Saturday, January 29, 2011

Snow, Snow ... Friend or Foe ???

Originally uploaded by mallory,

My relationship with winter has been a constant struggle.

This year, more than ever, it is about my nemesis ... SNOW.

And, more than ever, it is REALLY about my self-will and trying to control the snow.

Add to the mix a car that has no control in the snow and there is a perfect recipe for ...


Tis the lesson I learned last evening, reading Step 3, line by line.

If I shifted my dependence on my Higher Power and the 12 Steps rather than mastering the unplowed streets of my city in a car that simply is not made to do so, I would experience serenity and would not see snow as an evil force of nature that blocks me from doing what I need to do.

This all came to a head yesterday after I drove in circles unable to find parking, got stuck several times with tires spinning on ice, as I attempted to see therapy clients who reside in a part of the city that rarely sees the likes of a snowplow. The "crazy" part of this scenario is that I kept doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results ! THAT is the definition of insanity.

I arrived home, worn out, disgusted, with my proverbial tail between my legs. I saw myself as defeated because I saw snow as the foe, instead of really "seeing" it for what it really is.

I am grateful and humble this morning for my battle with the elements last night. It brought me to a place of utter surrender, with the recognition that it is only me that is my greatest foe and not those piles of white stuff. Letting snow be snow is the true victory.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Path of Plants ...

2009'un ilk fotoğrafı!!!!/EXPLORE
Originally uploaded by an&bs

I have not written in quite awhile.

My thoughts and expression have been a very internal process.

I am back from a 4 day retreat at my non-dual healing program where I learned another practice that is an extension of a previous one. It has to do with curvilinear space. And the fact that it is in and around everything and everyone. The practice offers the intentionality and steadiness to work with this space.

This morning as I practiced, I was drawn to the space where the leaves of my plants bent toward and followed. As I held my hands, palm side out, to feel this ... I could literally sense a "path" of growth where the plant's leaves would naturally move toward. I looked out my window and saw that the huge trees' branches had the very same movement, with less limits than a room, so theirs was a growth path that was not bounded except for the roof and chimney on one side.

Which got me thinking about mountains. And how the highest ones perhaps also followed a skyward path, informed by the vegetation that grew in its earthy skin which craved being closer to the sun.

In my meditation space where I did this practice, the path of a plant on one side of the room would eventually reach the tips of the leaves of the bamboo plant on the other side of the room. And, interestingly enough, the bamboo plant's path was not in the direction of this other plant but rather it moved in curvilinear travel toward my bronze Quan Yin in the corner. As I moved toward her, an area of the room I actually am never intimate with, there were bands and bands of vibration that extended so far out that I could touch the curves of this space with the front of my chest and forearms and even the side of my face !

I learned today that plants have much to teach me. To follow their paths is to know that there is one for me too that wants me to bend and move toward so that I may grow in its light.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Between Ground and Sky

Between Ground and Sky
Originally uploaded by Könrad

of prickly
caterpillar hairs
scraping against
my skin
from the inside-out
am i awake or

my eyes are WIDE open

chest collapses
like an accordion
puffing breaths out
note by note
heart beats pummel
my rib cage
room is closing in

drawing upon these years
of teachings
i plant feet firmly
to anchor
then let go
to the sweet surrender
and reprieve
of deep meditation

i am keenly aware
of the one who is
having these medication-induced
symptoms --
the personal i
the noticer who sees her --
the impersonal i and not i

i watch my head stretch
then twist
in odd distortions
eyes fully dilated
as i look up from brushing my teeth
this is not a funhouse mirror
i look into the face
of  insanity

only a few threads
the real
from the surreal
in this trip
i took
ground and sky

Monday, January 10, 2011

Letting God Swim Us ...

Originally uploaded by unaman

My healer/teacher gave a tender, heart-filled lecture yesterday via a teleconference. Perhaps 50 or more seeking souls were listening. You could not hear a one of us because the sound was muted except for our teacher's voice. But you KNEW and FELT the connection of an entire community was ever present and alive during this hour and a half. It was deeply intimate.

I was still in pajamas, stretched out on my overstuffed chair, blanket wrapped around me, tissues strewn around from bouts of blowing snot due to a sinus infection. My ears were glued to every word, in spite of my hacking cough, and this too was sacred.

My favorite part of her lecture had to do with a Zen tale about how fish could make it through rough waters ... it's because they let the river swim them. Perhaps this is what is meant about being "in the stream of life". Later, in response to a listener's question about how to overcome seeing things as separate, our teacher made the reference back to this story, altering the metaphor just a bit ...

"We let God swim us."

I took to this like ... [pun intended] ... a fish to water.

If I am God and each one of us is God and every living thing is God, then there is no "God out there or up in the air" . God-ness exists in every single thing, which makes every single thing a One-With-God thing.

In Step 3 of the recovery 12 Steps, we turn our will over to the care of God, as we understand God. Taking my will back and resisting surrender is akin to the fish that try to go against the raging current in the other direction because their way is better than how the river is intended to flow. When I let God swim me, I trust the direction and the flow, even when I feel like I might get knocked down by the rapids or pulled to the bottom by a strong undertow. I can trust that I will be carried and that I will not drown. It is only when I separate from God and believe my way is best that I risk getting swept away or sucked under.

This is, I believe, what our teacher referred to when she spoke so passionately about trusting what life brings us. For it is in this trusting, that we understand that God has never left us. The life we've been waiting for is the one we're already living.

Wherever I am in the stream, be it the calm pool at the bottom of the waterfall or the raging white water rapids, I can trust that is exactly where I am supposed to be.

And all I have to do is let God swim me...

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Surrender is a Deep Well ...

Deep well
Originally uploaded by ilovemytripod

A long-timer in the program, a woman who I admire greatly shared this profound pearl of sober wisdom in tonight's Step meeting:

"We must acknowledge our powerlessness every morning as we rise. Step 1 gives us only a daily reprieve. Surrender is a deep well ..."

The room fell totally silent after she spoke, her words landing and locking into me like a missing piece to a complex puzzle. I really needed to receive this tonight.

This woman's statement is a reminder for me that this is truly a "one day at a time" program. Step work is never completed; it is, instead, a continuous, daily operation so that I may live soberly. It is what guides me to do the next right thing. It is what keeps me from picking up that first drink in any given moment when I am tempted or lose my way.

Surrender is a deep well. This statement rocks me to my core.

I don't just turn my will over to God or ask for a character defect to be removed today and it's a done-deal. I can very readily want to take my will back or find that my character defect has re-surfaced as early as the next day and this will require me to surrender once more. And, I am only guaranteed a reprieve for that day. Maybe not even for the entire day.

And this doesn't even account for the fact that there are defects that I have held onto and my denial or my resistance has put up a barrier that makes it very challenging for surrender to have a fighting chance. Just like the photo depicted at the top of this entry, it is quite dark and bleak at the bottom of the well. Some of us have to fall long and hard and often until we reach that place where surrender is our only way out from the hole we've created.

The recognition of powerlessness every single day in my morning prayers and my evening prayers keeps things real and green for me. I do not take my sobriety for granted any longer. Knowing I cannot do this alone and need God's help is the bucket that carries me up and out from the bottom of the well.