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!

Advertisements

In real love you want the other person’s good. In romantic love, you want the other person. 

Margaret Anderson

REFLECTIONS

ROMANTIC LOVE-YOU COMPLETE ME

For decades I have searched for the ‘you complete me‘ kind of love. Jonathan Livingston Seagull said and I believed Your soulmate is the one who makes life come to life‘! I even embraced the edicts from Love Story… ‘Love means never having to say you’re sorry.’ I wanted to gaze into the eyes of my one true love, sinking into the depths of his soul. We would be the swans and geese of love, swimming, flying, creating and mating as one, for a lifetime!

 I wanted to be the rainbow in his sky, his muse for artistic creations, the light of the moon in his darkest nights! I longed for a love in which we would lose ourselves in each other, and when apart our greatest desire would be to lose ourselves in each other yet again! Our love would be so all-embracing that we would dress in similar styles. Celebrity couples, then and now, idealize dressing as one.

IS THIS TRUE LOVE OR LOSS OF IDENTITY

DEBUNKING ROMANTIC LOVE

 My notion of love was a symbiotic union in which each person would flourish from their interdependency. I disregarded the opposing theory that symbiotic relationships tend more often to parasitism than mutualism. I believed we would be as one…an Eveready Battery,  perpetually re-energized because he was the negative to my positive…and yes, more often than not he was the negative to my positive! In the 20 years of living with my husband, I went from being a relatively healthy, self-suffient woman, to a bed-ridden, dependent arthritic. During this same period he flourished in his career, becoming well regarded and successful. Even though I have been apart from him for some years, it has taken dogged determination to learn to be different…to excavate, unearth and reveal the other woman within myself so as NOT to repeat this pattern. 

BLESSED ARE THE SIGNS FROM THE UNIVERSE

Since 2005, when I began to wake up, and take responsibility for my life, I’ve had to undergo metamorphosis after metamorphosis. The interesting and satisfying life I have now came because I had faith a better life existed for me and that I could and would find it. I am constantly blessed with helpful guideposts from the Universe. Over the last 6 months I have been  presented with a series of bird scenarios! First I saw a beautiful pair of swans swimming and canoodling in the bay near my cottage. Immediately, I sank into a reverie of my marriage, believing that I, just like the 2 birds before me, had had…almost…the perfect love. Self-delusion knows no bounds.

BIRD ENCOUNTER #1

Love-Two Moving as One!

Love-Two Moving as One!

I needed a severely disturbing image to shatter my long held fantasy… The Universe knew I would never find real love unless I let go of my desire for romantic love…and Voila! This is what I saw next! A Canada Goose, standing on the shore, immobilized due to the arrow through her foot.

BIRD ENCOUNTER #2

Me As Wounded Goose - Alone

Me As Wounded Goose – Alone

Synchronicity at its finest…(when an external event spontaneously unfolds before one’s eyes and  resonates wildly, unexpectedly and thankfully, with some heretofore unconscious, internal archetypal process, this is synchronicity). The heart wrenching horror of this goose’s debacle spoke directly to my soul. Instantly, I was identifying with this goose. She was alone, in her moment of desperation, abandoned by her partner. And then I remembered the legend of Cupid! He carries 2 types of arrows; some with sharp golden points, others with blunt points of lead. According to the legend, if wounded by Cupid’s golden arrow, you feel uncontrollable desire, but if wounded by the blunt lead arrow, you feel only an aversion for the partner and you have an insatiable desire to flee. Suddenly, I comprehended my marriage. I had been wounded by a golden arrow, but it seemed that my husband had been wounded by the lead. This myth made as much sense as any therapist’s analysis…I felt uncontrollable, unfathomable desire…while he had flown the coop, metaphorically speaking. This bird awakened in me a need to examine my notions of love in marriage, but left me feeling sorry for myself…more victim than heroine. So naturally I had more encounters with the Canada Goose…my Spirit Guide.

BIRD ENCOUNTER #3

 Hey Lady!

Hey Lady!

Last week I photographed a Canadian Goose staring at me from the rooftop of a nearby Condo. As I was feeling lost and forlorn, I projected these feelings onto the bird. I thought this goose had become separated from her life-long mate and was hoping to learn a few coping strategies from me. I showed this bird that the best way to deal with her situation was to follow my lead…just wallow in self pity accompanied by the goose equivalent of a stash of Oh Henry bars and wine! I spent the next several days wondering when I would be rescued from my misery by my Prince. But once again, The Universe intervened. What happened next was miraculous! Forget the Prince sister…

 BIRD ENCOUNTER #4

Hey Lady, Don't Project Your S**T Onto Me!

Hey Lady, Don’t Project Your S**T Onto Me!

Oh My God! My poor, lost and forlorn goose was standing in the doorway, blocking the entrance to my condo, forcing me to interact with it. “You sad, sad thing. You are so alone,”  I said aloud. Upon hearing my consoling, pitiful clucks, she turned and glared at me…

BIRD ENCOUNTER #5

I COMPLETE ME, WOMAN!

I COMPLETE ME, WOMAN!

 “You’re the silly goose, Lady!  Just cause I’m out wandering doesn’t mean I’m lost! I wanted to be alone today! I left him back at the reservoir so I could have a day to fulfill my own desires! Oh Ya, one other thing you got wrong about me. The other evening when I was staring at you from the rooftop, I wasn’t looking for any of your advice…I was trying to give you some.”

REAL LOVE – I COMPLETE ME

And then the light dawned. Love means being able to stand alone, contented in solitude. Real love, not romantic, cloying love will find me just like the Goose did! But first I must be  confident in my capacity to find purpose, spiritual and material wealth and contentedness utilizing my own resources. I  MUST COMPLETE ME!

I tried to hug my Spiritual Guide, but she sauntered away… her job was done…an empowered woman may have been reward enough!

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!

 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.

%d bloggers like this: