No photoshop needed, no filters used…High Maintenance Kitty’s pink, heart-shaped collar beams out unconditional love thanks to a rising sun and perfect timing. Of course, he is also sticking out his tongue. Just to keep things on the funny side of life.
Imagine yourself standing in front of two doors. Behind one is a merciless entity with a stun gun. Every time you open that door you get blasted. And it hurts. Shut the door and the pain goes away. Open it and you are an easy target.
Behind the other door are puppies or kittens or giggling babies or double rainbows – whatever makes you immediately smile and feel content. Every time you open that door you are delighted to be alive. Warmed up, blissed out.
You’d think that the first door would never be opened, right?
But we keep going back to that first door, over and over. It takes real effort to not crack open the door to see if the gun is still pointed at your face.
On a hike with The Magician on the Palomarin trail, just after I found out that my former spouse was taking me to court to reduce the support payments, he said this:
Why don’t you just give him what he wants and walk away? Stop engaging so you can move on.
I decided not to negotiate and went to court. The judge made her ruling. Support was cleaved. I had a choice. Get angry or Press On. I chose to Press On.
But damage had been done. I allowed my vibrational energy to take a hit over the weeks that unfolded before our early October court date.
I know better than to do that!
While I remained focused on simply responding to the motion and ready to accept her ruling and move on without drama, I made other choices that dulled my light. With time short I skipped the trails in favor of the gym, I didn’t meditate, I avoided quiet time to ponder, I stopped listening to the words of those who remind me of the magic of courageous choices and the need for leaps of faith.
I stopped tuning in and instead tuned out, preferring to be unconscious.
That cycle ended on Halloween night.
On the night of Witches and Warlocks and Pirates and Wenches, The Dudes and I hit up D Street in Petaluma and, after scoring massive loot, made our way to Cavity Cove.
Prior to Halloween, Cavity Cove is a home. Not a pirate ship. Its caretakers are two of my most favorite people. This night he was a pirate and she was Tippie Hedren in The Birds, a fantastic costume. She wore a soft white, satin dress and perfect peep-toe shoes. And in her hair three crows struggled to free themselves from the tangled blond tresses.
The Magician was there. He came with a mermaid and as a pirate. I, a wench.
We were standing in the driveway in front of a wall built to look like a hall lined with creepy family portraits. (These guys go ALL OUT on Halloween.) We talked about the seminar I had planned for the following Saturday. I told him that I made a mistake – a few actually. I should have given people more time to make travel arrangements. I should have promoted it more. I should have done it online, where HGM began.
He was listening to my dissection of all that I did wrong and said: Cleo, You can’t do it all. You’re not supposed to do it alone.
But I am alone, I thought.
We locked eyes and hearts and he served me up a plate of wisdom that I’ve been savoring since that night.
But the first thing I did the next day was cancel the workshop. And then one day later five people emailed to either sign up or learn more. I could hear the guffaws of the Universe when those emails popped in over the course of one afternoon.
I didn’t trust.
That night I meditated before bed.
Hi, meditative state? It’s me, Cleo.
I felt more grounded. On the day of the workshop I hit the trails with a kitten for a one-on-one session. It was magical. Nature unloaded encounter after encounter. They held messages for us both.
We need to stop opening the first door. It’s a red herring. Designed to keep us from evolving. We are being presented with great opportunities for growth and there are two choices: stagnate and suffer or grow and prosper.
With the choice to grow and prosper comes responsibility, a call to mature, to not pick and choose the moments we unconditional love but to consistently be compassionate and loving. To others and ourselves.
And if I am to hold space for a dozen or a few hundred or thousands of people I best be making the choice to grow and prosper.
The words of The Magician float in when I open Door Two…Choose to have a profound impact on the emotional evolution of our society. You can’t do it alone. Remain present in the moment on your path. Accept help. Don’t be afraid of making this your mission. Believe in yourself. Trust your intuition.
Nature said, I’ve brought a dozen creatures to dazzle you with glimpses of your potential yet you remain afraid. I’ve raised you off the ground and turned your body into jewels that shook into a kaleidoscope of beauty yet you doubt your worthiness.
But then you got on the trails of Mt. Burdell and halfway up an ass-kicker of an incline, I held you while you sobbed those cartoon tears. Big, bursting tears. There wasn’t a sad one in the bunch. Not happy either. These tears come when you remember how incredibly beautiful life is and how magical you are for being right here, right now. These tears come when you awaken to the profound understanding that life is seriously, one-thousand percent a total, complete gift.
Not a booby-trap. (I said booby.)
Welcome back, Cleo.
I sobbed so hard I thought I would fall backwards and fly end over end, kicking up dust and sending lizards underground for miles as I plummeted to the foot of Mt. Burdell.
Instead the tears just stopped. I Pressed On. To the top of the incline. To the rock upon which I sat when I bid farewell to that little girl who was so tired from holding on to pain and anger and shame as she walked away out over the bay. I sat on the rock and held the hand of my Observer Self. It was on this rock that we really saw each other for the first time.
Overhead a red-tailed hawk circled.
And then I noticed for the first time despite dozens of climbs to this very point over the last three years that the summit of Mt. Tamalpais was directly in front of me. Not an inch to the right or left but lined up with my heart, it’s summit looking like an inverted pendulum.
A second red-tailed hawk joined the first, circling just behind me where I envision my Observer Self always to be.
I’m not supposed to do it alone.
And I really ought to trust that Door Two is way better for me than Door One. That I don’t have to keep checking to see if the stun gun still hurts. It does. And if I keep going back to that place then I need to ponder why I don’t feel worthy of being pain free, or angst free or drama free. Or why I desire to feel pain or drama or angst. Why do I need to stay there?
I felt myself letting go, my arms wrapped around a liquid silver chain attached to a pendulum. My legs draped over the top of the crystal pendulum, my bum perched on it. It swung hard to the other side and then came to center swinging in a circle directly above a mountain – an inverted pendulum.
I felt blown open. By love, not a stun gun.
Over the next few days a parade of Earth Angels came into my life. I can’t wait to tell you about the Man in Apartment 1204 and the Knight in Shining Armor. Soon. But first this:
My former spouse decided that the judge didn’t quite cleave support enough so he took it upon himself to shave off more. I sat across from him as he explained his reasoning. He looked at me like I was his mortal enemy, not the mother of his children, his former wife, the woman who just three years ago was his Angel.
In my hand was a check that was 25% of what it should have been as ordered by the court. I felt the pendulum swinging in a gentle circle in between my hips as I perched on his couch. The last time we faced each other on the front porch of his home I shot back hatred through my eyes.
It felt horrid. I was shaken up. I trembled in the car on the way home. I seethed.
I poured unconditional love from my heart while speaking quietly words that had no agenda but to express my choice to utilize the services available to me to enforce the judge’s ruling. Things got tense. We needed to involve The Dudes. It was a perfectly crafted experiment to demonstrate that I can express unconditional love. I can remain present in the moment and heart-centered. I can speak up for myself in a way that defuses not enrages. I can choose to keep my vibrational energy high, creating an impenetrable boundary of love.
I chose Door Two.
From Linsdomain.com: Hawk is the messenger, the protector and the visionary of the Air. It holds the key to higher levels of consciousness. This totem awakens vision and inspires a creative life purpose. A Hawk totem is filled with responsibility because Hawk people seek the overall view. They are aware of omens and spirit messages. A Red-Tailed Hawk Totem is special. It has direct ties to the Kundalini, the seat of primal life force. It is associated with the base chakra. If you have this Totem, you will be aware of and work towards fulfilling your soul’s purpose. It reflects a greater intensity of energy within your life: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual forces will all be strong within you. The Red-Tail Hawk is a permanent totem — it will always be with you. It is associated with the number “14” with the Tarot card Temperance. This card represents the teaching of higher expressions of psychic ability and vision.