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Archive for September, 2009

The long days of summer are over. Fall has arrived, if not in your backyard, then at least, on your calendar. The Autumnal and Vernal (spring) equinoxes are the two times a year when the length of the day and the length of the night are more or less equal.

The weather, fickle as it always is, is less reliable than the angle of the sun when it comes to knowing Fall has arrived. It snowed in Denver the other day and then returned to a sunny 70 degrees. There are deluges in Georgia and heat waves in California.

Some will know it’s Fall by the return of football season, children returning to school and the final race to the world series in baseball.

What tells me it’s Autumn is the gray and black squirrels (newborn last Spring) scampering about the oaks gathering acorns. The Jays and the Acorn Woodpeckers are competing for the same booty and then burying it the ground or  hammering into the telephone pole. The persimmons are turning orange. I am going to bed earlier and awakening a bit later as the nights grow longer.

Persimmons (Kathy Loh)

Persimmons (Kathy Loh)

Ancient cultures made monuments to honor the solstices. That we make meaning from this time is built upon the wisdom of the ages. How we make meaning is personal and cultural.

In general it is known as a time of harvest. The harvest invites gratitude and the observation that we reap what we sow.  With the shortening and cooling of the days comes the natural desire to hibernate by slowing down, reflecting, preparing.

Just as those squirrels gather their bounty for the winter, we can take time to reflect upon how well we’ve lived our year to this point, what needs cleaning up and completion and how we want to prepare for a new cycle that begins at Winter Solstice.

As we are in the sun sign of Libra, the perspective of balance between the dark and light, balance of polarities, is especially poignant. I had a wonderful call with a client today that illustrates how we can work with polarities with one simple question that accommodates “and.”  As we explored her vision of her most robust future, she mentioned both adventure and living at a relaxed pace. She then laughingly wondered how she could have both. At first glance we assume adventure and relaxation to be contradictory. Curiosity offers another perspective. I asked her what it would be to be in relaxed adventure? A new doorway opened.

I invite you to take something you are playing with as either-or, that creates a black and white debate in your mind, and write your own inquiry similar to the one above. The Autumnal Equinox may well infuse your contemplation with balanced energy.

Another Autumnal sign and energy is that of Scorpio. Scorpio is all about the sting, the transmutation of energy, initiation. It’s a great time to reconnect with the soul and inquire as to your soul’s purpose. It’s a good time to heal old wounds, create alignment in your chakras.  You might like to meditate upon the chakras, do some chakra chanting, work with a healer, shaman or spiritual coach/guide to facilitate these processes.

Finally, many of us have been busy discarding old items, clearing out closets and garages, clearing our very hearts of clutter and things we no longer need. It turns out this is natural energy to feel this time of year. The Autumnal Equinox encourages it. As we head toward the nadir of the Winter Solstice, as we head toward the end of the year, it is natural for us to assess the path we’ve walked the past 9 months and release that which no longer serves. It is also natural to begin to prepare for the upcoming year, the beginning of a new cycle at the Winter Solstice when the days begin to grow longer again and the energy is just turning toward expansion.

You might like to assess your year so far and ask:

What will you claim and celebrate?

What will you release?

What feedback or learning are you taking with you to prepare for your next adventure?

What seeds will you gather for next year’s crop?

How does your heart wish to express gratitude?

Then pick one and follow through in some way that resonates with you.

Happy Equinox dear ones!

A nod and apology for my northern perspective to the Southern Hemisphere where they are experiencing their Vernal Equinox – may your Spring be abundantly joyful!

Copyright(c) September 2009, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

Resource (book) for ritual: Nature-Speak by Ted Andrews

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I am compelled to share this with you. It’s  beautiful computer artwork with lovely music and inspirational words at the bottom. What I love most is the way the color dances with the music. It moves like my body wants to move to the sound.

It’s also where I think we are headed with “information” which is more toward storytelling. Artists know there are many ways to tell stories and not always with words.

I also got this sense of life as music and how each drop of color is like each of our lifetimes, fleetingly beautiful and lyrical, dancing away into the void. Creativity is always beginning and never-ending. Creativity wants to breathe new life into the void. We are but the dancers. As the artist, Esteban,  says “There’s a lot of randomness involved here, so there was also a lot of luck, of course.”

A Twitter tweet is how I found it, though I don’t remember the tweeter to thank for this. The tweet referred to the blog site is www.thenextweb.com and I found the video on You Tube to share with you.

Something for our hearts.

Here is the rest of the information as copied from You Tube:

This is a video created by Esteban Diácono to the music of Olafur Arnalds’ Ljósið using Adobe After Effects, particular v2, soundkeys and starglow.

“I first imported the audio and set up 2 sounkeys layers, one for the piano and one for the strings. Then i worked the particles and the particle subsystem and linked things like the emission, the turbulence, the velocity, the spin amplitude and the strength of the fields to the sound key outputs.

“Then i set up the colors with 2 different palettes, and well, after that there was a lot of trial and error in order to achieve what i was looking for.

There’s a lot of randomness involved here, so there was also a lot of luck, of course.”

Original words copyright (c) September 2009, Kathy J Loh, all rights reserved
The rest is the property of the artist and the musician quoted and shared here.

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“And look! See my tears. They fill the whole night sky. The whole night sky.” – Bruce Cockburn

Saturday:

Chased my desires downhill

Swallowed them in big gulps

Gasping

And grasping

For what?

Finding my way back home

Heart-rains (heart reigns)

Both directions

Cried a river of tears

To and from that drought-choked creek

Maybe my tears will

Nurse it back to life

Small cost to pay, this rain

This broken-open heart

So full

So heavy with

Insatiable desire that gratitude

So mischievously

So beautifully

Teases out in me

What rain entices from dead wood (K Loh)

What rain entices from dead wood (K Loh)

Sunday:

Clouds were gathering.

A storm was brewing.

My practice for the day was to see love in and around me, to dwell in the heart of cosmos.*

Monday:

After threatening all day yesterday with clouds and high humidity, the rain finally made good on its promise and fell during the night. This is the first rain since Spring and I enjoyed the gentle tap-tap on the skylights, feeling cozy and secure in my warm home. “All the creatures and plants of the forest are happy,” I thought.

This morning, I took a walk on the damp trail, softened by the night’s rain. My footfall was muffled and everything felt intimate, quiet, waiting, for what I don’t know, but there was a real sense of sacredness, of gratitude, of relief.

Webs, Stars & Deep Sea Creatures (K Loh)

wet webs and galaxies (K Loh)

Rain drops clung to every branch, every spider web, glistening in the sunlight like strands of fine Austrian crystals and cast against shadowed backdrops like a Milky Way. Pungent earth aromas tinged with the spice of chaparral and pine teased my nose. The sun danced with the clouds, mosses grew greener and negative ions (those natural air purifiers) lifted my spirits. This is the Northern California that I love and to which I was first introduced when I moved north from the southern part of the state in October 1995.

I soaked it all in and it washed away my internal dust, dust that had settled in me over the dry season. My sorrows were gathered up by the rain and deposited in open seedpods which have been waiting so patiently for some nourishment. My tears and the sky’s rain echo one another. New spores and pollens are released. New life begins.

When I cry, I re-locate my heart. I feel it open and release. It hurts. It feels wonderful. Maybe if we were all willing to open our hearts and release those tears from time to time, we’d ease a bit of the pain and misery in this world. We’d have more frequent and gentle rains and less torrential, even destructive, downpours.

I pondered this:  If we have the courage to experience and release the tempest in our own hearts, we may be less likely to cast our shadows upon the world to be acted out in tragic dramas of mass destruction.  What eats at us internally, devours our world as well.

What if our tears are the rain that transmutes Gaia’s pain?

Copyright(c)September 2009, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

References and Resources:

Bruce Cockburn – The Whole Night Sky

*Tarot inquiry/affirmation – Tarot of the SpiritLightning Spiral Mystery School

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In “Romancing Destiny,”  (my prior post),  I promised to explore freedom and commitment in this entry.  Well, that would take an entire book, wouldn’t it?  I don’t have time this afternoon to write that book (and plenty of philosophers have done a much better job of it than I could). Besides, you probably don’t have the time or desire to read a tome do you?

So, let’s just dip our toes in the waters of freedom, splish-splash a bit and I invite you to participate by splashing some of your thoughts across the comments section.

I don’t know about you, but I have this thing with freedom. It is my highest value. I want to be and feel free. Sometimes I know I am free, but I don’t feel like I am. Sometimes, I know I am at choice, but I don’t feel like I am.

Sometimes freedom chases me down an alley named Free From. I want to be free from debt, free from some nagging obligation or responsibility, free from worry, free from fear.

Sometimes I chase freedom down a pathway named Free To. I want to be free to explore, free to go to the beach, free to choose, free to spend the afternoon playing music, free to live my life the way I want to live it.

Mostly, I just want to experience freedom. I want know, really know, that I am at choice.

Sometimes, I mistakenly think that if I make a decision or a commitment, I am no longer at choice. I am giving up my freedom. Then it starts to chase me again. I am running from commitment, ruing a decision.

When I have participated in that cycle often enough, I gather evidence that making a decision is a huge deal. Faced with any decision to be made, I blow it up all out of proportion and then I go into endless gear-spinning indecision; permanent procrastination.  I am pretty talented at making myself miserable this way. Ironically, in my attempt to preserve freedom, I slap myself into a self-made straight-jacket; constricted and immobile. Where is freedom now?

Finally, I am in so much pain that I find relief by telling myself that it’s just a decision and I can make a new decision later if it doesn’t work out. At the very least, I can learn from the decision. So I close my eyes and point. I might as well be using a dartboard. I hope for the best, and revel in the immediate sensation of post-internal-war peace.

Reflections (c)Kathy J Loh

Reflections (c)Kathy J Loh

Commitment is another story.  Commitment means I stand by my decision. I will not change my mind. I am making a promise and I will not break it. So, if I think that once I have made a commitment, I am no longer at choice, as a freedom lover, I’m going to really drag my feet.  I’m going to want volumes of information, warranties and a money-back guarantee.

But to whom or what am I really making a commitment? And when I make that commitment, am I handing over my free will and choice as some sort of dowry?

Cheryl Richardson shared a process she uses, which I love. To paraphrase, she said she makes a list of absolute yeses based upon her values, mission and purpose. When she has to make a decision or commitment, she asks herself if the opportunity resonates with her absolute yes list. If not, she passes.

What I take from this is that I can gather my information from sources other than the internet and friend’s opinions. I am informed by my values, the alignment and integrity of my Body, Mind, Spirit, Heart and my vision or understanding of my soul’s purpose. My warranty is my trust in myself and my faith in the process, God/Goddess and all that is. My guarantee is remembering that I am the creator of how and who I am being with whatever circumstances arise.

The more I walk in that integrity, being informed in that way, the more I act from deep intuition and true knowing.

Therein, perhaps, is the path of freedom. When I stop asking and start knowing.

I notice I wrote “ the path of freedom.”  It is not the path to freedom or the path of being free from.

There are few sign posts on this path and everything is feedback which informs me of the ways in which I still hold myself prisoner in the shadows of my being. It takes courage (Coeur-age) to walk in the shadows.

Somehow or other I suspect that on this path, commitment is joyfully offered and decision is swift heart-informed action.

More and more I am dreaming myself on this path, though I wander off into the thickets time and time again.  Along the way there will be celebrations and there will be disappointments, for others as well as for me.

I want to remember to receive them all with grace and humility.

Who will walk this path with me?

 Copyright(c) September 2009, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

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