Saturday, February 27, 2010
(This post is dedicated to Ms. Ayden B, tea mistress extraordinair!)
Alice takes her place at the head of the table even after being told there’s “No room! No room!” by the Mad Hatter and the March Hare. It can be hard enough entering a new social situation, not knowing anyone and being in a strange and unfamiliar place, but with the discouraging remarks, it could feel downright hostile. This doesn’t seem to bother Alice whose self-confidence has developed a good deal (almost as if it had chewed on a bit of that mushroom). Sitting at the head of the tea party could easily be seen as a symbol of her attainment of authority and temerity. She’s really not letting anyone push her around here.
As she takes her place, Alice is hopeful for some clever conversation, however the discourses that ensue come to quick dead ends as a result of pot shots and incivilities from her deranged hosts. Alice is not shaken though, and in fact is quite quick with the comebacks herself and displays a strong sense of self-confidence. She also chooses to draw the line with the supercilious Mad Hatter, which demonstrates strong boundaries:
“This piece of rudeness was more than Alice could bear; so she got up in great disgust and walked off . . . the last time she saw them they were trying to put the Dormouse into the teapot.”
Alice is displaying a new sense of determination and it is easy to see that she has come along way since she first touched ground in Wonderland. She doesn’t need an invitation or permission to move about as she pleases and she makes no hesitation in questioning the nonsense around her.
You have been invited to the tea party to be aware of the influences of those around you, and to gauge it against the strength of your own volition. The ability to follow one’s own will only comes after having knowledge of the self and the courage to act based upon that knowledge. If one is easily swayed by the external influences of friends, family, circumstance, communities and tea party hosts, one might find oneself forever at the whims and fancies of others. Alice has stepped beyond this wishy-washy way of wandering and has a deeper sense of purpose. You too, are being called upon to assert yourself and rely on your own inclinations. Whether you feel you are ready or not, now is the time to start practicing putting forth your precious prerogatives. No one else can do it for you.
The Tea Party is Alice’s last adventure in the forest before coming back to the hallway where she began her adventures in the underworld of Wonderland. In a sense, it is the last marker before coming full circle, and a wonderful time to make note of the journey and achievements along the way. Take advantage of this opportunity to assert yourself by noticing how you have changed during your personal adventures in Wonderland. As you recognize your internal power and fully step into it, you will also be moving into another new phase of experience. It may be a good idea to celebrate this growth (a nice tea party perhaps?), or at the very least, acknowledge and honor your progress.
If you are still feeling unsure of what it is that you are supposed to be asserting, take a moment to try out the following meditation.
Meditation #1: With eyes closed, call in your query, and once it is clear in your mind, take a moment to see yourself inside of it. Where are you? How big or significant are you compared to the other players on the chess board? If you are feeling intimidated by the influences of those around you, take a moment to make yourself bigger in the picture. You could also imagine having protective layers or tools that help you to feel strong. Make any changes you want to yourself in this image so that you can feel a sense of confidence. Now, check in with this image of yourself. What is it that YOU really want. Let go of what you think others want of you or expect you to say or do. Really focus on what serves you. After you have connected with this desire, practice speaking it to those in your query. Imagine your desire or will as a light inside of your solar plexus that, with each breath, you expand until it is brilliant and visible externally. Keep practicing and making adjustments to your size or any other aspect of this visualization until you can speak clearly with confidence. Now imagine that your desires are heard and given equal weight in the query at hand. See others admiring and accepting this brilliant light of your desires. Continue to work with this meditation until you are speaking your truth, rather than hiding behind the façade you think others want to see.
Monday, February 22, 2010
Alice comes upon the violent scene between the cook, the Duchess, and her baby with grave concerns for what is unfolding. Dishes are being thrown at it, and the baby is being tossed carelessly in the air, and handled very roughly. Alice steps in to take the child out of harm’s way: “If I don’t take this child away with me,” thought Alice, “they’re sure to kill it in a day or two; wouldn’t it be murder to leave it behind?” And of course, Alice does what any good-hearted person would do. She nurses the baby and rescues it from its wretched caretaker, the Duchess, who seems to have no mothering instincts whatsoever. Though, as Alice leaves the house, the baby transforms into a pig, which no longer appeals to Alice’s tender side, and no longer needs looking after. So, Alice does the only logical thing; she puts the pig down and lets it go its own way.
The baby pig has trotted into your reading to help you to recognize your good deeds, and to help you to let go of your transformed baby so that it may forge its own path through Wonderland. You have done the honorable thing by nurturing someone or some project. You have given it your love and you have nourished it through some rough spots and kept it safe in times of danger, but now is the time to let go. Your hard work has engendered a powerful transformation and your role now is to let go and allow this empowered person or circumstance to wend its own way now. Give yourself a moment to look back at this experience, and see how you have made a positive change in this circumstance. Give yourself credit for a job well done, and give yourself permission to let go and move on your separate ways. There are many more adventures that await you down the rabbit hole, but this particular adventure has come to fruition.
Meditation: Sit back and relax, and let your mind wander all the way back to the beginning of this inquiry. See all that you have done to create positive change. Notice how you, too, may have received special wisdom and experience as a reward for your generosity and good deeds. There may not have been anyone to thank you for your hard work (The Duchess is off preparing for croquet with the Queen, and the baby is now just a pig who cannot talk or feel gratitude), but the value of what you have offered is no less real. Take a moment to congratulate yourself and give yourself the recognition you deserve for being a key participant in a powerful transformation. Now, after you feel that warmth, allow yourself to say good-bye to this particular role and these particular circumstances. Offer any last words of advice or love, and trust that the next phase of this experience will follow the highest path, even though you will no longer be at the helm, navigating its route. Call in all of your energy that has been set aside for caretaking this particular circumstance, and feel it filling you up. Imagine what you will do with this new resource now that it is available to you again. Give yourself one last, gentle, pat on the back, and then move on to your next adventure.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
The Cook stands over her cauldron of soup, not unlike a witch over her magic brew. She continues to add pepper to the pot, which is causing a great deal of violent sneezing. And at one point, she starts hurling dishes at the Duchess and her baby, however fails to make any apparent impact on either of them. Her direct assaults are completely ignored, however, her peppered soup seems to be the right recipe for getting under the skin and working things loose.
The Cook has been delivered to your kitchen to cook up what might seem to be a bit of trouble, but pay no mind to the feelings of attack. Instead, focus on what is bubbling up. This apparent annoyance is helping to bring old injuries and unresolved issues to the surface so they can be seen, understood, and released, kind of like a sneeze that takes a while to finally expel itself. It feels so good once it’s finally gone!
The Cook is only dishing up what you can take, so instead of getting caught up in the back and forth, use this opportunity to look at where your sensitivities lie and how you can learn to become more resilient. The cook doesn’t mind the pepper because she is used to it by now. If you can really absorb what is being served up, you too may find yourself impervious to the attacks, and able to enjoy the provoking soup. And you know what they say . . . if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. When it comes right down to it, it's your choice to stick around in all of this powerful peppering.
So, it seems as though some thing or some one is stirring things up in your life, and there are a lot of eruptions happening as a result. Now is the time to take a moment and recognize how valuable it is to be able to see these parts of yourself and your experience that would have possibly gone unseen and misunderstood otherwise. It is easy to know oneself and ones community when the tea party is fun, but when the Hare upsets the teapot and the Hatter won’t stop raving, deeper truths often rise to the surface. Take this opportunity to skim them from the top and enjoy it as the sweet cream from the buttermilk.
Meditation: Sit as still as you can, and just start paying attention to your breath, and when you are really able to just focus on your breath, think about your inquiry. What is the catalyst that is stirring things up? Is it possible to see this stimulus as a welcomed messenger bringing you important information? Take a moment to connect with this imagery and how it comes together. Then ask yourself what is being stirred up? What is erupting and coming to the forefront? Is it possible to let go of labeling it as an irritant? Can you see it as a part of yourself that needs some attention and understanding? This may be all that is needed to be free of this pesky agitator. It is easy to blame the cook for making our circumstances miserable, but if we focus on that, then we’ll miss out on figuring out how to enjoy the soup that’s been offered to us as nourishment.
Monday, February 15, 2010
Pool of Tears:“I wish I hadn’t cried so much!” said Alice . . . “I shall be punished for it now, I suppose, by being drowned in my own tears!”
Alice is swept away by a flood of her own tears that she’d cried when she was 9 feet tall and unable to fit inside the door to the garden. Alice scolds herself for crying so much and feels there is some sort of punishment that awaits her as a result of showing such emotion. She spends a good deal of time throughout her journey correcting herself and criticizing her behavior, though it doesn’t seem to keep her out of the perils that lie down the rabbit hole.
She is merely adding salt to the wounds, so to speak, with her harsh reprimands. Going down the rabbit hole isn't something people do every day, and sometimes it takes a bit of getting used to. While it isn't healthy to get swept away by emotion, it is usually essential to allow oneself to really feel them and let them go before continuing through Wonderland.
The pool of tears has flowed into your reading to mark a possibly intense emotional time. Something that you initiated in your past is coming around and having an impact in your tea party now. It won’t do any good to get stuck in a cycle of self-criticism over things that were done in the past that are having an effect on your current circumstances. What is done is done, and we can either learn from past mistakes and work with what we’ve got, or allow ourselves to go down with the ship.
As Alice is swept away, she is taken from her vicious cycle of growing large and getting small in a futile attempt at entering the garden behind the tiny door. By being deluged by her own tears, Alice leaves behind that rut and moves on to new adventures. In a way, this flood is a chance to start over again and try something new. Hopefully something better. Tears should not be feared or avoided. They are actually a really helpful way, like other water flows, to wash away that which no longer serves.
Instead of feeling sorry for yourself, look at what you have that you can work with and navigate yourself towards a new and more useful state. The only punishment that awaits is the suffering you impose upon yourself by dwelling in the past and allowing it to drowned you in its inundation. If you can swim your way to shore, shake off those old salty tears and move on, you may find that life is still full of wonder and delight.
Meditation: Take a moment to get yourself comfortable and think about what it is in your past that is haunting your inquiry today. Notice how you feel about this past circumstance. Is there guilt, resentment, or regrets? Tell yourself that now is the time to let go of these things. Ask if there is anything you have learned about these circumstances that you can use as wisdom along your path through Wonderland. If you can, take a moment to forgive yourself and/or others who may have been involved in the past events. Really let it go, because it is weighing you down like an anchor in a stormy sea. Pull off the lead weight and feel yourself become lighter. You can cry to let it go, or you can imaging some other way of releasing the heaviness of this old burden. Now look at where you are without that weight. What do you now know and what resources do you have at your disposal to help you move forward? It might help to take a moment to ask what you can be grateful for, as this helps to open our eyes to what we have that’s good, instead of focusing on what we don’t have, or what we are dealing with that is challenging. Take your time to sit with this until you have completely let go of your thoughts of the past, and are focusing on what you can do with your current resources that will serve you best. Come back to this meditation as much as you need until you can see your way past the flood of tears and onto a safe shore.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Alice is given a second chance at making it into the garden by finding a little cake that says “eat me” on it. This is a magical gift that appears out of nowhere, and it makes Alice a little overconfident in her plans at entering the miniature garden. Alice doesn’t seem to have any concern about which direction the cake will take her; whether she gets larger or smaller she is focused on her goal of getting through the tiny door. Maybe the cake, a compulsive temptation in itself, has influenced her nonchalance about swallowing this suspicious substance. Either way, Alice seems not to see the proverbial forest for the trees.
Unfortunately, for a second time, Alice fails to plan thoroughly for the rapid change in growth that ensues, and though she is continually offered all the resources she needs to make it to the garden, she just can’t seem to do it.
It seems as though Alice is struck with a nasty case of myopia. Her tunnel (or maybe rabbit hole) vision has prevented her from accomplishing her goals. Though it is good to keep where one is going in mind, sometimes it is necessary to focus on the steps that lead up to that goal. Climbing Mt. Everest, for example, isn’t a simple task of making it to the top. There are many important and life-preserving steps along the way. If we don’t take the time to map out the important details of our course, it is possible we will never make it to our destination.
Had Alice had the insight to plan out the possibilities, she might have made sure to hold on to the resources (like the key, some of the liquid in the bottle, and some of the cake) she needed until she was safely inside the garden.Of course, maybe she wouldn’t have had such a grand adventure were it not for walking the fool’s path.
The cake has magically appeared in your life to offer you a second chance at getting to where you want to go, and it is also a reminder to take a moment to really think about what you are going to need on your journey, and how you’re going to get there, so that you actually make it to where you want to go. It’s not so hard as long as you put your mind to it. But don't get too stuck on the cake; sugar is very addictive. I'm also recalling Marie Antoinette and what happened to her when she relied too much on cake to solve her problems. She really lost her head.
Meditation: Sit down and close your eyes and start breathing deeply into your belly. Allow your goal to form in your mind. If you can, pick it apart into different elements that make sense to you. Imagine now, where you are at this time. Spend some time looking at the distance between where you are and where you want to be. What important steps lie between you and your goal? It may be as simple as planning out a time-line of getting things done, or it may be a little more complex, like working on your own personal state so that you can truly maintain the joy of being in your garden. For instance, if you do make it into the garden, do you know how to maintain it, or would it be best to learn a bit about botany before jumping into the circumstances that are so tempting. Do you need a map for the garden? Are there special points of interest you might miss if you don’t spend some time researching what is there? Sometimes it is better to take your time in getting to where you are going so that you can genuinely enjoy once you are there. If you are unprepared when you arrive, you may never get to reap the rewards of the work it took to make it there. Be as honest with yourself as possible, and really look at what it requires to be where you want to be. Break it down into as many small and reasonable steps as possible, and then write it all down. Or map it out in a way that makes sense to you. Having the small steps in front of you will help you keep on task. You may make it into that garden sooner than you think if you take the time to plan accordingly!
Friday, February 5, 2010
Alice takes a moment to think about the reasonableness of sipping from the “drink me” bottle by checking for any warnings, trusting that there will be reliable disclosure down the rabbit hole. She further trusts that things in this underground dream world are run in pretty much the same manner as the realm she has just dropped from. Alice soon finds out that very drastic and unexpected things can come about without much provocation. And despite her attempt at logic about the whole situation, she has failed to take hold of the key that will get her into the tiny garden she so much wants to visit.
This is also a sort of powerful manifestation, a Deus ex machina as it were, that can help Alice achieve her goals. However, since Alice does not really have the foresight to plan ahead, she is left the right size to get into the garden, but without the necessary key, which still lies out of reach on the table above.
This seems to be a mixed sort of blessing. On the one hand, there are powerful forces willing and able to help you manifest your wishes, however, if you are unclear with what it is exactly that you want, it is likely you will find yourself swimming in a pool of your own tears.
Before putting time and effort into hoping for something, it is important to sit down and really understand what it is you want to move towards.
Take a moment to really look at certain fixed ideas you might have on how to get to what you want. A simple example would be wanting to have a nice garden. We might get caught up in the idea that we need to earn the money to pay for one, or we might need to spend the time to create one on our own. The universe has a far more diverse and infinite source of manifestation than our imaginations can fathom, and if we concentrate on a very limited path to our goals, we may miss out on opportunities to end up where we want to be. In this simple scenario, one might even let go of the need to own one’s own garden, realizing that the true desire is to be able to be in the quiet of nature on a regular basis. There may be many more enjoyable ways of having this than earning the money to buy and own your own garden. Letting go of fixed ideas and a need to control how we get to where we want to be allows the wonder of life to be our partners in creating that which is beyond even our grandest fantasies.
Meditation: Get yourself comfortable and call into your mind what it is you currently want. Picture it as fully as possible. Who are the people involved, the elements, what do you feel like and who are you in this vision? Now, start to let go of as much as possible. Watch the extraneous slip away. For each element, really look at it and ask if it is a necessary part of what you truly want. Sometimes we mistake things for happiness, or experiences for health and joy. The more you can let go of, the more you will connect with the truest of your desires. Once you have connected with what you truly want, imagine sending that wish out like a message in a bottle, and allow the manifestation of what you truly want to happen. Do this manifestation practice each day, noticing if what you want changes or becomes even more refined over time. Notice the opportunities that come your way as you do this practice. You may very well find yourself the right size, holding the key, and ready to enter the garden in no time.