DEEEPLY AWAKE – THE NOW MOMENT Woke from my weird jumbly sleep with one thought needing to be savored, maybe examined a little. I told my guides and angels that I want to remember, start remembering, what it is I am learning at night. I rarely come back with pictures or movies. I instead come back with physical changes, lots of memories of lights in my body, and I come back with a word or two. Today it was “the now moment”, and having been shown, I think, how this present moment, now moment, thing works. These words and phrases, they seem to me to be symbols for a great package of information that has just been delivered, like the “subject” line of an email. I worked yesterday, the first time in over a week. All over Denver, nurses are being told to just stay home, there aren't enough sick people. The hospital I have been working at exclusively is now talking about doing another round of lay-offs. Yesterday, working got me back in the temporal/financial continuum, sort of hooked me back up to life support. And what I am aware of now, this morning, is that this now moment, this day, right now, counts toward future days. The now moment is completely connected to the future, in real and very concrete ways, and it is this now moment which will impact tomorrow. How I behave now effects tomorrow. I know this seems devastatingly obvious, but it's just being brought into some sort of crazy focus that it never has been in before. I can remember so well working with Richard, and the internal wall, the internal rebellion I felt, when he would just shake his head gently and say, “Increments, Kathy. Increments.” Screw your increments, Richard. Increments my ass. But increments, once placed within this continuum of past/present/future, well, that's when it gets interesting. Doing something incrementally implies trust. Trust in self, and trust in the creation. It also implies trust in time, that time will not bunch up or malfunction, that it will behave as it should. But incremental work also implies trusting in being here tomorrow, trusting in work paying off, lots of things. And when your basic trust in the very fabric of reality has been shaken, well, then, all bets are off, and anything can happen. Literally anything. I also appreciate how the now moment is trashed or sort of nulled when what you bring along to stand with you in the now moment is stuff from the past. There is not a whole lot of room right here at the apex of the now moment. Bringing with me to this moment any, or all, of my feelings of inadequacy or being unloved, well, it sort of junks up the moment, limits it. The now moment. And there are some times when I am going to get canceled, that's true, that's just the nature of the beast, but this now moment concept, it goes beyond cancellations and saving for a rainy day. It transcends being rich or being poor, having cash or being skint. It all pivots on being here, in this present moment, while refusing to be mesmerized by past images, and future possibilities. It requires surrender, but it also implies a confidence and a strength I have not known before. To do it well, this now moment, is to do it without a hint, without a scintilla, of judgment. This is just part of a download, but the ideas were so crystal clear, they begged to be expressed. The now moment. I do feel more hopeful today, as if the grip of this last movement, this last set of circumstances has very clearly loosened. I feel a little freer this morning, a little more expansive, and more, a little better equipped to face today. I have “wasted” a lot of time, not doing stuff I “should have” been doing. I didn't have my eye on the ball, my hands on the wheel, and I refused with purpose and with pride. I have let entire days and, to be honest, weeks, glide right off of me, and I've let slide stuff that no one should let slide. From the outside, it makes no sense, and even to the actor and not the observer, this whole thing seems so insane. Why no traction with my reality? Why no reaction to it all? I mean, I felt plenty distress, but never enough to get up off my ass and do something about the distress I was creating. And now, I feel like I have come to understand a little more about this stasis, this holding pattern I've been in. I have scurried, planned, had plans break apart, had plans come through like magic. Through these months, things have gotten easier. People have gotten nicer. The world is far less mean, hard and uncaring than it used to be. And the world didn't change at all. Yes, there has been “more energy” on the planet lately, and although these energy hits have helped people loosen up a little, it has been me, piecing myself together bit by bit, which has made life, my life, more pleasant. I see strangers as people who might turn out to be a friend, and find that the angriest person in my reality is usually the one who is in the most pain. And that if I really hate something, really just totally resent or out-of-hand reject something, it is always because there is something that I have failed to appreciate about the hated's reality. I feel like I have been, in some respects, in some grand kindergarten, that this has been finals week, and the lessons, although they seem very simple, are so profound, that only someone who has pared down to the bare essentials, just shivering skin and a patch of white where your swimsuit should be. I have been getting down to the simplest elements of this physicality thing. And today came “The Now Moment.” And this has less to do with whether I am going to be called off from work today (I anticipate being canceled and doing a small Kirtan tonight, but will work if there is work to be had...), but rather, and more saliently, it's allowed me to hold a happy heart about the way my life is going. I could actually feel my mood lift yesterday, while at work. I could actually feel this big, greasy, grey cloud being peeled off my life, the roads leading to my home, my cluttered, silly home, all the other paths of light branching from that sacred patch of earth. It doesn't matter, I realized, if I'd even let my house get Hoarders messy. It's MY home. And it's a wonderful home, really, even though it's disorganized. It's nothing to feel shame over, it's just a situation, but it's a fine situation. It really is fine. The reader may imagine I live in a tumbledown shack in Dogpatch, and that is not the case. I have a lovely apartment, just beautiful, and it just has fallen into disrepair, that's all. As this thought has grown and mutated since I realized it yesterday morning, I can now report that this is a good place to be. Loosening up on the judgments, just about everything. I am looking around my home now, and just am not hooked into the distress. I want my house to smell like grapefruit and eucalyptus, like an import store. I'd like things to look at which bring joy and peace, not distress. But just the way it is, right now, just so, well, this too is good. This is a culmination of all previous moments, all previous beliefs and attitudes. They were neither good nor bad. It is not a bad thing to let things go, and it is not a better thing to get things done. Don't believe what the Type A people of the Earth tell you. There are great gifts to be reaped by not doing what everyone tells you you absolutely, positively, MUST do to be an intact and sane person. I hear that being here, being human, is about nothing more than our relationships. I have seen this in quite a few films, and many books, this idea that we do not exist without others. And this thought leaves me feeling very sad, sort of embarrassed, standing alone, high on a hill, overlooking a silver, forlorn, uncommunicative sea. If that is true, I have sort of struck out this lifetime. In a big way, really. If I measure myself in my relationships, I haven't gotten what feels like good, clean, happy love, from anybody, for a long time, and when I have, the motives have been off, or the timing has sucked, or I have been unprepared. If it is true that I can only judge my progress by who is in my life, then I need to put out a general casting call. But I do not subscribe to this thinking. I do not believe that life only happens through others in my life. Others move the plot along, and some of the others in my life are phenomenally loving and fun, adventurous. Some are dicks. None of them are me, none of them are the bringers of my good or my doom. They are players on a stage. And their emotions, their actions and their motives can be adjusted, just by changing how I see things. And I have always seen, always seen, other people as curious forces, universes which collide into mine and rearrange it, and the effects of these crashes are always beneficial, although I often don't know that at the time. People, to me, are mysterious and potentially dangerous things, they are often unaware of their raw power, and once they are awakened to their power, they tend to misuse it. People are untamable, unknowable, mysterious and the sovereign of their own lands. Some of them think they are sovereign over mine as well. People are weird, and judging my progress on how much they like me has never made any sense at all to me. Primarily because they haven't liked me all that much, and I haven't liked the at all. Judging my progress, doesn't so much of my current discomfort have to do with trying to decide if I have, indeed arrived? That's the other thought I had this morning. There is never a destination which gets reached. This is where much of my fatigue, my world-weariness, has come from, this silent agreement, that events will just keep occurring, and every single time you get to the top of the mountain, hey, over here, surprise, there's more mountain. There's always more mountain. And, tied to this body as I am, sometimes that realization, that there will always be more mountain, well, that gets a little overwhelming. Where does the peace and rest come in? When is it that I get a little bit of a reward to just going unquestioningly and obediently straight uphill? When is there a smoke break? Growing up, it was unwise to admit feeling anything but tired. Being glad, well, that invited discussion, and discussion always brought about a list of all the things I could be doing better. If I felt mad, well, take that off the table right now, we're not even going to discuss that. And joy? How DARE YOU?! No, really, joy was the most suspect emotion of all. Joy was unacceptable, stupid, undignified, dishonest, temporary, and awful because it is temporary. Carrying a heart full of joy, even if my present does not reflect what I want, and even if my future is unclear, and even if my past was screwed up, that has been a big adjustment. Internally being OK with saying, “Hey, things are good! I'm HAPPY!”, and not making fun of the person doing the happy emoting, oh that has been a feat! Uncomplicated, simple, free joy. Joy as ease, as calm, as peace. Joy as the momentum making this short little leg move forward, now this one, now this one. Joy. In the Now Moment. This is all there is. This is the sum total of all my days, all my nights. This joy. And this moment. Right here, feeling crampy, dirty glasses, grumpy sweet kid, little food in the house, promises of work but no cash, this reality, right here, right now, in joy, and in this now moment. I leave you with a thought that keeps entering and then exiting, a slippery silverfish of a thought, one that has been darting and weaving through the hours writing this has required. There is a grand and wonderful thought which goes something like this: Earth is not for retards. This is not some cosmic kindergarten, and it's not the universe's insane asylum. It is not where people go to experience hell, and only hell. It is the freaking ropes course. It is no small thing to be on Earth. I have a postcard of the Earth, surrounded by a ring of very big angels, all beaming love and light to the planet. And I think that is true, that we are supported by armies of invisible help. But they are there. And we are here. And we are brave to here instead of there. This is not someplace you go to get punished, or to be taught lessons all the rest of creation already knows. We are not stupid or dumb or lost. Consider just what it is we are doing. Consider the last thirty years of history in America. Do you remember a time when your work, your driving, your shopping, was not filmed, studied and kept on file for “proof?” Do you remember those heady days when you really did believe what they told you, that if you work you will make enough to have a comfortable life, and it is good and right and proper to do in life that which you are good at and enjoy doing, and if you buy just a few things on credit, oh well, there's a lot of work, you can afford the extravagance? When college didn't require a loan as big as a mortgage. When rich people did not hoard quite so much, where investing in America meant investing in the worker, not the profit margin? I know I believed the lies hook line and sinker, and the lies I couldn't accept, that whole trickle down concept, for example, well, I just assumed everyone else could tell it was bullshit too. But it didn't happen. As a group, this country got meaner, tighter, less free, less forgiving, more rule-bound, more uptight, more hateful, for suspicious, more defended. I grew up in different times. Now the screws are so tight, people are just abdicating. They are rebelling. In big and small ways, things are changing, the tide is turning. And I think it has to do with what it is we came here to do. We humans, who have come to think of ourselves as the kid in time-out, the misbehaving cretin that is at the bottom of the class. We came here to go from dark to light. To spark a match in pitch black darkness. To implode, explode, break into shards, and then one by one, put ourselves back together, but with light, with love as the glue. We are making something strong out of the pieces of something that couldn't be broken. Here we are, speaking truth to power, and doing it casually, with a shrug and a smile and with good humor and expansiveness, inclusiveness. I did it yesterday. I'll bet you are doing it a lot now too. We are alchemists of the highest order, and we are wrong to think of ourselves as anything less. In this now moment, accepting as true that there is not one thing in my current reality in which to hate, not one thing within my being with which to fight, I can fall into it, ease into it, without anxiety, without guilt, without expectation and without fear, this ever present, ever available now moment. I am glad to have gotten this far, and know not where this will end. For now the world weariness is at bay. Often it recedes once a great thought, an overdue thought, has finally come to town. I don't know if writing about this will be seen by myself and others, in the now moment or distantly, as self-indulgent or as genius, but I am here to tell you that without the willingness I feel toward this writing, I would be lost, I would be at sea. I would be in a now moment, but it would be cluttered and unhappy. I am glad to share this now moment of mine, this one right here, with you, telling you of all the machinations going on in my head, hoping they interest you and make you feel more peaceful. I find things that fascinate and make me tremble. I write about them. I post them. I move on. To another moment. To another now. And this moment, it will not be judged now. It will be welcomed, and I will be a good host. We will share some coffee, some idle chat, some big thoughts. We will leave and go exploring. Knowing this precious atom of everything, this moment of now, is here with us, clothing us, offering up to us the air we breathe, the thoughts we are thinking, and the human angels that we most definitely are.