Blog, Living a 'Spirited" life - Spirit-U-ality, people's stories, Uncategorized

Beginnings and Endings

Without question fall is the season of change. To loose the idyllic warm womb of summer is a bit of a shocker, like any about-face. More so than spring, autumn steals then announces the end of summer even before the official seasonal equinox. It marks the beginning of something for many like school, possibly a move, new friends and situations. September is also a month of getting back to work, starting a new projects, gardens dying and putting things to bed for winter- suffice it to say change is the common denominator for all things in this colourful yet chaotic season.

If you are feeling nervous anticipation, coupled with a feeling of dread at this time, you are not alone. Like the gardens burgeoning with produce September’s monopoly on the month of most change, has likely stymied all your confidence and certainty. Change is a tricky state. On the one hand we often look forward to bursts of newness but only if we have articulated the details and outcome ourselves. Many of the big changes in life like starting a new job, school, relationship or living in a new city have no predictable parameters, which can throw us into a difficult tailspin. We intellectually attempt to control the change, while emotionally we will inevitably face our deepest fears and obstacles. With any significant change we are thrown right out of our comfort zone and the nervous system does not like that.

Last week I had a major change that I had not expected nor planned on. Someone whom has been with me for a long time was suddenly plucked right out of my life due to a unfortunate situation. I have been working intimately with this person for many years and although the betrayal has been hard to deal with, the more difficult piece was my emotions having to come to terms with this sudden change. I was experiencing this upset on all levels of my being. Our emotions are primitive slow moving dinosaurs and do not do well with abrupt change.

I found myself resisting through feelings of defeat, I became plagued with wanting to know why – and justifying reasons why I should give up. This went along with a lack of faith in myself and in the process that I had been thrust into. I felt at times hopeless, cynical toward all people and indifferent as to my future and my goals. I recognize this as a dangerous place if given the opportunity to run rampant and I also recognized my need to process the big change.

Luckily through the years I have seen the importance of giving time and space to some of these deeper and more intense processes. Most importantly staying in present time, allowed me the capacity to be with ‘what is’ and to reflect on my feelings now, otherwise the mind becomes obsessed with ‘what-was’. With that willingness I am sure that I was afforded the insight, just today that spring-boarded me out of the ‘Why? How? What? which will drive one crazy – toward the deeper truth of this necessary change. The fact is, there was damage being done that I was too blind to see or to complacent to act on due to my comfort. I may never have seen or done a thing till it was too late – without the universe orchestrating the change.

As many have said before me, change is the only true constant in life. It is something we most certainly need to learn to live with and ideally master for any peace of mind. We will all be faced with change; and the fear of the unknown is real – especially for the primitive nervous system and its delicate ego that seeks to protect its’ identity and the status quo, at all costs.

Our job is to reassure the emotional body through grounding and calming techniques, as we forge forward. We need to embrace grace and grit as our go-to when the going gets tough and things feel daunting. Don’t look back, except to gather awareness and insights. Learn to build resilience and tenacity through ‘mini’ acts of courage – especially in the eye-of-the-storm; this will keep you strong in the face of catastrophic or casual change and enable you to harvest its rewards. Perhaps this is what is truly meant by blind faith, you never really know what the outcome will be, yet you must put one foot in front of the other to get through the jungle. As the great mystic Rumi said: “Take the Pearl, leave the Shell behind.”

May your harvest be bountiful,

Love Mary-Jo

Blog, people's stories

1967-2017 and Fifty Years since “The Summer of Love”

“A new concept of celebrations beneath the human underground must emerge, become conscious, and be shared, so a revolution can be formed with a renaissance of compassion, awareness, and love, and the revelation of unity for all mankind.”
1967, The San Francisco Oracle

The ‘Summer of Love’ remembered by many as the ‘hippie & flower children’ days, was a social phenomena originating in the San Francisco, Haight-Ashbury region. It drew hundreds of thousands of wide-eyed youth, artists, musicians and bohemians that wanted social change (Vietnam anti-war peace movement) and who sought community and sharing, rather than ownership. Freedom of expression with a generalized anti-establishment tone made this counterculture movement one of the most significant cultural events perhaps since the 1800 Age of Enlightenment.

“Haight Ashbury was a ghetto of bohemians who wanted to do anything—and we did but I don’t think it has happened since. Yes there was LSD. But Haight Ashbury was not about drugs. It was about exploration, finding new ways of expression, being aware of one’s existence, and sharing the Love.” The Grateful Dead

I was 10 years old at the time and I know much of the Summer of Love idealism influenced my worldview to this day. Lyrics of songs by Jefferson Starship The Beattles, Procol Harem, Manas & The Papas and many more immortalized the Summer of Love Beat Generation mood of the day. I still believe that love is the answer, especially within the disturbing political and social landscape that exists now, 50 years later, where we again face a critical time to either evolve or destruct.

Love is the occurrence of expansion of our consciousness, beyond even our physical limitations, which swells our hearts in the depts of joy, pain or grief to feel far beyond any notion or concept of the mind. It is a inner rebellion against all of the illusions of fear. It is a evolutionarily process that has expanded our brain with its’ consciousness.

To be in the state of love we need to be in present time, otherwise it is not love, but likely any number of emotions: desire, need, possession, longing – which are not directly associated with this evolved state of being. Many yogis and spiritual seekers describe the state of love as an unconditional place where you experience your being ‘at- one’ with everything – no attachment, avoidance, judgment, grasping projection or deflection; rather a unified state of being that embraces compassion, empathy and respect for all of life.

The reductionism of humans to capitalistic consumers who defer only to more aggressive displays of egoism, is a tragic epidemic fuelled by the drugs of power and greed. Like any addiction abstinence and surrender to a power greater than oneself is the only remedy for healing. Life and love is the power greater than all of us and will continue, should our species like many of the other millions of species that we have progressively destroyed, become extinct.

With powerful forces at work in the universe at this time both seen and unseen, I purpose it is time to reflect on our values and ideals as to how to overcome our. common dilemma. Our world needs help and we are both the problem and the solution. As the hippie newspaper the San Fran Oracle suggests:

“A new concept of celebrations beneath the human underground must emerge, become conscious, and be shared, so a revolution can be formed with a renaissance of compassion, awareness, and love, and the revelation of unity for all mankind.”

It’s time for another “Summer of Love”. Let’s start a movement.
Blessings, Mary-Jo

SUMMER OF LOVE PROCLAMATION
“There are moments in time when a word or thought has such power it changes history; a generation so involved in the moment it becomes unstoppable; a spiritual awakening so profound that its very conception shatters perceptions, halts the world and makes people from all nations take notice.”Boots Houghston