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Archive for the ‘Information’ Category

I can’t even remember if I was sitting at my computer desk or walking toward it when this happened.  What I do remember is hearing a very loud sound, looking out the window and seeing  a 100+ foot oak tree falling toward me. It hit the ground, branches bouncing around, and ultimately came to rest pressed into my window like an impetuous “please don’t leave me” lover’s embrace. The canopy was so wide it completely darkened a second window at the other end of the room.

The rest of the general story is fairly predictable. My landlords were quick to respond and the details that are generally left up to those who own property were in their hands; assessing damage, contacting tree services, etc. All around there was gratitude for the limited damage and the fact that no one was hurt.

This left me with the freedom to explore and play with it as a sign of some sort; to imbue the event with meaning, as is my nature.  I’m aware that some people prefer to see it as: a tree fell, end of story, move on. I can see it that way too. I choose not to. I choose to live in a more enchanting world. I have been deepening my relationship with Nature for a long time and animals in particular have become lively and important messengers for me. I go to stands of trees to find healing and comfort. We have “conversations.”

Old Vista with Oak (K Loh)

When the oak stood tall (K Loh)

Fallen Oak (K Loh)

Fallen Oak (K Loh)

The lease on another oak’s life is up as a result of the threat it poses by being so close to the house. It will be taken down because of its potential. I could not help but cry about that during my evening meditation; grieving the trees. At the same time, two pines, about 10 and 20 feet, are about to get a break as they no longer stand in the shade of the oaks.

I thought too of how the squirrels have been working so hard to collect their winter’s stash. I didn’t see them yesterday, but today I noticed they’ve already determined their new commuter route. They don’t pause for a moment to complain about the loss or the inconvenience (unless they do). They simply do what must be done and continue “squirreling away” for the cold months to come.

As I waited for the tree “morticians” to show up and improvise a requiem from chain saws and chippers, I wondered what happens when Cosmos decides that it has outgrown the form of an oak tree? Where does the energy go? What will be the new form? Chipper shred or something else? We see the tree, we see the chips and firewood, but there is something else we don’t see. Cosmos is always unfolding and moving and re-forming.

This week, the Tarot of the Spirit card upon which I’m meditating (as part of my class with Lightning Spiral Mystery School) is Seven of Wind – Many Tongues. There is change afoot. Articulation eludes us as we move into a new consciousness. Old structures need to give way as they, fashioned from an old perspective, no longer serve. It makes me ask: how can my mind, having created those structures as a mirror of itself, fathom a new one? What’s coming?

I am in that place between knowing and knowing anew. I have a sense, I have intuition, but I don’t yet have the words. The energy that was the oak tree and outgrew it is moving on and showing up in some new form, but I don’t know what. All I see is the fallen oak.

What comes with the fallen tree is the opening of a new vista. I can now see the previously hidden stands of redwoods and there is more sky which means more light, fuller sunsets, more moon and more stars.  The birds and squirrels will be farther from my view having moved to the trees further down the hill.

A friend and colleague drew an angel card for me, regarding this event. She drew Aspiration which indicated it was time to set my sights higher.  Now I have the vista and sky to do so and it may require the toppling of some structures.

This tree fell directly at me and if I crawled out my window, I could crawl directly down its branches to its main trunk and straight on down to the unearthed root ball. I can make up that a great groan of “done-ness” has arisen from its roots and shot straight up the trunk to me, entered into my field of awareness and left me with that same energy. All the things I am reticent to release, from beliefs to old stories to the stuff of clutter, are gathering, energetically, in me into a full surrender roar of enough!

It’s edgy business, this being done with no sense of what’s to come. There is no new structure already built and in place for me to inhabit and by which to live. I’ve purposefully invoked the unknown, the Mystery and here it is; a big gaping hole in the space where once a mighty oak stood; a hole where the light can now shine and from which the stars can be viewed.

I am setting my sights higher, wider, deeper,  broader. I’m setting my sights and getting insights; familiarizing myself with the lay of this new terrain and feeling incredible gratitude for the Beauty we call Nature. In these ways and so many others, I allow myself to be enchanted an  in-formed by a fallen oak.

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

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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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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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When my thoughts get stuck in spin-cycle, it’s usually because I’m trying to vision a new way of doing something through an old pair of problem-solving lenses. I’m trying to create something new with an old structure. Other times, it’s because I have so much jammed in my mind that I can’t “see” it well enough to organize it. So, I need to get it out in front of me.

One way I do that is by using sticky-notes of various sizes. I color code them and write one item on each note. It doesn’t matter if I’m creating a giant to-do list, creating schedules or writing an article. I find it really helpful to do a big brain-dump of every item related even slightly to the project and then post them on a blank wall. I’m able to then organize them freely by moving them about until their final format completely resonates with me. By completely, I mean with my body, mind, heart and spirit.

Project Brainstorm (Kathy Loh)

Project Brainstorm (Kathy Loh)

This is also a great process of elimination, because it gives me a reality-check as to how much time I really have and how many things I think I can do in that amount of time.  A few “heck yes!” items really stand out on a wall full of “interesting.”

When I am working on a new project, workshop, marketing plan or just creating clarity about who I am becoming now, I will use large re-stickable flip-chart papers. I fill them up with lists, mind-maps, constellations, symbols and images that have something to do with whatever it is I am working on. I don’t always know what it has to do with the project when I add it to the sheet, but the juxtaposition of things sparks ideas. I use plenty of color and I devote each chart to a separate subject. I might mind-map it, collage images and words, show how things connect.  Again, it’s a brain dump that gets it out of my head and in front of me where I can see it. These I post all over the walls of my office so that I can see them individually and together.

(Kathy Loh)

(Kathy Loh)

When I have a period of multiple synchronicities, animal messages, email messages, read a sentence or paragraph that syncs up with something else that’s going on for me, I doodle with them and put them all on one sheet of paper. Then I look for the feedback they are giving me regarding the reality I am creating.

I don’t stop at the notion that a synchronicity tells me I’m on the right path. I assume it tells me to take notice.  Recently, I mentioned to a friend that if it feels like the Universe is hitting me on the head with a repeated message or messenger, I could just as easily assume it’s because I’m NOT getting something and need to pay attention as I could assume it is affirming my direction.

A friend of mine, writing coach and author, Judy Duenow (Judy Baer), once advised me to put all my notes for a book in a basket and let them compost. I like that composting notion and here’s what I’ve added to it. If I’m working on a conundrum, a mystery with which I am living, I move the giant flip-chart papers to my bedroom walls so that they surround me as I sleep.

Words, symbols, images all have vibrations. Their impact is powerful if often subtle or denied. (This is one reason why vision boards can be so helpful in manifesting our desired outcomes.) I’ve noticed that when I put the papers up on my bedroom walls, I have vivid and helpful dreams, insights pop up from my intuition and meditations and answers come to me without my mind getting all knotted up over it. The results are generally more meaningful and creative, when my integral whole (body, mind, spirit, heart) is involved in this composting method, than when my mind takes charge. I get to think outside my normal box, my normal pattern of logic, or otherwise-logic as it were.

It takes patience, though, and I do have to sacrifice nice artwork and décor so that I have blank walls with which to work. My answers might not meet a deadline, but they almost always will be satisfying.  I find less resistance to getting into action when body, mind, spirit and heart are aligned. I’ve discovered that mind loves the extra help and gets to relax a bit. It takes a willingness to live in the dreaming space for an undetermined amount of time and it’s worth it. There’s a lot of tension in not knowing and that tension is the sweet spot of creativity. Creativity loves mystery.

So give it try! The next time you find yourself in a mental spin-cycle, get out the sticky-notes, flip-chart papers, colorful pens, images, scissors and glue and let yourself dawdle a little. Get unstructured. Doodle and noodle. Then let it compost on your walls for awhile and see what new perspectives, connections and ideas arise for you. Let me know how it goes.

Copyright (c) June 2009, Kathy Loh, All Rights Reserved

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As promised, here my story of the snake that told time….

In 2005, I was in ceremony with White Eagle (medicine Keeper of the Origin Teachings of the Delicate Lodge) near Abiquiu, New Mexico. I camped on the land, in the shadow of the Cerro Pedernal with about 9 other people. We lived very simply; cold-water hose showers and pit toilets.  We gathered for story telling, lessons, fire building, medicine wheel training and spent time in solitary contemplation.

One of the highlights of this area is the amazing vistas common to New Mexico. Georgia O’Keefe used to drive out to this land, set up her canvas in the back seat of her car and paint. The ground is covered with thorny cacti  and alive with large red and black ants. (A little aside, there are 241 species of ants in New Mexico.) The cliffs are multi-colored red, brown, buff; limestone, sandstone, shale and a lot of clay.  Pinion, sage and beautiful ancient Junipers stand watch over the land. Below the cliffs of White Eagle’s land, runs the Rio Chama.

We each chose our “spot” for contemplation. It was a place to which we would return regularly that week. Most chose some point along the cliff line. I found a spot along a wash that had an amazing vista of the green valley on the other side of the ravine. I could see mesas in the distance which would have been in the general direction of Ghost Ranch. Two Junipers stood guard at my spot and the land fell away between them in stair-step fashion where seasonal rains had carved their natural pathway toward the river.

View from my spot (Kathy Loh)

View from my spot (Kathy Loh)

One day, after White Eagle had sent us out for solitary contemplation, instructing us to return at a specific time, I arrived at my spot suddenly realizing that I did not have my watch. One of the things I loved about my spot compared with sitting at the edge of the cliff  was that I could not see any of the other participants and they could not see me. So, I could not rely on someone else to be my timekeeper.

I was debating about whether or not to make the trek back to my tent for my watch when I spotted a large snake resting about 5 feet away and just down the wash from where I was sitting. As always, when I see that spotted pattern on the back of a snake, I check the tail. No rattles, phew! It was likely a variety of gopher snake. It was a good 4 feet long, and was resting with its hind half in the sun and its upper half in the shade rising up a ledge. A bulge gave away the fact that it was digesting a recent meal.

I struck a deal with the snake. I said “When you move, snake, I will know that it is time to return to the medicine wheel.”

I then proceeded with my contemplation and journaling. All this time, the snake never moved.

As time passed, I got a little antsy. I asked myself “OK, are you going to put full faith in this snake?”
“Yes,” I replied. So, I waited and meditated some more.

Eventually, the snake began to move ever so lazily, heading further down the gully. “Now’s the time,” I told myself and I got up to make the journey back. Just then, I spotted one of the other participants some distance away making his way back to camp.

Snake’s timing is precise.

I’ve been writing about dawdling and losing track of time. I have a desire to be able to fall into that lost space, that pure presence without an eye on the clock. This has led me to fashion most of my days with enough flexibility to muse, wander, get lost in a project.

I’ve learned to rely on the partnership of animals. If I need to get out for a walk, Callie, the local dog, will show up at my door and bark to invite me to head out to the woods. I trust her instincts and, if it’s at all possible, I drop everything and go.

When hummingbird comes up to my window and hovers right in front of my face for a moment, I know it is time to add a little variety and joy to my day.

When I was in need of solitary time, bobcat made a regular appearances day and night.  My neighbors, who have lived here over 20 years, have never seen a bobcat, and I was seeing this one regularly.

Squirrel reminds me to plan ahead and hawk shows up when I need to get some distance on a subject.

Last weekend, 2 snakes appeared near my front door, while another showed up on my walk yesterday.

In January, I participated in a Tarot Pilgrimage with Pamela Eakins of Lightning Spiral Mystery School. At the pilgrimage we pulled a card for each month of 2009. My card for June depicts two serpents. Nice synchronicity.

Animals, seasons, trees, flowers, they are all speaking to us all the time. They are all willing partners. Whether or not we listen is up to us. It takes trust and a leap of faith and, in my experience, it is trust well invested and faith well founded and well rewarded.

How have animals partnered with you? I’d love to hear your stories and invite you to share them in the comments section below.

Note: for anyone interested in learning more about animals as messengers or looking for a great Tarot deck and book, here are three great resources:

Animal Speak by Ted Andrews

Medicine Cards (book and cards) by Jamie Sams and David Carson

Tarot of the Spirit by Pamela Eakins

Copyright(c) June 2009, Kathy Loh, All Rights Reserved

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Something outside my window catches my attention and I glance up from the computer screen to see a bird land on the branch of a tree.

I’m contemplating the Creator, the Divine, the Universe, whatever you want to call it.

I’m contemplating Love as the force and the source;  Love wanting to know itself, to see itself, to be revealed to itself.

I’m thinking of the Universe looking back upon itself.

I’m contemplating the paradox of oneness and separateness, of experiencing and being Love.

I wonder:

Am I being revealed to myself by way of noticing that the bird sees me?

Does the bird in the tree see itself, know itself to exist, by way of me seeing it?

Callie, the yellow lab, barks at my front door.  She wants a biscuit and a walk. She is my reminder of the importance of adventure, so off we go winding our way through various trails in the local woods.

I ponder the perception of trees. If a tree can’t see with eyes, how am I revealed to myself through a tree?  I pause before a redwood use my body as a kind of gauge to sense how the tree lets me know I exist. There is a feeling in my body. It’s a knowing, yes, and it’s a vibration. It’s also a groundedness, rootedness and strength. These are the words I give the vibration. Easy enough to be with and there is a haunting that’s a bit harder for me to receive: the grandness of size.

photo: Kathy Loh

photo: Kathy Loh

At the river, I listen to the bubbling conversation of the water clamoring over rocks. Sound is another way of knowing, of being known. If I were blind, I would not use sight and I would certainly use sound.

How do I come to know myself through sound? Maybe this is why I find music, especially singing, so compelling.

I sing, and I hear myself, therefore I am?

You sing and I listen, therefore I am? We are?

I watch Callie follow her nose in excited pursuit of something that does not exist for me, but is highly potent for her. She experiences her world through her nose and ears more than her sight.  Imagine how the grasses experience Callie and how they experience themselves in relationship to her.

Wherever you are sitting now, stop and close your eyes and explore all your senses.

What if the only way you had ever known your world was without sight?

What if the only way you had ever known your world was through touch?

What if touch and sound were the only way you “saw” yourself?

What opens up for you in your experience of yourself, others and “reality” when you explore these and similar questions?

These are the contemplations that in-form me today.

Copyright(c) May 2009, Kathy Loh, All Rights Reserved

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I had a fabulous weekend! I spent three days coming face to face with how I create my reality by way of what I truly desire along with what beliefs I hold and choices I’ve made that might work in opposition to those desires. I’d been through this Lucid Living course before and what was noticeably different for me was the embodiment and confidence I have that this new choice this new reality I am creating is sustainable. I am claiming responsibility for my life. I am my own authority.

Then I ran headlong into Monday morning “back at the ranch.” I sifted through pages of email (most of it not worth reading), multiple requests for schedule changes, requests for my expertise and time for free, back-logged social media strings with which to catch up. I got really agitated.

I know enough to honor where I am at and be with what I am feeling before trying to move on or shift into higher resonance. So, I sat with my agitation and very quickly I got an image of the beach. There is this thing that happens in knee deep water when the receding waters leaving the beach run into the incoming waters rushing toward shore. They bump up against each other and create a huge splash.

That’s what is happening with me. The outgoing reality is bumping up against the incoming reality. It takes time for things to shift. I’m caught in the bump and splash and it irritates me. Except, now that I see what it is, I’m moving from agitated to excited. I call it evidence that I am on my intended track.

I took my agitation into the woods for a walk, hoping to entrain with rhythm of the trees which seem relatively calm in the light drizzle of the morning. While on the trail, I got some external information that mirrored my internal state. First, I saw a vulture soaring over my house. The vulture eats carrion, that which is already dead. It is about purification and releasing. I am purifying my beliefs and choices so as to claim more responsibility and powerful new beliefs and choices. I am releasing old baggage. Let the vultures come and finish it off.

Then, I saw a centipede. It’s the first one I’ve seen in my more than three years of walking this particular trail. I laughed and said to Harley, the lab that accompanied me, “Wow, look how fast it goes. I guess I’d go fast too if I had 100 legs.” Centipedes are good luck. They are also about coordinated effort, the kind that is unconsciously competent. Many small steps will make me agile and help me move quickly.

I mused upon the fact that the vulture soars high and the centipede is about as close to the ground as you can get and both thrive off of decaying matter. All that is decaying is good compost, fertilizer for new growth.  I did some good inner work this weekend. Now my outer world is reminding me to follow through with my intentions. I am reminded: purify, release, coordinate my efforts.

All of it informs me that I am in the perfect place; the place of tension between; where things seem out of alignment for awhile as shift happens. My willingness to be uncomfortable, to surrender to agitation, is part of the purification and nurturance process. It will keep me from washing ashore too soon without proper completion and it keeps me from slipping back into default mode in an effort to preserve an illusion of comfort.

Today I am the vulture and the centipede. I am soaring and grounded at one and the same time. No wonder I feel agitated. Or, did feel agitated, because in recognizing these things, I am filled with gratitude and I find myself happy and hopeful again.

With one hundred feet on the ground my resonance is soaring!

What feedback is your current reality offering you?

How are you in-formed today?

 copyright (c) Kathy Loh, May 2009, all rights reserved

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