Sunday, November 10, 2019

The Story of Your Path

What is the story of your path telling you?  It’s easiest to start with the patterns and themes that have been presented for you to experience time and time again.  Many paths have themes.  There are solitary paths, paths of painful relationships, paths of joy and camaraderie, there are paths of higher traditional education, there are paths of non-traditional education and so many more.  So, what has been the purpose of your path thus far as you have journeyed through the whole of your life?  It can’t be all pain and loss?  What are all those patterns and themes, the things you have experienced the most?  What are the patterns no longer repeating?  Do you know?  Have you reflected?  What are your conclusions and are you certain that you have really gained the intended wisdom?

I will give you a little tiny piece of advice.  If you think your learning has always been about how small you are, not being good enough, not being smart enough, good looking-enough  or how to lose, you may be missing the real point in the lesson.  Let’s take a breath for a moment and reflect.  Take another breath just because.  Now, I want you to clear your mind and take a little journey back in time.  I want you to look for a few small and simple things.  Are you with me still?  Good.  Okay, let’s go.  Go all the way back to childhood and friends.  Who did you laugh with and who did you make smile?  Note that.  Scroll forward a little bit, who did you help no matter how it turned out for you – our focus is just what your actions were and not anyone else’s reactions.  Got some?  Jot them down.  Now, who did you first love with your heart wide open?  Don’t focus on the end but the moment your heart loved.  Were there other times?  Good!  Note them.  Who where you there for?  Who was there for you in any capacity at all at any time.  It could have been a sibling, a cousin, a parent, aunts, uncles or friends – a pet even.  Got something?  Good.  Note it.

I want you to hold on to the moment that these things were experienced and good – not the moments after where things may have turned out differently.  I want you to really focus in on the moments that you really gave of yourselves without a care for the ultimate outcome or those moments someone really gave of themselves to you with out a care for the ultimate outcome. Remember how it felt in those moments, no matter what happened next.  These moments are the giving times and times you were called to move from the heart and you did it or you were called upon to receive.  These are times you heeded a call to the heart and you learned how to give or created a call for others to respond in kind.  Now, if you consider certain outcomes of these same situations, did you not also learn ways that maybe you shouldn’t give?

Consider struggles also that you may have had repeatedly in life.  To really get the lesson, you’re going to have to go way beyond the superficial appearance of something.  For example, maybe you repeatedly lost jobs, lost money, were robbed, taken advantage of, misunderstood, etc.  These are all very difficult experiences to learn from but in these situations, you were learning and it wasn’t just that the world and its inhabitants were evil and hurtful and that you are a helpless, gullible victim.  These are superficial reactions.  We all run into some bad apples in this world and have bad experiences.  I know some who have taken the worst experience you can possibly imagine and turned it to good by sharing the knowledge of the experience.  There are also some who have had a string of bad life time experiences and climbed into a bottle and died.  We have many choices to make here as we journey and I won’t judge anyone’s path and I’m even careful now how I might judge my own.  You see, here on Earth, our environment and upbringing shapes our psychology and how we view the world and our journey here in life.  Our view can be tampered with by those also impaired by challenging environmental psychology.  Sometimes its not even about what other people did when they were growing up but how they may have interpreted what they experienced.  We are so very complex.  But, one thing we were gifted with is the ability to notice patterns and themes. In fact, these things are part of our survival instinct – e.g., if you cross a path with a belly crawling creature that rattles, you remember that you may suffer a lethal bite, right? 

So, I’ve written about pattern analysis in my books but that isn’t the place you live or exist.  It is something to do with a goal in mind.  These things have been a part of your journey in life and love it or hate it, it was uniquely your experience and whatever it is you did with that experience is the crux of the thing you were intended to learn from.  So, don’t dwell on bad past experiences or good past experiences.  Focus on what you are learning, focus on what you have overcome, focus on the things that you have mastered either beautifully or by the seat of your britches.  Now, consider, what is it that you want to do, to learn or experience next?  The beautiful thing about life is that you can dream and open yourself up to the ever-unfolding path that is uniquely yours.  We have so many choices.  We can experience something terrible and shut out the world forever.  No judgment from me but I might worry about the beautiful things that you could be missing out on – important things, wonderful things.  We can experience something terrible and discover how it came to be – was it random or was some part of you seeking an experience?  It could be both or neither.  Life can be like that.  We learn what we intend to learn and sometimes, we just seem to be learning about how to be with the emotion of a challenging experience.  It’s okay to get angry, to be fearful, to be happy and seek silver linings…in a way, all the answers are yes on this path, but not necessarily the way you might have imagined.

Regardless of lessons understood or not, your life is an epic tale.  Every step you take not only contributes to your story but your story also influences the story of others.  You are amazingly you and you have walked your path up to this point just exactly as you meant to do.   Trust yourself to continue to weave your amazing story of life here on Earth. Trust yourself to take every breath and step in perfect time, to understand repeating cycles and circles and to get the meaning intended just for you and your conscious evolution.  Whether you tell your story or just live it, we walk the path with you weaving our own experiences and influencing each other and in a way, walk each other home.  I hope that you enjoy the journey.  When the journey becomes difficult and fraught with core-level-challenges, I pray that you always find that gossamer flame of light, hope and faith within to guide you on your next step and to continue to breath in your next breath and the next breath so that you will be grateful for the experience of physical existence here when your journey ends.  Just remember that nothing here stays the same.  Everything changes.  That means the leaves fall and the trees are laid bare to the cold of winter, but the seasons change and new growth begins again in the spring-time.  You’ve got this.  Ready?  One more breath.   Now, take that next step with courage, with love and the greatest curiosity your life has ever know.  You have a beautiful story to live and I am so grateful that you are here now.

© 2019 (photos/words) Jaie Hart

Taming Chaos - A Path of Thought and Integration

After years and years of intense experiences, deep and core reaching and teaching spiritual experiences, it has taken me a very long time to process and integrate.  Am I finished yet?  No, not by a long shot but I’m feeling my time of solitary contemplation is ending.  In a world that seems chaotic, punctuated by all that is negative in the media and the psychotic-seeming trolls that have permeated all of our on-line existence, it sometimes feels very pointless to speak a single word.  So, during such times, quiet solitude is necessary to begin to understand.  Will we ever? Honestly, although I’ve had some very serious doubts, I believe that we will.

The masses are purely frustrated and divided over things we all consider to be important but it is not really the dividing lines that are the real focus here.  We are being challenged to declare ourselves.  Just not in the way we might think at first.  I don’t know about you but if ever I find myself in wrong thinking, my body speaks to me.  It tells me, “wait a minute, you are going a bit too far – be silent and quiet – let the emotion settle and begin again in a better frame.”  I used to miss this important message time and time again until massive episodes of anxiety or depression would strike and painfully remind me.  So, I learned to be more silent and work through the feelings and fears of hopelessness in all I witness in life on planet Earth.  If I clear away the superficial thoughts and fears, I find something truly amazing.  It’s sometimes a very tiny gossamer thread of hope.  Just when I think there is no hope, I’ll see a sparkle out of the corner of my eye.  I may witness the true beauty of the nature of some humans so readily expressed that I cannot stay in a space of fear or of hopelessness.

While the media expounds on this atrocious thing or that heart-wrenching and mind numbing angry-toxic producing thing, they are getting the reaction they strive for.  I have decided to no longer give it.  I understand the stirring of baser emotion for the sake of stirring negative emotion.  It gets people into a very reactionary state and then the witch-hunts begin and the scape goats are strung up and strung out and then there is even more terrible news to broadcast.  But, but, listen – is that really the life we want to live -a life being manipulated by the media and those with a dark design?  How does that help you put food on your table, love those closest to you and strive always and ever to be better and brighter?  I can’t remember which book it was but Thich Nhat Hanh has said something to the effect of, “What are you feeding your head?”  When you are glued to the news channel late at night before bed.  Is it easy for you to fall asleep?  You get that concept, don’t you? If you turn to hope and what builds and better supports you in this life, can you sleep better and love better?

I don’t believe the world is any crazier today than it has always been here at the hands of fearful humans.  But, if that is all you focus on – that is all you will continue to perpetuate.  I now implicitly trust my inner guidance system.  Whenever I feel absolutely incredulous watching the news or being confronted by this human or that human I know there is a lie in the mix.  Either one I am being told or sold or one I am believing in.  Rather than waste my time and energy fighting back against the darkness of this reactionary manipulation employed unwittingly or unintentionally, I stop.  I pull myself back.  I calm gently my ego’s need to fight back, to be right, or to defend.  I pause and reflect to discover what part of my experience truly feeds my incredulousness and it doesn’t take long anymore to uncover the truth.  I then can move into the space of my heart, see more clearly and then simply hold a space of understanding.  Fighting back and defending is always an option but with so much time and energy poured into this negative manipulation of experience for ratings, for money or for God knows what else, it would seem to keep us all exhausted and vibrating so low, thick and desperate.  I don’t want that for myself and I don’t want that for others.  I also know that my only choice is to be the change that I want to see.  I need to focus on what lifts my own vibration.  I need to explore what better supports me and helps me operate more clearly as a conduit for balance in a seemingly crazy world.

We are all of us the darkness and the light in this world.  We can point our focus at any time and in any moment towards dark or light.  It’s not good or bad, right or wrong, it just is and you can argue these points from any angle for arguments’ sake.  You can troll me to the moon and yet, my inner guidance system will not waiver.  In that, I trust completely.  So, how have things been for me lately since this shift in thought, while integrating experience?  Peaceful.  I have found peace, I have found an inner well of unshakable love and support.  I have discovered in life where I “went wrong” so to speak but I’m not angry for it because it taught me so much.  I no longer need to learn from the obvious negativity in the world put forth by intentional or unwittingly participating humans expressing their own form of environmental psychology.  I can learn my life lessons by connecting with the Earth, appreciating the Sky, the Wind, the Clouds, the Birds, the Trees and every single blade of Grass.  Creation speaks often.  I now listen more closely and openly.

My intent and my focus of late is shifting my own energy and letting that vibrate out from my being, letting that be the wake I leave behind me as I place one foot in front of the other on this journey I call my life.  I’m living it my way and doing the best I can.  I’m turning off the news and disengaging from that which does not support me or those I love on my journey.  I’m doing what I can where and when I can to help change those things for the better where I see fit in a positive, non-violent and non-toxic way that does not infringe upon the free-will of others.  I’m making a commitment to myself and to all things I relate to – to strive to bring good, do not harm, and make a difference I can live with.  I can stand for something I find important without causing harm to another soul.  I have much hope that others in this world will rise up from this constant swirl of utter chaos and awaken and learn that they too can make a difference without imposing upon the free will of others.  I have hope. Find your hope and your faith.  Trust yourselves to find the best way.  May your God or Goddess or Nature or Life in General – bless you in every possible way with great wisdom, great compassion, great healing and great abundance.  I wish this for the entirety of this beautiful globe that is our home.  It is time.  And, So, It Is.

© 2019 (Photo/words) Jaie Hart

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Welcome Home

We emptied the last of our things from the condo, we packed whatever would fit from the garage and at around 1:30 pm that Friday and we slowly pulled out of the driveway for the last time.  What a mixture of emotion that was for me.  For a few moments, I would be homeless moving from one place far away to the next.  Given the time of day, we were going to hit traffic in the worst part of California but it wasn’t a terrible drive.   My poor little kitty in the seat next to me was not a happy traveler but in a way, needing to constantly comfort her on a 7 hour trip turned out to be a blessing.  We pulled into the last stop before truly saying goodbye to California and I felt a little sad.  California had been my home for so many years.  I loved the little condo we had rented and it had been so very comfortable for the last 6 years.  I fed the kitty to try to calm her and watched the grackle birds foraging for French fries in a parking lot filled with other weary travelers.  With kitty fed, watered and somewhat calmed, I jumped back on the freeway.

It was just a few miles to the border of Arizona.  My daughter was a few miles ahead of me on that long stretch of lonesome between Blythe and Phoenix.  I was in love with the desert, in awe of the shape of a new horizon.  The cacti and birds, the sun setting behind me casting a beautiful and eerie glow over this long, long stretch of nothingness.  I felt an energy as I drove.  It was soothing and exciting.  I was worried about making our way in the dark and hoped we’d hit city-lights before full darkness set in.  Driving the I-10 in the dark is beautiful but a bit scary when you are used to bright lights of the city at every turn.  But, my only focus now was how close to our new home and new life we were.  I fought back the fears in the darkness – did I make the right choice?  Will this be good for us?  I had to cut them off because staying put wasn’t an option.  Our condo would be sold and re-renting in Southern, California was just more than my budget could bear.  I settled into the thought of pulling into my new driveway of my new house, one I bought on my own through my own hard work and diligence.  I was excited beyond words.

We got in and settled our poor little kitty cat, who no doubt was grateful to no longer be caged in a car speeding across the desert.  She settled into her favorite soft blankets, played a little with her toys and we left her there safe in her room, snuggled up and finally calm.  The house was empty as our things would not arrive until morning.  My real estate agent left us some very necessary supplies and gift cards for necessities.  It was getting late but my daughter and I were too tired from the drive to go get food.  We had water, and enough supplies for the night.  We made camp in the loft and watched The Office in make shift beds on the floor.  I was so tired but struggled to sleep.  There were so many sounds in the house, new creeks and noises to get used to and then there was the heat!  Oh my, was it warm.  In time the AC fully kicked in and we were quite comfortable.

I had packed my coffee pot in the car and the next morning, I was set for familiar comfort.  With coffee made, I stepped outside to take in the Arizona (as we called it).  It was 56 degrees in the morning on Cinco de Mayo.  My backyard was filled with birds and my heart was feeling overjoyed.  We did it!  We made it!  Soon, the movers came and brought us more of the familiar and my other daughter finally made it in from the Phoenix airport.  Over the days, weeks and months since that day, our house has become a home.  It is a comfort and shelter from the unforgiving and often punitive summer heat of the desert.  I love the house and the family it so graciously holds.  The energy here is like magic.  I love watching the humming birds flit from flower to flower and tree to tree while I’m sipping coffee and watching the sun come up.

I have been called to this place for so long.  I have waited so patiently all these years to manifest this dream.  Now, it is my reality that I live and breathe.  It’s quiet and comfortable here in the valley.  We have wicked lightning and thunderstorms we watch from my huge bedroom windows.  It’s better than TV!  The heat is daunting but has it’s own uniqueness to it.  People here just get on with it – shop – dine – walk – ride bikes.   Maybe folks aren’t out in the summer as much as they were in CA but it’s almost Fall now.  I’m meeting some of my neighbors now and gradually getting to know the area.  I can find things and places and we’ve explored fun places like Scottsdale for an Art Exhibit.  So much fun, that was.  It was so different from what we’d do for fun in California.
If I’m honest, I’d tell you that I miss the sea breezes back home and the power of the ocean.  But, we have warm desert breezes and sunsets wild and red over our local mountains.  We are surrounded by mountains and it’s so amazingly beautiful.  There are desert flowers everywhere and even the medians on the roads have trees and cacti.  I really do love it here and would not trade it for even 5 minutes of the beach back home.  It is less crowded here and traffic here in rush hour is like a Saturday afternoon back home.  We’re really settling in.

So, what do you do when your dreams come true?  Well, I’m starting with pure unadulterated gratitude.  I am working on allowing new dreams to become apparent and then I’ll work on those too.  I’ll open my mind and heart during those quiet Saturday morning coffee breaks on my patio.  I’ll plant some new plants in bright desert colors and just remain open to the possibilities.  I’ll drink in the beautiful peaceful state I now find myself in and I will love every stick, stone, sky line and moment in my new surrounds.  Thank you California for some beautiful years and challenging life lessons.  Thank you Arizona for welcoming us home!  Blessings for gratitude in whatever adventure you find yourself engaged in.

© 2019, Jaie Hart

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Heeding the Call and Dreams Coming True

The day came and went, the day I had been waiting for, the day I had been hoping for and the day I’ve been dreaming for.  This part of my story began so long ago, I might have forgotten about it if a friend hadn’t reminded me.  A while ago, a long while ago, I had a calling.  It was something deep in my soul in the form of an idea…it’s time to go.  It’s time to move and the place came to mind.  It was a place I had been and a place of good memories.  I just couldn’t see at the time how in the world I could get there from where I was. The roadblocks at the time were simply too immense to overcome.

At the time the call came, I had just given birth to my third child.  I spent long nights alone thinking, planning and working out how I might approach the rest of my life.  Then, detour after detour, another child made four and lots and lots of life lessons came and oh my goodness, did I learn.  Then, after years of tears, frustration, striving, succeeding, failing and then learning to listen, it came again.  I didn’t know it would lead me to where I would soon be but it did and perfectly so. The roadblocks simply rearranged themselves into a very clear and perfect pathway.  So, now I sit here, quiet in the early morning pale light.  I’m recalling all the beautiful and terrible memories this place has brought me in the last 20 plus years.  But if I’m honest, and I mean really honest, it was all beautiful and truly not so terrible as it might have seemed.  Everything was perfect.  I mean, truly perfect – bright peaks and dark valleys -- all of it.

As I look back, I see so much magic in the orchestration of my every move, decision, challenge and lesson learned.  And then, the calling materialized not long ago in the outside world this time instead of from within my soul and the resonance of the idea from within and without...  I still didn’t know how it would further manifest itself so I did what I could – stayed open and oh, so very curious.  Step by step the urgings became requests, inquiries and out and out searching and pursing.  With not much effort it has all come together.  On one hand, I’m completely surprised but so very and pleasantly so.  On the other, there is a core-level knowing that whenever it is I heed the deepest callings of my soul, things come together.  They always have and I’d like to explain it but I just couldn’t.  I’d rather just appreciate the magic.

So, well, I’m moving.  The life I have set up for myself and my family here has been perfect, comforting, safe and supporting.  We have really thrived and I couldn’t be more grateful.  But, in less than two weeks we turn everything upside-down, pack it and move a state away.  The job goes with me (thankfully), and then just those things that truly matter the most.  I have the home of my dreams and beyond.  I am so very blessed.  I am so very grateful.  I will remain ever and always curious, open, hopeful and grateful.  I see how much the energy of those perspectives have brought me and I trust myself and the universe now more than ever.  All will be well and as it is meant to be.  One step, one breath and mile at a time and we’ll finally be there and enjoy the journey in our new locale. I will leave behind me the sensitive and painful memories for in this moment I find they are transformed.  I trust life, I trust myself and I trust the call to go, do and be what I need to be and where I need to be it.  I came here like a rebellious child and I leave here time-tested, strong, hopeful and ready to live intentionally, purposefully and gratefully.

Listening to the inner urgings can be tough until you truly understand the difference between running away from something and running to something.  It is all a matter of perspective, staying open, remaining trusting and willing to step up to those callings.  I know that ultimately all will be well.  How?  Well, whenever in my life I have truly heeded an inner soul-felt calling, everything magically fell into place even when no amount of analysis, experience or tactical preparation could have predicted a good outcome.  It’s crazy, sometimes I think, how life works and the perfect things, situations and people rally that around to help a dream come true.  I love that.  Maybe I’ll get back to writing or discover a new adventure.  I honestly don’t know but I’m ready and willing to find out.

These last few days until the day will be filled with the necessary strategies and mandatory activities but they will also be filled with the deepest gratitude and appreciation for all that has transpired at every point, juncture and crossroads of my life.  It’s been so beautiful.  If anything, I strongly recommend that every soul strive for and truly learn to hear that soul call, that deep and true inner urging.  Get so quiet that the ego can’t touch the truth of the call, so that you feel the pure beautiful truth of it and then take your steps in beauty, light  and pure faith.  Bless!