General: November 2007 Archives
Today began with a shock. I received news that David Enloe had died.
Who, you may ask, is David Enloe? He was one of those amazingly talented musicians for whom the stars just never aligned for real fame. And, as one of his fellow musicians said, perhaps that was what allowed him to live as long as he did--just a month shy of his 51st birthday. He succumbed to liver disease yesterday from a lifetime of alcohol abuse. If he'd had the trappings of fame, who knows how quickly he might have burned out?
He was a brilliant guitarist, performer, and songwriter to be sure. But to me, and so many others, David was a friend, and before he was my friend, he was the cute guy I had a crush on (as did so many others)...and more. We had an on-again, off-again affair back in the very early '80s (I was in my mid-20s--just before I moved to Japan for 2 years) when he played lead guitar for the Fabulous Knobs, Raleigh, NC's hotter-than-hot band of the day. Yes, I must admit: I was a groupie, as was just about everyone else who discovered the Knobs back then.
I loved him. And, I dare say, he loved me. Not romantically exactly--more like two people who were connected at a soul level. It's hard to describe. I'm not sure either of us loved ourselves enough at that point for a real love--and that was not in the offing. I was still in my unavailable-men pattern, and he was, well, unavailable, living a kind of rock 'n' roll life where he was nowhere near ready to limit his options--and who could blame him?
Though I always looked forward to being with him, and would have loved to have had more time with him, I had no illusions about that, and no expectations of him. I was just happy to be with him when I could. Besides--I'm pretty sure I scared him, as is the case with anyone who isn't wanting to look clearly at themselves. My owl medicine, even though I hadn't yet claimed it, was in force. He intuitively knew that I was not a woman with whom you could hide from yourself. I have always insisted on being real and very, very present, which both attracted and repelled him. He was drawn to it and afraid of it at the same time.
Ours was never a relationship that could have been more than it was, but it was powerful in its limited way. It certainly made an impact on me. It was, if you're inclined to see things in those terms, definitely karmic.
As I moved away from that lifestyle, found my spiritual path, and embraced personal growth with a passion, we mostly lost touch. When we'd see each other from time to time in later years, though the kind of interest we'd once had had long since faded, we were like puppies with our tails wagging in excitement, such was our chemistry and connection.
I had not seen him or even heard news of him in at least a decade, when our mutual friend, and David's soul brother, Terry Anderson, and I reconnected via email in 2003. Terry must have immediately forwarded him my email as it wasn't even an hour later that a message from David popped into my inbox, much to my surprise and delight.
We exchanged a few messages to catch up, and he told me he was working as an educational consultant, and living in Minneapolis with his stepchild and wife, Susan, whom he credited with sainthood, and that he was very happy. I was truly glad to hear that, thinking he might have finally found something to ground him--to provide a healthy context for his life. And I think he had--it was just that alcoholism had the upper hand. At the time, he asked to read my book, but I was not ready to share it. It was not yet in print, not to mention, I didn't expect him to be able to relate to it, and put him off about it. Now I wish I had not made that judgment and that I had sent him a copy when it was ready. Ah, well. Hindsight.
We wrote back and forth a bit over the next year--I save pretty much all my messages (you never know when you'll wish you had them, like now), and just re-read all those, with tears streaming. When John Edwards ran for president in the 2004 election, we were both supporters, and emailed back and forth a few times about the campaign. (David and John Edwards had both grown up in Robbins, NC), but then dropped the ball on the correspondence. The next, and last time I heard from David was New Year's Eve, 2005, in what was clearly an alcohol-soaked reply to my Happy New Year message. It gave me an unsettled feeling.
And now, he's gone--a brilliant man whose inner demons overtook him. Would he have had a different fate if he had faced the hole in his soul and not tried to fill it with beer? Would things have been different if he had not been so afraid of himself? Of his own Light? I guess we'll never know. What I realize is that it's not for me to know or to judge. He lived the path he chose and that was, however, painful at the end, exactly right for him.
I'm sure I'll evolve my perspective on this, but right now, I'm just so, so sad. I love you, David.
Updated 11/29/07 If you read this entry when I first wrote it, you may have noticed that I have since added to it and changed it a bit. I have spent so much time in contemplation of that seminal period of my life, and of my friendship with David, it felt important to be really accurate with the feelings and impressions and the words I used to convey them.
Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. Any special day based almost entirely around food is my kind of day. This past Thursday was American Thanksgiving Day and Rick and I had a lovely celebration. His mom came over to dine with us, and I made a fabulous traditional meal which we enjoyed greatly, as well as each others' company. But this blog entry is about a different Thanksgiving. It's about one that, for some reason, I've been thinking of alot this year. It is one that taught me a valuable lesson about just allowing things instead of fighting them. You just never know what kind of experience is in store for you if you'll just go with The Flow...
Thanksgiving 1979 found me at loose ends. I was separated from my first husband, and counting the months till the mandatory year was up before the state of North Carolina would grant us a divorce. My parents devastated me by announcing that, instead of having the traditional family gathering, they were going away for a golf weekend, and no amount of guilt-tripping on my part would budge them. I inquired here, there, and yon to find somewhere to go for Thanksgiving, but everyone I might ordinarily count on had plans that couldn't, for a variety of reasons, include me. I was nearly in a panic thinking of spending my first holiday ever alone! Things were getting down to the wire when a formerly close friend that I had purposefully distanced myself from extended an invitation to Thanksgiving at her on-again, off-again boyfriend's house in the country. They had a tempestuous relationship that was hard to be around, but my desperation prompted me to accept.
It turned out to be one of the most memorable Thanksgivings ever. He was quite an eccentric fellow who was an artist and musician who had once been part of a bluegrass band that had briefly hit the bigtime. His world--and his Thanksgiving party--was populated with fascinating characters, including musicians of all stripes and of various levels of success and fame. He lived in an old farmhouse, and while it was not very large, there was lots of room outdoors. By the time my friend and I arrived mid-afternoon, the joint was already jumping.
It was one of those amazing North Carolina Indian summer days that happens about once every four or five Thanksgivings--sunny and warm--between 60 and 70 degrees, chilling down to the 40s at night, with a certain magical quality of light. As we approached from where we'd had to park, which was some distance away due to the dozens of cars already parked closer, dry leaves crunched underfoot and fiddle, guitar, mandolin and bass sounds greeted us. Along with the music, came the unmistakable aroma of smoke, both from the firepit and from ...well...you know. My memories of that day are redolent with the fragrant wholegrain rosemary bread I had made from scratch as my contribution to the Thanksgiving repast, mixed with that smoke. The trees were strung with lights, there were tubs of beer, and there were dozens of people, all having a great time. And the boyfriend was too busy playing host to get into any skirmishes with my friend. This was going to be okay after all!
Shortly after our arrival, a striking couple dressed in 1930s clothes--he, in a suit with a fedora, and she in an off-the-shoulder dress with a mid-calf, A-line skirt, stood up to a couple of microphones on a crude stage. Tall, voluptuous, and raven-haired with pale skin, she wasn't classically beautiful, but she was, what is sometimes referred to as "handsome." I will describe her as gorgeous in that way that self-confident women who have that certain, indefinable something are. She fairly oozed pheromones, and what confidence! I loved that she wore that glamorous '30s dress with bare, unshaven legs and Birkenstocks--she was way braver and less self-conscious than I! Though the man was extremely attractive, too, it is she who has stuck in my memory, for she had what I wanted. Not only was she as charismatic a woman as I had ever encountered, and emitting energy like a 100-watt bulb, the two of them were clearly crazy for one another.
They announced that they had just finished arranging a song which turned out to be a duet that sounded the way they looked. How can I describe it? It was kind of a big-band-type song, minus the big band. They announced that they were going to perform it for the first time in public for us. They were fabulous, and put on a dynamic show with some of the musicians backing them up. They could have been singing on Broadway, so clear and strong and wonderful were their voices and their chemistry. I don't remember the song--just that it was perfect--and that it filled me up. What a treat! What a memory! It was a rare opportunity, and all the circumstances of my life lined up just perfectly for me to experience it.
When I think back on that day, that performance is what stands out the most. While I do recall sitting around the woodstove inside after the sun went down, listening to the music that played continuously as the musicians jammed in various groups, I don't remember much about the food or anyone I might have met or talked with. I primarily remember the quality of the light outside that afternoon, the smell of the smoke, and the magic of that performance, and the electricity I felt being in the midst of all those creative people. And once I was there, I certainly never felt sorry for myself for not having anywhere else to go!
I don't think I ever thanked my parents--and all the rest of my family and friends--for "abandoning" me that Thanksgiving so that I was free to have that day that filled my senses so.
After giving further thought to my last entry, I realize that my blog voice is just right for this blog's purpose. I think the reason I got so juiced thinking about how it would feel to be free to indulge in spiritual incorrectness is that my shadow needed a little expressing, and I needed to feel my humanness! I generally do that through watching The Young and the Restless, Sex and the City and other "junk food" television (do I hear you gasping?!), but perhaps I need to exercise that aspect of me in less passive ways--just not here on this blog! There are lots of other places to do that, and lots of other people's blogs to get that from vicariously when my small self feels too repressed.
The reason I'm especially devoted to being spiritually correct here is that I am doing my best to live--and model--what I teach. What I teach doesn't always have life experience behind it; much of it comes from Higher Mind and I just channel it. Then, I apply it to my life and do my best to live by it. It feels to me--and I don't mean to come across as too big for my britches--that it is important for me to live this stuff so that when people read or hear my words, it's not like trying to draw money from an empty account. I sense that there needs to be spiritual substance generated in my living to back up my words. Not to mention, the more of us who live at the highest level of integrity we're able to, the faster the vibrational frequency of the whole of humanity will rise.
So I have a real sense of sacred responsibility to keep the vibrational frequency of this space as high as possible, while still being a human being in the process of reclaiming my divinity--and, hopefully, lending support to you as you reclaim your own. That said, I do think I can commit myself to having a little more fun with the blog, just not that ever-seductive reverse-polarity kind of fun you have when you're ridiculing someone or indulging in other forms of frequency-reducing, duality-based stuff in an attempt to make yourself feel good. That kind of fun always seems to lead to feeling badly about it afterward. No--I will keep taking the high road because that's my path.
But hey--herbal tea can be fun, too. Put some juicy pear slices, a dab of fresh goat cheese, a few almonds, and a freshly baked, agave-sweetened, wheat-free cranberry muffin with it, and you've got a party! And no hangover!
I just finished reading Venus Andrecht's blog, which was started in April of this year and, frustratingly, is not that filled out yet. She hasn't been blogging frequently. But maybe I need to be glad there's not more there to read yet. At least I didn't get sucked in for days as I have some blogs in the past! And there is addictive material there.
Note to Venus: You really do need to blog more often!
I confess I came away from it wishing I blogged more like she does. (Yes--I do see that large red flag waving wildly as I compare myself to someone else!)
She is a crack-up. She doesn't seem to suffer from the blog-dulling syndromes that I do--the compulsion to be politically correct in service to protecting the feelings of my family members, or the need to continually put my best spiritual teacher foot forward. She's just so...so...raw and REAL! And funny! Would that I felt I could be so candid. It makes for such a lively read! Her accounts of her adventures, while all highly entertaining, range from mildly humorous to side-splitting (at least to my funny bone)--except for her latest entries, which are about the devastation of her fire-ravaged neighborhood in Southern California.
Venus is an author, intuitive counselor, and channeler you may have heard of through Hay House. She has a show on Hay House Radio, which I have not yet heard, but will make a point of tuning in to. She speaks of The Beings, whom she channels, and shares insights from them, as well as her own observations from a higher point of view, so there is spiritual substance there, too, but with just the right amount of froth.
Basically, to indulge my need to compare just a little further, I feel her blog is a mocha latte with whipped cream and sprinkles, or maybe a chai latte--but definitely with whipped cream--while mine is a cup of herbal tea. Satisfying and good for you--and sometimes there's some natural sweetener in the tea, but just not as much fun as the latte!
Anyway, if you're reading this, you must like my blogging style (either that, or it's your first time here!), but if it leaves you wanting dessert, do go on over to Venus's blog and enjoy!
(I think it's just right that my Nov. 27 teleseminar is on Self-Acceptance. We do teach best what we most need to learn!)
What is your name for the Self of you that is above the magnetic gap that keeps us in the realm of ego? Spirit? Higher Self? God-Self? Or my favorite: God-Realized Self, since it's the aspect of you that is completely aware of its oneness with Source?
Or, do you, like I, have a specific name for "it" (you know--like "Angela" or "Jeffrey" or something)? I'm not feeling inclined to share this name, but it came to me when I was having a session with Margaret Fields Kean back in the 1980s, and has stuck. So I frequently refer to "her" using that name. I speak to "her" as if she were the most amazing, magical, totally compassionate, ultimately powerful friend who is always looking out for my total well-being (which she is!). I imagine it's like many Christians speak with Jesus. And pardon me if this offends, but I do believe that my relationship with my God-Self (and your relationship with your God-Self) and people's concept of who Jesus is to them and how a personal relationship to him works is pretty much the same kind of thing.
At any rate, I have cultivated a profound sense of connection with this Self, but just a couple of days ago came up with something that has not only supercharged the relationship, but has changed my life. And it's so, so simple, I can't believe I'm just now discovering it.
What I realized is that everytime I worry about my future, what I'm saying is, "God-Self, I don't trust you." In this instance, I was panicking because my knees, at that moment, seemed to be getting worse instead of better, and all I could think of is where that decline might be leading, and surely the worry--which is a prayer to what you don't want--was not helping! So my next thought was "What if every time I felt fear, I simply said, 'God-Self, I trust you'?" So that's what I've started doing. Would you believe, my knees have been night and day better, and I could tell the difference immediately? And several other things that were problems just cleared right up? What a confirmation!
It's amazing how many times a day I've needed to say it! Each time I find myself concerned about anything, I just catch myself and say, "God-Self, I trust you." The relief in it is palpable. I had no idea how many votes of no confidence I'd been putting out there! This has absolutely revolutionized everything for me.
Why does it work? The primary thing is that It immediately unblocks The Flow of Love from Source because it opens the gate that blocks the pipeline that the ego-mind closes when it is in fear and worry. I am so, so, so very grateful to have discovered this. I wanted to share it with you so that you could try it, too. I honestly believe it's the most powerful spiritual strategy I've ever been blessed to discover...next to Easy World, of course!
I've been truly blessed to have befriended NY Times Bestselling author, Peggy McColl, back when I was just getting started with getting my message out to the world. In addition to being an author and spiritual teacher, she is the force behind the Amazon Best Seller campaigns that have helped so many authors take their books to the tops of the charts. I've been fortunate to receive invitations from her to be a part of many such campaigns, including for Wayne Dyer, Marianne Williamson, Abraham-Hicks, and Gay Hendricks. As a result, my exposure has grown immensely, as has my email list. I'm so grateful!
So, when I got phone calls from authors Bruce Painter (The Giving Zone) and Helene Rothschild (All You Need is HART) saying Peggy suggested they call me to see if I would contribute to their campaigns, I wanted to be helpful, but had already committed to sending out an email to my list to help promote Marc Allen's new book in early December. I had just helped with the Five Wishes campaign for Gay Hendricks as well, so I wasn't willing to commit to more mailings in such a short space of time. I'm VERY careful not to overload the inboxes of the lovely folks on my list! So...I decided to help them out by including the information there on my blog. Fortunately, I found value in both books, making it easy to recommend them!
I think this withholding attitude--a misguided attempt to take back our power--is pervasive in our society, and I think Bruce's book can help make a shift in this by showing that true power lies in a giving spirit. If this rings a bell for you (or you think someone on your holiday gift list might need it!), Bruce and many other teachers have some great bonuses for you today, November 14, when you buy a copy of The Giving Zone: Enter the Realm Where Your Dreams Come True. Be sure to visit http://givingzonebook.com to find out more!
I must admit when I first read the title of the other book I agreed to blog about today, All You Need is HART, I cringed a little at "HART"--it gave me the same feeling as someone using "luv" instead of "love"--until I investigated further and discovered that HART is an acronym (Holistic And Rapid Transformation) for the powerful healing method that marriage and family therapist, Helene Rothschild, developed to help her own clients and is now sharing with the world.
Once I dug into her book, I realized that she has put together something of immense value that includes many elements I have successfully used in my own transformation process. I love that she has spelled it all out so concisely and clearly and has made it a practical guide with self-assessment questionaires and exercises. She also includes lots of real case studies drawn from her own therapy practice. I'm looking forward to using it myself!
It can be pretty challenging to stay focused on healing and personal growth and I believe Helene's book can be a great help in acting as a light and touchstone on your journey. If this is calling your name, today, November 14, is a great day to get a copy. Check out all the wonderful bonuses available when you buy ALL YOU NEED IS HART Create Love, Joy and Abundance NOW! A Unique Guide To Holistic And Rapid Transformation today. Just go to http://www.helenerothschild.com/specialoffer.html and see for yourself!
Something has been floating on the periphery of my teaching mind for quite some time, and I knew from the first time I realized it, I would someday act on it and create something--a teleseminar, a book, a ?--to share it. It is touched on in Recreating Eden, and will be a part of the Easy World book, but it seems to be asking for something of its own. While this blog entry is not the ultimate expression of this Very. Big. Understanding., and I know it's not quite time yet to go big with it based on my own relationship to the topic, it's a start and will relieve for now the pressure of having something that is wanting to express through me. Okay, here it is:
Despite what we've been led to believe, we can trust ourselves. Read those italicized words again. Do you believe them?
We can trust...
But we've been trained otherwise. When that hit me between the eyes last night, I cried in grief for all the self-loathing I, and the rest of us Earth-humans, have maintained because we were led us to believe that we could not trust these things--these innate messages from our cores, and struggled to deny them--kill them, even.
We were taught that others always knew best, and we'd better get on with changing ourselves according to what this, that, or the other expert and authority (including our parents) told us was right. How convoluted our relationships with ourselves have become and how divided we feel inside! "You cannot trust yourself," the unspoken indictment we've been living under all our lives. I am crying again just thinking about it--and feeling the pain of it--again.
What catalyzed this is that I was reading Shauna James Ahern's book Gluten-Free Girl: How I Found the Food That Loves Me Back...and How You Can, Too last night and something she said about her 3-year-old nephew really drove it home to me. She's talking about a blackberry-picking excursion with him and painted this word picture: "He swings his arms from side to side as he walks down the path, his sturdy little three-year-old body guiding him toward goodness." Bingo! Can't you just feel that? His body knows that wild blackberries are something of value to him--they taste delicious, which for him is not yet a trigger for "must be fattening"--and he is following his natural urge to go get some.
Ah, to be trustful of our urges, our bodies, our energy like that once more. To act not out of rebellion against those that telegraphed the disempowering messages to us, or to the messages themselves, but to act wholly from that place of self-truth within and feel not one speck of guilt or sense of wrong-doing. Something to move toward.
I do wonder why we created this tragic, painful facet of the Human Game. We are not victims, we are creators. So I will ponder this and when the time is right, I will allow something to come forth to help us heal it. I am feeling that seed of an urge, and I trust that.
Oh, and by the way, I believe you'll just love Shauna's book, whether you're gluten-intolerant or not (I'm not--though I do think I am better off without wheat). Her writing is as delicious as the food she describes, and the book is as much about her own process of finding her authentic self as it is about food. For a sample, visit her blog, www.glutenfreegirl.blogspot.com but I warn you, you may start reading and not stop, because it's not only delicious, it's addictive! But trust your urge to keep reading--what she writes is very soul nourishing.
You may have guessed by now that I love looking over the Web stats for ILiveInEasyWorld.com and for JuliaRogersHamrick.com. One of the most interesting things it tells me in about 75% of cases is the link that brought a visitor to the site.
From time to time, I see that someone did a Google search to find out about the split between Kenny Loggins and his former wife, Julia, who divorced in 2004. Google points them to my blog because of my account of Rick's and my "Soulmate Saga," which began when we, living a thousand miles apart and not knowing of each others' existence, found each other because of the book they wrote together about their relationship titled The Unimaginable Life. Reading it is, literally, what connected us, and Rick and I married in 1999. Without going into detail (you can do that by doing a search here on the blog for "soulmate saga"), we had both read the book, been truly inspired by it, and interacted on the Kenny Loggins website where there was a forum to discuss the book. The rest is history.
I will always be grateful for that book and for the Love that inspired them to write it. It launched me into my own unimaginable life. And while, from an ego level, I would have loved it if they had stayed together and not divorced, it takes not one iota away from the true inspiration and immense blessings I have received from their having been together and sharing their intimate process. Nor does it mean that what is in the book is any less valuable. Their being divorced now is not a problem unless you are trying to model a relationship on theirs instead of simply using it as inspiration--taking what fits for you and leaving the rest according to your inner guidance.
I find it pretty humorous that human beings consider a relationship a failure if it does not conform to our very human ideas of "forever." I have no idea what other blessings--and I'm guessing they are mulititudinous--their relationship has bestowed on humanity, but that it brought Rick and me together and created such a powerful support for me to do the work that I do is huge. The heartfelt "thank-you"s I receive on a regular basis for doing what I do, supported in every way by Rick, are inumerable. Do you think those people feel less blessed and appreciative because Kenny and Julia are divorced? I can hardly consider that those two following their own paths forward, divergent though they be, is anything but exactly right!
So if you found yourself here, following a Google hit for the divorce of Kenny and Julia Loggins, consider this: You never truly know the whys and wherefores of the workings of Heaven, so best to simply accept that all is as it should be, regardless of how it may look, and trust that everything is in Divine Order.
To read how Rick and I met via Unimaginable Life, read my blog entry, The Red Diamond
I was cleaning out my email inbox and sent mail file this weekend, and in an email I had sent to someone almost a year ago (it's been awhile since I did this job!), I found a link I had included to something lovely I had forgotten all about.
I'm so glad I got caught up in reading some of the messages as I was deleting them so that I found it! While one of the hazards of going through your mail is getting bogged down in reading, in this case, it was a blessing.
It's a beautiful slide show/meditation I'm hoping you'll watch. It's a little long--10 minutes, maybe? But it's absolutely exquisite, and it's so in alignment with my understandings about our God-Realized Selves,I want to share it with you. It makes me cry with joy when I watch and listen to it as if my Wise Self--my Spirit--my Beloved--is speaking to me.
Here is the link:
I was writing this morning and the following came to me. I posted it on the EW Forum as well as the PI Forum, but thought I'd add it to my blog as well:
The only kind of action that works in Easy World is inspired, energized action.
There's no procrastination in Easy World, because there's no arbitrary pressure to do anything. There's nothing to push against. You are either naturally inspired and energized and eager to do something, or you are to simply wait till inspiration and energy present themselves.
Now—if you've spent a lifetime practicing procrastination—rebelling against the imposition of other people's sense of timing on your own—this may be a strange new sensation! You now not only have permission to act only when it feels right to you, that is one of the laws of Easy World!
The other cool thing that came to me after reading about someone else's experience with inspired action is:
Because receiving an impulse for inspired action means you are aligned with the Divine Design for Harmony and plugged into the immense energy flowing with in it, taking inspired action sustains the alignment and increases energy. You will notice that instead of becoming tired from doing what you're inspired and energized to do, you'll become even more energized as you go along. Because taking action when you're not inspired means you're not aligned and plugged in, uninspired action depletes energy and you'll find that doing something you're not inspired to do makes you tired.
It's been a fun--and inspired--writing day so far!