Cycles – In an Updraft

Today is a new moon.  It is also a new year in the Chinese calendar. The western calendar’s new year is barely under way.  I’ve noticed all of these and ascribed value to them as I feel that I am on a new part of the cycle.  No matter what the label, I do believe our lives move in cycles.  My proof for that belief is that we humans are living beings, on a living planet, with other living beings and they all go through cycles.  We are a part of that, so we are not exempt. Honoring all parts of that cycle, though, are challenging for me.

In late summer, a group of hawks seemed to be stalking me (in a good way). Yesterday afternoon, leaving my house, I saw this Cooper’s Hawk hawk_visitorliterally at my front door. In my group of allies, I have a hawk to remind me to “float a while and use your tools.” In some cultures a hawk is a messenger.

I know I did spiritual work differently in 2016 and that may be a part of the updraft I’m feeling.  In the last part of the year, I used a coach, am more than half way through working the twelve steps, and had an Avatar Master move to my neighborhood. The first two required work and a big shift for me. I like to think the third was a gift from the other two.

All that work has given me great insights, but the one most valuable is… Ask for help. Find or create allies and ask them for help whenever you feel even the slightest inkling of unknown. Asking for help allows the helper to experience feeling useful and able to give of themselves.  Ask non-humans for help. There is wisdom all around you; you just have to be willing to ask for help.

 

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End of the Calendar

The end of my Page-a-Day Zen Calendar is showing. calendar_endOne more day and 2016 is over. I started planning my next year’s intentions and objectives, and I’ll finalize them this weekend. Today is a day, though, to look back at what’s happened, what I’ve accomplished, felt…

As an adult, I’m annually amazed how quickly a year goes by (and how the heck am I this old??). It’s difficult to see my own growth and change.  What I can do is listen to and believe others when they say they see it.

Practice, practice, practice

An Avatar acquaintance popped up from a couple years missing and triggered memories of what my life was like when I practiced those tools consistently and I had others with the same skills to meet with and practice.  My own recollection of the time was that everything was much smoother, I was happier (i.e., not as angry all the time), and change manifested ‘magically’ [sic].

This is really what my intention is for the next year.  Do the practice – daily.  I brush my teeth every day.  I had to learn that, and now I can’t imagine starting the day without doing it.  I make my bed every day.  I tried once to leave it unmade and go to work.  I made it a few blocks, but was so uncomfortable, I turned back home and make thviolete bed.

I believe this is the key — I need to notice my discomfort and associate the relief with the
tools to practice. Rather than wait for the magical-thinking day of January 1st, I started today.  I did two practices. They feel creaky and rusty, but they open up.  They are opening me up.  I can feel the ice cracking in my chest as I do the exercise  Releasing Fixed Attention using a plant in my sunroom.

 

 

Tendencies and States of Being

“Atoms are not things.” – Werner Heisenberg.

Heisenberg’s quote was on my daily calendar a couple of weeks ago.  Totally messed with my mind that day — confused me.  It made me pause — then what are they?  While provocation is the point of this daily calendar,  I am usually smug and self-satisfied with the quote or koan presented.  “Oh,  I got that.”   Sometimes I catch my delusion and pretension, sometimes I don’t.

I looked up the quote to see if there was more to it.  I especially was looking for the line that said what they actually were, if they were not “things.” More of the qsnow_decuote is “Atoms are not things.  They are tendencies.”

Well, that’s helpful, I thought.  Sarcasm leads to enlightenment, right?

Today, I have some  understanding.  I was watching the snow fall this evening and reminded myself that snow is not actually a “thing” on its own.  It is a state of being of water.  Combining that thought with the definition of the word tendency (i.e., a likelihood to happen), I see my own state of being in this moment with its tendencies.  Tendencies like:  compare this weekend to last; compare how I feel now to this morning; notice the feelings in my body and label them; think thoughts and judge them, et al.

While there is no evidence that quantum mechanics and spirituality affect, interact, or even support each other.  Each make me think differently, and that’s enough for today.

Scary Goal for Next Year

keri_smithDo we all say this:  “How has the year already passed?” For the last two years I have set specific, measurable goals.  Each year I’ve pushed myself. I’ve not been perfect, but good enough.  I liked how the goals have changed me.

I started throwing some ideas on a flip chart for next year’s goals.  Keri Smith‘s book, “The Imaginary World of —“, popped into my mind.  I’ve had it for two years, but have never done anything with it.  It wasn’t even on the bookshelves, but hiding in a lidded bench.  Who put it there?!

It’s an intriguingly empty book, every few pages is another exercise to build my own imaginary world.  It scares the beejezus out of me.

I talked to a friend about it.

Steph:  You don’t ever write in books do you?
Me:  No.  Never.  I never even highlighted a book in college.
Steph: I don’t think that’s what it is.
Me:  No.  I’m afraid that I’ll fill it in and someone will see it and it’ll be wrong or not good enough… [Oooh. Awful grade school art project memories are coming up just writing this.]
Steph:  You know there’s no wrong way to do it.
Me:  Yeah. But that doesn’t make me feel any better.
Steph:  If you write in the book, you become a part of it instead of standing outside of it. It’s a completely different experience.  Writing inside it will change you in ways that even doing the exercises and writing them in another notebook couldn’t.

Guess I’m going to do this next year.  eep.

Surreal

truth_about_cometsAt the Crystal Bridges museum in Bentonville, Arkansas, I was entranced by this painting, “The Truth About Comets” by Dorothea Tanning. I have no idea what it means.  But, how can you not love a painting with mermaid girls in the snow? Girls who are wearing great hats! Comets streaking through the grey sky!  A stairway that goes up into a tree, or is it a tree that grows down into stairs?!

This is my picture, but there’s a better one here.

The sky has been cloudy and grey here lately, but no snow yet.  As I look out onto the deck stairs that lead down to the backyard, I’m looking for mermaid girls…

 

Gratitude etc.

With Thanksgiving behind me, but still enjoying the long weekend, I think about what I’m grateful for in the macro and micro.  I’m grateful today the sun came out after almost a week of very grey.  I’m grateful I was able to fix a bird feeder myself rather than just throw it away and buy a new one.  I’m grateful I’ve done a review of my regular bills and found ways to save some money and redirect it.

Today I realized something about my feelings, too, and I’m grateful (sort of).  I realized the anxiety I’d been feeling in the last few weeks — well, I realized I’d

nov-2016-upload-060

Building wall in Bentonville, Arkansas

not felt it before because I ate over it.  I was judgmental of anyone who showed their anxiety.  I had it too, turns out, I just couldn’t feel it because there was a Snickers bar (and a bowl of ice cream and a brownie) sitting on top of it.

I don’t know where the anxiety has come from, or if it even has a single genesis.  I know why I ate to cover it, though.  It feels awful!  I don’t have any practice dealing with it.  Sixty years of putting hot fudge on it…