Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Stillness Within (Part 2)

Jeremy Taylor writes in Where People Fly and Water Runs Uphill, “All dreams reflect society as a whole, as well as the individual dreamer’s relationship to it.” In America, we have entered a time symbolized by the expansion of a fast and furious existence that is lived on the fast track, that is reflected in our entertainment, our fast talking “got to have it now” sales pitch for consumerism, along with a fast food life that we are living in the fast lane even in our leisure moments. But the world does not operate at such a rate.

The slow, methodical growth, evolution and change that is the pattern of life is being disrupted, leading to the dis-ease of society as a whole, and America in particular. Our dis-ease may well be reflected in the difficulty that we have had in going from a state of the “individual” to that of “individuation”, from a selfish narcissism intent on a blind rebellion that mimics the flight of the lemming, to an expanded self whose aim is to uncover individual gifts and development that benefit the whole.

It would reflect the difficulty in America’s challenge to evolve our “melting pot” culture into the beautiful tapestry that is created when creative energies are connected through the web of life. As in my dream, our landscape is radically changing. The expansion is reaching its peak. The stillness is about to commence, has already begun with many individuals seeking that still spot in green living, spirit-oriented practices, community service, healthy eating and ecumenism.

This relationship with stillness, a time of setting an intention before going within, is also reflected in a growing understanding of the role of dreams in American society. The current psycho-social-ecological trend allows the “universal language” of dreams to speak volumes to our present generation and describes the unfolding creativity of self and the interconnective resourcefulness of Self and Other that we find increasingly present in the current generations of Americans who are taking the time to stop, look and listen to a more internal call for health and wholeness.

In this way energy is taking form—creativity is taking shape—purposefully shaping communities and connections. More and more people are seeking alternative forms of health care that involve uncovering these energies. Perhaps America will allow the inclusion of dream work in the Wellness Centers that seem to be the next step in our health care communities.

I have just spent the summer in an intense search for my Shadow self. What I have discovered is that there is a definite connection between what I am able to accomplish and the time I am living in. This going within to discover the fullness of myself has been mirrored in my dreams.

I was in a city at night, lit by streetlamps that were reflected in the puddles at my feet. Arising in front of me were three pyramids with a light shining behind the largest that eclipsed the whole city. I traveled to this place through a tunnel on the back of a translucent blue snake, and as a pillar of light and energy rose up in front of me, I became a pillar of wind. Robert Johnson’s explanation in Owning Your Own Shadow seems to fit: “ . . . if our consciousness is sufficient, we can synthesize these warring elements and come to the all-knowing eye at the central point.”

“This represents a whole new order of consciousness . . .” With these words Johnson describes what I believe is not only my own awakening, but a pattern that I see emerging in our society as well. The roadmap is set before us every night. In the stillness, as the sun sets, and before we begin the descent into the Underworld, we must set an intention to remember our authentic self, experience the presence of the Divine and awaken to who we are and who we are becoming.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Stillness Within (Part 1)

Did you ever watch the sun go down? This fiery red-orange orb glows larger and larger, slowly descending toward the horizon. Its color spreads throughout the sky reflecting on all it touches: clouds, trees, and buildings alike, until the world itself takes on that flaming hue.

The sun hangs for an unspeakable moment—a moment when the whole world holds its breath. At this moment each being present knows that it is at the center of the universe beholding a sacred rite of passage.

To attend to this moment allows that you are Now Here. The expansion has slowed and has come to a standstill. The contraction has not yet begun. You wait with bated breath, open to the miracle of transition amid abundance. (For why would one want to change unless they were safe and secure in their affluence?)

And in their being supported. For although this sacred moment is an individual act of reverence, one stands in the midst of a world of worshipers, paying homage to the sun god who has been honored since that first rising and setting once upon a time ago.

And with the release of your breath, the orb begins to move again, slowly sinking beneath the surface of reality, offering promise of another day to come.

However, don’t miss the inviolability of this moment. This is the chance given you by the universe for self-care. This moment of stillness is the occasion when you know where you are, and you know who you are in relation to all others.

This is the moment of strength and support. You have spent the long day in preparation. You have witnessed the moment of expansion. And with this one last long breath in, you have come into the awareness of communion with the world, as well as with your uniqueness. Your soul’s purpose is laid bare at that instance of rest, in preparation to be changed and rearranged during the long dark night of the soul.

This is the time to set your intention before you sleep (perchance to dream). Before the long expelling of used up air and opportunities, the serenity of this separation allows for new visions to emerge. What plan do you have to be guided into the future? What has inspired you that can germinate into an idea of innovation and evolution?

How you will be directed by your dreams and revelations is decided in this moment of stillness before the world contracts, the sun goes down, and you are forced beneath the surface like Persephone in the underworld. Will you use this time in frantic searching like her mother, Demeter, or will you, like Hades, only see what you have at the moment and forsake any preparation or training before the approaching dawn?

Or will you, like Persephone, find the deeper meaning of your life because you allowed the stillness to pervade your being, opening up a deep hollow for the truth of your dreams to reverberate within you? And in the contraction, use the narrowing and expunging to focus your power and fine-tune your discernment so that you are ready for the exhilaration of your blooming at dawn.

These thoughts and feelings stream through me as I reflect on my own life and the dream I had last night. My front yard, in fact the whole neighborhood was being excavated, rearranged and landscaped. My friend (my self) was inside fasting and vomiting and washing, while I was successfully discovering the secret of how to ride in the elevator. I use the elevator to get to school and find my friend, concerned with her lack of self-care.

It is obvious to most that our world and our selves are in need of healing. James Hollis writes that, “We cannot heal ourselves by act of will, intellect or right conduct, but we can experience healing when we are in harmony with some great rhythm. Then we are living the symbolic life and find consonance with the universe, rather than a void.”

My dream portends a great upheaval, one that is already underway. Inside, in stillness, I am preparing myself in order to uncover the offering in my life. What are the gifts I have to offer, ones that are needed at this time in history, that serve to make the world whole?

Monday, May 25, 2009

The truth behind life and death

“We cannot know the mysteries, but we are driven by our nature to stand in meaningful relationship to them.” ("Tracking the Gods", James Hollis) This increasing importance on the mysterious, the undefined, the energy behind the physical, substantial, visible reality of life has gotten a hold of me.

In my healing work, I am stepping into the mysterious on a daily basis. I watch myself trying to define, label and box each feeling and experience. I realize that I am doing this rather than allowing the process to unfold naturally, creating relationships, and building bridges.

I had an amazing healing experience with a client the other day. Just when I think I’m making it all up and nothing’s really happening, the client confirms it all with a “by the way . . .” I’m still hoping/expecting for bells and whistles, lights and auras, and am getting subtle beauty, gentle flows, and unconditional love instead. Hmm. What about this don’t you get Annie?

Finding truth is about looking for what lies behind everything, what unifies and connects us all. Truth is always searching for a way to reveal itself on a bigger and broader level. It is the mystery behind the reality we hold so dear, as we hang on to life. Or is the fear of death that we are really hanging on to, only stopping us from realizing the truth?

I find I am adept at building boundaries and walls rather than bridges and connections. On the other hand, it seems that in some places I have no boundaries in the sense that I don’t take care of myself. Is that it? Is it one more thing to ‘figure out’? Yes, just one more wall I’ve wrapped around myself.

It’s the “I want love, but I won’t let myself have it” dilemma. I’m powerful, but I’m weak; I’m good, but I’m not. Whew! I just got dumped in the ocean by a big wave and am all turned around and upside down in the sand! Isn’t life grand? I’m just going to sit here now for awhile and let it all flow . . .

What has gotten me all in a turmoil is that I am still feeling the effects of my friend of thirty years’ death. I was feeling bad about it—she cut off from me. I was feeling angry with her—but I was still there for her. I was feeling sad—too late to do anything about it.

At the funeral my overall feeling was of how well she had lived her life, and I was so proud of her. All those other feelings came afterwards, because I looked at what I did there (somehow I became the main person mediating between everyone and the family) and I was angry with myself for choosing to be me. Why? It was because I felt I was not being appreciated. In trying to “figure it out” I forgot to trust the process.

Then I realized—I was the one who received all the love there. I was the one to first meet all the people who came, and receive their appreciation of my friend. I was the one who handed out the flowers at the end—and everyone gave me the hug they held for her. I was the one who could comfort my friend’s mother’s heart and tell her that without her we would have no friend. I was the one who received all of it. Amazing.

In this process called life—and death—I am putting up boundaries and taking down walls. I am learning to stop others from abusing or manipulating me without stopping myself from loving, giving and growing. I am recognizing my own strengths as well as my weaknesses, and am not being afraid to reveal them to others.

I am protecting myself in the process. I am receiving the love that is flowing, without expecting it to come in the perfect way that I desire when I hold up that absolute standard for others that I hold myself to—impossible to keep. I know that.

Life, and the mysterious truth behind it, is a flow, not a frozen moment. Yet in that flow, I’m the one who must recognize what brings me down, what buoys me up, what holds me back, what encourages me on, and be true to myself.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Creating an Energy Vortex with My Sisters

Well dear ones,

I just created a living being in my healing room.

With the smokey quartz merkaba holding the center, flanked by green chrysocolla on the right and rose quartz on the left holding Father's and Mother's love, a column of selenite above for the pure truth of absolute beauty, and 3 rubys below for the backbone and strength of purpose and creation, I called up 2 vortexes.

The one below, mirroring my first chakra, appearing counter-clockwise when seen from above, to draw away all discordant energy that is released in the healing of each individual allowing for the recognition of energy flow, patterns and defenses, so that the beauty of one's life course could be unveiled. Using a branch from an ancient cottonwood tree I traced the pattern that connected into the Earth and the grid lines of light. I also placed a box containing a donation that someone left, because he said it was the will of heaven for him to support my work, at the bottom, for generosity and abundance spiritually, physically, emotionally and financially.

Then with a fan made of feathers I've gathered I created the one above, mirroring my seventh chakra, appearing clockwise, calling on the 4 levels of heart: parental love, children's love, brother/sister love, and conjugal love to open the heart of each person to their own life's task and goodness allowing healing to occur. Above I place a picture of my spiritual parents, Rev. and Mrs. Moon, to the left a photo of us, connecting all to the highest love of the Beloved, inviting all guides, ancestors and good spirits to attend and support each individual who comes in knowing their own lineage of love.

I then placed myself in the center, asking to be the intermediary for healing to happen through me for the greatest benefit of each individual and the most beautiful creation that we would achieve together. The room was full of energy, pulsating up and down from the Earth, and down and up from the Heavens, like a big breath with me in the middle!


Tomorrow night I would like to connect the 4 merkabas. I just wanted you to be aware that I was doing it, although you don't have to be present unless you want to be or have any suggestions about it.

with gratitude and love for your goodness,

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

My Path of Creativity (part 3)

I used to carry a black thorn around in my heart. Do you know what I mean? It was the pain of past relationships, the anger, regret, and especially unexpressed grief and longing for love—from others and self—that lay just below the surface, but extended deep into my soul—that was never fully embraced for fear of losing control, or even never coming back from the abyss.

I’ve been feeling recently that my heart and my voice are more connected than I am allowing them to be. Do you know what I mean? When emotions based in the past come up, stimulated by actions in the present, they long to be expressed—with tears or shouts of rage, sobs of despair, or just gentle weeping. Even when they were acknowledged, the full extent and depth was never voiced because of the fear of seeing myself too clearly, and not liking what I saw.

There were always moments. Moments when the sun came out, the windows were opened, the breeze blew through the corridors of my heart, and airing out my dirty laundry was no more difficult than taking the time to hang the comforter on the line in the backyard on a bright spring day. Do you know what I mean?

To create a place: a mind like a river, and a heart like a well.
God in my waters creates rainbows, and sparkles, and sprays
of fat droplets of love.

Those moments always came with the gratitude of being alive, and a faith and hope in the eternal connection I have with the Beloved. And yet, there was always something that I could not shake, a feeling that was often triggered by the turbulent times that roiled around me. There was something that I just couldn’t accept, (or was it contain?) in the me that I longed to be. Do you know what I mean?

Part of it was the fear of responsibility. With great potential comes great accountability. As I learned and grew in depth and assurance, the more I survived, the more I knew was expected of me. However, although my understanding was linked to my heart, my will and determination was attached to my rage and grief, often keeping me in a bind and at a standstill.

I discovered this by chance. In my studies of energy work it is taught that the front chakras, or energy centers, are associated with emotion, and the back chakras with will. When I became aware that I was ignoring the back chakras I asked why. Although my will and resolve helped me to survive, and directed me to grow rather than become bitter or manipulative, I had always associated it with my grief and rage, and therefore it was something to be hidden or even shunned.

As I opened myself to actually healing and letting go of my deepest pain, I could only do that by accessing the goodness in my will and desire to be the best Anne I could be, which showed me that black thorn in my heart. And then I breathed and opened to the love and the energy of the universe around me, bigger than me, and yet me. And I grew, expanding beyond the confines of the room.

As I grew I looked more closely at the thorn. It was quite beautiful, multi-colored, not black at all. The impression that it had made in my heart could be considered a wound, but what a wound it was. Have you ever stood on the edge of the Grand Canyon and looked across to the other side? Have you ever noticed the layers of sediment formed over millions of years, from intense pressure and persistent wearing away? Shaping, molding, creating, unfolding, uncovering, discovering the beauty within the Earth, unveiling it for merely humans to gape at open-mouthed in heart-stoppable beauty.

Do you know what I mean? That was the thorn in my heart. Not a source of grief or rage, but of indescribable beauty and unimaginable contact with self and other. And that was me! Amazing, isn’t it? All I could say was, “Aren’t I beautiful?” I knew I was. I know I Am.

unfolding cosmic spring
connecting us all with love

(Thank you Jen, for holding that space for me. I couldn’t have done it without you.)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

My Path of Creativity (part 2)

I wrote these words last week: “But my path was more . . .” I discovered that I must rephrase: My path is mine. The moment for it is Now. Neither more, nor less than the people whose shoulders I stand on—I am not here to compete or even improve on what has come before. What they have given is perfect in its own right, in its own time. This, however, is my time.

“My grandmother, the Teacher, my mother, the Nurse . . . my ancestors, leading lives of service and compassion . . .” I realize, as I am writing, that there is a fear in me that I will not measure up, that I will be found lacking in some way, that I will not be found worthy to “belong” to their ranks of healers and good women. The gifts that I have, that I see, that I have yet to uncover, are gifts I have not paid for dearly enough and therefore can’t justify in embracing completely. I am still in the process of letting go of that fear, but the first inkling I had of a life yet to live began when I turned 50.

It was then that I first allowed myself to whole-heartedly follow my destiny. Before that I had allowed myself to be led, to follow a call from above. I had asked, was told, and had given myself up to follow. At 50 I realized I didn’t need to leave myself behind!

I am aware that my gifts arise from remembering the past—the pain, the joys, the failures, the triumphs. I am also mindful of them as I open to stand in this moment of my own making and view the immense possibility of a future that I am nurturing with these gifts of my heart. One such moment came as I asked the question: “What is to be my life’s work?”

“Right relations”, I was told. “You must have right relations with all beings.” I went back to school and got my masters in Earth Literacy. The gifts that path uncovered were three-fold. The first was the connection I had buried with mother, grandmother and nature. In re-learning the importance of honoring each being with a name, I clearly saw every thread in a tapestry of cosmic proportions, of which I was a part, as well as a whole.

The next gift I uncovered was my joy in writing. Shortly after returning to school I began a weekly column called Our Place in the Universe at Its purpose was to explore the relationship between spirituality and the environment. It became more than that. My writing wasn’t just for self-expression, reflection, education or connection. I realized that my story mattered. Writing from my soul was a way to open the path that led toward self-awareness and healing, and allowed my story to reflect and vibrate with the heart songs of others.

Another gift that was uncovered combined both nature and writing. In my wanderings I capture moments of beauty with my camera. My artistic sensibility had always recognized scenes in nature that I have etched in my memory. Now, I take photos and engrave on them a saying, poem or haiku that further amplifies the moment.

With these works, I strive to create a place—an environment—with pictures and words. My desire is to join with the Muses evoking and awakening memories of pure beginnings when we were One with the Divine and knew it! Nature offers us hints—even more than hints—of our greatness and beauty. We just need to be reminded of the path that leads towards wholeness, and to ourselves becoming sons and daughters of the Divine in this awakening world, where Oneness exists Now and love exists always.

Bert Hellinger writes in his book “No Waves Without the Ocean” that solutions only occur through inner development. These three gifts encouraged my own development for the next few years, but I was in for a new twist in my path of creativity—and it had to do with seeing myself as I really am, for that is the beginning of happiness.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

My Path of Creativity (part 1)

In my family—in my relationship with grandmother and mother—nature was very important. Plants, rocks, trees, stars and clouds, all lent themselves to be used, appreciated and wondered at in their beauty and mystery as reflections of the Beloved.

In the same way, my mother and grandmother believed that their lives were to be lived, used, appreciated and wondered at also, as a reflection of the Beloved. They lived to serve a higher, greater force of good that included their family, and was surrounded by the natural world.

When I think of my grandmother I see her on the front porch showing me how to weave a crown made of maple leaves stitched together with stems. Together, we played store with the golden seeds and snowy petals of daisies, and made wishes on the flyaway fluff of dandelions. She reminded me of Confucius—there was always an order and purpose to each task that translated into the bigger undertaking of one’s life work and goal—that of serving and loving the Beloved and passing that awe-some duty down to the next generation.

What I learned from my mother was similar. She gave names to each thing: flower, plant, tree, rock and constellation, as well as giving importance to the names of each family member. For years, before we went to sleep, we faithfully named each sibling and parent, and their patron saint, entreating them to grant another day and night of protection and blessing. Creation and Creator ordered my life and gave it meaning, purpose and beauty.

My responsibility as eldest daughter was clear. I was to carry on this task and truth in my life’s work. I was deemed the artist in my family and enjoyed the partnership that this position evoked in my walk with nature. My room was full of feathers I had found, snakeskins, bird nests, sticks, stones and leaves. I spent long summer days in the woods exploring and climbing trees, and I never lost the chance to marvel at the wonder around me and fill my space with it inside and out.

My mother and grandmother also passed on to me a joy of reading and writing, so my inner and outer worlds included the thoughts and wonderings of others such as Whitman, Thoreau, Hesse, Dickinson, and Shakespeare, with a touch of Gilbert and Sullivan thrown in to liven things up.

My spiritual life was rich, and the poetry and prose I wrote expressed my curiosity and yearning for the answers to life’s deeper meaning and purpose, and why that was not always reflected in the world around me. In my imagination I was a knight of the Round Table righting wrongs and fighting dragons. In my daily life I was big sister, caretaker, babysitter for my younger siblings, watching out for them with love and tenderness.

The most natural step for me then was to pursue an education in art and nursing. However, an undercurrent of searching and an intense questioning of the implicit order of things was making itself more and more apparent. It was clear to me that the order and harmony I was surrounded with in my childhood was an island of refuge away from the fighting and despair of the rest of the world. If I was to find my life’s work and serve the Beloved in a meaningful way, I needed to see beneath the slogan of “love and peace” printed on my favorite t-shirt.

This led me to look beyond the truth of my family’s culture and religion for a broader, more encompassing enlightenment. My grandmother, the Teacher, and my mother, the Nurse, both laid down a structured path for me. My ancestors, all God-loving, faithful people, led lives of service and compassion. I acknowledge them. I bow down before them in gratitude for their sacrifice.

But my path was more. I was born at the cusp of a transitional period and I knew it. What I didn’t know was what I had, that no one else had, that would add weight to the last layer of snowflakes that was creating an avalanche of change and renewal in the world. The question I needed to ask was, what are my gifts? That question—and answer—didn’t come until later.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Rings of Substance

I had an interesting dream the other night. An older gentleman invited me into a mansion which I felt was mine by right, but he was challenging me to find me worthy. It came to me that this dream signified coming into my masculine power.

To be clear, I don’t know what that means any more than I imagine you do. I am a mature woman who is married to a gentle man, and has grown up with eight strong brothers. I have several very close men friends as well, so I am not a stranger to the masculine creature.

Powerful, ambitious, directional, focused—these are qualities that come to me when I think of masculine energy. Being the eldest in my family gave me a certain strength, yes, but it was as a caregiver, an emotional support, and a peacemaker. I may have been a tomboy growing up, climbing trees and playing baseball, but I definitely wasn’t “one of the boys.”

This dream came to me as I am exploring the edge between my conscious and unconscious awareness. Who is my authentic self? And what is it that I can create with my life? That edge where the song of my soul resonates with the music of the spheres is the realm of my creational experiences. This is where I can manifest that which is not manifest—where all my dreams can come true!

OK, let’s bring it back down to Earth again. As I said, I am looking at my energy as it reflects a masculinity that is grounded in my feminine self. I begin to see it as a longing for new experiences. This becomes my focus and intention in every day life. It is a longing to see and feel, not just the manifestation of something new, but to see and feel even the energies within myself that can be expanded to the place where “I” meet “You”.

This is the difference, I discovered, between the boundary of expansion and the boundary that we create in defense when “I” meet “You”. As Barbara Brennan says, one holds the excitement of discovery, the other the separation and resistance to oneness or communion. One holds the uniqueness of a gift or invitation to love, the other a wall of anger, fear and pain. The one must encompass the other in compassion as we ground ourselves in our original nature.

I still seem to be explaining this in a rather obscure way, so to find another way to understand what coming into my masculine power means I asked a cottonwood tree. “You, cottonwood tree, are an embodiment of focused power. What do you have to say to me?” I was given an answer immediately.

“The source of my power and longevity is two-fold. It is in my rootedness and my nourishment. Ground down deep into Mother Earth, and drink up all you can from your network of support and words of wisdom. Keep an open mind to transform each situation into a new layer of growth—it’s not just your skin, your edge, that is of importance, it is your rings of substance that make all the difference.

“My growth is directional (masculine)—always toward the sun, or reaching deep below the ground. And yet at my core my power is relational—xylem and phloem bringing that nourishment, sun and earth, to the heart of my being. From there I flower and fruit to share with others. Your power to grow is masculine. Your power to love is feminine. And yet they are one and the same.”

We forget this as we hurry through our days. We forget to nourish our bodies and our spirits. We forget to share what we have with others. We forget to root ourselves in a place, a home that is safe haven for family. And we forget to grow our rings of substance, dwelling in the power, rather than exploiting or controlling it. This then has become my creative awareness. Perhaps it will become a focus and direction that will spread throughout the world.