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Posts Tagged ‘Best of 2009’

This is my last post in response to Gwen Bell’s #best09 blog challenge

I just could not keep up with this challenge of a daily blog post responding to specific prompts. It’s not that I don’t think it’s a great idea and plenty of bloggers have kept the faith. I’ve enjoyed reading what others have written, even if it does at times leave me wondering if I’m just old or don’t have a life anymore!

What can I say? I’m a Gemini. Yeah, that’s it. I’m a Gemini and I am a freedom lover. I don’t blog every day. I don’t stick with plans. Besides, it sounds better to say that than have to answer nearly every one of the prompts with either “I didn’t have such a moment” or “I can’t remember. Let me get out all my journals and look it up.”

Still I have this desire to complete this challenge and so, with apologies for bad meter and iffy rhymes, here is my response to prompts for Dec 12th through Dec 31st. To help your orientation, I’ve used italics to indicate Gwen’s prompts.

Except for the cactus I had in November

I’ve eaten no new foods since way last December.

I keep my meals boring to control my weight

But offer me chocolate, I won’t hesitate.

Changes I’ve made to my home have been

The absolute miracle I keep it clean.

I moved some boxes to the shed

And off to Goodwill others led.

I got a rush each time I spied

A hawk or deer or when I cried

For knowing I am so well loved

By Goddess and the moon above.

Best packaging, I’d have to say

Are new notebooks that came my way.

Punch Studio is one I’ll name

Makes Staples stuff look pretty tame.

Tea of the year I can’t vote for.

I am allergic to all tea, so

I drink hot water, with a dash

Of honey and a lemon splash.

A word or phrase to give the gist

Of 2009 without a list;

A picture, poem or epitaph

I’d have to say it’s Full Moon Path.

Where did I spend my cash this year?

What shop is irresistibly dear?

I spend my cash on staying well

With massages from Jennifer Eisele.

My camper van’s my only car

I love to drive it near and far

The best  of drives is  HWY 1

Until into Big Sur you run.

Hwy 1 Coastal view

CA Hwy 1 (K J Loh)

Pamela, Carol, Julie and Lisa

Lori and Annie, Mom and Alicia

These are some of my newest friends

My mom, because we’ve made new amends.

The project I started this year was my blog

It helps me to write my way out of a fog

Out of the shadows and into the light

Of dancing with love, and freedom and life.

I cannot seem to bring to mind

A new startup business of any kind

That I came across in 2009

Other than what I plan to do with mine.

A web tool I don’t think I can live without?

If they ever make one, I’ll give you a shout.

So far this web thing has only served

To suck up my time and leave me unnerved.

What lesson did I learn this year that changed me?

That I control nothing and that I am free

That Love is the answer as is often said

That my heart knows plenty that’s lost to my head.

The gift that keeps giving that I gave to me

Was to love, love myself unconditionally

The insight or aha! or epiphany

Was that I am the drop and the entire sea.

My social web moments were blissful and fun

But my isolation, it has run its run.

The time of my healing is over and done

I’m about to become a more outgoing one.

I’m not a paper fanatic and so

I can’t vote for stationery although

I do like a slick blank page and a pen

That is purple and flows evenly when

I lay on my back with my journal upended

While the latest adventures of the day are appended.

Three more entries before the  conclusion;

A big laugh, an ad and an old resolution.

I laugh with delight every time that I see

A sign Trickster Universe has sent to me

The giggle zone is where my bro and I went

When an evening of good times and teasing we spent.

Advertizing on TV and in mags make me scream,

All lying and shouting and promising dreams

Underscored with disclaimers that spell it out clearly

Any meds that you take you will pay for quite dearly.

And so here we are at the end of the line

There is one more question before Auld Lang Syne

What did I resolve on last New Year’s Day

That I wish I’d stuck with and had not delayed?

The gift of forgetting is I can’t remember

What I might have promised myself last December!

So this year I decided to give it a rest

And not put myself through this challenging test

Which I know all too well I am bound to fail.

I’ll just pay attention and keep trimming my sail.

copyright (c) December 2009, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

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Newspapers, blogs and newscasts are bursting with images of the past decade and best of 2009 lists. I’ve participated in some of it. I enjoy the retrospection and introspection of it all, but  today, I’m cranky.

I was going to write about the blue moon, the eclipse, everything appearing to go backwards in the sky and how that will impact our resolutions. I was going to write something about creating intentions for the new year, the new decade. I was going to suggest various activities including collages, stories and letters to self. I kept putting it off because, quite frankly, it was boring me; all this coach-speak.

New Year’s  Day is my favorite holiday. It’s a bona-fide do-nothing holiday that one is not required to spend with family. That means, I get it all to myself, at home, in the woods, and that’s usually how I spend it. I plot out what I know about the year ahead, I hike, I put birthdays on the new calendar. I dream into an entire year in one day and then I pop back again to the present. Most often I end up completely disoriented by all the “time travel.”

I pull an angel card and two Spirit Cards (I AM and I WILL) for the year and I will pay attention to how they speak to me all year long. Early in January, I attend a Tarot Pilgrimage with Pamela Eakins and I pull a Tarot of the Spirit card for every month of the year. I divine the year and then I see what unfolds.

I have intentions. I intend to make more money. I intend to find a larger home. I intend to play more music and I intend to fall in love at least long enough to have some fun. None of these intentions are new. I’ve been intending them for many months if not the entire prior year. (OK, my whole life.) I put my spirit, heart and mind into these intentions, but it takes awhile for physical form to catch up. So, while I wait, I try to keep up with the Twitter and Facebook feeds.

Here’s the thing. With all the astro-activity going on, we don’t stand a chance! Mercury is retrograde until January 15th. That means we will over-research things before acting, we will over-think things and our electronics and our communication will be out of whack. Travel generally suffers then as well. Additionally, Mars is retrograde and that leaves us with lower energy. Mars tests us. As astrologist Risa D’Angeles points out:

“When retrogrades occur it means the information and energy we’ve built up since the last retrograde now needs to be assessed and reviewed. The entire world is to go into a contemplative phase. It is a time of retreat and quietude.”

January 1st or not, we are in a portion of the cycle that is not conducive to starting new behaviors and ventures in an active to-do way.

Now, if that’s not enough to deflate one’s resolution balloon, perhaps science will. It seems that will power is handled by the same part of the brain that handles short term memory. The more we are trying to do in any one moment, the less will power we have.  If you want to know about the studies that show this, read the Wall Street Journal article, Blame it on the Brain.  Meanwhile, if you can be like Buddha and sit under the Bodhi tree, you might stand a chance of having enough will power to stop eating sugar, stop smoking, and keep that daily dose of wine to 4 ounces.

Finally, New Year’s Eve sees a blue moon; the second full moon in a month. This is the first one to happen on NY Eve in 20 years and the next time this occurs will be in 2028. We say once-in-a-blue moon because it means something that rarely happens. This blue moon will be partially eclipsed and eclipses mean some things will disappear from our physical reality. This might be a good thing and it might not. It depends upon what it is that disappears from your reality and how attached to it you are.

But wait, there’s more!

Risa explains that the moon goes void-of-course on January 1st and the impact it can have is that our lives and routines may feel disrupted. Perhaps this is good if we want to change habits. Perhaps it is not.

If you are able to follow through on your resolutions from day 1, it will truly be a once-in-a-blue-moon miracle.

footprints in sand

One step at a time (K J Loh)

So here’s what I intend to do about it:

Very little!

Very little steps

Very little effort

Here’s how I intend to be with it:

Very aware

Moving with ease

Gentle with myself

I plan on making every day New Year’s Day, evolving my capacity to bring exquisite awareness to each moment and mindfulness to activities. I plan on making every evening New Year’s Eve by reviewing the day, forgiving myself for failings and celebrating successes. I’ll calibrate and re-connect with my heart for improved navigation.  I’ll regroup and reground, so that whatever winds may blow, I’ll be in touch with that which centers me.

Things change when we place our awareness upon them.  Our once-in-a-blue-moon miracles stand a chance if we cast our intentions from our brilliant imaginations and open hearts and become present enough to be response-able in each moment.

I plan to fail and flail and sail and I intend to have a good time doing it.

After all, it’s not about control. It’s about Love.

Here’s a little Blue Moon song for you, dear readers!

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

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Dear beautiful wonderful readers:

Here’s a little something that I hope casts golden sunshine your way!

We are all drops in the same ocean; uniquely exquisitely gifted drops sparkling in the sunlight, dancing in the moonlight, and we are all beautiful.

May this song, its sentiment, its dancing pulse and celebration wash over you and free you from any dark little hyper critical thoughts to which you may have been giving way too much air time.

Time for a bit of the truth!

I met the songwriter, Mark Shepard, on Twitter. That’s how I discovered this song, which I am now declaring one of my Best 2009 song finds. My heart is voting.

It’s a simple song, yes. And isn’t it all really that simple while deeply complex? Complicating things with drama just might be over-rated.

Thank you Mark!

(If you haven’t seen it yet, you might like to read my earlier post You are so Beautiful)

Copyright © Dec 2009, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

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In conversation with a redwood tree

Redwood Tree

(c) K J Loh

Walking to the river on a misty morning

trail inthe mist

(c) K J Loh

In or on water

toes in water

(c) K J Loh

Coolin’ my heels in the river at Big Sur River Inn

sitting at the River Inn in the river

(c) Rick Loh

An uncrowded beach

Footprints on beach

(c) K J Loh

On a road trip in my van

Van at campground

(c) K J Loh

There’s one favorite place that I’m unable to photograph, so I will attempt to describe it.

This place is an intersection of the outer and inner worlds, somewhere near the third-eye and not really.

It is a spark, an essence, the smallest point of a point and yet it’s as deep and expansive as the universe.

The stillpoint perhaps?

I’ve been there a few times.

Once was during a shamanic journey when I found myself on some distant star.

Other times during meditation.

It is a peaceful, quiet place. A place of no time (and hence no urgency) and no judgment.

The only word I have for this place is home.

It is a place where the I that is my ego, my identity in this lifetime, discovers a new me which doesn’t know separation from all the other me’s.

It is a place of unconditional love.

Not so much a love I feel.

More a love that I am.

Copyright (c) December 2009, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved (including images)

This post is in response to Gwen Bell’s Best of 2009 blog challenge for the month of December

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Today’s prompt (for the Best of 2009 blog challenge by Gwen Bell) is challenge: something that made you grow this year. That made you go to your edge and then some. What made it the best challenge of the year for you?

I set a challenge for myself each year. The challenge is meant to expand my being beyond its current edge. I say “being” because it’s more about the unfolding of my soul’s journey for me, than about a specific tangible goal. (And yes, every year  I say I’m going to be fitter and healthier, along with everyone else who pledges that on January 1st)

When I set it, the challenge feels edgy or exciting (depending on the eyes of my perception) but as the year progresses, it reveals itself to be a synthesis of the monumental and the mundane; the sacred and the profane.

Here’s the thing about resolutions, intentions, and challenges: be willing to be surprised. That’s the nice way of saying “be careful what you pray for.”

shadow on beach Nov 09

Mystery (K J Loh)

The challenge I set for myself in 2009 and beyond (I’m now hearing Buzz Lightyear’s voice) is to make an ally of the unknown. I made a conscious decision to play in the Great Mystery. I tend to forget the play part all too often. So, life throws me a full range of opportunities to remember and this year was no different than any other in that respect.

In addition to naming a challenge,  I  pull Spirit Cards (by Joette Tizzone) on New Year’s Day. This year, I accidentally pulled two I AM cards along with the one I WILL card. The result was:

I AM abundance worthy

I WILL open

What I know about invocations is that powerful energies are brought into the space through word, sound, symbols and intention.

This year, I invoked opening to abundance, to knowing there is always enough. This brought on inquiries of what is enough; lessons of gratitude; challenges around receiving and patience.

I invoked knowing that I am worthy of this abundance for no other reason than because I was born. This brought on numerous dialogues between my ego and my soul. My internal board of directors went toe to toe around proving, earning, receiving, allowing.

I invoked the possibility that play will serve me in ways that struggle never has. (I can hear my mom’s voice commenting on how I always have to make things hard – you were right mom) This brought on further lessons in martyr archetype and helped me release any interest I have in looking like I am suffering more than others. I’m kind of over suffering. It’s so 2008.

I invoked the possibility that I will actually enjoy not knowing. What I mean is, not knowing in a way my logical mind can wrap itself around. Yet, knowing in a way my heart understands. I am choosing to read the signals of the world around me as feedback; be present and aware in the moment and work with rather than against the flow;  to co-create with cosmos and the great river of life.

So it all sounds really good huh?

Well on the monumental level, the littlest things are pure magic to me; animal messengers, falling trees, chance encounters, heart connections.

On the mundane level I find myself challenged by what others would find perfectly common place.

I promised yesterday to tell the story of going to a concert alone. This was mundane on the surface and monumental in its impact on me. Here’s the story:

There is a song I love, that I first heard on a Trisha Yearwood CD “On a Bus to St Cloud.” I was searching for a performance of it on YouTube to share on Facebook and Twitter when I came across the performance by the actual songwriter herself, Gretchen Peters. So I tweeted about it and within an hour, I got a tweet from Gretchen saying she hoped to see me at her concert at a local venue two nights later. I had no idea she was playing here, but I could not resist this opportunity, which I took to be a flirt from the Universe to get out in the world even if I have to go alone. So I said yes I was coming.

It would have been so easy for me to back out. I was not accountable to anyone except Gretchen and that was only in my imagination. My soul egged me on. I had to go, to a new part of town and a new venue I’d never visited. I called ahead to get a sense of the seating arrangement and where to park. When the time came, I got dressed hoping to be dressed up enough and not overly so. Then I hopped in my van and took off singing loudly to steady my nerves.

I walked into the bar and everyone turned around and looked at me. Oh boy, feeling conspicuous already. I let my solar plexus lead the way as I went right up to someone who might point me in the right direction. The place was already pretty packed with groups of people enjoying drinks and dinner at cozy tables. I asked the ticket taker to show me a good seat. He showed me two tables in the darker corners of the back and side walls and one right up front. I took the one directly in front of the piano; one little table and three chairs. I sat in the middle chair. Maybe someone, someone handsome and single,  would decide to join me. Uh huh…

Gretchen’s songs are stories. They are lovely, poignant, fun. They make me laugh and they make me cry. Sitting front and center, in the skirt-edges of the stage lights, alone, I was not comfortable crying, but so many of the songs reminded me of loss; loss of love and loss of my dad, that I had to reach into my purse for some Kleenex, despite rapid blinking. Sitting there, I was reminded of the many concerts I went to with my ex-husband. One thing I miss about him is his voice and the gentle strains from his guitar. So Gretchen’s beautiful voice and genuine presence scratched across a few of the scars on my heart and it hurt while it healed.

Click on the play button for this video and enjoy a bit of the “concert” for yourself. (For further info, please click through to YouTube)

When the concert was over, I saw an opportunity to go over and catch her as she stepped off the tiny stage. I wanted to thank her and to let her know that the “Twitter gal” had shown up. We spoke briefly. I was conscious of the fact that she had an agenda with others. I spontaneously hugged her and I could feel her grow rigid, but accepting. Then I left and headed toward my car as two bar patrons hopped on their Harleys and disappeared down a very quiet, very lonely Highway 9.

I was feeling embarrassed for my spontaneous hug. How could I behave as if we were so familiar? Performers just hate that don’t they? Gretchen has no idea the catalyst she was for me; the beginning of re-entering a world I’ve missed. She can’t know the way her tweet reached out to me as a personal invitation.  I hugged her like she saved my life.

I drove home by a new unknown route, following my instincts, newly freed by my willingness to venture out alone, using the gift of a great internal compass. As  I rounded a bend, I was greeted by a full moon rising in an ink washed sky, mysterious wisps of clouds suspended across its face. It was right out of a William Blake collection. That’s when I knew this seemingly innocuous challenge was truly a turning point for me. The opportunity presented itself and I accepted it. The moon smiled back. I’d walked right to my edge and over it.

I am abundance worthy

I will open

I am making an ally of the unknown

Lookout unknown!

In 2010 you can forget about me making you my ally

I’m ratcheting this up a notch to full on lover!

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

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