Insight, Inspiration, Healing

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Rising, Falling, Rising Again

There’s so much to be learned by including consciousness of the inner landscape in the ‘walk of life’.

I’d been under a wave, a blanket, an inner oppressor since I woke this morning. First was fatigue from having slept poorly. It didn’t lift when I got up and moved into my day.
Strong fatigue.
Had to drag myself to do what needed to be done.
Irritable. Angry at being slowed down by my body. Not wanting to get sick. Feeling/fearing that I WAS getting sick.
Dull of mind.
Blue of spirit.

I know this place.
It’s been years since it was chronic, thanks to the learning and practicing of a variety of healing tools. Couldn’t seem to remember any of them as I trudged through my day.
Barely an appetite for dinner.
Fortunately, my home-made veggie soup from a few days ago was available.
After soup and some connection with my beloved, the pall
lifted and some insights came through.

(Oh, I should say that a couple of hours earlier, the physical portion of this malaise lifted after I did a couple of healing herb shots – some echinacea drops in a bit of water and some zinc-based throat spray.)

The pall that lifted over dinner was the deadened, depressed, hopelessness.
It occurred to me that this, back in my theatre-school days, was what we used to call the post-performance blues.
Yesterday, my partner and I performed some music with several other enthusiastic members of our ‘alternative’ synagogue.
It was fun, uplifting, and demanding in the arena of ‘being seen’, which is always a mixed blessing for me and my odd mix of introversion with occasional extroverted spurts – these days usually in the service of making music.

Here’s the NEW LEARNING about all of that.

In the ‘giving presence’ that singing and leading prayers/chants in a public forum requires, I’m ‘out there’. Not exactly out of touch with my inner self – I need lots of awareness of breathing; projecting; remembering Hebrew words; tuning in to the rabbi, fellow musicians, the congregation. What had been out of consciousness is that I must also make space to care for some of my extra needs as a high-empath healer while leading/performing. That is, in any community setting, whether I’m overtly offering leadership or not, I tend to be a sponge for people’s unexpressed feelings/issues’/needs. I see them, hear them, feel them even when they’re not spoken to me, and frequently they are. I’ve assumed a false separation from my ‘performer’ and my ‘healer’. I’m now thinking that the openness required to lead liturgical music opens everything further, including the empathic channel. Without awareness of that, and the tools I can use to take care of myself, I got swamped yesterday.

Finally, I had a big cry that released grief, stress, loneliness, and other pains I’d picked up from my fellow-travellers.
Back in my own place of balance, it was a sweet evening and promises to be a good sleep tonight.

Spiritual Smorgasbord- 2nd. course – Tai Chi – A Healing Moment


Moving my body is often the easiest route to lifting my spirits, so it’s good when I remember to turn to my second longest-standing spiritual practice of Tai Chi.  (For a wee bit of my history with this practice, you can skip to the second part of this blog post, titled  My History with Tai Chi .)Today, it helped me clear and heal some pain that was lodged in my emotional body.

I was doing Tai Chi as sunset was approaching. With a slightly stiff left shoulder from some bursitis or something that set in about 8 years ago, I felt grateful for this gentle physical movement that can be done even with a measure of physical limitation. A mild twinge in my shoulder reminded me of when pain arrived in that joint.  It was shortly after the sudden, early death of my brother when he was 61 and I was 58.

Not to oversimplify things to causation or anything, that shoulder pain was so intense during the weeks after my brother’s death that it frequently brought me to tears. Those tears in turn brought me several times to feeling and releasing my grief over the loss of him – my sweet, smart, funny bro. I had complacently assumed we’d have some twilight years with less busy-ness in our far apart daily lives, and more reunions.

Sometimes physical pain can connect us to the emotional variety, and therefore a chance to care for ourselves in more ways than one.
Sometimes it’s a spiritual practice that opens the floodgates. Like today.

I had a big cry while doing the part of the Tai Chi form called ‘white crane cooling it’s wings’. It was a release of pent up emotion, mostly grief, that had been sitting in my chest. I tend to have (and hold) strong empathic responses to an overload of the news about so much pain and fear in the world. Closer to home, a beloved friend is suffering unbearably from a degenerative illness.
A good cry is a good thing, for me and for many.

It’s rare for Tai Chi to open me to tears. Usually, it quietly returns me to the simple healing of deeper breathing. Today it was the catalyst for my cry that took the edge off my anxious, irritable demeanor that had been driving my day.

My History with Tai Chi
I have a passion for radical spirituality that welcomes the mixing and sharing of more than one tradition. Tai Chi is the second practice that became meaningful to me, back in my early twenties.

The form I know is from the ‘Huang’ school as my teacher, Al Huang, jokingly called it. He was trained from childhood in more than one classical Chinese school of Tai Chi Chuan. As a visiting teacher in dance and choreography in York University’s Fine Arts program in the early ‘70’s, he taught classes in Tai Chi for my cohort of performing art students, distilling the essence of the movements into beautiful dance. I loved it. Some of the form I learned those many decades ago has remained with me, flowing in and out of my life as meditation, dance, and exercise.

Years before the resolution of enough fear of, reluctance toward, and aversion for ‘religion’ had been achieved to allow me to directly turn toward the spiritual, especially  in community, I could always do some Tai Chi on my own. It never failed to deepen my breathing and quickly reduce anxiety. I could practice non-religiously – the only way I would practice then. No institution demanding that I show up and do it on anyone else’s schedule. Just me in my body.

Sometimes years would pass with no practice. Every return was a joyful new beginning with a friendly old body-memory. Here in the 7th. decade of my life it is movement I can usually do with ease and with consciousness of where my body needs attention.

Thank you to Al Huang, to his protégé Jay Goldfarb, and to the centuries of Taoist teachers and practitioners who stand behind them!





Loving Home

One piece of good news in my life is that
I have a very loving home.
I share it with two men.
In various combinations, we have
shared time and space as well as
separate space and time.

One man is my first husband of 39 years.
He is also my second longest ‘bestie’,
next to the woman
who became my first best friend
when we were both 13.

The other man is my partner.
Twelve years ago we met and have been
a tantric partnership
that is a foundation of
love/trust/spiritual growth for both of us.

There is much beauty and light for me
in both of these relationships.
There are also many learning moments
that are triggered
by what’s not so pretty and enlightened
in us and between us.
I’m referring to Garden Variety (and uniquely individual)
Shadow Material that goes with being human.
I would say that many if not most
intimate relationships
have to grapple with (or ignore) this stuff.

More on that later in this blog.
That is, more on the story of how
self-responsibility for Shadow Material
led to a swift
return to LOVE.

Also, probably more later on
how I came to live with my two guys.

Tantra – Some Sexual Healing

I had planned that my first blog post in this Tantra category
would NOT be about sex, Tantra being so much more than coital creativity.
However, the sacred sexuality dimension
is one of the most compelling.
So, here I start.

Some Sexual Healing

It’s a very jangly night here on planet E.
I hear it on the news,
and I can feel it through my edges
of anxiety, emptiness, aimlessness, restlessness……
followed by irritability that led me
to sexual arousal…..
followed by deep sexual connection
with my beloved tantric partner
who almost never fails
to meet my high libido with his.
Sometimes, in the winds of massive shifting and suffering
going on in our world,
the only thing that can ground, comfort, steady, and encourage me
is that deep elemental pleasure of the flesh.
I am grateful.