Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Instant Messaging

Due to record-breaking temperatures in the Emerald Valley, Groom and I jumped in our chariot and headed for the beach to get a whiff of sea air and to cool these hot bodies down.

Remember the olden days when you could toss a blanket and some snacks in the horseless carriage and get out of Dodge within minutes of deciding?

Now, of course, I have to remember to pack the cell phone, the iPod, the digital camera, the laptop computer along with all their cords, battery packs and chargers. Yes, technology has certainly lightened my load.

I.M. stands for instant messaging and “I am” are the two most powerful words in the English language, releasing creative energy from the Divine. Pulling on the thread from last week, the Universe is actually the real Instant Messenger, providing us with continuous feedback and updates second by second if we are “plugged in.”

Imagine if you will, that whatever you are looking at is one gigantic screen and everything happening around you is simply your energy projected onto that screen to watch like a movie.

For the sake of clarification, let me give you an example from Sunday. A friend called and asked me to meet him in the park to talk (Groom was cool with it as my absence provided him with open play time on the computer!).

As Friend and I both live in the same neighborhood, the walk to the park was easy and the two of us were the first people there, unusual for a sunny day.

This friend was pretty distraught and while expressing his feelings, people started arriving at the park one by one. I was intent on giving him my undivided attention, but I couldn’t quite achieve it as I became aware of just how accurate that movie screen description was.

While Friend narrated his story it was as if the people in the park were actors sent to play it out. Right on cue, when he said how sad he felt, a very dejected man entered the park stage left, slumped on a bench, and sighed heartfelt sighs worthy of Shakespeare.

I have to back up for a moment, well actually rewind about 24 hours earlier. On Saturday morning, while asking Wisdom to guide me, the name Violet immediately entered my head. As I don’t know a Violet, I considered the flower and the color. Violet is the color of the crown chakra, the connecting energy center in our bodies to aligning with God.

Now, back to the park. A woman in a green dress began flitting from person to person, arresting people with her eyes and unusual style of initiating conversation. It didn’t take long to realize she was higher than a kite, but that didn’t lessen the amusement.

The first time she skittered past the two of us, Friend was outlining the complicated plot of his soap opera. She was not close enough to hear about the tangled web he wove, but as she approached, she mumbled something under her breath. I caught it though and when she passed, laughed and shared her insight.

“Kiss, kiss,” she had said, and then proceeded to spell it out. “K*I*S*S. Keep It Simple, Stupid.”

We were hooked and took her advice. He paused his story while we watched her zig-zag all over the park, each person she approached looking around for the camera to see if they were being punk’d.

She finally came around again and told us “they were trying to get rid of half of Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” Just then, a man from India came from the other direction and she gasped, announcing most sincerely that he was “a saint.” Her demeanor shifted as she became reverent and honored to be in his presence.

The Indian Saint blushed from being outed by the acid-trip princess, gave us the Namaste bow along with a benevolent smile and continued on his way.

The movie at the park was about to get even more interesting...

The green dress lady said a few more unintelligible things about Uncle Tom and then resumed what appeared to be a heated conversation with an invisible man (at least to us) on our right. She tried to introduce us, but perhaps the guy she was talking to (Uncle Tom?) couldn’t see us and thought she was a bit of a wackadoodle.

It would have been easy to dismiss her ramblings, except for the last part. She started to move on, then backed up, looked directly at me and said…are you ready? She said, “Oh, and by the way, I’m Violet. Stay in love.”

I almost peed my pants.

I told Friend about the name Violet entering my head in a gentle, breezy manner the day before. His ears perked up and the direction of our conversation shifted. I mentioned the immediacy of Energetic Messages and his curiosity piqued. We leaned back and decided to watch.

He quickly observed that his story was being played out in the park. As I shared my celestial instant messaging beliefs, he decided to join in and pointed out the two side-by-side blue doors that had just grabbed his attention. The one to the right had “Hold It” scrawled across and the other said “poo.”

Friend had been tempted to crawl back into his dark hole of depression, but reading the sign to “Hold it” made him realize he was at choice. To have a door actually marked “poo” made him laugh and he told me he didn’t want to open the “poo door.”

Many more things continued to unfold and as we sat there, he saw his own energy reflected back to him and he began to learn the art of interpretation.

Later that night I received a telephone call from him. He had gone home and shared the experience with a friend, including our encounter with our “guide” Violet. His friend was amazed because his old nickname had been Violet.

Then, as if that weren’t enough, they had gone out for a burger and their waiter told them his wife had recently given birth. Any guesses what they named their daughter???

Sparked by all the Violet references, he told me he had looked up the meaning of the word and the color is often used to enhance creativity and dissolve barriers.

Did you think the Violet connections ended there? Of course not. This very afternoon, while sitting in our favorite spot on our favorite beach, Groom is reading Alice in Wonderland and who shows up on the page but the talking flowers. One, apparently, had never spoken before and startled Alice. Would it startle you to learn this communicative blossom was a Violet?

What’s the big deal, you might ask, so what if we encountered several references to a particular purple flower?

If something happens one time, that’s enough to notice, but two times becomes a pattern. Here’s a simple rule for interpreting energy: If it gets your attention, PAY attention.

The point is that Friend felt confused and a bit lost. By introducing the idea that he was capable of reading his own energy, I passed along a map. If you know how to find where you are then you can get to where you want to be.

Most of us dwell in the past on Memory Lane or reside in future-Tripsville. Regardless of the population explosion, the Present is not very crowded, because few people actually live here.

The present is often new territory and having a way to read the landmarks is not only beneficial but amazingly fun.

Speaking of fun, our day at the beach was a grand one. I hope all of you are enjoying your summer. Namaste.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Telephone Pole

A Nun, a Pastor and a teacher from Denmark walked into our booth. Yes, I know, it sounds like the opening line of a joke, but it really happened this weekend during an Art Festival. The full force of what came out my mouth did not strike me until the late drive home. Punchy and tired, the conversation replayed in my mind and I started laughing.

Les très femmes were amusing and there was something about their demeanor that sparked my curiosity. I asked what they did in their professional lives. They said to guess and in fact, suggested that I’d never get it right.

After rising to the challenge and selecting ideas from left field, they were correct, I did not manage to guess they were women of the cloth. However, it hit me later that I asked a Nun if she was a stripper, a sniper or a pro-wrestler. Wow, another taste of my size 10 shoes.

What does this have to do with today’s theme? As I clack at the keys, I’m not sure yet, but hopefully by the time I wrap it up, something will have tickled my inspiration.

I’m currently in the car. The first thing I notice is a sign proclaiming the “Enchanted Way.” If you haven’t noticed, I’m a firm believer in signs, symbols and shiny reflective surfaces. My faith includes the notion that God, through the language of the Universe, communicates with us every day, 24/7.

Don’t worry; whether a person communicates via Klingon, text message-shorthand, or ig-Pay atin-Lay, the Universe understands all native tongues. What’s important is if we’re fluent in speaking Universe.

Messages are everywhere if we pay attention. Some are subtle and others are hard to miss. I offer a recent example. Groom and I were out for a walk this week and we were in the midst of a lively conversation about self-love when a newspaper littering the ground caught my eye. The print was small and the only word large enough to read from that distance was “PATH.”

This is my gauge of a subtle communiqué. It would have been easy enough to miss. At first blush, the newspaper appeared to be trash, but I looked anyway and saw the “PATH” ahead of me.

This well-timed word reinforced the understanding that self-love is the gateway to our path. A warm feeling came over us and our conversation sparked even more ideas. We were animatedly discussing the moment self-love gives permission to our darker, squirrelier parts and they finally feel safe enough to come out of the shadows and into the light to be healed.

Although this sounds good in theory, in practice, deformed aspects hiding in the dark tend to get blinded by the love-light when emerging. The emotions they provoke range from skittery to belligerent. Anything coming to life hurts and things that need to be healed aren’t always pretty. In other words, it can be darmn uncomfortable (Yes, darn feels too weak and damn too strong).

There is a time period when the pain is no longer hiding in the dark but it has not yet acclimated to the light. This is a freaky, shaky moment. It helps to have support and be around people who recognize what is taking place. This is exactly where we were in our conversation, so imagine our delight when we walked past a telephone pole with a white plastic window-blind hanging from it.

This is my gauge of a message that’s hard to miss. Especially when it’s hanging from a pole that was wearing a red bra last season. I’ll skip interpreting the lingerie and concentrate on the “blind.”

Whoa, hold the phone. This began with a true story about me asking a Nun if she was a stripper and a few paragraphs later I’m talking about a pole wearing nothing but a red bra. Is there a connection? My inspiration is being tickled…

Red is the color of the root chakra: The beginning, the family, the tribe, and the origin of all the stuff that needs to emerge for healing in the first place. Stripping is the peeling away of layers to get to the fleshy good stuff.

A bra holds the girls up. It is supportive. Sometimes functional, sometimes sensual. Breasts represent nurturing, mothering, nourishment and pleasure.

A pole? Well, let’s just gloss right over that and go straight for the telephone part. Fifth chakra: The throat. It’s our avenue of expression, a channel of creativity, the ability to speak up for one’s self. And full circle, we’re back to self-love.

When we don’t speak up for ourselves, we swallow anger, stifle our creativity, get sore throats and worse.

A white blind was suspended from a symbol for communication and self-care. We were talking (using our voices to communicate) about feeling blinded while healing. Um, do you suppose the Universe was communicating with us??

In stopping to look at the art installation God set in our path, we understood it was multi-layered. One of them was about moderation and control. Again, we were thinking either/or. Either hurt stays in the dark or hurt comes out into the bright light, which we already described as darmn painful.

White is the color of purity, of perfection and holiness. The white blind was showing us that we could have more control of how much we let in. We can adjust the window blind to allow our disabled subconscious critters room to adapt to the light.

We could see how we were treating the unhealed parts of ourselves like criminals, bringing them up from the holding tank and shoving bright lights into their eyes during the interrogation phase.

Like the color white, a Nun and a Pastor also represent holiness. A teacher stands for the dynamic of teaching and learning. Yes, I know, kinda obvious, but I still had to say it.

The fact that I was joking around with a trinity without self-consciousness tells me God has a sense of humor and loves it when we are simply ourselves.

Can we have a sense of humor about it all and simply love being ourselves?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Warm and Fuzzy

An American Southwest Medicine Woman once said, “First, let’s interpret your morning. Tell me how it was getting here, and I will tell you about yourself.”


I woke up at 5am with a rogue wisdom tooth trying to push its way out of my upper right gum. It was swollen and painful as little chunks of cementum, enamel, dentin (or whatever teeth are made from) emerged amidst blood and an odd tasting liquid. Of course I was spitting up and feeling ookey.

When I flipped the switch to the coffee maker, the grounds backed up and overflowed, creating quite the mess on the kitchen counter.

Then at Market, the first person to bless our booth was a woman with a large, noticeable scab right below her left nostril. She was momentarily infatuated with our line of jewelry and requested to look through every single piece, including our secret stash. Her enthusiasm wilted mine as she proceeded to pick at her scab then touch everything in the booth.

She collected a pile of jewelry she was interested in purchasing and my repulsion to her was slightly offset by the hope of a sizable sale. But then she switched from picking her scab to picking apart the jewelry. Nothing suited her after all. “Do you have the silver one in gold? I’d prefer the blue in red, this is too big, that one’s too small,” etc. and on it went.

After spreading her germy, crusty bits she lamented that she just couldn’t find anything and that maybe she’d “be back.”

Okay, Ms. Medicine woman, I told you about my morning, so bring on the woo-woo.

Now I get to quote her… “There’s little difference between the sleeping and the waking dreams of everyday life, with all their mystery and drama. To begin crafting your vision, you must become aware of your waking dreams and their symbolism. Symbols are everywhere and everything that you experience mirrors a part of you – so when you can perceive reality in this way, you understand how you’re already dreaming your world.”

Please bear with me. The next part may be a skosh confusing as we look at the symbols and interpret the “waking dreams” of my morning. Then, if we figure it out, hopefully all will make sense. I’m too embarrassed to mention that I failed to look before sitting down to tinkle and didn’t notice that the toilet seat was up…so I think I’ll leave that part out and concentrate on these five.

1. Wisdom. 2. Teeth. 3. Breaking through. 4. Coffee grounds overflowing. 5. A scab below the nose.

According to the experts, wisdom is the ability to recognize truth coupled with good judgment. Teeth in general represent decisions. Trouble with wisdom teeth specifically, indicates not giving oneself enough mental space to create a firm foundation.

Ha, speaking of foundations, coffee grounds overflowing could represent grounding and being a little backed up, not allowing the energy to flow out. In other words, an imbalance.

A scab is a healing wound. The nose of all things (and oh boy, have there been several references to noses lately!) represents self-recognition.

I’ve told you about my morning, we’ve interpreted the symbols, now what does this reveal about me?

Wisdom is emerging, accompanied by some pain. I have a decision to make, yet I am keeping myself too busy and not allowing enough quiet time to go inward and create a firm foundation to support it. I tend to hold onto things past their expiration dates, perhaps a little fearful of letting things go lest there be no more. Scarcity thinking. This creates a back up in my system, both in terms of prunes on the shopping list and energetic clogs.

A wound regarding self-recognition is healing.

And now I must digress for a moment and summon once again the topic of the dude at the Japanese tea ceremony who plucked a strawberry from his nose. I wrote about it because it was so weird and curiously provoking.

When I was a youngster, I was in love with strawberries. I’d save my coins until I had enough to buy some delectable scarlet berries of my own. J'adore manger des fraises, but I was too afraid to ever eat them, because if I ate them, there wouldn’t be any left. So the strawberries would sit in their little green basket on the shelf in the refrigerator until they were covered in moldy fur, bruised and squishy, and had to be thrown out. Need I say more?

Strawberries have always reminded me of how I hold on to things but don’t allow myself the experience of enjoying them. It’s a sad trait, a waste really.

Now that I understand that the nose represents self-recognition, having someone pull a strawberry out of one like a rabbit from a hat suddenly makes sense. First of all, it captured my attention and I’ve been ruminating.

Secondly, putting the waking dreams together, as I watched the guy pull a strawberry from his nose, I witnessed an old habit of hoarding being birthed through the nostril canal of self-recognition. Is this woo-woo enough for you? Are you following me so far? Okay, I’m laughing even if you aren’t.

Here’s what I’ve come up with so far: Wisdom breaking through, making a decision, a need for quiet mediation, letting things go with faith there will always be more, and a healing wound. Really, all that from a sketchy morning?

Taking the time to examine the symbols in my environment created a release. When Groom showed up at the Market, I decided to walk around and see the new vendors who finally had an opportunity to sell at Market since most of the regulars were at the Oregon Country Fair.

I made it but a few steps from my booth when a man came straight up to me and began talking as though we had been in the middle of a conversation. His eye contact was direct and intense, his style of speech so deliberate, that I had to tell him I was a vendor down the row in case he thought he was spilling his guts to somebody else.

He told me he knew perfectly well who I was and proceeded to tell me his “story.” As he spun his tale, I was in awe and had to bite my tongue to keep from laughing. Why? Because he was using my words to describe his situation. I must have been having a sort of out-of-body experience because I was me watching him act just like me. I peered into the looking glass.

His stuff was my stuff. His mystery and drama had been mine earlier in the day. It was the very thing I had let go in the wisdom teeth, coffee ground, scabby nose scenario. Was I being punked?
Out of the hundreds of people at Market, how did this guy zero in on me and mirror back what I had been just a few hours earlier? What I told him in response shocked him. I described his pain and all that went with it and how he was dreaming his world. He was stunned, how did I know?

I revealed that I had let all of that go by mid-morning and had stepped into a new place. He told me he wanted to talk to me because I looked so peaceful. He could not believe I had been living in anger as recently as a week ago.

As we stood there reflecting each other, he showed me why I had been so angry. I had always thought my anger was rooted in the details, family mierde and whatsuch, but turns out, not exactly the case.

He was attributing his feelings of frustration and imbalance to somebody else’s behavior. In that instant, I saw how I felt like a victim of everybody else’s whims and moods, trying hard to please, appease or assuage so that I could be okay. But since that never worked, I was angry.

The essence of my struggle appeared. I had sought myself “out there.” If only they would do such and such, then I could feel alright. If only they would smile at me, like me, validate me, approve of me…” Oh good Lord, how sickening. Here’s a fitting quote by Thaddeus Golas, “Egotism is proving you are worthwhile after you have sunk into hating yourself.” Damn and ouch!

No wonder I was angry so often. At the first signs of anybody else’s bad mood or disapproval, I dissolved into anger, wondering what I did to cause it and trying in vain to uncause it.

Self-recognition. Not ego, not out there, but in here. I’ve heard that the “Kingdom of God is within,” and all the other sayings relating to going within, but I never really understood it. Mentally, I got the concept, but like the strawberries, I never experienced it. My Self may be a little enshrined in fuzzy mold, be squishy in parts and bruised, but I’m not going to throw It out.

The wound is healing.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


HAPPY BIRTHDAY to me! Officially I’m 102, but I don’t feel a day over 80. I celebrated with friends throughout the weekend (thanks for all the loot) and had a slice of jalepeno cake frosted with an habenaro-chocolate ganache.

It would be prudent of me to avoid mentioning the double-dipped ice cream invitations or the delicious organic blueberry and raspberry dessert with homemade whip cream that was delivered with affection at Market.

Crikey, now that I’m propped here at the computer, I didn’t realize how much I’ve been noshing lately. Which also conjures the delicious memory of the dark chocolate candy bar with lime zest and black pepper that Kimmm brought back from Harvey Nichols in jolly ol’ England. Delish.

Uh-oh, this seems to be digressing into confessions of a sugar junkie. Dang! No wonder the photo taken of me Sunday at the Aprovecho Stove Party makes me look pregnant. Supposedly the camera adds 10 pounds, but me thinks I’ve just done that to myself.

I’ve had a curious week post-Seminar. While in seclusion, having my thoughts reprogrammed and my brain washed (no, I did not join a cult, hmmm, at least I don’t think I did. I simply signed over my house and life savings…) part of the process was agreeing to “the rules.”

One rule was to refrain from telling stories, which translated into meeting 30 strangers without asking or divulging any details beyond our names such as marital status, job title, where we lived, if we had children or not, and especially no victim stories.

It was quite entertaining to participate in this social experiment. At first, what to say? Sputtering and stammering replaced the fact-finding dance that usually occurs early on in the acquaintance phase.

Not knowing whether someone was a doctor, lawyer, merchant or Indian chief executive officer provided a more level playground. Beyond fancy or scruffy shoes, hair flowers or belt buckle bling, we had only the present moment to draw our conclusions, formulate our first impressions and be with each other’s energy.

Oh yes, it was quite uncomfortable at first. But one of the seminar’s mottos is “Something do different,” or “Different something do,” or even more shocking, “Do something different.” So we sat with our discomfort and observed how often we were tempted to fall into story.

Back in January, I wrote about God’s Minion reminding me that while I might have slowed down my storytelling and complaining in general, I had not yet stopped telling the stories to myself.

“When you stop the drama in your head, then you’re home free,” she wisely counseled.

Intending to “something different do,” I practiced interacting with this group and made a firm decision not to tell any stories. The only one I got busted for was mentioning I had recently encountered a woman sporting a soul patch. My learning partner thought that might qualify as a “story,” but later we found out that particular observation did not qualify because I wasn’t turning myself into a victim over it (although, I easily could have done).

So I was feeling self-satisfied that I had the “no story” protocol down tight. Then, as mentioned last week, I bumped up against my own anger and boy did I want to discuss it with Groom! However, because I had made an agreement, I could not. Part of the learning process had me stewing in my own juices without jumping back into an old pattern of airing my grievances.

For a set period of time, I was not allowed to fall into explanation, share my viewpoint, or indulge my tendency to party with my pity. I could, however, express my thoughts in a journal. Phew! My pen was on fire.

This brand new way of owning my feelings instead of using the auto-escape valve by letting off steam to my partner (to him, not at him) revealed just how much I thrust off my emotions via turning myself into a victim. I needed him to validate my position.

As I sat scribbling in stream of consciousness writing, I wondered why I needed an outside voice to confirm that what I was feeling was legitimate. Like right now, I want to tell you how bad my cramps are, that I’m hot with chills, that I have the shakes accompanied by nausea, but what’s the point?

If I want to be home free, I’ve got to stop the drama in my head. Which as God’s Minion told me this morning, “That’s the work!”

By not telling Groom my discomfort and forgooing the expectation he’d do something about it, I had to figure a way to climb up the emotional ladder on my own. I spent the entire night telling myself how right I was, but even that old trick didn’t make me feel one jibbety-dot better.

That’s what garnered my attention. If hours of whining to myself in the dark did not yield a scant bit of improvement, what would? Letting it go, I discovered.

I already mentioned that when I aligned my head, heart and body, the anger was free to go. But the week following has been filled with volumes of silence. If I was going to stay in process, using the new tools I paid good money for, then I had to continue the agreement of no story telling.

What I discovered was without it, I don’t have much to say. The shocking realization of how much my inner and outer dialogue revolves around being offended, affronted and victimized in some way, large or small, has apparently left me eating lots of dessert.

When I mentioned this to God’s Minion, she asked a provocative question, “What are you going to replace it with?” I hope she meant the whinging, not the sugar.

Uh-oh, a quiz. My mouth opened and closed like a fish. Here I was, pleased to have outed my inner storyteller and she’s already prodding me forward.

As I write this, I notice myself taking a positive encounter (God’s Minion asking me what my next step is) and sprinkling it with my secret seven herbs and victimy spices for a more palatable and familiar flavor.

Okay, I’m going to say it again, but this time, please say the next sentence in the most childish, whiney tone you can muster. “Here I was, pleased to have outed my inner storyteller and she’s already prodding me forward.” Did you hear it? Wow, I sure did. Waa, here I was, content to rest on my laurels and my friend in a loving and supportive way, asked a question to keep me moving forward instead of getting stuck. Waa.

My God, I am good. I can turn myself into a victim with very little to work with.

What is my next step? As luck would have it, an answer immediately appeared in a book I’m currently reading, Spiritual Growth by Sanaya Roman:

“Love all your thoughts, even those that are limited or fearful. Think of them as small children needing your love and reassurance. If you catch a negative thought, don’t make yourself wrong for having it. Love all your negative thoughts and they will have far less power over you. If you are imagining things you want to stop thinking about, love yourself for thinking them and it will be easier to stop. Put a positive thought along side your negative thought; one positive thought can cancel out hundreds of negative ones.”

I am letting go of victimy storytelling and creating a new song for myself today. And speaking of today, it is 7/8/9. At 12:34 and 56 seconds it is 12:34:56 7/8/9. Wow, what a way to celebrate alignment and inner-Independence Day!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Internal Bureaucracy

The scariest person I’ll ever meet is me. After having spent five long days in a row at a workshop designed to introduce each participant to themselves, it is a new experience to be present with myself instead of keeping busy to avoid.

The workshop days were looooong, twelve to fourteen hours in duration and I slept an average of three hours a night during this entire week. But as I kept at it, doing the work and letting go of my mask, I became unguarded. Surprise - I wasn’t nearly as tired as I had anticipated.

Guess what? Living in the moment frees up a lot more time! Dragging the past is exhausting, future-tripping leaks my life force faster than a flat tire leaks air, and hiding from myself requires redonkalous amounts of energy.

I had to strip naked. No, I did not show up to the workshop in the nude, but I did become transparent and allow everyone to see me as I am. In my hiding, I was so worried that people would see me as angry, which was an unacceptable image, that I worked overhard to apply the makeup and paste the smile.

The first feedback I received was that I seemed angry, which made me angry.

1) I feared people would reject me if they knew I was angry. 2) I feared people would reject me if I didn’t dress up in all my baubles and bling. 3) I feared people would reject me if I spoke out loud what I was actually thinking, and at times, about them.

I have no idea how it was done, but the workshop pushed me until I was standing there, in complete ownership of my anger. My head, my face, my body language and my energy all lined up in anger. I glared at thirty people, my waxy smile melting with the heat.

I sat down, my arms crossed in violent self-defense. I had left angry from the workshop the night before, stayed angry all night, woke up angry, and showed up angry. I wasn’t about to let go of it now.

It was so weird. Within moments of lining up and claiming my anger on purpose, it tip-toed quietly away and it took a bit for me to notice I was peaceful and calm. During the break, outside the room, people immediately came up to me and said utterly surprising things, words I never in a million years expected to hear.

“Oh my God, you are so beautiful in your anger.”

“I am so drawn to you.”

“Now I want to know who you are.”

“You are very attractive to me.”

Say what??? My red flushed cheeks were uncovered. My hair was uncombed, my clothes were plain, I was barefoot and I had glared. Instead of the participants glaring back, challenging my anger with their own or excluding me on account of my bad attitude, they welcomed me with open arms. Words were bandied about like passion, exuberance and aliveness. Were these people freakin’ nuts?

After my little showdown, the room was a new place. After my little showdown, my heart was a new place. I was open, playful, animated. My implacable wall was gone. I thought I was working hard to keep others out, but all this time I have been afraid to let me in.

A humorous definition of bureaucracy is “more than one person involved.” Since I’ve had all these conflicting thoughts and beliefs, I now call that chaos internal bureaucracy when more than one belief is involved.

One of them just got busted. I thought there was a separate tank of love for God, a separate compartment of love for others and a last-to-be-filled container of love for oneself. But I discovered, like holding a flashlight, when in the flow of love, it matters not whether you turn the beam upward, inward or outward, it’s all from the same source.

There is a song called This Is My Now by Jordin Sparks that has come to mean a great deal to me. Here is a lyric preview and the first phrase that hits home is
Living in a shell, hiding from myself…

This is my now, and I am breathing in the moment.
Because I look around
I can’t believe the love I see.
My fears behind me, gone are the shadows and doubts.
That was then, this is my now.

By the end of the seminar, I created a life-long contract. One of the next steps I committed to was telling it to others. I’d like to share my contract with you.

I am
Right here
Right now.