My life is often awhirl with activity; on any given day, it looks like work and play swirled like cream in coffee. Even though it is bliss-filled, it is sometimes exhausting. All winter long, I have maintained good health, free of the cold and flu symptoms that have beset many friends, family and co-workers. Smirking I was at times. A few days ago, I awoke with a sore throat, ear ache and sniffles. Since I speak for a living, it brings with it an ‘uh oh’; what if I can’t communicate? Many years ago, I had a lengthy bout of laryngitis that carried with it a sense of fear that I wouldn’t be able to express myself. What became obvious back then was that I wasn’t speaking my truth and once I did, my voice came back.
Something else that is whirling about is a training I will be doing this weekend, called The Woman Within; which is part of a parent organization called The ManKind Project- the training for men is called New Warrior. I signed up for it a month or so ago and like any powerful experience, although it will officially begin tomorrow night and run through Sunday afternoon, it really started for me at the moment of commitment. I can tell that it will be stirring up alot of settled to the bottom of the soup pot, mixture. You don’t get to age 54 without a whole bunch of stuff waiting to come to the surface. Long held beliefs and limiting thoughts are lurking in the background, eager to be heard. An opportunity to be fully expressed and held in safety in ways that I have never allowed before. A combination of anticipation, excitement, spiced with a dash of trepidation. Wanting to realize what is possible for me.
Last week, I was a guest on my very first vlog, interviewed by the creative Gene-Manuel Whirling, whose artistry takes the form of graphic design and writing. We had such fun conversing as if we were sitting side by side when we were about 100 miles apart; he in North Jersey while I am in Pennsylvania. More and more, I am delighted to be connecting with people, whether via writing, speaking, interveiwing or being interviewed. There is a sense of unity, even if I never meet you in person; know that our lives have touched each others’; like so many dandelion seeds that come from being blown from puffs. We never know where the seeds will fall and how they will take root and grow.
http://youtu.be/Y__tlqCDzdk The Whirling Blog VLOG
IS AUTOMATICALLY ANSWERED
THE MOMENT YOU FEEL ITS PRESENCE.
TO KNOW THE ANSWER IS TO WELCOME
THE PEOPLE WHO SHOW YOU YOURSELF.
These powerful words usher you into the book entitled The What Happens If I Book…How To Make Action/Reaction Work for You Instead Of Against You. The author of several other mind stretching books: Walking Through Illusion, The Mirror Theory, You Are What You Think, LoveHuman, and LoveParent, the prolific Betsy Otter Thompson is a soul in wonder. Her professional background includes modeling, marketing and acting. Her writing was a healing balm in a time of challenge for her. Now it reaches out to heal others.
Thompson sets the stage by reframing the concept of God as “…energy. Sometimes I call that energy all-inclusive—or the whole through which we all participate. Sometimes I call that energy individual—as in you, me and others. But whether I describe this energy as out-of-matter or in-matter, male or female, gracious or rude, it still represents the light of eternal love.” How comforting it is to consider the Divine in that way.
At the beginning of each chapter, a question is posed What Happens If I: Think I Have To Be Perfect, Live Without Integrity, Abandon Another, Make A Mistake, Do What I Love And The Money Doesn’t Come? All common concerns and all answered with Thompson’s wit and wisdom that lead this reader to even deeper inquiry….a ‘down the rabbit hole’ experience. Woven throughout is the idea of self responsibility and accountability…we are not at the effect of events and people unless we choose to be.
Each chapter is sandwiched in between delicious slices of truth, such as the description of What Happens If I Obsess Over Another?
WHEN YOU LOVE ANOTHER INTO COMFORT
YOU LOVE YOURSELF INTO BLISS.
WHEN YOU LOVE ANOTHER INTO FEAR
YOU CREATE AN ABYSS.
OBSESS WITHOUT CONDITIONS
SO YOU CAN FEEL
THE UNCONDITIONAL OBSESSION
THE UNIVERSE HAS FOR YOU.
The further I delved into the pages, the more this book seemed to be channeled THROUGH Thompson, rather than simply written BY her, so effortlessly it flowed. One chapter in particular fascinated me : What If I Insist On Agreement? since I am a peacemaker by inclination. Every day I encounter people whose beliefs, attititudes and actions are in harmony with mine…they are the easy folks to get along with AND every day, I cross paths with those whose life choices are dramatically out of synch with my values….how do I peacefully co-exist with them? What it takes is putting myself in the other person’s position…if I had the experiences they did and had the same feelings as a result, I might have formed the same values base and taken the same actions. Letting go of the need to be right, seems to be a key to harmonious interactions that could quite possibly heal the planet.
We are accustomed to thinking of ‘what ifs’ as negatives. Thompson reframes them to beneficial effect.
What if my life is over because everyone I love has left?
What if your life is beginning with new hearts to love?
What if I can’t get well, so I might as well die?
What if you can’t die, so you might as well heal?
What if the world is a mess so there’s no reason to try?
What if “trying” is what makes the world less messy?
Thompson offers this beatitude to close the book:
BLESSED IS THE SOUL
THAT KNOWS ITSELF,
IS A THOUGHT WITHIN.
My birth name is Edie and throughout my life, I would have the frustrating experience of having it mispronounced and/or mis-spelled in such a way that if someone didn’t know who was being referred to, would have thought I was male. Even teachers who you would think would know better, would call it out that way when taking roll call on the first day of school. I often wondered what it would be like to have had a ‘normal’ name, since when I was growing up- Barbara, Susan, Karen, Linda, Debbie, Donna and Kathy were common girls’ names. The most unusual name of a classmate was Mimi and she was Chinese. In the late 80’s and through the 90’s, I used the pseudonym, Kate Joy, because no one ever mis-pronounced it and because it reminded me of my beloved Aunt Kate who was playful and quite like a kid herself into her later years. Some people still refer to me that way.
Lately, I have told people that it is like the name of the decadently delicious ice cream brand Edy’s (except for the spelling). They smile brightly when I say that. I like comparing myself to a sweet treat. Another way that I have reframed my name is by focusing on the meaning. “rich gift, riches, wealth, blessed and war”. Now, the war part I could bypass, except that I do view myself as a peaceful warrior. When I go to the bank and the teller asks me if there is anything else they can do for me, I always grin and tell them that they can put a million dollars into my account. Focused on abundance most of the time, I give thanks in advance for all of the rich gifts in my life.
My intention is that I embody that sentiment in the lives of those who cross my path. I have this vision of a full to overflowing treasure chest. That imagery keeps me focused. Whe we are in that condition, we have the ability to generously give out, without feeling ‘gived out’. When I am in that place of prosperity, I KNOW that the source of my livelihood isn’t the people who hire me, but rather the Infinite. There is always more than enough to go around~
“It would take centuries and he must grow and grow and grow, but he was in no hurry—he grokked that Eternity and the ever-beautifully-changing Now were identical.” Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land
One of my forever-now-eternal books is in the genre of sci-fi, but in my mind stands as a spiritual love story with the Universe. Stranger in a Strange Land got birthed into the world in 1961b y Robert Heinlein. I was introduced to it while in college and what appealed to me was the ways in which it explored the nature of relationships with humans and the Divine.
The main character is Valentine Michael Smith (a.k.a. The Man From Mars) who was born of human parents whose exploratory mission to Mars, cost them their lives. He is then raised by Martians, which questions the concept of nature vs. nurture. His biological parents were scientific geniuses and his caretakers had the ability to utilize and teach him beyond-human abilities, including those we would consider psychic. The earthly adventure begins as Mike comes to this planet when another mission’s crew finds him.
He is sequestered away in a military hospital until the powers that be can figure out what to do with this “Martian Named Smith” which was one of the working titles for the book. Enter Gillian Boardman- a feisty nurse who is curious about this mystery patient and once she finds out who he is and the government’s intentions toward him, with the help of her friend and erstwhile suitor; savvy reporter, Ben Caxton, she secrets him out of the hospital. Thus begins a emotional/spiritual/sexual relationship between the two of them. Jubal Harshaw, a cantankerous lawyer-author-doctor becomes surrogate father and mentor to Mike.As the book progresses, it is clear that Mike is a Christ-like figure and those he draws into his life are willing disciples.
The book was revolutionary for its time, since it challenged the prevailing religious and political institutions, explored polyamory and encouraged out of the box thinking. Some of my favorite concepts in the story are those that are part of my life to this day; including the saying “Thou Art God”-meaning that we are all aspects of the Divine, seeing those closest to me as ‘water brothers’, and the word ‘grok’ which Heinlein translates as ‘to drink’ as in to drink in and understand fully. It is becoming ONE with whatever it is you are experiencing that deeply. The quote that begins this article keeps me mindful that all that truly exists is this moment.