Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Cycles I

Everything has its cycles of ebb and flow ~ or even life and death. The difference is in the length of the cycle, giving each their own rhythm. The ocean’s rhythm is tied to that of the moon, giving the ebb and flow of the seas an unending seven hour rhythm. The cycle of a mountain, from the start of its existence ~ which is usually found in either volcanic activity or the movement of the earth’s plates ~ to the time when wind and weather have torn it down again, leaving nothing but a hill; takes infinitely longer than that. For trees, the cycles last from a couple of decades to hundreds of years.

Day and night, the seasons, the year it takes for the earth to circle the sun... All of them are cycles.

Someone told me once that one of the shortest cycles of ebb and flow ~ and yes, according to him of life and death ~ is our breath. Breathing in moves our vital force. It allows us to stand up straighter, to open up. Breathing out we release all of that. We close in upon ourselves; we may even curl up into a fetal position. Only to repeat this process, this cycle, as we breathe in again.

Being human, we have a tendency to view these cycles from vastly different perspectives depending on what cycle we are looking at. I would say that we, most of the time, don’t give breathing a second thought. And the ebb and flow of the oceans are just one of the facts of life.
Our own life span is too short to fully appreciate the cycles of mountains...

When it comes to trees...
More often than not, when an ancient tree really has to come down because it has lived longer than even it had ever expected ~ when a grandfather tree is becoming dangerous because its trunk and branches have become feeble and might break and fall on top of someone ~ we rally in protest. And often a tree like that is in a place where it will not be allowed to finish its cycle ~ decaying to the point where it feeds the surrounding trees that once sprung from its seeds, such that they will grow big and strong and old...

And when we are confronted with the cycles of animals; our reactions tend to get more emotional. Especially where it concerns our pets, our animal companions... But sometimes, long after their bodies have been cremated (or buried in our back yards), we may have a sense that our companion is around us still... We may look up, expecting to hear a greeting bark or meow ~ only to see a faint shadow move out of the corner of our eyes.
They may come back to us to comfort us, even when they have moved on into the unseen, into the world of spirit.

Friday, March 26, 2010


An archetype is an original model of a person, ideal example, or a prototype upon which others are copied, patterned, or emulated; a symbol universally recognized by all. In psychology, an archetype is a model of a person, personality, or behavior. (Thank you Wikipedia)

There are certain archetypes most of us will recognize, no matter how they are described.

To me an interesting archetype in this point in time is that of Michael, also referred to as Archangel Michael, or Saint Michael ~ chapels and churches are dedicated to Michael were built all over the world ~ as he slays the dragon.

From an archetypal perspective, the question is all about the dragon... What does the dragon represent?
Traditionally, the dragon would represent ‘evil’; the devil even.

Throughout history there have been many myths, legends, fairy tales and stories about the fight between good and evil ~ in most of them ‘good’ will be victorious over ‘evil’. That would make Michael the quintessential hero!

So how would that work in our lives? Most of us may not meet ‘evil’ on a regular basis ~ so how can Michael be a model in our lives?

Well, that depends on how we define ’evil’...
After all, we all have the odd temptation ~ chocolate comes to mind ~ we might want to fight. And have you ever had to resist telling ‘a little white lie’?
In all fairness, I have never linked those with Michael’s fight.

But what about the skeletons in our closets? The secrets we keep hidden so far in the dark places of our minds that no-one knows about them? The ones we would really like to forget ourselves... The things that may have happened to us a long time ago and that ~ whether we caused it, or were on the receiving end ~ are still motivating our behavior today...
Could these be the dragons Michael was fighting?

As the story goes, slaying the dragon brought a great sense of peace and freedom.

Looking at Michael as the archetypal warrior against ‘evil’, this would indicate that when we face up to the skeletons in our closets that are holding us back in our everyday lives; if we face them and fight them and slay them... that a great sense of peace will await us!

It seems that this is something we really need in this day and age.
Whether we like it or not changes are all around us, in some cases forcing us to change as well ~ urging us to get rid of the things that are holding us back.

And what the archetype Michael is telling us is that we can slay our dragons and find peace and freedom!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Desert

The high desert of Arizona is different than any place I know.
It does not look like the deserts I imagined when I grew up: endless sandy landscapes with no discernable life anywhere. The high desert has lots of shrubs, trees even ~ and seems to be deemed a desert by lack of rainfall rather than lack of life.
Something else that is quite different from my childhood ideas of what a desert is, is that it is not always warm in the desert. In the Summer, any desert seems ‘too hot to handle’. In the Winter, however, even the desert can be freezing cold.

This being said, there are also things I have found to be exactly how I imagined it as a kid: one doesn’t have to get far into the desert to experience a complete silence ~ the only sounds that may be there being the sounds of nature like the breeze, the sound of a ravens wings when it flies overhead... And at night one can see millions of stars, just by looking up at the sky!

In all fairness there are a lot of animals, birds and plants living here in the desert ~ a place they now share with free range cattle.

So what makes this desert so special?

For me it is stillness.
Without the distractions of cars and other noises us humans tend to make, the stillness of nature makes it easy to be still within myself, and pretty soon this combination turns into a quiescence that is hard to find anywhere else.

Stay in this state of quiescence long enough, and there is no separation between Self and nature, or even Self and the universe anymore... Not because of putting in effort to learn how to become one with nature, or the universe; but because we are part of nature and the universe, and the quiescence allows for the oneness to become apparent.

Not until I experienced this quiescence did I realize how used we are to sounds being around us. How we consider street lights and car lights ‘normal’. And how much we really move without having a purpose behind it.

Nature, and the universe for that matter, seem to have far greater purpose than us humans. Every sound, every movement, is meaningful. It conveys a message ~ sometimes to another member of the species, sometimes information pertinent to all species in the area...
In this manner, the notice of a change in the weather can be carried on the breeze. The howling of a pack of coyotes may announce the birth of their cubs. And the chatter of the ravens moves from meeting each other, to courting each other, to mating and having their chicks together.

There is a lot going on in the desert.
And its quiescence allows us to be part of it.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Reasons and Excuses

We all have reasons to do certain things, and excuses why we don’t do other things.
And then there are those things that we have reasons for doing, and excuses why we won’t go there...

I have always considered this to be an interesting thing.
I can see why we need reasons to do something. I can see how we can have our reasons not to do something. But why do we need excuses? What do excuses give us that reasons do not?

An excuse makes the fact that we are not going to engage in whatever activity more palatable to someone else. It sounds way better when we say, sorry, I am too busy to do that right now, than it is to say, sorry, I don’t want to do that right now. Or even, sorry I don’t want to spend my time or energy doing that.
While it is okay to be too busy; it is not okay to not want to do it. So we use the excuse.

Understandable as this is, it does bring up the question why we need the other person to be okay with our decision...

Inherent in our use of excuses rather than reasons is the fact that we feel a need for approval from the other person to do or not do something.

When other people agree with us, approve of us, it validates us. It gives us a sense of esteem.
And this is a good thing, right?

Yes it is. Yet as much as this can motivate us to move ahead with what we are planning or doing, the need for approval of others can also hold us back. Even prevent us from reaching our personal goals, or go after our hearts desires...

And ultimately, that is where the problem with excuses lies.
If our need for approval from others makes us focus on excuses rather than on reasons to do or not do the things that may be important to us ~ we may very well miss out on the potentials that uniquely define who we are. Every time we go where we will find approval and agreement rather than personal fulfillment, we deny ourselves the expression of our reality ~ the expression of our core selves.

All in all it seems to me that it would be a good thing to, from time to time, evaluate why we are using excuses rather than reasons in our interaction with others.
And, as there is a place and time for everything, giving an excuse is not a bad thing in itself. However, we should be aware why we feel the need to come up with an excuse, rather than giving a reason why...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


‘But’. It’s a little word with a large impact. It usually comes up after an explanation why it is a good idea to do something ~ which may involve commitment of time and resources, and maybe more important; responsibility. Then there is ‘but’ ~ and here come the reasons or excuses why in the end we decide not to do it anyway...

Everything that is expressed before is swept away as soon as the word ‘but’ is uttered.

I think there are two things to keep in mind while looking at this dynamic. First, there is an awareness factor ~ are we aware of what we are saying as soon as we use the word ‘but’; and are we aware how often we use it? Second, there is the decision whether we want to do whatever it is ~ which links to reasons and excuses of why, or why not.

It is an interesting exercise to listen to what we are saying for a day or two in order to really become aware of what we are expressing... Are we just making conversation, or do we have something to say that we feel is important talking about...
And how much do we choose our words in order to adhere to what is considered ‘polite’.

After all, it is more polite to agree that it is a good thing to do, but... we are not going to do it (for whatever reason) ~ rather than just saying ‘I don’t want to do that at this point in time’.

In a sense, when we use the word ‘but’, we contradict ourselves.
The thing is that in doing this, we are making ourselves less believable. We say one thing, then another ~ all in the same sentence...

Another thing is that may happen when we do this, is that we take away from ourselves the ability to take positive action. Words have energy, and when we give our words an energy that contradicts ourselves; eventually the energy we put out is an energy that says: “let’s move forward, but don’t” ~ putting us in a space where it becomes very hard to accomplish anything!

By the same token, by expressing exactly what we intend to say in a straightforward manner, sets us up to take the action in the direction we focus on.

All of this makes that little word, ‘but’, a word that we may want to do without as my teacher Julian has said many times... It is a word that confuses, undermines, and stagnates our energy and forward movement. It is a word that doesn’t add anything positive to our lives.
So why use it?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Messages From Ancient Times

A couple of weeks ago two articles where brought to my attention - from different sources - dealing with ancient times. The first article was published in The New Scientist, and is about ‘writings on the cave wall’ . The second article, published in Newsweek, about the Gobekli Tepe temple near Sanliurfa, Turkey - the oldest known temple in the world.

I like to read about ancient times, especially ancient art holds a great deal of interest to me.

Yet what are the chances of these two articles being brought out into the world within a week of each other? Especially given the fact that the ‘cave wall art’ as well as the Gobleki Tepe temple were discovered quite a number of years ago...

To me this changes the articles from ‘interesting reading’ to ‘maybe a message’ ~ and worth looking into a bit further than the articles themselves.

So what can this message be?

Both articles are about a time longer than 10.000 years ago. This is well before the Atlantean epic, and puts it into the Lemurian epic, a culture that existed between what is now Tibet and the West Coast of the United States.
It is said that during the Lemurian epic, mankind decided that as part of their evolution he wanted to learn all there is to know about the physical world. Where, at the beginning of the Lemurian epic man was totally aware of their own lightbeing, to where he could move from the physical to the non-physical world ~ from the incarnate to the non-incarnate ~ at will, without the need for procreation; to where the focus on the physical world became so great that man considered himself physical, rather than the lightbeing he was before.

Since that time man’s focus has been on the physical world, on the physical body ~ with all that it entails: incarnation, procreation, but also learning about feeding the physical body and sheltering it. Also about illnesses, and eventually about cures and healing.

In this point in time, we are becoming more aware again of the light-being that we are. Not as an ‘either/or’ proposition, like either light-being or being a physical being. We are beginning to comprehend that there is more to us than just the physical being. That we are both, physical beings as well as light-beings. Body, Mind and Spirit.

It makes me wonder, are the discoveries of these ancient places ~ and our interest in them ~ linked to a similar understanding of who and what we are: physical and spiritual beings on a path to ever greater awareness of ourselves, our world, and the universe.

If that is so, these articles may be a message from ancient times that there is far more to discover about ourselves as we move through time...

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The right place at the right time

I have always liked traveling. Still do.
On my journey, every once in a while I find myself in a place thinking, how did I get here? What is here for me? Why....

The interesting thing is that, although for some places these questions never get answered, there are also those places that, when I look back at my stay there, bring up ideas as to why I did end up there...
And in those cases, it always has to do with being at the right place at the right time. But for what?
That too is a question that only seems to have an answer after the fact. Sometimes even years later.

Looking back at the times in my life this happened, it always had to do with discovering something about myself I wasn’t aware of before. This discovery often occurred through a ‘chance meeting’ with someone I had never met in my life. Very few of the people I met in this manner I ever saw again ~ and for those I did meet again, it was usually years later under totally different circumstances. Only to find that this ‘chance meeting’, years ago, had left an equally as big impression on them as it had on me.

There are also times when we meet people, strike up a conversation and may even give advice to them, where when we meet again I hardly remember anything about the meeting ~ or what I may have said at the time. Still, the meeting may have left a big impression...

The one thing these meetings have in common is that in some way they have been life-changing events. For me, for the other person, or for both of us.
Through a ‘chance meeting’ we changed our direction through life. Altered our goals. Ending up achieving different, maybe even bigger things in life than we ever held possible.

It all seems to be a matter of being at the right place at the right time; doing the right thing ~ and as such it really isn’t as much a ‘chance meeting’.
However, it does leave me invariably with a great sense of fulfillment. Even when I can’t quite figure out what it is I have done to give me this sense of fulfillment until much later.

And this is the very trigger for me to become more aware of the instances when I am at the right place, at the right time. It is the trigger for me to be willing to spend time with someone I have never met before, and may never meet again. To listen to their stories. To help lighten their load.
To answer the question as to why I am here...

Whether we are traveling or not ~ life is a journey. An intricately woven pattern of people and places. What we do with it, is up to us.