10.31.2004

posted by ashley

10.30.2004

feeling your own story

rabbi marc gafni has definitely acquired a special place in my heart (yes, christy, i too have thoroughly enjoyed integral naked's 3 part series with him). gafni ended the third discussion by explaining patchworks of redemption:
a person to experience the notion of really feeling their own story -- and feeling the wonder and grace and infinite radiant beauty is just so incredibly important....

the greatest gift any of us can give a person is to reflect back to them, through our faces, that we are receiving them and their wonder...
he went on to explain that this practice is just what Integral Kabbalah is. integral means integrity and kabbalah means to receive. thus, integral kabbalah is
the integrity of receiving...
to receive someone else with integrity...
to receive their wholeness and their wonder.
how often do you take the time to really feel your own story? do you feel the wonder, grace, and infinite radiant beauty? what about you is wonder-full, grace-full, beauty-full? wow, wouldn't it be amazing if each of you (and others) that so heart-fully shared how you'd like to be remembered would share something about you that is wonderful, graceful, and/or beautiful. it's okay, no one will think that you are full of yourself, instead we'll show integrity, receiving your wholeness and your wonder, and hopefully reflecting it back to you. (i'm caught in a day dream now of living in a world where it's not considered bragging to acknowledge one's gifts and the infinite radiant beauty that one offers to the world... and also a society in which it's not intimidating to try and locate that within ourselves.)

posted by ashley

10.27.2004

honoring life

this precious reminder/guidance is from chris corrigan's sharing about the celebration of his father-in-law's life.
As Merle Ace. one of Pete's long time academic colleagues said,
the greatest honour is to be remembered in the way in which you wanted to be remembered.
Pete would have loved that celebration.
will you share with us one way in which you want to be remembered? Just think of this as practice ground... as this is precious information that i'm sure your loved ones want to (or already) know.

Comments:

I want to leave so much love in the hearts of my loved ones that there will be no need to remember me, because I will still be right there with them. I want my life and my after life to be a celebration. A full on, huge spread of food, awesome booty shakin music, lots of laughter goodbye party would be cool too.


GravatarSince doing this thing, I have been thinking about how to be remembered, and I would want some kind of party which invites together all of the disparate parts of my life so they can meet each other: Indians, Irish musicians, Bowen Islanders, facilitators, OST people, the whole works. Then I would love someone to run an Open Space with everyone together, looking at extending these improbably relationships into a world where they might all do some good together.

My death as invitation for collaboration across impossible divides. That would be great. You up for opening that space ash?


Gravatari'll be there, chris (even if my own memorial comes first!)

it's funny, i have two pieces of music that are back-to-back on a cd called "the gentle side of john coltrane," and for some reason when i listen to them, i often think, those two songs are all i need for my memorial. they are about feeling it all, and releasing it all into joy. track 11 is "in a sentimental mood," duke ellington's tune, a rare time when coltrane and ellington recorded together. track 12 is called "dear lord," with mccoy tyner back on the keys, & if my life has a theme song, that's it.

since you're taking notes for the event ash, they're both slow-dances


Gravatarhmm... i would want to be remembered for my laughter (maybe play giggle tracks or something), my love, and that no matter what i did, i tried my best and put my everything into it. i want to be cremated, have no wake (dead bodies are not who we are), and perhaps a celebration equal to my wedding, also on the silver sands beach, where people i loved would gather to watch me (or my ashes) fly into the wind and finally get to travel to all the places i've always wanted to see.


GravatarWow. At my father's funeral we played his favorite music; displayed hundreds of pictures; I wrote a journal of what I learned from him, etc. His friends remebered him the way he would want to be remembered.

I had a friend call and say, "I don't really know how to say this... and I know it sounds weird, but that is the best funeral I have ever attended."

My father must have been smiling from heaven.

Rick


GravatarI want to be remembered for encouraging others to live out their full humanity.

Rick


GravatarI want to be remembered for being compassionate and for always being honest. Those are things I am constantly working on in my life and I think it would be great if that's what people remembered about me. The older I get, however, the more I realize that we all have different impressions of each other - to some people I have seemed shy and timid, to others loud and bold, yet to others grounded and calm and to some freespirited and spontaneous. I guess I am a little bit of all of these things, like we all are, so I think realistically everyone would have a slightly different way of remembering me. Maybe not mostly my compassion or honesty. oh well. And that is the crazy beautiful thing about life - that reality is not necessarily a shared thing and we all interpret our time here so differently. ( Kinda went off on a tangent there, but thanks for asking my opinion Ashley.


Gravatari want to be remembered only by a select few. opening up my soul is the greatest gift I can offer someone. i want my legacy to be making a genuine effort into investigating the souls of others and finding those that are indeed worthy of an invitation into who i am.


Gravatari want to be remembered in a way that honors the reverence that i have for life. i want for those remembering me to be drenched in joy, appreciation, and gratitude for the opportunity to be alive. i'd love for each person to celebrate their own life in memory of my life, embracing the fullness of their own gifts that they sprinkle throughout the world.


Gravatari love this!

leela, can i borrow from you... leaving such love in the hearts of others that they know we're still right there with them. YES!

corrigan, of course i'd open the space. i got an idea though, let's do one together (with all those people from disparate parts of your life) and then if i'm still around when you pass away we can have at it again. what do you say? it'd be a great model for all of us to follow.

weaver, dancing slowly, feeling it all, releasing it all into joy... i can feel it moving through me now.

beck, do you have some giggle tracks recorded? i'd love one now!

rick, welcome, and keep at the encouragement.. . your blog is most definitely that.

anna, such an annab tangent, thanks for gracing us with your presence. i love feeling all of those different parts of you shining through.

sam, it's great to see you here again... and watch out folks because he is sneaky in his ways of investigating. those eyes just focus right in and......

really, thank you all for sharing here. i love knowing this about you.

with love,


Gravatarthinking of your comment to chris corrigan, what a very interesting notion...to have an open space event in honor of a person (who is still entirely with us!) just to experience what sparks to life when a self-selecting web of that person's relations comes together face-to-face. how would one word the theme..."play-time in the chris corrigan portal"? sounds worth a trip to me....


GravatarI want to come too! An Open Space with an organizing theme of honor (celebration, gratitude, appreciation, love)--what a wonderful attractor. And it's certain that opening space via the "Chris Corrigan portal" would magnetize & draw in an incredible, amazing array of dazzling sparks--I'd love to get to see what would happen!


GravatarAll right...I'll make sure you're all on the invitation list.

But it won't happen for a while

*knock on wood!*


GravatarAshley, I'm so glad you asked this question, it really helped me get in touch with some deeper currents in myself.

Through self-inquiry, I realized that my answer reflected both the masculine (agentic) as well as the feminine (communal) impulses of my being--thanks for giving me the opportunity to so intimately touch my truest intentions.

I want to be remembered as a person who consciously conquered fear in the service of creative emergence and Enlightenment, and who used the fruit of this vision to recognize the Beauty, Truth, and Goodness at the heart of every being with the intent to help them realize their true nature and fullfill their soul's "blueprint" as written in flesh.

I want to be remembered as someone worthy of infinite trust, someone with insight sufficient to reject the seduction of equating the occlusions of ego with the always already Great Perfection of vajra (diamond/indestructible) nature.

I want to be remembered as someone who relished every realm of existence, every dimension of being without being identified with any of them, and whose heart beat to the kosmic rythym of joy, joy, joy.

Thanks for helping me attend to my own funeral. I love you.


GravatarI want to be remembered as someone who enjoyed each moment -- unconditionally staying with what is emerging. Someone who sees the best in others and holds that vibration, and can find the fun anywhere -- bring on the party!! I want to be remembered as a mischevious grin on the faces of those who know me! Judi


GravatarJudi...I ALWAYS picture you with a mischevious grin on your face...!

It'll be sooo good to see you again in Halifax!


Gravatarbrandy, you rock.
hi judi! nice to see you here!
love,


GravatarI would like for anyone to be able to view life through my eyes, just as much as I would want to do the same with others. It would be such a fine parting gift to say, see what I have seen so that you can fully experience who I was! I would like to be wide open for others to discover me. We are universes ready to be explored. There are so many questions that might be answered for us by fully experiencing one another. There is no end to what we can learn. I can see that from all of the responses!! I am not as graceful with words, but I think the main thing for me to leave behind is how much I love people and see how truly special they are. Thanks for the opportunity to speak!


GravatarOk, ok, here it goes Miss Asheley! My first reply with you! Yeah! Sorry it's took so long, but you know me and my luddite ways....

Reading over others comments before writing, I think may have planted many different seeds and influenced my thoughts. On one hand (like the life I live), I have this idealistic view of how I think I should be remembered (sort of like how I think I SHOULD be living my life). But this is not always congruent with how I will be remembered, or how I do live my life. The two are connected my nature though, seen?

So, like several have said in different ways, I want to be remembered as being a creature of love and one who inspired others to live out LOUD! A person who cared, and was cared for by many equally loving and giving people. I think this answer would have been much different 10 years ago, and will be 10 years from now. Hopefully because of growth. And I think that's the main thing I would want to be remembered for, one who helped others grow in loving and appreciating life. Like Rick described in his reply though, I think the greatest thing someone could say about me after my physical death, is "Wow, what a wonderful funeral!", and say it full of joy and love, not sadness or regrets.

Thank you all for being inspiring Souls...


GravatarHi Ashley and all,

Very inspiring!

I would like to be remembered also as one who inspired others to live more fully and authentically. And to be understood as someone who learned how to move from an I to a We.

Thank you all!


Gravatarthis thread began, right about the time that i went to oklahoma for my grandfathers funeral. this experience bought a great inner peace deep inside of me. for the first time i truly felt what it was like to be a part of a family. as i listened to the memories of my grandfather what was common to all of the stories was how loved each grandchild/child felt by my grandad. and how supportive and what a big fan he was of anything that his grandchildren were into to. through this experience something inside of me shifted greatly and i feel like there is this fire of happiness inside of me. when i returned home everyone commented on how shiney or sparkely i was... i want to be remember in the same supportive, nurturing and loving light. and those behind me shining and sparkling.


Gravatarmy funeral would be a ramshackle shuffle of warm bodies milling around some favorite dive of mine, maybe The Sunlight Cafe, or maybe the lobby of The Harvard Exit.... people there would have a chance to compare notes on chris the freak, chris the open heart, and chris the broken soul. somebody would find some half-written script of a movie idea i scribbled down in my journal based on a recent reverie i had while snuggling with my current love and listening to the snow fall. the reverie entails me behind the wheel of some souped-up hot rod waiting out a red light in heavy traffic, antsy to get someplace. a news reporter sticks their mike in my open window to ask me a question about the giant honey pots in the back seat. "their for the bear," I say, not taking my eyes off the light. "bear? what bear?" says the newsperson, incredulous. "if you don't know, i can't tell you," i say, and peel off down the street. final shot: two bumperstickers on my rear bumper: "got suffering?" next to: "honey inside."

ash -- it's been such a gift to know you this past year. you and your many wonderful friends teach me so much about climbing on board this electronic superhighway and setting up nothing more than a lemonade stand....

i'll attend your funeral if you attend mine


GravatarChris Fiset, I so love the way you pull to the surface colors of reality that have never been seen before...

I am pretty fixated on gratefulness these days...I want to be remembered as one of those people who was full of appreciation for every small and large thing.

Speaking of which, dear Ashley, thank you for all the many ways you invite imagination and conversation and connection. You are a living blessing-being!

lots of love,

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posted by ashley

10.25.2004

child-like

i asked: what gives someone a child-like quality?
and liz responded:
Openness, playfulness, being energised
Exploring for the sake of it, not with any particular outcome in mind
Being fully absorbed (think of those frowns of concentration)
Being aware and alive to the possibilities
Trust- feeling looked after, knowing things will somehow work out
Determination-dogged repetition in pursuit of mastery
Being able to express yourself fully (include anger and frustration)
Spontaneous gestures of giving and receiving love
Learning how to share and take turns –and playing games that practise it
Conversely, learning to be independent “I can do it myself”
Seeing every day as a new adventure
Anticipation “Are we nearly there yet?”
Impatience “I want to go NOW” “Shopping AGAIN?”
Being completely unselfconscious

And, of course, being easily amazed
those of you that are easily amazed... anything to add to this beautiful list?

another quote from Chamalu: The Shamanic Way of the Heart by Luis Espinoza
Are purity and innocnence possible in a society as corrupt as today's?" asked Ajlla.

The innocence we proclaim has nothing in common with stupidity," I affirmed. "Purity is one fo the characteristices of the Wanderer, his refuge and his strength. When we speak of purity, it includes the sense of ubiquity. That lucidity makes loving attitudes possible, inspired by the hightest sentiments.

To be indigenous, to be wild in this new Pachacuti," i continued," means to be children again. When we are again childlike, we aren't interested in diplomas or applause, in a ppearances or in gratitude, but only in a life full of action, because everything then becomes a sacred play.

The children of the Earth recognize innocence as their natural condition.That's why the do not fear caresses, no are they frightened of spontaneity. They are humble and gentle. They don't seem to know much, but you feel in their innate clarity that wisdom is part of the natural conditins, as heat is to the Sun. Purity gurantees total action. Your actions then become circular, and the opinion of othes is no more important than the leaves blown by the autumn wind.

Be yourself...Liberate your freedom. Allow your spontaneity to manifest itself throughout your body. Contemplate life with eyes of purity; then, wherever you look, you will see beauty.

posted by ashley

10.22.2004

shabbat prayer



it is said,
that the soul of man
is like a
candle to god.

and so we light our
inner flames
letting them shine bright with
the light of god.

and the peace within us
radiates
shining with the light of
the source of all life.

and the light of the candles
illuminates the home
filling it with peace within-
within thy family and within thy soul.

oh-so thankful,
we invite-
we breathe in this light of peace
deep into our souls.

and as we exhale,
the light travels out.
it recognizes, harmonizes, and unifies
with scattered sparks of holiness
all around the world.

and in this sacred moment,
our hearts are united,
glowing
with the light
of god.


Comments:

thanks for this prayer, ashley.
it doesn't always need much light to lighten up the dark. resting the eyes on one small candle flame can be enough to embrace the thunder clouds floating through the mind.
one small candle can heal this moment and bless you with its simple grace.
love


Gravatarlightening up the dark

resting the eyes
embracing the thunder clouds

one small candle-
healing this moment
blessing you
with
simple grace.
love.

thank you for this prayer, jan.

love,


Gravatar

Hi Ashley,

As always your reflections stir if not disturb - there must be a response!

In that space of my own reflection in the moment I'm wondering about the struggle to keep balance between the letter of the law and the spirit of the law. While lawyers seem to be dominating decision making on our behalf can we expect peace? Isn't it their nature to be combatitive?

I am eagerly looking forward to a world where our thoughts and actions are more guided by poets and visionairies like yourself.

Thank you for the Light and the Fire!

Mike


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posted by ashley

worthiness

The fact that we are one with the Infinite is the ground of our being worthy beyond any judgment otherwise. Each of us is worthy of love, worthy of peace and abundance, worthy of prosperity. No one can give us a sense of worthiness; not even we can create it for ourselves. It is our natural state and therefore cannot be created. Only discovered.
~gassho
wishing us all a day of discovering the infinite ground of our worthiness.
posted by ashley

10.21.2004

commenting on comments

there are some women in my life that are remarkable with words. they can dive deep into their being and share the recipe they find with impeccable language, words that sweep others off their feet, out of their head, and into a genuine place of being, present, with what is happening, here, now... regardless of how comfortable, uncomfortable, beautiful, mucky, inviting, fearfull, enticing, delicious, disgusting, wanted, or unwanted the places of being are. and blessed us, these three ladies travel with us here at easily amazed. so, thanks to the gentle nudging and loquacious sharings of siona, leela, and brandy, i've upgraded the comments and you now have 3x the space to share your heart's desires. AND... all of the old comments have been reestablished. so if you're bored, meander through the archives and check out the comments... there is quite a garden of nutritious sharing growing in these parts!
posted by ashley

10.18.2004

Attention is like Water

michael directed my attention to this provacative article by stephen dinan, Attention is like Water
Attention is like water – it brings life to whatever it touches. Whether it is a neglected child who is acting out in school, or a weary body thirsty for a vacation, everything that exists needs attention to thrive. The Second Law of Thermodynamics says that the universe is winding down, tending towards increased entropy. Attention winds the universe back up. It’s the turbine of evolution, the Godforce within us, creating businesses, families, communities, relationships, even social movements.
...
This month, I’ve been thinking more about how much actual attention I have – how much water is in the watering can? If I spread it too thin, everything wilts eventually from inadequate attention, including me. If I focus it too intently, I find myself impatient, wanting to see more happening more quickly. What do I include in the garden of my life, knowing that each and every thing in the garden will need attention in order to thrive and result in a harvest?There’s an art to knowing precisely how much attention we have and therefore how much we can care for in our lives.
what are you giving your attention to? what in your life needs your attention?

Comments:

Ah! I tend to be a wild scatterer, rather than a focused concentrator, of attention. And I've noticed that I swing in approximately 2-yr cycles, first feeling limbo-ish and in-waiting, and then saying yes and yes to invitations and casting the net out wide, then deciding it's all too much to pay attention to (mmhmm, that's exactly how I experience it, too)and I start to "push things off my plate," choosing to stay home more and tend to homey family details. Then the charisma of the "outside" world catches my eye again and starts a new cycle.

Right now what needs attention are my Angel Trumpet (out on the deck, should have brought it in the house last week), some dishes to put away, and a sudden craving to be immersed in warm water!

love to you, Ashley


GravatarI just wanted to thank you for posting these excerpts and questions. They inevitably give me much to think about . . . my one complaint is that these small comment boxes seem nowhere near adequate to hold the weight of what you ask! But thank you, truly. This blog is such a joy.


GravatarOooh, what an apt analogy! Here's the cultivating That which nutures our gardens!

Love you so much!
Brandy


Gravatar

GravatarI turned myself to face me. What wasn't there is what I am missing giving my attention to. Right now my attention in on fear, which is not so bad when I am just paying attention and not engaging or running from it.

Living art, breathing art, being art. Beautifully. Just like you Ashley, just like you.


Gravatarexceptionally helpful response from christy:

I am guessing that you are a "Fire" constitutional type (and maybe more
specifically a "Triple Warmer" which is one of the Fire organs, along with the Small Intestine, Pericardium, and Heart). Fire is all about passion, relationship, creativity, joy, humor, intimacy, communication, leadership (& sometimes control issues), interpersonal boundaries, etc.

So, if that's your "constitutional element" then it would make perfect sense that you crave warmth, and warmth (inner & outer) is a good and important quality for you to radiate and to receive (though not in excess or to the exclusion of coolness--Chinese medicine/culture is so all about moderation in all things after all!). Easy ways to gather warmth if you're feeling too cool: warm water, saunas, hugs, a little cinnamon or cardamom or ginger or cayenne in your food, spicy tea (chai), little or no ice cream or ice in your drinks. On the other hand, it's easy for Fire types to get overhot--scattered, insomniac, sweaty, a little "fried" or "burnt-out" feeling, in which cases it's important to slow down and avoid the above warming influences for a while.

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posted by ashley

10.16.2004

compassion and pain

gassho spreads john gray's words about compassion
When we experience the pain of another person, we instinctively want to take away that pain. But by taking away the other person’s pain, we also take away his or her opportunity to grow. To be truly compassionate, we must be able to share another person’s suffering and pain -- knowing there is nothing we can do to relieve it and that we are not responsible for it, and yet knowing and understanding what that pain feels like.
what comes up for me is not so much that i want to take away the pain (i do experience that at times, but more often), i find myself wanting to hug and comfort and support another as they experience the pain. how do you respond to feeling another's pain?

you can hear john gray in an interview with ken wilber at integral naked this week. (membership for the first month is free.)
posted by ashley

10.15.2004

Friday Blessings

i'm continually moved by fragments from floyd. i hope that fred doesn't mind these guest appearance postings here at easily amazed...


When I can't think of anything nice to say, I generally can find something nice to show. And thinking on those things, those images, almost always helps bring me back to the long list of good things I have to be thankful for, our abundant blessings.

So here's the last of the maple tree series this morning. May there be a ray of sunshine in your Friday.

posted by ashley

10.11.2004

what's doubt all about?

alright, i've decided to drop the insecurity around being egotistical and stay humble. thanks, ya'll!! now i'm addressing the difficutly i have integrating a certain type of compliment. i notice how shy and quiet i become inside when someone makes a comment like this one to me:

THANKS TO YOU I'm DREAMING BIG
the irony is that if someone says to me I'm DREAMING BIG, i'm ecstatic and hold their words in such reverence. with the above statement, however, i feel challenged by the thanks to you part. knowing that this is a weakness of mine, on the outside i say you're welcome and i honor their words. and yet on the inside, part of me tries to dismiss the thanks to you. the party inside my head gets even more comical when i read such gifting words as these:

and Ashley, in all seriousness, I can see a direct correlation between your presence in my life and the possibilities that are presenting themselves, because you've given me the unwavering support and the subtle energy which are fueling the realization of my dreams! Thank you so much!

as touched as i am, i also experience this flash of what-if panic.
what if....

and a fleet of drama boats appears upon this ocean of love, taunting me with messages of disbelief and self-doubt, dripping drops of anxiety that tell me i don't have the right to play such a role in another's life. and then the magic happpens... my unyeilding desire to connect with beauty turns my attention back to the other. and the joy of another's radiance outshines my own shadow.

and so i must accept that this is simply one of the gifts that i offer to the world... why be afraid of that? so funny how this works... and so fascinating how our doubt points to such potent depths in our being.

my current challenge is to stay fully present when compliments like the one above are sent my way.

Comments:

my compliments to the chef. you cook up some good meals here, ashley.

~~~:o)


Gravatarand a fleet of drama boats appear upon this ocean of love, taunting me with messages of disbelief and self-doubt, dripping drops of anxiety that tell me i don't have the right to play such a role in another's life. and then the magic happpens... my unyeilding desire to connect with beauty turns my attention back to the other. and the joy of another's radiance outshines my own shadow.

WOW, are those your words? If so, you're brilliantly poetic; I'm inspired and Opened by your beautifully expressed insight.

Just for today, make this your mantra: THANKS SO ME, THANKS TO ME, THANKS TO ME... =)

I adore you,
Brandy


GravatarWOW, are those your words? If so, you're brilliantly poetic

hmmm.... that's a dificult question. technically speaking, sure, they're my words. when i look at things like unwavering support and subtle energy that fuels my poetic expressions and the teachers and mentors that guide me along that path, then it feels funny to say they're my words. i guess we're all just drinking from the same source!!


Gravatartaste...
sip...slurp...
glug glug glug!


Gravatarthis is the first time i'm posting a comment here, but i've been following easily amazed for a long time and i justlove you! you are wonderful... and thanks to you, i am a more sensitive and open communicator. you have inspired me nearly every day for MONTHS!!! thank you!!!

i so relate to your shyness about receiving compliments...i too am trying to integrate the shy scared parts of myself. sometimes i wish for big legs to hide behind...and compliments such as the one you mentioned make me blush..literally!(bringing to mind how i'd wish fervently for the teacher not to praise my school work)

i love watching you delve so deep...your openness and great inner beauty are awe inspiring! and i agree with Brandy, your writing can be so poetic...i love it.

i love how our (not yet fully integrated) tender spots seem to heal and become more transparent when we open up and share. isn't it amazing how that happens?

big hug,
grace


GravatarThere ya go ash...I'm smiling, remembering a walk we took together on the beach on Whidbey Island.


Labels:

posted by ashley

10.09.2004

dictionary game

if you're the slightest bit inclined, please join me in a round of the dictionary game! how do YOU define the words thinking, praying, and dreaming? what's the first thing that comes to your mind when you ponder:

  • the difference between thinking and praying
  • what is dreaming?

here's thomas' take on the first question:

right away, looking at the differences between thinking and prayer. for me, thinking has a subject/object distinction, a thinker and a thought. it's a way of discriminating and categorizing. the deepest way of thinking has an ability to see from many different perspectives.

prayer is an alignment, a deep listening creating conditions for knowing to arise. prayer has no boundaries. the prayer is the pray-er.

i'm really interested in what comes up for you. don't think about it, just share!

thanks.


posted by ashley

10.08.2004

receiving love

what does it mean to let love in? what does it feel like to receive love? how much love are you able to embrace? does too much love overwhelm you? are you often hungry for more love in your life? do you ever feel like you have to repress the love you share in order to operate and assimilate in our society?

i had a massage today and we went deep into my emotional holding patterns around loving. i stayed in the immense fear that i have of being forced to temper my love, to keep my love tame. the therapist invited me to travel way back, to a past life in which i was very repressed and forced to keep my love bottled up inside. the feeling was atrocious. i was furious for having to hold on so tight, feeling the bulging and desire to explode. i felt myself turning to stone, feeling trapped inside the confines of my environment. i was completely hopeless and saw no point in living. why live a life confined to the walls of my own inner world, never able to reach out and share, give, explore in the depths of the ocean of love?

earlier this morning i received a letter from a member of integral naked. some of you may know that one of my biggest fears is that i'll come across as being, or even worse that i will become, incredibly full of myself and egotistical. the deep respect that i have for others and my devotion to being humble has, in my past, hindered me from expressing some of my more confident beliefs of self-worth and self-esteem. i share this dialogue with a heart full of awe and gratitude and for some other reason that i can't articulate at the moment!

I want to say how incredibly helpful all of your posts are and how much compassion I feel coming from you. If nonlocality really works, I swear it jumps right through my computer screen and into my heart.

At heart, I am still 2 years old and there is a part of me that really likes to have a pat on the head and to have someone say nice things to me.

oh, me too. so thank you, thank you. i feel myself glow even brighter and brighter each time someone acknowledges to me that they see the 'light'. i look at it as not only a pat on the head and something nice said, but as a shared experience of reflecting light for one another. showing each other where we see the radiance. this helps us stay centered, focused, grounded, secure in those places where we are radiant... knowing that at least one other person sees it. i consider this such a gift to share with another and am immensely grateful when people i respect share 'nice things' with me. so really, your words go straight to my heart.

You are like a cosmic blanket, warm and comforting, with an embrace as large as the universe.
this touched a particularly deep place. one day i had a vision of that cosmic patchwork blanket, warm, comforting and nourishing that just envelopes another and radiates that ease, peace, and embrace. i collect 'tools' that i find helpful in the way of connecting and being that i practice in the world. that vision of the blanket was a profound discovery and has been a meaningful tool for me. it is incredibly confirming to hear these words from you and to, in a sense, know that 'it's working'. thank you soo, soo much.

May you always receive as much love as you give out-
Comments:

I second the anonymous complimenter! =) To me, you are a fountain of subtle energy, a well-spring of ever-flowing Love, a gushing geyser of divine playfulness, and I am thrilled to have the potency of your presence in my life! BEAM ON, my easily amazed Bodhisattva! =)

XOXO,
Brandy


Gravataryeah. and you also are a very articulate & appreciative receiver...and in this way you reflect and teach others how to give, and how to receive appreciatively too, and how playful it all can be to surrender to such a FLOW...so, it spreads. fast and far!

zing!

love,


GravatarI wish I could take credit for those words; they express exactly what I feel about your work and your writing.

Goodness, Ashley. You're one of the least egotistical and most giving, generous bloggers I read. What impresses me is that you manage this in spite of your misgivings about your own self-esteem; I harbor the same, but I tend to just blather them all over the place and end up sounding even more self-obsessed than I would if I'd just accept myself as worthy.

So thank you. I do hope you can stay open to the most important love of all; namely, that which you give yourself. You do, after all, have so, so much of it to give.


Gravatarthank you brandy, chris, and siona...
isn't it remarkable the synergy that spirals around us when we share in this open, receptive place.

a gushing geyser of divine playfulness

how playful it all can be to surrender to such a FLOW

stay open to the most important love of all; namely, that which you give yourself.

so you do each know that you're words are just as much to yourself as they are to me.

great-full and loving!
ashley


GravatarYou are one of the brightest stars on the night sky guiding the way for all who care to look. Know that you are loved across the ocean.
jan


GravatarI tried to put this in your blog, but it was too long winded!....

To let love in...hmmmm that scares me still and that makes me really sad. The first feeling I get when I receive love is fear and or sadness, doesn’t that suck? Once I shed a little bit of my protective shell, little by little I get a taste of love from another and it tastes sweet. Sweet like it felt when I was pregnant, full of life and hope, bodily & spiritually caught up in the midst of a miracle. I guess I should say that I am speaking of love from other people. I have a different feeling of love from the spirit world and the animal & plant world. Only because I am less duped with the illusion of separateness when it comes to non human interactions. I feel isolated from people, buying into that mindset still...


GravatarI am not as able to embrace the love from others as I am to emanate love from my own heart. I think part of that is my innate nature, but I can’t deny that at least some of that is because I feel more in control with giving than I do when receiving. I’m not so sure that I am hungry for more love in my life so much as I am hungry for some sort of manifestation of that love in the form of a community. My heart burst with love all the time; painful and blissful, over and over again.

Yes I do feel like I have to repress the love in order to assimilate. I feel limited by people’s ideas of ownership when it comes to people... my boyfriend, my daughter, my friends...mine mine mine. All the social rules that limit love based on fear and control.


GravatarI too had past life memories come up during massage and cranial sacral treatments. But the feelings you shared here better describe this lifetime for me. That life confined by walls drove me to the edge of suicide before I was able to break through. I was graced with the experience of having my illusions gobbled up by the hunger of pure love. That love was so expansive and amazing that doubt was obliterated for me for a good long time. I feel some shame about letting doubt seep back in over time, especially lately (as you have noticed). The cool thing is that I know my attention is just wandering, I guess I have more things to learn and experience before I am totally done picking up the drama.

Isn’t it ironic that the one of the things you fear is something that most people see no hint of in you? Full of yourself in a negative way?? AS IF!


GravatarWhat I see in you is an amazing example of freedom in action. I’m sure you wrestle with it, but I have never seen doubt get in the way of you shining and sharing. And I love love love that about you. You are such a blessing in my life Ashley.

This helps us stay centered, focused, grounded, secure in those places where we are radiant... knowing that at least one other person sees it.
YES YES YES! I am slowly getting over the fear of being seen. I am starting to trust that what people who resonate with truth see in me is as so much truer than the crap my unresolved issues try to get me to buy into. We talked about this on the phone, that need to be gentle with ourselves and each other, we all have had so much untruth coming at us from so many sources it takes some time to let the truth of our beauty sink in. To learn to trust what is unfolding, to see it as the amazing and gorgeous blossoming of endless possibilities drenched in the ocean of love.


Gravatarjust in case there is confusion... the last 4 comments in my name were sent to me privately because the author couldn't get them all to fit in the comment box. i resonate so deeply with the words and feelings expressed and i though others might as well so i pasted them into this comment box.


GravatarOh, snap!

Ashley, you r0x0rs my b0x0rs.

May all teh pwnage bless y0u, ggkthnx. =D

Teh L0v3,
R0BBB!!11& narf


Gravatarthank you so much for these words you pasted in, for sharing the giant beautiful heart of the person who wrote them...one of my favorite lines is, "The cool thing is that I know my attention is just wandering, I guess I have more things to learn and experience before I am totally done picking up the drama..." it IS cool...sometimes i feel like my dramas are like boats. they go somewhere. if i forget that the ocean is love, & is me, then i'll stay on the boat (down in the hold, banging my head against the wall). but when i remember that it's just a boat, then, well...maybe instead of dissolving it back into a wave of undifferentiated love (always a fun option), right now maybe i'll just stay on the dramaboat & use it, follow it a bit further, find out what it is teaching me, let it shine & surprise somebody...


GravatarChris,

Thank you for helping me see that I can view these times where I am banging my head on the boat wall as just a learning experience. I need to be constantly reminded of this as I have a habit of adding panic on top of the drama and assuming I will end up as depressed as I was in the past and suffer endlessly. Damn the mind is good with its tricks.

And to let my head banging be a lesson for others, of course. I seem to relate to people the most when they are being deeply honest with the tender parts of themselves. Naked is good! Thank you!
~leela


Gravatarsure leela! if our feet were in the same zip code i'd invite you to a long walk, cuz i sure remember my own version of the panic of feeling myself circling back into the prison-boat of my own depression (clang)...

& so i sure have paid attention to every nuance of the miracle when someone took my hand, held it for its own sake, guided it to a pocket i didn't know i had, & wrapped my fingers around the key to OUT. tears of gratitude.

here's rumi (approximately):
i have lived on the lip of insanity
trying to find reasons, knocking on a door.

it opens.

i've been knocking from the inside!

love,


Gravatarslowly making my way down in responding to these amazing comments.

kojan, please know that it was your comment here that inspired the self-doubt post. i noticed how hard it was for me to really take in your words and felt how incredibly touched i was by your expression... by the love traveling the waves across the ocean. thank you deeply.


GravatarThank you, Ashley

With your subtle radiance of love I resonate and in that moment you become an expression of love I feel for myself too.

Jan


GravatarChris,

I assume I'll be in a closer zip code in November. Do you have a blog too?

Holding a hand for its own sake...thats one of the coolest things I love to do now that the door opened from the inside. Touch is so much more real.

Hugs,
~leela


Gravatarhey leela,
check your email
c.


Gravatarhi leela,

"I am not as able to embrace the love from others as I am to emanate love from my own heart. I feel more in control with giving than I do when receiving."

i find it so interesting, this common trait of people that emanate an intense radiant love from their own heart, and the shield that we keep around our own hearts, so protective of letting it in. i really appreciate your bringing control into that equation. that's helpful for me to remember that it is just a game of control that i'm playing.


Gravataronce i was meditating and felt this tremendous weight upon my heart. my mind labeled it as longing for others that i could openly connect with and deeply love in the way i know how. however, when i sat with it longer, i realized that it wasn't longing at all, but the weight was all of the love trying to get in, and my own resistance, my own controling blocks that were keeping it out. it really helped me to reframe that feeling of longing as intense love knocking at the door.

"I am slowly getting over the fear of being seen."

that's convenient because i love seeing you!!


Gravatar"Yes I do feel like I have to repress the love in order to assimilate. I feel limited by ...All the social rules that limit love based on fear and control."

let's change that! do you remember that thread on social norms about love? i think that i even started it with borrowed words of yours. oh, there is so much work that we have to do in this world expanding the social rules that limit love... loosening the control, lightening the fear, embracing the depths of unbounded possibilities to express the deep sense of connection that is so lusious to share with others. perhaps this type of 'work' could be fiddled with at the easily amazed workspace one day... stay tuned!

with love,
ashley


Gravatarjan wrote: "With your subtle radiance of love I resonate and in that moment you become an expression of love I feel for myself too."

isn't that the magic of this whole game called life... reflecting that love for one another... illuminating those hidden doors to greater depth and adoration for love we feel for ourselves...

ahhhhh!!!


Gravatarhttp://leelajade.blogspot.com/20...in- private.htmlleela's response

Labels:

posted by ashley

10.05.2004

again i'm swept away by fragments from floyd

the beauty of one leaf held by magic lines in the air, still tethered lightly to this beautiful, mysterious world.


posted by ashley

10.04.2004

cracking open the mystery



i'll be perfectly honest with you. i'm making this post because i was completely drawn into this picture when i logged on to the BBC News. the article claims that "Until Axel and Buck's studies the sense of smell was a mystery." i'm sure winning a nobel prize means you've done some pretty fascinating work, made some pretty remarkable discoveries... but taken the mystery out of the sense of smell... i'm not so certain about that!

and then there's the ear where "The movement of the oval window then sets off wave-like motions in the fluid in an organ shaped like a snail's shell which is called the cochlea...."
posted by ashley

10.03.2004

new links

i've added some new links to the sidebar. in the playful links, i'm currently enjoying the astronomy picture of the day.

and on my strolls in the neighborhood, i am loving my visits through virginia's fragments from floyd . the pictures move me in a myriad of ways and his words have humor swirling through my being:
We are doing our part to insure the local wildlife--especially the whitetailed stilt-rats--have a healthy and balanced diet of both leafy green veggies....They have eaten the chard and spinach quite down to the ground. And now, they go into the garden just to hang out--it's become sort of like a wire-enclosed clubhouse for Thoroughly Satiated Ungulates.


posted by ashley

10.01.2004

i'm home...

welcome to my new web address... www.easilyamazed.com/blog/!

i'm so glad that you decided to visit the playground on this side of the tracks.... we'll have fun here too!

ashley
posted by ashley

things we can and cannot control

as an elementary school counselor, i get to engage with children in many enriching conversations. discussing life skills has always been a topic that i find incredibly valuable to dialogue with children. this month's guidance lesson with grades 2-4 was on changes that happen in our lives.
things in our life are constantly changing. some changes we can control and some changes we can't control. can you think of some things that happen in your life that you can or cannot control?
the class, sitting in a circle, passes around a container of dried lima beans, a can, and a bug cage. each child takes out a lima bean and, if they feel comfortable, shares with the group either one thing that they can control (putting a bean in the can) or one thing that they cannot control (putting a bean in the cage).

CAN

my behavior
my thoughts
my life
how much sleep i get
what i wear
my little brother
my dog

CAN'T

my mom and dad fighting
my grandfather dying
my parents getting a divorce
someone being mean to me
having to move
my little sister annoying me
my dog jumping on me
the weather

what has been most noteworthy to me in these revealing discussions is how much happens in children's lives that they have absolutely no control over. in most classrooms the can would have 3-5 beans and the cage would be full. as an adult, can you imagine swimming through your days from one place to another, having to strictly follow and succumb to events in your life in which you have no control? can you imagine that feeling of complete helplessness, the extreme lack of control of the course of your day, your life?

then i start to think about adults... and the events, emotions, places of being in which we feel like we have no control. i was listening to someone explain the tendency of a child to just giggle uncontrollably when they are uncomfortable, anxious, or nervous. the child would giggle, giggle, giggle, until no breath was left... take a deep breath.... and then return to giggling, giggling, giggling. listening to this description made me think of addictions. how we constantly return to our addictions (our old habits) because they sooth us. they are often all we know as a means of coping with that which we are experiencing inside. and as is the nature of addictions, we fall into the habit of replaying the looping scenario of needing something and indulging in the addiction that provides that which we feel like we need (comfort, familiarity, calmness, numbness, security, support, companionship, etc.). this process becomes a fixation and often it takes such a strong hold on us that it seems as though we have no control over it. it is simply happening to us.... and we put a bean in the cage, feeling trapped and helpless.

in the guidance class, the next round of discussion is coming up with ideas of ways to respond to situations we can't control. if many children mention that their parents argue a lot, the group shares suggestions of things you can do when you're parents are fighting
go into your room and draw a picture that makes you feel good, go to a friend's house, ask them to stop, go to your safe-secret space and relax there, make up a skit with your sister of what they look like when they're fighting "they really look just like kids!"
this part is my favorite as i am always in awe of the children's insight and their ability to help one another. we then pass the can around without the cage and re-emphasize things we have control of in our lives.

feel free to drop a bean in the can or cage if you're so inspired.

Comments:

Ashley, you are such a hero. I'm sure you realize how important the work you're doing is, but I wish more people would. The lessons you're teaching (and learning yourself, it seems!) about community building and supporting others and interaction are so, so significant. Thank you so much for posting this: you've given me hope.


GravatarYup kids, and adults too...in my work this is the essence of colonization: how little control we feel we have over our lives. Decolonization is the process of opening the space of options for that which we can control, and getting busy with doing that to make more of it.


GravatarIn a related vein, it's true that kids seem to have so little control in their lives, but they have many more options that adults. For example, when I take my kids to Grandma's house and we visit the sitting room, I can see about two options for the kids: sitting there quietly or leaving My kids on the other hand, have a million options. Grandma's sitting room is a theme park waiting to be played in, but for me all of that is anxiety riddled. "Don't touch, don't jump, don't knock over..."

The trick in supporting opening relationships is to negotiate in a way that leaves the kid's options intact and both of our needs met. Kids will always win that negotiation, because in any negotiation, whoever has the most options wins. So as an adult, my kids are always challenging me to find more options, rather than limiting theirs.



GravatarDecolonization is the process of opening the space of options for that which we can control

YEAH! and so much of that work is an inner journey. internally we have to reframe, restructe a perspective that has been given many reasons, justifications, moments in history to believe that there is 'no control.' i see the role of those who already know this as one of acting as companions and role models for the a-ha that the open space already exists and there is room for us to have immense control. does this fit in with your mapping of decolonization?


Gravataras for the adults and the kids at grandma's, isn't that just a matter of perspective that the adults only two options? adults can go and ask questions about the trinkets and pictures and paintings and such. eh?

as for the anxiety... that's so not a part of parenting that i'm looking forward to! doesn't it make you just not want to visit places where there are so many child-instigated-disasters waiting to happen?

for me leaving the kids options in tack and meeting both adult and child's needs is wrapped up in setting limits and offering potent choices. like you say the one with the most choices wins, and the key seems to be offering joices that are a win-win for both adults and children.

your kids are so lucky that they've got you for a dad!


Gravatarhi guys! this is brilliant ashley. and congrats on the new address! i'm posting here because i can! love from kathmandu. m

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posted by ashley

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