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 “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” Anais Nin

On this auspicious Winter Solstice 12/21/12 I am writing to you from my new home on 2.5 acres in the sierra foothills. The snow is falling, the wind is blowing, trees are swaying while the most tenacious leaves and pine needles are hurling themselves to the ground.

I’ve only been here a dozen days and this is the third time it has snowed. Already, I am learning to dance with the rhythm of nature, even if sometimes that dancing has me feeling like being a whirling dervish. If the skies are clear, I work like a squirrel preparing for winter. I run errands, get things tarped, make sure I have enough gas for the generator, enough food in the pantry.

I try to be prepared and not scared and I have to admit, despite the inconvenience of it all, I am thoroughly enchanted by falling snow and the majesty of giant trees.

copyright (c) 2012 Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

Winter Solstice is when we begin to see longer days and shorter nights, day by day, night by night.

This particular solstice has grabbed the attention of many as the marker for the big shift, the end of the world as we know it, new beginnings. Some say it is the end of an old paradigm and the beginning of a new paradigm in which we are the creators of our reality in a whole new way. Whatever it is and whatever you feel, it is an opportunity to set powerful intentions for living a life worthy of our beautiful souls and spirits.

Today is a good day to plant the seeds of those intentions and let them take hold and root underground before cultivating them on the surface. Winter is a time to go inward, to rest and revive and maybe even re-set our body, mind, spirit and heart. When the Spring Equinox arrives, we will see our seeds sprout and we can then get into action around them. Winter is more for being.

So we set our intentions as if they are tulip bulbs in the earth of our energetic being. This is a good time to check in with ourselves. Who are we being and who is it that we need to be to create, nurture and follow through on those intentions? What within us needs to be understood, nurtured, changed, or released to become the best gardener of those “bulbs?”

It might be the way we think about things, a mindset that no longer serves us. This might be revealed to us in our judgment of self and others. Listen to what you say to yourself as well as to others. Listen with wonder and curiosity.

It might be the way we are denying our feelings or using inauthentic tactics like guilt and blame to avoid feeling what our hearts want us to experience.

It might be the way we are holding ourselves separate from our bodies, in struggle and resistance, fighting, controlling, pushing our bodies rather than listening, loving and responding.

As we build fires to keep us warm on winter nights, we can ask ourselves how we are tending the fire of our spirit. Wither our passion, zest for life, appreciation and gratitude for the beauty that surrounds us and the beauty within us?

So yes, let this be the end of the world as you know it. The end of what no longer works, of trying to constrict and constrain yourself into short little days of being awakened while enduring long, long nights of default drifting.

Today is a good day to “release your history and dance into the Mystery” as my tag line says.

You are not your history. You are a unique and deeply important expression of a Great Mystery.

You matter.

You shine.

We want to see you in majestic full bloom!

Magical Solstice to you, my lovely readers!

Invitation: I am offering a year-long one-on-one guided journey for those who wish to have a transformative and healing experience. Curious? You can read more about it here: http://www.coachkathy.com/coachingprograms.html

copyright (c) December 2012, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

 

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Responsibility – how does that word sit with you? Does it cause you to feel expanded or contracted? I’ve decided that responsibility is an O word. What does that mean? What is the O? For some, it is a ring of fire. For others it is a wormhole to higher consciousness. What the heck am I talking about?

Think of O as a looking glass, a lens. Heck, think of it as a hula hoop if that serves.  Depending on how you view it and the way you relate to it, responsibility is (and here come the O-words) obligation, onerous, one-way, one-right-way, or it can be, for you, opportunity, options, optimization.

I’ve written about responsibility before and how we can re-resonate the word for ourselves by seeing it as our ability to respond. That works for a while. Then, something, someone comes along and we are triggered by the word, falling back again into the resonance of obligation. We feel imprisoned, victimized. We get blamed and we blame. We look forward to some illusive day of liberation equating it with “no more responsibility” and get that all mixed up with freedom.

What is the pivotal point? How can we infuse this word, responsibility, with light, love and power and beauty? (I realize that there are other cultures that will not get what the problem is at all and that’s wonderful. If you don’t have a problem with the word, carry on. You have better things to do with your time than read this.)

Emerald Lake Copyright (C) Oct 2011 Kathy J Loh All Rights Reserved

Emerald Lake, Cananda

 

In order to take responsibility for my life, my feelings and my actions, I have to recognize that I am my own authority. I am the author of my life. I create my reality. I am the cause of my effect. OK, so stuff happens, but I am at choice regarding my reaction to and action around my circumstances.

As I pondered being my own authority, I flashed back on the many ways I’ve handed my authority over to others: parents, teachers, leaders, lovers, books. Yes, books. For the longest time, if it was in print, it must be so. Go figure…

I was an eager student in search of straight A’s, in search of perfection, in search of safety, belonging, security and knowing I was loved. If I could just get the formula right, just solve the problem of me, not life, me, then I could live “happily ever after.” That’s how it works, right? Happily Ever After!

It was only last year that I truly let myself and all of my multidimensional being off the hook for straight As. I’d inadvertently eaten a gluten meal and ruined my perfect record. Like so many are fond of saying, “I’m harder on myself than anyone else is on me.” I had every opportunity to be that way with myself again, but chose differently and experienced a profound shift. Take note those of you who resonate with being hard on yourself – it’s not something to boast about, this preemptive criticizing of one’s self. It’s downright self-destructive.

Where was I? Oh yes, responsibility and authority. You know when you get a kind of aha! that’s gentle and yet profound; the kind that feels like a ping on the temple that shakes something loose in the brain? That’s what I got this past weekend at a Lucid Living workshop on the Beauty of Belonging. There is no one right answer, no one right way to live. There are a multitude of possibilities from which to choose and I am the chooser. As the one who chooses, I am my own authority. What?!! No one right choice, just the one I choose out of a sea of possibility? How the heck do we get into heaven if we haven’t found that one key for that one gate?

It all fell away in an instance. My search for the key died right then and there. But here’s the important part. It didn’t fall away because I got that there’s not one right way. It fell away because I am meeting my own needs and I am not looking to have them met out there.

I’ve spent my life being my own rebellious authority from the obligation and opposition side of the O lens of responsibility. I’ve defined who I am to myself in resistance to, comparison with and belonging among.

I’m a freedom junkie as are many of you. We hunger for freedom and I hear it in my clients all the time. I’ve written about freedom from and freedom to in other articles and posts and I have given it as an inquiry to clients,  and now, for me,  it is landing at a deeper level.

As long as I was defining myself in resistance to, I was looking to be free from. As long as I was looking to become free from, I was wearing responsibility like a noose. I was looking to be free of obligations while living in a world (that I fabricated) of obligation. Sounds suspect doesn’t it?

We can never be free as long as we are trying to be free from, because the resonance of that is one of blame, defensiveness, denial and resistance.  As we all know, what we resist, persists.  Besides, what is a rebel without a cause?

On the opportunity and options side of the responsibility lens, the resonance of freedom is not to be free from, but free to. I am free to choose, free to create, free to say yes and free to say no, free to love what I love. I am free to, because I am responsible.

What happens when we stand at that cross-roads of the choice to accept or shun responsibility can be daunting. If I am no longer in resistance to or trying to get myself free from, then I am no longer defined by my resistance. If I am no longer who I have known myself to be then who am I and what do I want, REALLY? Sit with that question for yourself a moment. How free are you to even look for the answer to that question? How much of your answer is shaped by the fact that you’ve stuffed it for so long it’s downright painful to even begin the excavation process? If you know the answer and you are not creating that for yourself, what is the responsibility you are unwilling to take?

When we know what it is we really want; when we hear our soul’s calling and take full responsibility for our lives, our reality shifts. That shift will create some manner of chaos big or small, because chaos is a necessary precursor to change. For me, this time, it will be small, because I’ve been through the big ones and I’ve done it the painful way: in resistance, getting myself out from under.

This time, I know it will be gentler and kinder, because I am gentler and kinder to myself and I have done the work internally coming to know that I belong in this world exactly as I am, in fact, more so as I am. I’ve met the enemies of the judge, trickster, debt collector and dark lover within. I’ve been mean and critical to myself. I’ve played all kinds of mind games. I’ve made myself pay for anything I could have possibly done that was wrong and I’ve tarried far too long in suffering and struggling.

I’ve learned the hard way (which is something my mom once told me is the way I seem to do it). Well, mom, Happy Mother’s Day – I’m not doing it the hard way anymore. And guess what? I’ve totally forgiven myself for all of that and include all I’ve been and done in the wholeness of my journey.

It’s a huge leap of faith, this courage of my convictions, this full on authoring of my own life without ghostwriters, this resonance of responsibility as opportunity and free to. It’s not my familiar home.  And yet, as I say that, I suspect, for the soul and the heart, it is the more familiar and truer home.

So, choose your O-words for responsibility. You already do and now, I invite you to do so consciously and lovingly.

Note 1: A huge hug of gratitude to Lucid Living (Leza Danly and Jeanine Mancusi and all my Lucid Living tribe) for guiding and loving me through the maze.

Note 2: Today would have been the 30th anniversary of my marriage which died, officially,  over 6 years ago. It seems more than appropriate that today, on this date, I would be writing about authoring my own life. Healing takes time. Healing is becoming whole. It’s worth the journey, every step of the way.

Note 3: this is my 99th blog post. Next one, #100, will be a celebration in more ways than one!

Copyright© May 2012, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved.

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Earth

She is a place we call home

She has a life of her own

On any one day

In any one moment

She is active

Always breathing

Sometimes easily

Sometimes fitfully

Ever sacred

As are we

Familiar with each other from the outside in

What is it to experience each other from the inside out?

I am

I am the waterfall

     and trickling stream

I am the wild wind

     And drifting sand

I am the bursting buds

     and new grass green

I am the snow-capped peaks

     and ancient land

I am the light

      and things unseen

The shadows, the singing, the silence between

I am

Copyright © April 2012, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

Happy Earth Day my friends!

Video from YouTube – BBC’s trailer for Planet Earth

And for our sweet animal companions


					

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“Love and magic have a great deal in common. They enrich the soul, delight the heart. And they both take practice” ~ Nora Roberts

Magic is believing in yourself, if you can do that, you can make anything happen.” ~ Wolfgang Von Goethe

“Once you awaken, you still use the word “I”, but it will come from a much deeper place.” ~ Eckhart Tolle

The word magic comes from Magus or Magician. In Tarot, the Magus is the energy of all possibility, The Fool, brought into focus as a singular idea. The root of the word “mag” means “to do or make” and is also the root of imagine. In sacred geometry, 1 (the Magus) emerges from the center of unity (0 or fool).* It is the beginning of creation.

So, I make up, it is when the Cosmos first knows itself as separate from itself, in a way, through each of us as individuals. We are each the result of a singular focus out of all possibility. Following that, I make up that we are all both magic and magicians. We are all magicians on the frontiers of unfolding consciousness.  And yes, it might be said, we are all fools as well.

Last week, a client came to her call wanting to invoke more magic in her life. She is aware of the way I work with messages from the Mystery, which I relate to as the more real, and wants to experience more of that in her life; more winks and cosmic whispers, more enchantment. I left the call reflecting upon my own path to trusting the whispers and messages.

It’s an interesting path to journey. Most of us are delighted by synchronicity and momentarily pushed into our right brain by déjà vu. Somewhere along the line it becomes all to “woo woo” for most. We create for ourselves a false sense of security in what we can say is real.

“Mystics understand the roots of the Tao but not its branches; scientists understand its branches but not its roots. Science does not need mysticism and mysticism does not need science; but man needs both.” ~ Fritjof Capra

What is real, what is illusion? What is true, what is false? What senses are we using to ascertain the difference?

copyright (c) March 2012 Kathy J Loh All Rights Reserved

We have senses that we think we can rely upon – taste, smell, sight, sound, touch. To see it is to believe it. But any good magician with their sleight of hand will have us believe we’ve seen a woman cut in half in a box with her legs still kicking and face still smiling. Can we rely upon our sight then?

We have senses that we think we can’t rely upon; most of which fall into what we call intuition, right brain, gut instinct, sixth sense. In a Lucid Living course on Trusting the Unseen: The Magic of Resonance Causation, we refer to them as unfamiliar senses (whereas the others mentioned above are our familiar senses). These have been, for most of us, shut down early on.

My own path of magic has been one of solitude, particularly in meditation and in nature. It has led me to trust my unfamiliar senses and to discover that the world around me is speaking to me, co-creating with me, dreaming (with) me all the time. All I have to do is notice and be willing to dwell in the inquiry of being both the dreamer and the dreamed.

Some might say I am deceiving myself. I might be. You see, I figure I have an option of deceiving myself in an infinite number ways and so I choose to focus on a path of Enchantment and Beauty.  I choose to resonate in the key of Love. I’m no model of perfection. I am a fool and a magician walking the path.

Others choose to deceive themselves by thinking that they can find a way to control “reality” and that war might be one of the answers. They see themselves as separate from all others, as victims, and live in a state of us-against-them scarcity. They rely upon the tools of blame, shame, manipulation, pity. I’m familiar with these. I’ve used them plenty myself, but to little end other than a whole lot of suffering.

What’s real? If we think it is something finite, then we forget that we are conscious creators. We hand off the responsibility for consciously co-creating our evolution. If we are each a unique expression of one unified Source, then we are the scouts on the frontier reporting back on the experience.

We are in dreamtime, but if we are not consciously and responsibly so, then we are not free.

This is why I think it’s important to become as present to the now moment as possible, because there is no future that does not come out of now. Our choice in this moment is the cause of the effect we experience in our future. When that future arrives whether it is the next hour, next day, next year, it arrives as now. To be free is to move with the current. But it is not to be the victim of the current.

“We may be floating on Tao, but there is nothing wrong with steering. If Tao is like a river, it is certainly good to know where the rocks are.”  Deng Ming-Dao

That is why I talk about “dancing into the Mystery” – it is a way of expressing what I see in my imagination as the experience of living in the present moment, so awake as to be open to every pivotal moment and make conscious choices; claiming full responsibility (ability to respond) and authority (being the author of my life). In other words, I cannot blame the rock for my inability (or my unwillingness) to see it. I do claim responsibility and authority for living in the question, not becoming overly attached to the answers with which I play and recognizing when I have.

I’ve deceived myself in so many ways and every day, more is revealed to me.

Again, what is real?

Is the glass half empty? Is the glass half full? Is the glass an illusion?

What is the way in which you have chosen to deceive yourself?

Whatever your method of deception, it is having an impact on us all.

What magic will you create?

Please enjoy this TED talk by Marco Tempest. I watched it this morning and it inspired me to write this post. It’s entertaining and may fill in some blanks where I’ve made assumptions.

Notes:

*For more on Tarot, I highly recommend Tarot of the Spirit by Pamela Eakins

** For more on magic and resonance, I highly recommend courses with Leza Danly and Jeanine Mancusi at Lucid Living. 

Copyright © March 2012, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

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What a fantastic day it is for a walk in our SF Bay area!  The weather reminds me of Hawaii, temperate and humid. Thunder rumbles in the distance. Spring has arrived on time with pungent earth smells released by a week of rain, birds chirping loudly, a fledgling hawk screeching as its mother approaches with a meal in her talons, fresh green ferns and yellow daffodils popping out under oak trees on loamy slopes.

Nature’s exuberance will not be denied!

Exuberance! Remember that feeling?

It’s the dog’s tail when you say “walk?”

It’s the swagger of a young boy in his blanket cape wielding his duct-tape and wooden sword.

It’s the twirling, whirling and laughter of little girls.

It’s the giddiness and innocence of falling in love for the first time.

It’s the way the world sings, trees and all.

It’s life loving being alive.

It’s source energy reveling in the experience of physical form.

sunflower

Exuberance is the music that runs through us all, but we have become really good at turning it off, tuning it out, devaluing it, making it an obstacle to getting real. I’m not kidding – an obstacle.

As a child, my exuberant singing at bedtime often brought a “good night!” from down the hall. True, it was necessary for me to get some sleep and it never failed to scare me silly as it stunned me out of my reverie.

Other variations with which we are all familiar are:

“Somebody’s going to get hurt!”

“You’ll poke an eye out with that thing.”

 “Pipe down!”

“Who do you think you are?”

“What will the neighbors think?”  

I laugh when I think of saying these things to the daffodils or the fledgling hawk.

I knew exuberance as a kid. We were all fledgling hawks at some point, circling ever higher toward the sun, that symbol for passion. I had a passion for making things, for creating plays, for make-believe scenarios, for writing stories, for teaching other kids how to do arithmetic on the chalk board in my garage. I would not have called it passion then and I certainly would not have called it exuberance. I would have probably simply said I was having fun.  I had an idea of something I’d like to try and I set about the task of making it real. In those days it was all about what I could create simply for the fun and play of it, the exploration.

As time went by and the educational system got hold of me, my focus turned more to what I could get for succeeding and what the consequences were for failing. Let’s say I was a good student and maybe too good. (For more on success and failure see my last post “Failure and Success.

We say we have lost our innocence. We’ve become worldly. We say we are grown up now. And our hearts are in pain for it all. I’m not totally clear here, but I believe there is a way to reclaim our innocence and it has to do with holding the more real perspective of who we really are.

Say “I am” out loud and let the numinous silence that follows in-form you of a more real you than all the identities and self-images you’ve held could convey.**

Here’s the thing about exuberance – it’s not something that comes to us because of something we do, get or have. It is something that already exists as can be seen all around us on these fine spring days. Exuberance comes from exuberare which is abundance. We are abundant in our aliveness. The only reason we don’t know that, don’t feel it, is because we’ve choked it off, pruned it back, made it a cause for humiliation, embraced cynicism, let fear tell us we can be pretty much exiled for being overly exuberant.

Exuberance is not something we do, it is something we allow. When we are exuberant, we allow the life force to sing through us freely. It moves us, it makes noise, it dances, it celebrates. My guess is it also keeps us healthy.

If you’ve lost your exuberance, your passion, don’t go looking for it. Stop judging it, criticizing it, blaming it, stuffing it. Allow it to live in you, through you.

Invite life to express its magnificently creative self through you,

as you…

the only you that ever was

and ever will be.

Yes you,

my darling snowflake,

my dancing mirage of stardust,

you!

** for more on “I am” see my post:  Tree of Life (the Movie) and I Am (not the movie)

 copyright(c) March 2012, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

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“The words ‘I am’ are potent words; be careful what you hitch them to.  The thing you’re claiming has a way of reaching back and claiming you”.  ~A.L. Kitselman

I saw the movie Tree of Life last night. It’s a long film and more a collage or kaleidoscopic adventure than linear story.  It’s definitely more art than entertainment, though I found it to be both. It’s definitely a feast for the eyes and perhaps the soul. It met with mixed reviews from the audience, but then so did Impressionism, Symbolism, Cubism; you name it.

About half way through the movie, the guy eating popcorn next to me checked the time on his watch. When it was over, the woman behind me sighed loudly and said “Oh thank God. That was awful.” (I wondered why she found it important for the rest of us to hear that and why she stayed through the entire film.  Why spend precious moments of life voluntarily enduring something that causes you pain?) In general there was a huge question mark hanging in the air in the theater as everyone made their way to the aisles and back to “reality,” speaking in muffled late evening voices or simply walking together in silence.

I carried that question mark home with me and it wove itself into my dreams and threaded its way into my first waking thoughts this morning.  Never mind trying to come to grips with some missing details in the storyline like how old was the boy when he died and whatever happened to… or what was being said / not said about afterlife.  Never mind, as well, how much I related to a story set in the 1950s with an authoritarian parent and the death of one of the children.

What I was sitting with (or what was sitting on top of me) was the paradox of significance and insignificance.

In the film, we are treated to amazing scenes of the Universe. The sense of space as infinite and time as eternal is awe-inspiring.  I felt so small while viewing those images. While making breakfast, I continued to feel the tug of war between my desire and passion for creating a life I enjoy, making a difference while I’m here and some sense of nihilism. I experience both extreme discomfort and huge relief when I ask myself “what’s the point?”

I took the paradox into my morning meditation / contemplation.  After getting myself deep into a meditative state, I found myself saying out loud:

I am significant in my insignificance.

I sat with that for a moment and then I said:

I am insignificant in my significance.

I let it resound in my being for a moment, without answer, just experiencing the impact of the words.

Then, thinking I would say “I am both”, I found myself uttering:

I am

A huge wave of energy washed through me. I can’t describe it better than that and I can say that the tears (OK sobbing) came with the wave and it was not sadness, it was more like gratitude. I saw a sun floating before me that I decided to take into me. It filled me with another wave that forced breath in and out of my throat chakra. It was the breath of life. That’s what it felt like; like the first cries of a newborn babe.

The mind, being the wonder it is, may look for connection with the biblical verse from Revelations:  “I am the alpha and the omega.” But, honestly, I have no need to follow the mental thread any further. I was in the experience and what I knew for sure was that something was coming online.

Some part of me that I’d left for dead was recognizing I’m alive and that all that matters is this gift of Life.

This gift of Life is exactly that, a gift and not something we have to wait to live until we’ve earned it through our good deeds, our political, spiritual or eco-correctness. It’s not a reward for achievement(s); not a destination on some far horizon.

The generous giver of the gift only wants us to receive the gift. Receive.

I don’t think we are expected to give anything back. Our generous receiving is our giving.

Those redwoods I hear singing in celebration when I listen deeply – perhaps they are singing joyful songs of “I am.”

copyright(c) October 2009,KathyJLoh, All Rights Reserved Soquel Hills

We spend a lot of our lives adding extra words to “I am.” By those words we define ourselves and others. We lay claim to our specialness in a way that leaves us bereft of our true uniqueness. 

We get our knickers in a bunch over what to say after “I am” and we get confused if what we think we are conflicts with what we wish we were. We carry the baggage of the words by which we call ourselves around with us, adding more and more through the years. Some of those words are lovely and some, downright degrading.

Perhaps all we need is our name (which in many traditions is the source and the resonance of our life power) and to know that at the root of every name is Love.

As one who is Love, we are each and every one, significant.  We are the unique expressions of creation; the vehicles through which creation gets to play in form; sees and is seen, hears and is heard, knows and is known.

In our sense of time, this unfathomable timeline of eternity, my life, your life, is but the blink of an eye, as it is said.

At the same time, all that is and ever was is now and the blink of an eye is a major event in the now.

copyright (c) July 2011, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

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Two years ago, I wrote a post about my roller coaster ride of a birthday / Summer Solstice weekend. This year, I got another bumpy ride, literally.

I was driving up Pacific Coast Highway, along a scenic stretch between Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay, where beach after beach awaits exploration.  I’d taken the coast route because it was an exquisitely beautiful day and I wanted to gift myself some pleasure on my birthday. At the same time, having been away for eight days on a no-cation (meaning I’m off work and away, but attending to other business), and having been on the road the whole day prior, I was anxious to get home and “start my day.”

What’s up with thinking the destination is the point to the journey? What’s up with the notion that the fun begins when I retire, when I finish this project, when I have a certain sum of money (when I’m dead)? Oh boy, here comes the John Lennon quote: “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” Yep, and my birthday is what was happening to me while I was busy trying to get home to celebrate it.

Because of my focus on getting home, it never crossed my mind to stop at one of the beaches, which is unusual for me. I was also easily triggered by the leisurely pace of some of the drivers on the two-lane highway. And so, with my hackles up and my sights on my final destination, the bumpy ride began.

It began with a ka-clunk sound that had me think something in the back of my VW Camper had fallen. But a quick look over my shoulder revealed nothing out of place. Moments later, the dreaded “thunk-thunk-thunk” noise and the way the steering wheel was taking on a mind of its own told me the ka-clunk sound was something I ran over and I had a blowout.

Picture, HWY 1 – minimal to no shoulder in many places, one lane each way, no divider, cars traveling 50 to 60mph … My first thought was, “where do I pull over?” I was gifted with a small stretch of sandy parking space across the road and no on-coming traffic. I tucked my van into the one spot left among five parked cars and assessed the situation; brand new tire, flat to the rim.

Pumping with adrenaline, I pulled out my AAA card and prayed for a cell signal. Prayer answered. I could not pinpoint my location, but AAA operators are very patient and the tow truck driver (who is local and knows the area) could call me on my cell if he could not find me.

gull taking off -- copyright(c) Kathy J Loh, All rights reserved

As I awaited AAA, I took in the warm sunshine, watched fishermen catch rockfish and discovered I was at A Wit Bird Rock which is part of Bean Hollow State Beach. There was an abundance of wild flowers, birds and butterflies to enjoy. Life decided to have me notice it instead of my plans, and so I did. I got an hour at the beach. If I wasn’t going to go to the beach, the beach would come to me, in the only way it knew how.

I came to see the blow out (once I knew I was safe) as the call to adventure.

We often say that something like this is meant to slow us down and bring us present. Yes that and… it was the wildflowers wanting to be seen and the ocean breezes wanting to be felt. It was the fishermen wanting to be celebrated and the birds wanting to be heard. That’s what I mean by the call to adventure: those experiences and moments that are begging to be had and noticed, that take us out of our well-worn grooves and off our beaten paths.

To be with the unknown, to embrace the Great Mystery, we are called to be adventurous.

I realize I’ve been treating my birthday, Summer and Winter Solstices and New Year’s Day as heavenly oases in a desert of obligation, duty and struggle. On my birthday I celebrate me and on Solstice and New Year’s Day, I plant the seeds of intention.

That’s way too big a desert and way too few oases. I’m not a camel, though I can imitate one pretty well.

Life celebrates itself every day all day long. That’s what I want for my journey and my time on this planet to be too: passion, adventure, celebration.

I still got home in plenty of time to enjoy a last minute invitation to dinner at a friend’s home.

Oh and Solstice?

Another dear friend and I drove along country roads and over forested hills to an un-crowded beach where we delighted in the perfect temperature mix of sun and ocean spray, watched seals watching us, cooled our toes in the water and simply savored the longest day of the year.

At one point, I ventured to begin a conversation about intentions and my heart wasn’t in it. I was already living what I’d intentioned a few weeks back: adventure: taking off with a friend in her souped-up Jetta, hanging at the beach, watch-free, judging time by the angle of the sun and the tan lines on our shoulders, moving when the time felt right to move. We explored and found a place to eat when we got hungry and by the time we got home, the Solstice sun had set.

What’s different now from 2009, is that I am moving into experiencing life more and planning it less. Each moment is sacred and every day is another opportunity to assess, reassess and offer intentions. The signs and feedback, which I used to view as playful ways to make meaning, are becoming the constellations by which I navigate.

Something big happened to me when that tire blew out. I have felt altered ever since. I have felt more disconnected from the stuff that doesn’t really matter and more connected to that which does, as if that which matters most claimed me for its own.  The stuff that doesn’t really matter was really high maintenance and took a lot of my time, needed constant vigilance and upkeep, required lots of planning, manipulating and analysis. It’s all just a big smoke screen; a huge distraction from that which really matters, including me.

So, dear reader, what, what adventure great or small, calls to you today? How will you respond?

Copyright (c) June 2011, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

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