Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Using Your Voice for a Change

Leah Lambaria started You can read about her mission on the site, and get a glimpse of the energy uplifting Leah is engaged in, and while you're there, sign on to get invitations to Share Circles. Believing that our stories are inspirational to other people- and that what we need to learn, we teach- Leah asked friends, colleagues, women's circle participants to share a personal story. It was a privilege for me to guide the first share circle. I have difficulty using my voice. My true voice, with authentic expression of who I really am. I write, blog, talk, mostly armored with the protective devices I have picked up since birth. Many of us speak to improve our lie (in the golf sense-about moving the ball), impress, obfuscate. The noble reason is to view ourselves in the best possible light. The hidden reason is to hide our perceived flaws, our subordinate position to the audience, whatever other ego stuff we've donned, or cannot see. In the spirit of authenticity, I did not prepare. What was going to come out would come out. I was among friends, in a safe and loving environment. Nothing bad could happen; only good would result for all of us. I would feel what being true to me felt like. And that's what happened. It was a beautiful experience. I encourage you to tell your story, in whatever way, and however loudly you are able. Do this among friends, and feel the joy.

Sunyata and Potatoes

I woke from an active dream yesterday in which my lucid brain was trying to write my dreaming brain a message. Literally, on a piece of paper with black ink. It was one word. Ademuth, asemuth, absemuth, something I could not recapture. Frustrated, I wrote what I just wrote here on a 3x5 card, and got on with the day. This morning, finding this card on my desk, and another that read "do Barb's honey label," I first made Barb's raw honey label, and then ruminated on the word. Azimuth came forward out of the dark. Looked that up. I know I knew that word, but I have no idea what my brain was sending me about that word. Planetary alignment? Words with z? How High the Moon? Noodling on the internet, I bumped into Saturn/Venus, Jupiter viewing early mornings this month. Trine, conjunct, quincunx and all that. Then I chose an Osho Zen Tarot card and got the Major Arcana No-thingness (sunyata). Then I read Pisces at Free Will Astrology, in which I was reminded that while the Spanish were looking for El Dorado gold in the New World, what they brought home was the potato. Then I stopped to feel the energy zooming around my body. I looked up sunyata (soon-yuh-tah), and decided I will not have time in this incarnation to learn everything I think I want to know. And that is the message from this morning. The energy zooming around my body is universal energy. Life is the journey from nothingness to nothingness. And in between, there are fun, interesting, joyous, awesome, quixotic, maddening, delightful, gorgeous, crazy, wonderful sidetrips. And potatoes. Why worry?

Thursday, June 21, 2012


Anti-aging. What does that mean? I'm against aging? You're against aging. We all are going to fight aging with every breath we take. We will wrest control of aging know, whoever has control of it right now. No. This is not our word. This is a marketing word, a gimmick, trickery. 30-something guys in NY and Paris came up with this word because they work at advertising agencies that sell us the prestige beauty products we buy. How much money do we spend on this war against getting old? Just the anti-aging products alone in the U.S. only are worth $300 billion. How many children will that feed a year? How much healthcare can we afford per annum with that kind of loot? We are practically buried in anti-aging junk hourly. We can ignore it, but we don't. Because the boys in Paris and NY know that the word anti-aging, with enough exposure, causes nostalgia, regret, insecurity, low self-esteem and depression for what used to be; and women are going to cure what causes all that by hauling our credit cards and our butts to the mall. I just chastised a care2 post titled "Embracing Our Sexuality in Middle Age." My hackles got wriggly with the title. How does one exactly embrace one's sexuality? Ugh. Three paragraphs were in quotations, but it wasn't until I got to the 4th paragraph that the author revealed it wasn't her writing, it was Dr. Jean Shinoda Bolen. I admire Jean Shinoda Bolen. Jean Shinoda Bolen is a wise woman, who writes about how to be a juicy crone. She is the real deal. Read all her books, and you will grow just by having the ink in front of your eyes. But the lifecoach, when she did start speaking in her own voice in the 4th paragraph, wrote she hates the word crone. Oh, fine. I was already riled, then glanced at the picture care2 put over the article. A woman, maybe over 55, maybe not. She'd either had a little work done, or she was airbrushed the way I altered my picture here. There is nothing real, nothing embracing, nothing authentic or true about this sort of manipulation. Although it was wicked fun to draw. If a woman chooses surgery, photoshop, or that $150 toner she can't live without, that's her business. And the business of the trillion dollar beauty products industry. The beauty products industry wants us to be unhappy with self, to live every day believing our true selves are not the best we can be. I get that. I buy stuff, too. But I do not enjoy the sort of activity-like scrubbing my own face just now-that makes me discontented with getting older. That makes me yearn for the past. That gives me pain. As I final-checked this picture, I thought I should take the ridges out of my nails. Somewhere in the etymology, yearn must share a common root with fool. I am aging. We're all aging at the same speed. My mother used to say consider the alternative. I get that, too. But the fight is to keep aging, not war on aging. No corpse I know owns 7 MAC lipglasses. I'm going to have to find out if MAC calls anything it puts out there anti-aging. Just looked. No anti-aging. MAC is smart. I want smart cosmetics companies that advertise as PRO-aging. Maybe with some 60+ year old women in the marketing and communications department. With titles. Can you imagine? You're a babe, babe! And you're wise, too, because you buy our goo! If that company ever shows up, my wallet will get more of a workout. For now, if I spend my money, it is with companies that honor, respect our age. No money to companies that want us to be unhappy with who we are.

Some Things Are Glowy, Some Not So Much

Carol, lovely friend, and I find this life philosophy satisfying for now. I'm dazzled by energies flying around these days, even when each day my yin is being yanged, or my yang yinned. The garden is growing beautifully, although it's so crazy hot that the lime basil has gone to seed already. That's the second year lime basil fail, but I will be back next year to try it again. Once you decide you can live with having no control over a plant, well, there you are. I can live with Dad's negativity because it's not mine, and I have no control over it. I can live with Scott's disappearance from our world, and hope he is finding some joy in his changing brain. I saw a bumper sticker the other day and I couldn't read it all, only the bottom line. Notice. Choose. Act. Looked up the phrase, and I think it's about bullying. I'm going to adapt it to my life, and quit bullying myself. I am noticing. Glowy things. Not so glowy things. And I am choosing. I am choosing not to act. Dad's life is his. So, I stay out of the rush of nonglowy stuff in his world he believes he needs to share, and choose the glowy things I share in mine. I rejoice when Scott is present. I recovered from the lime basil seeding by thoroughly enjoying the thyme. I picked some, a big deal for a new gardener. The smell! I showered, washed dishes, and still I had thyme on my hands. Makes me laugh. I gave my neighbor some. "I am delighted to share thyme with you," I told her, and we both laughed. Glowy things. Friends with beautiful laughs, and extraordinary brains, lighted souls. Glowy things are not rare. Glowy things are ours to notice. I choose glowy things. And I saved the lime basil seeds.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Other People's Business

Today is Scott's 48th birthday. I took him to breakfast to begin celebrating. The restaurant only had 4 other people in it. 3 men sat in the corner together. It was 8:20 a.m. so the three were not in a hurry to get to work. None looked old enough to be retired. They were talking loudly. Voices carry in a high ceilinged room when it's not crowded. One voice was dominant. Blah blah food stamps. Blah blah unemployment. Blah blah socialism. Within minutes, he established to me a little bit about him. He is either unemployed or underemployed, he will vote for the Republican or Tea Party candidate in the elections in November, he is blue collar, upper lower class, mildly educated, watches Fox News, and will have the tendency to lean in the "ists" direction. Classist, racist, etc. He is either hard of hearing, or believes his views need to be shared with the widest possible audience. I knew he was wearing either a John Deere or Caterpillar ballcap before I glanced his way as we were leaving. He talked the way working class people have talked for centuries - everyone else is doing it wrong. And then I wondered about me. About all the attention paid to other people's business. Perhaps when I focus on other's shortcomings, or develop a negative impression too fast, it's because there's something that's poking at me about me. OPB. OPB is not my business, it's not anybody's business. Social networking sites try really hard to make it their business, because those things are in the business of connecting people, not to each other, but to the marketers who are paying to reach the people who have to have an opinion on OPB. I don't care if someone likes WalMart.  I truly do not care what you had for dinner last night. That's OPB. Something changes in the world when comments can be made on every damn thing anyone does or espouses or thinks. People might begin to believe that their opinion matters beyond its importance. When OPB becomes my business, or your business, then sides are taken. Lines are drawn. And the importance of those lines is blown all out of proportion. Someone outside of our own locked heads must be blamed - whoever that is, even if it's someone just like us we do not recognize in our finger pointing. I learned a lesson today. It does not matter what I think about those guys in the corner. It's not my business. And I'm reminded again I don't have to have an opinion on everything. Scott and I enjoyed our breakfast together, right after we agreed that those guys were talking loud. And then we ignored them, and concentrated on our business - enjoying our breakfast and celebrating Scott's special day.