Time as Space

Time as Space

Being idle can do crazy things to a person. I don’t think humans are meant to be inactive for too long. We have a certain level of potential energy that’s begging to be transformed. Being in Japan and not working, I was expecting to be alone when we took this gig, but what was unexpected was a deeper understanding of time and my relationship to it. Most days here, I can fill with anything or with nothing, but idleness has shown me it isn’t time that moves, or expands and contracts, it is us.

We talk about time as passing, flying, or being spent. Time can permit; it can be killed or saved or freed. We have many idioms that we use, but common in most, is that it moves or flows, and we are inevitably swept up in its movement. When we talk about having free time, we are really talking about moments that aren’t bound by our expectation or obligation. So, I’m starting to think of time more as a container or a womb of empty space that is waiting to be filled than something that passes.

Time that is unbound is a tricky thing. And more often than not, it is never really unbound. Even when we are idle, it is being burdened by expectation, broken thoughts, and emotions that we bind with our identity. We focus on future concerns or past indiscretions. We say yes to things when we want to say no. We spend our time doing the dishes when we really want to be playing with our kids. We make small things into big things and ignore the big things in pursuit of the mundane.

For me initially, there was a certain paralysis that set in with an ample amount of unbound time. The same way that you get the worst service in a restaurant on a slow day. There is a sort of inertia that needs overcoming as you wait in anticipation for something to start. After all, if time flows, something is bound to be swept up in its current and make its way to you. Once you are moving though, it is easy to keep moving, but if there is no external push, that inertia can be insurmountable. Especially if you are waiting for it to happen to you instead of you leaving your imprint on it.

“Life gives you plenty of time to do whatever you want to do if you stay in the present moment”.
~ Deepak Chopra

In my old understanding, there were days that I lived ‘better’ than others. I’ve run daily for weeks only to be followed by a day of day drinking and three days of watching Netflix. I’d spent hours in meditation, written a book I’ve yet to publish, started a screenplay, two blogs, and a fledgling podcast. Some of which I still work on, and some I quit as the novelty wore off. I’ve played guitar, made lotion, joined a book club, and dabbled in Japanese. And I’ve spent more time on Twitter than I care to admit. Some of these things made me feel productive while others made me feel guilty because there was nothing tangible to show for it. So I was left with the question – What makes a moment worth living?

I’ve done some interesting things, but I’ve also been envious when I look at some people around me who have accomplished careers and material success. I thought about how they decided to fill their containers.  They have been consistently (consciously or unconsciously) filling the space with the same things over and over without getting distracted or bored. Maybe they were both and decided to push through anyway, deciding to bind their time in specific ways to meet specific ends.

I started this blog a few weeks back, and at that moment, it was clear that discipline and consistency were precisely what I needed. I thought that commitment to consistency was the antithesis of grandeur and novelty. It was undoubtedly the way to keep any feelings of guilt at bay for not being productive. I needed a container for my chaos, and that container was intentionally bound time.

Then, after reading Civilized to Death by Christopher Ryan, who critiques and questions our outward drive for material things and success in the name of perpetual progress. Instead, contending that what really makes a life worth living is meaning and connection, I was reminded of my usual thinking. Historically, I’ve tended to apply a more Epicurean philosophy, “Not what we have, but what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance.” So with his reminder, my pendulum started to swing back the other way.

“Of all the means to ensure happiness throughout the whole life, by far the most important is the acquisition of friends.”
~ Epicurus

I’ve always struggled between a life of ticking all the expected boxes and a general fuck-itness of the status quo. Usually acknowledging that a both/and rather than an either/or approach to things is the most meaningful. So, I like conceptualizing time in this way because it reminds me that how I fill the space is a choice. We can get so caught up in the idea that time happens to us, that we forget it is ultimately the individual that fills the container. And even when we have external obligations, it is our framing that drives the nature of the experience.

So lately, I’ve become more mindful of the quality of content that I add to the container. As it is the quality that matters, not merely the outcome. Admittedly, quality is a subjective measure where I am the arbiter, not society. That is why all the great sages and spiritual teachers talk about being in the present. It’s an awareness of the space that is and the contents held within it. The Zen master, Shunryu Suzuki, says, “Time goes from present to past.” Meaning we can talk about doing something after dinner, but that moment only occurs when it’s occurring, and then it is past. There is no other. 

Maybe that is where the word fulfillment comes from. The idea that we fill our space with something meaningful or meaningless. And this can either add or detract from our sense of connection and purpose which is derived from both the experiential and the tangible. Leaving space for consistent, goal-oriented pursuits and the occasional day drinking with friends. For what matters is our presence and the quality of the expansion or contraction of self in the container of time.

(c) Can Stock Photo / Suljo

Seeing the Sacred

Seeing the Sacred

I know that social media isn’t very good for me, nor is obsessing over the news. And yet, I find myself not being able to look away. While I do think it is important to be informed, what am I really gaining from being so immersed in it?  I can’t help but think from an energetic perspective that while my mind thinks I can stay above the fray – where is my energy? If I’m spending even a portion of my day swearing at my computer because of all the craziness, clearly I’m deeply entrenched in it all.  I need to remember to reboot my system and I decided that my antidote to all this mayhem is to stop myself and take a moment to see the sacred – every day and as needed.

What is the Sacred?

Now for me, the sacred means connecting with the essence of something. It means stripping away all of the pretense and narrative and being with the beauty and purity of the moment. It can be a single moment or a collection of them but its really about recognizing the divinity in something. Sometimes that means stripping away a lot of layers but most of the time it is just witnessing what’s right there in front of me. 

So while it can definitely be during times of prayer or meditation, for me finding the sacred does not have to happen at a church or at my altar. I find the most sacred moments are those that just sneak up on me. Like when I’m reading with my son and he just snuggles in a little closer. Or the brief moments when he holds my hand while we are walking, something he rarely does anymore now that he’s approaching eleven. I often find it in nature too, but again it doesn’t have to be on a hike. There is this green ivy that crawls along my balcony wall and often birds will come and play in it singing their songs. To me that is sacred. It’s a beautiful and pure moment stripped down to its essence.

Wherever you are be all there.

~ Jim Elliot

I think we miss a lot of these moments in our lives. After all, I can go on a hike surrounded by beauty and be thinking the whole time about what groceries I need to get for dinner that night. Then, there can be times when I’m walking down the sidewalk and I fall in love with a single flower that grows through a crack in the asphalt. That’s what seeing the sacred is all about, finding the beauty between the cracks. Being able to be awed by that one perfect moment.

See the Awe-some

I’ve thought a lot about what makes a moment sacred and I’ve boiled it down to what I call the three As. Attention, appreciation, and awe. If I’m not paying attention, I miss the sacred. It might just be a little blip on the divine radar and if I’m focused on all the cracks, I might miss the flower. And let’s face it, sometimes those cracks deserve our attention too. The next element is appreciation. I have this silly thing that I do when I see the birds enjoying my balcony. I say out loud, “Thank you for sharing your space with me”. My loudness depends on who’s listening, I may be thankful, but I acknowledge I also sound a little crazy. This is my way of giving a tip of my hat to the moment and to the creature that is sharing it with me. The last thing is acknowledging the awe that is born out of the other two. Gratitude and mindfulness are the parents of awe. 

There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle. The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt is awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.

~ Albert Einstein

I describe this feeling as my heart opening and I can feel it reaching out to envelop the sacred. It is almost like it is creating the container to hold the moment but in doing so it is also transformed by it. It is the experience of the divinity in me melding with the divinity all around me. Sometimes it reaches out far enough that it takes my breath away a little. I think the more sacred we can find in the regular moments is how we stay sane in all of this. Awe and frustration can’t occupy the same space.

So I encourage you to find your sacred too. Maybe it’s in your favorite piece of poetry or an opera. Or the color of the fall leaves or the song of the little bird that lands on your balcony. As I write this I can hear the noon bells from the church below. There is a sacredness in their sound too. It’s all around us if we are looking.

(c) Can Stock Photo / ipopba

Spirit Whispers from Echo Rock

Spirit Whispers from Echo Rock

 The Sound of my own wheels making me Crazy

In my travels across North America I’ve experienced a great deal of solitude. I’ve driven countless hours, gazing upon the Natural wonders and ever changing landscapes. The endless pursuit of a beautiful, yet elusive horizons. My internal dialogue as haunting as the sound of my own wheels making me crazy. It was on an open stretch of road in Wisconsin that I was overcome with loneliness, my spirit longing for companionship. There was an aching within my heart, as my vision began to blur with tears.

It became difficult to see the road, so I pulled over and relinquished to this rise of emotions. The sense of despair so pervasive, I found myself turning to prayer. My prayer was to our world, to Spirit and to the heavens beyond. My wish was for relief of this intense sadness and to not feel so alone. The unrelenting sense of loneliness had overwhelmed and demoralized me. I wish for a sign, some kind of message from Spirit. After some time had passed, I began to regain my composure, taking solace in the beautiful scenery before me. High above the land rose sandstone formations that seemed to touch the sky. These formations appeared as ancient guardians of a valley that stretched to the horizon.

A sign drew my attention as though it were a beacon, “Mirror Lake”

My Campsite at Mirror Lake, Wisconsin I’d grown weary of driving, and of this despair. Rest is on my mind as I sought a place of respite for the night. Just ahead, a sign drew my attention as though it were a beacon, “Mirror Lake” it read. Such a profound name I thought, a synchronicity that I must not ignore. So I charted my course toward the campgrounds at Mirror Lake Park, there I will rest for the evening. Upon arriving I stopped at the rangers station, and secured my site. As I drove towards the campsite, I became immersed in a beautiful forest. I retreated into nature which gives me a great sense of peace. It was as though I traveled back in time, to when life was much more simple.

Once settled in, I shared my location on social media to let friends and family know of my day’s progress. A message came from my sister with a link to a hiking trail leading to a place called Echo Rock. What a mysterious name I thought, maybe this is exactly where I’m supposed to be? That evening I made a campfire, and held a small ceremony around it. The forest became very active under a star filled sky. In the nearby woods I heard cracking and stepping sounds that were approaching my site. I became a bit spooked, and retreated to the relative safety of my camper for the remainder of that night.

Searching for the mysterious Echo Rock

I awoke the next morning to beautiful sunshine, a warm summers day. The first thought on my mind was to search for the mysterious Echo Rock. Maybe there will be an experience waiting for me, if I follow my intuition? I began walking along the forest road and it wasn’t long before I came upon a trailhead sign pointing the way. Echo rock was only a short distance along a forest trail which follows the shoreline of mirror Lake.

I walked along the path taking in the sights and sounds of this scenic trail. Ahead, the land rises in a high mound with trees along its peak. I took the lower trail which took me along the waters edge, and ancient sandstone formation to my right. Here it was, rising from the forest floor, I had found Echo Rock.

The Rock’s surface was unusual, the elements have sculpted its façade over the eons. I contemplated all the earth changes that this rock has witnessed. I noticed names and inscriptions carved into the stone of the many visitors who have gravitated here. Some of the carvings date back well over a century. I felt my way a long its walls, wanting so much to learn from its wisdom. As I searched over the stone for anything that would provide me with some kind of profound knowledge, but there was only silence. I felt disappointment, as I began thinking that my intuition was wrong. Maybe there was nothing here for me to discover?

I made my way around Echo Rock until I finally had come full circle

Echo Rock I made my way around Echo Rock until I finally had come full circle. There I noticed a slight trail leading up to the mounds summit. Drawn to it and I began making my way along the gently rising path. The area above felt playful, happy and in every way an enchanted forest.

I closed my eyes and began to hear the whisper of Spirits Area above Echo Rock, at Mirror Lake Once I arrive at the very top, I turned to face all the directions, admiring the beautiful scenery and views of Mirror Lake. I gazed up at the forest’s canopy and the earth seemed to spin a bit. A slight dizziness came over me, and I felt compelled to place the small of my back firmly against one of the trees. Feeling ungrounded, I began to take some deep meditative breaths. I closed my eyes and began to hear the whisper of Spirits all around me. Confused, I opened my eyes to scan the area and could see that I was completely alone. I settled back into the tree, and it was then that I experienced a wave of messages.

It began as whispers, that were nearby and yet all around me

It began as whispers, that were nearby and yet all around me. I heard many different male and female voices. At times one voice would complete another’s sentence, just as twins often do. In other moments the voices all spoke in unison. Theses spirits have a collective consciousness and were speaking as One.

Their first message was to reassure me that I was never alone. No matter the situation, they are always present, and always supporting me. I was overcome with emotion, and my heart expanded. This was a direct response to my desperate prayers on the previous day, when I had felt so alone! I am loved unconditionally by the spirits and my life matters to them. I would define their voices as belonging to a Collective Council of Divine Spirits who are the Creators of our Natural world.

Humanity is unaware of Earth’s true constructs

The subject shifted as they began to share information and concepts that I found difficult to understand. Their first revelation was that the Natural world is essentially a three dimensional Hologram. All life on Earth has been intelligently designed. The evidence is not only found within an organism’s DNA but also in the fact that this blueprint actually exists. The literal progression of divine creativity manifested in the physical world, the evidence found within all of Creation. Natural selection, is actually the result of a divine intelligence’s experimentations that lead to manifesting conscious selections. Variations within species are sometimes a product of aesthetics, beauty and preferences not solely based on functionality.

The holographic program provides humanity with limitless information and continual guidance. Within the natural world, animals serve an integral roles within this wonderous design and functionality of this holographic ecosystem. Furthermore, animals will respond to us in a positive way and recognize our true divinity, once we are fully conscious. The divine council’s preferred method of communications with humanity is through the Natural World. This has enlightened me as to why Nature has always served as man’s earliest and foremost teacher.

A war is being waged over humanity’s future

The physical world was created with such perfection that humanity is unaware of Earth’s true construct. The hologram is like a dream world that we are unable to recognize. In essence our world is similar to the Matrix theory, but never with the intention of keeping humanity under its control. However the potential for abuses and subversions are real and present. The divine creators did not intend for such interference but antagonistic forces have permeated the hologram’s construct.

The Divine beings are engaged in a war that is being waged over humanity’s future. A war that is consequently coming to a conclusion, perhaps even within our lifetime. A message followed that some human beings are not what they appear to be. The explanation is, while human beings are all the same species, aside from certain genetic manipulations, we vary in our soul origins. The souls or spirits of humans come from a multitude of star nations and dimensions. All these energies have assembled here on Mother Earth for a multitude of Divine purposes.

The outcome of this Global conflict is of Critical Importance

There are human beings who are influenced and manipulated by antagonistic energies. The intentions of these forces or energies, are to subvert humanity for their own interests. Since Nature is central to divine communications, adversaries seek to destroy as much of the natural world as possible. The greater purpose is to diminish the influence of the collective council of Divine beings. The Antagonist energies are responsible for many of humanity’s imbalances and the ongoing assault waged upon our Mother Earth.

I accept that there is a higher purpose for this war, because I trust in the divine Collective beings. Admittedly though, I don’t understand the complexities or why it’s necessary for this to play out. The conflict over our world has occurred on other planets throughout time. The outcome and higher purpose of this conflict is of great importance to All. I was assured that my contributions, along with those of countless fellow Human Star Seeds, matters greatly. The Collective Council of Divine Beings Love humanity unconditionally, as we are integral to their creation design and plan. They are working continuously to assist us. Consequently, for reasons I don’t fully understand, our destinies are mutually interconnected with our divine Creators.

A Collective Council for Mankind

Envision with me, a society that builds consensus, operates from Love, respects Natural Law and holds the Natural world sacred. Its been several years now since this life changing experience occurred at Echo Rock on Mirror Lake. I am very grateful for the love and profound messages that the Divine Beings bestowed on me. As a result, my views on religion and the constructs of our society are forever changed. My understanding of our Creator or (GOD), has diverged from the popular monotheistic views. I now recognize a Collective Council of Divine Creators, who speak as One.

In reflecting upon this single distinction, I ponder the countless profound implications of this view.  Consequently, could this knowledge eventually free humanity from the monotheistic, patriarchal paradigms and systems that have imprisoned us all? Can we raise our collective consciousness in this pivotal period, and in time to avoid our current global trajectory of destruction?

Imagine our world breaking free from all the controls and limitations of existing World governments.  These systems of control abandoned for individual enlightenment and a shared Collective Consciousness. A conscious evolution of humanity, striving for a tangible relationship with our Creators. A relationship based on active listening, respect, Cocreation, gratitude and Love. We are at a pivotal time in our evolution, which will determine our future survival. We have the opportunity to Mirror our Creators, adopting the wisdom of the Collective Council of Divine Creators. We have the potential to evolve into a society that builds consensus, operates from Love, respects Natural Law and holds the Natural world sacred.  Ah-Ho

The Curious Case of The Addict & The Victim

The Curious Case of The Addict & The Victim

A recent podcast on this topic.

We all have a little of the Addict archetype in us. It would be hard not to in a capitalist society whose sole purpose is to manufacture need and desire. I know when I say addict, you are thinking of your alcoholic uncle or some using crack who can’t function without their drug of choice. But I’m talking about the Addict as an archetype, and everyone has a little bit in them.

Not convinced?

How many times have you checked your phone today? Facebook? What about binge-watching Netflix? Have you ever found yourself hitting the ‘play next’ button because you didn’t want to wait the few seconds for it to happen naturally? Have you ever called shopping your retail therapy? Or headed for the ice cream after a particularly emotional day? You see the Addict can be as obvious as the junky getting high under the bridge or as insidious as revisiting your Instagram post every time it pings.

Carl Jung described archetypes as universal patterns of behavior that are embedded in our collective unconscious. These models or ‘inherited potentials’ become activated through interactions and experiences. Most of our movies and contemporary literature are shaped after the plight and triumphs of the Hero. Most of our personal tragedies are processed at some point by our Victim. In our collective experience, we witness the Villains, the Bullies, and even a few with a Messiah complex. I won’t mention any names.

It’s worth noting that not all engagements with substances or activities are unbalanced. If you go to a bar and have a couple of drinks to shoot the shit with a friend, that isn’t necessarily the Addict’s work. It is the attachment or the need/desire of something that is used to alter your current experience. If you take a breath and think about it, you know the difference.

You know.

The Addict’s desire has a palpable feel to it, and there is noticeable relief once we indulge. 

My Addict has had different afflictions over the years; some have passed, and some are still at the forefront of my experience. But regardless of the vice of choice, my Addict still holds some sway, though less and less as I figure out what makes her tick.

I realized that my Addict had two main functions in my life. The first being to disrupt order. My Addict thrives in chaos and actively tries to recruit people to join me in it. And trust me, she is pretty convincing. But as I went down this rabbit hole, I realized that employing chaos was just a ruse for the real mission. And that mission was to protect my Victim. It is no secret that people use vices as a means of distraction or escape from despair, trauma, or stress. Humans are uncomfortable being uncomfortable, and the Addict is an expert at distraction. But my Addict, though good at distraction, was really about keeping me small.

I found in my coaching work that people either feared success or feared failure, and the root cause was really the same. They had a desire to stay small. The masculine perversion of this is to remain small so that one stays unnoticed, and there will be no damage to the ego. If you don’t try, you can’t fail or succeed, and either way, there will be no scrutiny and no criticism. The feminine perversion stays small and seeks enablers to join her pity party. This isn’t an either-or proposition, sometimes we have perversions of both. My Addict wanted everyone to hang out in the chaos, so none of us needed to try. And also wished to promote inconsistency and non-commitment to ensure my Big Self didn’t draw any unnecessary attention. Whatever the strategy, my Addict remained the humble servant of my Victim. 

The fun thing about archetypes is that they aren’t all bad. There are empowered versions of them too. Once we reach into our subconscious and explore how they show up and impact our lives, they move from the shadows into the light. They have the opportunity to reach their inherent potential. We gain conscious choice and choice is powerful. The empowered Addict also brings with it a deep sense of compassion. Especially once we acknowledge that its primary mission is protection. We’ve all experienced suffering and trauma at the hands of someone else. We all know what it feels like to want to distract or escape from our pain.

We all make mistakes.

The light side of our Addict knows this and can show support and compassion for those that are struggling.

So the next question for me was, if the Addict protects my Victim, then how do I heal it? When I sat with this question in meditation, the message was simple. Stop protecting it. The only way for my Victim to become healthy and strong was to incrementally put myself out there. To sit with the uncomfortable feelings of scrutiny and potential critique and let it be. And when the sense of ‘not-enoughness’ shows up, I acknowledge it and surrender.

I let in and let go.

And when I feel the itchy energy of my Addict arising wanting to distract or dissuade, I use the tools I have, namely meditation and exercise, to transmute that energy. Those are the jewels of my Victim in her empowered state. She knows how to set healthy boundaries, has tools to deal with difficult feelings, and can re-write her story, so it serves my highest and best self. 

So I will keep my focus and intention on consistency and commitment to those things that serve my Big, and best self. I chose those words because they seem to be the opposite intention of my disempowered Addict and Victim. I know I still have work to do. I just binged watched the entire season of 13 Reasons Why before I got around to writing this post. Clearly,  I’m still a work in progress. But I’ll continue to do my best and use compassion when I don’t. 

Who does your Addict serve? And what are they afraid of?


(c) Can Stock Photo / Kuzmaphoto

What World Do You Want to Live In?

What World Do You Want to Live In?

We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same. ~Carlos Castaneda

In a recent podcast by Sam Harris, he interviewed Jonathan Haidt on his new book, The Coddling of the American Mind. They talked about our current culture of boycotts, call-outs, de-platforming, and outrage. A culture where the social prestige from doing so is a form of currency. Sam Harris often talks about the, ‘what kind of world do you want to live in test’ and do these actions take us to that world. I pondered this question over the past couple of weeks and here are my thoughts.

I want to live in a world where we can still be whole people and loved even in the face of our fallibility. Where a person can mess up and still be forgiven. Where a person can be vulnerable and intimate and risk not choosing the right words in doing so. Where a carefully crafted response is not a substitute for authenticity. I think of the times that I have been out of line, or irreverent and am thankful I have people in my life who can see all of me. Even see past the unsavory and still love me and call me their friend. I’m scared we are losing the ability to hold space for the whole human, unpolished and raw.  Especially in our online world, we shove people in boxes of pro-life or pro-choice, red or blue and reduce them down to a single cause, group or ideology to determine if they are with us or against us. We now gather and identify in groups not only based in commonality but the common enemy.

I want to live in a world that allows for complex conversations and nuance. A  place where dualities exist and it is okay for people to hold two ideas at the same time even if they don’t fit nicely into a narrative. Where someone can sit with another’s apparent contradiction and not use it as an opportunity to call them out or gain social prestige. A world where nobody is forced to live in a black or white polarity, they can be Christian, pro-gun, pro-choice, and pro-gay marriage and that speaks to their thoughtfulness and self-reflection rather than their hypocrisy.

I want to live in a world where people can acknowledge their wounds but not have to lose their agency. A world where we’ve unplugged from the story of our powerlessness and into one of collaboration and cooperation as we build a better one. We lose so much when we choose to rally around victimhood as our path to equality. In viewing things through the lens of our wounds, we create more of want we don’t want – abuses of power and control. Birthing something new requires a new story of empowerment for all, not just a group.

I want to live in a world that is just and not necessarily fair.  In a just world, we own our own will, meaning that we have the right and the equal opportunity to make our own choices. Fairness, on the other hand, is about equality of outcome based on a subjective opinion on how we think things should be. There is nothing to be gained from forcing people to act in a certain way, not allowing them to speak or shaming them into compliance. Free speech and expression of our own will are hard to retrieve once they have been lost. I’m not prepared to concede to a world that is subject to a certain individual or group’s beliefs about how things should look. We are not entitled to have our feelings protected, however, we are entitled to freedom of speech. We shouldn’t so easily put our wellbeing in the hands of others, letting their words or actions affect us unless it is truly warranted.  I’d rather live in a world where we risk offending someone but can have an open, and honest debate, then jeopardize our ability to do so.

I want to live in a world where compassion, kindness, and forgiveness are of the highest value. A place where we extend good faith to others rather than assume malicious intent. I remember reading somewhere that forgiveness is when you are able to pull your energy out of the situation. So when that situation no longer consumes your attention and resources then you’ve shifted into a state of forgiveness. How can we ever do that if we have to confirm and re-affirm our stances on things and stay focused on our past wounding, rather than healing and moving on to construct something better?

In this time of great revealing which I know is a necessary step, I hope we can think about where we want all of this to go. It has to be about more than just revealing and tearing down what we don’t like – forgiveness, and paths to redemption need to be part of the conversation. We have to think about the world we want to create and I don’t know where you hope we end up, but is our current trajectory taking us there?

I’d love to hear your thoughts about the world you’d like to live in.

Death & Re-Birth: A Bat’s Message

Death & Re-Birth: A Bat’s Message

I am visited by bats nightly here in Japan. Every evening as the sun begins to fade the bats fly out over our balcony ready to feed. They are whisper quiet as they swoop and dive for their night’s meal. I regard bats as magical creatures, they teach us about the importance of embracing death in our lives. This isn’t just physical death, but the letting go of ideas and patterns that no longer fit.

In preparing for our two-year journey to Japan, my family and I went through everything that we owned and accumulated over the past ten years (or longer) and decided what we were ready to let go of. I told people that this was a continual lesson in surrender. Because as I looked over everything, it wasn’t just stuff I was looking at, but little pieces of my identity that I accumulated along the way. Old college notebooks, and textbooks that I just kept packing from place to place. Not realizing that I was packing around fragments of my ego that I kept trapped in a box. I decided to release those items realizing that holding on to them was no longer necessary to satisfy the idea of who I thought I was or should be. I honored that and grieved the loss as I shed the ideas and expectations of past versions of myself. This is what surrender is, a deep acceptance of what is rather than the illusion.

Before moving here, I was often asked, “But what are you going to do when you get there?” Frankly, I have not figured that out nor do I feel rushed to. I wanted to go into this experience without any pre-conceived ideas of what my life would look like. I do know that in moving to Japan I was ready to let many aspects of my current life die. So each night as I watch the bats, I am reminded of that choice. But I also know that in death, rebirth and renewal are what follows. This process has not been instantaneous which I am grateful for. Some death can be painful and abrupt, this has been gentle and thoughtful.

So, a month into this new chapter, these are the questions that I will sit with:

  1. What within me is ready to die?
  2. What within me is ready to be alive?

 

Just a little footnote. The question, ‘what within me is ready to be alive?’ is a question author and friend,  Jacob Nordby has asked me several times and I wanted to give him credit for such a great question.

(c) Can Stock Photo / mbolina