Tag Archives: Surrender

Riding the Waves of Flow

PerfectionismThe perfectionist fixes one line of a poem over and over – until no lines are right. The perfectionist redraws the chin line on a portrait until the paper tears. The perfectionist writes so many versions of Scene One that she never gets to the rest of the play. The perfectionist writes, paints, creates with one eye on her audience. Instead of enjoying the process, the perfectionist is constantly grading the results. The perfectionist has married the logic side of the brain. The critic reigns supreme in the perfectionist’s creative household.

-Julia Cameron, The Artists Way

Well, hell. That is me. No wonder writing, which I love with all my heart, can feel like such a chore! I’ve killed many a poem this way.

Yes, yes, I have known I am a perfectionist for a long time, and have worked for years to let it go. The fact that I put up a website at all is evidence that I have made some progress on that score! But the practice is ongoing, and something about those lines above cracked the shell a little bit more.

Maybe it’s the times. Maybe it is this constriction we have all been feeling, with pockets of relief that are so counter to the squeeze we feel we could fly. It’s a high/low time, that’s for sure.

For those of us who want to give Light, be Light, we’ve been coming up hard against the rocks in the river. At least that’s what’s happening in my circle. Is it happening to you? Are you feeling slammed in the fast current?

The message I’m getting this morning is to just let it go! Just be! Just write! Just ride! Just live! We can’t direct this thing, as much as our controlling selves want to. We can do our best to stay in the raft. And if we end up in the water, we can crawl back on board. And if we end up with a bump on the head from the tumble, we can let it scramble our brains a little. We need our brains scrambled.

So that’s it. That’s the message for today. Can you feel the shift in my tone? I’m giving it a try. Wide open. You might even find a typo here. Lord, help me.

Fierce Love

Fierce LoveLast week, at a meditation led by my friend and spiritual mentor Diana Lang, she talked with those of us gathered at her home about her favorite subject and ours – Love. Diana is an Energy-Sensitive, among her many gifts, and she could feel the shielding most of us had up that evening…subtle self-consciousness and/or judgments in one form or another. When we’re in a state of judgment (whether it is toward others or toward ourselves) we’re not aligned with Love; but as communal human beings we’re habituated to unconsciously evaluate ourselves along a comparative continuum (better than/less than those around us). Those judgments block the heart, and thus, the flow of Love.

So Diana talked to us about Love, fierce Love, which I would like to talk about, too. Fierce Love is the force that lights the universe, that keeps this world on axis, that can move mountains, that can move us! And God knows, we need that force now more than ever. But Fierce Love operates through an open heart, which means a vulnerable one, one that can get hurt again and again. Fierce Love is fired through the heart that is willing to stand exposed in the face of all that can come at it, all that will come at it. This was the heart of Jesus, and the heart he instructed us to have. It was also the heart of the Buddha, of Gandhi, of Martin Luther King. It is the heart of the Mother.

There’s an old country song entitled Love or Something Like It. We live a whole lot of our lives in the Something Like It category, because we love, but we cling to our judgments, and we protect our hearts. This is human nature. But our human evolution is now a spiritual one, an evolution of consciousness, and the force, the pulse of Love is calling us to become more courageously vulnerable, to be fierce in our commitment to first and foremost know that kind of Love, to receive that kind of Love.

Another wonderful song from a few decades ago is I Wanna Know What Love Is, sung with great passion by Lou Gramm and the band Foreigner. We’ve heard it a million times, maybe to the point that it feels corny, but I have it on my music playlist, and I listen to it as a prayer:

I wanna know what Love is!
I want you to show me!
I wanna feel what Love is!
I know you can show me!

Our egos are so clever in their defensive trickery. But we’re learning more and more to feel our way past the ego. When I start feeling a dryness in my heart, and I doubt my capacity to move even a molehill, much less a mountain, then I know I’m not in Love, not all the way in. There is more. There is always more to surrender.

So this is my prayer for myself and for you, too.  May we know what Love is!  May we open to its fierce flow so that we lead our lives chest out, wide open, expecting, witnessing, and wielding miracles! May we recognize and reject all the self-abusive, non-Love whispers of too old, too young, too tired, too unqualified, too cool, too whatever that block the channel. May the strength and the humility of Love comingle to deepen and enrich our understanding and expression. May we take in stride the pain of an open heart and grow in courage to keep it open anyway.  May we forgive everyone for everything, most especially ourselves.

Blessings, my friends.

Riding the Phoenix

PhoenixThe 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!