Archives for category: Creative Expression

El duende is a moment charged with passion, and enveloped in grace. A mysterious power which everyone senses and no philosopher explains.

-Federico Garcia Lorca/Goethe

REFLECTIONS

Today, as I write in my daughter’s library, I sit at a desk surrounded by books. I know I’m in psychic trouble when the titles that grab my attention are ‘Escape’, ‘You Suck’ and ‘Lost’. I feel just like the bird I photographed the other evening. Every other goose knew the way to the Weaselhead Water Reservoir, but this lone bird stood lost and bewildered, on top of a condo complex. She stared in at me hoping I had the answers. The rest of her flock was relaxing after a hard day’s journey, swimming about in the gentle waves, enjoying the last warmth from the setting sun, soon to be nestled into the reeds for a restorative sleep. But not this bird…because she’s stuck on a cold, hard rooftop, forlorn and dispirited, thinking how did this happen? Just an hour ago I knew where I was and where I was going. What evil force has stolen my inspiration, my joy, my creative fire, my el duende? And it was at this point that I realized I wasn’t talking about the bird any longer, I was just identifying with it!

I'm Such a Loser! Where's the Lake?

Please Help Me Find My Way!

In this state of mind, I sit on the couch and stare out the window, watching life pass me by. I am convinced that each person I see knows where their ‘water reservoir’ is…I’m certain I’m the only disquieted person on this street…probably the only lost person in this entire city. I’m the goose on the roof…separated from the flock of humanity, unable to find the necessary nourishment and restorative energy, enabling me to travel the next leg of my journey.

Dream Images – messages from my soul

This made no sense. Just last week I was thrilled with my life…joyfully writing, catching up with dear friends, walking the hills of Calgary and sharing wonderful moments with my family. But then I became aware of a presence …small at first, just a hint of darkness around my soul. Halfheartedly, I tried to stave off a reckoning with this negative force…British Mysteries, alcohol and carbs…but the pull into the dark abyss could not be avoided. For 5  nights I was bombarded by burdensome dreams of sinister men and dreams of a belittling father and dreams of emotionally absent lovers. Against my will, I was dragged from my creative and fulfilling life, by this Internal Predator. Held by his claws, I was lost, deep in the dark ugliness of his hell.

The Abduction of Persephone by Hades

I felt like Persephone when she was abducted by Hades, god of the underworld. Enveloped in a shroud of unworthiness, invisible to the men I have loved, I became immobilized. No longer did I want to climb Wilcox Pass, no longer did I care about my trip to Vienna. My feelings of unlovability were once again robbing me of my life force, my vitality. I came yet again, face to face with the damaging impact of the negative Father Complex…that now internalized belief that I am not worthy of a man’s love. In finding the hidden, but not lost dimensions of The Other Woman, I’ve had to descend into the depths of this wound. Only in peering into the raw and open sore, could I see what medicines might be necessary for healing. Can this ugliness be transformed into something beautiful, so that my life remains creative and joyful?

El Duende – Passion Born from an Imprisoned Soul

El Duende, the passion of flamenco, sprang from the souls of an imprisoned people. During the Spanish Inquisition, Moors, Gypsies and Jews were reviled or executed, if they refused to convert to Christianity. Finding refuge in the treacherous mountains, these desperate people would not be vanquished, and instead healed their ugly wounds with the playing, singing and dancing of flamenco. The destructive force of an oppressor, can also blow open a door for the imprisoned heart, giving new light and therefore life, to any damaged soul. Below is a short YouTube clip of one of the world’s best flamenco dancers, Carmen Amaya(1963).

Aspirations for Week 42 of 52

Overcoming the Destructiveness of the Father Complex

I would not want to give the impression that overcoming tyranny of any kind is easy. It is not quickly achieved, nor a straight path that can be mapped out or fully explained. It takes patience and courage, but can be done. I’ve found that any activity that lifts the tiny hair on the back of my neck, or creates a surge of energy from my heart, or leaves me feeling just a little more compassionate, helps to repair my psyche. By following my desire to live wholeheartedly, unearthing The Other Woman, I reconnect with my own el duende, this powerful passion, that is born out of encounters with the dark. 

I loved my father so much. He was strong and capable of so many wonderful things. He gave us, his family, his very best and I know in my heart that he never meant to harm. He loved me as much as he could. It has been my job to fill the parts of my heart that became chipped and broken. 

I loved my Dad and know only I can heal my chipped heart!

In doing this I will leave the dark and ugly underworld to reconnect with the playful, joyful Persephone, the creative artistic soul that resides in us all! And once again, I will throw my head back in laughter, knowing that life is rich with love and joy.

Between2Marys Laughing Once Again!

Between2Marys Laughing Once Again!

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 People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I think that what we’re really seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonance within our innermost being and reality, so that we can actually feel the rapture of being alive.

-Joseph Campbell

REFLECTIONS

BLISS – The Space Between the Stars

Margaret Thatcher’s recent death triggered a retrospective of her views and policies. I never thought anything she believed would inspire a creative writing burst in me, but today it has! After hearing an excerpt of an 1983 interview of Thatcher with CBC correspondent, Barbara Frum, I felt compelled to locate the interview and listen to it in its entirety. Intrigued, I watched it several times. Upon listening to Ms. Thatcher’s beliefs on the interplay of freedom and responsibility between the individual and the State, I felt a zap or a zing of excitement. Such energy surges occur in me more now that I live in closer alignment with my soulful and real self. I’ve learned to honour and attend to whatever triggers this electric pulse. Because, when explored, inevitably I am seized by a small thought or an idea that will embrace me or shake me but take me somewhere heretofore unknown…sometimes it’s a new perspective, other times it’s a profound insight and at other times this zap of energy precipitates an artistic creation. But these wild and wonderful experiences are the juices of a creative life…pure, unadulterated soul medicine. Bliss resides in this almost ‘altered’ state of consciousness. I think that the space between the zing of energy and the new idea or creation, is akin to the space between the stars…unfathomable, yet exhilarating…Bliss Consciousness!

Creation Occurs in the Space Between the Stars

Creation Occurs in the Space Between the Stars

My Theory of the Source of the ‘AHA Moment’

The Science geek that resides within me, loves to draw connections between my physical experiences, Quantum Physics and the world of spirit! In our perception of the material world, we know that when anything moves from point A to point B, it moves laterally through the connecting space…if I walk across the room, I travel through the intervening space between the 2 points. Miraculously, electrons, of which we are made, do not do this. Although electrons move in orbits, somewhat like planets around the sun, they differ dramatically in that they can spontaneously leave one orbit, and land in an adjoining one, WITHOUT  GOING THROUGH THE INTERVENING SPACE. In the latest scientific observations of the electron, it seems that they explode on one orbital path and reappear on another orbital path. I believe that a new insight or a creative act or the ‘aha’ moment occurs during the ‘space’ between an electron’s orbital jumps in the brain. It is in this unfathomable space between orbital paths and stars where spirit resides. The glorious sensation of the creative spark, the buzz of solving a befuddling problem or the generation of a new idea…all may be the result of this spontaneous shift of the electrons.

Electrons Jumping From One Orbit to Another

Margaret Thatcher as Inspiration

Getting back to Margaret Thatcher, who I credit for my latest moment of creative bliss…Thatcher was adamant that State owned and operated enterprises be all but eliminated and replaced with privately owned and operated businesses. She believed that Socialism was just a stone’s throw away from the tyranny of Communism. This is the statement that sent an energy jolt through me…

Margaret Thatcher as Inspiration

Margaret Thatcher as Inspiration

“When the state does everything for you, it will soon take everything from you, leaving you with no personal or economic freedom. But remember, personal freedom is inseparable from responsibility”

After spending several hours ruminating and writing about freedom and responsibility, I experienced the rapture of the ‘aha’ moment! I worked away at the interplay between these 2 concepts, because I suspected that they were critical to the QUALITATIVE shift of my life. It is only since I have taken on the responsibility of securing my psychic freedom, that my life has become meaningful and satisfying. Now I feel I am living the life I was meant to live, rather than attempting to fulfill or rebel against the life designed by my parents or partners. I had to wrestle my essence out of the clutches of those to whom I had so willingly given it. As an example, in the past when I wanted my husband to accompany me to an event he wasn’t interested in, I would have begged, manipulated, emotionally blackmailed or threatened him, rather than face my fear in going alone. I became very dependent on him…financially, emotionally and as my health deteriorated, I was also physically dependent. My marriage began to resemble a Socialist Regime in which the citizenry(me) had lost all initiative and pride. I came to believe I was incapable of providing anything for myself. Rather than take responsibility for this state of affairs, I continued to blame others for my unhappiness. 2 near death experiences and a bout of blindness became the impetus for my personal revolution. I had to accept that no one, not even a husband who vowed ‘until death us do part’, owed me anything. Someone may choose to give me something, or accompany me somewhere, but no one is obligated to do this.

ASPIRATIONS FOR WEEK 41 OF 52

FOLLOWING MY BLISS – CREATIVE FIRE, FREEDOM AND RESPONSIBILITY

Although I believed the 1980’s author, Joseph Campbell, when he said that if you follow your bliss, the Universe will open doors where once only walls existed, I didn’t know he meant that I and I alone was responsible for creating the path to such a life. I thought my ‘bliss’ would just appear, and when it didn’t I blamed my husband and those around me, for putting up so many walls of confinement. Only when I began to realize that no one could give me the experience of freedom, that by definition, it must be earned, did the walls of oppression start tumbling down. As I took responsibility for my emotional, physical and psychic well being, doors opened, ideas came and a meaningful life was born.

To experience the bliss of the creative fire, we must take charge of our life, giving up the notion that our unhappiness can be erased by the actions of another.

I refuse to allow a disability to determine how I live my life.

I don’t mean to be reckless, but setting a goal that seems a bit daunting actually is very helpful towards recovery.

Christopher Reeve 

REFLECTIONS

I Didn't Want This!

I Didn’t Want This!

ANKYLOSING SPONDYLITIS – the terrifying diagnosis

In 1983,  my Rheumatologist insisted I get a Handicapped Parking Permit for my car. She said I had to face facts. “You have a very serious disease that is chronic, debilitating and progressively degenerative.” She might as well have punched me in the heart with her fist. In fact, as I force myself to write these words, I feel a band of pain tightening around my head, and my blood pressure rising. My recollection of the rest of her speech that day and at most visits over the next 25 years went something like the following…”Ankylosing Spondylitis… that’s your disease. It’s a form of arthritis that can make joints swell to hideous sizes, while depositing calcium that eventually fuses the bones into an immobile, non-functioning joint.”  She then listed associated illnesses that can accompany AS! She said I may get: iritis, dactylitis, enthesitis, psoriasis, ulcerative colitis and a few other ‘itises’ (itis means inflammation). Shocked, I quit listening and began to fantasize about the sedating sugary junk I would eat when I left her office. To jolt me back to the ugly picture she was painting, she would pull out a few photographs, and lay them before me on her desk. 

Supposedly, my decline was predictable. She showed me a photo similar to the one below and said in 30 years, I would walk with a cane. Although she cautioned, a wheelchair was sometimes necessary.

Ankylosing Spondylitis

Ankylosing Spondylitis

RECLAIMING MY PHYSICAL BODY

So here I am, 30 years later, daring to dream about climbing Wilcox Pass in late June, to celebrate the Summer Solstice. My joints are far from perfect, but I am not using a wheelchair or a cane and can finally walk up and down stairs like an adult, not a child learning to walk…right foot up on step, left foot up on same step…etc. The purpose  of The Other Woman Blog has been to reclaim my life; emotionally, spiritually and physically. 3/4 of the year completed and I feel ‘whole – hearted’ with a connection to God/Cosmic Consciousness/Unified Field. But I shudder with fear at the thought of reclaiming my physical life. So here is what I have done to help move me towards my dream!

1. On Thursday, March 21st, I allowed the desire to climb Wilcox Pass register in my heart, not dismissing it instantly as I would have done in the previous 30 years.

2. I then had 2 sleepless nights, as I registered the fear I felt in agreeing to participate in a hike well beyond my present physical ability.

3. At the Spring Equinox Workshop on Saturday, I created a doll symbolizing the rebirth of my physical self! She represents my deep desire to move with wild abandon, like a cougar in the woods. She is the life that resides within me already, waiting for the governing controls I have placed on her to be removed, SO SHE CAN DANCE!!

 WHY I’M NOT DISABLED

 I am not disabled because I never believed I would be. Admittedly, I came very, very close to being crippled, but at some deep level of ‘knowing’, I felt I would find my way out of illness. I just needed someone else who believed I could make a difference in my health by healing my heart and my spirit. Of course this true healer is my Herbalist, Annette Bossert. Doctors are not educated to give credence to the power of belief. They observe a symptom, for example, a swollen knee, diagnose a disease and then offer a series of drugs, hoping the symptoms will be suppressed. And after many years of drug ‘therapy’ they suggest replacing the now non – functioning knee with a metal joint. This is not healing. A knee cannot be thought of as a flat tire. Nor would a flat tire improve if the car as a whole learned to express its feelings, or found loving occupants. The human body is not analogous to a machine. Car parts do break down, and the car as a whole is improved by a discrete repair or replacement. But the body is part of a synergistic whole, where emotional and spiritual experiences affect it, positively and negatively. Symptoms are meant to get our attention, to alert us to an imbalance, whether it’s emotional, physical or spiritual. It’s only since the Industrial Revolution that parallels were drawn between humans and machines!

If you click on the white sentence that follows, you will see an incredible 5 minute clip of Viktor Frankl describing the impact of our beliefs on an individual’s behaviourViktor Frankl talks about the power of belief!

ASPIRATIONS FOR WEEK 38 OF 52

WILCOX PASS – DARE AN ARTHRITIC DREAM?

As I connect with my physical self, accepting my deep desire to move in sport, dance and play, I imagine I will begin to experience new levels of physical joy. I imagine I will ride my bike again, kayak in the ocean again, and hike in the hills and mountains again! As I remove the mental and emotional barriers to this dream, opening my heart to any hurdles, my body will respond accordingly!

Women need real moments of solitude and self-reflection to balance out how much of ourselves we give away.

-Barbara De Angelis

REFLECTIONS

For decades I have been living a prosperous life…

Yesterday, I spent 10 hours writing 800 more words, which you will never read because I just deleted all but the above sentence without reading a word of it. 10 hours of writing, and I never once got into that place of bliss, the writer’s groove. Horribly frustrated I gave up writing at 8pm and escaped to a movie. In the previous 35 posts, I have never had this happen. Usually I get my premise together on Sundays and then on Mondays I edit, add photos and colours, hoping to ‘publish’ by 3pm. But not this week…UH-UH no way…there may not be a post at all…certainly not what I wrote yesterday…Select all, then hit Delete and poof! 800 words vanish into a cyber graveyard, where all bad writing spends eternity.

Cyber Graveyard

Cyber Graveyard

Today, Monday March 11, began with me waking up knowing I had to face the crap I wrote yesterday. Stalling, I drank 2 cups of coffee and then finished watching last evenings’s  movie.  By 8:30, I decided to ‘face the music’. I opened my WordPress Blog and began to re-read yesterday’s schlock!

Prosperous VS Preposterous

And it happened again, same as yesterday… each time I read the opening line …’For decades I have been living a prosperous life’… I read instead…’For decades I have been living a preposterous life!’

Yesterday, I thought this constant error was due to momentary verbal dyslexia, but today, even with a freshly caffeinated brain, I made the same slip of the tongue. I read no further, but deleted everything else, without reading a word. I sat with that one sentence and decided to commune with God…my Higher Self… Cosmic Consciousness(I haven’t settled on a name).

“Okay God…what’s with the Freudian Slip? Huh? Why do I keep reading preposterous instead of prosperous?? What is my lesson this time?” And then it happened, a beauteous ‘aha’ moment…an ecstatic experience delivered upon me in a state of grace.

Ego Experiences Pain When Soul feels Bliss

Ego Experiences Pain When Soul feels Bliss

I was humbled and brought to my knees yet again, as I acknowledged and surrendered to a force greater than my will. My EGO consciousness wanted to write about my prosperous life, while my COSMIC consciousness wanted me to acknowledge how preposterous my prosperous life had been…I spent 10 hours battling between these 2 forces yesterday. I love the above image of the hand. Bliss is juxtaposed with barbed wire, illustrating my experience. I got to a state of grace through the crucible of psychic pain.

My ego driven ‘self’ had a plan. I just put my mind to it. I yanked each and every word by the ear and demanded it stand exactly where I placed it. I closed my ears to any complaints of over-use or misuse and refused to acknowledge feelings of being misunderstood. I was writing about the most important of subjects, my burgeoning spirituality… and I had a deadline, so there would be no breaks. There would be no walk on the lovely beach in the warm sunlight with my friends –  until my work was done.

Yesterday's Writing

Yesterday’s Writing

This writing experience is analogous to my entire approach to spirituality. Yesterday, as I was DOING my Blog on Spirituality, I got stuck in the pomposity of my words. I needed someone or something to break the stalemate I was experiencing in my writing. Enter the Cosmic Trickster. He kept introducing an energy that was the opposite of my self-righteousness, by having me mix up ‘prosperous life’ with ‘preposterous life’. When I finally stopped to ponder this, the standoff ended and I had an inspirational moment. 

Blissful Consciousness

Blissful Consciousness

I have been trying to have a Spiritual Experience for 30 years. I earnestly read many of the well known Spiritual texts, practised Transcendental Meditation and Chi Kung regularly and visited sacred sites. This approach to Spirituality is what a materialistic consumer believes Spirituality to be. But when materialism dominates, the Spirit is quashed. This is why we need the Cosmic Trickster to bring mishap, misadventure and mayhem in to our perfect little lives. We need the creation of tension, unease or disaster to force us out of our materialistic complacency. I will speak for myself, rather than the ‘royal we’. It seems I would rather experience the temporary pleasures of a prosperous life than the eternal bliss of a Spiritual Life. Illustrating the need for Cosmic Tricksters creating chaos!

Cosmic Trickster – mishap, misadventure and mayhem

Cosmic Trickster

Cosmic Trickster

30 years ago I was instructed in Transcendental Meditation. I spent a weekend listening to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi videos. I’m embarrassed now, to admit that I spent the next years imitating his voice and message. In my humble and amenable state today, I remembered this and searched for a YouTube video of the Maharishi. He is gracing beautiful Lake Louise with his presence. Listening to him, I burst into tears, realizing I finally understood his message…

 Aspirations for Week 36 of 52 

Doing Versus Being Spiritual – The Humble Journey

I am 2/3 of the way through the year of The Other Woman Blog. To be honest, which is what I vowed to be, I am a little disappointed. I thought, through the process of transformation via The Other Woman Blog, I would ‘turn into’ a sultry, sexy woman, who would finally ‘get’ her illusive man. But ‘The Other Woman” seems to be more of a Spiritual entity than I had bargained for. Maybe sultry and spiritual are not mutually exclusive, but the Cosmic Trickster is not going to condone any more of my materialistic proclivities, and have me find sultry before I found spiritual!

So for Week 36 of 52, I will thank that force, which is greater than my will, for giving me a chance to experience the bliss of Cosmic Consciousness.

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