Monday, February 22, 2010

Pain as Meditation

I continue to feel moments of deep pain for my loss of Jason. I expected to feel less of it over time, and I’m not exactly finding that to be the case. I do feel it less and less frequently, but it is still intense.

And I also experience moments of intense aliveness, grateful for what I have received from Jason. It used to be amazing to me after Jason died how I could feel deep sadness and the next moment be happy. It no longer is amazing to me; it is my current experience of life and it is beautiful.

When the wave of pain comes, I allow myself to fall into it, so deep it feels I won’t come out, and then I do. Easily. I’m realizing it is a meditation practice. Instead of wishing the pain to go away, I stay with it and become it. I become one with universal pain, and I find myself opening up more and more to compassion and to oneness. This opens me up to even more beauty, the kind I’m guessing Jason experienced on a regular basis; he was tuned into it and captured it on his camera and in music. I was so fortunate to be one of the first witnesses of his compositions, bounding downstairs to his studio to see his latest creation.

The pain is a clear reminder of the love and beauty Jason and I shared in this lifetime. Right now I wouldn’t trade it for anything, and I know it will ease with time. I would love to have Jason back in my life and I know that that isn’t and has never been an option. This is the path he chose, and he is the son I chose. It’s what is. My work now is to be with what is, and to be with it in a bigger way – the pain, the beauty, the bliss, the peace. Jason is holding me with his peaceful loving eyes that say there is nothing to worry about. I must admit that my pain sessions don’t last too long when the Jason feeling comes in, and I slip into another state of feeling I am on the right track, following my passion as he did in his life.

I am noticing an aspect of the pain that triggers episodes of grief, and I am watching it. It feels like resistance. There’s a part of me that isn’t ready to move on; I want my life the way it was when Jason was alive, when I could hold him and share my life with him. It’s a part that is getting smaller and smaller because I know that no matter how I “move on” I will always be “moved in” and I will always be holding Jason’s energy with me. Any resistance is keeping me from following my dreams, which Jason is always reminding me to do.

I also notice another aspect of the pain that triggers grief. I want to see Jason’s art and music get out more into the world. In my international Avatar course in January I received wonderful feedback from professional artists about his work, with suggestions to do art shows and offers to set me up with people who could help me in Amsterdam and California. It is overwhelming emotionally and logistically. I believe I don’t have the time to do this, and I will be working on shifting that belief. If it is meant to get out there, it will, and Jason will have a hand in it with the support of his parents, his greatest fans.

I also feel some intensity of doing the work in the world I am being guided to do. I help my clients do their work, and I am passionate about helping them do it more efficiently. I also want to help them see how limitations could be dropped to create what they really want. I help my friends move through grief and transitions, and I know I can use this gift in service to the world. Do I need to do this, or is it just a natural role? Am I attached to it? Does that add to any pain? Not totally clear, but I am following my heart, trusting it will get clear. My goal is to be in a place of pure beingness, without attachment, and with a pure sense of service.

I’m also feeling the transition of letting go of material things in my home in preparation for a physical move. I received easy (“duh, of course, mom”) permission from Jason to work with his father Chuck to whittle down his things. For now his studio is a memorial, with his photography and pictures of him, along with his computer files of his art and music. His chair has the senior T-shirt “Follow Your Passion – JF” on it. It feels nice to hang out there, and the feeling will always be with me, no matter where I live.

I meditate on the memories, on the energy, on the beauty of it all. Sometimes that feels like pain but mostly it is incredible aliveness and gratitude. I never would have chosen a path of meditation on pain; it chose me and it is showing me how I can be even more alive after a death.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Holding On, Letting Go

I’ve returned home from a magnificent 5-week exploration of spirit, beauty, and possibilities. And yet this is not my only home and it is temporary, like all that we perceive to be physical reality. Energetically it is a home of memories, love, and the many creations I have made in the past 5 years. I create a home everywhere I am.

Returning to Jason’s studio, I was amazed at how light I felt and how I didn’t feel like crying. That was one moment. In another moment the flood of tears came, and Jason wasn’t here to wet-vac the puddles like he did the first spring in our new home in Ipswich in the big flood of 2006. I hugged his chair, the one he sat in for hours at a time, creating so much in so little time in the context of one person’s life. As I let the water fall, I felt Jason reminding me to lighten up. I explained to him that this was a process of letting go, that every time I get into the big grief wave it washes out more and more of the attachment.

I watch myself holding on. I watch myself letting go, big pieces at a time. Like the truck-size glowing boulders that shoot out from Volcan Arenal.

I looked up at his Facebook photos collaged on his studio wall. He looks at me seriously, the way he focused on his photography shoots. He looks at me sweetly, that angelic face that everyone loved. He looks at me with that face that could make anyone laugh hysterically, and he tells me that I am right on track and there is absolutely frigging nothing to worry about.

I cry again with the power of what I feel. Jason was powerful in life, and he unleashed magnitudes more of it when he passed. The guy was amazing, and he is showing me how I can be, too. He passed this incredible energy on to me, and I’m not supposed to hold on to him or any of it. I’m supposed to pass it on to all I do, to all I contact. It’s about serving the world, not about him or me or anyone in particular. And yet we all benefit.

Oh, yes, how we benefit when we tune in to that energy of letting go.

So now I’ve Moved In (see Message 35) and it’s time to Move Out. To move out into the world of possibilities, to let go of worldly possessions and old beliefs, and to fully live what I teach. I’m not wasting time, because time doesn’t exist. Life is short and yet it is infinite. The current moment is all there is.

It’s time. It feels right to move from this home in Ipswich. Jason and I bought this home together with the intention of selling it in 5 years (this August) when he graduated from high school. He is encouraging me big time to follow my dream, to live where I want to live, not where I feel I need to live for him or for anyone else. For me and for my work in the world.

Jason and I shared a powerful fun parasailing adventure the week before he passed, 1500 ft above Lake Tahoe. We shared in the exhilaration, and I felt that again with him this morning sitting in his studio being with his energy. I’m not letting go of him, I’m soaring with him.

I’m giving out what I got from Jason. I’m inspiring others with this energy of letting go and flowing into new energy. I’m guessing it will flow into the waters of Costa Rica. The possibility of buying land there is great, and the time will be perfect however it happens.

It’s time to really soar. Zip-lining through the jungle of life…..

P.S. It is so amazing how we can transform intense emotion into freedom!

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Sustainability. We have been experiencing wonderful models and teachers of this in Castillo, Costa Rica. The wise mountain hermit Tomas and the young earth-yogi Frederico live this day to day and inspire others to see that it can be done and it is being done. And we are doing it.

To be one with the earth, one spirit. To take care of our environment. To sustain ourselves with the food of the gods farmed by us gods. To live together in loving community. To be responsible for what reality we create.

My grieving journey is about moving into sustainability. I am finding the lifestyle I want, that Jason would have loved. Here in this small farming town landlocked by the Monteverde rain forest and the Ninos wildlife preserve, the Arenal Volcano park, and Lake Arenal, the magic is endless. The few gringos here are pioneers, and I resonate with that identity.

I am a pioneer. I never imagined the journey I am on now, and I am riding it like a Tico cowgirl, resting on this peaceful porch after a long day on the farm, watching the comical birds twirling upside down on the branches of the sky-bound trees.

I am a writer. That’s another identity. I am a mother. I am part of this ecosystem. I am creating.

I am.

We could retire here. All I need to do is remove any limiting beliefs and trust in the flow that is pulling us magically to this place.

We had a great conversation about this with our villa-neighbor Charlie during his spontaneous visit. It was perfect timing, right after our meditation and tuning into Jason’s powerful energy in the bird-nesting trees. We had planned on taking a walk to Charlie’s, and he appeared at that moment when I had tears in my eyes from connecting with Jason’s message to follow my passion and move here. Charlie shared his passion to have a personal growth center at his farm, and we looked at his land again and felt much closer to seeing this as a home. We have a similar vision, and we could grow the community we want together.

And - oh yes, the magic mushrooms. They sprang up overnight in soil moistened from the rain. The villa’s Tico caretakers Odalie and Doro never saw them there before. Where did they come from? They seemed to appear on the very path we took when we walked across the lawn on our arrival yesterday. We must have tracked spores from our shoes from our walk at Rancho Margot!

Right before we discovered the mushrooms, I had been reflecting on our trip to Rancho Margot and how much we want to live in sustainable community; perhaps we could buy a home there. We are not yet drawn to living at the ranch, but certainly being involved with the community if we live in Castillo. They are doing the world a great service educating us on how to live sustainably.

I got down to the level of the magic mushrooms and asked them what they need to tell me. I heard “you can create what you want anywhere you choose.”

We will sit with our dreams and visions in ice-bound Ipswich and watch the mind. What would we be getting ourselves into? Are we crazy to leave our dear friends and family? And what about the rainy season? Will we regret our decision?

I trust we will process these thoughts. We will compost them like the farmers manage their compost. Transform them into fertilizer and energy for our visions.

I hear Jason telling me I worry too much. I feel him smile when I tell him how much I like Costa Rica and how I could see myself living there and retiring early.

That’s so cool, Mom.

Winds and Lava 2/7/10

This is a magical place in which to be with the 6 month anniversary of Jason’s passing.

The winds are healing and blow away doubts and fears. The volcano erupts and releases glowing boulders of ancient patterns. The lake soothes and cools. This is a world of possibilities, like any other world except with lush vegetation, mystical jungle, and artistic birds. Things grow fast here; the locals use machetes to keep it down. Or you can sit and watch it grow.

People create here, amazing things. We can do this anywhere; this place is a great metaphor.

After I wrote the above, I had two conversations that were no coincidences. This funky hostel (Gringo Pete’s) in Fortuna Costa Rica is a crossroads for people around the world who were meant to meet.

I supported Anna’s process to overcome the belief that healthy intimate relationships are not possible; she knows she needs to get past this to create the work she wants here in Costa Rica – to lead wilderness groups in spiritual earth connection.

Supporting Joseph in his current grieving journey inspired me see that our connection with spirit has different aspects. When we lose someone (he is going through a painful break-up) we lose the connection with the person at the personality level. However, the spiritual connection is always there. This is part of us. We carry this with us in our journey, and use it to create and attract what we want – the right relationship, for example.

I showed Joseph Jason’s photography; he was very impressed and passed on yet another message from the universe to sell Jason’s art; he will show his German friends. I experience what it feels like to share him with others; he is still alive through his art. I don’t cry; I smile and I am the proud mother.

Our souls find each other to learn what we are meant to learn in each moment.

Elizabeth is an independent elderly woman who flows with travel and asks what she needs to in order to catch the right bus. She moved here a few years ago, near San Jose. I watch myself being in awe of the ease some people have with travel. There are even more levels of freedom I can achieve.

We are in the wild frontier and yet there is so much development already. Many travelling here encourage us to visit Nicaragua and to invest in land there, as it is headed in the same direction as Costa Rica. Gringo Pete says they are more gringo-friendly, and I hear they are lovely people.

We met Juan Tortuga, a sweet local spiritual American working on some farms who introduced us to his friend and boss Charlie, a businessman-turned-cowboy who is into personal empowerment and connecting with the elements. Charlie showed us his land and some lots he is selling that border the Monteverde jungle, the land that was gifted by children who raised money to preserve the wildlife, a story that brings tears to our eyes. The land is magnificent, with a view of the lake, the volcano, and the jungle. Why was I not drawn to buying this land? Am I afraid or am I still in some transition shock? Am I following my intuition? It doesn’t feel like home right now, but it is truly magical. We will stay in touch with Charlie and Juan and the couple (Nan and Z) that own the Firefly cafĂ©; we started to get to know the cool community here.

The energy here is powerful; the lava-spewing volcano reminds us of our power and our transience, and how everything changes and how beautiful that all is. The ashes remind me of Jason’s ashes at this 6-month anniversary. He would have loved photographing this extra-terrestrial place of extremes.

It’s nice to just be, and not be looking for what to do next. Another metaphor for life, for my grieving journey, to learn more deeply what Jason taught me in this lifetime. Why spend a day driving on bad roads to Monteverde? We are on the border of the jungle here, the weather is great, the food is great, the being is great.

Vamos a relajar – I think that’s how you spell Let’s relax. We will stay in Castillo another couple of days, walk to the waterfall, zip-line through the jungle, get massage from the sweet Tico woman at the Sepenthe, sit in the pool and bask in the volcano energy.

And I’ll enjoy this wild frontier of El Castillo, and the 15 km long dirt road with potholes that give you motion sickness if you go too slow.

The trick is to fly fast through the potholes, just sail over them in the 4WD, and not to worry or even notice that they are there. To sit back in the harness and fly through the jungle with no worries and all awe.

Yee-hah! It’s that Tico cowgirl in me.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Watching the World

I’m watching the world go by and yet it is so still.

What is still? Who is still? Who watches?

The pelican necklace soars overhead. A Tico boy on bicycle screams through the beach at low tide. The waves lick the shore and get closer, then farther, then closer, as the sun moves in its journey through the sky until it plunges into the ocean. The fisherman’s boat trolls by, in the pace of this sleepy country. The island beach comes and goes, as do the cliff shadows. Am I asleep or awake? Dreaming or imagining? What is real?

Perhaps the sun has toasted my brain a bit too brown.

I might as well be in my home in Ipswich, looking out on the snow-laiden earth watched over by our guardian evergreens and circling turkey buzzards. We search the world. What are we searching for? What will we be watching when we get there? Where are we going, and are we really going anywhere?

Watching the world go by, inside and out.

This is the first vacation since adulthood that I am not thinking about time, about needing to get anywhere. I watch what comes up – the hunger, the fatigue, the need for coolness and water, the grief, the relaxing breeze, the occasional conversation with others that are sharing our temporary home.

I am outside any routine. I don’t even schedule my morning breathing meditation (kriya). I meditate with eyes open. Our beachhouse host and artist at Cabinas Kunterbunt (Tommy, from Germany) looks, acts, and feels like a meditator but doesn’t call himself one – he never learned, it just happens here in this little place of paradise. We make dear friends with our breakfast host, Dolores, and spend timeless time speaking of consciousness. She is grateful to be attracting us into her world here, as we are also grateful for what we attract.

Yesterday I was concerned my mind would get too active – should we stay here longer? Should we go to other destinations in Costa Rica? What will we miss if we go? What will we miss if we stay? Do we ever miss anything when our world is already here?

With my mind in neutral gear, we flow into a decision about our week. We didn’t decide, we watched the decision come.

I’m getting the knack of this watching thing. I’m also getting a bit closer to understanding how Jason’s mind worked. It didn’t need to work. It flowed. It resisted when the flow was challenged, that’s for sure! I’m appreciating that even more now, knowing what he passed on to me in his passing.

Jason passed on to me a way of being in the world that feels new to me, that makes me feel that I have been the child all along.

He knew how to watch the world. He stopped at every tiny flower to marvel at its uniqueness and beauty. He didn’t understand time. I’m getting that time doesn’t exist, so why waste energy worrying about it?

Being in our flow creates more energy. We aren’t wasting energy resisting.

I’ve taught about going with your flow, “moving into your groove”, and manifesting for years. I continue to learn by unlearning, by watching the old stuff that gets in the way, the old patterns, the indoctrinations from childhood and society.

I’ve met some fascinating Americans and Europeans here in Costa Rica. They are great manifesters. They don’t doubt, they just follow their vision. Many are here because they believe the U.S. and other western countries have become too materialistic and complex, too far from simple roots to the earth and spirit. Is this paranoia or wisdom? Is it thinking negatively or is it following their own path? I believe it is wise to follow your intuition about what is right for you, for anyone.

I was inspired meeting the developers of Finca Las Brisas, seeing how they are building off the grid, back to the earth, with no need for heat or A/C, and plenty of water to go around year round. I’m not being led to buying land there, but it is a great model. I will spread the word and support their vision to attract the right people and to let others know about this model.

Meanwhile I will continue to watch, to be the observer of my experiences, thoughts and feelings. To watch them in appreciation of the rich diversity, of all the gifts. To follow my intuition and passion.

I will always be here sitting in the Costa Rican treehouse overlooking the shiny sea. I’m sitting here watching Jason taking photos, observing his excitement of all that is unique.

Watching my world, inside and out.