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Posts Tagged ‘what now?’

From the farthest reaches of a dark passageway, at the end of which I could see the reflection of heat and flame, came a giant turning lathe.  It was not menacing. In fact it was benevolent. (I don’t even know for sure what a lathe is, but I knew it to be one). The lathe was a bit larger than me and as it approached, I heard a booming voice ask, “What do you want?”

So many pictures ran through my mind: musician, photographer, writer.  I want to live in the country, have a solid coaching career, be an artist. I want romance, love, adventure, health, to be inspired, to make a difference. I had to make a choice and I could not do it.

The lathe paused, though it kept turning in preparation, and the voice inquired again, “What do you want?”

I grew anxious. I was unable to move. I knew that whatever I picked, the lathe would create for me or even of me. Though there was a sense of urgency in making the choice, I was not in need of Superman’s intervention or rescue. The voice and the lathe were not threatening. They were patient and generous. They wanted very much to give me what I want.

I awoke in the midst of my indecision. I experienced this dream in a half-awake, half-asleep 6 am state. I laughed as my now-awake mind quipped “Is there a combo platter?” I often go to humor to release my anxiety.

Beetle, copyright (c) Kathy J Loh

Lost? (K J Loh)

Now that I am in this bigger house with plenty of room for my various activities, I am still facing the fact that there is not enough time to do everything I want to do; at least, not to the degree to which I want to do them.  As I wrote in the prior post, I am in the midst of reviewing my interests and activities (and the stuff that supports those activities that have come out of the boxes).

I’m a Gemini. I have no lack of ideas (three boxes full of little notes with ideas on them) and no lack of interests. Sometimes, I am content with simply being present to now, enjoying what I enjoy and at other times I want to really dive deep and achieve mastery at something, some one thing. I’m probably what Barbara Sher calls a “scanner.”

But the lathe and voice were not interested in combo-platters or scanning.

“Wood turning lathes never make mistakes, only kindling!”

I found that quote when I looked up “lathe” on the web. No wonder I was anxious in the dream. Picking one thing makes kindling of the rest. Aaack!

My dream-interpreting friends will advise me to become the lathe, become the voice and get their perspective. The voice loves me. The voice wants me to have what I want. The lathe loves me. It is ready to create for me whatever I ask. They are the parts of me that feel a deep desire for something. The me that faces them is the confused one. She who is feeling lost.

What I am coming to realize is that, while form matters to some degree, the deep desire, the longing in my heart is more about function. The forms of composing/playing music, photography, writing are all forms of creative expression; intimacy with words, sounds, nature, connecting with self and other. What I notice when I review my personalized combo-platter, is that the underlying function or essence of every option is intimacy.

I sat in meditation with this and discovered how lost I’d gotten along the way. As far back as I can remember (and I have memories from when I was 3), I have looked to others to know what I “should” do in life. I have followed the bread crumbs of acknowledgment, rewards and high marks. Gifted children have many talents. Not all of them speak to their heart’s desire, while too many of them speak to well-meaning parents, teachers and counselors. I had many ways I could make others happy and get their love and approval.

My own way went into hiding, deep in the recesses of my heart. For whatever reason, I felt a need to protect my desires (and me) from shame and humiliation. As a result, I’ve been a lot of things to a lot of people and mostly lost to me. People don’t know me as well as they think because so much of what I love to do, I do in solitude and in the hours that are not taken by the activities deemed as productive, useful and helpful. And, as this dream shows, even I don’t know me as well as I think I do.

The intimacy I crave has been (until now) doomed by the very behavior that was meant to preserve it.

Awakening to being lost isn’t such a bad thing. As these words unfold before me, I recognize it to be a story shared by many.

Being lost is uncomfortable. It is edgy and vulnerable. At my age, it is fodder for the “wasted-your-life” vortex. It’s also an opportunity. I intend to stay lost for as long as it takes. The voice and the lathe will wait. I know it’s about intimacy, yes, and I know it’s about Love (with a capital L).

I have been declaring my willingness to be changed by Love. I am standing still and listening. I am sitting with an open heart. I am playing with the sounds that come out of my throat. I am seeing the world up close and personal through the camera lens. I let words unfold in speech and on the paper and let myself be surprised by them. I am not able to identify myself as this or that.

I am co-creating with Love and I am not declaring the outcome. Is feeling lost uncomfortable? You bet it’s uncomfortable, agonizingly, joyfully, mysteriously, intimately uncomfortable.

Postscript: As I reviewed this prior to posting, I was struck by this: What I love about these activities and about intimacy is actually that same feeling of being lost – the taste of the infinite and timeless. Perhaps lost is where soul is found.

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

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Let’s make up a story….

Let’s say you’ve been married 10 years and you’ve not had much luck getting pregnant and you find out that someone else did and your husband is the father.

Let’s say, after much drama and therapy, you decide to make a go of it imagining that, if the marriage survives, it will be an amazing kind of love story.

Let’s say, you move from Southern California to Northern California and you start your life over. You find a house, in a delightful neighborhood, that accommodate your dog and cat; you settle in and the landlords become friends of yours.

Let’s say that part of that new life leads you to more seriously explore your creative talents instead of opening up your old business in a new location.

Let’s say it turns out you just pressed a pause button and that, with lack of support from without or even within, you succumb to your inner critic and return to that money-making business with which you had success before.

Let’s say that the marriage does not dissolve, though your creative dreams seem to, and you move from the transitional rental home with the big question mark aura around it to your pride-of-ownership let’s-put-a-period-on-this-thing home.

Let’s say things go along swimmingly for another tenyears.

Let’s say a shark in the waters and a large rogue wave rudely awaken you from a very long swim and you face the facts that the marriage never fully repaired itself and you become something of a wanderer.

Let’s say that wandering takes you to house-sittings, road-trips, more workshops than would fill a catalog, and roommates until you settle in a rental in a quiet mountain location with a beach nearby.

Sanctuary Home copyright (c) Dec 2008, Kathy J Loh

Mountain Sanctuary Under the Moon

Let’s say that place you landed became your place of healing and solitude; that when you were ready to emerge, you knew you were going to give your all to your creative endeavors, even if the actual forms of those endeavors had changed; that in this healing place you also tamed that inner critic and fully supported yourself regardless of the opinions of others.

Let’s say in that emergence you crave community and commit to moving back to the old ‘hood.

Let’s say you get a call that leads you to a rental in that old ‘hood that has much of what you want in terms of natural surroundings and a pool, but the house, well, the house is old and the floor and windows have some “quaint” angles to them, the kind that make the inner ear question reality.

Let’s say you plunk your cash down anyway, go home to your little mountain sanctuary and then find yourself tossing all night. You know your body is sending the message loud and clear – “I can’t do this!”

Let’s say you call your old landlady, the one who is still your friend; the one who rented you that first house in N CA and ask her advice regarding how much is actually fair rent for a decent place in the old ‘hood.

Let’s say she says “If you are willing to spend that much [the amount you plunked down on the quaint and crooked place], you can have my house. I was going to charge $300 to $500 more for it, but if I can rent it to you I’m glad to reduce the rent to meet your price.”

Let’s say that house she is offering you turns out to be the very same house you lived in when you were deciding whether or not to stay married; when you were attempting to honor your creative talents and pursue your passion, but quit.

Let’s say, you say yes.

Well, that’s exactly what happened to me.

The way it happened, a phone call, a deposit, a sleepless night and another phone call all within 36 hours is what tickles me.

Someone asked me if I was nervous about being in the house and the energy of my past being there.

I’m not at all. I’ve been in the house. As soon as I walked through the door, I recognized the smell (as each home has its unique fragrance). I “saw” the ghosts of my past and I didn’t feel any anger or sadness toward them, only compassion. This is a good sign that I have truly healed. I also saw the opportunity to offer to the ghosts, especially the ghost of me, great comfort from the future. I love me and who I’ve become and all I would want the past me to know is how happy and loved she truly is; that she can be who she wants to be and create what she wants to create, fully supported.

Now this house has become the fork-in-the-road house, where two paths diverged. Back then,  I took the road more or less traveled. Now I cycle back and live into the choice, the one that has to do with me and not my relationship, from a new place as a new me.

It’s not about arrivals, make goods and do-overs as much as the sacred and amazing opportunity to continue to be an explorer in the mystery of life.

And so now, I am living into this new perspective of:

Rewind – Splice – New Ending

Rewind the tape to that moment in time

Splice it and store away the old story

Write and live into the new story

Sure, what happened in-between happened and whether or not it needed to is moot, because it did.

What I do know is that I don’t need to tell the old story anymore and that living into the new story, rewrites the past anyway.

I know this new-old house served as a transitional home in the past and will do so again.

And I know that I’m excited about what’s possible  in this one-delicious-moment-after-another now.

And you, dear reader, what is the story that’s grown stale and what is the new one that wants to emerge?

I welcome and relish your comments.

If you’d like to explore this by way of coaching, drop me a line and let’s see what we can create together.

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

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My Tarot of the Spirit meditation this week is on birthing. The timing couldn’t be more perfect, with the new moon and the Lunar New Year introducing the Year of the Tiger.

As I sat in the quiet of contemplation (well, ok, the quiet with some mind-chatter), I pondered my first birthing; that entry into this physical world from the cosmic void, the cosmic everything, from one-ness into a singular me. I wondered when we start to forget who we really are.

I wondered what it is I am birthing now, for surely I’ve had the pangs. I wondered about my resistance.

I revisited the birthing that took place when I left my family and went out on my own. I considered my birth into the world from the womb of the ivory towers and the brief independence before I birthed myself into marriage.

Each of these later births was a grand adventure full of hope and promise.  Each was a full on commitment.

There have been, since then, births that have not felt so good. These hold the key to my reluctance to leave the womb of my half-way home.

“Sometimes a wind comes out of nowhere and knocks you off your feet.” Bruce Cockburn

… a really big wind, a punch to the gut, a canon-ball  hole to the heart. I got that about 10 years into my marriage. I can make up that I stood at the threshold of the call to adventure and refused the call, but the truth is I will never know for sure what the greater undertaking was; stay or go.

Finally, 23 years into my marriage, big winds blew relentlessly and it was time to answer another call. I’ve seen the Hero’s Journey diagrammed as a kind of curve; one that leads downward into an abyss and eventually returns upward. I’ve heard Joseph Campbell say that once you cross the threshold, there is no turning back.

I was in a seminar discussing the Hero’s Journey when someone asked the leader how long the abyss part lasts. That caught my interest, because at that point in time, I had been sitting on the bottom for quite awhile, having lost my love, my home, my pet and having waved goodbye to 16 years of teaching piano  while my new business seemed to be going nowhere fast.

A wave in the dark

Dark Seas (c) K J Loh

How long would I remain lost at sea battling demons and looking for my allies?

The seminar leader said it varies; for some it is a matter of months and for others it can be years.  When I heard that I made the decision to begin my journey home. I had no interest in remaining lost at sea forever. Whatever it took, I would keep myself navigating toward the return and celebration part of my adventure.

I will not live an interrupted hero’s journey.

My heart, spirit and mind have returned. My body is still wandering; probably because I’m just now learning how to really be in it.

So, I asked myself in my meditation, “Why have I stagnated? What’s the reluctance about?” I did not have to think any thoughts. The pain in my heart set off a minor temblor that culminated in a wave of tears. It’s the fear of more pain.

All I ever wanted, was just to come in from the cold.”Joni Mitchell

I’m like Sleeping Beauty. I’ve pricked my finger on a spindle and now I am asleep, awaiting my magical awakening. I await everyone and everything like I wait for good news to arrive in the mailbox.  This home that is a bit too cramped, this life that is a bit too safe is, at least, very comfortable. This home, this “me,” this ennui, is familiar and I really am reticent to leave and risk being caught out in another big storm. My heart may not be soaring, but at least it’s warm and dry.

There is this last push I need to complete the birthing of the new beginning to which I committed myself a few years ago.  I see the shore, but I let myself drift with the currents of social media networking, errands and menial tasks. It’s a kind of sacrosanct busyness with which many of us are all too familiar.

In the weariest of moments I complain that I didn’t want this birth. It wasn’t supposed to be this way and it’s only because it is this way that I pick myself up and move on.

Still, the promise of a full return and celebration twinkle like the lights on some distant shore. I’ve seen them. My visions and maps fill me with hope. Getting there is going to take some effort.  I will keep my eye on my North Star, pick up that oar and paddle. That’s all there is to it really, that and dumping a few items off this skiff to lighten the load.

What I realize is that this broken heart has done all the mending it can with just being. It’s time now for some action. The time of waiting is over. To surrender to the fear being hurt again will, ironically, only leave me broken-hearted.

I wrote about this before in “(Don’t) Rescue me from Creativity.” At that point I was releasing control and surrendering to creative chaos. The hurricane has passed. Seas are calm. It’s time to make some sort of landing.

Someone recently told me I put wings on their feet. That’s wonderful! You can have mine for awhile, because, as soon as I hit shore, I’ve got some earth to feel and some walking to do.

Notes:
The Bruce Cockburn quote is from his song “The Whole Night Sky” on the CD The Charity of Night
The Joni Mitchell lyric quote is from her song “Come in From the Cold” on the CD Night Ride Home
Copyright (c) February 2010, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

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Today, my love for mystery is bumping up against my archetypal victim.

Phooey on evolution and new ways of thinking and being.

Phooey on dreams and visions that require me to be more vulnerable.

Phooey on cleaning up, empowered relationships, and mastery.

And double phooey on social media upkeep.

The only thing that soothes me is the comfort of nature. That, and food; gooey sticky tummy-filling comfort food. Oh,  music too.  If I think about it, I’m speaking “womb;”  surrounded by good energy, well held and well fed while listening to the rhythm of the heart and singing of  blood as it’s pumped through the veins.

I’m floating in the void; at one and the same time comfortable and extremely frustrated.

When I am in this in-between space and in the grip of “victim,” I find myself waiting to be rescued. I’m hoping that the next email, the next phone call, the next mail delivery will bring me a pleasant surprise. I’m hoping that this next trip into town will yield a chance encounter that turns golden. Sometimes, it does. I will get an email inquiry from a potential client, checks in the mail or make a new connection. But most days it’s just bills and junk mail and a bag of groceries in the back of the car.

Where is my knight in shining armor?

Where is Publisher’s Clearinghouse with my million-dollar check?

Waiting to be rescued is a sign that I don’t want to take responsibility for my life, my visions, my happiness. Responsibility feels punishing; like really hard work with high odds of failure. Well, at least that’s how my victim sees it.

I’m rattled by the mess that the fallen oak tree left. No one is stacking firewood. No one is cleaning up the limbs that are dangling from the trees that were slammed by oak on its way down. No one cares about the huge pile of dead boughs. To top it off, the wind carried a big bright blue plastic bag into the center of the whole scene as if to garishly announce  “trash heap.”

These thoughts followed me out to the hiking trail.

The view from my window is not what it once was. It’s not what it will be. It is what it is. I don’t want to take responsibility for it and I want it to be a certain way.

My life is not what it once was. It’s not what I imagine it will be. It is what it is. I don’t want to take responsibility for it, but I sure as heck want to control it.

Video still

Snake (Kathy Loh)

And that’s the moment in my rant that a snake and I came face to boot on the hiking trail. It was a striped racer, not a threat, and a great reminder of the process of transformation and rebirth.  When snake sheds its skin, its eyes cloud over. My eyes are clouded. I can’t see. I’m shedding my old skin. It doesn’t feel good.

In my old life, I did things the hard way. I suffered to earn reward, love, and worthiness. Responsibility was a burden. Discipline was like living in eternal boot camp. I was hard on myself. OK, I think I was actually darn cruel to myself at times.

Who I am becoming is self-nurturing, inspired by Love to walk the path of Beauty, a dancer in the Great Mystery, truly enchanted by life. To this evolving me, responsibility is the “ability to respond” and discipline is “being a disciple to.”

I want to remember  (re-member) what makes me happy and be a disciple to my passions. I want to be able to respond to the winds of change. I want to know and speak the language of the heart.

This experience of floating in the void, this bumping up against like the incoming and outgoing tides, that feels like I’m going nowhere, this shedding of skin and waiting for the new to dry; waiting…waiting….waiting…is full of tension.

This tension is pure creative energy.

I know I am in a deeply creative process and I’m itching for resolution.

I suspect that powerful re-solutions arise in their own time and are not especially responsive to control.

So, I set down control and I surrender to creative chaos.

I allow myself to be enchanted by the mystery of it all.

I am grateful to snake for the reminder that I am re-minding from brain to heart and that it is a process that knows its own timing.

So…

Phooey on control.

Phooey on making things hard.

Phooey on waiting to be rescued.

Uhm, except …

I’d still gladly accept that prize from Publishers Clearing House.

Copyright (c) November 2009, Kathy J Loh, all rights reserved

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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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My tarot card for the month of July (as pulled during my January Tarot Pilgrimage for the year) is Death. As scary as it first seems, the Death card is actually perfect for me right now. It is about endings; things that need to be completed and left behind.  Regarding this card, Pamela Eakins, PhD writes in Tarot of the Spirit, “…something in your life is dying. Some structure, pattern or form that you created, or with which you have been involved, is disintegrating or dissolving. This is necessary, of course, in order for new birth or transformation to occur.”

I’m paying attention to what’s dying and what is being born. What wants to leave me, even if I try to hold on? What’s coming to me? Pay attention and intention. Vision quest it.

I’m aware that the structures and routines I built that helped me survive these last few years are ready to be revisited and dismantled. The time of licking wounds and healing is ending and I am reorganizing my life to accommodate the work I want to do in this world. I’m visioning my next creative contribution.

This is a good time for purging my environment of items I no longer need.  I have a relatively travel-free month, the days are long and I have a deep desire to regain some  floorspace from the many boxes I’ve never unpacked.

DeathTarotCard

(Card from Tarot of the Spirit Deck by Pamela and Joyce Eakins.
Copyright (c) 1992 U.S. Games Systems, Inc. Used with permission.)

Yesterday, I dipped a toe into my past and waded through two boxes; boxes that have housed “file later” papers neatly organized into hastily labeled grocery bags, for about four years now. When I was in the process of divorce and I moved into two rooms in a friend’s house, I had little desire, not to mention space, to attend to filing. Yet, it seems, I had plenty of interest harvesting and preserving anything that might inspire, inform or come in handy in a future I could not forsee. It was precisely because I could not predict it and because I am a creative thinker that everything seemed somehow useful. Everything held potential.

Add to that, the things with which I could not yet part; letters, notes, items from my cat, Stella, that I had to leave behind (long story) and documents that one keeps that prove the mortgage was paid off and various financial obligations have been met. I kept these because I was the silently designated keeper of these things in my marriage. I also resisted filing because I was the administrative assistant designee as well and it all left a bad taste in my mouth. I rebelled and thus, created for myself one heck of a clean- up job.

Opening each box is like opening a carton from the back of the frig. I am not sure what might be in there or what I will experience when I open it.  Some of it hit me hard. Stella’s collar, for instance and realizing she is 18 years old now, if she’s even still alive. I don’t know, because I’ve been purposefully deprived of any information about her. I sat there holding that collar close to my heart, as if holding her, and I had a good cry.

No wonder I’ve avoided these boxes. They are full of good-byes; good-byes to people, pets, homes, loves and most poignantly, good-byes to various iterations of me. Carrying out this task to completion means sending papers to the recycle bin and the shredder; a final good-bye.  Only the choice bits will actually find a home in the filing cabinet.  I have a little more clarity than I once did around what I need for this next leg of the journey.

Yes, there are some hello’s as well, some amazing finds that I will write about another day. Today it’s about good-bye and honoring the courage that transformation requires.

I’ve been on a heroine’s journey ever since I decided to get divorced. I packed all my things (well, 50% of them by California law) and set sail in uncharted waters armed with a vision, faith, determination and no small number of allies. I got really, really lost along the way. I wandered all over.  I visited many interesting islands; Lucid Living, Leadership, Shamanism, Soul Retrieval, Reiki, Sound Healing, Yoga of the Voice, Medicine Wheel Ceremonies,  you name it. I was gone as much as I was home and when I was home, it felt temporary. I traveled in my VW Camper and lived in and out of boxes.

I got braces and I grew my hair out from 1 inch to 15 inches. I was experiencing a second adolescence, but it wasn’t about the fun stuff,  it was all awkwardness. I was grieving, crying nearly every night and I had the dark circles under my eyes to prove it. Just as things got better, my father died.

It all really hit home yesterday as I went through the boxes. I found an 8×10 photograph of my Reiki group in Bend OR with William Lee Rand. I looked and looked at the picture, but I could not find me. I wondered if I took the photo and didn’t get in it myself. Then, I saw her…the she that is and used to be me; front and center. I did not recognize myself with chin-length hair, bangs, sallow complexion and very crooked teeth. I still have a hard time believing it was me.

I recognize myself in pictures prior to those years and I recognize myself in pictures from the last two years..but in pictures from that time in between, no. Who is she? My heart is filled with such compassion for her. Those lost years, the un-recognizable years, are the goo stage of metamorphosis. I recognize the caterpillar and I recognize the butterfly (even that took some time), but the chrysalis years are a mystery to me.

Who are we when we don’t know who we are? In the chrysalis stage we are re-cognizing ourselves while being unrecognizable.  We have to become unknown to ourselves so that we can create ourselves anew.

So, I wasn’t lost, I was hibernating, disintegrating to reintegrate, transforming. All the ingredients that went into that re-integration give me the heart-vision of compassion with which to see my journey, every step of the way in every direction I look.

The me I could not recognize in the picture is probably the closest to my heart. She is the one who had the courage to continue onward. She is the one who held steadfast in faith and reached out to her friends for help. She is the one who doggedly and creatively grew her business on her own in the face of potential poverty. She is the one who developed a deep and abiding relationship with Nature and Source. I could give a rat’s behind what she looked like. Her heart is pure gold and she taught me surrender and self-acceptance.

She brought me to the shores of Grace and that’s something worth “dying” for.

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

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Something is up for me, something around form and here is where I get the inform-ation about that. (See earlier post on Information)

In January, I attended a Tarot Pilgrimage for 2009 with Pamela Eakins. We pulled cards for each month of the year. My card for May is One of Earth (Form).

I am currently doing a 10 Powers Tarot journey with Pamela and this week the card we are working with is One of Earth (Form).

Pamela did a reading for me regarding my heart’s desire (wouldn’t you like to know what that is – I’m not telling) and the middle card was One of Earth (Form).

One of the questions posed by that card is what wants to be manifest into form now? What I read said the card is telling me to stop thinking about things and do them NOW.

It was driving me a little nuts. I had this sense of urgency. I mean the same card in 3 different readings converging at the same point…surely I must do something now! I found myself pacing agitatedly and asking, “but what? ” And I’m not talking I-don’t-have-a-clue-what, but which what? If you’ve ever had that problem you are familiar with the train wreck that follows.

Then, this morning while meditating on the card, something shifted. I saw NOW from a different angle. I saw that everything before NOW was THEN. (I know, duh) Every good idea, theory or creative expression from before is no longer an inspiration for form in the now. Things have changed. I have changed. So I ask myself: What is it that wants to happen now, because this is no longer then?

You are probably wondering when the Cheshire cat and the Mad Hatter appear…

In that moment of insight, I was released from the past and able to breathe into freedom, to catch a glimpse of what true freedom is.

Oak Sunset (K Loh)

Oak Sunset (K Loh)

I look at the oaks outside my window. When they were acorns full of potential there were many possibilities for what they would look like 10 or 20 years later. As they grew, environmental factors determined which way the branches would grow, which branches would become strong and which would fall away. With each passing moment, the options for what was once possible become redirected by virtue of what has happened so far. The infinite possibilities inherent in the acorn, are fewer.  And at every moment there is a question of what now, or which way now?

This is a simple illustration of being aware that we will have to hold our plans lightly.

I have a garage full of what could be called branches; boxes of music from my piano teaching years, synthesizer setups and computers for a learning lab I used in my studio. I have two windsurfers, sails, skis, mountain bike and tons of miscellaneous stuff in boxes including books. They all represent something from my past, some way in which I identified myself, some role I played or world in which I belonged. Some hold a higher potential of being part of my NOW than others.

Those that are part of my now are the branches that are still connected to my trunk. The ones that have some potential, but are not really present for me are connected, but have lost leaves. Others are branches that have fallen away and need to be cleaned up, recycled back into the community where they will nourish others.

The breath of freedom I received was in knowing that all the things and ideas from the past were what wanted to happen then and I had a great track record of bringing them into form. If I spend all my time herding the past, I will miss what it is that wants to happen now.

Focusing upon what wants to happen now, I lean into faith and I listen to the whispers of my soul and the times in which I live. Becoming present, I participate in creating as much as preserving. I do not lose my past. I am my past. I am a composition of all I have ever seen, done, said, thought, felt. That’s what  makes each of us, in this big pool of one-ness, so unique.  And all that I am contributes in that unique way to what I am up to now. I am informed by all those old ideas, doings and ways of being, but I don’t have to be chained to them, drained by them or beholding to them.

So when I ask the question – “what will I manifest into form now?” I no longer feel an urgency to pick an answer. I find it strangely pleasant to live in the question and while I’m living there (or should I say here), I become very creative and forms begin to make themselves  tangible through me.

How about you?

What comes up for you around all the stuff (internal and external) you have hanging around from the past?

How does it potentially help you navigate uncertain times whether in your own life or in our economic climate in general?

What wants to happen, through you,  now?

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

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