a mind slip into a spiritual awakening

alain de botton SOM

For now, I don’t have to pay attention to these sounds.

The sounds from the street outside. The squealing of brake dust. The release of air brakes. Engines revving and zooming away. Cars, SUVs, school buses, vans, delivery trucks, tow trucks–all a part of the noise that can inhabit my street.

It was all in fear of having my car taken back by the lender. Months of straining my ears to hear what was going on, along with sometimes obsessively looking in the driveway to see if my car was still there. I had started to not do this so much anymore.

But then when it happened last Thursday morning, I was dead asleep for once. It was the best sleep I had had in weeks, especially since one chronically coughing old man had moved out and another chronically coughing old man moved in earlier this month.

I thought I was on top of things, but it feels like my car, again, slipped through my fingers. I thought I had paid this month and I hadn’t. I never forget paying bills, so why, on such a precarious precipice, would I forget this month?

I found out about the repo because I was going to go get some breakfast and was bounding outside the door to see my worst fear had happened. It was startling. I’m glad I didn’t see it because it may have broken me. It’s like my car vanished into thin air.

I instantly slammed the door (nosy neighbor across the street) and took off my sunglasses and started walking back to my room. I knew what to do, since my life has seemingly bounced from one crisis to the next. Get in touch with the harassing lender and find out what I needed to do.

Unlike last time, they are not asking for the whole loan. They just want the past due payments plus what I think it some towing and storage fees. It’s about $1600. If I can’t get it by this Saturday, then it’s $2000 until the 10th. I have time, but time is slippery.

Whether I get to keep my car (fundraiser here) or not doesn’t even seem to be the point. It’s been an odd spiritual awakening–but then aren’t they all odd? Even if you go seeking out a spiritual awakening, how it’s triggered is never in the way you’d expect or arrange for yourself. So here are a few things that I’ve learned in the past few days.

My online community may not be as strong as I thought it was. I was just telling a friend online today that Twitter isn’t the same anymore. I’ve tweeted out this fundraiser hundreds of times since November and it just hasn’t gotten far. There could be a number of reasons why, but I realize that these connections, although some of them are great, are a bit tenuous. It’s the largest one I have, but it’s not the same as an offline community. I’ve come to peace that my financial instability makes it hard to have an offline community, but the online one not being so hot either? It’s sobering, and slowly devastating. But online life is changing, so it’s hard to

I am really not my circumstances, and I really believe it now. For some reason, having and owning a car seemed to be some point of pride for me, but connected to #1, no one really cares either way, so why should I? I had been listening to Paula Cole last week and I love her song, “Me,” and here is the first verse:

I am not the person who is singing,
I am the silent one inside.
I am not the one who laughs at people’s jokes,
I just pacify their egos.
I am not my house, my car or my songs,
They are only stops along my way.
I am like the winter, I’m a dark cold female,
With a golden ring of wisdom in my cave.

I’m not any of my possessions or my bank account–I can get Fight Club about it, too, but really–I’m none of these things. I’m not even any community. I’m me. So it’s not about the car, especially since this happened in a sort of surprising, out-of-character way. I’m not seeking a lesson to soothe myself. I’m seeking the lesson to evolve–or the lesson is seeking me. Or both.

Another great quote on this topic, by poet Nayyirah Waheed: “Where you are is not who you are.”

I am not alone. And this has to do with the spiritual realm. There are angels, spirit guides, and ancestors all with me, cheering me on, providing comfort and guidance. Maybe starting last Friday or Saturday, it really became apparent that this car that I had been so tightly holding onto–and for good reason because there is no real reliable public transit–is gone for now, but it’s not the end of the world. I have faced the end of the world before and overcame it.

I have many people praying for me, people I don’t even know (I asked a lot of contemplative nuns to pray for me–it’s their job!). The mystery of prayer is one I want to delve back into. It helps me not to sit in a stressed out state, thinking that worry is some sort of work (it is and it isn’t). I gave this up to the Universe to handle and then it made me realize…

Although I ask for help often now, I don’t ask for spiritual assistance enough. And I really should. Sure, I consult my astrological transits and tarot cards, but I don’t do enough of, “Universe, I’m struggling with this. Can you help me?” I kind of threw the prayer bathwater out with the evangelical baby, but I have since reclaimed it

Even though I’m not sure how this will turn out, I keep getting messages about not losing faith, not giving up, about believing, about asking for what I want. I’m swimming in some deep, spiritually synchronistic waters, and I have been changed. Last time when I lost my car, it was just anguish. This time, I can see how much I’ve spiritually grown to where I know that although my social life is non-existent, I still have everything I need to get out of this jam.

Maybe it’ll look like a different car, or no car for some time, or I’ll get the money in time. I know what I’ve asked for and I believe the best will happen for me. Even when I waver with doubts, I can ask, “Universe, help me with the doubt!” And it works!

As I have gone after my dream of becoming a writer, I have it not “together” for years. But, I’m so grateful that I’m finally able to draw the line between me and my circumstances. I’m even loved and supported through my circumstances, loved and supported through the shame of my circumstances, and loved and supported despite my circumstances.

I am not my smoker’s cough roommate or my small bedroom or the increasingly dirty kitchen stained with coffee or my empty driveway or the rebel flag I have to drive past every time I leave this neighborhood.

I am not the paranoid listener of the streets outside.

I’m me, and I deserve love, compassion, and help.

 

 

Support this blog!

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Welcome to paradise!

Hello, readers!

I’ve been super busy writing for pay, which is great–but it’s tiring. I have 5 articles I need to write  It’d be great if the rate was higher, then I wouldn’t even be writing this post.

But, alas, I am. So. There are three way you can support me until I find more clients or more stable work.  Also, there are things I want to do for this blog that I don’t have funds to do yet.

  1. Become a patron on Patreon. The tiers are from $1 all the way to $100 for a custom poem from me. The more you give, the more you get from me.
  2. Donate directly via PayPal or Cash.me.  No fees involved!
  3. Donate to my ongoing fundraiser. This does have fees, on my end. But you can learn more about my almost five-month plight.

There is a donate button on the lefthand side or under the menu, depending on if you’re viewing my blog from a desktop computer or a mobile device.

That’s it! Give and share, share and give, and thanks in advance!

A glass of orange juice

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Photo credit: Razmi Hashisho

I went on a lyrical rampage yesterday, and I don’t write like that professionally. I’m a little more concise, but the lyrical fire hose is one that whips around and around–sometimes it’s not very direct (like right now). So, I wondered if in all that orange/cherry talk, if the main message got lost.

 

So, here’s a glass of orange juice, with no pulp, in the form of a listicle. I feel like I need to offer it especially after the Senate GOP decided to start gutting the Affordable Care Act as I slept earlier this morning, i.e., give a bigger context to my own journey.

  • There’s always the season for enough. Poverty is unacceptable at all times. So is the lack of affordable health care. I’m dancing on the edge of both. Although the worst thing happening to my health right now is that I look like the before picture of a Clearsil commercial, I’m OK. I hope I can find alternative ways to deal with my stuff. But the season of enough looks like this–enough to eat, enough to get around, enough to be clothed, enough to have fun, enough to pay your bills on time and without dread.We all deserve enough.
  • My season of oranges will look differently from yours. I’ve been here before, although I’ve arrived in different vehicles or at different times in my life. The waiting for things to get better as you do all you can while you work towards that place of “enough.” I know that I am in a clear, open space to receive good things–good things that we all deserve as human beings, no matter the race, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs or lack thereof, ableness. I know that I’m doing my best and that the good is on the way–as rote and unconvincing as it sounds.This season is years and years long. It’s way bigger than just being unemployed for months. Your season may be shorter, longer, more or less intense, and with a different fruit altogether. But we all go through seasons where we’re doing the best we can and we still have things to learn, or we still have things to grow into, or we still have things that need to be revealed to us (like our own personal power) before we move onto the next season.
  • Human history has its seasons, too. That’s what’s cool about astrology. You can see the human drama play out in the transits of the planets through signs. I’m a part of that bigger human drama, too. I can point to transits that can say “That’s over. It’s canceled.” (a la Joanne the Scammer) for this period in my life. This season in American history is growing darker and darker still. We look to people of faith, to mystics, to spiritualists, to public intellectual, to activists to figure out what to do next, of how to band together and find the light (again? Was it ever really lit in America?).

That’s enough listicleness for now, but I wanted to emphasize both how esoteric and yet how universal my journey is. I didn’t want it to sound like I was spiritually bypassing the hard things in my life. I’ve just gotten to a place where I can float a bit. Maybe I can look up at the stars and dream and ponder for a momen. But this float is also from a place of sheer exhaustion, of possibly trying too hard. This is all 100% mystery to me. I know what I’m doing, and I know the results I want. But I have no idea how they will show up in my life, nor when. For now–that’s scary, that’s tiring, and that’s life.

One big thing I’ve been working on is my own sense of worthiness when it comes to the good things in life. I was thinking today that I need to read more about deservedness, and then I found this Ask Polly column that posted last night. Someone heard my little cry, eh?

As a Capricorn, wealth and money are things I feel like I definitely deserve. I deserve the corner office. I deserve the closest parking space. I deserve, I deserve, I deserve–because I busted my ass for it. I try to translate that work ethic to relationships and it gets murky. My track record is awful since I got here, and it’s upsetting–I don’t like failing at anything. I have less control over people and how they show up in my life.

So, let’s see. I deserve less shitty people in my life? Um, sure, yes. I agree. And, I deserve dudes who won’t ghost on me or freeze me out? Yes? Yes. Of course I do. I think.

One thing I absolutely believe is that I definitely deserve respect. I can start here, live here, breathe here. I can breathe that in and feel good, and feel all of that spill into all areas of my life–if I let it. I can ask myself these questions more and more:

How am I respecting myself? Is this action self-honoring? Does it honor others? Is this relationship full of mutual respect? How do I show up in other people’s lives, even when my own life seems to be slowly collapsing on myself?

(that’s also about integrity, too, but that’s a whole other post)

Self-worth, in long seasons of waiting, can get weeded and choked out. You start to connect the time you’ve waited and worked on things to your personal value as a human being. If  you lack the results, then surely you’re not deserving. You’re doing it wrong. And that’s not life–at least not a good life.

Look: I’m really writing to myself because desperately need to hear this.

Sure, I could be blocking myself with limiting beliefs–blah blah blah personal development words that end up victim blaming instead of addressing the society that fixed it that some would go without no matter what they did cough cough cough–but that’s all a part of the journey, a part of living in life’s waiting room–you figure all of that stuff out. You love yourself more, and hopefully in turn, you love others more.

That’s what we’re here to do. That’s life.

Under this full moon in “feel all the feels” Cancer, I really want to release the inner pressure to force anything to happen that isn’t ready to happen. It borders on self-hatred, and in tight times like these, I need a lot more love and compassion–not less.

I also want to release the ingratitude that sometimes encases and hardens my heart when I’ve been rejected over and over. I’ve had people help me with job leads and money (shout out to my one patron on Patreon) during this season of constraint and I would have gone hungry or lost my car or lost my belongings if it were for those people (shameless plug, if you want to help me out financially, click here!). I’ll be forever grateful to them, to the people who showed up when everyone else left.

Even as I wait and seek and search and become dismayed, I can feel the positive shift in my life happening. I do feel supported–even if it’s in new and unexpected ways–like angels and guides and a dead friend who was an atheist. I’m on my way to feeling like I deserve the love and support that I give to others.

Sidenote: It makes me wonder how I can find those sorts of treasures and gifts if everything is going well. Is it possible to be grateful when it’s Christmas morning and the room is brimming with gifts and it’s always that way? Is that a story that I made up, that gratitude can only walk hand in hand with humility? Is this my story?

Between the oranges and cherries, the tangelos and berries, I may not know all the reasons why it’s taking so long to find work, to find my own family and community, to find true stability–but all of that is on the way. That hope, that annoyingly persistent hope that hops around my heart like a cute, fluffy bunny, is all I have for now. And all I’m really wanting, and needing, is to get to the season of enough.

Patreon! It’s on!

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I usually wouldn’t be launching something a full moon, but necessity is the mother of invention. At least it’s a full moon in Taurus. Taurus is ruled by Venus–love! beauty! money! And it being an earth sign, we’re talking about stability. And I could definitely need some of that right now.

So I’m up on Patreon now. If you want to support this blog, I will have a good blog post once a week, at least. And here’s the link. https://www.patreon.com/sunoppositemoon

If you want to donate some other way: https://cash.me/$beelicious or https://paypal.me/deb888

Thanks for reading and sharing!

 

Shadowboxing with my fears

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Back in the same ring again, battling the same opponent: fear.

Specifically, I could say it’s financial upheaval, the foe. I look at my bank account and wince. $86. Rent is half paid. I pushed off paying for my car and my phone. Unemployment payments haven’t been doled out yet. If I were a tarot card, I’d be a 2 of Pentacles juggling act of worry and dread.

To even put all this stress in the context of the recent Presidential election–I don’t even have the headspace or heartspace to process how that can adversely affect me. I know it’s not helping.

I was thinking earlier today how I ended up here, again. While I was washing dishes this morning, I went all the way back to 20 years ago, about where I chose to go college. Maybe I should have gone to University of Alabama (Roll Tide!). But then I wouldn’t haven’t been the me that I am now, for sure. And I love and adore her. So, no regrets. I needed to leave my family’s upheaval, which was financial and legal, that only worsened when I lived in Chicago. What my family went through has been nipping at my heels. As immigrants, we burned the maps, burned the ships, and we don’t really have a safety net. I’ve tried to weave one, and the knots keeps slipping.

Still, even with those challenges, I don’t have to go back too far to figure out how I ended up here. Coming to Florida, to become a writer, has been a sacrifice, especially of pride. Pretty much everything that could go wrong, went wrong. But it was the pursuit of a dream, a dream I had as a kid and temporarily discarded because it was impractical. So no regrets about that either.

But the hits keep coming. Last month, I had a hotel fleece me about $160 when I was fleeing Hurricane Matthew (long story, but do not stay at a Days Inn unless you want to lose extra money and deal with evil people). I’ve had little blips like that while walking on this tightrope above certain doom. They shake the rope, causing me to wobble and fall. I hang on by fingertips and fingernails. I get back on and start to walk again, to the other side, towards stability. It seems so far away, but then I know that this is temporary. I will get through this, like I always do–even if I’m tired of my own resiliency.

I have not had a permanent job in the four years and counting I’ve been here. It’s all been contract-based. Today, I just got turn down for a job where I had the most hostile interview. I am pissed that I went through that experience and I am pissed that I wasn’t chosen for a wage that I haven’t made in over a decade. It was going to be, hopefully, a side job. Looks like the Universe has other plans. I’m kinda grateful for that, but only kinda, because my pride is a little wounded.

As I watch the story of my life unfold, I still hold my breath. I’m still not sure if this protagonist is actually going to make it. I’m rooting like hell for that person, for me. Over the years, I’ve learned to be my loudest, craziest cheerleader.

And it’s not like the Universe isn’t cheering for me, either. In my own personal tarot and oracle readings, I keep receiving such encouraging messages, about releasing worry, that this season of my life is over (The World in tarot), that love is coming soon. I need to hear this, because my circumstances look like it’s a repeat performance of this time in 2013 (eviction), and 2014 (kinda eviction). This Cancer moon does not want to move unless it’s to a better place!

Well, maybe this is a repeat performance. My landlady is a social worker. So last Friday, I spoke to her as a former social worker, and as someone who has faced hard times before. She’s giving me a break–

but then I’m in the ring, hyperventilating and sweating, boxing against the fears of financial ruin, of homelessness, of existential stress: why the fuck am I here? Why is this happening again? Why am I doing this alone, again?

Almost. Recruiters are calling me almost daily. That’s never happened to me in my life. There’s a job that I really want that I saw and will apply for soon. Through a friend, I talked to one of the employees there. That’s never happened to me, either. I have a phone screen interview next Tuesday for another job.

There. Is. Movement. And. Momentum.

Not quite. I have this tiny little job where I write content for clients. It pays shit, but at least my writing chops are being kept sharp. I’m planting seeds for repeat clients.

 

Things aren’t going the way I want to, in the timing that I want (yesterday), or how the way I want (super duper easy). But for now, I’m still housed, I still have my car, with gas in it, with insurance. My phone is still on. And I’m grateful that this time, someone gave me a break and things are breaking open for me this month.  I know it’s because through these repeated fights in the ring with fear, I’m different, and I’ve learned a little bit about how fear operates. Now I can land a couple of good punches on fear, even when it tag teams with despair. Writing this blog post is a punch landed on my fears.

And while I fight these decades-long fears of poverty and instability, I have to focus on gratitude, so I can stay upright, so I can dodge those punches. I have to tell my double Capricorn self that I am doing enough, that I can rest once in a while. I must have the courage to not worry, the bravery to ask for help– even if resounding silence is the response, and the guts to tell despair to fuck off.

If you want to help me out this month, here are a few ways:

  1. cash.me/$beelicious
  2. paypal.me/deb88
  3. Patreon–I will have that up in a few days. I’ll let you know soon!
  4. I am a writer and I can write all sorts of things. Let me know how I can help you.
  5. If you like my writing, pass my blog along!
  6. Send good vibes and pray.