Working Together

"We shape our self
to fit this world

and by the world
are shaped again..."

Excerpt from "Working Together" © David Whyte
in The House of Belonging

Many Rivers Press

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Price of Admission: Connection

It is approaching spring equinox. I have had an eventful couple of months.  It unfolded in the weeks since my last post that I had a little unfinished business with the word of the year for LAST year: courage.  I missed a few things.  At least that is what was revealed.  My first eye opener was Amanda Palmer's TED talk.  Amanda talked about her experience with 'seeing' people as she worked portraying a human statue on the sidewalks of Boston.  She presented herself as an 8 foot bride statue who offers a flower to passersby to allow people a moment of connection. I was taken by how it took such courage to do such a thing. It made so much more sense to me how much of my life played out the way it did when I considered what she said regarding what she learned about herself and people doing that gig. My very survival is dependent upon not being 'seen'.

While I was now investigating (as word of the year 2015) attachment, it became apparent that attachment has somehow supplanted connection for me and I might want to make that adjustment.  Amanda's TED talk inspired me to read her book, "The Art of Asking". Now as far as having the nerve to ask for anything all my life this has been a problem. Between my low self esteem and all the guilt I schlepped around for years, I couldn't ask for a ball of twine. If I did have to ask for something like a job or government assistance for help with raising my children or even something as simple as, "Can I take your picture?"; I had to pretend to be someone else to do it.  Of course, these negotiations from a 'not really me' were somewhat  insincere - certainly desperate - and rarely ended did not asking and just doing it anyway; a form of stealing. The sad irony being I could have had what I truly wanted (connection) straightaway by allowing my vulnerability to stand and just asking, had I understood the concept. What I got was an image of acceptance. By the time that I finished the book, I realized that I need to find the strength to let go of my attachments so I could have the connections that I need. Some of this has already been happening over the last few years and my life is certainly set up now for me to actually be able to better understand these attachments and assess them and, as necessary, let them go.
Tanit: Phoenician Goddess of Death and Rebirth by Monica Sjoo

It didn't take long for the BIG questions that I needed to ask revealed themselves. When it came to being direct, of course, my courage ran for cover.  This led to reading Brene Brown's book (recommended by Palmer) "Daring Greatly".  This book is an in depth study of vulnerability which, she explains, requires great courage to incorporate into ones life. This is the part I didn't quite get last year. Vulnerability is not in my strategy EVER. It makes perfect sense that I would have missed it regarding courage. Even  though I have made the greatest strides in my life by my errors and needing help or by making a fortuitous yet accidental turn, feeling my vulnerabilities in these events was something I never considered a positive.  This is more about that feeling my way along in the dark through my life without allowing myself access to my own mental navigational abilities and tools mentioned in Stephen Gaskin's quote here. All of my life I've had to trick myself into each level of my evolution. Brene provided a great shift in the paradigm for me in allowing me to reconsider the value of vulnerability and its necessity in living wholeheartedly.

I do live wholeheartedly these a point. I got to that "point" this winter and resigned to my inability to do it all alone as I had anticipated doing. Sadly, I started messing up and overstepping my bounds when my new lease on life suggested that I needed something other than a burger at Boomer's. This is a whole new game at 61 years old with different rules and perspective to employ. With  altering my physical presence with weight loss, I unwittingly altered my vibration and the way I'm using my energy, as well. I discovered there was a possibility that I was impacting someones life - possibly in an unfortunate manner. Someone who had been kind to me one time long ago and they deserved better. It hurt and I reached out to find that if I want and need connection; the release of attachment is the price of admission for that. Essentially, I am so attached to the story I make up so I can feel better, I deny reality its home; it stays in exile; it is abandoned and untold. Everyone in this kind of scenario needs to cultivate a new reality that includes connection, seeing and being seen. A favorite of Christians that applies to crossing lifetimes:

"Nor do people put new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wineskins burst, and the wine pours out and the wineskins are ruined; but they put new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved." Matthew 9:2
So it is with stretching issues, pouring and pressing one's soul into lives rooted and designed for a different time. We are all enough for now and there is excitement, beauty and wisdom in NOW if you know what to look for. Safety is unavailable in enactment of the future or the past and when compassion and kindness is the intention, timeplay is just a bauble in the beak of a raven; an attachment. Obviously, in this  I was in over my head because I was misfiring and frying. I asked for help and I got it. I was very blessed to find a gifted person who knew exactly how to help me accomplish detaching from the story and retrieve that which I had sought for in another. As I said before, I'm an undisciplined empath and one of the ways I have managed to keep myself contained and out of harms way is to keep my life as simple and my vibration as low key as possible.

Eleven years ago I moved to the coldest, darkest, wettest corner of the nation to hide and temper my abilities and it is perfect here for that. The bar is very high for creative types. It is a pretty easy call to be ignored or left alone. I can create enough and still get around unnoticed. I whined about being invisible for awhile but it makes much more sense to me now how invested I was in it. I suppose I had always known the design of my life was suspect but I had a lot of defenses to keep me blind and enabled enough to survive, if not live well.  Somewhere in the course of time that changed. I changed. The metamorphosis began.

Access to the  internet is a big factor. I feel free to speak my mind in interspace and because it is so vast and virtual, it is easy to believe my opinions and thoughts don't have much of an impact. By expressing myself in chat rooms, social media and blogging and allowing myself an expanded amount of interest in the world, I'd unintentionally popped back up on the radar, apparently. In fact, I'm doing it right now in my glorious vulnerability; dancing on the end of a pin in my underthings like no one's looking. In fact I know very few people read my blog as it is self indulgent and freaking full of wiggy shit and that is fine with me; in fact it is LIBERATING! I love my sandbox and I don't want to have to worry about others opinions...not until the thought of it no longer bothers me. The other factor is my Grandchildren.  Their arrival in my life has had a huge effect on my wanting to be a better person; to be sincere and live wholeheartedly so that they may have that, too. If I can't do it for myself, I can do it for them. I will do it for them or die trying. I don't want to be some distant non entity from their childhood that died without hardly a notice. That suddenly seemed an unpardonable offense for me as my life path crossed theirs. Also, there is no room for pretense or insincerity when you are holding a hand and a space open for someone while they die and this work at the threshold of life and death has become an important source of strength for me. So I've been outted in all these ways.

It has been a busy few weeks. It is a great gift to feel such love as I have been allowed to feel and I'm deeply thankful for having this in my life; likewise I am sincerely sorry if I have in anyway been unkind as I twist through this complicated dance towards being present and accountable in this life. I'm jumpy and clumsy and a little frail, yet I'm hopeful regarding the unfolding of wings drying under the generous sun. It is all about the migration now. An enchanting spring equinox to all who read and get this far in this rambling manifesto. May we all shine like stars...before we fade away.

video by SantanaVEVO
Painting by Monica Sjoo

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