Archives for posts with tag: Deepak Chopra

The Black Madonna is a Mother who is aware of the hardships that happen to us, in and out of the dark of unknowing, unconsciousness, ignorance and innocence.

-Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes

REFLECTIONS

My daughter sent me a warning the other day. Her email’s subject said, “Mercury In Retrograde – Take Precautions.”

Trying to be a ‘cool’ mom, I glibly responded with, “I’m up there with Mercury, holding her hand, demonstrating retrograde behaviour at its finest.” I had always thought retrograde just meant regressive, but after a quick check with Merrian Webster I discovered to my ‘New Age’ delight that retrograde could also mean, moving contrary to a previous direction. Smugly, I thought to myself, “I’m not going backwards after all, I’m going in a new direction!” I immediately felt better about myself. In a typically self-satisfied, ‘I’ve got my karmic act together’, kind of ego – inflatedness, I decided I didn’t need to read the advice on successful navigation when Mercury is in retrograde, and began to answer emails. The wiser Universe immediately proved to me yet again, that my smugness will have me on my knees begging for a second chance to be a more humble person.

GETTING MY KARMIC COMEUPPANCE OR OWNING MY PROJECTIONS

Last fall, having joyfully participated in Deepak Chopra’s free 21 Day Meditation Challenge, I was sent his latest offer. Although similar in format, this time Deepak is teaming up with Oprah. Seeing the image of Oprah ‘hugging’ Deepak, I sent the photo below, along with a message to my daughter…(or so I thought it was sent to my daughter)…saying “Is Oprah Strangling Deepak?”  

She Who Laughs last, laughs Alone

But pesky Mercury had me click REPLY not FORWARD, so my message went right back to DEEPAK at the Chopra Institute. I only know this because of the reply I received from the Chopra Institute:

Your request (#48094) has been received and will be reviewed and replied to by our Help Desk staff within 24 business hours of receipt.

Needless to say, I never got a response from the Help Desk, as they probably realized I was beyond any help they could give me! I am writing about this for 2 reasons.

1) Don’t ignore warnings, especially those sent by your more intuitive children, who know your faults and foibles better than anyone.

 2) To share my experience of projection, a Jungian concept that defies comprehensible explanation, and continues to baffle me. But here goes.

In reality, I know nothing of the relationship between Oprah and Deepak. Therefore, my comment about Oprah having Deepak in a half nelson says everything about me…not Oprah. In a projection, I take an unacknowledged, unpleasant quality of my own and instead of owning up to it, I ‘see’ it in another person. In this particular projection, I don’t want to acknowledge my tyrannical tendencies with men, when I don’t get the love I want. I would rather believe and have others believe that I am always a loving woman, just unlucky in love. There is no grace or growth in the endless gossip and tittle-tattle of daily life. I apologize to you Oprah, for projecting my character flaw onto you.

SPENDING MONEY – THE COMPOSTER VERSUS  FACIAL SKIN REJUVENATION

The other day, I was simultaneously searching the net for the most efficacious compost system and the best facial skin rejuvenation technology.

I found experts on both, with whom I discussed my purchase options…and then I had to laugh! With one, the Jura garden composter, I am acknowledging the end of the life cycle…with the other I am fruitlessly clinging to a youth long gone. The juxtaposition of two such wildly opposing attitudes hoisted me onto the cross of indecision. On one side, if I purchase a composter for my new garden, I can contribute to the cycle of organic food feeding my body, creating a ‘natural beauty’. On the other side, if I have my face zapped with radio and light beams, I could create a new and improved me…or could I have both? Unable to decide, I went for a walk on the beach.

BROKEN YET STILL BEAUTIFUL

Yesterday’s tide was extremely low which meant I could look for treasures in places usually under water…and there it is…the metaphor for uncovering the gems of the unconscious. Given the right conditions, new life manifests. This process needs the synchronistic collision of The Universe and an individual’s intention. The Universe provided the low tide, and I got my ‘imprisoned’ self out for a walk. Typically, I find 1 or 2 pieces of this coveted glass, but yesterday I found at least 50…turquoise, cobalt blue, green and yellow. Uncovering the gems hidden within our unconscious can be equally rewarding. Hidden in the dark swirl of fear, I can stand frozen…the pain of remaining in the place of suffering lays opposite to moving into an unknown world. Immobility over mundane real world dilemmas such as illustrated above(composter vs facial rejuvenation) happens similarly within our inner, psychic world. In both, we can hang frozen, hoisted on the cross of indecision, until we die, or surrender to the creation of a new and better life. The beautiful, broken beach glass that I had found in the past, was thus transformed by my dear friend, Colleen Belyea(This Little Bauble). Below are 2 examples of her creations.

Aspirations for Week 35 of 52

Revisiting Black Madonna of Czestochwa

In 1993, my 86 year old Aunty Mary visited me in Vienna. My middle name is Mary –  a tribute to het being surrogate mother to my mother. My maternal grandmother died in childbirth, leaving 7 children motherless. Aunty Mary and I planned a trip to Poland, our country of origin, so that we could visit Black Madonna of Czestochowa. Incomprehensibly, I was fascinated by her. Up until a couple of days ago, I have not thought much about Black Madonnas…also incomprehensible. But in reading Untie the Strong Woman by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, the journey into Poland came flooding back. Historians believe the Black Madonna of Czestochowa, may have been the table top used by the Holy Family. She may have been painted by Luke, the Apostle. Incredulously, this Black Madonna has several battle scars on her face, that have defied countless attempts at restoration! She is considered to be a warrior Madonna and a healer of the crippled, the harmed. Maybe it is she, who has been watching over me, helping me heal my crippled, arthritic body and broken heart.

So in honour of my Aunty Mary and Black Madonna of Czestochowa, I will leave my face to bear the scars of my hard won battles. Just as the beach glass is broken, but still beautiful, so too am I.

410px-Czestochowska[20]

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The First Component to the Law of Dharma is to Discover your True Self

Deepak Chopra

REFLECTIONS

Here it is Tuesday, and I am writing my Monday post…and I am happy about this. I wanted to just be in the presence of my daughters and my nephew over the last few days, writing when I could…accepting that I may miss my ‘self-imposed’ deadline… Fast Forward 2 minutes…serenity morphing into incredulity slipping towards outright rage as I look for what I had written last evening and realize it is GONE!  I did not save it correctly and so today, I will have to start from SCRATCH! NOW I AM BEING TESTED! Can I accept that I do not control my world, I merely live in it…and that maybe yesterday’s writing was just not meant to be posted?? I was so tired while writing last night that I almost felt stoned…I was waxing on about Siddhartha, and his belief that every person must create his own journey to ‘spiritual enlightenment’… each of us being such a unique individual that the path must be suitably personalized. Siddhartha accepted that his friend Govinda wanted to follow Buddha’s supremely wise philosophy, but that he, Siddhartha, wanted the freedom to choose his own path. I had been thinking about how unconventional…maybe even unorthodox my ‘path’ has been. Below is some of what I can recall…

Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse

Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse

MAKING A LIVING

In the past, when determining my level of success in this world, I relied on very masculine, achievement oriented, criteria. I would tally up my assets and accomplishments(including those of my children and husband-extensions of me )then add the people I knew, the places I had been, the knowledge I had  gleaned etc. In my mind I was ‘doing’ very well…making a very good living. I had achieved a high level of success in this material realm. My definition of success was supported by those around me, so it became nigh on impossible to knock me off its pursuit.

There was one area in my life I could not control or dominate… one area that brought me to my knees…and thankfully, eventually, to my senses. Only a power greater than my ego could successfully ‘de-smug’ me. I could not make my body cooperate with my life plan. I expected it to live up to my goals of perfection …I exercised maniacally, in leg warmers with matching leotards and scrunchies…I kept track of my BMI, while following various fad diets(the Adkins, the grapefruit etc.) all in the hopes of looking like Jane Fonda. At 29 I got my first nudge from the Universe, trying to knock me into balance by knocking me off balance….sudden vision and mobility issues…diagnosis… Ankylosing Spondylitis…which I ignored…I had a plan and a debilitating disease was not part of it.

MAKING A LIFE

1. EXPERIENCING EMOTION

I was never in awe of those artists who rendered realistic representations of life. This included technical musicians, writers of non-fiction, or photo-realism artists. Not that I didn’t appreciate the skill associated with a creation that deliberately portrayed reality as objectively as was possible…it’s more that I understood this type of depiction…linear, logical, accurate renditions of our material world…devoid of personal interpretation and emotion. This was all I ever experienced of our world…nothing spiritual, metaphysical or transcendental.

Conversely, I have always admired and envied those artists, writers and musicians who were expressionists…who created pieces in response to their inner emotions. Their work was unfathomable and perplexing, but in the artists’ efforts to express their emotion, a visceral response was elicited within me. In my desperation to experience my life emotionally, not just intellectually, I began to seek out Modern Art. Over the years I transitioned from The National Gallery in London to the Tate Modern.

2. FINDING MY VOICE

My only childhood experience with singing, was as a competitor in Festivals. My Mother spent so many hours perfecting my delivery that by performance day, it was no doubt difficult to discern whose voice you heard, my Mother’s or mine. I was an utterly traumatized singing mimic. Unfortunately mimicking appropriate behaviours became my modus operandi for all aspects of life. In the journey to finding my own voice, it was necessary to release the pain of this restrictive singing. My Herbalist, Annette Bossert, suggested I sing with Pamela Alexander, a trained practitioner who uses the techniques of The Naked Voice.(originated by Chloe Goodchild)

My very first encounter with Pamela occurred several years ago, when I visited her group in Calgary. Pamela led the singing as she played the Harmonium, while the attendees joined her in a ‘free voice’ style. Halfway through the first song, I began to tear up. I made every effort to CONTROL myself, but I couldn’t stop my tears. I had not cried in front of anyone, never mind 20 strangers, since I was 10. Mortified, I surreptitiously reached into my purse to grab a handful of kleenex. By the 3rd or 4th song, what I was doing could no longer be characterized as crying…I was weeping uncontrollably and unconsolably…like a child with a broken heart… Pamela stopped the singing and kindly asked if there was anything she  or the group could do to help me…resulting in me bawling even louder. I had never before experienced a human being with such an innate sense of compassion! Although I never stopped crying that evening, this group of caring people listened to me as I hiccupped and sobbed my way through an explanation for my tears. This beautiful singing, rich with harmonizing, chanting and drumming was the antithesis to my world of competitive voice production. Pamela’s belief was that in our singing with her, there were NO WRONG NOTES.

 I continued to sing with Pamela until the image I painted, symbolizing my voice, changed from a black box imprisoned behind bars, to a colourful and free bird. Singing freely, without judgement or correction, was a crucial step towards gaining the confidence to give voice to any idea I may have…point in fact…The Other Woman Blog!

ASPIRATIONS FOR WEEK 22 OF 52

CHANGING FROM MAKING A LIVING TO MAKING A LIFE

Within me, as within each of us, a true self exists. Like the journey of Siddhartha, I have been on the road to materialism for some time. Only in unearthing my true and ‘higher’ self has my determination of what constitutes success changed. I believe each person’s path is unique and deserves to be sanctioned by all. No expression of the self is too wild or too bizarre!

So for week 22 of 52 I will continue to embrace my journey, in all its manifestations(including the inadvertent erasing of an entire post)…thus making a life, not just a living.

“A thousand candles can be lit by a single candle and yet not diminish the first candle’s light.

Happiness is never diminished by being shared.”

-Buddha

REFLECTIONS

Unbuttoning the Virgo this past week, has been exhilarating! On several occasions I abandoned my need for purposeful encounters and just had fun…I spent time with others accomplishing nothing, just being! I went out to dance with no expectation other than the sensation of dancing. Yes, it’s true…I left the couch this past Saturday night! I drove myself, in the dark, to a bar with a band, and danced with wild abandon…with women…no men were asking and I didn’t care! I just wanted to dance! I also went on a date with a good looking man and had a mindless time. This is Virgo Unbuttoned!

 I am bubbling with enthusiasm, like a child who comes rushing in from playing, panting, tripping over words, describing the wonderment of an innocuous event. I feel as excited as I did when I was 6 and discovered an ant carrying a cake crumb I had dropped, that was bigger than its own body.

Amazing Ant!

My first conscious experience of exuberance happened while doing a 10 day hike to Takakkaw Falls in the Canadian Rockies. It was unusual for me to do such an arduous hike, let alone carry most of my own things.(note in photo that the guys packs are ‘slightly’ bulkier than mine) But it was not unusual for me to be with 2 men, neither of whom I was involved with, but each wishing they could be that special guy! My Mother always reminded me that my favourite pastime as a child was playing house…problem being that I never stopped…I have felt like a doll being placed in various positions and situations…with no apparent will of my own.

But I had one moment on this hike that was different. Early one morning, in an unexpected act of independence, I walked to the edge of a waterfall, and showered under it. The exuberance I experienced from the extremely cold water and the opulence of my view, created a spiritual awakening. I was jolted into the present moment, no longer observing my life from a safe distance. Although unable to describe why this moment was so monumental, I knew I had experienced something new. 

Spiritual Awakening at Takakkaw Falls

Me, with David and Bob

2 decades later, when I began Jungian analysis, this experience was my reference point for what I wanted to achieve. I had clung to this intense and thrilling moment knowing that if it could happen once, it could happen twice. I begged my analyst to help me. I was exhausted from years of playing house, living with muted emotion…being remote, removed and repressed. I told her that my only palpable emotion came from a daily re-creation of the waterfall, where I would be jolted alive,  into exuberance, under a 3 minute blast of cold water in the shower. Self induced shock therapy! The title of my Week 4 of 52, post(July 30 2012) was Changing My Fun Factor. Interesting to note that the ‘intention’ to have fun took 4 months to become integrated.

Exuberance, that’s what I’m looking for in a cold shower!

During the past 2 weeks I have been doing Deepak Chopra’s 21 Day Meditation Challenge, Creating Abundance. I was particularly drawn to the message of day 9, Abundance and the Law of Giving, because it resembled my efforts to be altruistic in Week 3 of 52, Changing My Expectations of Love. Back in the summer, I realized that I was attached to the outcome of my generosity. I expected what I received to balance what I gave…specific to each person and situation. If I brought wine for dinner, I expected reciprocity. Constant monitoring took time, created resentment and in fact MISSED THE POINT of the Law of Giving. The natural world is sustained in a flow of abundance, a perpetual process of giving and receiving. An apple tree absorbs sunlight, nutrients and water and in response produces delicious fruit. The point that I missed was that neither the sun, nor the soil, nor the cloud that willingly gave up what they held in abundance, ate the apple they helped produce. They did not look at the tree and say, “Hey, I gave to you, what are you giving me?” There are no hoarders in the natural world. The sun, cloud and soil were not diminished by giving to the tree, and were restored by other natural processes in our abundant world.

Bountiful Universe, a continual flow of giving and receiving!

So I have been experimenting this past week. I want to be loved for the woman that I am, so I will offer love to each and every person I encounter for the person that they are…right then. I intentionally did not hoard my love. So back to my date with Mr Handsome. It was readily apparent to me that he and I had very differing views on everything from personal transformation to compassion to the sharing of one’s wealth. In the past I would have felt spiritually superior, which would have expressed itself in obsequious flattery, or subtle derision and denigration. To my surprise and delight I had 5 hours of simple fun. I shared my perspective without judgment of his, which allowed me to be a loving presence. I did not worry if I received love back, believing that in adding love to the Unified Field, I was creating an undulating flow in my environment, that would sooner or later grace me with love.

ASPIRATIONS FOR WEEK 20 of 52

CHANGING FROM SCARCITY TO ABUNDANCE

I have had the best week ever! Is this because I have tapped into the Unified Field of Abundance? From this vantage point, I believe that giving joy, does not deplete me of my joy, giving a gift does not deplete me of my material resources, giving love does not deplete me of love…in being free to give while remaining open to receive,  I join the undulating flow that is our Universe.

So for Week 20 of 52, I will continue to to offer that which I want to receive.

Offering the love I want to receive

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