Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Identity Theft (of the spiritual kind)

 Saying So What to Fear, I dare you
It's not often that we decide to look at fear and say (as Pink sings in Glitter in the Air) "I just don't care". So what that fear is present and up in your face, so what that you  (fear) don't want me to have me,or  so what that that I'm scared. Fear is very real opportunity to practice be your real you. On occasion we have powered through fear, gotten tough but that's not sustainable and not very practical. Fear doesn't diminish in the face of toughness it requires something far more subtle. Let's not get ahead of ourselves

Who are you if you are not your fear?
Who are you, really? Who's in charge of your identity; your ego or your soul? Who would you be without your current affiliation (and affliction) of your identity? Is it possible that your identity has been stolen and you've not been notified? How attached how are you to you're identity as a mother, your job/career, as being fat or slim, athlete, male, female, spiritual, religious and none of the above, to being smart, or perhaps being right (my personal favorite)?

How do you know if you are really you or the thief? The one who steals your identity works in the bright light of the day, distracts you with images of innocence and speaks of concern about your welfare.

I have more questions than answers, that is for sure; but what I do believe is that we need to call into question who we are being to experience who we truly are. It is not an easy process which is why we need to lean into courage. You know what courage means don't you: to be of heart, that's right. To lead with heart.

I believe this is the year to experience great courage; to know deep down in your bones who you really are and to rejoice in that knowing. And with any luck you'll have to do it (transform) over and and over again. With any luck something will touch you, tickle you, bug you and you will once again question who is in charge.  Why this year? Because these past few years we have the rugged pulled from underneath us. With the economic crisis feeling very personal I've wondered who am I without my income? What a wonderful time. You mess with my money and you got my attention. Of course this extends beyond finances.... if we let it.

Looking underneath the rug
When we allow ourselves to see what's under the rug true discovery can occur. To stare into the dark and dare to see it is a salvation of sorts.

There is vulnerability is releasing the thief, and in the discovery. Not the "I'm open to attack" kind of vulnerability but I am available to others, no more facade or armor. This is actually  invulnerability. Nothing to preserve  and therefore nothing to attach. How does that contemporary saying go: "don't start none; won't be none". The ego always starts something because it wants obligatory employment. This requires a stand, a core inner knowing of who you are - not a human will tough it out but a soft relaxed, loosen the jaw, drop the attack stance and lean into your deepest inner knowing of who you really are. We must remember who we are before we were told we were something/someone else. As my friend the poet, Juliet Clancy says "before my childhood was interrupted". It's helpful to know what is at stake for you.

I work with clients who want that something more; that spiritual integrity that perhaps their current job or life has required, until now, to sacrifice. In order to experience that level of integrity one has to deal with the loss of a false identity to embrace the true one.  Your real you - your soul will never ask you to sacrifice anything. You don't have to even believe in it just don't believe in the ego.

I find the best way to remember who I was before I was interrupted is to close my eyes and quietly listen to the voice inside that makes feel the power of love. This voice isn't loud. It will never compete with the volume of the ego but it is there quietly awaiting my return.
My elder Pablo always says "this way, the red road, is not easy". He means that we have to consistently be able to hear who is speaking, the ego or the soul and that requires a willing, albeit fearful, person.

All I'm saying (very unpoetically) is that someone is knocking; know who or what is on the other side and then decide how to answer.

Until next time I wish for you all the love you can stand.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Making Peace with Receiving

Tomorrow is my birthday. I love birthdays; the celebration, the gathering and communion of friends, and the wine and champagne. Well, I love it all except the attention. When I was younger I LOVED the attention. I felt glorified in it - revealed in it.

Something has shifted. Now, don't go thinking I've matured and believe I posses qualities of humility - that's not it.  I can accept gifts without pause. Yes please spend more than you earn- adore me with presents. It's a narrow focus on being comfortable with two things: 1. visual attention -for example in a gathering and it being all about me and 2. You paying for me - like a dinner where the guest divide the bill minus me because I'm the honored guest.

Last night a pre-party dinner which was at a most delicious Sinaporean $$$ restaurant. We dined on pork ribs, Roti, coconut string bean soup, spicy tofu something or other. We swam in libations of Maja-Mojito, Chardonnay finishing up with Peony white tea over two decandant, put me in a coma of sugar, desserts. It was so much fun as we hooted and howled. And then the bill came. Now my girls and I have had this tradition for years; we treat the birthday gal to lavious dinner. This isn't new. Yet when the bill game, my stomach began to knot up. I instinctively reached for my wallet - they wouldn't hear of it. I couldn't break with tradition. 

My stomach tied more knots as they divided the bill. I wanted it to before. The whole scenario was hugely uncomfortable and I was deeply aware of how uncomfortable I was with their giving in this manner. I wondered how I could live with a double standard - treat my friends to a meal but not accept the same with glee and gratitude. What the heck was going on? What was happening was not the opposite of my former "give me" state. In fact they are one in the same. The woman in my twenties who wanted the attention is the same woman today; it has just taken a different form. 

When I cannot receive I'm not in true relationship. When I only want to be seen as the generous one my focus is solely on me rather then on being in true friendship and real communion. This need, this craving is old and unrewarding; stripping it away is going to be so fun.

 Learning how to love is as great as it is humbling.

This is going to be great birthday.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Meet me at the cupcake counter

Today, I'm sitting in a beautiful and cozy cafe in San Carlos, CA. I come here often to work or just be with my thoughts. It has all the attributes that are important for my creativity to surge: like I said it's cozy  which translates to  eight tables, it's exquisitely painted and decorated ( a deep plum set off with a white wall that just delights me), the food is delicious - they have cupcakes as well as gourmet lunch items and the most important feature is the espresso is rich. All in all great enough to have me drive thirty miles up and over a one lane mountain during our rainy season.

In the practice of full disclosure I also leave my house to escape one of my cats who follows me around crying because she cranky and sleepy but won't go to sleep unless I don't move for a couple of hours or until I leave. God knows I love the little quadruped but have mercy on my nerves. Sometimes her incessant crying is enough to make me reach for the Pinot before 10:00 am (and that's just sad).

Back the conversation at hand, What I love about cafe's is listening to the relationships of folks sitting down and coming together over a cappuccino and a cupcake. It looks like coffee and food so what but it's much more complex; much deeper. Sitting intimately across from one another, eye to eye they are reaffirming their love for communion. Men, women, children and me -each one of us alone or with friend are here to connect, to be in communion, to savor the flavors of friendship and relationships, to learn how to do relationships. To the others it looks as though I'm working on my computer, working but really I'm here to be near them. I come to be reminded of who I am and why I'm here. Like the food the company is nourishing even when I don't speak to them.

We come to nourish - its the refresh button for the soul and it maters.

Peace Out (I had to write that to embarrass my teenage niece.)