Tuesday, March 31, 2015

On Melting II . . .

Notably, I wrote about the Wicked Witch melting yesterday (insert metaphor for LIFE, in all its juicy-ness). And I described the meltdowns that were occurring around me . . .

But there's more to the story.

For those of you who have seen the Broadway musical Wicked, we know that the "wicked" witch has a backstory.

Don't we all?

And, . . . it's so super satisfying and comforting to know that someone ELSE is THE badass (d)EVIL witch. 

Not us. No---never.

Just like we don't want to look at our own pain--we don't want to look at the dark side(s) of our own nature. Better to call someone else THE WICKED WITCH.

I would offer that as we want to KILL THAT (other than us) WICKED WITCH, we also want to meet and slay our own shadows. But it's easier to go after someone else, am I right? (insert virtual knuckles or high five . . . in a sad and serious way . . .)

This is how we learn. It's all MiRRoRs:sRoRRiM.

This song is scary and violent--but we as an audience are so interested in "othering" THE WICKED WITCH that we buy into it . . . and we want to crucify and kill her.

So do I, sort of. But what I'm realizing, is that it's not about her. It's about me.

I don't want to kill and crucify her; I want to have empathy--because there's more his(story) to her(story).

Easy? NOT.

Check out these lyrics. Violence begets violence; and revenge is an excuse for violence. Note WAR metaphor: EYE FOR AN EYE, RIGHT?

Go and hunt her
And find her
And kill her

(spoken) Good fortune, Witch Hunters!

Go and hunt her
And find her
And kill her

(spoken) Kill the Witch!

Wickedness must be punished
Evil effectively eliminated
Wickedness must be punished
Kill the Witch!

(spoken) And this is more than just a service to the Wizard.
I have a personal score to settle with Elphaba...with
The Witch!

(sung) It's due to her I'm made of tin
Her spell made this occur
So for once I'm glad I'm heartless
I'll be heartless killing her!


And the lion also
Has a grievance to repay
If she'd let him fight his own battles
When he was young
He wouldn't be a coward today!

Kill her! Kill the witch!

Wickedness must be punished
Brave Witch-Hunters, I would join you if I could
Because Wickedness must be punished
For good!

~Wicked, 2003

I know this is long, and you don't have to read the entirety, but here's her powerful monologue which describes her backstory:

I am Elphaba. What? What are you looking at? Okay…I know. I know I’m green. No I am not seasick! Yes I’ve been green ever since I was born and I didn’t eat grass when I was little. Everyone is always looking…staring… Why are you people so judgmental?
This is who I am. People say I’m a rebel, I speak my mind even if I know it will make me some enemies.  I believe in equality. What if you’re green? What if you’re a goat like Dr. Dillamond? Or rich and popular like Glinda the good? To the world, all those things matter, but to me we are all equal and made perfect because of our imperfection. I desire discrimination to be history! To be a thing of the past! I want to change how people see things and I want to change the ideals of the world!
All I’ve ever wanted in life was to be accepted for who and what I am.  Every day there is one question that stirs people’s minds. A question pointed at me that they cannot erase from their hearts—Are people born wicked? Or do they have wickedness thrust upon them? That is what bothers them and let me answer that. No, I never wanted to be wicked or even be called that and in my heart I know I’m not! I’m just a regular, normal girl wanting to be accepted by society and loved for being me, for being green.
But the world has a mind of it’s own and when you’re flesh is not actually flesh but green like mine, The sad and inevitable fact is, you’d have to wake up every single day knowing that people will look down on you and discriminate you.  You don’t know what is in my heart!  All you see is this green exterior and I hate people for having narrow minds and closed hearts.  Can’t you see I’m human too? I have feelings like you, I cry when I’m sad, I laugh when I think things are funny. I’m normal! Can’t you see that? but obviously no one notices.
No matter how hard I try to act normal, I know I’m special and people take that differently.  You don’t understand me and it breaks my heart every time I try to do good because all you see is bad not because you see my heart but because you see I’m green.  I can read spells and do magic.  That is my curse and my gift.  Once I have been tricked… deceived and asked to do a spell that completely took me by surprise and way beyond my conviction.   All I wanted was to help and not hurt the animals but that day changed my life and here I am now, seen by all as a Wicked person, nothing more.
Glinda and Fiyero…the two people in this world closest to my hearts aside from my sister Nessa Rose of course.  But Glinda… though we started off on the wrong foot she became my best friend. Can you imagine being so different from a person and yet be accepted for what you are? I didn’t have to hide anything from Glinda…It seems so fresh and alive in my mind, like it was only yesterday when we were students in Shiz and there are times when I feel sad not knowing where she is now, how she is now. Even though we had to part ways because of our differences, She was my only best friend and she helped me change for good. And Fiyero…Oh Fiyero…He gave me hope in love.  Never in my life of being green and discriminated against did I imagine I could be loved as much as he loved me.
Wherever they are, I hope they’re happy and well. If not for them I wouldn’t be where I am today.  Don’t get your hopes up! I am still who I am.  Nothing changed, the stares are still piercing every time I show myself in public, But you know how people are, they will always be judgmental and discriminating.
Today I know the world hates me. Tomorrow I know they will fear me. I am as green as ever shining like a bright emerald.  I have full of love in my heart but I cannot change the views of the world and because my friend Glinda the good gives hope to the people of Oz, I have to do my part and give gloom and murk into their lives even though it is not in my heart to do so.  Despite our differences and the way the world sees us, Glinda is my best friend and I love her.  Because of her friendship, acceptance and love for me, I can say I have been truly freed from all the bad stares and the corrupt judgement of the world.  I am Elphaba, The Wicked witch of the west and today I am soaring high, I am defying gravity, liberating and letting go because I am free.
Are you free? Can you detach from what the world imposes on you? Or, what you impose on yourself? ow can we learn to LoVe it aLL?

Monday, March 30, 2015

On Melting . . .

Sunday, March 29, 2015
The Wizard of Oz
"I'm Melting"~ The Wicked Witch

Seems like there's a lot of characters in  my life right now who are in major meltdown . . . in crisis, downright unhappy, rude, annoyed by life in general.

Sometimes, this includes myself.

The planet is in a weird and funky choice-place at the moment.

And so am I.

As a matter of fact, things are getting so crazy and messed up, that the only choice I have right now is to retreat inside myself, detach, and take care of ME. Like I need to seriously save myself and reconnect with my Source.

I understand that my choice will impact others, and may make them uncomfortable.

That's okay for a couple of reasons.

One, I need to allow others to be uncomfortable without pre-emptively making sure everything is perfect so THEY NEVER GET TO UNCOMFORTABLE. (this is about ME)

And, I need to let other be uncomfortable because that is about THEM--not about me needing to FIX it for them. Why would I take anyone's journey or process away from them?  (again, about ME)

It's just not my business.

The truth is (and I just realized this today as I was processing with one of my besties, Nancy [SHOUT OUT]) that I don't want others to feel pain or discomfort, because I don't want to see it---and here's the clincher:

If I "fix" (which I don't really do, in fact--it's all made up in my mind) other people's pain and discomfort--make it go away, make it invisible--I am denying my own pain. Get it?

It's my own pain I don't want to look at. And when I focus on the pain of others, I don't have to look at mine. 

So today, while I witnessed major meltdowns, I just tried to be present and centered--not fix it (although I did swear once!). I had to walk away and take a break from the drama a few times, but generally I was empathetic and detached---I didn't rush in and helicopter, or give advice.

I took care of myself and set boundaries.

And I feel okay. 
Not swept up, not frantic, not adrenalin-ey (I know that's not a word, but what-evah . . .)
Hopefully, I'll get a good rest tonight and head into work in the morning.
Sometimes, going to work feels like a HELLA vacation!


Sunday, March 29, 2015

GoT GirAfFe?

Last week I was at the Lincoln Park Zoo.


The most incredible part of my trip was BE-ing PRESENT with a pair of GIRAFFES.

I live in Minnesota, and at the Minnesota Zoo, the animals roam free, and so they are very far away.

At the Lincoln Park Zoo, the giraffes were literally feet away. I saw directly into their big, beautiful foot-long eye-lashy eyes.

I could have stayed for hours. Their gaze was so magnificent, present, and powerful.

They chewed grass, blinked their eyes, and remained present with me as I watched them.

I want to be present to the people in my life--just like the giraffes. I wish people in my life are as present to me as giraffes.

They stared directly down into my soul.

Thank you. I am so grateful.


Saturday, March 28, 2015

Let Go . . .

“By letting it go it all gets done.
The world is won by those who let it go.
But when you try and try.
The world is beyond the winning.”
~Lao Tzu

         I'm secretly laughing at the quote above that found me this morning. I awakened at around 2am last night and couldn't really get back to sleep--only just in and out of a dreamlike state until I finally gat out of bed around 7am.
         I'm finding that my mind can really take over and race and race--and I get confused about whether I AM my thoughts, or if my existence is much bigger than just my mind and what I am thinking.
         I actually know the answer already but I am still confounded be just how much my mind has control over my existence, my mood, and my overall well-being.
         I kind of need to demote my MIND out of the driver's seat and into the back of the car, where she can hang out and watch the ride, read a magazine, and take in the beautiful scenery.
Sometimes, my mind works in amazing ways, like, for example when I am in problem-solving mode, or when I need to get stuff done, like correcting papers or planning curriculum.
         But generally, I think that it's in my mind where a lot of the ego stuff that's not so good happens, like, judging myself or others, or comparing myself to others and making up stories in my mind.
         If I really want to learn to live from my heart space, I'm going to need to learn to take a vacation from my brain. 
How do I do that? 
By living in the moment, and finding healthy ways to connect in to my heart & soul energy. Meditation helps, and so does writing, listening to music, hanging out with my kids, or being out in nature. I've noticed that when I'm in creative mode--like cooking, doing crafts, collaging, or writing, time sort of drops off and I feel a great sense of presence.
         What works for you? Leave me a comment and let me know!
Super Duper Heart LovE--

Friday, March 27, 2015

Love You!

“The Way of the Happy Woman is an ancient way of living in harmony
with oneself and one’s surrounding as a feminine being in the modern world.
This requires simplifying, slowing down,
aligning with the rhythms and cycles of nature,
and living from the inside out through the self-care practices of
seasonal yoga, meditation, lifestyle, and nutrition."

-Sara Avant Stover, author of The Way of the Happy Woman

I love that this cartoon from Karen Salmonson and the message from Stover about The Way of the Happy Woman found its way to my mailbox this morning! The two put together actually speak volumes . . . 

One of my lifelong challenges has been learning how to take good care of myself and put my self-care before taking care of everyone else. Now, I realize that it doesn't apply to, for example, little babies, or others who cannot care for themselves--but oftentimes, I've put others before me out of habit--when they could have totally taken care of whatever the THING was, for themselves.

I think sometimes, we put others before US because it's just a habit or because we NEED TO FEEL NEEDED, but sometimes, I suspect, it may be a bit more than that, for example:
  • We believe we might know better what that person needs than they do? hmnnn . . .
  • We think putting ourselves first might look selfish . . .
  • We don't really know how to do self-care, so it's easier to focus on outside stuff . . . 
  • We want to look good, and get extra credit for our busi-ness, so we focus on other people's business . . .
  • (deep down) We don't feel worthy of our own self-care, (or that of others, BTW) . . .
Well, I am learning how to do self-care these days--which means, among other things:
  • making daily morning meditation & ritual a priority
  • taking vitamins again
  • smiling randomly and allowing myself to feel peace and bliss
  • writing in my journal each day
  • speaking my truth, even when it's not pretty, or positive . . .
  • setting boundaries around what I'm willing to do . . . like, for example, thinking that NO is my first response, and then reconsidering if YES might be a desirable option
  • accepting and being grateful for my forty-ninr year-old body, even though it's not perfect
  • asking for what I want and letting go of the outcome . . . just the asking itself is a powerful act for me!
  • buying deliscious food, and cooking yummy meals . . . even when I'm by myself
  • taking random naps, as needed
  • drinking lots and lots of water throughout the day
  • letting myself laugh or cry often for seemingly no reason
What do you do for your own self-care? What can you do for yourself today? Leave a message in the comments!

Lots of Love,

Thursday, March 26, 2015

(de)tatch-ment . . . from drama . . .

"There is nothing either good or bad,
but thinking makes it so."
~William Shakespeare

I have been on a huge learning curve lately. Let's just say that the drama factor has been cranked up a notch in my life lately . . . which really, I now understand, is actually a good thing! A blessing . . .

Know why? 'Cuz it has given me the opportunity to practice DE-TACHMENT--which has been one of my blind spots (or shall we call it one of my "growth opportunities" . . .) over the course of my life!

Here's the toxic, barfy, painful, f#@&inG stupid pattern:
  1. DRAMA ENSUES (insert any dramatic event here . . . a fight, someone says something mean about me, someone doesn't like me, I don't win, I'm sick, I'm wrong, I make a mistake . . . etc!)
  2. I enter fully into drama and get sucked up into the storm . . . trying to "fix" everything, make people like me again, convince others that I'm okay, over-apoligize, feel ashamed, try to make it up to everybody . . .etc!
  3. I obsess about the drama . . . lose sleep, talk about it too much, convince others that I'm "right" . . . or, it's "okay" . . .
  4. I feel bad about obsessing about the drama . . . now it's become drama once removed . . . META-DRAMA . . . you know, drama about the drama?
  5. Repeat cycle.
With the drama in the past week, I've been able to make some shifts in this shi(f)tty pattern of mine. 
Yeah me! I'm actually looking at the drama like a bystander--like I'm watching a bad, or slightly sick play . . . and I'm not taking the drama personally (well, actually I started to, but this time I ACTUALLY CAUGHT MYSELF!).

And now, as my bff would say: All is well

I'm okay!@ 'Cuz I'm choosing my thoughts carefully and remaining in my calm spot. 


I'm glad I'm at choice and not just RE:ACTING (this time). As Deepak Chopra writes:

"Every time you are tempted to react in the same old way,
ask if you want to be a prisoner of the past
or a pioneer of the future."

How do you remain at choice when DRAMA ENSUES!? Are you a prisoner or a pioneer? (leave a comment and let me know! . . .)

Still learning ;) lol!

(nondrama) Dana

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

tAkE a bITe out of LiFe!


I saw this video last week, and I just had to share it with you. Cookie Monster literally takes a bite out of everyone's drama---and helps them solve their own problems by asking them questions.

Cookie Monster reminds me (after years of journaling, therapy, life coaching, counseling, self-help books, and seminars . . . JEESH!) about this:


Many of us live our lives looking on the outside for answers to our deepest questions; we outsource our truth, and we lose touch with our hearts deepest knowing. Right now I am reading The Vortex by Esther and Jerry Hicks. They refer to this deep knowing as a personal Guidance System, which has a purpose "to help you know--every step (or thought) along the way--when you are diverging from your prebirth understanding of life, and when you are on track" (p. 5). The challenge, according to the authors, is to find alignment between you (physical) and You (Source).

Children have a closer alignment than grownups, and animals have an even closer connection between themselves and source. As we adults observe, we can learn a lot from kids and animals--they remind us how to get back to Source. We watch them with joy and with awe because we are brought into the present moment and we are reminded of the connection we once had.

Seems like we grownups have the biggest challenge for alignment, because of all the conditioning we have had growing up in this physical plane.

No wonder I've always preferred children to grownups! 

In de Saint-Exupery's The Little Prince we are reminded that as we grow up, we must retain our childlike connection to source, remain 
connected to our hearts as we navigate life, for it is in our connection to our hearts, rather than in our 
minds, that we remain guided by Source.


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Teaching my MIND, to MIND!

As I wrote last week, throughout my life, I must admit that my MIND has been in the driver's seat a good part of the time. I have listened to my thoughts, and they have often been in charge of how I feel. I know I've written about this before, but I'm beginning to understand this notion at an increasingly deeper and deeper level. I want to live more fully from my HEART.

Today I listened to a segment called "A Master Yogi's Eye View of Addiction and Recovery" with Guru Singha yogi, teacher, writer, composer-musician, shaman, ordained minister, and healer.

He talked about why at this time in humanity, people are struggling with addictions to substances, behaviors, negative thought processes, food, and relationships, just to name a few. This podcast made me wonder if we individuals who experience these types of negative patterns exhibit the behavior or use the substance to turn off or disrupt negative thought patterns--the ones that remove us from the present moment to beat ourselves up about the past, or to worry about some presumed future that may or may not come to pass.

I wanted to learn more, so I found a blog on Guru Singh's website that read the following:

If you are reading this you came by it because you are one of the pioneers of the future of this exact world. We are here to abandon ignorance; we are here to make information universally available; we are here to increase awareness and produce a global human community in the process. We are here to reduce the entertainment of consumption and increase the attainment of enlightenment. We are here to utilize the vast human neurology for the purpose of discovery and send our children into a future of hope, enthusiasm and peace. We are here to make a difference, not just make a living. We are here to pay back the debt we have created for the future . . . for our children. We are not here to make believe . . . we are here to believe we can make it.
One phrase that hit me from his blog is, "We are here to reduce the entertainment of consumption and increase to attainment of enlightenment." It makes me wonder if we are such a consumer society because we are attempting to soothe our mental habits or our negative patterns of thought with substances and activities outside ourselves--in this manner, we are never filled up because we are looking from without rather than from within to satisfy what Mastin Kipp calls "the God-sized hole."

Enlightenment can only come from a place of self-reflection and quiet, so the next question I have is: How can we first teach ourselves attainment of enlightenment rather than entertainment of consumption AND THEN FOLLOW TO teach our children attainment of enlightenment rather than entertainment of consumption?

This may be my most important question that drives our purpose on the planet, at this time in the Universe, at this stage in our evolution right.

Please join the conversation by sharing your comments on the blog. We would love to hear them!

;) Dana

Monday, March 23, 2015

Embrace it All . . .

HeY aLL! 

Letting others be free means leaving them alone to be their oWn fReE bad selves...(not really, but themselves . . .). It's not really our business, where they are, or what they do... cuz if we don't like what they dosaybelieve or N+E=ThiNG, we have a choice to just walk away . . .  without hating on them, (however, it is possibly our business to tell them how we feel...more about that later...)

NE way, like I was telling you the other day, I have spent a lot of NRG in my days wishing people in my life would change (or want to change --FOR ME...you know, so I could feel better by being in control and get my needs met from them OUT(side): IN(side)! embarrassingly dramatic...). What I know now, is that people don't change (much) unless they want to (and not cuz I want them to . . . CRaP! and unCrAp . . .). whew...that takes the pressure off to control everyone else's destiny...thanks!


Would you ever look at like, a sunflower and expect it to grow into a rose (cuz you like roses better and that's what you want on your table?)...
and there's more (sorry . . .) Would you ever expect a sunflower to grow faster just because you gave it more water and super duper fertilizer...and...expect it to grow into a rose, still?

How about appreciating a sunflower for its sunflowery-self and a rose for its rosy-ness? And, if you don't like the sunflower, just walk away and choose something else (without haTinG on it)? and same with the RoSe?

Hmnnn...kinda freaky? (i personally like clover, myself!)

just sayin'-----

fLuFFy puPpies and raInBoWs and pink ponies, too!

;) dana

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Embrace Change

I sure have learned a lot from the amazing and beautiful creature, the butterfly! It's incredible--they start out as lowly earthbound creatures, only to weave a cocoon around themselves tightly in preparation for their transformation into

fanciful flight!

(which isn't to say that caterpillars are less than
or less bEaUtiFuL than butterflies!)

One thing I have noticed about change, is that it's never on my own tImELinE (surprise, surprise . . .). Usually, I want something to be different, like YESTERDAY--It could be something about myself, my life, or even somebody else (btw none of my dang business on the last one . . . I've learned that the hard way).
Remember: We spend a lot of time and energy trying to change, but Divine Timing has it's own lovely meter--sometimes SUPER QUICK-LIKE, and sometimes feels like

                                          R . . .

How could we ever know when someone else is ready, for anything?...Especially since we, ourselves, don't often know when we're ready for _____? 
Maybe other people's timing is just none of our business.

takes time
that nature
(AKA The Universe)
knows what it's doing!

Here is a lesson about one man's attempt to "help" speed up and rescue the process of a butterfly's transformation--
The consequence of the man's interfering with Divine Timing? . . . the butterfly ends up being banished to the earth forever. Just maybe has something to teach us about trusting time...for ourselves and for others:

Embrace and trust change: You are right where you need to be, and so are your fellow travelers!


Saturday, March 21, 2015

G(r)i(e)vE iT uP . . .

Sometimes, I am challenged in life with being a mom when my kids (or anyone else I care about, for that matter) aren't happy or when they are struggling. I totally want to GET IN THERE and fix IT, taKe care Of tHe PaIn, pRoViDe cOmFort, and make eVerYthiNg better WiTh a Hello Kitty Band-Aid, for ExaMple, or a WaRm bLanKie, or hOt sOup, or aDviCe.

yEstErday, my MagicAl daughtEr was VEry, vErY, saD bEfOre dinner. And she wasn't completely sure why. After talking for a little while, we realized that she wanted something to be really, really different than what it is. We quietly held hands in her room and I brushed away her tears; we talked about what it meant to be sad, and shared stories about when both of us have grieved about something that really wasn't the way WE wanted it to be.

This morning I was processing my daughter's distress. I decided to go back upstairs to bed and read cuz' my kiddos were still sleeping and it's a quiet luxury I don't have very often. I opened up one of my books--The Seven Laws of Spiritual Success (1994) by Deepak Chopra-- and came upon the chapter about The Law of Least Effort:

Nature's intelligence functions with effortless ease
 . . . with carefreeness, harmony, and love.
And when we harness the forces of 
harmony, joy, and love,
we create success and fortune with effortless ease (51).

Basically, what it said is that when we can accept what is, we can truly appreciate the moment, the present, and the people in our lives for the very people who they are. AHA and EurEka:
hEaLinG sTeP

For a big part of my life, when I have been really, really sad, I haven't been willing to feel grief--I push it down, suck it up, or ignore it--deny it as if I could manage to control the situation or relationship that wasn't what I wanted it to be.

By going numb instead of grieving,
your ego pretends that the loss isn't agonizing,
that the threat is not so grave as it actually is.
You have to go through grief

before you can release it back to the light.
Have patience with your grief.
In this period of necessary suffering
comes a great sense of purification.
The sting of death is no longer quite as anguishing.
The possibility of letting in the light once again becomes real.
~Deepak Chopra

My unwillingness to feel grief is a denial of what simply is, and by judging it and pushing it down, the cycle only grows stronger. As in, "If I don't allow myself to feel grief, I might still have a chance to CHANGE the thing that isn't WHAT I WANT."  My daughter allowing herself to embrace her sadness is actually a first step toward her accepting the reality that something isn't what she wanted it to be.

My kids are my greatest teachers. We have to learn to move through feelings--if we try to go around our feelings  (run 6 more miles, go shopping, play on the Internet, have another beverage, etc. . .) our feelings just come back up as another opportunity to learn to move through them again.