Coming to my blog site is like visiting an old friend that has been a long time gone.
It’s late. I need to go to bed and rest, for tomorrow is another day of dawn to dusk laboring. I am in a birthing process. It is not a human baby I am birthing, well perhaps in a way, but I will get to that. What I am birthing is a dream.
For years I have dreamed of a gathering of all my beloved friends and family…a coming together of many souls whose only connection to one-another is me. From around the globe they will come and as their eyes meet for the first time they will see a kindred spirit. They will know one another in an instant of soul recognition. Eyes will light up with smiles and arms will hold one another in the warmth of loving embraces.
I am birthing this dream by creating a space for such gatherings. Each day is a labor of love but as in all birthings there are moments of fear and pain.
There is spilled blood, dripping sweat, and nights of aching muscles and deep fatigue.
Through it all is a push to complete. The urge to reach the climatic moment of revelation is intense. It is what wakes me at 5:30 with instant alertness and clarity of purpose. It is what keeps me moving from project to project, checking off one after the next as they reach completion. It is what makes my heart sing with joy when I vision the gathering of friends who will soon be crossing the threshold of Mountain Valley Retreat.
The birthing of Mountain Valley Retreat is also the birthing of me. Through this creation I am coming out as myself. Everything about this place represents my authentic self.
I wrote a letter this morning and I share some of it here because it speaks to all of my new and old heart connections…
I have often felt awe at the connections I have with you and others in my life that are beyond my ordinary understanding. I can only imagine that we are interrelated throughout many lives as I recall a book I once read called Return of the Revolutionaries. Dr. Epstein explains about “Soul Groups.”
Soul Groups are individuals who make a pact on a soul level to move through lifetimes together; changing roles, changing gender, race, ethnicity and interrelationships. A friend in one lifetime may have been a wife, child, parent, or someone else in a previous lifetime. The group has a common thread running through all their lives and relationships. I think he called it the Soul Group Mission. It is a large-scale mission, shifting the global thought field. The group Dr. Epstein tracked in his book was revolutionaries in the American Revolution and continue to walk the cutting edge of revolutionary thought regardless of their occupations in this life. (Oprah Winfrey is an incarnation of one of the souls he tracked.)
When I read the book, it rang true for me. I have noticed that in the past 20 years, and especially in the past 6 years, the friends that I have deep heart-felt connections with, practice healing methods that are outside the mainstream view of medicine. They include art therapists, organic farmers, teachers, writers, actors, sound healers, energy workers, yogis, bodyworkers, psychologists, movement therapists, physicists, shamans, and non-traditional nurses and doctors.
I think that our “soul group” chose the mission of changing the worldview regarding healing.
I have no doubt that you and I are partners in this soul group and that we are affecting the global field with our beliefs and actions regarding the way healing happens.
Interestingly, it is a return to indigenous ways supported by modern science. Quantum physics has now proven what the ancient mystics intuitively knew: every thought-form put into the field affects the field.
All fields entrain themselves toward the strongest, most organized field. Our thoughts draw to our awareness from the unlimited Universal field of all-potential the experience we are having.
The most intriguing and thrilling aspect of my life is the repeated experiences I have that support this belief. When I meet someone from my Soul Group, we both experience a feeling of remembering and reconnecting on a soul level. The level of comfort and communication is deep and immediate. I am smiling as I think about what the future is holding for us, just waiting for us to think the thought!
It is early morning and I am here. I am committed to writing daily for ten weeks as part of Susanna Harwood Rubin’s writing circle, “Write Your Practice-2013.” This writing circle has the added element of Yoga. Susanna is a yoga teacher and student of Hindu Mythology, a subject of long-standing interest for me.
I feel empowered by choosing to write this morning. I realize how much I missed the discipline I kept sacred for six months from January through June of this year. I stopped the practice in July as I prepared to be away from home for five weeks. I am grateful to have found the inspiration to return to my writing practice. Thank you, Susanna!
The theme for week one is “Finding Your Voice” represented by the Hindu deity and mythological being, Ganesha. Easily recognized by his elephant head, I regard Ganesha, the patron of intellect and wisdom, during this writing session. It is a common Hindu practice to honor Ganesha, the Hindu god of beginnings, at the start of a ritual or ceremony.
Today is the start of such a ritual for me. I invoke Ganesha and welcome his support in this new writing endeavor.
Susanna offered some intriguing prompts for this week’s writing. As I read through them, two stand out. The first is to explore my story through the objects around me. “In what ways is my personal creation myth represented by the objects I choose to have near me? What do those objects have to tell about themselves and about me?”
The second concept that attracts me is, “Always be poised at a threshold and then move through it – embrace change.” I wonder about the thresholds I have crossed in my lifetime and how well I have embraced the changes that ensued.
My monitor sits on top of a wooden box that was a gift from my Japanese sister, Keiko. Kay is an artist who creates beautiful objects from glass, yarn, fabric, wood and metal. She built the box and painted it inside and out in a Scandinavian style of artistic design. She incorporated my name on the lid. I have had the box for over forty years and it has until recently held keepsakes and letters that touched my heart. When I remodeled my laundry room into an office, my monitor needed a platform to raise it and the box was perfect. I like that I look at it every day when before it was hidden in a cabinet. I feel my connection to Kay through it.
As I consider it now and give it a “voice” this is what I hear:
“I am a loving expression of the Divine Feminine. Through me, Kay reveals her compassion. She demonstrates her intention to serve. I am showing you the intricate details of nature finely created by Kay’s pure focus and rapt attention. Feel into my field and experience her joyfulness as she participates in this beautiful creation.”
I feel deeply touched by my experience with this box that I have kept close for so many years. Kay was a heart opening influence in my life for the year she lived with my family. I was twelve years old and she was an eighteen-year-old American Field Service student from Yokohama, Japan. I absolutely adored her. She and I spent endless hours sewing doll clothes, making origami cranes, and playing cards.
I understand now why she spent more time with me than my sister, Sandy, who was eighteen. The more sheltered and innocent upbringing of Japanese youth was not equal to the American teen’s level of sophistication, even in 1962. Kay and I were more alike in our interests and emotional maturity even though we were six years apart…and we shared an interest in artistic endeavors. I loved to draw, paint and sew and she was my more-than willing teacher.
I look at this box she made for me and tears come to my eyes. I miss her. I am so grateful for the gift she was to me at that formative time in my life. She is a gem to be treasured. Ah, now I understand why I have kept this box near me all these years.
I have missed writing…The many tasks necessary to ready myself to be gone for five weeks (starting tomorrow) have taken precedence.
For the next five weeks I will be at Esalen Institute in Big Sur, CA. I will be assisting two workshops, Healing From the Core, Full Body Presence and Healing the Pelvic Floor. I will also be assisting a month long Legacy Work Study Program, Leadership and Presence. I will be teaching yoga classes and co-leading the workshop, Skills to Energize Your Life. I will be lead therapist in multi-hands Cranio-Sacral sessions for the staff, as part of the Visiting Teacher Program.
It will be a rich and full five weeks. Full of experiences, full of opportunities, full of friendship, full of laughter, full of tears, full of excitement, full of healing, full of love, full of fun!
The fullness of what I am walking toward is matched in turn with the fullness of what I am leaving. This is an opportunity to let go of that which I am want to cling to. I am letting go of the daily connection I have with G. I will miss him, a lot. I am letting go of the daily experience of my two new kitties, our “children” that are our daily delight. I know when I return they will be much more developed and I hate to miss that time with them. Dozer won’t have his balls when I get back….poor baby. I am letting go of Mountain Valley Retreat and my work crew who will do things without me while I’m gone and I hate missing out on that. I am go of my friends, students and clients all of whom I see at least weekly. Without all of these connections and experiences my life will not be what it was. My day to day life is amazing and letting go of it for five weeks is my practice now. Trust and let go….oh, yes, I know that feeling…I can do this.
I feel so grateful for the opportunity to be of service at Esalen. It is a win-win situation and my heart gives a full-bodied heart “YES” to the Esalen Experience!
So without any cell service, and limited phone and internet access I will be “off-the’grid” which has it’s downside and its very HUGE upside! Once adjusted to living without technology and connection to the outside world, a shift happens that is a beautiful letting down of tension. Having the time to live in nature, not just visit it, revitalizes me deep to my bones.
Perhaps my schedule will allow me to carve out the time to write every day…that will be sweet. If not, I trust that my time will be well spent in other endeavors.
A friend sent this to me today…I am closing my page with it:
“Often the feeling of loneliness results not from a lack of people to entertain us but from the absence of an adult self to nurture our inner child who feels abandoned in some way. (Loneliness is also an appropriate way to feel as we make transitions, take a stand, become more spiritually awake, or find ourselves.) We may take loneliness literally and look for company in all the wrong places. … The words of … Natalie Goldberg … ‘Use loneliness. Its ache creates urgency to reconnect with the world. Take that aching and use it to propel you deeper into your need for expression–to speak, to say who you are.’ ”
–David Richo’s “How to be an Adult in Relationships”
I was married on July 17, 1973, forty years ago today. I am no longer married and have no intention to marry again…and, I never know what lies around the bend in my path.
My parents have been married seventy years. They modeled for me a marriage that lasts. The difference between their marriage and mine appears to be that my mother has been an excellent accommodator…not I.
I tried, but never got the hang of accommodating my husband’s wishes without feeling resentful when it was never his turn to accommodate me. Of course, that is my perspective…I am sure his story sounds quite different.
I have two friends who have been married to one another all of their adult lives and they are a joy to be with as a couple. The three of us traveled together for several weeks in a foreign country. We have also house-shared on a number of occasions over the last few years. This intimate sharing of space and time has allowed me an inside look at their marriage.
I have observed gentleness in the way they relate to one another. They have genuine concern for one another’s happiness. They carve out the time to consider each other’s needs and they care enough to try to meet them. They both have generous natures and this extends beyond their relationship to their children, their families, their colleagues and friends. The most significant factors I have observed in this beautiful marriage, is recognition and respect for their diversity and the ability to let down all pretense and laugh with each other at themselves.
Love is a word that is so overused it has lost its power for me. I understand humankind’s constant attempts to conceptualize it; I just feel those attempts usually fall short. Being with my friends, I see beyond the concept into the experience. With them, I see what love is and I realize what makes a marriage not just last, but flourish.
I am in a relationship with a man who gives me hope that I too may have finally found an experience of love that takes me beyond the concept to the experience. Trust is key.
“You folks have watches, but you no have time.” (These words were spoken by Aromai, a Micronesian palu to Elizabeth Lindsey, National Geographic writer.) I don’t own a watch…and yet I struggle to carve out enough time to attend to all the ideas that arrive in my mind each day asking for attention. I am glad to see that I am here writing again. Not writing for three days disturbed me. I had a variety of thoughts about the fact that I was not showing up to write as I have for the past six months. I let myself down. I felt feelings akin to betrayal. My reply to those feelings was that I was boring myself. I no longer found my writing exciting or interesting. I felt like I had “jumped the shark.” I reminded myself to go back and read what I wrote on page one: “What will come from my mind each morning? Thought Vapors? Mind Medicine? Brain Matter? Ice Crystals? Bull Shit? Wise Words? The good news is…it does not matter. The only thing that matters is the practice of writing.” I again vow to myself to write each day, regardless of content. It is a discipline, or as Pressman describes in his book by the same name, the war of art. If I do not show up in this seat each day and put my fingers on the keys, nothing will ever be written. An artist cannot wait for inspiration. A writer must put her ass in the seat and trust that her heart and mind will follow. If I bore myself, so be it. If I am uninspired by my writing I will read other’s words for inspiration. I will write for the sake of writing. I will write because I made a promise to myself and I strive to be impeccable with my word. This is an opportunity not to be missed…a chance to prove myself worthy of trust. When I show up at the keyboard each morning, I am showing up for myself. This is not about the words, the readers or the quality of my writing. This is about having integrity with myself. In truth, showing up each day and writing is an act of self-love. I forgive myself for my lapse and accept the challenge anew. Here I am on page 189, July 9, 2013. I am in month seven, over halfway to my goal of 365 days. My document word counter reads 78,545 and this is my 200th blog post…it is all good. For better or worse, I am back.
I have been nagging at myself because I have missed a few mornings of writing. There is a part of me that worries I will stop writing all together. Her name is Nag. I am saying to her now that my priorities shifted while Brekk, Tonya, and my granddaughters were here. It was more important for me to spend time with them then to write.
I am Grandma CiCi. I am the one who fixes great food, goes to the beach, the zoo and sailplane riding. I am the grandma who takes the girls hiking and rolls on the floor with them in “laugh therapy.”
They are gone now and I miss them. I am here now…at the keyboard fulfilling my commitment to write. So please, Dear Nag, understand about commitments and priorities and how they are ever-shifting and changing. Nothing is set in stone at CiCi’s house.
Living in the Flow of Life (I dedicate this poem to my granddaughters, Lauren and Amber)
Each moment a new beginning
Every breath a birthing
Into the moment that is rising
I listen for the sounds of nature
I look with softened gaze
Drinking in the room with my eyes
I feel into my life as a living, breathing entity
To be loved and nurtured,
Honored and respected
I give myself free rein to walk slowly, run quickly or dance.
In this moment, I laugh with delight
I say HA!