recovery

Listen to the heart!

“The Heart loves service, humility, hard work, dedication, self-approval and self-trust, listening to Divine Guidance from The Uni-verse which Whispers to us, taking action even though we don’t feel like it, getting up and trying again, not blaming but taking responsibility for the outcome of our lives, empathy, and having the willingness to dig in and get our hands dirty instead of leaving our dreams up to someone else.” Mastin Kipp: The Daily Love Blog

Pine cones

For three days I was hoping to write something less dark, more joyful than what has preceded on these pages. Yet my dance with shadow, my ego is the dance partner who seems to lead. Selfishness is the word or action that poked me this morning. My reaction to Mom’s disease, Alzheimer’s is distressing, and abusive to both of us. I realized the resentment I have about the situation taking up my time, my peace of mind, for I don’t know how or I certainly forget when I am forced to try to explain something a half a dozen times.

My heart may love service but not services that is forced, not service that has no seemingly end. There are moments when I feel boxed in trapped in our prison of “service”.  When I am angry and resentment takes voice I blame others, family, social services, mostly family for not showing up, not really being involved in this life/death situation with their own Mother! It is not about them, or is it? It is about my ego, my selfishness… plus being totally unprepared for any of this.

I don’t feel like doing any of it, I want out, I want to run away. What we need is help, social contact for both of us, people willing to spend time at activities with Mom. Social interaction with support group as well as friends.

Long Shadows

As I continue to write I keep hearing a voice say, you can’t publish this, not this crap again, not all this “pain” this darkness. I am writing what is. I am writing my emotional reactive experience.  Mastin Kipp in the blog this morning also writes this, ” Basically, our dreams need us to get over ourselves. Our dreams need us to take responsibility for them. Our dreams need us to SHOW UP even when we don’t feel like it. They are fragile and need tender Loving care. Dreams take time and are often tests of Faith. Let’s meet the test!”

Dreams may not be the correct word here yet the path to my dreams is to journey through this process, finding the joy, finding the magic.  That magic is in my photography, that magic is that walking with my camera I am much more conscious of my surroundings, much more aware of the magnificent beauty in a drying frozen leaf/plant, the way the soil pushes up at times, the bright blue sky against the bare tree tops, that birds still sing and flit from place to place. The scurrying squirrels leaping and chasing each other in search of a meal. The universe is alive, the universe offers each creature the gifts to live each day.

winter pods

That there is a balance to life even when the balance seems to be way off.  “Dreams take time and are often tests of Faith. Let’s meet the test!”  One of the principle of the artist’s way Morning pages is to “Show up at the page, (show up for life) Use the page to rest, to dream, to try.”  That certainly is a powerful way to be present for life, being awake, aware of all actions, good, bad or indifferent. Show up! Showing up is sometimes the hardest part.

I didn’t write yesterday because I didn’t want to feel, I distracted myself, i was too emotional, feeling shame or guilt for my angry, my madness. These are all part who I am. I could not even respond to the comments made my friends on the last blog until this morning because I was too moved by the compassion and support that was radiating there. I am most grateful for each and everyone for  your words. I bow in humbleness. I feel unworthy.

in the wind

Namaste!

Photos: 

{ This blog was written early this morning, I still doubted whether I should publish it. I listened to my heart}

Rarely have we seen a person fail…

who has throughly  followed our path.” Big statement yet placed with honesty, and continual practice of service to a Higher Power through the steady conscious awareness of self in daily readiness to help another human being.

Glimmers of light

Glimmers of light

At 12:00 am today I was led out of a tunnel of darkness, into a room full of light, well really crowded with men and women sitting around a table and lining the walls of a strip mall store, drinking coffee, smoking and chatting among themselves. Actually they were reading from a book,  a little blue book, The 12 & 12, which was either shared with me by the person next to me or I was given one while being shown which page and paragraph they were on. Yes I was late to my first AA Meeting at the Malvern Club House.

24 Years ago today those people in that crowded smoked filled room help me begin to change me life, one day at a time.  Being desperate enough to finely seek help for my drinking which had recently gotten me arrested for public lewdness or disturbance. My lover of the past few years had offered me a ultimatum,  it was him or the booze and crazy behavior alcohol and pot created within me. Imagine I went to my first meeting to save my relationship with another person? Yet I discovered after a few short weeks it was the relationship to myself and a Higher Power that would keep me there, allow me to get sober and be sober…

A moment

A moment

24 years is a life time, 24 years is only a beginning of the opening doors, the unraveling of years of unconscious behavior, ideals, and thinking that kept me in the state of want, the state of emptiness. In that state I felt the need to fill the hole in my soul, the ego needed to be constantly stroked. Every action was caused by those needs to be wanted  to be like, to be the best at something.

24 years of awakening, walking along many paths with many people, in meetings, books, in prayer circles, which for a time included religious organizations, than in spiritual community, who did I meet in all those places? I met myself, I meet myself in the reflection of each person and situation that challenges who I am, who I believe I am and who I am becoming.

24 years of re-discovery, have I throughly followed the path? Sometimes, sometimes not. The quote that begins this blog and is major part of the 12 Step Program written by recovering drunks for recovering drunks, and read at many many meeting everyday sets down the path, offers the tools to use, to a practice of a way of life beyond many peoples understanding. The reading offers bit of comfort with these words, ” We are not saints. The point is, that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines. We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection.”

the imperfect path

the imperfect path

Thank goodness for that, I don’t have to be perfect anymore, and I am not by any means. I fall short every day, yet the main thing is I don’t drink, I don’t use a substance, to dumb me. I walk in the woods, I take my camera, and my two lovely animal companions who show me what unconditional love is on a moment to moment basis. I am granted today, this moment, to be present, each a gift to unwrap and savor, sharing with the world around me…

I am grateful.

 

Don’t be perfect. Be you.

“Don’t be perfect. Be you.
Don’t be what you think they want you to be.
Be what you know you are.
Don’t look outside yourself for anything. It’s all within!”

~Jackson Kiddard

Image

My friend shared this quote this morning on his FB status. My response was saying yeah but my insides feel like a mess. His response to me was that spirit was perfection, our inner state is Perfect. But what happens when the inner state doesn’t feel perfect, that truly the shadows have come to rest upon my days and play havoc with my mind.

And than I went to see what the daily reading was from Pocketful of Miracle, in which Joan Borysenko share this prayer:

“Great Spirit, help me awaken to the peace of mind that is my own true nature, my birthright in You!”

It seems sometimes it is only the words I have to comfort me, the awareness comes from the words, they are the light on the darkened path, as well as the bright light on the path that leads me forward. At sometime in the past few weeks it seems I have taken a step back or a road less traveled, or one that I have been on before and have not completely searched and cleared out the demons or made peace with them. Image

This whole blog maybe about telling on myself. It may be about that fact that on Saturday June 9, with the grace of God, I will be sober 23 years. I haven’t had a drink or a drug in all that time one day at time. Yet my emotional soberity has not followed such a rigorous path, or has it?

As I stepped back into the practice of my program, the program of recovery on a regular basis a little less that a year ago, even though the language and principles (spiritual principles of AA) have always been a guiding source of light during my search for my relationship with a Higher Power. It was the humans, the daily living among people in and out of the program that throws me into darkness.

Knowing I am not perfect, the ego always wants to lead the dance instead of being a partner and sharing the harmony we can make together I become confronted by who I think I am, maybe even who people think I am, most telling who I think people are suppose to be.

Even after all this time, I don’t have it right, I don’t want to have it right, I just desire to not expect, I desire to allow life to be, even when I don’t know what that Being is. Going within feels frightening right now. Going within feels dark, it tells “you are not perfect, you lead with your ego, you have too much expectations of those around, and even yourself.” Or maybe it is not that maybe it is the fear that Marianne Williamson shares about…

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Image

As I began to step up my practice, use the tools of recovery, to empower myself to listen to the voice from within, to open up once again to let people in, to make friends, to take on new projects. Fear stepped in too, the feeling of abandonment and risk came calling. It all began to seem like work. Of course there was joy there, there was inspiration. So what shows self sabotage, reluctance, the monster “not good enough”, people began leaving… or did they?

So who is this guy 23 years later? with all the flaws and character defects still intact… was i this person drunk? have I learned anything in the past 23 years? sometimes it feels like I have not. Yeah the old timers say, “well you didn’t drink today.” and that is a blessing in itself.

As A human I am beyond perfect, as spirit I was born perfect. Just being me in the imperfect perfection of living life on daily basis. Image

The poetry of Fog

The fog is an illusion—
A master of disguise,
Which hides the tangible
Before our very eyes.

But when the fog has lifted
Everything’s still there,
And the tangible
Only seemed to’ve disappeared.

In the early morning
Or late at night,
The fog descends
Upon various sites.

It gives an air of mystery
That has long prevailed.
Dangerously intriguing
Is the fog’s foggy veil.

© W.S.2009

Walterrean Salley

The Dense Fog

I see not what others see
The fog is used to blind me
That fog of routine that is of life
Unable to see what is near
It is near impossible to hear
Only the little light makes it through
That light is what I see
The possibility of unhindered vision
But that is only for a moment
For tomorrow the fog will roll back
And that is how all life is
For my generation and yours
This fog is here to stay

Stephen Mueller

 

exercising your power of choice.

“… through exercising your power of choice judiciously, you can learn to see how you and your actions can work in harmony with the world around you. You may experience the grace of living in harmony with the universe only a handful of times, but the experience is characterized by a feeling of trust and a rapport with your surroundings.” Carolyn Myss

The power of choice

I read the above quote after having read the Fourth Step process in Alcoholics Anonymous: The process of taking an inventory of our lives, seeking the places we find resentment, anger, selfish behavior… and fear. These choices of fear selfish behavior, anger and resentments do not allow us/me to experience the grace of being in harmony with the universe, those choices do not create trust and or rapport with my surroundings, they do just the opposite.

Continual Flow

I say this because I find myself more and more in just those moments of choice, to control a situation, to be get angry because someone needs some or is hovering, in an unconscious caring way. I hear myself in those moments, when I am making a sarcastic comment, getting angry of a diver on the road that is going the speed limit, or even the dogs, when it seems to me an inappropriate time to want to take a walk, in those moments I have to breathe, I have to say how important is this to my sanity and my relationship to this situation. Constantly readjusting my attitude, realigning my self with the Higher Power. For each moment is a moment to learn who I am, or who I am not or even no longer wish to be.

Self-centered, resentment, anger, and fear...

There is some really wise words which when used as action to move beyond ourselves, from  Alcoholics Anonymous page 420 which states, “Perhaps the best thing of all for me is to remember that my serenity is inversely proportional to my expectations.” For I have unconscious expectation of how things are suppose to be, I have egoic reason why, a situation, person, place or thing should act accordingly, the wisdom goes on to say, ” The higher my expectations of other people are (and myself), the lower my serenity. I can watch my serenity level rise when I discard my expectations. But when my ‘rights’ (ego) try to move in, and they too can force my serenity down. I have to discard my ‘rights’ (ego) as well as expectations, by asking myself, How important is it, really?  How important is it compared to my serenity, my emotional sobriety? And when I place more value on my serenity and sobriety than on anything else, I can maintain them at a higher level – at least for the time being.”

For at least the time being, for the moment is just that only a moment, yet when anger and resentment have become present the moment lives on in my energy much longer. Yeah but ego says what about my ‘rights’ what about me, in a flash, you are not important, the state of being is, presence of mind, the action of Love is the state of being. Love of self, to be Love of others, Love to others.

I still have to ask, do I think that little of myself to continue to react in such a manner? The reason for this writing is to awaken that place of serenity, to create emotional sobriety on a regular basis, not a sometime, someplace experience, an experience that is a state of being, Being Love, I am Love. I use to sign off with I am Love, all the time, than something shifted, because what I was experiencing was everything put love from myself. So it was time to “trudge the road of happy destiny” once again.

Serenity

Once again the practice of choosing consciously or judiciously choosing actions that are in harmony with the world around will offer the grace of serenity, will allow me to be present and leave the present to the past when the next moment comes, and I have acted Lovely from self into the world Lovely .

Question: What are your choices saying about you?

All Photographs are register @ Jeff Stroud. and can be purchased through me or http://www.redbubble.com/people/jeffstroud

engaged in becoming…

Enchantment invites us to pause and to be arrested by whatever is before us; instead of our doing something, something is done to us. This is the way of the soul, which is primarily the receptive power in us; by letting ourselves be slowed down and affected by nature, we are fashioned into persons of substance, even if at a more active, conscious level we are forcefully engaged in becoming something else.  Thomas Moore.

into the moment!

My thoughts are to just offer the above words and photographs like I did yesterday yet at another level there is more creative juice desiring to be expressed.  The words and ideas in Re-enchantment are so refreshing in so many ways… offering views I have not witnessed for a while. If that makes sense.

The heat had made going outside so oppressive that spending time photographing anything was not really an option, the moments being outside where more to get from one place to another, but never really to enjoy, for the pleasure of a walk was taken away by 100 plus degree heat, the stillness where birds didn’t even sing, the sadness of the plants all dry and dropping along the paths, making one wonder why they are even still alive at all, they have to be really reaching down into their wells for a hint of water.

To keep my well juiced I have found sources of refreshing language, inspiring lives, creative work of people who are creative artist themselves. I heard the message to pick up “The Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life” I had a copy that has been sitting in pile in my room, but I had come across the volume a few times in other places. I have had this book for years, I had even begun to read it but put it down because I was not ready for it than. There was a time because of my love affaire with Conversations with God books, other spiritual books lacked much interest or felt unappealing, even through many books are suggested by Neale Donald Walsch/God throughout the Conversations with God series.

in the details

Re-Enchantment along with Pronoia the wondrously outrageous writings of Rob Brezsny the river of ideas, inspiration, creativity have bathed me in renewing activity of the senses. That included a trip to the Town Center formerly the Mall, to a week-long used book sale with my friend Linda, which included a journey over to the library so she could use their computers while I perused the videos and books-selves.  Finding the selection of videos a bit wanting I headed the Photography section, and glad I did! First of all, the light in the area had been fixed, second the selves were neat and orderly, not always the case in under visited areas of the library.  I had just bought a half a dozen books so why was I looking for more books? Why was I in the photography section, the line of books informed me of that. I found a biography of Ansel Adams, not someone I am really drawn too but someone I thought could shed some light of photography and nature. Plus there is the wondrous “street photography” book, Bystander: A History of Street Photography, an over sized packed to the gills with wondrous photographs from the late 1800, into the 1970′s.

Grand moments

So I get to travel back and forth in places around the world, capturing moments of city streets, everyday moments and moments that caused history to change. I get to read about a man who was not only a photographer, a nature photographer, considered to be one of the finest nature photographers, but also a life long member of the Sierra Club .

an opening.

I thought there was more to this… it didn’t feel finished but I am going to let it go now! ( a few hours after writing).

Resting, reading, recharging…

For days I have had the urge to write, to blog, did I? No. Today not so much yet I have sense something would like to flow? I still not sure what that flow is, and it has been slightly interrupted by a chat with a friend.

4th of July festivities !

I guess I have to ask am I blocked? Am I using the last exhibit experience to hold me back? Or have I just been considering my options. I think both, I have been licking my wounds, as well as readjusting to from the excitement and expectation of a First Friday Solo show! To ask myself what I could have done, or could do for the next exhibit? Yet I have noticed I have not taken as many photos as of late. I did shoot of 4th of July at the local parade and festival. On the 6th I went to a free outdoor concert in Haddon Heights Park to hear Liz Longley and Hezekiah Jones as well as photograph them live. Photographing concerts is one of my other favorite experiences to photograph! I love the energy, I like to watch the performers expressions, and experience their of their music. I get very involved in the process.

Liz Longley

Liz Longley opened with short half hour set, of new music, which she said was break up songs. Even if they where break up songs, the music was lively and meaningful. ( Hot Loose Wire) After her performance I bought her to latest CD’s  and offered her my card. So she could view the photos I had taken. She had commented about us down there on the ground in front of stage taking photographs while she was performing, hoping we would get good shots, not of sweaty face and double chin from that angle. I think I accomplished that. I had messaged her on Facebook, she commented she like the photos I had posted and would like me to send her some to use via her email.

Hezekiah Jones, who I did know, yet was wandering around earlier chatting with the folks from the radio station XPN, had I known I would have taken pix than. But I have plenty from the stage. This band is amazing, blend of blue grass, country, pop… with three guitar players, violin, bass, drummer, keyboard player. These guys where jamming, have the best time. I bought their CD’s as well, and offered Raphael Cutrufello
my cards as well.

Hezekiah Jones

Have not heard back as of yet from him but hey I was out there working, doing what I enjoy doing. Listening to great music, out in nature for free! What could be better than that!

Reading, resting, recharging.

Not Knowing

Make your own recovery the first priority in your life. Robin Norwood

simple beauty!

My first thoughts was that I could and would write this morning, that the block had opened, the I felt different for the first time in weeks. Had I prayed for this you bet, had I reflected on why I was in the state I was in sure, had I any idea not it real tangible way. I consciously asked before sleep that this darkness pass, the block be undone. The message I received this morning was that the moment was right. To begin walking again. Walking in the light of spirit, with the winds of creativity lifting heart and hands to move beyond where I was. I realized I do not generally get colds or illness, yet I am overcome for weeks at a time with melancholy, depression, lack of interest, lack of trust and fear are my constant companions, and I have to welcome them for what ever reason. Had I made the wrong choices, went down the incorrect path, because all of a sudden the world became dark, and frightening to some degree.

A month or so ago, I was told by a healer, that I had spirits that lingered and that they caused much of the heaviness that I experience at times. That I needed to do ritual every so often to ask them to leave, which of course I had not done. Even writing this I feel some presence pushing, pulling at me, could be just ego rearing its impatience with me.

Ever Green

 

So when I sat at the computer this morning and it would connect to the internet I was like, Oh sure here we go, I have been lead to write and the path is block, yet it is only blocked by my own ability to see my options. Yes I like the wordpress.com’s ablitiy to word process, for I don’t have word on my computer, I have to use TextEdit whatever the heck that is? But it is a writing tool and usable to create a document in some fashion.  At once I open ITunes to listen to music to set the correct tone, and that format had changed as well, yikes!

Yet what had not changed was my ability to write, to read the suggested principles in the Artist’s Way and the Rule of the Road, to set me on the path, along that path, flipping through the book, words and sentance caught me attention, shown light on places in my mind giving it much needed energy to once again breathe, to experience, to be awed by life itself. Not to dwell in the dark, empty world of facebook, and games, TV even though we now get Turner Movie Classic station, they are no subsitutes for “real” life, the roads into it, because I sat there yesterday afternoon watching a film about Our Lady of Fatima experiencing tears of joy and saddness all at the same time. The innocents of these children, their belief and faith inspite of the family and world thinking that had made it all up, the church and government fully against them, yet determined to see the Lady every month, and each month more and more people traveled miles to be in the presence of these childern and the “Lady”.  I sat there as well wondering have we really listened to the “Lady’s” advice, do we still need to honor the “mother” for peace to have its way with us? Yes we do need to continue to honor the Mother, Gaia, the Mother of all Life, the giver of all life, it is in our child like belief to see Mother, in the frost on the ground, hear her voice in the bird that sings from the branch above, feel her caress in as the winds blow across your face, feel her life force in the breath we take each moment, along with the rest of the earth and universe.

Source

A few weeks ago I recieved the next sections of the Life Harmony program “Self-Reflection” I read it, with the consciousness that I had read all of this before, had I? Yes. Yet it did nothing to help my state of mind or spirt only made me more discontent, saying to myself I am no more closers to the practice than I was months ago when I started, that I stopped doing all the suggested practices weeks before.  Yet knowing during the summer I began to get more invovled in my life again, that I felt more energy, that I was eating healthier, I was getting more social, and in some ways more creative. The pages/blog where welcomed practices that informed, enlightented, energized, guided, and shared with my own ego and the world around me what the heck I was doing. It was a record of the path I had taken, the thoughts that I thought, the actions I had taken or the intentions I had to accomplished contiue on my journey to harmony. The path of “self-reflection” is lead by finding the balance in that balance “we enjoy qualities from the constructive side of self. These include feeling connected to our senses of insight, clarity, discernment and fulllillment of personal duty. We are open to unleased, unlimited, potential and possibility.” ( Life Harmony, Laurie Buchanan). Yet at the time I was not feeling these at all, I was completely off balance, I was experiencing negative effects which include, “self-absorption, feeling frustrated, nervous, energtically drained, fear, intolerence, impracticality, and melancholy.” (Life Harmony, L, Buchanan).

Crystalized

I have had to stop to breathe in the music of Joshua Bell, and Puccini: O Mio Babbino Caro from his Romance of the Violin! It has to be one of the most beautifull pieces of music I have heard in my life, as the tears stream down my face, and the emotion just wells with its beauty.

 

So I leave with the statement of what “Self-Relection” is:

I cultivate clarity

I am discerning; I exercise sound judgement

I trust my intuition and insights

I am more aware today thank I was yesterday

I am conscious and mindful

I approach life in a purposeful manner

I inspire others

I utilize positive thinking

I embrace the myseries that I encounter

I am courageous and ask “Why” and “Why Not”?

I am open to new ideas

I am secure with not-knowing

I function from a place of endless possibilities

 

A form of therapy

Writing is a form of therapy,” English author Graham Greene wrote in his autobiography, Ways of Escape. “Sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write, compose or paint can manage to escape the madness, the melancholia, the panic fear that is inherent in the human situation.”

Red waving !

I found this yesterday on link, and shared it on my facebook page, it is a blog, or piece about writing a journal as therapy, which resonated with me, for I had for years wrote long hand journals before recovery as well as after. The below paragraphs where wrote on Sunday morning and I have not gone back to read them, yet once again they are calling to be published. The reason they did not get finished on Sunday was that Linda had called  and we where getting together to go to the Berlin Farmers Market, Flea Market, within the next hour… so the blog was left. So in order not to have words just stored here in a draft I am sending the off…

 

I keep being pulled in to this space yet I have no concept of what I wish to write. Whether I will just post photographs, or that I have something to say? Who knows? I will find some music that fit the moment, gently ease my mind and spirit to vibrate into a level of creativity.

I realized yesterday, as Muffin, Riley, and I went for an afternoon walk, that I had not taken the camera with me

in over a week. That is a long time for me not to have taken any photographs, I realized too, that I have to left the house other then to walk the dogs in that time either. Is this a set back or a resting place before moving forward in the ever evolving landscape of who I am as a creative being. The time has not all been wasted for sure, but if asked, what would I say that I have been up too? One of the guys at Easton Mt, Harry, use to begin conversations with something like “if  your life were to be a headline, what would it say”?  Hmm??? Photographer Jeff Stroud, has been missing! Has he taken time off, or is he gearing up for new inspiration? Follow the artist here in the next few days for exciting new works and offerings.

Well do I have new offerings? I have been working on a featured photographer section for Candid Photography group on Redbubble, in which I am a co-host. I think it is great way to be inspired, a form of artist dates, to interview and feature candid work of the many marvelous candid photographs in this group. I have not worked out all the details as of yet, but have been asking around, checking other links that offer this type of connection, to work and artist.

I have been completely distracted by an online game City of Wonder which as occupied much to much of my time… I just have to say that. and I knew beginning this game, I would be pulled in once again. Oy Vey!

The good silver

So here I sit, staring at the page, wondering what is next, my thought is to write about a situation I had with a woman who was offering The Artist’s Way on meetup.com, yet I am a bit embrassed by my behavior, somewhat. Here is the situation. I received the message from http://www.meetup.com that The Artist’s Way group was beginning in Philly, I signed on, yet there was no information where or when the meeting would be. A day later a message appears on meetup, for more information please email me at… I was like what is this about, the site offers all of that information, why do we need to email her? I messaged back on meetup, asking why the information just was not provided? The woman said that is how she does it. Oh yes there was not photograph of the person who was the moderator of this group, I question that as well. I went to her website and found out she was L.S.W. and offered sessions at her office in the city, yet said nothing about her being an artist. I questioned her on that too. I finally emailed her, and the message I received back was that she felt we were a bad fit and would not get along. she dismissed me. I messaged her back and said I was sorry for following my intuition, that I was honestly concerned and truthfully asking questions. No response from her again. I went back to the site and messaged other people who were interested in attending my concerns and that I was shut out by the moderator, I never heard from anyone again… Hmm?

A collection in Blue!

The process just did not feel right to me. Yet my behavior felt a bit out of step as well. So I will just put into action the group I discussed a month ago.

In relationship

You have nothing to learn about relationships. You have only to demonstrate what you already know. Conversations with God Bk 1

Painted sky

In the past few days I have been asked about relationships, and I certainly not an expert, and up front I just wish to state I have not been in what A Course in Miracles calls a “special” relationship for a long long time. The longest relationship I have had is with myself, re-discovering who I am is a full-time activity. It is not until I can be in a fully authentic, healthy, growing relationship with myself and my Higher Power that I will expand that experience to a special or romantic relationship. I will say here that I am closer to that now than I have ever been. Within that statement is the beginning of moving beyond the self-imposed victimhood, the self-imposed denial of a special/romantic relationship. For I desired to find out who I was in relationship to everything else in my life. How I respond or react to social, emotional, financial, physical situations, mostly I withdrew. I withdrew out of anger and fear, I withdrew because no one or nothing could live up to me expectations of them. For my expectations or ideals caused me great hurt, when they where suppose to be emanating Love. When I sought Love from the world around me, I was met with everything that did not look or act like love. I caused great grief and depression.

Painted tree tops

What I have learned through experience is that I have to Be Love, I have to come from a loving place whether others are loving or not. I have to find and experience the spirit in each and every situation, no I still don’t get there all the time but I know now how too, I know now when I am not there, when my expectations are leading the way, (ego) when I am seeking something from some one or something, and not just being fully present in the chaos and even joy to bring and be happiness. Asking myself is this who I am, is this who I desire to be at this moment, is this a loving thought or action, if not how can I Be more loving in this situation?

In the Book Conversations with God Book: an uncommon dialogue. Book 1, Neale Donald Walsch is in conversational dialogue with God, ( I know I hear your doubt or maybe I even hear your joy) this book to me has been the doors and windows to my soul, the light on my path, the scripture I keep returning to, the guidance I seek when I am off the path.  Conversations with God (CwG) is a book about relationships, a book about how to be in relationships with yourself with your understanding of who and what God is to you, it is about our relationship with everything, it is about Oneness without ever saying so out rightly.

There is one chapter in CwG 1 that discussing “relationships” loud and clear. Chapter 8 in this chapter Neale ask what we all ask “Is there a way to be happy in relationships?” And God answers with this at the beginning, “Relationship are constantly challenging; constantly calling you to create, express, and experience higher and higher aspects of yourself, grander and grander visions of yourself, ever more magnificent versions of yourself. Nowhere can you do this more immediately, impactfully, and immaculately than in relationships. In fact, without relationships, you can not do it at all.”

These words sung to me, enlightened my path, all it’s defects, and imperfections,  my experience with all my relationships, but first it destroyed all my notions of relationships, and many relationships I had to reevaluate, and many were left behind, so that the beauty and creativity of relationship could begin to inform and grow in grander and grander experience. My heart broke open, sadness and joy danced together, one informing the other, that a balance was the way to live in happiness.

So it was myself I had to put first, not in an egoic way for I had already walked that path, now was a time to find out who I was and it was not what I was told by others, because living my life the way I had lived thus far, in the world was the world lived by others, unconscious doing. CwG once again makes this statement and I think many, if not all people seeking, walking a spiritual path will need to ask and find out. God says; … determining what is best for you will require you to also determine what it is you are trying to do. This is an important step that many people ignore. What are you “up to”? What is your purpose in life”? Without answers to these questions, the matter of what is “best” in any given circumstance with remain a mystery.”

one of many paths

For now I am leaving the mystery to you to find out. My blog/morning pages have been about re-discovering who I am in relationship to myself, my creativity, and the world around me. For without walking that path, without being conscious relationships are unhappy and unfullfilling… Life is one of the most amazing adventures we experience on this plane, living in from the heart fully present is a blessing to all Life.

Growth question: Do you know what you life purpose is? Do you know what you are up to?

I am Love, Jeff