Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Here we go again. Humanity's on a roll, awakening at the speed of love, co-creating ingenious solutions for local, regional and international challenges in ever more magnanimous ways. We might even be moving towards global unity.
The faster and stronger our rise in Light, the greater the resistance from forces that fear losing control. Whether we perceive these dark energies as originating from beyond the country or beyond the planet, one certainty is this: the best way to prevent questioning, growth, and union is by generating fear. Keep the people cowed and obedient, quaking within at the potential threat everywhere, and separation is assured.
After all, who can you trust when something as apple-pie American as the Boston Marathon, an institution more than a century old that attracts runners from all over the world, is tainted forever by a bombing at the finish line? How safe can we be in our backyards if something like this could happen in the midst of half a million people and all that security?
This is precisely what the instigators want. Do not trip the trap. Grieve for those injured or killed, yes. Make every effort to bring the terrorists to "justice", if such an action is possible. But don't crawl meekly back into the old skin. It's shed. It is time to arise as One and light the way to the higher truth of our intrinsic unity.
Rumi says it best:
The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don't go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
Don't go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don't go back to sleep.
** If you'd like to read the message I sent out after 9-1-1, please email me.
Saturday, April 06, 2013
Woody Allen famously said that he didn't want to achieve immortality through his work; he wanted to achieve it through not dying. While we celebrate birth, its corollary, exiting the Earth plane, is feared only slightly less than public speaking — at least, in the Western mind.
As someone with a gerontology (study of aging) background and an abiding love of elders, I've been exploring positive aging and death-related subject matter for years. I'm currently reading two complementary books with mirrored titled: From Age-ing to Sage-ing by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, and Sage-ing While Age-ing by Shirley MacLaine. MacLaine's book has been eye opening, not least because she articulates much that I've discovered/remembered on my own awakening journey, but also because she ratchets up my knowledge to the next level. In Chapter 11 (number of Aquarius), she focuses on soul development and references the work of regression therapist Michael Newton, PhD.
Suddenly I read, "All regressed souls speak of how much easier death is than birth. With death there is a release into the light. With birth there is an entrance into density." Of course! It's easier to expand than to contract.
And this awareness dovetails beautifully with another stunning book I read last year, Deathing: An Intelligent Alternative for the Final Moments of Life by Anya Foos-Graber.
Deathing is the real deal on conscious departure. We're not meant to die alone and afraid, maintains Foos-Graber. This definitive guide — the first of its kind I've seen, and it was published in 1989 — spells out clearly how each person can prepare for an informed death. Since most of us avoid any discussion of the subject, the very concept of a 'how-to' manual may sound frightening. Yet like MacLaine, Foos-Graber maintains that death can be a light-filled, spiritual experience.
We have a lot of help entering the world: we emerge from the body of our mother with attendants such as doctors, nurses, midwives, spouses and friends at the ready to welcome us and tend to the birthing mother. But there is no corresponding death ritual to support us in exiting the body we've inhabited as we return to the Great Mother of All.
Through two teaching stories, Foos-Graber shows us what both a typical, unconscious dying and a planned 'deathing' experience look like. The second half of the book provides step-by-step instructions and simple exercises such as breathing, visualization and remembering the Love that you are, to assist you in releasing the body and making a conscious, even joyful, departure from this life — and to support others in doing so.
Plus, we can rehearse while alive! Foos-Graber writes, "By practicing ahead of time with an eye toward this spiritual life insurance, you can increasingly live in an atmosphere free from fear and ignorance. A correct grasp of how to die necessarily produces an expanded philosophy of how to live more abundantly, however long or short your time of physical life."
As I was reading this book, a friend of mine's husband surrendered to cancer. Here's how she described his conscious death: "He squeezed my hand and left his breath here to begin to inhale the ethers of elsewhere. A gentle wave of joyful contentment spread out in ripples of sparkling delight. He was free again and slowly twirling in the softly glowing wonder of it all. This ethereal mist of farewell whispered through our home for an hour or so and then was gone."
So let us bow to that elephant and embrace its wisdom, rather than indulge in what MacLaine refers to as "amphysteria" ~ a condition of forgotten fear, usually of a place. We have no reason to fear expansion into the Light of All. And the elephant-headed Hindu deity Ganesh is revered as the "Remover of Obstacles". We can ride the elephant of awareness right on into the next adventure.
Friday, April 05, 2013
"Birdbrain" is not a compliment. Yet cross-culturally, indigenous peoples have depicted bird-headed people to signify a connection with the spirit realm. I have a particular affinity for crows, which became my familiar the summer I had pneumonia. I was living in a highly altered state of consciousness, and when I heard them cawing on the telephone wire outside my apartment, I began to count the caws to divine what the number might mean in my life at that time. Birds are augurs. I also began responding to the cawing crow, and we conversed. Enraptured, I penned the poem/chant that appears at the end of this post.
by Joseph Monninger. His central character is a college professor whose expertise is corvids (crows) — and she harbors a secret about her health and impending early demise. For someone who's long been fascinated by positive aging and reimagining how we perceive death, this was an irresistible combination. I recommend the book highly for its impeccable storyline and the author's courage to illumine a difficult subject with fresh eyes.
And then, synchronistically, I spied The Gift of the Crows: How Perception, Emotion, and Thought Allow Smart Birds to Behave Like Humans in my local bookstore, in which real-life college professor John Marzluff deems crows incredibly intelligent as well as playful, describing how one crow would entice neighborhood dogs away from their owners and hold "class" with the canines on the campus lawn!
So I am delighted to be a "Crow-Magnon" Woman. May my poem speak to you, and to your own special relationship with the winged familiars in your life.
Talking to Crows
© Amara Rose 7/30/93
Black-winged wisdom on a wire
Caws and effect
A coded conversation
In guttural cries
Opens my eyes
And lifts me higher.
Monday, March 18, 2013
We're verging on the Vernal Equinox, which means the Rite of Spring that one friend dubbed The Mowing is about to begin in earnest. Not a blade of grass — certainly not a weed — is safe.
I understand this obsession. Growing up in suburban America, I observed a rampant homeowner disgust with the "lowly dandelion," scourge of suburbia's well-manicured lawns. Much later, I discovered that dandelion is one of the most healing herbs available to humanity, offering itself in abundance wherever we dwell. It's a supreme liver tonic, known to help detoxify the body's "processing plant." In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the liver equates to the emotion of anger. If you want to release that pent-up rage in a healthy way, the remedy is probably available, free and easy, in your own backyard.
Dandelion can act as de facto compost, gently surrounding and helping to decompose back into rich loam that which no longer serves. Yet we curse the weed and uproot it, spray poison to keep the green carpet unsullied. "Living for the lawn" keeps us focused predominantly on the external.
When we can make the subtle shift from ego mind to Universal Mind, we see with such great clarity the incredible gifts all around us! Our teammates are everywhere, in the animal, plant and mineral kingdoms — if we have eyes to see.
As we move deeper into our collective rebirth process, we'll be releasing people and places that no longer resonate with our lives now. Doing this with what the Buddhists call lovingkindness is our mandate. It's a ripe moment to ask yourself, Who or what in my life seems like an outsider? Am I willing to look again, to become inclusive rather than exclusive, to see beyond imaginary borders?
Below are seven practical steps to enlarge the lens this Spring: to slow down and look with the eyes of wonder, like a child. You'll find many more on my CD, What You Need to Know Now: A Road Map for Personal Transformation:
- Keep a journal. Buy a beautiful blank book and a pen that feels comfortable in your hand. Then allow yourself to write whatever and whenever you want. No one else need ever read it unless you choose to share, so send the censor packing! Journaling is like ingesting dandelion leaves with your pen — a great way to purge emotions and discover what really matters to you. And writing by hand is very different from blogging online.
- Dance your evolutionary process. Do you instinctively sway as you talk, or dance around the room when you get excited? Express your change process as flowing movement. Maybe it's yoga, or tai chi, or free-form dance, such as Contact Improv.
- Make art. Are you a natural with a paintbrush or clay? Splash your emotions onto canvas, pour them into a mold, sketch them into being. Remember, this is art from the heart: done for the sole/soul purpose of enlarging your own vision.
- Sing! Is your voice your most powerful expressive tool? If you love to sing but don't know any songs, make up nonsense words to tunes you like, and sing them — in public. This is also a fabulous way to break free of the "What will people think?" trap.
- Be in Nature. Sit by moving water. Sit in moving water. Sing while sitting in a stream!
- Prepare a meal that is as aesthetic as it is nutritious. As you combine ingredients, imagine that you are cooking up a grander vision for your life.
- Hush. Spend a day, alone or with others, in total silence.
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
I read The Alchemist perhaps fifteen years ago, but never fully grasped Paulo Coehlo's journey until today, when his semi-autobiographical The Zahir presented the key clue. In The Zahir, Coehlo chronicles his lifelong resistance and eventual surrender that allowed him to craft and publish The Pilgrimage at age 40. The Pilgrimage, his first novel, depicts his journey along the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, the transformational route in northern Spain that Shirley MacLaine also eloquently described, in The Camino.
I decided to read The Pilgrimage in 2012 after ingesting Coehlo's latest autobiographical masterpiece, Aleph. But it's only now, learning the order in which he wrote his books (The Pilgrimage first, then The Alchemist, beloved worldwide) that my ah-ha erupted: In The Alchemist, the young protagonist is named Santiago! With this brilliant literary echo, Coehlo conveys how he has become the path, his experience informing his journey and infusing the reader with faith in the outcome.
This is the essence and purpose of my own life work: to use what I have understood at each stage of my unfolding in service to the next, and to all with whom I come in contact. Are you using your life to its maximum potential, pouring the elixir of who you've been into who you're becoming?
Thursday, March 07, 2013
"We are constantly invited to be what we are."
~ Henry David Thoreau
Are you mad as hell and not gonna take it anymore? Purple with rage? Or enwrapped in wrath? Though the dictionary may use the words rage and wrath interchangeably, they are not the same. Otherwise we'd hear about "road wrath"!
Rage is a savage, devouring energy; wrath, while fierce, is also the province of the dakinis, who initiate creative change (think of the goddess Kali). Wrath is righteous; rage just wants to be right.
Since this is an ideal moment to transmute anger in the alchemical fire, several lightplayers and I filleted, seasoned and simmered a few thoughts on this distinction:
∞ "Rage is cooking without anything in the pot; wrath is cooking a full stew."
∞ "We can make medicine from joy instead of from pain."
∞ "Rage merely makes you age; wrath keeps you on the path."
The next time you get mad, get thinking: am I enraged or wrathful? Is this a purposeful fury? Am I cooking with a full pot here?
Here are some tools to assist you in enlightening up into wholeness/holiness/healing (all from the same root word, hale):
1) Laugh. The Buddha said we all want to know the answers to four key questions: "Who am I? Where did I come from? Where am I going? And will there be food there?" Laughter lights us up. Conscious evolution is purposeful play! Whatever brings you belly laughs is healthy, because laughter oxygenates body and brain, thereby strengthening our "amuse" system. Think of something that's troubling you and consider this: if it will be funny in the retelling six months hence, it's funny now — if you allow the possibility.
2) Live the WOW (Witness Our Wonder). A vivacious 73-year-old woman made a quantum shift in her thinking, from "Life is a series of emergencies," to "Life is full of surprises!" Instead of anxiously reacting to every "oh no!" she's now able to anticipate the next "ah ha!"
3) Give what you seek. Peace troubadour and author James Twyman says giving others what you most desire is the surest path to inner peace, because there is no separation between us. "If I'm lacking peace, you're lacking peace. If I give you peace, then I receive that same peace," he says.
4) Do a "vow break." This is a wonderful way to get sticky energy unstuck. You can rescind any vows you may have taken prior to incarnating to have a certain experience in this life. The formula is from the book, What Is Lightbody? by Tashira Tachi-ren. The same vow break can be found on my CD, What You Need to Know Now-A Road Map for Personal Transformation.
"I now rescind any and all vows I have taken to experience the illusion of (fill in the blank, for example, "not having enough money".) I declare this vow null and void in this incarnation and all incarnations across time and space, parallel realities, parallel universes, alternate realities, alternate universes, all planetary systems, all Source systems, all dimensions, and the Void.
"I ask for the release of all crystals, devices, thought forms, emotions, matrices, veils, cellular memory, pictures of reality, genetic limitation, and death. NOW!"
May your creative cauldron burn brightly. Happy transmutation!
Saturday, February 23, 2013
On the freeway one day, an engaging tour bus slogan snagged my attention at 65 mph: "The Art of Transportation." I maneuvered closer to read the company name and logo: "Van Go," with the image of a paintbrush daubing the "o". What a playful, memorable way to advertise bus travel! Since I've written about how to see yourself as an artist, this tickled me. As usual, it also got me thinking:
What is your vehicle of transport? Will it get you where you most need to go? And are you driving/piloting/captaining your vessel, or are you a passive passenger?
While in the throes of my awakening odyssey, I often had dreams of riding in the passenger seat of a car. It's enlightening, then, to note who (or what) is "driving you." The symbolic language of dreams can often be both revealing and humorous. A friend who taught speed-reading once dreamed of driving in a car that had no brakes — but he found he could stop it with his mind!
And I dreamed of being in a car with others as we skimmed across a shimmering sea. It felt glorious, yet even in the dream, my questioning mind wanted to know how it was possible for a car to glide effortlessly over water. The answer that came to me, not from my fellow passengers but from Existence itself, was, "If you believe there is a bridge, there is."
Here on Earth, our bodies are our primary means of transport, our third-dimensional "space suits". What shape is yours in? Will it serve you well as your bridge to quantum being-ness? It's harder to house the infinite in a neglected vessel.
Perhaps some cosmic re-coloration with the planetary paintbrush is in order. We might begin on the physical plane, and then add a little airbrushing of our mental, emotional, spiritual and causal bodies. Another dream image of mine involved walking into a doctor's waiting room and picking up a magazine entitled, "Woman, Clean the Mind."
Tossing out excess baggage from all of our bodies will make it that much easier to travel light, and travel into the Light.