Saturday July 07, 2007

So it is 7-7-07 today. Never will it be this again. That sounds a bit dramatic, but there is something to say about really acknowledging the weight of any one moment. I don’t know if I could sustain doing that 24/7, but as a slightly regular practice it could be a good thing.

I remember being around 7 or 8 years old and standing in front of a full-length mirror looking at myself, and the something in the moment just washed over me and hit me. I stood there looking, really looking at myself, and a voice inside me said, “This is really it. This is not a dream. This is really my life, and it is real, I am real, and I am living it.” A whoosh of a breeze moved through the inside of me, a hard reality settled in, yet I was suddenly free of something that had confined me before. I was at the same moment both more outside and inside my own life.

I still have moments like this every once and a while. But I must admit, I fear them on some level because when I have them, there is some kind of harsh reality that does blow through me, and my ego/persona/personality gets exposed as the mask it is, and I see into the bigger reality of what is and what could be if I just let go of it. I am both attracted and repelled by this reality. I know ultimately it is what I really am, and yet, here I am, living this life, the life of Kelly Carlin-McCall. Both are true, and yet both are not.

So today, with this one day that is here and now, I am going to live it as present as I can be. I will stay connected to the BIG Reality while I watch hours of Live Earth concerts coming into my living room from seven continents, and celebrate the beginning of the Tour de France’s 94th start .

So, enjoy this 7-7-07, and remember, never will it be this again. Think green and go Discovery Team!


Tuesday July 03, 2007

I thought on this day of Independence I would evoke a conversation about what it all means. This is an excerpt from The American Soul by Jacob Needleman.

The Declaration of Independence

‘When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds, which have connected them with another, and to assume, among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station, to which the laws of nature and nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect for the Opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men and created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness (The Declaration of Independence).’

Again, we are searching for the philosophical assumptions of our form of democracy. Whenever we see the idea of rights, we must realize that something is also being said about the structure and makeup of the self. We are being told by Jefferson that we human beings have within us, as part of our intrinsic makeup, the capacity to intuit the good and the power to will the good. We are capable of guiding our own lives toward an authentic and purposive end. Such assumptions about the intrinsic capacities of human nature contradict the basic thrust of the Calvinistic Protestantism that played such a dominant role in the settling of the New England colonies. The Jeffersonian view of human nature is diametrically opposed to the Calvinistic doctrine of man’s essential corruption and incapacity, and accords great powers and capacities to the human soul. Since every right implies a power, to grant man so many rights can only be based on an exalted vision of human powers. And to say this is to come directly in front of the question of whether democracy is based on an accurate assessment of our actual capacities. We are confronted with the age-old but eternally challenging question of what man is as opposed to what he can become. What may have seemed questions of only external, political relevance – questions that one can safely think about without reference to deep metaphysical or psycho-spiritual issues – now draw us irrevocably into the heart of spiritual philosophy

So here are my Polymind questions:
What is it to declare independence in your life?
Who and what are you declaring this to?
What are you becoming independent of?
What is the relationship of independence and interdependence?
What is it about rights, power and responsibility that comes with declaring this for yourself in your life and as a citizen of this country.

Happy 4th and eat a hot dog for me.


Monday July 02, 2007

Been gone a few days, and finding it hard to reconnect to my words. I spent the weekend preparing for, unrolling and recovering from a workshop that I lead (not alone but with my fabulous partner Ginny), and now I am feeling far away from myself. It’s like my psyche put its sites on something out there, and now I am having a hard time, coming home, regrouping and finding myself, my voice. This is not a new experience for me. Transitions are challenging. Moving from role to role, no actually moving from a more public, leadership role – workshop leader – back to me as vulnerable, questioning human – THAT is the challenge. It is like once I am in a position for people to see me, interpret me as strong, smart and wise (which happens the minute you stand in front of people and hold your power), I start to believe that this is how I must always show up. I feel like that if I don’t show up as that “enlightened being”, then I will disappoint or even worse, I will damage. How fucking sick and arrogant is that? And how fucking sick and tired of this bullshit I do!

I am amused by this whole scenario because I desperately want to be able to do both, and yet it is quite uncomfortable for me to do just that. Maybe I want the impossible. Is it impossible to become a person who stands in front of others and inspire them while at the very same time being human and vulnerable? No, of course not. But for me, it feels strange, dangerous and wrong. Clearly, I have made some BIG shit up about all of this. And yet I know that this is my life’s work. I am fascinated by collapsing hierarchies, and clearly I have one to collapse over and over again within myself.

More to come later. Oh, and BTW, I have begun Eat, Pray, Love again to help me regroup and reconnect to me. Crazy - maybe.


Thursday June 28, 2007

I have finished Eat, Pray, Love and am mourning this ending. There is something in Gilbert’s writing that has fed me these last two weeks. If I could eat the pages, the very words she wrote in order to assimilate what it is she is for me, I would do it. But I can’t, and so I steady myself by focusing how my body feels when in the presence of her willingness to be real and human in front of all of us. Real and human, that is what it is, and that is what I want for my expression of myself. She does not hide, she keeps tearing off the layers that ego constructs everyday. She diligently tears them off and then shows up on the page. This is what I aim for – stripping off the stories and lies I want to construct to feel better, to look better, to perform better. Fuck that. No more competition. No more better/worse. I’m done with that. There is just me here, now. And I thank Elizabeth Gilbert for being my Virgil into the realm of my own authenticity this week.

That is it for now.


Wednesday June 27, 2007 

Yesterday I read this line of Rumi's, "Sell your cleverness, purchase wonder." If I ever need a reminder of how to get out of my head and back into my heart, I do believe that line will forever do it for me.

It is funny, or maybe not, how attached I have been to my cleverness over the years. I have hung onto it like a life preserver throughout my life, believing that without it I will drown. Even in this moment I worry, "will this post be clever enough to keep their attention?" I give up. I'm going for wonder.

In Iran, there are people who roam the streets peddling Hafiz poems (another Sufi poet). You pay them some money, and they pick one from the pile, and read it aloud. The one they pick IS the exact one meant for you.

Here is the one I just picked for you (swear I just picked it at random):

The Mule Got Drunk and Lost in Heaven

The mind is ever a tourist
Wanting to touch and buy new things
Then toss them into an already
Full closet.

So I craft my words into those guides
That will offer you something fresh
From the Hidden's Tavern.

Few things are stronger than
The mind's need for diverse experience.

I am glad
Not many men or women can remain
Faithful lovers to the unreal.

There is a kind of adultery
That God encourages:

Your spirit needs to leave the bed
Of fear.

The gross, subtle, the mental worlds
Become as a worthless husband.

Women need
To utilize their superior intelligence
About love

So that their hour's legacy
Can make us all stronger and more clement.

Sometimes a poem happens like this one:

The mule I sit on while I recite
Starts off in one direction
But then gets drunk

And lost in

from The Gift: Poems by Hafiz The Great Sufi Master; translated by Daniel Ladinsky