Tuesday, December 19, 2006

I want to continue on with my train of thought from yesterday. It’s weird, but I’m coming back to knowledge I already had and it’s just a bit mind-boggling how I could have let myself forget.

I don’t know if I ever wrote about this when I originally had this insight, so forgive me if I’m repeating old information. But last night I remembered one more thing about my experience of anxiety in my chest. It’s not only a mask to protect my heart, it’s a little death, reminding me that every hardship is an opportunity to die and be reborn again. The insight that I had originally had (I don’t remember now when that was—a few years ago?) was that the feeling of stress in my chest is identical to the beginnings or the first rush of feelings you feel at the moment of death. I seem to always have had a “memory” of death. The moment of death begins with that feeling in the chest, and a wave of hot and cold, and then the feeling extends to the whole body and becomes this weird feeling of atomizing or dissolving, which at the same time is almost a feeling of falling. So, the anxiety is a mini-death and my task is to dissolve through it to a more expansive state of being. To not get stuck in the death throes, but to move through it the way you naturally would upon death.

Last night I dreamed about a mountain lion. I was with another adult, a child, and a small dog and people were after me. We hid in a small wooden shed. Something pawed at the door and then a mountain lion nudged the door open and let herself in. I felt a wave of healthy fear as she walked in and lay down at my side. I knew she would protect me and was a powerful ally. The dream ended a few moments later when the bad guys came, shot off the lock (it now had a lock!) and I had a weird numb feeling in my butt cheek…I didn’t know if I had been sitting funny and it was just asleep, or if one of the bullets had come through the door and lodged in my butt.

The dream reminded me of my experience up in the mountains when Collin was two. After I weaned him I went for my first weekend away without him and did a meditation retreat alone. I had two dreams that both brought me bolt upright in the tent. The first was of a mother bear and her cub passing through camp and moving on. The second was of a mountain lion padding into camp and lying down. I concluded that the dream meant that the mountain lion was my new totem animal for my life here in the West, as the black bear had always been my animal in Pennsylvania (and a frequent visitor in my dreams).

I think the mountain lion came into my dream last night to try to remind me again of forgotten knowledge. What does she represent?

Another way I feel I’m circling back to some same-old, same-old issues is with livelihood. I still feel an awful conflict between my belief in simplicity and treading lightly and not being overly materialistic, and the fact that in my business life what I am doing is making and selling stuff. I know I’ve been here before. I’ve had this discussion with myself in the past and I concluded that as an offspring of the Divine it is simply natural for me to want to create.
But, the conflict lives on in me. Maybe it’s with WHAT I’m creating, but why should any other sort of creation be of more value than what I do? When I sit in my living room and take in all of this man-made stuff, does anything have more value than anything else? Does it have more value the more beautiful it is, or is it more valuable if it exploited fewer resources or people or animals in the making of it? Does its function give it a higher value? I mean, after all, it’s all just stuff! What’s the point? People just mindlessly hoard stuff. How is it meaningful for me to add to that?

The question eating at me is how do I create a meaningful life? Shouldn’t that be my real job, creating a meaningful life, not creating stuff? I know I’ve said before that stuff has the potential to act as a mirror or way to see through the illusion of this world. But really, tell me how a headboard or a pair of pillows is going to enlighten anyone?

How do I create a meaningful life for myself? What is my purpose in this lifetime? I want to make a difference. I want to live more profoundly. How can I be of use in this world?

Probably it’s pointless to go round and round in circles trying to figure out some kind of ideal occupation for myself. Instead I need to find my center again and create a regular spiritual practice. Once I regain my power and further develop it, my path will unfold of its own accord. I remember one thing that I think Carolyn Myss said on her tapes-- something like, maybe your role here is to simply raise the spiritual energy in your neighborhood, maybe your high degree of evolution holds the peace in your neighborhood or raises other people’s level of god consciousness (of course I’m wildly paraphrasing but you get the general idea). Our work here on this planet may be vastly different than what we think it is.

I know I need to work on myself and I need to figure out the answers to my bigger questions.

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