Retreat to Summer Solstice Celebration

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I am watching the Orcas Island Solstice Celebration dancers wrapping up their sweaty post parade performance, clinging to the last precious moments of the amazing beat the drummers are laying down…and have been laying down for the past hour or so.  What has me in tears?  Not just moved tears…SOBBING tears? Is it my deep love for the earth and being present to her honoring, knowing full well in my deepest core what she is up against at the moment?  Yes, AND…THIS dancing is a celebration of being HUMAN on our earth.  A celebration of our spirit…our elemental physicality.  It’s not all tidy and wrapped up.  No one here is wearing their Valentino pumps or has cell phone coverage (although I’m a great lover of these items).  This moment encapsulates our pure human sensuality.  It’s beautifully awe inspiring how we humans can embody celebration on this the longest day of the year.  We get to dance with wild abandon. We get to swim naked on warm moonlit nights.  We get to warm ourselves by fires, walk by pristine rivers and climb mountains by rushing waterfalls.   This in turn, strengthens and opens us to do the work that is before us.  As I look at the giant hand crafted “planet earth” that sits next to the stage, just beyond the stands brimming with farm fresh alive foods, amidst the wandering children dressed as fairies, I remember that indeed there is much before us.   There is much that has been shattered that must be recreated somehow.  Perhaps we celebrate, as we always have, to gain strength for the journey ahead?

Retreat to Forgiveness & Compassion

I love this stamp.  It reminds me of my years of competitive sailboat racing.  I loved the physical challenge, the mental intensity, the teamwork and the beauty of being on the water.  On the racecourse I learned that the journey of life is won by those who sense the shifts in the wind and sea and boldly respond, changing course as needed to reach their destination.  Unconditional love, forgiveness and compassion are both my bold response and destination.  Here’s how these three got connected together.

December 2007.  I am in India, down on my knees  in a sacred shrine, the warm breezes, gently blowing the scent of jasmine through the open windows.  I touch my head to the cool floor before the marble tomb of the saint who’s spirit inhabits this place.  I silently pray a monumental life shifting prayer, “Forgive me for whatever it is I’m not doing right.  Show me how to worship you.  Can we have some kind of relationship, please? ”  I silently walk around to the back of the tomb, to the majestic photo and gaze into his eyes, which are sparkling with love.  I hear his response, a voice in my head.   “Let’s start by you letting me love you just the way you are.”    An intoxicating wave of indescribably intense unconditional love washes through me.

Fast forward 2 months to a handwritten scrawled question and answer in my journal:  How do I love myself unconditionally?  Self Forgiveness.  Plain and simple.

Last week the final thread gets woven in.   I get to hear His Holiness the Dalai Lama speak.  His theme, Compassion.  Having empathy for what another is going through and also taking action to ease their suffering. 

A mental light bulb flashes! It’s not so easy for me to get over there and have empathy and unconditional love for you, if I’m hiding behind the wall of my wounded ego silently beating myself up with negative self judgments, projecting them on to you.  I can’t get over there with you, compassionately, intimately connected until I forgive myself.  Try some self forgiveness this week for the sake of you and those you love. Forgive whatever is standing in the way of you loving you, exactly the way you are.   Treat yourself to a blended cocktail of unconditional self love, forgiveness and compassion.  Let me know how it impacts your journey.  Cheers!