Friday, February 22, 2013

Forged by Fate

The whole Pantheon plays a role...

Next month on Convergence, I have the great pleasure of introducing a first time author and her debut book. Forged By Fate, by Amalia Dillin, is the story of Eve. But it's not your traditional biblical account. In Forged By Fate, Adam and Eve remember their past lives as they reincarnate. And there's quite a powerful bit of tension between them. Because,

After Adam fell, God made Eve to protect the world. — Adam has pursued Eve since the dawn of creation, intent on using her power to create a new world and make himself its God. Throughout history, Eve has thwarted him, determined to protect the world and all of creation. Unknown to her, the Norse god Thor has been sent by the Council of Gods to keep her from Adam’s influence, and more, to protect the interests of the gods themselves. But this time, Adam is after something more than just Eve’s power — he desires her too, body and soul, even if it means the destruction of the world. Eve cannot allow it, but as one generation melds into the next, she begins to wonder if Adam might be a man she could love.

When you read this tale, you find a very powerful exploration of self-discovery, growth, and purpose. It's elegantly placed into a context in which all the deities have a role. And it's a great story, filled with powerful characters, both human and divine, that will stay with you.

Amalia Dillin is the youngest daughter of the eldest sister of the big Italian family that I am honored and humbled to be a part of. Yes, she's my niece, and my Goddaughter. And she's an amazing young woman with talent and diligence. But that's not why she's going to be on my show. It's because she has an important and powerful story to share, that carries truth and beauty, and lessons for all of us.

Forged By Fate is being released on March 5th from World Weaver Press. It will be available in paperback and as an ebook. Read the book. Then join us for Convergence on March 17th at 10:30 am Pacific time.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Knowing Where You Are

Course Correction is Easier That Way...

I had such a great time putting my "Convergence" show together this month. As I was tending to the studio, what caught my ear on Sunday, and again came to mind as I was contemplating our Solstice 2012 ceremony this coming Friday, was a moment in my "Spirited Conversation" with HeatherAsh Amara (author, student, and co-facilitator with don Miguel Ruiz).  

We were talking about the power that comes with releasing "the Judge" and harvesting the gift that remains - the gift of "Discernment" (Listen in here at about 59 minutes in).

We talked about how, with Discernment, we can see where we are, and, once we can see where we are, we can understand where to go next.

And then, "...accepting where we are..." 

Once "the Judge" is released, remember, we no longer judge where we "should be", and instead can accept where we actually are.

HeatherAsh set this discussion up with a stunning, powerfully relevant reference to heat-seeking missiles, and how they're off-target 99% of the time.

The upshot: when we can a) discern and b) accept where we actually ARE, instead of resisting that in favor of where we think we should be, we can make our course corrections much more effectively. Change comes sooner, and it sticks.

And that's much more satisfying.

(Listen to the whole show, or tune in for my "Spirited Conversation" with Heather Ash, starting about 36 minutes into the show. )

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Convergence: Contemplating Isa - the Rune of Ice

As I'm working on my December Convergence radio show, coming up this Sunday on Firefly Willows L*I*V*E!, I'm contemplating Isa, the norse rune that represents "ice".

Along with all the typical associations that come with Isa -- cold, slippery, brittle, dangerous -- a thought came to me this morning that I don't find in the literature; an aspect of Isa that is not mentioned. Ice - frozen water - is less dense than liquid water. So the transition from water to ice is actually an expansive one. It is also one that introduces a kind of order. An expanded, ordered matrix is formed in this transition.

This is the first time I have imagined that Isa represents an expanded, ordered state. A state of stillness, to be sure, but also expanded, and ordered. Mystically speaking, something, under the influence of Isa, becomes "lighter". What might that be? And what is released in this process?

This solid, expanded, ordered state is as natural as the "flow state" of water, just not as "comfortable" to our warm, flowing, sanguine bodies. An "edge state" for us, as human beings?

Expanded, and Ordered, and Still... Hmmm. Interesting.

What are your thoughts? Let's explore. Join me for Convergence this Sunday at 10:30 AM pacific time for more.

Friday, May 18, 2012


Green is Good!

I've been eating more and more raw foods. While my darling wife makes a trusty and savory ham-egg-cheddar on buttered toast sandwich for herself, I find myself trending towards something like what I made this morning:

1 Banana
1/2 Pear
1/2 Apple
1/2 Mango
1 Orange (fresh from the tree!)

4 Kale stalks - leaves, really, but the stems are so sturdy! (fresh from the garden)

4 Swiss Chard leaves (fresh from the garden)

1 handful of Goji berries
1/2 handful of Sesame seeds
1/2 handful of Sunflower seeds
1 generous scoop of Green Superfood (Chlorella, Spirulina, etc., etc.)
1 raw Egg
Generous splash of Apple juice to make the blender go...

WOW! Yummsville!

And, I probably won't be hungry until well into the afternoon....

Good stuff.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Pollen: Irritant or Medicine?

A Lesson In Letting Go

There's a lot of pollen out this week. I had a tough day on Monday, and today is a bit challenging, too. As I was sitting there "suffering" on Monday, trying to fight off the itchy eyes and sneezy nose, my dear friend and colleague Suzette Marie said,
"Maybe it's not an allergy. Maybe it's medicine for you. Maybe it's helping you to release something."
 Well. Hmmm. That sounded like an interesting perspective. I was totally game for turning something very annoying - indeed, debilitating - into something good for me, if only I could pull it off. 

Here's what I did.

First, I contemplated what pollen does in a plant. When pollen reaches the stigma, it embeds itself and creates a "pollen tube" - it basically tunnels its way from the surface down to the "womb" of the plant.

Then, I contemplated what pollen does in a human - it triggers the release of histamine. Histamine dilates blood vessels and makes the vessel walls extra permeable. 

Then, I examined what I was experiencing. Of course, it was the histamine reaction - the "symptoms" of the "allergy".

But what was that, really? What if it was medicine? Suzette said, "'s helping you to release..."

To figure this part out, I sat quietly and closed my eyes. I calmed myself enough to notice my fierce resistance. Resistance to what? To the feeling of "swelling" in my eyes, nose, and sinuses. I was fighting hard against it. 

I took the time to feel my way through and into that resistance. I let go of "sensing the itch" and embraced "sensing the resistance".  This part is hard to describe, but I think it's useful to share.

It was as if I was blasting away with a weapon - a weapon of light and heat - that I was applying to the area all around my head. And all that light and heat was making the area around my head hot and full of a kind of fiery plasma that was "stuck" in that area. Almost like I was firing this weapon into a heat shield that was between me and the rest of the world. 

Now, I can't tell whether I was the one blasting away, or I was the one holding the heat shield in place. I just know that I was in the middle of it, and it was not a happy or productive scene.

Once I got a handle on the dimensions and depth of the resistance, I began to try to release it. To "let go". The first phase of that process was to stop seeing the situation as an antagonism. The pollen, the reaction, the "motion", I said to myself, was appropriate. It was an OK thing. A good thing. Nothing to fight. Rather, it was a release of something. (What, I didn't know).

The second phase was to drop the shield. To let down my guard and "allow" what was happening to happen.

What I found was that if I was very still, and did not try to do anything else but "allow", the feeling of "discomfort and resistance" transformed into a feeling of "quiesence and permeability", through which "something" was being released from me out into the ether. I could feel it passing out of me. 

What was this "something"? 

I'm not sure I totally know, but here's a clue: The stillness that I had to adopt was a meditation of sorts. It required me to be completely present to myself and the moment. I could not read. I could not write. I could not plan or think or be in the future or the past. Fretting about my "to-do" list only made it worse. I had to be fully present.

What I felt dissipating through this process was the compelling urge to be "doing". All the items on my to-do list, my sense of having (or wanting) to engage with the world and experience something resulting from the application of my own volitional force onto the world had to go. 

Instead, I had to be completely receptive and, I guess in a way, vulnerable.

What evaporated out of me was attachment, desire, action, drive. What was revealed in its wake, in its absence, was clarity. 

How odd that a hayfever reaction would lead to clarity.

They say that allergic reactions are more pronounced in those that lead an unhealthy lifestyle - smoking, bad diet, etc. And also in those that lead a "hyper-sanitary" lifestyle - everything sprayed with disinfectants and very restricted encounters with the "dirt" of the natural world.

I think if a histamine reaction makes one "more permeable", and an unhealthy or hyper-sanitary lifestyle exacerbates the reaction, then perhaps what pollen is doing is offering us the opportunity to reconnect with the energies of the natural world, and cleanse ourselves of those things in our lives that are impediments to doing so.

Bee pollen is know in naturopathic circles as very strong medicine. Perhaps the bees and the flowers have something to teach us about the healing power that comes from intimacy with the natural environment.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Bee Medicine

What were they up to?

It was a fine Sunday morning. We'd just finished the Firefly Willows L*I*V*E! radio show for the week, and Deb and I were home, out in the front yard, enjoying the sunshine, and doing a little gardening. (OK, we were pulling weeds...)

We noticed that the bees in our tree were pretty active, going about their busy-bee business.

After about twenty minutes or so, a neighbor and his kids were out for a walk. They stopped and we chatted. Suddenly, Deb looks up over the big cherry tree and says, "Hey, look at that!"

A big cloud of bees!

Now, bees normally swarm when the queen decides to leave the current hive (either because she's a new queen who needs to establish herself, or there's something undesirable about the hive's current location). But this hive, this gang, already had a home - and they swarmed right back to it!

So we're not sure what was going on. I spoke to a beekeeper, and he said, "Huh. That's unusual."

I'm content to have had a beautiful experience, and to have shared it with my lovely spouse and delightful neighbors (who were, under the circumstances, remarkably calm...)

Love that Bee medicine!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

It's My Birthday!

Reflections on Entering "Area 51"...

First, I'd like to say, "Thank GOD I've made it this far!"

Second, I only have one thing on my birthday "gift registry", and all of you who stop by are welcome (indeed, encouraged... ;-) to give me one of these:
  • ITEM: One moment over the next three days in which giver deliberately and gently cultivates beauty.

So, that's it!

Oh, wait. I never write blog posts that are that short. So, here are some observations.

At 51, some books are now incompatible with my eyes. And/or the length of my arms. I found a little pocket bible on the sidewalk this morning as I was taking a stroll. Couldn't see a thing. For all I know, it wasn't even a bible. (But it looked like one...)

I'm increasingly delighted with my life. I have blessings too numerous to articulate.

I have a very cool wife.

The best defense is a good offense. Over the last two days, I've gotten up early, and upon going out into my back yard, I've discovered an army of snails (both days!) on my fennel and coriander. Rather than try to "evacuate" them by tossing them in the garbage or something, I've decided that they'll live a life of plush luxury for the next seven days, eating fine greens. And then, they will become verrrry intimate with garlic and butter. The irony is, of course, that over the next seven days, they'll be eating lettuce from my garden. Go figure.

I'm still pretty agile. Trimmed the overgrown trees on the fenceline the other day. My neighbor was impressed with my monkey-like antics as I clambered around the tree.

What I'm afraid I look like...on a GOOD day!
I have one vanity for sure. I wish I hadn't lost so much of my hair. See left and below for a sampling of my consequent self-image. You can see why I would love to spontaneously manifest my former... hirsuteness... as a birthday present.

The bees are happy and busy. The cherry fruit-set looks to be very generous. Anticipating a delicious June and July.

Life can be fun when you're not all serious and grouchy and pressured. Who knew? (Besides Deb, of course...sheesh!)

I'm finally realizing that I'm OK just the way I am, even if I am a little unfinished.  That doesn't mean I intend to stop growing, of course. But I can take a little of the pressure off now and then. Achieving isn't everything.

There are moments when I feel like I have no idea what I'm doing - with my life, my career, my family, my obligations - everything. Then, something happens (small, big, serendipitous), and then I feel like maybe I'm not so lost after all.

I'm grateful for the beautiful home and garden that we get to live in. And for the weather here. Ahhhhh....!

I love redwood trees.

I love my dogs. I'm getting much better at relating to them. Really, it just takes a bit for me to relax into their vibe, instead of being all uptight and demanding. They're pretty cool. And quite willing to share an experience.

I could go on an on, but I have a million things that I get to do today, and this is only one of them. 
Uh oh...

Enjoy my birthday!

My "John Larroquette" look

The elder Keebler Elf
"SYNDROME" from The Incredibles (or, Jack Nicholson.)
Looking a bit like my older brother
(...oops! Sorry, Joe!)

I think I've tortured you all enough now...and now that I have not the tiniest shred of dignity remaining, I'm off to do...something else.