Where there is paradox there is God

Source doesn’t move into form packed in neatly arranged boxes. God is in the detail, yes; but God is also in the so-called empty spaces within. Particle and wave; both the visible, tangible shape and the utterly intangible, indefinable, flux, will-o’-the-wisp and butterfly on the wing, never to be pinned down or held there…not even for a moment; only, perhaps, seemingly as a playful wink in the catch-me-if-you-can game. This is why Source can’t be found in dogma or rules; only in suggestions with the space to manoeuver. Source can be felt to be very near when these two qualities lie so close together that, paradoxically, they both push and pull against one another yet co-habitate so easily, comfortably, like old soul mates and companions, all at the same time and without conflict or contradiction.

Blake 5This God-Source is both vessel and the supreme emptiness within; a void that is always poised to be filled to the brim though its infinite spaciousness persists way beyond the realised intention. It is that moment of preparedness to act yet before action has taken shape; one foot on the ground, the other…ready. Potential, pregnancy and poise; then, just as soon as action has been taken, Source flits to the next vessel of emptiness to start over (we notice this in ourselves and yet how we fear and resist it; this mercurial quality that reminds us we too are Source). Our own cells contain unimaginable quantities of these so-called empty vessels; the quantum mystery at the heart of our most measurable, quantifiable fibres of being. They hold our unwritten potential, though we hardly conceive of what this means we are capable of; having only ever seen the tip of its iceburg manifest above the waterline. Physically constrained…yet unlimited, mortal….eternal and so the list goes on. We are a perpetual state of paradox…embodied; the see-saw of the divine. Which means, wherever we most focus, we make more of that; be it hard edges or boundless expansion. Or, when we allow our most paradoxical qualities to harmoniously co-exist, we create many miracles.


These words were inspired by the theme of yesterday’s post, Curiosity killed the joy

Image: William Blake’s Albion; to me, that moment of poise and pregnancy before action.

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Posted in Consciousness & evolution, Divine feminine, divine masculine, Menu, Personal Development, Spirituality | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Curiosity killed the joy

I was about to sit down and watch a film that came out recently, recommended to me by someone and which I assumed I would enjoy. It’s about the real-life Christopher Robin of Winnie the Pooh fame and, as a life-long major admirer of Pooh, I’d assumed it had my name all over it. However, when I read the reviews I got drawn into a long thread of people complaining that the film had distorted the so-called “truth” of the “real story” behind Pooh; and that “truth”, it seemed, was nothing like the reality we imagine when we conjure up a parent writing these stories for, and about, his child and his favourite toys. Of course, I’d heard something of the sort before; being that A.A. Milne was apparently very far from the ideal parent we like to imagine and that his son CR remembered a miserable, even abusive, childhood. However, in that way that new films coming out tend to stoke up, these informed opinions were now being vehemently rammed down my throat by an army of people indignant at this film’s attempt to provide “the back story” of Pooh yet, apparently, getting it so wrong. In other words, this discussion had been taken off into its own bar-brawl (as so many things do these days) and this had nothing to do with my own associations built on many happy hours of reading and fantasising about these characters. This film seemed to have a whole different flavour to it and I didn’t like it one bit.

Suddenly, all desire to watch the film dissolved away. Not only had “the truth” invaded my childhood-and-beyond memories around these favourite books, the same ones I still kept on my shelf at university and read to my small daughter, but the film itself was being called-out as a saccharine mistruth intent upon artificially softening the so-called reality of CR’s childhood in order to deliver a happy ending; people were demanding more graphic misery than it apparently contains. Yet why, in its own way, was this any different to when Disney inflicted their own distortion on this up-for-grabs little piece of perfection? After all, I remember my childhood indignation on discovering that Pooh and friends had been given American accents when I first encountered them on the screen and then the vivid colours of those movies never looked quite right to me, as though global warming had taken place or they’d all moved to California. As a youngster faced by Disney, it seemed like this most English of English stories had been shipped across the Atlantic to be filmed on a Hollywood film-set and those colourful backdrops winnie-the-poohnever truly felt like The Hundred Acre Wood, everything was just so orange. Perhaps this was my first taste of how we pass around ownership of ideas that, truly, only matter at the personal level; where they first intersect with an aspect of ourselves and fall into a perfect position that has nothing to do with anyone else or their interpretation. Perhaps, then, we have to learn how to keep our own relationship with that thing pristine, if it really matters to us that much and, to me, this does. My relationship has always been directly with Pooh, with the lyricism of words on the page and the vivid descriptions left floating in my head, helped along by E. H. Shepherd’s stunning illustrations, which were the first pictures I put up on my daughter’s wall when she was born since they were, I felt, guaranteed to make her feel safe and welcome. These were the qualities that Pooh-ness had always represented to me, and still did as I considered watching this latest film-offering.

So, as I considered whether to go ahead, I saw all too clearly how it was a choice-point and, while I hesitated, my own relationship with Pooh was under siege. I knew that, if I was to watch the film and delve into any of this murky back-story, the so called “real truth” and the debate about what rotten parents the Milnes apparently really where to CR, my relationship with these characters would never be the same again. Imagine; bringing the idea of “abuse” into CR’s world…I struggle with this already, since the idea has already infiltrated, tarnishing the edges of what was otherwise pristine in my heart. Worth it? Not if what I relate to has nothing, really, to do with the “real” CR at all since the characters “I know” so well have taken on a life of their own in the almost hundred years since those stories were written.

The thing is, whether we are dealing with fiction or what is generally considered more “real”, life is never a single, simple thread; everything we release into it becomes woven into a dense tapestry of other people and events and yet only we each get to choose which is our still-relatable thread to follow. No one else can come along and unpick or reclaim that thread as more-rightfully theirs, or even snip it out as though it never existed or was “wrong”, which is how we mess-up when we attempt to post-mortem anything that happened “in the past”. As we pull away at “what was”, there is always the risk that unpicking one part of the tapestry to make ourselves feel better will cause other things to fall apart for others…perhaps necessarily so in cases where something continues to be harmfully distorted to this day, but quite unnecessary in others, so this need to be a very conscious and considered choice. This is something that far too few people seem to give consideration to when they take whatever the TV screen serves up to them without a moment’s pause to ask why they want to know this stuff or whether they need to hear it; since information cannot be unlearned and what we are being told may not be relevant or even desirable to know. It is the modern thing to assume that all information is “good” for us but, once out (though it can be tucked into recesses out of daily sight but we know none of that is healthy) to know something is to change everything associated with it forever. In this case, it was a trade off that, to me, represented a price too high to be paid, leaving my life-long fondness for this character in tatters. And after all, what could possibly matter more ~ to me ~ than the relationship we had forged together like old-friends of an entire lifetime. If there was a present-day wrong to be righted, if someone was in need of my help, if stirring this pot could help any of the real characters involved then things would be different; but none of this applied and often (even in matters more “serious” than Pooh) this is the case; we don’t need to wallow in half of the dirt or bad news that we are being encouraged to hear. No, most of the time, it is gratuitous curiosity to the point of voyeurism and a taste for juicy exposés and public humiliation that feeds box-office figures and the market for certain genres of book, news reports, “reality” tv and documentaries. This is a nosey-parker, dish-the-dirt, self-righteous, sanctimonious kind of urge that relishes the opportunity to nod oh-so sagely at the inevitable conclusion that this or that person was “flawed after all”. Well, aren’t we all? Why do we need to keep proving that over and over and over like the primary fixation of our times and when do we start to focus on all the good stuff people do?

A similar thing happened once before when I tripped upon a film about Enid Blyton, another pivotal childhood author of mine who, previously, stood like the tent pole at the centre of countless hours of pure, delirious escapism into the far reaches of innocence and imagination. Suddenly, there on the screen was this monster of a parent so flawed beyond belief in her own engagements with her children that, suddenly, the whole fabric of my childhood fantasy world (which, really, had nothing whatever to do with her) was left flapping like torn pieces of tent-fabric in a stormy gale. It was a cursory tale to do with “consider how much you want to know; and what will it add to your life to go there” – a consideration we would do well to ask in so many aspects of life in this information-ready world of ours. Sometimes, when we think we know too much “about a thing” we forget to know what that thing really helped us to know in the first place, which was really far more important and useful to us (which sounds exactly like the sort of observation Pooh might make).

“When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.”
A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

So, we have this obsession, currently, with truth at all costs and exposure of all the darker corners and, yes, it can be refreshing to let air in to what once stood stagnant in order to cast vivid daylight into all those hovering dust motes…sometimes. A phrase comes to mind and its “baby out with bathwater”; in other words, where do we stop and what remains “sacred” in the sense that it is perfectly intact as it is. There’s some truth in the observation that many a genius has arrived in an extremely troubled package and, perhaps, never more so than during the twentieth century when the push-pull of masculine and feminine became almost psychotic. Some of the very jet streams of most-needed light came out into the world as the flip-side of characters who, in their daily lives, were the most shadowy and flawed of all and that was just the way it was, then, during such turbulent and messed-up times. Do we need to post-mortem that; to question what we saw when their light shone the brightest? What does it add to our world to keep raking over little histories, to keep finding the same theme…yes, often great beauty came gushing out of nowhere as the close bedfellow of something far less savoury like the very juxtaposition made it happen (well yes, it probably did…but that doesn’t negate the good stuff). We don’t have to repeat it, but nor do we have to over-analyse it. It was of its time. We are on the brink of something else…if we will let it happen without all this backward glancing.

“I’m not lost for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.”
A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Before this sounds like nothing more than a treatise on the sanctity of childhood stories, I have to say that I am seeing this same theme play out everywhere, at the moment, so that Pooh merely flagged up what feels like a running theme. We very typically see this dynamic play out in families; often when someone has died and a whole variety of different thus apparently conflicting “truths” about them come out of the woodwork. One person remembers someone as this way, someone else remembers them as something else completely…a monster, a horror. In my own life, curiosity has led me (many times) to delve back into parts of my life that I really didn’t want to be re-opening, with the effect of stirring up what had previouslt felt done with; as though the universe took this as a clear signal that I had unfinished business there. Sometimes, in retrospect, I knew I would have done better leaving some threads where they were, neither wrong nor right. What if no one has to be right; what if they were a bit of both? Does anyone’s personal history deserve to be shredded as though they imagined it all? We could spread this wider to include the world stage since the habit of insisting upon one definitive truth is rife, especially once “truths” get turned into cinema (and yet we all know how much license goes on there). Such a one-version-fits-all approach is only restricting our growth now and it is so, potentially, harmful to pack certain interpretations of “truth” into the mass consciousness dressed up as light entertainment only to be, most worryingly, accepted as gospel-truth because so many people believe what they see with their eyes on a screen. More people now remember some version of classic literature or history that they last saw in the cinema, with all its manipulations and convenient edits, over any original manuscript or first-hand accounts of what really happened; which is the pitfall when we allow the loudest medium of all to determine what people remember about something…and to have the last say as if its “a wrap”. When we delve into dirty laundry to make art of it, crystalising the least savoury aspects of our stories in mediums that have longevity, we risk allowing them to outlast the far better bits or more auspicious bits of where we have been; overshadowing the very treasures we brought forwards for future generations. Imagine if, on boxing day, we decided to preserve all the wrapping paper, the filler and the boxes only to throw away the gifts; that’s what this trend can feel like. When we make space for more paradox without need to over-analyse it and stop being so fixated upon the misdeads and mistakes of the past, this trend for focusing on the unsavoury holds far less sway over us; stops garnering all our attention or being entertainment. Nobody gets to dish the dirt, we each get to choose our own most relatable thread, no one is made wrong; since nothing was ever wrong nor was it right…it just was. Allowing this, and stopping from over-thinking everything, is how we heal. Letting go, above all, is how we heal.

“Think it over, think it under.”
A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

In the end, as with everything, it all comes back to personal responsibility and choice; where do we, personally, draw the cut-off line in the sand? How much do we chose to dissect, to dismantle, to probe, to rake, to pull apart, to make things our business, to defend very strong opinions that aren’t quite our own, to put on trial and to interrogate even our own earliest stand-point on what made us feel “truth” before some influencer came our way and made us feel differently. As ever, our own initial gut feelings are usually the only guide we need. Those feelings probably came though the clearest of all when we were children and were, thus, the least influenced by the opinions of others than we would ever be for the rest of our lives (or, at least, until we woke up to the many ways that distortion happens). And in Pooh, I found my first childhood philosopher, my friendly sage, a warm and infinitely flawed and thus relatable guide through the maelstrom of human experience. That was all that mattered then; is all that matters now and I hold that relationship sacrosanct over any temporary urge to watch the latest film or deep-dive into personal memoirs relating to people that had their own messy stuff (don’t we all), none of which had anything whatsoever to do with me.

Posted in Consciousness & evolution, Fiction, Life choices, Literature, Menu, Personal Development | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Doing absolutely nothing

If I’m honest, “nothing” is something I’ve ever never been all that good at doing! All my life, there seems to have been a logger-head situation between an aspect of me that wants so desperately to stop everything, to just get off the merry-go-round, cease all the thoughts and just be…and an aspect that can’t bear to be inactive. That latter part has generally got its way, being the louder and more dominant-seeming aspect, and so I struggle to be still for even a few moments, generally speaking. Even when I notice how much I’m enjoying the stillness, part of me clamours to get to a keyboard to share all about the sensations I’m having (well, look at me now…), to multitask with something else or plan ahead. It’s a typical state we seem to have got ourselves into as human beings, and I’ve been all too aware of it for the longest time though, paradoxically, being aware of it doesn’t solve it…just as knowing what it is to be “zen” doesn’t make it happen.

Yet since my AuraTransformation™, in amongst the many and varied, incredibly layered and (still) far too new and personal experiences to be noticed is that I’m getting somewhat better at inching closer to this kind of stillness or abstinence from “doing” or “cogitating” all the time, even if it catches up with me eventually (yes, like now). Its subtle and its like the butterfly that, as soon as you show you are aware that its there, flits off to land in someone else’s back yard. Its made me start to see things in a somewhat different light and appreciate how others get closer to what, to me, was previously so elusive as to be necessary to almost “write off” as unachievable or even undesirable to avoid disappointment. For instance, my husband is going on a five-day silent mediation retreat in a few weeks and, whereas I previously supported him in this but felt it was not “my thing”, I suddenly find myself almost envious and looking forward to a time when I could do something similar; this is a new urge. For me, I imagine, it would be torturous, one of the hardest things I ever attempted…and yet, also, transformative and so incredibly powerful that I doubt I would ever be quite the same again. Perhaps this is because I am starting to gain a real glimpse of this place it would allow me to step into, uninterrupted, for a sustained period of time whereas, for now, its something I’m having to grab onto in ever-more eager handfuls, like sand running between fingers, when I can.

On my walk today, in gloriously golden though bitingly cold February conditions, I found myself putting one foot in front of the other so slowly as to almost not be walking so much as taking a series of joined-together pauses. I was on the familiar pathway up the hill towards the churchyard whose bench I like to sit on…ostensibly to “meditate” (for as long as my fidgety dog will let me) but, typically, this turns out to be somewhere I tend to cogitate about what I’m going to “do” when I get back home in twenty minutes or so. But today I was in a different groove, even as I was still putting one foot in front of the other, long before reaching the bench, like a walking meditation. It was like I was straddling the gap between two possibilities and one of those was allowing me to notice things going off in my environment without engaging with the attachments around them or falling for the mind-trick that generally gets me drifting into thoughts of past or future. This got the other part of my awareness wondering what it would be like to be able to take in sensory stimuli all the time, without having the associations and responses that come with a life-time’s worth of such attachments to what we are experiencing in the moment. Really, when do we ever get to do that since every single response we have is coloured by previous experiences quantumly entangled with whatever stimuli we are being exposed to? For instance, for me in that moment, what would it be to hear the drone of the light aeroplane looping-the-loop up above and respond to its sound at face value or with straightforward curiosity, maybe even with a sense of dislike or annoyance at its waspish noise breaking the tranquility, instead of feeling somehow that I quite like it for the way it signals the imminent arrival of bright summer days or acts as a sound-trigger that germinates the seed of some old nostalgia about lazy afternoons in my childhood garden. Or to walk without a particular song playing in my head because it reminds me of, again, something to do with this time of year in my youth. Or to enjoy this particular walk because of its inherent beauty, not because it is also layered with all the memories of a zillion other walks along this same path by myself or with the family when the children were growing up chasing each other or throwing balls around. Its not a case of wanting to eradicate fond memories but to not be so dictated to by them that every response is almost a program running in my head. The possibility of such experience is something I would like to get closer to the more, in fact, I seem to be getting there at last…like all my stray memory sectors got tidied up, made coherent and put into folders in the last week or so; so that, now, they are optionally there when I want to gain access to them but are not spilled out knee-deep all over the floor of my mind. I feel clearer and better able to access what feels inherently “me” in each moment; not the amalgam of many learned responses triggered like the knee-jerk reactions of a memory sponge. Better still, I seem better able to leave the files on their shelves and go into experiences with the sense of being the virgin explorer of new territory; a new arrival equipped with basic curiosity and a fundamental love of life.

andrea-reiman-425130What must it be like to have that near-death experience and, for a few moments, to suddenly see your own life with all of the filters removed…for there is nothing that we experience through human eyes that isn’t seen through the tinted glasses of a life-time (or more)’s accumulated experiences, belief systems, good and bad associations, cross-references with so-called information from a multitude of variably reliable sources and all the many layered stitching of the whole vast tapestry of our life. What we would see in such a moment would be so obvious to us, as though all the scales fell of and we could take in the unobscured view of what was really important to us without all the piffle and distraction; and unlikely that we would ever have to see through all those programs again once their spell had been broken. What must it be to then go back into life and really, with fullest attention, see a tree with golden light fanned on the ground beneath its strong silhouette, to notice the extraordinary beauty of a bird-song as through for the very first time (and then to really hear all its complexities, not just tune it out as far too commonplace to be bothered with), to notice the way sunlight creates iridescence on water that defies life’s regular colour palette, to notice the animation of all those teeming sensations in your limbs as you walk and the astonishing efficiency of nerve impulses that travel from brain to sinew so fast that you get to move your legs with hardly a moment’s hesitation after the initiating thought. Is this what it would be like to relearn life after some sort of devastation like a stroke, an injury or profound loss of memory, where what we once knew would have to be remembered and remastered as though from scratch; and how do we get to regain the marvel-factor that must come with each small achievement or observation following an event such as that without having to go through the terrible loss or trauma of anything being “lost”, even if only temporarily? How do we get to that level of awe and appreciation without the devastation of severe illness or a close brush with death? Because, as a species, we need these perspectives more than we ever did; they round us and they rebalance us in ways critical to our ability to thrive and survive.

Stepping closer to this perspective is where I seem to be at and there is a subtle yet powerful tipping of the balance of importance that I seem to be giving to such experiences over the endless “doing” that has always dictated my life so far, even when I gave lip-service to a more meditative life (for all those years of doing that, I never really got close to this though, paradoxically, I always tried so much harder). Which takes doing slightly oddball things whenever the whim takes me, I find; and pulling rank when that other part tries to insist there are other things I urgently need to be doing. Like, when I got home from my walk and, though its been no more than 5º today (and was snowing just last night), I kept my work computer switched off and, instead, wrapped myself in layers and blankets in a deckchair in order to sit there in the slowly setting sun of my garden for a couple of hours doing precisely nothing. It wasn’t the obvious thing to do as I have been in a whole lot of pain this week and cold is an agravant yet I felt I knew what I was doing and this just wanted to be done more than anything supposedly more pressing or logical. Just closing my eyes or soft-focusing towards where the birds were flitting with their iridescent tipped wings around the bird-feeder by the budding cherry blossom tree, listening to the sound of their wings as they darted overhead, enjoying their trust and proximity and, otherwise, just being there; nothing more. No thoughts, no projects, no cogitations, no nostalgia, no planning, no reason for doing this, no reasons I shouldn’t be doing it either…just allowing. Its nothingness generated more power inside my human engine than I can amply describe; its inactivity the most productive way I could have spent my afternoon…this was no holiday, it felt essential to the very core of my very being.

Its new territory for me; you could say, a new balance of power or carving-up of key roles inside that lifelong behaviour paradox of mine and I think I like it. I’m already noticing far more than I ever did, marvelling at details that are as commonplace as they are routinely overlooked, feeling as though life just lit-up from the inside and took on a whole other sheen. With it comes a sense of being more fully alive, more abundant, more thrilled and excited and optimistic than I can easily describe or give reason for…and it was there all the time, I just couldn’t seem to see it so clearly until I allowed myself to stop and then integrate this “stopping” aspect into my life on a fifty-fifty basis with all the other stuff, not just making it into a spiritual hobby made to fit around other priorities. This is not just a case of ceasing all thought and activity occasionally, as I thought I had been doing so amply before I cleared down my entire system, which felt cluttered up beyond description until now, for all the many years “work” I had done clearing it (and what I am describing feels way more integrated than meditation; far easier to drop in and out of in the midst of everyday life). Rather, it involves allowing myself to sense there is a whole other layer to that area of potential, beyond all ideas that have become so knotted up with who I think I am, and then reaching fearlessly into the territory, beyond what was still, really, conditional or learned or held within boundaries, identities and expectations…far out there into realms so unexplored by me that they have no form or preconception; and this is only just the beginning of their full collaboration with that more active aspect of who I am.

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Posted in Consciousness & evolution, Divine feminine, divine masculine, Life choices, Menu, Personal Development, Recovery chronic illness, Spirituality | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Unreservedly whole

While we continue defending the feminine (like she needs to be defended…), championing her like she has been wronged, we remain completely out of balance. While our masculine aspect is still charged with any wrongdoing, and while he is commissioned with taking on what ails the so-called struggling feminine who supposedly needs “rescuing”, he will be condemned to hunting down and nailing dragons for all eternity in order to “prove himself”. This makes him unavailable to meet with the feminine in the “place” where he can take off his armour and come into full union with her; there will always be another task to be done and he will be forever distracted, absent, preoccupied, guarded. In order to meld fully, the unconditional surrender of all issues between these aspects needs to occur; and the bridge between them needs to be a motion of at once stepping forwards and reaching out to receive in both cases. A decommissioning of all reasons to be other than this bridge, with each other, from that moment forwards, needs to occur unreservedly…


Its time to stop skirting around the “big event” of my week alluded to in my last post, though I won’t enlarge on it yet (that may come later but, for now, the process is deeply intimate). Last week, I underwent an AuraTransformation™, a radical and irreversible energetic treatment, something I referred to in my post Crystal living: life beyond “the rub” and which I have been deeply considering, involving a great deal of research and inner listening, for the past two months. The process is split into two sessions and yesterday was my second, balancing, session which, amongst other things, brought my four elements and then my masculine and feminine aspects into full balance. The process has been incredible and unexpected journey; not least because of the literal journey that took me on a more than 300 miles round trip from home (twice in five days) to undergo the treatment with the mediator that felt like she was “the right one” for me…very important. This meant two journeys to Exeter in Devon…a long way from home and a city I had never been to, the only prior association I had of Devon being a handful of holidays in my youth and earlier adulthood. Exeter itself had that virgin feel to it; one of the few cathedral towns I had never been to before.

Then once booked, to my thrill but perhaps not ultimate surprise, I learned the sessions were to take place within a few 100 feet of the cathedral. I have had a life-long association with cathedrals, coming (gradually) to know these as place-markers for incredibly powerful energy nodes in the landscape where the masculine and feminine aspects play-off against each other and, ultimately, cross over with the potential to merge. My insatiable attraction to cathedrals in my earlier life felt like it had something to do with “history” (I can’t say it was about religion) but, as I gathered more and more powerful experiences around these places, it gradually became an energetic draw at the highly conscious level as something I actively worked with. There has always been something in the bloodline, for me, too; like I can’t keep away from them or am some sort of energetic guardian of what they represent (my mother’s family lived opposite a cathedral and she was born in that house; her favourite uncle, who showed me around it, a keyholder and volunteer guide until he was well into his 80s). Those buildings are like vast, loyal dragons that have served by sitting on, thus safeguarding, something powerful and important to remember about places where masculine and feminine come into union and the symbology so often incorporated into their stone masonry hints at traditions that far predate what we think of as religion. Above all, there is a distinct and often refined energy that I have been able to work with at these sites which…lets be honest…would have been covered over with so much urban sprawl by now if there had not been some giant dinosaur of a building sitting guard on that particular turf. To discover I was to have my AT in such a place was a powerful affirmation that I was more-than doing the right thing for myself.

Exeter intrigued me when I did a little research. An early church went back to at least Roman times and an early Christian version was dedicated to Saint Mary, know as Saint Mary Major, and became the first cathedral at Exeter but then a Norman cathedral, more like a castle, was started slightly to the east of that original site. That twin-towered building was then replaced by the softer, more light filled and ornate cathedral that stands there today, the two Norman towers kept as the only remnant of that earlier version and lending an unusualy squat shape, like a twin-headed dragon sat on his haunches. Mary Major continued as a parish church in the shadow of the vastly larger cathedral until she was demolished 150 years ago; you can see where this metaphor could go…you could say, yet another case of the feminine being overshadowed, disregarded, plundered then obliterated… Indeed, this was my habitual starting point as I felt into the place where I was to have my AT…but it was quite a lag-point compared to where I ended up once I was more balanced and the difference between perspectives now tells me so much about how close we can think we are to our own greatest balance-point or experience of wholeness; and yet how desperately off-balance we often continue to be.

Another beautiful synchoncicity….by acccident, my first appointment was originally set for 31st Jan at the exact time of the lunar eclipse. I liked this a lot; but not as much as when the appointments were swapped around to make that my second appointment. This meant I would be walking out of my balancing session just in time to become the filling in a sun-and-moon sandwich, how very appropriate and powerful that could be. As I set off for my balancing session yesterday, I already knew what I intended to do. As the eclipse happened, I would start from Mary Major’s spire (the only part of the original cathedral that is still standing, on a stone plinth on the ground) and walk the 75 feet between her and the cathedral door, serving as a the bridge from masculine to feminine. In other words, I would make myself “the difference between them” and bring them back together again, as me in my newly balanced state.

When it came down to it, 75 feet really didn’t feel so very far; I had to laugh at how I felt I was realising something so pofoundly universal about how we were never quite as seperate as we thought. Also, being very slippery with mud, I was encouraged to make use of the flight of steps no-doubt engineered by some left-brained piece of ingenuity, which felt like the masculine holding out a hand to make the journey easier. In no time at all, I was at the cathedral door where I paid my entry to a very friendly woman who extended my ticket-entry so I could return again on future visits. Within a short space of time, I had chatted to her and several other guides numerous times as they helped me to play hide-and seek with certain features I was really keen to see on ceilings and walls so high they challenged my compromised eyesight, even with a long lens on my camera. Some cathedrals can feel foreboding or cold; this was anything but and I would say, based on its hospitality, that the feminine is very much at home and present within its walls, in fact it was obvious that this was a comfortable feminine domain, for all its massive stone arcs made me feel dwarfed by their scale.

This became much more apparent once I started looking into all the crevices: there are mermaids and Mary’s, with numerous grinning Green Men their side-kick, not to mention a menagerie of other creatures (real and imagined), dragons, even a medieval cat-flap in a door for the resident rat-catcher and, notably, a Medieval likeness of an elephant carved at least 100 years before anyone near here likely saw one. I loved its immense spaciousness and (courtesy of flying buttresses on the outside, like the spines of folded dragon wings) its sense of abundant light. The masculine had risen to great heights of craftmanship and ingenuity here…the longest continuous Medieval vaulted ceiling ever built, like a vast forest of stone trees; what an arbour for the feminine aspect to dwell in! This place felt more like an all-inclusive and somewhat eccentric forest dwelling place for, well, everyone, with the mistress of the house up at the top. In fact, the whole place had been constructed around the Lady Chapel – the oldest part of the building – and high up above that, painted colourfully with gold on blue….of course, how perfect…a ceiling made up of hundreds of tiny suns and moons. It was only a few minutes off the lunar eclipse when I reached this point and there was no more fitting place that I could have been.

My pervading sense, in the end, was that the masculine hadn’t sought to overshadow the feminine here; rather, he had striven with all his ingenuity and craftmanship to build her an all-mod-cons house or, more accurately, a palace and a far better earthly dwelling place than roughing it outside in a draughty Saxon barn with a tower. She hadn’t been overshadowed but, rather, moved from the draughty trailer in the yard into a nothing-held-back main residence fit for a queen. The whole sorry misunderstanding of intention was cleared up in me, at this metaphorical level, just as quickly and as thoroughly as it had been cleared up inside of me less than an hour ago during the “ceremony” of my balancing treatment. It had all been some grand miscommunication, made more and more of over the years until suddenly what had been intended as spirit-mates had ceased talking to one another in any kind of appropriate or mutually respectful way, delivering the cold-shoulder to one another more often than not. Here, you know I’m not just talking about a gender misunderstanding…nothing so small or relatively trivial (and which will self-resolve once we get all the other things straight). No, what I’m talking about more than anything here is the fundamental breakdown in communication within each of us, in that place where our masculine and feminine qualities meet each other so closely and intimately that they could and should meld together in order to give birth to our very highest potential as human beings. Instead, they are mostly out of whack and in stand-off with one another; and this manifests as our issues around health, making a living and our ability to thrive, our relationships with others and ourselves, our difficulties around determining our true purpose, the degree to which we unfairly value intellect over our subtle skills, noise and extroversion over quiet introversion, control over autonomy, involvement and teamskills over solitude or independence, how we figure out our balance of work versus pleasure, our sense of what seems most important to us as a collective and in community, our choices of where and how to live (perhaps especially as regards ecology and the pressing need to respect all other lifeforms) and pretty much every other matter that concerns us as human beings. This is where the fundamental breakdown in communication has occurred, compartmentalising two aspects of our own wholeness which need so desperately to work together. We live in a dualistic reality, yes (for our benefit), but it was never meant to be this broken down into irreconcilable parts. Now, within myself, I felt like I had rectified this state of broken communication, once and for all…yes, it really felt that momentous and tangible. I also somehow knew that, even though I may still wobble out of balance from time to time, its like a riding a bicycle…once mastered, never forgotten since the feeling switched on in me is sublime and impossible to forget. Yes, incredibly hard to describe but it keeps fountaining within me and is as though it keeps carrying me on its twin shoulders towards a whole new potential.

I have to smile writing this post as I only shared a couple of days ago how my sense of place was speaking less loudly to me now (since my first AT session) and yet this whole metaphor had played out through a metaphor delivered by my potent sense of place. I saw very clearly how this metaphor had walked me towards a key piece of understanding or, rather, served as a visceral externalisation of the inner transformation taking place. Less than a week ago, I was still prepared to entertain that some terrible wrong or unfairness had taken place and that the forlorn spire of Mary Major (the only part that is left of the original church; you could say her pinacle) marked the site of the “true” cathedral. Even though I knew, with my mind, there must be some sort of middle ground to this perspective, I visited the spire on that first visit but felt strongly against going inside the cathedral; in fact, wild horses wouldn’t drag me in there as if it was counter to the “spirit” of what I was attempting to bring about as supreme balance within myself via the AT. I had made myself separate from it and here lay a profound understanding, part of which I used to open this post:

While we continue defending the feminine (like she needs to be defended…), championing her like she has been wronged, we remain completely out of balance. While our masculine aspect is still charged with any wrongdoing, and while he is commissioned with taking on what ails the so-called struggling feminine who supposedly needs “rescuing”, he will be condemned to hunting down and nailing dragons for all eternity in order to “prove himself”. This makes him unavailable to meet with the feminine in the “place” where he can take off his armour and come into full union with her; there will always be another task to be done and he will be forever distracted, absent, preoccupied, guarded. In order to meld fully, the unconditional surrender of all issues between these aspects needs to occur; and the bridge between them needs to be a motion of at once stepping forwards and reaching out to receive in both cases. A decommissioning of all reasons to be other than this bridge, with each other, from that moment forwards, needs to occur unreservedly; no more “buts…” Once this is allowed to happen, a containment of the feminine will occur; but – importantly – this is not an imprisonment…in fact, it is anything but incarceration and it allows embodiment to take place, as it must for full union to occur. Once this is allowed, it will be swiftly perceived that the masculine is also contained within the feminine, albeit in a slightly different (you could say complimentary) way. There is no describing this “place”; the only way to know it is to achieve it. This takes a leap of faith…we cannot know with the mind what we have yet to achieve…but we can attempt to know that it will be worth it, for all, simultaneously.

Yesterday, I felt no such reluctance and my reward was finding the feminine inside the masculine…in fact, more than present, very much the determining flavour within. My stand-off had played out to fruition and the fruit was that all is intact, the house is whole, there is no separation. I knew this, already, long before I left the cathedral…where I felt it, viscerally, the whole time I was there. Then it played out as such a comedic postscript to my day where the cafe I had earmarked for my late lunch, by the water’s edge, was bolted-up closed for the day; in fact the dreary grey-day waterside looked very different to how it had appeared less than a week ago in full golden sunset glow with swans snoozing on the eater’s edge. So I walked all the way back to the very first place I had had an inclination to eat straight after leaving the cathedral (though my mind had over-ridden the choice; a reminder that I need to get so much better at acting on subtle clues). From there, in my window seat, I turned round to a perfect view of the front facade of the cathedral and, just as I noticed I was also equidistant from the spire of Saint Mary Major, forming the tip of a triangle from my window, the whole cathedral became flood lit in the first golden sunlight of the day. I had formed a pyramid with the spire and the in-spiration: knowing, suddenly, how this is what the feminine and masculine play out together, the masculine “bringing indoors” and embodying that which the feminine already is without any need for roof and walls (there is nothing higher) yet, through the ingenuity and inspiration of the masculine we get to realise that aspect within the “form” of our human molecules, as who we are, and in the physical and tangible world of bricks and mortar. Yes, its a collaboration and when we achieve this collaboration on the inside of our own human exprience, we each become our own cathedral or power node marking a “place” where masculine and feminine have become one.

Things tend to lighten up just as soon as you reach the point where wholeness is achieved as an insider job of “realisation”; like the universe lets out a sigh of relief. So as a sort of cheeky wink from the universe that I had got there in the end, the young man who had sat next to me on the train for two hours that morning happened to walk right past on the pavement just as I was drawing these conclusions; what are the odds. Then the internet failed as I was attempting to make payment for my meal so the manager insisted, with a knowing smile, that I have a free lunch. My taxi arrived in perfect time and the incredibly chatty driver told me something so synchronistic and useful to a particular situation affecting my life at home that he could have been a messenger from the highest source; and we had the best of chats while he got me to my train in perfect time. The noticing of synchronicity might sound trivial but is just one of the lighthearted ways the universe likes to give the nod to the path you are travelling and how aware and awake you are being as you navigate your own highest, and most balanced, path.

This truly felt like the beginnings of life in balance yet the strongest clues remain on the inside, as how I feel…still…the morning afterwards; glowingly whole in a way never quite experienced before. A big part of it, for me, is recognising when and where the feminine aspect in me wants to be contained or “housed” for her better comfort and joy and when and where she doesn’t. I don’t, for instance, feel I want to share very much about my AT and all the ways that is profoundly transforming my experience of life; not yet and maybe never, and that is a balance-point for me, going forwards. In other words, knowing when to blog about my experience, honing it into sentences, sharing it with an audience because that helps me to crystalise my experience…and when to just allow the experience to be there more softly, for my own personal enjoyment and benefit, without having to prove or define myself or feel there is always something more to be done (as though an experience “isn’t real” until it is made into something). It may profoundly influence the nature of this blog, going forwards…and yet only for the better; and, indeed, it may mean that I spend more of my time living my life and far less writing about it…I don’t know yet and I get to decide in each moment, but whatever form that aspect of my life takes, it already feels significantly more in balance.

Posted in Consciousness & evolution, Divine feminine, divine masculine, Leylines, Life choices, Life journey, Menu, Personal Development, Symbolic journeys, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mixing up the wool with the silk

Something profound has happened to me in the last few days and, though I’m not yet ready to share how this came about, things are feeling very different; clearer, lighter and far more embodied. The clues are so subtle as to be almost questionable and yet, for me, there’s no refuting the changes which are as though I am now  seeing things as though I am finally “within” a place that I have been dancing around yet somehow not quite able to land upon until now. What’s more, having landed on this place where two aspects of myself meet, I find there is none of the expected friction except where I choose for that “rub” factor to be (because it is useful to me); which is allowing me to create entirely new experiences, going forwards.

Talk of “place” is a fairly good place to start as I attempt to describe this change in me since I have tended to derive so many of my deepest introspections from my energetic relationship with place via ancient landmarks and what feel to me like magnetic pulling-points across time through certain geographical locations; yet one of the profoundest changes in me is how I suddenly don’t seem to relate to place in quite the same intense way any more. I noticed this because, yesterday, I was driving to deepest Hampshire for a one-to-one with a woman who teaches felting, a skill I’ve felt drawn to for some time. Travelling to the New Forest after all these years was like plunging deep into the back-story of my life since I spent a great deal of time there over the first two decades of my adult life and could have been the source of a great deal of inner friction. Even “how to get there” presented a conundrum since it was quite a drive for a full-day’s workshop and yet the themes that came up around this choicepoint became part of this new sense of overview that turned into very fabric of my day.

To get there, I had a choice of two very different routes…the “obvious” fast-moving arrow that is a motorway (though always prone to early morning congestion) or the straight-ish as a bird flies route (with the likelihood of being at a snail’s pace determined by local road conditions and far lower speed limits). Lately, I find I dislike making that more obvious choice of the motorway to get anywhere, even though the drive can be “easier” for the fact you don’t really have to think so very much to get wherever you are heading since all the thinking has been done for you and even the GPS is geared to take you that way. Yet, unless you are driving amidst mountains, like that most-memorable drive we did through he North Italian Alps a few months ago, it’s possible to drive along a motorway for hours and have no real sense of where you are since it all looks the same; there’s simply no connection with place! By contrast, a few days ago I took a train all the way to Devon (for the first time in my life) instead of the car. In that case, the journey made me feel more attached to, and part of, the landscape than any of the numerous journeys I have ever made there by road; almost like my whole concept of “where Devon is” has now has altered due to it reattaching itself to where I live three counties away. That train route closely followed the banks of Kennet and Avon, with its brightly coloured barges, then went through a timeless pastoral idyll at such proximity that I could watch people walking their dogs across dewy fields and see sun sparkles on the silvery ribbons weaving their way through valleys encircled by hills dotted with sheep and emerald-hued fields with horses shaking their manes under the trees. I witnessed the local features of the landscape morph from one location to another and it all felt vividly real and full of the flavour of “place”. Our motorways and their stop-overs have been assimilated to each other such high degree that it is almost impossible to recognise one stretch of road from another; it all looks exactly the same.

Perhaps encouraged by my Devon trip, I chose the far more flowing “country” route for my trip to Hampshire yesterday; knowing (though apparently only 3 miles further to travel than the motorway) it would come with its own set of pitfalls, not least that my GPS didn’t seem to be able to compute my instructions, Still, it felt more “in the spirit” of my outing to take this more playful, more involved journey through all the various places dotted between where I live and where I was heading. So many of the small country roads have been turned into impromptu fords or liberally doused in thick mud and water during these weeks of rain that the journey had a slow and unpromising start, with one or two diversions to avoid road closures or bunched-up traffic. But then, apart from lanes the width of a car at each end, the route was largely made up of relatively long straight stretches between villages and market towns; no doubt grown out of ancient pathways carved by footfall between places of local significance dotted along a landscape determined, originally (as I know only too well), by the presence of rivers, hills and the intersection of leylines. My drive was like a dance of the masculine and feminine…dazzling clear river waters put into service as silk “industry”, gin distillery and, a stone’s throw away, world-famous carpet making. So many clues and associations in the names (Wells-in-the-Fields, Saint Mary and Saint George), a military base, the place notoriously associated with the earliest chemical weapon research, the all-male establishment where my ex was schooled, all those ancient-sacred landmarks latterly turned into masculine strongholds; Danesbury “hillfort”, Stonehenge, Old Sarum and, of course, Salisbury’s cathedral ringed by the gentle watermeadows that used to be my favourite place to walk on the first day of every year.

Yet here is what had changed, as I took what felt like a timely tour back into the root chakra of our (my) past. Our collective history (and my own personal history), in retrospect to me now, from this brand-new perspective, seems to me like a rhythmic dance of yin and yang with the occasional clumsy moment where one stood painfully on the other’s toes but mostly, as seen from this middle route, it all has such a pervading feeling of more give-and-take than we (I) had tended to remember, with our inner and outer masculine and feminine aspects clamped closely to each other’s breast, one perhaps leading more forciby or heavily than the other for quite an elongated time yet all, really, performed as a unit of two parts, however clumsily. This is what is so new in me; an ability to see the beauty in the duality, to forgive all that stumbling about, to stop needing to revisit the scene and, really, just wanting to focus on other things in order to get going forwards. All I wanted to do was drive my car straight through it all; that’s it…no engagement beyond what I was able to acknowledge and simultaneously let go of. The magnetic pull of ancient reminders in the landscape seems to have turned right down to a much lower level for me now and there is a sense of void…combined with such a sense of relief, like a white noise just went quiet and I can hear different things, such as a new and much more promising melody dancing on the wind. There was no compelling urge in me to do anything on this drive but to enjoy the view and observe the flavours, to notice the clues to our (my) past without engaging with them, to know these places were there and to acknowledge the dance we have been through collectively and, yes, my part in it, yet remain completely balanced and almost bizarrely neutral in my response. I found myself speaking words of gratitude and acknowledgement outloud for all the many experiences as they came up and then, simultaneously, letting them go; like a ceremony of release or casting off stitches. I felt acutely aware, yet not taken off route, by anything I encountered and there was no desire to stop. Though I had my camera and long lens with me ready on the passenger seat, my planned 5 mile diversion to take early morning photos of Stonehenge simply withered away on the bough; that urge now felt habitual and, on reconsideration, it also felt “done” (and I’ve already more-than got the t-shirt). I realised, I’m simply not seeking anything those places can tell me anymore or even anything they can activate in me; it all lies within. All that mattered now was my own, particular, chosen route through the landcape as I headed off on a new journey that mattered only to me….here, today, in this moment.

That route got me in good time (in fact, ten minutes early) to destination, which was a thatched cottage deep in the New Forest with wild and woolly ponies, as ever, loitering around in the lanes munching on residents shrubberies, their disheveled manes caked with January’s mud. So wild and free yet contained, for their own benefit, by the efforts of the national park; they too felt like a clue. Back to my own purpose here; I had come to learn how to turn wool fibres into felt and then how to get that felt to adhere to silk; and in this I found the continuance of my larger theme. For in the making of life as a balanced mixture of both the hardy and resilient wool and the softly ethereal silk, we create of ourselves the extraordinarily beautiful fabric that is our next highest expression…and whilst this is what I, literally, hope to do as the next version of my artistic expression, I know it runs far more deeply than that, as me. The woman who spent the day teaching me these skills works mostly with the wool, often as extremely sturdy and large-scale solid forms (paradoxically, her latest installation was a collection of up to 8-foot high megaliths made from felt; though perhaps there is something poignant in the fact that what stood so solidly anchored to location and made of solid stone for all those countless centuries can now be crafted so beautifully, and portably, out of sheep’s fleece…) adding only very small amounts of other fabrics as embellishment. In other words, I went there expressly to learn the necessary practicalities of how wool fibres adhere together and to other things, from an extremely skilled craftsperson with over 25 years experience of working with wool, so I could go away to experiment by myself at home. There, my hope (and it will take some trial and error) is to bring the balance of wool and silk closer to 50:50 in order to – in a sense – paint with the fleece; which is what is known as nuno felting (a case of “best of both worlds”). I sense in this a new vehicle for where I am as an artist who is newly frustrated with paints and veering towards digitally printing designs on silk and yet wanting, still, to be involved in something more physical, involved and “of the hands”. My printed designs on silk feel deeply satisfying and yet they lack something that is all to do with substance and the pith of life. Bringing silk to wool is a method of grounding or embodying, of sorts; you could say, yet another version of bringing the divine into a workable human framework, which calls for resilience, sturdiness and practicality. Meanwhile, bringing wool to silk allows the former to become more expressive, playful, light and (I envision) beautiful; extending it beyond what has already been done in order to explore new territory.

Being this meeting point is where I am at, it seems, in all things. Being, at once, of my highest essence and yet humanly practical and much-more fully embodied is my highest aspiration every day now, across all aspects of experience, inside and out. You could say, being logical, direct, fit-for-purpose, structured, hardy, informed, up-to-date and useful combined with expression and involvement, impulsiveness, flow, beauty, connectivity, softness, spontaneity, receptivity and playfulness. I don’t just want to make things easy and give-in to shortcuts as I still want to get my hands dirty (…just a little); but I don’t want to get so involved in process that it all becomes slow-moving and hard again. In fact, I have no desire for that at all, to the point of feeling wary around any new process that tries to take me that way. And yes, felting, just like life, can be made “all about the rub” (I talked about the topic of life’s “rubs” or friction-points just recently) as it is the friction that causes the fibres to open up and to grab onto one another, thus it can be quite an abrasive and physical process involving much rubbing, rolling and repetition. In fact, many people think of it as extremely physically demanding and exhausting, almost taking pride in how much effort it can take to make “good felt”. Yet, as I learned yesterday, there are also numerous modern shortcuts to this and I know (having come from oil painting…which is just so very slow and arduous) that I no longer want to immerse myself in life’s long-slogs and grind, whatever the beautiful result at the end; thus the more masculine approach of going direct and using technology and “process” can be very useful and appealing to me these days. In other words I find, as in all things, that my joy is in the ability to mix up a bit of both; to take the best from each aspect and then combine them as near-to-equally as feels right in each situation. I was so glad that my teacher was prepared to teach me whatever short-cuts she knew of; in fact, a particuar synchronicity between us, that enabled her to empathise with my health challenges, made her even more prepared to share her tips than she might otherwise have been. It all felt very apt, like I had connected with just the right person to get me started in the best way on what feels like an interesting and appealing new path of exploration.

It was a good day, delivering insight and affirmation on so many levels. Was it really a coincidence that, on the way home, and without any forethought, I combined some country driving with a stretch of motorway, which got me home in very good time and not too exhausted before the rush-hour traffic? I think not. Did I mind that I missed out my planned stop-off at Stonehenge on both legs of the journey because, when it came down to it, I couldn’t be bothered to stop? Not in the least and, besides, spending the day with the woman known in textile circles for makes standing stones out of felt reminded me that we are each our own self-created waymarkers; what we make (of) ourselves is the true focal point of our craft and there simply is nothing else that matters. With no expectations, no baggage, we simply become that divinely inspired meeting point of all that we are in the purely-creative pinpoint of each moment of self-exploration; one moment after another, ceaselessly rebirthing ourselves. Even if we have nothing to show for it but ourselves, we never fail at this task. Even if we seem to constantly change our minds or the direction we are heading in; even when we stop and start, backtrack or hesistate…we are always creating our greatest masterpiece, right here and now. Therefore, I already know that, even if I never felt a thing (what a profoundly multifaceted phrase that is), I will have got something huge out of what it has already shown me along the route of exploration it has taken me on and that is already quite enough.

Posted in Art, Art metaphor, Art transformation tool, Consciousness & evolution, Divine feminine, divine masculine, Life journey, Menu, Personal Development, Symbolic journeys | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Beyond binary into unlimited

I was shown clearly in the night how what we are fast moving from a binary system into something else, which I already knew with my mind but I “got it” more than ever in this dream. The third dimension is a system based on duality, as we know…which is as it has to be to create the very push and pull on which physical manifestation relies and, really, there is no right or wrong there…just a rich pattern made up of many instances of balance in form (in theory; before human minds got involved). Then the fourth dimension starts to soften these parameters like a candle put too close to the flame…so there we get entities pitching for our preferment one way of the other, to a theatrical degree, urging us to believe this is “right”, that is “wrong” and to join causes and religions, taking sides. So archetypes start to form here as part of the endless sales pitching on behalf of this side or that side starts to play out; angels and demons, saviours and destroyers…and as we start to believe in these as human beings, things get at once confusing and yet more starkly preferential as we “take part” in making choices that we consider to be who we are. But in the fifth dimension, all such preference dissolves to become whole again; which isn’t the “whole” of nothingness but, still, of somethingness…allowed.

Hard to describe what this  fifth vibe is but feminine love gets very close to it because, like the way that a mother loves her child, regardless of whether they are a little angel or a bit of a devil, love knows no favouritism in this place and all comes back together to be received unconditionally as whole once more in the glow of its love-light. Buddha spoke of this, Jesus embodied it and we have seen a relatively rare handful of other individuals walk this earth seeming somehow to be this, or very close to it, in human form. But how do we mere mortals get to do so without losing all our substance, which relies on that all-important push-pull binary coding underpinning the very molecules of which we are made?

Many of us now know this paradox with our minds but how do we get beyond it to the next phase? Without the binary, how do we bring this 5th dimension into form, without losing our very structure? Without the binary “equipment” of our humanness to register and record that we have even got there, how do we know that we have brought it about? How do we stay in a human body and be this thing that seems to dissolve away the very push-pull of what makes molecules hang together and systems stay standing around and within us? How to even get close to that threshold without fear that our familiar world will cave in like a room sucked free of air and all that once stood there turned suddenly to dust (I’ve seen the abject fear of this in the eye’s of many spiritual seekers on the brink of breakthrough yet too afraid to take another step)? This is where we are at and yet, though I can barely describe it from my dream, I feel like I know now how it is possible and that I can feel us at the threshold of it like never before; knowing how this gets to happen without the physical world being either taken away from us or getting hopelessly in the way. I read a quote late last night and it was right on this theme:

“Rather than the body being collateral damage in this process of awakening, it is instrumental. The biggest shift in the entire process of Waking Up to the new reality is realizing the body is the vector for enlightenment. It is literally the delivery mechanism by which we experience the vastness of who we really are.” Lori Ann Lothian

This is the place I know so well, having got there in my own healing (and every other thread of my human “journey”) too. All my wires seem to bunch here in this place of knowing that what comes next is not in spite of the body but about to happen with it, through it, in it and because of it…in ways that we have yet to fully comprehend with our human minds or to realise broadly within our three-dimensional form; though we will. It’s not one in replacement of the other….it’s a cascade of higher dimensions through the floodgates of the “lower” that previously held them at bay for fear of self-destruction, to work together in ways that are more astonishing than we can grasp with our minds…but to get there we need to take steps to hold onto our flesh, to remain firmly grounded and involved with our humanness and yet allow what is beyond it; both at the same time (like continuously patting your head and rubbing your stomach simultaneously, this is no easy feat). To youngsters who are being born ready for just this, it will come far more naturally. To those of us with many more decades of believing in the “either ~ or” scenario which is our familiar world (though we may deny that we ever truly subscribed to it…yet it was always in there at our core as debris left by entrained belief systems and ancestral patterning) it will be far more tricky. We will have to find our own modality or bridge for bringing this about or, almost, tricking or distracting the mind while grounding and reassuring the body and simultaneously opening-up to the higher perspective until it has landed at the cellular level (and I think I have found mine). Its daunting but many of us reach a place where we truly feel we have to make the attempt.

I believe that if we really want to find a way to the next stage of this, we will each find our own way to get beyond the paradox, or a workable method will present itself on our path in a timely way…so that we get to experience this, in our lifetime (without having to reformat into a new human body pre-wired for this to occur). This is what I feel I know now and, in my own way, am ready to attempt this transition with grace and ease, through all of my binary cells (spiritual upgrading can be so hard on the body…we know that); without them going into automatic fear that their days are numbered or that they are under threat (which is key to avoiding absolute health meltdown when we step so close to the oh-so transformative fifth dimensional fire). When we are ready, I believe the appropriate way for this to be achieved will come forward to each and every one of us if we are open to it and prepared to do this within (not in spite of) the body, taking care of its fears and its needs…and that openness and preparedness is the very key in the elusive door between experiences.

Posted in Consciousness & evolution, Divine feminine, divine masculine, Health & wellbeing, Life choices, Menu, Personal Development, Spirituality | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thinking positive…every day

If the evolutionary trajectory is all about manifesting our divine selves on earth then remaining positive in all sorts of situations, even beyond the limitations of those which tax our credibility when we “try” to think of a positive spin or outcome with our minds, must be a prerequisite. You could go as far as saying, the momentum of the planet will work with those that do and not so with those who don’t think positively or spread such positive vibes amongst those they have daily contact with. You could say, it’s a self-perpetuating (or self-limiting) thing and we can expect those who are not on this positive trajectory to be shut down more and more as we go deeper into this new age for earth. This isn’t a thing “done” to anyone since we all have the choice to think positively and be positive (it goes way beyond the domain of thoughts) in each and every moment.

In my own life, the compulsion to remain positive against all odds, in spite of all dramas and unpleasant scenarios playing out, including the apparent crash-and-burn of my body on a fairly regular basis, has been like a magnet tug since 2011. I find it, actually, more contra flow to think negatively than the other way around, even though being so positive can seem like swimming up-stream to get to a destination that I already know with my heart but which I have yet to manifest with my eyes or my touch-senses. I can’t seem to stop myself and it’s what gives me that all-important tail wind across all of my projects whereas to not go with this compulsion, even in some very unlikely scenarios when it comes to being able to “see” the positive side of things, feels like a blackness and done-ness beyond all describing; like simply bailing out of the game or resigning some heart-chosen mission that I am here on and which fuels my very existence. When I do that, even briefly, its like all my lights are turned out and my power goes out, my subtle skills are withdrawn and far too many things that I have come to value about my human experience are unceremoniously withdrawn…and so, of course, I bounce back pretty swiftly to reclaim them. Fortunately that so-called easier response of giving into darkness and gloom, defeatism or a sense of “what is the point” never seems to last long these days before I spiral upwards again, climbing back out of my hole even before logical circumstance provides me with the footholds with which to explain why I am suddenly feeling more optimism. I just am!

Its a case of “just knowing” and trusting that you see that glimmer of light that, maybe, eludes others still and then daring to act upon it, choosing your own trajectory, even when it makes you feel different, deluded or even a little bit mad. Things aren’t just the same as they have always been now, and we do have that tail wind but, to turn the boat around, we do have to  steer a little too. It’s also a case of withdrawing your energy from actions, words and mindsets that perpetuate the old ways, old expectations and that old direction that apparently had you heading for rocks.

priscilla-du-preez-318418For those of us who struggle to remain grounded (or, who find themselves in pain whenever they are), this way starts to show us the light at the end of that tunnel…as we feel our ways towards our own personal methods of keeping that positive spin going, within that heavier-seeming thing called “life” or “physicality” with which we struggle so. The word “spin” is no accident here because it’s the joy, laughter, music, good company, creativity, love of beauty, enthusiasm, desire to keep moving and mixing things-up…whatever…that keeps the high-vibe movement stirring in the midst of what might otherwise feel too leaden and stagnant to be dealing with. It’s what spirals us out of the heaviness…even whilst we are “in” our most human form and we can summon these things up at any moment as our go-to survival kit. Believe me, it does get better, easier, more instinctive and, yes, more self-sustaining when we keep tuning-in to these personal methods of up-spiralling more so than allowing ourselves to sink in the mud. Sometimes, when we start to ground more, the proverbial sh*t seems to hit the fan more than ever…but that’s just something we need to be prepared to ride through, keeping that same positivity going, in order to get through what is only needing to be cleared to make way for the new. I’m deep in that territory right now (and then some) and yet I find myself more boyant than ever before; bizarre yet true.

It’s also about finding balance…across all levels, every day in every imaginable way. Seeking that balance in every external circumstance or deep in the core of every cell becomes a learned response when you have been doing it, or at least locking-on to it, for so long as a priority and it is a prerequisite of working with the energies of these times. Done consistently, this activates the new energy that is well on the way to becoming our future norm and is also something that radiates from one person to the next so that it spreads like wildfire. It’s a responsibility we take on and earn as we do it more and more as the very centre piece of our lives. It ushers in a high-frequency way of being that is accessible to all who seek this fundamental balance within and around themselves. Anything contrary to it starts to feel so “off” to us that we quickly recalibrate in order to reclaim our own personal balance, which we are now thoroughly attached to; so that it becomes a self-perpetuating thing with some serious momentum, once set in motion. This is what will carry us forwards into a new era and there are signs of it already happening, subtle though it is. It all starts with that personal journey, that first inner impulse to recalibrate, via all those subtle senses that lead the way in your own most-intimate evolution…and then it catches on with others you have contact with, almost without effort; joining forces with all those who are doing likewise.

Once familiar with it in your own life, you can detect signs of it manifesting all around you, even at its very earliest stages, and this feeds back into the innate optimism at the core of your being. It is direct and comprehensible to all people as a feeling that uplifts them and synchronisities that guide them towards their best alignment and joy and so there is no prerequisite to taking part other than to follow in the flow of that vibe. No one needs to become very learned about spirituality to follow this pathway since it’s a trail of high-vibing breadcrumbs right under our noses and its there even now, scattered ever more liberally and with a few more handfuls added every day, guiding us towards a better feeling than we were once used to. Taking part in dialing in to this feeling makes us all feel part of something that helps us feel more whole, both within ourselves and in connection with other people and, you could say, the entire cosmos, in a way that had been previously eluding us; a feeling we realise we had been seeking all our (many) lives. It’s why so many people feel that they are in some sort of culmination lifetime this time around…because we are; bringing home stray threads of ourselves in a tapestry that was always perfect but now we can really start to see it and our own perfect part in it.

Posted in Consciousness & evolution, Life choices, Life journey, Menu, Personal Development, Recovery chronic illness | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Life beyond karma

I feel I have to share this salient point before continuing along any of the threads I seem to be writing about on both of my blogs lately since they make no sense without it. For the last year or so, I feel as though I’ve truly got beyond karma or “the karmic way of experiencing life”. And the point I just made over on my health blog (in my post What Your Body is Trying to Tell You) is that what has recently played out in my work-life seems to be a very good metaphor for this change.

Until two years ago, my art practice was centred on painting in oils. However, at the beginning of 2016, I felt called to go to see a particular healer that had worked with me at the very beginning of my spiritual awakening. I had no idea why I was suddenly called to revist her after all this time but I went along with the intuition and, over the course of two sessions, it felt like I untied all of my karma and let it go; as it were, leaving it behind on her treatment table. I didn’t know that at the time, though I registered that I felt profoundly different. My experience was that she dredged up what felt like the very root-stock of an extraordinarily long karmic thread from which innumerable other threads had originated and though, as she did this, she was racked with emotion and pouring rivers of tears over me (it really affected her), I felt positively ecstatic lying there on the treatment table. Truly, I felt lighter and more switched on than I could ever remember and as though some massively dead weight had been shifted. Over the course of 2016 from that point, it felt like I tied off the ends of several karmic threads whose “stories” had been playing out in miniature in this lifetime (I wrote about much of it in this space) and it even felt like I was still attached to these stories as I processed to these endings. But by the end of the year, I had tied off so many knots and had largely wound down to a sense of void, by which time (and this was exactly a year ago) I felt pretty exhausted.

The thing about void is it can leave you feeling confused…and so I was, since I had never felt less attached to anything in my life. The challenge is, when you are used to experiencing a life that is largely dictated by the impulses of karma which have you doing things in order to resolve or contribute to some sort of karmic sub-plot running like an undercurrent to your so-called free will, you still feel directed by impulses that feel “outside of yourself” in the sense of them seeming stronger and more irresistable than your own, innate impulses. When you have all choice because those karmic directives have ceased, you can feel so bewildered that you, as it were, stand still for a while…and that’s largely what I did, all year during 2017 (as I wrote about in my post “Taking a breather” last week). In my art practice, I felt particularly confused as, very suddenly, painting in oils…which, until this point, had taken centre stage of all my creative urges, being the one thing I always came back to within days or weeks of taking a pause…just suddenly went away. I packed away my paints at the end of 2016 (still in the midst of a canvas that remains unfinished), expecting to continue a few days later, and simply didn’t pick them up again. This left me stranded somewhere between bafflement and pure curiosity; because, what did it mean?

At the same time, my strongest creative urge in early 2017 was to start seeing what I could create digitally and this is where it gets interesting. Because, as I started to compare the two processes, I started to observe that, as I just wrote about in my post What Your Body is Trying to Tell You “switching from the very slow and laboured,  stopping-and-starting, backwards-and-forwards and multi-layered process of painting something in oils, usually over many weeks or months, to digitally producing art at a very rapid pace, by comparison, feels like the equivalent of  dropping the karmic perspective to become a fully crystallised being devoid of  all that need to revisit what you once did and make sense or improvement of it. There’s something crisp, pure and transparent about the digital process. Its like using only the best, most enlightened bits of your experience to make the picture of your choice without having to labour and revisit or recycle what feels done with, including all those early “mistakes” that you are striving to make good of”. I would even go so far as to say that I identified how I would sometimes seem to make a sub-consciously deliberate “mess” of an oil painting, or make it more challenging than it needed to be, in order to put myself through the long and sometimes arduous process of paring it back, repairing or making the best of it; always getting some sort of life-lesson out of this for sure…but it became so laboured. Often, the the time spent on a painting was completely out of proportion to the satisfaction gained from the end result and no one except me could ever expect to gain the same degree of satisfaction or understanding from it, though there was often a sense of my epiphany contributing to the collective consciousness. Even then, it had started to feel leaden and unnecessary to take so long over one piece of art, so shedding this practice and starting to play with digital processes where, yes, I still work in layers yet they shine through one another far more overtly, collaborating their best elements, and without massive convolution underpinning their agendas for being there, feels so liberating. What you see in the end feels direct in a way that oil paintings never were (I literally can’t bear to hang some of those on my walls as they carry way too much energy from when I painted them). And when a digital artwork is done with, its done with and you can easily disentangle from it and move on, having invested a temporary portion of your energy in it but without sense of having left a piece of your soul behind (in fact, soul in that sense feels quite done with), like quantum entanglement with a material object. I feel free to walk away and start something new…over and over and over, without the time lag or sense of linearity tying me down to a physical object that now hangs on someone’s wall preserving some part of me that longs to be set free.

So my very visceral sense is of having moved through karma to, perhaps, a phase of (as John Lennon described it) instant karma in the sense that, as my awareness of everything going on in and around me sharpened-up over the last decade, there were indeed times when it felt as though the instant realisation of my part played in the cause and effect of my life triggered such instant remorse, regret or sense of responsibility that decisions felt pained and more burdonsome than ever (for a, thankfully, brief time relatively speaking). In that sense, yes, the karma felt instant and I had to assert myself to choose according to an innate sense of appropriateness more so than themes that would have had me following through on old karmic threads that continued to assert that I had unfinished business when I already felt done with whatever that was. This, in many ways, was a rite of passage as I took over my own controls more fully. And then, now, to this place where karma feels like its left the building for long enough that it really feels gone; and I can feel the fresh breeze tickling the air where it used to take up space. That’s not to say that other people aren’t still experiencing it since, I believe, karma will continue on (at least for now) in the experiences of all those who live from that perspective. What I feel I can also stand testament to is the ability to live beyond it now since that option is fully available as soon as you reach the crystalline perspective, which is a consciousness choice in the same way that tuning into the ninth wave is a choice that can be directed by the higher mind by choosing your themes and maintaining balance. And from what I’ve seen so far, I can recommend it. Yes, there is initially a sense of void, of not being compelled this way or that to the degree you wonder who you are now, almost of lethargy as you wonder why you would do anything at all any more. But then something else starts to assert and it comes from a feeling of lightness, of multiple uniquely earth-related possibilities presenting that tempt you to experience them and of feeling more overtly guided and uplifted by the heart as you decide which ones to reach for. It’s all new still but I feel I’m setting into it as we turn the corner into 2018 and am looking forward to meeting you there when you’re ready.


Related posts on Living Whole:

Taking a breather

What your body is trying to tell you

Posted in Art, Art metaphor, Art purpose, Art technique, Art transformation tool, Consciousness & evolution, Divine feminine, divine masculine, Life choices, Life journey, Menu, Personal Development | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

1000 stories, a single shared ending

I fell head-over-heals in love with Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Scheherazade” as a young adolescent of probably 13 or so, which is when I first starting to explore classical music for myself. My aunt was being put into a care home and I was given access to her considerable collection of vinyls before the rest were given away to charity. I came home with a handful of classical titles; and right at the top was “Scheherazade”. It was played over and over for many years; even the university years and perhaps especially the lonely years during my first marriage. Then I stopped playing it…I’ve no idea why…and it had been a long time since I had even thought of it. Grasping for something new to play on my beloved low D Irish whistle this week, the exquisite melody from the third part came back to me, clear as a bell, and suddenly I was playing it. I’ve been teaching myself pieces of music by ear for a couple of months now, yet why I was suddenly so determined to persist at this difficult to convert piece (given my whistle is in the wrong key for it) caught my attention.

Screen Shot 2017-12-30 at 10.20.16.pngSeeking a version of it to listen to (you can too via the image), the penny dropped as I realised its full title is “The Young Prince and The Young Princess”; I had found my way back to an expression of “yin and yang” or the feminine and masculine expressed in a piece of music!

Looking more deeply into Rimsky-Korsakov’s inspiration, I learned that he strove to convey a feeling of the Arabian Nights without nailing the score to a particular set of stories, wanting the listener’s imagination to fill in the blanks more so than dictate any particular narrative. The name “Scheherazade” was landed upon and kept as the overall title as it offered-up this strong flavour of the orient, helping to prepare the expectation of fantastical themes, the essence of the well-known voyages of Sinbad and a fairy-tale quality throughout the music without telling a particular tale (since “Scheherazade” is everything to do with the telling of a great many tales; far too many to single out). In other words, he offered a structure within which the listener could fill in the spaces with their own imagination. Again, yin and yang at work; the well-defined parameters set and yet plenty of room maintained for the most expansive and unlimited of experiences to come and go at will.

There had to be something synchronistic in this “many tales” aspect coming up to meet me so pressingly after all these years, right at this time. So I reminded myself of the story of Scheherazade, the princess married to a sultan who was resolved to spend one night with each of his brides before beheading them because he was so convinced of their inevitable infidelity. For over a thousand nights, by the time Scheherazade comes along, he has bedded then beheaded each of his new wives; however, Scheherazade has her wits about her and breaks this chain of events. She tells the sultan a story so riveting and fantastical that, when she declares she will need to continue on to its conclusion the next night as dawn is now starting to break, he allows her to live on for “just one more night” so that she can finish her tale. Of course, he then begs her to tell another story…and another, and another, for 1000 stories, over the course of 1001 nights. In the end, the sultan is so in love with her that, of course, he allows her to live on though she has completely run out of stories.

So, here we are right now as a human race…at the end of what feels like 1001 nights and then some; an awful lot of “human stories” having been told across the history of mankind. These long running, always somewhat overlapping, tales about ourselves and who we think we are have kept their own momentum “night after night” and held us gripped for as long as we can remember and yet it feels like we are running towards an abrupt endpoint or risk just repeating the same old stories over again from the beginning. In fact, it is starting to feel like that…isn’t it? What honestly feels “new” in the news. We are just repeating what we have seen many times before and it feels old and done with yet how do we agree we must stop since we already know the outcome; what is this momentum that keeps us pressing replay on themes we have seen repeated and already know the ending of? Is it that, at some level we too have reached the 1001th night and fear to stop…for what then? What, in particular, waits there in the stark light of dawn for the feminine aspect? She has her own vested interest in the process of continuing to spin her tales since it is what has kept her alive in a masculine world fixated upon mistrusting her. Meanwhile, the masculine element (as well we know) has become embittered, cynical, harsh and unrelenting as a result of “history”, preempting its own deeply embedded vulnerability by lashing out first at every opportunity. At the global level, in our culture, our sciences and deep within ourselves, we have this “strike first, ask questions later” mentality that becomes dogmatic if we let it get out of balance. It tells us it is here to protect us, to safeguard our interests, to be the insurance policy, to keep us safe but really it perpetuates the telling of the same old stories for fear of what lies at their end. Does it still distrust the feminine aspect or has a softening started to occur? Has the feminine aspect gained the masculine’s ear?

little-snowdrop

Snow White tells stories with a new ending to little old men that have spent eons digging “the hard way” for what they think they need…

If we are to learn from the story, the feminine overcomes the masculine’s doubts by gently, patiently earning his trust whilst encouraging him to invest in the same “ending” that she is able to deliver. Her special gift is to be able to envision, and paint the picture of, “new endings” that the masculine is not necessarily able to reach via a more logical path; taking them both there if she is able to engage him with her embroidery of what is possible. By the end, both masculine and feminine want the same things…to reach the new end to the story, together. They become whole as they yearn for this single outcome, each contributing their part; the weaving of the tale and the eager reception of what is offered. In effect, a role reversal has taken places as the feminine has become the assertive aspect and the masculine is the receiver of what is told…and so they intersect in perfect union. Both have to be prepared to face up to the fact there are no new endings to the stories they have both already heard; they can only move on by overcoming each of their fears (both equally vaid…yet together, they neutralise) creating a brand new story, together. This is where we are at, as a human race. It is time for the feminine to offer and the masculine to put down its arms and receive what will deliver both to a unified conclusion, which is wholeness realised.

When we engage the masculine aspect in our vision for the future of the world; when we keep it wanting more; when we encourage it to value what the feminine has to offer including its vision for what is possible; when the masculine element is prepared to put down it arms in its eagerness to find out what happens next; when it is prepared to bide its time and receive feminine wisdom for long enough that heads are cooled and a new outcome birthed; when it is as excited about receiving the next installment of our human story as the feminine is excited for the brand new world that is coming…THIS is when we get these two aspects to work closely and harmoniously together, to the benefit of us all. Thus we all get to witness the sun rising on a brand new kind of a day; you could say, happily ever after for everyone. Even when all the stories have run out.


See illustration above (Warwich Goble – The Fairy Book)

The clues have always been there in countless hand-me-down stories. In this illustration from The Fairy Book (1913) “Little Snowdrop” (Snow White) tells fantastical stories with a new ending to little old men (dwarves) that have spent eons digging “the hard way” for what they think they need (the sparkle of gold). Her own tale leads to union with the young prince (sacred masculine) who comes looking for her when no one else can bring her back to life from a state of suspended animation or “being kept on ice” as though obsolete; a reunion of yin and yang to make everything whole and, thus, reinvigorated with life-force again. The story of Snow White has always held a very deep and personal resonance for me as an archetype I know I work with.

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Posted in Consciousness & evolution, Culture, Divine feminine, divine masculine, History, Life journey, Literature, Menu, Music & theatre, Personal Development, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

2018, year of the spiritworker

I’ve always prickled around the term “lightworker”; it never felt like a truly accurate description of me or what I am doing at the most authentic level and I now realise why. Of course, I understand where it arose from as many of us feel we are working to redress some sort of imbalance in the world by sitting squarely on the other end of that see-saw, making it more manifest in the outside reality that we all share together. But when we start to embody source energy deep into the cells, as we necessarily do at the crystallisation stage of our evolution, we often hit upon a truth learned the hard way. Really the concept, such as we use one, should be “spiritworker” as in “I work with being source energy embodied”, which consists of being both dark and light, yin and yang; cooperative and whole. When we consider ourselves only to be working with light we risk burning ourselves down to toast crumbs as spiritual light, unbalanced, is the most potent force in the universe and it burns though all matter including our old-style aura and our biological cells. Declaring “I’m only for the light” perpetuates a dualistic stance that plays out as our most hard-felt experience. When we work too concertedly at embodying “only light”, the body will respond by throwing some shade…and that can look a lot like health issues on a very grand scale or even total disintegration as there is no semblance of wholeness left to continue holding matter together. Fragmentation is the natural result.

Using the correct terminology about ourselves can be a powerful tool in this alchemical kit as labels and words can be so powerful; thus we sometimes give our power away by carelessly acquiescing with them. When we incorporate both light and dark, all the way through to the language we use, we allow wholeness to assemble and become stronger. Its much like what I learned, and wrote about, many years ago as a novice artist discovering, the hard way, that none of my paintings seemed to work without equal proportions of light and shadow. “Spiritworker” (such as I have a label at all; but if one comes up, this feels better) encompasses this idea more accurately, for me, and I wonder why I didn’t adopt it before. Perhaps its because it conjures up images of Victorians holding seances or some other-such outmoded concept. Yet perhaps that has been the distractionary idea keeping us from claiming a more appropriate concept of what it is that we are doing here; necessarily, as we venture one huge leap forwards in claiming a more holistic viewpoint of the world, starting with self, in order to successfully and sustainably embody even more source energy than ever before.

Posted in Consciousness & evolution, Divine feminine, divine masculine, Menu, Spirituality | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments