Wednesday, September 30, 2009
I woke early this morning and thought ‘thank goodness we have a toilet’. My mind showed me times while were travelling in the past two years of just having to find ‘any place’.
I lost most of my finicky requirements of a clean bathroom. One has to travelling cheaply in
When we lived in the Ambassador Van, we had to go where we could go. At least it wasn’t
But it had me thinking, how often do we give honest to goodness thanks and appreciation for the ‘basic’ things we have? Running water. Sometimes I turn the tap on, and water runs out – and my mind flashes to stories of women of my mother’s age, when they say they had to go down the river to get buckets full and lug it back home. When they used to have to fetch water from the well. These memories are in our mother’s life time – and it still happens in lucky parts of the world. In the unlucky places, there is no water.
But this is not about guilt. Its just about appreciation. Thanks. Gratitude.
And today, I’m really grateful for my toilet.
What about you? What have you been grateful for today?
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
As a student, we feel motivated when we are interested in something. We can sit up all night with our face in a book. Its harder and less rewarding to study the topics we’re not so interested in. It can be difficult to build up enthusiasm.
As a teacher, you need to be motivated by your student. Not by your self.
Teach What the Student Needs to Know
That means that sometimes you have to bend the curriculum of what you have prepared, and move around and open up another box of information or wisdom.
The Jesus and Buddhas’ teachings are full of stories. They are similar stories, but they are different, depending on their audience. And finally, when they have spoken taught as best they can, they say, ok then, for those of you with ears, listen!
As an instructor, we need to move fluidly around the material we want to teach. If you see your students/class not responding. Its not their fault. Its yours. You need to take responsibility for doing your best to fulfil their requirements. Sometimes your students won’t like you for it. It doesn’t mean just making them happy. It means, making them grow and develop.
Remember that some of our harders, and yet rewarding lessons in life, have been difficult and even traumatic. If we survive them, we feel enriched and empowered.
The next time you stand in front of your class/student, take a moment to ask yourself ‘How much am I just talking about me? How much am I answering the student’s needs? How can I explain what needs to be taught, so that the student understands me, like a flash of light?
Monday, September 28, 2009
I was five. It was in a hall way. I heard something, I was curious, I walked towards the noise and I saw my father on top of my mother. He was holding her down. My mother was struggling. She was wild. Fighting.
I'm just watching the second half of Caroline Myss's video on her new book Defy Gravity.
“We are like pure rainwater that has become impure by falling in the gutter. The water in the gutter needs to be cleaned by connecting it to a river, and this is what sadhana does. Even though we are, in reality, the untainted Atman, because we are bound to the gross, physical world, there are impure vasanas (tendencies) present within us. We have to purify our minds by discriminating between the eternal and the ephemeral, and through meditation. And as we are purified by meditating, we grow strong.”
Sunday, September 27, 2009
I just wrote this for the
There is insistence of speaking the Catalan language, of waving the Catalan flag, of protecting the Catalan culture, and yet, it seems, she is reacting against her past and not resonating with the prosperity of her present.
When we were travelling to and from
Obviously, the soccer team, Barce has helped sell the awareness of
So, the world knows about you. They know you exist. They know you are not the same as
Now its time for you,
Tiffany has not yet come into her own. She’s blooming after the repression of ideas of how things should be, and responding well to the world travelling, but she is still shaking off the hold of her Early Years of Protection and bucking at the new role she is being given.
There is insistence on following old Tiffany paths, of waving the Me flag, of protecting the Tiffany entity, and yet, it seems, she is reacting against her past and not resonating with the prosperity of her present.
In the previous years of her life, people have responded positively to her. They have loved her, called her ‘angel’, ‘blessing’, ‘precious’ and ‘dear’. And she looked behind her, to see who they were talking to. There was no response in her heart that resonated from the gift of the other’s love.
So, the world knows about you. They know you exist. They know you are not the same as you were. They see you as hopeful, happy, and helpful. With something unique to offer the world.
Now its time for you, Tiffany, to accept your position.
To accept the ‘I am.’ To feel it resonate within. To allow it to be.
The moon is bright before us. Before we had electricity, the moon lit the world at night. But only sometimes. She showed her full face, or just the profile as she turned away.
And yet, the moon is constantly orbiting the earth. His disappearance is an illusion. An illusion created by how much light he can catch upon his face.
The emotions change. The world around us changes. But we endure. We are still there. It looks like it is changing, but it is not. The light has long been a symbol of knowledge and enlightenment. We feel secure in our knowledge at times, and then, fall, as the light leaves us.
But still, we endure.
The constancy of the moon is not often sung – but I wish to remind us, that although she appears to leave us, she is always there. Her constancy is like a weight inside of me, grounding me to the energetic body. I feel my heart and mind coming together in understanding and acceptance.
It is the right key for me to move another step along the road.
The moon gives me acceptance of change.
It allows me to shake off the guilt of moods.
It is constant, like the pulse of the universe in my blood cells.
I accept the moon into my heart, with a smile.
I have looked upon its face with wonder at its ever changing beauty.
Change is all around us. There is nothing that sits still and is set.
Except us. We label, we name, we describe, we make a belief around the very nature of life, and then we discuss it to make sure we know what we are talking about and others also know, and if they do not, then we will teach them, the ‘right’ way. And the moon keeps changing her face. The earth keeps turning, the wind keeps blowing, the leaves keep falling, the rains keep falling, the rivers keep flowing, the birds keep singing.
Look at this link, page 25, of the chapter ‘moony’ by D. H. Lawrence.
Desperate we are, vicious in our need to assert the ‘I’. All we can do is break. And yes, when we break, the person we thought we were disappears, and someone else remains in their place.
The moon, when I feel it, is not male or female to me. So perhaps I will shift its gender depending on the context.
I keep seeing flashes of the beginning, when I was laying on the floor of my bedroom last year, feeling myself dying and struggling and finally breaking. And then back to the present, with the moon as my guide, and a little bird as my friend and mentor.
We stopped the car in the right village at the right church. While we were waiting for Albert to see if the tourist office was open, a dragonfly alighted upon the side mirror of the car.
Dragonflies were my messengers last year, following me everywhere and bringing me great love and joy. Little winged serpents. Dragons that fly. The earth and the heavens in one.
This reminds me that I did my English Literature thesis on D. H. Lawrence and the search for self in Women in Love and The Plumed Serpent. Do not mistake coincidence for destiny, as Mr Echo and Locke say…
We see some beautiful trees and plants.
The path is quite easy most of the way.
Jett sees the hill first and runs up calling to us ‘this is magnificent’ and ‘this is really something’. I was starting to think this pile of stones was going to be huge.
A tomb, to people long gone.
I greeted the area respectfully. Approached with all ears open and sat down beside the rocks to meditate and offer my silence, my receptivity.
I heard that the land was chosen up on a hill, because it was closer to the heavens. The stone was used because it was to endure, like the gods and like the spirit once we die. Its not the same material to be used for when we live.
I heard that the stones were from the earth, dug up. As symbols from the under ground. Offerings were laid upon the flat rock above, as appeasement to the gods.
I heard that I could feel the details of the ones inside – but in fact, it was the same. It was life, and death. It was light, and darkness. It was creativity, and suppression. It didn’t change. I felt pain in my right hand. I placed it upon the rock – and let it go.
We said our thanks. We walked home and looked up into the glorious green of the canopy above.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Today we are going to see a dolmen, not so far from here. It was Albert's suggestion. I didn't know about them before. I was researching their significance quickly, just now - some suggest it is a doorway to the underworld - 'the great below' and the Sumerians used them too. Dating back 3000 years or more.
Words written by the woman who weaved the story from the ancients -
‘I was drawn to the story of the woman who gave away, at seven successive gates, all she had accomplished in life until she was stripped naked, with nothing remaining but her will to be reborn.’ p.xvi
‘the word for ear and wisdom in Sumerian are the same.’ p.xii
‘as Kramer spoke, a shiver ran through me. When taken literally, the text itself announces the story’s direction: From the Great Above the goddess opened (set) her ear, her receptor for wisdom, to the Great Below.’ p.xvii
‘During the first year, I dreamed of being in a enormous meadow and having the task of cleaning the meadow – blade by blade.’ p.xviii
Inanna Queen of Heaven and Earth – Diane Wolkstein an Samuel Noah Kramer (New York, 1983) Harper and Row
Last night, my son came came into our room. I could hear he'd had one of his disturbing dreams.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Yesterday I was in Barcelona for the first time in a month. There is a book fair this week. As I was walking past the books, I came across one that had 'Montserrat' emblazoned across the front cover.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
There are some definitive moments when I consciously moved from the androgenous into the feminine space. It was less like embracing and more like being an aggressive driver of a dodgem car.
I was 30 when I started to wear ‘pretty’ clothes, or clothes that flattered the figure. That’s not to say I have never worn them before, but I made a conscious decision to enhance my figure with clothing. That is, I wanted to change my outer image from tomboy/sports person to feminine and attractive. Yes. I wanted to be seen as attractive. I was going to manipulate my image. I felt a certain dirtiness in doing this. Its the same fear of 'wonderbras' that I have had. Pretending you have something you don't.
I bought my first pair of jeans and they were tighter than any pants I’ve worn before. I bought a pair of semi high heels and tops that fitted into the figure and didn’t cover my bottom. Wearing these things all together was a challenging experience. I was self conscious and embarrassed and knew that I had to do this to myself because I had daggers of judgement towards girls who dressed like this every day.
I had to embrace what I disliked so that I could stop to dislike it.
My problem with women started when I was born. My mother’s stories were that my father wanted a boy child. I was strong from the moment I was born. Small but strong, flexible, always awake, hardly eating, good natured, observant and climbing everything.
My father used to hang me from the door way with just my fingers curled into the frame at 6 months old.
I wanted to be a boy. I thought I was a boy. I wasn’t emotional. I disliked pink. I hated dolls and dresses.
I resented bras and bows and fluffy fancy things.
Women were weak. They cried and were dramatic. They were victims, shadows, manipulators, trappers of men, using their intelligence to trap and fool men.
Why did I think these things? Just watching the interactions of my parents, of the world around me. I had so much hate towards females in general.
The silliness, the giggling, the talk of boys, the concern for their hair, the preciseness of their pencil boxes.
It didn’t help that I was considered ‘plain’ and had a figure that was described as ‘straight up and down’, that my thighs were so big from running I couldn’t fit into normal sized pants and had to wear sport clothes, that my face was freckled and my mother adored clear beautiful skin, where my hair was wavy and brown and my mother loved thick black curly hair, that my mother thought the perfect waist was one you could put to hands around and actually, I didn’t have a waist. And so forth and so on.
I used to go swimming at 6 – 7 am twice a week and have competition on Sunday. I used to go to athletics training twice a week and have competition on Saturday. I used to jog for 45 minutes every morning that I wasn’t swimming with the local surf club. That was when I was 8.
In my thirties I took a shot of vodka, then another one, and then I went to my first belly dance class with my good friend Mitra. A class that changed my life. A class I was so afraid of – to move the body freely. To move the hips. To shake the shoulders. To let the hair be free. To embrace the female body with its curves and beauty.
I felt my feet pound the floor to the drums – and it was awakening the female power from below. My feet pounded on the door to our great Mother. My hips moved in circles – winding, calling, and invoking the snake goddess of dreams and darkness. My arms and hands moved out into the space around me and felt the energy of light. I became darkness interacting with light. Light was my medium.
I went home to
I moved here, to
The Mother Earth – the continual healing, the continual giving, the continual renewal – without end. We scream at her, and she gives us food. We hit her, and she gives us sunsets of such beauty we think we will die. We destroy her ornaments and she gives us flowers.
Its time to grow up. To stop the tantrums. To turn to her and embrace her with love and gratitude. For everything thing the Mother represents. For everything the female represents. For everything.
And this does not mean we are against the Father. Not at all. It just means, we are for the mother. When she is strong, and has been awakened, we can allow the sacred meeting of the father and mother to take place within each of us. The light, the darkness. The rational and the irrational. The waking and the dreaming. The mountain and the valley.
Thank you to my mother, thank you to my Grandmothers, thank you to my sisters, thank you to my father, thank you to my first female friends, thank you to Mitra, thank you to Sevika, thank you to Sarah, thank you to Geir, thank you to Anders, thank you to Jett, thank you to Katrine, thank you to my brother, thank you to Albert, thank you to Elizabeth, thank you to our dear Mother and thank you to Ordinary Sparrow for helping to bring the clay into some sort of identifiable shape with a master’s touch.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Last night was the new moon. I’ve been reading Ordinary Sparrow’s words, and then I listened to Caroline Myss on her new book on Defying Gravity.
This morning I woke up with an image of the earth floating in space. And the conviction that the self, in its search for ‘trust’ and ‘surrender’ and being ‘One’ needs the same, it is the same, Trust and Being that the earth has in its ‘hanging in space’.
Pause to think about that for just a moment. The rest of what I write is mere repetition.
If we look at the picture, if we contemplate the strangeness, the impossibility of it – the rational mind expands to a point of confusion and shuts down. This is the point. We can’t understand the hows and whys – but the fact remains, IT IS.
The earth hangs in space and this weird suspension, with all its miracles and queerness and mystery, this ultimate existence is the same incomprehensible, irrational Trust that we must surrender to to reach the place we need to go.
The leap of faith. The free fall. The Knowing that is of the blood. The seeing that is of the Third Eye. The Pulse of the Earth is our own pulse.
‘We are the world.’ We are the Earth. There are studies comparing the human body to the earth and its physical relationship or connection. However, its psyche? The Earth with its pollution (that humans create), is it not our negativity blocking our energy system? The increased instability in weather is our own personal lack of grounding or imbalance. The weather is of the air – air is the element of the mind. They are all symbols and symptoms of our very personal struggle.
I think again of Dr Len. Heal thyself. Heal the world.