SUPERSTITION and old tapes ...SEPT 2019
I was recently told by my neighbor that "it doesn't matter to us, but just so you know, the big plant you are growing behind your house is considered to be bad luck." I had been told before that this particular plant was used by people in Kerala, the neighboring state from which many people now live here in Tamil Nadu, but that Tamils don’t really like it. It's a huge plant that grows quickly. It's taller than me and has thick stalks with these amazing architectural flowers lined in purple. They are used for puja by both states, but for some reason the Tamils in general don't grow it. They buy it when needed for special pujas, whereas I think Keralites let it grow and use it regularly. I like the plant and the local woman who helps me at my house is from Kerala so she likes it too. I’ve decided to keep it...perhaps just a bit more under control.
I didn’t grow up with that superstition so it doesn’t bother me. I find that most superstitions originated in some truth but through the generations and changing times, there isn't much truth left to most of them. Yet people still react to them, many without even knowing why...it’s just always been that way.
Our ego is a little bit the same with the old tapes that run through our minds. At one point in our life they were probably true to some extent. But now, years later, they are just old tapes running over and over just because that's what's always played. Abraham, through Esther Hicks, often says "Beliefs are just thoughts you think over and over again."When we are able to catch these tapes and asks ourselves "is this really true?" we often find, if we can step away from the habitual emotional reaction, that often no, it's not true any longer.
So many people are doing the work to heal themselves and often they find that same old patterns are still showing up. My advice would be to look at whether this "problem" is still the actual problem, or if there is something else going on that is jumping onto the bandwagon of this old tape because the path is so well worn. For instance, let's say you've always struggled with emotional eating. You've done a ton of research and you know what is good and not good for your body, so the nutritional knowledge is there. You are also aware in the moment when you are emotionally eating. Yet it seems to continue even after all these years...it’s “just what I do.” But is this your only choice now at this point in life? My suggestion is to take the focus off the reaction/eating (which is just a well-worn way of reacting to almost anything) and look at it from a different perspective. What are you trying to fulfill in that moment...is it boredom, sadness, anxiety, are you trying to push down your own voice? What just happened that triggers this reaction in you? Is that where the actual issue is?
You can begin to approach it in a couple of different ways. If eating is inevitable then you clear out your house/bag of junk food and stock it with nutritious food/snacks. So when you grab something out of desperation it is not harming you as much. This will start to change the pattern slightly due to the taste being different. Maybe keep things that aren’t as sweet or tasty...like carrots or unsweetened banana chips. You’ll be less likely to overindulge but your mouth will have something to chew. What is it that you are chewing on internally? Secondly, you stop and figure out what else you can do to fulfill that space. If it's boredom perhaps you can take a walk, clean your closet, color...find a different pathway to fulfill that need. If you realize that what you're really doing is stuffing down your own voice then it's time to look at that issue more closely.
If this pattern started as a child you probably didn’t have other resources to fulfill the need. But now as an adult you do. How would you curb your own child’s desire for sweets as emotional support? You would probably offer something else or try to distract them or ask them questions about their emotions...for their own good. You would look at the innocence of their reaction and not judge it but give them other ways to respond. Can you do this for your own inner child? Yes, it's hard. It takes awareness and self-determination. But at this point you have all the tools and resources to stop yourself from eating unnecessarily...it's just an old tape running habitually now. When you think of it in this way sometimes it is easier to take control.
Don’t let old tapes continue to run your life. Find the innocence in the original nature of the behavior and know now that you've matured beyond that. Step up and into your power of choice and create some new tapes.
I've questioned myself along the way if I am "missing out" on something by not fostering friendships or romantic relationships for the past few years. But when I really sit and be still and check in with what I feel like on the inside I always realize that I really am okay being alone. My community will grow around me in the necessary way as long as I stay present and flowing. Getting out and sharing with people and groups is good for me for integration and stabilization. It is an ego boost but more in a way of confirmation and less in the way of pride or arrogance. I understand too, that this may change, as life often does, and I may find myself nurturing relationships once again.
I don't really have any desire for a romantic relationship anymore. I also no longer have feelings of unworthiness or not being lovable. I believe the those two statements are related in some way.
Divine feminine...December 2017
It is often said Jesus had 12 disciples...this is common knowledge in Christianity. In some of my research it is stated that each male disciple was married (which seems obvious as what man in that day and time wouldn't be married?) and the wife was considered a disciple of the same caliber (which also seems obvious, yet...)...and that there were many others considered disciples including Mary Magdalene, Mary of Bethany and Mariam of Mount Carmel. All women were held in equal esteem and reverence and it was mutually understood the sacred roles of men and women They also understood that living life was a matter of understanding energy - feminine and masculine became labels of this energy - and that these energies were just housed in female and male bodies but that the gender of the bodies didn't really matter (other than for procreation), it was more about the different energies harmonizing and merging into divine union with Oneness, regardless of this being between man and woman, man and man or woman and woman.
I do not know if this is true or not. I wasn't there...neither was anyone reading this post. But it seems quite possibly true...if this part of the Bible story were kept and taught, this one piece, what effect would that have had on every upbringing in a Christian household? community? country? In the world as a whole? What if it was understood that both men AND women are and always have been equally necessary, respected and revered as a matter of Life and Humanity on this Earth. My how life would be different for each of us humans!
We can't go backwards in this realm...but trust youme...we are moving forward...put your seatbelts on folks, the ride has just begun...'tis the Season to celebrate the life of Jesus (as we all know he was born more around the time of April but it was easier to convert the Pagans to Christianity having a holiday closer to their solstice celebration in December) and all those involved in his life
In Hinduism there is Devi, the book about her is Devi Bhagavatam. Devi is the ultimate Creatrix. She is the ocean that Vishnu lies upon. She is there before all. In Egypt there is Sekhmet, a fierce warrior goddess. This is the one I know the least about. I am sure in most religions, somewhere back in history, there is the revered Divine Feminine. It's all coming to the surface now. Ancient texts are being discovered...and perhaps even more so, we as humans are re-membering. 2016 Bali
IT'S TIME...IT'S TIME...July 2019
I do not claim to know how anyone else should be living their life. I do not claim to be some significant being that was sent here to save humanity. I do not claim to be a spiritual teacher, as I do not believe spirituality can be taught. This mostly leaves me with a lack of words to use to describe myself…particularly when I need to do some sort of marketing for my livelihood.
Don’t mistake this for saying that I don’t think much of myself. I do. I think I am an amazing Being who has had incredible life experiences; a risk-taker; somewhat fearless; a determined seeker of the Truth of my own being; a reluctant mirror to many; a strong independent thinker; a fully sensual woman who does not fear this aspect of herself. I like to share what I’ve learned along my journey. I like to witness the transformations of people I have guided. I like to live comfortably. I have no shame in asking for remuneration for my services, knowing my history of time, effort, blood, sweat and tears that I’ve put into my journey…and due to all of this, knowing the pureness of my heart in offering. I do things differently than most. I’m not the most intelligent, beautiful or disciplined person that I know…I do not aim to be. My only aim is to be that which I already am.
This which I am has been whispering to me for years, and now has catapulted to the forefront of my mind, screaming in my ears, choking me in my throat…”It’s time. It’s time.” I’ve struggled with how to let it out…I’ve been encouraged by so many and yet I don’t feel I have a hold on “my voice”. My voice seems to change often…I think one way, then I learn more and I think a different way. How to present My Voice if there is no guarantee that it will stand the test of time.
Stay still. Unmoving. Stagnant. None of these describe me so why would I continue to wait for this supposed stability of Voice? I cannot wait anymore. I will move through the fear of being questioned about my changing beliefs. What I write is True in the moment I write it. I take responsibility for that. It may change in a week, a month, a year, a decade…and I will take responsibility then as well
DEATH...NOTES FROM INDIA...July 2018
The call to visit Varanasi has been strong for months. There are a lot of stories around why people venture to Varanasi but the two themes that seem to keep coming up for this visit are honoring my ancestors in a way that then allows me to move beyond any energetic holdings that are ingrained in my DNA, and secondly, the idea of death.
Maybe it's my age, but death seems to be more and more a part of my life. It's no longer grandparents and distant cousins who pass, but more so parents, aunts and uncles, and now even siblings, children and peers...my own generation and those closest to them.
Dealing with death came early in life. My father passed when I was 12. He had been sick for about 3 years and in the innocence of a 12 year old mind I remember thinking, "well, he's 44, he's had a long life." At 35 my 65 year old mother passed, and the only thought was that she was much too young to be gone. At 43, my "second mother" passed away at 68, leaving a family that was still recovering from the loss of her 36 year old son 7 years prior. My brother-in-law passed just last February, at 58, only 10 years my elder. Observing my sister and her two adult children, thoughts about how much life is yet to come for them, and how much he was expected to be a part of all of it ran for days. Last week Facebook announced the sudden death of a high school friend's 19 year old son: one of life's worst nightmares for a parent. Watching loved ones currently battle disease make it impossible to not think about death and what it will be like to not have them on this physical plane of life.
Although it has been painful each time death has presented itself, there is a general sense of calm around it all, knowing there is so much more than the physical body. This comes from my feet being firmly on my path and from touching emptiness, thus knowing where my Truth lies.
The "death" that draws me to Varanasi has nothing to do with anyone's physical body. The death of my own seemingly important identity has looked me in the mirror a few times in my life, and it's doubtfully finished. Sometimes it feels like a craving - to just wipe the entire slate clean and begin again, in a different job, a new city, a new country. There's not much attachment to places, things or even people. This doesn't mean there isn't care about anything or anyone, it just means I have been blessed, in my opinion, with an understanding that nothing lasts. NOTHING. NO THING. It hasn't been that way all my life, but definitely for the past 10 years or so.
Each time the slate is cleared more of my True Nature emerges. Because the illusion about how life is "supposed" to be and the delusions about who I am "supposed" to be have diminished, it gets easier each time to let go and move on. There aren't big expectations of anything in particular happening in Varanasi, I just know I've been "dying" at top speed this past year and it almost feels like visiting the place where people go to die will be a welcoming home.
There must be death and destruction in order for there to be (re)birth and (re)creation. Each existence is part of this continuous cycle, intricately personal and vastly impersonal. It is awe-inspiring, breathtaking, heartbreaking, and deeply beautiful at a level not even consciously understood sometimes.
SUICIDE AND DEPRESSION
It’s interesting to observe the reaction to suicide. Such a jolting and violent slap in the face when we hear of it. So many questions around why and how, and a fascination with learning the details. So much depression. Don't be fooled thinking it's just Americans...depression is worldwide, although may not be "diagnosed" as such. (suppression of women & minorities, sexual repression of both men & women, political/emotional/physical oppression = depression of humanity)
I carried my own depression as a teenager up until my 30s. I didn’t know it was depression (I thought it was just my lot in life) until my 20s when I went through therapy. I continued to battle with it until around 33 when I found my spiritual path…spiritual not religious…and since then depression hasn’t visited me. Deep diving into emotions and funks can come through occasionally, but nothing where I feel like I can’t keep my head above water. Now it is more about experiencing the ebb & flow of life.
Fortunately for me suicide was never a thought or option in my mind. There was something inside of me that “knew” life had more to offer. I couldn't voice it but it definitely took control when necessary. For awhile I believed this “more to offer” would be given through being involved with the entertainment business, where it seemed one could have everything they wanted. Money, luxury and fame were presented to me, but again something inside of me “knew” that wasn’t the ultimate offering of life. Working in the entertainment field I was exposed to countless people who seemingly “had it all” but inside were desperate to fill the black hole inside of them. I too felt lonely in the midst of so much excess.
Finally, at 32 I found my way to my first spiritual teacher in NYC. She helped me to connect to this piece that always “knew” there was more. It took about 4 years of emotional digging to get there. Once I touched this piece within me & realized I/it was connected to everything and everyone, I have never gone into depression again…and I soon realized that a sense of loneliness/disconnection is where my depression had its foundation. I wasn’t connected to my True Self/Essence/Life Force, and therefore couldn’t maintain real connection anywhere else in life.
Loneliness was not because I spent so much time alone, in fact I rarely was by myself. I had a big family, lots of friends and in my 20s was in a long-term relationship and had an active social life…but I often felt lonely, even sleeping right next to someone. I tried with everything I had to turn my thoughts around, but they were too strong. I would look to others to bring me happiness, fulfillment, love…and sometimes it worked, but what came from the external was fleeting. And then I would go back to darkness. I was a smart, ambitious, beautiful young woman who could accomplish anything she wanted, this was evident to others…but all I saw was an average woman that must be extra fantastic to be worthy of any attention or accolades. And so that’s how I was…extra fantastic at work, extra fantastic as a girlfriend, extra fantastic as a friend, unconsciously hoping this would lead to what I thought would be a feeling of connection/belonging. Through all of this grasping I was lonely for my Self, disconnected from my Life Force.
The piece inside of me that “knew” there was more waited patiently in the background for the first 3 decades of my life. And then she came to the forefront with not a lot of games left to play. And either by "choice" or circumstance I left the entertainment world, left the boyfriend(s), and stumbled my way back to my Self over the next 6 years.
As I write this I find that I no longer connect to the story/past of being depressed. I know it was true for me then, but I have no identification with it in this moment.
This is what Freedom feels like.
Depression comes in many guises, some situational, some chemical imbalance, some environmental. For those of you struggling with depression…I’m not saying my path is the path for you. What I do believe is if everyone felt connected to their TRUE self they would have different perceptions about themselves and life in general. It takes a lot of effort - often a combination of therapy, self-inquiry, diet, exercise - and when you are depressed effort can be lacking. Know that there are many of us who have gone through it. It was during my time working in entertainment that I saw depression often led to addiction. Dr. Gabor Maté (https://drgabormate.com/) is an interesting physician who is probably most known for his work around addiction. One thing he says is that the root of addiction is linked to lack of connection…connection to others and connection to Self. I believe this is very true. Here is a link if this interests
If I could give you one piece of encouragement: Sit with your breath. Pour everything you've got into the inhale and the exhale. Notice how expansion and contraction is the natural flow. Breathe deeply. This is your Life Force - no one can take that away from you, no one can give it to you. It is yours to experience. It seems so simple and not useful...but I know from my own experience the breath is the fuel of Life. What you breathe in is given to you by Nature, what you breathe out is used by Nature. Nature will never abandon you...offer yourself to it and it will feed you forever.
As I sit here, literally on the other side of the world of where my origin of birth is, watching my fellow Americans grieve, wandering about social media in a state of confusion, rage, hopelessness and in some unbelievable cases, spewing off memes that are so utterly inhumane and incomprehensible...I ask myself how do I deal with this? Do I allow myself to go in to all of this emotion, do I stay as the observer of my emotional state...I don't get "here" very often anymore. I feel emotions deeply yet I understand nature (to the best of my ability) and it's need to rebalance, I understand people are wounded and desperate for attention, healing, love, CONNECTION and do some crazy things in search of fulfillment. I watch my newsfeed fill with understandable sadness, rage & fear...often to be met with arrogance and belittlement disguised as intelligence, or even worse, enlightenment. Since the last US election I've watched "awake" beings call other people idiots because they voted, or didn't vote, or voted for one particular person; I've watched intelligent people post the dubious threat of "unfriending" or post that it's all "your" fault for whatever tragedy has taken place; I've watched tragedy after tragedy take place & within moments there are memes citing blame, reference to politics and various versions of "I told you so" because I'm so much smarter, cooler, 'in the know' than you are; all before parents, children, friends have had a chance to catch their breath after the news of loss. We are so desperate in our need to be relieved of this horrible mirror image that has been placed right smack in front of our face that we lash out in the most childish and worthless ways. We are so numbed out to the way we are behaving towards other human beings, let alone animals and our earth, that any sense of humanity is fleeting with the next twitter quote.
I'm not an activist in the public eye. I send my support in what ways I can to different organizations and people as I am able to. I believe my biggest offering to the world is to heal as much of myself as I can...to be one person walking the Earth with a little less anger, hurt, confusion. To judge others a little less. This is what I keep going back to...hold your own Jana, and help others learn to do the same.
I still don't know how to stay abreast of it all. I can't ignore my emotions. I can stay unattached to them- feel them and then let them move on so I can stay in a clear head as I function in this world. Sometimes it takes longer than other times. I'm not afraid to feel it all. And I'm not afraid to keep moving forward. I appreciate those who are activists & speak up. I appreciate both extremes in a way that I believe this is what it takes to find balance.
I post this not for reassurance, counter opinions or advice...please reread that.
I post it to let you know I see you, I hear you, I am you. My publicsilence on most matters is a choice. But do not mistake my silence for denial, avoidance or disinterest. I'm dealing in the best way I know of for me. I trust you will do the same.
To my fellow Americans I hold the faith that we will eventually rise out of this hell hole we have created. To the people of Bali I hold you in my heart and prayers that Nature and the people of the island will soon find their way back to balance. For so many others who are dealing with the effects of Mother Nature, war, political and social upheaval, I pray we, as a human race do not sit idle, that we keep our eyes on the Light, our hearts in active Love and may our daily life be our new religion.
"...later that night
i held an atlas in my lap
ran my fingers across the whole world
where does it hurt?
everywhere" ~Warsan Shire
~2015 Bali New moon
I like to read a bit about astrology and my first teacher has been an astrologer for over 50 years so it was a part of what I learned from her. There are a variety of astrology theories...vedic, mayan, shamanic, etc., all of which have interesting insights. I'm not devoted enough to use it in my daily life although I know many who do. Pretty much everything I've read about this particular new moon says the same thing...it's a big one, portals are open and another reminder to be clear, conscious and steady as we continue to step into this "new" world/paradigm.
I've been thinking about this a lot...the "new" world. Living in the Bali bubble, in the community I lived in, it's considered fact. Traveling throughout the rest of the world it may not be spoken about in such easy and accessible ways, but it's still there...there is something new/different available, it's just not the norm. The ones who taste it are farther apart from each other, they live in pockets of community: Random people are having experiences that they can't explain. Energies are moving within their bodies and around them. Synchronicities are baffling the mind that wants to believe it controls everything.
I'm watching cryptocurrency move through growing pains, watching people learn how to grow their own food and make their own necessary products rather than giving in to convenience, watching people behind the scenes create new foundations for resources such as finances, medical, education. I'm finding my own way of living that refuses to believe I am a victim of anything, that 100% believes I am a portal of creation, that understands I am forever a student of & a participant in this awe-inspiring experience called Life.
I believe this is the "new" world...one in which I as a human on this earth understands my role in Nature, understands that Everything is Divine, understands that Energy is all there is...until there isn't. I believe we all have a choice to be a part of the "new" world, or remain in the same way we've been living. I actually don't think it matters what you believe, in some respects, it's more of how you choose to experience life. There are people suffering in so many ways, and I don't have the answers as to why that is. I also don't discount that it's "easier" for me to live in this way than it is for others due to my life's circumstances...due to choices I've made. Some choices in my life have been very hard. But this one is not hard...the one where I choose to live in this "new" world. A world of possibility and potentiality. Heaven on earth, 5D. New Paradigm. New World. Call it what you will...I'm in.
© Jnana Janani