Words, Wit, Wisdom, and Wonder offers a new window of perspective. Subtitled An Indigo Journey it offers 10 short stories with settings from northern B.C. to Atlantis, characters who must transcend "normal solutions to create a true betterment of their situation. It is about actualization and transformation, while being entertaining.
Soon I will sell my house. That's when all hell will break loose. I'm going to get a lot of questions but I am resolved to go against the grain.
I know what I am supposed to do, I'm supposed to buy a bigger house - more expensive, in a better neighbourhood. Of course then I would need new furniture and landscaping and, and, and....
Around and around and around like a rat on a wheel, you are supposed to go, never getting off, never asking why.
I'm not going to do that. I've got my eye on something smaller, tiny in fact. A cabin that has been tempting me for over a year. I'm going to go for a Walden experience. It is so perfect for who I am - secluded in tall trees, on a country road on five acres of land so I can start the sustainable community I have been drawing pictures since I was fifteen.
In my new capacity as an administrator, I know that I am expected to observe the status quo. Yet I believe that as a human being I have an absolute duty to be true to myself and what I know to be right for me. So it will be an interesting jo
Many previous societies operated from the idea of an "Ideal". Ancient Greece for example had the idea of the ideal man or woman. During the Renaissance, the idea of someone who was the supreme generalist, the Renaissance Man, emerged. Our present society seems to operate on a default. What ideal do we aspire to? A professional sports athlete? Someone who trains their body to its limit, yet is often out of a career by the age of forty with few prospects for the rest of their life, hardly seems an ideal to aspire to. A millionaire? Money can be good or bad and certainly a proper amount is needed for the bills we all pay yet millionaires are not without the same worries and troubles that most of us have less the obvious one. An intellectual? All brain and no brawn, or possibly little heart? It seems the question eludes our society, which can be freeing in one way. In another however, it is a question which would be well answered in order to help fix the problems in our educational, political, and medical institutions.
What is a healthy human being? This is a question that should be a no-brainer. Unfortunately, it is not. We know what an unhealthy human being is, but most of us would have difficulty defining robust physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health. We simply know what it looks like when health is not present. We define our existence by duality, but we focus on the negative side. If asked what is a healthy human being, most people will give a "default" definition. For example, a healthy human being is someone who is not sick. Yet simply being "not sick" is not necessarily being in a robust state of health. Some people would be able to come up with a "positive" definition. For example, a healthy human being is positive, happy, successful. What should one be?
For those astrologically minded readers, Neptune in Pisces, which once heralded in the Renaissance, may help us to define our ideals once again. Rediscovery of our connections with all things, which is being done through experiments in quantum physics, may assist the framing of the answer to what should a healthy human being look like. The Renaissance Man was an individual who was knowledgeable in a number of areas, a lifelong learner if you will, a well-rounded person, capable, genteel, independent and interdependent. What would the Renaissance Man look like today?
We like to think of things in polarity - black/white, good/evil - since we have been conditioned to thinking with our left brain. We have set rules and roles for everything and everyone. Females are nurturing, males not so much. Sometimes these stereotypes are true, possibly because we so often see what we expect to see. Yet they are not always correct. Bentley a four year old mastiff cross adopted a kitten named Minuit. He was quite protective of his "baby", especially when Minuit went outside on a leash. Minuit would act as though Bently was his mother, even to trying to nurse from him. It was quite an amazing thing to see. Minuit is almost a year old now, yet he will occasionally revert to his kitten behaviour and Bentley, good-natured as he is, allows it. Yet this allowance is more than mere tolerance. It is acceptance.
I highly doubt that Bentley, although he is not the brightest example of dog IQ, thinks that Minuit is a dog. Yet he accepts him as a member of the family pack.
North the second in the pack, after yours truly, who is the alpha female, also accepts the cat as a member of the pack but it is a much more grudging acceptance. He doesn't want any physical contact with the cat. Acceptance of differences has its degrees within the pack.
In Canada, as a "cultural mosaic", it has long been about tolerance. I personally never understood why anyone would settle for tolerance. Tolerance to me has the sense of "putting up with although never really liking", which is no compliment. As a female I abhor tolerance of my abilities. I am as fully human as any male member of the species and should have the same opportunities at self-actualization. I have never wanted or needed women's liberation. I am free already to choose my path. What I prefer to have is acceptance yet I will choose my path with or without others' acceptance. Tolerance is a habit of the mind, a social directive. Acceptance comes from the heart and is difficult to counterfeit. So if we can't give acceptance to one another, tolerance is a poor substitute. We would be wise to dispense with it.
Yoga for me has been an excellent medium to have better balance in my life. It is the perfect relaxation after a busy day, calming, yet also undeniably exercise. I leave the class feeling perfectly centred, and renewed. Working at a “day job” that I love as a busy educator, going to yoga allows me to pursue my writing and painting at night with equal energy. It doesn’t hurt to know that Hot Yoga also allows me to sweat out my toxins at the same time. You leave healthier. Mark is an excellent teacher and gives both help and encouragement at just the right time.
Seeking balance is extremely important and since we are all unique, each person needs to find their own balance. Yet the way to balance is the same. Yoga, meditation, spending time in nature, solitude - all these types of activities allow our left and right brains to harmonize, establishing that “unity” consciousness, which is so essential to complete well-being.
It is important here to understand that each human being on the planet is essential and precious. Each of us brings something singular and precious to share with others. Often our gift can get lost, pushed aside by the more immediate (and important) concerns of making a living or caring for a family. Yet if we do not find and share our passion, we will never be truly who we are meant to be.
My journey to my passion has been the long road home in some ways. It has been the difficult life circumstances which have always galvanized me into action. Life, as the kind but not always gentle teacher it is, has provided me with exactly what I needed at each point in my life. I have to admit that I spent many years living in my ego. The ego as the greedy and selfish thing it is does not appreciate difficult circumstances. My ego certainly has never appreciated them. Fortunately, my ego no longer runs the show. (That is an entirely different blog post!)
One such difficult circumstance was the impetus for me discovering my passion for writing. Just like a dragon which was guarding a treasure, my confronting the circumstance through journaling allowed me to both vanquish the dragon and inherit the treasure. If I had only complained to friends over coffee, I would never have found my passion. It was finding the positive way of overcoming the situation that unlocked the treasure. So what is your treasure?
Franz Kafka, one of my personal heroes, wrote amazing allegories of the human condition, which he depicted with stark and unswerving honesty. He lived in the early part of the twentieth century and was a Polish Jew. His most famous book is The Metamorphosis. One of his stories “The Gate” is a favourite of mine and illustrates exactly why we need to find our passion. I will summarize it in a way that gets the point across yet does not do it justice, my apologies Franz.
One day a man walking along, came upon a gatekeeper. There was a particular gate which the man wished to enter but the gatekeeper looked so forbidding that the man decided not to continue. He thought he would wait until such time as the gatekeeper gave him permission. He did not however ask the gatekeeper if he could enter the gate, he simply waited. He waited his whole life time. A few moments before his death, the gatekeeper, who had remained motionless the entire time, moved to the gate, drew out a key, and locked it.
“What are you doing?” The frail, elderly man asked from his deathbed.
“Locking this gate, which was yours. It was meant for you alone. You never chose to enter it. Since you will shortly be dead, I am locking it. No one else can enter this gate.” The gatekeeper said sadly.
The astonished man felt immense regret.
It speaks to the fact that we all have something to accomplish and we need to give ourselves permission to do it. It is no one else who can prevent us from doing it. Only we can stop ourselves from attaining our potential, so why do we do it?
Having just become a published author, I can speak to that. Over the past two years, I have noticed a growing difference between myself and others. I no longer watch television or spend much time with movies or video games. I don’t bother with radio. Although I appreciate my friends deeply, they are aware that I have become a bit more reclusive than usual. My writing has been immensely fulfilling. Yet I am aware of the gulf that now exists between my lifestyle and that of many others. It doesn’t trouble me. But it is there. I suppose I am, what most people would term, a weirdo.
Our society programs us to be all the same. It is a lie. We are all unique. Yet it is a very strong unconscious and conscious program that society tries to inculcate in each of us. We should all do the same things and fit in. Don’t stand out and be a weirdo! Yet it is exactly the weirdos, the “crazy ones” as the Apple ad goes, who do the most good and change the world. One fear that needs to be conquered, if you want to attain your personal greatness, is the fear of standing out, of being different.
The second fear to conquer is the fear of rejection and/or criticism. I write stories, novels, even blogs because I love to. If someone doesn’t agree with what I have to say – that’s okay with me. I don’t take that personally. Once you get past this fear, you can put yourself out there.
Many of us have other fears to confront. Those two were my major stumbling blocks and they may seem small but, trust me, they were not! It is intensely freeing to confront your fears and get past them. Each of us who does that becomes a signpost for the others, just like Kafka was for me. I sure did not want to be that person, who died full of regret, their passion now locked away forever. So the question which remains is, what is your passion? When will you get up and go through the gate that is meant only for you?