I’d always felt the discomfort
of doing anything
outside my comfort zone —
too much pain
too little gain
— or so I was told
And yet, I was never very good
at sitting still
being all holed-up in a bubble
I had this desire
a burning need to explore
to challenge my own paradigms
I wanted so much more
than what I saw around me —
like understanding others’ cultures
their religious or spiritual beliefs
their family and community dynamics
their struggles and fears
And I knew in order to do that
I, a white privileged woman
would need to feel…
You once crawled around
in the underbelly of my mind
hidden and elusive
until a memory surfaced
Only then would you charge out
stomping your feet
like an indignant child
red-faced and distorted
All the pain and angst
rising to the surface
egged on by fear
fueled by rabid disappointment
And then I would spend hours
days even, tamping you down
sinking you back into darkness
I didn’t want to wear
such an enflamed mask
And then the wise Universe
sent me a mirror —
a partner overflowing with you
I saw first hand your destruction
How a gentle man could go from calm
to bursting with rage in a nanosecond
all that pain and disgust
reaching a boiling point
leaving fist indentations in walls
How the slightest slight
became a personal affront —
the whole world was against him
And I watched, terrified
as his righteous indignation spewed
his anger slamming me to the floor
leaving invisible, internal bruises
not even meant for…
Once I swallowed bitterness like a drug
allowed myself to become addicted to its acrid taste
held it fast within my veins as it circulated
around and within my heart —
but this was no drug for healing, nor to feel numb
Bitterness doesn’t mix well with lifeblood
— it turns black and coagulates
— it creates barriers, blocked passageways
— it stifles the energetic flow from root to crown
— it can and will kill
But where does one go to rehab for this addiction?
The outer world held no answers —
this wasn’t a physical addiction
I couldn’t just throw away drugs or alcohol
and pledge to never consume…
Confession time — my nemesis for a while now has been the camel cricket. They are hideous to look at, reminding me of some prehistoric creature come back into existence to taunt me.
I’d lived all of my life up to 2015 without ever seeing one of these grotesque versions of a cricket. I’d moved back from Oklahoma to Virginia to stay with my ailing father in 2014 and one day in early January of 2015, I walked into the bathroom to have a shower and there, on the wall, perched this thing with long legs and a humped back. I shivered at the sight of it (mind you, I love spiders and am not afraid of them, but this thing…). I ran down the stairs and into the kitchen, grabbed a container and lid, and returned to the bathroom. I meant to capture it and put it outside, but it was gone. I could find no trace of it anywhere, but it wouldn’t be the last time I’d see one. …
I came across this quote yesterday by Hui-neng and at first, it made no sense to me. I’ve been meditating on it for well over 24 hours and the meaning finally struck me like a bolt of lightning to my third eye. The quote:
Mortals are Buddhas. Delusion is enlightenment.
Wowsers! So we are born Buddhas, already fully enlightened and all-knowing. Somewhere between birth and spiritual awakening, we’ve forgotten who we are. And so we spend a lifetime perhaps, seeking enlightenment. That is the delusion.
His Holiness The Dalai Lama did a Q&A with some business students from Harvard this morning and many times he related that when we are born, we are pure of heart, much like an enlightened Buddha. We do not know division — of race, religion, or status — and he believes it is through our horrible education systems that we learn of these things. Imagine if our education systems taught us how to embrace others and be compassionate toward all. Imagine a world of seven plus billion people fully embracing who they really are. …
Weekend Prompt: “I do whatever it takes to get closer to consciousness.”
This weekend’s prompt is so apropos. I’ve been on a cleansing fast for a couple of days now and in preparation for that fast, I selected a few videos to watch on YouTube, as well as some spiritual music to listen to while I mediated and slept. Most of the videos have dealt with NDEs (Near Death Experiences) and all of the spiritual music has been Tibetan drumming and bowl ringing —music to raise my vibration.
So how does any of this relate to consciousness?
I’m glad you asked. Apparently in the field of neuroscience (and other related sciences), the common consensus has been that once the brain stops functioning, our consciousness ends as well. And yet, even people who’ve been declared brain dead have come to with extraordinary stories of NDEs. NDEs has also been the case with people in comas and those undergoing surgeries where they have flat lined for a bit. This has become so prevalent, that some scientists have begun to change their hypotheses on consciousness and brain function. Some, like Gregg Braden, now believe that our consciousness lives on after death. I propose that it has always BEEN and will always BE — much like energy. …
I see you there — hiding near the precipice
overshadowing my desire for contentment
You’ve always been there ready to pounce
to raise your ugly head and make me doubt
I’ve tried not to give you power over me
to ignore your very presence — this is not me
But it is — you and I are one beast
You are the vilest part of me; I cannot abide
Only truth and wisdom will wash me clean
remove the green stains you leave behind
© 2021 Lori Carlson. All Rights Reserved.
After re-reading the essay I wrote on Thursday regarding asking for help, I had an epiphany — I still harbor a tonnage of envy. How can I possibly be content if I still envy everything my siblings obtained, yet I was denied? If I had been given everything I wanted, I never would have become the self-sufficient, open-minded, spiritual person I am today. So I am releasing envy and letting all of its burdens upon my life go. …
Thursday’s Prompt: How easy or hard do you find asking for help when you need it?
I learned to be self-sufficient fairly early in life. I don’t know if it was because of my early childhood illness and coma or because I was the middle child, but any time I asked for help from my parents, most of the time I was turned down. Dad would lend me a few bucks now and then, but he also knew I would repay him. That didn’t have to go through Mom’s approval. However, when I became sixteen and it was my turn to get my driver’s license and a car, unlike my sister who was given a car, my Mom said no for me. Five years later, a yes was given to my brother. A great way to make an already traumatized kid feel wanted. But it was other small things too. No was the standard answer for most things throughout my childhood — no, you cannot play sports, we can’t afford it. …
Since the holidays, I am really struggling with my health. For those who don’t know, I am an insulin-dependent diabetic and I also have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Normally, I don’t overindulge in sweets because I know how hard it is for me to keep my blood sugar levels balanced, but with all the nail-biting of the election, the weeks after and then the incident at the Capitol, I’ve been on a carb-binge. My blood sugar is way out of whack and the CFS has flared up massively.
When this happens, my only recourse is to do an extensive water, green tea and bone broth fast. And when I say extensive, that means two to four weeks of fasting under doctor-approved supervision. It will also mean a lot of meditation and sleeping. I will likely begin this tomorrow, so I won’t be around much.
Wednesday’s Prompt: Tell me about what death means to you. Simply the end, reincarnation, or is there an after-life? What scares you about death? Is it leaving people behind? Not accomplishing what you wanted or simply not knowing what is next?
I’ve never feared Death. I’ve always feared Living.
From as far back as I can remember (which isn’t always the easiest thing for me — memory, that is), I have never had a fear of Death. As with many aspects of my life, I’ve always had a knowing that Death was not an ending or a beginning, but a natural cycle of Life. For me, if I truly believed that I was a part of Nature (and I do), then just like the cycles of death and rebirth in the natural world, shouldn’t I too experience the same? Why would a Divine creator give that aspect to Nature, but not to Humans? …