Monday, March 18, 2013

Weeds Help Us Flower

We're verging on the Vernal Equinox, which means the Rite of Spring that one friend dubbed The Mowing is about to begin in earnest. Not a blade of grass — certainly not a weed — is safe.

I understand this obsession. Growing up in suburban America, I observed a rampant homeowner disgust with the "lowly dandelion," scourge of suburbia's well-manicured lawns. Much later, I discovered that dandelion is one of the most healing herbs available to humanity, offering itself in abundance wherever we dwell. It's a supreme liver tonic, known to help detoxify the body's "processing plant." In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the liver equates to the emotion of anger. If you want to release that pent-up rage in a healthy way, the remedy is probably available, free and easy, in your own backyard.

Dandelion can act as de facto compost, gently surrounding and helping to decompose back into rich loam that which no longer serves. Yet we curse the weed and uproot it, spray poison to keep the green carpet unsullied. "Living for the lawn" keeps us focused predominantly on the external.

When we can make the subtle shift from ego mind to Universal Mind, we see with such great clarity the incredible gifts all around us! Our teammates are everywhere, in the animal, plant and mineral kingdoms — if we have eyes to see.

As we move deeper into our collective rebirth process, we'll be releasing people and places that no longer resonate with our lives now. Doing this with what the Buddhists call lovingkindness is our mandate. It's a ripe moment to ask yourself, Who or what in my life seems like an outsider? Am I willing to look again, to become inclusive rather than exclusive, to see beyond imaginary borders?

Below are seven practical steps to enlarge the lens this Spring: to slow down and look with the eyes of wonder, like a child. You'll find many more on my CD, What You Need to Know Now: A Road Map for Personal Transformation:

  • Keep a journal. Buy a beautiful blank book and a pen that feels comfortable in your hand. Then allow yourself to write whatever and whenever you want. No one else need ever read it unless you choose to share, so send the censor packing! Journaling is like ingesting dandelion leaves with your pen — a great way to purge emotions and discover what really matters to you. And writing by hand is very different from blogging online.
  • Dance your evolutionary process. Do you instinctively sway as you talk, or dance around the room when you get excited? Express your change process as flowing movement. Maybe it's yoga, or tai chi, or free-form dance, such as Contact Improv.
  • Make art. Are you a natural with a paintbrush or clay? Splash your emotions onto canvas, pour them into a mold, sketch them into being. Remember, this is art from the heart: done for the sole/soul purpose of enlarging your own vision.
  • Sing! Is your voice your most powerful expressive tool? If you love to sing but don't know any songs, make up nonsense words to tunes you like, and sing them — in public. This is also a fabulous way to break free of the "What will people think?" trap.
  • Be in Nature. Sit by moving water. Sit in moving water. Sing while sitting in a stream!
  • Prepare a meal that is as aesthetic as it is nutritious. As you combine ingredients, imagine that you are cooking up a grander vision for your life.
  • Hush. Spend a day, alone or with others, in total silence.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

How to Use Your Life

I read The Alchemist perhaps fifteen years ago, but never fully grasped Paulo Coehlo's journey until today, when his semi-autobiographical The Zahir presented the key clue. In The Zahir, Coehlo chronicles his lifelong resistance and eventual surrender that allowed him to craft and publish The Pilgrimage at age 40. The Pilgrimage, his first novel, depicts his journey along the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, the transformational route in northern Spain that Shirley MacLaine also eloquently described, in The Camino.

I decided to read The Pilgrimage in 2012 after ingesting Coehlo's latest autobiographical masterpiece, Aleph. But it's only now, learning the order in which he wrote his books (The Pilgrimage first, then The Alchemist, beloved worldwide) that my ah-ha erupted: In The Alchemist, the young protagonist is named Santiago! With this brilliant literary echo, Coehlo conveys how he has become the path, his experience informing his journey and infusing the reader with faith in the outcome.

This is the essence and purpose of my own life work: to use what I have understood at each stage of my unfolding in service to the next, and to all with whom I come in contact. Are you using your life to its maximum potential, pouring the elixir of who you've been into who you're becoming?

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Being Outrageous: Getting the Rage Out?

"We are constantly invited to be what we are."

~ Henry David Thoreau

Are you mad as hell and not gonna take it anymore? Purple with rage? Or enwrapped in wrath? Though the dictionary may use the words rage and wrath interchangeably, they are not the same. Otherwise we'd hear about "road wrath"!

Rage is a savage, devouring energy; wrath, while fierce, is also the province of the dakinis, who initiate creative change (think of the goddess Kali). Wrath is righteous; rage just wants to be right.

Since this is an ideal moment to transmute anger in the alchemical fire, several lightplayers and I filleted, seasoned and simmered a few thoughts on this distinction:

∞ "Rage is cooking without anything in the pot; wrath is cooking a full stew."
∞ "We can make medicine from joy instead of from pain."
∞ "Rage merely makes you age; wrath keeps you on the path."

The next time you get mad, get thinking: am I enraged or wrathful? Is this a purposeful fury? Am I cooking with a full pot here?

Here are some tools to assist you in enlightening up into wholeness/holiness/healing (all from the same root word, hale):

1) Laugh. The Buddha said we all want to know the answers to four key questions: "Who am I? Where did I come from? Where am I going? And will there be food there?" Laughter lights us up. Conscious evolution is purposeful play! Whatever brings you belly laughs is healthy, because laughter oxygenates body and brain, thereby strengthening our "amuse" system. Think of something that's troubling you and consider this: if it will be funny in the retelling six months hence, it's funny now — if you allow the possibility.

2) Live the WOW (Witness Our Wonder). A vivacious 73-year-old woman made a quantum shift in her thinking, from "Life is a series of emergencies," to "Life is full of surprises!" Instead of anxiously reacting to every "oh no!" she's now able to anticipate the next "ah ha!"

3) Give what you seek. Peace troubadour and author James Twyman says giving others what you most desire is the surest path to inner peace, because there is no separation between us. "If I'm lacking peace, you're lacking peace. If I give you peace, then I receive that same peace," he says.

4) Do a "vow break." This is a wonderful way to get sticky energy unstuck. You can rescind any vows you may have taken prior to incarnating to have a certain experience in this life. The formula is from the book, What Is Lightbody? by Tashira Tachi-ren. The same vow break can be found on my CD, What You Need to Know Now-A Road Map for Personal Transformation.

"I now rescind any and all vows I have taken to experience the illusion of (fill in the blank, for example, "not having enough money".) I declare this vow null and void in this incarnation and all incarnations across time and space, parallel realities, parallel universes, alternate realities, alternate universes, all planetary systems, all Source systems, all dimensions, and the Void.

"I ask for the release of all crystals, devices, thought forms, emotions, matrices, veils, cellular memory, pictures of reality, genetic limitation, and death. NOW!"

May your creative cauldron burn brightly. Happy transmutation!