What are you obsessed with?

 

Early this morning, I whispered to my husband : A poem is running through my mind, I am going to try to catch it by the tail before it gets away.

It all started with me wanting the morning to be quiet – so I could hear my thoughts. But I could hear every sound on the road, every paw and scratch – I felt this noise would distract me from the important work – but it turns it, it was the important work.

What are you fixated on? Driven by? Called by? Obsessed with? What can’t you get out of your mind? Where we are fixated could be showing us something we are not seeing and also show us what we find important. With many friends and community members knocking on death’s door right now, I am asking myself this question, and thought I might share it with you…I was surprised by what awoke me so early this morning…you might be too.


 

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Being Beauty by Shiloh Sophia ©2008

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For Those of Us Who Are Obsessed

 

Those who are obsessed with silence

Will find their days filled with incessant noise

When we can hear the symphony in chaos

The fugue of existence will invite us to be one of the players

 

Those who are obsessed with perfection and order

Will be hard pressed to collaborate with anyone

Especially the wildly expressed who may not have order as a value

Let those who desire order, and those who are in chaos, dance

 

Those who are obsessed with their self image

Will find envy at every turn, and friendships will be challenged

Lovers will grow tired of reassurance and it will be difficult

To ever be enough, without choosing to be enough, as we are

 

Those who are obsessed with ceaseless self medicating

Will find ordinary reality a bore, or worse, a battle to be fought

There are many reasons to alter reality, beyond that of coping

May we learn to discover pleasure where it lives, in presence

 

Those obsessed with making everything on purpose

Will be so busy turning mistake and disaster into karmic stories

We will likely miss the wolf at the door and the boiled frog

Can we see what there is, without making it a game of blame?

 

Those obsessed with saving others are often the quizzical cases

Hiding behind the desire to cure, judgement may be lurking

Unbeknownst to ourselves, we have been inflicting ideas on another

When we can love without the desire to convert, true friendship arises

 

Those who are obsessed with living to the fullest

May find we are disappointed with the mediocrity of laundry

All the mundane tasks are seen as prevention from being

When the fullest-ness available, is to inhabit being – or is it?

 

Those who are obsessed with thinking we are in a battle

Will find the time to sharpen our sword has passed

The over-vigilance, while needed, wearies even the warrior

May we sharpen for the work at hand, and soften for love making

 

Those who are obsessed with dying a certain way

May find themselves surprised when things do not go as planned

Once again the great mystery throws another loop in her knitting

Every death story will be different than the one you need to tell

 

Those who are obsessed with control, and yet are good at it,

Will be challenged again and again by failure and frailty

Until suffering from unplanned outcomes alchemizes our direction

We hope our practice, at least, has forged us into a strong guide

 

Those who are obsessed with getting to another place, like heaven

Will find we spend too much time fearing another place, like hell

When all the while the people on the streets are sitting in circle singing,

We missed it, because we wanted so much to be anywhere but here

 

Those who are obsessed with the healing journey

Will find there is indeed always something to heal

When, if ever, will it be time to leap from the healing journey?

Declare it is enough, we are healed enough for a new story

 

Those who are obsessed with the opiate of poetry

Will take strange comfort in narrating the terrors of our times

Words will shake us from slumber to wield the pen, or else

As if it is the most important moment of our lives, it might be

 

It might be, that simply showing up for the conversation

is enough for this life, this day, this minute, this very second

The spell of being – being broken open in praise gives us a chance

To experience being human and glory is unveiled in us

 

Those who are obsessed with the light

Will find themselves dodging shadows as if they are predators

Those who are overly obsessed with shadows

Will find there are many of us sitting beside you holding the light

 

Those who are obsessed with sensitivity, protection, shielding

Will find little comfort in the separation from this current crisis

We feel it all anyway, and in our resistance become cloaked

Does it matter if it is crisis or paradise ~ if we are made for this time?

 

Those who support systems that condemn justice for all

That rationalize the privatization of water and food and medicine

Are hard to love, for those of us who value our life here on earth

May we be brave enough to risk new friendships across the line

 

When those who are obsessed with blaming

Can forgive ourselves, and everyone, including the Creator

Who we have been quietly blaming all along for this plan gone awry

Then we can wake up to serve in the crisis happening in our neighborhood

 

Those who are obsessed with avoiding the suffering of others

Will find the suffering everywhere an impossible barrier to joy

When we know that the paradox is the supple threshold of ecstasy

Then we can hang on, and let go at the same time and be free

 

Those who are obsessed with calling circles for everything

Will find we are very busy in these last days dishing up meaning

Breaking bread and pouring out the wine, while singing new and old songs

May praise be found on our lips for all the goodness we have shared

 

And if in the end we rage instead of surrender, so be it

as long as we show up for that experience

And if in the beginning we find ourselves where we started

and know it newly, so be it

 

Let’s not save our lives, let’s live them

When we find the thing we would do if we had forever

Is in harmony with the thing we would do, if we had only one day left

Then we have arrived, and we will be welcomed home

 

~ ~ ~

 

8 women in my immediate community working with cancer

For Georgia, Mary, Kathleen and Patricia
in their great work with cancer this year.

For Sally, Denise and Mary
in their great work with cancer in the past 2 years.

For Taylor, one of my best friends from high school, 3 years ago.

The names in bold are still with us….one in full recovery and two in their last days. Keep them all in your prayers. If you chant the names of the mending, sick or dying, or if you put dots and dashes on paintings…this is a good time for that.

Inspired by www.orphanwisdom.com

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From Dictionary.com noun Obsession 1.the domination of one’s thoughts or feelings by a persistent idea,image, desire  2.the idea, image, desire, feeling, etc., itself.

 


 

Dear One,

This poem woke me up this morning. Thinking so much of my friend Georgia and her daughter. They used to come and paint with Sue and I, working through years of Cancer. She is now at the threshold place as I write this. I feel myself, along with her many friends and students, watching and learning from her way of being with death. She has invited us to do so.

In what may be one of her last messages to us, she has asked us to explore this work: https://orphanwisdom.com and in so doing I found comfort and insight. One of my dear friend’s Dr. Lissa Rankin, lost her mom to cancer, yesterday. And another dear friend, Elizabeth Gibbons is with her mom, in the end stages of cancer. Another dear friend lost her dog to cancer two days ago.

This time is Celtic New Year, All Saints, Dia De Meurtos, Samhain here – and a time when we remember the dead – and honor the teachers and choose to live again. So today felt like a perfect day to share about my friends and the cancer journey.

This time is Celtic New Year, All Saints, Dia De Meurtos, Samhain here – and a time when we remember the dead – and honor the teachers and choose to live again. So today felt like a perfect day to share about my friends and the cancer journey.

After three weeks of fires, which are finally out here in Northern California, my love and I drove around for hours seeing with our own eyes the mark of fire on our trees and earth and community. If you are a woman who is navigating the fire impact, you can join us at Phoenix Circles on Facebook where we are supporting one another. We also have a healing circle coming up, Pure Heart, on November 11 at our place in Sonoma. This has been harrowing to say the least, and it is time to gather. We had to reschedule 4 events and are in recovery mode ourselves, but nothing like those in our community who are impacted. We are continuing to unpack and find our way into pattern, which I crave.

Tonight some of my closest g-friends are coming over for chicken, red wine and my famous lentil soup and circle. This is medicine.

As you likely saw, Color of Woman – our teacher Training is open for registration and so is Red Thread Guide so if you desire to work with me in 2018 – these are the most potent places. My dear friend and teacher, Spirit Warrior aka Carmen Baraka, is coming Friday to film a live Episode of Power Creatives TV – Ancestral Wisdom – you don’t want to miss this. Below I also share a 10 minute Intentional Creativity process to create resilience during these times.

I leave you with these words from my friend Georgia:

“I am resting under these October days, which are my favorite in California. The hummingbirds are continuously at my window. The leaves golden and falling. My daughter doing her tricks on the trampoline. I am blessed. I am full of gratitude for all that I do have. Each day. Each moment. So much love to you all. Remember slow down. Savor your food. Look into the eyes of our fellow human beings if it seems ok. We are all just fumbling along doing the best we can. Help each other where you are called. Do not let fear and closed-heartedness stop you from loving.

Much love and light, today, tonight, when the stars are shining, and forever.”

Love to each of you RIGHT where you are. I hope you can pause and just FEEL my intention to reach you with loving presence.

Photo of me and my love, Jonathan McCloud. Returning to my land after evacuating for 2 weeks from the fires. It’s so good to be home.

 


10 Minute Intentional Creativity Process from Shiloh Sophia:

There is a lot going on the world right now. Whether you are a sensitive or not – you can feel some part of it and it could be causing fear, concern, restlessness, betrayal, anger and the list goes on.

Let’s create resilience through creativity – which is what called us into this circle in the first place. Creativity.

As you know, it is important to let ourselves feel what we feel, see what we see and know what we know – YET – it is also important to move it ‘out’ of our physical body so it doesn’t get trapped and create the resulting other experiences which could range from anxiety to irritation to depression. You can move it out or dissolve it by choice. If it can move, it will.

As this world unfolds, each of us has our part, our piece of the red thread, and so we want to be ‘fit’ enough to manage that. Self care for the mind and heart involves some language usage because we are currently experiencing what we are experiencing in the realm of story. So story can help us move it.

I wanted to just create an opening here – since we do consider ourselves a global circle woven with red threads, to acknowledge the happening that is happening. (This is not intended as therapy.) Here is a simple Intentional Creativity Process you can do to move some energy and become conscious about your co-creative capacity. Modify language as desired.

Clearing Stuck Feelings

Materials: 3 Pieces of Paper and Pens

1. Intention (move energy, get clear, tend the self etc.) Write your intention. Doodle a bit to get the energy flowing.

2. Discover what is causing the most angst or discomfort through journaling with big looping words. Might need more pages 🙂 and also ‘draw’ the feeling. What is the shape of that feeling. By drawing it, intend to MOVE it or free it.

3. Clear: Request out loud, of yourself, to create a clearing in your consciousness, to be an open space that you personally are in charge of tending. Write a letter ‘from’ that clarity to you. Draw an open shape that represents this feeling and image. This open shape can be a reference point that you can return to in your mind.

Moving story is more potent when image is used, as well as process. Let’s be at cause for creating our own internal spaces.


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How we care for the dying people in our midst, and how we die when it is our turn: these together are the proving ground, the cradle and the grave both, for every conviction we have about justice and mercy, about the meaning of life, about what love should look like and what it should do. They are the sum of every political instinct we have, every dream of community we’ve nursed along and every faith we’ve been willing to have in a better day. They are where every fascination about the Other World and the Big Story live, and they are where the midnight fear of Nothing comes to call. They are where our immense technical medical wizardry and mastery is visited upon you and those you love, and where the mythic poverty of our time comes to show itself. They are surely where our love of life earns its keep, or shatters. Mostly, though, they are the place where our ability to be a people is forged, or fails. They are where our village is made or broken. They are where we are most ourselves, and most alone. Together they are The Big Tent of our time.

Wherever there is that much at stake there is at least that much to learn. So it is a necessary and proper thing that all of us learn about dying and about death, about all of the before and the after, well before the time of being tested and told comes. We can learn before our gamble for more time is foreclosed upon by the passing of time. ~ Stephen Jenkinson

 

 

 

 

 

 

May LOVE be at the CENTER of all CHOICES