Thursday, March 26, 2009
Long, luscious meditations took me into realms of loving awareness that filled my soul. Someone in the ethers was meeting me and our hearts were connecting in ways that opened me to profound mystical experiences. Many years ago, while living in Sedona, Arizona, I attempted to meet this person—something that proved to be quite difficult.
On a morning walk in the vortex of Bell Rock, I picked up one of the red stones there. Focusing on it and flashing its image to my meditation partner, I said the name of the street I lived on over and over: “Rock Top.” I knew it was a long shot, mostly because so many streets in Sedona have the word “rock” and or “red” in them, but I had to try.
A couple of afternoons later, I sat down to meditate and all I could hear in my mind were the words “Roca Roja,” which was one street over from me. (By the way, “roca roja” means “red rock.”) It did not occur to me to get up from my chair and walk over to Roca Roja. It seems obvious as I reflect on it now, but then I was more in sync with action in the future than I was about taking action in the moment.
I invited my dear friend, Ariann, who I was living with, to walk with me to the corner of our street to watch for my meditation buddy. Somewhere in our meditations, she and I had picked up that he drove a red corvette, and I remember saying to her, “Now all we need is a red corvette.” Within minutes a red corvette came up from behind us (likely coming from Roca Roja) and drove past us. Then I realized what had happened.
I had been so focused on creating the future, that I was not present in the moment. Opportunity literally drove past me. It has taken me a long time to find compassion with this propensity of mine. Ever since I was a little girl, I have been preoccupied with thoughts that would take me away from my present conditions. As a girl I created a variety of fantasies to give me reprieve from my life. Being the oldest of six kids, with a mother who was sick most of the time, and the pressures of going to private school—imagining a better world—a kind of future life—was more satisfying than my reality.
It has been a challenging habit to break and the necessity of living in the present was never more clear to me than on that day. I never did meet him, even though there were several more attempts. However, the deeper gift was received. I am far more present and able to live in the moment.
I recently watched the movie, Australia. Without giving away the story, I was deeply touched by Lady Sarah Ashley’s commitment to hearing the song of Nullah, who used his songs (his magic) to call them together. She listened and responded, and in doing so, the songs carried them to each other.
Once again, I was reminded that sometimes someone is speaking to us in the physical or in the ethers, singing or thinking about us, or holding space for us in ways that are magical and profound. They are a part of our family. They call us to the journey home—the home that lives within our hearts. In order to receive their gifts, there is only one place to be—present.
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Friday, March 20, 2009
Three dreams in about three weeks' time were all telling me the same thing. I felt stuck. In fact in the last dream, it was so blatant I was telling a friend quite directly, “I feel stuck.”
He pointed to the edge of the property, and I told him I had already been there and it wasn’t far enough. Clearly there was someplace beyond the boundaries of my current reality that I was compelled to experience.
I was feeling stuck about a lot of things—my career, my income, my service through the foundation and my relationship with my husband. Nothing felt bad. I just felt as though I wasn’t making any progress.
Then there were the other dreams—the ones in which I was with the water experiencing bliss and a state of transcendent awareness. My subconscious was taking me into a far more fulfilling reality of awareness and I wanted more of it. What I couldn’t figure out was to how to bring that state of consciousness into my daily, practical life.
So after awakening from my most recent “stuck” dream, I took this feeling of stuckness into compassion and sat with it. I didn’t try to fix myself or do anything with the feeling of stuckness. I simply witnessed the feeling in compassion. Emerging from the silence I received some clear guidance that has been helping me.
This is what I heard: “Misa, think of it this way. You don’t have to know the outcome. Simply open to the wonderful reality waiting for you on the other side of the stuckness.”
“Pretty good,” I thought, as I came out of my meditation. “That was very wise advice.”
This concept reminded me of advice I received some years ago from a woman making her living as a fiber artist. I was thinking about leaving my job to create a consulting practice, so I asked if I could interview her as someone I knew who was a successful entrepreneur. She invited me over to her house for a cup of tea and shared with me aspects of her journey.
What I remember most from that interview is what she said and did as I left her house. She walked out the door with me, firmly closing the screen door behind her and said, “You have to close the door of the past behind you. Then step out into the world.” Throwing her arms up and looking up into the clouds, she glowed as she continued with her last words of advice, “Then simply say, 'Shower on me, world.'”
In a world where we are taught to know the outcome, set our goals and objectives, and establish our action steps for success, the concept of opening to the unknown with arms wide open proclaiming, “Shower on me, world,” might seem a bit absurd. However, I followed her advice those many years ago, and did quite well as a consultant. Now, I did incorporate some good planning skills, once the outcome began to present itself to me. I believe those planning skills worked well because first I threw open my arms and heart to the unknown, undefined, wonderful reality that was waiting for me—a far greater outcome than I might have imagined from my more earth-bound thoughts.
I found a balance between the masculine energy of planning in order to create and the feminine energy of opening to a greater, yet unknown possibility. I recognized that my soul, before coming to earth, chose an ultimate experience that I hadn’t remembered yet. By opening to an unremembered, yet available and wonderful reality, I found myself riding within a current that carried me far more easily into fulfillment than a more limited outcome I might have otherwise chosen.
As I reflect now upon opening up my heart to the wonderful unknown reality waiting for me, I am expectant, like an adventurer launching my ship into uncharted waters. My senses are alert and I must be respectful of and in relationship with the water itself in order to be safe. If I cling to the shores in fear, I won’t get very far at all, so I must surrender to the sea itself. As I do, little miracles start showing up—each affirming the greater reality that I have welcomed, and I am beyond my stuckness.
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Friday, March 13, 2009
I didn’t even know it was possible. There I was, just a couple of days ago, in a visionary state realizing I had made a decision many lifetimes ago about this lifetime that was in complete opposition to an agreement I had made just before accepting this life. Now I am well aware a person can have lingering beliefs and feelings from previous lifetimes affecting their current life, but opposing soul agreements! That was completely new to me.
Apparently, many lifetimes ago I had a vision that if I met a certain person in this lifetime, he was going to die early and painfully. In order to protect this individual, I decided it would be best not to meet him. Then, before becoming embodied in this lifetime, we agreed to meet to further our mutual goals. That created quite a dilemma, didn’t it?
Recently, I have been chatting with a friend of mine who has a grand cross in her astrological chart. This means she has two sets of opposing forces at work all the time. I asked her how she lives with it. She describes her life as very challenging (because so much in her chart is working in opposition rather than in harmony). In her case, she finds she must be open to change, stay in the flow of energy and remain unattached to such feelings as worrying about what is not happening. She has discovered she cannot attach to how things are in any given moment. Doesn’t that sound like a prescription for the ideal spiritual life?
Her beautiful sharing stimulated my dreams this morning. I was lingering in the energy of a cross, drawn to its center. Much like the Buddhist mandalas, the cross members of the Native American medicine wheel, the Jewish Star of David, or the Christian cross I was contemplating in my dream today—the heart of these sacred symbols all lead to the center. There in the center, our minds are clear and open enough to see all possibilities, respond to the moment’s creative flow, and live without attachment to how we think or feel things must be. In the center, we transcend the limits of the internal tug-of-war. We simply are in balance with all of creation.
If I believed that we as humans are only driven by fate, I would be at a loss right now, unsure about my path. Or if I believed we are creatures of free will and choice only—I would be equally lost in my life without a sense of direction. But I have learned the best experiences of life are rarely about either-or. Both fate and free-will can co-exist within the same space. My memories tell me, through Divine will, I entered this lifetime with a map or design in mind. My life shows me that the routes I choose to take are sometimes different than the route I originally laid out.
Since the “fate” of my soul has given me two opposing options, I open to the Divine power of my own free will. After all, where there are two options, there is usually a third, possibly a fourth, maybe a fifth…..
Just as I allowed myself to be drawn to the center of the cross in my dream this morning, I choose to be in the center of myself in my waking reality. Probabilities can shift. Quantum physics is showing us that by simply observing what is taking place, reality seems to respond to the act of being observed. The Creation Meditation teaches me that probabilities held in love and compassion become acts of reality that frequently transcend perceived limits. There is a way out of the tug-of-war. What previous lessons in my life have taught me is to simply observe with an open heart, allowing another probability to emerge.
Friday, March 06, 2009
For centuries the way that women have maintained influence and power is through manipulation. If most of the power is in the hands of men, then one of the ways to acquire power is to manipulate men. Women passed down these skills throughout the generations, and from my observations, many of us are really good at manipulating. I used to kid my friends that I learned the power of using guilt from a master—my mother.
Then I grew up and entered the business world where I learned more about power. I saw how both women and men used manipulation in the workplace. I worked in a number of companies where owners, managers and employees in some form or another attempted to manipulate other people in the company in order to get what they wanted. Observing the resulting struggles motivated me to eventually teach communication techniques to businesses that wanted better internal performance, and were willing to surrender the limits of manipulative communication.
Government has become a skilled user of manipulation. One of the most manipulative letters I have ever received came from traffic enforcement. If I hadn’t been advised by a friend to call the 800 number at the bottom of an extremely intimidating letter, I would have assumed I was going to owe over $75.00 because I didn’t have the correct $.75 change at an honor-system tollbooth!
Of course, if manipulation doesn’t work, there is always physical force. How many wars on this planet have been waged because we couldn’t manipulate a group of people into doing what we wanted them to do? There seems to be this assumption that winning is a show of power, but is that real power?
If I oppress someone else in order to get what I want, then it seems to me I have furthered the cycle of oppression, and if that is power, then power has a backlash of resentment and retaliation, and that isn’t the kind of power I am seeking.
My clients have shown me that many people who want greater power in their lives want to be seen, heard, respected and recognized. They want greater influence in the creation and management of their own lives. They want to feel Divine power flowing through them as they become greater creators of their own reality.
Last week I wrote about how I attempted to manipulate (gain power) through my anger. I know in the past, I have used my anger to help me get to the place that I could finally recognize and speak my truth—so that I could be heard and respected— but over the years, I have come to believe that using my anger to help me finally speak is not necessarily the same as using my anger as a weapon. As a woman who works a lot with women, I think many of us have operated under the misconception that our anger was okay if it was helping us stand in our power.
Anger or frustration can indeed be healthy if it helps us identify our own truth so that we can take stand for what we believe in, but lashing out in anger is not a power stance. Too often “standing in my power” is used to describe situations in which someone else is being blamed. Blaming someone else for the reality I have created might better be defined as “giving away my power.”
So back to the question: “What is true power?” I look to people I have known in my life that seem to embody true power, and I ask myself: “What are the qualities I see in them?”
From shamans and medicine people, to wise elders, to masters, to innocent children, to dear friends—the people I know who live in their power seem to embody these qualities:
1) know themselves intimately well;
2) are deeply honest and truthful with themselves and others;
3) own and embrace both their perceived strengths and weaknesses;
4) rarely raise their voice and yet are easily heard;
5) are kind and compassionate toward themselves and others;
6) live practically blame and judgment-free;
7) are willing to honor others’ journeys without needing to make them change;
8) understand there is a Mystery unfolding through our explorations of life and honor the unique journeys;
9) live from a place of endless compassion and understanding;
10) hold themselves to high standards of selfless service;
11) hold themselves accountable for what they say they want to be; and
12) see the humor in being human.
In the presence of someone like this, I feel true power. I feel empowered and inspired to be my best. Standing in my power then becomes an act of knowing who I am and being willing to discover who you truly are—respecting both of us in the process.
Standing in my power is not an act or words made in anger. Standing in my power is not about cheerleading myself or attempting to will myself to be something I am not. Standing in my power is a state in which I am living from my deepest known truth with regard for your truth at the same time.
Standing in your power transcends the limits of manipulation or force. True power…..well, you tell me. What does standing in your power mean to you?