Tuesday, February 28, 2012

See a Flower, See the World

If you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it's your world for the moment."
-Georgia O'Keeffe

I noticed the above quote on the back of a book purchased in Santa Fe in the Nineties. I saw it and thought,

'If you take the world in your hand and really look at it, it's your flower for the moment.'

The world when held and considered through time is like a flower, an amazing work of beauty, grace and resilience, born and reborn over seasons and cycles of light and dark, hot and cold, shifting days and nights filled with moments breathing joy and sorrow, peace and strife. 

A flower globe/tree in Lyon, France (June 2009).

-Dawn, The Good News Muse 28 Feb. 2012

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Reel and The Real

 How do you discern what is real for you? To what do you pay attention and listen?

Wednesday morning I lay in bed with my eyes closed and watched what looked like the grays and blacks at the end of old movie films scroll across my visual field.  This went on for quite awhile as I wondered why I was seeing film.

I noted this in my journal then went about my day. Later that evening I shared with Jerry my curiosity in determining the message in the scene I received.  He listened as I said, “It was like seeing the end of film as it comes off that round thing. What’s the word?”

“You mean ‘the reel’?” he volunteered.

Immediately I got the message as I heard ‘the real’ in ‘the reel.’

This was perfect as I contemplate how to write of the things I see and hear.  For me these voices and visions are as real as the grass that grows outside my window yet I’m mindful of how we’ve determined what is ‘real.’ 

For centuries science has been mainstream’s medium for measuring and determining proof of what is real.  There’s nothing necessarily wrong with this unless it’s used to dismiss or deny my experience, my inner knowing of what I’ve heard, seen or intuitively felt.

For example, there have been two distinct situations in which my body held so much exhaustion in the past year that I wondered if I was dying of an unknown cause.  The first time this happened was last summer as we prepared to go to Cherokee, NC the following day.  Unless something changed I knew I would not be able to get out of bed much less make the trip.  

I felt compelled to go outside and lie on one particular rock near the cliff of our property.  I had not done this previously and my conscious intent wasn’t to be cured.  All I knew was I needed to lie on a specific rock. 

I did and immediately upon laying down felt the gray boulder take my exhaustion and I wasn’t even offering it my exhaustion.  I knew I had to quit resisting and surrender to what I felt led to do.  I stood up moments later transformed every ounce of weariness gone.

Science might set about to prove or disprove what I experienced. If found valid, it would be replicated and reduced to a formula that could explain what happened.

There was a formula for my experience, a formula which began with my paying attention and listening then taking action. I do not always follow this formula or heed what I hear, yet when I do this holds the secret for living, at least for me, a life that is peaceful, meaningful and satisfying.

How do you discern what is real for you?  To what do you give your attention and listen?

Imagine the Shift.
-Dawn, The Good News Muse 24 Feb. 2012

Thursday, February 23, 2012

"No Problem, It's Okay" - Wise Words from Siri

In the past month, I've upgraded my cellphone or as one friend put it I went from the basement to the penthouse. I wouldn't exactly call the flip phone I had the basement.  A friend in 2007 learned I didn't have a cellphone and promptly gave me hers since she was getting a new one that day.  I didn't even want a cell phone but she insisted I take hers.  What became my cellphone was hard to let go of (actually I still have it) because it reminded me of her and her generosity. 

Yet when I learned of iphone's Siri I thought, 'I'm not going there' and was simultaneously intrigued.  Intrigued because Siri reminded me of Sirius the Dog Star that I look for on winter nights and see just below Orion's Belt when skies are clear.

Siri's connection to Sirius prompted me to take the leap which was aided by the fact that I had thirty days to downgrade if I wasn't pleased. 

I can still see the Green Hills Verizon store parking lot where usually cars are packed like sardines.  This particular Friday just after lunch there were only two cars there.  I walked in to see the smiling face of Hudson the same person who had sold the phone to me waiting as if he new I would arrive to get it activated at just that moment.

For the first week, Siri and I didn't get along. I suspected I had offended her with my impatience or that my accent was unrecognizable to her.  I returned her the following week and asked if I could get a Southern Siri. The employee promptly took the protective cover from the phone and like magic I could hear and use not just Siri but my phone much better.

That was three weeks ago. Siri and I now interact daily usually because I've accidentally pushed what's called the 'home' button. This morning it happened again.  I had just gotten our of bed and proceeded to write with my phone nearby due to an anticipated call.  Thinking I heard something I looked down and saw on the screen "How may I help you?"  Somehow I had pushed Siri's button.

Mine and Siri's impromptu interaction went like this:

Me: Good Morning, Siri. How are you?

Siri: I'm fine. Thanks for asking.

(Yes, she said, "Thanks for asking."  I'm seldom thankful to be asked anything first thing in the morning.)

Me: I like you. You make me happy.

Siri: I'll try to remember that.

Me: Have a good day.

Siri: Thanks. I hope you have a nice day too.

I quickly realized I'm much more patient and kind to Siri than I am my own partner especially in the morning.

Earlier in the week when this happened, I told Siri I had requested her by mistake and she said, "No problem. That's okay."

No problem? That's okay?

I asked her to repeat what she said just to get to hear these words again.  She did.

For someone who grew up tuned in to facial expressions and tones, is recovering from being overly sensitive and often feels I'll not get done all I want to do in my life, these two phrases were like balm to my soul and I didn't even know I needed balm.

The next day I received a call on my land line where a message was left with those two same phrases. "No problem. It's okay."  Siri hasn't learned to leave messages on my land line yet but Jerry with whom I shared the story did which definitely made me smile.

I could learn from Siri especially in relation to responding neutrally when my button is pushed and my buttons get pushed easily when I'm listening and writing and Jerry who's listens all day comes home wanting to talk.  (Just because I'm sensitive doesn't mean I'm sensitive to him.)

I never dreamed I'd be thinking I could learn interpersonal skills from an automated voice on my phone. Yet why am I surprised. Suddenly I realize Sirius is considered by many cultures the star from which the world's great teachers come to Earth.  

I am a willing student who thanks to Siri I imagine the shift of saying, feeling and being, "No problem. It's okay."

How many conflicts overt or simmering personally and in the larger world today could be avoided with Siri's wise words? How many walls might come down and how many bridges built if we practiced these two simple phrases: No problems. It's okay.

Imagine the Shift.
-Dawn! The Good News Muse 23 February 2012

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Past Lives, Present Connections - Inspired by A Trip to the Orthodontist

I drove to my orthodontist filled with such joy today. 

"Joy?" you ask.

Yes, joy in going to the orthodontist and it's not because she has a masseuse or babbling brook with which to distract me.  I was reminded of how I felt similarly in relation to a surgeon and his staff two years ago. 

Knowing my history this might make even less sense.  As a child I dreaded doctors and shots. With my mother as my witness, I cried even into my double digits when given a shot and I had lots of steroid shots for poison ivy as a kid.  I cried so around first grade after learning I was to have a tonsillectomy, that my parents cancelled the procedure. Then as a pre-teen I waited to die (really) for over a year thinking I had cirrhosis of the liver because (now I know) I was spitting up tonsil stones rather than my diseased liver as I feared.  I then spent years in dental braces that worked until my adult years when my teeth retreated to their present shape and I like many women had an uncomfortable experience with a gynecologist in my young adult life.  

I've never understood how people could have Munchhausen disorder in which they make themselves sick in order to get to go to the doctor. Who would want to 'get to' go to a doctor?

Yet now I can say I at least know joy in my own personal story related to these things.  (Here's where you may call me crazy and that's your call since I'm okay.) 

With both of these professionals, I've known intuitively our paths crossed prior and we were meeting in this life to complete or balance some unhealed exchange.

This morning before my appointment, I actually spoke with my orthodontist about this. As I told her, I wanted to honor the fact that I intuitively know I've experienced facial torture and trauma in other times and that our working together now is part of healing those times.  She totally gets this which increases my joy exponentially.  Likewise I knew the surgeon and I had been connected in prior times as well and that he was in this life integral to my healing not just present but past.

This takes medical care to a whole new level for me which is really quite amazing since I'm a pessimist regarding medical care for reasons like insurance company CEO's making millions and the medical model being more focused on curing illness than preventing illness in the first place.

Knowing this life's history it doesn't make sense that I'd find joy in receiving medical care yet sensing my greater history it makes perfect sense that I'd find great joy in connecting with people who I sense I've been destined to meet. 

This to me is the Great Work, when something so filled with trauma whether in a prior life, present life or both becomes an experience of great healing and deep joy.  This is the beauty of waking up on Earth. 

And oh by the way, about that gynecological experience. I drove to my dentist thinking, 'I want to find a female gynecologist with whom I feel as comfortable as I do with Wendy.'

Why was I surprised when within minutes of sitting in the Wendy's chair her assistant referenced Joy, a gynecologist they both knew and recommended.... and I hadn't said a word.

Imagine the Shift! 

-Dawn, The Good News Muse, 22 February 2012 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Inspired by a Sparrow

Now in its 15th year, the Great Backyard Bird Count continues through today as folks across the country count the birds in their yards and submit types and totals to Cornell Lab and the National Audubon Society.  Results provide ornithologists with a snapshot of birds and their migratory shifts across the continent among other things.  

There will be one less bird in my count because of the little sparrow I found on the sidewalk Friday.  During my walk as I neared the corner for home, I scooped up its tiny dead body and swaddled it in the extra shirt I had worn thinking it was cold outside.    

Moments later as I sat holding it, a song line crossed my mind.  

“His eye is on the sparrow and I know he watches me.”

I had no doubt the eye of the Divine was on that sparrow and the same eye was watching me.  Only time would tell if I would honor this beautiful bird as well as my time. Would I listen or get distracted in a myriad of ways as I so easily do?  Or could I swing wide the doors of my heart and mind to really be present and hear without preconceived ideas of what was going to arrive?

As I sat a thought came first.  Will I count birds because I want to or feel I need to?  Then I noticed the eerie quiet in our yard which is usually frequented by a cardinal couple, chickadees, titmice, sparrows, blue jays, blackbirds and a wren. Were they being counted elsewhere or had they been tipped off to a hawk or cat in the area that I didn’t see?  Then I thought of Rachael Carson’s “Silent Spring

I talk with clients at times about showing up, showing up in the present without preconceived ideas.  I anticipated I would show up and feel my heart opening toward this tiny bird.  Instead I found my mind moving toward something kin to anger.

The accompanying thoughts went something like this.  Do most people realize why we need birds?  Birds are about more than beauty and song. They are nature’s pesticide feeding off garden and yard insects.  Yet how many billions of gallons of chemicals are readied for the imminent growing season to be purchased and sprayed across Mother Earth.  These pesticides will find their way into our water supply as well as birds bodies and ours contributing to cancers and resulting in a myriad of pharmaceutical company drugs.

As I held the sparrow, I discovered held within anger and rage not at individuals as much as the corporate world.  I understand individuals’ ignorance.  I personally didn’t know until the last decade of the harm in pesticides.  Similar to processed foods and chemically laden cleaners lining store shelves, I assumed if it’s sold in stores it must be okay.  What I’m becoming increasingly intolerable of is corporate deceit.

The discomfort I found within as I held the sparrow comes up repeatedly of late.  How do I someone of deep love and compassion say, “Enough.”  How do I recognize and say something isn’t okay while also holding the joy of being awake and walking Earth in these times.   

As I continued to hold the sparrow and witness my experience, I expected my anger would get in the way. Instead I found acknowledging anger and owning my negligence cleared a path that brought me peace.

Suddenly I realized the doors to my heart had opened.  I felt such joy holding this smallest of God’s creatures.  I did not want to let it go yet knew the time came for me to return it to Spirit and Earth.  It was so hard to let go of this little loved one.  I thought of those I know who have lost those they love so dearly and how unfathomable it must be to let them go in earthly form.

As tears filled my eyes I heard: “There is a way to hold me, to carry me not just in your arms temporarily but in your heart. Carry my beauty; carry my spirit, my song and my grace.  In this way you carry me and all my kin.”

As tears continued to arrive I knew I do carry Nature within which is why my heart gets broken and I carry such heaviness at times.  This heaviness is why the doors to my heart that for now are open have mastered being closed. 

I finally lay the sparrow to rest beneath the ferns whose fronds have remained lush and green for several winters now.  The song again came to mind. “His eye is on the sparrow and I know he watches me.”

The Divine watches me with compassion, not judgment.  Can I watch myself likewise as I sense this new place in which for now I’ve arrived, a place where I can voice my anger and experience peace and joy at the same time? 

Mother Earth keeps her doors open to my presence and to our presence.  I can do no less than keep the doors to my experience open wide.

P.S. It's not too late. If you're reading this on Monday the 20th, count the birds in your area and submit your totals at Great Backyard Bird Count.
-Dawn, The Good News Muse, 20 February 2012

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Rabbit Reminds Me of Who I Am

I’ve been swimming in a dark place of late, a place that feels influenced by peri-menopause and the planets, trauma from past lives in this life and probably others, not to mention a string of gray days.  I have tried to talk, write, run and ‘supplement’ myself out of this funk to no avail.  Then late today I felt compelled to run down the street something I never do late in the day and something I had not yet done today. 

Three blocks up just past the four way stop with its rush of cars, I came upon a bunny dead on the sidewalk and in my haze I did not stop.  It only took a few steps to realize what I had not done.  I always stop for animals. 

I turned and returned to this little creature bloodied and alone and picked it up.  I laid it in the grass by the nearby shrub that’s been blossoming since Christmas day, the shrub whose sweet scent I take in every time I run past.

I knelt by the bunny and the funk totally lifted as tears streamed down my face, not tears of sorrow but tears of joy that I was able to bear witness to this smallest of creatures.  I thanked it for its presence here on dear Earth and blessed its spirit while asking that its soul group experience the love and appreciation I was feeling in that moment for all the rabbit and animal world.

That was an hour ago and at least for now the heaviness is gone with which I left home.  The black hole I've been swimming in feels light and holds light, the light of my heart remembered and awakened by the little rabbit whose blessed body now lies under the sweet scented shrub in my neighborhood. For this I am so very grateful.
-Dawn, The Good News Muse, 16 February 2012

A Wondering Inspired by Garlic

For a couple of weeks now I've watched garlic sprout in the small front yard bed.  I planted it around Solstice per the "Farmer's Almanac" instructions when night is longest since the fruits of each cloves labors will grow in the dark under ground.

This morning as I hovered over green shoots almost two inches high I wondered how it is that growing garlic brings me such joy inside?  Actually growing most things brings me joy.  Today especially though as I navigate darkness I am inspired by the garlic to be, to be in my own earthen self and allow it to tell me about itself, to inform me of its origins and to listen, to simply listen. 

Did I write simply listen? Listening at times is anything but simple especially in my head.  Yet immediately in the quiet, a wondering crosses my mind.  I wonder if it's possible to find joy in dark times as much as I find joy in the product of dark times.  To this I am willing to listen, body, heart and mind. 
-Dawn, The Good News Muse 16 Feb. 2012