2023 the year we learn to listen to life
Week 42--in which we put our toes on the threshold, take a deep breath, and enter
Friends, soul writers, mystics, witches, and lovers of prayer,
I have spent the entire week preparing the closing ceremony for the second intensive in the seven-intensive series called The Witch Sequence. For the last 77 days, sixty mystic friends and I have been deep in the mystery, awakening, remembering, and learning to trust that we really do possess our 2nd Original Sacramental Gift: the innate ability to cross the threshold between worlds.
That may sound a tad mysterious, but it’s actually the natural state of anyone living a spiritual life—a real spiritual life, a life overflowing with mystery, paradox, and magic. A life in love with life. Religion tries to tell us that it’s hard work to find that life. But they are wrong. That life of magic and joy isn’t all that far away.
Rumi described how to get there clearly and elegantly:
People are going back and forth
across the threshold where the two worlds meet.
The door is round and open.
Don’t go back to sleep.
But we did go back to sleep.
Not that we wanted to. We were told to. As children we danced back and forth across that threshold all the time. Imaginary friends? Yup. They’re right here, want to say hello? Angels and Dragons? They’re here, too. Just look out the window. Grandparents? Doesn’t matter that they died, they are right here, talking and laughing and loving. And God? God wasn’t an idea. God wasn’t a list of beliefs. God was a loving presence.
But that delicious, delightful, magical world didn’t last long.
Our parents tell us to stop imaging things. Dead people? Angels? Imaginary friends? Flying? That’s all just your imagination, sweetie. It’s not real.
And like good little patriarchs, we lined up in straight lines and colored inside the lines, and keep our crazy ideas to ourselves. We studied hard, worked hard. And woke up one day exhausted, wondering where all the joy went.
That was my life. As a child, I would take off like a helicopter out of my bed at night and fly around the neighborhood. I would have chats with Jesus. I would play with my baby sister’s imaginary friend Jocko. She believed he was there, so I did too.
All of that delight dissolved by eighth grade and I started down that long hard road of performance, achievement, accumulation…until it all blew up in a violent divorce.
Sound like a tragedy? Nope, it was an invitation.
Someone was beckoning me to put my toes on that threshold and take a peek over the transom.
The magic started on the page in deep soul writing. After a decade of soul writing on my own, the world learned how to do it in Writing Down Your Soul. But that, it turned out, was just a beginning. Sort of like two jacks to open. Only I didn’t know it.
Next came a brush with bankruptcy. Not my idea of a divine invitation or one I’d wish on anyone else, but the fear took me to the brink where I stumbled upon how to make a Mystic Mandala that holds NOT what I want, but commitments to HOW I’m going to live.
That story is in The Lotus and the Lily. And what a story it is.
So my intent for today’s newsletter was to dive into the symbolism of the butterfly on the cover of the book. I wanted to talk about the mystical parallels to the metamorphosis of an egg to caterpillar to cocoon to butterfly, with the story of a human life from a tiny invitation to quiet transmutation to the joy of a living a life you adore.
I’ve got some wild and fun stories to tell you about how that mystical transmutation happens. Not because you ask for it. But because you turn inward and silently listen for the life that wants to be lived to make herself known. And it’s always a surprise. And always way better than anything you could decide you wanted for yourself.
But it’s 7pm on Saturday night and I’m in a fairly altered state having prepared an intense mystical adventure into the heart of the labyrinth for tomorrow’s celebration.
So I’m going to save the transmutation stories and the exploration of the symbolism of the butterfly for next Sunday.
But I still have something for you.
I'll leave you with a few rich foundational truths in The Lotus and the Lily to chew on. Don't rush through these. Read them aloud. Take them into soul writing. Let them feed your dreams:
- The Divine lives in Paradox. When you stumble upon a paradox, pay attention. Wrestle with it and you will learn much about the mysteries of life.
- We are an inseparable whole. Everything and everyone is connected in a verdant sea of information, energy, and potential. That’s the magic of the Theatre of the Miraculous.
- When the conscious mind is no longer operative, information can and will flow to you from anywhere in the universe.
- Answers fill you. Questions open you. You don’t want answers, you want bigger, wilder questions.
- You have the power to create. And the power to uncreate.
- You build a delicious life by creating conditions for receptivity, not by wanting anything.
- A mandala is a three-dimensional hologram that generates a dynamic relationship with all that is.
- There are two engines of change: the mandala and full-body prayer. Combine these two and your world will change.
- A new world is not only possible, she’s on the way. Listen, you can hear her breathe.
- When one lives a life of joy; all are lifted. As your life gets sweeter, you kiss the world.
Those are just a few of the foundational truths of The Lotus and the Lily. If they sound like the kind of magic you'd like to explore, visit the page for The Lotus and the Lily and register.
We gather for 5 Tuesdays from November 14 to December 12 at 6-8:15pm Eastern, then take three weeks off so everyone can enjoy the winter solstice holidays and then reconvene on Sunday, January 7 at 2p eastern to celebrate and bless our 2024 mandalas.
All the details, dates, and registration options are on this page at my site.
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