Giving Up • July 2014
I can only give to someone what they are willing or able to receive. I may want to heap all kinds of goodies and lovin' onto someone, but if they don't want it or need it, I am basically S.O.L. Or, they may not be able to receive, or value, what I offer. It feels like I'm watching my desires to give, all wrapped in pretty ribbons, float down the river with so much other trash and run-off.
The difficult thing to accept is: it's not within my purview to decide what someone else should accept from me.
Conversely, at times I may not like what others give me. A good problem to have, but I get disappointed. "Don't they know I need money, not company?" or "Can't they see I need hugs, not a new phone?" and "Shouldn't they be reading my every behavioral nuance to detect what I want?" (Sometimes I want to shoot me). Well, I can't dictate how others want to give, either.
Unwanted gifts may drop into your lap like lumps of coal. Unrequited giving may sting like a blast of arctic air. But sometimes you can only meet people where they are, and then truly treasure the times we do meet each other halfway.
"There must be firmness if relationships are to succeed. If we give in to the demands and tantrums of the ego, there is misfortune. We prosper when we meet others halfway - no more and no less." -Brian Browne Walker
Lost and Found • June 2014
I like it when people are lost because I see where they actually are, point them in that direction -- or say "You’re right where you need to be" -- and then I get to watch them find themselves. Juicy fun!
An example of this somewhat morbid attraction is my experience of the film "American Beauty." The protagonist’s rediscovery of his true nature (what I call a happy ending) is immediately followed by a murder (what others call a tragic ending). As long as he found himself; that’s all that matters to me.
Same with the last pages of The Unbearable Lightness of Being, in which author Milan Kundera plays with light against the reader’s prior knowledge of the future’s crushing weight. For me, it is an eternal stillpoint of conflict resolution. O, happy day!
There is also the story of Jung’s contrary responses to the fortunes of others: Upon hearing bad news he would exclaim, "Congratulations!" And, upon hearing good news, "You have my deepest sympathies." This was part prescience, part perspective. He understood the cycle of life's events, and he also placed enormous value -- both as a healer of wounds and as a wounded man -- on suffering.
I can sometimes have a hard time relating to my friends and loved ones when they are very happy. Well, what am I supposed to do with THAT? I guess I enjoy giving directions to lost souls. But if they aren’t lost, what’s a psychic healer girl to do? O, miserable emptiness!
Are you into Havingness or Having Less? • March 2014
Havingness is not only your ability to have your life -- to acknowledge and to receive the good in your life -- but also your ability to create your life. Increasing your havingness is about letting go of limits placed on your gratitude and creating. Right now, acknowledge a limiting feeling you've been having. Release it down into the earth, or ask the God of your heart to take it away.
Do you look upon someone else's abundance with envy or curiosity?
The envy will reveal a limit, because when we envy someone, we think we are supposed to have what they have. At the very foundation of this thought is, "I’m not supposed to be me" which thwarts your unique ability to create only as you can. Maybe take a look at an envy that you have. Release it or ask that it be taken away.
What's left behind: a desire for more, a curiosity? The curiosity will reveal a next step for you, it shows you what you want to create, what you may already be creating.
Limits and Next Steps are markers and way-finders to increasing your Havingness.
Dive Right In • November 2013
Sitting in the background at KSFR's on-air memorial for Dan Gerrity, I was so moved by the love in the room. Dan had a big showbiz heart, which he earnestly opened towards others. This drew us out, through our hearts, into the world with him.
The very next day in an hour-long breath session, panic began to take me over. I opted to phone it in: breathe not so deeply, and pause in between breaths.
But, soon Dan appeared kneeling next to me, curious and leaning in, "GO FOR IT LISA, GO FOR IT. JUST DIVE RIGHT IN." I spiraled into shock, confusion, then acceptance, and "OKAY!" I breathed through the fear, and blasted off into the universe, just like Sandra Bullock in "Gravity." I felt so much love, and enthusiasm, a recharge for life, no matter the pain and suffering.
That night I dreamt that Death walked up to me in a restaurant. I looked at my husband and said, "I love you. Thank you." As I fell backwards into black, I compressed into a single point in my heart.
The dream prompted the same progression of feelings I had with the breath session and Dan's cheerleading. After moving through my fears, I feel so ALIVE. I saw that fears of my death are the same fears I have about living, and I released some of these fears ... Thank you, Dan, for this life-affirming gift.
Greater, Lesser, Equal • September 2013
"I am greater than, lesser than, and equal to the universe for three reasons ... I'm greater than it because I contain it in my mind, I'm lesser than it because that's obvious, schmuck, and I'm equal to it because I'm of the same atoms it is." - George Carlin
What a thought-provoking statement about our underlying equanimity. Are we really all so equal? Equal, but different. What about value: can we all agree that mass murderers, like Hitler, are less worthy humans? Those individuals bring enormous hate and violence to the world.
But, whenever any leader brings about destruction, she doesn't act alone. Aside and beneath are the rest of us who assist and support. Via our preference to be blind, removed, superior, or wealthier, we all allow horrors, everywhere, still. Right under our noses.
So, someone like Mao Ze-Dong is worthless, but someone like me is worthy? Acts which ascribe worthlessness upon others belie a gaping absence of self-worth. A hollow like that yearns to be filled. Our yearning for self-worth is a calling card of our self-awareness. We all have this consciousness. We all have value. In kaleidoscopic expression. At the deepest, perhaps unfathomable level, all events, things and people exist at an utter equanimity.
And, what is that equanimity? Is it a yearning to be Itself, in all its forms, infinitely?
The Hard Work of Letting It Be • August 2013
"Its never about what you think's it's about." - from Sandra, to Juli, to me.
Sometimes we think we're being intuitive or right-brained when actually we aren't. We may be adhering to a complex healing ritual, or some latest self-help trend, or a new way to meditate. But what we're really doing is attaching ourselves to the Letter of the Law ... and losing the Spirit of the Law. Clasp the hands of doing with being. Spirit, the home of your intuition; Body, the great builder.
As the Taoist Hu Tsu tells his acolyte Lieh Tsu (in Chuang Tsu, Inner Chapters), "I have taught you only the letter and not the spirit of Tao. Do you really think that you have mastered Tao? If there is no rooster in a flock of hens, how can they lay fertile eggs?"
Here Tao is described in terms of male and female. Hu Tsu is talking about a balance and harmony of yin and yang. How can you create what you want if you only push and force and analyze? Allow things to unfold.
Among Us • July 2013
I discovered recently that the commonly accepted version of the Lord's Prayer is quite a mash-up: 24 words were added, and several omitted from Matthew's translation. Also, to put Jesus in context, the prayer is similar to the Talmud's Kadish which adds necessary dimension. In books and online, there are both strict and creative translations. The many poetic interpretations speak to its ongoing relevance, and to its elegant redolence.
I feel a little sheepish admitting I still use this prayer! It comes so easily. But, my beliefs are far removed from traditional Christian ones. I sometimes entreat a Sophia-Jehovah-Shekinah trinity. Rather than "who art in heaven," I employ "who art among us," a simple yet profound adjustment that I came across in David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas.
When I say the Lord's Prayer, I feel the movement between inner and outer realities. I look to its inner essence, passing through and by the patriarchal veneer, sloughing off the notion that the Divine exists only in heaven, absorbing that all existence is hallowed, Spirit is in the seen and unseen, trusting that I will have all that I need to thrive while not forgetting to be generous in self-love and love for others, so be it.
The above Barry Moser engraving "Wisdom" is from his illustrated King James Bible. The Goddess Sophia exists in the bible as "Wisdom."
Vanity Fair • June 2013
After seeing a beautiful photo of a friend's daughter, I told the young woman to frame it, that in 30 years she'd be glad she did. "When you're young it's totally okay to indulge your vanity." It's about appreciation of beauty, and we all have it. At any age. It's enthusiasm, too, especially when you're young; so full of your aspirations, vanity, vivacity.
To a longtime friend who was concerned about her daughter's love life, I said "Tell your daughter she doesn't have to choose between anyone. She's 20, she can follow her body, and her heart, do what she wants." It's about engaging with your passions, not fretting. I spent way too much time fretting. Even my grandmother, who was one of the most restrained people I ever knew, told me when I was 20 "Shouldn't you be having fun? Why worry so much?" Honestly, I can't remember the boys I was fretting over at the time.
If you're vain, be vain. If you fall in love at the drop of a hat, be fickle. You're not going to change unless something happens that may cause you to want to change anyway. You contain these so-called negative traits, and the so-called positive ones, and yet are still so much more. Be who you are. Indulge that. Revel in it while you are young, because when you are older it's not that you are less, or lose anything, it's just that you change, you expand, you love differently, more deeply. Although I wish I still looked 30 sometimes, I also regard myself differently now; it just happened.
I am glad that when I was younger I sometimes really enjoyed looking in the mirror! And I don't mind it now either.
Easy as One, Two, Three • May 2013
Notice where you are. Notice how you feel. What do you hear around you right now? Notice your breath. As you answer these questions you enter a state of simply being. Being aware of being. Start anything from where you are.
While housesitting for my mom, I noticed the beautiful sunset colors, and took a moment to look out the windows. Venus was very bright, and not alone. Right there with her were two other planets, Jupiter and Mercury, forming a nice triangle right at the horizon.
I still needed to meditate, but didn't want to miss this scene, so I thought to myself "I'll do an open-eye meditation!"
While watching the trio of planets slide under the horizon, I thought of the aspects of 3 I'd recently learned about in a Gurdjieff movement class: gravity, life-force and breath. Inner life, outer life and the shared experience, etc.
I drew up from the earth's center. I drew in a breath. I drew upon my life force.
I soft-focused on my surroundings and heard the kids playing games next door. I noticed my calm, and felt my own heart beat. The wind pushed and pulled at my hair, and a bat circled the apple tree.
I knew where I was. I knew how I felt. I was a part of my world.
Grist for the Mill • April 2013
Everything of our lives is provided, given, in the container of our reality, within the shape of this known and unknown universe. What is the container? Call it anything you like.
Isn't it a little like what your mother gives you? I'm not saying it is a mother, but like one. She brings you into the world: "Here I am, your mother. And here is your family. They will love you and hurt you, like no one else can. Here is your community, your village. They will play with you, help you, ignore you, step on you, and pull you up. Here is your earth, your home. She will provide for you everything you will ever want or conceive of. And, maybe take it all away. And me, I will love you, even while it tears my heart out. And even though I, too, will hurt you."
Because doesn't a mother give you -- not the perfect picture of self-sacrifice and everything you wish for in your mother -- but entrée into this world? And, doesn't your mother give you grist for the mill? In this respect, no mother is worse than another. In fact, all succeed.
Because every mother gives you what only she can give you: herself. And I value that this is what my mother gives me.
Teeter Totter • March 2013
While taking a break from a hike in the Arroyo Chamiso, I spotted a plastic cup in the sand. I began to wonder about trash, the quality of our land and water, but my predictable train of thought was interrupted by the tree I was leaning on: "The earth is not broken. She's simply always adjusting to circumstances. Finding balance is not always pretty, or elegant. It's not about your ideals."
When I am finding my balance, I feel like I'm flailing around, unsure, my teetering on display for everyone to see.
Adjustment is the earth's natural state. Temperatures fluctuate, the sun and the moon tug, plates shift, elements click and unhinge. Aren't I a smaller version of her? Aren't I also always adjusting, too?
Walking back, the late sun was so strangely veiled that I looked right into it as it sank behind a hard cliff of clouds. The flat white hemisphere looked very balanced.
Surprise! You Married a Stranger! • February 2013
When I discovered this small etching by Marc Chagall, I had to chuckle. The "Couple in Bed" stare at each other with o-shaped mouths. Like "Who are you and what have you done with my lover?"
Marriage is one way to discover the stranger in bed with you. And the stranger inside of you. We reflect each other, and provide refractive opportunities to see and love more deeply. As two people grow and change throughout their life together, doesn't it follow that they might catch themselves staring into the big O of the unknown?
It's not always fun to discover the unknown in a loved one, but it challenges us to rediscover the present moment. The present is where our most intense living takes place; it's where our true empowerment lies. It is the seat of our ability to love and be loved. Marriage is one of the ways by which we continue to surprise each other into the present moment.
Looking for Mrs. Good Answer • January 2013
I may be intuitive and I may be a minister, but I am definitely human and flawed and have been known to flip people off. So, if you're looking for someone better than you who will give you answers, then, not only am I not the gal for you, that person does not exist.
I am out here groping and stumbling, too. I am out here praying and overcoming. Laughing, working to pay the bills, embarrassing myself, surprising myself, hiding from what scares me, sharing stories with friends, loving my husband and reaching out to loved ones, etc.
What I do claim to be able to do is: I can help guide you to your own answers, via meditation, readings, healings, and ceremony. If you're curious, have a look around ...
Make It Right • December 2012
The deepest time of the year. It's dark, it's cold, I'm inside a lot. Doing what? Watching Love It or List It, Property Brothers, and Holmes on Homes. And, waiting, for SOMEthing, ANYthing, to alleviate this heavy energy. Is it peri-menopause, or just that time of the year when my mistakes and disappointments feel frozen and unforgiving? Mike Holmes says, "Make it right." And I want to fix everything.
And then: who knew? On December 21 I performed a wedding for Greg and Anda at The Cross of the Martyrs here in Santa Fe, and "poof" a lightness flowed through me and took the darkness with it. Far in the distance I can see that something hopeful will manifest, something I can express joy in. I don't know what it is. But, I know it's there.
The Pitfalls of Meaning • November 2012
Sometimes "it is what it is."
I often say we are beings of meaning. We seek it out; it is our way in the world. There are no true anarchists. But, ever-seeking that meaning can be a pitfall; an effective vehicle that drives us away from accepting what is.
Sometimes life is just really difficult, and we can't see beyond that. There may be no way for you to know for sure why, what, when, where. Have faith in the Mystery -- what we don't know far surpasses what we know.
Mistaken Identity • October 2012
The over-sized and vengeful wolves in the film "The Grey" at first offended my sense of realism, but now I see them as perfect metaphors for how our society views the wild. We tend to see it as a perverted enemy, something to be conquered. Can we accept our wildness, instinctual and seemingly heartless as it may be? Can you rest your head on the wild thing inside you? Can you look at, accept, and grow with that which you fear is perverted within you? Behind your perversion is a loss, a wound, a mistaken identity. Your aversion to it is proportional to the healing gift that lies within it.