Archives for category: GOD/Cosmic Consciousness

I would rather live in a world where my life is surrounded by mystery than live in a world so small that my mind could comprehend it.

 Harry Emerson Fosdick 

REFLECTIONS

As I approach the 52nd week of The Other Woman Blog, I have 2 very strong and opposing emotions…joy and fear. I feel joy from recent manifestations of unbridled love but I also feel fear when facing the indeterminate future. The tension created between opposites has been the fundamental energy behind the transformative power of my year. Pictured below, is the image that initiated my Blog…Christ’s arms held apart, in surrender to a greater power, a greater wisdom, as He transitioned from life as he knew it, to life beyond the known. This gesture, metaphorically, became my mantra throughout the year.

Transformation Occurs in the Space Between

Transformation Occurs in the Space Between

Transformation Occurs in the Space Between the Old Life and the New Life

 I was existing in a life that no longer served me but I was far too terrified to step off the edge into an unseen, unknown, unfathomable new life. Herein lay my greatest lesson. The longer I stayed in the old, afraid to leap into the void, the deeper my feelings of depression and despair. When a dam holds back natural flow, stagnation occurs in what is contained…be that a body of water or the body of life. Self-induced repression is death to the spirit, to the soul, to the psyche and eventually to the body.

Stagnation is Death to any Body of Water or Life

Stagnation is Death to any Body of Water or Life

Stagnation Creates Dis-ease

The longer I held myself on the edge of change, too afraid to spring into the new, the greater the build up of repressed energy, the greater the symptoms of dis-ease…To trigger the Old Life/Death/New Life cycle of human transformation, a plunge into the void has to be made. So many times I stood on the edge of the familiar, ready to jump to the unknown, but I couldn’t leap. Instead, I stayed stuck in the rut of the familiar, complaining and blaming. 

We Need Courage and Desire to Face the Unknown

Vienna in July? -Transformation from Mother Mary to Mary Magdalene

I lived in Vienna for 7 years, necessitating innumerable trips between Canada and Europe. I am planning to spend July in Vienna, to celebrate the completion of The Other Woman Blog. Considering I have travelled to Europe many, many times, going this summer, should be very easy to do!

Oh but were this true!

Instead I face the fear of leaping into the unknown…travel as a free and empowered woman!

All of my previous travels to Europe were done in service to others, as wife and mother. When in the nurturing role of Mother Mary, I was purposeful and proficient…no challenge was beyond me. In 1991, with the help of my 11 year old daughter, I moved us into our new home in Vienna. I was 8 1/2 months pregnant. My husband was working in Pakistan. During our 7 years, I planned family holidays throughout Europe with ease. In 1996, 1 month after my Mother died in Canada, I flew back to Vienna and organized our move to Albania. My husband was working in Tirana. I am a very competent woman…but only in service to others! Now, in trying become empowered in service to a new life purpose, I am immobilized! I am standing at the edge of the void, afraid to jump into the unknown. I am afraid because I do not and by definition, cannot know the future. What will happen to me in Vienna or worse still, will nothing happen to me in Vienna! I’m equally unnerved by both possibilities.

What will be the impetus for my leap into the void? What force is stronger than fear? I think this force is DESIRE! I must desire the new more than I fear the old, or the courage to leap will elude me. The paradox is that in wanting a new life, its characteristics must be unknown or it could not be called new! Yet it is always the unknown that frightens!

CAN I BRING COLOUR TO  MY VIENNA EXPERIENCE?

MARY MAGDALENE AS ROLE MODEL

I desire the multifaceted characteristics of Mary Magdalene, as she is described in the Gospels. She was a woman that stood by Christ through his life, his suffering, his death and beyond. To me, Christ symbolizes the life-death-new life cycle of a soulful, meaningful existence. Life, congruent with our soul is life where dreams come true, where purpose is felt, where endeavours have meaning. The earliest writings of Mary Magdalene, depict her as a woman of substance, a disciple of Jesus. Her changed status to that of prostitute, came about as the church was gripped by patriarchy. Despite her centuries-old disreputable depiction in religion, art, literature, and in recent prominent fictional books and movies, such as The Da Vinci Code, it is largely agreed today that not a shred of solid biblical or extrabiblical evidence suggests she played the role of harlot.

Thus, symbolically, Mary Magdalene represents the aspect of the strong and spiritual self that stands by in witness to the transition from the death of the old, to the resurrection of the new. The space or void one enters, symbolized by Christ’s cave, may be occupied for some time. Alone and in the dark, one must rely on inner resources for survival.

But in withstanding the pain of a psychic death, the new life, once present, blossoms with spirit, love and creativity.

I have come to believe in the power of the space between thoughts, between breaths, between stars, between old life and new!

Creativity, Love and Spirit in the Space Between the Stars!

Creativity, Love and Spirit in the Space Between the Stars!

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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.

“To feel envy is human, to savour schadenfreude is devilish”

― Arthur Schopenhauer

REFLECTIONS

Shopping Mall as Cougar, Me as Prey!

AMBUSHED!

I heard a story the other day about a cougar taking down a moose. No easy feat, as a moose is huge and feisty. But the cougar is wily. He begins by assessing his prey as he stalks the herd, and when confident of success, he pounces, unexpectedly, when his chosen prey is vulnerable. I’ve come to accept that predators track, kill and devour their prey in the wilds of nature, but this shouldn’t happen to humans in a Shopping Mall. But it did to me! Within 7 seconds of entering a fancy Calgary Mall, my self-esteem was captured, killed and devoured. Contentedly on a mission to replace my daughter’s designer doorknob, I walked through the Mall doors into a mythical world of airbrushed perfection. Glistening floors, subtle notes from a string quartet, pastel shades of coral, turquoise and azure, and an unidentifiable, but alluring scent…Oh yes baby… the sweet smell of success! Errand forgotten, I found myself salivating over purses I did not need, and shoes that would not fit, and dresses designed exclusively for mannequins.  

Shopping Mall as Black Hole – Beautiful But Deadly

A Black Hole is a place in space whose gravitational pull is so great that even light, once seized by its magnetism, cannot escape. Shopping Malls have a similar effect on the light in my soul. Chinook Mall’s ‘high-end’ area, pulled the light from my day and in seconds I had descended into the dark hell of inadequacy. Catching a glimpse of myself in one of the many reflective surfaces, I suddenly felt dowdy, dated, dingy and drab. How did this happen? I was content when I drove up to the mall, happily doing something for someone else, in the hopes of brightening their day! Within seconds I felt derelict and dilapidated and became bewitched by the belief that new clothes, shoes, make-up, perfume, etc., would bring the light back into my life.

Feelings of Inadequacy Create Envy and Schadenfreude(the experience of malicious joy at someone’s misfortune)

As I glanced around at my fellow shoppers, I felt 2 of my least favourite emotions…envy followed by schadenfreude. Both emotions are triggered by an internalized voice of judgement…” You are not good enough. Look around the store and see for yourself.” And there she was…the woman who had life easy because she was graced with beauty…and I felt such envy. And as this emotion of envy activated the physical pain nodes in my brain’s cortex, my balancing system sought a positive experience. Unfortunately, when in the darkness of low self-esteem, this positive experience came at the expense of another…this is schadenfreude. My gaze was drawn towards a person whom I judged unattractive and I felt superior. This gave me a self-affirming, but inauthentic, ego boost. 

Applied Predictive Analysis- How Retailers Maximize Profit

Our behaviour is studied and tested while we shop. When we enter a store, cameras may be following our movements(body and eyeball). Our choices are then analyzed to determine the impact of product placement, product promotion, store temperature, number of sales staff etc. Studies have shown that:

1. Impulse shopping occurs due to influences outside of one’s conscious awareness(store ambience, advertising imagery), rather than a conscious calculation of need versus resources.

2. Low self-esteem is known to be a predictor of impulse shopping.

3. Impulse shoppers increase profits dramatically.

Through extensive and expensive analysis, retailers work to create an atmosphere of competition, winners and losers, the haves and the have-nots. Because of the vast array of materialism on display, occasionally everyone feels like a ‘have-not.’ If the Mall has done its job properly, inevitably there will be a product you are convinced you must own…

I NEED IT! I WANT IT!

I NEED IT! I WANT IT!

Rising Above the Heartlessness of Human Weakness

My Breath is Your Breath

I left the Mall at this point, disgruntled with myself. How had I succumbed to the manipulations of Mall Marketers so easily? As I sat in my car I was reminded of a meditation by Deepak Chopra, where I first came to believe that the physical realm, which we experience through our senses, gives us the illusion of separateness. I am here and you are there…separate from me. But the latest discoveries in Quantum Physics disprove this perception. We do not have the physical ability to see how humans are one entity, no more than we have the ability to see electricity move along a wire, or sound travel, or how ‘The Google” works. Realizing, though, that the air in my lungs today, may be the air in your lungs tomorrow, is a lovely illustration of connectedness. 

Aspirations for Week 40 of 52 

Shopping Marketer as Predator – Consumer as Prey

In my efforts to become more conscious, as The Other Woman Blogger, I realize I still have negative thoughts and emotions. But now I see that through the process of honest disclosure I can find a path to peace, interspersed with moments of Spiritual Bliss! By taking Step 1, admitting the truth, I improve my life and the lives of those I encounter.

In an ideal world, the notion of competition would be absent. We would buy what we needed for survival, attempting to ensure all 7 billion, interconnected humans, had just enough.

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!

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