Happy New Year & New Beginnings

While many of my posts are personal, this one is extremely so. Wasn’t really sure how to categorize it, but I’ve put it in “Deciding Where to Live”, metaphorically speaking. As 2013 shows its backside and 2014 emerges, rather powerful energies of purification seem to be in operation.  These energies call to mind the question, “Where in my own mind do I want to live?”

The last three or four days of this year have been a sort of exorcism for me…the casting out of the demons of a lifetime. I’m not sure how to share this; I’m not even sure I want to, but something is still typing, so there you have it.

In the year 2000, I began in great earnest my healing journey along the Toltec Path. One of my earliest lessons was that I was not responsible for others. I needed that lesson…then. I needed to free myself from a lifetime of misplaced responsibility.

But perhaps one of the most important things to remember is that in our cycles of growth, lessons must evolve with us. If we cling to the lesson, it becomes adulterated by the mind that wants only to preserve its sense of self. Tricky, that.

For awhile now, I’ve been misusing that lesson. I’ve used the idea of others being responsible for their own feelings to excuse my own terrible, Tazmanian devil behavior. I have been so irresponsible with my psychic energy, throwing it haphazardly like a child in tantrum. It was simply a lack of maturity on my part. I couldn’t see it, and I didn’t know another way.

Now that Stuart has entered my life, old ways of being in relationship are reemerging for me. I see how I have treated those I love with aggression and rudeness. I have pushed and tried to ensure they don’t come near me because I couldn’t handle the “intrusion”. I’ve tried to ensure they stop loving me, being affectionate with me, because it was too out of my ability to see the demons they were bumping up against. It is no wonder I’ve always been happier alone. I needn’t have faced these aspects of myself. I can’t believe I still have to fight these voices of abuse and destruction…these Nazi voices that hate, hate, hate. It becomes impossible for the tiny voice that longs for it all to stop to cry out, “Help!” And really, what right does it have to even ask when that same voice yells, “Fuck you, assholes?”

Embracing one’s shadow is never an easy task, but it is always the most rewarding. These last few days have plunged me into the darkest of nightmares in my mind, the relentless inner war, the deepest of schisms. But I’ve re-emerged humbled, grateful, and determined.

Now with this dam broken, a ripple effect is still reverberating. So much to heal, so much to embrace.

The habit reveals itself:

I feel myself wanting to be comforted and see myself not allowing it. It is a deep, internal rift inside…an unconquerable divide. Why do I not allow myself the comfort? Why do I writhe ever still the feral cat ready to claw. I tell myself it would confuse the process. Is that true? Or would it just confuse the ego…or this hurt emotional body? I also want to reach out and comfort, and I see myself at the pivot point always choosing the worn road of backing away and going the other direction…to the computer, to the kitchen, to bed. In the instances I try to choose the other direction, it feels stilted and unnatural to me.

As my mentor has shared with me, “Everything can be healed.  Go for the stilted, because it is the avenue of the novel and your efforts will be rewarded and become a new pathway.  You have been in a rut, but the avenue can always be repaved.  Of course it will take work, but once you know the price you pay for the old, you will make the effort.”

I know the price. I’ve seen it in my work, my finances, my creative pursuits, all my relationships. I’ve seen it in Stuart’s eyes.

It is no longer worth it.

With the voice of my father, plagued by many of the same demons, echoing in my head, “We hurt the ones we love the most and don’t admit it,” I know this great internal divide must be breached starting now. So, I humbly apologize for the misuse of my energy.  I forgive myself, too.  And I forgive others  who, like me, cannot see or simply don’t want to see where inner demons are hiding.  I stop judging them for not doing their “own damn work” because I know the depth of excruciating pain that accompanies it.  May I see with compassion beyond the demons to the angels beneath.

As both my friends Will and Suzannah reminded me today in separate instances (just to make sure it sunk in):

If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.  ~Gospel of Thomas

I will bring it all forth. My greatest act of love…for myself, my loved ones, and the world in which I live.

As Astrologer Bill Attride recently wrote:

You are called to remember,
Beaten Paths are for the broken and beaten…
It is time to be a Trail-Blazer again.
To know and to believe in the Power of New Beginnings…

Here’s to a courageous 2014, everyone. I hope you join me and decide to live in Heaven on Earth, no matter what must be brought forth.

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Florida for the (Haunted) Holidays

The next step on our “Get the wife to France” mission was a Christmas trip to sunny St. Augustine, Florida. Yeah, I know. Life is tough. We headed down on Sunday, ironically met one of my Asheville friends at a South Carolina rest area (what were the chances?), and this time, successfully ignored my google map directions in favor of intuition which paid off. We arrived at our very lovely, ocean view Hampton Inn room at Vilano Beach (highly recommended!).

Upon check in, we were told that there had been a water break and the hotel had no water. They didn’t know when it would be coming back on. Hmm… Fortunately, it only took a couple of hours, and the ease with which that played out was a sign of other smooth and easy things to come! We were due!

The following day was “get ‘er done” day. We had to head over to Green Cove Springs about 30 miles away to A) pick up my mail from St. Brendan’s Isle, B) get my Florida driver’s license, C) turn in my “Intent to Domicile” at the County Court House, and D) get some other legal papers notarized. I had expected it to take all day, but we were done in a couple of hours. Green Cove Springs is a rather well-planned community with everything pretty much in one place. We parked at the Court House, walked to the DMV, drove up the road to pick up my mail, and then returned to the Court House when we realized we could get stuff notarized there. I was thrilled when the notary said, “no charge!” Merry Christmas to us!!

So, all that extra time on our hands, we decided to park downtown and walk around the shops and such. It was a very hot and humid day. Stuart took a million photographs of the architecture and moss-covered trees. We had a small bite to eat, cruised some galleries to size up Stuart’s competition, and somewhere along the line, we stopped to get gourmet popsicles… eggnog. Heaven.

Stuart really wanted to go to the Alligator Farm, but they wanted extortion fees, so we decided to visit the Lighthouse instead and got talked into the nighttime ghost tour after an employee sold Stuart on the EMF devices for rent. It cost more than the Alligator Farm, but these things are apparently relative. So after a freshening up at the hotel and a very nice dinner (that I simply cannot comment upon lest I admit how it broke every dietary rule in my book), we returned to the Lighthouse for our tour.

There were definitely some strange things afoot on this historically backed-up tour that is more investigative than “thrill-seeking.” Stuart had the sensation on the lighthouse steps and again in other areas of someone stroking his hand lightly. Me, I just felt an oppressive energy now and again…so much so in the Lightkeepers house that I didn’t want to be in there, period.

We could go off on our own after the first hour of the tour, so we went back to the Lighthouse. We were later joined by some younger people, and that’s when something odd happened. They were asking if anybody was there, and something dropped from above through the iron spiral staircase to the floor. Two people ran out immediately. The rest of us were a bit shocked but stayed in “reason” mode. I immediately thought one of the kids had thrown a coin from a pocket across the room. No one ‘fessed, though. Stuart found the penny at the foot of the stairs.. There was no one else in the Lighthouse.

Later, one of the guides said about this time of year, people experience coins being tossed at them. He had it happen to him, in fact, in the Lightkeeper’s house. And some other people had reported other instances. Hmm…

Tuesday morning, Stuart called me over to his bedstand, and he had a very strange look on his face. Among several coins he had emptied from his pockets the night before, the penny… THAT penny… was standing on its paranormal end, perfectly balanced on the nightstand. Stuart then showed me the hair on his arm standing straight up. FREAKY!!!

Anyway, ghostbusting aside, I’m officially Floridian now…again…and one step closer to life in France.

Happy Holidays, everyone.

The Heart’s Choices; the Mind’s Battles

At various times in our lives, we all face really big decisions. How do we make them? Do we create elaborate lists of pros and cons? Do we flip a coin, draw a name out of a hat, or pick a number between 1 and 10? Maybe we consult with experts, or if we’re inclined, consult astrology or a psychic. There is always that moment of reckoning though when we must either choose A or B or accept the consequences of our indecision.

In my last post, which was actually quite a while ago, I wrote about the confusion that Stuart and I, a newlywed international couple, had entered regarding “where to land”: France or the US. We had, a couple of months ago, decided upon France, and then Stuart proposed that perhaps it would be easier for him to come here instead. We started to re-think.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though perhaps a bit taxing on energy reserves. It’s what the mind does. It’s function is to reason, to keep us “safe”, to foresee and solve the problem. So, in that, it was just doing its job and doing it with the usual fervor. The mind is not a terrible thing, though there are those who would make it out to be; it is a miraculous and necessary thing to take action in the world. That said, when not tempered by the heart, it can wreak havoc on all that remains “essential and invisible to the eye” as St. Exupery put it. A list of pros and cons in a fickle mind can go on and on. The debate inside can outlast infinity…if we let it.

I started to wonder whether Stuart really wanted to come here, to the US,  instead of me going there, to France. Of course, I still really wanted to go to France (God help me). But neither one of us would ever want to deprive the other of opportunity, so we had stymied, unable to make a decision, each of us waiting for the other to proclaim his or her heart. That made me start to doubt my own decision about France too. My mind began to reel: If Stuart has doubts, maybe the US is better. Maybe he is genuinely tired of the red tape over there. Maybe I am being selfish and need to detach from what I think I want.

The older I get, the more convinced I am that how I’m thinking not only colors my world, it becomes my reality. If I’m in a sour place, the entire world turns sour. If I’m feeling open and receptive to what is, beauty reveals itself in everything. If I allow my mind to take over this decision–any decision really–I will be handing the reigns over to an insane thing as moveable as the clouds in the sky, incapable of really “seeing”. And to quote Exupery once more, “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly.”

Stuart is visiting the states right now, and we have since reaffirmed our decision to settle in France, and yes, that’s the final answer. The heart is back in charge. We are proceeding with plans to get me over there as soon as possible…one step at a time.

What’s one of the most difficult decisions you’ve ever had to make? How did you make it? Did it turn out the way you expected?