Sunday, February 28, 2010

Black Cats and Seeing Signs.

I'm not superstitious. I have Irish blood on both sides, so by all rights I should be, but I'm not. My mother would freak out over spilled salt, stop the car dead in it's tracks and go 10 miles out of her way if a black cat crossed her path. She insisted visitors always leave by the same door they entered. I wonder if this belief in superstitions goes back to a time when people thought they were totally at the mercy of the whims of the gods, and lived in constant fear of offending them? Thankfully, we've evolved somewhat. The current debate is about destiny vs. free will. Movies are even made about this. ("The Matrix" anyone?) My personal belief is that it's a combination of both. I believe life is a classroom, we come here to learn how to love, how to become the light. Certain lessons are predestined, but we have the free will to pay attention and learn, or to sleep through class and fail. If we choose to sleep, then we have to take a make up, meaning the same type thing will just keep happening until we "get" it. Or if we're stubborn and stay asleep, we have to repeat a "grade" by coming back in another life and doing it all over again.

"There is a benevolent force of energy available to guide your life, and it always has your best interests at heart. This energy is Grace. When you open yourself up to it's influence you'll begin to see the signs, symbols, and messages that are placed in your path to lead you in the right direction."
Cheryl Richardson, life coach.

I do believe in signs, so I guess that makes me Irish after all. I believe Spirit, the Universe, Grace, (whatever you want to call the energy force we all sprang from) sends us guidance every day in the form of signs, coincidences and dreams. Even seemingly random conversations with a friend can contain a message that is heaven-sent sometimes. Often I've been talking with someone and they will say something unrelated but that goes to the heart of an issue I'm dealing with. I know when the messages are from Spirit because they make me feel more clear, calm, centered. My soul recognizes them as truth, and I relax and am inspired.

It's become common, accepted knowledge that our dreams can contain very powerful clues and messages from our subconscious. I believe these can also come from our "super-conscious", that part of us that is eternal and knows all. Usually these significant dreams are much more vivid than normal, and you may be awakened immediately after, as if to give you a chance to remember. I've started keeping a pen and notebook by my bed in order to capture these images before they become elusive in the morning light.

Another way I receive inspiration and information is through music. Music has always been important to me, it speaks to my soul. I've noticed that I wake almost every morning with a fragment of a song running through my head. If I take a moment to really listen, the song and it's lyrics are usually directly related to something going on in my life and can give me a completely new insight or perspective. Signs can be more obvious too. One day I was driving in my car and really struggling to absorb something my intuition was trying to tell me. My rational mind was really being stubborn and resisting this "knowledge". I was pondering this situation when a song came on the radio that reiterated exactly what my intuition had been saying. As I listened in surprise to this "coincidence", I pulled up to a red light. Glancing to my left there was a wall covered in posters for upcoming movies, cd's etc. In the midst of all this, my eye fell on two posters hanging side by side. One said "Do you believe yet?" and the other "It's not just your imagination." No pictures or mention of any product. "OK then!" I thought. Message received!

"Awaken. Keep your eyes open. When we decide to live a conscious life, we see signs of Grace everywhere."
C. Richardson

I think we are sent messages, signs, and gifts of guidance and inspiration every day, we just have to be awake enough to receive them. Our ancestors, whether native Americans, Africans, or pagan Celts and Vikings, were in touch with the earth and life's flow of energy. They understood the signs and believed in dreams and visions. But slowly over time these things became lost or twisted into superstitions. In "modern" times we've become so insulated by technology and modern conveniences that our "receivers" have fallen into disrepair due to lack of use. We have to make a conscious effort to open the channel, and wake up to the miracles happening every day all around us. The world can be so much richer and more beautiful!

"My father says almost the whole world is asleep. Everybody you know, everybody you see, everybody you talk to. He says only a few people are awake. And they live in a state of constant total amazement."
John Patrick Shanley in "Joe vs. the Volcano"

Sending you light, love and amazement.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Ageing in the Land of Eternal Youth

I live in Los Angeles, the land of eternal youth and beauty. Women here (and some men) don't age, they just become cartoon-ish caricatures of themselves, who manage to look perpetually surprised and completely blank, simultaneously. It's seriously creepy. The more I see, the less I want to participate. Plus, once you start you can't stop, and I've got enough "Goddess maintenance" appointments every month as it is!

I guess this obsession with looks and ageing makes sense in a way. This is Hollywood after all, "movie capital of the world", and movies are a visual medium. But I think maybe we've gone way too crazy over this, focusing too much on the packaging instead of the product. I think we worry far too much about age, weight and size. These things are just numbers after all, not the true measurements of value. I just want to be healthy. In other cultures age is revered, the older a person is, the more they are valued for their wisdom and life experience. Maybe wrinkles should be thought of as medals of valor, earned through years of courageously surviving this crazy thing called life? Something to be respected, not dreaded. Maybe lines should be seen as signs of someones ability to empathize, to find joy, to offer a smile, to laugh and live life to it's fullest? Maybe lines and wrinkles should be admired, not erased! My analogy is this: If one wears a beautiful linen dress to a party, and you are enjoying yourself, by the end of the night it will be a bit wrinkled and creased, but it's still intrinsically the same beautiful dress!

What exactly are we hoping to find out when we ask someones age? The idea that age is an indicator of one's maturity is laughable. I've met people in their 30's far more wise and mature than many in their 50's (especially in this town!). When someone asks me how old I am, I want to say "Well, that depends...." How old is this body? 52. How old do I feel? 35 most of the time, 12 on a good day. How old is my soul? Both ageless and ancient. I honestly don't FEEL any different than I did in my 30's. My father says the same thing and he's in his 70's! Maybe emotionally people are like cake, you're either done or you're not. You're either a grown up or you're not, and your age isn't necessarily an indication of this fact.

Actually I think that Mother Nature, in her wisdom has provided her own way of dealing with this issue. I discovered in my 40's that just as I began to crease and wrinkle, my close-range vision began to go too. Without the technology interfering and the invention of magnifying mirrors and reading glasses, I would never know I am ageing! As most things in nature, it's a perfect system, as my face continues to age, my eyesight continues to degenerate. To my poor eyes, I still look the same as I did at 25, and that is a beautiful thing. Trust me, I am VERY careful NEVER to look in the mirror with my glasses on. I like the state of denial I'm living in, thanks!

I suppose it's human nature to judge a book by it's cover, but maybe we should learn to "see" with our hearts more, and our eyes less. Stop worrying about how we look and think more about how we feel, and act. Be more gentle with ourselves and each other.

Sending you light and love.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My Funny Valentine....

This weekend was one of the best Valentine's days ever. Not because I had a lover waiting on me hand and foot, or showering me with roses and jewelry, but actually because I didn't. I realized that in the past I've been so focused on whether that ONE person was going to show up in a big way and make me feel loved, I've overlooked all the other love that I have in my life. I feel so incredibly blessed to have an amazing, long list of friends and family who love me. In addition, I've learned to really love myself, and am learning to hook into the ultimate love/energy source that exists for us all. I had such an wonderful, blissful weekend, enjoying the incredible spring-like weather (82 degrees yesterday!) and just having a love affair with life. I hope you all had a fabulous Valentine's day, and that you feel how much you are loved.