Time to Clean Out Your Own Personal Junk Drawer

sunsetAs we get towards the end of this Mercury Retrograde time, we all need a moment to investigate what’s happening. For me, the noise in my brain has been loud and I’m aware that nothing new has occurred to create the noise, but loads of things from prior life experience have certainly come up for review.

This is the way of Mercury’s backwards (apparently) motion. Review, regroup and don’t forget –  renew.

Mercury retrograde is a lot like cleaning out ‘that’ kitchen drawer – you know, that one that seems to hold all the shit you don’t know where to put, so you drop it in there. That one.

One day you are trying to find something and venture into the drawer and get caught up with a mad frenzy of clearing it out. You find all manner of junk, but there are also some things in there that are precious. Generally, you’ll be able to root out the junk and get rid of it. The jewels are put back in there, or maybe – just maybe, you’ll put that precious item somewhere more available for use. Maybe into your current tool box of great items to use.

Within us, we have jewels that we rarely use. We are all potentially hiding our gifts for some reason and they stay hidden away and even forgotten. The most valuable jewel you have is your ability to love. It’s your birthright, to feel & share love…  Most of us give or receive our love with conditions. Something along the lines of;

  • I’ll love you if… (or “you’ll love me if… “)
  • You can have this if… (or “I can have this if… “)
  • I’ll share this with you if… (or “You will share this with me if…”)

Why? Why are we so compelled to be stingy with our love or believe we need to do something to be worthy of love coming our way (or resources, or companionship, etc.)? Why must we only share or receive it when we feel that it’s reasonable to do so, rather than have our most precious jewel of love out there for everyone to enjoy and KNOW that we are more than lovable and good?

Because we are afraid, that’s why.

The other day I noticed that I felt really withdrawn, super tired and even a bit irritable. My dogs were needy, but that’s nothing new. The cat bugged me… she kept crying for more food (maybe because the fucking dogs eat her’s up all the time) and any time the phone rang I snorted. “Who needs what now?!”

This was the noise in my head.

It was so striking that I took a moment to sit with my feelings and inquire. Rather than keep going down the road I found myself on, I asked myself – “what are you feeling and why?”

One thing I know is that my thoughts create. They are powerful elements of life and I knew that none of these negative thoughts would create anything I wanted. Especially since the planets were moving in such a way to highlight my unconscious mind, I took the time to investigate.

What I found was clear… even though I work tirelessly on myself, my attitude and my life, the sense of being overwhelmed with others (even though NO ONE IS HERE) was a very old feeling. It stems from my life as a young girl, then a young mother and more recently as an employee for a major company.

There certainly was a thread, but NONE of these realities are active right now. My sisters are all grown up with kids and grandkids of their own. I’m no longer responsible to them. My children are also grown and have their own families, so my involvement on a daily basis is marginal. And my job was eliminated, so I no longer have to deal with that job… Yet, here I was put out and pissed off by the phone ringing & our animals having needs!

Rather than focusing on how I felt, I transitioned to focusing on what I WANTED TO FEEL. It was elusive at first, but as I focused on peaceful relations with others, acceptance of everything, trust in my life’s path, an abundance of love, resources and possibilities…  Magically, my heart lifted.

No matter how much I’ve grown, my human sense of being put out or put upon by outside things remains intact, albeit not as obvious.  Little by little and over many years, I’ve developed better habits of thought and methods for being accountable – but the frequency (or energy) of release helps me do a little more… OR if I wanted to wallow in my negative thoughts, I could do that too. The other day I chose to work my way out of it and bring out my shiny jewel of love and use that.

All this work on ourselves is for ourselves. It’s not so that other people like us, or that we are able to get something. Hell, when I look around my life I am aware of numerous others who feel quite negative about me…

Clearly, working at the level of the soul does not mean that our community will feel good about us… At times, said efforts will do that opposite. When your light is shining and you’re following your inner wisdom, many will absolutely run screaming from you. They will make you wrong and often build a massive case against you so they feel better about disliking you, or no longer relating with you.

Doing your soul’s work and being loving is not so that other people accept you, it’s actually developing unconditional love for you! This, in turn, makes you capable of honestly loving others, even when they are unkind to you. Practicing this can move mountains in your life because it forces you to be accountable.

Everything you have is a function of your beliefs, thoughts and actions. Sometimes what you have is obvious, but a lot of the time it’s not clear, unless you can truly listen to the noise in your head – the negative self talk – and take responsibility for what you’re hearing. In noticing your thoughts, you can shift much easier than if you simply feel that you “get” to be upset.

Why should I be pissed at my pets??! They are so authentic and pure. They love me even when I’m acting strange, being distracted, forgetting to put their food out, cuddle with them or take them for a good walk. They don’t change how they respond to me at all, so why – other than some lurking garbage in my consciousness – would I respond to them with irritation??

As for the people in your life, that’s also the same. Why should you get hot and bothered by people ignoring you, not calling you back, asking for help or even wiping you out of their life? Everyone is free to feel and think what they want and it’s none of our business what that may be, even if it’s personal.

If you get up in front of 30 people and share yourself, you’ll have 30 different reputations at the end of that chat. Not one, but 30! Everyone sees you through their particular lens and you have nothing to do with that. If their lens is cloudy with fear and anger, they will see you that way. If their lens is clear and clean, they’ll see you through that. Your work is to be clear and clean for yourself no matter what anyone else believes about you.

This is not easy, but it is simple.

On June 11th, Mercury goes direct, meaning that officially Mercury is no longer retrograde. You have a few days to work on yourself a little bit more with the wonderful energy of review. Without seeing your patterns or habits of thought, releasing them and/or changing them, you honestly won’t grow much. You may be able to shift for a few weeks, but without really accepting that you could ‘let that idea go’, you will definitely fall back into your bad habits of thought in short order.

Why not make this week matter and take advantage of these last few days of renewal?

For myself, I’m currently putting away all our stuff and finding positions and DRAWERS for everything. It’s a metaphor for me, all this organizing. Even though it’s a bit lonely here with all my human relationships changing, my relationship with Source sustains me… It points me back to self love – always.

My life, your life, our lives are not separate. We can learn from each other, love each other and grow together… OR we can allow our beliefs, attitudes, presumptions and conditions to separate us.

You get to choose!

In my opinion, being loving is the purest form of activism one can make. All the outrage and anger about the myriad of things that we do “wrong” is less productive than making the commitment to love purely. When we keep an eye on expanding our Universe with our love… forgiving all the perceived ‘wrongs’ we have suffered and being true to our divine nature… Well, that’s powerful!

And… it means that the junk drawer you have might just get cleaned out today!!

Oh My!!

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Stormy Grand Canyon Day…

We bought a house WAAAAAAAY out in the middle of somewhere, but not too many other folks live out here so…  I can only get satellite internet. If you’ve never used that, it’s exactly how it was described to me by the guy I ordered it from.

He said, “Well, if you’re used to normal internet connection having satellite is kinda like this; You’re in the desert, pretty lost and you’re thirsty and starving. I’m the guy you run into who’s got a moldy cracker and some brown water for you with lousy directions.”

“oh” (that was me)

Still, I did appreciate his candor and it was a totally accurate description. Additionally, where I usually get cell reception here, these past two days I haven’t. We’ve had a big storm and loads of wind, which generally takes the signal with it… somewhere.

Being here is such a change from being in Santa Cruz. Some things I love, some things I don’t love. But isn’t that how it is with change? On the one hand, I know that I’m here for a reason because it was so miraculous and clear (the guidance I got was very clear – “house and land – house and land”). On the other hand – it’s a BIG change.

So far, this seems to be my method… Jump in with both feet and start swimming. Later, I figure out the physical dynamics… like where’s the grocery store, the post office, what about the garbage; do I haul it out or is there a service, is there water, electricity… how about the internet… (to be fair, I did ask about the phone/internet and was told that it’s great, but I didn’t actually talk to any of the companies until I’d bought the house).

Typically, I’m not all that thorough.  My husband calls me an elegant train wreck… but I do have tremendous faith in how I’m guided and just do it.

There’s another thing I realized… It is that I have never lived in one place as long as I lived in Santa Cruz! Seventeen years in one area… that’s my new record!! Even with a posse of kids, I managed to live all over the place! This time, I have no kids to help me meet new people. No job to do that. No community to lean on…

For the first time in my life it’s just me (my husband is currently gone for 5 weeks, climbing in Yosemite). What’s amazing is I enjoy being alone, even though I do miss some people I used to see all the time – especially my family. Not a bone aching sort of ‘missing’, but it’s there.

At the very same time, I’m full and excited about this new place. The sound of the Universe is loud here, so most of my days are spent listening. It’s like having all my energy used for things that are entirely clear and purposeful. Not that I didn’t have that before, but I wasn’t as present for how remarkable it feels to be open to myself.

People inspect the damage of the collapsed landmark Dharahara, also called Bhimsen Tower, after an earthquake caused serious damage in Kathmandu, Nepal, 25 April 2015. At least around 600 people have been killed and hundreds of others injured in a 7.9-magnitude earthquake in Nepal, according to the country's Interior Ministry. People were being rescued from the rubble of collapsed buildings. Temples have crumbled all over the city, and houses and walls have collapsed. EPA/NARENDRA SHRESTHA

People inspect the damage of the collapsed landmark Dharahara, also called Bhimsen Tower, after an earthquake caused serious damage in Kathmandu, Nepal, 25 April 2015. At least around 600 people have been killed and hundreds of others injured in a 7.9-magnitude earthquake in Nepal, according to the country’s Interior Ministry. People were being rescued from the rubble of collapsed buildings. Temples have crumbled all over the city, and houses and walls have collapsed. EPA/NARENDRA SHRESTHA

This morning I heard about the devastating earthquake in Nepal and yesterday I was feeling something strange, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. Because I was feeling “off”, I was more mindful and clear that I ought to be focused on love. Today, I prayed a lot and found a place to hang our Green Tara in the house… It’s like my days are more directed and not quite so busy.

Because of the tragedy in Nepal, I thought I’d put a few links here so you can help out if you feel to.

First, you can text GIVE NEPAL to 80088 to donate $10 to Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund. Message and data rates may apply. Only works for US mobile phones.

UNICEF – http://blogs.unicef.org.uk/…/earthquake-nepal-unicef-ground/

Oxfam Australia – https://www.oxfam.org.au/…/oxfam-on-standby-to-respond-to-…/

Karuna Shechen – http://karuna-shechen.org/how-to-help/

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) (they are sending eight teams to assist those affected by the earthquake today) – http://doctorswithoutborders.org

Also… please subscribe to my mailing list to stay up with what’s up here in the back of beyond… (it’s on the right side of this page – and I never give up your email)… and if you feel to – share this with your friends.

Sending love… k

My New Life

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Thirty four years ago (give or take) I started on a path that was all encompassing, paid nothing monetarily, was physically painful, made me sleepless (for literally YEARS), was terribly expensive, confined my movement in the world, forced me to stretch beyond what I thought I could ever manage in all ways … and did not garner me any real obvious “success” or cultural stability. In fact, the only way to know if I’ve done a good job is if the objects of my focus all left me and didn’t really turn back.

My career – my life path (one that I didn’t consciously choose, but something that “happened” to me) was Motherhood.

2015 will be the first year that I do not have a child living with me since 1980 and the first year  where how I conduct my life is up to me alone. Not my children or a man; just myself. Staggering feelings accompany this freedom and I’m finding myself at times elated, then in tears.

What I know is that everything that’s occurred to me has led me here and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t afraid. Sometimes I am scared but because I know that nothing happens that I can’t deal with, I just shake in my knees while I continue to move in the direction that I feel guided to go.

In 2008 I lost just about everything; the mortgage on the home where I raised my children was almost upside down, my career as a business consultant & coach suddenly ended and my lover left me – all in a four month period of time. I knew that I had asked for it, but that didn’t make it any easier.

My relationship with Source has always been strong and when things were rough, I would turn there for comfort, companionship and directions. That year I sensed that things were changing, but my resistance was strong and that seemed like a major issue. One night, during my quiet time I said a powerful prayer to release all resistance.

Um… I don’t recommend that prayer, unless you are ready for a lot of change all at once. On the other hand, my relationship with Source ultimately became bullet proof.

The home got sold, thank the Goddess… my career changed, the man I loved returned (and I took him back) and my children still loved me. But I was completely different, even though the most important parts of my life were still intact. My sense of purpose shifted, as all that difficulty showed me exactly what my gifts really were.

The last part of all this change was the niggling “knowing” that I needed to leave California and start over. Again. But not until my youngest son found his way out out to the wider world. Some 6 years later, everything fell into place for a major move to occur… and “here me are”!

blue_sky_mountains The San Francisco Peaks… Sacred to the Hopi and one of my views from our home now.

Many years ago, some intuitive woman said to me (she was a Native American shaman) that for all my gifts to be realized, I would one day live under the San Francisco Peaks in Arizona. At the time I thought she was bonkers, as I couldn’t imagine that ever happening. At the time I was married to my first husband and we lived in Pennsylvania. Arizona was “so” not in the plan of our lives. But, obviously that part of my life changed and we all ended up in California.

Last year, during the holidays, we took a trip to Flagstaff. First Rob left the coast and went winter climbing with Mahina, then I caught up with him in Flagstaff.

Winter, really cold and thoroughly perfect! We both fell in love with this little mountain town.

Then, a series of events happened, that all coalesced into the ability to finally live under these sacred mountains. First, I learned that my job of 6 years was going to be “eliminated”. Second, we lost the lease on the rental we’d lived in for 3 years. Third, my youngest son decided to leave California and start his life up on Maui.

Again in a period of a few months, the stabilizing elements of my physical life were all thrown into complete disarray. It crossed my mind that I couldn’t bear to leave my children, those still in Santa Cruz and my beloved community of friends, who are my extended family. But the call to come to this place was so strong, it couldn’t be ignored…

Now, I keep hearing my little children’s voices saying, “HERE ME ARE”.  Basking in the sense of “all is well” even though everything is so new and different… I’m constantly lost when in town, rarely can find the post office and unsure of how to get most places… but it does feel like home.

There’s that old saying, “home is where the heart is” so I have to surmise that my heart is vast. At the very least it lives in California, Hawaii and Pennsylvania with all my children and their families… and now in Flagstaff with my lover and our animals.

My new life is calling me… out into the tall, tall sky where I will listen and continue to act as a resource to Source… one of many who are here to be love, share love, know love.

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Hypogeum & Tarxien Temple

Tarxien Temple stone

Tarxien Temple stone

Sublime… certainly the best word to describe this day on Malta.

Some years ago I did a bunch of research on the Amazons; warrior women from Anatolia. From that research, I wrote a workbook and intended to help women that way… which I did to a degree, but my long term difficulty with expressing my gifts, combined with the 2008 recession put a damper on that whole idea.

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During those years and because of my research, I developed a fascination with a place called the Hypogeum, so much so that I called my blog “The Hypogeum”.  It literally means “underground”, from Greek hypo (under) and gaia (mother earth or goddess of earth) and I had gobbled up all kinds of “info” about it, but it was somewhat elusive to me in that I couldn’t imagine what it actually looked like or more importantly, how it felt. All my knowing of it was through reading about it or listening to my friends talk about it.

Today I actually went into it with a group of women and we all sang…

I heard my own voice in this incredible, underground and very ancient temple.

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The Sleeping Lady, found inside the Hypogeum

 

My own life flashed before my eyes, or I felt it all in quick succession. All the things that I’ve experienced seemed to flash quickly and I felt my connection to now and whatever was before. It was as though we were all simply dressed differently, but engaged in actions that were familiar. Have you ever been overwhelmed with reverence? That’s what happened for me. I felt the eternity of being and now know how vast that is!

Another thing that folded into this time in the Hypogeum was a memory. At some point, I buried a baby daughter there… I know, that’s totally weird, but I did. I felt her little body in my arms and I felt the heartache at her loss… but there was another emotion too. A deep sense of peace was remembered. Peace that I could lay her perfect self inside this womb of the earth and I KNEW that she was well. I was simply missing her. So different that the rituals we have here for our beloved ones who pass away.

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Most of the women I have traveled here with I didn’t now before this trip. Now, I feel like we have shared something so timeless, we could remain close and always be able to relate as sisters.

Logistically, Jennifer and Joan had a lot of navigating to do to get us to both the Hal Saflieni Hypogem and the Tarxien Temple today. Both sites are right in the middle of Paola, Malta… a busy little town. We got dropped off by the bus and escorted from one place to the other by Joan and/or Jennifer. Traffic, shops, homes, cemeteries, churches… Paola is a busy town, too.

Underneath all that are these places, although Tarxien Temple is above ground. Where the Hypogeum was discovered at the turn of the century (1902) because of an apartment building being built. Tarxien was discovered because a farmer was bugged by the big stones that were messing up his plowing activity around the same time! Progress obviously continued, but these two sites were protected and excavated.

temple_ruins

hypogeum_tourAt the Hypogeum, normally you go down with 10 people who you probably don’t know, and listen to the descriptions or commentary the museum offers. This is certainly not as amazing as what we got to experience.

Jennifer arranged for us to go – just our group in groups of 10 – AND she also got permission for her to jump over a barrier and sing inside one of the chambers. She has a remarkable voice to begin with, but that mixed with the sound of the silence (which is audible) made me cry.

Jennifer escorting us down into the Hypogeum, with Vicki

Lots of tears for me; something I’m not prone to but had been doing almost daily on those islands. Again, it was meaningful, but also so “everyday” in a way. We remained ourselves, while we were all transported into the wonder of the ancients. Such difficult transitions that day for us, but so beautiful, none the less.

Vicki commented how she felt like she’d just had a full blown hallucination while deep in the earth, but was forced to get her shit together quickly as we walked back up through the watery steps to the entrance. She failed miserably and ended up weeping in the bathroom for a bit before we made our way back to the buses.

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There are experiences that we have which can redefine us, mold us anew. Going to the Hypogeum was one such experience that changed me. How it changed me is a bit elusive, other than I know that my life is richer now.

As we left the site, there were people gathering to take their tour after we left. The sense of being held in a state of grace left me and I immediately knew that our journey down into this place was very special and unusual. Clearly, they were not companions in any way, yet they were going into the sacred place together and would most likely, have a bit different experience than we had been given. I doubt they raised their voices in song together, or had a sense of the place as we had.

My thoughts didn’t take away anything from my moments there, but I did have a deep sense of gratitude that I had gone there with these women.

Cliffs, Lace and Maenads Dancing

Vicki and Jennifer in front of Ggantija Temple 20 years later....

Vicki and Jennifer in front of Ggantija Temple 20 years later….

The rest of my posts about my pilgrimage are being written from a distance, meaning a bit after the time I was graced with being in these magical places. I long for those days with my sisters; singing, laughing and returning to our collective roots of being truth.

We knew all along that we would construct a sunset ritual at the Ggantija Temple and I feel as though many of us on this journey were excited about this. Given that I’m unsure how many of my new sisters’ backgrounds included doing formal ritual, what we created was as though we were all seasoned professionals.

Settling into TaCenc was not difficult. Luxury and history (herstory) were all there for us. The grounds were rustic, while groomed. Bougainvillea, aloe, ginger and oleander made for lush visuals… and the numerous pools and shady havens to settle were abundant.. My days of luxury travel, I had thought, were a thing of my past. Within an hour of arriving at TaCenc, I settled into my room and deep peace.

Our first afternoon there, we met in a spacious and tremendously beautiful room in the Palazzo Palino, a renovated medieval castle complete with arched stone ceilings and luscious gardens outside the side doors. The goal was for us to gather in groups and create a portion of the ritual, but first we sang each other’s names and released the tension of the hot day. Once refreshed through song, all of our respective groups moved into different places to hash out our parts.

Women can be great planners, but we are also prone to all having great ideas, that we share all at the same time! Through patience and consensus, everyone had their part, then things flowed and our group hummed along. We laughed and were happy with what we would share that night.

Just a few days into being a group, I could feel all of us becoming dear friends. This wasn’t because we were all cut from the same cloth or even similarly focused in our lives elsewhere. It seemed magical how easy our relating was with one and other, something I found myself feeling tremendously grateful for. It’s rare to gather with strangers and have such a peaceful becoming into a tribe, but this is certainly what occurred.

Elizabeth, Lisa, Barbara, Marilyn, Martha, Beth, Jan and Andrea hamming it up at Ta Cenc.

Elizabeth, Lisa, Barbara, Marilyn, Martha, Beth, Jan and Andrea hamming it up at Ta Cenc.

Once we got our part clear, I had some time to relax alone and went to one of the many pools for a swim. The temperature during our whole trip was HOT… but it was also muggy. Sinking into the pool and being weightless for a few minutes did much to restore my energy. Once rinsed and cleaned, I dressed myself in a white skirt and bright red shirt – perfect for a ritual in a ancient temple on a tiny island… Then I slipped on my shoes and took a walk to see if I could find the famed cliffs of TaCenc.

The wind was fantastic and in mere moments of heading out, I felt I was in a state of prayer; like my feet were taking me automatically somewhere. It was rather like already knowing where to go. The plain of earth seemed to go on forever, much like in the desert and my sight offered the expanse of the sea which contradicted things . My mind knew that there was certainly an end (this was an island, after all), but the sense of being suspended in the place, as well as in time… this was strong.

Jennifer had mentioned to us that the cliffs were there and formidable – “do take a flash light if you go in the dark…” – but that knowledge was abstract until I found myself on the edge of them. Now this will sound a bit macabre, but I “knew” I’d been there before at some point in my eternal life and I didn’t get a sense of it being the happiest of lives… There was a feeling of foreboding that I thought, initially, was stimulated by the scary drop of at least 500 feet from where I was standing into the Mediterranean. Heights like that can make one feel a tad uncomfortable, yet (and I will never know for sure) between you and me, I do feel like that cliff or some cliff like it was a scene where I ended a life I lived. (I told you it was macabre)… 

When I have those kinds of moments, I do my best to be present and refrain from listening to my monkey mind too much. This was a great idea, as I enjoyed my visit to the cliffs that night and didn’t get all weird or new-agey in my head about it. At least I know that I wasn’t some famous heroine from history; just a simple priestess living (and dying) on an island. The why or how of that life is not all that important, but I do feel that I’ve been on this plane of existence mostly in the position of seer, or priestess and it generally isn’t the easiest of lives. That life was just one of that sort.

Cliffs at TaCenc...

Cliffs at TaCenc…

There wasn’t a lot of time to linger here, but it did set me up for the sunset ritual nicely. Something about walking into a timeless place makes the transition into a ceremony of spirit quite simple. We were asked to remain silent on our bus ride back to the Ggantija Temple from our hotel and my little walk along the cliffs was a perfect precursor to our evening’s journey.

Oh my… it was amazing being at this temple, just us… and offering our contemporary ceremony to the goddess of these ancient islands. Clearly, this was not the first ritual conducted there and hopefully wouldn’t be the last, but it was OUR ceremony; woman from many places all over the world, on a pilgrimage to ourselves. Women who easily settled into being priestesses worshiping our ancient mother as we snaked our way through the ruins of the temples, singing and praying for each other, ourselves and the earth…

To me, these temples hold the secrets of our ancestors, time and presence. The people had a deep regard for the spiritual – mystical – natural presence of Source and I felt it. We all did, that was clear and another thing I have noticed over the many years of my life, women ALWAYS pray for everyone. We tend to be concerned for the planet and her many inhabitants; animals, plants, children, lovers… not just themselves.

This ritual was powerful and moving and a ton of fun! I’m an advocate of irreverence, rather than sticking to the mindset of the the serious, pious and apparently all important ritual. If Source (Goddess, God, Allah, whoever) doesn’t have a sense of humor, how to you explain half the shit that happens to us?! This ritual was incredibly spiritual, powerful and to me, huge fun. We all had our parts, which were conducted with the normal “what’s next??!!” looks from each other, as we bumbled through some of it … sang and danced through others…

It was just amazing!

As with all great women’s ritual, we ended this one with a huge feast back at TaCenc – complete with drink, delicious food, music and DANCING…

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