glasses1Last year I attended a weekend workshop in which we were asked to identifying our “Basic Assumption” about life. The idea was that we all experience life through a particular lens and that knowing what kind of glasses we are wearing might be helpful. The workshop was facilitated by Maria Nemeth, a razor smart women with a wonderfully high forehead and charming willingness to crack jokes at her own expense. She handed us a list of a dozen or more “Basic Assumptions” and we spent the weekend trying to figure out which one we were. I struggled. I hedged. After two days of narcissistic, self-absorbed, self-exploration, I was as confused as ever. None of the options seemed quite right. Finally, at the end of the weekend, I took my turn in the hot seat. I stood in front of thirty people, palms sweaty, heart pounding, sure I would be made the fool. But, with Maria’s steady arm wrapped around my shoulders, I discovered my Basic Assumption: THIS ISN’T IT.
dog1I like to pretend I’m not woo woo but between you and me, I’m full of crap. I poo poo the wackos who unblock chi by ohming into their chakras. I question the motives of the people who take pilgrimages to Dharamsala. I feel sorry for the people who continually plop down credit cards to pay for endless “Harnessing the Law of Attraction” workshops in the hopes of manifesting the BMW they always wanted. In my darkest, most cynical moments, these poor souls are lost sheep  in search of a shepherd—someone or something who can lead them out of the briar patch into a new, less prickly life. I judge them as irrational nuts but, ladies and gentlemen, the hard truth is—I’m one of them. Yes, indeed. There is no denying it now because a few weeks back, I picked up the phone and called — wait for it — an Animal Communicator. AN ANIMAL INTUITIVE. What, dare I ask, is  woo wooier than that?
maryjanesWhy do people dress up for God? I remember being a kid on Sunday mornings watching my friends climb into their parent’s station wagons to go to church. The girls had on prissy, pressed dresses and patent leather mary janes; the boys wore skinny neckties and little plaid sports jackets with sleeves that always seemed too short. They were miniature versions of their parents. Looking back, I’m not sure who they thought they were kidding. I don’t imagine God was fooled by a primly folded, breast pocket handkerchief or string of pearls. Being all omniscient, God sees everything, right? He knows what we look like in the morning in our ragtag pajamas and cockeyed bed-head hair. He knows we wear stained jeans and socks with holes in them. He knows, to my horror, the condition of our underwear. And, because he’s so damn omnipotent, he knows how badly we can behave — bitchy and cranky and passive aggressive (who me?) and impatient and judgmental and superior and…oh, how I could go on. There’s no slipping a mickey past this God guy.
A few days ago I flew here to Florida to take care of my Mom as she faced some health issues. As I write it’s early morning. I was woken up a few minutes ago by the sound of my Mom’s slippered feet as they shuffle past my bedroom door on her way to the kitchen. It’s pill time. I can hear the pull tab on the tomato juice pop loose. I can hear the front door open and the plastic bag that houses the New York Times be discarded. I can hear the flicking of her Bic lighter as she lights her first cigarette. As she begins another day, I lie here in a whirl of worry. Every sense alert. I never had children but I imagine this is the feeling parents have listening for the whimpers of a new born baby or waiting on a Saturday night to hear the car pull up the driveway delivering the teenager home safely. I am vigilant, keenly aware of my Mom's every movement, falsely convinced my attention will make a difference. But then I remember
brainA message from The Voice: You woke this morning feeling hemmed in. You woke feeling as if there was something missing but I am here to tell you that that is only an illusion. There is nothing missing. In the language of the universe it is impossible for something to be missing because there is nothing outside of the universe. So, what you feel is missing is only missing because you have chosen to not see it. I know. Your mind and its perpetual loops of dissatisfaction and fear are loud. Like the megaphones on the streets of Prague during the communist occupation spitting out propaganda 24/7, your mind is telling you things that are simply not true. You must out-yell them. You must do everything in your power to supplant them with different, more supportive, more empowering, more truthful messages. This work you have undertaken to see beyond the surface is not easy. The ruts you have formed in your mind are deep and well traveled. You will need heavy equipment to
greenpastures2A message from The Voice You come here to this spot on your couch to tap into the reservoir of goodness that exists in the world, everywhere, all the time—even in you. You know that as you proceed through your day people will interrupt you, rocks will fall in your path, flowers will bloom right beside but go unnoticed. That’s why you sit here with me. You know that right beyond the front door of your physical experience are rolling hills and green pastures waiting for you to play and be your best. You come here to remember. You come here to remember the ever unfolding, infinitely available fields of possibility. As far as the eye can see, up and down, across and around, there is love and joy eager to be expressed. You are bathed in it. It infuses your skins and is absorbed to your core. It is what you are made of. Close your eyes for just a moment and see
windI spring from the rivers of great mountain ranges and fall into the oceans that feed the world. I am a child of my parents. I am the living breath body through which Spirit expresses itself. Beyond my body is a world. Other people, trees, fish, swamp and sea, ferns and foxtail, swan and swallow, worm and seed. This planet is rife with throbbing life. The wind blows from Kuala Lumpur to Kentucky bringing with it the sweet nectar of promise. On the winds come rain and clear skies and the possibility of newness. Beyond my mind and my limiting view of what’s possible is a whirl of life, dreams, hopes and love – unending, warm, soft embracing love. On the winds from the west come all that we seek. On the winds from the west comes Spirit.
letgoA message from The Voice. Life is the balance between your deepest intent and the natural unfolding of the universe. It is similar to the dance between long- and short-term planning. You must clarify where you are going in the long term then let go of the short term… Cathy, I can feel you grasping and anxious about where this offering is going. I invite you to use this morning as a practice session for what we are talking about. You know and you proclaim that you are a courageous writer who
eggA message from The Voice. You say you want to be a woman of faith. My question is what do you have faith in? I ask because it is not helpful to have faith solely in me. Have faith in yourself as me. So many of you make the mistake of believing solely in me and leaving yourself out of the equation. Yes, you can have faith that I am ever present and infinite but I am nothing without you. Having faith in me without having faith in yourself is like breathing in a vacuum. Faith is an empty well without your participation. I am made manifest through physical action. You can sit on your couch and pray like your life depends on it, beseeching me to come to your rescue, but nothing will happen until something physically happens on your plain. Do not have faith in me. Have faith in yourself as me. I am not interested in you
candleA message from The Voice. The point of coming here and communing with me each morning in this quiet intentional way is so that you can get to know me better. I am a habit that can be hard to acquire. Most habits are hard to break; I am one that’s hard to keep. Your brain is active and engaged in opportunities that present themselves in three dimensions. The world comes at you. It is in your face, poking and prodding you into submission. But I come with you. I am withinyou. I thrive and operate beyond the obvious and am, therefore, easy to forget. The point of a morning or evening time of contemplation is to remember. When you light your candle or ring your singing bowl or close your eyes in prayer…you are connecting to your own divinity. When you release the sense of your self as limited and small and