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Waves of Awakening

October 8th is the sixth anniversary of my mother’s passage from this Earth. Tonight, the eve before, I’ve been reflecting about this time, and the legacy of my mother Vella’s life. One of the finest quotes she ever came up with was “no one is in charge, and everyone is responsible.” My mother was a very sensible and organized woman, yet when she mentioned this style of working with her senior group that she had initiated, I said to myself, ‘what a visionary approach!’

Now, with the Occupy Wall Street movement, I see an interesting quote from an online site, foodista, describing the momentum; “There is a feeling of true community, and even without a central leadership, everything is flowing quite smoothly.” What Vella and this group of humans are expressing is a deeply passionate affirmation of intelligent life—showing we are capable of operating from our own self-tuned governing system and learning to cooperate to bring forth a bigger vision together. This is how the current wave of expanding consciousness is being expressed.

I’ve seen signs of a big shift in another movement I’ve been following for the past couple of years. For a year now, I’ve been getting that there’s a revolution underway and it has nothing to do with the Tea party. It’s a revolution that is VERY decentralized. It crosses many political and geographical borders. It is very enjoyable. It is sustainable. It is accessible. It’s the growing movement (pun most intended) to regain food sovereignty and plant in our back yard, or on our porch (mine is doing quite well to become a small farm), or a community lot or on church grounds. It the momentum to regain authority over the seed gene pool that is naturally the human collective’s to steward and not be privatized for singular profit. It is the enjoyment of being in touch with the earth and remembering what it is to be a human on a very fertile planet that feeds and sustains us. It is the fullness of feeling gratitude to eat something that we have grown, having learned to work with nature and the elements, and hopefully, to have abundance to share and increase our sense of community.

Vella wisely understood that by making a contribution to the whole in a truly inclusive way, we can enjoy the fruits of our labor in community. I would so often hear a wonderful sense in her recounting to me how the group as a ‘we’ had done something. Life feels different when people pitch in and get something done that needs doing. As we are able to participate, so we know the deep pleasure of belonging.

The decentralized movement known as Occupying Wall Street is dramatically demonstrating that the 99% are waking up. This reframing of the focus from bemoaning about the largely invisible 1% with ‘power’ to the group invocation of 99% acting with positive intent, is a potent expression that we are recognizing a much higher understanding of being a collective community. It’s a revolution I’ve been waiting for. As I look at the videos and read about Occupying Wall Street I am feeling buoyant. The wave of awakening is beginning to swell across the globe. Forming another non hierarchical revolution here in the U.S., where everybody has the right to participate and find their best authority to do good is exactly what we can use at this moment. Need I mention that it’s real democracy in action?

The effect of all this action with good intent will surely become something much larger than we could have dreamed individually. As we remember how to be in touch with our own inner governance and cooperate with others that are doing the same, what we will create together will be an abundant harvest to feed not only our bodies and our lives, but also a communal life that is lively because it is full of spirit.

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After my mother Vella made her transition from lung cancer in October of 2005, I received some wonderful notes from her friends, who lived 2,500 miles away, in Ohio.  I carried the cards around in my purse for a couple of years, because these messages were very precious through the long healing from the sense of loss of this woman who was not just my mother, she was also my best friend.  

One of the cards was from one of Vella’s dearest of friends, an amazing nurse, now retired, named Vi, for Violet.  She sent a card with drawings of colorful, whimsical shoes.  Opening it up, the inscription made the point, very nicely, that my mother’s shoes were going to be a large order to fill.  This sweet little card couldn’t have been more germane.  

 I can say that walking in her shoes has been humbling, for she did more to let go of pride and meet everyone, from all walks of life, simply and purely with basic human respect.  This woman wasn’t just my mother nurturer, in her later years, she became a leader, whose inspiring words of action were; “nobody’s in charge, and everyone is responsible.”  She was one to roll up her sleeves and get to work for whatever event was being offered to the senior community association she headed.  She led by example, through serving.

With a simple gift, this friend of my mother’s gave me one of the most powerful offerings possible, to acknowledge what ‘big shoes’ I would need to fill as a final tribute as she acted as the torch bearer, telling me it was now my time.  

When someone beloved dies, it is as if we are handed the torch to carry in the relay race of life.  Now is our time to do our personal best with the love we have been given.  As with all love, it does best when it is recycled, and given over and over again.  My mother adored me, and this has upped the ante for me, being a responsible one.  Love does this, it calls us to be the very best that we can be, to offer ourselves to the world.  

Vi contacted me recently, after all these years, to tell me she found some cards my mother Vella had left with her, and it has felt as though she left a bit of buried treasure that has now been unearthed. When I received the packet of cards that Vella and I had exchanged over the years, my heart was full and of course the tears welled up.  As two women with gardening in their blood, the cards’ images were full of flowers and bugs and butterflies.

For me, receiving these cards is a message that even when my walk becomes a wobble from feeling like I’m doing it alone, I have been reminded that I always have a silent angel that continues walking with me with love.  I know that she left these cards with Vi so that some time later I would be reminded that I am never alone, her love is with me still.  Vella definitely showed me how to begin walking in life, as mothers often do.  It has come as a most inspiring message to realize that my mother is still sending her love to help me walk long after she has left the earth.  

As an adult woman, of course I have to walk in my own shoes.  Yet this passage has shown me that we truly do walk in the ‘shoes’ of those that have gone before us with love.  They have been trailblazers in doing the best they could to meet the circumstances of their lives and this impression is palpable and potent.  So I am continuing to lay down a path for those who will walk after me, as best as I can, in being passionate for those I love and care for, speaking up about what is right, sharing my truth with as much kindness as I know how to in the moment.  

Mother’s Day is near. I hold this day as a blessed time, not only because of Vella, but for all the nurturing that we give to one another.  We often talk about what it is to not judge someone, because we don’t know what it is to ‘walk in their shoes.’  To walk in someone else’s shoes calls us to see through the eyes of compassion.  As I do my best to walk the path of my mother Vella, I continue to deepen my appreciation for her achievements in life, and the gifts of love I have been given.

Mother’s Day is rightfully a day that acknowledges the legacy of love that is so vital to each one of us in our lives.  May each one of us, as we walk each day, share the legacy of love that we are, and honor the legacy of love that we have been given.


Here and Hereafter

The trailers looking appealing, so last night I saw Clint Eastwood’s new film, ‘Hereafter.’ I had read that it was a thinking person’s film. I left with the thought, ‘What was he thinking?’ Still, it did spark this post.

The writing and vision presented through words lacked coherence and I didn’t feel that resonant with the black and white visuals that were offered to give a sense of what is ‘beyond’ our everyday domain. The film does have well-crafted opening drama. The female lead, played by Cecile de France, is vacationing on an idyllic South Pacific island when a tsunami rips over the land engulfing everything in its wake. She nearly dies, but somehow returns from near drowning. Returning to daily life, she isn’t all there. She is rightly dazed and instead of being engaged in a busy swirl of success, she stares off wistfully, showing clear signs of having been awash in the after effects of an event that had effectively capsized her existing world view.

Even though I found the film lacking, the visual story line of aspects of this film provided an impulse to recall my own near death experience as a twenty something. The summer of the near death or more appropriately, life review experience that I had brought many moments to gaze into the distance. While at that time, I had no background to give me any context for what had happened, I knew that something profound had occurred while I was unconscious and the course of my life in this realm was now altered in some way that I was sensing how to fathom. When I finally shared with my mother Vella, who I was very close to, that I knew I’d had some kind of crossing the border experience, she admitted that she’d been told when I was just a little girl that I would die around this time. It was a great confirmation for what I was sensing, this was a pivotal turning point somehow.

This month is the fifth anniversary of another major turning point, my mother’s move to the hereafter, marking her metamorphosis from earthly form. Astonishingly, this year, I totally forgot the day–there were no tears of loss or abandonment, and instead, I was in a high flow state.

Death is so synonymous with ‘loss’ and heartbreak is such a major part of my life experience. Indeed, it is one of the most used words to describe my emotional pain body’s constellation of issues. The year following her death was one of the darkest times I’ve known. In the past years, all it took was a simple thought of her passage to bring tears welling up. This year though, was quite different.

I was engaged in enjoying being myself with a dear femme friend, Lanae. I felt light and fluid and free during our afternoon nosh, and then visiting a healing center where the Swilling family is deeply engaged in bringing the devotion of their minds and hearts to helping people find more options for healing and harmonizing in their lives at their Know Your Options healing center. The afternoon of this anniversary date was full of heart and enjoyment, and a sense of blessedness and heart resonant companionship.  It was a clear indication of the continuity of love, and for me, this was a living legacy of what Vella and I knew in this realm now being extended into my life in the here and now.

Shortly before I was reminded of the history of the day, as I was walking up the stairs to come home, I remembered Vella in a wave of gratitude and sent up a message to say thanks again to her in spirit. Something was registering on my antennae. As I sat down to check my e-mails as part of the daily return home, I had a quizzical moment gazing at the header simply named ‘Vella’ on a note from my love Rick, who was away traveling. I opened the message and was slightly stunned to realize that the pain of her passage had not registered on my inner screen. AT ALL. It felt odd, and I was first amazed, then amused to realize that this day of all the days could have included such wondrous unfolding enjoyment of life unmarked by my usual wash of emotional waves of pain during marker points such as this.

Through many long years of life full of emotional turbulence, Vella used to send me messages with these words, “Under the shadow of my wings, until the pain is over and gone.” I figured these lines came from somewhere in the Bible, and although most of traditional Christian religion is not resonant with me, these words struck a chord. I felt the sense of how the divine can provide continuity beyond the turbulence of the temporal world. I have walked close with the wisdom in this message, at times clinging to a sense of this possibility, even as life events catapulted and capsized my sense of inner equilibrium again and again. Without knowing it, this year I finally realized the truth of the words of wisdom, for I experienced what it was like for the pain of her passage to have washed out of me. There may be other times when I feel the poignancy of not having her human self to exchange with, but for now, I have found a place that knows what it is like to be at ease–beyond the cavernous sense of loss and pain that was a deep wound for a length of time after her departure from this plane of existence.

Vella used to tell me, ‘This too will pass.’ When she first said it while I was a teenager, I looked at her in complete wonder that this could even be a possibility as I was in the throes of my first teenage heartbreak. I trusted this woman, she knew a few things and I remember the blip it made on the screen of my consciousness that even a remote possibility existed that someday I would not feel such a pouring out of my heart center, as a draining sense of loss.

Now, many decades later, she has proven what wise words were spoken as I have found a place of abundance in the heart, where spirit has funneled a great wave of fullness to sustain my life, to amuse and inspire and bring an enjoyable awe to my consciousness of how there is continuity that weaves itself from hereafter into the here and now. I could feel Vella smiling with me when I realized how far my human understanding of the process of metamorphosis has come.

While I have had a conceptual understanding and belief in this possibility, this year I experienced the gift of emotional unity.  It came from having allowed the dark storm of feelings after she left in 2005 to move and shift through the years as I kept being with the pain of ‘loss’ and feelings of abandonment in missing her. I have moved forward with the waves of E~nergy~in~Motion that have exerted their own evolutionary processes to bring more spiritual integration into my life.   This energy is supposed to move, and the art of it is to allow it to arise and learn to work with it constructively, just as an artist dives into the depths and takes elements that are raw and potent from the unconscious and shapes them into something that informs through creative action. We don’t have to have it figured out or control the ride, yet it is important to learn how to be strong and become more adept in riding the waves of energy in motion that come.

Returning to my initial launch point for this piece on the subject of hereafter and the film by this name, I’d acknowledge that the black and white amorphous shapes pictured in the film are suited to a phase of loss that is stark and despairing. However, for me it was too confining in its perspective that stays within the status quo of what it is like in the human realm to feel the underworld disorientation of loss. I’m glad that when my world went dark and was full of festering feelings, I didn’t try to pretend or push the waves of emotion under. As in any composting process, eventually what is dark and rank and smelly metamorphoses into the elements of fertile life.

For now I can breathe and smile. The years spent working to carry the gift of love and honor the beauty we shared has born fruit. This anniversary of Vella’s leave-taking, the process has come full circle. It’s a spiritual paradox that I’m appreciating; how the alchemy of love is able to work its magic to transform the energy of pain into more of its own ‘kind.’ I am enjoying that this pivotal and painful turning point in my human life has now been transformed to a much higher plane of awareness. The proof?  My life has sprouted a surprise crop of heart’s abundance as satisfying as anything I’ve ever known.

To Jessica Pierose, life is a ride full of great turns and surprises.  Jessica is an artist with an electric feel of aliveness, she meets life directly in the moment.  We began in her studio in Santa Monica, one foggy fall morning.  I had heard a story indirectly about a skirmish with Rolls-Royce early in her career and wanted to hear the account firsthand.

The tale unfolds;  a friend who collects Rolls Royce’s asked Jessica to draw the car’s grill.  With typical intrepid directness, she marched into the Rolls-Royce dealership in Beverly Hills and asked to do research.  The helpful receptionist pulled a piece and showed it to her.  A little later, as she was close to finishing the drawing, a manager came by and inquired as to what she was doing.  After finding out, he told her to leave, informing Jessica that the logo was trademarked and that copying it would grounds for a lawsuit.  Yet Jessica persisted, asking to be allowed to draw it.  Finally the manager relented, and she was put in contact with the main office.  They asked her to prepare a prototype of her art work for consideration.

Jessica has hutzpah.  Eventually she won the executives at Rolls-Royce Ltd. headquarters over and received full permission to etch the car’s logo, informally known as the ‘Flying Lady,’ the car’s official logo.  Not only was it extraordinary that she was given the right to use the Flying Lady, she was commissioned to make 300 ‘coffrets’ or fancy boxes made of crystal for clients of the luxury car maker.  The boxes were all etched with the logo, formally known as ‘Spirit of Ecstasy.’ This was only the beginning of a lucrative career working with glass.

From etching the crystal boxes for the car, Jessica spent nearly five years with the Rolls-Royce company giving her ‘license’ to do as she pleased with the Spirit of Ecstasy in designing their trophies.  Jessica made their trophy with etched glass for the championship polo matches sponsored by United States Polo Association (USPA), and for the National Circuit Championship Series of the Swan Yacht races.  The Swan Yachts, I was informed, are premium yachts; mansions constructed of the finest wood and gold, that can power at high speed over the water.  To quote Jessica regarding all these commissions, ‘One thing leads to another.’

They do indeed.  One day she received a call from someone indicating that he’d heard that she did ‘out of the ordinary things.’  The client was interested in finding a way to set gold within double sheets of glass in his private jet.  Later in the conversation, he indicated that he was a representative for the ‘richest man in the world.’  Unimpressed, Jessica’s attitude was, ‘Yeah, what are the dimensions that I need to put together some prototypes?’  She negotiated $1200 to do samples to figure out whether or not she could embed gold within two sheets of glass without cracking the gold or the glass, or burning the sizing.

She got off the phone and turned to several friends.  ‘I just got a call from someone saying this ‘Saul Birney’ guy is the richest man in the world, ever heard of him?’  They stared at her, ‘You must mean the Sultan of Brunei, who is the richest man in the world.’  She paused, but only for a few minutes to take it in.  Then she set out to solve the puzzle of embedding gold within double sheets of glass to be placed in the shower of the Sultan’s private jet and for his second jet that he uses as a stable, to cart around his team’s polo players and the polo horses.

She had worked with luxury craft on land and water, now she began her work of bringing art glass to the air, starting with the Sultan’s palace in the sky.  A short time later, a well-known French aircraft company, Dassault Falcon Jet called; ‘I understand you do extraordinary things.’  Things ‘took off’ after that.

Jessica has done glass work for overseas clients, but in the United States, aircraft must use lexan as a substitute.  She has made a specialty of designing etched decorative bulkheads for well-heeled aircraft owners.  Not only is there a demanding quality to the requirements of making etched work for aircraft, because the industry is tightly regulated by the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA), there is a considerable amount of paperwork to be certified.  Jessica credits a female executive, heading up purchasing with a highly regarded aircraft manufacturer, with teaching her how to handle the business of working with aircraft companies.  A really strong woman and good friend, Jessica offered, “she ‘beat into me like a nun’ how to invoice aircraft companies and handle all the certification requirements.”

Jessica acknowledges that her business success has hinged not only on being able to handle this complex web of paperwork, but to balance these demands with the artistic skill of meeting exacting requirements within strict deadlines.  She has been applying her creativity with the aircraft industry for ten years now, and is certified by Gulfstream, Bombadier, Decrane Air, and Dassault Falcon Jet.  At this point she definitely knows her way around.

Waxing more philosophically, Jessica replied that she knows not to make too many plans.  In her career she has seen how doors open and she is given entree to the next avenue of expression.  She works hard and practices faith in knowing that she will continue to work.  For her, she usually senses that something is coming that feels ‘grand.’  She keenly recognizes that when she is bogged down and stressed, its hard to stay clear, and that the sensing of something expansively great does not happen when she is under duress.  So she has been learning to be dedicated, clear and direct with life.

In some ways Jessica’s life seems to have been charmed.  As a child she received positive affirmation from family, friends and teachers.  At family gatherings she was regularly invited to express herself creatively, and was acknowledged for her offerings.  Jessica has been drawing since she was nine and won awards for watercolor painting in school.  She grew up believing that she was creative and as she moved into adult life, she acted upon her interest.  From her experience she has come to know, “If you believe you can, you can.  You have to be persistent in life.”

In her early twenties she was introduced to stained glass when she was commissioned by an established glass artist to draw 100 fish and 100 birds for one dollar each.  When her father died, an inheritance allowed for time and space to explore her creativity without financial pressure, becoming part of a Malibu art community as she learned stained glass, etching, and then crystal carving.

Even as an established artist, she readily admits there are cycles of feast and famine.  Jessica refers to the ‘seasons’ of being a glass artist, acknowledging that even with all the flow in business, there have been times when there was hardship, even while working with a foundation of wealthy clients.

This is Jessica’s real passion, doing custom commissions, ‘with clients really willing to pay for art.’  For her, this is when she is most deeply engaged in the creative process.  When she is doing a commission, “I draw until I feel the piece comes alive.  Then when I carve, I can feel the work, there is spirit in it.”

Like many successful artist businesses, she has struggled between the decision to stay small and keep her work personalized and of high quality, or build a corporation with a solid reputation capable of producing a higher volume of work, but with a vast difference in focus.  So far, she has chosen to remain small, to hire assistance where needed and keep her focus on the art in her business.

Summing it all up, Jessica offered; “I have a lot of faith.  I know I’m a blessed person.  I have gifts and I’m able to live from using them.  I know something will always come around.”  Jessica Pierose lives as artistic testimony to the power of believing in the creative spirit and acting on it, whether through holding faith or solving puzzles embedding gold securely and beautifully in glass.

A Harvest sf the Heart

Even in SoCal, the feel of fall is palpable. It is a time of pumpkins and marine layered mornings that call for something warm to meet the Earth’s move into a cooler season. In this land of evergreen palms, there are trees turning color here and there to remind us of the cycling of seasons. In this harvest time, I feel a pull to pay homage to both the Earth and the heart, sources of sustenance and renewal for our lives.

As the ‘word’ has been said to make the ‘world,’ it is a continuing koan for me to consider why these two key elements of life have the same letters in different arrangements. There is some divine alignment with these same letters of Earth and heart being used to point us to the center of our existence, of caring and cultivating life. A higher recognition of the Earth home and being at home in our hearts are both meant to point us in the direction of oneness, of unity–to realize an inclusive place where we all belong.

With this I would like to introduce more signs of caring for change and of a growing measure of compassion and kindredness among the populace of Earth creatures. I would like to highlight a wildlife sanctuary in Idaho, initiated by Susan B. Eirich, Ph.D., and Jean Simpson, who founded the Earthfire Institute. This sanctuary’s name is inspired by a “passionate earth-mother wolf with a fire in her belly to protect anything vulnerable.” This is also the fire that is in a good human mother’s belly to protect the young and affirm life. The work of this heart-strong group of humans is exactly the point of what is leading edge at this time, to realize a greater perspective in how we define kinship and belonging and it is doing evolutionary work to expand our connections of the heart on Earth.

Founded on 40 acres in Eastern Idaho, this ancient land is home for wild creatures who have been rescued for one reason or another. Earthfire serves as a portal, either physically or through the Internet, to allow an opening for exchange between species, and for new ways of interacting and communicating.

In their words, it is a “unique model of ecological advocacy {that} begins with a personal awakening and leads to a renewed commitment to protect planetary systems on which all life depends.” These are words that really resonate with me. It is time for there to be cross species communication that calls us to explore and expand our shared sense of community and come home to a greater understanding of our true nature personally and as a species.

As a species, we are presently caught up in economic and social systems that are poisoning and polluting the environment in a massive manner that is putting many other forms of life at risk, not to mention many of our own kind. There seems to be some heretical idea that nature is devoid of God or the Big Unity Factor in the Universe. I say someone’s genes seem to have gotten cross wired along the way. Nature expressed in the myriad forms of intelligent life upon the planet has existed for eons before we came upon the scene as a new form of creation. Whatever form we recognize as some higher intelligence, it is woven throughout all the fabric of life that makes up this spinning orb called Earth.

It is time for us to wake up and see the intelligence in plain view on the faces of other creatures inhabiting the domain known as planet Earth. For this reason, Earthfire Institute is a place to recognize and celebrate for its expansive and inclusive initiatives to live together, to push the edges of what we humans recognize as the known world of what is intelligent, even if differently oriented than the set of filters we have as humans to organize useful sensory information. It is definitely time to cross the aisles among the different kingdoms of life on this planet, with the recognition that creation neither began or ended with us, and that there is a vast community of sentient intelligence and this time is a bright opportunity for us to awaken to belong on this planet in a way that we have forgotten. Our ancestors knew what it was like to live among the other members of creation and recognize their contributions to life. It is time that we heard the call in a way that is appropriate for our perilous time on the planet that is also ripe with opportunity for expansion.

If we can quiet a bit, take the time to be present and look without too many layered judgments, there are ample animal beings that are willing to communicate with us and extend our awareness of life. Even gazing in the eyes of your cat or dog will begin a new journey. Animals are so much more aware than most of us have allowed ourselves to consider and we need to become more open in this time to all the intelligence of creation. Nature is not devoid of God or unity. It is our species that needs to take steps in the direction of reuniting with the chorus of creation. Caring and opening and being curious and inclusive are qualities that are much needed among humankind. Indeed, we should do our best to cultivate the kinder side of our nature, following words of wisdom from the Dalai Lama, who has said “my religion is kindness.”

In this season of celebrating the abundance that the Earth provides to sustain our lives, may we pause and give thanks.  Humans have lived upon this planet for a short time compared to the diversity of intelligent forms of nature that provide us sustenance. It is time to wake up to the great gifts we have been given from the divine and recognize that we are citizens among the community of creation. Through care and compassion and right action, humanity will keep the sacred trust that is ours to accomplish as a collective. The wise action on this planet now is to turn away from the prevalent paradigm of suffering that abounds.

We live in times with great tension of the opposites. As the old crumbles and dissolves we are hurtling into a new era, and it is our work to bring forth a new currency upon the Earth, a new medium of exchange that is sustainable and expansive. The currency of a fluid open heart is among the best forms of abundance we might experience, and the greatest gift that we can share.

May we connect with the inner sacred fire that is clear in its role to protect life. May we use the sacred light in our hearts as a beacon, and share our intelligent light with others of our ‘kind’ as well as those of other kindred species who are doing their best to live and thrive and know some form of bonding and care for their members as well. May we make peace and harmony where we go by joining through the heart and letting this light our way. The revelations of understanding could change the course of our lives for the good as we learn to share life on Earth, realizing a harvest of the heart. This time is a ripe opportunity to find new meaning in the words ‘All our Relations.’ May we become celebrants of the sacred as we find a new way of relating to the world that honors the diverse forms of creation that inhabit this planet.

The reverberations of the Gulf spill are showing up as grief, despair and futility. What can we do with an issue so immense? How can any individual have an effect when the people in power are scratching their heads and hoping at this phase?

I think we should get past whether we will destroy the Earth. While I do believe we are damaging our environment, I really think it’s the human species that is in great danger of destroying itself before it completely destroys the Earth. I feel the guilt of belonging to a species collective that seems to be repeating blunders of the past, such as when Native tribes lost their vision and started driving whole herds of buffalo over a cliff to have their hearts.

Now to modern times and how we are currently rampantly opportunistic as a species. If we don’t re-envision ourselves more as a collective, then I feel we will fold into the 99% of other species experiments that no longer exist on the planet. I could even wax philosophical about this except for one thing, I believe if we blindly destroy our ability to live on this planet, then we have really missed the point of owning our divinity, of seeing the magnitude of our individual, let alone the collective synergy of greatness that we could enjoy if we were to switch from all these power play win~lose scenario games that we’re addicted to and find out what it is to play well together and see what could happen as a result.

Heyoka Merrifield is a visionary artist, writer and Crow medicine man. He once made the comment that he feels that something happened in our history as a human species and after the last Ice Age, something was triggered in our collective consciousness that remembers lack and believes in it. Underneath all these power games is a sense that there will never be enough to go around and some people are more driven by this coding than others who still do their best to share and expand to embrace more of a collective expansion. For me, experiencing the volume of green life offered each spring by the planet is enough to believe that there is a foundation of abundance here for us all.

The resurging community garden movement is one of the most transformative events of this era in the U.S. because people are having an experience of the fertile power of the planet and learning to develop a relationship with the great Mother again. Through it there is more collective community developing around the real currency that is important in our lives, learning to relate in harmonious ways and developing a sense of esteem about what we are capable of while with the Earth. Its a win~win scenario and its no wonder that it is spreading through schools to change learning patterns through better nutrition and interaction. It is having a positive effect in economically challenged communities to address major health issues that people don’t have funds to alter. Yet here is the Earth, providing us the opportunity for sustenance and learning much deeper respect for its innate intelligence in offering us all a place to call home.

When we are disconnected from the Earth, from our very life source, we often begin to live quite anxiously. We’re so used to doing this as a group that we don’t often stop ourselves to notice that we’re living in our heads and not very grounded. As Valerie Andrews wrote in her wonderful book, A Passion for the Earth, the cure for this “as for all other woes attendant on material life, is to sink one’s flesh back into the flesh of the Universal Mother.” Re-connecting to the Earth is the way to remember what it is like to be supported and sustained.

So to begin my series on ‘Caring for a Change,’ and come back to the serious ecological challenges that we are in the midst of, whether we’re close to the Gulf or any other area currently bleeding from reckless and careless activities, I suggest that we allow current science to inform mystical activism. Quite simply we should allow that as we practice being in our hearts wherever we are, we consciously realize that we can send this resonance wherever it is needed. As we act with enlightened compassion and care in our locale, that we are waking up to realize more unity on the great globe that we all inhabit and all have a stake in.

Last week I was reading a dreary and despairing piece on how an economic advisor would, if asked, suggest that BP officials consider bankruptcy proceedings because after all, their responsibility was not to anyone but their shareholders. I took these words as my own call to a revolutionary tea party for the Earth. It’s time that we all realized that whether we want to be or not, we’re ALL Shareholders of the Earth, we all have a big vested interest in keeping this planet as a place that we can live and thrive and learning, through using our imagination and intelligence, that there are far more interesting things to do than using our life force recklessly to destroy other forms of life.

So I invite you now to join me, and many others with many different approaches, yet with the theme that we can do something and there is a collective energy that we’re working to meet, to find that synergistic threshold where we have a big gestalt together. Trust me, it will be a big party that we’ll all enjoy to join together and create something that we can enjoy participating in.

I have people that bring a smile to me now, even if a day feels bleak, I know these others being points of light around the globe. As well, I feel kinship with the flowers that bloom with abandon, showing their beauty for a short time. They are for me, the fondest reminders of what we’re really here for, to express our divine majesty in life.

It is time to join in, to have the courage to show heart and trust without knowing. When you express your own form of caring for a change, I hope you will smile, knowing that someone in another part of the world is stepping up, as you are, to champion life through compassion and care and expanding awareness. As we do, we can expect wonderful surprises from spirit. Enjoy the collective evolutionary expansion, it’s what we’re really here for.

A line from John Lennon’s song is circling in my brain as waves of overwhelm wash over. Inside I hear “Nobody told me there would be days like these….” I watch pictures of the BP spill devastation—what it has done to maim and kill marine wildlife in its home, the ocean known as the Gulf of Mexico. Life has been spawned from the ocean water of the Earth and it should be considered sacred—it is truly the Mother Water of Life. With destruction levels causing increasing dead zones over larger and larger swathes of Earth’s global girth, the level of shock that is registering across the planet is its own agenda to attend to.

At the 911 event, we had human hatred aimed at one of the most concentrated zones of habitation and economic exchange in the West. In the wake of this chaos, lives were irrevocably changed from the ripple effect of shock waves moving out from Ground Zero in New York.

The British Petroleum Gulf Debacle is another marker of magnitude on the scale of human invoked devastation through carelessness. On April 20, 2010, corruption and greed converged to set up a system failure of unprecedented proportions, and tidal waves of oil began to plume out from deep within the Earth, despoiling the ocean and engulfing systems in ‘crude’ and toxic oil. While the eleven lives lost in the human realm compared to 911 is smaller in scale, this mistake is one of the most costly oversights recorded in modern history. This is a point of reaching a new Ground Zero, for this is an Earth Environmental Zero Point. Do we really need any bigger wake up calls as a human species than this?

The news is doing its best to tabulate the economic cost of mediating the mess, but it is the environmental cost of remediation that needs to be addressed most significantly at the present moment. We need these questions to move to the forefront of public exchange; “How much poison will we allow in our lives and the planet that is our home? How much more barrage of chemical toxicity can we withstand?” “Are we really going to stand by and watch the decimation of the ocean habitat for countless species of life on this planet due to the corporate drive to profit without responsibility? The Gulf already has one dead zone, now there are two. Why don’t we see this as an uncaring act of terrorism to blindly wipe out ecosystems, lives of many species and livelihoods?

The intelligent operating system that maintains a bandwidth to sustain life is disappearing in our lifetime. As well, our human immune systems are crumbling as evidenced by increasing heart disease and cancer rates that have become epidemic. Around the world we have systems collapse, with species die off from environmental and climate changes that are a result of the rampant and ruthless initiatives to exploit the Earth for whatever short term economic gain can be achieved without thought for any circle of life reciprocity and care.

In America, we are in deep fear of terrorism from foreign infidels. The root meaning of this word derives from terre, a word denoting earth. It is time to re-define ‘terrorism’ to be concerned with any life endangerment to the foundation of life—the Earth, including the other creatures that have inhabited this planet long before we stood upright as a species and began to wield new tools of power. We need to mobilize our collective focus on identifying actions that are destructive to life on the planet and putting our creative vision and passion to changing the direction of these sabotaging forces wherever they hail from.

We are moving toward a ground zero shift through this all. The status quo seeks to maintain its privilege at the expense of other forms of life—human and other members of creation that inhabit this beautiful blue-green globe. Amidst all that is opportunistically seeking to destroy anything in its path for greed and power, we have virtue in action where mercy meets misery. There are networks of activity that are acting like the immune system at its best, mobilizing in favor of life and engaging in an expression of compassion in action. These networks of light may not be holding sway in the news, but they are part of the quantum momentum that is expressing and building its own new paradigm. Those that are joining to act in favor of life, whether as an ‘everyday champion’ as some are being called, or quietly minding the networks of prayer and meditation like tiny diamond dew drops sparkling around the planet, all these actions express the virtues of soul nature, and are participating in the wave of light that is increasing to change the way of life in the direction of expanded evolution, interspecies cooperation and bringing peace to our planet.

While the tension of the opposites is reaching untold levels of pressure, new pathways are emerging even as life as we know it is continuing to dissolve before our eyes. It is time to forge in new directions and to awaken to the intelligent systems of design already inherent in our orb of life on this planet. It is time for the human species to recognize we are not alone, and we are not meant to be so near-sighted about our species or a very small number of those privileged with money and status to think any group can survive without preserving the very foundation of life support systems. It is time to remember these words in our democracy, “We the people…” It is time for those in positions of power to fulfill their oaths of responsibility to act in favor of life in a broader context than the very narrow interests that too many are enmeshed with. It is time to remember as well, ‘we’ as a collective are the planet, each and everyone of us is part of the grid that is meant to support and sustain life, not just take from it. Each one of us has a destiny to fulfill that comes from the soul. As humans, if we are made in the likeness of God, then we need to stand more upright in fulfilling our responsibility, and showing the true strength, vision and courage that we are capable of.

At its core, the Gulf crisis is about systems that have lost their focus on any substance and are operating from interests so narrow as to lack the ability to sustain life. It is time to move our attention to acting in favor of life through care and compassion. Through involvement in demonstrating our true nature, we will tap into untold forms of spiritual synergy that can transform any crisis into an opportunity for lasting change. The enduring power of creation to renew itself already exists, and it is time for us to learn to call upon these qualities in our lives and work with this deep sustaining power on the planet.

In the coming weeks I will highlight where there is ‘caring for a change’ in action, where people of the planet are fostering a sustainable way of living that embraces other species as having rights to live and flourish, not just a privileged few humans who would be willing to destroy anything for their addiction to power.

As Lennon said, “all we are saying, is give peace a chance…” This blogger would say that a fairly substantial number are fervently acting in some manner to give life a chance to be nurtured and flourish so that we really embrace the grace we are meant to know as a divine gift.

We are in a time of transition, a place of flux between outmoded ways of life and another’s fresh emergence. Collectively, we are beginning to adopt green as a paradigm for living, a new design map for how to make daily choices on sustainability, ways of being and behavior that honor the balance of living systems within both natural and human social communities. In sensing the new emergence, it is an opportunity to think more ‘resourcefully’ and to re-envision our lives and make the world anew, to join with others and with nature, and find the common ground of enduring bonds of mutuality.

Changing the paradigm to one of green sustainability underscores one of the most urgent issues of our time for we humans to accept that creative expression is our true nature. It is a major challenge of our times to use our creative faculties for the good of human life, and other forms of life on the planet as well. Our true nature is expressed as an urge to grow and become more fuller and refined versions of ourselves; in much the way a seed fulfills its own blueprint and becomes the inviting sun-infused lushness of fruit, the unforgettable fragrance of a flower or the stately majesty of a towering tree. We are all local sites of ‘creation.’ As sparks of the divine, we are all ‘works in progress’ with purposeful urgency to become true to our pattern integrity and to grow to our own full stature.

Visionary astrologer Robert Wilkinson has a term for hunkering down into what he calls a ‘narrow destiny.’ A narrow destiny might feel safe, but it won’t stop feeling cramped, nor will it ultimately satisfy, as it creates a penchant to live in a compensatory manner, rather than the satisfaction of doing what’s in us, and offering our real value to the world.

In a world undergoing vast metamorphosis at all levels and among all groups, we need to take our understanding of creativity out of its narrow designation as something an artist does and is, and begin to embrace a more fully faceted awareness of our authenticity in daily life. In the unfolding era we are entering, we should be identifying all the aspects of our creative faculties as a human group, and become fully engaged in realizing what is this true nature. As a testimony to the importance of developing this capacity in the current time, Orange County real estate developer of green and recycled centers Shaheen Sadeghi made a comment recently that “Creativity is as important as literacy” in the future that is unfolding.

Two facets of creativity that we need to readily employ include the ability to adapt to changing conditions in a way that is germane as our sensing informs us, and to think outside the box, in order to leave stale ways of seeing the world behind. As with any creative process, the greater the ability to be resilient enough to shift perspective, an aspect of design mind, is an indication of an openness to allows more possibilities to emerge.

While moving into the unknown can bring a degree of uncertainty and edginess, it also offers a fresh juiciness and an ability to claim our true citizenship as activists in authenticity. Like all artists in life, we are being called to engage with passion and purpose, meeting challenges of our times as creative opportunities to show the potency of being authentic in meeting the moment. We have the capacity to renew the world that we inhabit through the greening power of our creative faculties of imagination, ingenuity, curiosity, synthesis, innovation and intelligence. Although the times are precarious, there is also a promise of a new beginning, as we step into finding both the individual and group genius of being our best.

Here in the United States, we had a time during the challenge of World War I to plant Liberty Gardens. During World War II, it was important to plant Victory Gardens. We now have an opportunity to cultivate another form of victorious garden; one of free expression; by planting the seeds of our own individual and collective greatness. The greening power of expressing our pattern integrity has enormous capacity to transform our lives in ways we don’t expect and that can open new vistas of perception.

Like the flowers, it is time to bloom where we are planted, to join in the celebration of a world that we glimpse through participating in a garden form of life and developing more sensitivity and sensibility. A garden is common ground where interdependence among different species, a degree of harmony and beneficial relations may thrive. As flourishing members of the garden way of life, flowers can show us that we should unfurl our authentic nature, showing off the uniqueness and beauty that is ours to share for a while as we travel through form.

A piece from nineteenth century gardener and writer Celia Thaxter, who wrote a book called The Island Garden, expresses her profuse loving awareness of the plants inhabiting the garden. She shares her adoration of poppies:

To stand by the beds at sunrise and see the flowers awake is heavenly delight. As the first long, low rays of sun strike the buds, you know they feel the signal! A light air stirs among them; you lift your eyes, perhaps to look at a rosy cloud or follow the flight of a caroling bird, and when you look back again, lo! the calyx has fallen from the largest bud and lies on the ground, two half transparent, light green shells, leaving the flower petals wrinkled in a thousand folds, just released from their close pressure. A moment more and they are unclosing before your eyes. They flutter out on the gentle breeze like silken banners to the sun, and such color! (pgs. 83-4)

The flowering plants have been on the planet for more than 100 million years. They hold an enormous volume of evolutionary understanding that we may access as we engage more fully in realizing they are part of the community of life as much as we are.

Through exercising our capacity for imagination and synthesizing intelligence, while showing interest in developing new ways of perceiving the diverse natural forms of life, we are greening our current awareness and simultaneously seeding a future with more colorful possibilities inherent in widening our perception. As we acknowledge and honor the intelligence and beauty that we enjoy as citizens of Earth, we are cultivating a harvest of understanding to enrich and expand the kinship circle of life on the planet.

Deep beneath the Pacific Ocean, the Nazca and South American tectonic plates have been gnashing in blocked rock friction for centuries.  On February 27, in an area off the coast of Chile, about 70 miles West of the City of Concepcion, the fault line of friction where the two plates meet gave way, and in a moment of great magnitude, centuries of tectonic pressure was released.  As the Nazca plate slipped further under the South American plate it caused a huge surge in the ocean bed above it, sending water out from the center in a walloping wave.  Continuing throughout the day Chile had some devastating shocks as a long string of quakes echoed along the fault line.  Smaller quakes have registered into Southern California where I live and as far north as Alaska.  Whether literally or figuratively, many have felt it ‘rock’ us, at least a bit.

We live in weird and wobbly times.  In recent years turbulence has been expressed in social and economic events within the collective, and at other times it is a very physical reminder that the ground that we count on as the very measure of security is not as rock solid as we would like it to be.  Usually a major quake of this magnitude (8.8) occurs once a year globally, but in the first two months of 2010, we have already had one a month, as the Earth Mother continues on her own path of re-organizing.  Shifting of the core crust is normally so slow as to escape appearance to the human eye, and it is more rare than not that its movement and momentum is accelerated enough to stir our attention.  Yet February was another big blip on the screen of 2010’s unfolding.

Now that it has gotten attention around the globe, I would suggest that it is a good time to consider the process of reorganizing that is an inherent part of creation.  The realm of creation changes and in the process, matter is re-configured, and life as we know it may be irrevocably altered.  In our human of life, we have barely a glimpse into any span of how these shifts occur.  Yet we need to turn our attention to understanding the process of reorganizing, as we live in times of vastly expanding and accelerating change–the shift of re-creation.

In the human world at present, we know more about the word ‘recreation’ popular pastimes enjoyed during our leisure hours.  Play is important, but I think it is different from what recreation has become in modern life.  It is time for a shift from distracting thrill-seeking to soul-seeking revelations that occur as a natural process of spirit synergy, the process that occurs as we become adept in reorganizing as part of our inherent divine design.

We are on the planet at an extraordinary time.  The shocks of rapidly shifting ground in our lives can bring sadness, grief, pain, confusion and disorientation. Our time here is precious, we don’t know how long we have in our human form, or how long the people and creatures we love will be with us. The more we can feel the Olympic torch of our spirit lighting the flame of inspiration to move forward and keep taking the next steps, we will be on track, regardless of how it looks.

Through the synergy of aligning with our soul while letting go from knowing the outcome, we are practicing the yoga of faith, of surrendering to oneness and opening to allow inner re-creation to occur.  Soul infusion happens as we stretch beyond the known and limited perspectives and believe in the infinite possibility of the sacred to green our lives and bring spiritual renewal.  It is time to become adept in meeting moments of magnitude with understanding that is more grounded in the eternal, shining a beam on the world in front of our eyes as it changes, like a kaleidoscope of rapidly shifting patterns of color, light and sound.

The blog begins with some reflection about what it is to come home.  My first book, Coming Home to Calm, has been the path I’ve taken, or it has taken me, to come to a place that I recognize as ‘home.’  As someone with Cancer astrology, I have been true to my crab-like astrological heritage, carrying from a young age, all the most important treasures around with me, because I always wanted them close.  As a child, it wasn’t the blanket, it was a book.  As an adult it has become a heavy carryall bag, filled with the most important prints of articles, magazines and the notebook of the most recent writing journal that I haul around and whatever work is in progress.

To me, ‘home’ has meant a particular connection of association with things I hold dear, but not as much, as I have aged, a particular house filled with domestic objects.  I still love having a sense of physical home, but I had a big house, with a lot of land (relatively) and it became too cumbersome to take care of, much as I loved it and ached from parting from it.

Now the ‘coming home’ is about moving into more authenticity.  I am refining my sense, with greater urgency as I age, to get on with it.  Admittedly, I have spent too much time bogged down in my own emotions.  Yet now I’ve resolved much that used to seriously sidetrack me for aeons of time, and I feel the calling to come home to who I am with a firey ferocity.  This urge to come home is now about living as closely to my true nature as possible, unfettered by distractions, obsessions, addictions and compulsions.  This ‘home’ is indeed cleaner and is becoming far less cluttered.  There’s more room for serenity, curiosity, being in someone else’s shoes, i.e., compassion, and there’s more room to breathe here, as the burden bags of what I’ve carried are surrendered.

While I celebrate that the heaviness of emotional and mental baggage is lessening, the bags of current writing and inspiration treasures are still acting as their own form of fitness workout, as I carry them up and down a hefty flight of stairs with my laptop at least twice a day.  Evidently some weight can be a good thing.

So what does it mean to ‘come home’ to one’s true nature, authenticity, purpose and passion?  This will be a subject that we will pursue in this blog, along with many others.

For now, blessings to one and all!