Aweville

The other day, I half-jokingly posted on Facebook that I had searched Google to see if there’s a place named Aweville and, finding none, was inviting others to create a new town by that name with me.

I actually got a few responses, including one from someone who said he has the land to create it. While I am clear about what Aweville would look and feel like, I didn’t pursue the possibility. I was thinking to myself that it had only been a whimsical post connected to childlike imaginings. But was it? And how else do dreams take shape if not by starting with such things as stargazing and thinking, “What if?”

To that end, I’m going to draw back the curtain on the field of imagination to describe my version of Aweville, in the hope that others will add their own versions of a place that would inspire daily reverence and awe. It’s time to activate these possibilities as we awaken to the newness of our evolving consciousness.

Here are the key elements of my Aweville:

  1. Healthy, multi-generational interdependence with cross-generational tutoring for life-long learning.
  2. Energy efficient, eco-material housing that is sufficient to live comfortably without the need for excess accumulation.
  3. Community gardens both for food and beauty.
  4. Highly creative, playful population.
  5. Access to larger nature and/or designed with an abundance of natural features, such as parks, solar-sewage walls (greenhouses) for processing waste, aquaculture, atriums, “charging stations” for sun-gazing and Earthing, building designs that blend with and mirror the landscape, multi-use paths.
  6. Beautification through murals, artisan walkways, benches, sculpture, music, theater.
  7. Free energy that doesn’t require grid systems like high-tension power lines.
  8. Mixed-use offerings, such as what would typically be found in small Old World villages.
  9. A plaza where people could gather to socialize and celebrate at no cost. It could even be partially covered for weather.
  10. An attunement with one another that allows for transparency and telepathy because there is safety in being authentic. Along with that, an ability to self-correct when a conflict occurs, through compassion and reminding each other of who we really are.
  11. Lots of laughter and healthy hugs.
  12. An advertising-free skyline.
  13. And so much more . . .

This is a stream-of-consciousness list, not necessarily in any ranked order. It is also not exhaustive and will morph to reflect the personality of the population over time.

With this type of beginner’s, artist’s mind, spaces that are currently lifeless, such as abandoned malls or environmentally damaged areas, could become a canvas for overlaying the features I’ve listed above. Certainly there are visionary, life-affirming developers who could see the value of composting what is draining energy, to create new possibilities that emphasis environmental, social and economic thriving.

Let’s start speaking about Aweville and trust the hand of life to open to possibilities that are waiting to be expressed as the New Earth. I have a lightly packed bag and I’m ready to pioneer a new frontier. How about you?

Image by Poison_Ivy from Pixabay

I belong to life

I have always semi-joked that I am on assignment with the universe, knowing that while I have free will to create, I also came to be of service to life. Ultimately, this affords me freedom to be moved by the hand of a larger knowing. However, first I had to fully claim my aligned freedom, without concern for who gave me permission to know what I know.

I am a cultural hybrid, unsure of how I arrived at my blended view of the world, other than to say it was in my wiring at birth. A strong element of my essential orientation to life could be called indigenous, although I have never sought that knowledge or integrated ritual practices of a particular nation of people.

In a recent conversation with a Native American elder, my sharing of my authentic being was seen as co-opting what didn’t belong to me. I just let that rest in me without needing a defense, in that I stayed present to the cultural wound being voiced, and had insight into the wounds of my own heart—a heart that has longed for the company of other multidimensional beings who know themselves only as life and aren’t trying to copy anyone or to belong blindly for the sake of inclusion.

I love this quote from Albert Einstein:

“Although I am a typical loner in my daily life, my awareness of belonging to the invisible community of those who strive for truth, beauty, and justice has prevented me from feelings of isolation.”

I’m wondering how many of us truly belong to life, which is far too broad to be labeled and fixed in one position? My sense is there are more than might be expected, but family and cultural conditionings have asked us to get small for the sense of safety.

I’m reclaiming my magical life fully, and would love to know who else out there wants to play?

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Healing collective trauma

I have been watching an online summit on Healing Collective Trauma organized by Thomas Hübl and it has opened a part of me that is incredibly vulnerable—a younger, traumatized aspect that stands as a sentry at the entrance to my healing and full awakening.

I’ve gained much from an individual, inner journey to know the Divine, and for all who have and continue to do that work, thank you! My sense is that it was preparation for powerfully holding sacred space as the Divine now calls us to join together in healing the collective.

In my late teens I read a book called Are You Really Too Sensitive, by Marcy Calhoun, which helped me understand my empathic capacities and navigate them better. I described the empathic experience as “living without skin” because I felt the pain of the world so intensely and took all of it to be my own. It drove me to want to wake people up, and to heal the world so I could be more comfortable here.

I’m reluctant to entertain the possibility of playing a larger role in healing collective trauma. It feels like I could get overwhelmed again. Yet I also see the need to deal with the unresolved feelings of not belonging or having a valid voice in the world or in my family. I desire not only to be seen and received fully for my uniqueness, but also to make offerings that will release others from their unexpressed pain. The motivation behind that is not wanting to feel the collective pain, not wanting to numb myself to it, and not wanting to turn to a spiritual escape from it. It’s time to transform it to its higher potential.

I have a tendency to seek acceptance, particularly when it comes to family. I want to be seen as someone whose world view matters, even when mine isn’t the shared perspective. My desire to share comes from wanting all beings to thrive. However, many of my offerings are not of interest, and rightly so, to others who have not arrived at the same conclusions. In this case, extending my unwanted beliefs is not caring; it is a sticky and admittedly codependent attempt to be included and seen as valuable. I also confess to wanting the world in general to become more aware of consciousness, but I cringe at the idea of being a proselytizer. I think a balance is struck by being so rooted in the truth of my own being that what I want to share is evident in my energy and in how I live my life.

As a part of the summit on healing the collective trauma, I listened to Woman Stands Shining (Pat McCabe of the Dine Nation). She shared that their tradition forbids anyone from interfering in someone else’s path. I inwardly bow in recognition of my double-edged error, both of placing the responsibility for my self-worth on my family and of giving offerings where they weren’t wanted.

As I rest in the perfection of how the universe turns me back to myself as the only place to look for true  approval, I also get the gift of compassion for my father. He was a man whose offerings often met a stone wall because they were somewhat authoritarian and, at least from my perspective, didn’t often hold up factually or logically. This caused him to isolate emotionally and feel not welcomed or included.

Dad, I’m sorry I didn’t have the tools to navigate that more skillfully. In retrospect, I could have invited him to share more about his perspective, and I could have shown an authentic desire to understand his world, rather than automatically dismissing or simply tuning him out. Creating this type of safe container is what is now called “presencing.”

While the spiritual path took me inward as the starting point for creating an essential still point, the unhealed aspect of the collective that’s showing up in me is making it clear that our evolution as a species requires that we have the courage to open what feels like Pandora’s Box. The experts from the trauma summit all stressed that the numbing of humanity to our collective trauma is at the heart of the pickle we find ourselves in and that, while personal growth work is important, this trauma isn’t individual and can’t be fully resolved on that level. We have to do it together.

It is powerful work for us to learn to create sacred containers for valuing difference and creating inclusion. I highly recommend checking out the work of Thomas Hübl and the other experts from the summit. You may not be able to access the free talks by the time this blog is posted, but you should be able to review the speakers and see what topics resonate with you to explore.

Image by MetsikGarden from Pixabay

Get to know death

That idea might seem absurd or alarming, since the tendency is to associate thinking about death as coming from a depressed or desperate place. Yet, I believe it was Adyashanti or perhaps another awakened teacher who suggested, “Die before you die.”

I’ll confess that my exploration into that may have come from a sense of being tired of trying to “get mastering my own reality right” or, even more compelling for me, of trying to come to ultimate and abiding awakening. I’m not suggesting that we can’t use our minds and emotions to manifest consciously, aka “law of attraction,” but when our peace depends on the external circumstances we find ourselves in, we are still playing small. There are the personal mind and the transcendent mind and I believe it is ultimately the transcendent mind that is unfolding life for our highest good. It is also only in the transcendent mind that we find what we are truly seeking, i.e.: peace, satisfaction.

Even though I believe there is no “death,” as in an end to presence or awareness beyond the body, I watched my mind try to manage the scenario of transitioning this form. What will that be like? Will a “life review,” while loving, still show me that I have to come back and finish what I haven’t yet learned? Would the circumstances necessary to wake me up fully be more intense next time?

There was no peace in this exploration, so I dropped in further. What if everything ends, including awareness? What if there is nothing to experience anything? These questions were beyond what my mind could comprehend. It is so used to making itself the reference point. What is there when there is no reference point?

Peace is what I found, deep peace, even though my mind continued to try and wrap itself around how there could be peace with nothing to know it was experiencing peace. I just continued to contemplate it, knowing it was a koan that couldn’t be resolved, but was also the entry point to something larger than I am.

Photo by Swodesh Shakya on Unsplash

Let your body choose your words

As a part of being mindful about what contributes to my well-being I have been noticing the impact of both the words I speak and those I think. I am choosing to veer away from common ways people speak about things like cancer when that creates stress in my body.

For example, I feel tension and a fight-or-flight response when I think of “battling cancer” or “fighting for my life.” What feels expansive and nourishing is to say I am investing in my health.

By trying words on and sensing the body’s reaction, I am also developing a deeper relationship with the conscious intelligence that animates me. It seems there is a greater truthfulness associated with the felt sense guiding me to choose on behalf of expansion and greater harmony.

I notice that my body also edits my words based on what it is ready to accept as possible. For example, if I say, “I am perfectly aligned for instantaneous healing,” I don’t feel the same deep peace as when I say; “I love the journey I am on with my body and how my awareness increases daily.”

Additionally, the words I speak have a similar impact on the collective field, in that they add to like perceptions or frequencies.

To take it even further, it will be fun to extend my noticing to changes in my “body language” with the different ways I language things. First and foremost, I care about the impact of my words on my experience, and I believe that creating congruence between body, mind, thoughts, and words brings greater peace to the world.

We are all energetic beings, some more sensitive to that than others. My hope is that honoring and developing that capacity will become the new norm.

Photo by Isco on Unsplash

The I AM is always well

I have taken up a practice of not only saying hello to people I pass on the trails in the forest area I hike in each morning, but of also saying, “I hope you have a wonderful day!”

The other day when I said this to a woman I passed, about ten feet beyond me she turned and shouted back, “That was awesome!” and gave me a thumbs up.

Today, I came alongside a woman I was passing and gave the greeting and blessing. She replied back that she had decided that today she is well. Then she said, “How about you?” and I said, “Absolutely, every day! Why make any other choice?”

On the level of personality and separate self, there can be a fluctuation in states of consciousness or mood and choice comes into play. When I am talking about the I AM part of this equation, choice is not required. It, the I AM, cannot be disturbed by what occurs in the manifest realm with varying circumstances.

The more time I spend in conscious relationship with and appreciation for the Earth, the more I naturally rest in the I AM. Ease and magic flow into the rest of my day as well. I am marveling at the change in my overall state of being that has come from investing time with the Earth each day.

The other night when I left with two friends to go to a community dinner, it was starting to rain. I said, “There’s going to be a rainbow,” because the sun was peeking through. As we drove to the event the light rain became a deluge of rain and hail. Indeed a rainbow did appear, not only one but two, and as we came to our destination the end of the lower of the two rainbows came down in the street right where we were. Wow! I have never had a rainbow come down right in front of me and when I looked up at both rainbows, the hail still coming down looked like diamonds falling from the sky.

All I can say is living in harmony with life is beyond magical. Never before have I felt so “well.”

Image by Ales Krivec from Pixabay

Collapsing wave forms: Removing limiting beliefs

This is a juicy, esoteric post for those of you who love this type of exploration as much as I do. And yes…principles of quantum physics are involved. The visualization is quite complex, but powerful.

In support of my self-care repertoire for rebalancing, the universe recently provided me with  a “healing spa” in nature. I had been longing for time in nature and was planning a national parks road trip to spend time camping. But I had also just returned from a very cutting-edge clinic with a new set of protocols to follow, protocols that would be challenging to do while traveling. Of course, the universe resolved the situation for me perfectly.

A friend whose mother has a house within walking distance of Chautauqua Park in Boulder, Colorado had invited me to stay in the house until December, since her mother is living with them. I gratefully accepted the offer, but I didn’t fully understand its perfection until I headed up to explore the park this morning. The Flatirons provide a rich wilderness area in an urban setting and on my first venture up one of the trails I was guided to my “healing spa.” It is a large, almost flat rock at the base of a pine tree, an ideal place for layering my practices. Here’s what that flow looks like:

  • I do a grounding protocol. It’s inspired by Sarah McCrum, but instead of standing, I lie on my back on the rock, as close as possible to the tree, with my legs upward and my feet flattened against the bark. I ground my energy into the tree through my legs.
  • I have been doing Kaiut yoga to release stuck energy and trauma from the fascia. Having my legs on the tree is part of that.

I’ve melded many components into what feels like a very powerful practice for me. Hopefully it will have intriguing elements for you as well.

After establishing the grounding connection with the tree, I place my palms on my thighs and see my energy running into the tree and that energy piggybacking on the tree’s energy and being carried down through its root system into the Earth. I state out loud that I am connecting with the intelligent network of the New Earth and then see the energy continuing down to “inner Earth” and a crystalline blue-white orb of light. I see the crystalline blue-white light flowing back up through the Earth, into the tree, through my feet, and moving back down through my upstretched legs. Then the blue light rests in my womb as a circulating blue orb. I let it cleanse the wounded feminine energy held through my lineage and in the collective. The circulating blue orb remains in my womb to continue its work as the blue light continues up through my chakras to the heart center. There it meets a golden-white light pouring down from heaven, which I name the sacred masculine, the eternal void from which all possibilities arise and are sparked by the creative impulse.

On the way down to the heart center to join the blue light, the golden-white light deposits a pulsating, circulating golden-white orb in the pineal gland. The crystalline blue orb remains in the womb and the golden-white orb remains in the pineal while the blue and gold light (representing the sacred masculine and feminine) continue their journeys to meet in the heart-center where they form a rainbow orb in the heart.

While the blue orb in the womb, the golden orb at the pineal gland, and the rainbow orb in the heart all remain active, I integrate into this process a meditation from Dr. Valerie Hunt for creating bioscalar fields. I add in three golden rods of light of equal length piercing my body. One comes directly down through the center of my body. The second penetrates my body  horizontally through my outstretched arms. The third rod goes through my body horizontally from front to back. All three intersect in the heart center where the rainbow orb is pulsing and circulating. I see myself pulling the golden light from the ends of each rod into the pulsating rainbow orb in my heart center and then directing that energy to where it is needed for healing.

The last element in this process is for collapsing the wave forms of limiting thoughts. In quantum physics everything is understood as frequency and vibration. Everything has a unique frequency, including every thought. When you identify the frequency of a limiting thought, and then find its opposite, more powerful frequency and put those energies together, the limiting thought cancels out. In other words, it collapses.

I was surprised by how all of the elements that were so vivid while I was lying on the rock with my eyes closed remained vivid after I opened my eyes and stood to walk farther up the mountain. The inspiration to add the collapsing process came as I was walking; I was fascinated by how all the pieces of this powerful field moved with me.

In a funny way, the strong visual for collapsing wave forms came from a video game called, Bejeweled. In the game, when you make an effective combination of moves, you receive a “power gem,” which is a vibrating, circulating rainbow-colored orb. That is exactly how I was seeing the orb in my heart center. The orb in my womb remained blue and the orb in the pineal gland, gold.  In Bejeweled, if you pull a power gem into alignment with another of the same type of gem, they explode and you see bolts of lightning taking out all of the gems that are the same as the power gem. There is also a general collapsing in the field and a lot of other gems get taken out too. This play earns you a lot of points.

So let me tie this together.  As I was walking, with all aspects of the visualization I had created lying on the rock still tangibly active, I heard “collapse separation.” Holding the thought and feeling of separation, I powerfully drew in the energy from the ends of each of the golden light rods that I imagined piercing my body. Then I amplified the sacred feminine, crystalline blue light and the sacred masculine, golden white light and saw everything lining up with the orbs of light still spinning at the three points in my body (womb, heart, and pineal gland). As all of this aligned, I saw the” lightning bolts,” as in the game, move through the field and collapse all thoughts related to separation.

Being an eternal optimist and a child of wonder, I felt that something real had happened. I can’t scientifically prove it, although Dr. Hunt has a lot of data on healing in the research on Scalar meditation.

These powerful times are setting us up to activate our capacities at higher and higher levels. That’s definitely what this morning’s experience felt like. I intend to continue the practice as part of my daily forest spa routine. I’ll keep you posted on how it all evolves.

Image by Michael Gaida from Pixabay

Inclusion envy

To be part of something larger than ourselves is an innate human drive. In our current dualistic paradigm, separation means being vulnerable, and vulnerability brings up survival issues.

When our efforts to be included are thwarted, or we simply give up on being included, one outgrowth of that can be cancer. The cancer can actually be cellular, as described in the prior blog Synchronicity and the importance of community, or it can take the form of “damaged” social systems and ways of relating that keep replicating, bringing about imbalance and decline.

I want to be radically transparent here, to offer my experience in a way that others can relate to, to create connections across what might seem to be vast differences.

I’ve been a loner on a quest for community. The longing for community didn’t arise from a lack of self-love or dissatisfaction with my own company, but rather because my internal wiring knows that all things are in relationship and nothing thrives in isolation.

However, from the time I was a child I learned to be self-reliant and not to need anyone emotionally—part of the training for being a “rugged individual.” I come from a family of good people—an average dysfunctional family—with limited skillsets for being emotionally present and able to express love without co-dependent hooks.

Being an empath didn’t help matters any. I was often confused when what I was being told wasn’t what I was picking up at a feeling level. For example, being told, “I love you,” from a parent who didn’t have time for me, or knowing that the love depended on meeting certain expectations. As an adult my course consistently veered from what my family or society deemed the best ways to fit in and have a good life. I know they wanted the best for me, although somewhere along the way the idea of having a good life turned into keeping one’s suffering to a minimum. It was sort of the “life is hard and then you die” perspective under a façade of “everything is fine.” I wanted to be included in social groups, but I just wasn’t finding the option that felt right and I knew that the consequences of living a lie were more painful than not fitting in.

I envied those who seemed to have  found inclusion, although I also saw the price tag that often went with it. In my teens I vowed that I would never use any substance to avoid being uncomfortable, either in a social setting or alone. I pretty much managed to hold true to that, with the exception of food, which I justified as a necessity. It’s not a necessity, however, when you eat six donuts and then black out driving a car because of a blood sugar crash. Hence, I too was hooked into numbing, to some extent.

Getting back to the idea of inclusion envy, there are various ways such envy plays out. Here are a few examples:

  1. Back-biting, small-talk, bullying and gangs when we derive our way of finding inclusion from pack-mentality power.
  2. Unbridled consumerism in an attempt to have what the “in-group” has.
  3. Negative thoughts or judgements about those we feel excluded by or less than.
  4. Angry disconnection and deep pain that leads to lashing out at general populations, i.e., mass shooters.
  5. Self-destructive behaviors or numbing when we don’t feel we can measure up, sometimes combined with resentment that one should have to measure up to empty standards.

I got tired of non-optimal options for social inclusion, preferring the richness of an inner spiritual journey. Yet, the bottom line was that I was still seeking inclusion. In this case it was a merging with the Divine, which I now see I never left. The beauty is that I am placed right back here, in the world of unique form, to help re-weave the web of inclusion at a higher octave.

Here are a few relevant quotes from Carl Jung:

“Loneliness does not come from having no people around you, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important to you.”

“What usually has the strongest psychic effect on the child is the life the parent has not lived.”

“A man who is unconscious of himself acts in a blind, instinctive way, and is, in addition, fooled by all the illusions that arise when he sees everything that he is not conscious of in himself coming to meet him from outside as projections upon his neighbor.”

Photo by William White on Unsplash

The power of innocent perception

Last night I happened upon the movie, Maleficent, with Angelina Jolie, which is essentially the remake of Sleeping Beauty (with a brilliant twist).  It touched me deeply, as it plays into both my deep dive with the concept of cancer and what is happening in the world, where the prevailing message is, “Kill it before it kills you,” whatever the feared “it” is.

If you haven’t seen the movie, this is a spoiler alert because I am going to talk about the twist. There is such value in unpacking the potency of these archetypal themes, which we discount as fairy tales.

In the film, Maleficent is the evil sorceress who shows up at the King’s castle for the christening celebration and casts the spell on the newborn Aurora (Sleeping Beauty), so she will prick her finger on a spinning wheel at the age of 16 and fall into an eternal sleep. The only thing that will be able to wake her is love’s true kiss. The King makes it clear that Maleficent is unwelcome; everyone fears her unmatched power. The King takes all possible measures to protect the child, including having fairies take her into hiding to raise her.

Maleficent has full knowledge of this so she creates a wall of thorns between Aurora’s father’s kingdom and where Aurora is being raised. All attempts by the King’s knights to penetrate the wall prove useless.

As Aurora grows, Maleficent is always nearby keeping tabs on her. There are times when they interact. In each case, Aurora, who is the epitome of a Pollyanna, sees only good in Maleficent and perceives the world Maleficent rules over as magical.

The purity of Aurora’s heart and the persistence of her sovereign innocence begin to melt Maleficent’s heart. When Maleficent realizes Aurora is getting close to the age when the curse will take effect, she attempts to reverse it, but cannot. It must play out. A prince shows up and is smitten by Aurora; he’ll return later, on cue for the kiss.

As Aurora’s 16th birthday nears, the fairies return her to the King’s castle, and the fated scene begins to unfold. Maleficent risks her life to enter the castle, but despite her best efforts to prevent the spell from taking hold, Aurora pricks her finger and falls into an unshakeable sleep. The Prince is summoned to wake her with a kiss, but his kiss fails. A distraught Maleficent, looking on from behind a curtain, tells her servant that she made the spell the way she did because true love doesn’t exist. When the heartbroken Prince leaves, Maleficent draws near to Aurora and tells her she will never be able to forgive herself and confesses that she had been caught up in hatred and revenge. Grief-stricken, she kisses Aurora once on the forehead; the girl wakes, awoken by “love’s true kiss.”

Aurora asks Maleficent if they can go home, meaning back to Maleficent’s realm, but the King’s men storm the chamber. The soldiers assume Maleficent is still trying to harm the princess even though Aurora is screaming for them not to hurt her, and they unleash all of their forces on the sorceress. But now that Maleficent has redirected her power in service to love, she is stronger than ever. She is ultimately victorious, overcoming all the hatred that the enraged King and his knights have leveled at her.

Maleficent’s childhood wound, which turned her to hatred and revenge, has been healed by Aurora, who saw her as only good. Maleficent knows that she is both good and evil. In the end, it is she who reunites and restores the two kingdoms.

This is worth unpacking. There is an understandable distrust of Maleficent because of her track record, and the combination of fear and hatred on the part of the King and his minions did not allow them to see her differently. How true is this in the world where our trust has been broken and we cement a story and image about someone that doesn’t allow them to change? I have always believed that people rise or fall to our expectations of them.

Bringing about true transformation requires innocent perception. But whereas a baby may cry in the presence of anyone expressing intense, difficult emotions, as conscious adults our opportunity is to travel many paths and to discover which ones create suffering and which do not. We can then take that knowledge, apply compassion, and funnel it back through innocent perception. As Christ said, “you must become like a child again.” I would call this enlightened, innocent perception.

There is so much more we could chew on here, but for now I will end with a thought about good, evil, and power. They exist on a spectrum and those who have “mastered” either good or evil are at the ends of that spectrum. However, no “pure” state is ever achieved in which either darkness or light is totally absent; there’s always an element left that can be rekindled.

The more one focuses their intention on mastering anything, the more effective and powerful they are in that pursuit. By virtue of that, a master will have more power than someone who allows themself to drift and be influenced by others. I recently learned of the book Outwitting the Devil, written in 1938 by Napoleon Hill, which speaks to this. Hill’s family considered the book too controversial and prevented its publication until 2011. You can listen to the full book for free or get an 8-minute summary of the key points here. In the dialogue, the Devil says, “I can best define the word ‘drift’ by saying that people who think for themselves never drift, while those who do little or no thinking for themselves are drifters.”

So in essence, power exists in those who act with agency to bring about an intention. The intention doesn’t matter as much as the focus and consistent action toward that end. The universe allows for all expressions without judgement, knowing that all roads ultimately lead to the same learning.

Aurora, in her consistent innocence and commitment to calling forth love, was ultimately more powerful in dismantling hate and evil than all of the King’s men. We don’t have to fully embody hatred to get to the apex of love, as Maleficent did. However, the extent to which we can consciously touch upon the more difficult emotions, combined with innocent perception and compassion, will make our mastery of love more potent. The times demand our courageous commitment to this.

Image by tookapic from Pixabay

Passport to Life

In an odd way, cancer—even the hint of it—has become my passport to living fully. That is, I have permission to move through known and unknown territory without restrictions or the need to take conditioned routes. Expectations about “doing the right thing” in terms of promoting myself and moving personal or professional agendas forward have dropped away.  

I am reminded of what Anita Moorjani had to say about cancer in her book, Dying to Be Me. In her in-between life and death journey she was able to see how she had created the cancer by living her life to meet other people’s expectations.  I highly recommend the book.

I’m all for valuing myself and being willing to offer my services. I just haven’t known how to define my offerings according to what I was told is marketable. The stumbling block I keep kicking over and, then putting carefully back, is my conditioned story about what constitutes a payment-worthy profession. Fundamentally it’s a question of essential value. However, there are certainly enough people doing unorthodox things and getting paid very well for it to break any perceived mold. A unique business I saw the other day was a 57-year-old dominatrix who charged men $150 to clean her house. Wow, what bold creativity!

But besides my own conditioning, there is also a shared view of what is legitimate paid work.

As a society we haven’t learned how to support people who are contributing to the collective good on an energetic level. Social workers, teachers and others in helping capacities are classical examples of undervalued contributors. Beyond that, what if we assigned a monetary value to those who are general up-lifters, reminding us of our higher capacities? I think about people like Nick Vujicic, the man born without arms or legs who, hasn’t let that stop him from leading a full and joyous life. Instead, we reward those who find the cleverest way (albeit sometimes also a useful way) to distract ourselves from what makes us unhappy.

Given that the statistics are moving toward 1 in 2 people getting cancer, the field is ripe for reassessing what we make a priority. I want to shake up the Etch-a-Sketch where we established the playbook of life and start a fresh screen with a self-guided journey. The lines might be squiggly at first, but who cares? Straight, consistent lines are boring.

Anyone else willing to play?

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay