Time for a Sabbatical

A recent astrological piece noted that I was "wiping the slate clean." 

Indeed, that feels very much like what I'm doing. It's time to stand still, take stock, breathe deeply and notice what is in front of me. Just now I notice a breezy, summer day and a house that needs vacuuming. I'm going to find a  way to enjoy them both and see what happens next.

See you in the hood.

janice

Do you want to be taller, tanner, younger and thinner?

I can do that for you today!  (Some restrictions may apply.)

Actually, I might be able to help, but you will need some boots. I’m talking about...shit. Your shit, my shit, everybody’s shit. You gotta own your shit. (This theme seems familiar.)

We all know that, sooner or later, our shit hits the fan unless we’re ahead of the learning curve. And most of us are not ahead of the learning curve.

Owning our shit requires us to take a leap of faith: If we’re going to change up our game, we must accept that we can’t really know where the new rules will take us. And we might encounter some unintended consequences. The new regulations point us to what is directly in our path – this moment. Each one gives us the chance to look at our perceptions, our habits of thought and the distortions of those habits of thought, which lead us into shitty behaviors. It’s a bit like peeling an onion, sometimes complete with tears. It is a painful, glorious, frustrating, hilarious journey. But it’s worth it. One day you stand up and look back at the cocoon you just crawled out of, and you notice your beautiful new wings.

You might also discover that you do stand taller, and with luck, you’ll be thinner and your children might occasionally listen to you.

 

Pontius Pilate asked, "What is truth?"

Pontius Janice is asking, “What is healing?” This is an awesome subject, because no one really knows the answer. One man’s healing is another man’s death. The Rolling Stones got it at least partly right: “You can’t always get what you want, but you get what you need.” I’m inclined to agree, but I can’t prove it AND it is going to piss off a lot of folks that I actually like, so right now I’ll stick with “you can’t always get what you want, but you might get healed anyway.” But seriously, here we are in this little incarnation on this amazing planet. We came here with an intention to evolve in some way. (I’m gonna run with that statement for now.) Suppose part of our evolutionary intention is resolved by being a Hitler or a Judas. Maybe somebody had to do it, and didn’t we learn an awful lot as a result? Well, some of us did. Or maybe, our evolution is carried forward by enduring above average crap. Or maybe not. Who is to say? Or maybe – and here is a brilliant idea, thank you Jennie Marlow – we are actually here to follow a trail of essence which can lead us to joy, creativity, ease and a happy life. Following a trail of essence would be the strategy here. You can’t leave that part out. So much to talk about! And it started way before I became me at all.

 

And now for something a little different

I don’t know about you, but I am worn out by our current political conundrum, shenanigans and mayhem. So this month I’ve decided to lighten things up a bit, ‘cause what’s a girl to do? I present this in hopes it can distract you for a few moments from the rest of it. It has done that and continues to do that for me. I realize that you may not respect me in the morning, but…oh well. Do check out the events page on my website: janicehylton.com
I invite you more local folk to join me in Millerton for two free events in the coming weeks. Hope to see you there. Keep calm and keep laughing. janice

Thank you, Twitter user @TeenyBiscuit

With no further ado, please click here.

A Most Intimate Journey

Is there anything more complicated than learning to love oneself? The longer I am on the planet, the more convinced I am that I know the answer to that question. Of course, I only know my own journey.

There are some things that cannot lead to love of self:

·      Affirmations, otherwise known as wishin’ and hopin’ and prayin’ and thinkin’  -- These come right out of the “ask, believe, receive” model, which has no power.

·      Loving someone else reeeallly hard – If we cannot learn to at least like ourselves, we may have a hard time genuinely loving another. We can’t give what we don’t have.

So how on Earth, or Heaven, can we discover a path to loving ourselves? To tell you the truth, I’m not sure I know the solid ground of it yet. But there are a few things that have been helpful to me:

·      Owning my humanness – Perfection is not an option. We didn’t incarnate because we are perfect examples of enlightenment, except for a rare few. We are here to practice, and I need all the practice I can get.

·      Forgiving my humanness – The act of real forgiveness requires that we first come to know our cluelessness, our meanness, our cruelty, our laziness, and forgiveness implies a conscious, ongoing attempt to not repeat our offenses.

Every. Single. Day. I find I need more practice at not repeating my offenses, as I step into the world or onto Facebook. I’m hoping practice does make perfect. See you out there.

janice

Pop-up piles of poop

Did I really do that?

I entered mid-life imagining that I was a paragon of virtue. A little farther down that road, I discovered . . . not so much. Have you been there? I’d put money on it. I realized, after stumbling over a more complete picture of my human potential, that I had an opportunity, and I decided to take it as best I could.

My turning point of destruction, which included a boatload of collateral damage, truly gave me a jump-start. I chose to stop defending myself and became willing to take a good look at my shit. Not that you have shit . . . but just sayin’. Some years later, I’m still discovering poop piles here and there. It seems that transformation is a process that can be ongoing.
 
The path of transformation begins at the foot of the rubble/poop pile. We need some sturdy tools to clear the debris at the head of that path and at pop-up piles of poop along the route. By the way, there is no map for that road, so we can’t really know where we’ll end up. But that’s ok. If we stick it out, we might find amazing things along the trail such as authenticity, compassion for self, a few unintended consequences, probably some new friends and some guaranteed new adventures.
 
This is really just a pep talk, in case you’ve broken your nose running into your humanity. If you have discovered some of those darker places within and have embraced their invitations for growth, you are doing just fine. Welcome to the club.

 

 

A quick and easy holiday recipe

Serve hot or cold. Will feed multitudes.

Ingredients:

4 x 3-5 lb. stones (half-bricks may be substituted)

2 x ½ lb stone (or similar)

1x large-ish pond or similar still body of water

Note: It is recommended to try this recipe on a windless day.

1.     Throw large stone or half brick at least 15 feet out into the pond. Observe ripples emanating from point of impact.

2.     After stillness has returned to water’s surface, throw second large stone or half-brick at least 15 feet out into the pond. Immediately after impact, throw small stone same distance out into pond, but approximately 20 feet away from large stone point of impact. Observe how ripples of small stone interrupt ripples of large stone, preventing their typical movement.

3.     Repeat exercise with one difference: Assign deeply disturbing identity to large stone, such as greed, hatred, shame or any daily headline from the New York Times. Assign to small stone the identity of your own desires for peace or your own efforts to better the world (or similar), even though you (like me) may constantly question whether you could possibly have any affect on today’s level of chaos and violence.

4.     After small stone is thrown, following proper sequence, observe how its ripples interrupt the ripples of the large stone, preventing its no-longer inevitable movement.

Note: Your work in the world absolutely lessens the ripples of chaos and violence.

The real skinny about transformation

The real skinny about transformation is that it must begin inside. We all have bits of our lives that we would like to magically change. It would be nice if we could, for example, simply change partners in a troubled relationship and have it all be hunky-dory. But in order to accomplish real transformation of anything we have to begin at the beginning, and no real transformation begins with the outer picture. A willingness to discover the truth of how we got where we are is required, and that may prove uncomfortable. If we don’t take that step first, however, we will simply “rinse and repeat” our life stories. And frankly, that can get really boring for our friends who have to hear about our crap.                                                                                                                                                         

Transformation = trans+form. It is beyond the form of whatever we imagine needs changing.

We participate in creating all the forms in our lives, even those we later resist. That can be tough to swallow, I know, but there it is. A good first step might be looking at the accepted beliefs we brought to the party. Those might include false notions about oneself or another, or some projection on our part or expectations that require mind reading for another to understand. Regardless, that internal look is where we must start. What gets uncovered in this exploration can be surprising, to say the least. But the real adventure of true transformation is that it will never leave us where it found us.

The blessings of our journey

I have found that one of my biggest obstacles to authentic action is trying to protect the feelings of another. Over and over I have to be reminded of two powerful truths:

·      I can’t know the path another has chosen to follow.

·      What truly blesses one truly blesses all.

These two teachings, which I hold to be true, can relieve one of a great burden

To the first point, each of us has made some choices concerning our evolutionary “goals” before we incarnate, and to some degree, we have chosen the format for that learning. So before we judge another's challenges as painful or unbearable, we might try to remember that only they can know their path. Only they can know what is right for them, and only they can walk their path. Our authentic choices cannot block or derail the journey of another, despite appearances

As for being blessed, call me crazy, but I simply cannot accept that a real blessing for one can truly injure another. It might push another further along their path. It might be just what the doctor ordered for growth, and it might look to us as if it hurts like hell. Conversely, it might feel to us that we hurt like hell. Blessings come in all shapes and sizes. The most powerful and supportive work we can do for us and the world around us is to daily make honest, compassionate choices for ourselves. Then keep breathing and go forward.

I love your glasses! Where did you get them?

We are so much more than meets the eye. We are truly spiritual beings living out a material existence in a unique classroom called the earth plane. Each and every person on the planet made a choice to incarnate, and we made the choice in order to advance our learning in some way.  

Before we came in, we chose a “set-up” to best support our desired goals. That “set-up” is a bit like glasses with fear lenses through which we see and interpret the world. Some of us are mostly afraid of being dominated by other people, or afraid that our bodies will betray us. For some, the earth itself seems like a very dangerous place. For others, it can feel unsafe just to be oneself. These fears with which we incarnated are like a pair of permanently attached reading glasses. They are also the foundation of our earthly learning curve – truly the gift that keeps on giving.

When we come to recognize our particular lens and see it in action, we have a marvelous opportunity to make some real headway. We can move those glasses down our nose a bit and see above the lens, giving us a moment to see more clearly what lies before us. We have to be reminded-- like, forever -- that we still have the glasses on, but this one trick will take us a long way down our road of discovery. Happy motoring!