I’ve always known I was a writer but I was busy with a full time career and raising my kids as a single mom….no time….no classes…..no career in writing. Wah! In my free time, however, I entertained my friends with stories and at least they thought my stories were entertaining for the most part, especially if they wanted to date me.
I’m assuming for most writers, many times you wake up with words running through your head, right? And, if you’re like me you may try to remember them later only to bungle it up. Or, later on paper you can’t understand exactly why you thought it was so profound when you first woke up? So this happened to me yesterday and I posted the piece on “Stoking the Fire of Chemistry”…to see, click on link at bottom.
So here’s what happened, I scratched a few words down on paper and thought I’d add to it while I had coffee. I made my Bulletproof Coffee and sat down fifteen minutes later with my paper and who shows up, Alice! – Word Smith-Ego personality extraordinaire. She completely tears my Legos apart, adds a bunch of drama and picks at it until the published product may have a couple of the same words but who knows what it means? Alice likes that part the best, a splash of mystery?
This morning I sat down next to that same paper, picked it up and thought, “Man, I really went down the Rabbit Hole on that whole thing yesterday. The second piece was more like “Chasing Rabbits” by Jefferson Airplane.
My request is this: Could you take a peek at the first version (it’s a lot shorter) and then the second Published version and tell me what you think. Of the two, which speaks or resonates with you? Or do I need to find a happy medium in-between? After you read the second version, did you get the gist of it (much more clear in the first version)?
THANKS IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR SUPPORT.
DO YOU RESONATE WITH THIS?
When anger and frustration rise up in you
Rumbling like a freight train along jangled nerves
And negative thoughts rooted in perception and perfection
creep in to cloud your mind;
Wrap your suffering in compassion
Feel the rush of chemicals through your blood
And with one last big sigh of suffering,
Trace your breath back to Spirit
Fling your anger, frustration and negativity into the fire
The Alchemy where patiently your heart awaits
Go ahead, allow that playful giggle to wake up inside you
He was a handsome man about my age. He sat by the window listening to music and didn’t look up as I crawled clumsily over the isle guy, falling into the middle seat next to him. Don’t get me wrong, I’m about the same in airplanes as elevators, not especially social; but he didn’t even glance up for a perfunctory “hello.”
In mid-flight, I was trying to get my book out of my carry-on under the seat in front of me. Of course, the seat in front of me was by now in a ‘laid back relax’ mode. We all know what that means. When you try to reach your bag, you can’t get your head forward enough without hitting the seat in front of you; so you either need monkey arms or you need to be flexible like a contortionist. Struggling, I believe my head was practically in Airplane guys lap before he finally took his ear buds out.
We exchanged about five minutes of small talk; maybe ten. Isn’t it funny that this is how it happens, some of the profound moments of your life? Speaking of profound, during that time I must have said something insightful because he admitted he hated talking to people on the airplane. He said that whatever I had said changed his view about something that apparently impacted him deeply. Whatever it was, I’m sure it was ‘of me” but not “from me’ as I have no recollection of what I might have said. He then told me to pick up a copy of a book. He scribbled the title of this book on a tiny, itsy bitsy yellow stick um pad. With a flourish he added his email address below it and reattached his ear buds to his head. I was flattered and always thought I might email him. Secretly, I think he hoped I would too.
About a year later, I discovered that little scrap of paper in one of my purses, along with all kinds of other notes and random cards, most of which meant absolutely nothing to me by then. After scrutiny I remembered from whence this particular yellow sticky note originated. By now it was ‘mile weary’ with lint, lip gloss and other purse goo on it. I could just barely make out the title of the book let alone his email address. Alas, romance must have not been in the stars. It must have been all about “the book”.
Nonetheless, I stuck the note on my office desk for a few more months in a “to-do” stack that I usually shuffle around occasionally until I can finally just discard it. One day, with my hand paused over the trash can, Spirit said, “Just order that darned book already!” So I did. It must be incredibly frustrating trying to get people on the physical plane to do things that would actually help them ‘evolve’. First my Spirit Guide had to imprint Airplane guy’s mind, “tell her about the book-you know the one.” Then Spirit had to implant the idea that I should clean out my purse, something no one wants to do. Finally, my mind needed to be imprinted one more time before I actually ordered the book. Let’s just call this concept Synchronicity even though it may just be a popular anti-coincidence theory.
About this same time, out of nowhere, like most things I write about, I started excavating a piece I called “What’s Love Got to Do with It”? Man, I must have re-envisioned, re-structured and rewritten that thing a million times over three months. Love is such a big topic that the entire project just became unwieldy; after all, purportedly Love is all there is. Finally, I realized that even though I knew a lot about love, not necessarily all the good kinds, that the love I really wanted to know about now was “the BIG love that only God knew.” I was ready to leap in with both feet to become a ‘Big Love’ expert. Problem was, I had no idea how to get there from where I was.
Ironically, though, while I was writing “What’s Love Got to Do with It?” it seemed like every week (or day) some random person or source would say, “You can’t love someone else until you love yourself.” The first couple of times I thought, “Whatever!” Then I began to think, “What the heck is going on here?” For example, some guy I barely knew passed me in the hall at the movie theatre coming from the men’s room while I exited the ladies room. “Hey, how are you?” Within two sentences he mentioned he was visiting his daughter and out of the blue she had asked him, “Dad, do you love yourself?” This caused a conversation to ensue, of course. Coincidence? I don’t think so. Curious and Curiouser.
Actually, that whole love yourself cliché always kind of pissed me off, to be honest. Deep down, I was a pretty harsh critic when it came to me. Twenty years ago, when this cliché theory originated, I remember looking in the mirror like Stuart Smalley taught us on Saturday Nite Live. He would say, “I’m good enough. I’m smart enough and dog gone it, people like me.” With tenderness, I looked into my eyes in the reflection of a hand held mirror and said, “I love you.” My higher self must have been out flying around the universe so Ego took the call. Not buying it, instantly I hear that annoying voice, “Jeesh, when is the last time you plucked your eyebrows anyway?”
A few months ago I was chatting with my son through a psychic, which occasionally I do one anniversary date or another. He was apologizing for sending crazy people (as he called them) my way because he thought somehow I could help them. I said, “Chad, instead of ‘crazies’, why don’t you send me someone to love? A boyfriend perhaps? It’s been a really long time and it would be nice to have someone authentic to love.” What do you think Chad said? “I’ll work on that but first”….(you got it)…. “You have to love yourself.” “Damn it, really? Arrrggh!” The psychic laughed and said, “I knew you were going to hate that”; but she did give me a good parting tip. She said, “Start out by making love an action” (verb instead of noun). “It’ll catch on and grow.”
So here I am, searching for Big Love. I had no experience with how to really go about loving myself. Furthermore, I strongly surmised that the big love that I was now seeking was a whole lot bigger and, maybe even simpler then the convoluted conditional kind that I had known while walking around in my flesh suit.
During this time, I was called to go see Anita Moorijani, author of “Dying to Be Me”, when she visited Denver. Afraid of cancer her entire life, she did everything healthy to avoid getting it. Ironically, she died while in a coma after all of her organs shut down after a long battle with cancer. She flat lined. When she came back into her body, one of the messages she had been given from the ‘other side’, where time doesn’t exist, was to share that our purpose here on this planet is to learn how to love ourselves. I would add to that, loving ourselves throughout every experience life has to offer; the good, the bad and the ugly. There it is, officially gospel. OK, ok, I got it! But how do you do it and how long is this gonna take? I bet there are secrets, Jedi Mind tricks, in this new book that Airplane guy turned me on to. By the way, Anita recovered miraculously from her cancer completely in just a few weeks.
Since I write as an exercise of discovery, I’m sharing just in case the concept of love is befuddling to you too. I know there are a lot of people out there that have this one ‘all figured out’. They are the same ones that keep telling me to go into the light. I spent a lifetime looking in all the wrong places for sure.
So, that’s the back story about how my latest topic the Golden Egg came about. Alchemy feels like giving birth and if I’m lucky, it just might be a HOT molten Golden Egg or maybe a Nugget would be good. Therefore, I hope the book has some important and interesting messages for us on physicality and “What Love has Got to do with it.” Stay tuned for the conclusion (Part III) of the Golden Egg.
Until then, I’ll leave you with this thought provoking piece from ― Jack Kerouac
“I have lots of things to teach you now, in case we ever meet, concerning the message that was transmitted to me under a pine tree in North Carolina on a cold winter moonlit night. It said that Nothing Ever Happened, so don’t worry. It’s all like a dream. Everything is ecstasy, inside. We just don’t know it because of our thinking-minds. But in our true blissful essence of mind is known that everything is alright forever and forever and forever. Close your eyes, let your hands and nerve-ends drop, stop breathing for 3 seconds, listen to the silence inside the illusion of the world, and you will remember the lesson you forgot, which was taught in immense milky way soft cloud innumerable worlds long ago and not even at all. It is all one vast awakened thing. I call it the golden eternity. It is perfect. We were never really born, we will never really die. It has nothing to do with the imaginary idea of a personal self, other selves, many selves everywhere: Self is only an idea, a mortal idea. That which passes into everything is one thing. It’s a dream already ended. There’s nothing to be afraid of and nothing to be glad about. I know this from staring at mountains months on end. They never show any expression, they are like empty space. Do you think the emptiness of space will ever crumble away? Mountains will crumble, but the emptiness of space, which is the one universal essence of mind, the vast awakenerhood, empty and awake, will never crumble away because it was never born.”
…but I’d damned sure like to! My spiritual evolution has felt a lot like I imagine a goose feels trying to pop an egg or two out every day. It probably takes focus. In order to make an egg, you have to practice some sustaining daily processes, like eating grass or laying in it. You probably have to go sit on a nest or a meditation cushion because it’s hard to lay an egg when you’re running around like a mad goose, honking at people that get in your space. It might be a little uncomfortable at times. You might get up and craning your neck, take a peek at your new offspring, the result of all of your hard labor, only to see a white or brown egg instead of a Golden one. With a sigh you might say, “God, with all of this work, shouldn’t there at least be some Gold speckles in this stupid egg?”
So, I’m beginning to get a strong hint that I’m just about one hundred and eighty degrees off on all of my self help, self love, healing practices. Or maybe as “Grasshoppers”, we have to take certain baby hops in order to see the over the next hill? I’ve taken years of classes about energy and energy work. I spent thousands of dollars sitting on my ass on a little hard pillow while most people experience life from the outside in (one of God’s other plans) by going sightseeing and sky or deep sea diving around the world. Ok, I did get to see some pretty awesome countries… I just wanted you to feel sorry for me.
If someone asks, I’d say, “yes, I meditate every day for at least twenty minutes”. Well, mostly that’s true. I light the candles and incense (did you know that the purpose of incense is to clear energy fields? I was told that in India last year by the Monk I was studying under. Who knew-I just thought it smelled good and put me in a good mood). Some days my little timer goes off and I open my eyes to the sudden and disappointing realization that I just sat there and thought for twenty minutes with my eyes closed.
Ego….you can’t live with it and you can’t survive without it. It’s like a neurotic roommate following you around from room to room. A running commentary on everything. “Oh look at the snow. Shit, I have to shovel… late to work again….you can’t afford…blah blah blah.” Commenting on everything, every move I make, judging me (“why are you eating that?”, talking incessantly through an entire movie (“this movie sucks, you know how it’s going to end. Turn the channel…now!!”) But that’s another story for another day.
Here’s what I’ve discovered as my next very important big step to the moon. Perhaps you saw hints of this in my post for “Rocketman Love”. White is made up of all colors and darkness is a part of the light….a big part. So, I’ve surrounded myself by many self promoting “Spiritualists” who have a lot of advice for others. It’s easy to see all the shit I do wrong-even I can see it. What I’ve been hearing them say is such things as, “Thoughts are things. Watch your thoughts. You will create what you believe you deserve not what you deserve. Negative thoughts will create a negative reality”, etc. OK I got that! And, I think that’s true.
About a year ago, God upped the ante, suggested my next “hop” on the way to the Golden Egg. I had dinner with a very strongly opinioned local French girl who had a near death experience, not at dinner but skiing in Vail when she was young. She said, “you probably meditate all wrong”. My ego reacted with self righteousness, “how dare she!” As I explained, politely for the most part, that she was full of shit because every day I did this routine…blah blah blah. She said you’re chasing the good feelings, the light (well, who wouldn’t want to do that, that’s the point, right?); but what about really feeling the dark shadow side?” (These are my words, not her exact words). I’m thinking where you focus is what your reality becomes. Where your energy level is, is the place from which you create your thoughts, emotions, your projections, your reality. Well, they say, when you’re ready, the teacher appears. I seem to have a flock of them, dropping out of the sky, showing up at the end of my driveway or behind the barn. I pay attention to some of them right away and others….maybe I have an “Aha” moment a year or two later.
A year ago, I met this stranger on an airplane….”stay tuned for THE GOLDEN EGG.” You won’t want to miss this.
We come to this physical existence to gain wisdom. To gain wisdom, we must get off the bleachers and put our toe in the water so that we can feeeellll everything life has to offer
Experiential Wisdom is meaningful, beautiful and many times the hardest path. You can read about jumping out of a plane but you don’t really know skydiving until you’re freefalling through the universe. Try to explain what chocolate tastes like on your tongue with a fine wine. Describe the feelings of hormones and endorphins rushing through your bloodstream at the mere anticipation of a tender first kiss. When we use all of our senses and not just our brain, that is the wisdom that God knows by name. This is the Artist’s Way, knowing how to expose you to all of your senses, making them come alive and juicy in the moment, on the page, canvas, or movie screen. Just my thought for the day
I will never forget standing and watching from the big picture glass window by the front door. The rising moon hung over the mountains like a great beacon, a ray of hope. Its existence contrasted the darkness of night that lay cold against the glass. Points of light in an expansive black sky twinkled through the atmosphere from stars that probably no longer existed. I shivered. “Are you out there, Chad? I can’t feel you.” I began to lose faith. The night was so cold and crisp. I couldn’t bear to think of him freezing in his truck somewhere. Tears slipped down my cheeks and I had never felt so alone or helpless. In those moments, the cold hard reality hit me once more, just as it had when I listened to Chad’s message the morning after he disappeared, “Mom, ….I love you…..I’m soooo sorry.” He’s not coming home. My heart shattered. I was terrified and I thought I was going to be sick to my stomach.
A happy Cowboy
Brandon & Chad playing in fountain in Aspen
Mexico with best friends
Jamaica 2004 Spring Break
Jamaica-Chad’s favorite place
Italy 2002 with my sons
CONTINUED…..PART VI OF VI
On June 8th, 2005, I was being taken to meet a young teenage girl by a friend of a friend who had been told that Chad had called this girl a few times. About two hours prior to the time we had scheduled, the phone rang and it was Jeff, my Sheriff friend. “Are you in the office?” “Yes”, I said, thinking he was smart enough to know he had dialed the office. “I’m coming over. I’ll be there in a few moments.” Knowing that he never came up valley, I became instantly suspicious. “Jeff, you’re scaring me. What’s up?” He said, “Don’t be scared. I’ll see you in a couple of minutes.” The phone clicked and the silence was deafening.
I told my assistant what was going on and quickly went outside to watch for him as he drove into the parking lot. I stood at the top of the stairs and once more my mind rushed in to reassure me. With trepidation, I began to think, “Is it possible he’ll have Chad with him?” I knew nothing would mean more to him. I even began to visualize him driving up with my son in the front seat with a big grin on his face. Or maybe he wouldn’t be happy but I didn’t care. My heart raced. I held onto the rail to steady myself and surveyed the parking lot.
I had not seen him pull in. How was that possible? But there he was, suddenly walking towards me. He was walking between the cars and someone was with him. But, no…that was not Chad. He was too short and stocky. Who did he bring? Why would he bring someone? I started down the short flight of stairs and stopped cold in my steps when I saw Jeff as he got closer. There were tears running down his face. I was in complete disbelief. Sherriff’s have seen everything. The realization came in a flash and I died a thousand deaths on the spot. That’s when my soul must have escaped my body.
Whenever I remember that day, I see her below me in her blue jean skirt and red and white top kneeling on her bare knees in the parking lot. Her back was to me and she was grasping, clawing at the Sheriff’s hands. He hung his head, holding her hands. His lips were moving as he told her what happened. She cried out and begged him.
The final blood curdling screams brought employees everywhere running from the buildings. He pulled her to her feet and half drug her to the side of the parking lot, and held her in his arms. The world stopped and people stood frozen in silence.
I’m not sure when my soul felt safe to return or if it ever entirely did return. I felt soulless, lifeless, for a very long time. My nerves were raw and every day I got up, propped up by friends, and went through the motions that they set up for me. Mostly I just counted the hours until I could take an Ambien and slip away from reality once more.