Dancing With The Light

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“When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor.

It’s to enjoy each step along the way.” – Wayne Dyer

 

When I go out in the mornings, the last part of my walk has me heading due East.  The walking trail is sprinkled with trees lining one side, and hilly residential backyards and empty lots on the other.  At certain hours in the day, those same trees provide shade over half the trail and provides some shelter from the hot California sun.  The sun is taking longer to come up now, and I know my early morning walks are soon to be packed away for the Winter.  But I love to observe the changing of  shadows and light that comes slowly over time. Spring transitions into Summer…Summer into Fall.  And now, Fall is ready to yield into Winter.

One morning not long ago, as I came around a particular bend on my way home, I was absolutely blinded by the 8:00 a.m. sun.  At that particular time and angle, it was hitting me full force in the face.  I kept walking, eyes almost completely closed and gazing downwards through my lashes.  I could only see about one to two steps in front of me at most, but since I’ve walked the trail so often, I just kept walking – feeling my way more than seeing it.  The path is familiar, and I could see just enough to know that I was heading in the right direction and wouldn’t go two-wheeling off into the rough dirt.  I ‘knew’ the trail was there, so I felt confident and at peace – even though my vision was almost completely obstructed.

As I walked, I began thinking about the interesting dynamic of having so much Light in front of me vs. having it behind me – like when I walk in the evenings.  What a difference that makes!  With the light behind me, the walk is easier, cooler and I can see clearly – at least, for a time.  A small shadow is cast in front of me, and as I walk, that shadow goes along….lengthening in front of me as the sun lowers in the sky.  The shadows around me begin to grow as well, closing in on me.  What initially began as an easy walk becomes a more speculative walk into shadowy darkness, as the sun sets behind me and I lose the light completely.

When I walk full face into the sun, however, the shadows are all behind me.  On this particular morning, I was enchanted with the fact that if I held my eyes almost closed, I could still just see the where I was going to step next.  And it so perfectly symbolized this spiritual journey that I’m walking.

I have a definite idea about where I want to go, and how I want to end up.  I also know that there are multitudes of paths that get ‘there’, and sometimes I speculate on which path to take that will continue to take me in the direction of the Light.  At times, all I know to do is to put one foot in front of the other, and keep moving.  Keep moving and believing that the next step will be revealed to me.  And the next.  And the next.   And that I won’t end up falling into a ditch or tangled up in the bushes. 

This particular morning, When the Light is very bright, my sight was so minimized that I was left depending on my other senses more.  I could feel when the power and the strength of The Sun was hitting me square on, so I could make minor adjustments to keep moving directly towards it.  Even with eyes closed, I knew which way to go because there was light breaking through my lids.   I could ‘see’ without seeing that I was going the right way.  It guided me with a light from within, behind my eyes. 

There were no shadows there.  It wasn’t the ‘dark’ blinding me, it was the Light. It’s brightness was prohibiting me from seeing more than just step or so at a time.  It was a walk of faith, born from desire to keep moving and to stay out of the shadows.  I felt some familiarity with the path, and yet I surrendered my need to see exactly every step I’m going to take.  I knew to keep walking towards the East.  Towards the Light.  Because that is where Home is waiting for me.

And I always get there – to exactly where I want to be – taking just one step at a time, enjoying the scenery along the way.

Fear of Flying


Betrayal.

Some word, isn’t it?  It’s one of those words that brings up feelings of the very ‘worst’ in human experiences.  Adultery.  Lieing.  Cheating.  Faithlessness.  Duplicity.  Broken promises.

How those promises are broken, and by whom, is what I’d like to write about today.

A couple of posts ago, I mentioned going through the worst betrayal of my life.  A month ago, I spent 48 hours in the sort of emotional pain that literally took my breathe away.  I was left in shock, disoriented and crushed. It was one of those “out of the blue” moments, shown so powerfully in tarot Major Arcana card, The Tower.  The Tower represents Sudden Unexpected Changes in our lives, where we are metaphorically tossed out of the window of what we believe to be a very secure and stable structure:  Our Own Thoughts.  Our foundational beliefs.  Just looking at the Tower is enough to make one cringe back in horror, fingers splayed in the Sign of the Cross, muttering “No! No!”

Not a pretty picture, is it?  How many of us have spent years constructing permenant impenetrable belief systems about others, life and – most importantly – ourselves?  We become experts at arguing our case, justifying our stance, and holding tight to our own versions of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, ‘good’ and ‘bad’, ‘what is’ and ‘what is not’ True.  There is a sense of safety born of  having strong opinions and beliefs.  They can help us navigate our personal lives with some sort of continuity and structure.

With new eyes, I’ve come to look at that same structure as a prison of sorts.  I’ve come to understand that the tighter I hold on to “my” beliefs and “my” interpretation of things and “my” experiences, I can completely lock myself off from ever experiencing the So Much More that is out there.  When I let go of what I think and believe – and the judgements that come with that – and begin to look at life (and other peoples lives) – from an Observers/Students Point of View, something miraculous happens.

The details of my recent Tower experience aren’t nearly as important as the effect that it had on me.  I do remember the morning I woke up, on the second day, and Everything had changed for me.  Everything.  It was like a huge Gate had opened up in my consciousness and I could See – maybe for the very first time – how intricately interwoven all events in our lives are.  First, the events of my own life – and second, those intersections of my life with another.  In a very real way, I felt the Karmic Wheel of Life being worked out in my own reality and – because of that – I could see that every single person in my life, whether I have ‘judged’ them good, bad or inbetween – is some aspect of my own personality.  They are each important contributors to my spiritual evolution and awakening.  They all come to me, as I come to them, with gifts, lessons, and opportunities.

Because of this….because of being able to see how all is connected…. I knew there was only one thing for me to do.  I would honor the Law of Sowing and Reaping as a harvest came to full fruit in my own life by doing nothing else but forgive.  The choice was up to me but, having seen my own Face reflected back in the face of the other, forgiveness and release were my response. And I could honestly forgive with a grateful heart.  With this one act, the Circle had been completed, and an entirely New Life had opened up before me.

The Tower experiences of life can feel alot like something is being completely destroyed and we are left free falling falling falling downward to our death. Today I’d like to suggest that the Tower Experiences – and our response to them – are ultimately designed to shake us up in such a way that we have the opportunity to view life – and ourselves – from a Higher Perspective.  We have a choice when tossed out of the window of our safe, secure lives: We can fall to a painful death.

Or we can fly.

Namaste.

Busting Wide Open

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…photo by Grace

Look at it. Isn’t it just amazingly beautiful? This tree is so plump with life, it just busted wide open – offering its juice-filled contents to anyone (or no one) who might pass by. After spending a few moments this morning admiring Her gift, I realized something.

I want to bust wide, too.

There is a scripture I love so much, Galatians 5:22-23. The Message gives it life like no other translation:

“But what happens when we live God’s way? S/he brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.”

Just reading these words this morning makes my eyes fill with emotion.  Let’s see if I can explain why.  It may take a few posts to do that.

When I disappeared from Blogland, I was on a Mission.   Frankly, I didn’t know who I was any more.  I didn’t know what I believed in. And I didn’t know where I was going. That was a very scary place for me! My emotional life was on a downward spiral, the likes of which I hadn’t experienced for a long long time. My head was full of facts and speculations, static and stress.  My heart was a pile of broken glass – grieving for something that never even existed in the first place. And – the scariest part – I was without an anchor spiritually. With all of my spiritual “seeking” and adventuring, I had somehow disconnected from the Source of all Life in such a way that I no longer felt I really knew It’s presence.  I was truly lost – and I found myself flailing about and raging, swinging at demons and screaming silently about injustices, all the time begging – truly begging – for Someone or Something to show me my way Home. For Love.

Two distinct things happened to assist me on my way back Home. One, I unplugged from the Internet (both literally and figuratively) and tossed out all of my spiritual paraphanalia.  And then, I hit my knees, and surrendered.  Everything.  To be perfectly honest, I was in such a state of confusion, I wasn’t exactly sure WHAT I was surrendering to.  But I did it anyway, as an act of faith born out of desperation.

Now I see that I surrendered to Love.

I spent the next couple of weeks Seeking the Presence that is both within me, and around me.  I cried great gulping sobs – pouring out my Heart to “Anyone” who might be listening.  All of the pain and hurt.  All of the feelings of powerlessness and broken dreams.  All of the fear and aloneness. And then, when I was too exhausted to cry anymore, I slept.  Rather than blogging, I wrote in my journal – learning to reconnect with my own Voice that sounds like God.  And I read foraciously.  When I picked up “The Gift of Change”, by Marianne Williamson, I was like a starving person handed a 3 course meal.

It was then that I came to realize that there is nothing I’ve ever pointed the finger about, that I hadn’t done myself to some degree or another, at some time or another, to one person or another.  There is no “me” and “them”.  There is only “Us”.  My problems – and my answers – weren’t ‘out there’ at all. They were all inside of me.  All of them – demons and Divine alike – that whole time.

Sometimes when the Light hits one of my personal Shadows, its painful at first.  A real  gutwrenching sort of painful.  I felt temporarily blinded by the shear power of the Illumination It had brought, after walking in the Dark for so long.  So I cried some more, this time with repentance, release and renewal.  And where I could, I made amends – then hit my knees again.  And surrendered again.

When I came up, I was a changed person.  I had fallen in love again with God, and began to love my self.  Peace ran like a river within me, and the joy of living in the Present Moment began to permeate my life.  My outer world began to change in the most wonderful ways.  And I felt hopeful and full of life.  Which was a good thing.

Because just short while later, I would experience the worst act of betrayal in my entire life.