I’ve stopped counting the days

When nothing matters but the peace in my soul, does that mean I’ve met my goal for this journey of mine?

I want to say yes, and yet I want to say no. I know who I am in my soul now, getting closer to knowing her better, but she’s still an image flickering on an 8mm reel.

I’ve stopped moving. Stopped running away. I’ve given myself a chance to catch up finally. Spending my time feeding and entertaining Minnah or in meditation in this safe place.

This is what I’ve needed, but it feels so awkward. Doing nothing feels so wrong! I guess I’m not doing nothing. They tell me we spend too much time outside of our selves. We need to give ourselves the freedom to do nothing.

Until I can do that regularly, that part of myself I have met will remain only a casual friend.

I am the chair in this picture I took….

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The metaphor will have to come later. I’m still making sense of it.

As the journey continues, I am faithfully

The Dragonfly’s Student

Day 11, Just Passing Through

Every town I stop at teaches me something new. Yesterday, I had Cincinnati Skyline Chili, an interesting blend of flavors on a bed of spaghetti. It was the epitome of fast food – we placed the order and five minutes later the plate was place in front of me, along with a bowl of soda crackers.

It was an interesting taste, but I’m not against trying new things, obviously! And that’s what I’m learning about myself on this trip. There is nothing on this Earth that isn’t a learning experience and worthy of my attention. Even the traffic through Cincinnati and its suburbs was an experience I wouldn’t trade the world for.

As I told my new “friends” in New Orleans a few days ago, I’m just a traveler passing through. Just experiencing and learning and growing. My soul is expanding with each new day.

I’m learning that there is nothing to fear. Like, really. Nothing to fear. The other night, a creature stood on the other side of my tent and growled. I’d been awake and I watched as Minnah silently bolted upright. The creature growled again. It was level with my head. If I’d wanted to, I could have pushed the tent toward it. Instead, I waited. It growled again. Minnah barked. It growled again, and I waited. The standoff continued.

Grabbing my flashlight, I shot the beam toward the creature, then moved it around the area. After a few minutes, the creature lost his nerve and plodded away through the underbrush into the Florida wilderness. I thanked Minnah for being such a great watchdog, gave her a kiss, and fell asleep. During the full, maybe, five to seven minute standoff, I had not been afraid. I knew I was safe.

That security gave me power over the night and over the creature.

The thing is, we all have that power. There is no need to fear. We are all built in the likeness of God, if the bible is to be believed. We are all powerful beings and we create our own realities. Why, then, would we want to create a reality full of fear?

My power is stronger than any rifle or any Taser gun.

My power is more real than any towering cypress tree or vibrant river.

My power has been given to me, to all of us, by the creator of us all.

My reality is magnificent, and I’m going to continue manifesting it because I’m just another being passing through this reality called Earth.

Create a magnificent reality, my friends.

Much love,

The Dragonfly’s Student

 

My new friends from New Orleans, Mitch from t Honkey Tonkin’ Donkeys and Bryan from The Creole Gardens bed & breakfast.

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Light up the Sky

Day 8
There is no rhyme nor reason to this road trip. I had originally planned to visit Cassadaga, a Spiritualist community, and I had also planned to visit St. Augustine, both in Florida, but my mind blotted those plans out. Suddenly, I needed to visit St. Petersburg on the opposite coast and camp on a beach. As my road trip continued, I grew more at peace with myself and my reality.

Then, four days later, I made a mistake. I answered my phone. Rumors and angst billowed a dark cloud over my head. It threatened like the alligator moving closer to the shore at Big Lagoon State Park in Pensacola. I tried to remove the cloud or at least lighten it. When I couldn’t, I wrote some poems. Angry poems. I threw them away.

Then I drove to New Orleans and watched a folk music performance that lightened my mood.

Today, an old friend in Nashville asked me what I’ve learned so far on this trip. I was speechless at first.

“Um, … “  What have I learned?

I learned I shouldn’t answer the phone because needy people will find you. I learned driving aimlessly is not always fun. I learned that some state parks are closed on Mondays. I learned speed limits are more like guidelines than actual rules. I learned that on a driving day I need to stay in a hotel not try to make it a camping day.

But I’ve also learned that needy friends (like my needy puppy) make me feel important and loved. I learned driving aimlessly forces you to think, and thinking isn’t such a bad thing. I learned that gold mines can be found on your way to closed state parks. And I’ve learned that sometimes, especially on those long driving days, I need the peace of the campground, no matter how tired I am.

As far as my inner journey goes, I’m finding that, although I feel a need to be that lighthouse my friends need, I need to protect the light I want to share. Just like the flame of a torch can burn itself into embers, an unprotected lightbeing can flicker and die as well.

Today I put out some minor fires – my phone had to be replaced and I needed a quiet place to write, so, when my friend offered, I agreed (after apologizing for my random visit.) But I still felt burned out, tired, listless.

Then I stepped into the twilight in her back yard. My Spirit friends had a surprise for me – fireflies.

Their light left me speechless. It felt like the flickers of light were meant just for me. I now feel reenergized.

I can actually feel Beloved standing over my shoulder again. It’s been a long time.

Until the next time, dear friends.

The Dragonfly’s Student

Twilight in Nashville:

Finding and Living My Truth

Vision Quest, Day 4

One of the biggest hurdles ahead of me during this pilgrimage is learning to live my life for myself. Many times, I have trouble finding the me that’s buried in the world of expectations. So, the question for today, How do I stop worrying about what others want from me?

I know this is a personal journey, but I hope my readers can learn a little about themselves in my lessons.

Deal with it. Nothing I can do or say can change what other people, with their own issues and preconceptions, bring to the game.

I still remember that night in high school when I sang a Christmas solo. Well, sang is not the right word. No one ever told me what they thought about my performance. I didn’t ask. I felt that people weren’t paying attention, so I belted “Oh, Holy Night” as if the Apocalypse were just outside the school doors.

I wanted to make sure I was heard. Well, I was heard. The thing is, I tried to force the audience to hear me and think a particular way about me. Yeah. That didn’t work. I have no idea why I thought they weren’t listening. I don’t even know why I thought belting out a beautiful song would make a difference, but, damn it, I wanted them to hear me!

The truth is, we can’t make people hear or think a specific way. Humans have this thing called Free Will, and there’s nothing anyone can do or say to make them think Miley Cyrus is either talented or a waste of energy. They will think what they want, and my opinion matters a rat’s ass to them.

For my own sake, I need to accept that I have NO CONTROL over other people!

Hakuna Matata. That’s one of the lessons I have to learn this summer for my healing to begin. As Timon and Pumbaa told Simba: No worries. Live your life and be happy. Leave the worrying to someone else because, really, worrying never changes anything. The outcome is already set.

Sometimes I have found myself stalking specific Facebook friends to see if they read my messages or even if they’re online. It is the 80’s high school equivalent of parking across the street a couple of houses down from that one kid you REALLY wanted to talk to so that you could suddenly appear and force a conversation.

What’s funny is that I was more authentic in high school than I am now. If I needed a date for prom, instead of dropping hints and waiting to be asked, I picked up the phone and invited the college boy I knew I wanted to share my clean-cut prom night with – Sikma! He accepted and I had a blast. And if I wanted to talk to that guy I had that ultimate crush on, I called him. Like that one Christmas morning my senior year …. Okay, here goes, high school friends, my ultimate crush was on Fernando Paz. I was forever stuck in the friend zone when it came to No. 69 on the football team. And, guess what? I don’t care if anyone knows because, really, I’m not in high school anymore!

The truth is, when that Facebook friend reacts to my message, I will know. Obsessing about it only makes my day bitter and long. So, don’t worry about it. Bad news travels faster than good news, anyhow.

Live for today.  What if I were to die tomorrow. Would I regret not having that last ice cream cone or not seeing that last amazing Warped Tour concert with my son? Maybe, but maybe not. If I concentrate on what I really want, maybe the ice cream cone won’t matter. Maybe what matters is sitting in a summer thunderstorm in the safety of the tent I put up myself with the puppy who loves me more than life. (And I think that concert with my son would definitely matter to me!)

What I’m learning to accept is one very important lesson – if given the opportunity to break rules that hurt no one, and no one’s looking, don’t obsess. Just enjoy. Along the same lines, if you make a mistake that ends up hurting people, don’t obsess. Apologize sincerely and move on. Nothing is more annoying that someone who continues to apologize for a mistake. (I know because I’ve been there!) It makes people wonder if the original apology was sincere.

Love myself and speak my truth. It’s hard to forget the lies you’ve made when you only speak and live the truth. Similarly, it’s easy to remember who you have presented yourself to be for others when you are always true to yourself. Of course, we don’t need to be rude to those who don’t agree. I’m still learning that. This year, I tried to be polite when telling others about why I disagreed with them. I ended up inadvertently making enemies. I regret losing the friendships, but I don’t regret speaking my truth. They un-friended me by their own choice. I’m sorry for the sensitivity that created the problem, but I’m very proud that I spoke my mind.

I need to be able to accept myself more than I need the approval of others. Many times, I have lived a life being what others expect of me. But I’m not Jesus. I’m not perfect. I need to accept that I am, like many of us here, just like the fallen angels of biblical lore. We are alive to experience life, with its joys and its heart-wrenching tears. If I truly believe I am unique and divine, how can I not love myself?

The final step. I need to define who I am. I cannot doubt when I have a checklist of what I think are my best character traits!

1)     I don’t like rules, but I need guidelines so that I know just how far I can bend the rules.

2)    I love and strive to be unique. For years, I’ve tried to make this part of myself work with my desire to be who or what others expect of me. I’m just realizing the incongruity of it all. I can either be unique or be someone other people like. I can’t manipulate both. I am either one or the other. Chances are, if I’m unique, some people will love me for being unique. And, if not, well damn it all to hell!

3)    I’m very comfortable in my body, finally. It took me years to be able to say that. In fact, it still feels wrong (in this day and age) to say I love my body and my sensuality. That’s okay today, see No. 1 for explanation.

4)    I’m very laid back. Have been for many years. When my kid wanted to eat dirt. I let him. When the other one wanted to crawl around the zoo on hands and knees, I pushed the stroller alongside him for most of the trip until he decided he was done being a dog. I don’t stress the small stuff. (Of course, I have when others’ judgments started cropping up.) I’m done with others’ judgments, though. It’s my life, and, personally, I think my sons are two amazing young men who make me proud every day.

5)    I’m a rebel who enjoys causing trouble, but not for trouble’s sake. I like to do things because I want to do them. Telling me I can’t do something is tantamount to putting rockets on my shoes. This Vision Quest is one of those things. My mother disapproves and scolded me and, recently, my husband for letting me go. My husband, a very patient and loving man, knows me well enough to accept my decisions. My mother, obviously, doesn’t.

6)    Finally, and most importantly, I’m a good person. I love people and would bend over backward to help them, but not if I don’t want to. I think that’s what my students love most about me. They understand that I love them unconditionally, something many of them have not experienced enough in their short lives. One more thing about me, I wouldn’t consciously try to hurt someone, although I have out of my own ignorance. I have apologized for those mistakes.

And now, my pilgrimage continues because, although the answers are beginning to come to me, they are still not ingrained in my soul. My goal is to be the embodiment of the person I have just recognized here. They say if you repeat a lesson enough times, you will remember it for life. I have the rest of the month.

Yours, most devotedly,

The Dragonfly’s Student

My Tuwanassapi — a Place of Belonging

The Royal Poinciana tree in my Meditation Space

Day 3

Seeking Teacher, I have embarked on a soul journey.

Create a sacred space, the guide book tells me. The Hopi indians called this their Tuwanasaapi, their place of belonging. The recommendation the book made was for a physical wheel or circle for me to sit in during my trip, but Teacher intruded into my thought again.

I found him, silent and smirking under the Royal Poinciana tree in my meditation space where we first met.

“Make your Tuwanassapi in your Meditation Space. I’ll be your North.”

So the Royal Poinciana tree, with its vivid red and green colors, represents my North. Teacher also guided me to focus on the chakra colors. Red and Green. Root and Heart. I guess we’ll be working on those. That’ll have to come in a different blog post.

East is next. I thought long and hard about the space where I haven’t been in a while because of the stresses of life. “What was to the East?” Oh, yes. The stream or, actually, a brook at this point — blue, it babbles as it rushes over dark gray stones worn smooth. The dark stones make the water look more rich, like that Indigo color I so love. Blue and Indigo. Throat and Third-eye.

West. What’s to my left is a field of purple and yellow wildflowers. Crown and Solar Plexus — my connection to Spirit and my gut instinct. Interesting field I had created!

South. Directly behind me is my house on a cliff and, flowing over the sky from the ocean which my house overlooks is a glorious splash of orange and pink from the sunset. (I know, it’s the South to my wheel, but faces West. I’m not even going to go crazy trying to explain it. It is what it is!) Sacral is Orange. It speaks of creativity. Pink, well, because I’m human, in means love to me!

When I finish mapping out my circle, I look toward Teacher, sitting, cross-legged under the Royal Poinciana that in Spanish is known as the Flamboyant.

I look for approval.

He smirks, shrugs, and, when I’ve just about lost my patience, he smiles. “Good luck.”

This is my next lesson, he says — to find the Teacher inside my heart.

That is all he says. Now he waits to congratulate me or to pick me up when I fall too hard.

Until next time, I’m forever faithfully

The Dragonfly’s Student

The Call From the Heart

Let me preface this by admitting this post is going to be very uncomfortable for me.  But, well, here goes…

“Order up!” The call comes from the kitchen that is my heart. Like an impatient manager, it’s ready to place the answers in front of me now.

I stepped into this life to play a role. We all do, to tell you the truth. In my beliefs, we plot out an existence and we step into the avatar we chose to take us through the game of life. It’s not really the definition my friends in organized religion will accept. I may end up losing some of you. I get that.

The thing is, there’s always been a hole in my life. I’ve been looking for that role I chose to play. I’ve searched high and low, hitting on nibbles that felt right. I would latch onto the answers I thought were mine – I’m a Singer or a Writer or a dutiful Daughter or a Journalist or a Wife and Mother or that rebellious Friend or that Teacher kids could talk to. Yes, I was all of those, and I was satisfied, but that hole in my soul remained.

Many times I would fill that hole with movement –Can’t stop. Can’t relax. Have to write. Have to drive. Have to talk. That action was necessary. Like my new puppy, I couldn’t stop. I needed to move. The movement served to numb me so that I couldn’t spend too much time focusing on whether I was truly happy. I thought I was and that was enough for me. I think the perpetual motion was because I was scared.

Then the dragonfly entered my life. I became obsessed with writing for him. Again, though, I wasn’t filling that hole. The thing is, I didn’t know I was searching to fill the hole. I didn’t accept anything was missing. I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t happy, though. I should have been. I have a fulfilling job that sometimes makes me yank my hair out because it’s too limiting; a loving, if at times frustrating family; an outlet for my creative tendencies. Really, anyone would say I’m lucky, and I get that.

But the hole is still there.

This school year, my realities have come together in a massive highway pile-up. It showed. There is no one who knows me personally who can ignore the fact that something has been off with me.

I think the hole is that I haven’t found my true role. If you ask me who I am, I will tell you what I do. That is just my Fictional Self, is what I’m learning now.

As Dr. Phil says, outside of the identity you show the world, “There is another level of existence that is the real, true, genuine substance of who you are. It’s … the authentic self.” (http://www.drphil.com/articles/article/73 )

The authentic self is the you that can be found at your absolute core. It is the part of you not defined by your job, function or role. It is the composite of all your skills, talents and wisdom. It is all of the things that are uniquely yours and need expression, rather than what you believe you are supposed to be and do.

 

Enter my spiritual search.

I’ve finally found something that excites me and fulfills me, that combines the joys I’ve had over my life and turns them into something special. I’ve found something that makes me feel whole and blessed. This new existence accesses my love of writing and music and acknowledges the voices of my spiritual reality. But this joy doesn’t work well with my other identities.

After years searching for the perfect tattoo to represent my beliefs about myself, a student hit the nail on the head and sketched the answer. It is a bracelet containing an infinity symbol topped by a red rose in bloom (what I’ve always considered myself to be.) The infinity symbol says I am Eternal. The rose says I am Ephemeral.

The third part of the bracelet is the wings of my Guardian Angel of Music. The wings affirm that I am Divine. I am part of that beautiful world where all souls originate.

Together they have become my new mantra: I am Eternal, I am Ephemeral, I am Divine.

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So as I embark on this summer’s Vision Quest, I’m searching for the Authentic Me. I’m digging through the layers of the Ogre I have become to find that sweet spot in my core.

I want to get to know the me I originally meant to become. Sometimes I wonder if it would be easier if human bodies were test tube creations until the Spirit was ready.  You know, I imagine myself stepping into Bodies-R-Us and picking out the perfect model with just the right programs that would work to enhance my goals instead of working against them. Maybe, even, there would be a money back guarantee and I could swap out if that body’s programs frazzled on me unexpectedly.

Yeah, that would be wonderful. Except that would mean opting out of all the fun stuff of childhood and high school and college. Those were the best times usually, with a few hard knocks here and there! The thing about living is that everything you experience becomes engraved in the record of your body’s hard drive. When you want to ignore a lesson that is no longer relevant, the needle skips (hopefully) or, God forbid, scratches through the relevant track.  And since being a Walk-In Spirit is not an option for me – I’ve just recently learned that this can and does happen – I’m going to have to work through my own filters to find the authentic me that lives underneath the layers.

I’m going to have to re-record the music of my reality this summer.

My goal is to come out of it knowing who I really am and what I really want to do with my life. Pretty big order, I know, and as the waiter approaches, I sit back and hope I don’t have to throw any part of my dinner away.