August 1, 2007
A week later
and everything still feels funky, as though I am just going through
motions. It's not a particularly timely feeling. Today is the
first day of Harvest (Happy Lammas, by the way) and I should feel tired
and accomplished and celebratory and ready to take a breath before getting
busy on the work of bringing in the crops from the field.
Instead, I feel tired and antsy and
as though I am out of place, out of sync and out of time.
The moment will come when I can right
everything again and of course, after careful consideration, I know
exactly why I feel that way and there isn't a lot I can do to fix it at
As with most things in the year, it
all comes back to what I planted this year. As many of you know,
Eric and I are very "hands on" with our spirituality. We believe in,
study and practice the immense value of psychology in spirituality.
People internalize more with experiences.
Dale's Cone of Experience (click
above) tells us that the most retained experiences are the ones in which
you yourself are a participant rather than just reading something or
listening to someone speak or seeing someone do something. For that
reason, we feel that rituals of "doing" are the most important ways in
which to engage the Divine/God/Goddess.
I have taken some flack from people
for embracing the idea of GodDESS in addition to GOD. To my mind,
NOT embracing the idea that God can work as male, female, both, either or
whatever God chooses to be when interacting with us is a reduction of
God's power. I believe God can embody whatever God chooses to
embody. In the Bible, God has appeared as a bush...foliage, for
crying out loud. Why not as a Goddess?
As humans, we feel an inherent need
to humanize an image of God. As children, we picture an old man with
his hand to his ear, keeping track of all we do and say. We want to
hang a label on God and define God in life as we know it, Male-Female,
Good-Bad, Up-Down... It's difficult to imagine that God can be
everything and everywhere without limit or boundary or definition.
It's almost impossible to conceive that any time that we attempt to define
God in some way, we limit God and God is limitless.
In other words, we need to be far
more involved with experiencing God than in defining God. Trying to
define God in one of the very few totally impossible tasks in life while
experiencing God is one of the easiest and most rewarding tasks in life.
Religions are very dedicated to
defining God in terms that elevate their own God experience above all
others. Christian, Jewish, Pagan (By "Pagan" I in no way mean
"godless," but as in "People of the Earth"), Muslim... Each needs to be
certain that they are right and to put rules and definitions onto our
interactions with God. Any time we do that, we purposely or
inadvertently limit our own access to experience God in a very real and
Because of negative connotations
achieved through the ages, the word "ritual" leaves a lot of people antsy,
especially when associated with spirituality. To me, ritual is a
delicious word that puts Dale's Cone of Experience into very practical and
appreciable utilization on a spiritual level. In short, a minister
can preach a wonderful and moving sermon that affects us for the rest of
our life, but if we somehow actively participate in that experience , we
will benefit from it even more greatly, which brings me back to the whole
"hands on" approach to spirituality.
The word "ritual" is more closely
associated with Paganism in practice; however, all religions utilize
ritual. When my Baptist church congregation used to stand together
every Sunday morning and sing the Doxology, that was a ritual. When
we washed one another's feet as a sign of humility, that was a ritual.
When we would partake of communion together, that was ritual. Even
baptism is a ritual.
It is the active participation in a
repeated activity in order to generate a more meaningful experience,
resulting in deeper and more personal retention of the memory created.
That's my definition, not Webster's.
All that being said, Eric and I take
our spirituality very seriously, especially now that we have separated out
from the definition of being associated with any particular spiritual
path. It was our experience that any religion we'd ever been
involved in limited our contact with God in some way, so we chose to let
that go and interact with God without the labels and instructions imposed
We believe that God wants us to grow
and prosper and learn and progress positively in our lives. To that
end, each Spring, we each "plant" a new goal in our life. (I know
some of you have heard this before, but skim it if you have)
This gives us focus for the "active"
part of the year when our ancestors would have been leaving the home and
Winter to begin their work in the fields that would sustain them in the
coming Winter. We believe that the well-worn paths our ancestors
have created are still imbedded in our DNA as a natural way of being in
the world for humans and when we follow those cycles, we are working in
sync and in harmony with Nature.
Since Nature is a physical way in
which God in expressed to us in our human existence, it also means we are working in harmony with
So here we go each Spring, having
spent the cold of Winter contemplating how we want our lives to be
different the following Harvest, planting the goals in our lives that will
bring about those positive changes.
That brings us to this year and that
long-assed missive above was to get us here and explain why I feel out of sorts.
We actually do plant a seed to
represent our goals, usually a bean. We tend the sprout and the
plant and care for it as a representation of the care we will give to the
goals we have planted.
This year, I planted 3 beans.
One was for continued financial stability. One was for my friend,
Jennifer, who had a really shit year last year and who I wanted to have a
wonderful year this year. One was for healthy weight loss.
I only had one of my beans come up
and it grew up straight and tall and wound all the way up the kitchen
blinds. Eric's grew full and bushy and had two big fat beans. (He
did two electrical jobs this summer: Beale AFB and the Mormon
Temple) His plant came up fast, flowered fast, beaned fast and died
fast. Delena's just went nuts all
over the place with beans everywhere.
My tall, pretty, slender bean
...and the bean at the top of it.
Eric's plant with the two beans
Eric planted one thing:
Financial prosperity, as opposed to "stability," which pretty much
canceled out my bean because he thinks bigger than I do, which has
benefited us many times.
Jennifer planted her own joy, so
didn't need my bean.
The tall, slender stalk was my weight
I got a nice bean off the plant for
harvest. I let it dry and took out the bean to plant for next year.
The plant is still growing and going strong, even though Delena and Eric's
plants are long dead. I have had 3 tiny beans show up and just crisp
out on the vine. I have another bean that is growing nicely.
I have learned the immense value of
exercise this year and know that I can maintain it. I have learned
how to eat properly and keep track of my calories. I have learned to
take the right supplements and drink plenty of water. I have seen my
own strength and my own ability to succeed with this goal.
I did not, however, come close to
accomplishing this goal. In fact, I weigh and measure the same as I
did when I started this earlier in the year. I feel good. I am
happy. I bought new clothes and got a great hairstyle and color so
that I look good. I did not, however, apply what I learned to
The reason I feel antsy and out of
sync is that I did not follow through and there is no harvest. It's
as simple as that.
My bean believes in me and I believe
in me and I know I have all of the tools I need to make it happen.
I'll go to Harvest Summer School and make it happen. I have already
made plans to get back on track a week from Monday when the kids go back
to school. Full steam ahead (again). The good news is that
Eric DID do his work and completed the Mormon project today, which will
give him enough money to take a couple of months off from the electrical
work and just be a mail carrier. That gives him hours a day to do
what he wants to do. I get to party off of Eric's Harvest, which is
lovely. He will have made enough to purchase an additional used car
(we're a one car family now, which is challenging) and make the changes he
wants to make to the house and yard before we refinance in October.
In re-reading this, it sounds to me
as if I feel sad or remorseful or pitiful or something and that is far
from the truth. It is what it is and whatever happens is inevitably
for our own greatest good. I still believe 100% that I can do this
and I am dedicated to giving it my all this late summer, fall and winter
so that I have accomplished enough by Spring that I don't need to focus on
it as a primary goal any more. I feel very optimistic and joyful
about the whole thing now that I understand it better.
Now, in other worlds...
Life is good for the most part.
The kids go back to school on the 13th and are excited at the prospect,
although Nathan is nervous about moving into the 3rd-5th grade room.
It will definitely be a change for him over the K-2nd room. He's
bright and he's motivated, so I think he will do well and I adore the
teacher. She'll work very well with his personality.
Delena is ready for 10th grade after
a very active July. She went to Anime Expo in Long Beach with her
Dad and Stepmom, to the GH Fan Club Weekend with me and last Friday, went
to the Projekt Revolution concert with Eric (an all day and into the night
event). She misses her friends and is eager to see them. She
dropped Drama in favor of Foods because she loves to cook (hurray!), but
hopes that someone else in her group will be willing to do the raw meat
touching. She has issues with touching raw meat.
With Eric off the electrical bit for
a while, his need for me to do the mail in Grizzly Flats will be minimal,
so I will almost have my old life back. The GFORCE ladies and I are
eagerly planning Founder's Day, our big event of the year. I am
excited for what the rest of the year brings and look forward to living it
Eric and I will have our 10th wedding
anniversary on November 13th. We were going to renew our vows, but
that just isn't working out for a lot of reasons (none bad ones).
Much like my laundry and housekeeping
today, which also appears to not be working out. I should likely
get to that.
I think I have a greater resistance
to it because of yesterday. Eric was leaving around 8am or so and I
noticed that the front window was pretty dirty, not just that kind that
you let go for a few days until you feel like cleaning it, but that "My
grandbabies were just here and someone must have been eating yogurt" kind
of dirty. So I grabbed the Windex and went out to do my duty.
About 5-6 swipes into it, I felt something odd happening in my hair and
realized that a swarm of bees had just jumped right in there.
I bent over gently, letting my hair
move back and forth and assuring the bees that I meant no harm, just go on
out and don't be scared and leave me the hell alone please. They all
did except for one tenacious little bastard who dug in and stung the
complete hell out of the top of my head. I felt pain radiating in big
stripes all down my face and into my shoulders and still, I tried to stay
calm because he just would NOT let go. My face was getting all
tingly and weird feeling and so I eased into the house, dropped the Windex
I was still holding and all I could find was the stupid dog brush. I
gently brushed into my hair and I guess he finally let go because although
I didn't see him fall out, I couldn't feel him in there any more with my
fingers. I did, of course, feel the giant, throbbing lump on
my nog. I got some Sting Eze (great stuff) and doused my head with
it and that helped a little.
Since then, my head has wafted
between aching and itching. It's about to drive me crazy.
Having grown up in Ky, I've been stung about a bazillion times, but not at
all in the past several years. I knew I didn't have any kind of
allergy, but that still does not make it a particularly pleasant
experience, plus now I hate my front porch.
Yes, that is my big event for the
week. I guess my hairstyle is a "beehive" now.
I'm off to clean (I must be off to
clean). I wish I had servants to do this for me because laws, I do
hate it so. Grrrr.