Today is the last day of the first cycle of alchemical operations I’ve initiated – Ignite (Calcination). This cycle began with igniting a transformation in my life by answering the question: What am I afraid of? with an Alchemical Decree that I am abandoning myself to the messages I (we) receive from the Universe, actually the Cosmos – or the Living Source of all things.
The first 18 days (Mar 21 – Apr 7) of this month long period, were focused on very specific experiences and messages, some of which are recounted in my posts during this period. The last 13 days, from Apr 8 – 13 while Nancy and I were in Florida and Apr 14 – 20 while back at home and experiencing the death of her mother and the decline of mine, were a more general experience. During this last 13 day period, the message from the Cosmos seemed to be the experience itself rather than a concrete and specific communication. I even stated that I felt my connection to the Source of messages while in Florida seemed to be cut off or overridden. The same feels true for the last week.
However, I now realize that the specific messages received earlier during this month long process were the same as the overall message received during the latter period. In other words, the excitement and discovery of being in Florida and discovering this was a place we wanted to live as well as being part of the personal dying process of our mothers were part of the every present, ongoing communication from the Cosmos. The message was simply delivered in a different way.
I’m left with the sense that my transformation is a continual process happening not only within me but as part of my entire life.
Meisha was our waitress at the Lazy Flamingo restaurant in Florida. And, she was also a messenger from the Universe.
Nancy had stepped away from our table to take a call when Meisha approached to ask if we needed anything. But the interaction felt different than the usual waitress-customer encounter so I initiated a conversation with her. She responded and engaged me in a dialogue for more than 15 minutes while other customers waited for her attention. The space-time continuum felt very different.
During this time, she shared personal information about herself: she had come to Florida from Maine because she wanted to go on an adventure, she was planning to leave for California before the end of the year to pursue her goal of becoming a photographer, and she was an online student working towards a degree in photography. When she told me she was not entirely sure she could accomplish all this, I felt compelled to tell her about my experience with my daughter who, at the time, wanted to become a researcher in marine biology. Vanessa was uncertain and overwhelmed about pursuing this career so I encouraged her to expand her network of people to get more information. I also told her to find a person who had the job she wanted and contact them to talk about what it was like and how to get a similar one. “Just call up a stranger, say hello, and ask about her job?” was Vanessa’s incredulous reply. “Yes, people who love their jobs love to talk about them.” Eventually, Vanessa took this step, talked with an executive director in a federal agency in Washington DC who agreed to be her mentor.
Meisha could see the possibilities, thanked me for the story and returned to her role as a waitress. However, I was not ready yet to become just a customer again. Following my intuition, I pulled two dollar bills from my pocket and wrote her a note that said:
“These two dollar bills represent the networking that happens between two or more people and are a reminder for you to pursue your goal by networking as well as obtaining your degree. Please email me at the following address when you have your first photography job or exhibition.”
She looked into my eyes and nodded.
While my intent was to support Meisha realizing her vision, I later realized I was also looking for support from her. If she writes me in the future, she would confirm my belief that the Universe uses us as messengers for one another and we are always receiving messages this way. I feel now that I put a message in a bottle and tossed it into the waves of the Universe believing that one day I will find it again with a note from Meisha.
Woke up at 4:30 am on Wed, Apr 8 to catch a plane to St Petersburg, Florida to look for a dream come true – a vacation home in the sun near the ocean. Now that’s a form of transformation that can bring me to new heights!
We – my wife Nancy and me – have been on a carnival ride for four days going on too little sleep and too much to drink and eat. But we’re not ready to get off. When we do on Wednesday and go back home, it will be very much like that moment when you get off the ride with your head and stomach still spinning and lurching and you try to stand up straight as you did before. In that moment, everything seems different and we all wait for things to calm down and return to normal.
Our lives are like a carnival ride at times giving us new experiences and shaking things up. The difference is that when it happens in our life instead of at a carnival, an opportunity has been given us to make significant changes in the way we see ourselves and our future. The chaotic energy we find ourselves immersed in is the raw material available in that moment to create something new.
The alchemy of transformation is all about staying awake in these moments, remaining focused on our intent to change ourselves, and not discarding what may seem like something unimportant or fearful.
If you are a Lostie, the Tuesday, Apr 6th episode will speak to you about the nature of transformation.
If you are not a fan, the message of the show - Lost - and this episode will be echoed in the subsequent posts to this blog.
Abandonment has been mentioned several times in earlier posts. This is not surprising since it is the fear I identified that ignites my transformation. What has my attention now is the difference between abandonment by and abandonment to.
Both result in a perceived lack; a loss of someone or something. Either carries negative baggage as well. It’s difficult to see any form of abandoning as doing something good or positive. Abandonment of me by someone raises the specter of being left utterly alone. Me abandoning myself to someone or some cause is a sign of surrender or capitulation – giving up.
Yet is it not positive or affirming to trust the cosmos enough that one can abandon one’s self to being guided by it? Guided how is another important question to ask. Perhaps, just perhaps, there is source or guiding force that communicates with us that sends us messages every day about the love and abundance that is our heritage and birthright. How can we know whether or not this is so? By listening with our inner ear, being open to hearing another message than the one that constantly plays in our head.
I believe that listening in this way is a path to transformation.
If I’m not afraid, what am I?
We experience many feelings, at least descriptions of them: joy, embarrassment, surprise, confusion, astonishment, hate are only a few.
However, a life changing mentor of mine, Jack Gibb, reminded me often there were only two emotions that we experienced: fear or love. All others were a form of these two.
Over time, I came to know this to be true. I’m either in love or afraid and the choice is mine.
Well, this is embarrassing.
I have to admit that I’m still drinking wine during this cycle of transformation. The reason I say this is alcohol is a very effective deterrent to experiencing fear and the motivation to use it rises in direct correlation to the fear we experience. So, it was a with a strong degree of determination as well as a strong dose of rationalization that I entered the liquor store this afternoon looking for another bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon that I had enjoyed several days earlier. The name of the vineyard began with a W. I was not sure of the exact name, but certain that once in the section of Cab’s the wine would reveal itself. It didn’t to my surprise. After searching the entire stock on the shelves, I settled for a Cab from a good vineyard –Hahn – and left this part of the store feeling off center. As I walked to the register, my eyes caught a display by a vineyard whose label began with a W. I immediately realized that, while this was not the vineyard I was looking for, the bottle of Cab I wanted was in the section I had just left. So, I retraced my steps, looked again at every bottle and found the Wyatt Cabernet Sauvignon I had been looking for moments before.
I left the store with the bottle of wine feeling supported by the Universe, not because It had steered me away from purchasing alcohol with which to quench the fires of transformation and the feelings of fear they generated, but because It had responded to my desire and my request with a subtle message. The Universe had shown me once again, that the most important thing is not that I’m home having a drink but that It had responded to my wish as It always will.
It is up to me, not the Universe, to face my fears without medicating myself.