Last night. Packing...and DANCING. That's right. Just the three of us. Dancing to Pandora in the middle of the living room, honoring our family changing form. No more needs to be said. As tears fall down my cheeks, we are following our hearts. Not always easy, AND the only way to really... LIVE. No need to suffer as we go through our pain while grieving, laughing, and comforting one another. Tomorrow, I will be in my new home, starting a new chapter. To be continued...
Two more days, and I will be in my new house. Bitter sweet. A whole new life and different way of living. A new chapter of my story. That's all it is. A story. We can make it what we will. Do we want to choose love or fear. Every day we have that choice, and I am choosing love more often than not. Kirk and I have chosen to change form in our relationship so beautifully. I couldn't have asked for a better transition. We are still laughing, and I am loving him more than the day I said, "I do." Why? Because we are accepting and honoring our differences with just the right amount of communication when we are not. He knows that he doesn't have to buy into what I think and feel, and I don't need to buy into his story. Aww...it is possible to change form of a relationship, nicely.
Think about when we were all kids. The only thing that mattered was kindness and sharing. We did not have the "I am better than you"...or the "you are better than me" attitude. We were not separate if we chose to not play with one another. We didn't even think about it, living in the present moment-ONLY. When we upset ourselves, we would cry and move on. Not allowing ourselves to wallow in self pity or blame. This makes me think of... dogs.
"Be Yourself. UNLESS you can be YOUR DOG then always be YOUR DOG."
This quote captured my eye in a quaint store called "The Porch" in Soulard-the oldest neighborhood in Saint Louis. I lost myself in the unique and eclectic space, thanking God for directing me after attending mass at an amazing church just down the road (bumped into that, too). And no, I am not Catholic. But, boy oh boy, do I love cathedrals. And, Jesus is the man. Anyway, where was I? Oh yes...after praying for all the distressed souls in Ferguson choking on their sorrow from the shooting of Michael Brown (including some prayers for my own sob stories), I found The Porch. As I melted into the pink patio furniture (with not a soul around), I created an utter state of bliss. I pondered, Is this the way dogs feel? As I basked in the sunshine (and it wasn't too hot), taking in the unconditional love of hot-pink cushions, the clerk came out to check on me. I suppose people don't simply hang out unless they have a glass of wine or bottle. No need for me. I was creating a high with... me, myself, and I. I made sure to purchase some trinket and a cool pair of turquoise earrings before darting across the street to chow down some ribs at a Memphis Style BBQ restaurant called, Bogarts. I sat outside, sampling all their different sauces. Pineapple Express, Mad Maddie's Vinegar, and Voodoo Sauce just to name a few. The historic red bricked homes and tree lined, French neighborhood met my viewing models for the day; but telling stories with two strangers (and not) on the picnic bench outside of Bogarts for more than an hour? Well, that was my kind of afternoon. Eyebrows were definitely raised after asking me why in the heck a California hippy-esque chick like me was alone in Saint Louis. We shared a great laugh, learning to not take life so seriously. I have a feeling, we three, will remember that afternoon and the stories told forever.
After all, what's a life without a great story? I thank you for taking the time to read mine.
For the last few days, I've been packing for my move to single ville in SLO town. With every box filled to the rim of all things I love, I am lighter by the day. I am excited for my fresh start. There have been TWO things on my bucket list that I have yet to master and guess what? I am finally...WILLING.
I have been the most nostalgic pack rat since forever. Put it this way...I still have my diary from fourth grade and letters from friends saying, "W/B." I have always liked this quality about me, and my memory of how The Way We Were often haunts my life with illusory romanticism. My friends have counted on me to remember how the conversations went down, spilling out the intricacies of who did what and when. Details, most definitely morphed, making the stories funnier and more dramatic than our days of Splendor In The Grass.I have given countless homemade gifts to my sister girls with mementos taped to hand written letters and sealed with a heart. I have cut out photographs, shaped in hearts, using a sharpie to write B/F/F curved over our heads. We'd cry and remember when...
Matches from every wedding I've attended? Uh...of course. Who am I to throw away the give-away that the bride spent hours toiling over? Movie tickets? Yes, if the movie was THAT good or a first date. Jewelry? Even outdate, gold, and gaudy? Yes, especially if it was given as a gift. Shall I go on?
I have become an under cover hoarder. Somehow, these things seem to make me feel as though I have some control, some value, some assurance that life was/is worth living.
Now, I am faced with what to do. To keep or not to keep? That is the question of my day.
Recently, I saw an old friend and "thought" we would have more to say. My memories were so vivid, consisting of rainbows, clouds, and sunshine. The union was...well...BLAH. Nothing there. Gone. Dead. And to think that in all this time, I was creating one illusion after another of what it could have been. What a waste of the present moment.
"I am discovering how my conscious dominating addictions create my illusory version of the changing world of people and situations around me."
-Ken Keyes Jr.
So, as I move to SLO, I will take what I love and leave the rest. The only moment that is real is NOW. A bright, squeaky-clean, slate. My intention is to relish in the Feng Shui existence of "Simplicity, Simplicity, Simplicity." AND, open my heart through the door of possibilities...
Time to go pack some more, so I will write about NUMBER TWO tomorrow...
Not sure what to write about today. Let me turn a page in my mentor's book, Here, Now...
"The heart mind says,
Totally trust that love works."
The intellectual mind says,
If you're not willing to get your 'but' out of the way,
you're thumbing your nose at enlightenment."
How many of you trust that we can choose Love 100% in any given moment? That we can be clear, forgive everyone, and create oneness?
Now, how many of you think THAT is sustainable? That we can continue to choose Love in every moment?
I wonder if even one of you raised your hand or shouted to the rooftop with glee... "me."
Our intellectual mind gives us every reason to "think" that choosing enlightenment is impossible. This is our ego.
Well, it is possible. Jesus taught us this very truth, and it is up to us to claim it and create "Peace On Earth." We CAN create the discipline in choosing love and SEE that everything is here FOR us, loving people through their fears while forgiving them for their misalignment with Love. That is all "sin" means..."missing the mark." I don't often use the religious word because it often connotes negativity, keeping people stuck into "thinking" that they are bad while using their "only" human excuse. Just say it right now? "SIN." What stories do you put around it?
The only way to love others, is to love ourselves first. Blah, blah, blah...we've heard it ad nauseam. Well, I never tire of the truth, and it is worth repeating. When we create compassion for our misalignment, and see that our "sins" are here to use as our teachers-not some bad things to "feel" guilty over- we will be more willing to change. Guilt, blame, self-loathing, worry, etc are...cop-outs. They keep us on the circle of Fear and by the end of the day, we will create so much exhaustion and inevitably turn our finger and blame the other person. So easy to look at the other and what they did or did not do. And, my friends, a very powerless place to be. Our heart's know that we have no control; our intellectual mind retalliates, "Oh, yes we do." We then create the illusion of security, sensation, and power, and WOOLA...we are in Hell. Often times, completely unaware in our subconscious denial. All a part of the earth school game. We shall wake, see from our hearts, and there will be no going back. Or not. The choice will be ours.
When we claim that we have no control over others, we are in control. We can choose how we will react, as we continue to forgive ourselves for our own misalignments. When we create less stress over our own crap, we become stronger, we become a human with more energy, we become a spirit that soars, we become our authentic selves. No matter what challenge presents itself, we manage it with our God given grace. We don't need to avoid or protect ourselves from people whom we are programmed to call as, "bad energy," further separating us from other awakening beings. We are Teflon. We stand tall in Love's truth, and serve those who want it, ducking and bending from those who don't. We differentiate the doer from the deed; and stay smart. We walk the walk, and live by the words we use. We do not force our agenda- Love creates a patience that goes beyond anything the mind could grasp.
Recently, I was "kinda" thumbing my nose at enlightenment and my mentor had me imagine my hand on a hot stove. Every finger is off the burners except for my pinky.
Ok, Ok...I get it. It either is or it ain't. No "kinda, sort of, or try."
I am seeing the LIGHT! Lately, I have been carrying a load of rocks in my gut, releasing one at a time, "feeling" the dark shadows of my past. And today (well, last night), I released most (if not all) of them. There is some doubt, so I am obviously holding onto a few pebbles for good measure. You know, just to "seem" NORMAL.I mean really, as I ask you..."Who smiles through packing and saying goodbye to an eleven-year marriage?" Well, today, I am. Why not smile at all the new possibilities? And, the new house?
I LOVE my three-bedroom place in SLO, my humble abode, my fresh start. Last night, I was at Target until ten. Five different bathroom rugs and towels lay there, strewn across the floor, as I took snap shots of all the varying colored combos, sending them to my sister-girl in Laguna Niguel. "WHICH ONE?" Awww...the small things we sweat over. As I was checking out, I asked the salesclerk, "What time do you close? I thought I would get kicked out at nine." She smiled, "Eleven 'o clock!" YES! My inner Arnold Schwarzenegger raised an eyebrow and with a smirk, thought: "I'll be back!" AND then, with so much gratitude for God's grace (and patience), said to myself: "I'm back, baby."
Back from the living dead. Yep, I have been walking among them. Bobble head? One could say that. Up and down, perking up occasionally to take in some vitamin D, while reminding myself that "This too, shall pass."
And it is...passing. I have no doubt that I will grieve our marriage for the rest of my life, purging and cleansing with so many tears. No need to water weeds; although, let me tell ya, I have been growing one limp and leafless sunflower. Feeling is a part of the earth school game. Our purpose is to not buy into it. To look at our challenges straight in the face and say, "Thank you. I welcome you (even when painful)." We must release and honor our cellular memories to move onto life's fruitful adventures.There is no other way to experience the glory of Love.
Since I have returned from my trip to Saint Louis, I have been talking to a business woman who owns a spa close by. Man, I love massages, steam rooms, and the smell of essential oils penetrating my skin. I could live in one, leaving (only) to eat, exercise, and write. My skin is softer than Tavi dog's tummy, and all is well with the world.
We shall see, AND being in the present is where I am choosing to abide. Slow and steady. Slow and steady.
"Are you willing to welcome life's moment-to-moment opportunities, even if they are painful? Choose love and you will learn the difference between pain and suffering. Pain is an unavoidable part of life. Suffering is a choice." -Lofton
Just opened my mentors book, "Here, Now," and this was the quote I received. Funny, since I just (and I mean, just) wrote to a new friend something similar. Welcoming pain is NOT something that is too comfortable for me. How about you? Can't I just flip the bird, push the feelings down to cause some more cancer, and walk off? I could. Been there, done that. Doesn't work. Oooh...so tempting it is. My wisdom gently reminds, otherwise.
Today is a big packing day for me. Moving my way out of the home that I have decorated and perfumed since the day my ex carried me over the threshold. My ego screams how wrong it is that I am the one moving. Isn't the man supposed to leave? Especially, when our child wants to stay in the home that he has made his nest? My heart knows differently.
Everything about our divorce is uncommon. We could have spent the rest of our life together, and very easily, living out a more-than-comfortable endurance contest with the old age adage, "A happy wife, happy life." It could look like we have the "grass is greener" symptom. Nooope. We both simply know, deep in the core of our hearts, that changing form of our union is what serves our highest good (including our son's). Staying together would be for our addictions to security, a warm body, and "for the kid," which simply will not work. For us. No right or wrong. Just another way.
My friend said to me this morning, "I have divorce envy." I replied, "I have more compassion for people going through this than ever before." It is soooo painful, AND...thank GOD, my ex and I have done the spiritual work necessary to move through a time that could have been World War Three. He is helping me pack and move. We are doing it all together, loving and crying our way through. It really couldn't be more beautiful. Bitter sweet, it is. And in this moment, I am so grateful. I will continue to dedicate myself to Love. Only fear will ruin our chances of staying together as a family, as we continue to honor each others differences. It is when we make another person wrong in our self-righteous snobbery that judgment and separation prevails. It takes the Power Of One to create this, hopefully influencing the other to rise and be who they really are: an awakening being on earth school.
"The Light Of Love Is Always Stronger Than The Darkness Of Fear." -Lofton
As long as I continue to live and breathe into this truth, I will claim my birthright to freedom. As long as I go through the pains of a relationship changing form, I will create peace. Not necessarily doing the "happy dance" while sifting through pictures and tokens of a thirteen year union-gone. Just living with the calm knowing that we are serving our hearts, even when painful.
As this blog comes to a close, I remind myself that happiness and peace are not always synonymous. Freedom is what I long for, what I ache for, what I crave for. I have suffered enough. How about you?
I once wrote a relationship manifesto. Simply putting out my deepest desires to the Universe, while doing my best to accept what I need for my spiritual growth. I only remember writing one thing that still holds true. And, why not plaster it all over the internet? For me, there is no bigger turn on than someone digging deep into their very being and claiming their light. Nothing. Someone who is not only willing to recognize their ego, but to take action, and move through it. Someone who busts through their illusory stories, clawing their way through their separateness from humanity and being their truest self.
"Thank you that in choosing love, I draw nearest to you, my truest self."
When two souls are willing to claim their light, their neediness of one another becomes less. They know that they are already complete (even when they are not claiming this truth). And if they forget? Their "complement" is their to gently remind them, releasing addictions that they need to be anything but who they are. Facilitating them through their fears and lifting them in prayer. It is a relationship of helping each other rise and be their biggest self, instead of enabling by being their hero; and inevitably, creating more dependence on the creation over the Creator.
There is a myth out there that LOVE IS when a woman is protected and completed by their partner. Well, I bought into this programmed version, instilled by society, and wanted MY ROCK. And then, I got one. My ex couldn't have been more stable in that sort of way. I created the illusion of security and safety. No way was I willing to embrace the strongest aspect of our earth school experience: vulnerability. Until one day, I realized that I was vulnerable. And there was nothing he could do. I needed to complete me.
Yep, we are all vulnerable, only one moment away from having all our worldly possessions and people ripped away before our eyes. Sounds dreadful, doesn't it? Well, not when you embrace your vulnerability.
"Knock, and He'll open the door. Vanish, and He'll make you shine like the sun. Fall, and He'll raise you to the heavens. Become nothing, And he'll turn you into everything."
Lately, I am breathing into this Rumi quote. I just may write it again. I "knocked" a few years ago, and the door opened. I have recently "vanished" and "fallen," realizing that I cannot do this "earth" thing without Him. And, I am still working on becoming "nothing." That is the clawing part. That I am NOT this personality, Kathleen. That I am a spirit having a human experience. Man, that's a hard one. In my deepest core, I know that I am you and you are me. We are one. A complement to honor through all our varying "so-called" differences.
You are out there. I know it.
So, my dear soulmate whom I am yet to meet...I have come to the epiphany, that it is I, who could, claw my way to you.
"Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy." -Dale Carnegie
A few months ago, I made the decision to go out to eat...ALONE. I went to a cafe, still intimidating myself with anything that resembled a restaurant. Some of you reading this, may think...So what? What's the big deal? Others may totally get me. Doesn't really matter. We all have our reasons as to why we do the things we do. Most of our rationales are tucked between our sheets, sleeping in our subconscious. I remember the many stories (0r rather, judgments) I told myself as to why people would eat alone: No friends? Are they lonely? Do they not like people? Or, are they simply taking a break from performing, not realizing that they do not need to perform? Some, none, or all these questions may be true AND is really none of my business. The question begs...Why was I spending even a second of my time thinking about...THEM?
I now have my answer. Avoidance. Resistance. Denial. For I was judging myself for not having the courage to eat alone in a public place. Little did I know that in just a few short months, I would be taking ACTION and spending an entire week alone in a strange land, many miles and rivers from home.
Yup...just me and "The Power Of NOW" by Eckhart Tolle. It's an oldie, and I saved myself in those lonely moments with the power of presence and non-resistance to a heart wounded on so many levels.
Many of you know that my husband, Kirk, and I of eleven years are going our separate ways. So easy, to avoid our feelings through addiction and not go through the pain of a breakup and the fear of being alone. Tolle reminded me...
"When there is no way out, there is still always a way through. So don't turn away from the pain. Face it. Feel it fully. Feel it-don't think about it. Since it is impossible to get away from the feeling, the only possibility of change is to move into it; otherwise, nothing will shift. Keep putting your attention on the pain, keep feeling the grief, the fear, the dread, the loneliness, whatever it is. Stay alert, stay present-present with your whole Being, with every cell of your body. As you do so, you are bringing a light into this darkness. This is the flame of your consciousness. At this stage, you don't need to be concerned with surrender anymore. It has happened already. How? Full attention is full acceptance, is surrender. The acceptance of suffering is a journey into death. Facing deep pain, allowing it to be, taking your attention into it, is to enter death consciously. When you have died this death, you realized that there is no death-and there is nothing to fear. Only the ego dies."
And then, my old friend and poet said this...
"Knock, and He'll open the door. Vanish, and He'll make you shine like the sun. Fall, and He'll raise you to the heavens. Become nothing, And he'll turn you into everything."
Driving away from the airport into a destination unknown, I was immediately warned by the cab driver to proceed carefully. That I was not in a safe city, and my naivete could really get me into trouble. Yikes! On my first day, I was greeted by an exhibitionist or shall I say...FLASHER. And the next day? I received a phone call that I got the home rental in San Luis Obispo- a three bedroom facing Laguna Lake. Kirk and I had taken our son fishing there just a few months prior (you may have seen the pics on FB). I remember scoping and pointing out a man, kickin' it, in his then, lake house backyard. With a big dreamy smile, I said out loud, "I would love to live there, wouldn't you?" Of course, never expecting that it would be up for rent or that I would be the new lessee. One may "think" I was happy to hear that I would be the tenant of the very house that I imagined living in, but...nope. Fear sprinted through my carotid, and I almost choked. This is it...am I really moving out? Nooooo! Resistance proceeded, as if I had no choice.
"Choice implies consciousness-a high degree of consciousness. Without it, you have no choice. Choice begins the moment you disidentify from the mind and its conditioned patterns, the moment you become present. Until you reach that point, you are unconscious, spiritually speaking. This means that you are compelled to think, feel, and act in certain ways according to the conditioning of your mind. That is why Jesus said: "Forgive them, for they know not what they do."
- Eckhart Tolle
By the middle of the trip, I began replacing the victim proverbial phrase of "Why, God?" with the conscious affirmation of: "Thank You That I Am An Instrument Of Your Love." With that, I created oneness with every person who came upon my path, asking how I may serve THEM best (silently, of course). From that moment forward, every minute became one adventure after another. I was treated with dinner on "one of the 10 greatest streets in America," a yummy supreme pizza for lunch the following day on The Hill; and when I parted ways with my new found friends, gifted a silver cross strewed with fresh water pearls that wrapped around my wrist. I had spread love to a community in distress, delivering flowers, wine, and a Rumi poem to a person with the ability to be the change that the desperate and aching souls needed to see... "Out beyond the fields of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I'll meet you there." -Rumi The night before at the restaurant, Blueberry Hill (also a music club where the rock'n'roll icon, Chuck Berry, performs every third Wednesday), the hospitable couple and locals of the big-small Midwestern city had asked for me to accompany them to help bring peace to the mayhem. My heart leaped "YES!" Uh...until the next day. I called my mentor the morning of, "Am I really going into this craziness?" Her response was, "No better place to be." After all, the fear that we resist, will persist.
By the end of the trip, I knew the city better than my own. I became a listener, as people told me about their stories of grief and trouble. I realized that I didn't need to say much (that's a first). Just Being was enough.
To say that I conquered my fears of being alone, is an understatement. I finally welcomed the fact that we are never truly alone, and when our Christ Consciousness is claimed...we leave a place better than we found it.
On my way home back to Cali, I looked up from my airplane seat and met eyes with an ex boyfriend. It didn't surprise me. As we chatted, it was a perfect opportunity for me to see that the only moment that is real is the here and now.
So, my friends, by the grace of God...I am moving on.