Your Bucket List

Follow your heart

As a modern day gypsy living from pillar to post was not on my top ten Bucket List items.  I had the following dreams instead: I had things on my list like getting an Oscar, writing a bestseller, seeing the caves of Damanhur, going to Antarctica, and winning the lottery, of course.  But I won the lottery the minute I said yes to my heart and left normal life, as most of us know it.

I have been having a life on the road that is dotted with awe-inspiring, jaw dropping beauty, kind-hearted people, challenging culture shocks, language barriers and physical limitations. I chronicle how different I feel when I live in the city versus what my body changes into when I live in the jungle here in Costa Rica. Not a day anywhere is the same as the day before.

I have grown to know two certainties in my life: That all you can count on is change. And secondly, that love is the only real human currency. Money can in fact, not matter. When I can focus on these two things then fear can’t take a foothold. If every encounter I have is rooted in love and each moment of change is embraced then there is no way to contract from what life dishes out on a daily basis. Everything becomes a way of learning about self and other, about having and not having, about what the soul truly needs in order to thrive.

This is why I am a gypsy. I value experience far above stability and job security. As a result, my mind cannot become entrenched in the cultural mind, cannot feed on bad news, or really run the show in my life at all. Living and navigating by intuition and a spirit of “Yes” is a heart-based matter. Living in the heart takes courage and is a bit like “spelunking” into caves that are dark and unclear with the full knowledge that you are tethered to a large Universe that has only your wellbeing and growth in mind.

But one of the hidden benefits of living a nomadic life with few possession and estimating real wealth as beauty, spirit, new friends, new opportunity and an adventurous spirit, is it changes your physical chemistry. The body is not a vehicle just to get me from one country to the next, but is completely tuned to the vibration at which I live when I am inspired and challenged. Those experiences raise endorphins, change brain chemistry, metabolism, and virtually every cell in the body.

Living as a modern gypsy insists on total integration of mind, body and heart humming forward as one unit with the life battery being the soul. I don’t know how I could go back to living any other way.

bucket list

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The Gypsy off Road

gypsy wagon home

 

My Gypsy Blog was started nearly four years ago when I took a leap out of my life as a therapist (and a closet writer), and decided to discover the story of my life…on the road.

 

But one thing I was not prepared for was that if you pack up your life in one tiny car, put your cat on the front seat and open your map and go east, there is no guarantee of getting there. Not when you are open to what happens when you are on the road. There is no promise that you will end up where you think you are going. That seems to be not only true about life in about every way, but true about writing a story. You may decide to go in one direction and end up with a totally different story…writing your life.

 

I have been in almost every state in the U.S. and have wandered my way back to one of my favorite places of all: Colorado. I was on my way north one time and ended up in Oklahoma, I was on my way to NYC and stayed in Asheville NC for a year, I went to visit someone up on the border of Canada and didn’t leave for a year. I decided to settle in Seattle and promptly was called to leave and go back east. I flew to Africa swearing I would never ever leave and landed back in Oklahoma a far cry from Africa. I have set out on so many journeys that my mind had constructed, but in the end, my heart took me places that were unexpected, serendipitous and magical.

 

And then there are the times that are not so magical. Or at least in that sparkly happy-to-be-there kind of way. Travel strips you. It makes it near impossible to be your limited self, to be afraid or get lost. But, in the end, you still get do get afraid and lost and more often than you would like. You run out of money and have to take a job you don’t love. You meet people who are not kind or generous, you make decisions that turn out to be bogus or you stand still at a hundred different crossroads and don’t have one clue which way to go.

That is the story for a writer as well.

 

A good story has all those elements in it: You get lost in the weeds of your own story, you stare at the blank page and have no clue which way to go, you run out of money to pay the electric bill since you never leave your computer long enough to know what time of the month it is, you let someone read your writing and they trash it and you give up at least once a week and you then read the chapter you just wrote and are bored to tears. These are NOT the magical moments for a writer.

 

And I decided to take a new road in my life where that is all I am now doing…I write. I have one magical, fluid, simple ten page day. Then I reread what I wrote and cringe. Rewrite it and smile. I set out to finish some research on a project and it leads me down a new path of thinking. I read a bestseller at noon for a break and realize I am not as good as the author. Then I stumble upon a poem just itching to get out onto the paper and I am hooked on it, I swallow it whole and by 2am I have the making of a great screenplay. This is a writer’s life.

You put all these inevitable experiences for a writer together like a well woven tapestry and you have the landscape that a writer lives in day in and day out. It is just as exciting as going off-road in a four-wheel and getting high into the back-country.

 

I have a new map. It is not the well-worn Road Atlas I have come to depend on when I am on some one lane road in a January snowstorm in North Dakota while I look for Devil’s Tower, it is a map that is born in my heart. I love storytelling and have so many to tell. I love to help others write the story that has been simmering in their psyche for a long time. Writing is just as spectacular an adventure as travel.

 

So I am currently off-road. For the time being the gypsy in me is hunkered down in the snowy mountains of Colorado and I am navigating a new territory. I am mapping my own life in words….I am excited to see where this new road will lead.  Please check often since I will post stories, and gypsy adventures. And hear more about my writing adventures at www.mythotherapy.org.

 

Quantum Storytelling

Man-points-toward-galaxy-in-sc-32849888

I sat in a kind of stupor as the credits rolled, the crowd silently leaving the theater. I had a feeling that being in Oklahoma at the time, the majority of the moviegoers were baffled by what they had just seen. No one was talking, something had happened. I was the only one still in my seat. I had sat through three hours and two full bags of popcorn watching Interstellar. Not because Matthew Mcconaughey is beautiful or talented but because I knew that embedded in this film was far more than star power.

I am not going to review the movie here. But, I want to talk about how story can wake you up. Interstellar was written and directed by the Christopher Nolan who did Inception. Most of us know how it felt to watch that movie and witness something just outside of our grasp, but mesmerizing and intriguing enough to keep us glued to our movie seat. Interstellar was no different for me but far more powerful since it is a premier example of how story can change us at every level. I mean really change us.

That any filmmaker would attempt to take me into the heart of quantum physics and nudge me toward a new and more defined perception of time and space gets my attention. Flaws of moviemaking aside, I loved one particular thing about this story: That it revealed what the shift on our planet and in our own DNA as humans may be all about. And that is powerful.

I find myself gravitating to substance instead of the entertainment value of story. And Interstellar seemed to allow me to sink into the big questions of life, the unanswered questions, the heroic ones and the questions we all fear to really look into the heart of.   Questions of where do we come from, why are we here, what is god, are we alone in the Universe, what is beyond three dimensional existence, is there more than one Maya in the solar system and what does relativity and gravity have to do with everything? As for me, those are the only questions I am interested in.

So when I took the leap three months ago out of the world of psychotherapy and embraced what I truly love the most in life, I did so with the understanding that story would heal us as individuals and story would heal the planet in ways that are ineffable, illusive, complex and sometimes simply a mystery.

I held up a torch in my life to ask for stories to come to me. I held tight to my deep love and passion for stories of transformation, survival, hope and love as the greatest power in the Universe as I intended to write only these stories, and help others bring their amazing adventures and dreams into reality. I got far more than I bargained for. Gratefully.

People from all over the world are finding me in some of the most unusual ways. Phone calls and emails from those who suddenly feel ready to reveal secrets of the Universe only they have been entrusted with, stories of unparalleled heroism that will change lives and creative dreams and fantasies that speak to transforming our own natures from war to love, and from fear to magic.

I am pausing to allow myself to feel how very important each one of these stories are and how I can be a part of birthing weapons of mass love and power which is the medicine our planet needs. Medicine the storyteller needs as well, which will affect them on the deepest level imaginable and affect the lives of their families.

Storytelling is a sacred event. I cannot urge everyone enough to begin to see the stories that you have lived or imagined as sacred energy that you were entrusted with long before you were born.   You alone are the keeper of your own unique story of bravery, courage, pain and suffering, triumph of the spirit, love and lost love, finding god or becoming god.

The energy inherent in a great story or film creates a resonant response in our physical bodies, our thoughts and our hearts. That resonant energy begins a cascading shift and change in our own cellular nature. We are not only changed emotionally or intellectually when we read or watch an amazing story, we are changed energetically and physically. This is why I would always caution against the Horror and Death Film. We are changed in ways that only fear can accomplish when we subject ourselves to the images that these films provide in abundance.

And fear releases adrenaline and then fear becomes an addiction to the thrill of the adrenaline. In the end we are physically, emotionally and spiritually changed. The same can be said for the stories that we need far more: Stories of love and hope and courage. Stories of overcoming the unthinkable.

So, I am blessed to be given the opportunity to help any storyteller birth what is uniquely their primary and most powerful contribution to their legacy on this planet: A personal story that will resonate with the people who have simply been waiting for your story and just have not known it.

Later this week I will post under Screenplays the movies that are must sees and the books that should be movies. We all need food for the soul since our souls are under siege by technology and a planet in peril. Your story is a life raft, is a story to help each of us remember who we are, who we were born to be and who we have yet to become. Bravo to our brave storytellers.

Find your voice

A Christmas Day Story

Christmas image

I have been off the grid for many months now.  My gypsy wagon currently hitched to a new life here in Asheville, North Carolina.  The reality of being on the road is that life unfolds in totally unexpected ways which I am now ready to chronicle.  Today is my first post since last May and it is particularly auspicious that it be on Christmas Day.  I hope you enjoy the story and that you will comment on how your day has been.

Merry Christmas, Maya


Welcome Home  
By Maya Christobel

 “To see things thousands of miles away, things hidden behind walls and within rooms, things dangerous to come to . . . to see and be amazed.” 

Life Magazine Motto

Today I was amazed.  The day did not start that way.  In fact it was shaping up to have the potential of being bleak and unnerving. It was Christmas day.

I woke up to silence.  No one clanking in the kitchen, no children giggling, just the low whirl of my air purifier and the soft purr of two of my best friends tucked neatly under my chin as I crawled out of bed in flannel wear to face Christmas morning totally by myself.  The cat lady at 63. I was feeling a bit pathetic.

I threw open my door to the patio that leads into the woods and a blast of crisp 17 degree air woke me with a startle as both cats swiftly decided not to go outside after all.  Glassy swirls of snow drifted through the trees.  I threw on my shawl, slipped into my UGGs and walked to the edge of the woods.

With all the leaves in piles, the naked trunks of a million trees allowed my eyes to see past more than one range of Blue Ridge Mountains.  I breathed deep and heard myself say, “Well this is going to be an interesting day”.

Living on the top of a mountain with no one very close and no real contact with cell phones is such is a retreat, a refuge, a place where you are creative.  The silence catapults you into the best of who you are.  But when you miss family, cooking, laughing and hugging it feels a bit more like a sentence.  I was on the fence as to how I was feeling today.

Earl Grey Tea with coconut milk, an extra pair of socks, a left-over chocolate chip pancake and I was ready to sit at the computer to write.  But, Facebook came first, since I was assured that on Christmas morning there might very well be far more substance there than usual. I tend to rant about the mundane sharing that goes on out there.  But today I was right.  Gratitude, poetry, family photos, Christmas puppies, smiling children, songs, videos and just a pile of love, littered cyberspace.  Two hours later I was full.

I had wondered what I would do without family for the holiday. Friends were away, my daughters in Colorado, my “AO music family in St. Louis”, and me, what would I like to do to celebrate the day?  A blank canvas stared at me, my paints which I dug out of storage neatly stacked next to brushes I had not used in years.  A blank Word Document sat blinking at me from my computer screen.  Oh, the pressure.

So, I did what anyone with writers block does:  I checked out when the movie I had been waiting to see for months started.  “The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty”.   It was playing at my favorite blockbuster Regal Cinema in Biltmore Park.  And it was playing at this little hole in the wall theater down the road.

I had never been inclined to go to the Beaucatcher Theaters since number one, I just hated the name, which for some reason, screamed redneck North Carolina to me and in fact I was a bit of a movie screen snob.  This translates as “the bigger the screen the better”.  But I just spontaneously decided to go to Beaucatcher.  Hmmm.

I quickly checked my emails and sent one to my daughters.  Suddenly I received one from my landlady who was vacationing in San Fran.  Renee was letting me know that the house down the hill had been broken into.  Now it would take a lot for someone to hike all the way up the mountain to break in to the house down the road.  And I am one woman living here most of the time.  This was just the corker.

I decided to turn on the stereo and play music while I was gone.  But all of a sudden I just looked around and thought to myself.  “Who gives a shit if someone wants what I have in my tiny efficiency apartment”.  So I left a note instead.  It went like this:

If you are here to rob me then the door is open, I cooked Christmas dinner for myself last night, it is in the fridge, so you are welcome to it and anything else I have is …yours.  Please just close the door behind you and do not let my cats out.  Merry Christmas

I left the door unlocked. Then I left for the movie.

I got to the tiny theater with a half dozen other souls at 11:30am.   We were all doing something that most people were not.  When I got out of the car to go inside, a family of about six people got out of the car next to me and we all walked to the ticket window.  We chatted and we wished each other merry Christmas.

I had no makeup on and had just tossed my hair under a winter hat and worn gloves, since I knew the heat would hardly have had time to warm up the theater.  The family sat in the row right in front of me and about four other people were scattered around.  The smell of popcorn felt comforting in some odd way since, in all reality, the movie theater…is my church.

The soundtrack dazzled me, the larger than life faces with piercing blue eyes, the script and the wonder of this special little movie made me laugh as loud as the family near me.  It was the medicine I needed.

It was a movie about hope.  About defying the odds, about plowing right into the middle of your worst fears and finding…yourself.  It was a movie that described my last year to a T.  I call 2013 the year of disillusionment.  In spades.

It has been a year of being cut off from the source of my own hope.  I am a woman who has made best friends with coincidence and serendipity and made a religion out of doing the unthinkable.  Up until this last year it has proven to be the only way to live, full of amazing adventures and the Universe, at every turn, confirming which path and what direction my life needed to take.  But this past year, things became, quiet.

Countless veils of illusion about human nature, the state of our planet, the music and film industry and friends who suddenly behaved like enemies, became my bill of fare. Allowing myself to see past the illusion and recoup the magic has been an unexpected and difficult journey.  I began to lose heart so I have hunkered down here in the mountains into my “chop wood, carry water” mode, knowing, hoping, that “this too shall pass”.  But Christmas alone was a real cake topper.

The movie was a Technicolor injection of love and hope that was perfect for Christmas day.  That would have been enough.  The Universe does not need to do much to help me recalibrate my heart.  But, the Universe had a special Christmas gift for me in mind.

I was the last to leave the theater.  I watched every single credit for three-legged dog trainer and hair stylist until there was nothing left.  I slipped my gloves on and pulled my hat down over my hair, my eyes red from laughing till I cried.

When I stepped out into the hall the family of six were waiting there.  Millie the mother asked me how I liked the film.  Nelson the film aficionado of the family, working as a film gaffer in NYC, asked a few questions but I really could not hear the conversation.  All I saw were these smiling faces and angel wings spring forth as a bear sized boyfriend smiling next to Millie reached to shake my hand and close friends of the family circled all around me in the hall.

Then one of those short, perfect, destined conversations ensued that went something like this. “We need to talk, come visit our new motel called Peaceful Quest Retreats”, I knew we were supposed to meet, isn’t this basically magic?”  My heart said a resounding YES!  I was missing my family so very much this day.  The Universe reminded me how large my family really was.

Who were these people?  Why did we all go to the movie at the same time?  Why didn’t I go to the poshy Biltmore Park? What is it that makes a total stranger feel instantly like a long-lost family member.  What is it in a twinkle in the eye or a caring smile that is the Universe laughing its ass off and telling you that all is well in this world?  The magic is everywhere,  purpose marches forward uninterrupted, and even if you get lost in the woods, there are always the cosmic breadcrumbs.

So, Millie Facebooked me before her Christmas dinner, I looked at photos of her magical retreat in Asheville that she purchased three years ago and said she was called to come to Asheville, just like countless people I know here.  The calling that no one can really put their finger on but each of us have just gone and moved here to find out why.

I went home filled with the wonder of it all. Wonder and awe are my elixirs in life:  The magic of destiny that keeps me going through countless disillusionments, barbaric wars and horrific loss in the world.  Millie and her lovely family was not only a B12 shot for my soul, but a personal invitation from Spirit to get back on the horse and keep riding.  Even when the future is so uncertain.  Now Millie is part of that future.  Yesterday I did not know she existed.

I got home and sat in the car for a while.  A red Cardinal that frequents my patio sat on the table.  The note for the ‘possible thief’ blew in the breeze still stuck to the door and I could hear the music I had left on inside.  Welcome home it said.

 

A River Of Change and You are Part of It

Christmas image

 

We can’t be afraid of change. You may feel very secure in the pond that you are in, but if you never venture out of it, you will never know that there is such a thing as an ocean, a sea. Holding onto something that is good for you now, may be the very reason why you don’t have something better.”
― C. JoyBell C.

I ventured out of my pond over a year ago.  I put my tiny boat in a new river and made a commitment to stay in and see every inch of where this river was taking me. I have lived on the road for now over 14 months and have loved every minute.   And from that deep commitment, that letting go of everything that was familiar, I not only discovered a passion in this life, but a purpose that uses every part of who I am. A discovery about my work in the world that looked nothing like I had imagined yet embodied everything I love: Children, Giving, Film, Music, Travel and Collaboration.

My partnership with Richard Gannaway, AOMusic and Arcturian Gate has not only “re-seeded” my life with a new kind of hope, a bigger version of myself and a certainty that love is why we are all here, but it has allowed me to meet people all over the world, reach out to children in need and enroll countless others in expressing their own talents and gifts in aligning with us on the journey of Music married to Cause.

This year we established our non-profit agency, AO Foundation International.  Through our music, our connection with children and their families who live in hardship around the world, we are giving back to these children who make our music what it is and we are aligning with several other non-profits who give generously to helping those in need.  As AO becomes the only group to give 100% of our profits to helping the world, we embark on an entirely new paradigm.

This Christmas season is amplified by the ending of the Mayan Calendar.  This is a time which increases the potential for love and unity around the world.  I have been watching and posting on Facebook this week and see a surge of hope, love and gratitude flowing far more freely today.  Each of us are being called to use our energy with intention and focus on giving, gratitude and love.  And energy can be working with your hands, making music, feeding people who need our help and giving of our financial resources.

We are establishing and developing all the channels for giving with our new 501c3.   And now we can offer all of you who give to AO through our foundation, a tax deduction that can benefit you as your generous support financially will launch rockets of love into the lives of so many.  We are rapidly building a financial village who make our work happen.

And AO Foundation International is needing to create an impeccable infrastructure and needs financial help to put this vessel of love into the ocean of causes to make sharing and giving the reason our music exists.  Please help us during this amazing time by donating to our new endeavor.   Not only will you receive a useful tax deduction, but we will send you our new album just about to be released in 2013.

Simply contact us through our website www.aofi.org and use the “Donate Button”.  Or contact me at mayachristobel@gmail.com. Your financial support is greatly needed and appreciated.

AO starts the new year with a brand new album that is destined for another Grammy Nomination and beginning a fully funded Documentary series and live performance in Italy.  We are eager for you to join our family, follow us on this amazing journey and participate in ways you are inspired.  Look for updates as all our work of love manifests.  What a time we live in!

Hugging the world

 

Fierce Compassion

little girl from Sandy Hook

 

FIERCE COMPASSION

DEC 16, 2012


Fierce compassion is motivated by the awareness of someone’s suffering and it addresses it by looking at the root cause of it. When we come from this place, we understand that we sometimes need to cause discomfort in the service of growth.”

Charlie Glickman

In the Bhagavad-Gita, the sacred book of the Hindus, Lord Krishna says to Arjuna, “Plunge into the heat of the battle and keep your heart at the lotus feet of the Lord”.  And perhaps when Christ turned over the moneychanger’s tables in the Temple and called them Vipers and Hypocrites he did so from a place of inner calm.  I am challenged this week to find this precarious place between outrage and love in the wake of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

I have been moved to write allot these past few days. Not enough can be felt and not enough can be said.  I am a person who does not watch TV, the news, subscribe to a newspaper, or watch the nightly shooting reports and the death toll around the world.  I am aware.  I know what is happening.  Yet, there are moments I do allow the news to break into my life as in the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The night before these Connecticut families dropped their children off at school, having packed little lunches, Avengers book-bags and smooched the cheeks of their sandy haired boy or brown eyed girl who was a part of the fabric of each parents hearts, I could not sleep.  I awoke agitated at 2am and feeling what I have come to privately call “a disturbance in the force”.  I feel this way with seismic activity a-la John Travolta in Phenomenon.  And when there is a natural disaster or impeding catastrophe I am activated.  Call it telepathy, or maybe call it precognition it doesn’t matter.  It is how I personally know that we ARE all connected…to everything.

That next morning I saw on my Facebook page a post about Adam Lanza and 26 people who were dead because of him.  Some part of me knew I wanted and needed to allow this story into me.  So, I found the photos of grieving parents, of the 6 year old children with light in their eyes, of the dedicated teachers who died hiding the children in their care.  I learned the name and age of each child as the day went on and then read about the 29 year old teacher who hid her class of children in cabinets, only to be shot and killed herself.

This teacher was the age of my oldest daughter, Sasha.  At that moment it all became real.  I became each parent and each of the tiny children were my children playing in sandboxes.  I could see my daughters being dropped off at Toddy Pond School in Northern Maine.  This massacre was firmly on my doorstep of my heart.

And then the psychologist in me read several outstanding writings about mental illness and the young boy who did the unthinkable.  The unthinkable!  And Adam became every other lost boy I know, every other disturbed youth who is buried under the weight of a culture that has purposefully created apathy, self-hatred, taught our young men and women that killing for the country is patriotism and heroic and who have abandoned those who have a label of ‘mental illness’ to the care of our drug culture only to make a profit from another’s despair.  It is not Adam Lanza who was insane, it is our entire culture who created him.

This story of Sandy Hook is deeply personal and deeply Universal, igniting a possible awareness that Adam Lanza is a symptom of something much more important.  Our culture wants to slap him and his family with a label of mental illness while all the while, decade after decade, hiding from the reality of spiritual illness, heart sickness, soul loss and emptiness that goes hand in hand with a culture that has lost our way entirely.  We are not asking the right questions.  We are not even looking most of the time until the “unthinkable” moves in next door.

This horrific moment in our shameful history as a culture is a wake up call to stop seeing “the other” as the bad guy.  The collective apathy, the military industrial machine and the lack of a social and moral consciousness is the real “bad guy” here.  It is not about Adam being “sick” or raised by parents who did not understand him.  The death of these children, men and women is a collective issue.  A collective responsibility.

Then, I stumbled on one woman’s letter to President Obama.  Her voice sliced through the debris of confusion we all feel, to poignantly identify that the children of Sandy Hook, of Palestine or Pakistan are the same children with parents grieving and all faceless to most of us.   This one mother rips at the truth that violence is out of control on our planet and points out that much of that violence is created by our governing bodies and then carried out by a thousand young ‘Adam Lanzas’ who have been supplied with a gun by our country who, in the name of freedom, then kill women, children and entire families just like Adam Lanza did.

She says.

“Mr. President, where is your “overwhelming grief”, tears, and words for THOSE children whose lives were violently cut short and continue to be cut short in Palestine, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, etc., via weapons supplied and paid for with American tax dollars? Do you not feel “overwhelming grief”, or have any tears or words for THOSE children? Is it because THOSE children are not “THESE children”, “our children” aka AMERICAN children? Are THOSE children not worthy of our overwhelming grief, tears, words, or their future?

As a parent, not only do I feel overwhelming grief for those children whose lives were cut short in yesterday’s tragedy, I also feel overwhelming grief, GUILT, and SHAME for every single child whose life has been cut short via the American military–industrial–congressional complex.

Mr. President, every single child … NO MATTER THEIR LOCATION … is our child. So, please spare me your selective, manipulative, hypocritical emotion. Not only is it embarrassing, but the overwhelming grief, guilt, and shame every American should feel for any child’s life that has been cut short is already more than any of us can bear.”

~ Robin Rantamaki

Robin Rantamaki is using a voice that we all could cultivate.  A clearly outraged voice rooted in a love and compassion for life that together creates Fierce Compassion.  In my worldview this is what the Great Mother is all about. Where is the collective cry of all mothers on this planet who have the power to stop the insanity, the death and destruction and preserve life?

This moment in our history requires that, I for one, develop two things: Courage and a willingness to speak and act with fierce compassion.  The ingredient that is essential is personal action.  Speaking up and out.  Stopping my support of the mass illusion that the American Dream is just that.  Refusing to stand behind anything or anyone that strips any person in our world of the right to live.  This is being brave in my book.  This is how brave I must become willing to be in every action I take.

We are a culture that hides from the truth. We hide in our TV’s, we hide in our houses, we hide at the mall, and we hide in our video games and our inability to speak to our neighbors.  Adam Lanza has driven me out of my comfort zone and out into the street.  The only place for me to start is with my words.  My first action is my willingness to send out this post, then to sink firmly into the center of my heart and create a fiercely loving stance from which to live.

We are all abuzz about the end of the Mayan Calendar on Friday of this week.  We hear voices of doom and some immanent cataclysm:  Earth Changes, the Collapse of the Economy, the return of Jesus, the disclosure of life on other planets.  The cataclysm is here. Right Now! The end of what we know about a civilized life has just been destroyed by the truth behind these killings.  The anticipated and hoped for ascension of human kind and the waking up of humanity is here now in how each one of us chooses to ..or not… choose to respond to what is all around us.  There is no earthquake that is any bigger than what just happened at Sandy Hook.  If we are not shaken to the core then we are asleep.

 

A Case for Greatness

We live in a world where speaking to someone’s Greatness is infrequent.  Most often we speak to what is wrong, what is incomplete, aggravating, and problematic in a person.  Praise and appreciation fall between the cracks of relationship usually rendering the basic pallet of connection one of working it out, putting up with, overlooking or simply, reactive confrontation when we get overwhelmed.

The basic ingredient that can change the tide in any relationship is honesty:  Speaking the truth, first with yourself and then with the other. The first question is “Why am I not telling the truth?  What am I afraid of and what do I think the outcome will be if I keep choosing to withhold my feelings or thoughts and observations?”

Yet, in our new age culture where tolerance is far more desired than confrontation, we have gone to the other side of the equation.  Tolerance tends to end up looking like skirting the issue, having sympathy for the plight of a friend, when many times it is really fear of confrontation that drives our silence and in-authenticity.  So we call it “Tolerance”.  That is a kind of lie that we feed.

There is a middle ground that we rarely find ease at identifying and then live out in our relationships:  A combination of Empathy and one of Fierce Truth Telling.  The question is for most of us, how to tell the honest truth from the heart in a way that speaks to the appreciation for and the greatness of the person we care about, instead of how they have failed?”  This is the essential and necessary shift we all need to make in all our relationships, both to self and others, and in the larger Shift that is happening on our planet.

As the paradigm of power shifts incrementally from a patriarchal model to a more balanced form of Power, which now includes the feminine skill of empowering through intuition, instinct and empathy, we are challenged to re-write the common ways in which we approach all of our relationships.  It is way past time, to eliminate all the dysfunctional forms of relationship with other people and with ourselves no matter what we imagine the risk to be. The cost of not doing this is far greater than the perceived risk.

There is a long list of habits that we learned from our parents, our government, our culture, our church and an even larger list that is fed from unspoken fears: Namely, that if we are ruthlessly loving, we will be rejected and unloved in return.  How many of us have become expert at ways of being in relationship or business that in fact never helps us achieve what we want, which is connection, love, power, creativity, full expression of self and harmony?  How many ways of undermining the success of relationship do I practice without consciously thinking?

*  Withholding the truth because I believe the person cannot handle it?

*  Withholding my feelings because I don’t want a conflict or to be rejected or in many cases loose the little bit I have or think I need from that person?

*  Telling myself that I cannot say the truth because I need something from that person that they will take away if they do not like what I say?  I then settle for something that is incomplete, dysfunctional and dishonest. I fall out of integrity with myself.

*  Rationalization is the biggest lie that we use to protect ourselves.  We tell ourselves that it is better that the person does not know the truth because they will be hurt, offended or will not be able to handle the truth, so “I will protect them from those feelings because I love them”.  This is the root of becoming an enabler:  Allowing the person to continue to be or do things in ways that alienate and create problems for themselves and for others and not speaking to the power and greatness in them, but to their weakness instead.  By doing this we never allow for the possibility of change and growth and everything becomes stagnant.  Not only the flow of love in the relationship but the flow of money and resources.  A kind of energetic constipation where nothing is moving takes over.

The minute we conform to someone’s dysfunction, adapt to it, and accommodate even for selfish reasons, we have supported limitation and dysfunction instead of health and vibrancy in the person we are with.  And have you noticed that we then feel less vibrant ourselves, more constrained and unhappy? In other words, we strip the person of the possibility to grow into the person they are capable of being and strip ourselves of a life of integrity that only brings ill health.

When we do this the toxicity of Resentment and Bitterness worms its way into the groundwater of each person in the equation.   We do not foster greatness in ourselves or in the other.  We live in a model based in fears and limitation.  Therefore, the outcome of ANY relationship, whether it is a love relationship, a friendship or a business partnership, will reflect the energy going into it; namely, limitation and lack of greatness, stagnancy of feelings and of resources.  As within, so without.

A model for a new paradigm in relationship or business must be based on not only honesty at all costs which is rooted in holding the vision for a persons greatness and for their own ability to learn and change, but also for our capacity to rise above the adaptation to weakness model and firmly plant ourselves in the vision of who we are capable of being and who the person is capable of becoming.

We do not hold with respect, a persons inherent Greatness, if we allow a friend, lover, parent, husband, wife or colleague to become defined by their limitations or blind spots.  And, we do not live in our own Greatness if we are not willing to risk living in total honesty and fierce loving.