Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It Felt Love

Did the rose
Ever open its heart
and give to this world
all its

It felt the encouragement of light
against its

We all remain


Like Passionate Lips
there are
so many positions of

Each curve on a branch
the thousand different ways
Your eyes can embrace us
the infinite shapes your
mind can draw,

The spring
Orchestra of scents,
The current of light combusting
Like passionate lips,
the revolution of Existence

Whose folds contain other worlds,
Your every sign that falls against
His inconceivable

Hafiz c1329-1389 Mystic Sufi poet from Persia

Monday, November 29, 2010

A picture is worth twenty-six words.

Awesome. Beautiful. Curious. Divine. Elegant. Fresh. Genuine. Honest. Idyllic. Joyous. Kind. Light. Moving. Natural. Open. Playful. Quiet. Resonant. Sensitive. Truthful. Unfettered. Vibrant. Warm. Xquisite (yes, I cheated). Zesty.

Yep.  I can live with that.

(Marty ... I have so much to tell you I don’t know where to begin. So for now, I'm just going to let this picture speak for me.)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Kiss Is Still A Kiss

Chicago sent an email. It said "I think of you... and of that Clark Gable (Rhett Butler) line in Gone With the Wind "you need to be kissed and kissed often"
And I couldn't stop thinking about it. He evokes something in me that is rather 1940's...Chicago does, not Clark. Well alright, so does Clark.

It's this old world thing where men were confident in their ability to sort out any scatteredness in their woman by their sheer presence, by a teasing yet solid expression of their will...by a "I adore you baby, but I won't put up with any of your bull"....by the power of persuasion of a damn fine kiss.

Now here is where it gets personal. I have learned to find safety in understanding, in words, in thought. I am working at unlearning that and tapping into my feminine which is the language of feeling, sensation, beauty and yes...at times can be quite erratic and in motion, its all a part of feminine flow.

To find a man anchored in himself and not only solid enough to allow that flow without taking it personally but to also direct it, channel it, OPEN it INTO LOVE...well that is just plain irresistible ...like an invite to a 50% off sale at Tiffany's. ( WHAT!...yes and equally as rare)

I have known men who tried to shut down the flow, manage it, change it, judge it, run from it or repressit...all that feels like punishment. We know where that game leads. Fight or flight!

I have yet to surrender to a love that balances these two polarities of divine masculine and divine feminine in a way that supports an evolution of consciousness for both involved.

Oh right Marty, you are not asking for much! Can your bar be any higher????

Well here is the thing... she said, talking to herself...oh and maybe I am talking to Chicago too since he asked me recently what my ex would have said was the reason that our relationship did not work out. I believe he would have said "I couldn't meet the bar, it was too high"

Well...here is the thing....its not an arbitrary bar OUTSIDE OF ONESELF. It's not a list of attributes or accomplishments or even desires that are like some goal post off in the distant future. Its not a grab the ball and run with it hoping to score and make a touchdown. My ex played alot of football and I think this is how he saw it when he evaluated his ability at reaching this bar as deficient.

What it is, is a commitment inside oneself to living a certain way...you can decide for yourself what that is, what that bar is...truth, consciousness,forgiveness, radical expansion... you get to decide for yourself.

It requires fortitude and perseverance for sure but running is not necessarily a valuable skill set in this undertaking.


And BEING honest about your flaws of character and any other shadow aspects you discover internally as you shine your light inside yourself is essential.

Accountability without guilt. Honest inventory without self recrimination. Forgiveness without being a door mat.

I cannot help having the wounds I have. I cannot help having the past I have experienced.

I CAN decide to not let that define me NOW.

I can be willing to expose myself and get emotionally naked risking the evaluation and scrutiny of my partner.

And while I may yearn for and hope for acceptance in those tender places of mine, places that were met with reactivity in the past, I can no longer choose to NOT reveal them because they might bring discord or reactivity in my partner.

That's the risk you see.

To reveal oneself in a non-negotiable commitment of honesty, trusting that as necessary as this exposure to the light, to the gaze of anothers eyes is, there is no guarantee that you will be met with acceptance.

Yet you will never know if this person you are considering as a lover, this potential beloved will love you or see you UNLESS you risk showing it all.

If you are strategizing around which parts of yourself are going to be acceptable to the other then even if they do say they love you, you will think...ah but if you really knew me.....

Far better to simply commit to showing all of you and work on keeping the focus inside yourself.

TEACH YOURSELF THAT ALL OF YOU IS ACCEPTABLE, even these flawed human shadow parts, forged out of the desire for belonging in the past to a tribe called your family.

Teach yourself that you may have these thoughts and feelings and wounds but that is NOT who you are at your core.

I have just described my bar.

That bar is my bar for ME.

When my ex would say the bar is too high it insinuates the bar is an external marker that calls for evaluation. I am saying it is an internal compass for navigation, for learning, for making mistakes and expressing forgiveness and tolerance.

And you can't do any of these things if your focus is outside yourself. HOME is inside yourself and you have a right to that experience whether anyone else agrees or understands it.

I long to be met in this commitment by a man who will settle for nothing less from himself, from me...from the relationship but the truth of the extraordinary. For in our essence, in our depth we are truly, one and all, the same. And we are all EXTRAORDINARY.

I sometimes call this journey a menage a trois. You, me and God. Including spirit in a relationship, for me IS nothing less than extraordinary.

No one person would be in charge of the relationship,each has sovereign over their autonomy and individual experience AND we would be guided by shared principles, shared purpose.

I think when we were younger having a family, having children, met this desire for a shared purpose yet as we age there are different stages of development that call to us.

This next evolution evokes a calling to be of service, to give back to the world in some way, to be a wise teacher and help those who may have forgotten the truth of their inner radiance. It is hard to do that if we have not shone a light on all the dark corners of our psyche, illuminated them and proclaimed ourselves free of judgement, free to express AS the love that we all are.

And if you have not travelled to these places inside yourself how will you accept or forgive them in another?

Can you think of a better learning ground then relationship?

When we get close to another we get activated, triggered inside ourselves in ways that do not occur when on our own. The ego wants to blame something outside of oneself for the experience.

So while yes, you can work on yourself and heal your past on your own, the ultimate challenge is to FEEL your reactivity, and rather than blame outside yourself, keep the focus inside. Follow those feelings to their source... to YOUR past.

Those feelings will have a belief like Velcro that they are sticking to and that Velcro which will be about you was created long before you met your partner. Your partner activating it could be seen as a problem or it could be seen as divine intervention. The divine purpose in all this is to be co-horts in healing not in avoiding. That means each one must want to undertake the journey to correcting mistaken beliefs we may be holding that prevent us from living as love. Beliefs that generate contraction when activated. I don't want to be in a relationship that is avoiding this. I want to be in one that says...."BRING IT ON"....."I will stay the course because it is MY course too. Because it leads to the Joy of being fully known.

Keeping focus inside yourself when you are reactive requires dedication, requires strength of will, requires prayer. I want to do this WITH someone who understands the value of this process and the rewards!

Revealing one's dark and tender places, illuminating beliefs that one may be holding that are not necessarily flattering....allowing for that level of vulnerability and trust is a true act of courage. And yet without it we are interacting with pictures of ourselves, presentations that look good. We will never be fulfilled until we can show everything to discover that we are far far greater than these beliefs that originated in our past.

I have had clients say " its too much work" "this isn't fun". "it's too scary". I think that is a choice. How you experience the journey will be based on your perception.

Nothing brings more pleasure than making authentic contact. And to be authentic includes revealing our masks, defenses and guards, revealing those thoughts and strategies that are checking things out to make sure we are ok, making sure our partner is liking what they see.

Imagine letting go of all that and just BEING with another with whatever comes up inside.

Imagine firing your inner critic, you ego censor and just opening up with transparency.

It terrifies me too that you may turn away or judge me if I show you everything AND I no longer have a choice in the matter. I have set my course, my goal is clear. I know on the other side of fear is truth and that feels like heaven.

To sail there requires answering the call for transparency. Step one, set the goal, keep readjusting the sails, checking INSIDE and OFFERING it all to another. That very action keeps me on course.

Then when I am in alignment with my goal what I experience is my wholeness and ability to join fully with another without loss of self.

That is what I call heaven.

TRANSPARENCY to me IS pure pleasure. Returning to a state of love is pleasure.

Its the building of the relationship container with its inherent goals and purpose that calls for fortitude and the brave act of sharing ones fears before you even know if the other person is on board with you.

Your criteria is ensuring that your inside matches your outside in the present moment. You risk losing it all to feel yourself authentically in the presence of another.

After that, if two people build a ship and set their destination...the rest becomes a continued navigation of jointly sailing to an experience that both want with their whole heart and soul.

Authentic connection.

And who says you can't be kissing at the same time. Its the only kind of kissing that I want.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Eyes on Freedom

Yes Buns..... I would love to meet The Robert one day, he seems a man of substance and you deserve nothing less. I am sparked by imagining you two at this very moment. I am thinking a romantic dinner, glorious Merlot, candles and maybe some after dinner guitar strumming...yes on the acoustic, no this is NOT a metaphor.

The women in your tribe sound like a force to be expereinced. I am glad they are inspiring you to live full out at this moment. I too see the influence of my mother, not so much in terms of healthy loving relationships but in perseverence, loyalty, strength of will and integrity.

I have to say that while my mom's life contains overcoming obstacles of heroic proportion, scenes of brilliant human bravery set in WW II, untold horrors in the concentration camps and an elegance of spirit all wrapped up in Chanel, Givenche, and Revlon Red lips what she was unable to give me was a model for what a loving man/woman relationship looks like.

How can a woman be herself fully AND still stay connected with a masculine force?

How does interdependence work?

My mom modeled independence and encouraged that in me. I also saw and felt lots of co-dependence especially in my 20's...oh what painful learning curves and angst.

Nowhere did I learn how to be interdependent. Perhaps its study is a subject best suited to older years? Wiser years?

Even as I look around now at relationships I find it hard to see couples who are genuinely encouraging each other to be free while at the same time staying connected. Authentic loving is not co-dependence which screams, "I will do,be, say anything to keep you... nor is it independance which whispers with aloof pride "you do your thing and I'll do mine."

This balance of autonomy and connectedness is so vital to being a healthy happy human being and yet it is also very ellusive.

I see lots of carefully structured relationships woven out of the safety of habit but not many models of a true marriage that values and respects the force for freedom and togetherness equaly.

That in itself is part of my commitment to this path of unraveling and reinventing the wheel around relationships.

My dream is BIG and its foreign, without a road map.

My only consistent comfort is when I breath into the inner compass deep at the center of my core, the place in all of us that just KNOWS it is love and does not have to get it from anyone. Perhaps manouvering the labyrinth of love can only be undertaken from this state of being. Perhaps that is the starting point from which all the rest follows.

Does it feel that way to you Buns?

Does it seem like we are both unwilling to settle for a relationship within a box and so are destined to illuminate, uncover, reveal and revel in the nuances of interdependence with another human being that have no rules to follow?

I am a little envious of Chicago in that he says he has tasted that dish. The dish he refers to is LOVE, true love, a deep dish pizza kind of love where cherishing your partner is not a currency to be deposited at the bank and withdrawn in crumbs to ensure it is never empty, nor an attempt to pacify one's partner with a mask of "everything is ok" when really its not... but rather a foundation that supports and instructs BOTH people to be everything they could possibly be.

INTERDEPENDENCE....yes that is what I want. To be challenged, to grow, to evolve, to learn, to have fun, to dance, to howl in the middle of the night like a banshee because the full moon told me so, to know without a moments hesitation that my lover will always have my back as I have his. Allies, friends, cohorts, creative masterminds enthralled with Truth and pure unbounded expression of...yes...here it comes again....JOY...in union with another.

Its big for me.

And it describes my life force.! I am not a leaky facet with tiny trickling drops of yearning. I am a gigantic, glorious, gushing flow of desire.

Even when I feel small and contracted.... and I do and I will again....I can tap into this essential force in me and soothe my ache.

How lovely to be able to share that with someone who is able to open their heart to themselves, others and to me in the same way.

Here is the thing with this Blog. I never quite know what I am going to write in my post. I LOVE that feeling! Truly, experiencing the flow of it all as it unfolds, is blissful.

I want to quit my day job, well OK, I don't want to quit ALL of my careers ( I am currently juggling 4 of them) only drop lets say one of them so I can add being a blog writer as a full time focus.

I am so passionate about what I do because none of my careers were the result of a choice about making money. They truly came up from the inside out, I just kept saying yes, when they appeared and then taking steps to make them happen. I think that's one of the keys to living a fulfilled life.

And now..I say YES to this writing co-adventure with you Buns AND I would love to slooowww down and court myself in a more leisurely fashion, sipping espresso while I write......somewhere tropical perhaps or Italy...France....Barcelona? I have a yen for learning a foreign language. The discombobulation of it all teaches me about living in a new way.

I am signing up for the Adventure Of A Lifetime, and I say this confidently in a life already bursting with breathtaking adventures.

I still think it starts with 'over the top expression', saying it and meaning it.

And then one does whatever is needed to make it happen.

LIVING AS LOVE IN EXOTIC AND EXPANSIVE LOCATIONS...writing, creating, being bold and true!

Are you in Buns?

Are you listening universe?

The indomitable spirit of a five-foot-one chauffeur

Hi Marty!  I’m just about to go into a music rehearsal and wanted to get my post done beforehand.  I was having trouble with it because so much is going on I couldnt focus.  But then a little vignette about my great grandmother popped into my head and I thought I’d run with it.  So here goes ...

Often people who know me have commented on my resilience and my ability to find the positive in any situation. And I guess, when I look at it from their perspective, I can see why they might say that.  I can’t imagine being any other way. During a brief visit with my Mom and Dad earlier this week, I connected to a deep understanding of where my outlook on life came from ... and it goes way back. 

One of my fondest recollections of my great grandmother (after whom I’m named, and no, her name is not Buns!) is of her, in a bathing suit, standing on the end of a diving board preparing for a head-first plunge into the lake.  She was in her nineties. Next, my grandmother, Katie-girl, who lived to the ripe old age of 100 because she said she was going to, did volunteer work for many charitable organizations well into her nineties.

Next in line ... my Mom.  A formidable force in her mid seventies, she is a constant inspiration to me.  This woman knows how to make lemonade out of lemons.  She always has at least one philanthropic project on the go, sits on a number of committees, keeps tabs on her five children (she had all of us before she was 26), and her 10 grandchildren and at the same time takes very good care of my Dad.  Now in his eighties, while still compos mentis, he has physical challenges that require a lot of support from her.  As far as that home-made lemonade I was talking about?  When he was told he couldn’t drive any more by his doctor, my Mom immediately said, “Well aren’t you lucky?  From now on you will have your own limo driver.”  And she even bought a chauffeur’s hat to wear! And this is just the tip of the iceberg.  I could write pages about her kindnesses to others and her capacity to love.  Thanks Mom.  I owe you one.

And as for me?  I’m pretty sure I was her “difficult” child but she would never let on.  What she did do (and continues to do) is accept me for who I am, and love me no matter what.  She taught me what unconditional love looks like and feels like.

Speaking of love, it feels as though I am waking up in the middle of my own love story.  In just a few hours, I will be seeing Robert for the second time in as many decades. We have had many hours of conversation over the past few months and we are both looking forward to some face time.  I’ll let you know how it goes.  I can’t wait for you to meet him!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Musings on Spas, New Men and Horses

Ohhhh Buns. Not only am I thrilled that you are "Leaving On a Jet Plane" ... yes I am still singing that song ... I LOVE this piece around experiencing JOY directly.

Could we be any more alike, you and I? I too have noticed that much of my joy comes from going through what is in front of me, my challenges, my pain, my contraction or as you call it, flinching.

I am proud that I have learned to use whatever is presenting itself in me as a road or map to joy AND maybe you are right ... it's time for a more direct route ... a super highway... an autobahn ... new wiring that comes directly from what is good and translates into JOY.

I certainly have had those moments too and not necessarily big moments. Once while taking out the garbage I felt something deep inside light me up. "What is that?", I wondered, since nothing was happening to warrant such a huge sensation in me.

JOY... like a fountain overflowing with magenta and rising up in me FOR NO PARTICULAR REASON. The more I allowed and invited the experience ... without content or explanation simply by breathing into it, the more I felt it.

That's what I want -- to unhook from events and even people and be my own inner fountain of cascading essence, extending Myself to the world. It's a powerful place.

I can choose to extend joy, love, unconditional positive regard no matter what is happening outside of me. As a matter of fact, extending that feeling when what I perceive is challenging is exactly when I teach myself and the world the truth about who I am.

I may be having a human experience that includes fear, sadness, disappointment -- the whole spectrum of feelings -- AND I can be connected to my core essence at the same time. What I choose to share is a choice that not only impacts my experience but ripples out to others as well. It's important to me to not negate the human variables, our shadow sides and layers as personalities but rather to express them with the understanding that I am NOT those feelings or thoughts.

That is really one of my favorite anchors, I have my feelings I AM NOT MY FEELINGS.

I have my thoughts, I AM NOT MY THOUGHTS.

Yet this leaves one called to answer the ultimate existential question.  "Who Am I? Who am I beyond my roles and personality?" It's a good question to answer.... oui?

And on a more sensual note, I wanted to share with you my day at the spa, a Moroccan Hammam called Miraj here in Vancouver. So divine and a perfect way to share intimate space.

I wrote (oh shoot, what am I going to call this new man ... I am sure I will be referring to him in the future and since we are keeping names out of the mix ... hmmm ... ok, got it ... inspired by Mr. Big from Sex and the City... I will call him Chicago ...)

So I wrote to Chicago about the spa and bravely sent a really bad, post- massage, bed head, in a spa robe, no makeup picture ... don't forget I am sending this to a man I haven't met yet (he comes to visit in a few weeks) and here is how I described the experience at the Hamman.
After the steam bath and the scrub with Moroccan black soap and eucalyptus essencial oil ...
After the deep massage where I surrendered all tension and thought, even of you my sweet ...
We rested on iridescent satin pillows reclining in the darkening twilight ... orange, turquoise, celadon, green ... lounging on the divan ... sipping mint tea ...
Dark chocolate melted in my mouth and Clementines burst with fragrant flavor scenting the air and remaining on my fingers after each succulent juicy section.
Sepia light entered through wrought iron bars over the arched windows casting patterns of delicate intricacies, swirls of eastern flowers changing shape on the rich clay walls ...
It was so wonderful to reconnect with my "sisters" and my friend, my once upon a time, mother in law. We cried, we laughed, we were silly and giggling girls ... all of us ... from 40 years to 83 years ... girls at heart.
I shared about you and how impressive I have found you. I told them you said hi.

Yes Chicago, I am breaking my own rule and including you in my life even though I haven't met you yet. And the cliche is, it feels like I have known you for ages. And it feels like you are teaching me something important around what it means to be a man of integrity.

Ha! Back to that trust piece around men again.

I told him to approach me as you would a skittish colt. He said I'm a city boy. I don't know anything about horses. Then he Googled it. He may or may not even bring some apples to the airport when we first meet. Dear Chicago, you are adorable! Don't bring apples. I won't bite since it would ruin my lipstick.

And so my dear Buns as I sign off, I think of you as your excitement keeps growing in anticipation of your connection once again with The Robert.
Bon chance mon ami. I know no matter what happens it will be real and you will shine, cause that's just who you are.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Journey to Joy

Good morning Marty.  It was great talking with you last night to help me debrief my day.  And what a day it was!  So much learning and evolving in just ten hours … from a baby blessing to a music rehearsal to a clinic staff meeting, many opportunities presented themselves for me to do some mining.  And I struck gold.  Probably the biggest nugget was around finding a different portal to joy … and a completely unexpected one for me.

I had been talking with Robert earlier in the day (because I can’t help it!) and I was wondering out loud with him why I haven’t been able to have a direct experience of joy unless I go through pain first.  At least that is my sense – it could be that the most poignant moment of joy that I ever experienced was when I sang to my son at his Celebration of Life.  It wasn’t because it was a happy occasion … quite the contrary.  But I have never felt so big – bigger than my body dictates, so connected – to him in a way that defies all understanding, and so loved – by him and by everyone who was there that day.  I will never forget that moment as long as I live.  So as I was questioning this with Robert, I was really saying to him that I know there is great joy already between the two of us, but I am only letting it in a little bit at a time … where is my unfetteredness? Why am I keeping the lid on this one? What am I afraid of? Oh no!  Wait!  Am I flinching?  (There’s that darn word again…)

Then I arrived at the baby blessing.  There I was, being asked to lead a song (As I went down in the river to pray … I love that song) to celebrate the arrival of a beautiful, baby boy.  I had tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat and doubted that I would be able to sing.  And then I realized that I had actually mocked this up!  I could have a direct experience of joy through joy!  I changed gears, looked at this little boy in new light – that of great excitement for him that he had arrived safely into the arms of two lovely, loving people, and I was so honoured to be asked to be a part of it.  When I got up and started to sing, I had that same feeling as I did that day, singing to my little boy … I have now been at the threshold of two lives, offering my gift of song.  I am basking in an indescribable warmth as I write this.

So I am changing gears.  I am ready to take off.  My flight leaves in a few hours.  I am continuing my journey with joy.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

An Act of Unflinching Fearlessness

I am in! I will be your flinching buster as I hope you will be mine. Whenever you see me playing small call me on that too, OK? The only obstacles to magnificence and adventure are inside our heads and I commit to flushing them out.
I want to tell you my soul sister's story.

When I knew her many years ago, she was a wild child, a free spirit without a home, a rebel with many causes, exuberant fashion sense and a creative bent that while brilliant also left her feeling alone and dissatisfied with life....with herself.

She struggled with love... being loved, giving love, knowing love. She had a marriage that ended, two girls she raised on her own and lots of challenge and pain.

Finding spirit she found herself and long story short she blossomed into a woman of substance and faith. In her words, she said she decided after years of unravelling herself in therapy to learn to commit to one important lesson.... keeping her heart soft when it felt like closing. So similar. Perhaps women are being called everywhere to this task and in doing so will regain a sacred knowing of our deepest femininity and power.

Back to her story.

As she committed to this path she was internet dating. She wasn't on long before she received a nudge. Its like a wink but without text. Like fishing without a worm and most women don't respond. If a man can't write an email introducing himself properly its like a flag that they can't be bothered to step up and won't actually know how to lead.

And really, it doesn't matter how successful and independent we are don't we all love a man confident enough to lead.

This time she checked him out. He was cute and she decided to respond. Just as she was writing him his email to her came in. They meet at Starbucks, the internet daters salon of choice and she knows there is something...not sure what, but something.

And so it begins... the relationship, an often intense learning ground delivered by a very creative teacher. They are on again, off again. She remains steadfast and committed to keeping her heart open no matter what....he is wavering, afraid of commitment, unsure if this is the one.

Like in a storm she stands in her openheartedness accepting whatever his choice is, feeling her pain yet rather than blaming him for it using that intensity of feeling to propell her into knowing herself and living her life full out.

The more she keeps the focus on what she is doing, thinking, feeling inside herself, the more he returns questioning himself and yearning for her.

Finally this last go round of breaking up and getting back together he asks her to marry him. She hesitates.

One day he feels he has the flu, thinks he has caught a bug. She is alone at home wishing he would call, determined not to call him first....giving him space.

He is alone at home getting sicker and sicker.

When they finally get him to the hospital he is diagnosed with flesh eating disease.

WHAT! The words ring total terror in my heart. I can't even imagine the depth of anguish they had to go through.

Time was of the essence. They needed to sedate him and moved to surgery to remove his limbs. Flesh eating disease is caught from the same bacteria that gives people strep, the same bacteria can be eradicated with antibiotics in some and in others like this case becomes life threatening.

He had no idea.

He woke up 3 weeks later from sedation still thinking he had had the flu. They had to tell him more than once that his leg was amputated from the hip down on one side, from below the knee on the other, his fingers on one hand and his entire forearm and hand on the other.

They were worried he wouldn't survive.
She stayed by his side, in prayer and playing this song over and over.

When he awoke it was the only thing he remembered...this song...her love.

It's been 6 months. He is using a prosthetic and has taken his first steps. An athlete before all this he remains full of life force and spirit. They are planning their wedding ... bound in a love that is of the soul....a sharing of essence.

I met him this morning on Skype, funny, smart, irreverent, cracking jokes and teasing his woman. Talk about unflinching. I am inspired by these two, inspired and a little awed by their blind trust in love and each other.

The wedding is this June at a little vineyard in Ontario.

In this moment I am grateful for my life and the people in it, for you my friend, for new possibilities and for the grace of living life without flinching.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Fledgling Flinchlessness

Hey Marty ... great talking to you and your soul-sister-in-law today. The excitement builds.  After yesterday’s watershed moments and a good night’s sleep, I am getting ready, with renewed vigour, to take another step in the direction of my heart’s desire... that is toward unfailing flinchlessness.  (Say that three times, Peter Piper!)

I heard that term just the other day (deep bow M) and I have been trying it on for size.  I quite like how it looks and feels.  At first, I related it to the flinching that I’ve experienced many times that accompanies something less than desirable, like eating a chocolate-covered bumblebee, or walking barefoot through a campsite at night knowing you might slip on a banana slug – you get the picture.

Then I realized that what was being pointed at was a completely different kind of flinching… that kind when you know what the truth is, it’s staring you right in the face, and your fears of expressing it or acknowledging it far outweigh your ability to sit with it or express it out loud.  I know you know what I mean.  So I’m going to get out my sewing machine, make myself a cape, and stand on the top of some pedestal (how’s that for a bold-faced metaphor?), cape blowing in the wind, arm stretched high, clasping a torch for all to see… and be a Freedom Fighter for Flinchlessness! (I always wanted to be an uber hero!)

But before I scale my way to the top of that pedestal, I’m thinking I should practice a bit first.  When I read your post, I was feeling your determination to use what you called “the crashing of the world” to expand and teach yourself grace.  How lovely.  If you and I can keep talking about expanding into and living in our graciousness using all the experiences we attract (no matter how difficult, challenging, or heart-wrenching, they may be), I think we can make a difference.  I know that’s what I’m here for actually.  But I have to walk the talk.  And that’s where the flinchlessness comes in. So I want you to call me on it any time you see me flinching.

And about your new man!  How ’bout that? He sounds almost as good as mine!  Seriously, the way you describe him is exactly how I would describe Robert.  I am feeling incredibly blessed that he and I have reconnected after all these years. 

As for your “big breath and another leap off the cliff”, I’m with ya Thelma.

Feel the fear

Just read your post. I had already written mine and it seems we are on the same page yet again. I woke up seeing the snow and thinking about Duncan too. I pictured him flying down his mountain. I am glad you cried Buns! It’s so ok to feel and honor him with your heart that way.

And here is what I wrote before I read your post ...

No matter how much I know or understand or want to love fully, authentically and undefended … feelings WILL come up that contradict that desire.

Today I feel the fear deep inside my body -- a spark signaling attention … feel me … get to know me … listen to me … or else ... and there are many of those.

I know enough to tell myself, if my “or else” is in the future, “feel me and get rid of me or he will see your fear and leave you”… or my fear is in the past “it’s going to happen again, you will think everything is ok and then whack, it’s not as it seems” … I know enough to say to myself, I don’t know what this fear MEANS and I don’t have to. I just have to be willing to breathe, one breath at a time and move gently toward it as a sensation in my body.

I am not alone here; the wisdom that is in me and beyond me, supports me. I ask the question, “What is this for?”

I have a houseguest this weekend. I haven’t seen her in over 15 years. She is my ex-husband’s sister but to me she, along with his other sibs, is my soul sister … connected by something richer than blood, larger than circumstance -- love flows like an electrical current between us.

Even without contact that love did not change. She just walked in as I was typing, back from her morning jog and after a hug and a kiss she says, “I was thinking about you, I just want to say that while we both know all the shrink talk of “there are lessons in everything that happens to you”, and “you picked that person for a reason” … I just want to say … I am sorry. I am sorry for what my brother did to you.

I was stunned. As the tears came I realized I had never heard these words and did not know quite what to do with them. When I had discovered my husband of 13 years was living a double life I was already into the consciousness movement and I was determined to use this crashing of the world as I knew it to expand and teach myself grace.
I made many mistakes but mostly I am proud of my actions, proud that I did not talk badly to my son about his dad even though my ex was convinced I was trying deliberately to poison my son’s mind. He really did not know me. And while he would lie often for self preservation to keep his lives compartmentalized he would also lie for no reason. That was the crazy-making one.

So here is his sister, heart full of love offering me a gift I had never received -- I didn’t expect to. Can’t even tell you why it was such a gift. I took a deep breath and simply said thank you.

It’s ok that I have fear I tell myself. And it’s ok to feel it and let it transform, let it move and flow like a wave that crests and peaks and ebbs. Life is risky business. Loving is riskier yet!

I have met a new man ... We met on the internet and he is flying into town soon for our first face to face. There is nothing about this man that is familiar to me in terms of the kind of people I have chosen to be involved with in the past. He has values, he honours women, he cherishes the hearts of those around him, and he is a man of integrity. I don’t have alot of experience with that.

Some of the men I have dated after my marriage wanted to live in integrity but kept telling me it was too much work and they couldn’t do it, they couldn’t commit, they couldn’t handle my feelings, they were not good enough for me, I deserved better.

WHAT DO YOU DO WITH THAT ONE? For my part I would try to convince them that they could do whatever they wanted to do ... they were good enough, they were strong, they were wonderful … they were … blah blah ginger ginger … I was therapizing my men, picking men with wounded souls to heal. Leaping around in a spiritual mindset designed unconsciously to keep me from seeing and feeling my own pain! Pain from the past, all feeding my unconscious distrust of the masculine.

So here is this man who, without having read all the new-age self-help books, is confident in himself and who he is and is offering pure connection freely and with joy.

WOW. My head can still fill with nonsense from the past, all kinds of warnings … and yet this time my body is responding. Often excited and other times … yes … afraid … I call it skittish. My body does not have a file for this. Ah that’s it … I don’t have a file for all the wonderful, loving and exciting energy flowing my way. It feels without strings, without expectation and only asking me to TRUST.

I want to, with my whole heart I want to AND I am afraid. Can that be ok? Can they exist together? Can the masculine as a healthy force actually allow for my changeability, my inconsistencies and support me to flow into the feminine without taking every one of my feelings or fear personally.

Can I let go of the need to control and orchestrate? Can I trust?

Big breath and another leap off the cliff … fear or no fear I am standing in being transparent and allowing what is meant to be to unfold.

I am not in charge of all the details!

I set my intention SIGH and jump … again.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Perfection isn't all that it's cut out to be .... (so cut it out!)

Hey Marty ... I hope you slept better than I did last night. I had so many ideas flying around in my head for our blog that I should have just turned the light on, got out my notebook and written it all down... By the way I got such a kick out of your virginal post ... with all the ellipsises ... ellipses?................. As I am a recovering perfectionist I decided not to tell you that typically an ellipsis is restricted to 3 dots ... hence the 4 in the title! In fact, according to http://www.ehow.com/, "ellipsis marks are a set of three periods that indicate dropped words or a dropped thought within a sentence." So don't be surprised if one day my post consists of just dots!

I was anything but perfect today. I cried in front of customers. Yet all the while I was thinking that it was actually okay. Today Whistler opened and I miss getting that phonecall from Dunc telling me of his excitement for the season. But, I am truly blessed and loved. One of his friends came to see me and told me how much he had inspired her to follow her dream and how he had introduced her to people that he thought would help her on her way. He continues to show up for her in wondrous ways (as you know he does for a lot of us) and my tears were more of pride for him (and her) than a sense of loss. I know a few of his friends did a run in his honour today and I am happy he is remembered with so much love.

And now it's only seven more sleeps until I see Robert for the second time in about twenty years. We have talked so much in the last few months that I feel closer to him than had we been in each other's physical company during that time. I am really wondering if there is something to be said for long-distance relationships (at least at the beginning) so there is enough space to learn about each other (or get to know each other all over again). I am really looking forward to seeing him but I'm nervous too. I have a week left to get over myself (needing to be/look perfect for him.) And I'm actually beginning to believe that it's going to be just fine. We had a good chat today about our blog and I thought it was awfully good of me to promise that he wouldn't read anything about him on the blog that he and I hadn't talked about!

That's all I got Marty (imperfect grammar intended). It's been a long day. Can't wait to read about yours ...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Liberation

OK. To be authentic in all this I cannot believe I'm writing a blog....... even using the word blog.... really a ridiculous word... blog..... blog.... bllllllooooggggggg...... sounds like I'm throwing up... and blog and I in the same sentence.... well!

OK.....I am over it...... I am no longer a bleeping blogging virgin....

So Buns.... love the excitement your day generated! Love all the signs.

And while you were enjoying the validation from the Universe I was deep in the void with couples all wanting the same thing.......undefended love and intimacy...... and yet all unable to drop their guards and stop defending! Working with couples as a therapist has taught me so much about myself and how to be in healthy relationship.

We are all so afraid of feeling pain it restricts our flow like a boa constrictor. We respond as guards defending against the very thing our hearts yearn for the most...... closeness, contact, depth, and the freedom to be ourselves at the same time. And, we defend in unique and clever ways.

My favourite defense is becoming intellectual and dissecting a topic or issue until I have wrung out of it every last possible opportunity for feeling anything bad...... Sounds reasonable and rational but inside I am defending against a tidal wave of insecurity and inaccurate beliefs all based on my past. Then I project that past onto the present moment and rip myself off from authentic feeling and being available for the contact that I yearn for.

The bottom line..... sending out a defense is like inviting attack.

And I defend against feeling vulnerable by presenting as super high functioning and capable.

Know what I mean?

Takes a lot of energy to make sure you look good. Now that I am consciously stopping that game, NO MATTER WHAT.... now that I am committing to being transparent, NO MATTER WHAT.... I feel a kind of excitement and joy that bubbles up in the weirdest moments.

Today I ordered tea at Starbucks. I asked her what kind they had. When she said Joy, I just about leapt out of my skin.

JOY!, that's what I'll have.... an extra hot, vente cup of JOY... one bag..... oh hell, make it two.....and all the way to the top, I don't add anything to JOY. I drink it straight. Just like my essence!

And that's when the question hit me..... will I be defined by what people see or by the essence of my soul?

No brainer.

Today has already been amazing...

Good morning Marty... thought I'd just get this started. After we talked last night I couldn't stop thinking about what it would be like to share the kind of insights that you and I are constantly uncovering during the course of our conversations.

So first of all, I started my day off the way I love to... talking with Robert... and I told him about our idea for this blog -- how we could reach out to women our age and start having a dialogue about authentic love, manifesting, having undefended relationships, etc. He thought it was a great idea.

When I got to my first stop of the day, the person I was supposed to meet was 10 minutes behind schedule. Immediately I sensed that there was good reason for this and it had something to do with our idea. Sitting right beside me was the book "1000 Awesome Things" so I picked it up and right inside the jacket cover it talks about "the 10-million-plus-award-winning blog". That's when I knew that we were onto something. Then the receptionist and I got into a lovely conversation where I told her what you and I were up to. She wanted to know more. I not only told her about our blog idea but also about our dream to have a women's retreat (in a villa in Tuscany perhaps?) and how we were in the process of manifesting that. She said she wants to follow our blog and that she is a licensed acupuncturist and would love to be involved in whatever way she can. She could certainly show us a thing or three about stretching our meridians!

Then I arrived at work (another one of my favourite things to do as you know) and the mail was sitting on the counter. It looked like a lot of junk mail but then a tiny post card slipped out addressed to me personally from a woman that I had met last week at a business function. The post card read "Are you connected?" It was from a new acquaintance, Cathy, who has started a couple of women's networks, one of which is http://www.theconnectedwoman.com/. Again, I felt that we are absolutely moving in the right direction.

Next, a woman that I haven't seen for three years, walked into the store, and she asked me how my family was. She had not heard about Duncan's passing and was so overcome with emotion when I told her that I realized something bigger was going on for her... that it had resonated in some way with loss in her life. I asked her about it and she said she was not handling her son's leaving the nest very well. He sounds like a very similar type of kid as Duncan was... extreme sports, huge love of adventure, wanting to test himself, (it truly felt as though she was describing Duncan)... I told her that one of the most beautiful things that I have experienced since Dunc died, is that the love between us will always be there. I said lots of other things too that I don't need to get into here but suffice it to say that there was a healing there for her. She is a songwriter by the way, and the words to her latest song are all about being true, finding love, all the things that we want to talk about here. She's coming back in half an hour for more conversation. I'm going to ask her if I can put her lyrics on our blog. Again, I'm struck by the synchronicity of today and it's only lunch time.

Sarah just came back and she said I can put her lyrics here... Can I get by without a lie, to bide the time til truth's required to become the real me? Can I get by without a lie, can I survive the Truth, the truth that only Truth can set us free to live. Can I get by without a lie, to tell me what is not, to see you see me and all that is, rather than what will be, we'll be. Just you. Just me. Truly alive. Yep. Pretty cool. I had a listen to her piano CD. I'll bring it with me the next time I see you (or you can hear some of her stuff at sarahmariewood@myspace.com).

So already I'm sensing that this can be much more than what we first thought. This can be a place where deep healing can happen just by being open to whatever conversation presents itself... be it in person or on our blog. What do you think? I am so excited!