Category: Living Outside the Lines Page 2 of 6

Listening and Broadcasting Online

An Instagram challenge lead to a lunar-cycle-long practice of listening in the outside world. The messages brought lessons about the interconnectedness of things.

When Sabrina Monarch (Monarch Astrology) and Cici Cyr (Abundant LA) invited their Instagram followers to an Instagram challenge, I went all in! The energies that shaped the time period of the lunar cycle (March 4 to April 6) were the following: a new moon in Pisces (the goddess) and the entry of Uranus (the electrifier, the shock, the Internet) into Taurus (the material embodiment and all things sense-sual). The purpose of the #uranusintaurus challenge was to explore these energies and allow for insights into how they (the energies) affected us individually. The task aka the way to receive downloads was to connect to go outside, listen, and share the experience on Instagram. Here’s what that looked like for me.

There were two significant features that shaped my experience: I was in California when the challenge started, and I would be in New York (aka home) when it ended. A variety of environments, including not-home and home turf, would give me a range of messages, right? I was participating in some Christian rituals, since Ash Wednesday happened during this time, too (on Wednesday, April 6). I’ve found connection with my ancestral women through religion, so looping in the rites of the liturgical season added a layer to the reflection.

Ash Wednesday harkens an entry to silence—silence through which we listen to the divine. I was in Los Angeles that morning, and I took a walk in the rain—no umbrella or poncho—and let the wetness melt into my body. I like this pic, which I used in the challenge, because you can see the drops. When I received ashes (from an Episcopalian priest who was also outside, standing under a small portico of the boat house in Echo Park, where I was staying + where I went for my walk), I thought “star dust to Earth dust” as he recited “dust to dust”—and the rain spread that down my forehead and into my face. Immediately, I became aware of the infinitesimally small space I occupy as a human in a vast cosmos. The greatness of a natural order that is beyond me, supersedes me, forces me to remember that I am given the gift of existence. I felt my ancestral women within me at that moment, too, many of them in spirit, whose bodies were buried in the ground, who no longer felt the pleasure of rain on skin. The divine was present within my thoughts as the cycle of life and death brought a mood of humility. I am not just mind (that needs to process and makes sense of the transmissions). I am spirit (that understands the greater web of being intuitively); body is here to house my human experience, the reason I am here. I find myself thinking that the Internet, an ethereal body, connects me to community, individuals, out there in the world and embedded, enmeshed, intertwined in a network of fibers in a digital fabric. I imagine hyperspace as a quiet place, too, as bits of information that turnover and transmit silently.

By the time the challenge had come to the end of the cycle, I had arrived in New York.

#uranusintauruschallenge: home dirt! This is a walk on our go-to trail near Onteora Lake, New York in the Hudson Valley. The trail winds through a bluestone forest between Kingston and Woodstock. It’s also one of those places for me that, upon entry, I get lost in time. 2hrs here feels like days and seconds. I have a lot to organize and arrange rn, but I prioritized this session in the woods today. … I communicated with the trees—the same trees that listened to my pre-roadtrip desires … I said hello to the pieces of trees still stuck in early spring slush. I said hello to the moss and rocks. But each time I did, I felt like I was saying hello for the first time, like these beings were new to me and they didn’t recognize me. …

And then I realized that I had said hello to the physical things for the very first time that afternoon. I had walked the trail many times before, but I never walked in co-existence with the sentience of all forms: the trees, the moss, the rocks. I had been to that place (Onteora Lake) before my trip west, and I returned feeling like I was not recognized among the physical things there; but I felt at home with the community of people online who were also exploring the effects of the astrological transits. I’ve spent a while considering what this all means (and, what I would like it to mean for me), and I find myself coming back to the idea of my ancestral women—how humbling it is to know that bodies that once walked the Earth are now inside it, spirits going back from whence they came and bones and skin breaking down. Star dust to Earth dust. It is an odd thought to think that long after I am gone, these words will hang in hyperspace for anyone or no one to read them. It is an even stranger one to know that as I say hello to the Earth and all her beings, I say hello too to the ones who are inside me. Shared rituals (old and new, Lent and Instagram challenges alike) renew the connections. I attribute the disorienting sensation of time (-lessness, -distortion) in the woods to stepping out of a body that I had long inhabited—one of words, language, and communication with other human bodies—and out into a world beyond those bounds. And: home is everywhere through the physical body, spiritual body, and communication body. The transmissions are out there; you just have to know to listen.

Clearing the Fear in Capricorn Season

I have a practice of consistent self reflection inspired by astrology, aka archetypes informed by celestial bodies and attributed characteristics, and it’s been fruitful for personal growth. This process has plugged me in to the collective growth, too.

Beaching it in Baja

I started writing this in January—Capricorn season. The end of December (around the time of the winter solstice) till the end of January is governed by Capricorn, an archetype that is governed by Saturn. Capricorn implores structure, authority, and (a reckoning of) consequence of actions. It’s a sign that is connected to Earth, which makes the overtone of Capricorn season one that encourages level-headedness that comes from being rooted in structure, authority, responsibility.

Capricorn season is the time of the year that I have struggled the most. I had a lot of fear come up in prior years. Fear of my level of self responsibility (as a solopreneur)–if I don’t hustle my work, I don’t have an employer who will fill in the gaps. It’s a risky business venture. And, my identity as a successful solopreneur is intimately connected to my identity an independent woman in the business world. If I am not successful as a solopreneur, am I less successful as a woman?

As I navigated the yoga of this relationship (woman, responsibility, fear), I had a a major breakthrough: I learned that my individual identity as a successful solopreneur woman is intimately connected to the collective identity of women that is an uprising of the divine feminine. It’s not about being equal to men. It’s about being able to handle ourselves as women, honoring the explorations and vocations that feel good to us. The Capricorn in all of us asks us to build, and what we build is a combination of individual and collective efforts.

Archetypes of the zodiac

I’ve previously written about my determination to support myself as a solopreneur. This year’s round of reflections were done while I was on a sabbatical in Mexico. The ability to do this (take time and be in a foreign place) mirrored the gifts of self employment: I have time and location flexibility. I decided to take the month of January to do minimal work. I focused on light writing projects rather than heavier editing ones. It wasn’t vacation; it was simply a time of working at minimal capacity. This ease in workload would be rejuvenative.  I went to a location that allowed me to be close to the land and water, which I also found rejuvenative, and camp in my truck with solar equipment. All of this was purchased with the financial gain from my successful labor as a solopreneur. As I traveled down the Baja peninsula to the beach, people asked me: How can you afford this traveling lifestyle? And: Where is your husband? Who supports you? I always replied that I work as I travel. I am location independent.  And I ignored the other question. Women don’t need men to support them financially (or give them permission to do what they want to do).

As I sat on the beach, I found my thoughts taking me back to a memory: When I was in eighth grade, a few neighborhood girls and I were hanging out. They wore makeup and made out with boys and didn’t spend their afternoons doing homework. I liked them. They were fun to me. They accepted me. One afternoon, bored with talking about bands and eating Ritz crackers with icing (our regular afterschool activities), we needed something else to do. I’m not sure how we came up with the idea, but we decided to use a pin, a pen (to make an ink mark), and card to pierce our belly buttons. The next day at school, I was pulled aside by several teachers and told that if I hung out with “those girls”—it was a bad thing for me. I was told that there had been an incident, and that one of “those girls” had pierced her belly button—”A dangerous stunt,” said the woman teacher. “You’re a straight-laced, straight A student, you are a good influence for those girls. Do you know anything about the incident?” the teacher asked. “No,” I lied. “Oh, good,” she said. “I knew you were too smart to do something stupid.” If only the teachers had asked me to lift my shirt, they would have seen that I too had pierced myself. It was boredom. It was rebellion. It was pre-teen angst. At the time, I was just happy to not be in trouble, but that transaction stayed with me.

As I was on the beach reflecting on Capricorn, the structures we inherit, I wrote: Who the fuck gets to define what a good girl does? Good girls don’t rebel? I asked rhetorically. And what else don’t they do?

I realized that’s part of the reason why Capricorn tweaks me

Good girls don’t strike out on their own financial/career path.

Good girls don’t challenge the existing structure of things.

Good girls don’t define their trajectories because there is already a trajectory defined for them.

I’m all about breaking that outdated structure.

Thing is, I’m not looking for equality with men; I’m looking for solvency. I think the highest expression of empowered womanhood is the ability to chart your own course and break even there. Thrive through those relative circumstances.

As I sat on the beach, I realized how this reflection took me under the hood of the relationship I have with the Capricorn archetype. It was me melting my fear, one that told me I can’t handle this vocation. Me realizing that I can, and I’m doing well at it, even if other people still question or judge. Me realizing that I embody some of the old and outdated patriarchal standards, and I need to offload them.

EVOLving is meeting all parts of your experience with LOVE. Then let them go.

I wrote declarations in my journal:  I’m not in business as a female solopreneur to prove a point. I am in this occupation because this is the lifestyle that I want to have. I’m interested in meeting other women who honor the urges they follow. It’s about achieving my goals as an independent person. It’s about achieving our goals to be women who define our own roles.

A month later, upon writing and offering this blog, I feel clearer than ever on my  relationship to Capricorn and the structures that be. I feel more rooted in my true self. I feel convinced that the collective women uprising will create the structures that will allow women to be whatever girls they choose to be.

 

Welcome to my Tron-world

When I wanted to explore my relationship to energy work, I knew that what I learned would change my world. But I didn’t know just how much the lines of space and time would blur.

Can you read between the lines?

I decided to stay during fall in the southern California desert because I was attracted by the emptiness and isolation—it felt like the place to process and integrate a year full of abstract spiritual learnings. It was also the perfect controlled environment for a self experiment. I intended to explore my relationship to energy work (an offshoot of my spiritual learnings), and I knew that meant going to the fundamental bits—the quantum-level—of myself. I needed to go to where I was just information.

As part of my experiment, I arranged for energy healing and spiritual guidance from Atasiea, a reiki master and spiritual guidance counselor whom I had met in Guatemala during an ecstatic dance retreat in January. He had facilitated an energy-infused dance session there that helped me go deep into my own body and high into my mind to let go of toxic thought patterns that were controlling me. It was the dissolution of those toxic patterns that allowed me to become ready for a new phase of spiritual growth.

Atasiea, whose chosen spiritual  name means “one-ness”

Hold that thought.

I was in the library one afternoon in November, months after Guatemala. I was reading over an essay that I have been working on for almost (literally) 3 years.  I was practicing going in and out of the words in the essay–shifting my awareness of them, moving from words to shapes to symbols of language and back. I wanted to connect with the words in the essay. I set the intention—the fundamental of establishing an energetic connection. I did a subtle plug-in (feet on the ground, focus on my breathing), and I felt my visual perception shift into Tron-mode—my field of vision starts to look like the 1980s Tron movie. The boring bookshelves turned into cases full of neon beams of light, and the books on them became crystals. I felt a bit like I was in The Library of Babel (a place created by Borges, the Argentinian writer’s concept of a hexagonal, bee-hive shaped infinity library). The idea of the interconnectedness of all of the ideas, writers, and me to them was so immediately apparent and (good kind of) overwhelming. It was a connection that had been previously blocked. And I felt like I was a part of this vast network that, through the act of writing, pull ether into material and with that, create our world because information is our world. I felt a deep sense of satisfaction, too, because this was part of the energy work that I offer. I help people expand their sense of selves and worldviews using language, story telling, and information. Turn worlds inside out for all to see. Words are sacred, as is the space they come from.

Hold that thought.

I had asked Atasiea before the trip to Guatemala ended if he was interested in taking me on as a student, conveying to me the way he was able to facilitate sacred space for energy work, the way he had done during the retreat. He agreed that he would be when the time was right.

And in the desert, that alignment happened.

My sessions happened with Atasiea happened over the phone. They usually entailed me lying down on my bed, surrounded by my crystals and journal, speaker phone on. I was physically in the desert; he in LA, his base. But through our conscious co-establishing of a connection on a quantum level, the time and space between us became irrelevant. We started each session with a grounding, connecting our being to the skies and the Earth, invocations and prayers, and then, a full hour and a half in what I call “sacred space.” We created it, and within it, worked through reiki (prana—life force exchange) and channeling (receipt and transmission of knowledge from a higher dimension). It was like being connected to a library of myself, one that contained memories, data, emotions, and all possibilities.

Information flowing in bits

Using imagination-intuition-the liminal sacred space is really trippy. I said, “Whoa, WTF?” a lot, often to a chuckle by Atasiea. “I know, right?” he usually replied with his soft California accent. “This fifth dimension stuff is legit.”

Sometimes it felt like I was deep inside my body, and other times it felt like I was out of my head and somewhere, another time and space completely different, somewhere else. Information exchanged. I relived scenes from years ago by remembering things that I had forgotten or stuffed inside. I re-collected energy that was stuck in that time and space.  I talked out declarations of power and sovereignty over thick karmic patterns that kept me from making conscious, co-creating choices. For all the times that I shoulda-woulda-coulda, I did–at least, through words, in sacred space.

Sacred space feels like it’s in a dimension apart from this heavy, 3D one. The truth is that sacred space can be everywhere, even in the non-space of data transmission happening over phone lines.

The after effects, how I felt post-healing sessions: tired. Bone tired. I spent hours afterward resting in the camper, full 360-degrees of vast open desert space, mountains, isolation. I wrote a lot about it, too, in my notebooks since documenting and sharing has become part of my core body of work, part of what I am doing here on this blog. The details of the sessions are important only to me. But their evidence is the change in the way that I am; a change in my patterning—a break in toxic patterns that felt embedded at my core. The was I felt after the entire experiment: changed, and lighter somehow.

I believe my ability to turn on Tron-mode (which is what my field of vision looks like when I am in sacred space) is the result of energy work that I did with Atasiea.

Scene from “Tron” (1982)

Now let’s combine some thoughts.

What do fundamental bits mean anyway? Where do words come from? What does quantum level mean? Western science says it’s where particles that create our physical reality are. The particles can connect instantly, as in, they operate outside the flow of time as we understand it at other levels. Quantum level is atomic. And there’s a theory that DNA molecules—the building blocks of our physical reality—are held together by entanglement at the quantum level. These ideas hold up to Eastern philosophy, providing belief systems that expound the interconnectedness of all things; that our separations between objects are illusions created by our limited physical methods of perception. Frontier research in fields like parapsychology shows that we are moving toward an entanglement of Western science with Eastern philosophy as we continue to generate data that support a worldview that includes the conscious interaction of mind, body, and spirit.

Before Guatemala, my worldview on energy work was that it was powerful but weird. It was woo woo. I felt like it was something that I should be doing but just couldn’t. It was as if I had lacked some kind of permission by myself to practice energy work freely (and it’s possible that a lot of this was inherited ancestral memory—stuff I inherited but didn’t actually create). I had bad information inside. Toxic patterns that held me back. But by engaging healing at the quantum level, I was able to go into the core and metaphorically switch the disk.

It’s just that my vision of sacred space looks like an 80s movie. Welcome to my Tron-world.

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