Tag: conscious change

The Great Pause

The Great Pause

The other day as I was walking up the mountain in my solitary reverie, the idea of time arose as I wondered what day it was. Many humorous comments have been recently made by individuals suddenly removed from daily schedules about not knowing what day it is. I found myself not caring whether it was Monday or Thursday, April or March or May. I have never liked schedules or boxes as I call them. If I am free to follow the sun and stars, the weather, the chill or warmth of the air, I am most happy. Following the ebb and flow of tides, the changing of seasons seems a more natural way to be in the world. Plug me into a schedule that defies natural rhythm and I begin to get weird and jittery.

I understand that many do not appreciate that kind of relationship with time. Humans have so constrained most everything to fit into days, hours, minutes that when those structures are removed a sort of ‘lost in space’ occurs. Even time off from work is tightly orchestrated and kids have teams and lessons after school that keep them and their parents in a constant frenzy of scheduled time.

Joanna Macy wrote, “People of today relate to time in a way that is surely unique in history. The technologies and economic forces unleashed by the Industrial Growth Society radically alter our experience of time, subjecting us to frenetic speeds and severing our felt connection with past and future generations….the technologies require decisions made at lightning speed for short-term goals, cutting us off from nature’s rhythms.”

During my walking contemplation, I felt my body attune to the rhythm of Nature–spring…morning light…blooms…moving water…cool air…unfurling leaves. During this experience where the entire world has slowed down, I find myself relieved and hopeful. Perhaps we, as a collective, will remember the rhythms of Nature and open to the truth that we are part of the whole and will be happier and healthier by paying closer attention to these sacred rhythms.

Joanna writes, “This peculiar relation to time is inherently destructive of the quality and value of our lives, and of the living body of Earth. And it will intensify because the Industrial Growth Society is accelerating toward its own collapse.” But the good news is this is a time of great potential that she calls The Great Turning.

We are the ancestors of future generations that can, at this moment, steer a saner course for our planet. The Great Turning, as Joanna calls it, has three parts including slowing damage to Earth and all life, transforming foundations of common life and a fundamental shift in values and world view. Isn’t this where we find ourselves these days?

This is what gives me hope.

For as long as I can remember in this life I have known there would be something that would stop the world and make us face the path of destruction we have been on with industrialization. It is my deep hope that we will make a collective effort during this time of pause to reconnect with natural rhythms of life and recognize what is truly valuable and important and what isn’t.

To all the children

To the children who swim beneath

The waves of the sea, to those who live in

The soils of the Earth, to the children of the flowers

In the meadows and the trees in the forest, to

All those children who roam over the land

And the winged ones who fly with the winds,

To the human children too, that all the children

May go together into the future…

–Thomas Berry



Balance…or the Lack Thereof

Balance…or the Lack Thereof

A subtle urge to change the living area furniture arrangement occurred…again. I haven’t been happy with the configuration since moving in November and have changed it several times. I really like this little mountain home but the design and layout of rooms is quirky and challenging to make it feel balanced.

So furniture was moving all over and Buddy was anxious as the sofa is his bed. Frustration was growing so I stopped and sat down and took a few deep breaths.

I looked around the room. The issue was the main window isn’t centered with the room space. The furniture could be centered with itself or part of it could be centered with the window which made it off-center with the other furniture. Either way, something was going to be out of balance.

From inner silence came this: Forget the window. How do you see a gathering of people in the space? Work with that.

I took the window out of the equation and once I allowed that imbalance to be okay, the room really came together beautifully. Finally.

Everything in life doesn’t have to balance at the same time. Who knew?

I have spent far too much energy in my life trying to make it all work perfectly at the same time. Sometimes is does. But mostly it doesn’t. There will always be something that isn’t in total and perfect balance. Maybe I’m not doing my daily yoga practice but I am eating better. Or perhaps I’m not walking as much but I’m doing yoga. Maybe I feel inspired to write but can’t figure out how to get my creative work out in the world. How much stress do I cause myself by expecting or demanding it all to be in perfect balance?

The quirky house is teaching me it really is okay to be a bit out of whack in some areas of my life. It’s time to celebrate what is in balance and stop stressing over the stuff that isn’t quite there yet.


And Finally, Peace Came

And Finally, Peace Came

I was working downstairs, finishing up painting started before Christmas. I took a break and went upstairs to get water and a snack and saw beautiful, fluffy snowflakes drifting gently to the ground. Finally, it’s snowing.

I grabbed my snow pants, jacket and snow boots and after quickly dressing asked Buddy if he wanted to go outside. What a silly question, right?

It was 27 degrees and snowing heavily. I couldn’t see the ridge of the Smoky Mountain National Park or any of the ridges in front of my home. We were in a complete whiteout. The only thing visible was the area around my home.

It was so quiet, especially given the strong winds that blew through after the floods two days ago. Everything stopped and was silent.

So I stopped and became silent. Not just for those few moments but from the past two years. Everything stood still inside me and I finally took a deep breath.

Two years ago I was in Ireland enjoying my most favorite place on the planet, besides the Smoky Mountains where I now live. But a lot of stuff…no, a lot of shit…has gone down between those precious days in Ireland and today on the mountain where I live, move and have my being.

Finding balance has been challenging as I feel somewhat stuck in a trauma loop. But the snow, the silence, the softness drew me inward like only the magic of winter can. Suddenly, and without warning, peace unfolded from deep within my core.



The Lie of Security

The Lie of Security

The three of us sat there, in the back of the bagel shop, in our own force field of power. It might not have looked that way as three middle-aged women shared ways we are leaving the old paradigm and forging forward into new territory, but the energy was palpable.

Each of us, in our own way, is releasing the fears that keep us stuck in the old beliefs of how money works, how our work in the world can be expressed and we are standing with a foot in each world trying to maintain balance.

Sound familiar? People are doing this all over the planet. We are leaving the idea that you must be chained to the status quo in order to survive. Sort of feels like the Matrix movie. Do you choose the red pill or the blue pill? Do you want to know the truth or continue to feed a system that is toxic just to have the illusion of security?

Definition of security: “Freedom from the occurrence or risk of injury, danger, or loss.” (Dictionary.com)

“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.” Helen Keller wrote that.

I would rather live life as a daring adventure than be stuck in fear that keeps me chained to the old paradigm. The red pill reveals the unpleasant knowledge and the truths of everyday life, the blue pill keeps us in ignorance. I know which one I will choose every single time. What about you?

Damn! The Monkeys.

Damn! The Monkeys.

There is this favorite photograph I took many years ago on the island of Nevis. It is a green vervet monkey sitting in a tree screaming at all the other monkeys on the beach, stealing alcoholic drinks. I saw him as the treatment director, the wise elder. The caption I applied to it says: Damn! The monkeys. I reflected on that image yesterday and almost two decades later it is still revealing wisdom.

The obvious irony is the screaming monkey is also a monkey. But the hidden irony…for almost twenty years…is that the screaming monkey was giving up his life to attempt to change others…to help them, to keep them from addictions…yet he had an addiction–demanding they change.

How many of us do that? We sit in our place of ‘right’ and demand others change…dress better, eat better, clean your house, wash your car, spend your money wiser, raise your children better, find a job more suited to you, paint your house, don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t eat meat, don’t own guns, don’t curse…the list is endless, isn’t it? We seem to find a way to know what’s best for everyone else by our judgments. And thus, because we have some privileged connection to Wisdom that few others have, we stand on our platforms openly pitying those that don’t live up to our wishes for them. Ugh.

As I worked with the screaming monkey image I felt such sadness that he wasted his life, his precious days, hooked into something he couldn’t change. Then I saw me in him. And I wondered what it would feel like to just climb down the tree and walk away, move back to the jungle and stop resisting the flow of life.

So…Damn! The Monkeys….I am climbing down the tree and letting them figure it out. I want to live.