Paradise is Sharing...

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Ocean of Thought...

photo credit: Trip Advisor
The other evening, I met with my Graphic Designer to work out some new business cards and design concepts for my company.  Finally enjoying a stretch of warm spring weather, we sat at a charming outdoor venue - Novare Res, and I had two glasses of lovely dark beer that had hints of coffee and chocolate undertones.  Our meeting adjourned and I realized that "only two beers" was a little much, and I needed to walk around before hopping in my car.  So I walked around my new little city... I enjoyed the sun on my back, and as people walked by, I caught their eye and smiled. I meandered down the cobblestone streets and  I gazed into the boutiques and shoppes and admired the colorful offerings and the shiney bobbles they offered for sale.

I made my way to the pier and inhaled the cool ocean breeze that wafted in from the springtime maritime.  I  found my way to a park bench and sat to watch the boats and ferries churn their way to their destinations.  My mind went back to the hypnosis session I had attended the week before.  I remembered Jess's voice saying "If a thought floats into your mind, let it - just observe it float by like a boat on the ocean...let it come into view - observe it, then let it slip away..."

So I sat on the park bench and as I watched the boats, I thought about them as the thoughts that float around in my mind. Thoughts came into my mind, and they were old and familiar - like the Casco Bay Ferries.  I have seen them hundreds of times before, and they circle around and around - going back and forth to the islands.  They never have a new destination - they remain the same.  Around and around they circle... predictable. Like clockwork.  Ah... my old thoughts and stories... like the old ferries.  Hello... goodbye, and hello again. 

More thoughts popped into view - they are like the yachts and sailboats.... New and mysterious.  I wonder where they came from, and where they are going.  I wonder about the adventures the people on board must have... where they might end up.  I hope the people on board have the wit and knowledge to deal with the elements.  I wonder if they go beyond the safety of the bay, or if they will brave the open ocean.  Some of the vessels didn't seem sea worthy, and I deemed them crazy if they ventured too far.  Ah.. much like some of my new thoughts that seem crazy at first, but new, exciting and full of adventure. 

My other bemused observation while sitting on the park bench watching the industrious buzzing of the bay, I realized that the boats never stop coming in and out of the marina - the activity is constant... but as the sun dipped into the city skyline, and the shadows of the buildings grew taller, the activity slowed, and the buzz waned to a drone.  Eventually, as night falls,  the droning settles down to a slumber... as the boats rest on their moorings, waiting to be released to occupy the bay another day.  

Noting I was drowsy.... I decided to stroll back up the hill to my car.  Enough thinking for one day -time to hitch my thoughts up to their moorings and rest. 

Paradise is here, Paradise is now ... Paradise is an ocean of thought....

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Paws for a Minute....

Not really believing I was allowing myself to be voluntarily herded into a small, darkened conference room that had been converted into a meditation center, I followed the instructions of the lovely Hypnotist with a pretty baby bump, and a delightful British accent.  "Just make yourself comfortable, whether it be in a chair, or on the floor - you can lay out on the floor if you wish..."  

I watched the other participants choose their spots - a couple ladies laid out stretched on the floor, I chose a corner I could sit criss-cross-applesauce meditation style, and struck my best Yogini pose.

My nagging voice Cecilia muttered... "This is a bunch of hooey you know..."  Shusshing my inner critic, I reminded myself to keep an open mind - this might be relaxing, and Lord knows, after the week I had, I could use some relaxation.

Soft music droned lightly in the background.  Jess, our hypnotist, began talking... she instructed us to close our eyes, to breath, then "scrunch up" a body part, then release ... starting at our scalps and ending at our toes.  Cecilia chimed in "you are doing it wrong..."  Shut up.  Just relax. Who cares? God... why can't I just relax???

 Jess's voice continued and brought us through a visualization of flying over a rainbow (Cecilia -"Is she for real?"  Shut up! )  She asked us to go to someplace lovely, someplace beautiful, someplace where we felt completely safe.  I was immediately in the Western Mountains.... As she flew us "over the rainbow" I flew from my little campsite on Cupsuptic Lake, over Bald Mountain.  I smelled the earthy pine, I heard the loons laughing. 

I landed at Angel Falls....The spray from the grand waterfall created big, beautiful, shimmery rainbows.  Jess asked us to reach through the rainbow - what do we find?  I reached through - I watched my hand stretch out, and I felt the cold, wet rocks.  That's it? That's my big hypnotic moment? A wet and cold piece of granite?  I then felt pressure on my hand, and in my minds eye, I saw a white paw land on top of my hand.  I looked up - and there she was, smiling her Eskie smile, tongue hanging out, and she let out a short huff.  She wanted me to play along - and I knew this game.  I quickly moved my hand back and her paw slipped onto the rock, and I place my hand over her paw.  <<Huff - ha ha, so you do remember this game>> and with a satisfied pant  and a swift move, she pulled her paw away, my hand slipped onto the cold granite rock, and her paw landed back on the top of my hand. 

3, 2, 1..... You may leave your place, knowing that you can go back when ever you want....

I opened my eyes and wiped them, not knowing that tears had formed.  We left the darkened conference room, blinking at the harsh florescent lights in the next room, and from what I could tell, we each had our own experience.  My logical mind wanted to dismiss what happened.  Of course I thought about Rangeley and Destiny - those were the happiest times in my life, the times I felt the most connected to my spirituality and to my source - of course that is where my imagination would return. 

Driving home, I kept replaying the "paw game" in my mind .... I hadn't thought about that game in years.  I almost forgot that that was "our thing."...  Why did she feel she had to remind me of our paw game?  What's up with that Des?

She would always egg me on to play it.  She would nudge, paw, and urge me until I finally had to get down on the floor and take time out to play with her.  PLAY.  I took time out to play.  That was the message she needed me to have.  I need to stop, get down on the floor and play - and I haven't done that in a very long time.  Thank you for the reminder my girl.... thank you for reminding me that I can go back to that place anytime I want. 

Paradise is here, Paradise is Now.... Paradise is taking time out to paws for a minute.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

On the Verge...

Paradise is being on the Verge...
photo credit: 123RF Stock Photos
Sitting in my car in the parking lot of the local Dairy Queen, I dug my long red spoon to the bottom of my Heath Bar Blizzard and scraped the bottom of the cup.  600 calories later, I felt no less crazed.  Now I felt vexed for even being so frustrated that a detour to the ice cream shop seemed necessary. 

As I drove home, I realized now I've added tummy ache to my tension headache - not a great combination for when I need to be creative - especially to be creative on a deadline.  I need to put together that presentation for tomorrow - but brilliance is escaping me, and I am beyond frustrated.

Once home I dutifully sat down in my "writers chair" and pulled out my laptop.  Better try to give this a go... and after two hours of painful tugging of thoughts and ideas, I had a rough presentation pulled together.... not one that I was the least bit excited or proud about.  MyHoney walked by, saw my furrowed brow, and knew to stay clear.  He was almost through the room when I sighed loudly.  "Um... anything I can help with?".... an innocent, sweet and gentle question, that recieved every dagger in my arsenal.  "NOT UNLESS YOU CAN HELP ME PULL MY CREATIVITY OUT OF MY @$$!"  My poor Honey.... caught in the crossfire of the crazy war that wages between my outrageous expectations and my modest abilities - again.

I returned my eyes to my laptop, but the screen was black, my laptop blinked off and went through an "auto update." When the laptop came back on, I frantically searched for my work - but it was gone.  I felt my mind go blank and snap off much the same way my laptop did, I had a complete and total meltdown.  I took the technological fail as a sign from the Universe that my message was junk, that I was a fraud, that I didn't know what the hell I was talking about, and the Universe was doing everything in it's power to block my message from getting out to the world. In my collapsing view on reality, I thought I needed to throw in the towel, and just go hide in a cave and live my life as a recluse much in the way of Salinger, Manet, and Garbo.  Good lord. The drama I create.

Through tears I exclaimed "I just wish I knew what my message is supposed to be - Why can't I get this?!?!"  MyHoney just sat next to me with his hand on my shoulder while I fumed. 

Paradise is letting the storm pass...
Copyright (c)

Frustrated, I put down my laptop, and went to bed.  I did put together a presentation the next day, but again, not my best work.  Luckily, even "not my best work" is pretty good... but I was still frustrated that it didn't click or resonate with me.   

Walking along the ocean side, holding hands with MyHoney, it was the first calming moment I felt in days.  We talked about home improvement things, about what our summers were shaping up to be, and even about wedding plans.   It was all shaping up nicely.  Suddenly, like a lightening bolt, the information I had been begging for, straining and racking my brain for Divinely downloaded There it was  - the Answer.  It clicked on like a switch. At first, I questioned it - could it really be that simple?  Furthermore, the answer  (and I knew it was the answer because of the feeling in my gut I had) was something I had previously been resisting.  I was resisting the answer all along, and it was only when I surrendered that it all became so clear.  The message flowed.  I got it.  I knew what my message was... and when I got home I nearly ran through the door to my lap top to capture it all. 

Tapping fervently on the keyboard ... my face glowed from the light of the PC - the room had grown dark without my noticing that the sun had gone down.  MyHoney walked through the room and snapped on a light.  Barely noticing, my fingers flew.  This is a masterpiece!  MyHoney cleared his throat and tried again "How's it going?" ..... and clicking save - I invited him over to read what I wrote.  "Brilliant!" he exclaimed as he read the last word.  I had tears in my eyes... it felt so good to have a breakthrough.  I can't believe the tension, frustration and resistance I felt just a day before.  It was then I realized - "When you are feeling the most frustrated, get excited - you are on the verge of a breakthrough!"

Paradise is Here, Paradise is Now ... Paradise is being on the Verge...

Friday, April 5, 2013

Paradise - Relocated....

The Buddhist Parable of a Raft:

A man is trapped on one side of a fast-flowing river. Where he stands, there is great danger and uncertainty - but on the far side of the river, there is safety. But there is no bridge or ferry for crossing. So the man gathers logs, leaves, twigs, and vines and is able to fashion a raft, sturdy enough to carry him to the other shore. By lying on the raft and using his arms to paddle, he crosses the river to safety.
The Buddha then asks the listeners a question: “What would you think if the man, having crossed over the river, then said to himself, ‘Oh, this raft has served me so well, I should strap it on to my back and carry it over land now?’”
The monks replied that it would not be very sensible to cling to the raft in such a way.
The Buddha continues: “What if he lay the raft down gratefully, thinking that this raft has served him well, but is no longer of use and can thus be laid down upon the shore?”
The monks replied that this would be the proper attitude.
The Buddha concluded by saying, “So it is with my teachings, which are like a raft, and are for crossing over with — not for seizing hold of.”
With the last box packed in my Subaru, I walked into my empty apartment and stood in the center of the room.  I loved how this place embraced me.  I loved how I felt safe here.  I loved the tall pine ceilings.  Her and I had history.  This place rescued me from danger, not once but twice.  I was saved from sinking.  I took in a deep cleansing breath and reminded myself that I was safe now, and my beautiful nook in woods, my sun-drenched sanctuary had served me well... it was time to thank her, place her down, and not carry her any longer.  Thank you for saving me. 

I've read about when animals are brought into refuge after being abused or injured, and even though at first they wildly resist going into the cage, once they realize they are safe there, they refuse to leave the cage even once they are healed, and being released.   Even though the immediate danger is gone, they relate the wide open fields that were once their home to being hurt or injured - they choose to continue to live in the safety of the cage, and they resist leaving with every fiber of their being.  They miss out on being fully rehabilitated because they live in fear, and they choose the cage.

I am not going to lie - it took a lot of convincing to tell me I was now safe, I was free to leave my sanctuary, and I had crossed the river.  There is no danger in my new home, I am not in peril.  It was my time to leave my refuge and live my life.  It was time to let go of my raft.  Time to leave the cage.  Time for me to fly.

As the moving van pulled away and I looked at my new surroundings, littered with moving boxes and
very disorganized and chaotic,  I found myself mourning the raft.  A few tears dropped down onto the tape covered box I was attempting to open.  Its hard to believe I have crossed over and I am on safe footing, yet still feel this way - fearful for the unknown, shaky, uncertain.... I mourned the embrace of my sun-drenched apartment.  I was the damn caged bird that doesn't recognize how good I have it, and freedom is mine for the taking.... all I have to do is stretch my wings.

MyHoney walked in with an arm full of boxes, and beamed at me like a ray of sun.  Noticing my tears, he put down his cargo, walked over to me, and embraced me.  As I buried my face into his shirt and breathed in deeply his warm hug, and I watched in my minds-eye as I cut the rope to the raft, and gratefully let it float away. 

Paradise is Here, Paradise is Now, Paradise is Releasing the Raft....