Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Chasing Rainbows

Below is a post I wrote several months ago but did not publish because I thought is needed some polishing. It was written when I was in a different space than I am now. Hope and faith filled me to the brim, then. Now, hope and faith is just returning to my heart as I ascend from the valley.

Reading my words from a time I was hopeful and faithful is like listening to a wise friend. It feels like Grace has been found me again.

Don't let them steal your rainbow, Queen.
~ My King

After a rainstorm passes over, I often run outside to look for rainbows. Lately, there have been quite a few thunderstorms and I have been treated to the most brilliant arches of color.

Are you are rainbow chaser?

In the midst of language such as, the worse recession since the depression and economic crisis, it may be hard to stay on the path of high vibration, positive energy and awaken consciousness. Everywhere you turn people are talking about how bad it is.

Whatever the balance in your financial portfolio; however challenging your current economic situation; I would bet the farm that if you sat down and wrote a list of the things you do have, you would find you have much to be grateful for.

I am not advocating ignoring any challenges you may be faced with now. What I am promoting is: before you go into action attempting to tackle those challenges, make a gratitude list. You may find that after making that list, you have a clearer mind and subsequently, a better plan of action may unfold.

If you need a daily inspirational message to keep you motivated, I recommend Notes from the Universe. If you want to a book to keep you lifted, I would suggest, Ask and It is Given.

Of course, I hope you find the post of my blog helpful :-).

Keep looking for the rainbows!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Ascent Out of the Valley

The cloud cover on my heart and spirit is lifting. What's strange is: part of me wants to stay up under those dark clouds. It feels comfortable. Being checked out is getting to be comfortable.

However, there is another part of me that is ready to rise up out of the valley. That part of me knows it is time to start my ascent.

As the clouds clear, it is reasonable to expect my thoughts to still go back to what happened. The details of the storm that led to my descent will certainly still come to mind. Surveying the damage after the storm is normal. For a short time, I will be allowed to go back. Mourning what has been lost is natural. Retrieving what can be salvaged is expected.

Then, it is time to vacate the valley because it is not safe to stay any longer. An Authority comes to tell me to evacuate now. The directive is firm but gentle.

As I begin my ascent, I look back over my shoulder to look at the wreckage. It feels surreal. A sadness sweeps over me. Simultaneously, I feel a firm yet compassionate Presence leading me out of the dark into the sunlight.

Micheal Bernard Beckwith talks about three kinds of darkness:

1) Gestation Darkness: When something is about to be birthed from you.

2) Shedding Darkness: When a part of you that no longer serves you dies off.

3) Blinding Darkness: When you look directly into God's light and the brilliance temporarily takes away your sight.

All three seems to apply to my recent valley experience.

As the clouds lift, I am having trouble adjusting to the light. Still I put one foot in front of the other and move towards the light.

My footsteps may be wobbly. My muscles may have atrophy. Yet, I still go forward into the light.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Falling on the Journey

When Falling Apart Helps You Keep It Together is the title of a book on grief that a dear friend mentioned to me as we discussed my recent valley experiences. We discussed the benefits of collapsing into what you are feeling.

Recently, I allowed myself to do has invited by the poem, The Invitation, and sit with my pain without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it. It felt like a collapse. The weight of recent events in my life led to this descent into the valley. The decision to fall was completely deliberate and with a consciousness. That is to say, it was not analogous to hurling myself off the side of a cliff but instead, allowing myself to free fall.

The former may be born out of desperation and hopelessness while the latter is sourced from a willingness to let go and let God. I also discovered that it requires strength and courage to face your own pain and fears and not shrink back. I had to be strong enough to allow myself to be vulnerable and not move to deny it.

For the most part my collapse has been in private. The solitude has not made the experience free of feelings of vulnerability. Just imagine standing completely nude in front of a full-length, 3-D mirror all alone.

Would you have the urge to avert your eyes from the image projected before you?

Would words of criticism come to mind and would that critique cause you to reach for your clothing?

Would you question the value in even engaging in such an activity?

Well, I answered all of those questions affirmatively when my collapse began. And I did it ANYWAY.

Never before have I experienced that kind of strength and courage that enabled me to collapse, to free fall and not know where the bottom was or if it would come at all.

I am still falling.

The bottom has not come yet.

In the midst of the descent I have discovered parts of me that I had long forgotten. For instance, I am now reacquainted with the gambler's spirit in me. That part of me that is willing to take an adventure without knowing where it will lead. That part of me that believes the possibility of winning far outweighs the probability of losing.

The falling apart really is helping me keep it together.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Invitation to the Journey

At the time this writing, I am in the valley.

Every person's journey leads them through terrain that includes mountains. As we know, between every two mountains is a valley. Today and for several days in the past seven weeks, I have had many valley experiences. My past travels prove to me that what Iyanla Vanzant says is true, "there is value in the valley."

Ever-present in the valley with me is the Divine. Rarely do I feel lonely, yet I am often alone. I am thankful that I enjoy my own company.

Often, I am vulnerable and afraid. More and more, I am learning just how much courage and strength it takes to allow myself to be vulnerable and afraid.

The Divine led me to pick up a book that I have had for years but have not read in quite some time. The book, The Invitation, is based on a poem by the same name. The following line from the poem is greatly assisting me in this moment in the valley,
"I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it, or fade it, or fix it."

In days to come, I will blog more about my valley experiences. For now, I invite you to read the poem, The Invitation. Let me know what you think about it; what did it stir in you; how did it make you feel; what is your visceral reaction to it?

The Invitation
by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon...
I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.

© Mountaindreaming, from the book The Invitation published by HarperSanFrancisco, 1999 All rights reserved