Tuesday, September 20, 2011
The brothers Tweedle, Dum and Dee, that is, have marched in to your life to teach you a bit about the laws of polarity. Though the Tweedles end up choosing to engage in battle, they are very cooperative and agreeable about the whole thing. They seem to have a relationship that is based on agreements, which they both can rely upon. They are very cordial with each other, and good communication and cooperation are key in their interactions. Indeed, polarity can be an experience of constant struggle between two opposing forces, or it can create an effortless balance as two opposing forces use the natural pull of their balanced opposition to keep their position stable and effortlessly held. Imagine the exercise of sitting in front of a friend, toe to toe. You grab each others’ forearms and, pulling away from each other, stand up together keeping your balance and rising up as a team. This is polarity at its most efficient. On the other hand, polarity can imply an endless battle of well-matched forces, which ends up being a waste of energy. Balance is a natural drive of the universe, and balance can be found through a well-communicated, harmonious relationship, or it can be achieved through continual struggles between two apparent opposites. Sometimes the only difference between the two different sorts of balance is the intention behind each of them. Tweedledum & Tweedledee are generally very synchronous and congenial with each other, but when a disharmony occurs, they agree to work out the conflict, formally, and without personal affront, through an agreed upon battle. They are making a conscious agreement to settle the incongruence within their relationship.
Another perspective to consider is the Divine mirror we face when in a conflict. If we were not an essential part of the push and pull, there would be no friction. Sometimes it is hard to face the idea that someone who is causing us distress might actually be holding up a mirror for us to see ourselves more clearly with, but it is more often true than not. It takes two to tango, and two to battle, and owning and accepting your own role in the battle scene will give you great insight into your growing edges and how to resolve your apparent conflicts.
Are you experiencing a polarity in your life? Is it one of effortless balance, or does it feel like a never-ending struggle? If it is a battle you are engaged in, is it possible to find a way into using your opposing forces as a natural balance for each other? Sometimes we are pulled in a direction that feels uncomfortable, but with a couple of adjustments it becomes a nice and gentle stretch to parts we have not yet given our attention. Don’t assume that your balance relies on an opposing force outside of yourself. Within each position is the other side of the coin, waiting to be explored.
Meditation Sit comfortably and allow your mind to go to a part of your life that is apparently out of balance; a challenge or circumstance that is requiring your attention and focus. Allow yourself to see the balancing force for your perspective. If what is needed to create balance does not come to you, ask this apparent place of contention what it needs to be balanced. You could imagine the situation as a coin. On one side is you and your perspective, and on the other side, allow the “opposing force.” Imagine, as well, that instead of this force being a point of contention, pretend it is a perfect balance, maintaining you where you are currently. Now, put these two perspectives in to the different sides of a coin and step outside of the situation. Allow yourself to be the one holding this coin, owning both sides within yourself. See if it is possible to hold a perspective of your balancing force without judgment, and see if there is any element of the friction that you are bringing into the mix. To own the coin is to claim both sides. Allow these sides to become a perfect balance for each other; continue playing with the imagery until you feel a sense of each side of the situation existing effortlessly and in partnership with each other.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
The Moth is one of the characters in Wonderland that maybe you haven’t read about. This is because we have passed beyond the last row on the checkerboard, gone through the doorway in the tree, and are just beyond the Kingdom of Wonderland, deep into the heart of the unknown. This is even more mysterious than the Cheshire Cat’s disappearing act, and my guess is that while he’s smiling down on the Royal Courtyard in the land of Wonder, his tail is undulating here in this place of darkness and infinite possibility.
In fact, The Moth is one of the gatekeepers into this little known vastness beyond the boundaries of the imagination. It shows up inside the flames of transformation and it appears to have done a mortal nose-dive into certain death, and in some ways, this is exactly true.
Some have great fear and judgment about these flames that lick at the doorway into the land of Unknown. Some think, and understandably so, that the flames bring destruction, but the Moth is here to help us figure out a secret.
The Moth is a good friend of the Caterpillar and has already passed through one round of metamorphosis from pupa into winged one, and so he is quite confident in his flight towards the flames. This little winged creature knows full well what he’s doing as he moves into the portal of the flames. He knows that his time has come to completion in this current form and with one last ecstatic breath leaps into the flames for instant alchemical transmutation into spirit.
The Moth is here to help you to take a similar plunge into the fire of catalyzation into a new way of being. It may seem like a long walk off a short pier, but if you can see beyond the fear that faces you, you’ll find that only the unnecessary and unhelpful parts of your being are consumed, liberating you from the weight that was keeping you from passing through your current limited movements and into something much better.
Here is a more poetic explanation:
Maybe it is not the light and heat of the flame that kill the moth. Maybe the moth, knowing its end is nigh, seeks out the light and warmth of one last ecstatic breath as it passes through the portal of Sacred Fire. Yet this is hard to accept, for as we move away from judgment and blame and closer to acceptance that the passageway is not the cause of our demise, but merely a marker for transition, the closer we come to embracing it, and therefore, embracing our own imminent mortality. It is also our liberation from that fear, but we have to fly into the flame first to attain it.
There are certain rites of passage we all must experience. Sometimes they look very different, but at their core, they are all Sacred Fires through which we must pass with faith, not being able to see what lies beyond.
Don’t avoid stepping through this mysterious and powerful doorway just because it will consume parts of you. Look at it as a free clearing of all the old debris you’ve gathered, and once it’s burned off, you’ll be able to experience a completely new landscape. You’ll be lighter and more likely to fly.
I know it’s scary, so here’s a meditation to help you take this fiery leap of faith:
Meditation: Sit comfortably and light a candle in front of you. Ask the flame to consume any limiting beliefs and feelings you are able to let go of in this practice. Now, allow your query to become clear in your mind. Take a deep breath in and with the exhale, let the whole image blow into the flame, not to be destroyed, but to be transformed. Allowing anything that is not pertinent to the highest good to be consumed by the fire and transformed into something more useful in the world. You may be left with an image, and you can notice what that is, and then continue to breathe deeply. Take another deep breath and with the exhale, allow an image of yourself to move into the flame. Notice if there is any part of your body that is contracted or resisting this visualization. Breathe into this part of your body and ask if there is any wisdom that needs to be shared before this transformation takes place. Keep breathing into the contracted parts of your body and inquiring into what is resisting this process until you have enough insight and have let go of enough fear that you can, visually, imagine passing into the flame and letting the crucible burn away anything that is keeping you from moving forward on your path. Notice what is burned off and what stays. Notice what is having a hard time letting go. Journaling about this and continuing this process until your query has come to completion is highly recommended.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Alice finds herself quite confused in her conversation with the White Queen. As they discuss the possible benefits of being the White Queen’s personal attendant, Alice is told that she would receive “Twopence a week, and jam every other day.” As Alice probes further, she realizes that “The rule is, jam tomorrow and jam yesterday- but never jam today.” For Alice this makes no sense, and for your reading, it is equally nonsensical.
When you are working for the White Queen, there is never any jam today. Does this sound at all familiar? Great rewards await you, but just out of reach. Never any now, always something promised in the future, or just passed out of reach. If this rings true, then you can be assured that you are working under the scarcity rules of the White Queen. It might be helpful to take out your magnifying glass and take a good look at the architectural design that has created the limitations of your mind. Is it a belief that there is never anything worthy of praise in the moment you occupy here and now? Are you unable to access the sweetness of life inside the body and space and time you inhabit with this breath?
It might be time to let go of old lenses through which you gaze upon your land of Wonder and take in the deliciousness that has been served up for you today.
You might find that you are being preoccupied with the jam that awaits you tomorrow, or the jam that was so delicious from yesterday. And somehow, as a result, there never seems to be any jam today. Why? Because, my dear, you are never here to eat it. Always going this way and that. It is amazing, despite the absurdity of it, how much time we spend with our minds in the future and the past. It happens so much so that we are almost living there in these non-existent times, and yet there is little we can accomplish when we do this. The past is done and gone (even in the Looking Glass land, once something has passed out of the present moment, its movement takes it away from the center). The future can only be affected by what we do in the here and now (for our minds have the ability to travel through time and space via the imagination, but our bodies are stuck in the present, and it's usually a good idea to drive any machine with the driver at the helm). So, the only real opportunity we have to make an impact on the events in our life is to be as much in the present as possible. Body and mind work best as a team, so it seems most logical to let go of the past and the future and focus on what exactly is in front of us. Don’t be fooled. Even moments into the future is still the future, and what just happened a moment ago is still the past.
It would be really difficult in our world to always be in the present, but it is a good idea to bring some balance to things by spending some more time in the here and now.
I will let you in on a little secret. I have a friend who is a time traveler. She mostly lives in the future. She says it is great there because this is where everyone puts their hopes and dreams (which is powerful manifestation energy). So, the future is genuinely rich with everything we could ever want, but only because we keep misdirecting our thoughts there. Since we don’t have the technology to get all of us into the future, we’re missing out on all of our hard work. If we could start opening our imaginations to where we really are, right here, right now, we’d have a lot more of what we want (and we’d quit providing for those lazy futurists who are living off of our thought-creations ;-).
How does one go about living in the present? It seems like a simple thing to do from the outside looking in, but go ahead. Give it a whirl. See how long you can sit and just focus on exactly what is happening in the moment and see how long it takes before you are thinking about that conversation you overheard at the store yesterday, or pondering what you are going to say next time you see so-and-so. The mind somehow has a resistance to being in the present. Sometimes it is because there are things going on in our minds and our bodies, usually catalyzed by feelings, that are uncomfortable. Sometimes it is because we have no clue what deep bliss lies seemingly hidden in such an obvious place. No matter what the challenges are, the rewards are even better. It may not be jam, but Alice doesn’t like jam anyway.
Meditation: This meditation practice could easily take months to really develop, and I suggest you do it as long as you can, as frequently as you can, as it serves you. This one particular meditation has been the sole practice of thousands, for hundreds of years. Get yourself as comfortable as possible, and before you close your eyes and move into your practice, light a candle, asking for the light of the flame to help to hold your mind, body and spirit in the present. Set your intention to allow all distractions to leave, and to keep your mind focused on each moment. Now, just start noticing your breath. Notice how long it is on the inhale, and the exhale. Notice where it goes in your body. Is it deep? Are you breathing slowly? How does it feel to breathe in? Are you breathing through your nose or your mouth? You can also pay attention to your body. How is it feeling? This can get tricky, because the body’s complaints can quickly take us out of the present: “Ooh, my neck is still sore from not sleeping right last night,” or “If I keep sitting like this, my legs are going to fall asleep.” This is past and future creeping in. Don’t feel like you’ve failed if this happens. Just ask them to wait in their respective places, and get back to the present. How is your breathing now? It may take a long while, but it is possible, while becoming skilled at just living in the present, to find a deep sense of bliss. Once you feel that starting to spread, you know that you have nailed the exact point of present moment awareness. There may be some interesting gate guardians that will try to throw you off the mark, like phantom pains, or the notion that you need to get up and do something other than sit here. Continue to stay focused on finding that present moment, and you will make it. Just as sure as Alice returns from Wonderland and through the Looking Glass.