When LIFE Gives You Lemons…

You know some folks like lemons, so for them I would assume receiving a sack of lemons lemonsbadquote.jpgwould be a ‘happy’ thing. Think of all those lemonade vendors at the fair.  Surely they’d like a big sack of lemons because FREE lemons would only increase their day’s profit.

So the ‘turn that sack of lemons into lemonade’ cliché is actually a good way to view the gift.

But for the rest of us, we might have to get a bit more creative and work on better appreciating them.

LIFE gives us similar “gifts” all the time—the ones that might seem a bit hard to comprehend their value. (Even if we had actually called those lemony experiences to us to grow our personal resilience and consciousness by working through them.)

I know that I’ve certainly had a few acidic “gifts” myself over the years that were quite a challenge at the time to endure.

However, in a shamanic context, those extremely challenging ‘gifts’ are called “initiations.” It means that Spirit has chosen you for whatever reason, to ‘test’ your inner resilience, to ‘test’ your physical stamina, and to ‘test’ your sheer determination to survive the ongoing shaman initiation by the strength of your WILL alone.

During one of the worst times of my life, to maintain my sanity, I read all sorts of educational material along with inspirational books that helped me to refocus my mind on where I wanted it to be—which was ‘done with that experience.’  I wanted to be in that future time AFTER  I had ‘run the Spirit-test gauntlet’ and had made it successfully to the other end of that particular life challenge.

Back then I even created Spirit-animal art portraits to show my appreciation for my Power-Animal’s help during that grueling life journey.  Today while sorting through some objects on my bookshelf, I ran across one little plaque that had helped me at the time to reframe the context of my awful experience. It was a little decoupaged quote from a Lynn Andrews’ book that I’ll simply share here with you:

“But if you live through the initiations you have become the ultimate alchemist. Your own soul has burned through the agonizing fires of transformation and you become the goddess on earth. 

You can heal the mind and heart of the suffering brothers and sisters because you have also suffered. croppedeaglegoldenskyfly.jpg

You can change the sand into gold…

Understand why you were born. Not to hurt, but to heal and to teach.” 

Lynn Andrews – Crystal Woman: The Sisters of Dreamtime

 

 

The VERB

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“I live on Earth at present, and I don’t know what I am. I know that I am not a category. I am not a thing — a noun. I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process – an integral function of the universe.” – R. Buckminster Fuller – I Seem to Be a Verb

 

I’ve been a R. Buckminster Fuller fan since college. One of my art professors was a huge “Bucky” fan and brought the entire spectrum of Fuller’s genius to our budding awareness.

In class we made mock-up, walk-in domes and read many of his books.  I Seem to Be a Verb was even required reading for our Art Aesthetics class. It was my first realization of Fuller’s intellectual scope and cultural affectation at the height of his career fame.fulleranddome55

After all these years, and long after his death in 1983, I’m still a fan.  He is one of my all-time heroes for many reasons.

 

Another great quote, was the “trim-tab” comment:

Something hit me very hard once, thinking about what one little man could do. Think of the Queen Mary — the whole ship goes by and then comes the rudder. And there’s a tiny thing at the edge of the rudder called a trimtab. boat

It’s a miniature rudder. Just moving the little trim tab builds a low pressure that pulls the rudder around. Takes almost no effort at all. So I said that the little individual can be a trimtab. Society thinks it’s going right by you, that it’s left you altogether. But if you’re doing dynamic things mentally, the fact is that you can just put your foot out like that and the whole big ship of state is going to go.

So I said, call me Trimtab.”

In fact, there are so many excellent Bucky Fuller quotes, I’ll just list a few for this post.

“You cannot change how someone thinks, but you can give them a tool to use which will lead them to think differently.”   Buckminster Fullerdont changebyfighting it34.png

 

“You do not belong to you. You belong to the universe. The significance of you will remain forever obscure to you, but you may assume you are fulfilling your significance if you apply yourself to converting all you experience to highest advantage to others. Make the world work, for 100% of humanity, in the shortest possible time, through spontaneous cooperation, without ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone.”   Buckminster Fuller

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“We are not going to be able to operate our Spaceship Earth successfully nor for much longer unless we see it as a whole spaceship and our fate as common. It has to be everybody or nobody.   Buckminster Fuller

“Never forget that you are one of a kind. Never forget that if there weren’t any need for you in all your uniqueness to be on this earth, you wouldn’t be here in the first place. buckytombstone trimtab.jpgAnd never forget, no matter how overwhelming life’s challenges and problems seem to be, that one person can make a difference in the world. In fact, it is always because of one person that all the changes that matter in the world come about. So be that one person.”   Buckminster Fuller

 

“Quite clearly, our task is predominantly metaphysical, for it is how to get all of humanity to educate itself swiftly enough to generate spontaneous social behaviors that will avoid extinction.”  Buckminster Fuller

“We are now synergetically forcedcomprehensive-design-science-55-728.jpg to conclude that all phenomena are metaphysical; wherefore, as many have long suspected — like it or not — “life is but a dream.”    Buckminster Fuller

 

And if you are really into a challenge, read Fuller’s two tomes on Synergetics: Explorations in the Geometry of Thinking (Vol. 1 & 2).

His overall theory is that LIFE is proven to be well-designed. but by whom and for whom, he doesn’t say.

 

My Purring 20-Pound Sack of Potatoes

I had just seen the lion image shown with the Milarepa quote when Max, lion Milarepaquote689.pngmy not-so-little-anymore orange feline, jumped to my chest (whether or not I wanted him to do so) and settled in for his short-attention-span nap.

He is all stretched out across my chest and shoulder and purring and all lovey-dovey and nuzzling my check, and I’m thinking “My gosh you are SO heavy it’s like having a hairy 20lb sack of potatoes on my chest that vibrates and purrs.”

The Milarepa quote also applies well to him.

He does NOT fetch.

But he DOES attack the thrower.

He truly has a mind of his own, more so than any other cat I’ve ever shared a house with. You can call him by name or “kitty-kitty” and he will ignore you completely. It’s a head-shaker how independent and indifferent he can be to requests for his presence.

catpotatoebag34 (1).jpgBut open a small can of anything, even if he is in the basement, and within seconds he is right there at your feet reaching up for the counter.

After 1.5 years together, we have managed to coexist better than we had there for awhile. We both gave a little and accepted that neither of us would be exactly what the other wanted, so we simply had to adapt to the idiosyncrasies we each maintained.

We made an unspoken agreement: I feed him the best quality food I can buy, and he doesn’t bite me as hard as he once did.  I now have fewer bite marks on my hands and arms than previously, although mainly because it IS winter and I wear long-sleeved shirts now.

See?  At least I’m adaptable.

Clearly he views me as HIS property because I can’t go far in the house without him, and he naps where I am within reach of him, whether I’m on the computer or reading in my chair.

He still plays “ambush” and “kitty-commando” every morning during and after I make the bed. I’ve just gotten used to having him grab my leg in a take-down maneuver whenever I walk past it. (Also better experienced in sweatpants than bare legs!)

So this once wild-thing that shares my house has mellowed slightly during his tenure here, and I’ve grown to better appreciate his untamable nature that does make me laugh at his crazier antics.

We even dared to put the Christmas tree up this year, and he was pretty good—only chewed through (nearly stripped the wires) off the lowest light strand once. Fortunately it was attached to a power strip that was shut off at the time or the result might not have been so favorable for him.catpotatoebag34 (2).jpg

Basically it’s a live and learn situation.

I learn to have a LOT of patience, and he lives in the house another day.

 

 

Defining Identity

Who are you?   Who am I?who are you pic.png

Does it matter who we actually are?

Not sure in one sense, but I am sure that it matters who we believe ourselves to be, because that is the defining subconscious program used for our auto-reactive behaviors.

I’m writing about this subject because I just listened to Kaypacha’s latest astrology report of “dying to our old self” which I will list if anyone wants to hear it: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3w5diSVxCY&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR3XCCveJbdIsyVgIOnWqJQvdsKObh6osPnZpFf64wkfXgwp4G4ZQFt16fA )

Here are the more important points (to me) that I gleaned from it:  

“Our childhood gives us patterns, conditions, insecurities, fears that are challenging—(they are) blockages.  It is no mistake that few of us remember not only our past lives, but details of our first 3-5 years (of age).  This is an automatic psycho-spiritual survival mechanism.  We are so sensitive coming out of that womb. Vulnerable, open, unformed baby just emerging (into the environment) and into the energy around you. ….A lot of things happen to us (at that vulnerable time) that we suppress. We suppress the hurts, the wounds, the sadness, the grief, the losses, the fears that we felt in these early childhood years when we were beat up, or stepped on, or ignored, or neglected…”

(Next part is paraphrased here)  The world around you hits you all at once in your blank-slatedness—and some things that affect you early in your explorations of life are childseeingselfmirror56pleasant and make you feel good, but other things are NOT pleasant about those earliest experiences; and the NOT pleasant things during early brain formation from baby first emerging into the world until we develop that cause/effect reasoning at 3-5 years of age, are often the suppressed memories of early childhood that have affected us surreptitiously.

Those memories were so deeply buried that when something in the present happens adversely affecting us, we may react strongly with no visible basis for that reaction; meaning we can’t seem to match our automatic reaction to the affecting incident with a rational context for doing so.  Or in another example, we can’t see a reason for the discomfort we suddenly feel when walking into a room, or a rational reason for the deep-seated fear that might erupt in us over something in our present that seems to be so innocuous or innocent to others.

 “None of us were born into the perfect reality—the perfect family. And yet the early taboo is that ‘thou shalt honor thy father and thy mother’ where it’s not cool (allowed) for the child to hate or blame the parents for (the behavior s/he is experiencing from them).”

(Paraphrased) So if we, the child, think that if the parents can’t be to blame for his/her serious discomfort back then, then it must be US.  What’s wrong with me? Why don’t they love me? Why are they treating me like this? I must be bad. I must be unlovable. They can’t be wrong because they are the parents—so I must be wrong to feel what I’m feeling.

But in truth this present astrological time period that we are in, is the time to look closely at those suppressed early-childhood feelings and expose them for what they really are.

We need to honor our true feelings. Honor our inner child without being judgmental about why that child felt what s/he did at the time.  Honestly acknowledge that we are truly feeling what we presently feel, and allow ourselves to be who we truly are, despite who we may erroneously believe that we are. Only after this careful self-assessment can seeingtheinnerchild345we then shed our old skin to be the NEW being that moves onward from this day forward—leaving our old skin behind in the tall grass as evidence that we were once there, but we aren’t there any longer. We have chosen to move on with our lives.

Then from that place of honest reassessment for valid reasoning existing for your suppressed childhood feelings, you have to leave the ‘old you’ behind and nurture that NEW ‘baby-YOU’ into the person that you want to become with you as the loving parent that you may not have previously experienced.  You must let go of the old behavior patterns that you developed for whatever reason you once believed helped you to survive your past, and now choose a new mode of operation that matches your new vision for your life.

He says that this is the time of ‘karmic return’ for all of us—meaning what you have put out previously into the world around you is now coming back in your face.  It’s time to deal with your old behavior patterns—especially if they are not working well for you in the present.  Example being: If your life partner is saying ‘Stop doing this or that because it hurts me and it hurts us.’ Then they are really saying to you:  “Look at your stuff—you are making a mess here—stop doing that!”

So again I ask: Does it matter who we really are?

Yes, it definitely does.whowearequote34

 

2019 – Year of Beginnings

For this third day of January 2019, my post will be a mix of influences I’ve witnessed since January first.

Lee-Harrispicimage.jpgIt started with an energy update from Lee Harris on “2019 – Year of Beginnings” which I think is worth hearing, so I’ll list it here if anyone is interested:  https://www.leeharrisenergy.com/p/january-2019-energy-update

The gist of it from my notes was that this is the year of elevation (out of the mire of contentiousness and social dishevel).  2012 – 2019 was a 7-year cycle of clearing us energetically.  2019 – 2026 is a cycle of elevation – a brand new beginning bringing with it a lot of momentum and forward movement.  He says to create your personal change powerfully and purposefully. Live life more passionately.  Expect January to be more of the bubbling to the surface of major issues, but February is the beginning of the change—a vocal ‘stand up and speak your truth’ month. This is the time right now to be very clear on exactly what you DO want in your life, as that is what you will call to you now.  Speak your truth and stand up for what is right for all.

So then shortly after seeing the Lee Harris video, someone put through this gorgeous 49301924_2441835785844099_6951581753156829184_n.jpgsnowflake on Facebook that I found mesmerizing along with a quote from Einstein, one of my personal heroes.

“The basic laws of the universe are simple, but because our senses are limited, we can’t grasp them. There is a pattern in creation. If we look at this tree outside whose roots search beneath the pavement for water, or a flower which sends its sweet smell to the pollinating bees, or even our own selves and the inner forces that drive us to act, we can see that we all dance to a mysterious tune..”   Albert Einstein
snowflake photo by Kenneth Libbrecht

Quote source: How Einstein Saw the World
https://creativesystemsthinking.wordpress.com/2014/02/16/how-einstein-saw-the-world/

 

Then the next day “Tao and Zen” on Facebook added another D. T. Suzuki quote that I thought really explains how you incorporate that Zen  perspective into everything you do:

49511253_2446887465338931_7342677059904208896_n.jpg“The idea of Zen is to catch life as it flows. There is nothing extraordinary or mysterious about Zen. I raise my hand; I take a book from the other side of the desk; I hear the boys playing ball outside my window; I see the clouds blown away beyond the neighboring wood — in all these I am practicing Zen, I am living Zen. No wordy discussion is necessary, nor any explanation… When the sun rises the whole world dances with joy and everybody’s heart is filled with bliss. If Zen is at all conceivable, it must be taken hold of here.”   D.T. Suzuki

Zen & the Art of Living Deeply
https://creativesystemsthinking.wordpress.com/2016/05/15/zen-the-art-of-living-deeply/

***

In summary, to me as we start this new year together, I choose to view it as Lee Harris does—that it is a year of beginnings, so let’s stand up and speak our truth and choose our way forward with clear intentions and a strong sense of purpose.

Then as Einstein said, let’s recognize our interconnectedness and the Divine Plan behind our social, cultural, and even personal interactions occurring on this one living planet that we all share.

And lastly, as D.T. Suzuki said, “Be grateful for everything. Observe without judgment. Consume less, create more. Let go of fears and desires. Listen to understand not to respond. Be patient and generous. Love deeply.  Live simply.”

Here on this third day of January 2019, I think those are good personal goals to adopt.

Works for me.

The Return of Primordial Light

Holiday messages are nice, and many received reflect the overall appeal and optimism of the season, no matter the faith.rbuckminsterfuller67-2x.jpg

I am not religious. I do not follow or prescribe any particular recognized religion.  But I write about the many aspects of spirituality that personally appeal, because to me spirituality means our personal connection to the energies around us and from which we have emerged. And that is how I relate to all of those different religious philosophies.

buckyuniverse68.jpgYou can call those philosophical energies “Universe” as Buckminster Fuller did, or you can call them The Tao as ancient Chinese philosophers did, or you can call them God or Yahweh as Judeo-Christian traditions proclaim, or you can simply call them the Transcendent Still Point of All Being.

Whatever you wish to call them, many believers feel especially close to key tenets of those religious philosophies this time of year—sending peace, love and good wishes to all.

I would say that the philosophy of the Shamanic tradition is a very nature-based, direct connection to life and the cosmos we inhabit, and as I watched that beautiful full moon setting outside my window on this winter solstice, I gave thanks for the view and for my part in the whole of this present earth-based drama. A few days ago Alberto Villoldo of Four Winds Society, sent out his winter-solstice, holiday email to all who subscribe. I found it pretty appropriate to our current situation, so I’ll share it here.

“From the bottom of our hearts all of us at the Four Winds Society want to wish you a holy and joyous Solstice on December 21, 2018.

We invite you to light a candle or a small fire in your backyard and join medicine men and women around the world who are gathering on the evening of the Solstice to pray for the “return of the Light.”villoldoenergyquote

This is not the ordinary daylight we all wish we had more of in the Northern hemisphere (and a bit less of in the South), but the Primordial Light.

Primordial Light is the creative power of the Universe which is available to us to create beauty in the world, and to heal ourselves and others. But to work with Primordial Light we must remember the way of the luminous warrior. We must live and act fearlessly, know the answer to “Who am I?” and the ways beyond death into infinity.

Like the shamans of old, we are luminous warriors. We dare to speak the truth, uphold universal values that honor all life, and perform daily acts of courage.

This is so important in this age of cowardice where half-truths are readily embraced as real.

We wish you the strength and steadfastness to continue creating the sacred every day and dreaming a new and healthy world into being.

In Beauty,    Alberto, Marcela, and the Four Winds Society team.”

And to that I would simply add that during this holiday season and throughout the year ahead, be at peace no matter the circumstance, be love no matter the degree of hatred all around you, be as courageous as you were always meant to be, standing tall in the midst of such cowardice in our governing bodies—stand tall and speak your truth.

This is what we do—this is who we are. We, as Luminous Warriors of Divine Primordial Light, welcome the return of the Light—the return to TRUTH as a Universal Standard for governance.

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Blessings to you and yours, and may the year ahead be full of love and laughter for all of us.

Let’s make it a good year for everyone!

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Dreaming with Our Eyes Wide Open

I’ve mentioned previously that I am a fan of Alberto Villoldo, and over the years I’ve alberto987.jpgappreciated his psychological insights into human nature and his identifying the archetypal patterns we follow in the natural world around us. I also receive his weekly newsletter from The Four Winds Society that he founded (https://thefourwinds.com); and while this partial quote was from a July 2018 email, I kept it because there was importance in properly assessing those three common personal delusions afflicting nearly all of us.

heartshamanbookalberto87.jpg“Releasing in a few short days is my newest book,  The Heart of the Shaman: Stories and Practices of the Luminous Warrior, where I discuss the three common dreams we turn into nightmares.

I share these with you because transforming them is foundational to finding your sacred dream. They are the daydreams we are so convinced are true and cannot seem to wake up from.

Yet, to dream with your eyes open, you must enact your courage to face each of these head on:

  • The dream of security
  • The dream of permanence
  • The dream of love that is unconditional

When you transform these dreams─when you accept that life is ever changing, that your mortality is a given, and that no one can liberate you from a life of fear and insecurity except yourself─the chaos in your life turns to order and beauty prevails.

When you find your sacred dream, the creative power of the universe (known by the shamans as the Primordial Light) becomes available to you to create beauty in the world, and to heal yourself and others.”   —Alberto Villoldo, Ph.D.

***

How many of us once believed in those concepts of security, permanence, and relationship love that is unconditional?

As Alberto states above, “They are the daydreams we are so convinced are true and cannot seem to wake up from.”

I think time and age bursts many delusional bubbles, but the daydreamer673trick is to allow our senses to effectively clear without depressing our life spirit, which means we must learn to view life in general less romantically and more realistically.

Ideal states are those levels of human attainment that we may indeed strive toward, but facing the reason for WHY we feel the need to bolster our delusions of an idyllic existence against what actually transpires in our lives, is to confront our deepest fears head on.

When you transform these dreams (of security, permanence, and relationship love that is unconditional)─when you accept that life is ever changing, that your mortality is a given, and that no one can liberate you from a life of fear and insecurity except yourself─the chaos in your life turns to order and beauty prevails.”

I mean, who doesn’t want to feel safe? After all these natural and man-made disasters around the globe, there are so many people in the world right now that would wish for this day-dream of security above all the others.

Who doesn’t want to feel a sense of permanence in their lives—for themselves and for the people they love the most?  It is a truth we can’t deny: people we love do die. We ourselves often face life-threatening illnesses and injuries that can lead to our personal demise. With one natural disaster, life can chew us up and spit us out seemingly at whim because we are mortal beings with limited shelf-life and we don’t last forever in physical form.

Who doesn’t want to personally know and feel unconditional love in their life? Who unconditionallove623doesn’t want to be accepted and appreciated for simply being ourselves, even with all our flaws and warts?  How many relationships are built on this brand of unconditional love? I’m guessing not many because it is hard to give unconditional love to others, let alone expect to receive it from them as well.

Life is hard. Love is hard. Experientially we learn so much by living in a chaotic world, but those lessons are based on successfully surviving with our sanity and our person in tack. That means we need to be well equipped to handle the world we actually must live in rather than the ideal world we once imagined to exist around us.

That also means we must face each day with courage and determination to make it the best possible day for ourselves and for those we love because there are no assurances that it will be as such.

Yes, we can still day-dream for a better existence and actually work toward that life for ourselves and for others around us, but first we must accept the situation realistically for exactly what it presently is THEN make the decision to do our best despite the adversity that we may face in the process.

“When you transform these dreams─when you accept that life is ever changing, that your mortality is a given, and that no one can liberate you from a life of fear and lifefearend34.jpginsecurity except yourself─the chaos in your life turns to order and beauty prevails.”

Yes, it is possible to create the life you desire. Yes, it is possible to surround yourself with loving companions. But we need to do so intentionally and with directed effort to create a better world for ourselves and for each other.

We must live with courage. Live with compassion. Live with eyes wide-open to all the chaos around you, and instead choose your path forward with grace and determination to make it a better place for yourself and for all of us. That is how you “create beauty in the world and to heal yourself and others.”

Live intentionally and in full awareness of your responsibility to bettering life itself. Don’t just expect it to happen.

You have to MAKE IT HAPPEN!

Then you don’t just survive your life’s ordeals—you learn how to thrive in spite of them. That’s when “the chaos in your life turns to order and beauty prevails.”

Living fearlessly in the face of adversity, is when you really learn to live.

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