Friday, October 11, 2013

Coffee, Bedhead and the Beetle

I'm sitting here this morning with coffee and bed~head and my inner critic...a little writer's remorse still lingering from the blog's birthing this week...over-thinking everything.

What goes up must come down, as they say. Birthing my blog on Tuesday took me up, up, up to the heights of joy, celebration, and freedom. I was so lifted and elated I couldn't fall asleep until 4 am that night. Although a serious night owl by nature, since getting sick with lyme disease 4 yrs ago, sleep deprivation is a dangerous slippery slope for me now. No luxury to sleep in late Wednesday morning so by the time I published my second blog post about the cricket's song on Wednesday afternoon, I was very overtired feeling quite vulnerable and physically unwell. Already acutely aware I was on the cusp of a lyme flare, I started going down physically, mentally and emotionally, slowly but steadily, struggling to sustain a sense of joy while attempting to successfully silence the inner critic's "writer's remorse". It's very hard to keep a good attitude in the midst of a very tired, aching, inflamed, congested physical body and brain fog. I can't help but wonder which comes first - the physical crash and then the mental, emotional and spiritual crash or the mental, emotional, spiritual crash and then the physical. And then I hear the cricket's Sunday song of heaven and earth in my innermost self and I'm reminded again that there is really no separation between spirit and matter, so I can just give up trying to figure out which comes first. Pick one or the other as my starting point, open my heart, and change will come. All I can do is work with where I Am right now and that means putting myself first and taking care of me. Sometimes that feels really selfish but I'm learning the hard way that I don't have anything left to give to anyone or anywhere else in my life if I don't give to myself first.

So, I made a commitment to thursday as my self-care, healing and "me" day and scheduled a massage and a NAET treatment (an energetic allergy elimination/desensitization treatment process). I had an amazing massage that supported me physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, with the healing physical touch as well as powerful energetic and shamanic clearings and messages and totems coming through both my masseuse and my own inner connections with spirit. I noticed how much I'd been unconsciously holding my breath. There was no space to take in any breath. So much constriction and pain in my body. So much purging and detoxing is moving through at the physical levels as I move through all these layers of fear and a lifetime of disowning my authentic power.
A few hours after massage I went for a NAET treatment. Just as Dr. Dorothy was about to begin my treatment she noticed a dead but incredibly beautiful neon green beetle sitting on top of her notepad. She brought it immediately over to show it to me and said she had no idea what this was or where this had come from; that it wasn't there before my session. I gasped and said "it's a beetle!" and I felt my heart leap for joy! The scarab/beetle is a deeply sacred personal totem for me. I told her this was a powerful sign for me and of course I brought it home with me to place on my mesa/medicine altar. Having never seen a green beetle before, I googled it and found out it's a June bug beetle! Of course I took a picture of it so I can share it with you here.

I can't believe I had another insect show up yesterday in the strangest way as a messenger for my journey through clearing the clutter and putting myself "out there", free of fear, judgment and shame. Well, I guess I can, because it's me! I'm strange and shamanic in that way! A beautiful green June bug beetle...dead but perfectly preserved and so beautiful...showed up just for me...
What does the scarab/beetle mean to me and what is it's message for me right now, in this very moment?
Scarab/Beetle came to me as a personal guide and totem many years ago through the Egyptian Kemetic tradition as Khepra. Scarab represents transformation and change. Divine timing. Death and rebirth. Beetles roll the dung of the earth up and transform it into something useful and very sacred. Scarab is very protective and very grounding. Its belly lies on the earth and yet it also has wings with which to fly. The egyptian scarab has wings that are symbolic of Isis - the Great Mother of the Egyptian Kemetic tradition. So this makes it especially sacred to me because of my intense desire, commitment and soul destiny/life lesson to do my very best to embrace the Great Mother and be a "good Mother" in this lifetime. There is so much symbolism with the beetle - too much for even this loquacious MamaBird to share!

Plain and simple for me, this beautiful June bug beetle reminds me of who I am at my core. It's here to help me see the sacred in all things and in all experiences. It's here to help move me through transformation and change, to ground and protect me as I take the shit of life and all its clutter and turn it into something useful and sacred. It also symbolizes "MamaBird" - the mother that I am striving to be in this lifetime to myself and to my own children and even for the world collectively in my own small individual way. Like the cricket, it's here to help me sing my heart's song and share it with the world.

So far I seem to mostly be clearing the mental and emotional clutter and I'm still struggling to make much progress on the physical/material plane. But one thing is for certain, the sacred messengers are here when needed or called upon, reminding me that everything is interconnected and every change I make matters. I am clearing the clutter in my life. One thought. One breath. One day at a time.

Halfway through my NAET treatment, wearing the purple color therapy glasses that reconnects me with Source and Spirit, I felt the pain leaving my body. I could inhale and breathe deeply again. I felt renewed again. I felt a new lightness of being entering into my mind and lifting me once more into a space of hope and possibilities for a brighter, clearer, cleaner, and yes, even pain-free, clutter-free life. What is dead can be resurrected into a new beginning. There is no beginning. There is no ending. There's only now.
What a world. What a journey. What a blessing.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Cricket & the Clutter - An Unsung Song

It’s Sunday morning and a cricket is chirping very loudly and non-stop somewhere in this house. It literally sounds like it's right next to me. I find the incessant chirping quite annoying and figure there must be something I need to embrace about "cricket medicine" as taught in indigenous traditions, so of course I looked it up. Everything I read basically says cricket heralds “heightened intuition, sensitivity, awareness and balance of action”. Balance of action definitely fits the bill here but I sure don't feel like I need my intuition, sensitivity and awareness heightened! lol Frankly, as far as I’m concerned I’m feeling way too much of that these days! I need grounding, focus and a burst of the "old me" energy so I can show up, feet to the fire, and move through the mundane responsibilities and tasks of life while courageously facing the chaos, fear, resistance, procrastination, confusion, clutter, and overwhelm I can so often feel when meeting life right where it is from wherever I am. This is particularly true right now with de-cluttering my home but in truth those have been the "old me" lifelong patterns on many levels. So this is an all-too familiar energy and feeling. I’m mindful and grateful that I’ve learned to navigate new ways of showing up more authentically and consciously in a lot of areas of my life but the one area that remains my greatest challenge is the physical clutter. And that’s my focus today. Well, truthfully, it’s my focus every day these days. It's become a monster that never goes away and it gets in my way. And now I find I'm at a 'clutter crossroads'. Panic and overwhelm ensues and seems to always trump all the cards I play. I want to do anything and everything BUT clear the clutter and I’m very good at distracting myself to avoid what I don’t want to do. Today I find the cricket’s chirp is distracting me and I am compelled to write about it. I don't yet know what it has to say to me; I just know it feels important and I know that writing about it will help me uncover it.

I used to be able to face this sort of resistance and challenge in life with more energy and confidence even though procrastination has been a lifelong albatross. It used to be that once I started a project there was no stopping me. I could easily imagine and envision the end result and holding on to that vision inspired me and kept me going, no matter what. Now the vision of a clutter free home feels unreachable and impossible. There's too many years to catch up on and present time seems to be moving faster and faster. I either can’t get started at all or once I do start I struggle to stay with it. I lose my momentum quickly as I get stuck all over again in the midst of it. I used to keep an immaculate and well organized house. I used to truly find pleasure in the maintenance of it and the “doing” and somehow that escapes me now. All I feel is the heavy burden of it. It takes so much energy now to just stay with it and if/when I do stick with it seemingly there's so little to show for my efforts in the end. It’s so much bigger than me. I just give up, leaving more unfinished and more chaos in its wake than when I started.

I didn’t used to “give up” so easily either. In fact, the "old me" refused to give up to the extent that I fully sacrificed myself over and over and over just to "keep up". But life has taught me a lot, even if it’s been the hard way, and that "old me energy" and old way of "get ‘er done, all or nothing, gun-to-the-head, do or die” is pretty much long gone now, or at least when it comes to navigating through this dense and physical layer of the material “stuff” of life. 

The burden of clutter and disorder has been with me for so long (and it’s so contrary to my truest nature) it’s now starting to feel like a real life gun to the head, do or die place. I don’t want to continue to live my life moving forward from that kind of fear-based energy. I want to discover, embrace and embody a new way of taking action from all levels of my being. I want to believe it's possible and that I can do it. No more throwing myself into the fire and pushing until I burn out. Believe me, I’m willing to die to the old again and again. I understand how that has to be done in order for real growth to occur and for the new to birth. From my birds-eye view life is a continual metaphorical, mystical, psychospiritual and shamanic cycle of death and rebirth. I’m not willing to give up on the future by staying stuck in the past. I’m willing to surrender and let go of what no longer serves me and die a new death in the spiral evolution of death and rebirth. My inner warrior knows when it’s time to surrender and shows me that in that surrender lies as great a triumph as any victory to guide me through.

So why am I still stuck? What am I holding on to? What is "my new way" through this very dense, mundane obstacle and challenge now? Sighs. I already know what I need "to do" and that knowing often becomes another set-up for failure as the answers are often lost or silenced by the harsh critical voices in my head and the dark, shadowy energies of the past. Silenced by the part of me that doesn’t want me to hear the truth that I am capable and worthy of moving forward and leaving this past behind me. I'm struck with the awareness that the past is exactly what I’m trying to clear here and the past lives inside all that material stuff, sharing time and space with all those old thoughts, beliefs, and energies that it’s "too hard, too limiting and I can’t see my way out, blah blah blah” that keep me from successfully clearing the clutter! What a catch 22! Where do I begin? What do I clear first? The mental or the physical clutter? They are inseparable. They are a perfect reflection of each other and they are fully enmeshed and each one hooks the other back in! Damn. It's no wonder the clutter holds so much power over me...those “Old beliefs, Old ways, Old patterns”…

*Life is hard.
*Life is limiting.
*I have to work hard and suffer in order to be rewarded and grow. No pain, no gain, right?
*I have to do it alone.
*I let myself down.
*If I start, I will fail.
*I will fail anyway.
*It will never be good enough.
*I am not good enough.

Ok. Winding my way back to the cricket's chirp now. How does the heightened, intuitive, sensitive medicine of the cricket help me find my way through all these old negative beliefs and patterns in a practical, grounded kind of way? When I asked that question I was amazed to hear the answer. I was quickly guided to listen to "God's Cricket Chorus". Please have a listen at the link below. It's really beautiful and quite amazing! Even if you've heard it before, listen again. We all need to remember and hear this hidden unsong song of the cricket...

"This unique piece is not a synthesizer or a choir singing, but the song of the crickets themselves. Jim Wilson has created this unique effect by slowing down the original cricket song to match and mirror the lifespan of the average human being. The result is a work that induces an atmostphere of peace, serenity and healing, all courtesy of Mother Nature"

And now I understand the message and the medicine of the cricket’s song for me today.

The cricket's annoying chirp to my human ears today is like the clutter in my house and in my life. It annoys, agitates and distracts me. I am powerless over it so all I want to do is either run away from it or destroy it because I know I can’t silence it. When I try to face the clutter from the mental, emotional and physical levels of being only, I disconnect myself from spirit. Like the heavenly “God’s Cricket Choir” that sings so magically through the cricket’s ordinary chirp when it’s slowed down to match the vibration at the human level reveals that there’s a power in the hidden song and higher vibration of Creator & Spirit to merge heaven and earth/spirit and matter, and create beauty, peace and a whole new song, so there is a power for me in the higher vibration of my connection with Creator, God/Goddess, Source and Spirit that’s already there for me, singing to me, calling me, waiting to be claimed, sung and infused into my world as the "new me" showing me "the way" through the mundane, through the clutter, and home to my heart's song. It’s the paradoxical, hidden, unsung music of heaven and earth. It's the paradox of being both a human being and a spiritual being. It’s the merging of the two dualities that becomes a beautiful new song that opens up the space for a whole new expression of beauty to be created. Yes. The "new way" that awaits me is my personal “unsung song” that also refuses to be silenced and lies hidden in the messiness of life and in the clutter. It's already there, ready to be released and revealed as I clear the clutter. Now that's inspiring!

So what’s my new way through? “New beliefs. New ways. New patterns” (that really don’t feel so new after all...they’ve been around for quite a while now ~ I just forget sometimes)

*Practice. Practice. Practice.
*Commitment ~ to myself first and foremost.
*Let go of ‘all or nothing’ beliefs
*Less can be more - not just in the "stuff" but also in the outcome. It's unrealistic and out of balance to try to get it all done in one fell swoop anymore. A de-cluttered corner has as much value as an entire de-cluttered room.
*Leap and trust the process.
*Start from right where I am.
*Accept my resistance and limitations as a teacher and guide rather than perceiving them as an immediate failure.
*Don’t wait for the fear, resistance or overwhelm to go away. Feel it. Name it. Embrace it.
*Do what I can today. One day at a time. Just Do It.
*Appreciate and value all my efforts, no matter how big or small.
*Balance the work with play.
*Be kind to myself.
*Ask for help along the way, both in Human and Spirit form. I can't do it alone. It's all so much bigger than me.
*Practice. Practice. Practice.

There is still a whisper of my ego and inner critic that’s trying to tell me I’m a failure from the get-go because I know I'm really the only one getting in my way here and I haven't been very successful yet, so why even try. But today I know better. On Sunday, I literally heard the crickets chirping everywhere I went - indoors and outdoors. Today the cricket’s song is singing louder than that nasty critic’s voice and is helping me remember. I’m really not a failure. I’m just very human and I’m figuring it out as I go. Someday I'll be singing my unsung song. In the meantime, I will listen to God's Cricket Choir before I begin any clutter clearing and during it whenever I get stuck to remind me that the density of all that I'm clearing is already lifted to a new vibration and so I am also lifted, just for the asking.
"Cricket will attune to new vibrations and will aid in heightening intuition, sensitivity and awareness. Crickets can teach effective communication techniques and subconsciousness communication cues to obtain what is needed or wanted. Crickets are about resurrection and transformation from stages as in the molting process. Is it time to shed old ideas to make way for the new? Expect changes and new developments that will bring growth through reflection and patience as the sensitivity to mental, emotional and physical challenges are coming your way. Are you singing your song to be heard at this time? Is it time to rest in contemplation or jump toward your intended target whether it be at work, in relationships, or personal goal and dream? Cricket will help in finding the right balance of action using intuition and subtle awareness." ~ Animal Totems, Dictionary of Insects by StarStuffs  

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

"Just As I Am"

There's a definite bite & chill in the air - fall is arriving - and with it comes some panic and urgency rising in my belly. I've been feeling the wolf at the door for some time now. Time is running out for me to prepare properly for winter's hibernation and loss of energy and light that I typically experience with wintertime. It's time to clear the clutter. I mean really clear the clutter. Lately I find myself swinging like a pendulum between inspiration and despair, starting and stopping, fumbling and stumbling in the dark of it all, searching endlessly for a new balance in the tension of the extremes, longing for a new pathway to get there...wherever "there" is that I'm trying to get to. This past weekend, in spite of my best intentions, I hit that wall of overwhelm and resistance and all I could do was be present with it. I couldn't move. So I surrendered my agendas and gave myself permission to be right where I was: stuck in the muck, again. Instead of finding peace and trust in the surrender, I began to feel that all too familiar judgment, hopelessness, despair, and sense of failure. And then something magical began to unfold. Mother Nature found its way into my consciousness through a cricket's chirping and soon I found myself fully immersed in writing about the cricket...

But before I go there I want to share a little bit about me and why I'm writing this blog.

I've never kept journals consistently and I've never fancied myself a "writer" but I've wanted so much to write a blog for a really long time. It never felt safe to me. Deep seated fears of being exposed and seen for who I really am publicly or exposing others in some way and being judged for what I might say, saying too much and taking up too much time, or somehow hurting someone's feelings with my words combined with deeply entrenched woundings and patterns of low self-worth, perfectionism and people-pleasing held me back. These fears didn't just hold me back when it came to writing - these have been core fears that have held me back in all areas of my life.

Anyone who knows me very well knows I am rarely a woman of few words! For me, life is such an incredible adventure and filled with so much wonder and mystery so I always have a lot to say and many stories to tell! And, for me this has been both a blessing and a curse. 

The blessing is that putting my thoughts and feelings into words, either in writing or in conversation, always makes sense of all the inner and outer confusion and clutter, frees my mind, and opens up a space for me to find my way back to my center. Having someone to share this with deepens my sense of connection and belonging in a world where I have never really felt I belonged or fit into. Talking about it or writing about it helps me put the pieces of the puzzle of life together. 

The curse has been that I have felt a tremendous amount of fear and shame all my life and this carried over into speaking out in groups or being in the public eye in any way. Most people find this hard to believe since on the outside I'm very outgoing and I connect easily with people. It's true, by nature, I really am a people-person and I thrive on connection, but I was going at it from the wrong direction. I was just trying to fit in and taking on all the responsibility in my relationships for having or sustaining a connection. That meant fitting me, my words, my creative expression and my life into a container that suited everyone else's comfort level. It worked for a while in its own dysfunctional way but of course it wasn't working in the long run. I was dying a slow and painful death inside and my outside world began to crumble. I desperately needed to find my authentic Self, make authentic and safe connections, experience feeling received, heard and understood just as I am, and find an outlet for my own unique creative expression and self-identity. That slow and painful death finally took me to the doorway of my soul's destiny and calling to "come out" of hiding and meet my Self for the very first time. All of me. The good and the bad. The dark and the light. Face my fears. Heal and release the shame. Acknowledge my gifts and talents. Know that I'm worthy of being received and loved by just being Me. Let those who can love and truly accept me for exactly who I am, wherever I am, come into my life (or for those who were already there and willing, to stay) and let that love be enough. To understand that I don't need to be received and loved by everyone in order to be good enough. In fact, it's impossible. I will be rejected. To not only take myself "off the hook" for any perceived imperfections and failures but also take others in my life "off the hook". No one is responsible for my happiness, freedom, creativity, and connection but me. I need to stop rejecting mySelf and love, receive and connect with mySelf, just as I am. Oh my, that's a tall order and a life-long lesson. I continue to come face to face with those doorways of fear, judgment, and rejection again and again in the spiral loop of life - and writing this blog is one of those doors I'm finally ready to walk through. No one is more surprised than me to find me here today!

Over the years I have found myself mysteriously drawn more and more to writing - an almost insatiable longing to write - yet not knowing why or what to do with it. What am I "supposed" to write about? What do I have to say that someone else hasn't already said? Who wants to listen to what I have to say? I know the "right" answers to all of those questions and yet they continued to stand in the way and hold me hostage. I once mentioned my longing, angst and confusion about writing to a close and well-meaning friend (who I hold in some esteem as a writer), expecting to get some guidance, encouragement and inspiration. I shared that I wanted to write about my everyday life - about all the thoughts and images that go through my mind on a daily basis and experiences I have that become metaphors for me for living an ordinary life in an extraordinary way. He laughed at me and said, "Who wants to read about you and your life?!?" Yes. I believe he was serious and I took it very seriously. He was a perfect reflection of my own inner critic and I took that to heart for a long time. On the flip side, I've had quite a few people close to me who believe in me really encourage me to take the leap. No surprise, it hasn't been as easy for me to take that to heart.

I've been afraid that writing a blog would become a new distraction for me - that it will take up too much of my time and I will use it as a way to avoid other responsibilities in life that are boring. Well, if I really want to be distracted from my responsibilities I'll find something somewhere to distract me and the truth is not writing has become a distraction for me. When my mind is filled with words and thoughts I have to get it out or it gets in my way. And I find ways to write anyway. I have found myself sharing and/or writing something very personal to someone, somewhere every day. And when there was no one to talk to or write to, I wrote to myself. Everything went into a draft file called "musings for a blog" to save for someday...

I've lived for someday far too long. I'm not getting any younger and time is running out. So today, I am officially opening my blog even though it was the last thing on my mind this past weekend. As I was more or less unraveling again, stuck in the muck, it all began to unfold. I don't know how often I will write or what I will write about other than my innermost thoughts, feelings, and everyday life experiences when the ordinary becomes extraordinary and the extraordinary becomes ordinary. And maybe, like my friend said, no one will want to read about it. It may not have any meaning for anyone else. And that's okay. I'm clear now that I'm really writing publicly for me. It feels really good to have finally stepped through that huge wall of fear that's held me back from just taking the first step. Just like arriving here seemed to unfold in its own unexpected and divine timing, in spite of me, I trust whatever I'm meant to do with this blog from here on out, if anything at all, will also unfold divinely and take me by surprise again and again.

I have crossed a threshold and this blog is and will be a "write of passage" for me. I have my husband to thank for helping me discover the metaphor there when I told him "this is a major rite of passage for me". This blog is an outlet for me to use my words to express the joy and pain, magic and wonder, and interconnectedness I see and experience around me in everyday life as a mom, wife, friend, daughter, sister, healer, singer, teacher, and a very ordinary woman living an extraordinary life.

I invite you to join me and begin this journey with me with the call of the cricket...