Hello, dear ones. It’s been quite awhile since I’ve written, and this post will be short.
I just wanted to share with you one of the things I’ve been doing to lift up out of the heavy, painful energy that is so pervasive in the world right now. I call it joy-walking. I’m seeking out the beauty right in my neighborhood as I walk each day, and I’m practicing really taking it in, seeing the flora and fauna with fresh, open eyes, and savoring the rich intricacies of nature.
My particular method of doing this at the moment is with photographs. I recently purchased a little clip-on magnification lens for my iPhone, and the photos that I’m getting just fill me with surprise and joy.
There’s a simple yet profound message in this. When the wide lens becomes overwhelming, zoom in to what is beautiful right under your nose and let it fill up the screen of your inner landscape. This is so very healing!
When the wide lens becomes overwhelming, zoom in to what is beautiful right under your nose and let it fill up the screen of your inner landscape.
I don’t usually post twice in one week, but since I posted my first video blog earlier in the week, I felt like I needed to do another one right away, so that it wouldn’t become an anomaly. Get back on the horse, in other words. (The horse didn’t really throw me, but it was a scary ride. Thrilling but scary!)
Several years ago, I experienced a cluster of dreams, in which I was being schooled in the art of flying by illuminated beings. Angels? Aliens? Subconscious archetypes? Something I ate for dinner? I don’t know, but they were nice.
They showed me how to establish and have expectation around an intention, how to create a particular emotional state (lightness of being, of course), how to practice altering the downward thrust of gravity in my body (“as consciousness rises and becomes less dense, so does your body”), and then how to attune my hands’ sensitivity to the recognition of gravitational energy, so they could push against gravity the way magnets can repel each other. None of this was actually spoken by these beings. They simply conveyed the two-word thought: “Lift up,” which went through my brain-filter in all it’s dense and detailed language and image processing.
In these dreams I also witnessed flight happening all around me. There were hundreds of us in the outdoor school, lifting a few feet off the ground, then gliding back down, then a few feet more, then back down. The more I saw, the more I believed in the possibility.
As my sensitization to the feeling of gravity grew, my first awareness was that of my hands dragging through air, as if it had become the consistency of water. I could feel the weight and pulse of it, the texture of it. Of course, the air hadn’t changed. My consciousness had.
Over time (and through several dreams), I began to notice a shift from dragging through air to pushing it, the way magnets’ matching poles propel away from each other. And from there, I began to lift and direct myself into the sky, being filled with enthusiasm, then gripped by fear and doubt, which tumbled me back to earth. Eventually, I could sustain the joy long enough to hover around the tops of trees.
I would wake from these dreams and feel the experience so strongly in my body, that I would literally get out of bed in the middle of the night with the belief I could do this! I could “lift up!” Alas, I could not.
These nocturnal “lessons” all happened several years ago and then stopped, until the eve of my birthday this year. In this newest dream, I was no longer in school, and I’d forgotten I could fly. But due to an emergency in which I really needed to get some altitude (I’d lost my daughter at a theme park), I had the sudden recollection of my skill set and launched myself far above the treetops to scan the ground, like a hawk in search of dinner. I found my daughter and woke up, exhilarated.
We could have a field day with dream interpretation here, but the analysis, though compelling, was far less captivating to me than the actual physical sensation. I always woke up absolutely certain that physical flight as human beings is possible, because I had done it! I knew the sensation, like I knew the feeling of tossing a ball, climbing stairs, or swimming in a pool.
So, here is where my story shifts from dreamland to my backyard. And no, I did not fly in my backyard.
On my birthday morning, I was sitting on the patio with coffee and journal, writing about my flying dream, talking with Holy Spirit (my name for the Mystery) and asking (don’t laugh), “Is it indeed possible for humans to fly… for me to fly? We hear about yogis who can levitate. Am I, perhaps, being trained through dream work to do something my conscious mind wouldn’t necessarily be open to?”
I pondered and wrote, feeling sheepish, but nevertheless giving some effort to mentally lifting my butt from the seat cushions! After a very short amount of time, though, it became clear to me that no, I’m not yet schooled enough to lift these dense hips and thighs! But perhaps I could lift the leaf resting on a chair across from me? Ha! So I concentrated on the leaf, and within a couple of minutes the wind began to blow like crazy, and leaves began to fall from a nearby tree all over the patio. That one leaf on the chair, though, sat perfectly still.
It was pretty funny, as if Holy Spirit was teasing me, saying, “Seriously, honey. We have a LOT more work to do, but I hear you, and I love you for trying!” My heart became so light I couldn’t stop giggling and feeling a true sense of connection with the wind, the trees, the falling leaves. I was playing with Life, and Life was playing back! It was a perfect birthday present. This old girl still had some young girl in her!
I then heard inside my head, “Turn on your video recorder.” I immediately picked up my phone, zeroed in on that still-dead-still-leaf on the chair across from me, and waited. After fifteen seconds or so, the leaf bobbled. Just once…a little birthday bow.
Laugh, if you will, but I’m on to something. I just know it! 😉
If you have flying dreams, too, please share! What a fun conversation (and maybe a classroom experience) we could have!
I go through these phases from time to time, where I feel as though something is pulling at my consciousness, whispering, “The veils are dropping, my dear. Just around this next bend; you are almost there.” Do you? Maybe its just me, but I think not. It’s just hard to put language to, that’s all. And its vulnerable. And we have a love/hate relationship with vulnerability, even though we are collectively learning to lean in to it more and more…the stirring of the Divine Feminine. Rumi knew this place well. He expressed it so beautifully:
There is some kiss we want with our whole lives, the touch of Spirit on the body.
Seawater begs the pearl to break its shell.
And the lily, how passionately it needs some wild Darling!
At night, I open the window and ask the moon to come and press its face into mine. Breathe into me.
Close the language-door, and open the love-window.
“The Principle of Priority states (a) you must know the difference between what is urgent and what is important, and (b) you must do what’s important first.” – Stephen Pressfield
When I first read that quote I could feel a little bit of stress drain from my shoulder blades. Can you? As the world speeds up, and as our minds and bodies try to keep up, there is a growing urgencyin the air, causing all kinds of reactivityin us and around us. Can you feel that, too?
I’ve written about this sensation before, calling it pressure, and it certainly is that. It’s also a free floating anxiety, a non-specific urgency…like the clock is ticking and the time is now. Now! But for what? What is the urgency? What is the pressure? If we don’t know what the urgency is about, how can we distinguish it from what is important?
Obviously on the social, political, economic, and environmental fronts, the clock IS ticking, and the clock feels like a time-bomb. The pulsing question so many of us are feeling, while the Talking Heads continue to rant back and forth is: what can we do? How do we keep our heads up, our hearts open, our optimism in place? What is our personal role in this brink? The energy is so thick lately, it seems hard to even place one foot in front of the other, to accomplish the most mundane things like emptying the dishwasher or getting bills paid on time. Overwhelm is the current lay of the land.
I do know what is important, though. And so do you. I wish there was a new word for it, a word that conveys the vast, penetrative feeling of positive possibility, the ever-fresh, alive, magical solution; a word that isn’t overused and misused so much that it has lost its potency…but the truth is the only word we have to describe the force within us that can drain away our reactivity… our radioactivity, our overwhelm…and diffuse the ticking bomb…is LOVE.
LOVE IS WHAT IS IMPORTANT. We know it. But we are in such a hurry, skittering across the volatile surface of life, that the depth and breadth and richness and calm within the experience of Love is dismissed or pushed aside, because we are in the trance of urgency. And we know that, too.
So let’s just take a minute to breathe, right here, right now. LOVE IS ALL WE NEED. From the surface hypnosis,it sounds like trite, Pollyannish pablum, I know. I’ve felt that feeling many times myself. But when theforce of Love comes alive, and we get a glimpse through Love’s eyes, everything is possible. Nothing is impossible. Answers arrive. Magic appears. Energy is released. We just can’t hold it yet, that’s all. We lose our vision over and over again. Maybe that is the urgency we seekers feel. The urgency to stay plugged in.
So this is my prayer for us all today. May we relax as best we can into the new rhythm of this consciousness evolution. May we trust the unfolding. May we allow ourselves to be rewired in love. May we remember what is important… and do that first.
The Phoenix symbol has been on my mind for the past couple of weeks. Several years ago, I had a vision, while working with a wonderful healer, of a great guardian angel who appeared like the Phoenix – a fierce and beautiful bird-woman, who stretched her bright wings out over my prone body. Her majestic presence in my imagination on that day helped me rise above a smallness I was wrestling with, and I have never forgotten her. She spoke not a word, but her being exuded a regal strength and a tender recognition of the fires we humans go through…of the fire I was in that particular day. Together, we burned something up, an old and decrepit wound.
The Phoenix is appearing in my inner world again these days, and I feel her fire. Perhaps you feel her, too…the sweeping energy of cleansing, the pockets of hardwood, charred but still resisting, or maybe you are standing knee deep in wasteland, uncertain, even hopeless that rebirth will come. My own experience in the last couple of weeks has been one of malaise, a thick, mental fog, which I now imagine was the smoke from months of burning.
But I am getting glimpses of a gangly little bird, half-hatched, and I’m catching an occasional breath of fresh air. My Phoenix is on the rise, thank God.
In the myth, Phoenix lives for 500 years or more before descending. My own experience of her life and death cycle is much more often, like great waves, and yet I forget again and again that whichever phase I’m in – the burning, the rising, the soaring – is only a phase; that it will not last, and I’ve not failed somehow by experiencing the flux.
So if you can relate to this metaphor and your Phoenix is on fire, do your best, my friend, to surrender. Let the burning in. If you’re lying prostrate in ash but can see a wobbly hatchling, reach out and nourish, cherish this precious thing. And if your Phoenix is full and flying, if you are strong and supple and soaring above the clouds… enjoy, dear one, enjoy, enjoy, enjoy the ride!
Okay, in the spirit of sharing a new find, I have one for you today. I just discovered a sort of bizarre-sounding but quite effective energy-and-mood boosting technique called Thymus Thumping.I know it sounds a little cuckoo, but stay with me.
Several days ago, when I woke feeling tired and irritable from not having slept well, I checked my phone (yes, I do that sometimes before I even get out of bed, I guiltily admit), and there was an email from an energy healer whose website I follow. (Her name is Deborah King. You can check out her website here.
In her email, she talked about the thymus gland and how tapping it can open up the body’s energy. I had just prayed for a little help in that regard, so the information sort of leaped out at me. And being the researcher that I am, I googled and discovered a plethora of “thymus thumping” information from healers around the world!
The thymus, part of the endocrine system, is a small gland in the center of the chest between the heart and the throat. If you touch your chest about an inch or so below the hollow of your throat you might be able to feel it. I can feel mine. It’s a thin, raised pad about an inch wide. When we are babies it is much bigger, providing immune protection, but as we get older it shrinks away. According to this information, by tapping or thumping it, we can stimulate it and even grow it back!
Behaviorial Kinesiologist Dr. John Diamond introduced the Thymus Thump way back in 1978 with his classic book, The Body Doesn’t Lie. The original technique was to close your fist and thump on your chest, (think Tarzan) while exhaling “ha-ha-ha.” Deborah King and various kinesiologists suggest using your fingertips to firmly tap the chest. This is how I have been doing it. By stimulating the thymus, the immune system is strengthened, and energy is released. (The word thymus comes from the Greek thymos, which means “life force.”)
I’ve been doing this first thing each morning, and throughout the day when I need a little boost, and I have to say, I feel it! After three or four minutes of tapping my chest, I do feel better! Give it a try and let me know your experience.
And just for a laugh, here is that very funny scene from The Wolf of Wall Street, in which Matthew McConaughy does a little thymus thumping himself. (Apparently this was added to the movie when Leonardo DiCaprio saw McConaughy doing it as a warm-up for the scene. DiCaprio asked him what that was about, and McConaughy replied that he just always thumped his chest as a relaxing and focusing technique. (I guess he didn’t know there was a name for it!)
Yesterday I read an article by Ram Dass entitled “I am Loving Awareness,” in which he talked about a meditation practice that can break the spell of ego’s perceptions. There are many such practices, but this one called to me. I am going through a bit of a physical challenge (another bout of vertigo) and I have also felt a lot of stress lately (I am a world-class stresser), so as I went to bed last night feeling dizzy and trying to relax my tight muscles, I took his instructions to heart:
“I focus my attention in the middle of my chest, on the heart-mind. I take a few deep breaths into my diaphragm to help me identify with it. I breathe in love and breathe out love. I watch all of the thoughts that create the stuff of my mind, and I love everything, love everything I can be aware of. I just love, just love, just love…I am loving awareness… “
I closed my eyes, felt the slight tremor of dizziness and said, “I love you,” to my uncomfortable self. I paid attention to my breath and said “I love you” to my breath. I felt my exhale hit bottom, which always feels abrupt when I pay attention to it…the space before breathing in again. I felt the urge to inhale quickly, the moment of brief panic that I sometimes feel when I pay attention to the spaces between breaths, and I sent love into that tiny panic. I felt my neck muscles, shoulder muscles and spine, and breathed love into them. I caught my mind skittering into thoughts, all kinds of thoughts, too many and too fleeting to name, and I sent love to the thoughts.
That was the most challenging part of the exercise for me. Catching my thoughts and actually blessing them, instead of trying to get rid of them, just loving my thoughts no matter how stressed they were, how quickly negative or judgmental they could turn. But I blessed my efforts at blessing my thoughts! I went to sleep in that mindset.
It may sound strange to say, “I love you,” to yourself, but I see that it is a wonderful practice. It points up, first and foremost, just how much we DON’T love ourselves, because there is such an effort at first in being able to say it authentically. The idea of SENDINGlove to ourselves, though, gets us in touch with the One who is sending us love every moment of the day. And the idea of then RECEIVINGour own love, gets us in touch with receiving God’s love.
In my spiritual community we have been working a lot with the vulnerability, the innocence of receiving. Can we receive our own unconditional love? Can we receive God’s unconditional love? Can we receive healing? Can we receive answers that are beyond our mental conceptions? Can we receive the beauty of this world?
Sending and receiving love. It is a huge, mind-blowing practice!
This morning I woke up with lower back pain. I do quite often. This is one of the challenges of getting older…managing pain, and managing our attitude about life in the midst of pain. Mine is nothing compared to so many, but it is still mine, and it still asks something of me. As I lay there in that semi-conscious state before getting up and going, I heard this choice in my mind, “Life or Death?” Hearing that question helped me reach to my better self, who instantly said, “I choose life!”
So I sat up. I put my feet on the floor. And I came straight to the computer to get this simple point down. How many times during the day do we have that very choice to make, in one of its many subtle forms? Love or hate? Courage or fear? Forgiveness or punishment? Smile or smirk? Embrace or reject? Lift up or beat down?
Seriously, how many times a day are we given the ultimate privilege of choosing the emotional quality of our existence? Thousands, at least! AWAKENING is all about that – becoming conscious of those thousands of moments… and choosing life. It’s not rocket science. It’s not new news. But in the midst of all the conflict the world throws at us each day – innocent loss of life, obnoxious political posturing, wars, environmental disasters, sickness, financial challenges, pain, loss – it’s so easy to forget that we have this basic premise constantly being asked of us. Life or Death? Do we live like zombies in a state of walking death long before the body gives out? Or do we choose the more abundant (and more demanding) path, despite the circumstances of the moment?
Are you watching Grace and Frankie on Netflix? It took me a couple of episodes to sink into the story and embrace the characters, but I am hooked now. And I’m having this epiphany. It is so GOOD to watch people over 50 on television! OMG! They are me! Not in their situation, but in their wrinkles and aging joints while still having lots of life, lots of desire, lots of discovery. It is just so wonderful to be represented!
I am particularly enjoying the wardrobe choices. That may sound superficial, but I have to tell you, we “vintage women” don’t have a lot of representation in the fashion world. I don’t know a single woman over 50 who says shopping is a delight. Age-appropriate and body-appropriate are questions we wrestle with, but hey, we still want to look good! We still want to look like the sensual, passionate, colorful, unique women that we are! Grace and Frankie are quite different from each other in persona, and this is represented in their clothing choices. But they are dressed with a flair and vibrancy that I definitely want to emulate.