Friday, October 30, 2009

Fri, Oct. 30, 2009: Snow, Manifestation, and a New Tattoo

Happy Friday, and Happy Almost Halloween!! Here in Colorado, we just spent 2 days under constant cloud cover as the sky dumped 2 feet of snow on us (at least, it was 2 feet where I live). Throughout the course of this morning, the sun has been breaking free from the clouds and for the first time in days I can see past the edge of the southern Table Mesa. I hope this is a sign of the winter that's to come, since getting any amount of snow this early in the season seems to be a little unusual for Colorado - except in the mountains, where it snows at the drop of a hat!

On the 22nd I attended an "angel channeling" at the Metaphysical Research Society in Denver. I've always associated the term "angel" with Christianity, but lately my perception of the concept has shifted and I think that maybe angels are spirits who are no longer reincarnating, but help human spirits as we move through our own personal evolutions. There were 3 individuals channeling, and they brought forth the angels Raphael, Michael, and Gabriel.

The energy in that room was absolutely electric, which was a really neat experience in itself. The angels said some things that fall into line with the way I see the world, and some other things that reminded me of lessons I've learned and let fall by the wayside. They shared that they can see the future, but the future can always be changed by us because we have free will. This reminded me of the metaphysical fair this past September, and my friend who voiced some skepticism about people who tell others the future. I guess my perception of this is that psychics, angels, and others who can see our future see it as it would be if we stay on the path we are currently traveling. When using methods of divination (such as I-ching, tarot, etc.), I like the idea of asking the question "what would be the outcome if _____", or "what would happen if_____". I don't think that anybody knows the future, for the same reason as the angels pointed out: free will. But I do think that some people can see where the path you're currently on will take you. (As far as people knowing where your path should take you next, which was another point of skepticism for my friend... I'm still undecided on that one, as is evidenced by the fact that I'm still living in Colorado!).

I had my own question (I'll give you one guess as to what it was... and a hint that it was about finding my soul mate...), but held off and really listened as the angels answered the questions of others in the room. People asked about their careers, where they should live, if they are "good enough" to have a special guardian angel, etc. And the angels' responses were all the same: what do you want? What will bring you your greatest joy? What would it FEEL like to have the job you want/ live where you want/etc? Their answer to everyone was to look inside, and then FEEL the way that having what they want would make them feel. Feel that feeling, every day, and that's how you will manifest your desires.

Wow... as a person who experiences the world through my emotions (I'm a Cancer, that's what I'm here to do!), that just makes so much sense to me! Manifesting what you want on an emotional level goes so much deeper than thinking about it and setting that intention in your head. Our emotions are a direct circuit to our hearts and souls, and it seems so powerful to be able to manifest from those places rather than our brains!

I came to a place inside of myself where I realized that no person is going to bring me joy or happiness or love. No person is going to amplify those for me or put them inside of me... so it's my job to put them there. What does it feel like to pursue joy? What does it feel like to love? I feel those things inside of me because I want to, and because they feel good. It sounded like their message was to be what you want to attract - and regardless of the outcome, it feels good to feel love: an open heart, connection, excitement in my core, awakened awareness of the world around me.

And joy - joy was their message. The purpose of our lives is to pursue joy, and though they didn't say it directly I realized that's what they were communicating. Why is it both so easy and so difficult? In order to find joy, the angels suggested to think less and concentrate on BEING. At one point, Michael asked a woman, "where's your butt?" as a way of reminding her where her body is, because that's her mode of operating in this world and that's what is important.

I know all of this in my head and have heard these same things said many times, but can't seem to integrate it into the way I live. I think that I still have too much fear, too much restraint.

That's where the tattoo comes in. :) It's on my right wrist, in compliment to the sun on my left, a constant reminder of the energy systems in the universe and the way that human beings interact with one another (see James Redfield for an explanation...). It's a bee, flower, and twig with leaves on it, and the shapes of the symbols spell "Joy". The Bee is to remind me to "be" (get it?! :) ), and is also a symbol of enjoying the sweet things in life and appreciating the fruits of our labors. It's also a reminder to regulate my diet so I don't get diabetes later in life. The flower and twig... that's just what I saw when the idea for the tattoo came into my head. I like the flower as a sign of flourishing fulfillment, and the twig as a sprig of hope and a symbol of renewal.

If I've ever shared anything in my blog that I want to pass along to others, it's the angels' message: think less, be more, and spend your days on this beautiful earth pursuing your Joy.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Fri, Oct. 23 to Tues, Oct. 27: Mom Visit!

For the past several weeks, my life has been filled with local outings and spending time with friends. While this has been very wonderful and I've enjoyed everything I've done, I have found myself longing for larger adventures. I actually didn't realize how long it had been until I looked at my blog one day while eating lunch at work. October 8th was my last post...? And it was just an adventure of thought, not one of body, mind, and spirit...? That was almost 3 weeks ago! I don't think I've ever let my blog go that long without being updated since moving out here, and it really made me stop and think about what I've been doing lately and how my priorities have shifted. I absolutely love my friends and the time we spend together, but the thing that brings me joy is exploring this beautiful piece of earth that I have inhabited for 2 1/4 years now. My explorations needed a jump start... and my mother provided that opportunity at the perfect time!

My father visited me when he was in Fort Morgan for a business trip in February 2009, but since then he was the only one to make the trip. My parents decided to send my mom out here for a few days so she could visit too! She had never seen the mountains before or been to many places outside of Connecticut, so I was really excited to show her some of Colorado's pretty and easy-to-reach spots. Her first day here was really a 1/2 day, and was spent shopping for Halloween costume parts for my friends' party the next day!

Day 2: Oct. 24 - Indian Hot Springs, Eisenhower Tunnel, Georgetown, and Party
One of the things I really wanted to do was take my mom to a hot springs, since a "hot spring" in Connecticut means an unexpectedly warm day in April. While it would have been great to take her to Strawberry Hot Springs, I figured something closer would be more appropriate. We headed off to Indian Hot Springs in Idaho Springs, which is nestled in the mountains about 30 minutes west of Golden.

The woman at the front desk let us wander around for a while so we could decide what area of the springs we wanted to visit. We headed down under the earth into a series of steamy, hot, dark caves (which used to be nude but now require bathing suits). I felt so claustrophobic in there that I took about 2 steps in and walked as fast as I could back to the locker room. I learned that I can handle heat and caves separately, but together they are a terrifying combination for me!

We decided on the pool instead and spent about an hour lounging around in it. My mother found the pipe where the hot water was flowing directly into the pool. It was heaven.
I wanted my mother to see a "little old West" town before we headed back down for my friends' party. We drove through Idaho Springs, and then headed west towards Georgetown. I changed my mind halfway there and decided I wanted to take her to Silverthorne instead, so she could go through Eisenhower Tunnel and see the reservoir surrounded by snow-covered mountains. This idea lasted right up until the moment we emerged out the western side of the tunnel and found ourselves bombarded by wet, icy snow. Ok so... Georgetown it is!

As tempting as it was to try to get her to eat a buffalo burger, I'm not into that kind of thing so we went to a little cafe at the far end of town for lunch. I showed her some of my favorite things in town (the old fire station tower, the jewelry shop, the old gross food at the general store - not the food they sell to eat, but their display of old food. They have anchovy paste and canned caterpillars - YUCK!).
My friends hosted a Halloween party that afternoon, so my mom got to meet some of my friends. I had to talk once again about a friend who has begun dating her ex boyfriend again (who also happens to be my ex boyfriend). Sometimes I wonder if people are trying to incite me to start drama about it, but I'm really not interested in going down that road. Other than that, it was fun being surrounded by friends and hyper little kids all dressed up in their costumes. :)

Day 3: Oct. 25 - Estes Park and The Stanley
Apparently everyone who my mother talked to about her trip to Colorado told her to go to Estes Park. For some reason this drove me a little crazy (for real people?! You really think there's nowhere better I can take my mother in Colorado than Estes Park?!), but we went with it.

The weather predicted snow all day, so I was very surprised when we arrived and the clouds had magically lifted over the Estes Park valley.
There was a small herd of elk hanging out in the park by the lake that my mom spotted as we headed into town, so we pulled over so she could experience some Colorado wildlife! (and I could too!)
The views from the lake were so beautiful: the sky above was blue but most of the mountains were still half-shrouded in gray clouds.
Here is The Stanley Hotel, as seen from the lake. It's the white building complex towards the left of the picture:
The elk were as calm as could be, and paid no attention as people snapped pictures and joggers dashed past with their dogs.We headed up to The Stanley for our Ghost Tour, but arrived early enough to enjoy some beautiful views of the town from the porch.
The Stanley Hotel:
The Ghost Tour was great!! Here is the room where Stephen King stayed when he was inspired to write The Shining. Apparently the wallpaper is ripped because people keep stealing the room number plaque (which they sell for $5 in the gift shop...).
We were told that Ghost Hunters has investigated The Stanley 14 times. Once they found a vortex in this stairway:
This hallway inspired the scene in The Shining with the 2 little girls (I think?) on their bikes:
When the tour was over, we enjoyed one more view from the porch before heading off into town.
As we left town, the sun was shining even brighter than it had been when we arrived. We pulled off for another last view of the valley:
... and headed into a winter wonderland as we approached Lyons.

Day 4: Oct. 26 - Pike's Peak and Garden of the Gods
For my mom's last full day in Colorado, we finally... fiiiinally... were the recipients of clear beautiful blue skies. This was amusing to me, since I always tell my family how beautiful it is out here and how it never rains. Ahem.

We headed down to Manitou Springs to take the cog railway all the way up Pike's Peak! Upon our arrival at the ticket counter, we learned that the train wasn't going all the way to the top today, but we figured we'd ride it as far as we could go and see what we could see.

The beautiful day promised to us didn't disappoint, and our view the whole way up was dominated by massive rocks and snow covered trees.
Years ago, the train used to be powered by steam engines, and this tower held water for refilling the engines:
We pulled just above treeline and could see right away why the train couldn't take us to the top that day. Snow was blowing EVERYWHERE, lifted and whipped around by the strong, invisible hands of winds. We stopped just past Inspiration Point (I think at about 12,500 feet) and were able to see some beautiful views to the east and south. This is Moraine Lake, which the tour guide said is the only natural glacial lake on the mountainside that's been there for a million years:
Just to the left of the darker hills in the distance, you can see one of the Spanish Peaks:
The train headed back down, and we stopped at Four Mile Station for a stretch break. People were throwing snowballs at each other and having a lovely time in the snow!

A little restaurant in Manitou Springs served us the best pierogies I've ever had, and then we were off to Garden of the Gods. By this point in the trip, I was just plain exhausted. It was very tiring to go from being by myself all the time to having someone around 24/7, even if it was my mother - who was a very good house guest! It was just a huge transition. Being worn out, I didn't take any pictures of Garden of the Gods, which was just as beautiful as the last time I visited it. My mom did borrow my camera to take this shot of Pike's Peak:
Day 5 (Oct. 27) was a half-day of cleaning up and packing, and driving my mother around some random spots she hadn't seen yet (Lookout Mountain, downtown Denver). As we drove to the airport, the mountains put on a beautiful show for us, and we admired their snow covered peaks glistening in the sunlight. Although it felt overwhelming to be around another person all the time, I felt sad as soon as my mother left. Walking back into an empty house (well, full of my cat but she's not a person!) was a strange feeling.

Now I sit in my living room, watching a blizzard of giant fat snowflakes fall outside my window. It feels peaceful to have a day of rest.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Thurs, Oct 8, 2009: Desert At Night

Today my soul is the desert at night: a soft sea of sand embracing skyward-bounding sentinel rocks. Cool black air washes over my skin while sand that radiates residual heat makes its way between my toes and yields to my movements. The universe wraps itself infinitely above, around, and within me, spilling its starlight across the sky to shatter upon meeting the horizon, scattering shards of brilliance across the sand sea. The only sound is the soft hissing of sand whisked by a breeze as it flows through dunes and valleys. I am soft and sharp, dark and radiant, soothing and stimulating. I am infinite and malliable; constantly shifting with forces around me. Today my soul is this.