Friday, April 26, 2013

I had a dream...

Future site of my new Meditation Space under the Camilias.
I had the most powerful dream this morning. I woke up to pee and realized it was after 8:00 a.m. I made coffee and fed the pups in a groggy haze. I am still very groggy as I write this. The dream was like those I have missed. I was in a deep sleep, and it was two hours long. I awoke at 6:00 this morning, but could not get up. Then how did I know it was six? I must have gotten up. I don't think I am yet fully back in my body.
The dream had so many messages with interwoven plot lines: all related, but different. The gist of it all is this:
My personal "Bodhi" tree.
  1. In helping another, I help myself.
  2. Trust that I am always being guided and taken care of.
  3. Even when I am afraid and don't have a clue what to do or where to go, I am being guided.
  4. Following my instincts is how I am led by my Guides.
  5. My Guides will drop everything they are doing when I need them.
  6. If my Guides are teaching others when I need them, I then become the lesson for their students; in the moment.
  7. My Guides are loving, kind, generous, understanding and caring.
  8. I feel saved and nurtured in their presence.
  9. I feel loved and important when I let them into my life.
  10. When I get out of my own way, I allow them to show me the way.
  11. You don't know who your earthly Guides are going to be. Don't worry about that.
  12. Be open and pay attention. That's it!
  13. P.S. You'll be guided whether you're paying attention or not.
Entrance to Meditation Space
View of lake from inside.
I feel changed this morning; energized for the first time in a long time, and excited. I love it when that happens. :o) Realizing the original dream of creating my own retreat here on the lake, complete with beautiful meditation space, will come true. Beginning this year! Life is sweet, and I am eternally grateful. Blessings be.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

"Open Space of Possibility"

Knotted Beauty
When I confided in my friend and spiritual mentor, Simran Singh, that I felt dreamless, she told me to "Consider another perspective... Maybe you are not dreamless ... just in the open space of possibility. Let yourself be in the space and watch for the conversations from the Universe; connect your dots and your dream will rise up within you... YOU are the dream." I am the dream? I don't quite understand that statement yet, but I do understand "the open space of possibility". I will rest there and see what comes up. In order to rest there, however, I need to do the work of resting: "sitting still in meditation and holding my questions sacredly" while I await answers.

I do believe the Universe guides and speaks to us. I have lived this belief and had it proven to me time and time again. I have gotten stuck lately in the world of "reality", according to many people around me in my life who do not believe as I do in the unseen Guides who help us/Me. I believe in God, and I believe in Angels. I believe in the Unseen. But, I also believe in the power of the Mind. How we choose to perceive ourselves, the world, and us in the world is foremost to how the quality of our lives unfolds. Most recently, I have been consumed with financial worry for the future. I am reminding myself, once again, that in the past I have been taken care of. I did not "have a pot to piss in", but I was given everything I needed in the exact moment I needed it because I believed this was true. I have just forgotten this Truth, and am working to remind myself of it once again.Matthew 6:26, "Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?"


Oxalis (I think)
My body feels stuck, and so my mind follows suit and my spirit remains clouded. I must stretch to work out the kinks of my locked joints and knotted muscles; open those spaces and make room for clarity and a body free of aches and pains. In so doing, my mind will open up and my heart will follow suit (or lead, however that works). When my heart opens up, my spirit flies free. When my spirit flies, the answers come and I am open enough to receive and accept them. I open now by breathing in my own voice with Love, Acceptance and all the possibility the Universe has in store for me. Thank you.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Inspiration is not dead.

If you want to be inspired, go see "42". Chadwick Boseman as Jackie Robinson was powerful and moving. His gorgeous and very stylish wife, Rachel, played by Nicole Beharie was also a joy to watch. Her clothes were just wonderful. Through the whole movie I kept saying to myself, "I love that dress. What a great top. She is so chic! Love her style." Great costume choices, people. But, the star of the movie was Harrison Ford as the Brooklyn Dodgers owner, Branch Rickey. "God is Methodist", Branch declared, and used religious references for everything through the movie. I loved it. "Do you want me to fight them?" Jackie desperately asks Rickey. "No", Branch declares, "I want you to have the guts NOT to fight them. Have the guts to turn the other cheek. Can you do that?" And that's how the first African American baseball player was introduced.

Mr. Robinson was so brave to be the first to break the ice of racism in baseball. "You made me love the game again", Rickey told Jackie when Robinson asked him why he did it (integrated a black player into his team). Robinson must have suffered so much more than was blatantly portrayed in this wonderfully powerful movie. I can't even imagine the courage it took for him to do what he did. The Pittsburgh Pirates coach shamelessly heckled Robinson while at bat at the opening season game in 1947, and the anguish Boseman portrayed in those moments were heart-breaking to watch. He was wonderful in this role, as was Ford, and I hope they are both nominated for awards.

The most powerful moment for me in the movie was when a father and son were sitting in the stands waiting for a game to start and the son was so excited to see his hero, Pee Wee Reese, perform. But when Robinson came on the field with the Dodgers, this father along with all the adults in the stands around he and his son began to angrily yell, "Get out of here, nigger. You don't belong here!" After a minute, as the son looked around at all the yelling with a shocked look on his face, that face changed and he began to yell right along with his father. This blatant example of how racism is passed from one generation to the next was very strong.

Pee Wee got scared before the game because he got a threatening letter, calling him a carpet bagger. He took the letter to Rickey, who then showed him three thick file folders worth of death threat letters sent to Jackie, and Pee Wee got perspective. Once on the field before the start of the game, Pee Wee walked across to first base, put his arm around Jackie's shoulder and chatted with him. Jackie asked him what he was doing and he said, "I have family in the stands right now, and I want them to see exactly who I am." "You gonna play ball or socialize," the ump yelled at Pee Wee. "Play ball, ump", Pee wee replied laughing, and said to Jackie, "Maybe tomorrow we'll all wear 42, and nobody will be able to tell us apart." Watching each member of the Dodgers slowly lose their prejudicial views toward Jackie was incredibly moving.

I loved this movie. All the acting was fabulous. It's been a long time since I've seen a heart-warming film, free of "f-bombs", that moved me to want to be braver than I am. Our fourteen-year-old nephew, who watched the movie with us, declared that if Jackie Robinson could do that, we can do anything. Amen to that. Go see it. After the last week, feeling the stress of the Boston Marathon bombing and the hunt and capture of the bombers; locked down and scared family and friends, and heroes who brought people together once again to cheer departing vehicles in a make-shift memorial parade down Mt. Auburn Street in Watertown, Massachusetts, we need a good inspirational movie to lift our spirits. This is it.

Friday, April 12, 2013

No Singing in This Wizard Movie

If you're in the mood for more childish fantasy, Oz The Great and Powerful is just the movie for you. I saw Wicked on Broadway, and the storyline was a more mature rendition with an interesting plot. This prequel Oz story felt much more like the innocent version with Judy Garland. The special effects were magnficent, but the story sagged in the middle, leaving Larry and I feeling a little less than enthused when the final credits rolled.

The movie begins in black and white. Oz as the carnival wizard from Kansas is portrayed as a gigolo and a cad by James Franco. He lures innocent women in to be his magician's assistant and offers them each the gift of a music box he claims belonged to his warrior grandmother. Also, like Garland's original, characters from the Kansas carnival become Land of Oz residents.

When the strongman finds he gave such a box to his smitten wife, he comes tearing after the magician. Oz narrowly escapes in his hot air balloon and is immediately sucked up in a tornado. After a harrowing ride, he glides through in an incredibly beautiful and unique landscape to finally crash in a swamp. There he meets Theodora played by Mila Kunis. Theodora is by far the most interesting character in this movie. Her costumes are beautiful and her eyes couldn't be bigger if they tried.
 Theodora escorts Oz to the Emerald City, and there he meets her sister, who also seems enamored with this handsome Wizard who fell from the sky to fulfill their father's prophecy.

This story is about the three witch sisters and their dysfunctional relationship: Theodora from the West, Evanora of the East played by Rachel Weisz, and Glinda from the North, portrayed by Michelle Williams. At first we are lead to believe that Glinda is the evil witch who poisoned her father to gain his throne and all the gold that comes with it. But soon we see that Endora controls Theodora, and it is in Theodora's transformation that the rest of the ride takes place.

Endora shows the wizard around Emerald City, and finally introduces him to the room filled with gold. Oz is greedy and wants to be the important, and soon to become very rich, king of the land that bears his name. But Endora tells him that before he can be king or get any gold, he must kill the evil Glinda by breaking her wand. Oz is convinced this quest is worth the risk, so he embarks down the yellow-brick road towards the Dark Forest.

Oz is accompanied on his journey by Finley, the flying monkey he rescued from tangled vines on his way to the Emerald city with Theodora. Finley swears allegiance to the death in exchange for his rescue, only to be told by Oz out of Theodora's earshot that he is not the great wizard the people of Oz have been awaiting for. But, Finley swears he will remain silent. Finley is played by Zach Braff, and is just adorable.

Along their way, they come upon China Town. It has been destroyed by evil flying monkeys, and they hear the crying of a little girl. They find China Girl, played by Joey King, and she couldn't be cuter if she tried. Her legs were broken in the rampage and the Wizard used his "magic" to repair her legs. At least his glue could repair china legs, when his carnival magic could not make a crippled girl walk after she begged him during his performance in Kansas. China Girl insists she accompany Oz and Finley to the Dark Forest and now we have three heading into danger.

Glinda seems demonic when she first appears, but we soon find out it is really Endora who is the evil one, and the three companions accompany her to her northern outpost city where she convinces Oz that he can be the Wizard they await. Apparently, she and Endora both realize he is not the one. Endora sees this realization as a way to win the throne for herself, while Glinda sees it as a way to save her people.

Theodora is then told by Endora that the Wizard loves Glinda, and has abandoned her; betraying her trust. This causes the volatile red witch who throws fire balls when she's angry to implode and become the green witch we recognize from the original movie. Her transformation is magificent, and Ms. Kunis' portrayal is the best of this movie.

The movie's magic was fun, and the landscapes created were reminiscent of the movie Avatar. I loved the huge flowers. Everything was brightly colored, and fantastic. But the story fell flat for us, and we were a little bored. The movie is worth seeing on the big screen for the sets alone. We paid $4.50 each for a 1:00pm show. Otherwise, wait for it to come on TV and see it for free.