Self Love… And The Science Of Differentiation

Ra suggested that the great disease of the world is self-hatred. Self-hatred is not always obvious to us but can be there at the root of all kinds of surface behaviors and attitudes. It is often engendered by the conditioning we encounter early in life that contradicts what is naturally felt and expressed in us.

When we are going about our lives, especially as children, and what is natural to us is contradicted by what we are told is right, good, allowable or acceptable, it informs how we make sense of our experience. If there is not a recognition that allows for difference and varied behavior, the natural conclusion is that there is something wrong with me or there is something wrong with them. And here begins our investment in the not-self and the use of the mind to attempt to control thought, feeling and behavior to match the conditioning forces around us.

Whether we adopt one or both sides of this belief, it often becomes a core motivation for our choices and behavior in life. One side is: I will work hard to act against my nature (what I love, like, naturally express, respond to) in order to become good or at least “not bad”. The other side is: I will oppose, resist, criticize, blame the other (family member, spouse, friend) or the world/society because clearly somebody or something else is messed up if it’s so wrong to be me.

This kind of polarity and motivation can be subtle or blatant. Either way, it becomes an underlying belief or attitude that does not allow for our presence and awareness to guide how we live our lives.

Following Strategy and Authority is a way to dismantle core conditioning beliefs like this, so that we can align with our natural, present, awake way of being, interacting with the world as we encounter it now through the intelligence of the body. The deconditioning process puts the mind in its proper place as a witness and eventually an outer authority for others.

There are many typing systems out there and some may say at the surface that Human Design is one of them. But where many others systems begin and end with describing types as a way of understanding who you are, Human Design offers its Types so that we understand the function of the body and the mind’s relationship to it. The aura functioning is limited to just a few variations.

It’s not uncommon to have a conversation begin and end with, “because I am a Manifestor, a Projector..” or whatever. Sometimes that may be all there is to say about it. But if we go deeper and see what happens when we experiment with what it means to function according to Type, it is actually the very beginning of discovering, uncovering and recovering what has always been there and can never be destroyed: this particular set of characteristics and expressions of what we are in a very unique synthesis. And even all of the details of those characteristics that go several levels beyond gates and channels, say nothing about who we really are.

Type is not the point. It is an essential practice and process through which we get to the experience of being and expressing who we are, which moves us closer to correct environment, role and life expressing itself through us as purpose.

Human Design has been called the Science of Differentiation, as an extremely detailed map of our uniqueness, where Type, Authority and the Bodygraph are at the very surface. And yet they are primary in that if we are behaving from the mind, as a contradiction to or imitation of the conditioning around us, we don’t even get to the starting line of perceiving how unique we actually are.

A seemingly simple but astonishing benefit of letting go of conditioned core beliefs and opening up to the exploration of our nature is that we begin to allow ourselves our own differentiation process, our own liberation from the pursuit of perfecting the not-self. If we begin to appreciate that, it can be quite a wonder and the birthplace of love of the self.

Relationships in this differentiated context can become quite impersonal in this way. The differences we experience in each other stop needing to be evaluated as right or wrong, as who’s behaving the right way or not. They stop being evidence of whether or not I’m worthy because this person pays attention to me or not, agrees with me or not, invests their energy in me or not. They can become an exploration of how each person behaves correctly as themselves. From that starting place, we can begin to see whether or not the relationship is correct for us or worth pursuing or continuing.

Many spiritual teachers involved in any kind of awakening process point to the letting go of morality. This has always seemed exceedingly optimistic to me and demonstrative of faith in the basic value of each person’s true nature. It assumes that in most cases, our natural presence will make far better choices for ourselves and others than an imposed morality.

The more I study the depth of differentiation in each person, the more love and respect I feel for humanity in general. I may still feel hurt when someone rejects or criticizes me, I may still get discouraged if I don’t keep up with what some others are able to do. But I can also remember that no one is correct for everyone. And we have all had those moments when the naturalness of what we are is perfect for the person we are with, whether that’s true for a moment or a lifetime.

If self-love is challenging for you right now and you are experimenting with design, I invite you to take a closer look at your own chart and recognize what part of your nature is expressing itself or seeking to. Look at your definition. Look at what you have going for you through your defined centers. We tend to take what is natural to us so much for granted that we can’t begin to imagine what it’s like for others not to have what we do (what is wrong with them?). Look at the openness and admire the flexibility of it, the spaciousness and beauty that’s possible when we stop trying to fix it and make it stable (What is wrong with me?).

Design is not to be used as evidence for why any person or relationship is right or wrong or good or bad; Strategy and Authority can be much more helpful in determining what is correct for us. Rather, being open to the study of nature in ourselves and others can be a way of simply seeing the difference. When we can manage to do that with curiosity, without agenda or judgment, the incredible uniqueness of each person becomes undeniable and ultimately lovable.

The whole challenge for you in your process, the only way in which you can leave or transcend the Bodygraph and approach your purpose correctly, is you have to deal with the characteristics. The whole theme of, and the teaching of, Human Design is that we teach strategy and authority in order for a being to come to grips with the power of the characteristics in their life, and to ultimately be able to transcend them by operating correctly as themselves.
-Ra Uru Hu

* Guest post by Amy Lee

My Journey With Human Design

Human Design has been a journey of personal healing for me. It was never something I set out to teach. I honestly didn’t know if I would ever have the stomach to teach anything ever again.

I came to find Human Design after what I can only describe as a shattering. I had been teaching in the personal development space for a decade, in a fairly public way, that made me feel relatively important, and like I mattered in the world. But I was teaching someone else’s work, and like most spaces revolving around power and money, there were all kinds of rules to stay in that game. Over time, I started compromising more, hiding more, telling people what they wanted to hear, lying to myself.

I was out of integrity with my body. I knew I couldn’t stay. But being good at pulling strings, I felt confident I could manage this exit with grace and flair. Leave but maintain my friendships and reputation. Realign me to my truth, but not have to sacrifice anything to do that. How wrong I was!

My attempt to extricate myself gracefully quickly turned into a bad tragi-horror-comedy. It was like I was in quicksand… surrounding a nuclear reactor. The more I struggled, the faster I sank.

Then, one day, in the middle of a situation I literally had no internal resources to navigate, my horse stepped on my head. And there… I finally did something I had never considered before. I stopped struggling. I surrendered. I let it all go.

I came up from my concussion months later feeling deeply broken. My mind was desperate to make sense of what had happened. Terrible things had been said to me, about me, that I had a real need to sort out. Was I wrong? Were they wrong? Who was I actually? What had I been hiding? What did I believe in or care about? And how in the world had I gotten so disconnected from myself?

My journey over the next four years was steeped in silence, reflection, studying (studying, studying), and nature. For all intents and purposes, I basically pulled myself out of the world. I left social media. Abandoned my email list. Instead, I went to the mystics. To the poets. I grew food on the earth. About a year into that process, I was tossed an incredible additional tool: Human Design.

Human Design didn’t so much give me answers to the questions I was asking… but it did give me maps. And I had all the time and energy in the world to experiment with and explore them.

I held so much secret shame about certain ways I had behaved. The first time I was told about certain gates in my chart, I just sobbed. I hated that someone could know that terrible thing about me, or that that terrible thing existed within me at all. But over time, as I reflected and went deeper, I found my shame and judgment of characteristics turning into deep self-compassion. I looked at my openness and felt really tender about the unknown aspects of the world I was navigating and attempting to learn about. I looked at my definition and saw how grateful I was for those internal resources when used at the right time. Even the controlling or intense ones. And that yes, while I loved perfection… my design was distinctly mortal. Sorry, Blossom. And welcome to the human race.

I held anger and resentment of certain people in my life. As I studied their charts, and how they connected to mine, I realized that they were just being themself (or being their not-self). There really was no one at fault. No blame. It just was.

I looked at the charts of major events in my life (where the planets were at those moments) and was deeply touched and mystified to see the story of what had happened, written out on each day. (You would not believe it if I showed you how the day of my concussion fits in with my Saturn return, and the chart of the person I was in conflict with, and my own life story. It is wild!) “That was always going to happen” something in me realized. It had to happen. It is just part of the story. My story. All is well.

And like that, piece by piece, I began making peace with the life I was in, the movie I was watching, the story as it was unfolding. Like that, the healing began.

When I realized it was time for me to start sharing (teaching) again, I honestly felt some terror. “My open throat!” “My open ego!” “Did my mind just want attention again?” “Ahhh!!” But then I looked back to my design and it was clear to me why my body wanted to teach. This joy I bring to all the things I am exploring. My deep sensitivity to the support of my tribe. This ability to see the patterns that are not right, and an insatiable desire to correct them. Deep dedication and determination to go all the way through an experience for whatever it has to offer. And a demand within myself for integrity and authenticity along the way. My vehicle is here to support and share. So while I really am quite a hermit right now, if you are desiring a greater understanding of or alignment with yourself, there is so much I suddenly have the energy to show you and share!

If my joy, sensitivity, or correction can support you in your experiment or journey through your own life story, it would be my honor. Cause this sure is one wild ride!

——-
Blossom is a 6/2 (Role Model/Hermit) Emotional Generator, IHDS Certified Analyst, and Living Your Design Guide with over 18 years experience in facilitating groups and holding space.

My Design

Would you like to see your own map? You can run your own Human Design chart for free here.

 

My Endless Winter

I still get these quarterly statements from my website. This many visits. This many bounces. This long they stayed.

I’ve started to wonder if they are mistakes. This strangely odd number of people I am told by google that still go to my website each month and stick around to read.

“Read what?” a part of me always asks.

It’s been over two and a half years since I had anything I really wanted to say. Two and a half years!

I keep expecting my audience to vanish. (I’ve made peace with that as well, if you do.)

And yet, here some of you still are. Years into my quietude. Which strangely made me want to say hello.

I was in New York a few weeks ago, dancing something called the Five Rhythms. (It’s good work. It gets me in my body and moving through my emotional landscape without attributing the sticky bits to anything in particular. Physical. Therapy.)

We got to the rhythm of “stillness” and I broke.  Down.  Open.  

(I say that as though it was a singular event. Like it was the first or final breaking of me. Let me be clear, it wasn’t. It was the seventh or seventieth or seven hundredth breaking. Another mysterious and beautiful process I’ve surrendered to.)

I lay on the floor and let my body sob. Celebrating. Watching.

What struck me, in that moment was actually something quite cliche. It was the simplicity of the seasons. The rhythms of life.

That spring is always exciting and bubbling with life, followed by summer that is generally hot and full of intensity.

That winter is always dark. Still. Renewing. Fallow.

In the past few years, I have felt a million times like the winter will quite literally, never end. That it is more like death than renewal. That the story is over when we get to this bit, rather than just a chapter or a page.

And yet… in all the discomfort, the one thing I have been almost mystically clear about, is that I will not force the timing. There is something happening inside me.  That I get to witness. This deep rewriting. This non-optional reboot.  

And so I wait.

But now … here I am dancing. And we get to stillness. To winter. I am laying on a cold wooden floor, in a strange kind of allowance for the bottomless nothing… and out of nowhere I can feel my cells start this buzzing… I can feel the next rhythm. A flowing. An excitement. Holy fucking shit! It is spring!

Not here. Not yet. But coming. “Ahhhhhhhhhhh”

An ocean of sorrow then passion then gratitude sweep through my body, erupting through all my face holes, into a snotty and uncontrollable celebration on the floor. 

That was the breaking. The breaking open.  The breaking through. 

I think that’s called grace.

It turns out that spring follows winter.

Every year.

Every year.

Every year.

It might feel holy to me today, but it is actually just what happens.

It happens whether you trust it will or fight it or dig in your heels. You not in charge of the timing. None of us are.

I have learned so much in this seemingly fallow season of “nothing.”

I have created order in the lifetimes of chaos in my closets and drawers. I have gotten very curious about my defenses and become diligent about observing my own wild moods. I have discovered that place inside me that knows how to make things beautiful. And that other place that gets off on making a mess. I have found I have the ability to sit very still, sometimes for days, if there is something I want to learn. (And man, is there much I have been learning!)

Mostly, I have been unbecoming. Unfashioning the tale that I have to be something to be something. Reclaiming the sovereignty I’ve so happily handed over to others throughout my life.

Being present with what is in front of me today.  

We each get to watch our own beautiful life unfolding. Our own evolution happening. You can throw popcorn at the screen or snuggle up. But the movie still plays.

It’s a messy process, this waking up to our own humanity. Let me rephrase that— mine most certainly is.  

And in truth, I have no idea where it is leading.  If winter is actually over at all, or I just got an early peek at spring.  But I get it now.  The surrender part.  And I am 100% in. 

Which brings me to you my beautiful friend. And to my own little blessing for you today:

That if you you are in spring, may you enjoy the wonder. Bask in the aliveness. Fall in love.

If you are in summer, may you soak up the heat. Play hard. Conquer the world.

But if you are in winter, may you surrender to the deep breathe in. Be still. Let it break you. And cover you up.

Winter resets us. Renews us. Demands that we nourish ourselves. It clears away the noise.

You will open again later. That’s not what I promise, it’s what the earth promises. What the mystery promises. It is what rhythms of forever show. It is what has been promised to me. 

Can you be present with the season pulsing through you? Not as a victim but as a participant?

Even if it’s cold?

I feel you. I love you.

You’ve got this.

I’ve got this.

I will write again in a decade, or a week. We will find out together.  (Of course I hope it’s soon.  I always do.) 

Let the mystery continue!

I’m Not Who I Appear to Be on Facebook

I was deeply disturbed by a Facebook memory that popped up on my feed the other day.

It was a gushing post (of mine) about gratitude… complete with photos of a gaggle of girls smiling…. eating something fabulous, of course.

It included hash tags about laughing and emoji hearts.

I remember that weekend well. But not because of the laughing.

It’s seared in my mind as one of the more painful weekends I can recall.

Several of my closest friendships were disintegrating. My core beliefs about myself and the world were quickly falling apart. I was promoting an event I felt super conflicted about. And every other meal ended up with salty tears doing the major seasoning of my food.

In all that confusion… I appear to have put on a great big smile, added emojis and told a surface level story instead.

Sure, I do love that city. Sure, the food there was great. But I was also miserable on that trip.

I see that post and my heart breaks. For me. For the image I was so carefully defending.

But also for everyone else who saw that post. One more post that perpetuated the bubble of half truths and refrigerator magnet joy, so often seen bouncing around the social media world.

The truth is… I couldn’t have captured the whole story in a post, even if I had wanted to. It was complicated. And messy. And not actually appropriate for mass consumption at that time anyway.

I don’t judge that I put it up.

But it was only, ever, a small part of the truth. I think we need to remember that.

Two people have written on my wall recently that I remind them of a Disney princess.

This is not good.

If I give this impression.

It’s lovely. But it’s just not real.

And thus, I think, it’s worth expounding upon:

The reason I post about my animals so much lately, is not because I think I am an amazing princess animal whisperer.

It’s because the phase I am in right now is so deeply raw and human and tender that I have nothing much else to say.

So I connect to you through the creatures around me. Who happen to be quite cute. And who do indeed bring me joy.

This post is not to invoke sympathy. I’m fine. I’m growing. In many ways, I’m great.

But if I have ever given you the impression my life is perfect…

It’s just not.

It’s full of questions,

and uncertainty,

and sadness.

Full of simplicity, and surrender, and unused drive.

Full of beauty and growing authenticity and the grittiest kind of love.

But slim on answers,

on direction,

And (hallelujah, finally, even) advice.

It was not my intention to turn this phase into having the appearance of a fairytale. I have just required a lot of solitude. A lot of reflection. A lot less sharing. A lot more grace.

I get it can be so easy to scroll through a feed and think you have a sense of who is living the good life. And why.

I suppose I just wanted to remind us all, that a smiling photo, matching family Easter dresses, a trek through Spain, whatever it may be…

All that we share…

… is really only, ever, always,

one part of the truth.

It’s all it can be.

We are complicated.

As you scroll… tread lightly on judging yourself.

My Unrealistic Expectations About Learning

So I just finished writing a paper for this class I’m taking.  It’s a masters level course on quantum physics, science and spirituality…

And it has been freaking hard! I mean… brain numbing, what?!?!

Just about every day in the first 5 weeks my strategic plan was to drop the class. But just as I was emailing my professor, I flashed back on this silly moment.  And it stopped me in my tracks. 

Last year I went on a trip through the South with a friend of mine.  He’s a Harvard lawyer and a concert violinist.  

One evening, over dinner, he mentioned to me that he does yoga every morning, even when he’s traveling.  Impressed, I asked if I could join him.

“Sure!”  He said.  “I’m not that great, but you are welcome to!”

The next morning, I put on my yoga clothes and claimed a three foot crevice on the corner of his hotel room floor. For the next hour and a quarter, Greg led us through a full length Ashtanga class.

His focus was absolutely unwavering, his breath was solid, he knew the sequence top to bottom, but what surprised me the most was… Greg was actually pretty bad!  His flexibility was minimal, his postures relatively poor…

Now I know you are thinking, “what kind of person judges someone’s yoga practice!? Don’t you go straight to hell for that!?” But I honestly wasn’t being super judgy. I was just surprised.

The truth is, I had just never seen Greg be bad at anything.  He speaks some half dozen languages, his speeches make you want to rise to your feet and cheer, his tinkering on my piano sounds like a world class concert (and that’s not even his instrument).

I realized I had a strange expectation that anything he approached he should just be incredible at.  

After breakfast I confessed to him my weird experience that morning on his floor.

What he said was so simple.  It is forever melded in my brain.

“You know most people have totally unrealistic expectations about learning.  They want to learn a new language or get in shape, and when it doesn’t happen seemingly overnight, they are already disappointed.

Being a concert violinist at a young age, I learned HOW to learn anything.  Because you practice for hours and hours and hours… and every day you get the tiniest most infinitesimal amount better.  It happens so slowly that you can’t even notice the improvement.  But then, over months and years, you improve.

It turns out Greg had just discovered Ashtanga a few months ago.  He loved it.  So he learned the routine and did it literally every morning.  And he didn’t worry about if he was doing it right. He just did whatever bits he knew how to do today.  He figured some time he’d be in a class and a teacher would correct something and he’d just get better tiny inch by inch.

That was how he approached everything.  If there was anything he wanted to learn, he just learned it.  Slowly.  Like he had learned the violin.

I thought about all the things I said I wanted to be good at but I’d actually just never put in the time.

Real time. No judgment of self kind of time. There were a lot.

I didn’t drop my quantum physics class. Because hard or not, I actually wanted to know it.

Instead, I read the chapter again.

And again.

I called a classmate and asked her some questions.  

I bought another book. Watched a youtube video. And then I read the lectures yet again.

The real problem was not that my class was impossible. The real problem was that I had expected to understand it the first time through.  I wanted to already know what I wanted to learn.

This year has been filled with learning for me. I let go of the woman who ran our stable and learned how to take care of our horses myself. It’s not that hard. But it’s a little hard. I did have to learn.

We got a freight farm and I let a bunch of plants die. Getting the hang of the technology and basics of growing isn’t impossible, but we did have to figure it out. We aren’t great at it yet, but every harvest the plants look and taste a little better.

And this master program… well I entered it because I had questions about things, not because I already knew.  

Perhaps it’s ok that it’s hard.  

Perhaps I’m not going to know until AFTER I put in the work.

It just made me wonder…

What do you want to be good at?

Would you be willing to be terrible at it first?

To learn the language with poor grammar? To play the chords slowly?  To put on the yoga clothes and let your form be all kinds of “oops”?  

Maybe that’s how we’re actually meant to learn.

I’ll tell you one thing— I’m going on another trip with Greg. I actually left this morning and am writing from the airport. And you know what I’m certain I can count on? His yoga will have improved by leaps and bounds!

My Slightly Scandalous Marriage

Yesterday was my 5 year anniversary.

The other day I put up some slightly sappy sentiments on Facebook about it, which you are more than welcome to read.

But while I’m being sentimental… I have one more thing to say…

Dudes!

Ron is 29 years older than me.

29!

When we met that seemed scandalous to both of us.

Our second date the sweet old lady selling us museum tickets looked up from the counter and asked “is that one student and one senior?”

(Bless her heart.)

I’m not going to lie… there were things about that fact that were complicated. Kids, friends, perceptions.

But a scandal is almost always about what other people think. It’s never about what is true for you.

This life we are in… it is so full of conditioning that we often don’t even see it.

Have kids, settle down, find your passion, make something of yourself, don’t rock the boat, be yourself (the reasoned social media acceptable version of course!)

We start doing those things without even questioning if they are actually part of our path. If they have anything to do with what will make us uniquely filled up.

What do you know?

What works for you?

What would you like to create?

And who would you like to have along for the ride in what ways?

I like Ron. He’s kind of awesome. And uniquely kind. I got my life would be a greater adventure with him in it.

What if it could be that simple?

People will talk. People always talk.

While they talk, why not take a brave step forward with creating that life that is ravishingly yours and wonder full?

Every time I make a choice where that is the criteria… I’m glad I did.

Then just be kind and smart and present… Cause you’ll sort out the rest as you go.

Losing My Love. But Worth It.

I know it’s Mother’s Day.  And this is a sad story.  But it is also a story about being a mom. 

And a love that took me by surprise.  

If there is anything you have ever lost that you loved, I thought you might relate to my yesterday.

See the other night we had a thunderstorm.

I thought “I should go check on the babies.” And then I fell right back asleep. 

In the morning I could not find baby Rumi. Then I saw a hay bale in their fort that had been pushed about 6 inches out from the wall.

Rumi was down in the crack… upside down between the hay bale and the wall.

I can only imagine the babies got scared from the thunder and piled on top of each other (as they do) and Rumi got crammed down in the crack and couldn’t get back up.

I pulled him up and he was still warm, but not breathing. We tried all the things you try. Pumping his heart. A sort of goat CPR.

Panic. Shock. Desperation.

Baby was really truly gone.

And while many of the thoughts rolling through my head include phrases like:

— “I should have…”
— “If I’d only…”
— and “Why this one?”

​​​​​​​
My main question today is actually about love. What do we do with those moments of love that change us? Do we just be grateful for them and let them go? Do we let them haunt us? Do we bathe in them? Learn from them? Hold them lightly?

You see, Rumi was not just one of six little goats.  He was my wise little mystic.  There was no hiding that he was my favorite. Rumi was just pure love.

I slept with him in the hay. Fed him bottles. Nursed him back to health one scary night after he had found and nibbled on a toxic bush.   In a few short weeks he prodded open a very tender part of my heart.

In in turn, he returned to me just peaceful… open… sweet love.

I am so aware that I could do so many things with my sorrow. I could say I don’t want any goats. I could stop loving the other babies. I could say “it’s only a goat” and move on with my day.

Or I can just let that love wash over me. And that sorrow wash over me. And sit quietly in the grateful complicated mess of it all.

We all have loss.  

All day I have gotten messages, incredibly sweet messages, from people who have lost their pets or their children or their spouses.  Notes of beauty and caring and grief. 

We don’t choose what we lose.  But we do participate in how it shapes us.

Do we love less or more? Do we care more or less? Does it break us open or closed?

I don’t know what it is you have lost.  Lost your love? Lost your way? Lost your faith? Lost your parents? Lost your friend? Lost your dreams? 

I wonder…. How will that loss shape your future? Shape your heart? Shape your day? 

Today, I will cry until I’m ready to stop. 

I will celebrate this little goat man who passed too quickly through my life.

I will go plant a field of wildflowers and invite him to stay in my life.  

And then I will wonder who else I can love like that. Tenderly. Bigly.

Rumi, I will miss you so very much. I really am so very sorry you had to go so soon. But I thank you for coming in the first place. It was truly a gift to be your mom.

Happy Mother’s Day to all.  Be it a day of great joy or a day of deep sorrow.  

You are loved.
You are love.
You get to love. 

As the saying goes, you know that “better to have love and lost” one…

It is worth it.

Tenderly,
Blossom

P.S.  Warning: this video is a bit sad, but I was truly captivated by how my dog Milo responded to losing his friend.  If there was any way to bring baby back to life, Milo would have found it. He licked and prodded and whined desperately until the very last moment Rumi was blanketed with earth. What truly incredible creatures.

I Used to Roll my Eyes at All These Things

Once again, it’s been months since I’ve written. I just go through these phases where I can’t.

It’s as if my system is still decompressing from decades of pressure cooking. Of doing and moving and achieving and hustling.

So while I used to be highly motivated to send consistent blogs and memes and social updates… with the exception of those moments when I feel truly inspired… I’ve just let it all take a big exhale.

I’m finding I’m just not willing to force anything anymore. At all.

My requests this year have been:

– To truly see (truth, beauty, who I am, what is).
– To connect with and amplify the voice of my own knowing.
– And to let go of everything that doesn’t serve me.

It wasn’t until I slowed down that I realized the insanity of how I had been running my life. What I thought mattered. Whose beliefs were dictating how I was using my sweet (numbered) days.

I’ve been doing a lot of things lately I’ve spent my life rolling my eyes at. The hippy dippy stuff. Not only meditation but also…

Inner child work. (seriously!?)
Forgiveness stuff (boooooring)
Delving into some really old anger. (Man, do I have some anger!)
Sitting with sadness.
Creating space for the divine.

The thing is, it actually hasn’t been boring or icky at all. It just feels required. Overdue. Life giving. Human.

It purges out of me.

It makes me feel less on a pedestal and separate from everyone and more an actual person, who can create space and be present and care.

Today I woke up and I wanted to write to you.  I wanted to write to you because the deeper I get into my own process, the more think I about you and yours.

It is a strange journey… this being human thing.

And I am continuously grateful to be along for some small portion with YOU

So…

– What is one thing you can do today to nourish yourself?
– What have you labeled “productive” or “unproductive” that maybe isn’t serving you?
– Is there anything you have rolled your eyes at that might actually contribute to you?
– Whose beliefs are dictating your goals or how you spend your time?

Take your shoes off and walk over the frosty grass.

Go hold cats at the humane society for an afternoon.

Make that fresh ginger tea and take a decadent 30 minutes watching the birds while you drink it.

Enjoy whatever phase you are in. The messy one. The revealing one. The charged up conquer the world one.

Allow yourself to fall apart. Or fall together. Or be changed from within.

At least that’s what I’m doing right now.

And it has been alarmingly good.

Much love to you this beautiful day, 
Blossom

P.S. I have 6 baby pygmy fainting goats joining my family next Saturday. I thought you might “need” to see their sweet little faces. Hard to hang out with these little dudes without a smile. 🙂

A Change of Season

* This is not a typical blog.  It’s a copy of an email I recently sent to my list.  Big ole changes underway!

Wanted to keep you in the loop as well.

———————————–

Hey Stranger,

Not sure you noticed, but it has been forever since I last dipped into your inbox. Three months of forever!

This season I have been unusually quiet.  It truly has been time to listen rather than talk. And it has been surprisingly nourishing to this here soul.

A few sprightly highlights, if you are the curious type:

1) My horse stepped on my head in late June, so the month of July I spent laying in the dark with a concussion, without books or TV or screens.

Being. Reflecting. Meditating. Praying.

Goodness, if you want to challenge your self-kindness and self-awareness, try spending a month with yourself in pretty much solitude.  Yep, that will do it.

One thing it did was re-ignite a meditation practice that has been filling me up from the inside.  It also got me looking at some of the darkest, most uncomfortable parts of myself (my ego, righteousness, unkindness— oh wait, that whole horrible being a person thing I’m not always perfect at) with greater honesty and kindness than I have previously been able to muster.

It was gnarly.  And useful. And amazing. (Wait, you mean that terrible horse accident was exactly what I’d been asking for? Yep, that.)

So, yay for random head injuries (I can say casually, now that I’ve stopped getting dizzy every time I sit up.)

If you missed the Facebook post, there are more concussion highlights here.

2) I took myself offline.

Not for a day, or a week.

For months.

For almost the entire summer. And boy has it been an incredible reboot.

Earlier this year I had felt my brain changing in unexpected ways from all the gadgets I was living amongst… and I can’t say I liked it at all!

I was spending wayyyyyy too much time in emails.  Too much time in messaging and with screens.  So once that sweet little concussion was gone, I just decided not to come back online.

My single FB post of the month was actually about that very thing…Amusing Ourselves To Death. If you want to hear more about that, you can here.

My summer offline helped me move my house, organize my closet, throw away all the clutter, spend time with my horse, dust off my juicer, get to know our ducks, learn about the trees in our woods, read dozens of books, remember I know how to ride a bike… all the kinds of “being” things that have always made me crazy amidst my unrelenting desire to be productive.

It does feel like I’ll be popping back onto social media a bit this fall.  But I think it will be different. And my body is pretty happy about that.

3) So many things have been changing!

Most of my life I am pretty public about.  I like to share with you my own follies, blunders, dreams and questions, in hopes that they may stir some wonderings in your own world.

But every once in a while there is a chapter that is percolating and not yet ready to share. Elizabeth Gilbert wrote in a post recently “this is a story I am living, not a story I’m telling.”  I’ve been sitting quietly in the midst of one of those.

Yet as my silent months roll on, I have been getting more and more questions. Questions about when I will be facilitating next and where.

And while I have no answer to that question yet, I thought it would be honoring to share with you one piece I do know…. which is, as part of this transition I will no longer be facilitating Access Consciousness.

If you have followed any of my work, you will know that Access has been at the core of what I have been writing about and teaching for many years.

While it has been an incredibly valuable set of tools for me over the last decade, I’ve found I am being called to new adventures and into new rhythms and questions and modes.

I have a painting from one of my favorite artists, Seth Pitt, that hangs in my playhouse and regularly makes me cry.

 

Sure he looked back once or twice,
and with damn good reason.
Most likely,
Henderson figured,
he’d be looking back at that place
for the rest of his life.

But long ago he had learned that sometimes,
when you leave a place,
it has nothing at all to do with that place you’re leaving behind
but rather, whatever it is that’s calling you out there
beyond the hills.

So, when it came right down to it,
the decision was a simple one,
that certain kind of wind had picked up,
and it was time to go.

            

For me, this transition is that. Gratitude. And thankfulness. Not entirely easy. But it’s time.

If you are familiar with Access, I have no doubt you will still see some of the concepts and tools cropping up in future blogs and videos.  They are, after all, tools of consciousness, which I can only imagine I’ll be talking about for the rest of this beautiful life.

The words and framework of Access I have studied for over 12 years now, and are embedded within my being. I’ll always be grateful for the deep and wide foundation they have laid in my search.

This season of letting go of something I have cared so deeply about has taught me a lot about surrender.  And it has reminded me that while I am in charge of asking for what I desire, I don’t get to micromanage the “how” it then shows up.

That is the universes’ job.  Or god’s, by whatever name you use.

All I can do is trust. Trust myself. Trust this unraveling. Choose. And ask. And trust.

Where to From Here?

I can’t tell you exactly what I will be exploring from here.

All I can really promise you is that I will continue to be as vulnerable and as curious and as brave as I know how to be. And that I will continue to invite you to journey alongside me for as long as you may choose.

While I have nothing on my calendar coming up that you can participate in, I do have a slew of adventures and conversations lined up for myself in October that I am pretty excited to be diving into:

– a trip through the South with meaningful conversations about race,
– a retreat in the hills with two of my favorite authors,
– a leadership event in the canyons of Arizona,
– some time in New York…

This next phase of my journey seems to be a whole lot about my insides.  About unraveling what I know from what others know. About waking up. About taking ideas from my head into my core. About giving up my need to be right, to be understood or to belong.

You know, little things. Haha 🙂

I hope to have some thought provoking things to share with you along the way.

I sit here writing from our beautiful ranch in Michigan, watching my swan swim on the pond and the leaves start to turn.  I have a new kind of surrender in my bones.  A new willingness to follow the unknown. And an ever increasing gratitude for the mystery.

Is there anything in your own life that you have been holding onto that you know you need to let go of?

Is there anywhere you are resisting the very thing you have been asking for?

I wonder if it’s time? And if it is, how honest and kind and present you can be with yourself through it all.

I hope you are enjoying the beginnings of fall, wherever you may be.

I hope you are honoring whatever you know to be true for you today.

And I hope you know that you, my friend, are always doing the best you can with the tools you have available. We all are.

I wish you bravery and kindness and joy on your adventures.

Much love,
Blossom

P.S.  If you’d like to get my email updates, you can sign up at here. There are occasional special things I send only to my email list.

Do We Care What They Think?

I had always danced a little outside the lines when picking boyfriends.

When I was 15, everyone wanted me to date Trevor. We taught Sunday school together, played opposite each other in the high school plays and sat across from each other in freshman geometry. I went for Nick, a mysterious senior with a fast red car who liked to brood in his room watching Tarantino movies. He was four years older than me. It was quite the scandal.

Half way through college I met Todd who was 12 years older than me and had 2 kids. My mother was not really amused by that one but bit her tongue just enough to avoid igniting my need to rebel by doing something stupid like marrying him.

I guess I’d always gone for older men. It’s just all in the definition of older.

We met in Chicago for our 4th date. I was there for a workshop and Ron didn’t live too far from the windy city. Things were still new, but I was pretty sure I liked him… kind of inexplicably a lot.

I’d met him online, which is either another chapter or another book entirely, but from the start it was a complete fluke we’d made it this far. I had very few set rules and standards when dating online. I wasn’t looking for a particular build, faith, career or ambition. To be honest, I wasn’t even looking for a boyfriend. It had been one of those funny ideas I’d woken up with one day to sign up with a profile online. Truly, it was just something that I got would create more in my life, though I didn’t know how, when or why. So I signed up.

I wonder how much fun I can have? I wonder what interesting people I can meet? I wonder what adventures I can go on?

I’d had a blind date with an inventor on Christmas Day. He introduced me to his family as an “old friend” and we made gingerbread cookies in the kitchen with no recipe that turned into a runny comedy. I figured anyone who would meet for a first date at a family Christmas was intriguing enough to meet. And he was. It was a hoot. No chemistry, but certainly worth a day!

I’d gone out with a Harvard poetry professor and spent the day seeing the streets of Venice Los Angeles through his nostalgic eyes. Nice guy. Nice enough that we pretty much turned into pen pals and he ended up a guest at my future wedding.

I didn’t have a lot of specific criteria for dating, which made it all a bit tricky to narrow things down.

I’d done an exercise with myself when I went to make my profile. 3 steps to figuring out what I really desired:

Step 1- I wrote down all the characteristics I’d like in a man. As you do right? You know: the list.

Step 2- I asked myself for every item on the list- “is that mine?” Do I actually care if he likes to dance or is that some strange ideal I’ve bought into? Not mine? I crossed it off. Do I care about his height, eye color, age? Ummmm…. Not really. Those were also ideals. And they were crossed off as well.

Step 3- Of the things remaining, I asked myself, which did I require out of my partner and/or lover and which could I get from somewhere else? “Someone I could call in the middle of the night?” I had a few girlfriends who fit that criteria. “Someone who is interested in Consciousness.” Others came to mind for that too. “Activities in common?” strike.

By the time I’d gone through them all, I was mainly just left with energies I was looking for: Someone who loved to play. Who adored me. Who was easy to live with or just be around. Someone who didn’t create drama or try to control me. Someone who made my life easier rather than more difficult. Someone who actually enjoyed life and the adventures it brought. It wasn’t very concrete.

My very few absolute rules for determining if I would go on an actual date with someone were this: You have to tell me your real name (so I can google you of course), post a somewhat realistic picture, preferably taken in the last two decades, and we had to meet in a public place (to deter or at least postpone possibly run ins with serial killers and the like).

In short- be a real person.

Beyond that, I was pretty open to following my intuition and asking for joyful adventures to unfold.

Ron was actually the only man that failed my remarkably simple criteria. I found out later he wasn’t really up for dating online. In the midst of a new and fragile divorce, he was more perusing, or testing the waters to see where he’d fit. A flimsy, barely started profile, an absent picture and questionably fake and certainly common name, he was not exactly worthy of a reply to my all too full inbox. It should have been “delete.”

Yet somehow one line emails turned to two lines, and simple questions become interesting stories. He talked of the joy it brought him to bring solution like clean water to other countries. He asked good questions. He shared how much being joyful meant to him. I don’t know… while anonymous, I liked him. Liked him enough to break all my own rules and meet him without a picture or a real name.

“You really like this guy?” my roommate Suzy asked me as I quickly threw on a dress to meet him for dinner.

“Yeah I do. I don’t know why. I’m excited to meet him.”

“Well if that’s the case, would you consider washing your hair?” she said with a kindness few people in the world could have pulled off.

I was 15 minutes late for my first date for taking Suzy’s advice, but I was glad I did.

When I saw him across the parking lot, I was surprised and not surprised. He was winsome and tall, a bit more conservative than I was used to with a blue knit sweater tied around his shoulders, and give or take in the age range of my father.

“Age wasn’t on my list” I reminded myself, and insisted I be open to the possibilities that might unfold.

Which brought us today. Four dates later and still no idea where this was going, we found ourselves in Chicago strolling the park.

“Want to check out the museum?” Ron asked me.

“Sure.”

The woman behind the desk wore thin wired glasses and was old enough to be my grandmother. With a sweet smile she greeted us “Will that be one student and one senior?” she asked in perfect customer service sincerity.

I had to force the corners of my mouth to stay down and quickly looked to Ron. “Hey, double discount!” I thought to myself, tempted to take her up on the offer.

Ron’s faced flushed red and unlike me he was not working to suppress a smile of any size.

“Two adults” he said firmly between softly gritted teeth and handed her the $20 bill for 2 full priced admissions.

I’d like to say we laughed it off. That we fell so in love we didn’t care. But it brought something up for each of us. It was the first comment of many more to come.

I started asking 2 questions.

1) Did the age difference work for me?

2) Did I care what people thought?

The first was easy for me to answer. For me, it worked. There was a mellow in his living that was unmatched by men my age. He knew what was worth raising an eyebrow for. He’d already made a name and a career for himself and had little to prove. It was refreshing. It was ease.

The second questions was an emphatic “no” for me. The kind of no that can’t actually be a no because it is said too quickly and with far too much force. “I don’t care what other people think” I insisted. But it was hard not to care. People cared. It was strange.

Everywhere we went we noticed people looking. We were talked about, pointed at, disapproved of and beyond. It was hard to believe so many people cared about our age difference… but they did. We looked around at times before holding hands. We didn’t kiss in public, or otherwise did it intentionally to push buttons as we knew it would.

It was always up, always in the air, until one day I had to wonder…

How is it that so many people care about our age difference? People can’t usually be bothered to think of anything much beyond themselves. Isn’t that odd? Isn’t that strange?

And a phrase I’d heard and taught countless times popped into my head.

“You point of view creates your reality. Your reality does not create your point of view.”

“Was it possible” I wondered? …Possible that most of this discomfort was actually being created by us?

Ron definitely had the point of view it was uncomfortable for people. With a reputation within his community, he could certainly introduce me with a great deal more comfort if I’d been more than a year older than his oldest son.

Everywhere we looked, we had been looking at what was wrong and strange and odd about it. And people picked it up like a sopping sponge and spit it back on demand.

“What if we took another point of view?” I wondered. What if we looked for where it was easy and made sense? What if we looked for evidence for that? I wonder what we would find?

It turns out that crazy phrase is right! The more we found evidence for the point of view it really wasn’t that big a deal, the more we got over it and the less people cared. And the less people cared, the more it proved our new point of view correct that it really wasn’t a big deal, and the more we got over it again.

It didn’t mean people stopped asking “is this your daughter?” It was a fair question. I could have been. But it did mean that the teeth gritting stopped, we both found the true humor beneath the question and did our best to lesson their embarrassment by our easy response. We stopped censoring ourselves by our made up stories and started simply to live.

The trouble with caring too much what other people think is it’s a cycle you feed. In order to figure out if your choices are right or wrong or good or bad, you have to constantly judge you and your choices. And if you are trying to avoid a particular judgment, you seem to feed it with the point of view it already exists to be avoided.

“Do we care what other people think of our age difference?” Over time, it became a gentle and honest “not really”.

Before we knew it, we were down to question #1—Does it work for us?

There were all sorts of sides to that. 5 years from now? 10 years? 20? There were certainly unknowns and moments we’d have to navigate.

That was a question worth continuing to ask.