The Loud Sound of Quiet

There’s a quiet, which happens when the end of something comes. I heard it before and while my dog died. I heard it again a few nights ago. For once, the silence was louder than all the noise outside.

Louder than the traffic noise from the highway. Than helicopters buzzing in the skies. Dogs barking. The yellow utility fan blowing cold air inside the house. A week of homeschooling (child in house all day). Chatter in my head about money. All taking a muted back seat to the silence within.

This doesn’t happen very often. Usually I have to escape the noise and find an external quiet spot to get quiet and even then the internal noise is still too loud. But something is shifting, and I’m listening. In the silence of that moment, I heard the soul whisper, It’s over. The time of so much change and so little abundance. The time of so much pressure and so little peace. So much restriciton and so little freedom. The time of squeezing. It’s over. 

You might say (or truer yet, my Sergeant Williamson says), Nikki there is always abundance. There is always peace. There is always freedom. You just have to choose them. I could defend this, but I am going to let it be. No need. We go through what we must. Handle it as we do. And in time come through to another side.

On the other side of pressure. Restriction. Lack. Worry- is a space of silence and knowing, which whispers, It’s over. Not the kind of over that mimics former president Bush’s sign, ‘Mission Accomplished’ as he boasted an end of a war that was far from over, but more of an over where spring turns into summer and summer turns into fall and fall into winter. Where once summer occurs, spring can no longer be seen. Sometimes not even remembered, until of course it arrives again.

As we try to concrete our experiences here, we forget our life is cyclical. Our movement rhythmical. The darkest times carrying with them pressure and suffering seem to never want to leave. The brighter days, where are souls are happy and free we think will always last, or at least we want them to. During my dark days, I forgot what it felt like to love. I didn’t realize this until I got a text from my daughter- the same moment I was listening to the silence.

Earlier I was at Target, arriving much too late to look at my favorite designer Missoni, and their new wares. All that was left- a pair of black suede pumps. I don’t even wear pumps, but thought I might charge them. I sent my daughter a text with a picture of them, asking for her opinion. I didn’t buy the shoes and her reply came several hours later.

Unless you love them, I wouldn’t get them. 

When I had money, I was open to finding things I loved because if I loved it I felt I could buy it. Living within my meager means of the past several years, I’ve turned that openness off. Yes, I speak only of materialistic means- shoes, clothes, etc but little did I know I turned off my love valve everywhere else as well. I stopped loving my job as homemaker/parent. I forgot I loved to write. I stopped loving clothes because mine were ripping and sadly out of date. I stopped loving my hair that was falling out. I stopped loving the small things, like curling up with a good book or taking a hot, lavender scented bath. I stopped loving going out and participating. I stopped loving life, and then life sort of stopped. Or ran increasingly stale. This has been the cycle of the past several years.

The whisper says, It’s over…

So what does over look like? At present there isn’t a DJ playing Celebration outside of my window. I have yet to see a fat lady sing, unless I start. There is no amount of cash in my mailbox…yet. But spring usually doesn’t start with hot sunshine and cookouts on the beach either. It starts with the appearance of the first robin. A small sliver of grass. Wet patches of water and ice on the sidewalks, that were once mounds of snow.

Here are my signs: I laugh more. A man at 7-11 with a foreign tongue said to me while using a full circle hand gesture, I appreciate you like this. I am finally dealing with my 11-year old daughter- sitting down with her every weekday morning to help her learn the basics of life and school that she hasn’t received. I remembered I LOVE writing. I bought two Missoni items online that I do love. And I am learning Italian, the language of love. But the truest sign, is the silent sound within my soul, the truest companion I know, whispering to me, It’s over.

To hear the silence on the inside is the gift given when we survive being squeezed from the pressure of our dark days. To have the silence override the surface chaos is what it means to live from the inside out, and to do so in a conscious, direct way. To hear the silence on the inside means we no longer get as twisted and turned about by the winds of change, and S P A C E proceeds again for what we love. We hear the silence. We sense the rhythms. We know when one way ends and another begins. We grieve and we celebrate within the two, and we do it all while saying non mi dispiace (Italian for, I don’t mind).

Off to Big Bear for some (more) peace and quiet- and laughter. I will report again next week.


The Soul Reporter

What’s Going On…?

I’m concerned. I’ve “met” a few people online. These people are kindred souls, or so it seems. We “like” each other’s updates. We may chat on line or email exchange. And then we might share a link or post an update or add a comment that shares our political or religious views/opinions- and then as they say, ‘the shit hits the fan.’

Example: I watched Fahrenheit 9-11 last week. I posted a comment about my experience of watching it again 10 years later, and a “friend” shared a link of a documentary that delved into another theory of 9-11, suggesting the government was behind 9-11 and there were bombs planted inside the towers. I had seen this before, and watched again with interest. After watching, I asked this “friend” why? Why would “they” want to do this? She posted another link about President Obama. I didn’ t finish the video, but what I gathered is he, like most presidents are puppets to coroporations, and specifically the Federal Reserve, which I have heard is privately owned.

During John Kerry’s democratic convention, a nice looking young man, named Barack Obama came onto the stage and lit my fire. He inspired forward a message of unity sitting stagnant inside of me and I said to myself, who is this guy? I like Barack. I always have. I believe he is a good man. I told my “friend” this, and also said that these political conversations don’t go anywhere because someone is usually trying to convince the other they are right.

She told me a good man wouldn’t have attended the church he did or married a woman who wrote some black supremacist diatribe against the “very culture who established the educational system she attended.” She went on to say I was blinded by my desire to have faith.  I told her that conspiracy theories, true or not are a distraction unless we are willing to revolt and take back our country. I told her I stand by my feeling about Barack and would admit I was wrong if he actually was the monster many portray him to be. I realized after I spent time bashing Bush, that I have no idea what it is like to be president, and therefore to judge the way the position is held is ignorant.

And this is where it got weird, and ugly. She brought up my decision to homeschool (in an eery throw it in my face sort of way) because of the faulty LA schools, she mentioned my husband, who is black. She told me all I do is contemplate my navel and asked, “What do you do for the world besides talk about yourself?” She then said she wouldn’t disclose any of the secrets (I guess) I told her because she is honest that way, and for now our paths will no longer cross. And then ended with the ever lovely, “Bless.” I was deleted from her Facebook friends and Twitter. Poof. Gone. See ya.

Here is why I am concerned. I have met others like this woman online and face-to-face in the past year or so. These people seem to spend a lot of time in isolation, in front of their computers. Here they explore these conspiracies and over time believe they are true. Also, the virtual friends they make allows them to fantasize about relationships that aren’t really real, except of course in their own mind. My projection of this woman in particular is she believed we were kindred spirits- that she had a friend in me, but as soon as I shared my own thoughts, which didn’t mesh with her own, she seemed to feel oddly betrayed and was done. And not only done, but threatened enough to attack in what she believed were vulnerable places for me.

You might say, who cares. But, while they might fear the government, I fear for them. The government and all the corruption that goes along with it, is an entity I choose not to focus on for the same reasons I am passionate about spirituality, but choose not to get involved with channeling and past lives and ghosts- it’s a distraction, and a can be a dangerous one.

Voltaire said, we must cultivate our own garden, so in a sense saying all I do is contemplate my navel and talk about myself is all I am supposed to do. It is really all I can do. It is all I know and want to know better. There isn’t enough looking within. There is too much looking out. This does not make one who does this naieve or selfish or unaware of the needs of others.  It makes one establish a solid foundation and from here discern what is empowering and useful and what isn’t, and the brighter, more abundant our gardens, the more there is to share. Back to our government-  I do not doubt there is terrible, ugly curroption within it. I am sure Barack is learning this first hand. But- right now I have no desire to start a revolt. I am still cultivating- and often sharing.

See, there is this law called karma and it happens with or without our saving or fearing the world. The darkness, secrets, lies are all being uncovered right now. It is why the world seems so dark at the moment. Karma is happening. I don’t have to read about conspiracies or get people on my side because what is happening inside the white house walls and corporate board rooms will take care of itself. As they ignorantly believe they are manipulating us, if that is what they are doing, they are merely only twisting tighter their own already tangled webs. Yes, some of us will and do get caught up in it and there are many who call out how unfair it is- but nothing is unfair. It’s karma. It’s what is, and we can look within and learn from what is happening or we can keep pointing the finger and believe our conspiracies and learn nothing, and abandon those who don’t get along with what we believe as Truth, therefore continuing to spread isolation, separateness, fear and ignorance- and from where I sit, the results are in.

In the past year, I have yet to get into a healthy debate or conversation with anyone. Instead I get deleted or ignored or attacked or leave myself, for the projections have gone too far.  I see posts and links and hear people being critical of the president. There is bitching because there was too much hype over Hurricane Irene. Suffering because there was not enough with Katrina. Truth, unity and freedom is discouraged and feared, even though we pride ourselves on encouraging them.

What’s going on….?

This cynicism, paranoia and intolerance is spreading like wildfire. I am reminded of my new dog, Olive. She is still a puppy- an Italian Mastiff. She is an anxious dog. Probably isolated before she came to us. Wasn’t around many other dogs or people. When we take her on walks, or when someone comes to the door, her hackles go up. Our trainer says this is not something we want because when she is anxious and her hackles are up she is more prone to be aggressive.

A Remedy…

There are a lot of people, it would seem whose hackles are up. Looking to be deceived. Abandoned. Betrayed. Look, and you will always find. I believe my “friend” thought I was naive. “Blinded” she said because of my need to have faith in a person (speaking of Barack). She asked, “What makes him good?” He has good in him as we all do. He has darkness too. We all do. There is a point of maturity, which happens if we cultivate our own garden, where we see the darkness in others, but we don’t fear it or condemn it or try and control it- we just notice it. We also Know in them is Perfection, something my dad has been saying to me lately. To not buy into “conspiracies” or “truths” does not mean we are stupid or naive. It means we don’t need to hang onto anything to feel right or secure or affirmed. It means we don’t take any of this so serisously we stamp people out for not agreeing with us. It means we keep our eye on the larger movement happening- that everything is bringing us deeper into our Perfection. As serious as it all is, it’s not that serious.

On the surface we see, feel and often become deeply entrenched in the chaos, but beneath the chaos is absolute perfect, divine order. Keeping at least one eye here, we do not need to argue or disagree or agree or resist or delete or do anything…at all. And in my case, I need not be concerned.


The Soul Reporter

The Guru Teaches Arrogance- A Tough Lesson

Today’s Soul Report:

For awhile something was gnawing at me. Something big, but not big enough for me to see. A shadow, where every time I tried to turn around and see it, it would be behind me again. It wasn’t until I decided to get real honest with my journal and get real drill sergeant like and demand I see, declaring my readiness to see it- that I did. But first, I had to invite an experience into my life so I could see what it was that had been eluding me.

Arrogance runs deep

The culprit- arrogance. Arrogance runs deep, and comes out in many subtle ways, often barely noticeable, but since working with my own, I see it more clearly and see how subtle and deep this trait goes. It is destructive in its ability to separate and leave the other or others isolated, and it is sly, like a fox. It keeps weaving in and out so we don’t see it operating in its myriad ways.

Here are examples of some of those ways:

The experience I invited into my life was a conversation I never quite felt got finished with Marianne Williamson. I wrote a blog, and in this blog, I was sharing my experience with my inner perfectionist- how she talked to me, what she demanded of me- and I addressed her as Sergeant Williamson, seeing her as a combination of a spiritual teacher (I picked Marianne Williamson) and a drill sergeant. No harm done, at least not in my mind. I picked MW because she is a woman. I almost picked Wayne Dyer, but he’s a man and I wanted to make it relatable for me so I could work with this part of me that was making my life confused, miserable and inauthentic.

Ms. Williamson was adamant I was being catty. That I was harsh, and somehow she must have offended me or I would not speak so badly of her. Well, in my arrogance, perhaps a bit of courage, and the desire to take full advantage of an interesting opportunity to stretch, I tried to make spiritual teacher extraordinaire understand I was NOT talking about her. I wanted to have an effect on her evolution, and also really wanted her to let go of this story because it was not true, at least as I wrote it, so to move this further, I stood face to face with her after one of her Monday night lectures, something I would not have thought about if it had not been for one of her adoring fans telling me I must. I must talk to her. “It would be fun. We can go together,” she said. So I went, and the adoring fan never texted me back. The face-to-face exchange with Marianne was just as it was through Twitter, which is where she first contacted me and email, where she contacted me again.

There was no getting through to Marianne. She just would not get that I was not talking about her, and looked at me quizzically when I told her my process (naming it) of outing one of my parts that creates dysfunction in my life. I guess I was naive. I guess I thought I could have a conversation with someone who talks about God, love and forgiveness with some openess. Well after this meeting, I felt pretty good. Empowered. I stood my ground because I can’t nod my head with something I know isnt’ true. And I thought that opportunity had run its course.


A few days ago. My husband is a fan of her page and made a comment. Being curious I went to her page to see what he said. I don’t even know what he said, but I ran across a comment from her- “People can translate for themselves, and I appreciate those who don’t project all kinds of stuff onto my words that I didn’t say:)” I couldn’t help myself- and I told her “I know how you feel.” She responded, and said she would try and remember that, and also wondered why she (meaning me) is so intent on attacking her all of the time.

From here, a two day conversation began. Not with Marianne. We never heard from her again, but with some of her most loyal fans. In this exchange I saw many different and subtle aspects of arrogance, so much so it brought out my own- mostly in the form of the rebel who is going to call your shit out as I saw it. What I saw are some of the signposts I view as arrogant:

Subtly number one: People telling us their title, and we didn’t ask. Example, I am a psychologist. A doctor. A filmmaker. From said psychologist, I was told that I wasn’t in a very creative and intuitive place when I picked out the name Sergeant Williamson and if I were I would have not picked out Marianne’s name or Wayne’s. Which, brings me to…

Subtly number two: Giving advice when we didn’t ask. The ancients taught, do not teach unless asked. I didn’t ask for this woman’s advice about my writing (or Marianne’s when she told me she had been doing what she does for 20+ years and should really watch what I write). She was not at my writing desk as I wrote that post, and actually, the moment MW and the drill sergeant merged was one of brilliance that only happens when in the creative space.

Subtly number three: When people say “Been there. Done that.” I tend to be honest about how I feel and what I think and where I am in my evolutionary process. This said, I leave myself open for people to give me a lot of, “been there, done thats,” (and that advice I didn’t ask for) Oh, I used to compare myself to others; (which was said and assumed by a loyal follower from this exchange). Oh, I used to care what people thought of me; Oh, I used to be afraid but now I am not- “Been there. Done that.” Great. Super. Is that helpful though? Or does it increase their superiority and cause further isolation? Why say it, other than to prove you no longer struggle, to let us all know what step you aren’t on in your evolution. And if you are so over your stuff, can I now ask you for your advice because I want to be over mine too?

Subtly Number Four: It’s my way or the dumb-way. This exchange had me pretty much hating new agey, spiritual mumbo jumbo, and I used to be kind of into it, but I think I may have been into it because it was the only thing I thought was there that sort of got me. But, most of it isn’t deep enough. It’s too much about the end result- where we are all singing Kumbaya, and not enough about what it takes to get there or gives space for those who aren’t. For me if I am not authentically feeling it, I am not going to preach about it. And for me the only way I can authentically feel it, means I have to dig within myself and find all the obsrtuctions to my authentic joy. Have I had those moments? Yes. I think so. But I’m not done. I can’t speak on the eternal, authentic anything because my focus is to know thyself, or as Volatire says, to culitivate our own garden and this is ongoing, a process. But see, I’ve been arrogant about all of this. My way is the way, preaching my anthem of- please don’t waste your time preaching and pretending all this love and joy when you have so much darkness inside, that is being projected all over the place, that you aren’t owning. As much as I would like it to be everyone’s anthem and deal with stuff, I can only own it for myself. It is what works for me. If others want what I have in my garden, I will share, but the last few years, I’ve been lost in my own arrogance; my attachment to other’s evolution and feeling the pressure to help it along as if this is my duty, my “calling,” more than tending what I used to tend best- my own garden. And yet, I wasn’t out there enough pushing that either, to get people to go my way or the dumb way, which brings me to this lesson:

The fear of arrogance also runs deep.

My husband said recently, if I want to get my teachings, words, writing- basically myself “out there,” I am going to have to find my swag. Be a little cocky even. Oh, God no- how I could I? I resist being arrogant like that. There has to be another way….I would imagine most who are out there, had some swag/arrogance- or perhps a whole lot. Even Gandhi had swag in his own way. He put himself out there and was devoted to what he believed in. So, probably not too much wrong with some swag. But I was afraid of using it and how it might make me look. The fear of being arrogant was a bigger culprit, it would seem, and it wasn’t helping me not be arrogant. It was making me blind to it. We often become what we fear, and our not looking at what we fear doesn’t make it less dangerous or real.


I invited Marianne, along with some of her loyal fans, into my life to be mirrors of my own arrogance, and my fear of it. To bring out what was gnawing at me, so I could see it and name it, which is only the tip of the arrogance ice berg, and..


The lesson in arrogance will continue…

Today’s Soul Tip:

Seeing and naming what is deep within is only the beginning. This battle/learning opportunity is not over. It is on-going until I get all the way through it. What I have learned though so far is it is important for me to call out the arrogance. To understand it is a fierce opponent. The fear of it, worse. I don’t have to fear my arrogance, therefore I may begin exposing it, playing with it, at the risk of looking more arrogant than ever before. But I am not ready to own my pure humility, and my rebel certainly isn’t going to fake it.

There is more to the story- and if my focus is to cultivate my own garden, and everything in it, then the story will continue to unfold, and I believe it might have something to do with courage. I hope you will stay tuned…


The Soul Reporter

Investigating (with slight irritation) Certain Spiritual Teachings

Teaching up for investigation: “It’s not up to you what you learn, but only whether you learn through joy or through pain.” ~A Course in Miracles

Upfront disclaimer: If you hear a charge in this post, you are right on. I’m irritated with certain spiritual teachings (I’ll get through it, but right now I am learning in a slightly painful way). I think some teachings are only useful in keeping us away from the real work, which in the long term is not useful. This one (above) for example has those markings. So, let’s investigate- if I believe in this teaching, that would mean I have no possibility of insight into my lessons. There is some being somewhere in charge of what I need to learn. It would also mean that I have a choice whether I learn through joy or through pain. I would agree, we have choice- and if I am using my strong will, I can will myself to choose to learn through joy, instead of pain. I mean who the hell really wants to learn through pain…..?

But, can we be honest? I can’t be the only one who has learned a lot of my lessons through intense amounts of pain. Pain, I was so immersed in I didn’t have the will power to choose joy, to even think that was an option. Does this then make me weak? Insufficient because I chose to suffer instead of jump to those lessons with glee?

To learn in joy is a certain kind of mastery I don’t believe I could even talk much about (I don’t like to talk about ideas without having personal experience). I’m not there. I think it’s possible for those who have worked diligently and intently on their path, and gone through lots of pain, but for most of us common folk, still ignorant to our True nature, this type of spiritual teaching might not be helpful. It keeps us in the superficial layer of our spiritual growth, where we think we can control how we feel by will alone. And where some of us who have gone a bit deeper than the superficial layers might feel bad because we aren’t choosing our lessons through joy. There were many times, as much as I was inspired by Wayne Dyer’s teachings, I felt like a failure because I wasn’t all happy, happy, joy, joy and maintaing my spiritual perspective through my shit, my hand on the trolley strap, so to speak.

To go back to this teaching that it is not up to us what we learn- this makes me feel disempowered. I know there is a soul, and I know contained within this soul are my lessons. I believe these lessons are universal, and we will all learn them as we are ready, which means we are the ones who choose to receive those lessons or to put them off. I also know we are given the extraordinary gift of insight, which can be used to look within and have knowledge into our lessons. I also trust, as we evolve into this soul, we will be able facilitate and consciously prepare and participate in those lessons. We may not know how those lessons will come to us, but we can know they are coming and will remain open and ready to receive. This may be the point in which there is joy- a sort of anticipatory joy, like YAY! Today I am going to be stretched and I can’t wait because I want to grow. But so many of us are unaware of this going on inside of us so how can we consciously participate, let alone joyously (therefore not knowing might be a more comfortable belief for those wanting to stay safe on the shore). This means the lessons that do come are probably going to hurt like hell because we don’t know what is going on or why and we are resisting them all the way.

Looking for the positive:

What this spiritual lesson does do is bring awareness that there are lessons we will learn and are learning. That is essential to know. It gives perspective. It also brings awareness to choice of joy or pain, but it doesn’t go deep or wide or guide enough to where many of us are right now in our evolution- not where we can choose joy in a pure authentic way while we grow (but we can pretend :-). Having only read bits and pieces of ACIM, maybe it does do this throughout the book. What I did read, the words inspired higher aspects, but it wasn’t very grounding for me. I am not content only with ideals. I want to be those ideals, and that is quite a process of unraveling and discovering. It’s work. Often painful- just being honest.

Lesson: The most helpful teaching/teacher for me inspires my true nature, while also holding the space of where I am with insight, guidance and compassion. 

>Letter to a Young Girl


My Graduation Day

Recently, I was asked to write a letter to a young girl. I don’t know who she is, but from her story she resembles a young girl I used to know, who still resides in me, and I trust resides in us all.  Here is my letter to the young girl:

Dear YOU,

We do not know each other, but we all know pain and struggle and we all are or have been teenagers, and YOU are not alone.
In your eyes and smile we can see what a beautiful, sweet and alive soul YOU are. There is hope, love, strength, forgiveness and innocence present inside of YOU.  YOU will need to access this part of YOU because life will sometimes feel disappointing and discouraging.

As YOU travel, here is…

My advice to YOU:

~Pay attention.  Every experience, relationship, thought, feeling- everything is a lesson to be learned and understood. It may sound overwhelming, especially when there are so many other things to pay attention to and be distracted by, but if YOU pay attention YOU will come to….
…~Know yourself.  YOU are important, interesting, unique, gifted. YOU also feel sad and alone and maybe think YOU are not good enough.  With all of this inside of YOU, take time for just YOU, listening and comforting yourself through the sadness, and celebrating and laughing with your goodness.
If YOU don’t have one already, get yourself a pretty JOURNAL and make it your best friend. Tell it everything, and as YOU write, YOU will….
…~Come to know the ‘Voice Inside.’  In one of my father’s letters to me, his advice was: ‘Let the higher voice be your guide.’  It is unfortunate many of us are not raised with this truth.  This Voice is what makes us special, and no matter what YOU discover about yourself, I will tell YOU what the ‘Voice Inside’ told me…
~There is nothing inside of YOU to be afraid of.  The thing we are most afraid of is ourselves. Maybe because others told us we weren’t okay, but everything inside of YOU is good- everything. And inside of YOU is something only YOU can do, and if YOU LISTEN, the ‘Voice Inside’ will help YOU…
~Find what YOU love. What makes your heart sing?  What are YOU good at? What are your interests? What do others notice about YOU?  Allow this ‘love’ to  be your primary focus and believe in yourself and what only YOU can offer to yourself and the world, and while YOU are doing what YOU love and everything in between…
~Love yourself– My mom always told me to look in the mirror, and say, “I love YOU.” I would roll my eyes, but YOU know what- Loving yourself is the most important thing YOU can do.  In this love, softness returns in places where YOU were once hardened and protected.  In this soft place, YOU are free and alive and YOU find JOY, a JOY YOU can bring to your life, yourself and others.

When I was younger, in another letter from my father he wrote,  ‘As your life moves on and some suffering comes your way, remember YOU are loved.’ May this advice to YOU always serve as a reminder of just how much YOU are loved, just for being YOU.

Blessings, Love & Truth to YOU, Dear YOU,


>I’ve Got a Gripe

>Okay, so according to my last writing post, a blog where I share my writing process, I said No More New Tasks. But, I have got a gripe.  I’ve been told I am a slow processor, so my gripe may seem stale by now, but if it at all matters I was displeased with this when it happened, but didn’t feel I needed to write about it- until now.

Here is the Gripe.  I have been watching Oprah for many years.  I enjoy her show.  It’s interesting.  And I used to LOVE Oprah’s Favorite Things.  But-   this year I was disgusted.  I checked in with myself- am I jealous because its been so long since I bought a favorite thing for me?  No. I am not jealous.  I’ve changed, and thank God, and thank me.

What brings the bad feeling to my soul is how she begins the show.  She, dressed in a dark robe of some sort, set dark, tells the audience they are going to spend time in meditation. “How many here meditate,” she asks?  Barely a hand.  The crowd is silent; the crickets chirping metaphor as I’ve never seen or heard.  Then, O in all her enthusiasm, says, “Meditate on this!” and pulls off her “robe,” the dark back-drop curtains are lifted, artificial snow begins to fall, and a sparking array of holiday props and a shining Oprah in red appears.
IT’S OPRAH’S FAVORITE THINGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Medics on the scene in case people collapse.

Yawn.  Then sadness and disappointment. Good-bye meditation, remembering your sprit, silence and hello-again- materialism, egotism, and saturation in the superficial.  O says it will be a long hour. I’ve seen several favorite things shows, and this one whizzes by in some manic, frenzied way; extravagant gifts, many with the Oprah signature label, being whipped out one right after the other.  There was no space to revel in the graciousness of the giving- if this is indeed the intention.  And if one show weren’t enough- here is part two.

Ugh. Put it to rest already.  It is safe to say, I’m done. I’ve had it.  I’m just not into it.  Don’t care about the things.  Don’t care about celebrity. Don’t care about status or fitting in or looking wealthy or living like a queen (although I did feel quite at home at Windsor).  Just don’t frickin’ care.  And this is what is happening, isn’t it? We have been saturated, absolutely saturated in the glitz, the gold, the glamour, and straight up artificial living.

When I was a little girl, my dad took me trick-or-treating. I dressed as Cinderella, wearing a hard, crinkly, plastic mask, my little eyes poking through the cut outs and an elastic band around my head. Not long after I put it on, I take it off, look at my father and say, “I just want to be me.”

This morning my mom asks, “What do you want for Christmas?” I JUST WANT TO BE ME, mom. Just ME, without the mask, the glitz, the gold, the glamour, the artificial living.  This is my favorite thing. ME.

We are the gifts. Not the shit.  It’s us, and always has been.  The rest, interruption.  Destruction.  Illusion. Stupidity.  And I am anxious and frustrated on some level, enough of us aren’t ready for this awakening. Maybe it was the crickets chirping when Oprah mentioned meditation.  It bothers me. It really does.  It seemed like it might have bothered her too, as she said a few times how good it is for us to meditate.  In my opinion, it’s too late Oprah- the euphoria of gifts and more gifts shut up that holy moment- quick.

And you, when will you begin the journey into yourself? ~Rumi

Our journey to being who we truly are will not come in a pretty package. If it did, we’d all be wrapped up in it, immersing ourselves in the process.  Instead this journey just is, awaiting our conscious return.  The path to follow for our conscious return is within.  Go there. Go there now.  The only reason needed- we are here in this moment breathing.  We don’t need an expert to tell us. We don’t need a catastrophe to bring us.  We don’t need someone else’s favorite things to do it.  We don’t need to wear Tory Burch flats to be invited to it.  All we need is what we already have- ourselves.

I hope I have offended some, but inspired more.  Either way thanks for hearing my gripe.  Now, let’s get out of our gold-chambered slumber.

Today’s Soul Tip:

Be you. The rest will come. Why? Cause its been there the whole time and so have YOU.  

The Soul Reporter

>An Education


I’ve got a gripe, and I realize it might not be ingested easily, if ingested at all.

What prompted it (although I’ve always had it)?
A young boy wants to get married when he is 18. This young boy asks the adults around him what they think. They all tell him, “No, don’t do it. That’s too young.”
It is probably good advice. Had I gotten married at 19 when I wanted to, I am sure I would have divorced. But this isn’t my gripe-
Someone responded, “Here is what I tell my two daughters, one 18 and the other 21. Don’t even talk to me about marriage until you have a degree. And make sure he has one too.”
Again, probably good advice- but, why in this culture does most everything often come to getting a degree? Don’t get me wrong, I wanted one. I was going to be a psychologist and we know a degree is needed for this profession.
I went to college for two years, getting a degree in Human Services. Then I got pregnant. Sure, I could have gone on to further my academic education, but I didn’t. I chose to devote those years to raising my daughter and getting to know myself.
These choices have earned me vast amounts of knowledge of the human psyche (mostly my own of course), and still do. However, the way I attain this knowledge does not come from an accredited institution, where I will earn a degree, that will win me intellectual favoritism in our current society, so I can secure my future.
We have a philosophy in this country, which seems more prevalent than ever: in order to secure our future, we must earn a degree, and the bar keeps being raised. It is no longer enough to have a two-year, or even a four-year degree. We must have a 6 or an 8, or however long it takes us to prove our intellectual worth- and secure our future.
The other day, as I tweeted on this subject, a follower asked if I was against getting a degree. My answer is absolutely not. I am for doing anything our soul speaks for us to do, and if that is receiving higher eduction than by all means, work toward a higher education. However, in this day of constant external pressure do we even know the voice of our soul, and what it speaks? For that matter, do we even know there is a voice of wisdom in our soul? Do we think our current institutions are the only places in which to earn a higher education?
Had I enrolled in more years of college, I am not convinced I would have earned the depth of knowledge I have by paying attention and listening to my soul. With all the external studies, would I have encountered the voice of my soul? If I had, how absorbed would I become with it? Where would I have found the space in between text books and classes to listen to its voice, and to understand its wisdom? We are not empty slates who only have knowledge when administered externally.

The only useful purpose is to turn within and realize. There is nothing else to do. ~Ramana Maharishi

Recently it has been said we are lacking common sense. At the Temple of Apollo at Delphi, the phrase, ‘know thyself’ appears. It does seem we have misplaced our greatest asset, our wisest teacher, and that is our self, a self which guides us to know common sense, and also spiritual sense.
This lack of common and spiritual sense makes me wonder what the degree will do for the young daughters mentioned above should they lose their job or the husband with the degree. Is their future secure now? Sure, they might have intellectual favoritism and worth, but what about our spiritual worth? Will it ever be favored? It is in the realm of the spirit where ALL is secure and worthy. But where is the emphasis of the spirit in this world? Why aren’t mothers telling their daughters to develop and secure a relationship with their soul, and make sure your spouse has too?
I am proud of my daughter, Alyssa who is almost 18. For years she told us she was going to college. It was never a requirement I had of her. It is what she wanted, but something changed. She has chosen to concentrate her energy on what she loves, what she’s good at and what she wants to do- acting. She auditioned for one school, an acting academy, which offers complete concentration on dramatic arts. Just as the young boy who wants to get married, my young daughter has received advice from the “wiser” adults:
“Are you sure you should only audition for one school? Shouldn’t you have a back up plan? You know you would really be more secure doing a BFA program. That way if this actress thing doesn’t work out…..” All the while, my daughter stands confidently in the space SHE has chosen. She has a confidence and faith no degree could ever give her.
Perhaps, as a culture we are afraid to stop earning what we think we deserve. We can’t have a secure future unless we earn it, right? We must work and sweat for it. And working for a degree is the best, and frankly seems to be the only way we know how to. But, if we fear we are not “worth our salt” any other way, let us be sure earning a higher education in our spiritual nature is work. Lots of work. Uncovering our spiritual foundation, which lies beneath the societal and familial clutter is work. With this work, we earn a clear voice of wisdom from our authentic self. A voice that will guide us through, perhaps even with a bit of grace and faith, when the spouse leaves or the boss fires us.

“Just as a candle cannot burn without fire man cannot live without the spiritual life.” ~The Buddha

Jesus Christ has been called by some the Master Psychologist. But do we know him as Jesus Christ, PhD? Buddha did not attain enlightenment at Harvard. He attained it with intention to be enlightened, and sat under a Bodhi tree until it was received. Mattie Stepanek taught many to live in their hearts with his poetry of heartsongs. He never had the chance to graduate. There are many among us who have wisdom to share and it has nothing to do with what we as a society has deemed necessary for “smarts,” which is a traditional education.
There will be those who may not agree with what I say, and think I am critical of those who have earned higher education degrees. I share this post, somewhat for myself. I have struggled with feeling I am not worthy of a secure future for I do not have the documents to confirm my knowledge. So, I say to myself, as I say to any of you who may also struggle- there is security in our future (and our present and past), and it is bright. It is bright because we ALL have inherited a bright light within us. The only true security is ourselves, and like a degree, we must work to earn the reconnection to our true and wise self. It is process to know thyself, one we have barely begun. One I hope we begin in earnest for it is needed. One I hope we begin to honor, and to share.
The (Self-Educated) Soul Reporter

>From Thickets to Daisies

>At age 5, we were given a grey and white cat and I named her Daisy.  At age 25 a cousin bought me a glass container displaying painted daisies, because she said daisies remind her of me.  When asked my favorite flower, I say daisies.  When I put together a short film, daisies were my prop. When I was looking for a field of daisies to use in the movie, I did not find one on time, but the following week I went on retreat and found fields of daisies everywhere. 

Every flower has a meaning, and the daisy means childhood innocence and purity.  The daisy is my my personal symbol to keep my spiritual eye on what is real and pure inside of me.  Often what is real and pure seems to go unnoticed, as if it is no longer there.  It goes denied and ignored, and no longer seems present. It is easy to see where it is not present. I see teenagers today who are ‘tough’.  I see adults today who are ‘programmed’ and aloof.  Forgotten, but not gone. Never, ever gone.
Several years ago I attended a class. I forget the subject, but the woman who taught began the class by going around the room doing “readings.”  I can’t remember if I raised my hand, but somehow her attention turned toward me.  She said, “You are almost there.  You just have some more thickets to get through, but you are almost there.”  I knew exactly what she was talking about- the work of understanding and the de-cluttering of the effects of my upbringing.  
Some say this work is never done.  I say I don’t know, but I hope and I trust when ALL is said and done we will be left with only what is of the most pure, the most real.  Until this time, we have plenty of ‘work’ to do.  
The work of the soul is of the most importance.  Without it we suffer in needless ways, which isn’t to say we don’t suffer when we work in this way, but the suffering is different from the suffering in which when we don’t work in this way.  
Let me share a passage with you from a book I just finished reading. It is called Theosophy:  The Path of the Mystic, written by Katherine Tingley:
“How wonderfully farseeing was that old teacher of bygone days who left us this injunction:  Man, Know Thyself!   That is the key to the whole situation.  Let man take the first step boldly in honest self-examination, with a daring that stops before nothing that may impede his path, and he will find very soon that he has the key to wisdom and to the power which redeems.  Discovered through his own efforts, by the law of self-directed evolution, this key will open before him the chambers of the self.
For when a man has the courage to analyze himself- his purposes, his motives, his very life; when he dares to compare the wrong things in his life with the right ones……”

This is the work.  Know thyself.  Opening the chambers of the soul. Discovering and uncovering what is there. What takes up space. What moves us.  What holds us.  What molds us into being. Into wakefulness. Into sleep.  What.  Who are we.  Who are you?
There are thickets within us.  They are thick. They are complex.  They are dark.  They are prickly.  They can entangle and snare us for many moons, but beneath all of this is wisdom. Is depth. Is sunlight. Is hope. Is freedom.  Is desire. Is strength. Is wholeness. Is purity and simplicity once more. 
We must consciously choose to know thyself.  We must. We have to.  We must get through the thickets and thorns and heavy bush, and come alive once more.  Let me leave with you another passage from The Path of the Mystic:

“…we are every being challenged- challenged by the better side of our natures to stand face to face with our selves, to reach out in recognition to the divinity within. For this divinity, this knower, this spiritual companion, is ever pleading to be listened to, ever waiting to be recognized, ever ready to help and serve that it may bring the whole nature of man to its standard of godlike perfection.”

Oh to express the way of our nature with such eloquence and clarity as this.  I can only hope to do so one day.