Alchemy at Work: The Golden Years

But more important, as I read and laughed at Dr. Suess’s kvetching, I realized that for me, these are, indeed, golden years. Lee and I have been divorced for almost 20 years, so right there you know I have not been a devoted wife non-stop. Or maybe even ever. But I find to my relief that I do seem to be a devoted former wife, and I can only attribute it to alchemy.

Cat in the Hat Aging

My former husband, Lee, slowed down in every way by Parkinson’s Disease,  lives in a nursing home where I visit him once a week, and yesterday was my day to visit. I opened a large envelope on his desk and out slid Dr. Suess’s feisty poem, a birthday card for Lee from dear friends John and Lyn.

He can’t read any more, so I read the card, along with the others he received, and we both laughed. He frequently can’t find the words he wants but his sense of humor is still intact. I am aware that in coming months or years it might not be, and as I have often in the past four years, I remind myself that this is the good time compared with what is sure to follow as the disease worsens.

Other friends in their 60s, 70s and beyond are struggling with what happens to a body as it wears out. I’m blessed (looking for some wood to knock as I type this) with a body that has shrunk 2 inches, prefers not to climb steps or hills in warm weather, and whose skin often tells me, “Enough already with the sun!” as my dermatological bills attest, but which is still strong. I can schlep and lift, and do.

More to the point, I can wheel Lee, who weighs over 200 pounds (five stars for the food at The Redwoods in Mill Valley), around the building, out to the beautiful garden there, and even down the block so he can watch the dogs play in the bayside dog park. I can also help him stand up and can easily bend down to pick up things on the floor.

But more important, as I read and laughed at Dr. Suess’s kvetching, I realized that for me, these are, indeed, golden years. Lee and I have been divorced for almost 20 years, so right there you know I have not been a devoted wife non-stop. Or maybe even ever. But I find to my relief that I do seem to be a devoted former wife, and I can only attribute it to alchemy.

After 15 years of living apart,  coming together mostly only for weddings and funerals, I became Lee’s manager: I moved him from Hawaii to an assisted living apartment in The Redwoods, equidistant from where our son and his family live 45 minutes to the south and my apartment 45 minutes to the north. I managed his care for the first two years.Old resentments and annoyances still pushed their way into my general willingness to help, but it was ok until the day I had to pull over onto the shoulder of the highway and sob. When I was mostly finished crying, I called our son and said, “Your turn.” and he said, “OK, don’t worry, Mom.”

We hired a care manager, a wonderful advocate, and I had two years off. In the crucible of  those two years, the base metals of my habitual responses to what I used to find difficult about him gave way.  When I resumed my role as manager in January of this year, I was relieved and grateful to notice how glad I was that I could be there for him, as I had always thought I would be. It amazes me, actually, how much I enjoy clipping his nails and even flossing his teeth. I am doing something necessary for someone I still love.

To be completely honest, I don’t discount that if Lee were still in control of his thoughts and words, he might insist that I do things his way, which would pique my good will. But his essentially passive, peaceful nature and desire to be likable dominate his personality. It’s not only easy to be with him, it’s pleasant.

There is a mutual appreciation that flows between us, the gold of this time we have. He tells me occasionally how much he appreciates me and kisses my hand. I remember the charm of loving him long ago and the love letters I wrote to him when he was travelling and I was living with my parents, waiting for him to come home so we could get married.

Haiku for Lee in England

The night star cloud

blows a bright ray

cross the heavens.

It soars through our souls.


I neither long for what we once had, nor do I hold onto the disappointments that festered during our 28 and a half year marriage. I am simply grateful for how we can love each other now. Pure gold.


Lakshmi with My Mother’s Face

Yesterday I had two big AHAs in one 5-hour workshop — a personal record, I think. And as I begin to write this, I realize it’s the second time I’m writing about money, and I don’t write many posts. Hmmm.

The name of the workshop (thank you, Susan Shloss of moneywisdomcoach.com ) was “The Inner Path to Prosperity.” While I’m generally not drawn to talks about money, show me something with “inner path” in the name and I’ll probably follow you almost anywhere.

Not long into the workshop, Susan asked us to sit quietly and imagine money. I saw gold coins in a treasure chest, piles of green bills, checks floating above my desk, and then, bam! A female figure completely fashioned of greenbacks appeared smiling, laughing, and coming toward me with her arms outstretched.

Her arms, I noted, were strong and lithe, unlike my relatively unexercised own, whose upper flaps make me think that Swift’s  “A Modest Proposal”  — with anesthesia — might be just the ticket. Her breasts were round and full, her legs were strong, and, like her arms, lithe, and I knew that she would be able to leap over mountains and chasms like a walk in the park.

As she came forward to embrace me, she said, with the relief of someone who has wanted to say something for a long time and finally gets to say it, “I’ve always wanted to be closer to you, but you’ve held me apart.”

AHA. She was right. I have always thought of lots and lots of money as something not really in my domain. Enter the famous New Age meme, “Energy follows thought.”

Later in the workshop, as my response to another prompt, I remembered a very old recurrent vision: I am a small girl, maybe eight years old, a member of a tribe of people with gold-red skin, dressed in skins and feathers. I am crouched on the ground in soft, red dirt, and I desperately want to sink into the ground and disappear,  because I ruined the food supply for my tribe. I didn’t mean to do it, but I was careless. I was hungry, and lifted up the lid of the box that held the grain. I ate some of the grain, and then didn’t secure the lid. Rain got in and spoiled all the rest. The tribe was decimated. Those who were left stood around me in a circle. I felt their punishing disappointment and anger. I dared not look up.

This was the version of the vision for many years. Then maybe ten years ago, I worked through it, determined to find forgiveness or learn how to heal my shame. In the vision, everything was the same until the point where I was aware that I didn’t dare look up. I knew this was my cue. Slowly, I first looked into the eyes of the chief. He was looking at me as if he had been waiting all that time for me to look up, and his expression was kind and pitying. He knew that I had been tormenting myself with my shame. I slowly looked at the next person, and the next, and the next. Every person in the circle around me — the tribe’s elders and those others who had survived — were looking at me gently, with kindness, love and understanding. I almost could not believe what I was seeing. There was no blame. The chief said, “We never blamed you. You were just a little girl. We knew you had not meant to cause harm. Get up. You are not to blame.”

When this scene came back to me yesterday, I heard the voice in my head say, “She is completely forgiven and was never blamed. Rise into the free access to the whole universe, yours for the taking. You knew this when you opened the food supply and felt free to take it. You were right then and and are still now. Breathe!”

AHA. My own self-limiting thoughts and doubts about my right to abundance have been at work.

Now onto Mom. My mother was, in her life, prudent, rational, and careful. She was not stingy and was generous in many ways, but her idea of how to spend money was conventional. In our early years of marriage, Lee and I had enough most of the time, but  were house poor for a few years. When we could, we went a bit into debt (after all, we rationalized, we had many years of earning ahead of us and would eventually come out OK,  and we were right) to go on vacation or buy a work of art. All our furniture was a hand-me-down or from thrift stores, and this lack of matching, modern furniture caused my mother to utter in tight frustration one day, “You spend money on the extras, but don’t have the basics.”

In 2010, she died, certain that with the death of the body, all consciousness ended.  Five hours later, she appeared to me with a sudden whoosh in my head. She was turning around and around in the middle of a bright white field, an expression of beautiful amazement on her broadly smiling face,saying, “Wow! Wow! Wow!” My father (who’d died in 1977) sat in the background, grinning. They both looked about 19.  She came to me three days later,  wrapped in mummy-like herringbone gauze up to her collar-bone, and she said, “I’m wrapping things up now and won’t be able to communicate for a while. But I’m going to be sending you wonderful things.”

Five years later, as I was driving across the country in my Big Move to California,  I was  looking for a inexpensive motel for the night, and suddenly saw her looking at me the way we look at our toddlers, urging them to walk. She looked at me with wide eyes, lifting her eyebrows, and said, “Spend more money! Be good to yourself! Who do you think is paying for this trip?” Truthfully, I had a lot of money (for me) saved up and could have stayed anywhere I wanted, but of course, I had an eye on stretching my resources as much as possible. So in fact, I was paying for the trip. But I understood that what she meant was that she was arranging things for me to my advantage much more lavishly than I was imagining and there was no reason for me to worry about money.

She occasionally still does visit, wafting blessings and encouragement to be generous with myself. Last winter she told me to get a luxurious, expensive new bathrobe. I’ve been looking but haven’t found the right one.

So now, in addition to loving my mother for all that she was to me as my flesh and blood Mom, I now know her as my Lakshmi, encouraging me to be generous with myself over and over again.

And this reminds me of the song I tried to sing but couldn’t, so I spoke it at her funeral. The original words by Reverend Karyl Huntley and Karen Drucker are slightly different, but I sang it as I had learned it:

You are my face of God.
I hold you in my heart.
You are a part of me.
You are my face of God.

I’ve Come into Four Trillion Dollars

And I realize that what I want to do is very simple and pervasive: to ensure that all over this Earth, compassion is the underlying force in all relationships.

Or maybe that’s not enough. Maybe the affirmation should be: “I’ve come into enough money to solve all the world’s problems and establish a lasting perfect balance for all life on this planet.”

But that begs a Faustian problem, so I’ve decided on the four trillion American dollars.

One of my favorite pastimes is fantasizing what I would do if I won — or, since I never buy lottery tickets, somehow just come into — a huge amount of money.  After all, the Universe can send me its bounty in any way it likes.

Here’s the way it usually goes:

  1. Of course I would take care of my kids’ and grandchild’s needs, my long-term care plans, yada yada yada.
  2. Figure out where we could all live without getting into each other’s hair but be close enough so I wouldn’t have to drive hours to be with them.
  3. Take my 60 best friends someplace for a vacation.
  4. Give my 20 best friends millions of dollars.
  5.  Hire a team of lawyers and financial managers who already work with the wealthiest philanthropists on the planet to help me distribute the bulk of my windfall to where it will do the most good.
  6. Of course, I’d change my email, go dark so I could be less accessible to all the sharks crazed by the blood smell of all my new money.
  7. And then I have fun thinking about the flowering of good, the joy of children who no longer suffer from the world’s greed and callousness, the forests that would be restored, etc, etc, etc.516w1O5MrML._SX355_

But today’s journey lifted me up on a whole ‘nother level.  I’d watched a movie last night in which Terence Stamp, playing a nasty rich guy who’s about to get murdered, says something about how everyone wants his 70 million dollars.

So I started at 70 million and thought I should aim higher than that. I went to a billion, and that sounded paltry.

Sidebar: one of the most influential stories I have ever read is “Bontshe Shvayg” (Bontshe the Silent) by Isaac Loeb Peretz, a late 19th/early 20th century Yiddish writer who advocated for the advancement of Europe’s downtrodden Jews.

As summarized here, “Bontshe is a victim of poverty and degradation who never complains about his miserable lot in life, so that when he dies he goes straight to heaven, greeted by a chorus of angels, and is invited by the highest judge of the heavenly tribunal to ask for anything he wants as his just reward.

And what is Bontshe’s greatest wish? “What I’d like most of all,” says Bontshe, “is a warm roll with fresh butter every morning.”

Hearing this, the judges and the angels hang their heads in shame, while the prosecutor breaks out in contemptuous laughter.”

Enter Marianne Williamson’s famous: ““Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. …”

dantes-paradise-empyrean-grangerAnd so four trillion dollars seemed right. As I floated into my fantasy, lying on a chaise long in the four o’clock sunshine, I began to feel as I do in my deepest meditations: my head felt light, and an exaltation — not of larks, but of my own deep joy ascending toward its source, my awareness of Self in a purer octave — carried me higher into that state of quiet resonance with less earthly realms. It’s where my self-as-angel whispers assurances that there is more power within me than I can imagine. That it’s long past the time when asking for a warm roll with fresh butter every morning can be passed off as humility. My soul, at home in Metatron’s  heart,  knows better. My playing small is an embarrassment to my deepest self-knowledge and, more crucially, a sin, because I am missing the mark of my existence.

I, and others like me, who strive and pray for the healing of the world, need lots and lots of what it takes to bring sweeping, lasting, root-nourishing changes. I realize that I want to talk to Ashton Kutcher, Bill and Melinda Gates, Warren Buffet, and JK Rowling for advice. I see myself as part of that mythic group of tycoons who meet once a year to decide where their money should go to provide the benefit worldwide, and I don’t feel like a newcomer in their midst, because I know there is work to be done and I’m on the team.

We need all the money it takes to create safety, nourishment, and encouragement for 516w1O5MrML._SX355_every child on this planet. This is what I will do when I get my four trillion dollars:

  1. Go to my son’s house immediately and tell him and my daughter-in-law after Calla is in bed. I can’t tell them over the phone or via email. For the first time in my life, I become concerned with privacy.
  2. Call my friend, Melynda, and say, “I’ve got to talk to you. I’m flying to wherever you are tomorrow.” Because she understands power, I hire her to be smart for me.
  3. Hire that aforementioned firm to hide me and my money. I mean, what do I do with a check for four trillion dollars? What are the implications for the bank into which I deposit it? Could the Redwood Credit Union handle all that?
  4.  Give millions to my brother, each of my first cousins and friends, my congregation and a few favorite charities right off the bat.  Of course I invite my kids to quit their jobs and help me create healing throughout the world or do whatever they want.
  5. Find out how I should evaluate the best ways to give away most of the money to save the world most securely and then give it away. My immediate priorities are:
    1. ensuring a Democratic win in the White House and Senate. I call my favorite Congressperson, an old friend, and take him out to lunch. I pass him a note that I tell him he has to read under the table so no hidden cameras can read it. It says: “I just won four trillion dollars. Will you work with me to help it do good in the United States?”
    2. getting all children everywhere out of danger and into permanent safety in loving arms.
    3. funding systems: education systems worldwide based on compassion, tolerance, forgiveness, creativity and appreciation
    4. access to abundant clean water and healthy soil
    5. in the Americas, somehow engage hate groups and drug lords and help them heal, using every possible intervention. I have a vision of a temporary (maybe three generations in duration) string of beautiful, spa-like respite, rehabilitation and engagement centers along the southern border in which all those seeking entry in to the United States are welcome, offered educational  and vocational opportunities, and are then offered citizenship.
    6. supporting peace initiatives and activities in the Middle East until there is solid cooperation and unity of humanitarian goals and processes

And I realize that what I want to do is very simple and pervasive: to ensure that all over this Earth, compassion is the underlying force in all relationships.

dantes-inferno-c1520-grangerBut I know, there’s still the Faustian problem and more fundamentally,  human nature, which will continue to create problems, because as surely as we are wired to hope and invent things, we are also wired to twist ourselves and our thinking into knots. And, for the first time in my life, the idea strikes me that maybe that’s why the church invented original sin.

516w1O5MrML._SX355_Could be that four trillion isn’t enough. I’m willing to take more.




What the Angel Said

I will not leave you. I will not turn my back on you, leaving you  to think that you have offended me. You can never offend Angel.

A big step, today,

Lying in the sunshine


I forgave myself

For being who I am


And this is how it comes upon me, this convers(at)ion.

And the angel, seeing our mass shock at the horrors we allow and from which we suffer in every way, said to all of us,

“I will not leave you. I will not turn my back on you, leaving you  to think that you have offended me. You can never offend Angel.

“I will not leave you. I do not and will not see the ugliness you see when you regard yourself by the standards touted as possible, all of them, all at once. I do not think you foolish for believing that anyone can meet all those standards, all of them, all at once.

“Remember, I see who you are as you created yourself to be in Sacred Mind, your true mind.

“If you regard yourself with kindness, you see a thwarted bloom. I see the whole garden with generations of your seeds of hope already grown, blossomed, and fruited, generously sweetening  and feeding the cosmos.

“You see a wasteland when you look through barely parted fingers cross your eyes, shamed by the heartless  bastards who think they win when you doubt yourself and who puff up as Croesius at your shrinking, self-debasing willingness to believe they are right. I see the innocence of your readiness to accept blame for what was never your sin.

“And even when I see the degradation you air in public – the contorted posing and jabbing and pointing of fingers, the ripping off of civility, the exposure of heinous desires and more heinous acts – I do not turn away. I bend my knees to rock back on my heels and hold out my arms to you.

“Remember, I see everything all at once. I see what makes you the way you are after you burst forth in your brilliance and someone’s fierce eye sears your sense of who you are. I see how you are made to stand by stiffly as if others’ pain is not your business. I see the way you copy – such a good job! – what your teachers teach you right down to what they don’t know they teach and you don’t know you learn.

“Do whatever it is you need to do to breathe. I am leaning close to you, blowing gently across your nostrils so that you can know the world you live in as offering you breadth. Keep waking up. You cannot fail.”


and the horse said, ‘I greet you in the name of all divine beings’

“I carry the message of wisdom in my being and I offer it to you with every breath. I do not limit my offer to you but to every being, and specifically to every being you bring into awareness of me.

Just in case I begin to think I have it all figured out — and I do, because foolish human I am – once in a while I walk into a glass door. (Note to Universe: don’t take me literally, I don’t need to smash my nose, thank you.)

As some of my earlier posts on this blog attest, I receive downloads from aspects of my totality that feel like other beings entirely — angels, guides, even a being who said to me, “I created you to experience joy…” or should I have written “a Being”?  Who are these downloads from?  AnImage result for angel angel?  Another aspect of my own multidimensional soul expression living in another part of the galaxy or in another dimension? An ascended master? Source? Can you even imagine that Source uses the first personal pronoun? I can’t, despite the evidence of that message.  It matters not, is what I’ve come to. These definitions just get in our way as we grope our way to the dream of experiencing the divine. I’ve given up on attempts to categorize. There are no meaningful categories. All is One.


adonai echad

Judaism’s central message is that there is only one life. We mortals who can imagine only in finite bits, fending off the chaos of a totality we cannot even imagine, must invent names for everything. Inventing names, we become attached to separation. Attached to separation, we fall in reluctant love with limits and become slaves to the safety there. But that’s a rant for another time.

The following is part of an intuitive conversation I had with a being in whose presence I felt great awe and delight.

I am the incarnation of a continuum of beings who love you, because that is the nature of existence: layers upon layers of possible realities and expressions of beings ready to spring into articulate life by the merest whisper of a vibration in you which pulls any particular answering vibration into being. Get it? You and all beings are Creator, and as the bible says, in the beginning was the word, and what that means is that the vibration of intention calls forth creation, neutron by neutron, and that’s the key to evolution. Things don’t just spring into manifestation full-blown except in the imagination (which is a real dimension); the vibration of intention makes potential shimmer and move until it bursts out of potential into actuality.

Angel? No. Ascended Master? no.

The name of the speaker is Maya Amaroo, a Rhodesian Ridgeback with whom I had initiated a conversation to ask a question her person had for her.

Since 2009 I have been serving as an animal communicator. From my very first session I have been consistently humbled and inspired by what I hear, see, and feel as I receive what flows through my mind during our conversations. Maya’s statement is typical.

As to the dynamics of these conversations, it’s simple, and exactly the same as when I seek guidance from those aspects of my larger, less ego-bound self/Self: I open to the field of all consciousness, focus on the animal, say hello, and immediately must be alert to whatever sails into my field of awareness. The hard part is being sensitive enough to recognize and “catch” the response, because it can be very subtle, and it’s most natural to dismiss whatever it is as nothing — an inner breeze of sorts, or random thought. But there’s nothing random about this process. It’s precisely the first thing that comes to mind, even if it’s not a mental sensation. It could be an itch, or a physical pain. Whatever it is, that’s the response, and I take it from there.

This post’s title is the title of a book I’m writing about these marvelous conversations. The greeting was the first thing I heard after I said hello to a horse named Malone.

Malone head
Malone, courtesy of Madison Corcoran

Here’s an excerpt from the book in which I introduce Malone and this unexpected radiance.

I open my awareness to Malone. It feels, as it always does when I approach a being with whom I am initiating a multidimensional communication session, like a gate opening in my mind, not so much a door opening as a falling away of a subtle barrier.

“Hello,” I say.

I hear immediately, “I greet you in the name of all divine beings, as represented in my consciousness as Equine Being. We are honored that you shine your consciousness on our expressions as Malone. How may we be of service to you?”

Oh, my heavens, I think, I am in a great presence. A Presence. I am awestruck, but I know that giving voice to my surprise will not further the conversation. I know I must stand in this clear field of possibility mirroring, as much as I can, the greater truth of my own consciousness in respect for the dignity and depth I feel from this horse. I feel that I have been granted an audience with a great spiritual teacher who radiates his compassionate wisdom in my direction as we speak. I feel a warm tingling in my crown chakra, and my heart is full.

I also teach classes and workshops in intuitive awareness. A technique I depend on because it’s so easy and effective is to give people an object to hold — often a small stone — while they close their eyes, eliminating the probability that sight will stimulate their automatic judgement or definition, which will get in the way of the intuitive process. I encourage them to open their awareness to what they’re holding and to say hello, or ask a question, and then to allow themselves to flow into an imaginary conversation or dream, if it feels like that.

So here’s the glass door I mentioned: for all that I’ve talked and written about how we are all mirrors for each other, and that we are all vessels holding the divine, it didn’t occur to me until I was writing the preface to this book that animals can be as much a focus for us to use in developing our sensitivity to our intuition as a stone. And as I write that, I laugh at the absurdity. Good heavens, if we can have a conversation with a stone, isn’t it obvious that we can have a conversation with an animal? How did I ever miss that?

Actually, I know the answer: it’s hard to see that animals can be a focus in the same way that a stone does because like us, animals seem to go about their own business with their own agenda. Animals can seem to have problems, be ornery, needy, even annoyingly indiscriminately loving everyone, and be too full of their own limitations, as we are, to serve as a scrying glass.one with everythiung

Aah, but there we’re wrong. Animals may exhibit behaviors that are all those things and more. They may bite, kick, growl and chase everything in sight, but, in my experience, they all are aware that they are, like the Dalai Lama’s pizza, one with everything.

They seek to help their humans experience the joy and love that rises from living authentically.

This is more of Malone’s message to his beloved person, Madison, through me.

“I am here having come from afar, having travelled in consciousness from vision united to individuation, as all of us have made the journey. My Kind is less aggravated by individuation that is your suffering kind, complicated by too much thinking, and so I offer my vibrational being to Madison and now to you as her agent to teach, assure, and revel in the awareness you bring to this encounter and to the unity of all being. I am aware of Madison’s journey. She has come to a point of desire to experience unity and has chosen wisely in choosing me to be her colleague and mentor and servant.”

He addresses Madison directly, knowing that I am serving only as a conduit. This is a common pattern I experience in communication sessions with other animals.

“Madison, every time you look at me, I see in your eyes a hunger for unity with self. I can offer you that when you blend you physical being with mine as we ride and I can also by every other physical encounter we have. The physical is the most obvious connection, and yet you have only to sit in my presence to feel my knowing pour into you in every place you open: your mind, your heart, your skin; your energy centers, especially. If you will place your hand on each of my energy centers and the other hand on your own, there will be a magnificent transferal of energy and healing as you wish to a much greater degree than you had imagined possible.

“I carry the message of wisdom in my being and I offer it to you with every breath. I do not limit my offer to you but to every being, and specifically to every being you bring into awareness of me. If you make photographs of me public and invite people to look at me and open their hearts, they will receive blessing.

You never know where those glass doors might be. I’ll tell you about the ones I find and will appreciate your doing the same for me so that we can both travel more wisely.

It was there all the time.

And so I searched for an image that would by its very nature blatantly evoke the idea of sparkling light as an external fact. It did not occur to me to refer to my own truth about what it is that we communicate naturally, unstrategically, and without being able to help ourselves: we communicate who we are. 


I’ve begun a new venture: a part-time revival of the strategic communications consulting practice that helped send Seth to college while my husband and I continued to pay our mortgage and go on a few vacations.

So I set out to create a new business card. Because my creative process is often a jumble of words and images at the outset,  I started with both a word and a visual. The name I chose to encompass my new venture is Lightspeak, a name I’ve used for many years to hold the intuitive work I do. Therefore, of course, I wanted the card to show light. I played in the fields of Adobe for several hours and when I thought I had a first draft, I posted the card on facebook for  review and input by my creative, generous friends. You, yourself, may have offered your perceptive, supportive, critical advice, which caused me to revamp the card until I thought it would do quite nicely.

Lightspeak Strategic Communications

I was ready for the next step: a website. As soon as the word “website” sat in my consciousness, I realized, a bit aghast, that no, this image would not do.  Don’t ask me why — I just knew. To tell you the truth, the thought of all that yellow full size on a screen made me gag. I know I could have used the image smaller, but I wanted a large visual display.

And so I searched for a new image. I googled “sunlight through trees” — too much “the-voice-of-God.” “Sunlight on water” brought too much visual turbulence.  Then I remembered that I had taken some photos of my favorite place on the planet, the Hudson River just above Rockwell Falls in Lake Luzerne, and I made a new card.

Lightspeak communications Luzerne

And oh, my goodness, I felt like I had come home, found Mother after being lost in a store, awakened from a strange dream of artificiality. Of course that was the image to use.

That image pulses in my heart always. That is the view, whether in real life or as a photo, that fills me with peace.  When I am actually there, sitting on the large, flat rocks (out of sight in this photo), listening to the water rushing past me and the leaves rustling in the breeze, I feel my molecules becoming congruent with the place itself. I have commented to friends that I believe that if I were a specific bit of geography, I would be that place.

Long ago I had Vistaprint put it on a mousepad; I painted tiles to look like it and created a large ceramic work of art to hang over the stove in my last Schenectady kitchen. I ordered a version of it as wide as my bed as a headboard in my Rohnert Park bedroom, and a smaller version to hang along with some gorgeous photos of the delicious jade green Yuba River in my living room.

In all my life, there are two images that open my heart wide, wide, wide as the cosmos: Seth’s kindergarten picture and this.

Seth 5.jpg

So why did I spend hours looking for images on the web? Why did I forget that like Dorothy, I had what I needed right here at home?

Because I thought I was looking for a image to go on a business card, as if my business self had to be, of course would be, different from my real self. That rings true, doesn’t it? That’s the old paradigm.  I grew up with adults who believed that that was the way things had to be, and they promulgated the schism in their own not-so-virtuous business practices. And I, a vocal proponent for authenticity, for honoring the heart and the path within, fell into step with the line of drone-thinkers. Even remembering that “the personal is political,” I assumed that I needed to step outside my sacred, loving self because I was launching a new business venture. And so I searched for an image that would by its very nature blatantly evoke the idea of sparkling light as an external fact. (I suppose that the ability to keep catching myself in embarrassing points of view is a good thing, a sign that I am not static.)

It’s all personal.

It did not occur to me to refer to my own truth about what it is that we communicate naturally, unstrategically, and without being able to help ourselves: we communicate who we are.

Good heavens — that’s the whole point of what I do for people: I help them find how to be the person they want to communicate to others, and then I offer suggestions for how to design their communication with a plan in mind.

When I placed that scene at the top of my new business card, a giddy anticipation flooded my self-awareness. I felt myself releasing what I had not known was a tight hold on the reins of my being in the world, finding a natural gait I had never dreamed possible. I could trust myself to be who I am not just in my private, chosen communities, but everywhere.

I knew then that the only light I could offer my clients would be the light sparkling within me — as a mirror for their own. It’s my light that I offer, not some external fabrication. It’s my joy that sparks a mirroring hopefulness and eagerness in people who invite me to help them craft a version of themselves to bring into the world.

And what’s more, a new certainty rose up in my heart, surprising myself as I watch myself initiate yet another project. Before I left the world of business and salaries and working every day at something I didn’t always enjoy,  I had projected that “retirement” would be empty of external agendas and activities, leaving lots of time for wandering in nature and making art. I laughed out loud with unforeseen delight at the realization that just broadcasting myself through this image is satisfying all by itself, as satisfying as any painting I have ever finished.

Hmm. In fact, the joy of this broadcasting of self  closely approaches a vision I have not shared publicly before.

I love an audience. That’s not knew to anyone who knows me even a little. But now, this:

Eccomi: I see myself standing on a proscenium stage before an immense crowd — at least 5,000 people. Maybe more. The hot spotlight makes my face flush. Anyone sitting in the audience sees not the colors of the clothes I am wearing, but a hazy, bright shape, the light is that bright. I look at the crowd, seeing it not as a jammed-in mass of individuals, but as a pulsing, living being whose gaze I feel as a welcome invitation to announce, finally, after all this time, why I am here and what I have to offer.

I place my hand at the indentation at the bottom of my throat and move my hand down to the bottom of my torso,  unzipping myself. Placing my hands over, not touching, each side of my body, the left hand over the left side and the right hand over the right, I slowly  open my arms, bringing my hands out and away from my body completely. The light around me intensifies as I  butterfly myself, revealing and releasing from its hiding place within my flesh all the Source light within, my essential being. This light uncovers and magnifies every single truth about me. I am naked beyond naked, available for and unprotected from perusal, research, study, critical observation and discussion, wonderment and love,  and as a model of willingness to serve. I am human.

This is what we all are. We are transparent and totally visible to everybody all the time, but we need to believe that we live in an opacity that affords us privacy, because the enormity of what begins to happen to us as soon as we slide out of our first cave is terrifying, confusing, and impossible for our finite minds to hold.

Moreover, I know that each one of us, each amoeba, each cell of every body in creation, is also essentially this light seeking recognition and unification with every other expression of creation. I invite you to stand up on this stage with me. My unrelenting dream is to share this stage with everybody, all of us relaxing into the surrender of our fears to our unguarded, radiant truth.

And oh my goodness, in these words, I have just fulfilled my vision as surely as if we were really in that theater. I bow to your generosity with gratitude. Namaste.



Getting to Global Wiring: And the Angel Said

And the angel said, “What I tell you in the middle of the day with the sun hot overhead, what I whisper to you in the middle of the night when you hear your name and don’t know who it is calling to you, when I send a shiver up your spine for no apparent reason at all, that’s when you know.”

And the angel said,”What would you do if you allowed yourself to be the angel all the time? What would you do?”

A few weeks ago, at our first potluck in the aftermath of the ravaging fires, I had a spontaneous conversation in the kitchen here at Ner Shalom with two members of our congregation, in which I recounted my 1980 conversation with the great teacher and founder of the Jewish Renewal movement, Rabbi Zalman Schachter Shalomi, of great blessing.

That conversation was a result of my recently having read a book which changed my thinking about what is for many Jews, certainly to many Jews of my generation and earlier, the other C word. Christ. (The book was “Revelation: The Birth of a New Age” by David Spangler .) I wanted to talk to my family and other dear Jewish friends about a dynamic concept I had never imagined.

So I asked Reb Zalman, “How do you talk to Jews about Christ?”

“Aaaah,” he said, and looked to the side, the way we do when we’re looking for an answer that’s not on the tip of our tongues.

And then he said, “Talk to them about the angel Michael.”

Well, my Reform Jewish family was not ready to think about angels, either, but I have thought a lot about angels since then, and have encountered what I believe to be angelic presences.

So it’s not surprising that when I heard Francis Weller say, in the New School at Commonweal presentation here recently, that as human beings “we are not wired” for the global magnitude of information which sears our hearts and throws us way out of balance, I began to think about how we might possibly be able to hold a global load.

And I thought about the possibility that the self we are aware of — that self we call “I” – is just part of a larger identity which is our birthright as beings made in the image of the Creator. In my intuitive energy work, I see and feel and hear evidence of a larger, more radiant, and more powerful version of who we are.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I don’t know how we can make the jump from the locally wired human being to the globally wired human being, but the possibility intrigues, inspires and pulls me.

And so I asked. And I am going to tell you what I heard because maybe my story will tickle your story.

And the angel said, “What I tell you in the middle of the day with the sun hot overhead, what I whisper to you in the middle of the night when you hear your name and don’t know who it is calling to you, when I send a shiver up your spine for no apparent reason at all, that’s when you know.”

And the angel said,”What would you do if you allowed yourself to be the angel all the time? What would you do?”

I would sing everywhere song appeared in my being.

I would sway when the inner wind blows.

I would not hesitate to tell people how much I love them. I would hug them and rock them against my breast, I would caress them and tell them how wonderful they are and how I marvel at their courage.

I would look at people openly to SEE them as often as I wanted.

I would not let fear stop me, ever. Fear of alienating people, fear of embarrassing people, fear of increasing their pitiable stress, fear of standing out and being noticed.

Is it not for that that I am here? To be noticed, perhaps laughed at but then brought home in the laugher’s mind and heart to wonder, “what if..”

Is it not what I am here to do, to hold myself in the light and make noise in the darkness so others can see how it may be possible for them, too, to live out loud, to live in joy, to live in paradox with forgiveness and sorrow and celebrate all at once? Is it not what I am here for, to whisper, “Can you hold your image this way, so you see it differently? Can you hold the mirror higher, so you can see how the light makes you shine through and through?”

To do this, to live with the angel speaking and seeing and hearing and moving through the public mirror, makes me quake sometimes. Often. Most of the time, and that’s why I make smaller gestures, watch my words, wait to think. It’s what makes places civilized, this waiting and watching, this calculus of human response.

Civilization tames the wild, and often I rail at that while I carry it out, myself, in myself, as well as wishing, “Sha, shtill,” so often, in so many situations. My mother biting her lips to keep from saying what she knows will hurt.

What would I do if I allowed myself to be the angel all the time?

I would not wait. I would love more openly and more generally, and not stop because I thought people would think me weird. I would be weird in the world and show people its powerful beauty.

I would stop asking what I would do if I allowed myself to be the angel all the time.

I would shift the arc of my vision to the angelic plane and take my cues from there. I would raise my arms to the shoulders of the great ones and see how well I fit, modulating the tensions and stiffness wherever I found it, to stand in their pulsing, golden circle, indistinguishable from the others.

And the voice said, “I will take you where you need to go, I will wrap My Being around you beyond your control and I will take you, and you will not be able to resist, and know that just as I am leading you, so I am also leading every other, and there is nothing you can do about that, either.

“Do you think that I am your light only? No, I am the Light, completely and solely the beam along which every single being travels, and others’ light may look different than the one you see as coming from Me for you, because their needs are different than yours. But don’t think for one nanosecond that you are anyone else’s light.

“I and only I am the Light with the power to direct and heal. You are not in control. I am the Light, I am Source, Source eternal and forever, and you can relax and be confident that you are My responsibility and I am forever.”

The Sun said this to me, and I felt completely absolved of the sense of obligation, of the folly of feeling responsible for others’ well-being that I had allowed myself to believe was a virtue.

We each ride a ray of Light, each ray configured through the magic of DNA, soul memory and God knows what else. I think of Reb Zalman’s encouragement when I need to rise above the leaden ache in my gut. I know that shimmering above me, or at my side, is the greater presence of my Self that holds the global awareness the smaller I can’t. I believe that that presence shimmers for all of us, and that when we need to breathe more deeply, think more clearly, and find the stability we need, we will find ourselves anew in that Human 2.0, which Jean Houston calls the Quantum Human, Barbara Marx Hubbard calls Homo Universalis, Carolyn Myss calls Homo Noeticus, and others call Homo Divinus and Homo Galactica.

Maybe there IS something new under the sun, and it’s us.

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