Breathing In

I’ve been thinking a lot this month about my friends and family members who have strong water signs in their chart; sun, moon or rising sign in Cancer, Scorpio or Pisces. I’m included in this list being a Scorpio sun with a Cancer moon. These are the signs with deep sensitivity to the outer world. Pisces can easily lose their energy to anyone in pain. Cancer gives it away to anyone in need of nurturing or mothering. We meet the world first through our feelings. We are sensitive, empathetic, compassionate people.  So this world is not always easy for us to deal with, especially this particular world, in this particular time. With the sun in Pisces this past month and with several planets aspecting it we have been hit doubly hard with that sensitivity. So it came as no surprise really, when I once again found myself in the pool at the gym with my water aerobics class.  Now, this is a new gym, a new pool, and a new class since my insurance company dropped my other membership. So I knew no one.  But still that same old judgmental mind kicked in when two people were laughing hysterically and talking loudly during the entire class. Some of you might remember this scene from a previous blog, (www.mygentlemusings.wordpress.com)  entitled “Lessons from the gym.”  I thought I had conquered that particular lesson, but here I was in a new place with the same old reaction. I recognized my sensitivity to noise, to distractions and I knew I wanted to have a different response. I tried Pema’s mantram, “Just like me”….trying to remember there were times when I was insensitive.  It didn’t work. I was still rather pissed off. Then I sort of saw how my energy had dispersed outward, as water signs are prone to do. We lose it easily. I took a really deep breath and visualized myself breathing my energy back into myself. I asked myself, silently, of course, “What would happen if I just paid attention to my own energy, if I just focused on how my body feels in this water, if I just breathed myself back into myself? Amazingly I lost almost all of my sensitivity to the outside environment. I just fully inhabited my own body. I know this isn’t rocket science, but the shift was pretty dramatic. The noise in the room visibly diminished, at least to my ears.

So I’ve been pondering this month the challenge it is for us sensitive types to stand in our own being. How do we create a boundary between the outside environment and ourselves without shutting down? Shutting down is easy for most of us, but I don’t really want to go around clenched in and constricted, keeping out the good stuff as well as the disturbing. For me, when I breathed my energy back into my body I felt strong and grounded. I acknowledged, “this is me.” I was still aware of the energy in the room, but it didn’t draw me out of myself. Discernment is difficult. What is mine and what isn’t? It’s one of the important practices for water signs. Where does my energy go when I’m triggered, when I’m worried, when I’m anxious? Can I hold onto it?

Being such strong compassionate types we can sometimes just let everyone in and then wonder where our energy went. I remember a story that one of my favorite writers, Danielle LaPorte, relayed. She was talking to her teenage son who had just suffered his first heartbreak.  She said to him, “Always keep a gate on your heart. Then you stand there and you get to decide who enters and who doesn’t.” I thought that was a great story because again, discernment includes knowing when someone else’s energy will not support our well being.  The Buddha is reported to have said to someone, “Never throw anyone out of your heart.  You may have to through them out of your house, but never out of your heart.” Some people deserve to come in, some come in and then need to leave, and for some we need to lock that gate as tightly as we can…..but with a loving heart.

 

“Minding my own business is a full time job.”  Byron Katie

I would paraphrase, “Holding onto my own energy is a full time job.”

“Everything changes when you start to emit your own frequencies rather than absorbing the frequencies around you, when you start imprinting your intent on the universe rather than receiving an imprint from existence.” Barbara Marciniak

“You’re not here to carry everyone else’s stuff. They came here fully equipped with their own team of cosmic sherpas just like you did.” Sherryl Frauenglass

“Don’t let people pull you into their storm. Pull them into your peace.” Kimberly Jones

Just for fun:

“There are over 7 trillion nerves in the human body. Some people are capable of getting on every damn one of them.” Anonymous

God Works in Mysterious Ways…..Yes She Does

My intention for some time now has been to try to trust more deeply in the ebb and flow of life.  To be willing to be guided and led by my deeper knowing instead of doggedly and perhaps, unconsciously pursuing my own agenda….and to wait, knowing that the next step will reveal itself.  I don’t have to go looking for it. My prayer has been, “I am willing to do what the Soul requires as soon as I register and recognize it as my next duty.”

When one of my Soul sisters, Anne, emailed me from Copenhagen that she was in meditation that morning and I appeared to her, I was a bit surprised.  I guess I’m still a bit shocked when people tell me that they feel my presence when I’m not actually there.  Anyway, the message that came with her awareness of me was that I needed to come to see her this summer.  At first I thought that she just missed me and wanted to get together, and my concrete mind kicked in with questions:  Could I afford it? Did I really want to go to Europe again, at my age? What about jet lag? I felt a bit resistant.  I’m so comfortable here, with my life right now, why make another big plan? The whole litany of ego concerns presented themselves, but I promised her I would sit with it in meditation myself and see if I felt the “nudge” of my Soul.  So, that very morning I was in meditation and I posed the question.  “Give me a sign if this is something my Soul has planned for my next step.”……not understanding that a simple visit to a friend could have Soul purpose, but I was willing to ask.  What came, was unexpected.  I felt a surge of energy in my body.  I sat up straight, spine erect, filled with what I can only describe as a downpouring of will energy. After sitting with that for a few minutes and just breathing it into my body I felt myself relax into a more expansive state.  Then, surprisingly, I began to write, in my head, a description of a talk I could give at an upcoming conference.  The whole paragraph played itself out in my mind. I know, when that happens, to write it all down immediately so it won’t be forgotten.  What is surprising about this is that I had only given slight consideration to even going to this conference, let alone presenting a talk. I have given talks before at this conference so it had crossed my mind, but I somehow felt lethargic about it and not too interested in creating it. Then suddenly the energy was there to offer it. In a manner uncharacteristic of me, I immediately wrote the organizer and submitted my proposal. Amazingly, she wrote back within the hour and accepted it. Wow, that was stunning. Now this energy is still running through me and I start thinking about Copenhagen.  All of a sudden it feels completely doable and I even come up with the idea that I could do a book signing there to a group my friend belongs to and then it would be tax deductible.  I write her and make that proposal.  So, now I’m on a roll and my mind goes to the fact that if I go to Copenhagen I would most likely stopover in the UK.  A friend, in Canada has told me that anytime I want to go to England she can probably arrange a book signing there.  So, I email her and she gets right back.  She’ll see what she can put together. Another friend emails me totally out of the blue about doing a presentation at a retreat center on Orcas island. By now I’m pretty much blown away but I always attempt to confirm or reject a message I’m getting by checking my horoscope.  Why am I not surprised when I see that this year is all about expanding my career, getting out into the world more, basically putting myself out there, being adventurous and not getting stuck in a rut, break things up a bit.

So, what started as an innocent invitation soon morphed into this message from the universe about what I am to do next.  One would think I would be used to the magic of the way things work in my life, but somehow it always sort of stuns me.  I do believe that this particular set of messages came about mainly because I had earlier opened myself up to a greater sense of my own power and strength. (See my blog on “Warrior Am I.”) I’m sure my resistance would have been much stronger had I not felt, again, that strength pouring into me.

 I aspire to trust more deeply in my own strength and not be surprised by the magic that appears in my life.

 I aspire to think big and not be held back by my self-perceived limitations.

 I aspire to live my life with ease.

 From:  The Game of Life and How to Live It, by Florence Scovel Shinn

“My perfect path is already selected and will arrive at the right time. I’ll be shown the steps to receive it.”

“Today, the Divine will show me the way.  I’m open to all messages, signs, and omens. I’ll move as if there’s a Force of Love waiting to aid me in every area of my life, big or small.”

From:  BhagwanShree Rajneesh

“Life is a series of natural, and spontaneous changes.

Don’t resist them—

That only creates sorrow.

Let reality be reality.

Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.

Don’t try to force anything.

Let life be a deep let-go.

See God opening millions of flowers every day

Without forcing the buds.”

From: Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. 1, by Alice Bailey

“Live today as your Soul dictates and the future will round out itself in fruitful service.”

 

 

Warrior Am I

I am a Scorpio, with a birthday in November.  I also study esoteric astrology which assigns mantrams to each astrological sign. One of the mantrams for Scorpio is, “Warrior am I, and from the battle I emerge triumphant.” I have always resonated with those words, but the embodiment of them has been a lifelong challenge. Flash back to 1964 or thereabouts.  My ex and I were involved in the Human Potential Movement back then and one of the vehicles for this movement were what was called, “Encounter Groups.” We would come together and do a lot of role playing, acting out different parts of ourselves in an attempt to raise our consciousness.  This evening, we were divided into two groups.  One group held power and control over the other group. I was assigned to the power group.  I don’t remember the exact scenario we were asked to play but I do remember the rush that came over me as I felt my power. I got totally into it, so much so that I lost my feeling of connection to the people we were controlling. One of them was even my very best friend, but after some time, I didn’t even see her. She was just an object to subdue and control. Later as we processed the “game” it struck me with such force that I was speechless.  I had completely lost touch with my own humanity and the humanity of the people in this group.  I no longer saw them as a part of the human family, I saw them as objects only to be controlled and manipulated.  It literally scared the Sh..&%#& out of me. From that moment on I became afraid of my power and vowed to keep it under wraps.  Fast forward to the mid 1980’s. Studying for my Master’s Degree in Psychology I had taken a class in Psychosynthesis. We practiced a lot of guided imagery in this class and one time we were asked to imagine our “ideal image.” Could we see a picture of how we would most like to be in the world? I immediately saw a fierce Native American warrior standing tall and powerful with a long spear in his right hand.  Then I noticed his left hand in which there was a soft, furry baby kitten.  What I took from this image is that somehow, I needed to join my warrior masculine energy, with the softness and receptivity of the feminine. I understood this mentally, but it didn’t translate into a trust in that power. Fast forward again to 2016. In November of 2016 I took a weekend workshop with the renowned sound healer, Tom Kenyon. We participated in several meditations involving sound and healing. Sometimes, for me, when I’m in a meditation where the energy is very powerful I reach a point where I choose to shut down.  I say to myself, I can’t take in anymore.” I think it’s that old fear of too much and not trusting it.  This time, as I felt the energy reach a very high point I just said to myself, “Welcome, please come into my body.  You are welcome here.”  I experienced such gratitude and appreciation as I said these words to myself. Then something really big opened up within me and I felt a surge of strength, power and will energy. I fully opened to it and felt it become a part of me.

Another insight I got during this meditation was that it was fear that stops me and that the antidote to that fear, for me, was a belief in my own resilience.  When I truly believe I can handle whatever comes my way I am propelled out of the inertia that fear creates.

Tom works with a group of beings called the Hathors. They live in a high dimension of consciousness and work through Tom and his voice as he sings. It’s a very powerful experience. So, we did a meditation in which they were to gift us with energy from Sirius and Venus.  I have long resonated with Sirius as it is the energy that pours through Scorpio. So, in this meditation I felt my heart and chest open and felt another surge of POWER course through me. I saw myself embody the warrior energy, strong and pure and unafraid. I trusted this power, because it was accompanied with a strong energy of compassion. I knew I would not misuse this gift. I had strengthened the compassionate energy within me to the point where I knew it would always balance any tendency to abuse my power. Now I was free to fully express my power in the world.

I have seen this blending of energies play out in my everyday life as a stronger feeling of confidence, as a willingness to take my work out into the world in a more active way without the accompanying fear and trepidation.  There is now an excitement about giving what gifts I may possess instead of the anxiety that I may not do it right, or may not know enough, or somehow, I will make a fool of myself. Then, amazingly, new opportunities opened up for me to present my work and after meditating on the new possibilities, I sensed no resistance, just a resounding inner, “yes.”  (more about this in my next blog)

Lazarus Blessing, by Jan Richardson

The secret

Of this blessing

Is that it is written

On the back

Of what binds you.

To read

This blessing,

You must take hold

Of the end

Of what

Confines you,

Must begin to tug

At the edge

Of what wraps

You round.

It may take long

And long

For its length

To fall away,

For the words

Of this blessing

To unwind

In folds

About your feet.

By then

You will no longer

Need them.

By then this blessing

Will have pressed itself

Into your waking flesh,

Will have passed

Into your bones,

Will have traveled

Every vein

Until it comes to rest

Inside the chambers

Of your heart

That beats to

The rhythm

Of benediction

And the cadence of release.

 

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us……… Your playing small does not serve the world…..We are all meant to shine…….As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.  As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”  Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love.

 

 

The Prayer Tree

 

In a big cardboard box in my bedroom closet there are 12 files, one file for each astrological month.  Inside these files are my notes from the research I do each month for my full moon ceremonies and the articles I write for Soulbridging.com.  Since I have been doing ceremonies since 2004 you can imagine how big the files have become.  Nevertheless, each month I retrieve my notes from the past year and review them to see if I want to include any of the information in the upcoming full moon.  In December, 2016, when I was planning the full moon/solstice ceremony I came across some notes I had written many years ago, and had completely forgotten.  Unfortunately, I did not note the source but I was so taken with the ritual that I incorporated it into the ceremony and repeated it again at my family’s Christmas Eve gathering. Here is a synopsis of the notes I took for the Sagittarius full moon.

 

In Siberia, trees are seen as sacred because they are believed to be the bridge between heaven and earth. So, each year at this time there is a gathering where people from the community come together to create a prayer tree.  Offerings of food and drink are left under the tree and the shaman of the community chants and gives thanks to the helping spirits for carrying the prayers of the people up to the universe so that their dreams manifest back on earth. People tie ribbons on branches symbolizing their prayers for individuals, families, and their community.

 

I thought this was a perfect ritual for the Sagittarius energy since it is a sign of vision and big dreams and doesn’t our world need that right now? So, I asked people this question:  What is your vision, your prayer for the people in your life, for your community, for our planet? Since I believe that writing things down makes them more powerful we then wrote our words on colorful pieces of paper that had ribbons attached.  Each person then brought their prayers and put them on a branch of the tree. When everyone had participated, we closed with this prayer.

 

“We offer our prayer of gratitude and love to this tree for the energy it brings into this house, for the light it brings us at this Christmas/Solstice time. We ask now that this living being work in partnership with us and the angels and we send forth these prayers on the wings of the angels, that all who receive them may be blessed, may be protected, may be healed and may be at peace. And so it is.”

 

I don’t usually buy Christmas trees, but when I read these notes I felt impelled to buy a small little one, so I might have a place to welcome all these prayers and so that my home would be filled with the dreams and hopes of everyone who gathered together.

 

Blessed be.

 

When I am Among the Trees, by Mary Oliver

 

When I am among the trees

 

Especially the willows and the honey locust

 

Equally the beech, the oaks and the pines

 

They give off such a hint of gladness

 

I would almost say that they save me, and daily

 

I am so distant from the hope of myself

 

In which I have goodness and discernment,

 

And never hurry through the world,

 

But walk slowly, and bow often.

 

Around me the trees stir in their leaves and call out,

 

“stay awhile.”

 

The light flows from their branches

 

And they call again, “It’s simple, they say,

 

And you too have come into this world to do this,

 

To go easy, to be filled with light,

 

And to shine.”

christmas-tree-blog-2

Sitting with Ram Dass

It seems that every 5 years or so I need to give myself a challenge.  Maybe it’s a way of trying to disprove that I am ageing….who knows?  When I turned 70 I decided I wanted to prove to myself that I could travel alone.  I had gone around the world twice in my 20’s, but I had never attempted to travel very far without a companion.  It seemed a bit scary at 70 to go to Europe alone, but that was my goal.  I wanted to know that I could still navigate, trains, buses, hotels, connections without a partner.  I went for two weeks and came back feeling a sense of empowerment and also very aware that lugging baggage and making countless arrangements wasn’t quite the adventure that is was in my 20’s.  So in January of this year, 2016, I started thinking about my 75th birthday, coming in November.  It was just a little niggle in the back of my mind, nothing momentous.  Then across my email came an announcement of a 5 day retreat on Maui with Ram Dass and friends.  It was happening in my birthday month, November so I was intrigued.  Actually I felt a strong pull that I needed to go so I wrote the date that registration opened in my daytimer. (still don’t know how to use the calendar on my iphone)  Usually I’m not that punctual about making arrangements but the day came, in June, when we could sign up.  I immediately put my name in.  Registration closed right behind my application and within 3 days they had a waiting list that outnumbered the people that signed up. (350) I didn’t need any more signs, but as a bonus I realized I could use my miles to fly first class……Wow, now I was really excited. I decided to give myself some r and r time while there so I went 3 days early and stayed 3 days after the retreat ended.  I had a beautiful room, with an ocean view, and a full kitchen.  I was in heaven. I sank into the beauty and the stillness. The feeling of warmth and connection to the land became stronger each day. We meditated, some did Yoga or Chi Gong on the beach, and we listened to all the wonderful teachers, Jack Kornfield and his wife, Trudy, Sharon Salzburg, and of course Ram Dass himself, in his wheelchair speaking slowly and carefully as he has to measure each word since his stroke 17 years ago.  They all talked about love, about compassion about opening our hearts.  The name of the retreat was “Finding the Beloved, Touching the Compassionate Heart.”  In the evening we chanted with Krishna Das. There was something magical about singing with 350 people, drums beating, guitars and violin playing and Krishna’s amazing voice.  The funny thing was that I have several of his cd’s at home that I rarely play because they can be quite raucous, but there surrounded by so many people joining together I was totally energized and uplifted, my heart opening to take it all in.  One song that got me up out of my chair and dancing in the aisles was called, Jesus On the Main Line.  Be sure to take a listen:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NODRDbJ14LI

The fact that I knew no one at this retreat didn’t seem to inhibit me at all.  Perhaps I am caring less about needing to surround myself with the familiar.  I unabashedly walked up to tables with complete strangers, sat down, connected and made some wonderful friends.  What a gift. Of course in a retreat where the opportunity to open our hearts is so available it would be hard to feel disconnected or separate, but nevertheless I was proud of myself for taking these risks. I won’t go into my snorkeling adventure…..but I’m proud that I did it, again alone. Besides the evenings of chanting with Krishna Das and the wonderful speakers, the highlight for me was actually meeting Ram Dass face to face.  I have heard him speak many times, read his books, but being in his presence was something I had never experienced.  I’m working, in my life, on not pushing through, not plotting or manipulating situations.  My mantram for a long time has been, “May I live my life with ease.” I really want to learn to, “go with the flow.” So when the thought came into my mind that I would like a picture with Ram Dass, I could feel the old tendency to try to make it happen.  Then another thought, “I’m not going to try to force this.  If it happens, it happens.” So one day as I was sitting in the back of the room, chanting to myself, I finished and looked up, and there was Ram Dass not 5 feet away with only one person next to him.  Usually there is a line up.  I jumped up, handed my phone to the person standing there and asked if she would take my picture.  She did a beautiful job, snapping three photos that you saw above.  The moment that was so powerful was when he actually looked into my eyes. I could feel unconditional love…..just pouring out of him.  I wasn’t expecting that.  Wow, what an impact.  It wasn’t like a moment of complete enlightenment, like some people have described when they meet an enlightened being, but it was palpable and it entered me.  Something shifted.  I’m not a devotee, or a guru follower, but I have a lot of respect, admiration, and even reverence for those whose consciousness radiates that love that we label, “unconditional.” I think it is a vibration.  I think it is a high level of consciousness and I think we are all capable of reaching that state of being. It may be lifetimes before it manifests fully in us, but I do believe we will all reach this state at some moment in time. (as unlikely as that seems at this particular moment in our history.)

So everything about this experience taught me to trust more deeply in life’s flow……down to the most mundane experience of my flight home arriving an hour early which allowed me to make it home ahead of the snowstorm.

Opening my heart to possibilities, trusting in the unfolding, and learning to live with more comfort in uncertainty…..these were the benefits of “Finding the Beloved.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE AFTERMATH

The day of my 75th birthday, November 9, 2016 we elected a new president.  To be honest, I must say this was the most depressing birthday of my life.  I stayed up, the night before, until there could be no doubt.  There would be no last-minute comeback, no saving grace.  I spent the night bathed in fear, not sleeping, as all the “worst case scenarios” played their way out in my mind. We know what those scenarios are, no need to go into frightening detail.  Most of my birthday was spent in a feeling of disbelief and shock. The intense grief would come later.  I tried to practice what I preach, “Just be with it”, “it is what it is”, “don’t argue with reality”.  I tried to be the witness, “fear is present, but I am more than my fear.” I really tried to hold all of my despair and fear and sadness in the cauldron of my loving heart , but on this birthday day…..it was way too soon.  I just needed to feel everything.  Just that, nothing more.  After a few weeks, after much meditating and supportive conversations with my tribe I was able to see more clearly.  The emotional impact leveled out.  I had let my feelings have their way with me.  I had tried to honor them as best I could.  I knew then that I was at a moment of conscious choice. Did I want to be seduced back into the dark swamp of emotional turmoil or did I want to choose peace? Not passivity…..but active peace. I chose peace. Something had been awakened in me, some strong sense of standing up, standing firm, speaking my truth and embodying my truth. I made the choice to be strength, to be power, to be truth, in my own life and then I put on my safety pin and headed out for Greenlake to stand in peaceful unity with 3,000+ of my fellow humans.

I made some conscious decisions.

I would not follow all the news.

I would not get entangled in facebook posts.

I would not read anything that might shake loose my fragile equilibrium.  Part of me did want to stick my head in the sand and pretend that nothing would change, or that even if it did it wouldn’t impact me, but reality was hard to avoid so that really wasn’t a choice.

What could I focus on that would be balanced, reasonable, and helpful?

I decided to deepen my meditation practice to include a powerful prayer for the Soul of our country. (for a recording and a written copy that I made of this meditation click on this link,)

Libra Full Moon Meditation

I made a commitment to myself to be as proactive as I could about political issues.  I’m not an activist, by nature, so this was a stretch for me, but I found ways that I could contribute that didn’t include knocking on doors or proselytizing.

I decided to:

Read only that which……

Listen to only that which….

Be with only that which….

Uplifted, encouraged, inspired, and held me in loving support and understanding.

I made a habit of reminding myself, daily, sometimes hourly, of the fact that most of humanity longs for peace, for justice, for harmony.  This helped keep me in a state of hope and optimism, rather than dejection and despair.

I reminded myself of what I believe is true:

We are at the end of an age, astrologically and rayologically.  Any time new energy comes in and meets old energy there will be disruption.

The old, entrenched mind sets are never going to give way without a struggle, but evolution always moves forward so I’m trusting in that.  We may be in a dip that feels like regression but from the largest perspective we continue to evolve and expand.

To heal anything, it must be brought to the light of day.  We are seeing the manifestation of the shadow of our collective psyche. Now that it is seen, there can be no denying that this darkness resides in each one of us and we are being shown where our own healing needs to take place.  Hasn’t this example of blatant sexism, racism, and misogyny forced you to examine your own attitudes or deeply hidden tendencies?

There is a new age coming and it will embody all the qualities of cooperation, collaboration, equality and a right distribution of resources.  The timing of this age of Aquarius depends on the choices we make, as a species. So part of my “political activism” includes a commitment to embody these qualities in my everyday life.  Every step we take individually has an impact.  I deepen my faith that I can make a difference in my own small way.

I rest on the fact that I know I am not alone in this endeavor.  There are unseen helpers that are always available to help me stay strong, to impress upon me what right action needs to be taken next, and to uplift and raise me up when I am discouraged and doubtful.  I know these same Beings of Light are doing what they can to assist us in transforming our planet to its rightful destiny as a beacon of Light in the Cosmos. They hear our appeals and they respond, pouring more light into our sacred earth.

May we all be blessed with strength, courage and clarity as we face these uncertain times. May we strengthen our alignment, hold fast to our balance and remain calm and centered in the midst of the storm.

 

What Is It That You Were Given, by Em Claire.

 

What is it that you were given?

I mean from the loss.

After, what was taken.

That very thing, you could never live without.

The person or place; the secret, or circumstance — now that it is gone, or has been found out, and you can no longer call it foundation what is it that you were given?

You know, and I know, this:

there is a hollowing out.

Something comes and opens you up right down the middle and from that moment on you are no longer immune to this world.

You wake, you wander, every familiar, now a foreign.

You walk as through water until you make it back to your bed and finally, even there— your sheets; your own pillow’s scent different,

as if daily someone repaints your room, displaces something, disturbs a cherished memento.

You see, sometimes we are emptied.

We are emptied because

Life wants us to know

so much more Light.

 

 

Do You Believe in Magic?

In these confusing and chaotic times do you ever find it difficult to find your clarity, to make decisions, to know what “right action” would look like?  Because of my tendency to want everyone to be happy and to make sure no one is thinking badly of me, I often find it challenging to discern my true, authentic voice from the myriad of conditioned messages that are floating around in my brain.  One of the things I’ve come to rely on when I can’t make sense of things is to invoke magic.  By magic, I mean, inviting the Universe to help me out.  I ask for signs, then I look really carefully. Probably the most dramatic example of this in my own life is when my ex and I decided to separate in the fall of 1993.  We decided to let our son stay in the family home and we would rotate in and out every two weeks.  This meant I needed to find a place to live.  I was in anguish trying to think of what I could do to make sure my son could reach me if he needed to.  He was too young to drive so it would have to be somewhere within biking distance.  One day on my walk through Woodway, I saw a for sale sign at one of the big estates there.  I immediately flashed on a story I read about the amazing woman called SARK.  She was an artist and visionary and a magician of the first order.  One day as she was walking through the streets of San Francisco she was holding in her mind the picture of the perfect place for her to live.  She could see the cottage in her mind, in great detail.  On that walk, she actually happened upon the exact little house.  By a series of synchronicities, (magic, I call it) she actually ended up living there.  Well on my walk this story came into my mind.  I wondered if this huge mansion might have a guest house.  That’s as far as I got because my rational mind gave me every reason why that was a stupid idea.  But every day on my walk the urge came back.  Finally, I garnered my courage and called the realtor to see if there was a guest house.  Yes, as a matter of fact there was.  I hung up.  I knew the house belonged to the family of one of my daughter’s school friends, but still I was scared and embarrassed and feeling skeptical.  But one day after several weeks of going back and forth in my mind I screwed up my courage and called their home.  The wife answered.  I explained the situation and asked her if there was any way they would consider renting out the guest house while it was on the market.  She assured me there was no way, but agreed to ask her husband, just as a courtesy, I’m sure.  Imagine how surprised I was when she called me back a few days later and said her husband would like to meet me and could we meet at the guest house and talk things over.  Well, to make a long story short, we met, we liked each other, they agreed to let me stay there, rent free, until the house sold.  There was only one condition.  Oh, Oh, I thought, here it comes.  They wondered if I would be willing to walk the trails on the six acres to keep the brush down and the trail clean.  Oh, shoot, I really don’t think I can do that……I laughingly said to myself.  So a few weeks later I moved in and had a beautiful, secluded, quiet place to live, rent free for the next 6 months……only ½ mile from my home.  Now that’s magic.  And honestly, it was more than just finding a place to live.  I felt like the universe was supporting me in my decision to leave my marriage.  I remember writing in my journal, “I’ll never doubt again.” (Oh, if only that had been true)  Another realization came from this experience and that is….. magic is always available to us if our eyes are open and our hearts are receptive.  We must just attune to that vibration of possibility and wonder and expectation and be willing to act when we receive a nudge. Of course it’s also important to make clear that we are surrendering to a Higher Will.  If it’s not for our higher good, do we really want it?  The other part of surrendering has to do with the right timing of things.  We must let go of our idea of how something is going to manifest and when it will happen.  We don’t always know the larger picture that is involved so to trust that all is unfolding in perfect timing is so important…..especially for our peace of mind.

One of the things I’ve noticed about asking for signs when I’m conflicted or indecisive is that if I pay attention to who I call to ask for feedback I get a clue as to my true feelings.  It seems like subconsciously I know what one of my friends will say and so I automatically go to the person who is going to support a certain action.  Then I see that what they say is really what I wanted to do, but I wasn’t clear until I heard their perspective.

Lately I’ve had two cases where I have been given signs through a book I was reading or a file that I happened to open on my computer that had been there for a year and I had never looked at it.  All of a sudden there was clarity and I could feel it in my body as I read.

 

The first case was involved a big decision I had to make about whether to help a friend out who was in need.  My initial tendency is to always say yes, of course.  But this was a large commitment and part of me said, no, I can’t.  But then I felt guilty and selfish.  I was raised in a home where the doors and the arms were open to any stray that happened by.  So unable to decide I just picked up a book I had been reading and came across a paragraph in which the author is talking about service and sacrifice.  One line flashed forth in brilliant light as I read, “Does it exhaust you to even think about saying yes?’  Oh yah, I thought, that’s it.  This act would not be coming from a place of fullness and abundance.  It would be coming from a place of obligation and self- sacrifice.  Clarity achieved.  Thank you, Universe.

The second event had to do with a number I was doing on myself because I don’t yet feel completely back to normal after my injury last year.  I started questioning whether I was just in a rut, stuck….why wasn’t I more motivated to get out there and do something?  Then completely randomly, with no thought of my inner dilemma I happened to open a document on my computer that had been sitting there since January.  It was an astrological reading for this year and specifically for my rising sign, Capricorn.  In it I heard that I might be experiencing a “lull” in my activities, at this time of the year. That this was not a time to be “pushing” or “efforting” and that things would change within a few months.  My body immediately relaxed and a feeling of deep gratitude emerged for this small little sign that relieved so much anxiety in my body.  Blessed be.

 

From Change Me Prayers, by Tosha Silver

“Change me Divine Beloved into One who invites you into even the most mundane decisions.  Open me to this playful, joyous way to live, following the signs as they are shown.  I am Yours, You are Mine, we are One.”

 

Hymns to an Unknown God,  by Sam Keen

“Enter each day with the expectation that the happenings of the day may contain a clandestine message addressed to you personally.  Expect omens and epiphanies, casual blessings, and teachers who unknowingly speak to your condition.”