Saturday, September 27, 2008

Oreo - Fierce Spirit Kitty

A firece kitty died on Thursday...on September 25, 2008.  He was 13 years old and his name was Oreo.  In 1995, we chose Oreo on our way home from our vacation at Camp Tuolomne in the lower Sierra's near Yosemite.  He was the son of feral cats in the country up north and needed a home.  He was named by his young mommy, dear Maddy, for his white tufts on his chest and after her favorite cookie. I can still see Maddy holding both sides of that dark cookie while she licked off the creamy white surgary center. 

This dear old cat had stature, presence, spunk...his nature was playful, loving, loyal, fierce!  As a warrior, he energetically would head out every day to the pasture for hunting and often proudly brought back mice, lizards and even a snake to share with the family. One day I watched a coyote walk up the hill near my outdoor deck and knew Oreo had just headed that direction.  I became concerned as he ran down the hill with the coyote on his heels.  But he flew up a redwood tree, and I swear I heard him chuckling as he looked down at that coyote who couldn't follow.  It was just another day in Oreo's life. He had his share of battle scars; a tattered left ear and periodically absesses on his neck.  His spirit was loving and loyal.  He would follow me around like a puppy dog when I got home from work, running up and down the stairs with me as I changed my clothes and got some dinner.  He would play with me as I moved through different yoga postures.  Those are some of the moments I shall savor and will notice when he is not here.

 As a teacher, he taught me the importance to follow my nature, to be wild when necessary, to stay close to loved ones, to know when independence and alone time was vital to my spirit.  He would curl up on top of my feet each night when he slept, that is, after he had kneaded my chest, got some good loving, and shared his purrs.  He gave me his fierce strength and courage at times.  He disappeared for five weeks after I moved to another home.  I didn't want to give up on him and was fearful he was gone forever.  Many people prayed for Oreo, and loved him.  Having a strong renewed sense I would find him, I called throughout the neighborhood one more time and it worked.  He was much skinnier but still full of his powerful will to survive.  We returned to our old home where he needed to be to live out the last few years of his life.

Today as I lay in a yoga posture, I sensed a large black presence.  Thinking it was the yoga teacher I opened my eyes but no one was nearby.  And then I knew.  Oreo had just walked around me in his usual manner. 

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Unfolding to Emptiness

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This last year has been full of promises and pain. Every time I had turned a corner to another facet to be polished, I found the work was less about polishing and more about surrendering. Surrendering to what lay below the ocean's surface over and over and over again. I found a new spiritual teacher, Gangaji, who asks not to cover anything up but instead to look deeper at what lies beneath. So instead of putting the familiar cloaks back over my shoulders, I stood unceasingly naked. I continue to lay close to the bottom of the sandy floor. I can feel the release of old defenses that helped me feel better about myself, beliefs, old stories of perceived power and held delusions. It is as if my eyes are shedding illusions of the dream I had been thinking was real. The Buddhists discuss that daily life is but a dream, an illusion, with impermanence, and ignorance. Waking up in the dream is desired. However, when you feel your pants are around your ankles, it can be a bit disorienting. I'm just trying not to step and trip.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Healing Dolphin Energy

In September of 2007, I was blessed when I was able to swim with the wild spinner dolphins on the island of Hawaii with Joan Ocean facilitated by Dr. Christine Page. This photo is by Lisa Denning of Ocean Eyes Photography. Check out for more of her beautiful underwater photography.

What was remarkable was how the water held me with such assuredness and buoyancy as I swam with the dolphins and floated above them as they kept pace with me. By the second day, I realized the playful and loving relationships they developed with me, and most surprisingly, was the extra sensory communication. When I felt I couldn't swim to keep up with them, they slowed to my pace. In particularly was an older dolphin with scars on his sides and notches in his fins. He was a great teacher for me. Initially I felt sorry for him and then later realized there was nothing to feel sorry about. He had wisdom gained by those encounters that left him scarred. Much the same conclusion I have about my own life challenges.

The gift of these two days was an incredible feeling of joy. It is my understanding that the dolphins are able to heal by their sonar capabilities, by scanning our chakra systems and balancing our energies, by looking into our eyes and emitting pure love. I am not able to say I have experienced all this. I can say that it was such an amazing experience of joy and being held by deeper oceanic dreams that I will do this again soon.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Good Morning, Morning Glory!

Good Morning, Morning Glory! What beauty you bring to our world. I took this photo while on vacation with my lovely adult daughters in Capitola this August 2007. Our first vacation when we came together from our different homes to start a transformational process in our relationships. How now do we want to be together? Can we begin to see each other through the different lenses of our present lives? My goal is share fun, laughter, love and support, to strengthen our relationships within our family, and, to continue as we always have, to show each other we have each other's backs no matter what! We had fun and had tension and had fun some more. We will return next year to continue to build on these beginnings. We went to the Boardwalk in Santa Cruz...oh, holy toledo, I got scared. More about that later.

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Sunday, August 5, 2007

Imaginal Cells: The Magic of Butterfly

Owl Butterfly

"Once upon a time, I dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither,
to all intents and purposes a butterfly. . .Now I do not know whether I was
then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now butterfly
dreaming I am a man." -Chuang-tzu-

Norie Huddle wrote in her book Butterfly about the incredible magical ability of the caterpillar to disintegrate in the cacoon into a ooze of cells and then to create new cells called imaginal cells. Cells that are imagined into being that are different and struggle to survive by building a community which in turn creates this mystical transformation into one of the most beautiful creatures on our planet. Butterflies delight us and lighten our hearts. Norie Huddle writes:
"The caterpillars new cells are called "imaginal cell." They resonate at a different frequency. They are so totally different from the catepillar cells that his immune system thinks they are enemies...and gobbles them up--Chomp! Gulp! But these new imaginal cells continue to appear. More and more of them! Pretty soon, the caterpillar's immune system cannot destroy them fast enough. More and more of the imaginal cells survive. And then an amazing thing happens! The little tiny lonely imaginal cells start to clump together, into friendly little groups. They all resonate together at the same frequency, passing information from one to another.Then, after awhile, another amazing thing happens! The clumps of imaginal cells start to cluster together!..,A long string of clumping and clustering imaginal cell, all resonating at the same frequency, all passing information from one to another there inside the chrysalis."
"Then at some point, the entire long string of imaginal cells suddenly realizes all together that it is Something Different from the caterpillar. Something New! Something Wonderful!....and in that realization is the shout of the birth of the butterfly!"
I am aware that I am full of butterfly energy and need time and space for my imaginal cells to cluster for the greater good of the whole world...or so is my intention. It is no accident that I have chosen the Owl Butterfly from Costa Rica. Owl has been arriving in various forms as medicine recently. I just love this idea of imaginal cells towards the path of transformation combined with the wisdom of Owl. Ask yourself, how are you changing because you know we can always rely on change.

Friday, August 3, 2007

The Powerful Voices Within

Aren't those voices we have in our heads and hearts convincing? Don't you find it difficult not to be crushed by the critic or boosted by the ego voice or confused by too many voices with differing opinions? So which do you listen to? I remember years ago becoming more aware of the mind chatter, the committee as many call those voices in our heads, and made it a point to stop and pay attention to them. Who the heck were they? Ah, I knew some of them...people from my childhood, siblings and parents repeating those early negative patterns. I PUT them in MY head. GET OUT! I said. Oh, critic, you are not telling the truth again! I would shout. Quit picking on me!

Still today as a middle aged menopausal considered middle aged these days? Yeh, 60 is the new 30 I read at the YMCA. Still today I will hear the old voices resume when I feel vulnerable, sad and grieving. Yesterday I was shouting at myself as I looked in the mirror, thank goodness the neighbors haven't caught on yet, WHICH voice is saying I should stay alone and WHICH voice is saying, Yeh, but. Speak up, both of you, and quit confusing me.

Today I got a glimmer of some truth for me with those is the strength of my heart, my big truth, and the smaller voice that comes right on the heels is my yeh, but voice that undermines and sabatoges me. To feel like I can see a pattern that I don't have to react to is liberating. Whether I can hold to this is the task at hand. I don't have to believe that second little voice. It has goofed me up in relationships all my life. I second guess myself, should I go or should I stay. What if this or what if that. I know I still haven't solved the nature of my mind, but I have found a place to slip the shoe horn to wiggle around and make a better fit. What are your voices saying to you these days?

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Off to Work I Go...But I'm Caught in the Web

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This is enough to make me want to stay home and play on my compooooter!