When Looking for Signs Goes Wrong – The Bunny Story

I’m trying to be a grounded spiritualist, but I’m constantly surrounded by puzzling signs. Some of them are wonderful, some of them are terrible. Here is an example of when looking for signs goes wrong, for those of us who are still waiting for that sign of destiny from the universe.

Last month I applied for a job that I truly wanted. The ache in my heart for everything this job offered : benefits, freedom, money, a mission and good healthy food on discount? My interview was on a day when the new moon was in Aries, my sun sign. For those of you unfamiliar with astrology, some of the signs in the new moon may auspiciously be supporting our causes on this planet – especially when the sign is similar to our own. The sun was shining, the interview went extremely well, even the lady at the jewelry shop next door told me the job was mine, and offered me a sublease in the area. “For WHEN you get it dear, WHEN you get it!”the kind old lady smiled at me and said.

This HAS to be a sign, I said to myself.

I failed to notice it was April Fool’s day. Got a call in the evening that they had offered the position to someone internally, but would call me at the end of the month with another job opening. Sign? Maybe not.

Fast forward to end of the month. A day astrologically auspicious to those at a crossroads. Offering balance, the grand cardinal cross was a time that signified the end of self-pity, and the beginning of an awakening into fullness.

Then I saw the bunny.

Outside the office window where I was working? The most adorable baby bunny in the world was munching on a green leaf and staring at me. I stared back at him.

bunny

“Everything is going to be as fine as I am adorable. Tee hee!!”

He was the cutest thing I had ever seen. We communicated. He stared at me and I stared at him and I felt so happy inside. This is a sign of fertility, of things moving, of freedom, of play. I felt so ready to accept what was mine : my dream of supporting myself and moving on into the next phase of my life was being supported by ADORABLE MOTHER NATURE!!

This HAS to be a sign, I said to myself.

I got the call. There was a job available, but for much less hours and much less pay than the previous job. I told the hiring manager that I had to think about it.

I felt sad. I had been waiting on baited breath for this destiny sign to make itself known to me. For the right thing to happen to me at the right time. It sucked. For about two minutes, I let the tears flow in the parking lot. Then I felt relief.

“Now I don’t have to wait on them anymore”…I thought. “Now I can have some freedom in decisions that were hindered by hope and looking everywhere but now.”

It’s amazing how good it feels when you don’t have to rely on the outside anymore to bring you everything you ever wanted. When you can check yourself with who you are rather than what you need. When you can let go of the bunny and really focus on what’s right in front of you. Everything you need you already have. 

I’m not saying it doesn’t suck when you hope for something and then it doesn’t turn out. I’m not saying that the joy in finding isn’t something worth searching for. But I hope in the next week that you find that all the strength, love and prosperity you have ever wanted is not what the bunny has. It’s what you have.

I hope that every missed opportunity is a direction for you. I hope every failure is leading you towards success on a ladder you want to climb. I hope prosperity follows you as you follow your heart. I hope you let love win when you are looking, and you let love be when you know who you are. I hope you make your life a two way mirror of love : looking up and looking in front of you in the glorious dance of the present. 

Sat Nam.

“the universe is counting on our belief
that faith is more powerful than fear
and in that the shifting moment
we’ll all remember why we’re here”
-from “Awaken”at MysticMamma.com

Stop me if you’ve heard this one

A Jew, A Muslim, A Christian, a Buddhist and an Atheist are all on Spring Break together. They are in a swimming pool, splashing each other and chicken fighting. All of a sudden GOD appears. He looks something like Jeff Bridges.

“Hold on, man”, he says. “Are you puttin’ out what you’re gettin’ in? Know what I’m saying?”

All of these guys turn and look at this old hippie, who in spite of his reputation of being God, is losing his audience.

“God, where have you been?” Asked the Jew.

“Yes” said the Christian, “Where’s Jesus?”

“Jesus and I are both on Spring Break.” said God. “My son doesn’t want to be seen with me at the pool, so he’s gone to Disneyland”

“Makes sense” says the Atheist, “Him and Mickey Mouse, just figments of our imagination”

“Leave him alone!” said the Buddhist, “Let him be as he is”

“God,” says the Muslim, “How did you get here?”

“Well,” says God, “First, there was the heavens and-”

“NoNoNo, not that, I mean…how did you get invited to this event? I have to like, keep reminding these guys to make me an admin on the facebook page and they keep ignoring me!”

“Shut up, dude!” Said the Christian, “He’s GOD. Obviously he’s always invited. But he’s everywhere anyway so it doesn’t matter.”

“Yeah, but I’m sure God gets really mad when people don’t invite him! I mean, he has feelings, right?” Said the Jew, “God, do you have feelings?”

“Well, I try not to take anything personally,” said God, in a way that would make you feel he took it personally.

“Do you want to come in?” said the Buddhist. “I made…Ok, bought some vegan corndogs from Whole Foods.”

“You told me you made those! They were my favorite!” Said the Muslim. “Are they even vegan?”

“Well, it says on the wrapper that it was made in a place that may…be a pig farm, but…”

“What???” said both the Jew and Muslim together.

And then they started splashing each other. Really hard splashes that guys will do in pools to show off. Only it was angrier than that. They dunked each other, pinned each other with fun noodles, and gave each other wedgies.

God was amused, but not pleased.

“I COMMAND YOU TO STOP!!”

All of a sudden, the party was over. The deep end parted and God walked on the dry cement at the bottom. He went to the very center of the pool and pulled the plug. Like a spiral in a bathtub, all the water drained out of the pool.

Everybody felt like a royal douchebag.

“I told you he wasn’t going to save any of you”. Said the Atheist. “If he is so forgiving, why is he doing this to us?”

“I see your point.” said the Christian.

“Don’t look at me!” said the Muslim.

The Buddhist was silent.

“Do you think I’M GOD???” Said God.

More silence.

“God is not a person, place, thing, idea, doctrine, scripture or anything that can speak to you in finite manners. God is you. But what keeps God alive is the water between you. The thing that flows and holds you up when you feel like sinking and sustains you in peace. I’m Jeff Fucking Bridges, and i’m going to go get drunk while I wait for Jesus to come back from Disneyland.”

And with that, God-or-Jeff-Bridges left.

And they all kind of stared at each other for awhile. Not knowing really what to say.

“I should have got his autograph” said the Jew.

“Dude, you really think that was Jeff Bridges?” said the Christian.

“He looks much shorter than he does in the movies”, said the Buddhist.

They thought about this for a minute.

“I don’t think that was Jeff Bridges.” said the Muslim.

The pool dried up and became a skate park the very next summer. It was carved up and tagged and teenagers would go there to have unprotected sex. The facebook group “Summer Pool Party” was deleted. Jeff Bridges never came back again.

Ishtar and Jesus go out for Coffee

(Jesus is sitting in a cafe, waiting on his date to arrive. Enter Ishtar, the Babylonian Goddess of love, war, fertility and sex, and even though it is indoors a beautiful wind caresses her hair. Slow motion walk to 80’s power ballads as she sits down)

Jesus : Hey

Ishtar : Hello. 

Jesus: Thanks for – I mean, I’m glad we could meet. Finally.

Ishtar: I know, I hear you’ve resurrected. That’s so cool.

Jesus: Yeah, it was kind of rough for a few days. Three days. In a cave. Alone. And then POW – here I am.

Ishtar: Do they have strong coffee here?

Jesus: Um, yeah…I guess so. Pretty strong. 

Ishtar: That’s good. I was at a blessing of this cult of sacred prostitution, you know – workers united and all that stuff. I was up all night long performing sacred sexual blessings.

Jesus: Yeah?

Ishtar : It’s always so awkward when people expect you to have sex. I mean, I am aware that my rite and destiny is to fill the fruit with seed, the spring with blossom, blah blah blah but you know what? A girl likes to be asked. 

Jesus : Sure.

Ishtar : That’s why my friend said I might like you, she says you aren’t like any of her other clients.

Jesus: Oh, I’m not one of her clients. 

Ishtar : Honey, I’m the goddess of sexuality. You don’t have to play puritan to get me to like you.

Jesus : No really, I never have…you know, sex, with any of those women. Really?

Ishtar : Principled?

Jesus: No, I just like to talk to them. 

Ishtar : Really? About what? 

Jesus: I’m a motivational speaker of sorts. 

Ishtar: For…who?

Jesus: Everyone. I want to teach peace. 

Ishtar: Oh…(looks at her phone) Do you play sports?

Jesus: No. 

Ishtar : Do you watch sports?

Jesus: Not really. I was never really good at them. I like to write. 

Ishtar: That’s what Mary said. 

Jesus: Oh, how’s she doing?

Ishtar: She got pregnant again. Had to give it up, again. Hazard.

Jesus: It’s her right, hope she is healing. Tell her I say hello when you see her.

Ishtar: I will, and thank you. Damn straight it’s her right! Well, at least you’re a feminist. 

Jesus: At least?

Ishtar : I’ll be honest. I’m not really into the “let’s talk about our feelings” types. I’m more into the “fuck your friends, kill your enemies, and meet me at the orgy in the land of fertile plenty” types.

Jesus: Sounds fun.

Ishtar: But maybe you can help me with something. I just had this crazy breakup, right? Tammuz, this guy I was really into? Got taken into the underworld and totally hooked up with his Abysinian girl. Which I’m OK with most of the time, but it’s like, he told me that we were exclusive and I believed him, you know. So anyway, I banished the Abysinian into the eternal realm of darkness and Tammuz was like, you know what? I’m staying down here. So now since he’s gone I haven’t been really feeling…you know…into it? Sex with other people has been fine and whatnot, I love it, it’s what I do, but you know…I’m just not feeling it? So the rivers are drying up, and I’m feeling really depressed. Like, lifetime original movie depressed. 

Jesus: Tell me more, my child. 

Ishtar: Ok…weird….anyway, here’s my question: how do I get him to ressurect from the underworld? Maybe you could talk to him! You’ve done it, you could talk him through it. 

Jesus: Wait, so…you’re not interested in me at all?

Ishtar: You seem like a nice guy. Which is a problem. People forget I’m the goddess of war as well. I need conflict.

Jesus: So, you like assholes?

Ishtar: Pretty much. 

Jesus: Huh…well, thanks for being honest, I guess. 

Ishtar: Well, can you help me with my problem?

Jesus: What makes me think I’ll help you?

Ishtar: You’re the son of God. You help the needy. And I have needs.

Jesus: Clearly.

Ishtar: And what’s that supposed to mean?

Jesus: I didn’t…you don’t understand I’m not saying…

Ishtar: For a motivational speaker you sure pick an unusual tactic : slut shaming. 

Jesus: Resurrection. You want me to convince your boyfriend to resurrect? 

Ishtar: Yes. 

Jesus: Well I can’t do that. 

Ishtar: Why not?

Jesus: To everything, turn turn, there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven. Purpose UNDER heaven. If he wants to rise up, truly rise up and become everything he has ever wanted, he needs to get under the banner of his heavenly self. 

Ishtar: Listen, Buddha dissapeared and came back. Guru Ram Dass dissapeared into the river and reappeared to sing the song of formlessness. Why can’t you get my boyfriend to like me again?

Jesus : Sometimes it’s the hardest thing in the world to watch our loved ones dissapear into the seasons of themselves. We may be in eternal spring in our hearts, but they want to stay dark. We can choose to ressurect ourselves every day that we live in compassion, or we can choose to live in darkness. But that’s our choice. Ressurection wasn’t mine, nessacarily. I was supposed to be a symbol of something people do every day. I can’t rescue your boyfriend because he isn’t in a place where he wants to be reborn. 

Ishtar: What, into your Dad’s idea of who he should be?

Jesus: Here’s a secret. My Dad wants nothing else but for people to be happy. To live as they are : perfectly imperfect. But humans keep finding ways to mess that up. I don’t know what your boyfriend is going through…it must be terrible to lose someone like you in his life. Some people are reborn into my heart because they feel great when they are there. But it really doesn’t matter if they choose to go through me or someone else : they’ve got to save themselves from the terrible place inside that brings fear. However way they do it, they have to find a way to be reborn every day or the pain becomes insurmountable. 

Ishtar: Wow. 

Jesus: But that’s not my job. I write. I inspire. I embrace. And that’s what I do best. But I’m not captain save-a-ho. I can’t go rescue your boyfriend. He’s got to take the steps back towards you, if he wants to.

Ishtar: Well, thanks. I appreciate your honesty. 

Jesus: You’re welcome. 

Ishtar: I think we should be friends, though.

Jesus: That’s OK. I’m not really into, you know, man eater types? No offense. 

Ishtar: None taken. 

Jesus: I also really like black women. 

Ishtar: Me too. 

(Unable to resurrect the conversation, they sit in silence)

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Fear is a Brave Stone

Start, and the pressure will be off. Maybe not right away, maybe you aren’t even aware of the changes that are happening. But you’ll feel much better under pressure in the right direction than stuck in an old one. 

You know how the saying goes, a rolling stone gathers no moss. Something moving has no time to atrophy. But what I’m curious about is how that stone started to roll? Was he pushed off a hill? Did he get dislocated from a spot that was formerly secure? Did he grow from a small grain of sand which over time snowballed into a bigger, stronger stone?

Any of these can happen. But here’s how life works, according to a rolling stone:

1. The first three seconds of falling are going to be the most terrifying part of your trajectory. You are going to gather unfamiliar momentum and it’s going to scare you shitless.

2. After that, you are going to keep going and it won’t be as hard. But you still won’t know what’s at the end of your race. So keep racing.

3. If parts of you break off during the fall, you are going to have to leave them behind. True story.

4. You are falling as part of an organic landscape. Everything around you, the earth, the sky, gravity and all the elements in nature are supporting you, even though you don’t feel it. 

5. When you land, you are out of momentum until the next shift. But you have changed all the landscape around you by risking your fall, brave stone. Don’t take your new role for granted, because you may have to change it just as quickly.

6. You have fallen into a better place. Actually? I can’t say this for sure. But you have fallen and you are still here. So that’s something. Be grateful. 
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“FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!!!!!!!!”

 

May you be continually falling into better landscapes. May you trust the first three seconds of your fall are making the rest of your run easier. May you be truthful to your path, even when you feel pushed by it. May you fall with grace. May you land with ease. May you live with passion.

Sat Nam

Going Pro at Being Stupid

Try this : fake a laugh for 3 -7 minutes. Guaranteed? Within the first 5 minutes you will eventually have one or more organic laughs, because the idea of faking something for that long puts the body in an autonomic response.  Isn’t that amazing? If you get over your fear of looking stupid long enough, eventually you become yourself and do what feels good anyway. 

Today, I went for a run. After doing my laundry, inevitably I’m left with two mismatched dress socks and nothing else in the immediate vicinity that vaguely resembled a match. 

ImageWith every decision there are drawbacks and payoffs. To me, the day outside where I get the chance to be limitless far went below the risk of looking like a crazy vagrant who does hand dances when she runs. The fact that I had no pants on as well, probably didn’t help – (just kidding, but totally thought about it) and of course? My white shirt with a burrito stain on the front, making this an effortless, classy yet completely stupid look.

Then I went and sat at Starbucks, as usual, looking through the classified postings and nagging people who have never met me to take a look at my resume. I saw someone who shares the last name of a friend of mine, working for a production company. I was willing to be stupid enough to take his picture in public, although was completely discreet. 

But then I had an amazing thought : I’ve got my resume, why not walk up to him and ask if he needed anyone like me? If he’s in production, what’s the worst that could happen? He would say no, maybe. I would definitely not do this in Los Angeles, CA…but what is overbearing about this in Los Altos, CA? Smaller pool, he probably doesn’t get the chance to meet someone like me that often, even if he is annoyed, all I do is be quick and judge the situation as it is…what if-

And then he walked out the door. Granted, it was at the exact same time I was scheduled to have a phone interview, but it would have taken me 3 minutes tops to make an elevator pitch about my skills. 

Dammit, do you mean I wasted this day being stupid like an AMETEUR, and then I get the chance to do something PROFESIONALLY stupid, for something I cared about and I let it WALK OUT THE DOOR? 

This week, don’t make the same mistake I did. I hope you look stupid for the things you really want and can laugh at yourself about the absurdity in small things. I hope you become professionally stupid. I hope you fall stupid in love for things that make you happy. I hope you are stupid enough to follow them. 

Sat Nam. 

 

What the Bee Taught Me : Acupuncture and Ascending

Every day we are open to have our own magical experience. I’ve had some female trouble lately, mostly the fact that during the month of January I had my period for 15 days straight. Terrifying considering that :

A) I am house sitting, and everything that could get stained frightens me.
B) I have recently become vegan, which has led to both physical and emotional detox issues.
C) I hate doing laundry.
D) I haven’t had an annual exam in 3 years and the internet is filled with cancer-fear.
E) I mean, 15 G-D days??? Are you KIDDING me?

At the recommendation of a friend, I sought out an acupuncturist and made an appointment for an annual exam the following week. My flowchart of hope brought me to a place where eastern medicine would help make the news from the western doctor more than “you waited too long, dork”.

The morning of my acupuncture appointment, I was brought into a calm bright office and offered tea. Fifteen pages of questions about my mental history, physical history, diet and cravings, family history and hospitalizations? What was most interesting was the “recent trauma” portion.

Please list the dates and duration of any traumas (divorce, move, death, changes) of your recent past. 

Fortunately in the land of milk and internet, I am more than happy to share all of my traumas publicly. I burst into tears describing the holidays from hell, depression history and “boring drug” addiction. Please note that boring drugs consist of the drugs that they don’t make movies about getting addicted to: television, self pity, sugar and sleep.

After laying my heart out on the table, the kind and generous lady of the needles and herbs offered me a place on hers. I didn’t want to watch the needles go in, because the idea of being a voodoo doll scares me slightly. If I was a voodoo doll, I am convinced that there is someone out there just like me feeling amazing and free due to this wonderful medicine.

She explained every point on my body that the deft needles hit upon. Heart, open sky of the head, the uterus, stopping the excess chi in my uterus area. According to traditional acupuncture theory, all of our 12 major organs have personalities and energies that sometimes get clogged. Those 12 organs exist in pairs of 2 that balance each other out. It’s almost as if your body is a dance floor, with 6 pairs of dancers that move to the same song but all move differently. When one set of dancers aren’t communicating, the floor becomes less balanced and full. Minus 6 points to uterus and stomach for being real heavy footed on my body ballroom.

The lady of the needles and herbs walked me through every single part of what was going to happen next. Every bit of information made me relaxed and nervous. The whole experience about as invasive as a strong hug. When someone you love really puts pressure on, encouraging you to go deeper and explore every part of yourself that hurts. The parts you don’t want to see, usually.

I thought it would hurt more. It poked and prodded for a bit, and my body responded with adrenaline. But I breathed through the part that was scary. I decided to use mantradetox(tm)…a medicine that I decided to trademark in my head which consists of letting go through words. Let me give you a free trial of my medicine…If you are going through the problems I am? Chant these words in your head: let go of Brandon, let go of the movie, let go of fear, let go of time, let go of place, let go of fear, let go of the other, let go of hating yourself, let go of feeling less than, let go of blind ambition, let go of not knowing, let go of feeling like you are worthless.

Let go, already.

When I got up from the table, I had a feeling like I did when I had my first Kundalini Rising. Euphoria, laughter, the feeling of being high off of your own body. I giggled and stretched my way off the table. I stumbled to my shoes. I hugged the kind woman who just opened up every broken channel inside me. I walked to work, eating an apple and tasting the delicious morning.

That’s when the bee came.

As I sat on a bench, a bee came along and chilled out on my shoelace. Then my hand. Then my shoulder. And I raised my arms to the sky to tell him to let go of me. No sting, no fear, no anger.

Dammit, I thought. If a bee is my spirit animal I must be some sort of corporate drone. Looking the same as everyone else, eating all the same things. Part of a bee dance I can’t get out of.

Then as I looked at spiritual animal references, the bee has been a pollinator of creativity. The bringer of change. The sexual and the fertile. The harbinger of community. The one who leaves the nest and goes forth to spread prosperity, and bring prosperity home. According to Zen Beekeeper Michael Thiele:

“I think bees can inform our practice and become an encouragement to leave home. That’s what swarming of the bees in the spring is about: leaving home, leaving their precisely-defined nest location and taking the risk to fly into the unknown. It is amazing to witness this event and to be exposed to this faith and trust of the process of moving through the unknown! And finally, a new home is found.”

Warning: Excessive Bee Puns coming up. If you find this BEEguiling, keep reading.

As the channels to yourself become open, as the fear mixes with excitement, as the real truth of your inner bounty BEEcomes clearer, may you find home wherever you are. May you BEE brave enough to change, kind enough to yourself to let go of what no longer serves you. May you BEE fat with all the prosperous nurturing that the honeybee gets, drinking all the love in with your gratitude. May you BEE like the bee, spreading fertile joy everywhere because you have a sweet structure and community that values your dance. May you experience bliss like you never thought you could, because you deserve every minute of it.

Sat Nam.

Read Michael Thiele’s Interview on Beekeeping and Zen Practice : http://blogs.sfzc.org/blog/2013/05/22/bee-well/ 

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The River and Elements of Choice

We drink every day out of the cup of our own consciousness, but never aware of the other side of it. Many times we wish our identities could be solid, our emotions identifiable in origin and our roles cemented. At least then we could scale our lives down to margins and degrees.

Could you imagine? I am 80% happy today for my role as daughter, barista, and yogi has been filled. Now that other 20 percent, if filled by my role as girlfriend, nuclear physicist, and professional break dancer? I would be set for LIFE!! Also? I want to dye my hair/get a tattoo/go by my middle name so that everyone will INSTANTLY know I’m different without anything happening. Michael Fassbender will also come into my work, get coffee, fall madly in love with me and we will dance at our wedding to Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon”.

You see how crazy that sounds? We are creating holes in our own life for things we aren’t even sure we want. Each identity is crazier than the last because we can’t wrap our head around infinity.  How can we filter happiness when we are constantly searching for things that make us unhappy? How do we make choices about who we are when the model changes constantly? How do we react to change and not get swept into a false identity because of it? How do we not wake up in shock wondering “Is this REALLY my life?” and feel drowned by that discovery?

Life flows much like a river. At our best, we move at a natural course and are filled with life. But imagine if the waters of that river were to encounter a huge island at the center of the river’s path. An unexpected division, a natural obstacle to life’s flow. Half the water would flow around the island one way, the other half would flow on the opposite side. One way has the exact same volume of water as the other, the only difference is the direction.

I’ve reached an age where things are neither good or bad anymore. My life simply merges and diverges depending on the obstacle presented. Whether I go on one side or the other, I’m still water. I’m still mutable and transformable and a product of my environment.

Depressing, right? But think of it this way:

The water, when flowing on it’s natural course, can’t see the new pathways being created during the merging of the elements. It can only feel the motion and respond by joining with the universal organic flow of everything around it. 

Our job is to not see the monumental island in our way. Our job is to find the path of least resistance and go there. Over time, the island becomes a bar of sand or disappears completely for the water is made strong by its consistency. I’m not the best at limiting my fantasies, nor being swept away by illusion. But with practice, and with love and time? I could follow the flow of my life exactly as it is and get exactly what I need. The organic path of the soul, lived by its present. Delicious.

May your time, talent and discipline prove to be your best friend. May you not see the giant island but feel the grains of sand flowing between your feet, and trust they are wearing what isn’t needed. May you choose either/or, but be blessed with the knowledge that there are no bad choices, but simply choices to be reckoned with. May all of your problems be the result of a life that you want, a life of least resistance. May your destiny serve you in ways you never knew, and may you be blessed because of it.

Sat Nam.
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