's as easy to make as the one I nearly made yesterday, and the reason I'm keeping an eye on my emotional equilibrium today, is the one where we take others' views of us so seriously that we base our self-image on them, that we let them define us.
When I teach writing and it comes time for workshop participants to share their work out in the world, I always encourage them to pay as little heed to excessive praise as they do to a similar measure of criticism. Both carry equal potential to destroy.
This journey we share is not one of bending like the willow to winds like those outside my window. It's about holding steady in the certainty of our divinity and the anchor of our purpose, regardless of those winds.
Yes, we listen. Yes, we discern what others' comments can teach us.
Ultimately, though, only we can know our own heart and the truth of its expression. It's from that place of knowingness, that we're called to hold our center, like the solid trunk of a mighty oak.
Just as I did yesterday in the face of perceived rejection, all I can do today is surrender to the call of my highest self (and the words that emerge to express it) and release all attachment to outcomes, including public response.
And so just as I thanked yesterday's 10 teachers, I now thank today's 20 — for reminding me to hold my center, even as the winds outside of me might threaten to blow me off course.
It must be working, for the wind has stopped. The dust has settled. And so have I.
A reminder to those of you receiving blog updates via e-mail: You can view all entries at markdavidgerson.blogspot.com, where you can add your comments publicly to any post. There's also a link to the site at the top of every Chronicles e-mail.
Thursday, March 09, 2006
Wednesday, March 8, 2006 — Santa Fe, New Mexico
I wake up in that stupor that comes of three nights of deeply disturbed sleep. Spirit, it seems, prefers the night shift.
Groggily, I reach for my glasses and bathrobe and find my way, after more pressing needs, to the computer. What greets me are 10 new e-mails, five of which are notices of newsletter subscribers who have joined the ranks of the unsubscribed.
As the day progresses, that number doubles.
It's not uncommon for me to be greeted by unsubscribe notices the morning after a newsletter has gone out. Ten, however, breaks all the previous records.
My first reaction is dismay and self-doubt, also not unusual when faced with what, on the surface, appears as rejection.
In the past, that sentiment would have lingered, souring my day.
Today, I notice, is different. Today I realize that this round of canceled subscriptions has blessed me with an opportunity to respond differently and see things differently.
That realization alone shifts my mood and opens me to yet more awareness.
That enhanced awareness recalls to mind this quote from management guru Tom Peters: If 20 percent of the people aren't against you, then you're not going anyplace interesting, whether you're name is Martin Luther King Jr. or whether you're a dorky management guru.
I recall too that as I leap forward in consciousness — and express that through my words and work — I'm going to push some buttons, particularly for those who aren't yet ready for those experiences.
I have lunch today with someone who shares his own version of that story: He is moving in one direction and his colleagues on a particular project are not at that same frequency. It's causing friction and will likely lead to a parting once this project is complete.
There's no judgment in my situation or his...or yours. We all move at varying rates and all our alignments — with writers, teachers, music, art, jobs, individuals, etc. — are in constant flux.
When we grow out of a relationship or job, there's an energetic reason: Our frequencies are no longer a match. The balance is gone. And unless one component or another in that balance shifts to restore the old balance or create a new one, the situation — whatever it is — grows increasingly untenable.
The break can come easily or with struggle. Or we can resist it and try to live the imbalance, in which case it shows up in our physical or emotional health.
That doesn't make one party better than another. I'm not a better person than those who no longer believe my work serves them. I'm not special, and neither are they.
We are each walking our path to the best of our ability in each moment, making the best decisions we can from that place.
And the best possible decision is one that holds us at the highest resonance we can sustain, particularly in the face of unpleasantness.
By the end of the day, as the last of the unsubscribe notices trickles in, I'm surprised by how much lighter, freer and emotionally clear I feel.
I'm gratified that I can now see everyone's perfection in the situation and that I no longer choose to take it personally.
But in a strange way, I'm also pleased by the notices themselves.
Whatever the reasons for each individual's decision, the cancellations represent for me a shedding of what no longer serves me. Just, as I'm certain, it represents the same for them.
As I move forward on my journey, I choose to carry with me only that which is as aligned as best it can be to my passion and purpose...to the expression of my heart's desire. And when I don't know how to shed any part of what weighs me down, I choose to be grateful when it is removed for me.
Of course I want people to read and be affected by my words, to experience and be affected by my work.
Yet all I can do is be as true to my words and work as I can, to be as aligned with my highest self as I can. I can't control what happens after that. I can't make you like me for it, even as less evolved parts of me would prefer that outcome. And whether you do or not can't stop me from moving forward, from taking those leaps of consciousness that are mine to take.
And so as this day ends, I find myself grateful to those 10 individuals for being my teachers, for propelling me yet more fully into my mastery through their actions.
Monday, March 06, 2006
Sunday, March 5, 2006 — Santa Fe, New Mexico
I’m driving by my mobile phone company’s local retail outlet and resisting a lifetime’s conditioning to park and go inside.
Maybe your cell company’s store is better, but mine here in Santa Fe condemns its patrons to lengthy waits and, if you’re not buying something or signing up for service, a less than welcoming demeanor.
You see, they owe me $20 plus tax for a return that wasn’t properly credited in mid-February. But I was so flustered by my 40-minute wait, preoccupied sales clerk and complex refund receipt that I didn’t notice the anomaly until I was doing my accounts last week.
Of course I want the $20. Yet I know that it will cost me more than $20 in waiting time and aggravation if I go in to claim it.
An old part of me would have gone in anyhow, on principle.
A new part of me asks, Which principle?
The one that values money over time? The one that subscribes to scarcity over infinite supply? The one that values a skewed sense of justice over peace of mind? The one that seeks easy outlets for repressed anger?
As a Libra, injustice doesn’t sit well with me. You know, the scales of justice and all that. It grates even more when the injustice is directed toward me.
As my mother’s son, it’s hard to walk away from money that is rightfully mine.
And as a human being, there’s nothing more certain to push my buttons than the certainty that I’m being taken advantage of.
Yet, here I am, driving by this nightmare of a store, refusing to be drawn in by the prison cell of my patterns and conditioning.
I feel a tug as I turn the corner onto Cerillos and away from the store, as I watch the building shrink into the distance. But I determine that as a Libra, personal equilibrium also has value — more than $20 worth, as it turns out.
So I let it go, even as the parts of me that still relate to lack and victimhood don’t want “them” to get away with it. (That’s the part that also doesn’t quite get that there is no “them.” Them is an aspect of me that will keep showing up until I transform and transcend it.)
And then I remember the $40 stuffed in my pocket. I gifted some new friends with a short sound initiation earlier today and, as I was leaving, one of them stuffed two $20 bills into my hand as a love offering.
So, really, I’m not down $20. I’m ahead $20...and I’m always taken care of.
The offending sales slip, evidence of the cell company’s heinous misdeed, has been sitting next to me in the car for a few days now, waiting for me to find myself in the right part of town. When I get home, it moves from car to expense file, where it belongs. And I move into a future freed from the prison cell of at least one limiting pattern and behavior, where I belong.
Saturday, March 04, 2006
Saturday, March 4, 2006 — Santa Fe, New Mexico
Apparently, the moment I was open to airing my dirty laundry in public (ie, doing my wash at the laundromat), the Albuquerque warehouse that had been secretly holding the missing washer-dryer hostage released it. It arrived here on Wednesday.
It’s not the stacking washer-dryer I was expecting, but a funny European-style model, washer and dryer in the same unit. And at this moment, it’s removing what may well be the final inkblots from the most severe of Monday’s laundromat casualties.
The other, related news is that I have been working on my novel, The StarQuest, daily since then...and, for the most part enjoying it.
This amazes me given how much a struggle it has been in the past. But perhaps it shouldn’t surprise me at all.
As I’ve thought about the manuscript and connected with the story over the past year, I’ve insisted I would go back to it only when it was a joyful act.
Seems now that it is...because I called it in.
Surrender is not about sitting back and waiting for things to happen. That’s disempowerment. Surrender is part of a path that includes connecting with and calling in your desires — not from a place of neediness but from that same place of empowered detachment I wrote about last night.
Detachment means that, having called it in, I must let go of both means and timing.
Those means will always be simple, though not always easy. They may be veiled. They will always produce multidimensional results.
Whatever clicked into place this week for me, opened more than joyful creative flow. It has opened all kinds of joyful flow.
It’s been a week of miracle and manifestation, and not just in the laundry department.
For example, Wednesday morning I was guided to offer a seven-week teleconference version of my Santa Fe retreat and title it The Seven Initiations of Mastery. As of this writing, it's nearly full, with only two or three slots left...and I haven’t even had a chance to get it on my web site or describe it in a newsletter. (I hope to get it on the site this weekend. It will be at this link.)
Another example: There is someone in Santa Fe that many here have insisted I had to meet because of the ways he could get my work to a wider audience — in New Mexico and beyond. Since I’ve been here, all my attempts to reach him have failed. A few days ago, a friend invited both of us to meet today over lunch.
I have often said in my writing classes and coaching sessions that flow is flow is flow, that if you’re in the flow in your writing other areas of flow can’t help but open up as well.
My week has been an elegant expression of that.
Friday, March 03, 2006
Friday, March 3, 2006 — Santa Fe, New Mexico
When I left Sedona in the wake of my marriage break-up, I expected to be on the road for no more than a few months.
I’d experience a little drive-through healing, a New Jerusalem would rise magically onto the horizon of my consciousness, I’d pull up to it in my minivan and I’d begin a new life in a new home.
I have to add in all fairness to my higher self that I never received any guidance to that effect, other than to leave Sedona and hit the road.
Which I did.
And like a kid on a long car trip, I would look out the window at each stop and ask, Are we there yet?
After some months of this, my higher-self parents began to repeat the same line my human parents were probably channeling from the same source more than four decades ago: We’ll get there when we get there.
I share this today for a couple of reasons.
The first is a reminder that we are often given misleading guidance to get us to act in our highest good. Spirit (which, remember, is us) will do what it takes, say what it must and reveal only what’s necessary to push us forward on the ascension path.
Would I have left Sedona knowing what I know now of the past 15 months? Probably. But my resistance would have been greater.
Would I have stripped myself of most of my possessions and moved to Nova Scotia 10 years ago knowing I would return to Toronto 14 months later? I don’t know, but it sure would have been a tougher sell.
Would I have fully unpacked my car 10 days ago only to intuit a sooner-than-anticipated return to the road? Not likely.
On this human journey, need-to-know sometimes is the best way to go...precisely because on this human journey we want to know everything when that kind of knowledge would trigger the very fears that would hold us back.
That’s why surrender is so important. I don’t have the full picture or even the wide-screen view. But my Heart Self/Higher Self/Soul Self/God Self/Divine Self does. When I trust what it tells me, I’m basing my actions on that pilot I spoke of in a previous post — the pilot who sees more of the map than I can.
A corollary to this is that things are rarely what they seem. Or, with apologies to Sigmund Freud, a cigar is hardly ever just a cigar.
We have always lived multidimensional lives. We just haven’t carried much of a conscious awareness of that reality.
Today, we’re catching increasing glimpses of the layers of our lives and the levels of meaning in how they’re playing out.
That isn’t a call to analyze every cigar. It is a call to recognize that what we know of our experience is simply one of a potentially infinite range of possible interpretations.
That recognition leaves us open, and that’s the true call.
Which brings me to my latest Aha!.
Through all my months of asking Are we there yet?, it never occurred to me that I had already found the new home I was seeking.
I’m not speaking of the home in my heart, which is the ultimate home that will free me to belong anywhere and everywhere.
I’m not fully there yet, though my sense of home is definitely shifting in that direction
What I thought I was looking for was a physical home from which I could continue my travels. When I felt drawn to Santa Fe in January, I figured I would find it here. When the call to leave began to echo within, I figured I wouldn’t.
Now I know it’s not that simple. Now I realize that my home base need not involve a physical structure. Rather it’s a place and energy...a feeling...a choice.
When I look back over the past year, I realize my home has been New Mexico. Here is where I have spent more time than any other place in the country. Here is where I always return. Here is where I recharge. Here is where I connect most profoundly with the land.
So when I’m guided to change my phone number, mailing address, driver’s license and car plates from Arizona to New Mexico, it’s a reflection of what already is, even if I have not yet seen it. And when I’m guided to hit the road again, it’s pointless to get angry (as I did) over the seeming futility of these changes.
Instead, I must look beyond the surface cigar to see what lies beneath it...or at least trust that something does, even it it’s unseeable in the moment.
As I have traveled the country since December 2004 — coast-to-coast twice now — I have expected “the right place” to greet me with the fireworks of certainty.
What I now realize is that the new relationship paradigm — and that’s any kind of relationship — is one of loving detachment. It’s not about a sparkler that flares up then fizzles. It’s about deep connections that are born from a place of empowerment and expressed through empowered choice. It’s a passion that resides within rather than being projected outward from a place of fear, low self-worth or neediness.
It’s the light within us, not the light we are seeking from other people or places.
When I’m fully there, my heart will be the only home I require and my relationship with it the one that feeds me fully.
Until then, I continue, from day to day and to the best of my varying ability, to surrender to that same heart, which is the expression of my divinity, my mastery...and my home.
And I continue to share that journey with you.
Mon., Feb. 27, 2006 — Santa Fe, New Mexico
Having just finished reading what I’ve written to date on The StarQuest, I am filled with equal parts excitement and terror at continuing. But that’s not why I’m writing this.
One of the quirks of all my first drafts of books is to start each day’s writing with the date and place it’s being written.
All but the first weeks of my The StarQuest writings fall within the six and a half years of my now-ended marriage. In fact the last day I wrote on the book was the day after my 50th birthday, four weeks less a day before the final moments of my marriage
And so in reading the manuscript, as I have moved from one day’s writing to the next, I have experienced a bizarre reliving of my life. Each date- and place-line has triggered a memory: Oh, I wrote this when..., or God, remember that!?
It truly has been the cliched “life flashing before my eyes”: sweet and bitter, harsh and pleasing, always evocative...none of which has anything to do with the book’s contents!
Here’s another one of my writerly quirks: In the second draft, date- and place-lines make way for chapter and section headings.
As I now prepare to move through my second draft, I will not only be rewriting The StarQuest, I will be rewriting my story. Rewriting it and reclaiming it for who I am now.
We don’t have to be writers to rewrite and reclaim our story, although writing is certainly a powerful tool for for any kind of transformation.
No, all we have to do is move out of the past and live today’s story instead of yesterday’s.
We spend so much of our time looking back over our shoulders that we have little energy left for the present. And that holds us back from the future.
As Lot’s wife learned on the way out of the biblical Sodom, when you focus solely on the past, paralysis is the only outcome. She looked back instead of forward and was turned into a pillar of salt.
Unless I replace all the date- and place-lines of my marriage with the next draft of my life, I will be stuck there forever.
Whatever else The StarQuest is for me, it’s that. That's one reason why I must write it. It’s also one reason I have been so resistant.
Mon., Feb. 27, 2006 — Santa Fe, New Mexico
One of the things I have not yet managed to manifest for my casita is the washer-dryer that has been on order since weeks before I arrived here.
And so today, having held off as long as I could, I make my way to the laundromat on Alameda and stuff my clothes into two super-size washers.
Thirty minutes later, in the midst of my washer-to-dryer transfer, I notice great gobs of black ink on a few, fortunately dispensable items. A few seconds later, one of my ubiquitous black Pilot gel pens clatters to the floor.
I don’t know where this one came from or how it found its way into my laundry basket. Nor am I pleased at the mess it has made.
But it definitely gets my attention.
Whenever I write longhand, this is the kind of pen I use. It’s writing this piece. It writes my to-do lists. It would, if I let it, write The StarQuest.
To be fair, I have spent the last several days reading my eight years of mostly off-again writings on that novel, sequel to The MoonQuest, in preparation for a return to writing. I even brought the manuscript with me here today, though first a phone call and now the ink have distracted me from reading it.
If I’m honest with myself, the ink is less a distraction than an indelibly dramatic statement, a reminder that not only am I a writer but a novel-writer.
The StarQuest will be written!! the Rorschach blots shriek at me.
I wrote in my February 22 newsletter about heart’s desire and how the heart expresses itself in earthly ways to achieve divine results.
It’s clear that The StarQuest is part of my heart’s desire — for higher reasons that I may never fully understand. And it’s clear too that even though the mechanics of writing it lie far from my personality desire at this time, there’s a higher purpose to be achieved by surrendering to my heart, by allowing myself to activate that heart’s desire in my life.
It’s no accident, of course, that all this is occurring in the lead-up to my March 1 teleconference on Activating Your Heart’s Desire.
There are no coincidences.
As I write these words, with my Pilot pen, I’m suddenly struck by the pen’s name.
When I teach writing, I talk about trusting that all you are to write exists in the inkwell of your pen...about surrendering to your pen...about letting the pen pull your hand across the page.
Until this moment, it never occurred to me that that’s what a pilot does: it steers a course. The passenger surrenders to the greater wisdom of the pilot. Whether in writing or in life, the pilot is our highest wisdom. The pilot knows the way.
For reasons I’m only now understanding, whenever I switch pen brands, I always seem to return to Pilot.