Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for January, 2010

The other day, I emailed a great rant to a dear friend, Cynthia Morris. I titled it “snarky moment.” I was smiling and feeling mischievous as I wrote. I was removed enough from it all not to be the victim in search of rescue, or the martyr in search of pity. I was having a romping roll with anger in the ranting hayloft and it was fun!

Here’s the story.

We had a series of storms here. The power was out for three full days. We had the advantage of a generator that was on briefly each morning and evening; enough to keep the food from spoiling and enable us to run water and flush toilets. Our water comes from a well. The well requires a pump and that pump requires electricity.

I hunkered down when the power first went out. I figured I could easily be patient with the usual two hours of outage that comes with a big storm. I’d managed to make my coffee just in time. I dressed like I was going skiing; long underwear, turtle neck, hooded sweatshirt and down vest. I checked to be sure the land line phone worked for the day’s client calls.

I spent 60 minutes in the morning and the evening scanning email and other social media using my backup laptop battery and a dial-up internet service.  Slow, v-e-r-y  s-l-o-w. I spent time under the down comforter. I actually read a book. (insert gasp of amazement here)

By day two, I was feeling really pent up. The rain, hail, thunderstorms, and falling tree limbs kept me off the wooded trail. To get to a movie, I’d have to drive the long way around on back roads as the main road was blocked by downed trees and lines. My patience was wearing thin and the lemonade I was making from lemons tasted sickeningly sweet. I was gagging on calling this an adventure, a retreat, a learning experience.

By day three, righting my rant had stopped working for me altogether. I was hardly breathing anymore.  My creative muse had flown the coop. The ways in which I was making positive out of the negative just weren’t telling the whole truth. I wasn’t being patient or positive. I was tolerating. In my hunkering down, I gave lip service to “adventure,” but I was living imprisonment. Of course, I didn’t realize this until the power was restored.

Stormy skies Santa Cruz

Storm Brewing (K J Loh)

The first full day of electrical power was followed by the first full day of sunshine. My own power was returning as well and instead of righting my rant, I wrote it. I wrote it and fired it off to Cynthia. Being the wonderful friend and creative coach she is, she responded:

There is a lot of wisdom and a lot of clues in this rant. I’d go through it and highlight what you want and then, you know, make it happen.

Now rants are kind of funny. They generally don’t have a life beyond their explosive moment in time. So, I had to go back and read what I’d written. It was amazingly clear that there are some changes I need to make in my life and the clues in that email are undeniable. The changes loom ominous like the storm clouds. So, no wonder I didn’t own-up to them. No wonder, I wanted to make lemonade. I didn’t want to admit that a lot of the “lemons” on my tree of doings had pretty much gone rotten.

After reviewing the email, I went mud-stomping with Callie dog in the woods. The hilly terrain got my heart beating and I exclaimed to the trees with delight, “I’m breathing again!” That’s when I realized I was no saint of patience.  I’d been tolerating. I’d hunkered down with the power-outage (no small bit of symbolism there) and decided to wait until circumstances handed me an oxygen mask.

Tolerating is imprisonment. It makes the spirit hover safely beyond the body, makes the mind crazy and the heart numb. Tolerating is not patience.

Tolerating is breath that is just shallow enough to get by.

Patience allows for deep satisfying breaths.

Tolerating is fearful inaction, constriction.

Patience is love and expansiveness.

Tolerating is a wicked ingrown hair of control.

Patience is free flowing surrender.

Tolerating is self-negation and has very little to do with self-love though it may have a lot to do with what appears to be self-preservation.

When I highlighted the key points in my rant, I discovered what I was tolerating. I discovered what I want through what I don’t want. I discovered new possibilities. Now I must also discover my courage.

There’s a huge energetic surge that comes with a rant. That energetic surge can be a wave that trashes us or one we can ride all the way to the joyful shores of our vision. Whereas tolerating leads to utter exhaustion and possible wipeout, patience allows us to become one with the wave.

What are you tolerating?

Next time you feel a rant coming on, write it before you right it.

Suggested steps for writing, and thus, righting your rant:

  1. Create a safe space for you and others when you rant. It’s not about blame. It’s about what you are no longer willing to tolerate. It’s about your own discovery of what has to change and gathering the courage to create that change.
  2. Write your rant.
  3. Put it away for a bit and go for a walk, dance…get your body moving.
  4. Do something kind to/for you. Receive love, nurturance and warmth.
  5. Go back and review your rant. Underline or highlight the clues. They may be things you don’t want anymore, something that needs to be said, a new creative outlet that wants to be born.
  6. Re-form those clues into powerful intentions and write them out as such.
  7. Chart your plan of action.
  8. Gather your courage and your allies.
  9. Begin – one small step is all it takes, one small action. It may be a powerful request you make of another. It may be resigning a position. It may be clearing a space in the home for creative activities. It may be asking for help. Whatever it is, your power will be restored with each step.
Copyright © January 2010, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

Read Full Post »

Hello fellow travelers on the Full Moon Path!

Today, I am using the blog to announce some fun things I’ve been playing with in the realms of creativity, energy and mystery. I invite you to join me.

Podcasts

I have had the most enjoyable pleasure of being a guest on two different podcasts over the past couple of months.

The first was with highly creative Jamie Ridler of Jamie Ridler Studios. She has a most delightful blog/podcast:  Creative Living with Jamie.  On her site, you will find a number of other fascinating podcasts and invitations to play.

On her podcast, Jamie and I talked about creativity as I am exploring it now; about living a life of free invention as my creative activity. We also talked about the importance of self-care, especially as pertains to creative artists. I edited the podcast to begin where Jamie brings me in after an introduction in which she talks about the end of the year 2009.

To see the Sand Dancer video I mention in this podcast click here –>SandDancer

The second was with Lisa Lauffer and Wendy Balman on their podcast/blog Brilliant Chaos. It’s a relatively new blog and I’m excited to see where they will take this. They are two brilliant and funny women and coaches.  I love their tagline: “Welcome to Planet Chaos where gifted living and systems thinking collide. Permission to land granted.”

On Brilliant Chaos we talked about energy management. I had commented on a previous Brilliant Chaos post about time being flexible; something I called “slinky time.” So, we discussed time and its relationship with energy. We also spoke briefly about the specific energy needs of Highly Sensitive and Gifted People. (The volume on my microphone was a bit low, so turn your volume up on your computer to hear it.)

Click here to go to the Brilliant Chaos Podcast

So that covers creativity and energy. Where’s the Mystery?

mystery shadow in the trees

(c) Kathy J Loh

The answer, for now, is in two parts:

Part one: Mystery Messages

I recently created Mystery Messages. If you sign up for Mystery Messages, they will be delivered to your email inbox.  They are not scheduled, but sporadic with plenty of time between deliveries for you to savor each one completely. The form is flexible, meaning it may not be the same from message to message.

They are designed to bring enchantment to the Great Mystery, to engage us with the unknown as a friendly ally. And, it remains a mystery, even to me, how they will evolve.  Each one offers inquiries (questions that you can muse upon), challenges (things to do that might stretch you), and/or activities in the form of adventure or creativity.

The first Mystery Message went out last week.  If you haven’t yet signed up to receive them and would like to, you can do so on my website. Just click on that link and then scroll down to the blue box for Mystery Messages. Watch for the confirmation email and reply to it and you are set.

Part two: Coming Attractions

Very shortly, I will be offering a tele-seminar for those who are interested in deepening their relationship with what I call the Great Mystery, what you may call Source, Divine, Unknown.  If you are on my website mailing list, you will receive an announcement when the class is offered. I will also post about it here in Full Moon Path.

Meanwhile, I will continue to post to Full Moon Path. I am grateful for your readership and revel in your comments.  And, of course, I continue to offer soulful and creative coaching for individuals and couples. You can reach me at kathyloh@coachkathy.com

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.” ~Albert Einstein

Copyright © January 2010, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

Read Full Post »

Happy New Year!

Last night I danced by the light of the blue moon and sang whatever song illumined my heart. Any day I have written and walked in the woods is a good day. Any day that sends me a sprinkling of synchronicity is one that sparkles. Yesterday was one of those good and sparkly days.

I am contemplating the word “open.”  It’s not my new word for 2010.  It’s a 2009 spillover.  Just because I turned the calendar page, doesn’t mean I’m done with the contemplations of 2009.

Soul-time knows no calendar.

My body, in its infinite though sometimes painful wisdom, is having me look again at this word “open,” by way of a very swollen tendon in my right-hand thumb pad. I did not do this in some noticeable way, like an accident. It just came on and the explanation is likely connected with some way I held the steering wheel during my long drive home. It’s painful. I type very slowly. It hurts to write with a pen. To hold or grasp anything with my right hand, I have to use the fingers only. It’s giving me a new appreciation for the evolution of the opposable thumb!

In Heal Your Body, Louise Hay writes that issues with hands are about how we handle life. I took a walk contemplating how I might be trying to hold on too tightly, steering too much with the masculine (right side of body) “doing” aspect of my being; how it might serve me to release and open more. I took my hands out of my pockets despite the chill, and opened them wide.  As I left the woods and approached the driveway, I thought “I need to get rid of all that stuff I’m holding on to in the garage.” Then I stopped in my tracks and laughed out loud when I heard, “You don’t even need to hold on to letting go.”

The either /or of hold on – let go is a polarity that keeps me distracted with the game of it all rather than living life more freely. There is the baggage without and the baggage within that weighs me down, physically and psychically. In this contemplation it was about stuff, but in the bigger picture, it’s about life.

It’s not the stuff in the boxes that weighs me down. It’s how I think about them. It’s not my past that holds me back, but the story I tell about it and this notion that I somehow have to be entirely free of the sadness and anger in order to feel alive and happy. It’s also some idea I have that if it crosses my mind at all, I didn’t really release it.

I don’t have to do anything. I can do whatever I want: pick through it, let it go, give it away, sell it, never look at it again, let it rot, mold, be destroyed by mice. It’s not about letting go of the stuff. It’s about awareness of my fears; that there is one right or best way to handle it, that I will be letting things slip through my fingers, that I have to honor it, hold on to the lessons, understand everything about it, to release it and be complete. That’s precisely how having to let go makes letting go nearly impossible.

I don’t have to permanently forget people and pain from the past. I don’t have to make them saints for the lessons I learned from them. I don’t have to do anything other than what I want, which is to accept it for what it is, and open wide to accept new people and new experiences into my life. If tears come through now and then, it doesn’t mean I’m not healed. It means I have an open heart and energy moves through and around an open heart.

I want to hand-le life with an open heart!

Clay figure from Bell Pine Art Farm "Open Heart"

"Open Heart" Bell Pine Art Farm* (K J Loh)

*you can get this and other lovely clay figurines from Bell Pine Art Farm.

Interlude: Breathing is a cycle of inhale and exhale and that curious space of nothingness (no-thing-ness) in between.  I use both my fingers and my thumb to grasp things. They are in opposition, like the poles of hold-on and let-go, and they work better together than alone. So, as I open to grasping, I grasp opening. Giving and receiving, I hold one hand turned outward and one hand facing me, and both are open. It’s becoming clear that the lesson for me here is in giving and receiving open handedly.

Living in the paradox (hold on, let go: give, receive) means living in the question. Living in the question is living in that curious space between the in and out breath.  It’s what Julie Daley wrote about in her blog today as the “blessed unrest” and what Beth Follini wrote about in her New Year post as “living with not-knowing.”

I call this space “creative tension.” It’s where we are always at the edge of our frontier as creative, evolving beings and consciousness; where the drop knows it is the ocean and yet still the drop. It’s unfamiliar, edgy and completely natural.

It’s a muscle we build, this willingness to be and live in the tension of the question. The friction ignites our creative embers. I want to warm and heal the way I handle life by the wisdom and courage of this fire. I want to use its light to illumine my way through the ever-unfolding Mystery.  And, while I’m driving the distance, perhaps I don’t have to hold the steering wheel so tightly!

Oh, and my new 2010 Spirit Cards (chosen during my New Year’s Day ritual)?

I Am – Mercy

I Will  – Inspire

I’m dancing with these to the music of Open.

I’m dancing to this song by Abbey Lincoln that my friend Joette Tizzone played for me after I told her about my contemplation during our New Years Eve chat. Enjoy! (The lyrics are below)

Throw It Away (Abbey Lincoln)

I think about the life I live

A figure made of clay

And think about the things I lost

The things I gave away

And when I’m in a certain mood

I search the house and look

One night I found these magic words

In a magic book

Throw it away

Throw it away

Give your love, live your life

Each and every day

And keep your hand wide open

Let the sun shine through

‘Cause you can never lose a thing

If it belongs to you

There’s a hand to rock the cradle

And a hand to help us stand

With a gentle kind of motion

As it moves across the land

And the hand’s unclenched and open

Gifts of life and love it brings

So keep your hand wide open

If you’re needing anything

Throw it away

Throw it away

Give your love, live your life

Each and every day

And keep your hand wide open

Let the sun shine through

‘Cause you can never lose a thing

If it belongs to you

Copyright (c) January 2010, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved (excluding artwork, video, music, lyrics)

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: