Happy Holidays

 

May 2017 bring you extraordinary health, limitless happiness, and relentless good fortune.

May you find community and hope where you least expect it, and comfort when you need it most.

I am grateful for all of you.

Thank you.

Peace.

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Growing Eden

I take pleasure in looking at my garden throughout the day. Its opulence is a creation of imagination and nature, a space where my vague idea about growing Eden in the backyard, and then hauling soil, planting seeds, transplanting seedlings, hauling water up and down the stairs, has become a prolific transformation of elements under sun and sky.

The garden is an accomplishment that is mine and not mine, for its abundance comes from our only provider, and best teacher, Mother Earth, and the inescapable yet ignored truth that life is interdependent. A garden’s wisdom surpasses the little anthropomorphic understandings that we strain in and against daily. Planting, caring, working, watching usher a garden’s caretaker beyond human concerns and into immanence, for the gardener.

I doubt anyone wanting change for themselves or the world can do so until they have planted a few seeds in soil, participated in life’s effortless expansion, and observed the interplay and interconnection of the beautiful and so-called repugnant elements that make life possible. Seeds, soil, water, bugs, and sun change the one who plants, because life is resilient, persistent, and necessarily loves itself: life harbors no doubts, no expectations, no cynicism.

Life is, and there is no qualifying adjective.

And where life is, there is hope. Hope is the word we use in English, but it is an inherent quality of life that defies language and requires only attention, or awareness. It’s not a feeling, an emotion, or something that exists when we move beyond despair.

Hope is, because life is.

Distinctions break down in the zen given by a garden, as life’s particulars dissolve in moments of lucid acceptance that everything changes every moment yet life unfailingly persists. For as I meditate on my backyard garden’s glory, and the indiscernible yet profuse changes that take place daily and weekly,  I know another reality waits. In a few short months everything will die, that everything may come once more to life.  Then again. And again. This is the promise, for in the intimate coupling of life and death there are no discrete beginnings and endings, only an unbound continuum.

I planted a cucumber last year that was deliciously prolific. It died during the winter. I cleaned out its grow pot this spring, and then heavily seeded the soil with zinnias. A couple of weeks ago, I noticed odd fuzzy leaves with yellow flowers sprouting underneath the zinnias, around the pot’s edges. “Those look like cucumbers,” I thought, not remembering if this pot once held the cucumber. The zinnias crowd the grow space while reaching for the sun, but my guess was confirmed yesterday, when I saw the tiniest cucumbers growing from the fuzzy leaves under the zinnias. Less than half an inch long, and thinner than a pencil, they have found their way from the soil’s depths. In the cucumber’s roots, after the plant died, life waited.  I am happy to let them do as they will, allowing them to push themselves against the zinnias and reach for the light: they remind me of life’s quiet, unstoppable, inevitable hope —  its volatile power.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Two-fer Post

I received a complimentary email about my latest post that revisited the idea of radical self-love (“charismatic feistiness” is cool), but with some confusion about the time frame; the time line jumped from the eviction reprieve to the amount of time I lived in that building, and that was confusing.

I’ll briefly explain why I so jumped.

The post was about radically loving ourselves, despite ourselves, and moving beyond those things that we too often castigate ourselves about.   For myself, it’s that contrarian-hubris thing.  Too many people would have taken the advice of those presumably well-meaning attorneys.  I refused to do so, because I knew best for myself.

And I did.

What didn’t translate well in that twenty-minute, hastily proofed post, was that because I refused to listen to the lawyers, I remained in that same building for most of my adult life, no exaggeration.  I lived on Irving Street in Cambridge for nearly half of my life, moving from the boarding house room, to a charming room with a balcony, then finally to a full apartment.  All in the same building.

There’s a compelling back story to how I found that building, a story which sits as an important set-piece in my memoir, but for now I’ll just say that landing in that building was a “miracle.”  The circumstances circling around my finding that building, that I wasn’t evicted, became self-employed, went back to school, and enjoyed the amenities of living in Cambridge for so many years, well, there’s too many convergences for this entry, this morning.

I may revisit this as an entry later this month; know that it sits prominent in the memoir.

To clear up any confusion: it was a building that I was nearly evicted from, the building I escaped to while avoiding eviction in Manhattan, and it become the building I lived in most of my adult life.  It became a book-lined home merely two blocks from Harvard Yard, and my life’s domestic, professional, and academic epicenter because I walked out of the good advice of two well-intentioned attorneys.

That is, I once again refused to do as told, without blinking an eye.

Radical self-love embraces this stubborn “I don’t give ten fucks” attitude as part of The Great Dance.

No questions, just acceptance.

I hope that clears up any confusion, and fills in the leap from eviction to planted butt.  I refused to listen, because I knew what I was supposed to do.

Some folks call that hubris; I call it faith, in the broadest, most meaningful way possible.  As Thoreau wrote, “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.”  And despite the fact I was yet to enter my deepest, darkest psychic hole, I lived two blocks from the yard, around the corner from my academic aspirations, and I wasn’t about to leave, eviction be damned.

If I have only muddied the waters, wait for the book.

Or perhaps a future entry.

**********

Now, another meditation.

About a week and a half ago I fell down an entire flight of stairs.  I mean, from the top of the stairwell to the bottom.  I hit my head first, hard and with a frightening thud, and before I knew what was happening, I felt my body go down the stairs as in slow motion. I thought to myself, “you are falling down the stairs, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”  When I reached the landing, I rolled into my bike which sits opposite the stairwell, and it crashed on top of me.

Yes, I am fine.

Yes, it was scary.

Had an enormous black-eye, serious bruising all over my body, racked my knee out, and the like.

All is on the mend.  This happened after a strenuous two-hour workout.  I wasn’t paying attention, my quads were trashed, and I was trying to get several bags of fresh produce up the stairs.  Trying to do too much at once, not paying attention.

But I’ve had a series of insights after the fall that I wanted to share.

I wasn’t paying attention because I still lug around that “do more, be more” story in my habits and behaviors.  A completely, totally, unqualified line of b.s.

We can only do one thing at a time.  That’s it.  The rest is mind chatter, and a waste of energy.

Trying to do more is a big old myth and a hydra that siphons our energies by squandering our focus.

The less we do, the more we get done, and the better we accomplish our priorities.

Because of my meditation practice, I simply went with the fall instead of fighting it.  I believe otherwise, I may have broken my leg, arm, or neck.

As I work through another injury, I realize the gift of injury is that it forces us into deeper consciousness, if we choose to use it as a tool instead of a set-back.  One step at a time, one breath at a time.

Thankfully, I’ve been using the Chi Running and Walking program (highly recommend) to focus on form and breath, and I expect to be where I want to be sooner rather than later.

Not despite my injury, but because this fall and injury have shown my need for an even deeper and broader awareness, and a lived consciousness that less is more.   Choose what’s important; be present.

Now, that may be an obvious platitude for any meditator, but sometimes we’re given something to show us we need a little more work in this awareness thing.

A gift beyond measure.

A friend said, “you’re damn lucky.”

I replied, “no, I live in Grace.  I try to build on it.”

(I then mentioned  that my head is the hardest part of my body, for which I am also grateful.)

 

Have a safe and happy Fouth of July.

Peace, love, and good stuff.

 

 

 

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Radical Self-Love, Revisited

I scold myself for my “bad attitude,” that open mouth, insert foot, fight until the death thing that too often has made me feel like the lone wolf, the black sheep, the foolish outcast.

The “I don’t give 10 fucks what you think” thing that has proved a stunning survival mechanism.

Because for all my personal style and elegance, that very inelegant caveat to my person I learned early on.  Or was born with.  Perhaps it was being bullied as a child and having too much responsibility in my home life.  Although loving and being loved are life’s center, I just don’t have the patience for other people’s good opinion.

Perhaps it’s the “This Machine Kills Fascists” rebel Guthrie blood.

My life lesson hasn’t been learning to get a back-bone, it’s been learning that radical self-love means the ability to let go gracefully, as well as fighting for what you want.

A story keeps coming to memory today, so I thought to put it down.

Years ago, when I was fighting eviction in Cambridge, managing to stay off the street by courtesy of rent control, social services recommended free legal counsel.

So I tied up my eviction in rent control by requesting continuances, and always filing extensions of time.  Staying off the street when you are mentally disintegrating is no small feat, it’s a full-time job.

So I took social services lead and contacted legal services (several more continuances, as I now had legal counsel), and met with two nice, officious lawyers who were going to help me with my case, ease the burden.  One was a Birkenstocks wearing leftie, the other was a suit and tie community service type.

I had several meetings with them, gave them all kinds of paperwork.  At our last meeting, the suit and tie community service guy said to me, “well, there’s really no reason to ask for a continuance, so we see no reason to file one.   But we can help you find alternatives to your current situation.”

I thought, ‘what the fuck is this guy talking about, ‘find alternatives.’  He doesn’t know squat.’

“What the hell do you mean no reason to file a continuance,” I said in a raised voice, “living on the street is a pretty damn good reason.  What exactly are you here for if not to keep me off the street.”  I was livid, and I let them know.

“Well, if you don’t follow our advice, we can no longer represent you,” was the summary of his help.  The leftie wearing Birkenstocks had guilt written all over his face; Mr. Suit and Tie remained unphased.

“Fine,” I said, looking at his blank, dull eyes.  I got up and walked out.  I didn’t follow their advice.  I fired the free representation, and decided to fight on.

Thankfully, the rent control board had coincidentally hired a new director, a woman who was entirely sympathetic to tenants and their circumstances.

Apparently, I lived in a room that according to rent control law my landlord was required to furnish; he didn’t.  She managed to work the law and give me credits for furniture and all kinds of other legal loopholes, that gave me another few months of a place to live.

I think of this today, as I scold myself for my big mouth, my opinions, my iron will, and I smile.

Part of radical self-love is embracing all those things that you think are your failings, and realizing that they are what make you shine, make you survive, take you through life to your next step.

I lived in that building for the next 15 plus years, went back to school, managed to get into graduate school.  Rent control was eventually voted out, but my butt remained planted two blocks from Harvard Yard, and years of unabated, untrammeled learning.

I look at that bad attitude, and for its many flaws, I am learning to love it.  I don’t love all of it, but when push comes to shove, it has saved me from the bad opinions of others, the bad judgements of folks who had no investment in my survival, and the naysayers who I’ve left behind.

Radical self-love.  Sometimes it edges are grittier and harder than popular culture lead us to expect.

And the longer you do it, the less you feel alone, for I’ve entered the peace and happiness that “I don’t give 10 fucks” gives.

 

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Ode To Sweat

Hot, sticky,
sweaty,
fingertips
and lips

dissolve;
salt and love
make one.

Solstice and
summer bring
new memories

while pleasures
already tasted
linger like
a sacred saline dream.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Poets Who Smile

I distrust

poets who smile,

writers for whom

the Muse and her

unruly children

face the world

like pop culture

versions of

art house hip

lifted from an

Ivory Soap

box.

 

Angst is

overrated,

it’s the drink

of the untutored

and inexperienced,

those of us grabbing

pablum gravitas in

an earnest quest

for artistic

vindication.

 

But poets

who smile,

their writings

full of well earned

art house history,

and circles of

other smiling poets,

collected during

years of doing art,

make me undeniably

uncomfortable;

they seem

too readily

to embrace

the appearance

of things,

instead of

dismantling

the illusion.

 

Appearances

are deceiving,

I tell myself

on a Sunday afternoon,

after looking

at pictures of

poets who smile,

wordsmiths seemingly

at ease

and skilled

in a world

I rarely

inhabit.

 

Meanwhile,

pages of metaphors,

strings of narrative,

drafts of rough memory,

and too many questions

shade the

spring sun

calling me

beyond.

 

 

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Brief update

I’ve been hunkered down with my main priorities, hence my silence.

I received an email from a blog follower asking if all was well.  Yes, it is.

Mostly.  Though I’ve been discouraged, and then some.

Also, the election has proved engaging, and it allows me to avoid diving into my story, skirting pain while engaging politics, and justifying that engagement.

Many of you already know that I’m a Clinton delegate to the Maine state convention.

I’d love to go to July’s DNC in Philadelphia, but I hear national conventions are for insiders.  That I represent Clinton in a Sanders state leaves me believing I may trump the odds, no allusion intended.

Much is being made of “identity politics” this election.  But as a writer from The Nation adroitly noted, “all politics is identity politics.”

Perhaps for this reason, Hillary’s election matters to me.

As I continue laying down sentence after sentence, I see my family and its matriarchal trajectory, and the utter economic, social, and emotional devastation wrecked on the lives of my grandmother, mother, and myself by what I’ll begrudgingly call the Patriarchy.

It’s a system that abuses men and women and the in-betweens.

Because I was born with a certain set of reproductive organs, I work harder, earn less, and have taken shit from institutions that would have otherwise rewarded brash tubes.

And I’ve done all this without a safety net, other than the ones given to me by the government, or that I’ve hobbled together, a day at a time.

It’s the system that serves the haves and excludes the have-nots, and wears the same face it has worn for thousands of years.

It’s no accident that the Revolution comes in the arms of another [white] male savior making huge promises.

No Revolution could be sold to the American public by a woman.

(Please see Jill Stein’s career, who most folks ignore.)

The so-called oligarchy is the patriarchy, and white men with big promises and bold vision are a dime a dozen in this system, because they are held to a different standard than women, a standard that gives them a pass at birth that those with fallopians aren’t issued, still.

It makes me sad, and then it makes me angry, because anger masks sadness.

So my story, my writing, and Hillary’s election, I have coalesced in my mind, for better or for worse.

I don’t know if it’s smart, but I have done so, and done so decisively.

There’s a meme on the internet that reads:

“Once upon a time, a wise woman said, ‘Fuck this shit’ and lived happily ever after.  The end.”

That.  This election.  Now.

And my life.

If Hillary can survive, so can I.

My story and herstory march on.

 

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Rudy Red Slippers

rubyslippersstillcopy

 

I’ve been working with a personal trainer for a few months to help my IT band issues.

Last week, after I completed three sets of strong, focused dead lifts, she looked at me and said, “most clients work from data, they want to know all the facts, and move from there.  You’re different.  You work from your soul, you move toward things from your center, to get to where you want to go.”

In a few words, she captured my rasison d’être without realizing it.

Soul versus data.

The first comes from vision or passion, the second describes the out there.   Soul vision grows from centering.  And it grows in its centering.  If not directed by this vision, data scatters itself in a bustle of information, thinking that the more it knows, the more it conquers, while never connecting to its essential power.

This is the ego: the chatter of diversion, the soul stifled, as ego sends us chasing our tails.

When we substitute the descriptive facts for passion, we abandon what makes us feel alive.

Facts don’t change the out there, soul changes the facts.

Data isn’t the fire: this seems to me where we get ourselves stuck in life, all of life, in the information age, when we lose our vision to data, thinking that data and information are the fire.  When the ego uses data to catch us in its facts, it starts the mind chattering in comparison and judgement and personal limitation; soul quietly nudges us beyond the facts into imagination, connecting our limitless inner world to the infinite outer one.

Without soul driven radical love, the ego uses facts to keep us small, reminding us of imperfections, limitation, comparison, scarcity, deprivation.

Deep unconditional self-love fuels the passion for living well and living courageously, one powerful set of dead lifts at a time.  One mile at a time.  One poem at a time.  One chapter at a time.

This has little to do with worrying about the body’s so-called limitations or imperfections, one’s skills or talents, or scrupulously working with facts, which when in the ego’s hands escalate our insecurities, inadequacy, and drown out our inner wisdom, the still small voice that’s wiser than the facts.

Here and now is where soul emerges, but we must listen.

Feeling the strength return to legs, thighs, butt, body, and feeling the strength in knees that don’t burn after 4 miles on the road, that gets the fire going.

Revising a poem or a paragraph until its depths find skillful unpacking, then realizing that three days have joyously passed in revision, that’s soul.

When the soul is on fire, it enlarges perspective: opportunities present themselves, synchronicities abound, the work we’re born to do unfolds.

Facts should serve soul’s purpose with a gentle hand.

“Facts are for soul, not the soul for facts.”

Here’s an example:  if I finish 14 miles instead of 26.2, data explains to me why my knee is on fire, tells me that me have IT band strain, and suggests the road to recovery — get to the gym, strengthen my butt and thighs and core.  But data doesn’t fuel the fire that gets me moving beyond injury: its soul that refuses to let injury dictate my life arc.

Data tells me “very few people recover from IT band issues,” a limiting story without soul.  The facts also start the ego’s wheels turning when I do better than I believed possible.  Or when I do worse than expected.  The unchecked ego uses facts to catch me in glory, failure, and limiting information, none of which are the goal.

Soul knows better — soul knows that the joy is in the journey.

Data tells me that the chances of an unpublished writer being accepted by a publisher have gone down to near zero in the self-publishing age, that I ought to just pack it all in, and start hunting for a “regular job” (as if it were that easy) if I want economic stability.

But soul won’t allow that decision, it keeps digging into itself, deeper and deeper, more certain in its uncertainty than in data.

For my soul knows that the ego uses facts to obscure soul work, when fear lurks looking for a reason to say “no” instead of “yes.”

The centered soul finds a way to its flowering — and I’m invoking the garden metaphor for a reason.  Because the soul’s flowering is our life call, what makes us turn ourselves toward our inner light to grow in magnificence and splendor.

I always believed that when the out-there changed, I had accomplished something, while never being satisfied with the outcomes.  That’s because I hadn’t learned how to let Soul lead the journey, and to work from the soul is to find joy on the path.

Another example: data tells us we’re in a global meltdown, but it’s those connecting to Soul that will save us.  Hitting folks over the head with climate data won’t change the deniers —  it’s spending our energies and time with those who have soul vision to innovate, create, and take action that will change our collective ways of being.  The soul followers will steer us in the right direction, because it’s the right direction.

The Soul driven will change our course, for the better.

Enlarge soul.  Then enlarge Purpose.  Shifts happen.  That’s soul work.  Sometimes, our soul work appears to change, when the data tells us we’re going in the wrong direction.  But from the soul level, the process is natural, evolutionary.  The ego tells us that we’ve just had to move, pack up life again, and we are doing life wrong, because it didn’t go according to plan.  Joseph Campbell writes, “you must give up the life you planned in order to have the life that is waiting for you.”  That’s soul work taking place.  When loss and change present themselves, it’s a call to something truer and deeper in us, no matter the change or its discomforts.

Sometimes, the changes are pain filled beyond words.  If we’re privileged to those depths of soul scouring, we’ve been called to our work’s depths.

Soul has turned our course, and we can’t yet see the magnificent vista view waiting for us down the road and over the hill.

Our job is to go forward, a step at a time.

Data describes the shift to personal power in our life trajectory.  But it’s just a story arc of description, not the power itself, nor is it radical self-love.   Soul is our power, and soul work is our calling.  Sometimes the changes move slow, other times soul work lifts us like Dorothy being carried to Oz on tornado winds, from black and white to Technicolor.  The terrifying wizard turns out to be just a man behind the current, a brilliant metaphor for the ego, a fear factory sending us on errands that won’t return us to our heart’s desire.

The man behind the curtain’s errand was nevertheless part of the journey and necessary to the story’s unfolding.

But only the ruby slippers will return us to our heart’s desire.  We have to learn that for ourselves.  We have to learn that we already have what we’re looking for, but we were so busy looking outside of ourselves, we couldn’t see the way home.

The soul’s ruby slippers, our sacred power, our divine birthright.  Reminding ourselves of our  soul power is spiritual practice.  It’s pretty simple, though it requires daily commitment:  close the eyes, count to three, and breathe the self home.

 

 

 

 

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

God’s Big Belly Laugh

 

The woodlands

stand before me,

in exuberant stillness

the trees welcome me

into themselves.  The

Divine Mother sings in

my ears, as branches clap

to a chant flooding the road

preparing the way for

God’s big belly laugh.

*****

The Buddha laughs,

his round belly carries

the joy of everything:

he’s given up renunciation

for an incarnation

of happiness.  His fullness

holds the road

that begins anywhere,

and leads nowhere,

so all universes

everywhere

may inhale

and exhale

the Buddha’s

big belly laugh.

******

“Behold, the entire

cosmos turning

within my body,”

Krishna said to Arjuna,

showing his true form,

revealing himself as

the source of every breath,

every leaf, every organism,

every mountain peak,

every sun, every galaxy,

every circulating gesture of Vishnu

in all past, present, and future yugas.

 

Krishna showed Arjuna

there is nothing

He is not.

The overwhelming wonder

terrified Arjuna, so Krishna

discreetly veiled his form.  But

He mischievously timed

his concealment,

a second before Arjuna

would have witnessed

the revelation of all origin:

Vishnu’s first

big belly laugh.

*****

Fish and bread offer

meager celebration

after a resurrection:

in their existential haste

the writers forgot about

that dance with Mary Magdalene.

After astonishment,

fingered wounds, and meal,

wine flowed from new skins.

Fermented on wine

and eternity, Jesus reached

for Mary’s hand,

took it in his, and said,

“Let’s dance.”

He twirled his beloved

a hundred times,

then a hundred more,

their fingers wrapped

around each other,

they laughed

until the heavens

rolled and unrolled

ten times ten

times ten, and

they tumbled

to the ground in joy;

engulfed by their laughter,

Thomas believed.  Jesus bent

next to Mary’s rapt being,

her eyes incandescent with joy,

and he whispered in her ear,

“I wear your anointing still,

and I will wear it until the end

of time, when all that

remains is my Father’s

big belly laugh.”

*****

The woodlands

stand before me,

the trees invite me

into their arms, and the sky

calls me home. Beside the road

dogs howl, their clamor

recedes as

shimmering trees

envelop the road.

 

The Divine Mother

rises from the ground,

chanting holy sweetness

in my ears, her white robes fold

circles around me, again and

again, twirling me ten times

ten times ten.  My feet rise

from robe, road, and earth,

lifted into sky and sun,

the Mother’s love

soaked fragrance and

I become one.

 

On the unseen road that

begins anywhere

and ends nowhere,

I surrender

to all that is,

as the Divine Mother

carries me home

to most high heaven, and its

celestial temples, where live

angels and prophets and poets

and those resurrected in

God’s big belly laugh.

 

 

 

Notes:

This prose poem was drafted late last summer.  That month was flooded in luminous images difficult to untangle, their speed and intensity overwhelming.

The poetic arc I tried to capture was God’s laughter, a trope all but ignored except in the mystical traditions, because the ego hates joy — and religion loves to keep us in our suffering.

It’s been months since I’ve looked at this, but I felt nudged to return to it today.

The final version, which will take shape for another year or two or ten, will include a section on Hafiz, the Islāmic Sufi poet who inspired it; but that part still isn’t drafted.

Strange how that works, the poet who seeded my imagination remains invisible.

A couple of quick notes on the sources: in Buddhism, the image of the Buddha with a big belly is an iconic or metaphorical representation of unbound joy and expansiveness.  Not an exercise in realism, but expressive license.

The section on Krishna refers to the Bhagavad Gita.  In the “Song of God” (Bhagavad = God, Gita = song) Krishna reveals his true form to Arjuna, and it’s one of the text’s highlights.  One of the world’s most important religious documents, it’s an excerpt from the Mahabarata.  It’s a small but powerful text, and I strongly urge anyone with spiritual thirst to dive into its pages.

Krishna is an incarnation of Vishnu — a relationship that many liken to the Christian father-son relationship.

In defining “yuga,” I’m being lazy, and for brevity’s sake I lifted a definition via Wiki:  “Yuga in Hinduism is an epoch or era within a four age cycle. A complete Yuga starts with the Satya Yuga, via Treta Yuga and Dvapara Yuga into a Kali Yuga. Our present time is a Kali Yuga, which started at 3102 BCE with the end of the Mahabharata war.”

Indian religious cosmology and mythology’s vision is vast: human history takes place in an endless cycle of Universal life and death.  The universe folds and unfolds, age after age.  Human history is dwarfed by the larger forces at play.  Think of pictures from Hubble, and you get an idea of Indian cosmology.

It was important to me to portray a laughing Jesus.  The idea of a laughing, not smiling, but an irreverently laughing, love intoxicated Jesus came powerfully to me during this month of poetic flooding.  The Jesus we never see, the one who danced, sang, loved, engaged with life as a fully alive, aware being, not the mystically detached blue-eyed Caucasian that dominates our narratives.

This is the Jesus of Christ at-one-ment, not the small cult figure that’s strangled our spiritual imagination.

Lastly, hearing the Divine Mother chanting isn’t a metaphor — it was real singing.  But I’ll leave it at that.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Animal Spirit Guides

Over two years ago, after moving to New Hampshire, a shaman and I sat down for the purposes of discovering my animal spirit guide.

During our session, we meditated.  The shaman told me “badger,” the same animal that I felt during our meditation.

Now, I wasn’t aware that there was this internet frenzy about badgers.  In fact, I only discovered “Badger Don’t Care” this past week, which is what inspired this entry.

Who on earth wants a badger for a spirit animal?  I was thinking certainly a horse, because of experiences I’ve previously written about here.

Yes, a big, beautiful black stallion, wild and free, running on the beach with its mane blowing back, strong legs galloping in the sand, salt water splashing around it, images of Scorsese’s Black Stallion in cinematic poetry running through my mind.

What’s up with a badger?  Isn’t that a rodent?

Not impressed.

Several days after the shaman sit down, I was out on the roads in the backwoods, listening to an animal spirit meditation invocation, thinking that I’d get the real deal, the shaman was wrong, and I had simply picked up her subconscious energies.  Sure enough, there in my mind  I heard and saw “BADGER.”  It was an impression that was as clear as a tolling bell.

Yet I had zero knowledge of badgers, and didn’t really care.  (Allusion intended.)

Enough woo woo, I thought.  That’s crazy and not what I want to hear.

Then this past week, as I checked into Facebook during a writing break, I accidentally discovered that the badger is a singularly extraordinary animal.

The honey badger is the most fearless animal on the planet according to the Guinness Book of World Records, and it’s fearlessness is exceeded only by its intelligence.

It’s a small animal, yet its attitude alone allows it take on lions, king cobras, and any other creature, sometimes more than one at a time.  Very few animals mess with the badger, because it just won’t give up.  More work than its worth, for despite its small size, its a formidable adversary.

It’s only weakness is that it is too fearless, and gets itself into trouble.

Okay.  I am now listening.  Badger has my attention.

This is from the Animal Symbolism site:

“According to Native Americans, the sighting of badger tracks was very auspicious. Seeing badger tracks was a message that all things are possible when we tap into our inner creative powers.

The badger stops at nothing to get what it wants, and this is a lesson for us to be persistent in our pursuits. Specifically, those with the badger totem often attract this creature because he/she has difficulty finishing what is started. The badger will help with this aspect in life. You can call upon the stubborn, strong-willed nature of the badger to help you complete any project you start.

The badger is also fiercely independent and is quite aggressive when threatened.  This is a lesson for us to stand our ground and make our presence known when the situation calls for it. Although smaller in stature, the badger commands attention from friend and foe alike. We can do the same, but we must be mindful that we do so in a healthy, constructive manner.

The badger’s associated with:

  • Determination
  • Eagerness
  • Strong will
  • Focus
  • Strategy
  • Tenacity
  • Defense
  • Protection
  • Independence
  • Confidence

When the badger comes into our lives it is time for get busy with projects, speak up and ask for help if we need it in our lives. The badger is also a sign that it is time for us come out of hiding – it’s time for us to let the world know we are here, and we mean business!

Lastly, the symbolism of the badger also includes individuality. The badger is a unique creature, well equipped to meet all the challenges it faces. It lives its life quite effectively. And although its methods might seem unorthodox, the badger doesn’t care what the rest of the animal kingdom thinks about them. This is perhaps the greatest lesson the badger imparts to us. In short, the badger tell us to “walk your own path at your own pace.” Nevermind what others may say. Have faith in your own abilities and know that you are well-equipped to take on whatever challenge faces you.”

The badger is more than appropriate to my story — and I found it interesting that badgers can be bitten by the planet’s most lethal snakes, and unlike most animals, survive.  They simply sleep off the venom for awhile, and then get up and start all over again.

Badger’s been with me my entire life!

If you are inclined to discover your animal spirit guide, I encourage you to follow your inclination.  You don’t need a shaman.  Just some quiet and the intent to connect.  There are many guided meditations on-line or for download.  The most difficult issue is trusting the animal you receive. It may not be the animal you think, but when you’re ready, as I was, to take its message and make it yours, it will present itself for your help.  These things sound woo woo to our modern sensibilities, but I believe they carry ancient wisdom, buried in our bones and our connection to the earth.  If you doubt their mystical veracity, well at least they offer a great psychological tool in your life arsenal to carry with you, to use as you need and will, for all its worth.

Written as one with badger by her side.

 

 

 

 

 

There have been several long entries the past few days, but I felt all of them important.

Thanks for subscribing.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized