The Tao of Dog Part One

THE TAO OF DOG

APR 13, 2013


dogs

On Monday I woke up to a new awareness. It was very physical. My body was stiff and hurting.  I had been happily living an inspired life and “working” on taking a vision for my life’s work, for AOMusic and for children who need love and care and grounding it in reality:  The reality of manifesting my passion into a tangible form.  Manifesting my dream in concrete ways like people, money, space, investors and commitments of a substantial kind.  Manifestation somehow had stopped feeling fun and had become my work

So, once I had made my regular cup of Roobios tea, cut strawberries, bananas and oranges and then switched on my computer, the first thing that came up on the screen was my “Notes” program, which is my revolving to-do list.  The list had nearly two hundred items on it.  My eyes got instantly blurry and couldn’t focus.  I thought to myself, “low blood sugar, that’s it!”  Then I made an egg-protein drink and went back to my computer.  Still blurry.  The rest of the room was fine, the view from my window crisp and clear.  It was simply the screen of my computer, more precisely; it was simply my to-do list that I couldn’t get into focus.

It was apparent that I was ‘not seeing something’, literally.  So, off I went to meditate and tune into the metaphor. I posed the question, “What had become blurry for me in my work and what was I not seeing?”

Once I am willing to ask a hard question like this and then be open to an answer, I get the answer, instantly.  The voice I trust with my own life said, “Are you feeling inspired about your to-do list?”  “No, I’m feeling inspired by the vision, the dream and the creativity!” I said.  “So then, is the feeling you have about your inspired vision the same feeling you have when you look at your to-do list?”   Right then and there I knew that something was off since my answer was, “No.”  I was not in alignment within myself.

I had lost ‘sight’ of the miraculous feeling that comes when I am aligned with a vision that perfectly matches my heart, my mind and my purpose.  So, how was I supposed to feel those same feelings when I face a to-do list that needs a staff of twelve to get done in a timely way?  I knew enough about the laws of manifestation to understand that there can be no “vibrational gap” between the excitement and feeling of awe I have when I am living inside my own dream and the feelings I have when I face twenty emails waiting to be answered, or endless research to be done. Closing this gap is my spiritual practice.

I feel the high frequency emotions of love, gratitude, enthusiasm, joy and inspiration the minute I hear an AOMusic song, see the face of one child we work toward helping, talk to a producer about the endless possibilities for film or start seeing money coming into our AO Foundation International.  But, when I pick up the phone, start to plow through the avalanche of emails, Skype for the sixth hour in a row or just try to get the bills paid and then feel exhausted, resentful, stressed, anxious or fearful, well you see what the problem is?  The two energies cancel each other out, they are not in alignment.  Houston, we have a problem.

Who in their right mind finds joy in the mundane steps up to the top of the mountain?  That is not entirely the question.  The question is more of how to in fact do what feels nearly impossible to sustain the joy and creative edge even when facing more no’s in a day than yeses, more hours at the computer than playing outside, more money going out than coming in?

So, I set out to learn how to close the gap in my vibrational reality and start to put things into focus.  I set out to make sure that how I was be-ing and what I was do-ing were entirely congruent.

Just when I realized I had some quantum ‘waking up’ to do, I was invited to house sit for a friend going to Bali.  She had a house that screams Tuscany overlooking the water here in the Pacific Northwest.  The spacious rural bungalow is also the home of three amazing dogs: Logan, Rex and Angel Baby, a white Pit Bull.  I said yes, and for one week had the sanctuary and quiet I needed to sink into these questions.

Then I did dog therapy (or more accurately, the dogs did me), which in fact became the source of my coming to the answers I needed.  In short, a dog lives in the moment and there is not one incongruity, just being present fully, joyfully, expectantly present, with no expectations except that when you throw the ball, they get to retrieve it.  They do not toil to fill their dog bowl but they know with all certainty that the bowl will be filled right at 4pm.  They never doubt it for a second.

The other blessing being here in the Washington, which made my time unbelievably rich and clear, was that it rained every single day when I was on my Tuscan retreat.  I could not distract myself from the question of ‘alignment’ at hand.  And, at the end of five days of inquiry, there was one remarkable answer to the question of how to align my deepest most soulful vision with the mundane work that I believed I needed to do to manifest it.  The surprising answer was: Be Lazy.

Lazy is a word that carries terrible connotations with it.  And mostly because we are a culture that prizes productivity and over-responsibility as we are constantly comparing one person to another on those standards.  Being a ‘slacker’ is how most people regard being lazy.  Yet, the heart of being lazy is simply not to be inclined to work or exert energy.  Bingo.  Exerting energy was what I was all about when I approached my responsibilities and endless tasks that I had deemed necessary for achieving success.  And of course if I did not “exert” myself how would they get done and where would my dream be then?

Exertion and work are the opposite of allowing and flow.  My dream of helping children around the world who need love and care at the most fundamental level and creating new vehicles for AOMusic to touch the hearts of people is never anything but flow for me.  Allowing the dream to unfold like a flower should be easy.  You would never put energy into forcing a flower to bloom at any other speed than its own natural rhythm and flow.

It was clear that when I approached my list of mundane tasks I was not allowing for the same energy to permeate the process and bring both joy and excitement to every phone call.  I was not allowing the process of “Do-ing” to become “Be-ing in the flow with each task”.  Allowing the task to present a fun aspect, an unexpected outcome and a great satisfaction, even if I did not accomplish my goal that day.

I watched my three canine companions make no effort at all in a day except to simply be happy and in their own true nature.  They slept when they felt like it and if they were needed for something they brought their own happy selves to the project.  They knew the nature of being happy, they rested in between exercise, they greeted me every morning as if it was the happiest moment of their lives and the very first time they had seen my face or watched the sun come up.  I had something to learn watching them and Be-ing with them.

I learned that it is essential to take care of myself first and foremost.  That if I deeply care about the wellbeing of others or mass consciousness I must tend to the wellbeing of my “self” in order to advocate for anyone else.  You cannot assist anything you are not already feeling in yourself.  If you want to be advantage to others you need to be an advantage to yourself.  I am never an advantage to myself or anyone else when I allow the feelings of over work, stress, anxiety or fear to be part of any moment.

So, being lazy means to relax and feel into my life at that moment, create a process of pleasure with my “work” and to not exert energy to make any one thing happen.  Exertion suggests that I believe that I am the only one to do what is needed.  Now that flies in the face of our American work ethic doesn’t it?  Especially when we have such a flawed premise in our society which says “the more you DO the more you are WORTH.”  What this new perspective says is “the better you feel, the more you allow” and the more you allow the better the outcome.  This is a powerful and clear intent:  Allowing instead of efforting.

Being lazy means to give myself permission to allow the law of manifestation to fill in the grid of my dream and vision with all the things that my over-efforting can squeeze out, like coincidence, serendipity, spirit, destiny, new people wanting to help, opportunities and simply, the unknown.  Then to make room for the Universal truth of manifestation to take root.  To have a high vibrational frequency that, like a magnet, will attract what you desire.

So, here is what I learned and I am passing it on with delight.  I call these the Six Steps to Being Lazy.  You might do these every day, to start your day or end your day before you go to sleep or better yet, both.

1.  Remember the vibrational alignment you want to achieve between your dream and your daily work. If you are clear that joy, love, adventure or being on your creative edge is what your dream is truly about then be clear that these are the experiences and ultimately the feelings and emotions you desire and deserve in the work you do toward achieving your vision

2.  Meditate at least 15 minutes a day to empty your busy mind and invite these feelings of joy and love to fill you.  Meditation opens the door to allowing.

3.  Go outside no matter the weather, pay attention and find things to acknowledge with gratitude.  AND do this out loud.  On your walk, in your garden or as the wind is howling and rain is on it’s way, notice what is all around you and acknowledge everything that touches you:  “You are my favorite flower, you are the most beautiful bird, you are the most exciting sky, and you are my favorite tree, my most treasured vegetable in the garden, the most beautiful chicken, frog, dragonfly or next door neighbor.”  If you are walking your dog, speak with him or her about how you love and appreciate them, their beauty and their sacrifice in life to love you and only you.  As you speak this gratitude and appreciation out loud you are completely rebooting your energy and raising both the vibrational frequency of you and everything around you.  You are making your own heart-music in the world.

4.  Buy a notebook for your “Positive Attributes”.  Make five different subjects and write all the positive aspects of them:  Relationships, my dream, my children, my body, my friends, my love life, my talents and gifts.  Find five themes or subjects in your life that are very meaningful to you and then list all the positive attributesyou can think of to say about your love life, your body or your talents.  Fill the page.  And then re-read and add to it daily.  This Self-Appreciation and Self Love will completely rewire your cells.

5.  Look upward and outward.  Go outside or stand at a window and acknowledge that there are “universal forces” that are focused right at you.  Consciously acknowledge that you are the object of their positive attention.  Say out loud:   “I am grateful and I will be in conscious awareness that you too are right here with me, assisting, inspiring, guiding, having fun with me, supporting me, helping me, loving me, showing me, caring for me, surprising me and say it over and over again.  Get into an endless loop of this Universal acknowledgement.

6.  Hug the world.  A friend of mine pointed out that it is important to hug for thirty seconds or more, with eight or more people every day.  Now this is a challenge in our touch phobic society.  But, the heart as the largest electromagnetic field in the body can entrain with another heart when hugging, which then can create greater health, a more vibrant immune system, the feelings of love and the feeling of safety  and belonging.

What we forget in our lives, on this one planet, is that all that we want for others and for ourselves already exists.  The only thing we truly have to DO is allow for it all to manifest and to relax all of our efforting, our reactivity, our fear and our contraction and simply let all our desires flow to us, at a rate that will astonish you.  So let’s all get really, really lazy.   Woof!

And stay tune for part two on the Tao of Dog.

 

 

The Seed of Truth

 

A Seed Planted

It has been one year since I sold most of what I own and drove away from Tulsa Oklahoma.  I had been called there to help my mother die.  Four years later, my time was done in Oklahoma and I asked a question. “Now…what makes me happy”.  Then I turned the corner into my sixties.  For the first time in nearly forty years I had no children at home, no husband, no clients to care for.  I just had me.  And my two cats Hazel and Snow.

The question of what makes me happy was new.  It was asked in a new spirit with the emphasis on ME.  What makes ME happy.  I had spent decades organizing my answers around the ‘whole’ of my life.  My happiness was always intertwined with my daughters, or the man I loved, my mother and family and the concern I had for my clients who entrusted me with their stories and their care.

There had been little time to truly know what my own seed of happiness was.  So, I set out for one year to discover the answer.  Not by making a list of what made me happy, but to have an experience of “being happy”.  What became quickly obvious was that I was surprised by happiness.  I never went out looking for it or trying to create happy moments.  Happiness found me.  And in unexpected ways.

And what also became a life lesson was discovering that the way happiness found me was because I slowed down every aspect of my life and made room for happiness to come in.  The art of allowing my life to flow and simply following the current has been the gift of this past year.  Our society is focused on doing, on making, on busily trying to get our life to look like our vision.  This presupposes that we are the only one to make or break our own possible happiness.  That boot-strap mentality locks us out of the experience of being part of the mystery, of the divine, of a destiny that has a design and pattern to discover.  It creates isolation.

Allowing life to move us has at the center this divine mystery of a perfect design. But allowing is a relational word.  Allowing does not mean I do nothing.  Allowing means I hold the vision, embody the energy and move my feet and then the dance begins and my partner is Spirit, God, the Universe, and Love.

I did do one important thing before I put the carrier on top of my Nissan and drove away toward the East Coast:  I set an intention.  A strong intention.  I sat up late into the night and wrote my vision for my life.  I soaked it in, knowing that somehow I had captured on paper a glimpse of a life I would love and then I tucked the writing into my Tarot Bag.  The vision was filled with joyful ideas of being closer and working with my daughters in a business, of being surrounded by music, living in nature, writing for film and seeing myself succeed with my writing.  I wrote of being in a common community with like-minded people, increasing my health and prosperity and being with children in my work.  Then I drove to Asheville, North Carolina.

Now, one year later I am astonished.  When I arrived in North Carolina to spend a short time with my daughter I ran into a problem renewing my driver’s license.  This problem still persists and even baffles congressman Perlmutter in Denver.  No one seems to know how to solve my lack of ‘drivability’.  The loss of easy mobility left me stranded in North Carolina longer than expected.  So, I went to a workshop on manifestation and then two days later met Richard Gannaway from AOMusic through a Craigslist ad of all things.  Four hours later my life rearranged.

Richard handed me two of his Grammy nominated albums.  Driving home I slipped them into the CD player in my car and headed down the Blue Ridge Parkway. It was raining. My first big surprise was about to occur.  I started weeping, pulled off the road and nearly one hour later had finished listening to’ And Love Rages On’, with the windows fogged and motor still idling.

The weeping was a direct message from my soul to me.  Weeping with joy validates the moment I am in as sacred, as important, as inspired.  In that moment something redirected in me and pointed me back to Richard and AOMusic.  My mind said “this is crazy”, “this wasn’t on the agenda!”, “WHAT are you DOING?”.  I kept driving. Now one year later I am a partner with Richard and AO and proceeding with a vision for a film series that is inspiring great interest.  I am immeasurably happy.

That one surprise by the side of the road…of joy…love…creativity…happiness has led to me back to digging out that piece of paper I put into my Tarot Bag just a year ago.  I re-read my hopes and dreams.  I smile when I realize that almost everything I envisioned is in my life right now:  I work with children who sing, I am surrounded by music, my daughter Jessie and I work together on a project she helped to shoot in Nepal, I write for film, have gone to film school, live part time in two amazing natural environments, Asheville and the Pacific North West.   I have a community of inspired, creative, loving co-workers and friends.  I have a new kind of partner of the heart with Richard Gannaway.  I have been prosperous and happy and healthier. All because I opened to the possibilities, allowed for my life to move with serendipity, coincidence and intuition.

The art of navigating life this way has been the largest learning in my lifetime.  And now as our holiday season begins I have a new question.  Not about what makes me happy, or what’s next.  But a question about where is home?  Having been nomadic for over a year now it is time to find ….home.  And finding home is never possible until each of us feels entirely at home in the self.  This year of SELF discovery has brought me to a new way of thinking about home.  Home is the space that is a sacred anchor for our soul to live out our purpose for being here.  Finding home is my next adventure. Or better yet!  I will let home find me.

 

 

Surprised by Life

I have been on the road for six months now.  And most of those Road Trips taken were without being able to drive my car.  My legal rights to a driver’s license buried in some endless bureaucracy.  At first, I felt like the inability to legally drive would become a boulder sitting right in the middle of my life and block my deep intentions to follow the flow of where the river would take me.  For a month or more I reacted and resisted this interruption in my perceived plan.  Once the likelihood of driving wherever my heart led, was challenged, I relaxed into the “interruption” and began to relate to it as a gift.  “What might this unwanted experience provide for me that I could not have known or perceived without it?”  And the answer was: “Surprise?”  The answer was,”The unexpected”.

What I am coming to understand is that MY “plans” are only one possible future.  And my attachment to the outcome of those plans can limit my life.  If I could have driven, my two week stay with my daughter with an intention to drive North to Maine would have me leaving Asheville.  But, because I had to pause for a moment, breath, let go of my attachment to any outcome, I stumbled into my own desire to create a website while waiting for what I thought would be a few weeks before the debacle of my driver’s license was behind me.

I interviewed two people for the job and hired one.   Mary Long brought love, joy and creativity to my creating a clearer identity and I hired her.  Richard Gannaway was equally as gifted, but somehow in our interview we never truly discussed my budding website, but fell into a mutual love for music, for his work as a composer, singer and musician with AO Music.  Richard sent me home that day with his newest album and my life changed forever.

The music did what music only can.  It opened a part of me long-buried and reminded me of a part of myself that had forgotten a core inspiration in my life which lead me to aligning my self with AO Music and it’s care for changing hearts and helping children.  My life ignited. If I had driven away as planned I would have missed Joy breaking into my life.

 “The Law of Attraction is responding to your thought, not to your current reality. When you change the thought, your reality must follow suit. If things are going well for you, then focusing upon what is happening now will cause the well-being to continue, but if there are things happening now that are not pleasing, you must find a way of taking your attention away from those unwanted things. You have the ability to quickly change your patterns of thought, and eventually… your life experience.”  Abraham

I stayed much longer in Asheville than had been planned.  I had time to sit inside of my own dreaming, my own inspiration and my deepest wants and desires and could not “drive away from them”.  The minute I claimed these hopes and dreams my energy changed, my happiness increased and as the law of attraction is trying to teach us, suddenly and immediately people, ideas, opportunities and gifts that MATCHED those dreams and inspirations began to flood into my life. I was offered the chance to write a screenplay and then to attend The Film School in Seattle.

Tom Skerritt, The Film School

I did not chase my dreams in my car. I couldn’t.  I did not make a ten point list of goals for the year to tick off one by one. I waited, I practiced deep self inquiry and I listened to promptings that had been drowned out by my assumptions about my life and what I should be doing.  And in return, the Universe was given room and space to spill into my life with opportunity that I could not have seen.

Since “having my wings clipped”, so to speak by unforeseen circumstances, I have found that in fact, I do not need a car.  That I do not need to spend all that money and gas for something that I have done just fine without.  I can stop polluting the planet.  I can create a slower pace instead of knowing that my car is right outside my front door so I can dash anywhere.  That has been another surprise.  The cost of a periodic taxi, taking the bus when I am in an urban area, being a passenger with a friend who I get a chance to chat with, and generally limiting how many places I need to be in a day has slowed me down to a rhythm that I am liking. That is healthier and more centering.

I have spent time on the ocean in Washington with Icelandic Ponies, I have lived in a hotel for a month while going to The Film School here is Seattle, I have aligned my life and heart with a cause to open the heart through music. I am nearly done with the first draft of the screenplay I have been asked to write.  And my website reflects the constant unfolding of me as I move toward being the most authentic expression of myself.  And come the end of May, one year after the death of my mother, my daughter, who I have been staying with in Asheville will be moving.  The lease is up.  And the question that comes back round is:  What’s next.  Where will my next stop be?  I cannot wait to be surprised!

I was directed in a scene by Tom Skerritt as the infamous “Mrs. Robinson” from the movie The Graduate.  Acting is NOT my forte so I will stick to being a writer!