Saturday, January 07, 2017

Authentic Presence and Freedom

I want us to practice authenticity and freedom together. I want us to experience love and acceptance and I want us to channel our energy in ways that can transform our consciousness and the world around us. All human beings are made up of mind, body and spirit and when these three aspects of our being come together to work in unison, we experience authenticity and freedom. Through the practice of Authentic Presence and Freedom, we can transform our consciousness and make a movement in the world together.  We can make space for something new.
Authenticity is both a state of being and the act of sharing.  It is the totality of self projected into the world to reveal the natural beauty of our uniqueness. If it were left up to our mind and body, we would never choose to project our authentic self into the world because we often perceive the world as being unsafe and our body retracts accordingly. Through awareness of our integral Spirit Consciousness, we experience faith and trust that we have been perfectly designed to fulfill a unique life purpose. Through Spirit Consciousness, we can reveal our authentic selves in every day practice and we trust that in doing so, we will not only be okay, but we fall into a state of love and acceptance for our humanity. This is the foundation for a future consciousness that will lead us to transform our world into a place where our structures and social norms reflect a value for all life.
When we choose to practice authenticity and freedom together, we begin the process of letting go, of allowing the full reveal of the totality of our self.  We do this through the guidance of Spirit Consciousness, which teaches us that we are all connected and we all belong to this benevolent life force.
Authentic Presence is where honest relationships are formed. The initial experience of self-love and self-acceptance coupled with the willingness to engage in honest relationship with another is the ultimate expression of Freedom in society.  The more we engage in Authentic Presence, the more we are opening the door for self-actualization, inspiration and imagination. All of this leads to Agency, which is paramount to having an impact in the world that matters. Especially now when there is widespread discontent we must concern ourselves with this notion of Agency. Agency is the belief we can make a difference, it is the impetus behind how we move and influence matters in the world that can redefine the future and shape the evolution of humanity. When what we do is rooted in Authentic Presence and Freedom, then the future of our world will be a reflection of this positive energy.
There is joy and there is great struggle in the every day practice of Authentic Presence and Freedom. We live in a society that is a function of an old social order and consciousness. Our current social structures and norms of behavior are a manifestation of survival level consciousness based on fear, scarcity and rivalry. We are now emerging into a new consciousness that is characterized by love, abundance, collectivism and a deep regard for preserving our earth and humanity.
When you take the time to tune into this consciousness through deep reflection, meditation and openness to listening to the voices of others; you will find there a deep yearning in yourself to move into a new space.  This along with forces in society is driving us to take very seriously the practice of Authentic Presence and Freedom.  It is only when we choose to engage in the practice that we can break down the old order and work together to build a new society with new social norms that are reflective of our emerging Spirit Consciousness.
The struggle and the heightening of our awareness of what is happening is very real. For example, when we attempt to practice authenticity and freedom we experience the outpouring of conflicting and uncontrollable emotions or erratic behaviors. This is a function of the great release. Most of us have accumulated years and years of suppressing our authentic selves and acting within a limited, individualistic world-view. The great release is the great letting go of ego and false notions of self that shake our inner core deeply. We have to be prepared for this as Authentic Presence and Freedom will force us to confront our intimate thoughts and question our use of language to communicate that may or may not be in alignment with our authentic self and purpose. We will reconsider the nature of our relationships and analyze how we have often misdirected or diffused our energy. The great release moves us into a complete state of vulnerability and feeling that we are at a loss of control.  This all happens as your authentic self jettisons out into the world in erratic spurts, with no idea how this is going to impact others or situations in the universe. You may ask, how long does it take for the world around you to catch up with your growth and heightened sensibilities? 

In this practice, you will feel attracted to specific people who are on a similar pathway who are put in place through your own manifestation of the world you wish to create. These occurrences may pull you out of your traditional social circle or comfort zone. Your willingness to engage authentically and with full freedom with new people attracted to you at the Spirit level, is an essential element to this practice.
Yes. I want us to practice authenticity and freedom together. I want us to experience love and acceptance and I want us to channel our energy in ways that can transform our consciousness and the world around us. There is great joy and promise in the practice and you need to know it requires an enormous amount of energy. Most of us have been socialized to believe we can experience authenticity and freedom through mindfulness, prayer and meditation or personally rewarding and individualistic pursuits. While this may move you into new discoveries, you will find that if you want to change the world for the better, we must move into communion with others.  We must share our thoughts, our language, our relationship and our energy with others who share a life purpose because all large social movements are a result of the ability of individuals to come together, to amass the amount of energy needed to transform the world through very deliberate and specific real-world practices.  

In other words, the practice of authenticity and freedom means nothing if it does not impact the outside world in some way that really matters. The potential of human beings in the social-political and cultural space becomes realized when two or more people practice Authentic Presence and Freedom and learn through it to love and accept the full totality of who we are. Love and acceptance is the source of all creation, all innovation, all evolution.  These are the drivers behind our evolutionary consciousness and the practice of authenticity and freedom is indeed central to this process.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

This Being Human

Ode to Rumi

I'm beginning to miss my painting.
The broad strokes transforming the canvas.

Blending color,
Waiting patiently,
Relentlessness overriding freedom.

Curving straight lines and scraping below.

I'm beginning to miss my painting.

Yearning to be there in that other half.
Dirty loose jeans and stained fingernails.
Free and absolutely at peace with
Where I focus my energy.

Is that what it means to be human, this missing?
The more I sharpen my focus
I encounter a new set of curious emotions.
I'm welcoming a new guest every day.

Blending color,
Waiting patiently,
                        Relentlessness overriding freedom.

Curving straight lines and scraping below.

Is it just now that I've missed that vast canvas—
Or has it been an eternity?
Must be like that old woman's stare

Halfway in, halfway out.

Halfway human.

Today snow sits high on the windowsill
Blocking my full view.
Without opening the door or knowing anything at all
I am comforted.

I'm anticipating the first stroke, that delicious sigh.
That pacing around, fancy stillness of mind.
Let it go and hold on tight.

Isn't that what being human feels like?

Blended colors,
Wait patiently,
                        Relentless overriding freedom.

Curved straight lines and scrapes below.

All the while unknowns keep me safe.
Keeps this and that at bay.
In the end, it's all one big experiment.
Hold off long enough to know.

Feel the thick messiness of it.

The shadow dance of it.

The unexplainable beauty of it.

All coming outside of me.

Isn't that what being human is?

Blending colors,
Waiting patiently,
                        The relentlessness overriding freedom?

Curved straight lines and scrapes below.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Memories that Matter

(Stream of Consciousness)

In response to a recent discrepancy over the actual age of my mother, I find myself thinking deeply about which memories matter. This is not easy— this mental sorting and slicing, judging and reordering, prioritizing and deleting. In the process, I realize memories trigger emotions and depending on the moment some may not be welcomed. I tell myself memories are snapshots of the past framed by present consciousness (which will either dull, sharpen or distort the image) but inevitably they will still elicit emotions that may or may not be friendly.

If I go a step further past my own personal experiences like my childhood or moments that define my parenthood, I start thinking about history and what we choose to pass on from generation to generation. Sayings like “Never forget” come to mind and what does that mean for our children when we bring the past to bear on the decisions we make in the present? When might it be better if we start afresh?

As I grow older I am very much aware of Time and how Time takes back parts our memory whether we like it or not.  Some, like my grandmother, will grapple with the devastating impact of Alzheimer’s, which speeds up the process dramatically. If in the end we only have partial control of which memories we keep, then it makes perfect sense to consider which memories are really worth fighting for.

Life is short. Our interpretation of the past is as powerful as our dreams of the future.  Distorted or not they can paralyze you by keeping you locked in a vicious cycle of reflection, regret and analysis. What did that mean? What do I do with that memory? How much changes and how much stays the same? Of course all of this thinking is really about how we forgive ourselves and others for our imperfections. Never will a memory live up to the truth about who we are because like I said, a memory is a snapshot that is framed by consciousness. Looking at it will never take into account the entirety of the experience nor honor the infinite beauty of a whole life. One moment in a person’s life is one stroke on a canvas and by looking at only one stroke one can never define the essence of a painting.
If we don't know where we come from, how do we know where we're going? Another perfectly suitable question. More than a question it’s an interrogation. I don’t know the answer to this, only that I am living this moment in life when memory seems overwhelmingly significant and insignificant at the same time. Is this just an illusion the notion of Time and memory? Is it elastic?

I have spent the last few months (or has it been years?) deciding whether or not to put my paintings back on the walls and line my bookshelves with books that are living in boxes waiting for that elusive next chapter to begin. Every photograph that documents my life is put away and the bareness of it all is invigorating.  Don’t get me wrong. I am sad. I am sad when my son leans down now to hug me. I flash back to his chubby cheeks and five year old musings. He grew up while I was waiting. I am sad to watch my little girl grow up, up, and away while my new sofa just arrived and what is the point if she is not sitting in it?  My throat gets tight when I think about those that I love passing on or moving away even though each change, each transition is also such a relief because I get tired of repeating things and there is just not enough space for new life if everything around me and inside me is cluttered and full.

I am so intertwined, immersed, part of, one with the whole-- like a drop of water, am I water still?

This sifting and sorting and cleaning out space for new memories -- isn't that what we need to do as a people? We are dragging so much from behind there is no room to innovate, to create anew.

I am not saying we should forget 9/11, slavery or the Holocaust.  I (we) will ever forget those chapters in life when I (we) live in the dark— but I (we) can’t stay there.  I (we) can’t stay paralyzed by an iteration whether it's amazing and brilliant or filled with shame and ugly. I (we) need to let go of the savage image of the Inquisition in order to open the mind and heart to the possibility of the new Pope. 

I don't want to fight with Time. I just want peace of mind. I want joy and beauty and loving. I want to be a creator of a new future with less of that and more of those things that make me feel light and happy.

Which memories bring me (us) closer to the infinite beauty and potential of our being? Which memories are burdensome, keep us in a permanent, fixed-mindset of judgment that prevent us from healing and moving on? Which memories suffocate our creativity?
Which memories really matter, right now?