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 See the Thing That Needs to Be Done (including-- Managing the Size of Your But)4 comments
picture 10 Apr 2008 @ 20:16
[excerpted from DoingIt!, May, 2007]

I get together with a bunch of friends for some regular hyjinx, and each time, in order to divide the labor, we choose “captains” to setup and cleanup the space, bring or replenish certain items, etc.

Taking turns is, theoretically, a good way to have everyone do his or her fair share; but I have noticed something. It seems that a select few help out each time, regardless of whether their name is on a list for a particular task… and others do the bare minimum, up to and including-- getting in the way and slowing things down for the assigned taskers, and perhaps even squirreling out of those times that their name is “up”.

In this case I happen to have been one who tries to show up early and stay late whenever possible, out of gratitude for what I receive from these get-togethers. I realize I am able to do this kind of thing. It is suited to my strengths. And I acknowledge that others might make up for their part in other ways more suitable to them.

But… (here is another sizeable but… and I strive to exercise control of, and manage and decrease the size of my but, to the degree possible)... once in a while a lightning fast flash of judgment bolts across my mind as I am sweeping or whatever: Why does so-and-so need to have his/her name on a list in order to do something?

I handle my but by reminding myself that if I am not doing this task in joy, maybe I ought not be doing it. Maybe I should reframe that thought before it morphs into resentment. Maybe I ought to pay attention to what I am doing. Maybe I ought to mind my beeswax!

That I do, to the best of my ability.

Aannnnd… in noting how I admire others who are always showing up… and in being with some relatively newfound pride in accepting that I am becoming one of those people who shows up pretty consistently as well…

… I wish to enter into the minutes of this meeting of minds the question— What would it look like if we all stepped up to such a degree? What might things be like if we all saw the thing that needed to be done… and did it?  More >

 On Humility: Smaller and Dumber… and Very OK With It9 comments
picture 10 Apr 2008 @ 20:04
[excerpted from DoingIt!, April, 2007]

I have been finding myself feeling much smaller and aware of being way more ignorant each passing day, and that it feels… swell, and freeing, to be in the midst of this.

No, this is not some masochistic tendency aimed at satisfying self-loathing on a large, Freudian scale; rather, it feels like I have stumbled on a precise way to regain a sense of marveling at the creative force, its process and we as examples of that which has been created. It feels like a discipline that can bring us back around the wheel from the jaded, show me people we have become (and there is even a whole state reserved for a certain breed of ‘em), to the wide-eyed child discoverers we once were.

In my meditations and prayers I continue to ask to be humbled; to know humility; to be shown how wondrous any given bit of creation is and can be; to be broken down from the sense of being a know-it-all and being built back up, re-membered, into a being capable of infinitely more gratitude and awareness, with more questions than answers.

I have done this since a kid. Where others wished for ponies, Barbies, G.I. Joe’s… this is the sort of thing I asked and prayed for, having come into this world seemingly aware of a few pieces of the puzzle being out of place.

Over time I had come to realize how we worked ourselves, over time, into this spot of managing our world by this elaborate naming and filing system that stripped awe and astonishment from the equation, and decided I wanted it back.

This is the path that has brought me back into the mystery and magic of the world; back to the idea of my universe as a living, growing organism; back to chewing and gnawing on words like awe and wonder, magnificence, beauty and many more out there on the high, extreme ends of human experience.  More >

 40 Days in the Desert5 comments
picture 10 Apr 2008 @ 19:54
[excerpted from DoingIt!, April, 2007]

As winter is yielding to spring I bear witness that a number of people in my sphere, myself included, seem to be somewhere in the middle of a bout of 40 days in the desert, a visionquest, a sundance… whatever equivalent of a time of immense purification and cleansing of all resistance standing between one and their deeper connection to their peace in the world. The committed ones really seem to be laying themselves bare, and having every unnecessary, unwanted thought and bit of resistance stripped from them. The hounds are barking, whispers of doubt are swirling. A time of being tested seems to be at hand, and somehow at a level of intensity beyond “the curve” of what we have becoming used to of-late.

In a more unspoken way than sometimes occurs with Harmonic Convergences and various significant alignments of the stars, it feels like an opening is present that is allowing much interior movement and change for the positive… albeit the kind that is stretching those standing in the fire to their max. No one has put a name on this time of trial and reward that I have yet seen or heard. And I feel it might offer a bit of relief to those going through their particular distress… to know that there are a lot of us in this space wrestling right alongside of you. We truly are in it together.

All I have witnessed are bearing up admirably. And immense grace seems to be the soup du jour.  More >

 Taking The Wheel of Life Out For a Spin12 comments
picture 10 Apr 2008 @ 19:47
[excerpted from DoingIt!, March, 2007]

Life, so they say, is just a game,
and we let it slip away
~~ We May Never Pass This Way Again,
by Seals & Crofts

Having come, by a truly awe-inspiring and humbling set of circumstances, to a greater awakening of devotion—

-- to the Earth; to gifts that have constantly, consistently and continually been bestowed upon me; to recognition and increased respect for the commitment of the seeker within myself and those I have come to witness in their myriad individual reflections of such back to me; to the Creative Force by all names—

-- it seems I am now being bombarded with snippets and nuggets and moments… everywhere I turn; each, one more bit of proof that more is moving toward the positive in this world than we sometimes dare to believe… and certainly more than is reported to us.

I feel something is awakening in me that will result in increased words and pictures, stories, documentation that hope to be increasingly effective in mirroring back to you the divinity and perfection within you, others, our world and beyond. I hope that you are achieving your own awakenings each day and feel that you are.

The remembering of who we are and can be is available through limitless means.

As I am writing this I am allowing an amazing documentary to wash over me— Wheel of Time by Werner Herzog.  More >

 What’s Working: Creator of Moments8 comments
picture 10 Apr 2008 @ 19:35
[excerpted from DoingIt!, February, 2007]

I consider myself a Creator of Moments— one who throws out a pinch of magic dust into an everyday situation— a conversational tidbit, a zig where one would normally zag, a fat pitch of a comedic straight-line— a real zinger— tossed right over the sweet spot, dead over home plate for someone else to hit out of the park. My job description here is to create opportunities for us all to transcend the ordinary, ho-hum, hum-drum, mundane, same-o-same and be the better for it.

There is no accredited training program for this. One must become a journeyman and test it out on the journey, man.

As a Creator of Moments I have been pleased to see that I must descend from a line of them… as I am witnessing the work of my brethren and sisters (sistern?) shaking it up all over the place.

In a run of work out West of-late I have stayed on-occasion in currently-under-construction Topanga Canyon. This windy road has been being repaved section by section, curve by curve, to the consternation of many, for a reasonably long time.

In the opposing corner, however, has been this saint of a fluorescent safety-vest wearing, road crew goddess who has blessed, and wished good and great days, and smiled a cloud-clearing smile and waved happily at everyone who has driven past her.
 More >

 A Blank Slate18 comments
picture 10 Apr 2008 @ 19:28
[excerpted from DoingIT!, January, 2007]

Your consciousness slowly, hazily, fades up from black… stirred back from… somewhere… by a gentle rocking and the click-clack along the track of a well-worn New York subway car methodically easing its way toward Coney Island. Gradually the strobing effect of abstract light and shadows outside the window re-member themselves into recognizable images. Sort of. Your cheek is cool, and sticks slightly as you wrest it away from the window amidst coming to an odd revelation.

You don’t know where or who you are. It is only days later that you find out your name is Douglas, and after coming to the realization that complete amnesia is not-- along with evil twins and car chases ending in toppled produce carts—perhaps the realm of latenight suspense movies alone. This is not a dream. You have just awakened from the fugue state.

Thanks to a Netflix referral (those who liked such-and-such, also liked ______) I got turned onto an amazing documentary on the recent life of Douglas Bruce, as directed by a former/current, old life/new life friend of his, Rupert Murray. Unknown White Male (2005) purports to be a recounting of the true events of Bruce’s life since awaking on said subway in 2003. Some Googling on this also stirred up some potential conspiracy theory on the authenticity of all this. And it remains for the viewer to decide on which side of the cloudy shower curtain of this authenticity/hoaxissue they stand.

I can only say, this film was done extremely well-- in either case, and inspired incredible directions of thought-- in either case. Set against a backdrop of many of us assessing a year drawing to a close and another promising to tick into being, my timely viewing of Unknown White Male has delivered us a white rabbit which taunts us to follow by asking, “If you lost your past, would you want it back?”  More >

 3 Seconds of Bliss1 comment
picture 10 Apr 2008 @ 19:19
[excerpted from DoingIt!, November, 2006]

My friend Vicki summed up what I believe is the general quest of us all—the carrot at the end of the stick however we are maneuvering toward attaining it-- with eloquence and a simplicity that really drove the point home.

She was relating an experience that came within a recent meditation. “Three seconds of bliss! I had three seconds of bliss. As soon as my mind noticed how great it was, it was gone. But for those three seconds…”

Just a few moments of being in the present, the now. Freezing the mind. Refraining from asking that next question, holding onto something from two seconds past, worrying about some concern a couple of seconds hence. Three seconds. A lifetime.

I so understood her ear-to-ear smile as she recounted this sacred blip of time… out of time.  More >

 A Challenge to Artists-- a Trilogy in Four Parts4 comments
picture 10 Apr 2008 @ 18:38
[upon releasing the "I am a Blank Slate..." article in DoingIt!, in September, 2006, I realized it was the culmination of a number of pieces intended to rally artists of every sort (with each of us being the artist crafting our own life)... raise the bar of their work, beyond what I have coined "The Age of Commisseration"-- similar to what Caroline Myss termed "woundology", not unlike the "Four Yorkshiremen" skit from Monty Python-- where we function more from a place of competing for the saddest story prize, and embracing and creating from the "illusion" of the misery of life...

... over the more spiritually enlightened perspective and place of accumulated wisdom, where we can each support and inspire us all on to the Truth beyond the illusion.

As a self-proclaimed "Cheerleader for Humanity", Pollyanna, seeker on the path for 47+ years, I have always felt I cried out for such from the wilderness, waiting for more people to climb on board. In past articles I have urged activists to be FOR more... than they are AGAINST. And with each successive year under our belts, I believe this is the same awareness that more and more of us are coming to.

Toward this end, please enjoy:

  • I am a Blank Slate on Which God is Painting my Life
  • including A Challenge to Artists
  • Healing the Tortured Artist
  • You're Only as Good as Your Last Day
 More >

 Everybody is Doing Their Best All the Time: a Key to Forgiveness3 comments
picture 10 Apr 2008 @ 17:28
[excerpted from DoingIt!, August, 2006]

The heart of forgiveness-- of oneself and others—beats in time with my new mantra— everybody is doing their best all the time.

Try it for yourself. Repeat that phrase. Over and over. And let it unfold layers and layers of its wisdom in the asking.

It may be hard to accept. “Surely, with the state of the world as it is, we all can’t be doing our best?,” you might grumble. It may feel foreign or inauthentic as you mouth or think these words again and again. But swirl them around, play with them, chew on them, and just see if you don’t begin to feel a wave of relief, a deepening of the breath, a relaxing of the immediacy of that situation you are applying this phrase to, as something in the words begins to sink in.

There is power here.

Everybody is doing their best… all of the time. Regardless. Irregardless (yes these are the same. Check Webster’s. It’s Ripley’s!).

When we know we need to eat right… and cheat with that special sugary or fast-food treat (Hey! Why are you looking at me?)… we are doing our best at that time. Yes, we could beat ourselves up for knowing better, for lack of will or fortitude, for choosing the comfort food over the nutritious alternative or nothing. But, in that moment, with all things considered… we grabbed for the yummy and it was the best we could do… at that time. Let it go. Set a goal to do better next time.  More >

 It’s All Happening!— the Quieting of Spiritual Madness1 comment
picture 10 Apr 2008 @ 17:13
[excerpted from DoingIt!, August, 2006]

I happened to watch “Almost Famous” a couple weeks ago-- for the first time since I saw it in the theatre-- and have had this nebulous phrase from the rock movie swirling around my head ever since— “It’s All Happening!”

Then I got involved in this curveball of a friend’s temporary life-trauma. Add in some residual effects of recent conversations with Joan on the subject of spiritual madness… and some great and soothing synchronicity has congealed from the ethers.

Joan and I speak regularly about this weird place we are in-- where we do all of this soul/energy/spirit work on behalf of ourselves, others, carnate and discarnate souls who might need it in whatever disjointed world they might be occupying… but may never know whether any of it might be having any effect.

Maybe you can relate to this phenomenon of being called to pray, meditate, contemplate, send your love and your best to people and areas crying out for healing… and those tugs of the heart that question whether any of it is doing any good?

How do you prove a negative? How do you know what might have happened had you not involved yourself, your thoughts and prayers?

We have written a smidge about it within these pages and have commented on the delicate balance between thinking we are doing too much or not enough, and the quandaries that sometimes stem from the not knowing

Spiritual madness, to whatever degree, kicks in as we work to strike that balance. Opening ourselves in faith to the following of guidance that has us doing all kinds of well-intentioned oddball stuff, and having to release any promise of feedback on, or reward from, what we are doing… can be a thankless proposition if that faith gets shaken the tiniest bit. Duh!-- It is exactly the not knowing that defines these as acts of faith.  More >

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