change clears debris

My morning ritual for some time now has been to get up super early, make my one coffee for the day, and watch inspiring youtube videos (mostly long-form interviews) while I make jewelry. I then go to work at a job I don’t love…but it’s ok, because I know I have that soul-nourishing daily morning time to myself.

Of course, the conversation has changed in the last couple weeks. I’ve been watching videos posted by Caroline Myss and Marianne Williamson, and their words, meditations, and prayers about our current state resonate with me. In one of her recent posts, Myss says the words, ‘change clears debris’, and when I heard that, I thought…yes.

gorgeous morning magnolia

I will be working from home for the foreseeable future. I’m grateful to have this option, as my partner was to start a new job that has now been indefinitely postponed. I myself am supposed to transfer to a different department in a few weeks, but that’s up in the air too.

Everyone I know is impacted in some way or another. ‘Impacted’ is probably an understatement. It’s inconvenient, it’s uncertain, and it’s HUGE. It’s fascinating that the whole world is dealing with this right now; it’s hard to grasp the totality of it all. (I always thought it would be an alien visit that gave humanity a shared experience.)

Many people have discussed that this forced social distancing/staying at home can be a positive thing. I think about countries such as Italy, and all those people everywhere who aren’t working, who are homeless, who are sick and can’t get the supplies they need. I am fortunate to have food, shelter, and support.

In addition to staying informed of the ‘facts’, I can’t help but look at this from a spiritual perspective. I have my own thoughts about the bigger Why of this. Humans have long needed a wake-up call; many of us know this. A wake up call to what? The consequences of greed, separation, entitlement, willful ignorance, busy-ness, disregard for our earth, patriarchy and privilege, over-consumption. I see where I’ve played into every one of these aspects.

We are not in control. These past few months I’ve been working hard to change certain situations in my life, and now – especially now – I can’t force anything. I’m throwing in the towel. Virtually every aspect of life is affected by this virus; we can only control how we manage our own energy in the midst of it all.

I’m glad I have so many beads to occupy me. 🙂 This is a perfect time for crafting, writing, reading, meditating/contemplating/praying to energetically counter the widespread fear and panic that many – not all – are experiencing. I’m grateful to have this golden opportunity.

you are your own guru (mostly)

Scanning my junk folder last week, I noticed an email from a Kundalini Yoga organization that I’d followed a few years ago. It looked serious; something had happened that shook the community.

I learned that Yogi Bhajan, the man who brought a form of Kundalini Yoga to the west, had allegedly had a sexual relationship with one, maybe more, of his long-time students. (Though he had been accused of many things in the past, this – according to the community – was the first credible claim.)

Is this really a surprise? We hear about this all the time, and often in the spiritual/yoga community; (mostly) men taking advantage of their ‘power’.

The timing was interesting; in the couple days before, I’d thought about my strong connection with Kundalini Yoga and how I’d maybe like to resume my practice. I could’ve gone down the rabbit hole in reading other yogis’ reactions to the allegations (and I did, a little bit). But ultimately, I’m just so done with the same old, same old story.

Limitless – Sonja Picard

In many Kundalini Yoga classes, Yogi Bhajan is absolutely central. He’s quoted all the time, there are photos of him everywhere…he dominates. On some level, I have a hard time separating him from the teachings.

Kundalini Yoga is, largely, about eradicating the ego. It’s about humanity moving out of an age of darkness. It’s about unveiling the shadow and purifying consciousness. So, perhaps it’s quite fitting that this has happened.

I read Danielle LaPorte’s White Hot Truth last year, in which she writes about her process of moving away from spiritual teachings and focusing on her inner truth and knowing. I related to this book in a big way. One message: You are your own guru, words often echoed in the spiritual/new age community.

I have mixed feelings about this sentiment. Yes, we often give too much power to authority – bosses, religious and spiritual teachers, parents. To the point where we lose ourselves, don’t feel in control, and become resentful.

I am learning to listen to and honour my own inner wisdom, which has come from life experience. But I also want and need the help of something higher, and you are your own guru means, for me, that I have a lifetime to cultivate my relationship with that something higher, learning in my own way. There’s a lot of muck that needs to be wiped away, and I need help with that. Humility, to some extent, grounds me.

For many years, I learned from others – mostly men – who I felt had more spiritual knowledge and wisdom than me. And this isn’t to say their particular intentions were bad or they were misusing power; it’s just the way things have been done for so long. We’ve all been playing certain roles, and they aren’t working for most of us.

And now I’m thinking about the divine feminine, something I used to write and think about a lot, but which has slipped away these past couple years. I was writing about it, but couldn’t truly feel her presence in my life.

I loved that Kundalini Yoga was about empowering women. I still believe that. And part of this empowerment, this awakening of the Divine Feminine, is dismantling the power structures that (paradoxically) don’t allow for it.

These structures are incorporated into so many aspects of humanity, it shouldn’t be a surprise where they surface. I trust that spiritual teachings can remain intact, and even more powerful, when we can discern the transmitters – the human beings with egos – from the essence of the teachings. We are stripping away all that’s not truth.

(re)emerging into the blogosphere

It has been a long while since I last posted. Blogging, which had once been a big part of my life, slowly became less of a priority these last couple years.

Some reasons are obvious: I discovered a new creative endeavour that quickly became an obsession, occupying virtually every minute of my spare time. I began co-habitating with my significant other, and didn’t have the focus I had when it was just me in my own space, doing whatever I wanted, whenever.

Other reasons for the pause were less obvious. Mainly, I felt I was just sharing too much, a theme which had already surfaced in some of my posts. I felt overexposed, somewhat fragmented, and vulnerable…in my perception, open to attack.

Much of what I wrote about in my four years of blogging concerned spiritual matters, and even that was feeling less authentic. I’d consumed so much over the years – spiritual readings and philosophies, self help books, psychics and teachers, personal growth workshops…and something inside me said – enough. This wasn’t a conscious decision. But it was time to unplug.

I wanted this blog to be inspirational, uplifting, and to help people…but that felt forced, these last couple of years.

I’ve long viewed the planet, and the current state of humanity, as undergoing a cleansing and purging period – the unveiling of the shadow, the age of Kali Yuga. And for years, my inner optimist viewed that as positive: humans would eventually wake up, see the light, and usher in a new age.

I no longer experience that certainty, that optimism. Maybe there will be a golden age of humanity, but I’m not as convinced I’ll see it in my lifetime. I am getting glimpses of it, however. (And as I write this, I suppose anything can happen…wildcards, miracles…) How to detach from the ultimate outcome, without becoming passive or apathetic?

For a while I thought about starting a new, anonymous blog, where I could freely write about all the thoughts that plague me, and not worry about oversharing or being perceived as negative. But maybe I will write about those things right here, because I know others are feeling what I do, and there is comfort in that.

Through writing, maybe the positive will be revealed. And really, when it comes to positive/negative…it’s not that simple, is it? There is peace and contentment in accepting all my emotions, without self-judgment or comparing myself to others’ emotional states (which I can never really know). Pretending to be ‘love and light’ when I’m feeling dark and surly only makes me feel worse.

And speaking of judgment, another reason blogging became difficult: the self-imposed perfectionism! I wanted every post to be well-written, perfect grammar, poetic, deep, lots of likes. It took the fun away from it.

Where am I now? I’m still obsessed with making jewelry. But that can be a very solitary activity, and I do want to connect to kindred spirits. In these times it’s so tempting to crawl into my little cocoon and hide out there indefinitely.

I say a big hello to all my blogging friends, and hope and trust you are all well.

a selection of true awakening experiences part III

When I received Barbara’s invitation to participate in her third awakening series, I didn’t immediately respond. I hadn’t written about awakening in some time. I hadn’t read about it. My blog itself, describing me as ‘a spiritual girl in the digital world’, had stalled.

What could I share? In the preceding months, I’d actually felt turned off by the concepts of ‘awakening’ and ‘ascension’. It’s like a switched had flipped and I couldn’t connect with what had driven and inspired me for many years.

As I wrote in my last post, the heavier aspects of being human – individually and collectively – weighed on me this year. To write about these things from a spiritual viewpoint, which I’d done many times before, didn’t feel right. I didn’t want to theorize or analyze. I was seeing things from a different perspective, and that perspective was…I don’t know.

My inner pendulum was changing course. Did I truly believe humanity was awakening? Did I have a clue about ascension? Or was I simply repeating what I’d heard and read over the years?

I didn’t grow up in an overly strict religious household, yet as a child I was plagued by the concept of a watchful God that was assessing my every move. As a teenager, the exposure to more metaphysical – aka ’spiritual’ or ‘new age’ – concepts brought me much comfort and hope. Life was far more intriguing travelling this path. The mystical was a language I intuitively understood. It made sense.

But the old concept of God, and the fear of it, lurked within me. And this past year it was triggered, with these two aspects – very simplified as ’religious versus spiritual’ – battling within.

This left me in a place of feeling generally disconnected and disgruntled. Which doesn’t sound great…but there was also relief. Relief in becoming less attached to any belief system, to any doctrine or teaching that attempted to convince me I could know what is ultimately unknowable.

I do know that the day I received another gentle prompt from Barbara to participate in this awakening series, I’d been walking to work that morning with the thought, I want to believe. I want to invite the energies of love, my ancestors, the Divine Feminine, back into my life without the hazy, overlaying fear of retribution that’s been hanging over humanity for eons. I want to feel the mystical and the sacred.

I think periods of disconnect are often appropriate and totally necessary. For so many years, I consumed. Information, books, concepts, digital ‘stuff’. I’ve needed to unplug for a while, to integrate and to delete some of the outdated imprints, downloads, and programs.

My inner pendulum is moving towards centre, finding its own resonance. Maybe, deep under the uncertainty of disconnection, I implicitly trusted that I would feel a restored connection in due time. My relationship the divine is renewing. Writing any more than that ventures into analyzing territory, and I’m not sure it can or needs to be articulated further.

Awakening allows us to doubt, question, and disconnect. Awakening is forgiving of the process. Awakening is patient. It takes a lifetime, possibly more.

I am surrendering to awakening, and dissolving resistance as I travel that path. All the while, doing my best to remain humble in what I don’t know. It is a tender space, and it feels right.

***

Thank you Barbara at Me, My Magnificent Self for the invitation. Next up is lovely Linda.

Image credits: Stepping into the Light and Trust Letting Go by Hans Walor.

i (almost) forgot i had a blog

One week turned into a month, then a couple months, and then…September!

It’s been my biggest ever blogging break. This is partly because, in the weeks after my last post, I’d had some heavy things on my mind and didn’t know how (or necessarily want) to share them in this space. Big Pharma and the depression epidemic. Broken sisterhood. Racism. The pitfalls of technology, primarily social media. To name a few.

I attempted to blog a few times, but the words felt stilted. Or preachy. Or too analytical. I found myself wanting to extract some meaning and positivity from my painful feelings, but that too didn’t feel right. I wrote about this being a time of necessary chaos, an unveiling of the collective shadow…but the words felt inauthentic.

ganesha blessings

I’m not feeling such intensity these days, and I now see that it was necessary to experience that heaviness without ‘spiritualizing’ it. While I do believe the darkness in humanity – the collective shadow – is being exposed, I’m not sure that all my long-beliefs, particularly about spirituality, still resonate. I’ve assumed a lot of things to be true for many years, particularly in regards to ascension and awakening, but I now seem to be in a place of…unknowing anything.

The summer has certainly been full of activity, another reason I haven’t written. I’ve been busy moving to a new home, living in a new city, starting a new job, and living with someone else for the first time in a very long time.

So much seemed to change at once, and with all the (continued) transition, I’ve often felt a lost connection with spirit. But is it lost, or changing in nature?

A couple of months ago, I was in a group setting where each of us was asked to share our personal story. Some of us spoke of defining moments and emotional pain experienced early in our lives. I found myself saying words I’d said many times before in other groups, and right here on this blog…and I realized how tired I was of telling that story.

It’s similar with my shifting spiritual beliefs. I’m in a space of definitions changing. I’m grateful for spiritual teachers and philosophies I’ve been exposed to, for the lectures and workshops I’ve attended, for the many books I’ve read. I have compassion for the inner child and the journey. I also acknowledge the emotional work I’ve done over the years in my spiritual search, releasing what’s felt like lifetimes of ancestral pain.

But perhaps it’s okay to let go just a little, and not overly fixate on the ‘why’ of things. To trust that I could never be disconnected from spirit, and to understand that releasing the story doesn’t mean I’m rejecting it.

What I do know is, I’m very glad I’ve written some words here, and that they feel right. 🙂

I’ve also meant to share my new Etsy page with my blogging friends. For the rest of September, I’m offering 25% off for WordPress’ers with coupon code WORDPRESS25. (Thank You, Ka!)

I am happy to have returned to my blog, and I wish you all a wonderful wrap to summer (or whatever season you’re in!).

don’t hate the media, become the media

Last week I happened upon an unexpected sight: an urban labyrinth. I was walking to work on my favourite bridge, when I noticed the spiral design on the grassy bank below. Funnily enough, this was virtually the same place I spotted a random black (lucky) rabbit a few years ago.

The irony wasn’t lost on me that, in my hurry, I quickly took a photo and moved on. For it’s my understanding that labyrinths are contemplative in nature, meant to be walked purposefully, symbolizing the journey to the centre of oneself.

Several years ago, I competed a program in Digital Communications. Here we learned about all aspects of social media and design. I enjoyed the training and excitedly wrote about it here on this blog.

I’ve been pondering this experience a lot lately, because my views on technology have changed so much since then. I won’t repeat what I’ve shared in more recent posts, but suffice it to say that I’ve limited my time on social media, eliminating the platform that drained the most energy.

I’m also becoming increasingly aware of, and disturbed by, the extent to which certain sites are intentionally designed to encourage addiction and consumption through use of colour, design, and various other manipulative tactics.

So much of this happens at an unconscious level. I’ve observed my own tendency to automatically reach for my phone or mindlessly surf when I’m waiting for…anything. This mindlessness, this habitual stimulus-response pattern, feels dangerous.

What are the consequences of having our emotions and brain chemistry played with? How does it affect our ability to create true community, consciousness, and empathy? Is technology bringing to light our darkness, or creating it through repetitive stimulation of our reptilian cortex?

Loving communications as I do, there definitely are aspects of technology that tickle me. Like blogging. And when I’m beading – itself a meditative practice – I listen to inspiring interviews and podcasts. It’s illuminating to get perspectives from those with lived experience and wisdom different from my own. It’s expanding, enlightening, and feeds my curiosity.

In two interviews I’ve listened to – one featuring the fabulous Danielle LaPorte, the other referencing Jello Biafra’s statement ‘Don’t hate the media, become the media,’ the message is clear: We are the new media.

I love that. Mainstream media may be controlled by the few, and we’re extensively tracked and monitored online…but we are the users, the broadcasters. We have the power and agency to express ourselves. The mass challenge seems to be expressing ourselves with thoughtfulness, kindness, and accountability.

Perhaps more challenging: How do I bring kindness into my day-to-day interactions? It’s easy to espouse my views behind my screen, from the comfort of my own home. How do I deal with the tension that’s happening out there in the physical world? It’s often the most mundane activities – our commutes, at work, in line at the grocery store – that test us.

Circling back to the labyrinth (hehe). If I had ‘more time’, would I have stopped to contemplate it? I don’t know that I would. But hey – I noticed that about myself. I noticed that I want to feel more contemplative and in my body. I noticed that I’d like to slow down instead of feeling that general, unnecessary sense of rush.

And I noticed that I’m beginning to do that, in my own way.

In one post I alluded to stories of ancient civilizations that self-destructed because they couldn’t manage the advanced technologies they’d developed. Those tales once seemed farfetched. I don’t necessarily feel humanity is doomed to this fate, but I do think escaping it requires awareness like never before.

Destruction is not about robots or AI taking over. It’s about humans forgetting compassion.

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#beaddicted

The last few weeks have flown by in a whirl. I have been busy engaging in my old/new hobby – beading! – and making lots of jewellery, mostly bracelets and necklaces. It’s been a fitting Mercury Retrograde activity!

I love having a pastime that doesn’t require me to look at a computer screen…although, as I bead, I’ve been listening to inspiring podcasts and YouTube interviews/conversations. Sometimes I really love technology.

I thought I’d share some of my creations here with my blogger pals. 🙂

Thank you for viewing!

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