Friday, April 26, 2013

A few bumps on the climb-out

Transition, Solar Plate monoprint, Asandra

In 2009 I was on a commuter flight from North Carolina to Florida. As we were preparing for take-off, the pilot speaking in a charming southern drawl, informed the passengers of our flying conditions. There would be, he stated, “. . . a few bumps on the climb-out.”  Nobody seemed to notice this declaration but me. I do not like turbulence and this was certainly a benign way of preparing us for the stormy flight conditions we were about to experience.

We are born into this human experience unwittingly acquiescing to whatever the karmic weather conditions might be. The journey of cause and effect is neither good nor bad. It is a sometimes baffling combination of positive movement in our lives as well as frustrating challenges. Accepting this undisclosed karmic agenda can be hard. We resent our circumstances; blame our parents or other authority figure, feel sad and hopeless, or any other form of subconscious resistance. I know these resistances first hand and yet, still often find myself either resenting or feeling sad about the most challenging hardships that I have faced my whole life. That is how I know it is karmic. Same issue, different circumstances. It follows me everywhere I go, forcing me to deal with it over and over again. I surmount it, become free, only to have life hand me another episode in a new form. 

We all suffer these karmic ‘bumps’ that knock us about on ‘the climb-out’ to awakening. It is easy to see the patterns in others, but mine, although unchanging in their essence, still disrupt my serenity like mischievous elves determined to trip me up. Invariably, when I finally rise up above my personal turbulence, there is a sense of regret that I once again fell for the trickery of the mind. How could I not see this so clearly?

What, then, is the answer to this unconscious habit of falling prey to our core patterns time and again? I can almost hear a telepathic cacophony of light workers chiming in with a myriad array of solutions. Clearly there isn’t one singular answer to this inquiry, but there is a one-size-fits-all remedy: surrender. We can all relate to the need to let go of control and hand our challenge, desire, fear, etc. over to a higher power.

Most people think, however, that this letting go process is a sign of failure, defeat, or powerlessness. It is not. To walk the high road of consciousness, we need to walk in harmony with Source. Along the way life’s turbulence can throw us off balance. One of my first experiences of a California earthquake left me feeling dizzy and ungrounded. The seemingly solid earth shook my heavy platform bed with a roar that sounded like a freight train charging through my bedroom. There wasn’t an advance warning. I had no choice but to ride that uncomfortable earth-wave for its’ short, but terrifying duration. 

Living for two decades in a hurricane-prone climate helped me to psychologically prepare for an unpredictable weather season. I figured out that if I called on the spiritual energy that symbolizes storms, acquiescing to its’ power, that I was then ostensibly under its’ care. I could ride out even the most dangerous tempest knowing I was being protected. This is a form of surrender. When I did this, I felt empowered and safe. Did that make a hurricane less intense? No, but I was on the other side of fear, and could then witness the journey from a place of respect and awe. Like the charming pilot declared, there will be “some bumps on the climb-out,” but it doesn’t mean that we won’t arrive safely at our destination. Bumpy ride or not.

© Asandra 2013

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

New shoes or why I relocated from Northern to Southern California

Several decades ago, I remember the thrill of being hired for a job in New York City. I celebrated by buying new shoes. Shiny red pumps that made me feel powerful. They were cheap shoes, and all that I could afford at that time. In spite of that, my red shoes were a potent symbol of accomplishment for me.

Although I have a fair amount of shoes, I would never consider myself a shoe addict. For starters, I developed hereditary bunions a few years ago, making the latest fashion difficult to wear. I have also never been especially fond of wearing shoes that would not allow me to run away from a mugger (did I mention that I grew up in New York?). 
Shoes are not just a fashion accessory; they also symbolize our standpoint in life. Even the most decidedly anti-shoe person is making a statement by wearing shoes void of fashion. They provide both a philosophical platform as well as a practical one. You are not likely to wear rain boots to the beach anymore than you would wear flip-flops in the rain. 

When I moved to California, I had a strong feeling that Northern California, my first landing spot, was not going to be home for me, but decided to give it a chance anyway. After all, everyone always sings the praises of the Bay Area as though it was utopia (and for some, it is). More important than my instincts that this was not the right place for me, though, was that I could never find the right shoes. This small crisis reached a climax one afternoon when strolling through art galleries in San Francisco. The cute kitten heel, faux animal print shoes I had purchased in Miami began to hurt. Those darn bunions, yes, but what were my other options? 

Okay, by now you are probably finding this discourse about shoes to be superficial, but hear me out. This is not really about shoes.

In Northern California, all manner of 'sensible' walking shoes are popular. They can be expensive and very well made, but high fashion, definitely not. There is a mindset here about a deep connectedness to nature and eco-friendly consciousness. Hence, the cultural penchant toward wearing comfortable shoes.

In an effort to overcome my shoe dilemma, I purchased an expensive, well constructed, round toed, black leather Mary Jane style, comfort shoe. It had special insoles meant to support your feet. They were the ugliest, and most certainly, the least sexy, shoes I ever bought, and they are very popular in Northern California. They reminded me of orthopedic shoes.

After wearing them a few times, my pricey walking shoes were retired to the closet. I gave up. Northern California did not fit. After all, I had a closet full of fashionable sandals and sharp-toed pumps in every color from my Miami days that were being neglected.

I was left with two choices: learn to wear shoes I do not like, or move.
Anyone want to buy a hardly worn, black leather pair of Mary Jane’s in a size six?

 Copyright  Asandra 2013