Happy New Mayan Cycle

English: Mayan calendar created by a modern cr...A Mayan long count cycle ends on 21 Dec 2012. Much has been said about this, maybe even a little hysteria. No one gets crazy when they think about our calendar ending each year on Dec 31, because we know that a new year begins on the next day, 1 Jan.

One difference is that there is a grand astrological occurrence that occurs with the end of the current long count cycle and beginning of the next. Since celestial bodies affect each other in ways that remain mysterious to me, this alignment will affect us. Here is one explanation of those effects:

Whether you notice any difference or not, Happy New Mayan Long Count Cycle, which occurs on the winter solstice! It also occurs once in about 5,126 years.

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The Power of Self-Awareness

Let’s start with what happens when you are not self-aware. When you don’t know who you are, you look to others to define you. When you don’t know what you want to do, you allow others to tell you what to do. If you happen to be associated with mentors both wise and kind, this might be okay, but from where I sit,  it’s never ideal.

Without self awareness, you flounder in the ocean of others’ ideas. You’re a willing target of snake oil salesmen when you really want coconut oil. It’s like having an itch and not knowing where it is. You scratch all over until you hit the spot – or not.

Self awareness is really important if you want to do something meaningful and truly gratifying with your life. That’s not quite true, because you could get lucky and do something only to find out that it’s meaningful and gratifying to you. You could also win the lottery. Some people do.

Life is Like a Bowl of… Well, Just Like a Bowl

I had a pottery teacher who, whenever she caught you throwing a raw lump of clay on the wheel would ask, “what are you making?” I would have to think about it and reach for a bowl, or a cup, because the truth was, in those days, I would spend twenty minutes hoping to center the clay well enough to throw anything at all. Now, having attained some level of mastery of the medium, I always know what I am going to make. I need to know so I use the right amount of clay and have the tools I need handy. I have to say, it’s a different experience.

It’s the same with life. When I was younger, and didn’t know myself as well, I did things that I thought sounded good at the time and hoped for the best. Now, having attained some level of mastery at this life, I can make better informed decisions – starting with what is in alignment with who I am and what I want. I’m not saying I’m totally aware. It’s an ongoing process, as I discover more and more of who I am at any given moment. How do I do it? I pay attention.

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A Woman Walks into a Chiropractor’s Office..

wood engraving

I visited my Chiropractor yesterday. He’s been working the kink out of an old neck injury and it’s gone pretty well. It had been bothering me for quite some time, and I finally took care of it. After several months of chiropractic care, I’ve regained most of my neck movement. Yesterday I mentioned a new complaint with my lower back. Not a big deal, but since I was in his office already, I thought I would mention it. Otherwise, I would have let it pass without much adieu.

He asked me how long it had been bothering me. (It was 3 weeks since my previous visit.) I told him that it was just one morning a couple of days ago I had noticed some pain while getting out of bed. I felt okay after that.

He said that things happen. Our backs get tight or a little bit out of alignment all the time. They may go right back into place on their own, or they might need a little nudge to get there. As long as the pain doesn’t persist, it’s fine. Pain is our (physical) body’s way of telling us something is wrong. If it gets worse, or doesn’t diminish, you need to do something about it. With your back, things may get worse, and fixing it later will take more work. Seems obvious, doesn’t it?

Let’s Get Emotional

As he spoke, I couldn’t help but notice how much our emotional lives are like that. Things happen. All the time. Some of these things are upsetting or disturbing to us. We may respond with some anger or hurt. It might pass as quickly as it came. Things happen. When feelings of upset, anger, hurt persist, then it’s a signal that we’re out of alignment. It’s time to pay attention and get into alignment. Maybe it’s an old injury that is resurfacing because it’s been triggered by one of these things that happen. Whatever it is, pain your emotional body’s way of telling you something is wrong. If it gets worse, or doesn’t diminish, you might think about doing something about it – like healing a little.

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Arriving at the Gates of Grateful

Max on LadderToday I wake up in gratitude. Not forced, not fabricated. Real, from the source gratitude.

I am grateful that I no longer wake up in fear. Fear of what could happen, what might happen, what has happened, what is happening. Righteous, invalidated fear. Fear of not being good enough, not being accepted for who I am. No more. Thank you.

I am grateful for the space created by my sister and brother-in-law. They support me in ways known and unknown to them.

I am grateful for the old high school friend who reached out on behalf of his daughter. I thank him for reminding me of my youth, and the warmth I’ve shared with friends near and far. I realize that we did crazy things – and we were good kids. Thank you, Steve.

I am grateful that my intestines don’t burn with the fire of 1,000 suns day after day, month after month, and that the flames don’t burst forth through the floodgates that don’t always hold.

I am grateful that I’ve made it here. Some others have not. Some classmates have not. Two of my cousins did not. Rest in peace, Russell and Dara.

I am grateful for The Cranberries, Bruce Springsteen and The Beastie Boys. The Smiths, REM, Patti Smith.

I am grateful for Krusty, who likes to lick plastic and vomits too much. I am grateful for Max, who likes to climb ladders and now only rarely whimpers in his sleep. When he first came into my life, he was about a year old. He had fleas and conjunctivitis that wouldn’t quit and ear mites. He often whimpered in his sleep and I would wake him and comfort him. He didn’t feel better with visualizations (at least as far as I can tell). He felt better by spending time in a safe and loving environment.

I didn’t get here pretending. Getting here took fortitude – and it was a long, arduous journey. I began with raw, unadulterated honesty and grit. I stuck with myself even when others told me I was wrong; that I should change my language and be more positive. It’s my policy to uncompromisingly face my demons as they arise; not to do battle, but to comfort them as I comforted Max; because they are MY demons and they are me. I created a safe and loving environment for myself.

I am grateful that my demons show themselves because that is what creates the opportunities for me to heal. I see that now, and grateful even for that understanding.

This morning I am bursting with gratitude and want to share that. I want you to know, if you struggle in darkness and fear, that you are not alone. I want you to know that you are not the only one. Others have gone before you and some have risen above the darkness, to feel the warmth of the light. You can too. Never give up reaching for the light.

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Breakthrough to the Other Side

A woman giving birth on a birth chair, from a ...

When I think of breaking through, I always think about how good it feels to be on the ‘other side.’ I never think of the actual breaking through, and the bubbling up that precedes it. It seems to me that it’s sort of (only sort of) the pains of contraction that lead up to giving birth. I’ve heard it said that women (sort of) forget how bad the pains of labor really were, and only remember the joy of their newborn. Otherwise, they wouldn’t want to go through that pain again.

So, here I am. That uncomfortable feeling that I can’t escape. The sadness, fear, can’t-stand-being-in-my-skin feelings. Feelings that I can’t escape. (Did I say that already?) Then I remember. These are the feelings before the breakthrough. These are feelings that have been buried inside, now percolating out through my crawling skin, my wounded psyche. They are escaping. They’re fleeing my body and my soul. Good riddance. And, so, this remembrance, this recognition of these familiar feelings of pre-breakthrough. I feel comforted and look forward to tomorrow. Bring it on!

Breakthrough occurs in an instant, but that moment is really the tail end of a process of healing. Maybe if healing were less painful, more people would do it. I’m often frustrated when I can’t seem to get past something. I forget what I sometimes go through to get to the other side, but apparently my unconscious (or subconscious or somebody) remembers. It’s the process of healing that can be arduous. Of course I want to be healed. My unconscious or my ego resists that. I wonder if fighting against these feelings, trying to divert myself, comfort myself, deny my feelings, serves to push them down, and make it harder for them to get out. I’m fighting against my healing process. Just relax and let it happen. Put on the bacitracin, keep it clean, give it air. Let the healing process proceed. Resistance is not only futile, it’s counterproductive.

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How Can You Know?

English: German-born theoretical physicist Alb...

Whitney Houston once sang, “How will I know if he really loves me?” Most people would probably answer, you just know. I would say, you can’t ever really know, and does it really matter? (gasp!)

According to Albert Einstein,

“Physical concepts are free creations of the human mind, and are not, however it may seem, uniquely determined by the external world. In our endeavor to understand reality we are somewhat like a man trying to understand the mechanism of a closed watch. he sees the face and the moving hands, even hears its ticking, but he has no way of opening the case. If he is ingenious he may form some picture of a mechanism which could be responsible for all the things he observes, but he may never be quite sure his picture is the only one which could explain his observations. he will never be able to compare his picture with the real mechanism and he cannot even imagine the possibility of the meaning of such a comparison.”

You can have a belief about how the universe works, but unless you find a way to pry off the back of that watch, that’s all it is – a belief. That doesn’t render it unimportant. On the contrary, you make a lot of decisions based on what you believe. I had a coach – Debra Russell – who once said to me, “You can’t know what’s really true, so why not choose to believe what best serves you?” Smart lady.

Back to the Whitney Houston question. It doesn’t matter if he really loves you. It only matters (to you) how you feel about what you think he feels about you – or not. Still, it’s a catchy tune.

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Using Intuition: If I Were a Stapler, Where Would I Be?

Eyesight is not a superpower. Neither is intuition. Here is one way you can use your intuition to find a lost object. If you’re like me, that happens a lot, and you can get a lot of practice exercising your intuition.


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How Do You Spell Success?

English: Graph of female college education and...

Welcome to another episode on channeling. People ask me all the time, “Where do I get this stuff?” Well, I don’t really know, but I do have conversations with whomever or whatever is feeding me this information. Sometimes I start with a question. Here is one conversation I had with my ‘buddies.’ I’ll just call them, THEM. I’ll call me, ME. This one sort of surprised me.

ME: I don’t know how to have confidence in moving forward when everything I’ve done for a long time has just turned to shit and it seems as if everyone is telling me that I’m wrong.

I know that it’s not supposed to be about right and wrong, but sometimes I don’t know what to do, or what to think.

THEM: Define success.

ME: I can’t. I know it’s not money or cars or happiness, but I don’t know what it is.

THEM: Then stop using the word.

ME: Huh?

THEM: Stop thinking in terms of success and failure. They don’t exist. You know that people say all the time, “There’s no such thing as failure.” If that’s true, then what about its opposite? Doesn’t exist. No failure. No success. Just experience. You can’t measure your life in terms of something that doesn’t exist. Well, you could, but you’d be wrong. 😉

The real problem, you know, is that you’re focusing on the people saying you’re wrong, not the people who see your light. You know what to do.

Another Bit on Success Soon After That Conversation

I don’t date these scribbles, but I do know that this one occurred soon after the previous one, because I was thrown by what, at first blush, appears to be contradictory.

THEM: How do you measure success?

ME: Whaa?

THEM: You’re expecting consistency?

You can’t measure success in material ways. You can only measure material endeavors (actions, marshalling resources, etc.) by material success. Even then….

Remember – it’s ALL an inside job. Spiritual success can only be felt. Not thought. Felt.

So Ends Another Episode From Inside Marla’s Head

I still don’t know how to define success, but it sure is interesting to contemplate. In the final analysis, we each need to define it for ourselves – or not.

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Glass Half What?

Is the glass half empty or half full? The pess...

I know it’s only a metaphor, and I love metaphors, but I was always bothered by the glass half empty – half full thing. I wasn’t sure exactly why. I knew that I was always vaguely bothered by the putting someone in a category. I don’t like that. It’s akin to the “I’m a cat person” or “I’m a dog person” thing. Really? I’m a person person and I love cats AND dogs. Why the need to choose?

Back to the glass. At one point I thought that the glass was both half empty and half full. I still think that, but I’ve gone a little beyond. I now believe that the glass is totally full. It’s half filled with water (or gin) and half with air. We’re talking metaphor, though, right? First, I want to say that I don’t believe that people are necessarily positive or negative people. At any moment, one may feel optimistic or positive, and at any other moment feel pessimistic or negative. (This is back to my point about putting people into categories.)

Anyway – life is filled with pleasant and unpleasant experiences, and to say that we should only acknowledge one is to deny the other. Denial is sometimes necessary in short bursts to get through the really tough times, but it’s not so good as a long term strategy.

Saying Yes to Life

I’ve heard people bandy about the term, “Say yes to life.”  While I’m not necessarily sure what they mean when they say it, this would be what I would mean if I were to use it. (That reminds me: How much wood could a wood chuck chuck if a wood chuck could chuck wood?)

To me, “saying yes to life” means embracing what feels good as well as what feels bad. That doesn’t mean you enjoy every moment, because you probably won’t. It does mean to be with yourself and let yourself fully feel whatever it is you’re feeling; fully experience whatever it is you’re experiencing (unless it really, really sucks. Then I would say no a little.)

Why Life?

I’m going to go a bit further with this. I’ve often wondered what’s the difference between us and spirits? Sort of my spin on the “Why are we here?” question. I always arrive at the same conclusion. Everything is energy; spirits, rocks, us. Humans are energy that is arranged in a particular form. That form can touch, feel and sense. Spirits, as I understand it, cannot. So, I think we are here to feel. Sometimes, when I am in the greatest angst, I am reminded that those are the times – moments of great sorrow, great joy – that I am the most human. Glass filled to overflowing.

p.s. Don’t break the glass. 😉

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There Are No Rules

A yellow bird icon

I woke up this morning with the unshakeable phrase in my head, “There are no rules.” Much like a song that insists on playing itself over and over, “There are no rules. There are no rules.” All right, already. No rules. I hate rules, so ya-hoo! But, enough already.

In a previous episode on thoughts, we explored some thoughts on thoughts. From where did this one fly into my head? I don’t remember thinking about rules yesterday. I don’t think I dreamt of them.

One thing I didn’t mention in that post is that thoughts, to me, have a quality to them, depending upon their origin. They seem to have different voices, as it were. If you’ve experienced this yourself, you know what I’m talking about. If not, just notice, because I can’t describe it any better. When it happens to you, you’ll know.

Aside: At this point, I feel the need to let you know that none of the voices command me to kill small animals, or anything like that. If you hear voices like that, talk to somebody about it.

Even though I can detect differences in the voices, I don’t really recognize the ‘speakers.’  Some people see angels and guides. I just get information. I sense the energy as being a higher being, but I don’t know who they are, if there are different sources, or what.

Okay, here we go. Tuning in… Asking about the rules thing. Here’s what I get…

There Are No Rules; Only Tools.

There are no rules. There is only listening. Listen to the wind, listen to the shadows. Listen to the echoes. All of it. All of it has something to say if you only pay attention. Yes, there is the deciphering. This comes with learning the language of nature, the language of the universe, the language of you. If you only listen, you need no rules – because you will KNOW what to do. You will know who you are and you will know what you want. This is the only thing you need to know.

Forget about the rules, but not completely. People speak of laws. What is law, but a way that things are? And who are you to argue with that? All that is, is. All that is not, is not – at least for now.

You follow laws because you have to. You don’t USE laws. If you try, they will use you; fool you into thinking you are in control when you are not. You are wandering the landscape looking for clues to your being. That is your only job. In the meantime, along the way, you feel, you notice how you feel and what you think. These, too, are clues. They are not to be taken lightly. If you try, they will whiplash back at your face or your earlobes.

The tools are there for you to use. Heal yourself, for only when you do will you be clear enough to listen. Truly. We go now. [Note: I think the tools is a reference to tools for healing.]

Same Channel a Bit Later…

Policing your thoughts requires that you first judge them. Hmmmm, where have you heard this before? Think about it. This is not a tool. This is corralling yourself in and denying a broad avenue of expression. If you want to change your thoughts (and you know you do), do it gently. The thoughts are the symptom, not the cause. Is there a biofeedback loop? Yes, but this is not the best place to break it. Does it work? For some, yes, but not for you. But you already knew that. Notice, don’t judge. This is your job. When you notice yourself judging, let it go. Let the judgment go. Don’t hold onto it. Don’t resist it. There is medicine in the noticing, and pain in the resisting.

And now you notice a little yellow bird with a yellow breast and gray wings. [Note: I am noticing a yellow bird outside.] “It’s pretty,” you think. “Isn’t that judging?” you think. Yes, it is. Don’t take it too far. Extreme is turning back on itself.

Welcome to My Head…

So, there you have it. It doesn’t all make sense. Maybe someday it will. Maybe someday it won’t. Till next time.

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