Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Fear or Self Divinity, Our Choice


I haven't written anything "creative" for a very long time.  Between, working and trying to refocus with the opening of the Phoenix Gate and a multitude of other reasons that can be summed up as "life",  it has been a struggle to really find anything to say.  After all, I tell myself, these are only opinions and is there truly an original opinion anywhere on this planet?  Any really new ideas?  Have we become a society living on a two lane highway and the minute we try to take an alternate route, a creative way to get from point A to point B, we are discouraged through the media, our friends, academia, church, politics and so on?........Gone it seems are the Carl Jung's, the Joseph Campbell's, the Buckminster Fullers...Or maybe just maybe there are millions of us thinking out of the box, but it doesn't get any real play in the public arena, I mean if it isn't on CNN it isn't true, right?

What does seem to get a lot of airplay is fear.  Ah, fear!  The great controller.  It's the reason we are in wars, don't speak our minds, go to the doctor instead of healing ourselves, insure ourselves up to the hilt in case "something happens", and so on and so on and so....  Oh then there is the fiscal cliff, extreme weather, toxic food and not feeling equal amongst our peers.  Since the beginning of time the masses, us, human beings, have been controlled by telling us to be afraid.  Be very afraid.  And now, because you are so afraid we will protect you.  But then what happens when the protection becomes the fear itself?  When because we have put our trust in another human being (never a good idea) and that human being turns out to be, well human, we are in a very precarious state becoming disappointed and living in horrible disillusionment.  i.e. Hitler, Stalin and really, any political leader of any one of the super powers, past or present.

This man made fear permeates everything and I mean everything which feeds into keeping us disconnected, alienated, depressed and lost which then physically manifests into chemical imbalances, then mental illness, leading to irrational behavior.  Are we getting the connection, yet?

"We have an opportunity to connect with something so divine, so special, so Godlike, so important - what we have is the opportunity to connect with ourselves.  To look within and see the Godliness in all of us"

Two days after being told that we had ships off the borders of Syria, while still being in Iraq and Afghanistan, someone grabbed a gun and went on a killing spree.  And if he didn't have a gun he would have had a bomb, and he if he didn't have a bomb he would have had a knife, and if he didn't have knife he would have had an ax and it goes on it goes - But the point is that here we live in a country that is about to be in three wars or a world, rather, that is controlled by fear with most of our money going to the military industrial complex.  So my question is this, "Why is anyone surprised that this doesn't happen more often?"  I think it's a miracle that as many of us are as safe and secure as we are in spite of the craziness that we have been spoon fed.

We have an incredible opportunity to evolve as the human race, as the mass collective, the collective unconscious  - to a new vibration that is currently pulling and giving us opportunities to make choices that will aid in our evolution.  We have an opportunity to connect with something so divine, so special, so Godlike, so important - what we have is the opportunity to connect with ourselves.  To look within and see the Godliness in all of us.  We get to be who we were intended to be, incredible human/divine beings that can accomplish so much.  So much more than any culture before us because we are truly unique in that the evolution will encompass all that is human.  Our spirit, mind, physical and etheric body, senses, elements, but most importantly our emotions.  Our emotions will be allowed to evolve intact.  Many cultures sacrificed this very human trait to ascend, but never did they do it with their emotions.  So aren't we the lucky ones?

As the energies continue to bombard this planet, each one of us gets an opportunity to make some choices.  An opportunity to ask ourselves questions that won't just shift our own lives but the collective lives of all beings who exist here.  Some are going to go into a  hellish place and play out their fears and psychosis in that way, but the more of us that choose the light, the less of them will choose to live in the dark.  We are not just responsible for ourselves and this planet, we are responsible for each other.

There are only three fears that exist - Fear of being wrong, fear of being lonely  and fear of being hurt.  If you do the math it seems to play out as:

Fear equals lack of faith  *  Lack of faith equals lack of divine connection * Divine connection equals joy

In science, for all animals, cell migration is an essential and highly regulated process. Cells migrate to shape and vascularize tissues, in wound healing, and as part of the immune response. Unfortunately, tumor cells can also become migratory and invade surrounding tissues. Some cells migrate as individuals, but many cell types will, under physiological conditions, migrate collectively in tightly or loosely associated groups. As I or we move into the next state of being, the tissue of the new reality, the body of the collective, there is nothing that I pray for more than to have every single human being or (human cell)  to shift into that reality because, I believe it is an all or nothing proposition.  The migration of the collective, eradicating the cancerous cells with love and light, so that we can move forward.  We all go or none of us goes.  Each a cell in the human collective and ask, "How can I be useful?  Who truly needs my help today?  What can I do to be a better person"? 

Through the holidays and onward, while we are running around with our fears and daily challenges coming up, maybe we can make a choice and not allow it to mar the day.  Maybe all of us can make a choice with our  higher minds, that this is a perfect world playing out its evolution because in God's eyes everything is perfect....In God's eyes we are perfect.  And if God thinks so then why don't we.
I love you all.
From my Garden to Yours.

There is no disrespect meant for anyone that is in grief.  This is written with a respectful and loving intention.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

A Personal Obituary to Kathi McDonald

Keeper of the Complaint
I had bought Kathi's records in the seventies and had seen her name on the back of at least fifty albums. She had performed on two hundred and one-hundred of those records were certified gold.  She was considered one of the best back-up singers in the world, one of the best in the style she sang in. Style? It was I'm scraping my face on cement, need to get screwed right now, I feel everything too much, missing a layer of skin style. When Kathi's voice went to the place right above her hair, I guarantee you'd cry.I never understood any words she sang. Words weren't important to her. It was how her voice moved, how total her range was. It was about the abuse her throat could take night after night. Kathi McDonald was a singing machine.

I grew up in Detroit. Leaving in 1977 and drove until the water stopped me which meant Seattle. I had heard Kathi lived in the Seattle area. I sang along the way, jam sessions mostly. The South side of Chicago, Minneapolis, Madison, Billings, and Missoula were some of the places I found to sing the Blues for people that didn't care and didn't pay. While I was busy singing for my supper, Kathi was singing with the famous; the Rolling Stones, Long John Baldry, Elton John, Freddie King, Tina Turner, Big Brother and the Holding Company and Joe Cocker. Leon Russell used to take her along with the other women in his stable to the revival tents in the South, so they could learn the right way. Her first band was the "Santana Blues Band," later to become Santana.

I didn't get to meet her until 1991. She was performing at Bumbershoot, a three-day music festival that was held once a year.  It was the third largest music fest in the country and was legendary for its disrespect of local talent. Nancy Claire, one of the women who had joined up with the show in the beginning, took me to meet and hear her, and to ask if she would like to hook up with Seattle Women. Her talent was everything I thought it would be. She was better in person than on record, if that was possible. I stood watching, not believing what I was hearing. How could anyone be that good? I was excited; finally I would meet the great Kathi McDonald. There she was 5'3" wearing the same high heels that were part of being an Ikette with Tina Turner, stomping each foot as if the ground was where the sound was coming from. When her show was over, Nancy and I approached her so that I could be introduced. As soon as we met, Kathi started to talk at me, as if she had known me for years. She was yelling how there was no dressing room since Bumbershoot had suggested she change in the broom closet. What I didn't realize then is that everyone was of equal importance to Kathi, unless you got her work, then you were elevated by a small degree above the rest of humanity. That was how we would communicate for the next 20 years: Kathi complaining and talking at everybody in the room. I tried to "really talk" over and over again but to no avail because Kathi didn't do meaningful conversation. Everything was a joke, a quip, a bit of gossip - hopefully all of which would make us laugh, which it did. And her wit! It was sharp and dangerous. Something like Dorothy Parker meets Janis Joplin whom she hated as her reference point was that she was always compared with Janis. Honestly, I sort of understood because Kathi was a better singer than Joplin. (Kathi had taken Janis' place when she died in Big Brother) I think that she believed Joplin's fame should have been hers. When a fan would ask her to sing Joplin she would turn on them and spew out something like, "I don't sing dead white people!"  That would shut them up. Probably wouldn't be asking for an autograph after that.

Watching Kathi in action; singing, complaining, talking, walking, dancing, performing, cleaning house, working, or whatever, was like watching a monkey try to screw a football. It was exhausting. She was the type that had to have the rockets on her back. But like any veteran performer knows, keeping rockets on your back carries a high price, because there is re-entry and that is always difficult.  No thanks - don't really want a ticket for the reality train. Doesn't feel as good as those darn rockets. Re-entry is the worst for a performer.  You need to decompress in a let out the steam slowly kind of way.  It's taken me years to know and master this. It had never entered Kathi's mind.

So with those rockets she of course, had an off-again on-again; I can handle it, romance with drugs. She also drank which could lead to some interesting times on stage. Like the time she sang "Mojo Working" for forty-five minutes. I'll never forget having to stand on stage, watching her and the show go completely out of control. The place was packed, my hands were tied, it was Kathi with a rocket, and the only thing I could have done was pull the plug. Hell, she even gave the bartender a solo. We informed her of her blues aria the next day. I was worried about her. This wasn't some nobody getting drunk once in awhile. She was an idol of mine, a woman who was going to kill herself with booze if she didn't stop soon. I couldn't really say anything, at the time I drank too. But I was more worried about her than myself. My drinking hadn't yet reached the late stages that Kathi was then entering. So we made light of it.  The group teased her about it for years. That incident, coupled with her boyfriend, who wouldn't put up with her drunkenness, put an end to her booze exploits for a short time. But drugs, that was another arena. She kept those around like a savings account, just in case she might need it on a rainy day.  She never lectured us about the evils of them because she didn't have to. Her existence and the way she sang made everything clear. She was a living example that life could be successful, tragic and corrupted. In her mind, there was no place for her to go, except for the private world of dope. I believe she was too sensitive to live.

My husband and I were producing a blues festival--one of the largest in the state. One night we were all standing on the side of the stage watching Booker T and the MG's. This was history; R&B history. It was how you played the stuff. The way R&B humps, grinds, builds, breathes, connects, keeping it simple, embraces, like good sex. Booker T and the MG's, man, they wrote the book. I watched Kathi watch them. Tears in her eyes--the layer of skin she was missing--was so obvious. She had to use. What she felt, the depth of it was too much for her. She felt things more intensely than most of us. She needed to so she could sing intensely.

Today I got a call from Seattle Women alumni, Patti Allen, telling me that Kathi's heart stopped. Of course it did. Really, what took to so long? I believe her heart was breaking from the moment she hit her first stage. Maybe the only way to keep that big heart beating was to fill it with alcohol and the preferred drug of choice.  Maybe those things filled up the hole where life should have been fully experienced. Kathi had to complain, had to make it difficult. It was her safety mechanism, so that no true information could get in.  Her safety was in distortion. I loved her for that. I loved her for surviving her unique pain.

Kathi - I say goodbye to you as you join your blues sister LJ. You are a true original. There will be no one like you, in body or in spirit.

I love you.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Art of Experience to the Path of Singularity

Kate Hart

My intuition tells me that there is nothing random about life. I have "felt" that for all that happens there is an energy of purpose or intelligent thought creating it. This is a concept I don't believe that we are truly meant to understand. Oh sure it's fun for some to sit around and try to figure it all out, I have been one of them, but I am quickly moving into a place past where life has to be figured out or defined into life is being directed in a purposeful way. It feels right - no science, no religion, no books - just my life's experience is what is leading me to my heart. It seems the more I try to live in the definition of life, trying to figure it all out and what it means, the more chaotic it becomes. Which has been leading me to being open to the "experience" of it all.

As I grow into this body that I find foreign at best, I realize that is where I need to begin the act of "experience". Becoming one with the body that I was born to inhabit which has been a rocky relationship. Most of the time, I don't really want to be in my body, don't like it much and think somehow I got gyyped. But this morning I sort of had an awakening. Why not just experience the body I am in. Feel what it feels like to be in it - as opposed to judging what It shoulda coulda woulda been and experience the what is. Now, this is a new awareness, however, I am betting that if I can do that with "me", then that leads to everything around me - as once again, I am the hub of the wheel. What I am saying is, if I just experience, not judge, not define - but experience this human spacesuit - the result may be true freedom.

With this freedom and/or this "knowing" it can lead me to another reality which is one of singularity. Living in the experience, removing the definition i.e. judgment tha this mind, body and spirit can easily morph into everything, everyone and every action on this planet which is purposeful. Whoa! Imagine that. I would actually have to sit and "be" and not judge even the most awful of actions. Please don't misunderstand that people shouldn't be held accountable for their actions if they are hurting others, but as we do coexist with someone who say is cruel to animal or children, we may want to understand that just possibly if we were given the very same circumstance as that perpetrator, we may have done the exact same thing. Hard to hold the microscope up to and put ourselves in this place. But better yet, I say, more than sitting and defining how we are alike or different and analyzing these circumstances, we might want to pay attention to how we feel when given this information. Or perhaps by just "being" with this information, could be what actually begins to change things. Maybe this is where most of the information is at - living in the experience of having an experience. This brings to mind one of my favorite quotes from Jospeh Campbell - in my opinion, one of the great thinkers and deeply spiritual men in the last 100 years. When Bill Moyer asked him if he was religious, he replied, "My experience is my religion."

Living in the experience becomes a true knowing that I am part of everything that exists not only on this planet but beyond. Oh, my how disconnected I have found myself to be so many times in my life. And even now, I find that I want to separate, define, think about, pass judgment and/or find an excuse to not be a part of all that is around me. Through the act of wanting to define everything around me leads to the judgment of it which then separates me from the collective - the singularity of mind with all that is.

Many thousands of years ago, wise sages of the East proclaimed that all of the universe, and every living and non-living thing in it, was a part of the collective consciousness. They said that our world is deeply interconnected at many levels and everything we do or think influences everything around us. We share the same energy with many different creatures and objects in the universe. An absolute gorgeous thought and one filled with responsibility.

Maybe by brining ourselves to the center of all that is and if in that center is the core of the experience of all that has been and all that will be - then I believe we are opening ourselves to the great religion that has been hibernating in our collective DNA. We have a religion that is about here, now, each other and everything. With that knowlege humanity will no longer cast the rabid stones, but instead shine the soft light in what is to be remembered - divine love.

Sunday, December 4, 2011


The true measure of humanity is essentially determined in relationship to suffering and to the sufferer. This holds true both for the individual and for society. A society unable to accept its suffering members and incapable of helping to share their suffering and to bear in inwardly through “compassion” is a cruel and inhuman society.

I have so many reasons why I haven’t sent out my newsletter, so I will have to just put it under the umbrella of “life has been exceptionally eventful”. I guess before I ever entered this human body I signed up for all of these lessons which brings me to ask myself, “What the hell was I thinking?” I can’t say that any of it is bad or good because honestly experience has taught me that what I thought was a good thing wasn’t really what I needed and what I thought was bad turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me. I won’t go into details but I am on the path of getting physically stronger allowing me to move into the next chapter in my life, hence, “the wounded healer.”

For those of you who know me well, you know that I am committed to moving towards healing with sound. Not an original idea as it started with the Pythagorus, the father of mathematics, vegetarianism and harmonic sound healing along with being a gifted astrologer and astronomer. Music therapy is the more common of the modalities in the last 30 years, but the way I want to work is a little more about the use of the full harmonic spectrum than say, strumming a guitar while singing to the recipient. I will include essential oils, color and crystals – but the emphasis is on sound.

I have my tools, the template from which I want to work but what I don’t have in place is “me”. I have to heal me first. And even though I truly believe that this will work, I won’t really “know” until I utilize my template, on my own physical/mental/spiritual issues. There is a knowing and then there is a KNOWING. It seems to me that as healers (which I believe we all are) the insights into how we can be ministers of suffering especially in these times where many suffer specifically from the isolation that comes from our individualistic condition that we can call “nuclear man”, we have to journey through our own sufferings and isolation so that through our own wounds we too can offer a sincere healing. We heal by relating at a very deep level to the suffering of those we encounter. We speak of social issues like poverty, immigration or criminal justice but until we can integrate through our own experience the isolated feelings of marginalization, which at some level we all experience in different forms, then we are not addressing these issues at a spiritual level.

As a voice coach I’m good because I have been there. I lost my voice due to poor habits and then went through the long journey of finding my voice. Not only that, but I bring 40 years of experience to the student as I have been out in the field living a life of a musician. Though rewarding, it was mostly heartbreaking. I have learned many powerful lessons that I now can share. The student believes me because I am coming from a place of true passion, not a place of academia which frankly, I just have never been that interested in and had nothing to do with the grand teacher of them all, experience.

But on a larger scale we can look at all of our great teachers and/or messengers of truth. Ghandi, Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed, Moses, Bill W (founder of AA) and others…..they teach what they undertook , most of them by choice which makes it even more meaningful, their own journey of isolation and injustice. Through them we can enjoy the hope that comes through their redemptive suffering. Even in Greek Mythology, the wounded healer comes up over and over again. For example, the Titan god Prometheus, had been chained to a rock by Zeus, the chief Olympian god. Being chained to the rock was to be his (Prometheus') punishment for having previous stolen fire from Olympia as a gift to mortals. Each day Zeus' eagle would come and eat Prometheus' liver. Each night the liver would heal itself. Then the eagle would come again for his liver snacks. As stipulated by Zeus - Prometheus could only be released if (and when) an immortal offered to go to Tartarus and take his place. Going to Tartarus would mean the immortal was giving up his status as an immortal and would die. Chiron, being the son of Kronus and half-brother of Zeus, agreed to take the place of Prometheus, and then eventually died. Upon his death, he was then released from his wound that would never heal. Chiron was then honored with the constellation of Centaurus. Giving up one’s immortal life with a compassionate act is a lesson that I believe needs to be fine-tuned not only in me but if I can be so presumpitious, for mankind as well. What this world be like, if all we ever did was treat each other with compassion out of our own suffering?

This hope becomes our well spring through which our own suffering can offer others a vision of redemption. The reason these actions bring converts rather than ridicule is because the message of caring is not just an empty word but a living reality that people can see, feel and then benefit within the communal experience. In other words, wounds and weaknesses of all humanity are healed by the collective which is just another word for the divine SOURCE allowing a shared compassion due to our fellow human beings suffering.

When I look at my life and then turn an inward eye back out to my brothers and sisters, I am convinced that the reason we are all here is to learn, then live in love and compassion. Judgment is not mine to own but instead, removing judgment in an effort to retrieve the memory we must have all had at one time - we are all cells in the same body…. knowing that the single cell is only healthy as a whole. The inward eye is upon me. Once again the solution, the beginning, the vision lies within the hub of the wheel as my wounds may give measure of the knowledge and compassion to heal. After all, the deeper the pain that is exposed, the more universal it will be understood.

Bullying Versus The Hero

Let me say, that I have rarelly been bullied. As a matter of fact, in my younger days, I was probably the one who when I wasn't just seeking a good time, would pick on someone when I really had nothing better to do. This is hard for me to admit as I can't believe I took part in this kind of behaviour. Bottom line, shame on me. But because I was the oppressor and not the oppressed, I have an understanding on why some would do what they do. I was hurting inside for a mulittude of reasons which are no longer important, and because of the pain, I was looking for some sort of recognition, but most importantly, love.

Bullying comes in many colors as it is insidious. I see it everywhere. The chiropractor who is next door to my business and terrorizes anyone that parks in his parking lot (even though he sees one client at a time and there are 20 parking spaces), a woman who runs a group and pits young girls against each other so that she can get her way, a dance studio who bullies their dancers so that they have more control. It is everywhere.

What has caused me to write this is that Congress is now going to pass an anti-bulling act. I'm sure that the people that have been bullied, feel some sort of justice is being served. But honestly, I can't see how it's really going to do anything to change anything. Bascially, it is another law on the books. It is a band aid in treating a virus that is systemic in the missing layers of our culture's skin. The psyche - and that is where we go to find out why bullying is an epic problem. Under the skin to the root of what might be going on.

In order for a society to function, there has to be a certain level of trust. Each day when we leave our homes, we take for granted that most people are not going to attack us for no reason, that there will only be isolated incidents of theft in our community and that rioting and violence are not going to erupt in the streets. Whether we realize it or not, we depend on the fact that the vast majority of the people around us are going to act in a civilized manner. Unfortunately, the thin veneer of civilization that we all take for granted is starting to disappear. When I was growing up, I was taught that challenging times reveal our true character. There are many that believe that the declining economy is causing a lot of the chaos that we are now witnessing, but perhaps what is going on is that these challenging economic times are simply revealing the character that has been there all along. For decades, a "false prosperity" that was fueled by unprecedented amounts of debt has masked a lot of the internal rot that has taken hold in America. But now that our prosperity is crumbling, our lack of values is becoming startlingly clear.

Greed, corruption and extreme self-centeredness have deeply infected our society. We see this in every country. We see this among those that are trying to survive on the mean streets of our largest cities. Civilization is breaking down on every level... desperate people do desperate things. Instead of teaching our children to love and care for one another, we have taught them to be incredibly self-involved. Today, way too many Americans deeply love themselves, deeply love money and are deeply addicted to entertainment. Each new generation seems to be even more prideful, even more arrogant and even more violent. As a nation, we are losing our empathy for others, our compassion for the needy and our respect for the elderly.

So why the shock that there are bullies? I mean, when someone is surprised that their child has been bullied and how can other children be so cruel, my first thought is, are you kidding? We live in a country that is fighting three wars, and as far as I can tell has been bullying the rest of the world for sometime. The bulling is trickling downstream from our leaders into the collective mindset.

So here we are looking at ourselves in the great cosmic mirror and maybe - taking a really good look for the first time in years. We have all of this pent up anger and angst over man made constructs that really have nothing to do with quality of life. Seeing and feeling being human without any mythology in tow to investigate and know our psyche. Hanging in a void of "well that doesn't work but then what does"?

I propose that we turn from celebrity and look to the hero within. The part of us that reaches beyond the normal range of achievement and experience. Give our lives to something bigger than oneself. Connect with the physical deed, in which we perform a courageous act in battle and the spiritual deed, in which we learn to experience the supernormal range of human spiritual life allowing us to find our message. Pursuing leaving the world that we are in and go into a depth or into a distance or up to a height. There we come to what was missing in our consciousness in the world we formerly inhabited. Facing the problem of staying with that, and letting the world drop off, or returning with the wisdom while trying to hold on to the new way as we move back into our social world again.

We have not slayed our own dragons. We have forgotten the importance of the journey as we crave instant gratification which has led us to right where we are standing. Picking on, judging, and bullying each other. I say take out our swords and cut away the web of deceit, keeping us from being who we truly are. A human being who is connected to all others, joined heart to heart, remembering how to love.

From my garden to yours......

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I know it's been forever since I have written, but I have accomplished so much in the last few months therefore I can't feel too terrible about it. And now with the winter months, I am able to enjoy some time where I can sit at the window, watch the tankers float by while the geese migrate. As I get a chance to relax, I feel like there is something in the air. An awareness if you will. It has a tinge of the uncomfortable, and a smack of reality - definitely a shift - one that doesn't feel good but still necessary. It has the smell of global and universal implications - but what is it? Is it one thing or everything? What I do know is that whatever it is, it is meaningful. It's also interesting that I am watching it play out in a more individualistic way not only with others but personally. And aren't we just pieces of the total cosmology?

This was driven home as I walked away from a situation where I know someone felt badly about a repeated disappointment in their life. I am not to say what another human being's lessons are. That is their personal journey. My lesson is to remain aware of my part and to remember that whatever happens, it was due to my actions and I have no one but me to blame for it. What I put out into the world is what will come back. Some examples are the pickpocket who believes everyone is out to get their hands in his pocket. A liar thinks everyone is lying to them. Someone that uses people believes that they are or will be used. If a human being believes the need to compete than everyone becomes competition. It's human nature. What you are, is what you see, is what you get back. I am coming around to my own accountability and with that have asked myself some hard questions. I have come up with some answers that seem satisfactory and will continue to work on the issues at hand. But as I was dealing with my own story, I thought -isn't this the same journey that we as a species need to undertake?

If as individuals we learn to take our own advice, then so must the human race in our global development on this planet. While reviewing, there seems to be one thing that can quickly make a difference....and that is to stop being a victim. What is a victim? In my opinion a victim compels others to rescue them by making them hostage to their alleged circumstances, dragging them into the abyss of their own making. Did I say of their own making? Yes, I did. No matter what your, mine and our circumstances, we are responsible for our actions from this point forward. Where we are now is a result of our previous decisions and actions. Regardless of what has happened in the past,we have the power to change our situation now. If we don't like what is happening on this planet - whos fault is it? We get what we deserve. This mess is a result of what we either asked or settled for.

When we play the victim and expect others to come to your rescue, we are shutting ourselves off from that tremendous power of personal accountability, the power of "you'. You are creating a self-limiting environment for yourself. You are failing to be 100% responsible. Do I deny the reality of circumstances good and bad? No, but I do deny the benefit when you or I or anyone else focuses on them from a victim's perspective. For every whine, somebody has a better case somewhere else. No matter what has happened to you, something worse has happened to someone else. If you demand people focus on victimhood, you owe it to others less fortunate to focus on them and not yourself. You'll never win this losing battle of being the biggest victim. Every minute you spend playing the victim, is a minute you spend not doing something about it. Aside from that, nobody else wants to hear it. You are just spreading the misery unnecessarily.

Right, so what are some of the characteristics of the victimized masses that got us here? Greed? Fear? Partially, and much more, but I am going to deal with the result of competition, since that is what I see firsthand being in the music business.

Ah, the world of competition. We get so focused on our daily routine that it never occurs to us how dirty we sometimes play. Society has always been competitive, but today life is perhaps more competitive than in any previous era. Since childhood children are taught how to show that they are the strongest, the smartest the very best. This is where competition starts. People are used to thinking that their lives, possessions, belongings are the best, the biggest the most attractive. That keeps us wanting for more and we continue to never be satisfied. Race, financial, or social status doesn't matter. When we are accused of playing dirty, everybody tries to prove the jury wrong even if the jury is them.

Is there an answer to this. I say yes there is. Let us consider the world of collaboration. A world where we see what our part is and then join together with others to accomplish the dreams of the individual, group and mass. Realizing that no one is better than anyone else. We all have our strengths, our weaknesses, our talents, our neurosis - it is what makes us interesting or challenging. With these characteristics in tow, are any of us really that different than anyone else? Do you deserve more than the human being you are standing next to? I think that many of us think so and I say, shame on us.

We will never move forward if we are victimized by our own desperation and dreams. We will never see eye to eye if we are not living in the collective consciousness about who we really are and what we all really want. I don't think we have to think too hard about what truly makes any of us happy. I am sure that being accountable will lead us to it. I know that I have never met anyone that didn't do better my trying to achieve it. And what would that be? That my beautiful human family would be the pursuit of love.

From my garden to yours.....

Cricket Garde

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Peace in the Moment and Within

"Anything in life that we don't accept will simply make trouble for us until we make peace with it."...Shakti Gawain

Hindus have their Gods. Christians have Saints. There are thousands of them and, like our Gods, each one ' looks after' a particular part of the world. There are Saints for Lost Causes, and a Saint for acne. There are Saints for death row inmates and Saints for love. There are hundreds of Saints for animals , who have demonstrated acts of compassion and charity on creatures great and small. But I'm not sure there is a Saint for time management or a Saint for believing that you have failed as a human being by not always doing the right thing. Both issues that have been coming up for me in the last month.

Let's start with the time management issue and really, maybe management is a misleading word. Because who in this world has the power to manage time? An elusive, manmade construct that is completely misleading when considering that our calendar is completely out of sync with the flow of the planets and their cycles - a universal knowing if you will - but I digress. The issue at hand is that I am falling backwards and not doing what is required for me to function in a healthy way. The exercise went out the window along with meditation, eating as healthy as I can and oh I don't know a list of many other things that I am not getting to.

With the opening of my own studio (Holistic Voice Institute) and the garden season upon us, it has been a bit much. Not only that but due to all the things I was trying to accomplish on my to do list, I got really sick and am on day number 14 with a cold virus thing that won't seem to let go. This slowed me down and as most of you know when you are sick, it seems like life is passing you by.

Now out of bed and getting back on the serenity train. I have hired a yoga instructor for my studio and looking for a trainer that can work out of my studio space, bringing them to me as I can't seem to get to them. The rest will follow I'm sure - just a temporary blip but even so, why can't I maintain a normalcy in my life? What is so fricking hard about it? Is it supposed to be hard? Is that the character building of it all? Taking joy in the appreciation so that when you achieve just a bit of it, you are grateful?

"Find joy and Peace in this very moment"...Thich Nhat Hanh

Lying in bed for four days I did finally come to a conclusion and that is - God made me perfect. I am in the image of God and if it's good enough for God, then dammit, it's good enough for me. It is time for me to make peace with who I am. Constantly picking at an etheric scab does not allow me to ever truly heal. With all that I am supposed to do to be a better human, I am losing sight of what actually makes me one. For example, I no longer have time to be connected to nature. I am not spending any of these precious life moments falling in love with Mother Earth which is a hands on daily exercise. I haven't written my newsletter which is an absolute joy for me and once again, connects me with something above my hair. So yeah, maybe I don't have clutter in my house, or I meditate regularly, or I eat right, or I exercise, or... or... or... or.....but what really matters to me is getting lost.

With the writing of this newsletter I am recommitting to what makes me tick. I am getting off the "to do list" and back into "Living in the present" which is to be aware of what is happening, of what I am doing and what I am feeling and thinking. It is being conscious of my thoughts and focusing them on the now. In this way I can look at situations as they are, not coloring them with past experiences. Living in such a way will make it easier to deal with whatever I am doing at the moment. See things as they are, without being influenced by fears, anger, desires or attachments.

There is a story about two friends traveling by train. One was very nervous, restless and full of complaints the whole trip. He was impatient to reach his destination, and disliked every moment of the trip. He did not pay attention to his surroundings, as his mind was full of impatient, restless and grumpy thoughts. His friend, on the other hand, enjoyed the scenery, drank a cup of coffee, ate a piece of cake and chatted with the other passengers. He enjoyed every moment the trip. He lived in the present moment and made the most of it. On arrival he was fresh and felt good. His friend, as expected, arrived exhausted, tired and unhappy. It is a matter of the right attitude. Life becomes a happy and enjoyable trip when the attitude toward it and its events is positive, and the present moment is used in the best possible way.

It is time for me to get on the train and enjoy the view. To wake up to the moment and live in it. The past happened, the to do list finds it place and I know longer am enslaved by thoughts and emotions, losing my freedom by living in the shoulda woulda coulda world. I have declared myself to be a citizen of the "world of the present moment". The world of peace of mind which frees me of unnecessary, burdensome and unpleasant thoughts. A world where I can stop pointing a finger at anyone including me and thrive in a peaceful state leading me to where peace lives within.

Anything in life we don't accept will simply make trouble for us until we make peace with it. This can only be achieved by knowing constant living and awareness of the present developing a new kind of awareness-consciousness. It is awareness of freedom, of being alive, of happiness, joy, peace and realizing the freedom from thoughts. There is nothing mysterious, mystical or out of this life about this concept. It is the most natural and positive state to exist in because when we learn to say a deep, passionate yes to the things that really matter, then peace within ourselves begins to settle onto our lives like golden sunlight sifting to a forest floor.

From my peaceful garden to yours.