The first time I really wrestled with mortality and reality was after a weekend of psychedelic imbibing that pretty much burnt away any filters my brain and consciousness came with and any defenses I had created along the way. My response was to dive into intense fear of being alive with constant panic attacks and severe anxiety. Nothing brought me peace, except my big red Golden Retriever who kept a watchful eye on me as my serenity sentry.
The blessings from this time were plentiful including getting into some much needed therapy and finally sobriety. During this journey, I cobbled together a belief system and spiritual path created from many discoveries and learnings which helped me to find peace about death. I believe this acceptance allowed me to be there for others in their time of grief and also for friends who were making their own transition from this life to the next.
Two “teachers” come to mind this holiday season as it seems many of us are experiencing a dance with death. One is a friend I’ll call “N”. N and I were part of a group of women (he being the only male) who explored and investigated all kinds of spirituality and psychic worlds. Our whole intent as a group was to learn how to help in healing animals, people and the planet. About a year into our studies, N found out that he had AIDS. We all gathered around him and loved him through the next two years until his passing. I will be forever grateful to N for allowing us to experience his most intimate experience of life in his last years on Earth. One of the lessons I took from N was that each person’s choices to how they handle their illness, life and death is ultimately their choice! And the best way I could help N was not to try to save him with all the ideas, information and knowledge that I possessed but rather to love him and accept him fully where he was at even though he chose a different way to handle his disease than I thought I would have chosen for myself in the same situation. I learned that this kind of all purpose accepting love would break my heart open to grow even bigger.
The other teacher I’ll call “I”. “I” had beaten non-Hodgkin Lymphoma 11 years prior to when I met him. A year later a cancer came raging back that was not Hodgkin. My friend “I” handled his prognosis in a way that I will always hope that I would follow if God forbid I found myself in his situation. In the beginning, he held a large pot-luck party with friends and family to let them know about his diagnosis, the process and how he wished to have his time unfold with all of us along the way. He gave us all permission to have our feelings and to be there for him (if we chose to) in our own special way. Some cooked meals, some cleaned house, some took him to appointments. “I” definitely took the power out of his death sentence. His life and how he chose to handle his last years encouraged me to become the kind of person that I always hoped I could be. The last week on Earth, I picked him up from an appointment and we went for an early lunch at Magnolia Cafe with his constant companion of the oxygen tank. I was so grateful for our conversation about life, and what was on the other side. And he was able to shed some tears about the beauty of it all and also some pain and sadness. I’m so grateful that I was able to just be there and hold the space without interjecting myself.
Who knows the whys and wherefores of this life that we are all living right now. We’re all really just doing the best we can as a result of the choices we’ve made up until now. I will tell you that, for me, I’ve learned that in illness, dying or death situations going fully into the love that you have in your heart and allowing it to break through the crusty constraints you’ve let settled around your heart is the way to peace. A warm kind of peace.
Break through to the peace. Love will take you there.
Posted on : 09-11-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized
Oh I know, there are so many people out there in the world right now who are speaking, yelling, showing, all about doom and gloom. And it is out there. There is some real pain out here. There is lot’s of sadness; there are many people, places, things and ideas to support all levels of fear for sure. And my inspiration of hope for you is to exercise the inner light muscle that we all have inside of us and think peace, think about gratitude, think about love. Keep walking through the mud and focus on peace. Keep batting off the bugs and fill yourself with gratitude. Keep turning away from darkness and falling into love.
I do believe in what I’ve heard many people say over the last twenty years that humanity is on the verge of a great spiritual evolution. Spiritual to me means a level of consciousness, a level of love and caring; a level of awareness. Spirituality is not to be confused with religion; although someone who is spiritual can be religious and someone who is religious may not be spiritual.
When it comes to finding the words to share with you what I “see” as the possibilities for mankind (and woman kind too!) I am limited by words so I fall back on some of the favorite tag lines such as “it is always darkest before the dawn”. Right now is such an incredible time to be alive because there are so many of us that are “waking” up to the world around us at the same time. Is it all rainbows and lollipops? Absolutely not. Are there still many of us who are very unconscious of who we are and how we interact with the world around us? You bet. What I am saying is that there is tremendous strength in those of us who are conscious focusing on what is good, focusing on what we can be grateful about and focusing on where we can find and give love. The challenge is to not allow ourselves to be seduced by sometimes well-intentioned naysayers of the world.
It’s time to focus on solutions. It is time to focus on what is working. It is time to consider that there is always more than three options to any one challenge and to let go of the cycle of duality thinking.
Of course, as one of my favorite Zen Proverb’s says, “Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water; after enlightenment, chop wood, carry water”.
As one of the greatest prophets of all times said, “it all begins with your thoughts”.
What will you be thinking about today?
Posted on : 16-08-2009 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized
I’ve been writing letters to the voice within me (who I call “God”) since the beginning of May. Last night I sat out on our front porch to write my letter to God for the day and simultaneously attract my cat, K.C., out of her dark hiding place to come in for the night (she had been hunting a rather large mouse at dusk). The breeze was sultry and cool (amazing how non-stop days of triple digit heat can make evenings in the 80’s seem cool)….. K.C. never showed up (I suspect she munched on her mouse all night because she was very proud of herself when she greeted me this a.m.) but I did get in some rather important questions to God.
Such as, why is this writing down my soul stuff important? And, what questions do I need to be asking you God.
As usual, I had a montague of dreams that were shooting through my consciousness too fast for me to slow down until one scene. In this one scene I felt very afraid and I was screaming and then looked into a big mirror with a gold frame–still screaming–only to see someone else’s face so I shook my head a few times and then saw my own face. What was powerful about this was that the minute I saw my own face, I relaxed and calmed down and felt that internal peace. I also felt the loving presence of God behind me whispering into my ear that I was loved and that all was well.
Seems pretty significant to me. I’ve never “seen” my reflection within a mirror in a dream before. Maybe I can look for my hand next time?!
May you find that inner calm peace and self-love today and know that all is well in the present moment.