Our Deepest Fear

CemeterrorUPDATEDNow that I’ve installed the Cemeterror for a third time in a new location, I get to work on the new script with the “scarefessionals” tonight. With the first installation, I wrote out a script based on the characters I had to work with. On the second installation, I decided to wait until Don set his props to see where the story will go. Believing that the third time’s a charm, I’m going to get the “scarefessionals” a bit more involved in the process this time around. After all, this is a collaborative art form.

As I looked over the characters the first time around, I thought about what made them scary. For the creepy clowns, scarecrow, and masked denizens of the dark, it wasn’t too hard. But for the ghosts and ghouls there was a different aspect that appealed to me. I think that the spectre of death is not nearly as scary as life not fully lived.

When I first considered doing Cemeterror at The Flow Factory, I considered changing the theme to focus more on this Zombie Apocalypse craze that is sweeping the nation. I think that the popularity of zombies says a lot about who we are as a people and what fears are truly gnawing away at our consciousness. For with zombies, whose attack comes with a transformation into the very thing that consumes us, existence is relegated to mindless consumption and endless wandering with no emotional connection, the very existence that many of us see being cultivated in the commodity world view around us.

I think that many of the ghosts and ghouls that inhabit the Cemeterror haunt became that way before the zombification of our society and have other fears that plague their purgatorial existence. And like the people in our real world, those fears are what propel us to do the mean and nasty things that we, and others, do. The fears of going without, of not being accepted, of not being understood, of being attacked, and of falling into all sorts of peril are often at the root of our discontent and the fulcrums of the bad decisions we make which so often only serve to help manifest the outcomes of the fears we so try to avoid.

deepest-fearAs I’ve given thought to fear during this process, I am still largely reminded of Marianne Williamson’s description of our deepest fear, and while it may not actually make it into the haunt, I hope that the essence of it will shine through. She says, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Although I’m delving into the pits of fear with this whole thing, I hope that I can shine a light in the darkness.

The Story in The Story

With each iteration of the Cemeterror maze, I have considered a new storyline. And each time I’ve taken it apart and put it back together again, that story has changed. I realize that a huge part of this attraction is the interaction with things dark and scary, all of those base emotions that haunt us and give us fear, yet I feel that humanity operates largely out of a bad relationship with those things and part of our moving forward into a reality in which we can all live in peace depends upon us coming to grips with the fears that motivate us into action and inaction so that we can have more control of how we recognize and channel the flow of abundance that waits for us beyond our emotional turmoil.

The process in itself has been such a journey. Faced with the fears of governmental repudiation, harm to others, and a burgeoning reputation as a clusterfuck specialist, I tried not to focus upon those things that would deter me from reaching my goal, but instead focused on the opportunities available to me when I sought the realm of the infinite which still existed beyond the borders of the finite. It is my hope that the Cemeterror experience will help people achieve such an understanding.

Fears-are-storiesI’ve been thinking a lot about fear these days, as it’s the emotion I need to work with in order to pull this stunt off, and I’ve come to believe that we create the majority of our fears. Through superstitions, attachments, and misunderstandings, we keep ourselves from experiencing much of the wonder of life because we are afraid of it.

Not all of our fears are bad. Some fears are healthy and work on a biological level to keep our bodies intact and continuing on in life’s sojourn. Like every other member of the animal kingdom, our deepest fear, that which propels our survival mechanisms, is the fear that our existence will end, not necessarily our complete existence, but this temporal location we have assumed as we animate these bags of organs and bones.

Even before the idea of ego comes into the mix, bringing with it the cacophony of screams, whines, and worries that squeak their way out of this emotional artifice, the simple experience of being alive, without a name, without a job, without a political affiliation, religion, or 401K, is something to be held sacred, and we fear the loss of it. Whether we fear abandoning what we know or reaching that “undiscover’d country from whose bourn no traveller returns,” there is, within each of us, a burgeoning desire for self preservation. Yet I wonder how many fears we could alleviate in our lives if we could only let go of our selves.

As the world continues to unveil itself to me, offering its morsels of creamy goodness within its sometimes hard outer shell, I notice that the more often I am able to let go of the attachments my self has created, the way things are supposed to work out, the way they are supposed to be done, the way other people should do things, the order in which things should go, and a myriad of other self-imposed limitations, the more I can release my grip on those things, the less I fear how life will happen and the more I can merely follow its flow. It’s still a conscious thrust and parlay to win this battle of wits, but I think I’m getting more adept at it as I go. Yet I think that, like many, one of the fears I still cling to is that the game will end before I finish my story.

We each have the opportunity, infinite opportunities, actually, to open ourselves up to be more than the petty creatures we often believe ourselves to be, and allow ourselves to be used by the Great Storyteller to inspire, amuse, and amaze, to be used for a greater good than self preservation and become a catalyst for a better world. The lives that we lead are the stories we tell, and whether we play a character or cultivate character, we are always a part of the greater Story. I hope my story within The Story helps more storytellers rise.

The Value of Community Radio

528007_532877550066293_453863428_nThough I don’t listen to the radio often, when I do, it’s tuned to 96.5. It’s not just because I host a show on WSLR called Oikonomia about the wealth of the community and discuss the new rules of the house, but also because the station offers me really eclectic blend of music and information that helps me to better create the kind of life that I want. Giving me news that matters and information about what’s going on in the world I can actually relate to, 96.5 is so much more of a listening treat than the same old music and commercials that are found elsewhere on the radio dial.

I also love the purity of it being listener supported. Since its inception, WSLR has been a community radio station, powered by people who care enough about their community to volunteer their time, talents, and financial energy to ensure that the people of Sarasota have a voice. And through its live Internet stream, that voice can be heard all over the world.

Co1235069_621854351168612_312626599_nnsidering the issues that we face and the innovations and creativity we use to find answers, it is a powerful thing to be able to share that information with the rest of our global community. Although the heart of WSLR is dedicated to the local matters of Sarasota, what we do here reverberates around the world with communities who deal with similar issues and might benefit from hearing our take on things. And, of course, the ability to find out about what’s going on in your own backyard from people who really care is a priceless addition to what WSLR offers.

As our community radio station runs through its pledge drive this week, please consider supporting this endeavor and ensuring that this resource continue. It doesn’t take a whole lot of money to do what WSLR does, but it’s an investment pays off magnificently in making this community much richer in diversity, celebration, and education. Go to www.WSLR.org or call the station to make your pledge now.

Zen and the Art of Making a Living

 

In this age of great change, there are many that are worrying about financial collapse and a falling short of the life we have become accustomed to. With the looming crises that seem to linger just over the horizon, those with vision and clarity of purpose will seize these shifting sands as granules of opportunity to create a better, more fully abundant life.

zenbookIn order to better prepare you for embracing the life that unfolds before you and paving new avenues for your participation in the world, The Flow Factory is hosting a weekly playshop for helping you to find your flow and creating the life you imagine. We believe that work, as will all of life, should be enjoyable. Because of this, we are developing this “Zen and the Art of Making a Living” playshop.

If you would like to participate, we encourage you to get a copy of “Zen and the Art of Making a Living” by Laurence G. Boldt and join us as create a new world together.

To make this event more accessible to the entirety of our community, The Flow Factory is offering it as a “Pay-How-You-Want,” which means that you can contribute the recommended $10, 1 Time Dollar if you are a member of the Common Wealth Time Bank, 1 bitcoin, or an item from our wishlist (http://www.flowfactorysrq.wordpress.com/wishlist) as a barter.

 

To attend the event, please RSVP at https://www.facebook.com/events/696744913687657/

The Challenge of Having an Ego

egoThe dilemma that I face, and truly that most of humanity faces, is what to do about this ego thing. A variety of spiritual luminaries say that we must transcend our ego and open ourselves up to who we are beyond this mortal coil. Our egos are seemingly a pattern of behaviors and decisions based on the search for complete autonomy, independence, and separation from God, and in order for us to move on to the lives that are waiting for us, we must get these things in check.

Our egos are that part of ourselves that believe we are a body, limited to a pinprick of time and space, yet exceedingly desirous to prove our magnificence in contrast to everything else around us. The ego is a story we tell based on our vantage point in the universe, limited only by the scope of what we allow ourselves to see. What our ego doesn’t want us to know is that we are all of it, the entire experience.

This age of separation that humanity has weathered has caused great devastation to the planet that has housed our metamorphosis. Like the processes of birth, puberty, or any other transformative process, there is always a certain amount of dramatic destruction as the entity grows in complexity and maturity. In this age of reunion, we may now bring the healing recognition that we are the planet which houses us and we must love ourselves for being the conduits of creative consciousness that we are.

The Joy of Alignment

chakras-07I was invited several weeks ago to attend a Sunday service at the Cosmic Center of Spiritual Light, a New Age/Metaphysical Christianity church that has sprouted up in The Meadows. My Sundays are generally full of lazing about and resting, but since I have been practicing a meditation designed to align my chakras, and since my desire for alignment lies in wanting to create a life for myself in which opportunities reveal themselves to me synchronistically as I flow through it, I thought it was a good time to accept the invitation and make the connection. The ministers of the church teach the unity of all thought systems designed to our relationship with our Creator and call upon the ascended masters that have gone before us, and the angels and archangels tasked with aiding in our ascension, to help us realize our atonement.

The meditations were encouraging, empowering, and filled with the highest quality of love. I didn’t necessarily feel any different after the service, but the beautiful synchronicities of hope and understanding do seem to blossom more with the cultivation of conscious breathing and openness to faith beyond belief.

In the evening, having decided to finally catch Man of Steel while it was still on the big screen at the discount theatre, I was given a joyful surprise. When I got out of the car and started toward the building, I didn’t take two steps before I noticed a sheet of paper on the ground that said “Take What You Need!” with removable tabs cut into the paper so that passersby could tear off a piece for later reference. I imagine the poster was once hanging on a wall or tree, but as I picked it up and looked at it, I knew that it was meant for me.
The removable tabs were each filled out with a different need – love, faith, money, friends, family, health, kindness, freedom, motivation, and one tab was missing.

I considered what might have been written on that missing tab, and if it was something that I needed. But the more time I spent with the poster, the more I realized that it was exactly what I needed. For when I’m aligned and open to realize abundance for what it really is, I truly do need nothing.

Since then, I have been offering an I AM Aligned morning meditation at The Flow Factory on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 8 AM. It is the first group meditation I’ve ever led, but I find it helpful for my own state of mind to help others come to better terms with theirs. If you would like to join us, or if you would like to start a meditation class of your own, drop by The Flow Factory and let’s see how we can get you aligned with your higher purpose.

The Heroic Task of Realizing Abundance

IMG_1825One of my recent goals has been to go see Man of Steel while it was still on the big screen at the discount theatre. On the journey to get there, I was given a joyful surprise. When I got out of the car and started toward the building, I didn’t take two steps before I noticed a sheet of paper on the ground that said “Take What You Need!” with removable tabs cut into the paper so that passersby could tear off a piece for later reference. I imagine the poster was once hanging on a wall or tree, but as I picked it up and looked at it, I knew that it was meant for me.

The removable tabs were each filled out with a different need – love, faith, money, friends, family, health, kindness, freedom, motivation, and one tab was missing.

I considered what might have been written on that missing tab, and if it was something that I needed. But the more time I spent with the poster, the more I realized that it was exactly what I needed. For when I’m aligned and open to realize abundance for what it really is, I truly do need nothing.

Through the relationships I’ve cultivated, the nuggets of information I carry around in my cerebrum, the work that I do, and the services I provide, life manifests abundantly in a myriad of ways. However, I still find that I manufacture needs that do not serve my highest good, and I often do myself, my loved ones, my craft, and my greater purpose a great disservice by feeding compulsions that keep me from living my fullest life or being the best version of myself. From what I’ve come to understand of the human race, my dilemma of ego aggrandizement is no rarity, yet I know that I am capable of so much more than the simple pleasures I have so often settled for and the ethical compromises I have made in the process of chasing them.

I wonder about some of the challenges Superman faced as he came to grips with who he was and the impact that he could have in the world. It was somehow empowering to see young Clark Kent struggle with the fearful way the world was presented to him as he accustomed himself to living in the midst of it. Not that I’ve ever seen people skulls or heard their thoughts beyond the ones I imagined they were having, but I do tend to see things a bit off kilter, and I believe that I bring something to the world that can help avert the destruction of humanity and offer us another chance at civilization.

I realize how egomaniacal it must seem for me to compare myself to Superman, but we do have the same initials, and as a child of America, he was the folk hero I most wanted to emulate. Besides, most people keep comparing me to Jesus so I figure Superman is probably down a notch or two on that list of “who do you think you are?” (As fair warning, I’ll get writing about Jesus later on so we can talk more about the ridiculousness of my ego then.)

In Man of Steel, Superman goes on a hero’s journey as I’ve never seen portrayed before. Although I’ve seen and read his story many times, I’ve never seen his journey to find himself. Going from job to job, always pretending to be less than he really was, Superman shackled himself to a life less worthy until he was ready to become more and the world was ready for him. I think that on my journey to find myself, I have often lived a life less worthy because I was not yet ready to live more.

I do not know if I will ever be as noble as Superman, but I wonder if he would be as brave if he weren’t invincible. Yet I recognize that when I do shed my altered ego and operate as the Spirit I truly am, I’m invincible too.

I think most of us humans that aspire to be heroes never make it simply because we don’t realize our true power or where it really comes from. The rest of us know where it comes from, but refuse to wield it. But some of us hear the call, and though we may not be grandiose, and we may not appear to be perfect, we answer it as best as we can.

My heroic mission is to write the world and be impeccable with my words in the hopes of helping us move beyond our self-imposed limitations and into the abundance that is our birthright. It’s a lofty freaking goal with a potential backlash of responsibility that I’ve not quite been ready for. But I think it’s also my goal to discover what need was written on that missing strip of paper and lay down the trail of words to guide us toward its fulfillment.