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Posts Tagged ‘solstice’

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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I’ve started this sentence many times over. It’s not that I don’t know what to say. Rather, I am distracted by (or what I prefer to call otherwise attracted to) the wildlife outside my window. It’s the daily luncheon at the oak diner for chickadees, juncos and woodpeckers. Today they are joined by two robins who are perched still as statues while a jay warns in the distance of a hawk soaring overhead. That same hawk is sharing the air space and the wind currents with two turkey vultures. A crow is showing off its wide vocal range. Several birds follow their feast with a bath in the copper sculpture across the way, while two red squirrels chase each other through the branches with clownish grace.

Such are the magical moments presence in the Great Mystery offers. I’ll sprinkle the images throughout this post.

And I’m feeling a bit like a cat at the window;  my eyes tracking every little movement; “what was that? What was that?”

Crow - copyright (c) December 2010 Kathy J Loh All Rights Reserved

It’s precisely this sense of surprise and wonder that I want to expand as I move, with the passing of the Solstice, into days of more light. And, yes, I mean that metaphorically as well as literally.

The only appointment on my calendar today was a meditation and energy healing with Ping Li of Awaken Within Path. Today’s meditation and energy healing was on abundance and receiving. As I sat in the silence, open to receiving purification of old energies that no longer serve who I am becoming, I brought forth three things for transmutation: money, love, healing.

I distilled it down to three unproven notions still swimming in my energy field:

  • Money is evil (or at least the root of it) [clarification to come]
  • Love hurts (betrayal being my sore spot)
  • Healers suffer for their gift(s), not only have they been wounded, they remain crippled (don’t have a clue where I got this one…past life?)

You can imagine how helpful these beliefs are for one who wants more income, a loving partner and is engaged in healing practices. Uh-huh! Does any of this sound familiar to you?

I’m not much of a scientist. I have the curiosity of one, but I’m not very detailed oriented and don’t like restrictions on my movement.  I’m more an explorer than a scientist. So, I set about to explore these notions to find the one thing that would help me release them, which is to say, to discover them once and for all untrue.  Here’s what bubbled up:

It’s all just history.

Money is evil

The whole money is evil thing is from the Bible, only the words are actually: “The love of money is the root of all evil” (1 Timothy 6:10, KJV ) and, according to a Wikipedia article: “A more accurate rendering from the original Greek may be: ‘For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil,’ (New American Standard Bible).”

Money doesn’t create anything. We do. What we do with money and how we are about it, is not about money, it’s about us.

Love hurts

Love doesn’t hurt, we do. We get hurt and we hurt others. We betray, get betrayed and worst of all, betray ourselves. We numb out, freeze our hearts, cheat, create eternal busy-ness in our attempts to avoid pain, thereby creating the greatest pain of all – separation.

We are afraid to love because we are afraid to feel the loss of love. In a funny way, we pre-empt the pain by creating it from the start with our separation and isolation. That’s about as rational as saying: I’m afraid that, someday, I won’t have any food.  So I’m not going to eat anything ever and that I won’t know the feeling of hunger after having experienced a full belly.

woodpecker copyright(c) Dec 2010, Kathy J LohHealer’s suffer or are crippled (as in saints and martyrs and psychic healers struck by lightning and the archetype of the wounded healer.)

People don’t suffer because they have chosen to be healers, they likely became healers,  because they have suffered and it is easy enough to gather evidence that there are amazing healers in the world who are not crippled or ill.

This is a story my negative ego dangles in front of me when, faced with the question, “who am I becoming if it is not who I am now?”  It responds with a lot of very scary images to keep me confined to the shadow of who I think I know myself to be. Because that’s what the negative ego does. It pulls together little bits and pieces of sayings and events, tosses them in a blender and pours a toxic cocktail of half truths and assumptions and serves them to us with a mischievous smile. “Here, have a drink. It’ll make you feel better.”  It’s much safer to cling to my “personality” than to go off on some adventure to find a “me” I’ve never known before.

Sure, I’ve been wounded. Who reading this has not? Opening to my capacity to heal myself and others has no direct correlation to suffering other than it is meant to alleviate it.

Byron Katie’s (The Work) questions help here:

Me: (Supposition): If I open to my full capacity as a healer, I will suffer.

Katie: Is that true?

Me: Yes (tenuously, but I can’t say no)

Katie: Can you absolutely know that it’s true?

Me: No (I must admit)

Katie: How do you react when you think that thought?

Me: I feel scared and weak and timid. I feel like I’m not living up to my fullest potential as a compassionate being. I’m sitting on my hands, so to speak. I hide out.

Katie: Who would you be without the thought?

Me: (here we are back to that question…who would I be, but this time instead of the great wild unknown of who I am becoming, it is an exploration of life without just this one thought…just this one)

I’d be someone willing to engage with the world with an open and compassionate heart. I’d be someone exploring their fullest potential.

OK – this is a no-brainer now! Without that thought, I can be one who brings healing to others, in whatever form I do, while also being mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically vital. That is to say, in integrity.

The precise time of solstice is 14 minutes away.  At this time of our shortest day and longest night (in northern hemisphere); at this time when there is much promise of hope, forgiveness and new beginnings; at this time when the old structures are giving way and new ones await our creation; at this time:

I release history and dance into the Mystery

Robin in birdbath copyright (c) Dec 2010 Kathy J Loh

wash it all away

What happens when I no longer believe that evil and money are married at the hip?

What happens when I no longer believe that falling in love is setting myself up for betrayal?

What happens when I bring forth my healing gifts with integral health and well-being of body, mind, spirit and heart?

At this point in my meditation I heard, “We’ve been waiting to play with you.”

I smiled and the word surrender bubbled to the surface of my awareness for another go round.

Surrender your history

Surrender to the unknown

Surrender to potential and possibility.

I recall a quote I used in a recent Mystery Message about surrender:

“You can remain in your present idea about yourself, or you can choose again. I like the idea of choosing again.” Neale Donald Walsch

As I type these final words, the solstice moment has arrived, right on time.

Into the light everyone, into the light.

Surrender to the truer, more real you.

copyright (c) December 2010, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

 

Eclipse lunar copyright (c) Dec 2010 Kathy J Loh

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