Greetings from the Land of Enchantment: July 2008

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Looking Good--Naked

Okay--I know the past few blogs have made me out to be the TV addict I am; but childhood habits die hard (I STILL like Cheerios--and yes, I still watch way too much TV; but baseball doesn't get interesting for another month or two--so cable shows are IT!).

So--there's a show called How to Look Good Naked and it's the most fabulous, feminist, show I've ever seen--and it's hosted by the most fabulous, feminist gay man I've ever seen--ha!

Women with 'issues'--body issues, especially--are asked to literally and figuratively disrobe, dismantle, and reorient themselves--Naked. They come away from the experience full of confidence--without the bravado--and feeling beautiful, inside and out.

I recommend this show to anyone, because we all have 'issues' and Carson just won't let you hold on to them. It's creative, compassionate, and most of all, it's fun!

Learn to enjoy your body again--even if it is another night of TV....

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Men You Love to Hate

I've been experiencing a lot of inner anger this past week. I've done some stupid things in response to it; but the most baffling is this: a Mad Men Marathon. This new show on AMC network is all about the early advertising executives. What did my friend call it at lunch today? Oh, yeah, the glory years, when men could harass women at work with not a word of complaint, in fact, women were conditioned to play along if not encourage it outright. The days when men were expected to cheat on their wives, but not really participate in their families, other than pay the bills and be on the 5:31 train back to Connecticut. Drink hard, work hard, and don't embarrass themselves or their wives, too much. I've heard similar stories from older men in AA: lawyers, doctors, CEOs who lost entire years in black outs but were still successful, big players in the political, financial world of the 60s. I know it didn't stop then--and it didn't start then. Power and money and sex have always gone together.

Nevertheless, old wounds have really been triggered in me lately. The inability to trust. The deep feeling that every man is a liar. This same friend at lunch said to me, well, for every negative thought you have of men, you need to balance it with some good men you know. He admitted that it might be harder, but still, a necessary exercise. For he, a good man, I'm sure felt a bit threatened by my anger, even as he pointed out my own inability to even identify with 'good men'...his example was a 'good guy' from a series a few years ago. He asked me, "What do you think of him?" and I replied, "Wimp." He laughed and said, "I thought so". So see, we all have our blocks and our stereotypes and our hidden agendas....sigh.

I guess my hope is that whatever this anger is bringing up, I can clear it once and for all. And begin experiencing men--good men--for what they are, without dismissing them as soft, weak or somehow not real men.

What in me is attracted to 'the men I love to hate"? And how can I clear it and forgive myself? Forgive them? Forgive men . . . hmmmm.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Blessing or Curse

I was recently reminded of what it was like to be in your 20s and constantly afraid you were pregnant or alternately, in your 30s, and grieving that you weren't. Each time my period came, a part of me would die. At the time I so wanted a child that every cycle was just a reminder to me of what I didn't have, wouldn't have--yet. Hope can be a beautiful thing--but it can also be extraordinarily lonely.

Now that I'm about to turn 40, I welcome my cycle as a gift--a reminder that I'm still a woman. And yes, that there's still a chance. I know, I know. I recognize how sad it sounds. But when you're my age and you try to be realistic and say, "Well, it's probably just not in the cards," everyone looks at you as if you've just cursed them (or made them eat a sour apple): "What? You're not going to keep hoping?" As if my hope in some way affected their perspective of me? Or worse, somehow my hope supported their own wishes. . . . who knows?

I just know it's an interesting thing to observe. Like the saying: Good, bad, who knows? What was so painful 10 years ago is now a blessing--until it's gone. And then it will just change again. Revisionist history? or just evolving identity? Who can say?

Like anything, it's just the story we attach to things that creates the reality. Perhaps I should take it as encouraging that much of what I thought was once painful and full of grief will over time become a source of my happiness.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The World Is Right Again

Project Runway finally started its 5th Season! Yeah! I love this show...if you're not familiar with it, here's the rundown:

Heidi Klum, former Super Model, now the oft-pregnant, TV maven, married to the fabulous Seal, a life to envy by anyone's standard. She hosts the design show and her clipped delivery--and this season clipped skirts--make her an oddly delightful if strange personality to watch. She's joined by Designer Michael Kors, Fashion Editor Nina Garcia, and a guest judge to swing the votes. . . .her loyal compatriot is Tim Gunn, the most fabulous man on TV, who keeps the designers on track and generally provides some clout to the show.

This year's designers all look interesting -- and good! There have been some real bombs in the the Season Two winner? What were they thinking?

Nevertheless, the opening show made a strange elimination, so it will be interesting to see what direction the show takes this year.

Ah fashion. . . .

Monday, July 14, 2008

Executive Producers? Anyone? Anyone?

Sat Nam!

A lot of you have read my blog for quite some time now...but for some this may be your first time to peruse my often overly self-conscious musings on love and life. In addition to writing this blog and editing here at KRI, I'm also a musician--a musician looking for funding.

My first album, Nectar of the Name, came together through the support of Spirit Voyage and a lot of luck (aka Guru Ram Das). And although it has been successful, it's not enough to financially support a second album.

I have two projects in mind: an Aquarian Sadhana CD and then a second project along the lines of Nectar--upbeat, world-music interpretations of mantra.

If you're out there in cyberspace and you're secretly a fan with more money than you know what to do with, give me a call! I'd love to call you my executive producer! I'm trying to raise anywhere from 5K to 10K per project.

Look forward to hearing from you. . . .

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Red Balloon

Remember that song from the 80s 99 Red Balloons. I never understood it. But the chorus was hypnotic--it would stay in your head for days. Perhaps that's why in talking about my current emotional state, I fell upon the metaphor of balloon. I've always used attachment to something outside myself (people, places, and things) to fill up my balloon. Now that my attachment to one person in particular is clearing itself out, I find my balloon is dragging along behind me--and myself with it...

I'm almost 40 years old and still unable to 'get it up' for my own life, my own accomplishments, my own interests. Perhaps this is what impotency feels like for men? Why success is so important to them...and yet they can in many ways be the master's of their own experience. They can create their success. I don't think I can create a positive, nurturing relationship in my life--I can't make anyone love me. Hence the powerlessness I feel over my own story. But what I need to recognize is that just because I can't change the facts, doesn't mean I can't change the experience.

How do I learn to fill up my own balloon? (I certainly have enough hot air!) But seriously, how do I become the arbiter of meaning and fulfillment in my own life? How do I release myself into the groundlessness of 'no outside validation' only inner affirmation? These are the questions I'm asking as I approach my 40th birthday. These are the same questions I've been asking myself for years; but it seems more pressing now. The story I tell about my Self now--the story I choose to create and believe--will be the story for the next many years.

I don't want to wake up still hoping for a man to fulfill me; but I don't want to close myself off to the possibility that intimacy and relationship can also bring happiness. The conundrum. The story of my life.

Here's to happy endings. . . . and new stories.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Breath of Fire--a poem

Breath of Fire

This is my rain dance
This is my sun dance
This is my ablution
my purification by fire
this is my ritual bath
the release
of all my desires

My belly flies
like a whirling dervish
a dust devil
across the desert floor
the door of my heart
swings open and closed
with every breath
always ready
longing for more

This is my mantra,
my yatra
This is my kumbha mehla
my pilgrim's journey
the pulse of the breath
like the pulse in my veins
saying my name
over and over


Monday, July 07, 2008

Chop Wood Carry Water

One of my favorite sayings from Buddhism goes something like this: What do you do to attain enlightenment? Chop wood and Carry water. What do you do once you've attained enlightenment? Chop wood and Carry water.

So here I am chopping wood and carrying water....the post breakthrough period has been challenging, if not a little disappointing. My obsessive thoughts and attachment have reared their ugly heads again--and it's so painful to witness it after feeling so incredibly free of them....sigh. But this is the discipline: receive the grace but continue the sadhana. Continue cleaning the mind, sweeping the thoughts, discerning the truth, and projecting the positive.

At least on this side of the breakthrough I have the courage to just confront the perception, ask the hard question, and trudge along the rocky road of accepting the reality: "You're not the one." --or as the famous book title says, "he's just not that into you." (smile)

All it means is that I continue to get to look at my part--my controlling nature, my wanting what I want when I want it because I want it, in short, my attachment. And it's not just this person, or this unique situation, it's me!!! I can't get around it. This is what I do. So I just touch base, soften, and let it go. Tough base, soften, and let it go. Offer up a prayer for him and for myself, touch base, soften some more, and let it go. Jap! (Repeat).

He asked me today, "do you think it's from your head or from your heart--this feeling you have?" and I had to reply, my heart. I still love him--after everything, in spite of everything. Yet how much of that 'love' is truly love--the wish for him to be happy--and how much of it is attachment? Wanting what I want and the fear of not getting it. If anything, it engenders a lot of compassion--for myself and for him.

May we all breathe in the sweetness
that is life, that is love

May we all place ourselves upon a star
and see the world
as a ray of light

May the love we long for
bloom like a rose
from within

May those we love
enjoy our sweetness, our fragrance
wafting on the wind

for you don't have to be picked
you don't even have to be seen
you just have to love and be loved
to participate in the miracle
that is this life, this love