The Climate of Our Times

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I watched the new Ruth Bader Ginsberg (RBG) movie the other day. If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend it. She’s an inspirational powerhouse.  I got goosebumps too many times to count as I watched her exhibit such strength and passion as she advocated for equal rights. One of the key quotes in the movie was attributed to a professor Freund who said, “A court ought not be affected by the weather of the day, but will be by the climate of the era.”

We can get distracted by the weather and miss the bigger picture, which is that the climate is changing. I’m not talking about the environment here, but the culture. RBG said in the movie that change was already happening and the laws needed to be updated to reflect the change. We often think of it as the other way around.

As I look around, I see a continuous wave of the feminine rising and at the same time, a reaction to it. The new can often feel threatening to the status quo, and well, it is, but we are in the midst of a revolution. Although it’s one of the heart and the fears about that shift are clearly evident. You might think that it would be easy to choose love over fear, but often it isn’t.

It’s as though this next phase began in January 2017 as we marched in Washington. This movement has continued with women entering politics in unprecedented numbers, the Parkland students speaking out, and with the children around the world standing up for the environment. We are living history and our participation in this is critical to the future.

But what role does each of us play in this revolution of the heart? What can we do as the climate is changing? One thing we can do is choose love and compassion in each moment and be as courageous as we can in attempting to live it. The other thing we can do is to turn within. That is the only place where we can discover what our own unique individual part is in this transformation of the culture.

If we listen deeply, love speaks to us, through dreams and intuitions, synchronicities and inspirations. We need to bring as much love as we can into the world now. Share as much love as we are capable in every way imaginable and give our divinely-inspired gifts without reservation. We need to choose to love ourselves, our neighbors, and well, everyone. Let’s work together to create a climate of love and acceptance and let that be our legacy to the future.

 

 

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The Living Waters

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I was contemplating the Living Waters years ago and had the following dream:

I am flying out the bedroom window and down the street. I wonder if I will be able to get back into my body. I decide to turn around and go back to make sure I can. I fly back to the house, through the window, to the bed, and into my body. It’s as though my physical body is a portal into a vast ocean.  I  swim through the water and can breathe. I go back up into my body, face up, and awaken. I am lying face down in the bed.

I felt amazing. It was as though my body had been scrubbed clean inside, from head to toe. I knew it was an answer to my question about the living waters, but I confess, I didn’t really know what it meant other than that they were inside of me. Then it came to me, and I finally thought I understood what the Living Waters are.

The Living Waters are the Source of Life and renewal. I had the insight once before that everything is love, and therefore if all that is inside me is the living waters, they must be Love. There isn’t anything that can renew us like love does. When we do what we love, or spend time with someone or something we love, we feel renewed. Whenever I was overwhelmed by life, I used to go visit my grandparents. Their love, and time spent in the country, made me feel refreshed and able to return to the world.

In the fairy tales I work with, the old masculine sacrifices his daughter repeatedly. Sometimes he does it for money, sometimes to save his own neck, and often because of some sense that there isn’t enough. He doesn’t choose love, but when the new masculine appears, he does.

Camelot had turned into a wasteland toward the end of the story of King Arthur. He was close to death, Camelot was desolate, most of the Knights of the Round table had perished, Lancelot was insane, and Guinevere was in a convent. How did they get into the wasteland? Arthur forgot what was important, and put being a king, before love.

Parsifal was the last hope for Camelot as he wandered through the parched and barren land. He saw Lancelot, but Lancelot didn’t appear to recognize him. The starving people beat Parsifal and pushed him into the river. He’s pulled underwater by the weight of his armor. In that liminal space between life and death, he shed his armor, and burst to the surface gasping for breath. As he walked out of the water, clothed in simple linens, he said, “I can’t give up hope, it’s all I have.”

The drawbridge to the brightly lit inner grail castle opened. He went inside and walked up to the throne. A booming voice asked, “Who am I and whom does the grail serve?” The quest was to remember that life serves the inner King, Spirit, not the worldly one. The king and the land, the inner and outer, are One. And thus, the new masculine is born.

When Parcifal reminded Arthur that he and the land were One, and Arthur sipped from the grail cup, the king and the land were reunited and renewed. The inner divine was reawakened in the consciousness of the new masculine, the unity of all life was seen, and love was realized as the truth of all that is. Eden was restored.

Love is the impulse of life that compels the butterfly’s wings to unfold. It’s the breeze that ruffles the trees and the life that beats our hearts and the air we breathe. If fear separates, love unites and makes whole. We live in a sea of love and a Universe of grace that makes the planets move and the murmuration of birds in perfect harmony. We are a part of something much larger and we are revealing, through all we do, the truth that it’s all love.

Gilgamesh: Dreams and the Deep

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The oldest known dream is from the epic story of the king Gilgamesh (c. 2100 BC). He had a prophetic dream of a star being that fell from the sky, landed at his feet, and then he had to fight it. The gods sent Enkidu to challenge Gilgamesh, because the king was a trouble maker. His subjects were frustrated by his meddling behavior and had prayed to the gods to intervene. Enkidu was their response.

I love the title of an ancient version of this story, which is called, “He who Saw the Deep.” The modern translation is “He who Sees the Unknown,” either of which is compelling.

Like Gilgamesh, from over four thousand years ago, we all dream. Even if we don’t remember, we wander while we sleep. All of our experiences, day and night, are like dreams. What’s the point you may wonder?

Well, that is a good question and one I have been pondering for quite some time. I began following my dreams 23 years ago. I have boxes filled with notebooks of dreams and musings about them.

I find them compelling and fascinating to say the least. My own, Gilgamesh’s, and the dreams of others. Why? They contain something that is hidden from sight. Gilgamesh went to his mother, the goddess Ninsun, to interpret his dream. She knew the dream language and understood its meaning.

After all these years, I believe there is a guiding force in the universe. Are we all being pulled toward the great deep black hole? I don’t know for sure, but I do know something is, well, let’s say, unfolding. It’s as though dreams are showing us the way, but we don’t quite know where we are headed. Of course there are theories…

Jung believed we were on a path he called individuation and the journey was to wholeness. I can totally see that, since the symbols of wholeness are present in dreams. And yet, the understanding I received through dreams, was that we are already whole.

There isn’t anything to add or take away. There isn’t a journey, say, from here to there, and there is wholeness. It’s as though we have merely forgotten that we are already whole and the dreams are trying to remind us.

Like they are trying to redirect Gilgamesh toward the truth and what really matters.

He was distracted, preoccupied with the mundane trivialities of his subject’s lives, and caused trouble. His dream, and the star being Enkidu, were sent to get him back on track. To move him from his physical orientation to a more spiritual one.  The point is not to reject the physical, but to embrace everything. To live from the inside out and not the outside in.

Life and dreams helped Gilgamesh, and assist us, in remembering who we are, what really matters, and to reveal the true nature of reality. They add meaning, richness, and enchantment to life. They point to the things we believe that aren’t true and ways we are caught in the past. We are evolving and the dreams are guiding us.

Gilgamesh peered into the inner unknown, the depths within, and there he discovered the truth, or no self, which is who he really is. It is who we really are. We can also see into the deep. All that is required is to look beyond what we are conditioned to believe is true.

 

 

Is the Witch Really Wicked?

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Or is she just concerned about an invasion of her boundaries? She is similar to the Lion in temperament, since she is defensive and afraid of others. She’s different from him because she does more damage. They both overreact whenever someone approaches. The Lion roars to scare others off and doesn’t get close. The Witch, on the other hand, wants to kill or capture. They both have the same agenda though, which is to stay safe.

The Witch didn’t want Dorothy and her friends to come to her castle. Why? Well, she had a good reason. Dorothy killed her sister and took her sister’s magic shoes. Remember the ruby slippers in the movie? We can understand her wanting to keep them at arms length. Not to mention, they intend to kill her next.

If we see the entire cast as aspects of one person’s psyche, then the Witch is one part and the Wizard is another. The Wizard tells Dorothy that she has to get rid of the Witch if she ever wants to go home. That translates into, “We need to get rid of the Witch, in our own psyches, if we want to live from the heart.”

What does the Witch represent? The aspect of ourselves that judges and destroys. She keeps our gifts from getting out into the world because she is afraid. Either they aren’t good enough or she’s doesn’t want to be seen. She wants to keep us safe and hidden behind the high walls of the castle. She is the inner voice that comments and criticizes. She avoids feeling vulnerable, and keeps us from living in the heart.

Everything suffers with her in the psyche. She hampers our ability to bloom into our potential, our gifts being shared with others, loving relationships, anything that involves the heart. When she is active, we live with a sense of inadequacy.

So, when Dorothy melts her you might think, “Well, good riddance to a bad actor,” but she had good intentions. She was only trying to protect us and keep us safe. It’s just that, well, she has outlived her usefulness. Now that we are adults, we don’t need her protection anymore, and she has to go.

When people are stuck in Witch mode, they exist in a perpetual state of anger and defensiveness.

Shhh, don’t let her what we have in mind. We’ll have to melt her when she least expects it. “With what?” you might be wondering. Water symbolizes emotion. When you get past the Witch’s anger, you reach the water of sadness and grief. Oh, it wasn’t easy for her. She carries the rejection and criticism of others from childhood onward. She may have feelings of being unheard, unseen, unvalued, inadequate, or unloved. She got it from somewhere. A critical or perfectionistic parent, teacher, or coach maybe?

It comes down to either Dorothy or the Witch. One of them has to go. In order to reach the heart, it has to be the Witch. Looking inward. Feeling deeply, through the anger that arises at being unsupported, ignored, not valued, or whatever activates us. Whenever she is front and center, we feel her. Witness her pain , frustration, and anger. Being present to her in a way that hasn’t happened before.

Instead of rejecting her, which has been the response for far too long, embrace her. As we love her, and feel the grief, she melts away. The emotional waters reduce the fire of anger. She gradually reduces her fearful grip on us and allows us to live more fully from the heart. The fear of being unsafe diminishes and eventually dissipates entirely.

Then, remember to click your heels, and boom! your home:) And truly, there is no place like it.

 

 

The Lion Who Forgot He was King.

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When Dorothy, the Tinman, and Scarecrow were on their way to see the Wizard, they encountered the angry roar of the Lion. Which, of course, most of us know, very shortly turned into a whimper. He cried, and wiped away his tears with his tail, when Dorothy directed her anger toward him.

This isn’t exactly how we would expect the king of the forest to act. How did the Lion forget he was the king?

This forgetting can happen when a child lives in a stressful environment. This causes the child to remain in a chronic state of fight or flight. When he or she grows up, the fear-based memory remains in the body and mind. This memory is then relived as though the original situation is still occurring, even though it has passed.

The Lion wasn’t angry so much as petrified. If anyone got too close, he would roar to scare them off. He wouldn’t let anyone get near him to even discern if they were a potential threat or not. He lived in fight or flight mode. This was his way of being in the world, or hiding from it. He kept others at arms length because he didn’t feel safe.

In order to move from fear to fearless, the Lion had to face what he was afraid of.

This means we have to sit with what we really feel and not deny it. I admit that this isn’t the easiest thing to begin, but it’s worth the effort. The good thing is that the more we do it, the more comfortable we get with just feeling it. When we are able to sit with being afraid, uneasy, unsafe, and vulnerable, the less fearful we feel. Focusing on the sensations felt in the body allows them to diminish.

In the book version of the story, the Lion faces a giant spider that is terrorizing all the animals who live in the forest. He has to face what he fears in order to free himself from it, which he does. That is how he regains his fearless title of “King of the Forest.”

 

 

What about that Scarecrow?

 

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Remember when Dorothy came to a fork in the road in The Wizard of Oz and wasn’t sure which way to go? The Scarecrow was in the cornfield, stuck up on a pole, pointing in two opposite directions, to demonstrate her uncertainty.

He represents the intellect that can’t answer the question of which way to go. Many of us have been taught to make decisions by thinking our way through them. This can be accomplished by gathering information on the internet; from friends, acquaintances, and family; searching through memories of similar past experiences, or by reading books to shed light on the subject. The plethora of information available to us can create confusion about which option to choose.

A friend mentioned to his therapist that he was having trouble making a decision. The therapist said, “Make a list of the pros and cons.” When he told me, I asked, “How do you weigh things that cannot be compared?” Some things on each side matter more than others. It’s not an apples to apples comparison. He tried the list and found it didn’t help for exactly that reason.

When the mind gets involved in decision making, we can end up in uncertainty, stuck on that pole like the Scarecrow.

How do we make decisions when we don’t know what to do? Remember in the story, the Scarecrow thinks the Wizard can help. The Wizard can give him a brain to “figure things out.” When they reach the Wizard, he tells the group they already have what they are looking for. The Wizard confesses that he can’t give him a brain. The Scarecrow, like the others, doesn’t want to hear that and insists. The Wizard creates a ceremony to convince the Scarecrow that he has brains. But it was just a show. Then, and only then, did the Scarecrow believe he was sharp enough to solve problems.

The Wizard’s message was that we already have the answers inside us. Sometimes it is referred to as intuition or instinct, but it doesn’t really matter what label it has. We already know what to do. If we are quiet and look inward, we can access our own greater wisdom through intuition, or even dreams. There we can discover all the answers we need. If we are patient, and look, we will know.

Looking for a Sign?

 

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I was driving home from a visit with my friend Teresa, who has been my best friend since fourth grade. I glanced up at the sky and there was a heart in the clouds. I smiled. Not even a mile later, a billboard said, “What are you looking for, a sign?” It made me laugh.

When something out of the ordinary occurs, we pause. We are pulled from our daily state of consciousness into a heightened state of curiosity. What was the message?

I pondered it the next morning and reflected on the events of the previous day. I am surprised every time I do this to discover a daily theme, which I am normally oblivious to. I encountered three separate people who needed to hear that they mattered. Two were strangers.

I experience signs, synchronicities, and coincidences on a fairly regular basis. Despite that regularity, I still am surprised by them. Sometimes, I, or the people I interact with, feel the meetings are divinely orchestrated. Occasionally, I don’t even realize they are occurring, until they are over. I would imagine there are times that I don’t ever notice.

What orchestrates these encounters? What cares enough about us to manifest these experiences?

I had a realization several years ago that the world is all love. I have mentioned that before and also included that I don’t live in that world even though I know it is the truth. Today, it came to me that most of us walk through this world of love in fear, without seeing the love that is always present.

Can you even imagine it? That the world we fear is actually one of love? My dreams have told me this on several occasions. What else could be creating our dreams every night? Guiding and helping us expand into greater awareness. Causing us to grow from children into adults, beating our hearts, inspiring us to take the next breath, or getting us to look up at the sky at the exact right moment to see a heart in the clouds, to remind us that we are loved?

What if the energy that inspires everything to unfold really is love? Jesus said we must become like children to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, which is at hand. What if we are so busy defending and protecting ourselves that we don’t see the love all around us and know we are ourselves love?

And what caused you to read this, if not maybe that same energy that caused me to look up and see a heart in the sky? Just wanted you to know that you are loved and you matter…