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 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.

AO Means Light

AOMusic went to Nepal with five young people in August.  We recorded children who are singing on our new album to be released in 2013.  This is our fundraising trailer for a documentary that we hope you will all support.

 

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.

 

 

From Tulsa to Kathmandu

 

I left for my “Year as a Gypsy” on September 2, 2011.  As that year comes to a close my life has opened.  By shedding my beliefs about what I “thought” might make me happy in life and asking a new question about “what would bring me joy”, I made some bold new moves.  After selling most of my belongings, letting go of my house, my man, my dog and my attachment to any outcome, I packed my car and drove off.  First stop, Asheville, North Carolina.

My blog, www.the-gypsy-life.com has chronicled what can only be described as a “surprising” year.  I had thoughts of writing full time, landed a screenplay writing job, re-invented myself with a new website www.mayalunachristobel.com and felt the stars aligning in what I believed was my destiny.  And then I learned a very important saying first hand and right between the eyes:  “How do you make the Gods laugh?  By telling them your plans”.  It was simply a few weeks into my adventure that I threw the blueprints out and adopted the only thing I knew to do:  Navigate by intuition …one day at a time.

So, here I am, many stories later, still no driver’s license, but well traveled, well cared for, well fed, well loved and inspired beyond anything I could imagine.  And after just one short year I have found that my heart is happiest singing, participating in a music company that has children at the center of everything, and creating opportunity for myself and as many others as possible to live their dreams.  How could I have known any of this before taking the leap?

Today, August 18th, one of those dreams is being realized for a group of young people who just landed in Kathmandu, Nepal.  I took a leap of faith and decided to produce a short film of recording children in Chitwan, Nepal, singing songs composed by my partner, Richard Gannaway and AOMUSIC. By reaching for my dream as a filmmaker, four amazing young people are reaching for theirs.  Paying it forward is not just about money, or gifting someone, but is also about what happens when I say yes to a vision from the heart…it expands to include so many other people who get a chance to do the same.  Physics of the Heart.

It is the height of the monsoon season in Nepal.  This “Dream Team” is made up of my daughter Jessie, who with her Canon 5D will be interviewing the village, the children and the team as, come rain and more rain, the children learn to sing.  Her photography will be part of a campaign for a documentary series.  Then there is Rob who is from Asheville and a yoga/slack line teacher as well as musician par-excellence who will be recording the children.  Josh is the “Yoda” of this entourage.  Josh has been living in India and has a story to share that will both curl your hair and make you stand up an applaud the tenacity of spirit in this young man.  Josh is a musician and teacher of music to children all over the globe.  And lastly is Karan, from Mumbai, India who is going to film the entire journey of AO in Nepal.  He has filmed numerous documentaries and brings so much to this unfolding story of AOMUSIC as we trek to where children are in need and hear the songs of their undaunted hearts.

So in these next ten days I will post a short story every day from Nepal to give you a window into the courage, the creativity and the spirit of those on this trip, the people of Nepal, my own unfolding in this process that has not been without obstacles, all in the hope that just one person might find their own heart on fire for change, for reaching for your dream and for helping those who need you most when you do.

As for me and coming to the close of a year on the road?  The Gypsy Life has become the life I choose from this moment forward. There is no other way to live for me.

 

Practicing Transformation

by Maya Christobel

 

I am hearing daily from so many people that they are feeling… “different”:  More sensitive, feeling body pains, getting ill, energized for some, sluggish for others. Tired but not sleeping. Overwhelmed but not knowing exactly why. All bodily responses to changing energetic fields all over the planet and in our solar system.  The answer is not sleeping pills or any conventional response.  We need an entirely new perspective.

 

It is no  longer possible to separate ourselves as if we are distinct from EVERY OTHER THING.  We are being affected daily by our Sun and Solar Flares, by Climate Change, by our Economy, our Friends, our Fears and our Dreams. Greece cannot have economic collapse and create a global fear response and we not feel it on the other side of the globe as we eat dinner.

 

So, we are being asked, if not required, to take a new position in our lives in order to integrate these new energies that are changing the very DNA of us as a species so that we not become ill in response. This sounds overwhelming and for some it is.  Confusing and it is at times. The natural response to change is usually a kind of “contraction” in our lives, a reactivity to fear, a stepping up of activity and problem solving.  This is no longer working.  The new response to these demands is to…relax.  Breath.  Walk.  Sleep.  Laugh and be in a place of Openness and Love.  Not easy as the lives we live swirl around us and the majority feel massive amounts of fear.

 

I remember reading about a woman who was attacked by a bear.  She was just in her tent minding her own business when out of left field a bear tore through her tent and began to drag her off to the woods to kill her.  Others had already died.  What she did was counter-intuitive to screaming and resisting.  She went silent and limp. She stopped resisting.  What happened next was astonishing.  The bear dropped her in the woods and walked away.  She was not unharmed, but she was alive.

 

I am finding that I have the opposite response to mounting tensions in the world, tensions in my life and personal crises.  I am not worrying or trying to “figure anything out”. I am not resisting.  That is very new for me and may have much to do with my choice to begin to live in the flow.  Allowing rather than pushing the river that rushes all around me.  My list of what I think I should do still sits mostly unaddressed as I put on my hat and grab my binoculars and go out to Lighthouse point to watch for the Orcas to come through.  Years ago I would have decided that I was in denial, crazy as a loon, lazy, afraid to face facts if I had done such a thing.  Now I am different.  I feel perfectly centered and none of the traditional triggers in my life that would have sent  me to bed sleepless or with a sore throat and a pounding heart seem to affect me in any of the usual ways.  And that undone list of “necessary responses” is till there and the world has not collapsed around me.  I have not become a bag lady.

 

The antidote to the psychotic times we live in is not to speed up…but to do exactly the opposite:  Slow down.  Slow way down so that the body can manage the energy that is presenting itself in a hundred new ways a day.  To stop our reactive resistance just like the woman who saved herself from the jaws of a bear.

 

The second cure for harrowing times is to change your mind.  The mind wants to solve the unsolvable and will use up all available energy trying to.  The way to stop this over-thinking, over-worrying, over-analyzing is to change your thoughts from “I am overwhelmed”, to “I have an opportunity for creativity”.  From “I am afraid”, to “I am practicing love and trust in this process of change”.  What these changed minds mean is that we are finally acknowledging that we are in control of our experience. Fear is the belief that we are not in control. What we intend to think really does change the outcome of our daily experience.

 

Many people all over the world are talking about the unprecedented times of spiritual, physical and emotional evolution we are in.  From CNN to Psychics we have a delicious array of input to help us navigate our changing times, changing relationships and emerging new world view.  Here is just one piece of writing that I think is helpful. It came to me from Marlene Swetlishoff.  Good, sound and inspiring guidance.

 

You are in a period of stillness awaiting the influx of greater energies that are soon to flood the Planet. Be receptive and open to these energies and absorb as much of them as you are able. Set your intention to receive in grace and ease and it will be so. Many changes continue to take place within your physical bodies and your DNA is being further activated. The next six months will bring through many revelations and a greater connection with your inner truths. 

 

Stay connected to your inner core essence and let it guide your way. This will help you to stay in the knowing of yourself and that which is important for you to follow for the highest and best outcomes in all that occurs in your daily living. In dealing with others, always look to meet them in the areas of common interest and endeavor to reflect to them your Light, and in turn, allow their Light to reflect back to you. You are in a period of igniting each other to the unfoldment of greater visions and dreams.

 

This will transpire in different ways for each of you and the outcomes will be wonderfully diverse as each of you express through your Beings that which is uniquely your own essence. Become each others greatest cheering teams, for much joy and laughter will facilitate the moving forward of each of you to your true and rightful place, as the shift of the ages continues to occur. Let go of all remaining fear and doubt, for all that comes through you is the merging of the higher aspects of yourselves. There will be prolonged periods of the feeling of joy that bursts from within you as you leave all that was behind you.

 

Stay grounded into the Earth each day as she will support you as the metamorphosis within you continues to take place. Drink copious amounts of fresh, clean water to help facilitate the movements of the new energies coming through you and be outdoors as much as possible. Practice deep breathing exercises each day to help move the new Pranic energies into your cells. Allow the expression of all that comes through you and observe what comes forth. You are reconnecting to skills, abilities and talents that have been dormant for a long time.”    Marlene Swetlishoff

 

So, in between sharing about my journey on this road I am on, I will be sending up a few flares for your consideration as we all float in this big boat of change.  What an exciting time to be in.

 

And again, I invite you to share your story with me.  How are you changing and what are you doing about it in your life? What are you learning?  We all need each other, as Marlene said, to cheer us on during this amazing time.

 

Blessings, Maya Christobel

Eddie! Or is it Eddy?

I wish I could say that I had fallen in love with some guy named Eddie.  The only Eddie I know is Eddie Haskell from Leave it to Beaver, and all I really remember about him is his annoying high pitched and grating voice.  A real whiner.  No, here I am referring to the eddy, those spots in a river that, on a long paddle, you look for to catch your breath. At least that is what I remember about canoeing.  My hope was for a calm eddy around the corner so I could get out of the current and take a breather.  Well, this memory of the benevolence of the eddy is being challenged and I am currently having quite a different experience.

For nearly 9 months I have dedicated my life to learning to live in the flow.  To live from a much more aware and intentional place in myself. To give my mind a vacation.  It has been both challenging and magical.  My most valuable compass has become practicing the art of navigating life from the heart, the intuition and that “gut feeling”.  Yet in this practice my heart is always accompanied by my mind trying to get control of the process and of the unknowing. My mind believes it can figure anything out and that it will make me feel better in the face of uncertainty.

So, the river of life I live in right now is moving at a speed that my little boat is having some difficulty navigating.  My mind just wanted to “eddie out” and consider my options.

My home base for the better part of a year has been a room in my daughters apartment in Asheville North Carolina, where a few of my things and my cats live when I am not here.  She and I have busted the illusion that mothers and daughters cannot co-habitate as adults and it has been a great time.  But, the lease is up here and Jessie is leaving for the Virgin Islands on her adventure and I am packing my few things, my cats and heading….hmmm….well that’s not clear.

I have many options but no one of them turns that inner light of knowing on or makes me feel inspired and certain.  Every choice that comes up on the radar sounds great:  More time with Film School in Seattle, going to the coastal town of Point Roberts and writing, Findhorn in Scotland, setting down some roots here in Asheville, creating community with new friends.  All these ideas of what is next for me seem great from my mind’s point of view, but my heart is quiet. I have lost my compass.

So, I did the most familiar thing I could do in the face of packing boxes and moving out in  five days from now.  Yep 5 days.  I decided to let my mind take over and make a solution.  Big mistake.  My lack of patience to wait for the answer kicked in my most primitive response.  Just figure it out.  You can do it Maya.  Just get that pad of paper and get those pro’s and con’s down and it will be clear what you should do next.  Big, very big mistake.  It was at this moment I began to eddy out of the river of my inspired life and discovered that an eddy if far more complicated than I had remembered.

An eddy is a place in a river where the water is “moving in a different direction or different speed” than the main current. Eddies are made by rocks in the river, outcroppings along the side, behind logs, bridge pilings, and also on the inside of bends or along the side of the river.  An “eddy line” is the part of the river that separates an eddy from the main current. Eddy lines can range from gentle changes of current, to violent, whirl-pool-causing obstacles. The speed, volume, and motion of the current will decide what type of eddy line is formed.

The eddy that was created, the moment my mind jumped into the front seat of my life was nothing short of a violent whirlpool of thinking.  I began to chew on every detail of why this and not that.  My pros and cons list graduated to a full sized dry erase board in my living room where I could move around all the factors in my life like on a chess board.  This process of “figuring it all out” became exhausting and took me just deeper down the rabbit hole of indecision.  All the while I am being churned around in the washing machine of my own thoughts, the river is just moving past me in it’s predictable and constant flow and always going somewhere.  In the end, I made myself sleepless, anxious and stuck.  I had forgotten my compass.

Right when I hit my breaking point I stumbled on a post on Facebook.  There was a black and white cartoon of a man in the darkness without a flashlight.  All you could see were his blinking eyes.  That was me!  The quote went something like this: “They say when one door closes, another door opens.  But these hallways are a bitch!”.  I was in the dark corridor between leaving something and beginning something and I did not like it.

So, with a week before I had to fill a car full of cats and belongings, find storage for my few other things and go to AAA to get a new set of maps and trip books, I came to a grinding halt in my process of efforting to discern the right thing to do.  I just stopped thinking. I gave up trying. What a relief.  My little boat broke loose of all the debris and obstacles that the mind had created and just silently drifted back into the rushing current of uncertainty.  I was allowing myself to simply not know.  Chop wood, carry water was for me “pack one box at a time” and not know where it was going.  Sleep returned and anxiety stopped. I allowed the vast knowing universe back into my process.

And I now spend time every day reminding myself of the joy of the journey, even if I do not know the destination.  And that is the key.  Letting go of the destination.

When most of us take trips we have a map or a tour guide.  Without the map we do what?  We drive down the road and if we get lost we ask directions (or at least I do).  But like most I had become dependent on knowing where I am going and getting the map out when I felt lost.  The map shows you what is ahead, when to turn, the distance and the constructions zones to avoid, all in the service of me getting from point A to point B.  I have a point A but no point B.  I wanted a map and my mind was going to make one. But in reality that is delusional.  How can anyone get a map from point A to nowhere?  This process of needing to know and have a destination stripped me of the very things I have been learning:  That I do not always know what is next and if I allow that unknowing to just “be” then, without exception, something breaks into my life that is new and magical.  My heart and my intuition know that but my mind had forgotten.

I had forced myself out of the flow of my own knowing and put myself purposefully into a place that was “moving in a different direction or different speed” than the main current.  Why?  Because I was afraid to not know.  I was afraid to make the “wrong” decision.  I was simply uncomfortable in limbo and unwilling to live with the discomfort. Fears were my “eddie line” separated me from the main current of life.

So, you might be waiting to hear what I have finally discovered that I will do come May 29th.  Me too!  I still have no idea.  I rededicated myself to the path that this entire year is about for me and I am waiting for the direction to emerge.  I am waiting and floating on the river with my heart as the rudder.  And until that feeling of joy and inspiration floods my very being, I am packing one box at a time, I am getting my oil changed, I am putting out requests, I am meditating on the very vision of why I am on this road in the first place:  To discover what makes me happy.  So stay tuned for the next chapter.