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

I’m Mad, I Tell You- Mad.

At any point in my evolution I could have stopped and made a name for myself. Marketed an insight or a practice that worked in a moment, and made lots of money and acquired fame. But I have not done this (I have wished I could do this). I have kept on moving. I suppose in doing so, I have missed many opportunities, but the one I have not missed is the continuos evolution of my soul on this planet.

It occurs to me often, that before coming here, although I have no conscious remembrance of this, I declared my commitment to this soul path of continuous participation in my evolution, and yet I have tried to stop my own progress. I have tried because I also feel the vibration on the planet. A vibration of consistency I thought I needed to obey.

Consistency: conformity in the application of something, typically that which is necessary for the sake of logic, accuracy, or fairness • the achievement of a level of performance that does not vary greatly in quality over time

Our culture likes consistency. Let’s not vary. We view this as stable. Smart. Accurate. Right. Successful. Someone who is not consistent, we call them a flip-flopper. Crazy. Irrational. Undependable. Untrustworthy. Weird. But, I like what Rumi has to say:

Conventional knowledge is death to our souls, And it is not really ours.  It is laid on. Yet we keep saying we find “rest” in these “beliefs.” We must become ignorant of what we have been taught and instead bewildered.

But we look dumb, don’t we if we are bewildered (definition: perplexed- confused)? We need to have a plan. An outcome. We have to figure it out. Look smart. Productive. Look like we have it together. Of course we do. And why? Because we want something to rest on. To put our wobbly legs on so we feel as though we have some control. Because we care what “they” think.

Tell me Rumi, what’s another option:

Forget safety. Live where you fear to live.
Destroy your reputation. Be notorious.
I have tried prudent planning long enough.
From now on, I’ll be mad.

I’m pretty sure he means crazy mad, not angry mad, but hey if you fear anger, you might want to move into it. Chances are its got you anyway.

Every moment says, put this design in your carpet. (Rumi)

And we try, don’t we? Oh, this is a beautiful design– and we market it and make rituals of it and books out of it. We want to make it last. But many designs are to be made. We have a large piece of carpet. Larger than most of us can begin to imagine. I am not saying we should not make manifest what in a moment is a beautiful design, but there is plenty more, so no need to hold on and try and stay.

Everything is energy. We are energy, and because we don’t Know this basic idea, we believe everything is solid and we think what is solid and consistent is what is real and better. We constantly take what is given and solidify it. Concrete it in. Make it last. But, this is at the risk of holding our continuous evolution at bay.

I have done this with myself trying to be normal. Trying to make a living off of what I learned, and look like all the other successful writers, coaches, teachers, gurus out there. And trying to subdue all of the activity and anxiety I have going on inside of me. So many energies contradicting themselves. I try to reign it all in- for the sake of my husband, who says I am always changing, for the sake of others and their judgment, and for the sake of myself who has felt overwhelmed by all that is going on inside of me.

But the overwhelm is only felt because I have tried to control all of this. I have tried to be consistent.

Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)  ~Walt Whitman

Speak what you think now in hard words, and tomorrow speak what tomorrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said today.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson

These greats, with these words allowed the flow, the continuous rhythm, the force which has us grow and evolve. And yet, with these words we also see the conflict. Just the mere fact they wrote this and that I am writing this, shows there is conflict- like, is this okay to be inconsistent? To be seen as contradictory? We question because many of us were not, and feel we are not allowed to be ALL of who we are. There are limits, right?

NO. There are not. A large carpet, remember? Many designs, don’t forget. All here for us.

Through my writing and sharing, and continuous evolution, I am coming into my rhythm. It’s dynamic. Not one-sided. Certainly not consistent, but there is a Core of Consistency, which spins inside of me- a Truth. Or a Power. Or an Intelligence. Something I don’t have to name, but can just feel, sense, Know- and because It is there, I can be free to roam. To wander. To allow all that is me the freedom to flow, continuously.

>In the S P A C E


Everything in the universe has a rhythm. Everything dances. ~Maya Angelou

I am always amazed, if given the space, I return to my natural rhythm. Today (Friday), I have the day off from my job as Special Education Assistant. Immediately after returning home from dropping my children off at school, I created a breakfast, which expressed a balanced and healthy rhythm.

Then I grabbed a glass I never use and poured fresh water, dropping in a fresh, sweet, Meyer lemon.
I went to my altar space to meditate.
And headed to the studio above my garage to write, create, file and play.
For lunch, I sauteed Bok Choy and mushrooms.
And went for a walk in the woods by my house, stopping for a moment to listen to the birds.
I realize I need these moments of s p a c e, more than I often realize. What causes the greatest unease in my world is ingesting the out of balance and out of sync rhythm of our current society. The energy is frantic, sometimes lazy. It’s un-enthused. Un-energetic. Dull. Complacent. Chaotic. Scared. Filled with melancholy. It’s fast. Scattered. Lost. Isolating. And constant, with little rest or relief from it all. And, unfortunately, this way of being is unconscious to most of us.
We sense in a certain way something isn’t right, but can’t quite put our finger on it. For how could we- there’s no time. No space, for inner-self-reflection. But there is a rhythm, I assure you, past the chaos, confusion, and melancholy; a rhythm that refreshes and restores.
I share this short photo essay with you today as a reminder of the beauty, simplicity and wonder that is us- that is our rhythm when we allow space into our moments- to just be. To simply allow. No agendas. No schedules. Just be me time, remembering what is feels like to just live for own inner happiness.
The Soul (s p a c e) Reporter

>A Media Rant

>I guess it was around the time of The Sopranos, my favorite TV series on HBO, when I began to eliminate television from my life.

During this time, I only watched my favorite shows, recording them on the DVR, and fast-forwarding through the commercials if there were any. Other than this, and the movie rentals, the TV was off.
Then the screen went black on The Sopranos (literally). Everyone died on Six Feet Under, another HBO favorite. And the ER doors closed for the last time on NBC. And now, except for my Friday night Oprah-thons, and the movie rentals, the TV is off.
But last night, the TV was on. Instead of going up to my room to be alone, and mope about not writing, I watched American Idol and part of that angry chef show. By the beginning of Kitchen Nightmares, the top of my head felt a flutter. I could not focus, and asked my family: “Are they speaking Chinese?” The words were not registering. My mind could not process. Too much happening on one tiny screen (actually our screen isn’t that tiny).
I have had this feeling before when watching TV. I was worried I had a rare brain disorder. But I don’t think I do. I think the media world has a disorder. This morning while I sat in traffic, I decided to listen to people chat on the radio, also a rare event in the past few months:
A radio station tag-line: some gossip, and lots of laughs.
Two hosts talking: We have to catch up on Pants on the Ground, the Taylor Swift and Stevie Nicks Grammy performance, and is Brad-jelina breaking up?

Ugh, is this what we care about? I turned the radio off.
Something happens when we leave something for awhile, and then come back to it. We change, and now what we witness changes too. This is what has happened for me with several forms of media. Upon my occasional returns, I find it intrusive and somewhat assaulting to my senses, and well-being.
For example, watching some of the performances on the Grammy’s this year, lights flickering, choppy music, people appearing from all corners with something new to express to what was already overwhelming, makes me feel a bit ADD, and has me ask: where is the harmony, and flow? A natural rhythm that sings along with my inner rhythm?

I suppose this is why I prefer movies. There is time for a story to unfold. And classical music- all pieces flowing together in one continuous rhythm. And books, where every word leads effortlessly to the next to create an expanded space of…whatever.
There is a certain rhythm and flow to our souls, our minds, our bodies. I will venture to guess this vibrational flow and rhythm matches that which is in nature. The rhythm is steady and constant, yet always moving and changing in a continuous and often subtle flow. For instance, the trees right now, are preparing for new life. We can’t see this occurring, but inside there is a pulse- a silent rumbling process that is taking place.
The same pulse, and process is occurring within us. But, since this is a rant, I must flow back to that. So much outside of us does not follow our natural rhythm. Has anyone seen the movie Halloween? Not the first one with creepy Michael Myers, but one of the last ones where the television screens are infiltrated by I don’t remember what. The screens flicker with light and images, and some creepy music, all with the intention of some sort of mental manipulation and eventual catastrophic destruction.
Well, guess what? Our various forms of media is doing the same thing. It disrupts our natural rhythm. And I believe there will be, as there already is, catastrophic destruction. Think of our children, and their short attention spans and behavior issues- being diagnosed with ADD. Think of how fast time seems to be moving, making us all feel a bit frazzled. Think of how everywhere you go someone is peering into their phones and computers, hypnotized by “virtual reality” but lacking a connection to real reality?
In a sentence: our essence doesn’t jive with this chaotic, random, flickering of movement, and energy and compulsion. It just doesn’t.
And the only way to disrupt this artificial flow, and get back to our soul’s natural flow is to turn off the media. No, not forever. But have it off, more than we have it on. Allow ourselves a break for awhile. Get outside. Be with the trees. Listen to the birds. Feel the air. Look at the stars. Be in awe of the moon. Squish the grass (well if you are anywhere other than I am).
And as you sit under a tree, and squish the grass with your toes, be curious and interested in the screen in your mind. What are you thinking? What are you dreaming? What characters are you playing? What dialogues are you speaking? Who is the you, you are expressing? Who is the you, you are repressing? At first, the images and thoughts may appear fuzzy, but stay with it. They will get clearer.
Get to know yourself. Your natural rhythm, and flow. We are much more interesting than Brad-jelina break-ups and make-ups. We hold more wisdom inside of our souls, than the so-called expert on TV. We hold more depth than our global economy. We hold more heart than the violence we see. We hold more power than the egos we see on TV. We hold more truth than we have even begun to understand.
I implore you to go inside, as often as you can. And as you do, share what you’re discovering with the rest of us, so we can be reminded of who we really are.
Oh, and meditation helps dispel the mental mind flutters, and gets you in touch with the True Pulse- our Breath.
The Soul Reporter