Monday, February 27, 2017

Reconciling With What Is

Now I need to say up front that I do not mean giving up or ignoring things that need change and can be changed when reconciling with what is. I think I may mean that what we are doing is acknowledging what a situation is and moving through it. I remember Michael J. Fox saying that acknowledging something is not necessarily accepting it. It is just acknowledging whatever it is so that you can move through it. 

Reconciling or acknowledging does not mean giving up; it does not mean accepting things. It means being realistic about what is going on around you or going on in the world. Being unrealistic can keep us stuck in the place that we and the world are in. It can mean suffering, because if we are unrealistic about a situation we are not seeing clearly. And, when we are not seeing clearly we may not see the solutions to a problem or the work that we are called to do. It can be like altering a photograph so that it partly obscures the "real" photograph, just like I altered the one to the left. Could anyone tell whether the stone work needs repair from this picture? Of course not. We might be creating a vision of what we think should happen rather 
than receiving a vision about what we should be doing, acting and feeling. Or we can be ignoring what is. 

Does this make sense? I hope so. An example of this is that a number of years ago I decided in my rational mind that I should be leading meditations on a regular basis. It was not a received vision. It was a created vision. I could not make it happen. On most evenings no one showed up. One evening, one person showed up, and I had to return her money because of the noise happening outside. She didn't come again. 

I know that this is a seemingly minor example of what I am writing about, but it is a clear example. I was not clear about the situation. It took me longer than I should have taken to become clear and reconcile with the fact that this was not something that was for me to take on. But, when I reconciled with this, or if you prefer acknowledged the situation, I was able to let go and move on. That meant I could put my energies somewhere else. 

The interesting thing about the above meditation image from my book, Opening the Heart: Meditations on How to Be (here) is that, by working with this image, we can see how we actually are, what our situation actually is, rather than having a fantasy of how we are. The paired meditation image for this image is this: 

In the current world environment, it might be useful for all of us to let a vision come in about what we are called to do in our lives and our work. I believe firmly that we should be fighting for something rather than against something. If we continue to fight against something, we can end up just using the language and tactics of those we are fighting against. I believe we need a vision of how to be, to act and to feel differently. This thought became firm in my mind after reading Charles Eisenstein's The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible. Receiving a vision allows more flow, more congruity with ourselves and the world. We can create new language, new stories, new ways of being. 

So, reconcile with what is and take the vision that comes through to you to move forward. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Shift Happens

The thought came to me this morning during meditation that shift happens. In fact, I think that shift happens all the time. It's just a question of which direction the shift is going and what we can do to help it along. 

I think that this photograph is a metaphor, I suppose you could say, for shift, for that liminal space where things change from one thing to another. I firmly believe that we are in a liminal time. A time where things are moving, possibly swinging one way and then another. The energies are shifting. Energies are waking up, or rather people are waking up to the energies around them and making decisions about which energies they want to stand in, to work with. 

My friend Dorothy Morgan's latest astrology forecast (here) talks about the current astrological energies that are shaking things up, moving out the old right at this time. I certainly want to be one of those shaking out the old, and not just right at this moment in time. I want to continue to shake out the old; the old order, the old story of how we live. I want to make room for the energies of love, kindness and compassion to enter into the hearts, minds and souls of every living being and thing on earth. 

So, shift keeps happening. About 5 centuries after justifying the decimation of indigenous peoples, Pope Francis now says that indigenous rights and lands must be respected. (here) Think about the huge number of US military veterans who turned out to help protect the protesters at Standing Rock. Or the indigenous peoples from all over the world who came to show solidarity and support. It was, seemingly, the first time that the US tribes had come together in support that had not done so before. People forget that the tribes had had warfare long before Europeans showed up. Cooperation wasn't necessarily widespread across all of the continent. 

Despite the current climate of some denying climate change and the need for producing energy differently, the Southwestern United States briefly generated more renewable power than nonrenewable. (here) And, interestingly, Texas is the largest generator of wind power in the country despite going for Donald Trump in the election (who has been anti-renewable energy). This is because ranchers and farmers are leasing out land for wind turbines to make sure they are financially stable and keep their land. (here)

People are exploring their inner worlds and how to connect the inner and outer worlds. People are learning to make decisions with their hearts as wells as their minds, as well as asking for guidance from the metaphysical world. People are becoming guardians of the land. People are returning to ways that help protect their health and the health of the earth, but without necessarily abandoning all of the modern world. Things are blending, mixing, changing. 

So yes, shift happens. I just try to be mindful of how I live my life that I can help the energies move toward growth, health and transformation, rather than towards stagnation, fear and greed. 

Thursday, February 16, 2017

What Story Do I Stand In?

This question is the last line from one of the chapters in Charles Eisenstein's book, The More Beautiful Our Hearts Know is Possible (here). The chapter is called Story. He writes in his book about the world living in what he calls the Story of Separation but moving into the Story of Interbeing. So, his question is essentially which of these stories am I standing in at this moment? I think that a follow-up question could be is the this the Story I want to stand in? He acknowledges that it could be shifting for each of us as the Story of Separation is still lingering. 

I chose to use this image that I took on a trip to Ireland back in 2002. It symbolizes for me the choice to make. Do we stay in the Story of Separation or do we move into the Story of Interbeing. I took the picture looking through the gateway out towards the outside of this extremely old stone fort. We can choose to stay walled in by our fears, by our separateness, or we can choose to walk through the "gate" of letting the old go and moving into the Story of Interbeing. 

I hope that I have walked through that "gate" and am standing, mostly, in the Story of Interbeing and am helping the world move from Separation to Interbeing.  My sense from reading the book is that, according to Eisenstein, when we move into the Story of Interbeing we help others by the unseen consequences of our actions. Our actions can have a ripple effect that we are unaware of: a kindness to someone can radiate outwards, creating more kindness. Helping someone with a problem can also radiate outwards. The corollary is that hate, anger and greed can radiate outwards also. 

I also have had a sense for some time that, what I have been calling the Old Order (Story of Separation?) is not wanting to give up and to move out so as to allow the New Order (Story of Interbeing?) move into place. Those of us who remember the 1960s remember the song, The Age of Aquarius (here). What many of us did not realize was how long it would take for the Age of Aquarius to come fully into being. 

I do feel some frustration that those who envision a different way of being, of relating are using the language of the Old Order. They take about fighting against something. They send out emails which have subject lines full of desperation and the awfulness of things. Eisenstein posits that what should happen is a shift from fighting against something to fighting for something. I would even say the language should be working for something rather than fighting for something. 

Not only should actions and visions change to help us shift into the Story of Interbeing, but language should also change. Words have meaning. Words have power. Words may even have energy and resonance.

So, again, I hope that I am moving into the New Order, the Story of Interbeing through my thoughts, dreams, actions, and words. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Breathe - So Say the Angels

It struck me this weekend as I was contemplating what is going on around the globe that it can easy to become stuck, to in essence stop breathing fully. Shallow breathing can keep us in a frantic mood, keep us in despair and with an inability to act. Then the first meditation in my book came to mind.

The first meditation saying that came through from my angels and guides for my book, Opening the Heart: Meditations on How to Be (here), was this: 

How apt, I think, for this time of transitioning from the Piscean to the Aquarian Age. Things are in deep flux right now. Those of us who are old enough to remember the Sixties and all that went on, including the belief in change and better things to come can easily be despairing at the old hates and angers rising up and out. But, can we change and transition without purging what lies underneath?

And this is where breathing deeply comes in. We breathe out what doesn't serve us personally. We breathe in what is healthy for us. This allows us to then become, in whatever way we are called, to become the Shambhala Warriors that Tibetan prophecy speaks about. Because, when we breathe deeply and breathe through we can dream what we wish to bring into being.

I took a circular breathing class a number of years ago at Circles of Wisdom in Andover, MA. In fact, I took is several times. I can remember the release I felt when I breathed deeply in the concentrated way that the class called for. I could feel my blood fizzing with the oxygen I was breathing in so deeply. I think it this is the time to pay attention to our breath so that we can release and, at the same time, energize ourselves.  After all, according to the angels and guides, action is the counterpart to breath.

Monday, February 6, 2017

The Call to Action

I have previously posted about breathing. One post was based on the meditation in my book, Opening the Heart: Meditations on How to be (here). I also posted a poem that I wrote based on that meditation. I did write a post on November 9, 2016 about both breathing and acting, but strikes me that the times can seemingly call writing and thinking about action and breathing on numerous occasions. So, this post is about the meditation image about acting and the poem that is its companion. This meditation saying is:  "Action is the counterpart to breath. Be in the world.", as well as the poem I wrote about this meditation image. This is the image: 

The thing about breathing and action is finding the balance of the two. Neither seems, to me, to be as rich without the other. Breathing can reduce or eliminate anger, anxiety, fear, and any other emotions that can blur vision and move us away from acting from compassion and love. But what is breathing without acting on the dreams that breathing puts us so deeply in touch with? Breathing allows us to receive a vision of what action we would like to take. But then failing to act is something that makes life less fulfilled, less rich. The accompanying text in Part 2 of the book talks about taking action in a joyful and heartful way so as to bring light and peace into the world. 

May we all be able to do this. 

The poem I wrote to accompany this meditation is: 

Call to Action

Breathing is not 
the angels said.
Action is the 
          counterpart to breath.
One must be in the world, 
making the dreams, hopes, wishes
         solid, real. 

Question: how do you breathe and act
        in the same moment? 

©2017 Kathryn L. Samuelson