Notes on the Journey

Monday, July 30, 2012

Allowing Anger

There are many reasons why we might get angry.  Someone accuses us of something wrongly, or they're right and we don't want to admit it.  Someone invades a boundary.  Someone disrespects us or someone we love.  Someone takes something from us or harms us or someone we love.  We're frightened or surprised.  The list is long and we all get very creative about the triggers for anger.

There are times when the anger we're feeling has nothing to do with what someone did to us, and has more to do with our own issues around whatever the trigger was.  In these instances, it would be a good idea for us to look at why we reacted in anger to something that could have been dealt with another way.  By bringing our issues into consciousness and taking responsibility for them and understanding ourselves more deeply, we often diminish the power of the trigger and are able to deal with similar situations in the future without getting angry.

But, there are times, when anger is justified and even called for.  There is righteous anger.  There are times when someone is so far gone into an emotional reaction that anger might be the only thing that will reach them.  There are times when we need to protect children or animals, and anger is the only thing that will stop a perpetrator of violence.  There are times when someone crosses a boundary and the only thing that gets them to understand that it's not allowed is our anger.  There are many instances where anger could be necessary.

There is a mistaken idea that it's not spiritual to get angry.  That if we were really enlightened we wouldn't get angry.  That if we were really spiritual enough we'd not be triggered into anger.  I think this is a damaging concept.  It has the result of causing us to suppress our feelings and then feel guilty that we had those feelings.  What we feel is what we feel and can not be denied.  If we feel anger, we feel anger, and telling ourselves we shouldn't be feeling it doesn't stop it.  I'm not saying we need to act out our anger in every instance, but the fact of the anger must be acknowledged, and the anger must be allowed to have its space and expression and movement.  When we suppress any emotion it gets stuck.  When we suppress anger we don't really get over it and it causes resentment.  As uncomfortable as anger can be, especially because many of us have been taught it's not okay to feel it or express it, it needs its space and the ability to move through us so we can release it and move on.

With practice, we can learn to allow anger to be present and deal with whatever caused it in the moment.  We can learn to speak up for ourselves.  We can learn to hold our own.  We can learn to confront a situation and not collapse.  For me, this has been a long and difficult learning curve.  I don't like to get angry.  I was taught it was not okay to be angry.  I don't like confrontation and conflict.  I used to cry if I tried to speak when I was angry but, through much effort and practice, I am now able to speak when I'm angry and not collapse into tears.  I'm able to speak up for myself and hold my own.  I'm still often uncomfortable doing it, but I don't let that stop me.

I've learned to stand in the reception of someone else's anger and let them say what they need to say without interrupting or defending.  When they're finished expressing what they need to say, I'll say what I need to say about whatever situation caused the conflict.  And, often this process needs to go back and forth for a while before the person is done and has spent their reaction.  Once the reaction has played itself out, the person is more able to hear what I might have to say and understand it.  And, it's a gift if you have a conflict with someone who is able to allow you to have your reaction and move it out.

Boundaries are important.  We have to set them and hold them, even in the face of another's anger or disapproval or efforts to break them down.  But, with awareness and practice we will get better at it.  And, as we get more comfortable with anger, and better at setting boundaries and holding them, we start to gain self-confidence and feel stronger and more safe in the world and in our interactions with other people.  And, we also gain the respect of other people, which for me, was a surprise.  I have historically thought that if I got angry or set a boundary that people wouldn't like me or I'd lose the love of those close to me.  But, that's not true.  I thought I had to be nice and let people do whatever they wanted or they wouldn't like me or love me.  But, that's not true.  I find that I also respect myself more when I'm able to be authentic with my feelings and hold my boundaries.

I don't advocate allowing violence to be your expression of anger, or to lash out at someone verbally with cutting and hurtful words.  Being consciously angry requires that we take full responsibility for our actions and words and that we keep our responses about ourselves and don't project blame and judgment onto the other.  But, when we're able to do this, our angry confrontations can actually lead to resolutions, deeper understanding, respect and love.  Amazing.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

New Transmission

My car is in the shop getting a new transmission installed.  The "check engine" light came on a while ago but then went off again, with nothing seeming obviously wrong with the car.  But, when I took the car in for service the beginning of this week and they checked the computer to see why the "check engine" light came on, the codes that came up were indicating a new transmission.  Wow...

When the "check engine" light first came on, I was about two and a half hours into a five and a half hour drive from Albuquerque to Moab, Utah.  Uh oh...  But, I was basically in the middle of nowhere and just kept going.  Plus, I had to get to Moab for a job that started the next morning, so there just couldn't be anything wrong with the car.  Such is the way my mind works.

I continued driving and arrived at Moab with no trouble...thank you car and car angels.  I was driven to work the next few days and my car got a chance to sit in the hotel parking lot and rest.  When I turned the car on to drive home, the "check engine" light was still on.  I had hoped that by giving it a few days rest the light would go out.  Again, such is the way my mind works.  But, no.

I drove home with no trouble and made an appointment to take the car in but, before my appointment date, the "check engine" light went off.  Hmmm...I guess everything is okay.  And again, such is the way my mind works.  So, I called and canceled my service appointment and decided to wait until I was due by mileage.  And, in the interim, the car still seemed to be operating perfectly with no problems.  So...you can imagine my surprise when I was told I needed a new transmission.

The great thing is, I have a 2003 Hyundai Santa Fe that has a 100,000 mile/10 year power train warranty that covers the new transmission completely.  It won't cost me a penny!  Yay!  As you can tell, this made me very happy.  And, it's perfect that I would need a new transmission in my car at this particular point, because I'm changing gears in my life because I'm retiring.  I love how these things work.

I've had a lovely loaner from the dealer while my car has been waiting for its new transmission to arrive and be installed.  I'll get my car back tomorrow all tuned up and ready to go and will head out immediately to Los Angeles.  The 835 mile drive will break in the new transmission.

I'll write as I can while I'm on the road for the next couple of weeks, but will definitely continue my posts when I get back on or before the 12th.  Via con dios!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Violence in Film

One of the positive reactions to the "Dark Knight" Colorado shootings is that the film industry is doing some self-reflection on the nature of violence in movies.  Long overdue, but better late than not at all.  And, as tragic what triggered the self-reflection is, these types of events that change the face of the way we live and think are always multidimensional.

The "Dark Knight" film goes into the conditions that shaped its violent characters.  And, the shooter in Colorado most likely has a very dark and damaged past.  But, there are many emotionally damaged people living lives that don't include murder and a continued perpetration of violence.  No matter the wounds, damage and afflictions of our pasts, we're all still totally responsible for what we choose to do in the world.  And, that includes taking responsibility for the types of violence we perpetrate on screen.

Our films have become more and more violent, trying to up the adrenaline rush and sensate experience of the viewer.  But, it's resulted in a sort of numbing effect.  People who see too much violence, through video games and films, develop a numbness to it.  And often, violence in films comes with no visible consequence, which leads to a misunderstanding of how real violence plays out in the world.

The other factor that doesn't seem to be understood, is that it's not possible to continuously put out the images and vibrations and thought forms of violence into the world through films without it creating and fueling real violence.  We get back what we put out.  That's not just a philosophy, that's the way Life works.  And, why do we constantly perpetrate violence on New York City?  New York City and the island of Manhattan seem to be the focus of violence in film.  Destruction is heaped on New York in film after film.  We make it the primary target.  And, energetically, that's the message that goes out into Life.

Films are not real.  They are imaginary.  But, it is through our imaginations that we create and manifest things into the world of form.  When we are watching a film, our imaginations take it as real.  We get real adrenaline rushes, we experience real fear, real joy, real sadness.  The emotions that are being experienced are real.  And, the vibrations of those emotions and images are real.  Triggered by an imaginary experience, but ultimately real none the less.

When we watch violence, those images don't readily go away.  We have to process all the violence we took in while we were watching the film or television program.  And, there tends to be a residual effect from these types of experiences.  They don't lift us up, they drag us down and burden us with more darkness.  Even if the end of whatever film we're watching ends on a positive note, if the violence that got us there was too much, it can overpower the ending.  It makes us feel too compromised.

And, ultimately, as with anything in the marketplace, we vote with our dollars.  If we decide that violence is not what we want, and stop spending our money to support films with violent themes and stories, then less of them will be made.  So, it's really up to each and every one of us who go to see movies what kinds of films we support and perpetrate.  Give some thought to where your money is going and what it's supporting next time you buy a movie ticket.  From now on, I'm going to give it a lot more thought.   

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Balloon Sighting

I saw six hot air balloons this morning in the sky over Albuquerque.  It always makes me happy to see them.  Albuquerque is known for hot air balloons, but I don't see them all that often.  Most likely because I'm not a real early morning person.  This morning I got up early in order to take my car in for service, so it was about 7:15am when I saw the balloons.  They fly over the flat, western part of the city.  And, the early morning is the best time because the wind is quiet.

I had just merged onto the freeway that runs west to east when I looked up and saw three balloons.  As I continued toward the west and connected onto the freeway that runs north to south, I saw two more balloons.  Oh...five balloons!  How great!  Then, after traveling north and taking an exit that would take me further west, I saw the sixth balloon.  Wow...six balloons!  I'm like a little kid when I see them.

It's monsoon season here, but this morning the sky was clear and blue.  The only clouds were thin ones over the Sandia Mountains, hinting at the rain that would come later in the day.  The wind was quiet, the air was crisp, and the balloons stood out in stark contrast against the sky.  It was a gift to start my day by seeing the balloons.

Our Balloon Festival happens in October and is the largest event that takes place in Albuquerque all year.  People come from all over the world for it and there are more balloons than you can imagine.  You get up in the wee hours of the morning and get to the balloon park before it's light.  The first balloons take off in the dark and you can see the fire from the burners that heat the air inside the balloons and makes them rise.  They glow as they go up early before the rest of the balloons to check the direction and strength of the wind.  Then, as the sky starts to lighten and the sun starts to rise, the mass ascension of all the assembled balloons happens.  It's gorgeous and overwhelming and takes hours and hours for them all to get up.

The balloon park is a huge open field where the balloons get laid out and inflated.  There are hundreds of them.  And, everyone walks through them.  It's not like the balloons are in one place and the people attending the festival are in another place watching from afar.  When you attend the festival, you're right next to the balloons.  They take off all around you.  I was turning in circles trying to see all of them as they took off.  I took so many photos it was hard to get through all of them.  The balloons are very colorful and there are so many different shapes.  The typical balloon is round and large on top and then kind of tapers down toward the bottom, but at the festival there are balloons shaped like Darth Vader and like houses and like cartoon characters.  The creativity that's gone into the balloons is stunning.

It's hard to describe the beauty and the emotion of the balloon festival, and you might wonder, "What's the big deal?"  But, if you can, you should come to Albuquerque in the fall and see for yourself.  It's a week of wonder and fun and magic.  The balloons affect you in ways you wouldn't expect.  They open hearts and bring people together.  It's only July...you have time to make it this year.  We'd love to have you.

Monday, July 23, 2012

A Good Book

I finished another book by Orson Scott Card today.  This one was the second in the "Women of Genesis" series and was on "Rebekah," wife of Isaac.  Isaac was the son of Abraham and Sarah who was the heir to the birthright of the covenant with God.  I've not read the whole Bible, only parts of it, and I don't know all the stories and characters.  The "Women of Genesis" series of books are novels, but they are based on the Biblical accounts, and I find them exceptionally interesting.

What I love about Orson Scott Card's writing is his ability to really know and understand his characters...the dark and light of them, the good and bad of them, the weak and strong of them.  The characters in the Bible stories are iconic, and people have been reading about them and hearing their stories for millennia, but in these books their stories come alive in a new way.  These are not religious books, they are just interesting stories about interesting people.

The characters are written so that you understand how human these people were, and yet you also understand the depth of their faith and their struggles to hear and interpret the messages from God they received.  A major theme of this particular book in the series is how people with good intentions, doing the best they can, often make tragic mistakes.

But, that's the nature of Life.  I really believe we all do the best we can, and that if we could do better, we would.  Even people who do really heinous things.  I know that some people pre-meditate and plan to do heinous things, but I still believe that if they could have done better, they would have.  Which just shows that sometimes our idea of what our best is can get pretty twisted.

At the end of the book, Rebekah looks back and has come to a place where she understands the mis-steps that were made and why.  She comes to a place of understanding and compassion for everyone.  And, this is Orson Scott Card's gift to the reader through his love of his characters; that you have an understanding and compassion for them because of the way he writes them.  He loves and accepts them on all levels and writes them that way.  And, as you read and accept these characters, flaws and all, you start to understand yourself better and love yourself more.

We all do the best we can, and sometimes that brings tragic results.  And, all we can do, is keep working through those tragic results; keep trying to do better; keep trying to be more loving, more understanding, more compassionate, more balanced, more truthful, more connected.  When we've created a mess, all we can do is try to clean it up the best way we know how.  We can apologize, we can forgive, we can do our best to make things right; but, sometimes, we do things that we can't come back from, that we can't fix or make right in the way we wish we could.  But, in those instances, we can still learn from our mistakes so that we don't make them again.

Good books don't just entertain, they open us to new realities and possibilities, new ideas and concepts, new ways of being in the world; they expand our perceptions and change us in the reading of them.  They deepen our understanding and broaden our compassion and help us to know ourselves and the human condition better.  I hope you all have a really good book to read.

 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Mourning and Gratitude

I'm going to Los Angeles to empty out my storage space.  I got the space so I could keep things in it that I would use when I went to Los Angeles for work.  After I moved to Albuquerque, I still had to work as a local in Los Angeles.  So, when I would go there for work, I would have to find temporary housing.  And, every time I would go, I'd have to set up housekeeping all over again.  Having stuff in storage that I could drag out every time made it easier.  But, since I've retired from script supervising, and won't be needing to go to Los Angeles for work anymore, the storage space and its contents are no longer needed.

I'm not attached to anything I have there.  Most of it is duplicates of things I have at home that I didn't want to have to transport back and forth every time.  I'll end up giving it away because none of it is worth bringing back to Albuquerque, and I would have no need of it.  But, the storage space is the last link I have to Los Angeles and California.  Once it's gone, there's nothing physically connecting me to that place or that life anymore.

Letting go of the storage space is a symbolic cutting of ties to my previous life.  Twenty-six years of living in Los Angeles and thirty years in the film industry.  A new era has dawned and it's time to put the previous one to rest.  I'd thought about retiring for a while, but doing it includes an emotional process of letting go that I didn't anticipate.

I'm arranging to see as many friends as possible while I'm in Southern California because I'm not sure when I'll be back there again.  I feel like I'm saying good bye on a number of levels.  I stay in contact with a lot of people by email and phone, but connecting in the same physical space and enjoying someone's presence is different and special.  I have many friends in Los Angeles, many relationships developed through the commonality of working in the film industry, and now that I'm leaving that behind, there will also be many people that I most likely won't see again.

I realize that, as excited as I am about embracing a new era of living and a new way of life, I'm also mourning the life that's moving into my past.  I'm mourning the end of something that was wonderful in many ways.  And, in the mourning of it, I honor it and all it gave me.  I'm blessed to have had the opportunity to work in an industry I love for so many years; an industry that accepted me and returned that love in large measure.

Saying good bye to something and/or someone we love is never easy, and knowing it's time to say good bye doesn't help.  So, I'm being gentle with myself and allowing myself this period of mourning and readjustment.  The mourning is a part of what allows the letting go to happen and, at a certain point, the pull of the past will dissipate and I'll be fully in my new experience.

I'm pretty good at saying good bye, because working in the film industry teaches you that.  Crews come together for an intense period of time and then fly apart at the end of the project.  I've experienced many periods of mourning at the end of all the films I've worked on.  It's always like losing your family, but there's always the anticipation and hope that you'll get to work with the same people on another film in the future.  But, this time, the good byes are permanent for most of the people I've known and worked with; this time, there's not going to be another film together.  The finality of that makes this period of mourning a bit more emotional.  And, I'm lucky to have so many people to mourn the loss of.

But, endings are also beginnings.  And, there's a big unknown out in front of me.  I know as I let go I'm opening the space for something new and wonderful to come in.  And so, I do my best to experience the full multidimensionality of this richly layered time in my life with all the gratitude it deserves.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

"Beasts of the Southern Wild"

I saw the movie "Beasts of the Southern Wild" tonight and I can not recommend it highly enough.  It is a wonderful movie with amazingly realistic performances from the actors.  The main character, a little girl named Hush Puppy, is a force of nature.

The characters in the movie are free in a way that most of are never free.  And, they choose their freedom and their bond with each other over any other alternative.  They are a family, although mostly not by blood.  They don't have much in terms of how most of us see things, but they have each other, and they live in an attitude of acceptance.  They're people with challenges and their reality isn't easy, but they meet it unblinkingly, albeit with a certain amount of self-medicating.  They don't ask for much from life, and enjoy what they have.

There's a simplicity and a strength to them.  They don't look outside their own community for help and don't want any interference.  They treasure their way of life and can't imagine any other.  They're creative and resourceful in ways that most of us are never called upon to be.  And, they believe in themselves and their ability to survive.

It's a clean story, that's touching in a non-manipulative way.  A story that looks at the hard stuff without flinching.  A story that shows people becoming stronger, not weaker, through the trials of life.  It's also a bit magical and mystical, but that's how Life is.

It's an empowering and life-affirming movie that should not be missed.  Do yourselves a favor and give the blockbusters a rest for a bit and go see a movie of the heart with lots of soul.

The Expression of Violence

What happens to a person that makes them want to kill people?...strangers...in large numbers...or even one other person?  What is the wound that makes life so unbearable that killing seems like a good idea?  What is it that seeds such deep anger, that killing seems like a good way to express it?  How do we manage to disenfranchise someone to the point where killing seems like a good way to gain the attention we so crave?  We must all take responsibility.  Because we are all one.  Because the one who acts out, however heinously, is still us.

What happened in the movie theater in Colorado is a wake up call for all of us.  We all need to deal with our violent tendencies, and some of us have that under a greater level of control than others.  But, most of us act out our violence, we just do it in non physically-homicidal ways.  But, that doesn't make it any more acceptable.  Violence is violence.  Our mind wants to give it a hierarchy.  Oh, that is worse than that...that is more violent than that...well, I didn't kill anyone.  Really?

We all are practiced at killing each other's spirits.  And, by wounding someone to the level that we're all capable of doing, we create the seeds of homicide.  Sometimes that acting out takes the shape of murder of another, sometimes that acting out takes the shape of suicide, and sometimes that acting out takes the shape of abuse toward others on any and all levels.  It all starts somewhere.  Violence--to another or to ourselves--doesn't come out of a void.

We tend to judge or persecute the other for the things we're not able to see and/or accept within ourselves.  Which is why it's necessary to pay attention and take responsibility.  When we're mean to someone, or judge them, or hurt them, where does that come from within ourselves?  What is the judgment?  Turn it around and look at how we judge ourselves for the same thing.  What is it about ourselves that we don't like, don't accept, don't love?  If we're mean to someone or hurt them, where does the impulse come from?  Why are we lashing out?  What is it that the other person triggered in us that pushed us to that place?  If we really take responsibility for the creation of our world, these are things we need to look at.

When something happens, if we blame another or feel at the mercy of circumstances and see ourselves as a victim, we won't be able to learn from the experience.  But, instead of blaming the other or seeing ourselves as out of control and victimized, we're able to see how what appears in our world is a reflection of what's going on inside, we'll be able to move into awareness and ultimately acceptance.  With acceptance, comes gratitude and love.  And, as we love all the parts of ourselves without judgment, we're able to love our worldly reflection as well.

Being able to take responsibility for things doesn't mean that it takes the responsibility away from the perpetrators of crimes, or that they shouldn't experience the consequences of what they've done, but it does start to heal things at the level of cause.  And, as we heal things at the level of cause, our lives and the lives of all those around us change as well.  As each of us heals and learns to love ourselves, that vibration goes out into the collective and lifts the whole of creation.  As each of us becomes more aware we lift the awareness of everyone else.  It can't be any other way because we're all connected.

What's hard to realize is that those who do the worst harm are the ones who are the most desperate for love.  The darkness is what needs the light.  Even though we might not want the worst criminal to be our best friend, and it probably wouldn't be the best decision to hang out with them, we can still hold them in love.  We can shine a light that might remind them of the light within themselves.  And, love can only lift us up.

So, as things happen in our world, if it's in your experience, either as a participant or an observer, it's part of you, and you're creating it, and it's yours to take responsibility for no matter what.  There's only one of us here.  Many aspects of the one, but One none the less.  The same Life that lives you lives me and lives in, as and through all of creation.  There is no separation.  What we see is what we are, that's how the hologram works.  That's a lot to accept, but it makes all the difference.

Right now, violence is up for all of us because of the actions of one person.  Let's deal with it at the level of cause, let's take responsibility for our own violence so that it doesn't need to project itself into our physical experience.  Let's learn from our collective experience and lift each other up.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Boundaries

Boundaries are an interesting thing.  It's only more recently that I've become aware of the need for healthy boundaries and been able to set them for myself.  Saying "no" has been difficult for me historically.  "Yes" was always my first response, whether I wanted to say "yes" or not.  But, thankfully, I'm getting much better at when and how to say "no."

Growing up, "no" was not an acceptable response in my family.  Boundaries got crossed on every level and that was normal.  Boundaries were not allowed or honored.  How dare I think I had a say in the matter anyway?  In that kind of atmosphere, you don't even realize that boundaries are a possibility; or, that if you established a boundary that it would be honored.

I've had migraine headaches for most of my life.  I've done everything I could both medically and energetically to heal them and get to the root cause of them, but to no avail...until now.  I've become aware that my inner child uses constriction as a type of protection against boundary invasion.  And, I've allowed a lot of boundary invasion over the years because it didn't ever occur to me that I could say "no."  As boundaries got crossed and she felt compromised, she'd pull in and constrict everything against the invasion, it was all she knew how to do.  So, pain became the result.  And, it's taken me all these years to connect the two things.  But, connect them I finally did.

Because I'm finally aware of the trigger for the constriction, I can start to work with my inner child to set up another type of communication about when a boundary is being breached.  Previously, I wouldn't even be aware that a boundary had been crossed because I was so used to not having boundaries.  But now, I've got much more awareness about it, and so I'm more apt to realize when it's happened.  Historically, the constriction response would come because a boundary had already been crossed.  Now, I'm setting up an internal system of communication with my inner child so that I'm aware as a boundary is being crossed so that I can address it and do something about it.  This is huge.

If I'm aware of a boundary breach in the moment, and address it as and/or before it happens, the constriction I've lived with as a protection will no longer be necessary.  Hallelujah!  If I can stand my ground, if I can say "no," if I can establish boundaries and hold them, I will feel more self confidence and more strength.  Fear and anxiety around a constant feeling of vulnerability will go away.  As the awareness integrates within me there's a relief, a relaxation.

I've got a lot of walking to do to fully embody the level of strength I see for myself, but at least I have the awareness that it's possible.  I'm on my way to being someone I only have a conceptual awareness of right now, but I have no doubt that I'm capable of getting there.

This is why Life is so exciting to me.  It's this kind of change and awareness that recharges everything.  It doesn't mean I won't stumble, but it does mean that every time I do, I'll get back up and have a greater understanding of what happened, and I'll continue to learn and get stronger and walk taller.  I'm filled with gratitude.  Thank you...thank you...thank you. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

In The Arms of the Dragon

When is it time to call it quits?  With anything...job, relationship, project...whatever.  This is sometimes a difficult thing to determine.  We get emotionally invested in things over time and don't want to let go.  We keep thinking if we stick with it...whatever "it" is...that we'll attain success, or get what we want, or be successful.  But, that's not always the case.

Sometimes we think, "But, I've invested so much of my time; money; energy; creativity; love; effort; attention...you name it...into it that I can't stop now."  That's a false perception.  But, there's a fine line.  Sometimes we do need to keep going, but sometimes we just need to stop.  Sometimes going forward becomes self-destructive.  We keep investing in something that's never worked and isn't going to ever work, without seeing what we're doing.  We get obsessed with things and hold on.

What I find for myself is that it's my mind that tries to convince me to hold on when I should let go.  All kinds of logical arguments and reasons will come up that say to keep going.  But, emotionally, my energy is not in it.  Or, it doesn't feel good to keep going, even if I do it out of duty or will.  Am I making myself miserable by continuing?  And, why is being miserable going to get me anywhere?  Am I doing it for the money?  Am I doing it because I'm too proud to stop?  Too stubborn?  If I stop will I be a failure?  Will I be embarrassed?  What's the judgment that's haunting you and preventing you from stopping something you know it's time to stop?

Sometimes we've done something for so long that our identity is tied up into it.  This happens a lot with people and their jobs.  We start to think we are the thing we do and if we stop doing it then who are we?  Not a bad question to ask, but one that should move us forward, not hold us back.  Or, we have long-term relationships we've formed through our work and don't want to leave them.  But, the truth is, if those relationships are important, they will continue with or without the job.  Things that are important to us will continue even when the things that no longer serve us are let go.

We fall into traps and prisons of our own making and then get comfortable there and decide to stay.  Change can be scary, but it's also exciting.  It opens up new possibilities, and new challenges, and it expands us and gets us engaged in Life again.  Suddenly we might be called upon to face situations and find solutions to things we haven't dealt with before.  Abilities we haven't needed to access might be called to the fore.  New neural pathways need to be created, and new parts of ourselves come online because they're needed.

When we stay too long in anything we start to deteriorate.  As averse to challenge as we can be, it's by always seeking out new challenges that we grow and expand.  Change is good.  It keeps things interesting.  It keeps us engaged and growing.  It's creative.  And, it's the nature of Life.

If we resist change and try to hold on, we're resisting Life and the gifts it's trying to bring us.  When we get the impulse that it's time to move on, we need to pay attention.  People say they don't know, but we always know.  It's just that we're not always paying attention.  Or, we don't like what our impulse and intuition is telling us.  But, it's not as if we can stop Life from happening, all we can do in any event is delay it, and usually at great personal expense.  If we can listen and pay attention and move when Life tells us to, then we're in the flow of what's showing us how to manifest our greater yet to be.  Then Life is fun and fluid and growing and expanding.

Breathe into the thing that holds you.  How does it feel to stay with it?  How does it feel to let it go?  What feels expansive?  What feels constricting?  Where and what is the fear that says "no?"  When we finally let go, we put ourselves in Life's hands...we put ourselves, as Merlin says in the film "Excaliber," "...in the arms of the dragon."

I'm not always able to let go, but I do my best to listen and pay attention.  Sometimes there's a lot to work through before I'm able to let go, but better late than never.  I want to live Life fully, without resistance, without restriction, without fear.  I want to live in the arms of the dragon.   

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Muscles of Jelly

I feel awful.  Okay.  I just had to get that out there right from the beginning.  I took an Introductory...Introductory, mind you...Pilates Mat class today.  Good heavens!  It kicked my butt!  OMG!  What would a real Pilates Mat class have been like?  Introductory?  Jeez...I'm lucky I survived.

All right, so I'm a little out of shape.  Well, maybe a lot out of shape.  But, who knew working on core strength was so hard?  And, this was a class with mostly older women, and some of them were rockin' this stuff!  I don't know how many years they've been at it, but, boy, am I behind.  The instructor was definitely as old as I am and she was in GREAT shape.  I'm jealous.

Half way through the class I was looking at the clock and willing the hands to move faster.  My muscles had already turned to jelly and were in spasms and I was feeling nauseous.  At the end I felt like I could barely walk straight.  My only thought was to get into the pool and float in the water for a while to relax.

After I struggled into my swim suit, because even the effort of bending over and pulling it on was too much, I staggered out to the pool.  Thank goodness there was a hand rail to help me navigate my way shakily down the stairs into the water.  And, thank goodness again, that there was a styrofoam noodle perched on the edge of the pool just waiting for me to use it.  The water was refreshing, but my muscles were so far past being usable at this point that even floating was beyond my capability.  And, I literally felt like I might hurl at any moment.

I lasted about ten minutes in the pool before hauling myself back out and stumbling into the women's locker room.  Thank heavens I'd chosen a locker close to the door.  I managed to stand long enough to get my things out of the locker and then collapsed onto the bench.  I miraculously managed to get my wet swim suit off and put my clothes on, although at one point, I did consider wrapping the towel around me and walking out naked.

You would have thought I'd been at sea for years the way I wobbled out of the gym.  I managed to get almost all the way to my car, cursing under my breath the whole time, before someone tried talking to me.  I was so focused on reaching the car that I didn't realize someone was actually addressing me at first.  Then, this cheery voice cut through my haze with, "It looks like rain doesn't it?"  What?  Rain?  Oh...yeah.  Keep walking, Trudy.  You can make it.  It's only a few feet more.  I open the door and throw my stuff onto the seat and sit down.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I drive home counting the minutes and how many more turns I have to make to get to my driveway.  Come on.  Almost there.  You're doing good.  There...there...there's my driveway.  The garage door goes up, I drive in, the garage door closes.  Ahhhhh.....  I'm home.  I grab my things and go into the house and manage to hang up the wet things before I collapse onto the bed.  I sleep for the next two hours like a dead person.  I'm out.  Hasta la vista.  Gone.

Who knew exercise would be hazardous to your health?  No wonder they ask for someone to notify in case of an emergency.  I'm lucky I'm healthy as a horse with a very sturdy body and low blood pressure.  But, I certainly pushed the envelope today.  I'm hoping a few more times and it all might not seem so lethal.  I knew I had a ways to go, but this is embarrassing.

Maybe it's huge denial, and I might wake up in the morning and realize that my muscles have gone on strike until further notice, but I'm planning to go to salsa class.  The Pilates isn't fun, but it will be beneficial if I can will myself into staying with it.  But, the salsa will be fun, which is what I'm more interested in.  If I'm going to kill myself with the Pilates, I'm not going to miss the fun of salsa.  So, one more time into the breach in the morning, for another shocking reality my body is still getting used to.  Put on the music!  Let's go!  Ole! 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Free Your Mind

I watched "The Matrix" last night.  I LOVE that film.  It's the most spiritual film dressed in the coolest clothes.  It's deep, it's visually captivating, it's kick ass, it's tender, and it's empowering.

At one point, when Morpheus is teaching Neo how to fight inside the martial arts training program, he says, "I'm trying to free your mind, Neo.  But, I can only show you the door.  You're the one that has to walk through it."  And, that's true for all of us.  No one can do it for us.  They can only point the way.  We each have to find our power within.  We each have to believe in ourselves.  We each have to find our own place of knowing.

After the martial arts training program, Morpheus loads the jump program.  He and Neo land on the roof of a skyscraper.  Morpheus says to Neo, "You have to let it all go, Neo.  Fear, doubt and disbelief.  Free.  Your.  Mind."  And then, Morpheus takes a flying leap from the top of one building over to the next.  Neo then tries it and falls down and smashes into the concrete below.  He wasn't able yet to fully let go and stay focused on the goal.  He looked down, and that's where he went.  How often are we able to stay focused on our goals without getting sidetracked, or looking down?  How often does self doubt come in and sabotage us before we reach the finish line?  How often are we really able to let it all go?  How often are we able to walk forward into the great unknown, knowing and believing in ourselves enough to face whatever comes with confidence?

At a certain point, Morpheus decides that Neo is ready to go see the Oracle.  When Neo walks into the apartment, there are a number of other "potentials" sitting there.  A couple of them are juggling wooden blocks in the air without touching them, and another boy is bending spoons.  Neo's attention is drawn to the boy who's bending spoons and he asks the boy how he does it.  The Boy answers:  "Do not try and bend the spoon.  That's impossible.  Instead, only try to realize the truth."  Neo:  "What truth?"  Boy:  "There is no spoon."  Neo:  "There is no spoon?"  Boy:  "Then you'll see that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself."  And, Neo bends the spoon.

I say "there is no spoon" to myself as a mantra sometimes.  And, there's a point later in the movie when Neo has to suspend his historical belief in what he's capable of in order to accomplish the task at hand and he says to himself, "There is no spoon."  To remind ourselves that it's all inside of us, that we're creating it all, and that there are no limits except the ones we place upon ourselves is a very powerful reminder.  Neo's experience breaks him out of the old thought patterns and shows him who he really is, and he runs with it.  We each have to utilize our own experiences to break ourselves out of our old thought patterns and allow ourselves to be who we really are.  We have to find ways to discover the truth in our daily experiences and see beyond the veils of illusion that convince us we're less rather than more.  It's not about the outside, although the outside can point us in the direction we need to go, but ultimately we have to see that it's all happening inside ourselves.

There's also a leap between knowing and doing.  We might intellectually understand a truth, but are we able to live it?  Are we able to make it real...to take it from being a mental idea into manifesting it into our physical way of being?  As the Oracle says to Neo at one point, "There's a difference between knowing the path and walking the path."  We might know it, but can we be it?  We might know what's possible, but can we bring it into being?

At the end of the movie, the fully-realized Neo is in the Matrix talking into a telephone about what he wants to show the world..."A world without rules and controls; without borders or boundaries; a world where anything is possible."  And then, he flies.  That world exists for all of us...inside.  It's when we're able to let go of all the rules and controls we've put on ourselves, and drop the border and boundaries we've set up, we open up to a world where anything is possible.  Freedom starts on the inside and then manifests itself on the outside, not the other way around.

If you haven't seen "The Matrix" in a while I recommend watching it again.  It's an amazing piece of work.  "Free your mind...There is no spoon...anything is possible."

Monday, July 16, 2012

Belly Dancing and the Joy of Movement

My friend asked me to go to a belly dancing class with her.  Thank you!  Movement!  She's been going for over a year and really enjoys it.  It takes place in a health club and she also told me about how reasonably priced it is to join.  It's a third of the price of the other health club I'd checked out.  No wonder I was hesitating!

The class was an hour of using muscles I hadn't used in so long I'd forgotten they were there.  It required coordination I haven't developed yet, but hope to before long.  The music was beautiful.  The space was big enough for all the people who showed up for the class.  The instructor was good at belly dancing and a pleasant and encouraging person.  And, I got to have some fun with my friend.

After the class, my friend and I went to her house to go swimming.  She has a pool!  I'm originally from Southern California where pools are everywhere.  But, in Albuquerque, not so.  I'm not sure why not.  It's certainly hot enough here that having a pool would be a good idea.  Maybe it's the cold winters.  But, surprisingly, my friend has a pool.

Sliding into the water was exquisitely refreshing.  And, there's something about the weightlessness of the water environment that is stress-relieving and relaxing.  The sun was setting so it was still quite warm but not too hot.  We lounged on styrofoam noodles and floated around.  Lovely.

I'm so happy to have been given the gift of my friend's invitation.  And, my body feels better for it and will continue to benefit as time goes by and my muscles figure out what they have to do in order to belly dance.  I'm joining the health club today.  And, my now senior status earns me a sizable discount.  Thursday is salsa dancing!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Albuquerque and the Art of Uncool

I love uncool people.  People who are authentic and unafraid to be themselves and don't care what that looks like or what anyone else might think.  One of the things I love about Albuquerque is that it's uncool.  Santa Fe and Taos can be cool, but Albuquerque is not.  We are deliciously uncool.

Everytime I tell someone who's not from New Mexico that I live in New Mexico, they ask if I live in Santa Fe.  It might be because that's the city most identified with New Mexico, but New Mexico is so much more than Santa Fe.

Last night I went to a typical and wonderful Albuquerque event.  The NM Jazz Workshop puts on a summer series of concerts at the outside stage at the Albuquerque Museum.  It's a wonderful series of concerts by mostly local musicians.  Last night was "Ladies Sing the Blues" in memory of and in honor to Etta James.  Four wonderful female vocalists sang in homage to Etta and they were all fantastic in different ways.  The one at end the evening was Zenobia, an older and extremely experienced singer through whom music flows unobstructed.  She played the keyboard and sang and blew us all away.  She was so pure and open and tuned in and comfortable with what she was doing.  She was in command of the band even though she referred to herself as "just the chick singer."  She was so infectious that the other three singers who'd gone on before her came back on stage and sang backup for her.  Everybody wanted to join in.  The dance floor was filled with people, all of whom were dancing their asses off and having the best time.  The experience was such a gift for all of us who happened to be there.

The people at the event were all ages, from a young baby, the granddaughter of one of the singers, who was held on stage while her grandmother wailed the blues; to people way up in their years.  And, every age was represented on the dance floor.  It's this kind of all-inclusive, fun, anything goes event that happens in Albuquerque on a regular basis.

There's a relief to living in a place where one isn't judged by the way they look, or how many pounds they're packing, or what they do for a living.  The people here are genuine and sincere.  They mean what they say and go out of their way to help each other.  They have fun and enjoy life in simple ways.  They don't put on pretenses, and they accept each other.  Of course, these are generalizations, but truly, most of the people I've met since I moved here fall into these generalizations.  I'm sure there are bad apples somewhere, but they're hiding, because I haven't run into them yet.

Albuquerque is a comfortable place.  It's an easy place to live.  The pressures here are as real as anywhere else, but somehow don't seem as intense.  The traffic never overwhelms and people are considerate to others when they drive.  The prices are reasonable.  And, it's beautiful...really beautiful.

We're considered an economically depressed city.  And, it's not to say we don't have our problems.  But, there are riches here that can't be measured by statistics.  How can you put a finite value on the beauty of looking out over the Western mesas to the volcanoes and feeling the expansiveness of all that space?  How can you put a finite value on the Sandia Mountains that ring the Eastern side of the city and loom over us with their protective grace?  How can you put a finite value on the Rio Grande River that flows through the city and the beautiful Bosque area that surrounds it?  How can you put a finite value on the amazing sky we have?  Sometimes filled with clouds and lightning and Weather, with a capital "W"...sometimes clear blue all the way to the horizon...but always huge and alive and present.

The NM Jazz Workshop and Zenobia and all the singers and players from last night's concert are just a few of the reasons why I love Albuquerque.  The full list is long and constantly being added to.  But, wherever you live, I hope you love it there.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Trusting Life

I was talking to a friend of mine yesterday who lives in a place that she isn't in energetic resonance with anymore and has known for a long time that she wants to move, but is afraid to move and constantly talks herself out of moving.  Why do we hold on so hard?  Even when we know it's time to let go.  She said she's afraid of the unknown.  Isn't that the crux of the matter when it comes to trusting Life?

Most of us have made enough errors in judgment that it's sometimes hard to trust our instincts and intuitions.  Or, what we "think" our instinct or intuition is telling us.  Sometimes the problem is not knowing if it's our instinct or some other impulse.  How many issues overlay our instinct?  How covered up is the instinct and how clear are the signals we're getting at any particular time?

For me, when it's instinct or intuition, it comes from a deeper place of knowing.  It's an awareness that dawns on me and is unmistakable.  I could deny it or ignore it, but it wouldn't feel good.  And, I could try to talk myself out of it for any number of mental reasons, but that doesn't feel good either.  And, it's not that what comes in through instinct or intuition is always easy, sometimes it's wrenchingly difficult and stretches me in very uncomfortable or painful ways.  But, the knowing that what's being required of me is necessary, ultimately overrides whatever resistance I might initially have in regard to it.

The other thing that's sometimes difficult is that we might have followed our intuition into a situation only to have that situation change again very quickly.  And, it doesn't always make logical, mental sense how things work out.  And, we might not want to change again so quickly and dig our heels in a bit.  But, Life is always moving and reacting in the moment.  Life doesn't have any expectations as to how long something will take or how quickly it might change.  Things just are what they are.  We want to get comfortable and settle in and, once we do, we're loathe to move again.  But, it's my feeling that Life is going to require us to change and move a lot more often as time goes forward than we've been required to do in the past.

Being able to adapt to a constantly changing landscape of people, places and events is going to serve us very well as we move into the future.  I don't think Life is going to give us much chance to get too comfortable or feel too settled in.  In order to respond to all the changes that will keep coming and only accelerate, we're going to have to lighten up and be ready to respond in the moment.  The stability we'll feel will come from within ourselves, not from without.  And, our ability to change as necessary will give us confidence.  If we're able to respond to constant changes and keep moving, we're going to feel a lot better than if we hang on and feel that Life is crumbling from underneath us.

Why isn't this working anymore?  Why is this so difficult now?  Why doesn't this feel right?  What am I doing wrong?  Just because something worked in the past, doesn't mean it's going to keep working as time goes by.  We might have been in resonance with something in the past and therefore it was easier for us.  But, now, we've grown out of resonance with it and it's become much more difficult.  It doesn't feel right anymore because it doesn't fit anymore.  We're not necessarily doing anything wrong, but we've reached a point where it's time to let go and we're not doing it.

Once we're able to work through whatever resistance we have to letting go of whatever it is we need to let go of, we'll feel some relief and forward motion.  Letting go of something from the past that no longer serves us is often difficult, but once we do it, we usually wonder why we didn't do it sooner.  And, that's not to say that things suddenly become clear as to what we're going forward into or how best to do that, but just opening up to it helps.  There's often a period of transition that we go through as we adjust into a new level of Life and different circumstances that can feel a bit like limbo for a while.  But, as we expand into our new situation, clarity starts to come in and the path becomes more visible.

I'm working at being more comfortable in uncomfortable situations; at being able to move more quickly in response to what Life asks of me; at lightening up in all ways and needing less.  I'm working toward a streamlined existence, a leaner way of living.  I'm trying to listen more, respond quicker, adapt sooner, be more willing to change, and dance faster and more gracefully through whatever shows up.  These are exciting times and much will continue to be demanded of us.  But, this is what we signed up for, even though we didn't know what we were signing up for in any specific way.  And, it's now time to embrace that decision and step up.  The more we're able to let go and embrace what is, the smoother the journey will be.  We have to leap into the great unknown and trust that Life is taking us where we need to go.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

"Ted"

I saw the movie "Ted" last night.  It was unexpectedly funny.  Very raunchy and over the top.  It caught me totally off guard and I found myself laughing at surprising things.

A deeper issue that was an element in the story was the level of neediness in some of the characters.  SPOILER ALERT!  There's a man and his son who feel they need Ted to be a part of their lives.  They go to destructive ends to achieve their desires.  What is the need about?  What do they feel they are lacking that Ted will fulfill?  Why should their desires override Ted's desires for himself?

We've all experienced neediness in varying degrees.  We think someone has something we need...love, knowledge, wealth, influence, talent, and on and on.  And, instead of realizing that we each have everything we need within us, we project our needs outward to those around us.  And, through our neediness, we "cord into" or "hook onto" someone else's energy.

When we cord into someone, we breach the integrity of our own energy field as our energy goes out to the other person.  Once we've breached our energetic field, we open ourselves up to other energies that might want to cord into us, or other energies that might want to attach themselves to us.  When we are corded into anyone else, or have attachments, our energy is constantly being drained and siphoned off, and we are weakened.

If we have strong boundaries, and feel whole and complete within ourselves, and are able to stay with ourselves and remain integral to ourselves, then no one can cord into us and we don't go out of ourselves to cord into anyone else.  We can be in relationship without cording into someone, although for some of us, that's a new concept.  Some of us think that to be in relationship with someone we need to cord into them.  This is something that we do unconsciously.  But, we can start to be conscious of it.  We can start to be aware of where we're feeling needy, or lacking, and of how we leach onto the energy of others.

We can stay integral to ourselves and, instead of going out into another person's energy field in our attempt to know them, or to take from them what we think they have that we need, we can stay with ourselves and allow the other person to reveal themselves through our interaction.  By realizing that we are whole and complete, and that the other person is whole and complete, we can engage in relationship and enjoy an interchange where we don't leach from the other person or allow them to leach from us.  We're then able to accept and honor ourselves and the other for who they are, and to enjoy the mystery and revelation of the relationship to happen without trying to get anything or control anything.

This is something I've only recently started to understand.  In my own process to honor my own wholeness, I've had to see the areas within myself that I've felt were lacking.  I realize that for most of my life I've been cording into other people and allowing them to cord into me.  It's something that I finally understand to be unnecessary and ultimately destructive...better late than never!  So, it's something that I'm hyper-aware of at this point in time.

Anyway, all of this deeper thought aside, go see "Ted" and enjoy some good belly laughs.  Be forewarned that nothing is off limits or precious in this story and just let go and enjoy yourself.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Sunrise

It’s still dark enough that there are no colors yet.  Everything is in silhouette.  The leaves and birds are black against the lightening gray sky.  It’s quiet.  I’m not usually a morning person, but I do appreciate the early morning hours once I’m awake.

One of the things I liked when I was working as a script supervisor was the early mornings that I most likely wouldn’t have experienced if I didn’t have a 7:00am call.  The sunrises I got to see because I had to be up for work.  I’ve found sunrises to be more subtle than sunsets, the colors softer, the air more still, the sounds more quiet.
Sunrises are hopeful, the day is just beginning, all possibility lies ahead.  By sunset the day is behind us and there are things to reflect upon.  We’re either feeling satisfied by what we’ve accomplished, or relieved that the day is finally over.  But, sunrises are fresh and filled with the anticipation of what will unfold.  Will is be a “good” day?  Will it bring happiness?  Fulfillment?  Satisfaction?  Joy?  Love?  Challenge?  Sorrow?  Will something occur that will change things forever?

Or, do we greet the day with dread?  Are we in the middle of something that continues from day to day with such great challenge and pressure that the sunrise only brings pain?  When will this be over?  Will the intensity of this grief ever end?  Will I ever feel joy again?  What was I thinking when I agreed to this?  how could I have possibly thought this was a good idea…or, that I could have done this?

But then, we notice the sun just touching the top of the tree.  The leaf suddenly green and alive and moving in its dance with the breeze that just came up.  And, the sky behind it turns the lightest of pinks before it turns blue.  And, we hear the bird sing.  And, for a moment, we’re able to forget the things that weigh us down.  Maybe today will be different…maybe today good news will come…maybe today there will be some relief…maybe today I can let go…maybe today is the day.

But, whatever the day brings, may I open to receive it in its fullness.  May I release all resistance to the gifts it brings, no matter the form they take.  May I open my heart and my mind to all the experience that unfolds.  May I see the truth of whatever presents itself and not hide.  May I find peace and equanimity in the midst of chaos.  May I trust in the perfection of all things and not shy away from things I don’t understand.  May I see the beauty that’s always there.  May I feel gratitude for each breath I take.  May I always remember who I AM.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Power of the Word

From "Sarah:  Woman of Genesis" by Orson Scott Card; Sarai's impression of Abram after their first meeting:  "For as of this day, she was no longer sure of anything.  Except this:  Abram said he would be back to marry her, and somehow it would happen, for today she had seen for the first time in her life the true power of a king.  It was the word of power:  To speak, knowing that the thing spoken would come true."

Wow...to speak, knowing that the thing spoken would come true.  Yes.  The power of the word is in the power of knowing...is in the conviction with which the words are spoken...is in the confidence of the speaker.  And, there was the word, and the word was God.

Words filled with Life.  Words filled with knowing.  Words said with power.  Words without doubt.  Words of clarity.  We call things into being with our words, whether we realize it or not.  We speak them out into Life and they come back manifest.

They can come back manifest as what we want or what we don't want, it's up to us and the emotion behind them.  If we give power to the things we fear, the things we don't want, they will manifest as strongly as the things we want, and sometimes more so.  Fear is a very strong emotion and fills our words with uncommon power.  If we could focus as strongly on the things we want as we do on the things we don't want, then that would be what we would bring into being.  We are so much more powerful than we normally give ourselves credit for being.

If we're lucky, we've been around and listened to people who speak with authority.  Who, when they say something, leave no doubt that it will happen.  Who speak with such intensity of energy that Life has no choice but to respond and fulfill the commandment.  I haven't met many of them though.  Most of us don't believe ourselves to that extent.

And, it's not only saying the words, it's maintaining the power behind them even after they've been spoken.  We might say something from a place of power, but then frighten ourselves and withdraw our energy.  The thing went out, but couldn't be sustained.  So, there's an energetic follow through to what we say that has to be present.  The conviction needs to stay behind the intention of the words.

As long as we have time as a teacher, we get the chance to see what gets in the way of our desires for manifestation.  We send something out but it doesn't come back.  Why?  Where did we disconnect?  Why did we pull our energy back?  Where did the fear come in?  What was the resistance behind the intention?  Were the words and the desire from our heart, our larger Self?  Or were the words and the desire from our ego, our smaller self?  Did we really believe the words we were speaking?

If you haven't read any of Orson Scott Card's books, I would highly recommend them.  They are mostly science fiction, but there are a few on some of the women of the bible.  They are about love and authenticity and truth and integrity.  They pose ideas that you will ponder for a long time and that will trigger your own awareness of truth.  Do yourself a favor.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Physical Connection

It's amazing how fear shows up.  Sometimes we don't even recognize it as fear.  We just don't do something.  We're not sure why.  It's something we thought we wanted to do.  It's something that would be good for us.  But, somehow, we just don't do it.

I want to be more connected to my body.  I want to be more physically active.  I know it would be good for me.  I know I'd enjoy it if I'd do it.  But, I don't do it.  Why?  What am I afraid of?  What's the resistance?  Where does it come from?

Is it really easier to beat myself up for not doing it?  Is the guilt for not doing it better than the joy and accomplishment I'd get from doing it?  I have no excuses.  I have the time.  There's nothing in my way.  But, I still struggle with saying "yes."

I resist structure, and yet I know that some structure is a good thing.  I don't want to have to do anything, even something that's good for me.  But, that kind of rebellion is self-destructive.  And, what am I rebelling against exactly?  Authority?  What kind of authority?  Whose authority?

When I was working as a script supervisor I had very little time to do what I wanted to do.  While I was on a job, I was tired all the time.  And, when I was off work, I wanted total freedom and no commitments.  But, I'm not working now.  That dynamic doesn't have any relevance anymore.  No one and nothing owns my time, but me.  I can decide to do something good for myself and it won't get interrupted or taken away from me.  I can make the time for myself.  I can give myself the gift of movement and connection to myself through my body.  I can be consistent.

I'm forming new ways of living and new habits of behavior.  I'm getting to know myself in different ways.  I can be disciplined for myself.  I can make commitments to myself.  I can be strong for myself.  I can be good to myself.  I can put myself first.  I can love myself enough to allow myself to change.  I can embrace the change.  I can wake my body up and let Life flow through me.  I can connect and feel and express and move.  And, the more I move and reconnect to myself, the more of my being will engage and come alive.  I will find that I'm much more than I've been allowing myself to be.  It is through my body that I will connect to the Earth, and through my body that I will manifest into being what is mine to give.

Sometimes it's the first step that's the most difficult.  Once we take the leap and Life sees our intention and focus, then everything falls into place.  And so, I take that step...I walk forward.  And, I keep walking.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Beginning

This is my first blog posting.  I'm in the process of retiring and going through a lot of emotion and thought around it.

After working in the film industry as a script supervisor for 30 years, retiring is a big step.  Because I'm taking early retirement, it pretty much means I'm closing a door and putting a lock on it.  So, I'm excited and mourning all at the same time.  I'm excited to have freedom and to be open to new possibilities and new opportunities.  But, I mourn the letting go of a way of life that has served me very well for a long time.

Script supervising and working on a movie set is a very social and collaborative thing to do.  Your immediate family becomes a couple of hundred people with whom you work closely in intense situations for 12 to 14 hours a day for months on end.  By retiring, I'm reducing my social interaction radically.  I tend to be a hermit and film production always counteracted those tendencies.  But, now, I'm going to have to put more conscious effort into getting out into the world.

I'm also going through the wrenching experience of rehoming my three cats.  I've been in deep denial about my allergies to them for a very long time.  I'm on medication for asthma, allergies and inflammation and am realizing that by having them in my environment I'm compromising my health.  I love them so much and have tried any number of healing sessions and protocols to release my reaction to them, but nothing has worked, and now rehoming seems to be what is called for.

So, not only am I mourning the letting go of how I've lived my life for the last 30 years, I'm also letting go of my long-term animal relationships.  It's a lot to ask of myself.

If any of you want to know more about my cats or are interested in providing a loving home for any of them, please let me know.