finding the bars to your cage…

Super exciting to be a woman today, and seems we’re on our way to aligning back with our original design and purpose; deciding how others think we look is less important than how we feel doing what we want to be doing. All of us, the whole collective consciousness of this planet is seeing the change that needs to occur, and more importantly, we are acting on it. Literally calling people out, and holding them accountable; no longer is crime unstoppable, we have DNA; women will be respected, and men will stop subjugating women; immigration, education, and health care will get a reboot; campaign reform, lobbyists and corporate greed will be put in check; climate change will bring about our new lifestyles.

Do I sound a bit optimistic? Of course, I aim for the heights and keep my eye on the view when I fall short. That is how we get there, and I have faith that we will. I vow to endure the tough changes, to see our new plans through, and to not hold too tight to what is not working, but keep going forward with honorable intentions. How can we go wrong with this plan as our motto?!!

My children will learn from example how to lead their lives, they will see by example how to regain respect for a nation. I see the light that we have in us, and I feel the movement upon us. Embrace this time… for it is precious, and it is needed. Love to all, and to all – please treat yourself with kindness!

This work will require cleansing our palates from some degenerative habits, but this is good work to do for a healthy planet full of love. More specifically, we have to let some of our judgements go, and open up to the possibility that we do not know it all. Again, I see this possibility as a tangible goal, but we all have to agree on a simple foundation.

ALL OF LIFE IS A MUTATION…

WE WERE NOT THE ONE’S WHO STARTED THE PROCESS,

AND WE DO NOT GET TO DECIDE WHEN WE ARE DONE EVOLVING.

PLEASE STOP TELLING PEOPLE WHO THEY CAN LOVE

OR WHERE THEY CAN LIVE, OR WORK,

OR HOW THEY SHOULD LOOK, SPEND TIME, OR DREAM TO BE.

I AM ME, YOU ARE YOU, AND THEY ARE THEM

AS LONG AS I RESPECT YOUR RIGHT TO BE YOU,

YOU CANNOT HARM ME OR STOP ME

OR SHAME ME FROM BEING WHO…

 I AM MEANT TO BE.

Letting go is a process that can affect several layers of our lives; the first step is recognizing there is a previously held value that is not a truth. This can be in many areas of your life, but let’s look at religion as an example; maybe you are thinking Jesus was an inspirational leader, and a darn good one. You could choose to ignore any others that thought differently, or worse, condemn and abuse those that hold the son of God in the hearts. Neither option gets you engaged in the beauty and community of diversity that reigns on this planet; instead, you would be confined within your clearly defined walls, holding others accountable for your decisions. The moment one throws shade, makes a judgement, condemns someone for their personal choices in life, for how they look, act or engage with this world… is the moment the bars are placed around oneself.

I adore Madisyn Taylor’s distinction between opinion and judgement:

When we make a judgment, we attempt to have a final say on whether someone or something is inherently good or bad. Judgments close us down instead of opening us up; opinions have a lighter quality and are amenable to change. Once a judgment has been made, there is no more conversation or consideration, whereas opinions invite further debate. Intuition guides us from moment to moment, but, unlike judgment, never makes a final decree. In other words, it is only healthy to be open to the information we receive and to allow ourselves to process that information. As long as we stay open and fluid, we can trust that we have not fallen prey to the trap of judgment.

I have been trying to express my views on politics with those that have an opposing, “happy as things are” outlook on Washington’s new family. What has helped is not coming from the bowels of, “you are wrong, and how can you possibly think this way?!!” That only put me in a bad place; instead, I now try to look at my fellow conversationalists as people worthy of respect, and I become more curious about our conversation. Inevitably, I walk away with the realization that we have similar preferences, and it feels good to walk away closer to each other, rather than at odds.

And this is what the macrocosm of our culture is on the verge of releasing; our deeply held (prejudiced) beliefs, and misgivings of trust in a capitalistic system. Many labels are being thrown around, but labelling and name-calling are what we need to change. There is nothing to fear from a word, it is the actions behind them that should be feared; we have certainly all fallen prey to a bully calling us a derogatory name, or worse, our parents may have belittled us into thinking their plan is the best plan. When we are willing to look past the power of a word, and instead seek to find the truth behind the fear that word created; that is where resolution, compassion and union can be found. And that is worth repeating:

When we are willing to look past the power of a word,

and instead seek to find the truth behind the fear that word created;

that is where resolution, compassion, and union can be found.

I have always found it easy to see varying viewpoints on a topic, and to go with the flow when I know I am outnumbered or outwitted. When no one means to offend, why would I not be willing to bend for another when called upon (for good cause). I do not like to be cocooned in by my own ideology, and I may need a couple bonks on the head to rattle a stronghold loose, but I will make adjustments for the higher good.

 

___________________________

JOURNAL PROMPTS…

Have your rigid beliefs created a block in your life?

How do you think you could help move your efforts forward?

How do you think that could help change the world?

 

 TahoeBoho.com

 

 

unplugged…

“I become a schizophrenic bore

when I combat in the corporate rat race…

Love is my kingdom,

I am done competing.

The worth of my find is self-evident,

as my soul awakens on this enlightened path.”

early 1994

I wrote this while working my way through the inspired workbook, Zen and the Art of Making a Living, written by Lawrence Boldt.  I was living in Los Angeles at the time and working at Paramount Pictures; I moved down there with the intent of directing movies, good movies.  Didn’t accomplish that dream, but found another path to follow.  I started writing and taking a photography class; I truly enjoyed my time in that city, it’s such a creative and inspiring environment.  The only thing that town really lacks is an appreciation for nature, but there was rarely a dull moment.

I remember enjoying meeting new people and finding out what their passions were, as that is what LA is all about, passion!  For me, it was a time best described as “unplugged”… an electrical cord wafting in the breeze, waiting to be connected to the universe – yep, that was me!  Funny though, now that I’ve been plugged in for so long… I sometimes yearn for those acoustic days.  I truly felt I had the true vision for how best to inhabit this planet & it went like this:

“People live closer to nature, love becomes the goal to make your life the best — the highest value; community is strong, peace reigns, fun abounds, light-hearted rejoicing.”

Vaguely sounds like a party in the woods!!  Regardless, although I had written that down, I soon had a “revelation”, and I divined that FAMILY is the real purpose of life; community and love could both be found in family, and then would follow contentedness and peace.  This was the moment that I finally came to want to start a family, to share the love that I knew would blossom on this path.

I now believe family is the extension of what Wayne Dyer refers to in his quote, “we are because we belong.”  Likewise, in the movie, “I Am”, Tom Shadyac claims that. “The truth of who we are is that we are because we belong… the basis of nature is cooperation and democracy – it’s in our DNA.”  I left Los Angeles in 1995, I had two options; to head to NYU for my masters in Interdisciplinary Studies or return to San Francisco where I felt I could mature into my destiny of wife and mother.  I actually knew that my future hubby was now ready to meet me too… I felt that if I did not accept my fate, I would lose my one love forever!

“I know from whom I run,

from myself!

I cannot hide or make fun.

It is time to decide my fate,

No fear,

I now choose to create.”

mid 1994

Fast-forward to my 30-year reunion one year later, just before I officially returned to Northern California… where I started dating and fell in love with my husband.  For the record, nothing was forced or fabricated; we fell head over heels, best friends forever, want to jump your bones, all rolled into one kind-of-love.  Pretty amazing, then and in hindsight!!

Three years after marriage, we started creating our two beautiful kids; that was when life changed forever.  I can still remember the first moment I held my baby girl and the small, ever-so-quiet panic that swept over me… I was responsible for another human being.  I could raise a dog, but could I handle the responsibility of a human?  Will I be a good parent?  Was I crazy for thinking I could do this?  Ahhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!

Luckily, I did remain calm and life did move along; but I changed a little bit every day.  I stopped searching for meaning in life, stopped writing eventually, and stopped caring for anything other than the well-being of my family.

Fast forward again, to now, where I am still busy raising my kids, but teenagers have a knack for pushing their parents away; providing the well-deserved time and energy for other endeavors… and I am reborn.  Actually, I credit my battle with ovarian cancer for my rebirth, but the timing is the same and I am so grateful for this new adventure.  I am putting effort into a project that provides me a daily dose of joy; I truly do not have a plan for where these efforts are leading me.  I just feel pure satisfaction posting my blogs & that’s enough for now!

PeaceLove&EtnernalGroovinessB&W www.TahoeBoHo.com

Walt Whitman & Me…

Spent this past weekend purging our garage and came across a healthy stack of random papers, letters & small notebooks; which later turned into a couple hours of riveting entertainment.  I also fell in love with Walt Whitman’s writings & can finally answer the old cocktail conversation question:

“If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would it be?”

What I would love to find out is whether he truly lives his quote, “I exist as I am, that is enough.”  It is a lesson most learn too late in life to truly enjoy its’ worth; so, did he get to enjoy it?  Or was this simply an affirmation he would like to share with people?!!  The poet obviously captured my imagination back in my late 20’s… but he is also responsible for me researching the transcendental movement originating & thriving during the first half of the 1800’s.

I completely respond and relate to this movement; transcendentalists were strong believers in the power of the individual.  Their beliefs are not based on the physical experience, but on the inner spiritual or mental essence of the human.  I remember a conversation I had back in high school with my dad, about religion & how I would turn to God in a time of crisis.  He said, “should you find yourself on a tiny ledge off the side of a cliff… you would start praying for God’s help.” It didn’t take more than a second before I calmly replied, “no Dad, I would be too busy trying to find my way off that ledge.”  I wonder if it would’ve helped me back then to have read more of Whitman or Emerson?  Certainly wouldn’t have hurt me any!!

Another quality we transcendentalists have in common (my new best friends) is the burden of looking at the world as something that needs to be fixed.  In particular, the idea that organized religion and political parties ultimately corrupt the purity of the individual.  We have faith that people are at their best when truly self-reliant and independent.  I believe this movement has been revitalized in the yoga movement going on now… maybe Walt could’ve used a good yoga master.

Ok, off track… time to come full-circle back to why I am searching through old papers and notes to find some coherence or reason for this blog… and then I found my inspiration while reading Walt’s poem “O ME!  O Life!” and the “Answer” he provided was exactly what I needed to read that night:

O ME!  O life!… of the questions of these recurring:

Of the endless trains of the faithless – of cities fill’d with the foolish;

Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?)

Of eyes that vainly crave the light – of the objects mean –of the struggle ever renew’d;

Of the poor results of all—of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me;

Of the empty and useless years of the rest—with the rest me intertwined;

The question, O Me! So sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?

Answer:

That you are here – that life exists, and identity;

That the powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse.

Robin Williams delivers that line so well in “Dead Poets Society”… and you will contribute a verse; brings me to tears every time!!  And now it is my turn to share a poem I wrote back in my early 20’s; it definitely shows my transcendental side:

The world offers no solace

Crying out loud

Please scream louder

Feel the abundance of pain

Live the sorrow

I feel the calling

Not of the Lord

But that of struggle

I watch the TV

I see the joy

This isn’t truth

This is a fabricated world

I yearn deeply

For a life of joy

Unity known and felt

Preach no more

We know our path

To venture alone

Wake up new world

Ideal world

Crime banished

Hate repelled

Love abounds

Knowledge leads the way

Cry not for fear

Tiers of life

And, yes… “tiers” is spelled correctly.  Please don’t think I fancy myself a poet, I just wanted to share something I found in a book I self-published back in my 20’s.  The book never went further than family and friends; it is very transparent and full of yearning, but delightfully positive when you least expect it.  I’m quite certain I will share some more in later postings… and CHEERS to my transcendental transformation!

 

PeaceLove&EtnernalGroovinessB&W www.TahoeBoHo.com

and so it begins…

I was smarter than I thought I was in my 20’s; I think it’s easier to appreciate myself now that I’m older, too many insecurities swirling around my head back then!!

 

I have decided it’s time to revisit these pages… to rummage through & see what I can cull from my past.  I’ve had this idea before but have never gotten far, and since I already committed to one year of blogging, this is a perfect time to complete the quest.  I admit, it does feel a bit self-indulgent but mostly, it feels like I’m embracing the old me.  And I can’t help but wonder what I’ve forgotten over the years!!

 

I believe reading through these pages will help me find a more solid True North, a well-rooted me!  I do not have a systemized plan for bringing my new world together with the chronological readings from the journals, but I know what my goal is:

 

By the end of my blogging year, I will find myself wiser, more patient with life… and ready to live my true north.

PeaceLove&EtnernalGroovinessB&W www.TahoeBoHo.com