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INTRODUCTION: Several weeks ago I received a card from a friend that included one of her wonderful photographs on the front (She makes beautiful notecards that include her photos). Immediately it began to tell a story. So thank you Hope Taylor Epstein for the card and for sharing your talent as a photographer. And in deference to you there are no trolls in this story.
She decided to take a walk on that beautiful sunny Fall day and gave a sigh of wonder at how blessed she was to experience the clear, crisp air of Maine. There was no destination just a slow meandering journey down a country road. At one point a barn came into view in the distance and something pulled her toward it. As she got closer she saw it was not particularly large and was showing its age. A double window captured her attention, but as she moved toward it someone or something began to speak.
As you see I am weathered with age now. But for many years I stood here as protector and shelter for tractors and other farm equipment, tools and barn cats. The sun, the wind, the rain and snow are a part of me now and are reflected in my boards and windows. For some reason I am no longer used except by field mice and other creatures. Life breathes me you see for wood is always alive and radiating energy. Step closer and look through my windows – look as the sun shines through striking the floor.
At this point she wondered what was going on. Was she dreaming, or imagining? Where was the sound coming from that filled her mind? But she could not resist stepping up to look through the old window. The glass appeared dirty and dark except for a scrap of something whitish in one corner. Maybe an old rag she thought. As her eyes adjusted she began to see a shaft of light shining in the middle of the dirt floor. And then what appeared to be a movie of sorts began to play before her eyes.
A young boy played on the dirt floor laughing as a cat rolled in the dirt. A young man climbed up on a tractor and began backing it out of the barn while whistling. As she stood wide-eyed and disbelieving the scenes continued to flow and change. A young woman drove a car into the barn and stepped out all bundled in coat and hat. As she opened the car door a black dog jumped out and walked by her side. The car had snow all over it. Then a cat chased a mouse round and round until the mouse finally escaped into a hole in the wall. Finally an old man stood in the light slowly turning around as if taking it all in. Then the film stopped and all that remained was a shaft of light.
She wondered what it all meant. Did she fall asleep standing up and dream? How could any of it be real? Slowly she touched the window sill feeling the solid unevenness of the worn wood. A strong sensation flowed through her body and she knew on some level it was all real but still questioned. Is time just a construct of man? Did some connection with the barn bump her to a “no time zone” where all is one and everything occurs simultaneously? So many questions arose.
Taking a deep breath she continued her walk knowing she had much to ponder. If this experience was real and some sort of gift what was she meant to do with it. Maybe it was a reminder of the flow of life and the Oneness of all. Or maybe it was just for fun and enjoyment-a parting of the curtain of time. Was she going to have more of these experiences or was it just a dream?
I am one of those people who is a list maker and I suppose it helps provide structure for me. So for the trip to Maine I have multiple “to do” lists as well as “to take” lists. And I am embarrassed to admit that I prove the saying about the Myers-Briggs personality type “INFJ”: INFJ’s overwork work reworking it. Most of the time I can laugh at myself about it, but you probably get the picture that I am obsessing about aspects such as the best way to travel (drive or fly), what route to take if I drive (requested AAA Tripticks twice), what to pack and so on and so on. This may all be a sort of play for me or at least I am trying to convince myself of that and keep my sense of humor about it all as it can be tiring.
So the lists are made and some items can actually be checked off. I decided to drive and the car had been checked and had routine maintenance. Thanks to those Triptiks I know the route and made reservations where I am stopping to spend the night on the way. The tour in Acadia National Park is booked as well as the B&B where I am staying in Bar Harbor. So now I can focus on the “to take” lists (yes it is more than one list).
What about the preparation of the physical body? One of my difficulties has always been truly connecting to and listening to my physical body as I preferred to live in the mind. Often we humans find it easy to ignore the communication from our physical selves (even those who pride themselves on exercising and eating right). But I know that if I do not pay attention I will not maintain a level of health that will support my play and discovery on the trip. So I am committing not only to working out but listening to what my body says it needs in the exercise arena. The most difficult part for me is eating well as I am often lazy, take short cuts and do love carbs. I am trying to focus on the foods that my body seems to need at this time and to keep my heart open. When I hear “rest” and “appreciate” I try (and the operative word here is try) to respond and follow the message. While doing just that I saw and felt my energy connection to various areas in the ocean on the East coast and on the Gulf of Mexico. Wondrous joy resulted.
I see this trip as an opportunity to be fully human which I must do to fulfill my purpose on Earth. Appreciating my list making, physical preparations and physical health are steps in that process.
Do you think preparation is necessary for big adventures? If not, why and if you do why do you think that? Are you listening to your physical body and do you respond to what you hear? Can you laugh at yourself?
The Gallery: Just a peek at my travel map and two photos from the towns in which I will be stopping. Now can this be anything but an interesting adventure. These photos I got from Bing Image Search so I did not take them. A of course is my starting point in VA. B is Highstown/East Windsor, NJ. C Worcester MA and D of course is Rockland my destination..
Map to Discovery
House in Highstown/East WIndor New Jersey
Castle Worcester, MA
Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse-AHHHH!!!
It is time to add another experience and teacher to this journey. Somewhere in between Mary Morrissey, Diadra and Carol, Jean Houston landed in my life (I think “landed” is a good word to use for JeanJ). I was looking through a catalogue when the book Mystical Dogs jumped out at me. I am an animal lover and the subtitle “Animals as Guides to our Inner Life” confirmed my decision to purchase the book. Little did I know this book was to be so much more for me than a book about the roles dogs play in our life.
It was here in this book about our journey to illumination that I began to believe in imagination. Most of my life I lived believing I really had no imagination or if I had it that it was most uninteresting. However, in this book there is an exercise involving imagining you are in an underground cave that contains levels of your inner world. You are to imagine as your guide, a dog that you know or have previously known. I have not owned a dog for many years but have a friend who over the years has had golden retrievers. There has always been a strong connection between her dogs and me. A dog named Doll became my guide and led me on a wondrous journey. My imagination soared and I have no doubt that the real Doll was present in spirit supporting, encouraging and having fun. I was amazed at how I clearly saw everything and was so involved with the process. On each level – sensory, psychological, mythic and symbolic- I connected. Please read the book if you are interested in the full experience. But one of its greatest gifts to me was a validation that I do have an imagination and with it I can learn so much and have so much fun. What a wonderful part of my humanity. Another gift was reminding me of my connection to the natural world and the oneness of all. In addition reading about the dogs that passed through the life of Jean and her husband was a quiet, uplifting, amusing experience.
About two years later I took an online class with Jean Houston. During that experience I rewrote my life story as a heroic mythic journey. Wow! There was drama (lots of that), tragedy and comedy. There was courage, compassion, love, play. Even what I consider “stupid” mistakes became important chapters in this adventure. But even more remarkable I began to wonder how it would feel if I looked at those around me as also being on a heroic journey. I began to see even those folks who irritate me in a different light remembering that most of us are doing the best we can with what we know at any given time. There is so much gratitude in my heart for being shown my wonderful imagination and the part it plays in my life.
How do you view your imagination? What part does it play in your life? Is it a positive experience for you? Can you see your life as a heroic journey? Where are you now in that journey? Watch the movie “The NeverEnding Story” for a taste of the hero’s mythic journey. Can you see parts of his journey reflected on your own path?
I am privileged to be on the Earth at this time. This is a time of light and dark, chaos and order all leading to the next evolutionary leap of humanity. At 65 years of age my life experiences have brought me to a place of knowing that I AM –a being that is both human and spirit or divine. For me there have been many highs and lows but I have always known I am loved. It is the love of family and friends that helps me recognize the face of God. My focus now is on the peace and joy at the core of my being which includes recognizing the Grace that flows through my life. I have also been shown that sharing my wisdom is one reason I am here.
From one viewpoint one might say these days are unsettling and sad as we face economic difficulties, war and the earth itself disrupting and erupting as it adjusts to the new energy frequencies. So I know it is important that we come together to help each other in our journey home – in our release of fear that holds so many of us spellbound preventing the recognition of who we truly are- Spirit, God (whatever word you choose) in human form. It is important that we shift to the viewpoint of Love.
In this blog I intend to share parts of my journey and some lessons I have learned in the hope of giving you ideas and practices that may help in your journey. Comments are welcome. Please share practices that help you so we all will be teachers and students.
The unconditional love of my mother, father, brother and daughter supports me and shows me the beauty of the face of God. I am so grateful for the gifts they bring to my life. I want to thank my special friends Carol Fitzpatrick and Mark Torgeson as without their encouragement, love and computer lessons I would not have taken the risk. I thank my dear friend Diadra Price for showing me I AM. And I am grateful for the Grace of God that is always with me even when I am not paying attention.
Ponder the following quote as we set off on this adventure. It is from the “Essence Speaks” section of the book Grace Awakening Essence by my dear friend and teacher Diadra Price.
As to the mirror
Bring eye, the I in you each day.
Stand before the mirror’s gaze,
And see Me there with single eye
Looking back at Myself.
Question not the why,
The where, the when.
Let not the word ‘but’ or ‘if’ gather
In the morning’s light,
Stand before the mirror
And smile at Me,
And I will smile back at Thee.”