Archive for the ‘Guides to Soul’ Category

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An early graduation present!

December 19, 2010

So in the midst of all the craziness of our lives… my husband was invited to San Francisco to give a talk. I was so worried it would interfere with my graduation… but everyone was accommodating. Thank you!

You see the last time I “walked” for one of my degrees was 1976!

I now have a BS, MS, MA and EdS and it is for this degree that I was willing to participate in a public ritual – not of my design!

And it was wonderful! Both the trip before and the experience of being hooded for this accomplishment.

Feeling so very grateful as we wax towards the winter solstice!

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Resting

December 11, 2010

Tomorrow is the third Sunday of Advent and I should be packing for a trip that I am taking, but instead I am sitting still, very still and contemplating and watching, and looking out the window and drinking tea. There is a stillness inside me that is bottomless.

Several times over the past months, someone has said that sitting with me is very calming. I have noticed that my immediate internal reaction to that is that I am a whirling dervish of energy, excitement, movement, study, intensity, curiosity… I am movement.

And yet I am also stillness. Within me is a stillness and it is without measure.

Rest…..

Breathe….

Rest….

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The Holy Days are upon us…

November 27, 2010

and I have been insanely content! Everything seems to be unfolding effortlessly without much effort on my part… without me needing to control and contrive and consult and confound. Effortlessly…. without effort.

The last time I felt this way was April, 2007. Not that there haven’t been times of contentment in the intervening years, but it has been a journey through the towers of ivory and hasn’t always been obvious what the lessons are and which teachers to let in and which teachers to discern out.

And now, advent is coming and in the midst of the holy days, I am going to don my purple robe and claim my hood of humility.

I am over the moon happy!

And you? Where are you in the life cycle as the days lengthen here in the northern hemisphere?

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Equanimity and Equinoxes

September 28, 2010

What a wonderful few months it has been. Each day I greet the sun as she rises over the ridge that is blue and then in the evening, I chase the sun as she sets in the distant mountains. Some mornings the moon is with me reminding me of the night and some evenings the moon follows me safely home. All of this is the up side of my new position.

downside?

8000 miles on the car in four months…

and in December I graduate… no degree, no higher learning experience has ever meant as much as this means to me.

I am so very, very, very, grateful… filled up with gratitude.

Midlife ROCKS!

And you- how is the Middle Passage treating you?

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Eleven Practices – Draw It

June 14, 2010

Dr. Pinkola Estes says:

The contents of one’s unconscious is a language, and by doing creative work, that is work that originates with ourselves, with our original ideas, original voice, original movements, original learning, giving, et al, we make so many useful and helpful and beautiful things visible.

During periods of time in my life when I haven’t been able to make sense of things on a thinking or verbal level, I draw mandalas.  A few years ago I was introduced to the work of Dr. Judith Cornell – and began to create illuminated mandalas. When I look back through the series – I never stop being surprised by the wisdom of the unconscious – how my Self knows long before my I/everyday/ego/self what transformations are lurking on the horizon.

I continue to pay attention to my “one thing” and it continues to pay attention to me.

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Eleven Practices

May 22, 2010

CHOOSE ONE THING to concentrate on; keep it small: one symbol, one aspect, one archetypal facet, one aspect of a dream, etc. That is your portal. Keep it. Return to it daily.

Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes

I have had two weeks off… TWO WHOLE WEEKS… and in that time, much has been accomplished… and surprisingly, I have taken a lot of naps, zoned out while weeding and realized I was not weeding anymore – just sitting, rocked for hours and hours staring at the embers of a fire, and also just sat still, very still for long periods. Plants have been transplanted, meals prepared, laundry done, the sacred and the mundane of life woven together in such a way that I am surprised when it is midnight and another day is done and I am still awake.

I have been intensely focused for three full years – with a small break last summer – but other than that, I have been on a straight path where side paths beckoned, paths with no path called me, and yet to reach this internal goal, I had to keep feet on the path and butt in the seat… and now… suddenly, it is over, and I stand at the threshold and instead of leaping out the door, I am hesitant. My feet are now accustomed to walking on the path, and they are not sure how and where to step.

Prior to this particular journey, I had several daily practices of writing and creating and art making and processing and one by one they fell away as the PATH demanded more and more and more of me… and now I find myself wondering which, what, how, and if to reclaim any of those daily practices and what they will look like.

To complicate and enrich this quandary is the enormous slug of new material from Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes. Her Mother Night series is now out on CD. Her Dangerous Old Woman opus first round will soon follow. And between those two works, there must be something like more than twenty hours of oral tradition… dense with meaning… and so filled with possibility that is almost feels paralyzing.

Which brings me to this teaching from dr. e. Choose one thing. I haven’t decided what the one thing is or if I will choose one thing… but just knowing that there is some way of ordering and containing the abundance feels valuable right now.

And you – if you chose one thing? what would it be?

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Feasting on new ideas

May 20, 2010

In 2005, I spent a solid nine months commuting – 45 minutes up the interstate and 45 minutes down the interstate. During that time, I listened to all twelve sessions of the two volume Theatre of the Imagination. As I remember, each tape was about 45 minutes a side or maybe that isn’t how it was, but I do know that it took time, lots of time, and the changes of the moon cycles and the earth cycles for me to digest, percolate, and absorb the richness of the feast I experienced through those teaching tales – truly it was Story as Medicine. I have listened to parts of TOI since then – but it has never had the deep feel it had when I spent that time in deep contemplation.

And now, five years later, I am once again about to begin a period of commuting…

Up and over the Blue Ridge and over to the Piedmont several times a week, ninety minutes each way from now until December. I have mixed feelings about spending my life energy in a car. Yet the opportunity calls me and the opportunity is on the other side of the mountain.

When I was younger, it was fairly easy for me to make a decision. I had a better sense of “choose this” and if you don’t like it choose something else. And now… I still believe that… but there is a subtlety that makes choosing more difficult and if I am honest, there is a sense of being over half a century on this earth that shifts things for me. Time moves more slowly now and more quickly both.

The exuberant energy that carried me to my middle passage visit to the Swamplands, slowed and deepened into two four year cycles of depth work. And as I come out of the second cycle of depth work, I am moving more slowly and deliberately weighing things differently now. So the decision to commute was a difficult one to choose.

Part of what made me choose this is that I have just had two six week sessions with Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes. Her Mother Night series at SoundsTrue and following that the first of her epic opus The Dangerous Old Woman. I now have twelve sessions that are each about two hours long. A FEAST of heroic proportions. And I find that I can’t sit still and listen to the sessions. Yet… with a commute… with hours on the road each day… yes… that was part of what shifted the balance into choosing the distant opportunity.

So now, after a week of rain, the sun is out – metaphorically and literally – and the garden is calling me.

And you? What is your process for decision making? and has it changed as you age?