Groundhog Day – Living the Loop

So, it might seem like a strange title for this blog given that Groundhog Day was two weeks ago.   It’s also a funny thing, because almost everyone has seen the movie Groundhog Day with Bill Murray and the mere mention of it, makes people smile or laugh with the recall. It made me laugh, but then I’m easily amused.

Today, I finally got around to skimming the Time magazine that arrived several days ago.  Yep, that’s me, just a skim and always after the fact.   Now, right there, on Page 7 of Time Magazine was a short article on Groundhog Day and the 5 different groundhogs that are reported on.   Seems we’ve increased the numbers; maybe to increase the odds?  Who knew there were five?  Not me! The amount of the time, energy and priority we place on our little furry prognosticators made me laugh.

I found the whole thing very funny.  Time magazine, an iconic weekly news reporting source, dedicated space on page 7 to report on these funny furry little rodents. Was there really nothing more important happening that I needed to be informed of?  I recalled the amount of time I spent on this important day in my younger days. After finally hearing the reports of our furry friend’s activities I was free to move forward.  In my generous ways I felt it important to mention it to others.  It makes me laugh.  How such a simple, and possibly nonsensical bit of information made me feel better or worse depending on the winter conditions that year.  The more I thought about how iconic this process is every February, the funnier it was.  Within moments I was reliving the storyline of Groundhog Day, the movie.  Suddenly, there I was again living “life in the moment.”

Think about how funny it is.  Despite decades of advancements in technological atmospheric monitoring, the weather report is their ‘best guess’.   With numerous reports available, many of which we don’t often trust or believe, we await our furry friends’ predictions on the status of Spring.  Despite knowing year after year that there is random accuracy in these predictions, we dedicate time and resources to watch our little rodent friends come out of the ground; then even more time and resources reporting to others who weren’t there.   We anxiously await a comforting message that winter is nearly over so we can start planning for spring, or the converse, an indication that the winter we’re tired of will relentlessly last even longer. Happy or sad. Oh, the power of Phil.

Like the movie, we’re replaying or reliving stories, over and over again: repeating the patterns of our lives endlessly.  How long before we realize that we have the ability to change that story and the related outcome of it?  Isn’t this what we do in our own lives?  We have stories we are attached to. We revisit, and retell them over and over again, reliving the details along with any associated pain or discomfort.  It’s as if by review we will actually affect change; become suddenly struck by an epiphany.  Despite our own known history, we think something different will happen this time.  However, it’s only when we start to change some aspect of the story that the outcome changes.   Usually little by little.

So, let’s say we’ve started to ‘get’ the lesson and change our approach. Despite our best efforts to move forward, sometimes there will be others that have ties to our storytelling.  The control or comfort they find in the repetition soothes them in some way.  Even when we are making changes, the influence of others can retrieve the old stories that we thought we had changed.  Before you know it, we’re repeating the patterns again.  It’s only after the loop replays a few times before we realize the ‘Groundhog Day’ effect, and remember that we have a choice to affect change.

What stories are you telling? What part of them soothes you?  Who else in your life knows your stories.  Where are you reliving the old patterns? How much energy do you put into the reports of others about the conditions of your future?  Where can you take action to affect change, and the established outcome?  What new story do you want to tell?

Do it now.  No one needs another Groundhog Day.

By | 2018-02-15T21:21:31+00:00 February 15th, 2018|Categories: Getting off the Ground|0 Comments

A Balancing Act

I’m no gymnast but I certainly understand the important of balance in life.  Like most people I’ve ‘fallen off the beam’ more than once in my life and have come to understand that all forward movement requires the art of balance.

I’ve often marveled at the young gymnasts; their ability, the agility, the flexibility.  That’s never been me.  My muscle type is high-tone, which means there is too much tension in the muscle at rest.  In other words, the muscle is tight and tense even though it is not doing anything.  My mother had this type of muscle tone as well. It was something she was proud of.  To her it represented strength.  I imagine that a childhood fraught with dysfunction, trauma, drama and stress could easily contribute to this condition.  We also know that our DNA contains the traces of the our those that came before us including the energy of their beliefs and experiences.  I also used to think that this high tone muscle was an indication of strength, but I understand now that it represents rigidity, inflexibility, stiffness and sometimes pain.   Well isn’t that just another example of how life shows up in the moment.

My life growing up was about falling in line and if the line was unbalanced so be it.   It was my job to stay upright.  Most often I didn’t.  Before my awakening, more than 10 years ago now, many would have described me as rigid, inflexible, stiff because in many ways I was.  Today after years of working on this, I can see where remnants of these symptoms are still present in my body and mind.  The difference is that today I can now recognize them as a stress response and I get to choose how to handle that response.

That is what happens to most of us when faced with stress.  The force of a situation, person, circumstance, decision, choice or other action creates stress in our lives.  Our bodies, designed to self-heal, sends our troops to find and fight the army of stress hormones before we’re even aware.  Our breathing changes, our muscles respond to the message, and our entire system moves into a combat mode.   At the same time, our thoughts become muddled, our recall fades, we feel the discomfort and before we know it, we’re out of balance.  We fall.

The fall can be a loss of composure or self-control.  It can be a physical accident.   Maybe it shows up as a flood of emotions that instinctively call us to take action.  It can be a mood shift to an unhappy place.  All of these responses, trigger even greater responses in us.  Those things that take us out of our happy place and cause us to act or speak without thinking.  It’s usually these responses that leave us feeling terrible afterward.

So, like any gymnast will tell you, you can learn to develop better balance. Spot your next move forward.  Pause to ensure balance before moving forward.  Take a step. Go slow.  Go gently. Check in on yourself often.  Pause again until balance is restored.  If you fall off, climb back up.  Everyone falls all the time, even the Olympians.  Don’t beat yourself up.  Congratulate yourself on the courage to move forward.  Celebrate each step that you successfully make.  Plan your next step. Take it. Go slow. Go gently. Repeat. With practice and focus, you can begin to trust your ability to maintain balance.  Before you know it, you may just surprise yourself with a backflip or two in your own life.

Namaste

By | 2018-02-08T11:31:01+00:00 February 8th, 2018|Categories: Getting off the Ground|0 Comments

Eclipsed

2017 SuperBlue Moon Eclipse

Eclipsed

It was 5:00 a.m. and much earlier than I normally rise. But this wasn’t just another day. It was worth it.
At the time I didn’t understand how it could be, but it wasn’t long before the gift was illuminated within me. This once-in-a-lifetime Super Blue Moon Total Lunar Eclipse was happening now and I was finally in a location to see it. Just another reason why I love Albuquerque & New Mexico!

It was such a gift! The moon hung suspended directly in front of my large picture window. Mind you, I did have to sit on the floor to see past the awning partially obstructing my view. My tea in hand, I settled in just as the eclipse was starting. I felt excited!

I hadn’t had much chance to read about the significance of these rare eclipse energies. I was just happy to take it in as it was happening rather than dissect it by overthinking as I can sometimes do. I realized it had been years since I watched a full eclipse. My locations weren’t always in alignment with the positioning, or the weather impeded viewing, or most of the time I just didn’t care.

Today was different. I did care. I did want to sit in the quiet darkness and take in all the energy of it. I knew it was important for me. I just didn’t know why. That tends to be the theme of my life especially over the last 10 years or so. I feel nudged, inclined, impulsed or otherwise driven to take an action without really knowing why or the importance of it. Today was no different.

Now here’s the really interesting part. Of course, like most people watching the eclipse, I tried to photograph it with my cell phone during the different phases of the eclipse. However, the camera couldn’t pick it up. It just looked like a full moon. It wasn’t until the entire moon was eclipsed reflecting red, that the camera could see it as I saw it. That’s when it struck me.

How often do we have these experiences in life? We see something one way, as reality, as truth until another sees it another way altogether: as a different reality, a different truth. No less real. Can we wait out the time it takes for things to shift, until we see the same thing and then work in that moment to find a common reality, a common truth?

And what about being eclipsed? How often am I the Sun: shining steadily, casting light on everything around me? How often am I the Earth: getting between the Light and another, forcing them into darkness, even temporarily, causing them to glow red, threatening their sense of safety and security?  How often am I the moon: present half of the time, cast a pale glow or a dark shadow on those around me; a reminder to rest and restore, as I do, so they can glow again tomorrow?

Even now as I write this, I’m in surprised. You see I planned to write this about eclipses in our own lives, and in my inspiration, the message changed. As I said, I feel nudged in a direction and I know enough now to be loose and go with whatever presents itself. I think this message is so much better than the one I had planned. Today, my ideas were eclipsed by something greater. I’m grateful for that.

Namaste

By | 2018-02-03T15:26:36+00:00 February 3rd, 2018|Categories: Getting off the Ground|0 Comments

Leaving a Mark

El Morro – The Headland

More than four centuries ago, a then modern-day traveler crossing west through what is now New Mexico, was suffering from the long travel across the high dessert. In search of relief from the relentless sun and lack of water, he sought the shade of a giant sandstone bluff to rest, or possibly prepare himself for the end his journey in life. As if by divine guidance, as he lay himself down, he turned his head, and as if a mirage, we spied a hidden oasis within a few steps of where he rested. Rejoicing, he quickly guzzled this water and reveled in its restorative effects.

He didn’t know that the inscriptions in the rock were engraved by the people who settled this area. Several hundred feet above, the plateau of this bluff held the long abandoned, 13th century Atsinna Ruins belonging to the Zuni Tribe. They lived in a settlement comprised of adjoining rooms, believed to have housed more than 600 people in the 13th century. No doubt they used this area for protection and for the water. He was able to continue his journey and he also carved this moment into the soft sandstone before he did. Without knowing it he began part of a tradition that continued into the 20th century.

This promotory was later named El Morro, Spanish for The Headland, by the Spanish colonialists as they travelled west. It’s also referred to as Inscription rock because of the centuries old inscriptions carved into the sandstone by natives and other travelers who passed by. It stands as an enormous monument against the New Mexico sky near Ramah. It quickly became known for this life-saving oasis, and travelers journeyed here as they passed through on their way west.

In the time since that 1st inscription was carved into the sandstone, more than 2000 travelers inscribed their names, dates and messages. From the 14th century until the 20th, these natives, explorers, pioneers, and pilgrims left their mark upon this rock. By the 18th & 19th centuries, travelers came equipped with tools to leave their inscriptions for the future.

While visiting this monument for the first time, I had an epiphany: we are all trying to leave our mark, our message, our legacy for the future. We hope to inscribe into the lines of time, that we were here, that we travailed , that we persevered, that we survived, that in some way, we have shared a common journey. We want our lessons, our wisdom, our trials to aid another or speak to some testimonial of our trials and triumphs.

As I viewed the more than 2000 inscriptions in the sandstone, it was obvious that some of the oldest, were being eroded by the very elements of life, wind, water and light that shaped this huge monument. Their once deep grooves now barely visible indentations. Efforts made by the current caretakers cannot stop the nature effects of time, and they never will.

This fascination with those who have come before us is evident in the current day interest in tracing our family histories, our DNA and other similar pursuits. We search the past for meaning in our present lives. While it is important to know our roots, from whence we came, ultimately the past will be lost, just like to detailed history of the Atsinna Ruins, and so many others around the world. This leaves us dependent on our own compass, our own discoveries. We cannot pass the way of these early travelers because we are not them and we don’t face their challenges.

We must look to our future journey with the knowledge that we are, each in our way, explorers. Today we explore the inner landscape with the same excitement and determination as those past travelers explored the untamed wilderness. We experience wonderous discoveries in that inner landscape that are unique to each of us.

Instead of carving our names or messages into the sandstone, we are carving the sum total of our experiences into the energy of our life. We are sharing these experiences with one another. We have begun to understand that what we carve affects everyone as we are all connected. What messages are you carving into the lines of time?

Namaste

By | 2018-02-02T10:58:40+00:00 January 22nd, 2018|Categories: Getting off the Ground|0 Comments

The Memory of Light

Light Among The Ruins – Ruins at Jemez Springs

Each year, right around the Christmas Holidays, The Ruins at Jemez Springs, New Mexico hold an annual event Light Among the Ruins. They caretakers of this historical site, setup hundreds of luminarias, or farolitos throughout the site. The site has several adjoining buildings including the ruins of the 17th century stone San José de los Jemez church. First this tiny village prepares and lights these tiny magical lanterns, then they open the site for visitors. I had the pleasure of experiencing this for the first time in December 2017.  I was struck by the synchronicity of life and how Light Among the Ruins offer greater insight into our own lives today.

As I entered, dusk was slowly casting growing-shadows on what remained of the walls of this centuries-old sanctuary and these remnants of age-old homes. My thoughts and feelings were running high as I contemplated the lives of these ancient tribes. What had it been like to build lives within a community built around a sacred building: A place where prayer and gratitude was a central theme of a thriving village. I stood among the crowds of people quietly revering the sacred energy of the sanctuary, crumbing walls and all. The gentle breeze blowing around the dozens of farolitos in the chancel caused dancing light on the walls. I sensed that we had been joined by the spirit of ancestral prayers left behind by those that placed their desires and gratitude into the walls since the beginning. There was reverence in the air and it was palatable.

It was as if I could hear the long-ago whispers of desire and daily life carried on the quiet breeze that brushed against me. Are we ever really alone, when such energy and spirit still lives on? Have we forgotten the importance and power of these rituals in our lives today?

As the sun continued to set and light faded from the sky, I walked the paths first established centuries before.  I swear I could hear the laughter of children giving chase to play, the muffled voices of the women tending to their families. Maybe modern life offered conveniences but is the pursuit of happiness, love, peace and joy any different today? Don’t we all hope for health, prosperity, Love and peace?

The ferrolitos, now the only illumination against a pitch-black sky, lit up the pathways, the village walls, & the dark corners of these once-thriving homes. It was as if this flickering light called us to examine the often-overlooked corners.  These places where ancient foundational structure held up the walls and roofs offering protection to those inside. Our lives today are not so very different. We’ve all have the home within us, that oft-overlooked structure of beliefs and ideas that we build our life upon. We often forget the light inside us, and ignore the debris trapped in the corners of our hearts and minds.  In darkness sets upon us, and we are forced to search for the comfort of light. We may forget but the light is always there, inside us, part of us. It’s the darkness that reminds us of this. Sometimes, we find the light dim, but without the dark we can often forget our gifts, our strength, our resilience.

It was the beat of the drums that brought me back to the present, and I moved toward the sound. Soon I came upon a scene that transported me to a time long ago. There they gathered in a circle around fire; the drummers, the dancers: those bringing healing and prayer to the present moment. The bonfire illuminated the ancient sacred dress and tools. The dancers included a very young female child, maybe 5 years old, teenagers and adult men and women, all dressed in age-old tribal garb. The drummers, silhouettes against the light from the fire, sang and beat out the rhythms of moving prayer. I rejoiced as the tiniest child held the music and steps inside her as if some ancestor from the past guided her. They danced and sang their prayers for us all. I didn’t understand the language, and I didn’t know what the dancing meant, but my heart was clear and I could feel the tears of joy and gratitude well up. When we come together in service, we are love.

Life, like Light Among the Ruins, is magical. No time, no weathering, no decay or loss ever truly destroys all, for the timelessness of truth, love and peace lives on in us; ready to dance us into the memory of light. We are love. We are One. we are eternal.

Namaste

By | 2018-02-01T14:03:41+00:00 January 22nd, 2018|Categories: Getting off the Ground|0 Comments

Where are you now?

Heellllooo from New Mexico. Flying High!

We’ve been traveling around the US and Canada since August 2016 looking for where we wanted to set down some roots for the next phase of life.   You may have been following my travels on Facebook where I shared some highlights of the many special places we were blessed enough to visit.  I won’t say it was luck, because we made the choices to experience what we wanted.

At present, we’re settling into Albuquerque, New Mexico, the Hot Air Balloon capital of the world.  It’s certainly a sight to see  “balloons up” almost every day, or flying directly over our home.  Oh, and of course, there is always the annual Balloon Fiesta in October each year where hundreds of balloonists gather for a celebration of all things ‘hot-air balloon’.   It’s a sight to see and certainly an exciting experience to go up in a hot air balloon when there are dozens of balloons flying.   It’s here where I realized that ballooning is actually a lot like real life.

“How’s that?” you ask.

You see,  a balloon pilot cannot steer the balloon.  They are dependent on air flow, air temperature.  They can certainly control going up and coming down.  They can turn the balloon around with the use of flaps, but they can’t actually steer it.  That makes it exciting for the pilot, as they try to navigate to a location and a bit of a challenge for the chase crew to follow and meet up as the balloons comes in for a landing. The challenge for the pilot is to set a goal of where they like to end up and see how close they come to it.

I realized  this is exactly how life is.   We set a goal or a desire and we take action to move toward that goal.  We survey the landscape to determine what it will take to reach that destination.  We equip ourselves with skills, knowledge, courage and tools as we set out on the journey.   We enlist support to help us reach our goal or minimally be there when we don’t to help us pack up the pieces and prepare for another attempt.  Then we take flight and hope for the best.

Life is flow. You see we were never meant to be so specific in our planning.   An experienced “life pilot” understands that they are being guided by something bigger.  We get an inclination, an nudge in a direction, but when we are too controlling within our lives, we immediately go to the place of the ego mind planning out how we will reach that goal.  Sometimes we get really attached to that specific destination.  We set expectations of how and when we’ll reach the goal.  They we do everything we can to achieve it.  However, if the course changes, or the outcome changes or our expectations weren’t met, we become dissatisfied.  Often we blame ourselves or others.  It’s as if the specific destination is all that matters.  We’ve all heard the phrase ” it’s about the journey, not the destination” but few really put that ideology into practice in their lives.

Our lives were never meant to be a planned journey.  Truthfully, I don’t know anyone, even the best of planners, who can say their life experiences and journey turned out exactly as they planned.   With this knowledge that few plans every work out exactly as anticipated, many still continue clutching to the idea that they have control.   So how can giving up the illusion of control help us?

We are a “blended being”: a combination of the physical and Spirit. Your Spirit or Higher Self is larger, more powerful, more connected, more knowing, more loving, fearless,  is oriented to Source Light, and cannot/will not steer you into the deep dark.  If we learned to trust in our higher consciousness, we could escape the trap and illusion of control.  We can learn to trust our journey even when we don’t know where we will land.  When we do, we can glide through life with ease, flying high above everything.   In the silence, away from the noise, we can hear all that is Divine within us, decide on our aim and explore new territory with new perspectives.  We can find joy and peace. Fly high in 2018!

Namaste

 

By | 2018-01-22T14:30:32+00:00 January 11th, 2018|Categories: Getting off the Ground|0 Comments