Monday, June 22, 2015

Adjusting Perspective

Every experience, every thought, every lesson we have, shows up in our lives from one perspective: our own. No matter what we do, we cannot entirely change that.

One definition of perspective is "true understanding of the relative importance of things; a sense of proportion." The word's origin comes from medieval Latin: perspect- [looked at closely], and the verb perspicere, [to look through].

Our perspective on an event or comment is always seen through our own eyes, our own experiences, our own values. We have nothing else. However, like the pigeon perched above the city, we have the opportunity to change that view. We can perch ourselves in the middle of a busy street, on a housetop, on a 10-story apartment building or on a 80-story skyscraper. We have the capacity to adjust our perspective.

My personal experience is generally starting in the middle of the street ~ surrounded by the murkiness of whatever was just slung at or buzzed by me. It's dangerous there. Sometimes I wallow in whatever is happening on the street, often unintentionally, because I'm reacting ~ and I am in the middle of it all.

At those exact moments, it's difficult to shift perspectives. It's a struggle to remember that I can fly; I don't have to muddle across the active street. Spreading my wings, getting lift, rising ~ all have their own challenges. Once I do that, though, I can adjust my perspective, the view of what's happening, and breathe differently.

What do you do when you find yourself in a metaphorical street fight? How do you feel when things get thrown your way? Do you feel the need to change perspective? If so, how do you do that? If not, how does that work for you?

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Summer Solstice 2015

Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year and the shortest night of the year, arrives today. The majesty of the Sun shining through 14 to 20 hours is awe-inspiring. Then Lady Moon shows herself, this year in a dainty growing crescent, for so brief a span.

This Summer Solstice brings with it more renewal. There have been a number of gateways of change and shift happening in 2015 ~ even though the energies may have begun as long as two years ago.

Solstice is a time of celebration, and in particular, of fire and fecundity. Look at the flowers, at the gardens, at the fields. Every thing is in bloom, bringing with it ripeness and sweetness. This year, many of my gardener friends have told me that their gardens have ripened early. They continue to speculate ~ and noisily discuss ~ about the duration of the growing season. Will the plants continue to produce their crops (berries, tomatoes, etc.)? Or will they complete their growing cycle more quickly, leaving a fallow time to fill out the remainder of the summer?

Summer Solstice also brings with it a time of reflection. It is one of the Quarters that marks the seasonal calendar. I choose to burn incense ~ sage, to cleanse and renew; frankincense to reconnect with the Holy Mystery. Drumming calls in the directions and honors the guides who show up and grace the entry into a new season. Ritual always connects me, connects us, with the threads running through our lives and all of Life in, on and through the Earth.

What do you do to celebrate the Summer Solstice? Why? How do you honor the change of the seasons? Are they important to you? Why or why not?

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Doom or Blessing

KC, short for Kama Chameleon ~ What WERE her parents thinking, or on, when they named her?, focused on the application she was filling out.

What kind of work had she been doing most recently? Well, KC was what’s termed a ‘seasonal worker.’ It’s funny how that works out because ‘seasonal workers’ fill a multitude of positions: agricultural workers, holiday workers, summer vacation workers; and come from a variety of places: high school and college students, single mothers, undocumented workers, to name a few.

How did she fit into this mix? She was a ‘cafeteria lady’ at the grade school during the school year, working 3-4 hour shifts when students were in school. In the summer, she worked at Jimmie Joe’s General Store at the edge of the city, on the road leading to the lake and woods. She was always up by 5 a.m. to be at work by 6. 

Last week, as she was getting ready to head to Jimmie Joe’s, her phone buzzed. It was a text from Jimmie ~ not the old man who’d started the business, but his daughter who was the current owner/manager ~ “Call me before you leave the house” read the text.

KC called.

“Hey, KC,” Jimmie said.

“What’s up, Jimmie?” KC replied.

“Well, uh, it’s kinda like…”

“Out with it, Jimmie. Are you firing me?”

“Not exactly,” said Jimmie. “It’s just that, well, they started work on the road today.”

“Sure. That was planned. I was about to head out the door to get ahead of traffic when your text came through.”

“Yeah. But what wasn’t planned was the backhoe taking out a piece of the bridge. They have it blocked off.”

“Wow. Really?” said KC. “How long is it going to take to fix?”

“Well, that’s the problem. They don’t know. They’ve already started arguing about who’s fault it is and who’s going to pay for the repairs.”

“That could take a while. So what’s the problem?”

“Well, KC,” said Jimmie. “I don’t need you to come in if no one can go camping or fishing from this direction. The only way out now is across the old Casson Street bridge north of town.”

“Oh. I get it. So no one will be buying stuff at the store, right?”


“Okay,” said KC. “Glad you caught me before I left. I’ll call you later to check on things.”

“Okay,” said Jimmie. “Talk to you later.”

After they hung up, KC stood at the kitchen sink looking out into the yard. She was stunned. She needed the work to make ends meet. What was she going to do now? She turned, grabbed her travel mug of coffee and sat down at the table. Before she could stop them, the tears began. 

“Oh, shit!” KC said out loud. “What am I going to do now?” She put her head down on her arms on the table and let herself cry.

A short time later, KC got up, walked into the bathroom and washed her face. She looked at herself in the mirror and repeated her question, “What am I going to do now?”

She went into the bedroom, pulled out her laptop and turned it on. What was that site her brother kept telling her about? Somebody’s list….? Oh! Yes. Craigslist, right? She typed it in and there was a pause as the page loaded. Like her brother had suggested a half dozen times recently, she now looked at the ‘help wanted’ section. There was one for a part time gardener, two days a week. Another for a line worker at the factory. Another for a companion for an elderly woman. As she read them, she started thinking, “I can do this. And this. And maybe this. I don’t want to do that one.” Soon she began replying to the ads ~ which led her to filling out the application to work as a companion for the elderly. She found her attitude going from frustration and fear to hope, excitement and looking forward to change.

That backhoe’s accident which first looked like it spelled doom, might just lead KC to a new job that won’t depend on the season!

What situation have you experienced that looked bad at first and then turned into something good? How did that happen? Are there other situations that appeared bad that might have a good side to it?

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Faith in One's Merits

Thirteen months ago, I wrote about feeling like a failure. The two blog posts that followed continued the journey back to balance.

Today, things were reversed. My Teabag Tarot tag this morning was "Have wisdom in your actions and faith in your merits." I felt the tug of the phrase throughout the day. By day's end, I was tumbling into the sense of self-imposed wrongness. Pausing to re-read this tag lifted my spirits like a jolt of caffiene.

" in your merits" was the wave I rode back to the Light. Deciding to look up the word merit, I found "the quality of being particularly good or worthy, especially so as to deserve praise or reward." Was I worthy? Was I good? My wonderful internal gyroscope responded with a resounding YES.

What does it mean to have faith in my merits? The possibilities take my breath away! It means believing in myself, in my own worthiness as a person and in whatever situation I find myself. It all has to sstart wit me ~ or more precisely, within me. I have to believe in myself. If I don't, there is no reason anyone else should ~ and I won't believe them even if they say they do. My strength arises from those moments of doubt and struggle, yet continuing to recognize my own brighter self.

What are your merits? What gifts make you worthy of recognition, of praise, of reward? Do you have faith in your own merits? What do you do when your faith in yourself falters? How do you re-balance yourself?

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Full Moon in Sagittarius, June 2015

Aaah. Another Full Moon. Have I ever said that I love the Moon? I believe my first, most ancient love was Lady Moon.

This month's Full Moon is in Sagittarius. Besides which, it's in Mercury Retrograde. What could possibly be more compelling?

Sagittarius is all about faith, wisdom, publishing, foreign travel and the quest for truth. This Full Moon will be right there. Personal life, world events, all focussed on these same issues... going on a journey, writing, religion... watch for them! Your belief system may be challenged or you may feel the need to defend your faith or you may be roused to a stronger sense of purpose. All this can give you a feeling of being unstoppable, able to take on the world! Careful of being overconfident. The high may be endorphins which dissipate along the way to leave you challenged and with fewer resources that you expected.

What is pulling your forward during this moon? How do you choose to proceed? Are you feeling challenged? or righteous? Where is your next step leading you?

Monday, June 1, 2015

Fallow Time

© Copyright Richard Hoare
Talking with a friend of mine recently, I mentioned that I had felt myself in a low period. Not depressed or upset. The term that rose into my consciousness: fallow.

I thought about what I knew of the word; mostly from years of living in farm country. Driving around the region where I live, I noticed fields left fallow. The term settled deeply into me. What does it mean to be fallow?

I decided to investigate the term 'fallow.' Encyclopedia Britannica online told this origin story of its usage: " Europe and the Middle East in early times, arable land was divided into two field or groups of fields; one group was planted to wheat, barley, or rye, while the other was allowed to lie fallow until the next planting season to recover its fertility. After cropping, the first group of fields was turned to fallow, with the livestock permitted to graze on the stubble and enrich the soil with their droppings." From "not in use; inactive."

That spacious, blank feeling I was having had all the sense of being fallow. I didn't feel particularly generative. Nor did I feel particularly lost or adrift. Something was bubbling within. Not being the time for productive growth does not mean there is no growth.

The image I chose shows a fallow field; one that is not in use. Yet it is not barren. Often we choose to name this growth weeds. Experience informs me that any seed growing within offers unique experiences. Sometimes I need to allow the free growth rather than focussing my energy on a more direct route.

What are the weeds that grow in your fallow time? What gift do they bring you? How does being fallow help your creativity? How do you feel during a fallow season?