Masks

We all live lives divided.  We have two people within us, each vying for control.  One is the person we think we should be, who says and does what is safe and expected.  The other is the person we long to be, the one who lives a life beyond our wildest dreams.  We fear we cannot ever be that person, so instead we fall back on what we usually do, on what we think we are supposed to do.

The person you long to be is who you really are.  Do you wish you were more adventurous, more daring, more outgoing?  Then that is your true self, and the side of you that turns away from risk is a mask.  Do you want to be creative, or strong, or nurturing?  You would not wish for it if it was not already inside you, fighting for your attention.

Does your true self feel far away, impossible to cultivate?  Begin with something small.  Start slowly; allow yourself to practice being who you were meant to be.  One of the happiest days of my life was when I decided to simply accept that I was who I wanted to be, that all the qualities I longed for were already mine.  I began by pretending that was true, by acting as if I was the person I most wanted to be.  The role fit like a glove.  I found that, once you begin, it is surprisingly easy to be who you really are.

The only trick is this–you cannot force yourself into a role you (or others) think you “should” play.  It will not fit; it will not make you feel happy, peaceful or free.  But when you play the role that is authentic to you, you find yourself growing into your dreams.

Loving Now

Would you be happy?  Then love where you are now.  Not later.  Not yesterday.  Not if only something was different.  Now, as it is, in all its imperfect perfection.

Wherever you are, however you feel, there is something to love.  And when you focus on that, rather than on what you think is wrong, you allow your awareness of love and beauty to grow.

When we focus on the love and beauty that is in front of us, we stop sending our energy into the past or future.  We do our part and let the Universe do the rest.  We accept the abundance.  We get out of the way.

The future is not under our control.  But in this moment, we have a choice.  We can appreciate what is, or we can push it away.  What will you choose?

Trust love.  Know that all you have is all you need, and that if what you want does not appear, it is because something better will.  The shadows of the past and future are not real, but this moment is.  This moment is sacred.  Choose to fill it with love.

Following The Turquoise Path

It was the windiest day I’ve ever seen.  I was driving through Winslow, Arizona with my mother, sister and aunt.  This was not a usual windstorm–the wind was so powerful that the air was thick with dust, trees were bent over and the interstate was shut down.  We were stuck, in a town that seemed to offer nothing but wind.  Businesses were boarded up, gas stations abandoned.  What was once a thriving railway stop was now empty, all but deserted.

We were tired, hungry and thirsty.  The wind buffeted the sides of the car so fiercely that staying where we were did not feel safe.  Yet we did not know where to go.  That was when I saw a sign, an arrow pointing towards “The Turquoise Room.”

Most of the town’s restaurants and shops appeared to be closed; there was no way to know that this one would be any different.  But I have always loved the shades of blue and green, turquoise most of all.  These colors call to me, sing to me.  So I asked my mother, who was driving, to follow the sign.  It led us to a beautiful old hotel, housing a restaurant and bar called the Turquoise Room.  It was a place of beauty within the windstorm.  A place of peace.  We settled in, and were served food and drinks just before the electricity died.  As we enjoyed our meal by candlelight, a friendly waiter told us about another route we could take to Sedona, one through the mountains, out of the wind.

Intuition speaks to each of us differently, in ways unique to who we are and what we love.  In ways that only we can hear.  But when you learn to listen, when you learn to follow, you will find yourself led to exactly where you need to be.

May you find your own turquoise path.  May it lead you to joy.

Worthy

There is a reason many of us are unable to see how much we are loved, how much the universe supports us, how we are surrounded by beauty.  It is because we don’t think we deserve that much love, that much wonder.  How could we?  We are given every breath we take, we are given the freshness of a new morning, the taste of water, the stability of the earth beneath us.  Why should all this love be ours, what could we ever do to deserve it, and what could we ever give back?

And so we think it isn’t real, or isn’t good enough, or we rush off into a million distractions without appreciating the gift of the moment.  The truth is always with you.  The universe needs you as much as you need it.  You could not exist without sunlight, wind, water, earth; they could not exist without you.  You are precious.  You are irreplaceable.  You are part of the mystery, the dance, the magic.

You do not need to do anything to prove yourself worthy–you already are.  There is nothing you need to do or be.  Notice the love around you, appreciate the gifts you are given and give thanks for the beauty without and within.  Or don’t–they will still be there; truth will not change.  We give because it opens our hearts to more joy, we appreciate the world because it creates more joy and beauty.

This is who you are:  Loved.  Precious.  Infinite.  The more you let yourself relax into that knowledge, the more peace you will find.

Let the beauty you are be what you do.

Ask For What You Want

We are divine.  We are spiritual beings.  We are powerful.  But we are not mind-readers.  That is why we must ask for what we want.

No matter how much someone loves you, how long they’ve known you, or how deeply they care, they cannot read your mind.  We often fall into the trap of expecting others to figure out what we want.  We say things like “if you really knew me” or “if you really loved me” you would know what it is I want.  We make it a test of love, a test of faith.  And yet–don’t we usually demand that others figure out what we want because we ourselves aren’t sure?  Or, worse yet, because we are afraid to speak up and be honest about our true desires?

Instead of taking the time to ask ourselves what it is we really desire, we focus on all the things we don’t want, and blame others for not solving our problems.  But who could?  Who could ever know what it is we truly desire better than we do?  No one sees the world quite the same way you do.  No one else has your unique heart, mind and soul.  No one is better equipped than you to determine what you want out of life.

Don’t expect others to be mind-readers; don’t pretend you are one.  Take the time to investigate your true and deep desires, and then ask for what you want.

Heroes

Heroes travel on the wind, as we all do.  What is it that makes heroes heroes?  They are courageous, able to choose love even when fear and pain surround them.  They know who they are, can sense their mission, their purpose, even when all seems dark and cold.  They may stumble and lose their way, they may forget and they may doubt.  Yet when the road is darkest, when all seems lost, they find their way.  They stand up, walk on, continue.  When the world becomes dark and quiet, then they can listen, then they can see.  They rise again, and again, and continue on.

We are heirs of a mythical past, and guardians of forgotten truth.  The world calls to each of us, over and over again.  Some are waiting for the call, intently listening for it.  Others are awakened suddenly by it.  Still others resist, ignore, deny the call.  The tapestry of the future is woven all the same.

We are the chosen ones.  That is why we are here.  We would not have been born if we did not have a unique, irreplaceable, powerful purpose for being here.  The universe does not waste space, does not make mistakes.  Do not fear over-reaching; you cannot.  Do not ask if you are worthy of the path you see before you; you could not see it if it were not meant for you.  You are divine, an immortal at play in a human world.  Ride the wave that moves between your humanity and your divinity, play the part you long to play.  Embrace all the facets of your starlit soul.

You will always be given the tools you need, once you begin the quest.  Such is the way of the world, always and without fail.  Even your failures will provide the key to your freedom.  Such is the way of love.

What Women Want

There is a story that answers the oldest of questions:  what do women want?

A young and handsome knight of Camelot, named Gawain, set out to find the answer to save King Arthur from losing his throne.  It sounds perilous–an entire kingdom dependent on determining what women want.  But for a true knight, all things are possible.  Answers always present themselves to those who honestly seek them.

For Sir Gawain, the answer presented itself in the guise of an old woman.  She appeared in the forest, withered by age and sickness, and asked him for food.  Being a kind as well as noble knight, Gawain made a place for her by the warm fire and gave her his food and drink.  In gratitude, she told Gawain that she knew of his quest and would give him the answer he sought, if he would take her back to Camelot and make her his wife.

This was a harsh fate for a strong, handsome young man, the prize of the court and the favorite of all the beautiful young ladies.  But Arthur’s kingdom was at stake, and so Gawain could do nothing but agree.

Upon his promise to marry her, she told him the secret of what all women want–to have their own way.  But the story does not end there.

Gawain and his promised bride returned to Camelot, and the entire court grieved at seeing the young man bound to a haggard old woman, wise though she might be.  But the wedding was duly planned and celebrated in lavish style, and that night Gawain joined his new bride in their wedding chamber.

When the court had retired and the couple were alone, a miraculous thing occurred–the wise woman was surrounded by glowing light, and then her form shifted and changed into that of a stunning young beauty with flowing blonde hair and cornflower blue eyes.

“I was cursed by an evil magician,” the lady said, “and forced to walk the world as an old woman before my time, until and unless a knight of Arthur’s court would make me his wife.  But I am afraid the curse is not completely broken, and a choice is before you, my husband.  You must choose–would you have me be beautiful by day, when all the court could see me, or at night, when we are alone together in our bedchamber?  What, my husband, would you desire?”

“I cannot decide,” Gawain declared, after a moment’s thought.  “You must choose what is more pleasing to you.”

“And now,” cried his lady, “the curse is well and truly broken, and I am free to appear as my true self at all hours of the day, for you have given me what all women wish for–the ability to have my own way.”

It is not only women, of course, who long to have their own way.  For what does it mean, to have one’s own way, but to be one’s true and authentic self, at all times and in all places?  This is the gift of love that breaks all curses, and sets us free.

We Find What We Seek

The world we see conforms to our expectations, our hopes, our fears.  When our minds and hearts are open, everything is possible.  When we are determined to see what we expect to see, the world obliges us by fulfilling our demands.  Our fears are realized.  We prove ourselves right by finding the evidence we need.

Do we need to be right?  There is so much to explore, so much to discover.  There is so much we do not know.  Nothing is finished or perfect, including our understanding of the universe, of where we are from, of where we are going.  And that imperfect understanding means there is always more to discover, more to learn, more to be.

Endless joy.

Decide That What You Have Is What You Want

Peace and happiness can only be found where you are.  They don’t exist in the future or the past, because right here and now, neither of those places exist.  What you have to work with, what you have to create with, is this.  Wherever you are.  Whatever time it is.  Whatever mood you’re in, however you’re feeling.  This is it.  And one simple way to make whatever it is even better is to decide that what you have is what you want.

Not someday.  Not if only.  As it is.  Start by finding something good, even something small.  If you’re single, you have time and space for yourself.  If you’re stuck in a dead-end job, you have an income.  If you don’t feel well, you have a body that’s telling you to rest and nurture yourself.  If you have no idea where to go or what to do, well, then anything is possible and the adventure is about to begin.  Start small, and grow from there.  Start by pretending, if you need to.

You may find, to your surprise, that what you have actually is what you want.  When you stop judging yourself, stop looking to some imagined ideal of how life “should” look or how things “should” be, you may find that what you have is exactly the right life for the unique person you are.  Try to see things that way; question the truth of what you think you don’t want.  And then make the decision that will lead you back to peace.

Into The Labyrinth

Ariadne was a princess of Crete, daughter of Minos, the king that created the labyrinth that housed the Minotaur.  There is a dark family history here–the Minotaur, half-man and half-bull, was the son of a pure white bull and the queen, Ariadne’s mother.  He was a monstrous creature who devoured innocent men and women, and so was imprisoned within a dark and twisting labyrinth far beneath the palace.

The hero Theseus arrived from Athens intent on destroying the monster.  For love of him, the princess Ariadne betrayed her father and family and promised the hero her help.  She gave Theseus a ball of red thread, and told him that if he would unwind it as he made his way through the labyrinth, he would then be able to follow the thread out again.

Did Theseus need the red thread?  Or was Ariadne’s gift one of hope and comfort?  A labyrinth, unlike a maze, is not always a place of dead-ends and twisting turns.  A labyrinth may be a direct, although curving, journey to the center of the self, a winding path that is nevertheless sure in its destination and in the return.  It is, in fact, a mirror of our own lives.  We can see ourselves as lost in a frightening maze, unsure of the terrors around the next corner.  Or we can see ourselves in a true labyrinth, in which we cannot see what lies ahead but know we will ultimately be led to the center of our souls, and back again.  The fact that we cannot see what is coming next is the gift of time.

We fear that, buried deep within our souls, far below the realm of our daily lives, there lives within us a beast, an unknown and unfaced aspect of ourselves that cannot be controlled.  But into the labyrinth we must go, as Theseus did, to face the part of ourselves that we would hide.

Whatever the Minotaur represents, and whether his home was a maze or a labyrinth, Theseus took Ariadne’s thread with him and was able to slay the beast.  On finding his way safely out, from darkness into the light, he stole away with Ariadne, sailing back towards Athens with the promise that he would make her his wife.

And then he left her, alone and sleeping, on the shore of a small island.  Some versions of the tale say he was unwillingly swept away in a storm, in grief over her loss; others that he had no care for her and abandoned her at the first opportunity.  And yet other versions claim that he was forced to leave by the God of Wine, Dionysus, who loved her and desired her for himself.

When Ariadne awoke, alone on the sandy beach, she thought herself abandoned and betrayed, whatever the reality might have been.  She had left her family, her home, her life, to sail away with a man who did not or could not love her as she loved him.  She did not realize that, whatever Theseus’ intent, a better future awaited her.  One in which she was the chosen, the beloved, of a god, brought into the heavens and made a goddess in her own right.  Her wedding crown, the Corona, was placed in the night sky as a constellation, as a tribute to the endless love between Dionysus and Ariadne.

Like Psyche, Ariadne could not have known what future awaited her; none of us can.  But it is usually better than we could ever hope or imagine.

Previous Older Entries

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 154 other followers

%d bloggers like this: