Thursday, May 28, 2009

Abundance Is On The Way!

As I was writing the May 22 post about all the gifts I received on Ascension Day, (May 21st), Aluna Joy was channeling the following message from the Star Elders, which I think we'll all be grateful to hear in these challenging times:

Abundance Is On The Way to You

Abundance is on the way to you. It has been written and activated into the ethers and the creative force of the universe. If you listen, you can feel the energy of abundance, prosperity and resources are returning. A corner has been turned. You can feel this as a lightening in your heart. Something, some burden has been lifted from your shoulders. Once abundance has been activated in the creative force of the universe, it is also the law of the universe that it has to manifest in the physical world. Be patient. It is coming.

The abundance issues you are emerging from were just a bump in the road ... a bump on our spiritual path. It was only a test to see if you could hold fast to the truth that you do in fact create your reality. A greater number of beings in the collective consciousness have held fast to this truth even in the dark face of the opposition of this truth. This has shifted your reality from one that manifests limitations to one that manifests freedoms.

When large masses of humanity in the collective consciousness begin to comprehend a new universal truth, the next event that follows is a test. This test will root that truth deep inside of humanity, so it will no longer be a simple belief in your heads, but a knowing that you feel in your hearts. If you did not have the test, you would not realize the importance of the truth which you just acquired.

The truth IS that you create your reality, and you are personally responsible for your own abundance level. This is not a new truth. Masters, Saints and Sages of the past have known this truth for eons. But this is the first time the majority of the masses of humanity have been exposed to this universal truth. Everything you have in your life right now is something you created. I know a lot of you do not like to own this, because it means that you created the abuse, the lack, the pain, and the suffering. But abundance is on the way to you today. You can use this abundance however you please. It is an abundance of creative energy. Put it to use wisely.

The second truth that you have been tested on is the truth that you are all connected, yet solely responsible for your personal actions. Geographical location, religious beliefs, social status, age, educational level, and culture do not separate you. You are all children of God. What happens to one, happens to the all. What happens to all, happens to the one. There is no escaping this fact. If the masses feel joy, you will feel joy. If the masses feel fearful, you will feel the fear also.

Once you understood the fact that you are all intimately connected, the event that followed was yet another test. Your test is to feel ALL that is being experienced in the world, but to take conscious action in a way that will uplift humanity; not add to its darkness. You cannot help feeling what is going on the world. You are all connected at the heart with universal love. It is a beautiful thing. If you feel fear, work to erase that fear from your consciousness. This not only helps you, but it helps everyone. If you feel joy, find a way to add more light to that joy. What you can do about energies that you sense are negative is to stay positive. By staying positive, you starve the negative. By universal law, it has to dissolve because you refuse to feed it. Remember you are beings of light. What you do with that light either adds to the light, or counteracts it.

Also in this test you have realized that just taking care of your personal survival is futile. Thinking solely of your own personal gain has left you feeling empty and unfulfilled. Humanity is moving toward a greater level of conscious community that is globally based, but locally acted upon. You are finding that the tasks ahead of you are too big for you to tackle by yourself. You are discovering that you truly do need each other, and that community is not just a nice ideal ... it is essential.

The most important reason why we wish to share this message with you today is because when you believe good things are coming, they will come to you quicker. And in the spirit of "we are all connected", we are also connected to you. We know that when we use our energy to uplift your consciousness and ease your fear, it helps everyone ... including us.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Get Rich or BE Rich: Paul Hawken's 2009 Commencement Address

Renowned environmentalist, visionary entrepreneur and author Paul Hawken (whose most recent book is Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being and Why No One Saw It Coming) gave a stunning commencement address to the Class of 2009 at the University of Portland, Oregon earlier this month. It's a life map for everyone, regardless of age. Enjoy:

"You Are Brilliant, and the Earth is Hiring"

When I was invited to give this speech, I was asked if I could give a simple short talk that was “direct, naked, taut, honest, passionate, lean, shivering, startling, and graceful.” Boy, no pressure there.

But let’s begin with the startling part. Hey, Class of 2009: you are going to have to figure out what it means to be a human being on earth at a time when every living system is declining, and the rate of decline is accelerating. Kind of a mind-boggling situation – but not onepeer-reviewed paper published in the last thirty years can refute that statement.

Basically, the earth needs a new operating system, you are the programmers, and we need it within a few decades.

This planet came with a set of operating instructions, but we seem to have misplaced them. Important rules like don’t poison the water, soil, or air, and don’t let the earth get overcrowded, and don’t touch the thermostat have been broken. Buckminster Fuller said that spaceship earth was so ingeniously designed that no one has a clue that we are on one, flying through the universe at a million miles per hour, with no need for seatbelts, lots of room in coach, and really good food – but all that is changing.

There is invisible writing on the back of the diploma you will receive, and in case you didn’t bring lemon juice to decode it, I can tell you what it says: YOU ARE BRILLIANT, AND THE EARTH IS HIRING. The earth couldn’t afford to send any recruiters or limos to your school. It sent you rain, sunsets, ripe cherries, night blooming jasmine, and that unbelievably cute person you are dating. Take the hint. And here’s the deal: Forget that this task of planet-saving is not possible in the time required. Don’t be put off by people who know what is not possible. Do what needs to be done, and check to see if it was impossible only after you are done.

When asked if I am pessimistic or optimistic about the future, my answer is always the same: If you look at the science about what is happening on earth and aren’t pessimistic, you don’t understand data. But if you meet the people who are working to restore this earth and the lives of the poor, and you aren’t optimistic, you haven’t got a pulse. What I see everywhere in the world are ordinary people willing to confront despair, power, and incalculable odds in order to restore some semblance of grace, justice, and beauty to this world. The poet Adrienne Rich wrote, "So much has been destroyed I have cast my lot with those who, age after age, perversely, with no extraordinary power, reconstitute the world." There could be no better description. Humanity is coalescing. It is reconstituting the world, and the action is taking place in schoolrooms, farms, jungles, villages, campuses, companies, refuge camps, deserts, fisheries, and slums.

You join a multitude of caring people. No one knows how many groups and organizations are working on the most salient issues of our day: climate change, poverty, deforestation, peace, water, hunger, conservation, human rights, and more. This is the largest movement the world has ever seen.

Rather than control, it seeks connection. Rather than dominance, it strives to disperse concentrations of power. Like Mercy Corps, it works behind the scenes and gets the job done. Large as it is, no one knows the true size of this movement. It provides hope, support, and meaning to billions of people in the world. Its clout resides in idea, not in force. It is made up of teachers, children, peasants, businesspeople, rappers, organic farmers, nuns, artists, government workers, fisherfolk, engineers, students, incorrigible writers, weeping Muslims, concerned mothers, poets, doctors without borders, grieving Christians, street musicians, the President of the United States of America, and as the writer David James Duncan would say, the Creator, the One who loves us all in such a huge way.

There is a rabbinical teaching that says if the world is ending and the Messiah arrives, first plant a tree, and then see if the story is true. Inspiration is not garnered from the litanies of what may befall us; it resides in humanity’s willingness to restore, redress, reform, rebuild, recover, reimagine, and reconsider. "One day you finally knew what you had to do, and began, though the voices around you kept shouting their bad advice," is Mary Oliver’s description of moving away from the profane toward a deep sense of connectedness to the living world.

Millions of people are working on behalf of strangers, even if the evening news is usually about the death of strangers. This kindness of strangers has religious, even mythic origins, and very specific eighteenth-century roots. Abolitionists were the first people to create a national and global movement to defend the rights of those they did not know. Until that time, no group had filed a grievance except on behalf of itself. The founders of this movement were largely unknown – Granville Clark, Thomas Clarkson, Josiah Wedgwood – and their goal was ridiculous on the face of it: at that time three out of four people in the world were enslaved. Enslaving each other was what human beings had done for ages. And the abolitionist movement was greeted with incredulity. Conservative spokesmen ridiculed the abolitionists as liberals, progressives, do-gooders, meddlers, and activists. They were told they would ruin the economy and drive England into poverty. But for the first time in history a group of people organized themselves to help people they would never know, from whom they would never receive direct or indirect benefit. And today tens of millions of people do this every day. It is called the world of non-profits, civil society, schools, social entrepreneurship, and non-governmental organizations, of companies who place social and environmental justice at the top of their strategic goals. The scope and scale of this effort is unparalleled inhistory.

The living world is not "out there" somewhere, but in your heart. What do we know about life? In the words of biologist Janine Benyus, life creates the conditions that are conducive to life. I can think of no better motto for a future economy. We have tens of thousands of abandoned homes without people and tens of thousands of abandoned people without homes. We have failed bankers advising failed regulators on how to save failed assets. Think about this: we are the only species on this planet without full employment. Brilliant. We have an economy that tells us that it is cheaper to destroy earth in real time than to renew, restore, and sustain it. You can print money to bail out a bank but you can’t print life to bail out a planet. At present we are stealing the future, selling it in the present, and calling it gross domestic product. We can just as easily have an economy that is based on healing the future instead of stealing it. We can either create assets for the future or take the assets of the future. One is called restoration and the other exploitation. And whenever we exploit the earth we exploit people and cause untold suffering. Working for the earth is not a way to get rich, it is a way to be rich.

The first living cell came into being nearly 40 million centuries ago, and its direct descendants are in all of our bloodstreams. Literally you are breathing molecules this very second that were inhaled by Moses, Mother Teresa, and Bono. We are vastly interconnected. Our fates are inseparable. We are here because the dream of every cell is to become two cells. In each of you are one quadrillion cells, 90 percent of which are not human cells. Your body is a community, and without those other microorganisms you would perish in hours. Each human cell has 400 billion molecules conducting millions of processes between trillions of atoms. The total cellular activity in one human body is staggering: one septillion actions at any one moment, a one with twenty-four zeros after it. In a millisecond, our body has undergone ten times more processes than there are stars in the universe – exactly what Charles Darwin foretold when he said science would discover that each living creature was a "little universe, formed of a host of self-propagating organisms, inconceivably minute and as numerous as the stars of heaven."

So I have two questions for you all: First, can you feel your body? Stop for a moment. Feel your body. One septillion activities going on simultaneously, and your body does this so well you are free to ignore it, and wonder instead when this speech will end. Second question: who is in charge of your body? Who is managing those molecules? Hopefully not a political party. Life is creating the conditions that are conducive to life inside you, just as in all of nature. What I want you to imagine is that collectively humanity is evincing a deep innate wisdom in coming together to heal the wounds and insults of the past.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once asked what we would do if the stars only came out once every thousand years. No one would sleep that night, of course. The world would become religious overnight. We would be ecstatic, delirious, made rapturous by the glory of God. Instead the stars come out every night, and we watch television.

This extraordinary time when we are globally aware of each other and the multiple dangers that threaten civilization has never happened, not in a thousand years, not in ten thousand years. Each of us is as complex and beautiful as all the stars in the universe. We have done great things and we have gone way off course in terms of honoring creation. You are graduating to the most amazing, challenging, stupefying challenge ever bequested to any generation. The generations before you failed. They didn’t stay up all night. They got distracted and lost sight of the fact that life is a miracle every moment of your existence. Nature beckons you to be on her side. You couldn’t ask for a better boss. The most unrealistic person in the world is the cynic, not the dreamer. Hopefulness only makes sense when it doesn’t make sense to be hopeful. This is your century. Take it and run as if your life depends on it.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Of Time Warps, Orgasmic Gasoline, and Gratitude

I am sitting in Schlow Library (pronounced slow, or sloe, and I do feel a bit the latter after all the bruising miles of driving ... ) here in State College, PA, home of my alma mater, Penn State. It's amazing to me that I graduated 3 decades ago; having only been back here once since then, in 1986, I'm seeing it all with new eyes, like an incoming freshman. And isn't that what Marcel Proust counseled?

    The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.

When I was enrolled at the college (long before I realized I'd always be a student ~ of life), it would feel like a time warp at term breaks, when I'd get in the car of whichever fellow student was heading to NJ and emerge, approximately 4.5 hours later, at my parents' door. My college self would recede to a pin dot as I adopted my daughter/sister persona, and resumed my role in my hometown. Two weeks later, the process would reverse. A car would swoop up, I'd enter the enclave, and emerge at Penn State feeling I was "home", with Paramus a distant memory. The experience had little to do with actual miles, and everything to do with the mind and heart.

Journeying East has been like this. I've experienced every emotion, from purple rage to fuchsia profusions of gratitude, hyperactivity to exhaustion. At one point I was so sure I'd made a horrible mistake buying the camper van and undertaking this trip that I tried to phone my folks in despair, only to be greeted by their answering machine. The answer I received was an echo from 1994, however, when I'd left my life in San Francisco on what would become an ongoing pilgrimage of awakening.

At that time, my first stop was Susun Weed's apprenticeship program in Woodstock, NY (yes, the same town made famous for the concert that took place near there in 1969, and the song Joni Mitchell penned about the experience.) At the time, my ambitious attempt to heal by working on Weed's farm 10+ hours a day was laughable; I could barely stand up or function. But I'd dissolved my old life fairly thoroughly, and had no idea what to do next. I tried to call my folks to come get me ~ but they were out of town. When you make a commitment, Spirit helps you honor it, no matter how challenging that may be.

Thus my assignment to rebirth myself from molten lava began. I left the farm after 3 days, and an incredible odyssey ensued; I discuss some of my story on my CD of the hero's journey, What You Need to Know Now: A Road Map for Personal Transformation. Much of it is also woven into the numerous articles I publish, my trio of eBooks, as well as my monthly What Shines newsletter.

When I phoned home this time (feeling very much an ET, for those of you old enough to get the analogy :-) and again got no answer, I immediately understood I needed to complete this next phase of my unfoldment to the best of my ability.

So here are a few field notes, concluding with Spirit's answer (no fair skipping ahead to the end!):

Spiritual Elder-ing: Back in 1995, Rabbi Zalman Schacter Shalomi wrote a breakthrough book, From Age-ing to Sage-ing, exploring the positive aspects of creating a purposeful life in maturity. More recently, Shirley MacLaine wrote Sage-ing While Age-ing, in a similar vein. I had a direct taste of this possibility when I had the opportunity to observe, up close and back-to-back, how two couples of the same vintage choose to live their lives.

The couple I bought the van from, in Texas, are 75 (him) and 72 (her) years old. They look their ages, have some health issues, and spend the majority of their time eating (not very healthful foods), watching TV, puttering about the house and yard, doing errands, going out to dinner, etc. Nothing at all wrong with this lifestyle, I hasten to add; it's how the vast majority of retirees live, and they've certainly earned their leisure after a lifetime of work and/or raising a family.

However, my first stop headed north was Anton Chico, NM, where a couple I know from my years in Santa Fe now dwell. A few miles from this tiny hamlet, in Tecolotito, Val and David Hutt, now 71 and 76, respectively, are launching an organic farm. They have each had multiple careers, raised three sons, and more than "paid their dues." Why are they creating Earth Echo Farm ~ with their own hard labor, from scratch ~ at this stage of their lives, when they could be relaxing somewhere? "I feel called to do this," Val told me simply. And David added, "Retirement? What's that?"

He dons a straw hat, long-sleeved shirt and pants, and heads out to tractor the fields by 7 am most mornings. Val joins him a bit later to work in the greenhouse they've built, where the produce they grow (now in the process of being certified organic) is already being eagerly purchased by the Santa Fe branch of Albuquerque-based La Montanita Co-op. And in the punishing heat and dust and dryness, they look and behave like much younger folks; I told Val she looks better now than she did when publishing The Aquarian (she's also a fine astrologer) back in the mid-90s. This is spiritual eldering: sage-ing that serves the collective. The Hutts are a true inspiration. To subscribe to their Field Notes from The Farm, send an email to: huttfarm@gmail.com.

Midwest Humor, or: What Exactly Will this Gas Do for Me? Former Miami Herald columnist Dave Barry, whose columns were so funny I'd almost choke from laughing, would frequently write, "I am not making this up ...", and that's true here: I did a double-take when, driving through Omaha, Nebraska looking for Whole Foods like a homing pigeon, I spied a gas station called "Kum and Go". The chain extends into Iowa, too; I'm not sure about Illinois. I imagine it's not only my warped mind that envisions getting your fuel there as a climactic experience!

Jet Propulsion: Then again, maybe the gas station only reflects the energy of driving through the Midwest, where gale force winds (I'm not exaggerating; trying to control the van on the freeway was like holding the reins on a bucking bronco!) are "normal". The people are the nicest and most helpful, though. I camped for two nights at Buffalo Bill's State Park in North Platte, NE, a historic site on a lake, then had the good fortune to meet a kind-hearted ranger in Neola, Iowa, who, when he heard my funds were at very low ebb, offered me a free spot, also on a lovely lake. If you pass through there, stop at Arrowhead Park and thank Dave (the head ranger), for being Amara's angel on May 19, 2009.

Also, Iowa was the only state I drove through to offer free wifi at all the rest stops along the interstate. The connection didn't always work, but I thought it was a very nice gift for travelers.

No, No, No to Ohio: In sharp contrast to the foregoing, my experience in Ohio was one of purple rage and black despair. Granted, I was quite overtired, having driven from Iowa straight through Illinois and Indiana, arriving at a Toledo truck stop at 11:30 pm (with the time change), the price of gas along Rte 80 astounding me, and having also learned that in Ohio, the freeway is not free: it's a toll road. My nighttime there was brief and bleak; the next day, trying to have the toll payment deferred (an easy experience in Colorado, btw, where I drove briefly on a toll road. They have a separate lane you can choose where they photograph your license plate, and send you a bill a month later, with ample time to pay. Great idea.) I had a very unpleasant exchange with the toll-taker, who called her supervisor over to "deal with" me. In the end I wrote them a check just to get on my way. Oh, and Ohio also offers Internet at its rest areas ~ for a fee. This state seems to nickel and dime a traveler at every turn, and I will do everything possible to avoid driving there in the future.

Welcome Home. I'm not quite to NJ, but at Penn State, which was home for four years. I knew if I stopped here for awhile to decompress, I'd have a wonderful experience; I'd set this intention, and also felt it in my heart. And Spirit delivered, in fuchsia. Here's what happened:

I arrived in town around 4 pm on Thursday, May 21, 2009 (hadn't planned to be here until Friday, but the previous day's burst of breakthrough driving delivered me a day "early". Or so I supposed ... ) First I followed the signs on campus for Visitor Parking permits, which were $4/day ~ if there was no on-campus event (which there usually is!) and they had space available. The friendly girl at the desk gave me maps and informed me there were two Wal-Marts nearby (Wal-Mart allows RV-ers to park for free in their lots, which is quite nice, and I did avail myself of this opportunity my first night on the road, after I'd left NM, in beautiful, green Colorado ~ but I did not come to Penn State to stay at a Wal-Mart! Plus, I was much too exhausted for parking lot noise). I drove back into town, sensing that, as usual for me, what I needed would manifest by more magical means.

When I went to school here, I did not have a car, so I was surprised by all the meters and parking garages. Knowing there had to be free parking further away from campus, I drove out toward the fraternities, and sure enough, there was a spot, under a shady tree. The sign said 2-hour parking without a permit, and it was 4:30 pm. I saw a woman entering a building just ahead, and called to her, asking if she knew whether it was OK to stay parked there after 6 o'clock. She was friendly, and within a minute I'd articulated my dream: a free place near campus to park through Monday night (this being Memorial Day weekend). She responded, "You're welcome to park in our lot after 5 pm Friday, until Tuesday morning. We'll be closed for the holiday." Andrea is the director of the Youth Services Center, so her word was gold. Now I had a place to sleep, even if I had to go to Wal-Mart the first night. I was filled with gratitude.

Walking a few paces further, I saw a sandwich board outside a church that read, "Community Cafe: free soup and bread dinner every Thursday from 5-6:45 pm". It was 4:45. This was amazing. I walked into the building and followed my nose to the delicious smells (I'd barely eaten the previous 2 days, due to the van's fridge not working in the heat, and funds needed for gas). I soon met Robyn and Steve, who listened to my frenetic tale with compassionate eyes. When I questioned whether the meal was just for homeless people, they assured me all were welcome.

The food was delicious, and then Robyn (who, it turns out, is the Director of Christian Education for St. Andrew's Episcopal Church) asked the Rector whether I might park my van in front of Trinity House, where he lives. It's a lovely, shaded spot in an alley, very safe and quiet. And it has electricity!

But the pièce de résistance is this: Robyn suggested I attend the service they were about to have at 7:30 pm. It would be a good way to meet the Rector, she said, and, wanting to express my gratitude for all they'd done for me, it seemed the least I might do. Not being Episcopalian, I had no idea why there'd be a service on Thursday.

When I took my seat in a pew, I picked up the program and nearly burst into tears. The program read: Ascension Day. May 21, 2009.

It's not about religion. It's about faith. They can be synonymous; often they are not. I knew this was a sign for me, and I keep welling up with gratitude today. That night, at the reception following the service, people wanted to know who I was and whether I was Episcopalian. I responded with the lyric from "Walking In Memphis": I am tonight! Robyn, Father Charles and the rest of the congregation truly exuded Christ's message of loving and serving one another, and I am profoundly honored and humbled to have been right on time to receive the manifold gifts. And I'm sure there are more to come.

Thank you for reading this very looooong missive of this lap of my life journey. I welcome your comments!

Much love,
Amara

Monday, May 11, 2009

Defeat and Deliverance

On May 8th, I chronicled the first stages of my latest adventure, alluding to what happened once I arrived in Texas, just one night before Mercury Rx. Here's the backstory:

The camper van I'd just driven 1300 miles to purchase met pretty much every expectation, and appeared to be in excellent condition. I went to sleep in it that first night brimming with gratitude, both that I'd heeded the call and been willing to trek to Texas for my dream, and that Spirit had delivered on the promise. Most of all, I was grateful I'd allowed myself to receive the gift.

The following day I took her for a drive and started reading the manuals, intending to schedule a mechanic's check-up for Thursday. In addition to the oppressive heat, however, I was feeling increasingly frustrated and exhausted by the current owner's seemingly intractable attitude: how perfect the van was, all the money he'd spent fixing it up, how he used to be a mechanic and knew it was in excellent condition (true, he used to be a diesel mechanic, though he doesn't know camper vans ~ the response to every question I asked him about this van was, "Read the manual!"), how it was worth more than he was charging, etc. etc. Nonetheless, I wanted it, and knew once I bought it and left the area, this tussle would quickly fade.

The mechanic who examined the van's engine, etc. pronounced it in fine shape, except for some minor rust underneath, due to the 12 years it lived in a coastal town (which I hadn't known about beforehand). He didn't say it was a major concern. So I took it to the RV shop to check out the housekeeping functions (fridge, stove, sink, toilet, etc.), and while this guy also said it was basically in good shape, when I mentioned the rust he took a quick peek and said emphatically, out of the owner's hearing, "This is just a personal opinion, but as a lifelong mechanic, I wouldn't buy it."

Then I felt uncertain. Once alone, I drove back to the first mechanic and solicited more detail from him. While he reiterated that he felt the rust was superficial, when I pressed him as to whether he'd personally buy it, he said, "No."

I felt defeated. Yet I knew I'd committed to the journey regardless. Now what? On to the East coast? Back to CA where another van whose owner I'd been talking with for over a month finally had his vehicle spruced up and ready for view? I prayed for guidance and clarity.

At 9 pm, in the ladies' restroom of the restaurant where I stopped for dinner, I began spontaneously sharing this saga with a lovely woman who listened, nodded, agreed with my assessments, and refused to leave me when her friends came questing after her, until she'd received my entire tale. I knew she was the angel I'd asked for, and it was such a relief simply to have someone hold the space for me! Mercedes (amusing that her name is a luxury automobile, isn't it?) said she and her husband own an RV, and she knew a mobile mechanic. She pulled out her cell and asked if he'd do her a favor.

On Friday morning, Ramon came to the house and looked the van over, tested the engine, and examined the rust. He agreed it was superficial, and said, given the excellent condition of the vehicle overall, he'd definitely buy it. Then I felt delivered.

I became the joy-filled steward of the LiveYourLight mobile on Monday, May 11, 2009, and look forward to our many happy years together.

Surrender is an ongoing process. Lying in bed Thursday night, after I'd connected with my Earth angels but before I knew for certain what would transpire the next day, I understood that Spirit was asking me if I was ready to graduate to the next level of my life work. And there was a clear echo from 13 years earlier. When I lived in Santa Fe, NM during my awakening in the mid-90s (the same period during which this camper van was being created!), I manifested a wonderful mountain cabin by following a series of synchronous threads.

However, once I'd found it and the owner agreed to rent it to me, I began having doubts. The cabin had no plumbing. Could I haul water until she installed the promised well? Would living so far from civilization be a hardship? What if I needed help?

The next day she phoned and said she'd decided to rent it to a couple of guys down the road instead, who needed a place to live while they remodeled, and were accustomed to rustic living. I felt the same sense of "snatching defeat from the jaws of victory" I described above.

That day in 1996, I went walking in the woods and implored Spirit, "Take this from me, take it!" I meant my resistance, my fear, all that blocked me from receiving my good. I then went to visit an area on the road to Wendy's cabin known colloquially as "the women's land". These women lived without running water or electricity, keeping their food cold in the stream and using kerosene lanterns to light their tipis and cabins. My heart full, I returned to Wendy's cabin without phoning, catching her fresh from an improvised shower.

She was very friendly, but firm: the cabin was going to the neighbors. Yet I was calm and centered. I said to her, "I KNOW something as wonderful as this is coming for me! Thank you." And I left.

The following morning she phoned, saying she'd reconsidered; she felt I'd probably take better care of her cabin than the guys down the road, and if I still wanted it, it was mine.

I knew I'd created that entire drama for my own growth, just as I created this one. I remain grateful to grasp the teachings in time to receive the gifts Spirit wants to bestow. And it's all a Gift.

May my adventures serve your own journey.

Many blessings,
Amara

Friday, May 08, 2009

Ultimate Surrender

Commitment precedes manifestation. I know this, and yet, sometimes it takes quite a while for my inner wisdom to prevail over monkey mind.

I've been questing a camper van in which to travel and serve for over 9 months now ~ yes, another birth process, and this baby's been overdue! Although I love northern California, it's been clear to me for some time that my service, which has been virtually-based for the past decade, is asking for a physical presence; while cyberspace is awesome (and I love connecting with people from all over the world!), bringing the activations to you directly adds a level of power and propulsion.

The day after I mentally committed to drive x-country, even if that meant taking my trusty but aged Toyota Corolla and tent camping all the way, the ideal vehicle showed up ~ in Texas. It was posted to Craig's List in San Francisco, however. Clearly, a spiritual test. I was the first to phone, the van seemed to meet all my specs, and I made plans to drive the 1300 miles (across the desert, no air conditioning) in 3 days.

As usual, the trip opened me in ways being stationary does not. While my body has rarely felt so abused, coursing through 100+ degree heat on almost no sleep or food, I simultaneously reaped numerous gifts, deepening my trust and surrender:

• Pulling into Ventura at 7 pm, timing my arrival as near as possible to receive a haircut from my former hair stylist (who is also a professional children's clown ~ and the one who shaved my head 6 years ago!), all avenues appeared blocked. Lucy had not shown up by 9 pm or returned my calls (turned out she got food poisoning that afternoon ~ and had left a note for me on her door, which I somehow failed to find). I also seemingly had no place to sleep. I remembered Lake Casitas near Ojai (about 12 miles away) and headed there, but couldn't find the turn-off where I'd thought it ought to be. Pulled into a gas station and went into the store to ask directions. There's my friend Phil working the counter. (When I lived in Ojai, he was doing graphic design and writing, but tough times prompted this temporary job.) For some reason (needing to catch up with Phil?) the Lake campground was closed, so Phil offered his couch, and I drove to his place, met his housemate, and prepared to get some shut-eye.

• En route to Phoenix, where I had a place to stay thanks to my departure-day Craig's post, requesting a bed or couch for the night, I stopped in a mini-mall just to get a break from the heat of the drive, and spied Wondercuts. Got my hair trimmed for the same price Lucy charges, and released another attachment: to a known hairdresser. Granted, my hairstyle's pretty easy to cut ~ and for someone who was once bald, it shouldn't have even been an issue :-) Interesting how attachments re-grow, like hair itself.

• On to Phoenix, which felt like the gift exchange it was: of the 3 people who responded to my post, Don was as eager for my visit as I was for a place to stay; he called me several times while I was en route to see what I like to eat, etc. I understood that he was lonely (his wife's been gone 4 years) and wanted to talk. I was blessed to be able to listen him into some healing around her passing, and he invited me to stay on as long as I wanted. I left in the morning, having made a new friend.

• Traveling on to El Paso, I affirmed, "I travel only in love. From now on, new avenues of connection for spiritual service open to me, as I travel and serve in my Live Your Light mobile. And so it is!"

Since being here in Texas, there have been additional dramas playing out as Mercury retrograded 5/6, along with the Wesak full moon and Lunar Beltane, today. As I wrote in the May issue of What Shines, Squeeze Play, "We're being energetically squeezed during this unprecedented planetary shift. It's affecting everyone, although what that looks like differs from person to person, making for some strange interactions and a great reminder to take a deep breath before responding from habit when something or someone pushes our buttons. Since we're all being strongly affected by this transition, it's important not to take on energy that is bubbling to the surface to be transmuted ~ to yield rather than shield. This is core training in learning to surrender ~ into strength."

I look forward to seeing you in person soon, as the LiveYourLight mobile travels in service across the U.S. I am also considering painting or decal-ing my logo on the van ~ if you have experience in doing this, and might be interested in an energy exchange, please get in touch!

Friday, May 01, 2009

Beltane Benevolence

Today my favorite bank teller said, "Oh, it's the first of May ~ that's called May Day, isn't it?" And I had a perfect opening in which to explain to two intrigued bank employees (the teller next to him was all ears, too!) that the secular version of these holy days leaves a lot out.

May 1st is Beltane: a time for celebrating the beauty and sanctity of all life. No matter how challenging your life may be now, today is a moment for reclaiming your power, balance, and inner strength.

Beltane is one of eight Shabbats on the Wheel of the Year. The others include the Solstices and Equinoxes, Lammas (August 1st), Samhain (October 31st), and Imbolc (February 2nd). Beltane breathes renewal into our cells as we acknowledge the Nature Kingdom and the advent of summer. For our Southern Hemisphere allies, the Wheel of the Year is reversed: Myth*ing Links offers a fine page on the Southern Year.

Although traditionally observed on May 1st, astronomical Beltane arrives on the 5th, a nice sync-up with Cinco de Mayo, so we actually have an entire week in which to renew, dance the fire back into our beings, and open once again to a sacred reUnion of our masculine and feminine selves. Mythologist Kathleen Jenks provides a page rich in Beltane lore from around the globe.