Thursday, April 17, 2008

Space for God

I'm learning.

I'm learning to breathe. I'm learning to listen. I'm learning to be the stillness inside my body. I'm learning about the chi that animates my body. I'm learning that I am not my thoughts. I'm learning to make space, the clean my space, to allow space.

The ego in our evolutionary life convinces us that we've got it all figured out. It tells us that we are important. That we are somehow bigger than anybody, everybody else. That what we do matters, what we think matters, what we feel matters. We believe that.

The Spirit says "do not lean on your own understanding. God's ways are not your ways, they are much higher."

I'm learning.

I'm learning to decipher through every bit of information that emerges in my mind telling me who I am and what I believe. I delete what I do not accept. I replace that space with nothingness.

Space for nothingness. Space for energy. Space for abundance. Space for creation. Space for gratitude. Space for healing. Space for being. Space for peace, bliss and true understanding. Space for God.

The world in conjunction with the ego tells you that you need to be better and bigger somehow, do more important things than your neighbors, be infamous. If you're not doing something in the world's eyes, you're doing nothing, you are nothing. But in reality, to be better you must go inside away from the world.

Inside you will find the energy that animates the body as mentioned. Energy that is your life force and the life force of everything in existence. You will find thought. His Holy Presence lives behind thought which is created by ego and emotion. You will also find space if you look hard enough, but sometimes space is much more elusive because it seems as if there really isn't much of it.

Don't believe me? Try listening to the space inside of you right now. Be silent for 30 seconds and see what you hear. Do you hear silence or the many things you've yet to accomplish. Do you hear silence or is your body telling you it wants something like food or rest or an aspirin. Do you hear silence or are you all consumed with your random thoughts? Silence takes practice. Harnessing your thoughts takes practice. Making space where there was none, takes practice.

Things are not, and have not been what they've seemed. Things have not been what we've been taught.

If you've not gotten a glimpse into the energy that is really you, the energy that surpasses all understanding, the energy that is limitless, the energy that is eternal, you are missing out on a great deal. You are missing out on what and who you truly are now....and who you think you will become.

I'm learning.

I'm learning that we are already what we will become. We already have what we think we cannot grasp. We already have access to all becoming.

Let me repeat that.....we are ALREADY that which we will become. The name of this blog is What I Am To Be. That is probably going to change since I believe that I am learning that I am already what I am to be. There is an awakening, but as for becoming in the Spirit realm, there is really much less becoming as opposed to being.

You are not your thoughts. Thoughts happen to you. Thoughts are most naturally independent and operate without your permission. Intention, however, is a thought or an idea that you control. Something that you want to happen, to exist, to be created. Once you separate yourself from your thoughts, space opens up for true intention, true creation. The genius behind creation itself is available to everyone in that space.

So, what I want I already have. Who I am going to be I already am. What I believe already is.

Jesus said "if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you will say to that mountain 'move' and it shall be moved."

I'm learning that I already know that in my spirit, in my soul, in my being. I'm so grateful it brings me to tears.
You are what you know. You are what you believe. What are your thoughts saying to you? Are you moving any mountains today?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Jim's Day

This past weekend we celebrated Jimmy's birthday! We got together with some friends for a feast of a meal and libations. Afterward we all came back to our house for a little Nascar. It was a lot of fun. I'm glad. My husband works really hard and loves to play really hard as well. We stopped down at his auto body shop after dinner to see what he's been working on lately. He must have had about twenty cars in bays, all mangled and damaged. It's truly amazing the work my husband does with his hands. He restores things back to their original state. He's a true craftsman. He enjoys the challenge and he enjoys the rewards that come along with that kind of hard work.

Which reminds me about personal challenge and rewards of another kind.

It's that time of year again here on the East Coast. Springtime! Yayyyy! Everything's blooming, the sun is getting closer and warmer. You know what that means don't you? Challenge + Springtime = Golf of course!

Both Jim and I play golf and we love it. We play as often as possible, wherever possible. Jimmy is a natural. All of his years of hockey playing help him tremendously. I, on the other hand, had to learn all of it from scratch. We learned together. We play together. We compete against each other and we welcome others to come and play with us. It's really a blast. We spend the day outside in the park, together, driving around on a golf cart chasing two tiny white balls. It's pretty funny how one minute you can be laughing and joking and then the next be so seriously upset about a little white ball. There is really nothing like it.

We held our biggest drivers in our hands the other night (after a few cocktails - which is not a very smart idea- but we did it anyway). We wanted to show our friends who've never golfed what our golf bag of tricks was all about. We took a couple of swings on the lawn and it felt great!

It's very interesting indeed when people who don't know anything about golf express their thoughts - they usually get it all wrong and Saturday was no different. People's instincts when it comes to golf are to force the ball into submissive motion with a lot of 'power'. Our friend Kevin said exactly that...."you have to swing really's all about the power". Nooooooo Kevin, it's not all about the power. That's wrong. If that were the case, everyone would play golf and be good at it.

Have you ever gone to the driving range and watched all the people getting frustrated swinging and missing the little white ball? They are not focused on hitting the ball. They are not really even looking at the ball. They are swinging so hard, putting their spines out of alignment and still, they miss the ball. Probably because before they ever even swing they are looking down the fareway for the ball...but they've not even hit it yet! That's very typical with new golfers, but truthfully, it happens to best of us. That's the biggest mistake in golf.

Golf lesson number one. You must keep your eyes on the ball. Do not EVER take your eyes off the ball. Got it? Good.

We're planning an outing to the driving range shortly. If we had gone to the range Saturday Kevin surely would've been missing the ball. We would've witnessed our friend getting all red faced and frustrated. Why? Because golf is challenging. No, wait. Golf is hard!!! You have to learn how to play golf, learn what the different clubs are and how to use them, how to hold them, how to keep your eyes on the ball throughout your entire swing, how to swing, how to hit the ball with the face of the club, how to control the ball and place the ball where you want it, how about spinning the ball??? how to keep score, proper golf etiquette and attire, and so on.

Some people think "oh you just get up there and hard could that be?"

Well, if you've never been, you must go golfing. Count your swings. Count your misses. You'll see it's anything but easy. It feels anything but natural in the beginning. That little white ball will go exactly where you tell it to once you take into consideration all the many changing variables....consider the terrain, the weather, the clubs, the distance, the sand traps and other obstacles including people, golf carts and animals, the wind, the sun, the grass. More than likely, by the time you hit the ball into the trees you will throw your club clear across the fairway in complete frustration! Yayyy! Now you know what golf is all about!

Golf is about challenging yourself. Golf is about overcoming. Golf is about practice. Golf is about patience. Golf is about finesse and okay Kevin, maybe a little bit of power...if you can par, birdie, eagle or get a hole in one....yes Kevin, there is a lot of power in that my friend.

I love the fact that I play golf. I also love the fact that some men still find it infuriating that women play golf. They can't hide their disappointment when a young lady (or not so young) comes onto the course. Poor old bastards trying to keep everything for themselves...well those days are over and women can and will do everything. Hopefully, Hillary will get a chance to show everyone. I wonder if she plays golf?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

I am what I am . . .

. . .and what I am is genuinely happy to be alive. Happy to be living this life that is purposeful and joyful. Happy that this life is challenging and peaceful, at times adventurous and spontaneous. Happy that most times it's loving and forgiving.

Today I have hope. I have self-esteem. I have dreams and visions. I know I am exactly where I am supposed to be. I know I've come a very long way. I am grateful for all that I have and for all opportunity that has come my way, by way of the most generous universe. God knows I am grateful that I know how to attract exactly what I need. He guides me every step of the way. I've have asked and I have received.

When I was younger I was full of energy and needed more noise and more electricity than any one person could stand. The universe accomodated me. I spoke faster than most could listen. Personally, I couldn't hear a thing except what I filtered through, what was palatable and what produced in me exactly what I wanted. If it didn't catapult me to the next level, it wasn't on my radar. Working in a city with more success, more opportunity, more creativity, more noise, more people, more distractions than any suburb could ever hope to offer, the universe supplied me with exactly what I wanted - energy and electricity. I was one with throngs of people, and our energy and our agendas were an endless supply of energy to tap into and tap I did. We all did. We took advantage of everything that was available to us. And everything was available to us. Everything was available to me and I took my share.

It's interesting looking back now how much I do not desire the same things I once did and I was sure it was what I wanted forever. I wanted the city. I wanted the night life. I wanted the traffic, the noise, the congestion, the energy, the endless supply of 24 hour everything, anything your little heart could conguer up. The men, the women, the money, the CLOTHES, the shops, the parties, the booze, the drugs, the food, the adrenaline, the pulse. Boy have times changed (I have changed).

In reality, the world was offering me just enough to confuse and numb my soul. Just enough to keep me in a state of stagnance. I was moving at the speed of light - but my soul was in a dark slumber. I now fully appreciate that there really is a time for every purpose under heaven. This was a dark time for me. The light was all around me, but I was not embracing it. I was trying to control everything. Eventually, if God has His Hand on you, you learn that you control nothing. God is the life inside of you and that life is not to be controlled. That life is not to be 'managed'. God is to be experienced. God is to be engaged. God is to be embraced. God is to be acknowledged. The God in you is to be freed on the inside in order to become fully awake on the outside.

I am not who I used to be. Today, I listen and speak slower. Today I can actually hear. And we all know hearing and listening are all too different. I suppose back then, the louder it got on the outside, the louder it got on the inside and I wouldn't have to hear a thing. Thanks be to God, the foundation for the spirituality in my life was put in place at a very young age. So when I got older and affected by the hurts and disappointments of the world, I tried shutting off the Presence and never looking back. The Presence, however, had something else in mind and did not shut itself off from me.

God saved me on a number of occassions. He physically saved me from myself. He called me out from all secularism. God knew what my soul yearned for and needed. He called me out, but when He looked at me, gazed at me, held me in His countenance, I could not look at myself nor could I stand in His Presence. I was overcome with guilt and grief and shame. It's amazing what clarity can do for a soul.

And might I pause here and say most humbly "Thank you Most High God for never letting me go".

There was a purification process followed by a contemplative time of self-discovery and forgiveness from past offenses (and future offenses). I remember quite vividly the moment when God lifted my burden, He lifted my spirit, He lifted my the clearing of my garden, He replaced my chaff with wheat. He provided me with clear focus, self acceptance, grace, hearing ears and a sensitivity that was never cultivated before. Wow. Interesting to note that prior to that moment in my life I was convinced I was happy, peaceful and successful. I was wrong and I was in denial.

The peace that transcends all understanding is real and when it comes you realize there is no earthly substitute. There is no Godly success on this planet separate from the peace and traquility of being in the moment, aware of God's presence. A peaceful nature brings out the peaceful nature in others, just as an anxious nature makes others feel anxiety.

Yet, that was then. God today, winking, calls me to the next level. It's really just the next level of love itself, but the next level nonetheless. First you love yourself. Then you love the ones that love you. Then you love the ones that hate you. Then you love the ones you do not know, etc, etc. Love, love, love. It's all about acceptance, peace, and love.

Meditation, prayer and stillness seem to be the vehicles to obtaining acceptance, peace and love of oneself and others; meditation and focus on the space in between thoughts, in between breathing. Taking time (everyday) to still the mind and allow the Most Holy Presence of God to manifest Himself in your heart, in your soul. The 'house cleaning' that God does lasts forever. When He removes a speck of dust from your soul a) you feel it, b) it never comes back, c) the space is filled with Power. His Power. His Might. His Divinity for your life. His Choices. His Love. His Wisdom. His purpose, after all you do belong to Him.

Thank God I am not what I used to be. Thank God I am not who I used to be. Today I thank God that love who I am. I thank God that I love who I am going to be. Thank you God for calling me to the the narrow path my whole life. I thank You that You call me still. I will always answer. God is my only hope.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Smiling Dragonfly

One day I told my friend I had taken a picture of a smiling dragonfly. He didn't believe me. Do you believe me?

I still shake my head when I look at this creature. He hung out on the leaves of our fig tree for a while just like the bird who visited last week. It's not me people...creatures are as curious about me as I am about them.

What do you think?

What Wonders in This Life - Part II

Mango, Yoshi Mangashito, Mangalito, whichever you prefer, is twenty two years old. I've had him since the day he was born. He has gone everywhere with me. When we moved here he disappeared for over 16 days. He got out and took a long walk I guess. Those were sixteen of the longest days and nights. It was October and getting cold so I knew he'd be cold, hungry and scared. This was a new neighborhood for all of us. Behind our house is a pond with all sorts of wildlife - he is a city boy growing up on the streets of Bayonne. He doesn't know about some of the wildlife that raccoon, geese, opossum. Somehow, he returned to me unharmed only to find me two timing him with Squeakie and Cricket. But let me explain...

I was absolutely heart broken after searching for him non-stop for two weeks. I roamed the neighborhood, put up fliers, combed the shelters. I finally accepted the fact that he was gone. In an effort to ease my broken heart, I went to the pound one last time hoping to find him there. I found Squeakie Rose and Cricket instead. No sooner did I bring those two girls home, then Mango showed back up at the front door no less, meowing his head off to get in. I couldn't believe my ears when I heard his mew outside the house one sunny morning. I opened the door and saw my boy there. I was ecstatic to find him without a scratch, just extremely tired and hungry. After a quick run to the vet to make sure he was okay, he took to the couch for a week and was shortly thereafter back to his old self. I have no idea where he was, but he was back and that's all that mattered. But something happened after that that I never expected.

Mango and Squeakie Rose became more than just friends. They hug and nuzzle and sleep together. It's the sweetest thing to see and I couldn't be happier. See for yourself. . .

Not bad for an old guy in retirement. Mango lives a very comfortable, safe life, except when he crosses Cricket's path (notice she's not in this picture), then it's every cat for themselves. I've broken up many a fight. It's really more than I can take sometimes. I never wanted four cats. I had Mango, he disappeared. In come Squeak and Cricket and I swear off all other cats forever until the 'black and white cookie cat' Mohito decided to join the family. But this time, that's it! she said with seriousness in her voice. Seriously though, it is a big responsibility. For the most part, we cannot travel when we want to, and when we do travel we have to get a cat sitter to come to our home twice a day, not to mention the clean up, cost of food, litter, doctor visits, etc.

And then there's the other side. The side that says it's good to share your life with these creatures. Every little bit you give to them comes back to you tenfold. And when you least expect it, they give even more than you could ever imagine. Somehow, they are very sensitive and when you're hurting they seem to pay extra special attention to you during those times. I think they cry when you cry and then they try to cheer you up with their unpredictible antics. All of these creatures has at one time or another has shown outstanding love and compassion to us. I guess we'll keep them.

What Wonders in This Life - Part I

Look at this creature we've named Mohito. The minute she gets outside she rolls around in any dust that's accumulated on the ground. She gets absolutely filthy removing every trace of domestication from her fur and she loves it. It's all about the scent with her and my other cats. Scent and territory.

How dirty does she get? You decide...

Mohito is very sociable. She is a lover and a nuzzler. She sleeps on or near my head every night religiously. I think she remembers her very rough start in life and appreciates a soft spot to land. She was found under the hood of a running El Dorado a couple of years ago by my husband Jimmy. She had gotten caught up inside one of the belts somehow. Curiosity I suppose. Why she was in that car engine we'll never know. It wasn't to stay warm, it was a very warm summer morning. Coincidentally, the car was being driven to my husbands auto body shop. Coincidentally I say?! Of course she was saved and adopted and lives to tell the tale. On my count she has at least seven more lives. Shortly after her recovery and integration with my other cats, she somehow got her foot strung up by a shade string four feet off the floor. I found her dangling and screaming and flailing to get loose. It was a sight. I instinctively grabbed her (by the way, don't ever grab a dangling, screaming and flailing cat without a pillow or a towel or some body armour), the string untied itself and she then lovingly used my arm as a springboard digging her nails in my arm to get away.

After a calming down period for both of us, she came to me meek and appreciative. I recovered and so did she, after her hernia operation. She's never been aggressive with me ever. She is a love source, a healing source, an energy source and if you look at her really closely, you'll see her presence inside the vehicle we call a cat. I am very lucky to be embraced by her. Words cannot express what she does for me.

Animals on the whole are very, very curious to me. I can feel their mysteriousness. They are larger than we give them credit for. We think we are superior and have dominion over them. Perhaps. Perhaps we'll come to find out that they are much more than we ever imagined.

I had a visitor the other day. Probably just a bird warming herself next to a yard with four cats in it. She looked right at me and stayed next to me for over 30 minutes.

I took video and stills, walked around, talked to her...she just stood her ground curiously looking at me and my brood. I breathed her in and wished her well. Who knows, maybe one day she'll feed me bread and show me where the water is. I'll never take that for granted. We've so much to learn.

Not all of my creatures are peachy creamy. One of them is downright nasty. Well, maybe nasty is not the right word, perhaps she's just very moody. Maybe she's in this existence against her will. Maybe she needs a little more time, a little more space. Who knows? Cricket is altogether different.
She DEMANDS stuff. Whatever it is, she wants it and she wants it now. As for humans, her instructions are as follows: don't get too close - oh but please, don't go too far away. Don't feed her too much and don't feed her too little. Stay arms length away while petting her at the same time. Play with me, only me. Not the others, oh no, not them. Her instructions for them others: Get the f*&k away. Seriously.

I rescued Cricket and her sister Squeakie Rose from the pound. They were both in the same cage, so tiny and in need of help. Squeak put her paw through the cage in a come hither motion and I was hooked. I'm not sure what happened to them before they came home with me, but I would venture to say that someone was not very nice to them. In the beginning while still in survivor mode, they were nice to each other. As time progressed, they stopped recognizing each other as sisters or friends or allys. They started to compete for resources (me being one of them) and now they just stay away from each other or they fight.

Cricket is a loner in her nature. She's a cat on an island or at least she wishes she was. She growls and hisses. Deep down, I'm not sure what Cricket is, or more importantly, I'm not sure what Cricket thinks she is. I definitely get the feeling it's not a cat, but she doesn't mind the nails and the teeth. You decide...