Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Morning meditation

© Nance Thacker
Click on image to enlarge

Sunday, November 20, 2011

ANDY ROONEY knew what he was doing

Last week I posted this entry on Face Book:
______________________________________________________
I'm grossed out. No wonder we're buried under so much stuff. 
Rod and I went to an outlet mall. He can't get clothes to fit him here. What's that all about? We do have short Canadians too. Anyway... 
at EVERY store we were told:
"If you buy one more, you get it for 1/2 price." 
"Here's a coupon for 40% off if you buy something in the next 2 months." 
"If you sign up for our customer card you'll be updated on our specials and receive discounts on selected items." 
DO WE REALLY NEED THAT MUCH STUFF? And how much more are you going to spend than you intended in order to get the discount? Just say'n, think about it.
______________________________________________________
One of my friends responded, "Hmmmm... I think you may be our next Andy Rooney..." which I found interesting because Rod and I had recently been talking about him with another couple (A & L)  a few nights after we'd heard of Rooney's death. It went something like this...
L: I don't think any one of us will ever retire.
NOTE: We are all self-employed. No work = no pay. Company pension? ...ha, ha, ha.

Me: You got that right. Besides I like what I do.

L: It's not so much me; I don't think A wants to. 

A: Well you can only travel so much. When you retire what are you going to do the rest of the time?

Me: Ya, I don't think it's such a good idea. Especially for men, I mean look what happened to Andy Rooney.

L: Yup, retired and 2 weeks later... dead!

R: But the guy was 92 years old, he was worn out.

Me: Ya, but he enjoyed what he did, made it to 92 and then when he'd had enough he checked out. That's pretty good.

Truth be told, there's something else that freaks me and most of my female friends out about their husbands retiring...
© Nance Thacker 1990
click on image to enlarge

Friday, November 11, 2011

AWAKENING CHOICE DREAMS

Everything that exists began as a dream.

You don’t have to sleep to dream. Dreams weave their way into our consciousness through daily coincidences, synchronicity and flights of fancy. Dreaming connects us with our Heart, Soul and Inner Wisdom. When we know how to dream lucidly we can reclaim parts of ourselves we thought we had lost and in so doing restore our personal power & well-being. Nightmares bear unresolved important messages and lessons because they are, as Robert Moss says, "Unfinished" dreams.  When we journey for resolution in what I call the dream fields (different levels of dream states) t
heir energy is transmuted. As we gain proficiency in the skill of active lucid dreaming we empower and heal ourselves, our relationships and our environment. 

One of the easiest ways to develop the skill of lucid dreaming is to re-enter a dream. Sounds impossible? It's really very easy and you do it all of the time. Whenever you recall a dream (or anything else for that matter), whether you are telling it to a friend or recording it in your journal, you are calling up again those images, words and events and inviting them to play in a creative state of mind which slightly different from wakefulness.


DREAM RE-ENTRY
Over the years, through the practice of recording my dreams, I've developed  the ability to re-enter a dream when I'm in the hypnogogic state between sleep and wakefulness. When I go to bed I set my alarm to ring 1 hour before I have to get up. When the alarm goes off I re-set it for 30 minutes and then record my dream(s) while laying on my side with the journal propped up on a pillow. I've set the clock just in case I fall back asleep. I want to drift on the verge of sleep to see if any more of my dream or its details are lingering there. If I have fallen back to sleep perhaps I'll have a dream to record on the second sounding of the alarm.


Sometimes a  dream is fully delivered and immediately words spill seamlessly onto the page as I record in an experience of automatic writing. At other times mere fragments appear which I'd like to flesh out more fully so     I go back into them and look around to get a clearer image or see events from a different perspective. I can ask questions of the dream or its characters and wait for the answer. Now, this is a most interesting place to be because since the answer resides in the question all that is needed is a sense of the question - the words don't need to be fully formed before the answer begins to unfold. The answer may be spelled out clearly or in a cryptic nature but at any rate there is "knowing" that the question has been asked and that the answer has been received. 


Sometimes just a feeling, sensation or thought is present when the alarm first goes off and these too are worth exploration and noting: What am I feeling? What thoughts are going through my mind? What do I first notice as I look around in the dream field that I've re-entered.


I don't invite the critical, analytical mind to come into action; I'm not analyzing the dream, I'm re-experiencing it and there is a difference. There is a light, wispy quality to the dream state whereas the state of analysis feels heavy and solid. 


Stay simply with the facts, observations and feelings and play with them in the dream fields and they will unveil their wisdom.  

Saturday, November 5, 2011

THE CONE OF SHAME

I was visiting a friend, chatting over coffee at her place, when I heard something being dragged from the other room and wondered what it was. My friend seemed nonplussed. It didn't take long for me to find out why...
© Nance Thacker 1990
click on image to enlarge
I'm thinking about this because my friend's dog Luigi has been wearing the cone of shame, not to keep him from scratching his ears, but to keep from licking his balls, which he no longer has. Yes, he is of that age. I feel so sorry for you Luigi, but the cone of shame will not be on for long. This little clip from the animated film UP demonstrates the effect of the cone of shame has on its wearer so beautifully...

Friday, November 4, 2011

virtual consumerism

I excel in the art of "virtual consumerism". This is something I found myself indulging in time and time again when I was living so far under the poverty line as to not even be a statistic. The only difference between me and a homeless person was that I had friends who allowed me to "house-sit" for them even when they didn't need a house-sitter and, when I had no place to go I could sneak a sleep on the mattress on the floor of my $50 a month studio space and shower at the Y a few blocks away (I had a free membership because I taught yoga there for $6/hr).

One time my friend Bud bunked at his potter friend's place in the country so that he could take care of "the PIES", the woman's 2 sheep, LAMBY PIE and HONEY PIE (Lamby's daughter) while she was on a 2 week trip. He asked me to "house-sit" the approx. 400 square foot apartment in which he lived. He'd taken an early retirement from his career as a newspaper and magazine writer to devote the rest of his life to his art; he was watercolourist. Bud's pension was meagre but he owned a house a few blocks from the ocean in the neighbourhood of Fairfield in Victoria. Two tenants occupied the bigger and more deluxe apartments that the house contained. Since one of his renters regularly checked out his place whenever he was away there really wasn't any need for my services except for the fact that he identified with my plight as a struggling artist in need of a break, he was a good guy and, despite our 20 some odd year difference, a really close and great friend.

Anyway, Bud and I would meet for coffee and talk about anything and everything: about life and love; give each other insight into the desires of the opposite sex (ours was a platonic relationship); food and drink; what we'd do when we we'd "made it"...

These discussions ignited flights of fantasy. I'd journey into possibilities of what I'd do when I was "rich" (all things being relative rich meant when I had some money in the bank). One dark, stormy, rainy night - feeling like a miserable, drowned rat as I waited for a bus and watched the hookers ply heir trade - I imagined myself at a beach in the Caribbean so fully and completely that I could "see" the crystalline blue waters. I could "feel" the warmth of the sand under my feet (though I was really wiggling my toes in rain soaked socks) and the sun on my skin. Riding the belching bus, huddled amongst a throng of late night commuters,  I "smelled" the salt sea air and "heard" the waves washing on the shore and the wind rustling the leaves of the palm trees. It was so vibrant that I felt, for the first time in a long, long time, hopeful, happy and refreshed; as if I'd really taken this holiday.

This was a brilliant discovery!

I took many such "holidays". I realized that I could virtually "buy" whatever I wanted as I perused shop windows AND enjoy my purchases fully and completely. The funny thing was that once I'd experienced these things virtually I felt no need for them to manifest materially; my desire was oddly, satisfied.

I was a "window shopper". I never actually went into the shops except to get a free spritz of perfume and  accept a free sample or two from the "Spritzer girl" at the Bay. "Yes, you really can get perfume for free." Bud's tenant told me and then went on to educate me on just how this was done. "Just go into the store. Let her spritz you. Smell it. And if you like it show it but tell her you're not sure. Say that you'd   like to try it out. Nine times out of ten she'll offer up a sample and throw in some others. You can even make a request. The stuff lasts forever so you don't have to fork out a dime...Just dress up a little when you go in."

All of this made me feel and smell so much better.

Just this past October, I visited the bookstore at the OMEGA CENTRE many times during my weekend stay. I had given myself a certain amount of allowance to spend on whatever I wished. I carried the cash with me when I went into the store knowing that, at any moment, I could make my purchase. Oddly, I kept coming out of the store without anything. It wasn't that I didn't desire anything, quite the opposite, but I found myself slipping into "virtual shopping" mode.

I found it extremely enjoyable imagining myself owning that singing bowl that I played while in the store. Later that night I enjoyed playing one that rested on its own pillow in the Sanctuary space. I loved the feeling of having the brand new indigo blue, brocade yoga bag - a symbol of the shift into a new phase my yoga practice was experiencing - and scrapping my well-loved, well used, worn out, old, copper coloured one that my sister gave to me years ago. I sang to the chants of Deva Premal, in perfect pitch of course as this is a fantasy, and cherished the crystal lotus I'd "purchased" to place upon my altar. And the spiral earrings constantly reminded me of my weird ways and the non-linear aspect of time.

On Sunday evening the money was still warming my pocket. I finally parted with some of it in the last hour of business, choosing those things I deemed to have the most value - 2 books: THE WORLD IS AS YOU DREAM IT - Teachings from the Amazon and Andes by John Perkins and AWAKENING TO THE SPIRIT WORLD - The Shamanic Path of  Direct Revelation by Sandra Ingerman & Hank Wesselman; knowing that the information they contain will perhaps lead me to places I have yet to discover.

And, to my delight the money which was not spent covered the cost of the gas that got me there and back; something that I hadn't accounted for in my budget for the weekend. WIN, WIN = total euphoria.

This little snip of a pic in the clip
reminds me that
dreams can come true
NOTE: I discovered only a few years ago that Esther and Jerry Hicks, authors of many books on the teachings of Abraham have a version of "virtual spending" which they call THE WALLET PROCESS (see #15 in their book ASK AND IT IS GIVEN). Summary: carry a $100 bill with you, but don't buy anything. Instead imagine buying things you would probably have spent it on. "Spend" it over and over again and feel the pleasure it gives you. Their theory is that it gives you a sense of financial well-being and abundance in that mentally you will have probably "spent" a thousand dollars, or more, in a day yet still have all of that money in your pocket. This feeling of abundance attracts abundance.

It is an interesting theory.

Oh, by the way, in December of the "drowned rat" year I actually spent a week in Antigua and it felt as good as I'd imagined it would.