The Ties that Bind are Loosened as Leo New Moon Approaches

by Baylan Megino

August 1, 2013

The ties that bind…. are loosened as the Leo new moon approaches.

Sleep has not been my friend lately. When I was younger, I could sleep through a rock concert, but these past few days have been long, physically demanding, and mentally draining. Hours of sleep have not brought the deep rest that I have known for so long.

Maybe it’s because the new moon is coming. Today, as waited in line for my friendly neighborhood DMV to call my number, I listened to Michele Grace Lessirard talk about the energies that have been swirling the last few months.

“June was about speaking your truth. July was about protecting your space from naysayers, protecting your boundaries, and creating sacred space.”  It has been a time of letting go, of shifts happening, of disruptions with communications and computers. Sound familiar?

And August? It’s about “the call to be brilliant and to shine brightly.” Time to go into the void, be open, see what you desire, see what inspires you, and allow the creativity to flow. And that entails surrendering the ties that bind us. Stay grounded, and yield to the flow.

I’ve been clearing a lot of STUFF these past few months. Cleared space at the house, sorting through 42 years of family stuff. Cleared the back yard — even Mom said it never looked so good.

Closed out my storage units and brought things to the house. It’s full again. I need to spend more time going through boxes and boxes and letting things go, passing them on to others who could love them, shredding documents, disposing of things that remain that have accumulated over the last 20 years of my life. Makes my arms ache just thinking about it.

The call? Oh, yes, I have one. It gets real clear, and I often move in that direction. It’s a challenge to stay fully focused on that path, though. One reason why I came back home was to help care for my Dad as his Alzheimer’s progressed. But just a few months in, it became clear that we couldn’t handle it ourselves. And my siblings live too far away to be able to help regularly. So we placed Dad in the first of several homes before he “crossed the rainbow bridge” this past March.  But that’s a story for another day.

Mom is slowing down. It’s to be expected – after all, she is over 80 years old, for heaven’s sake! She is fiercely independent, and stubborn. She spends her days going through papers and boxes and sorting through clothes while listening to the news or watching “Criminal Minds” and “Cold Case” and  other such programs. Donate, Toss, Keep. Donate, Donate, Toss, Keep. Keep, Keep, Keep, Toss.

Today I needed to get out and take a drive. I could get groceries at Safeway, I thought to myself. Could’ve gone to the one only five minutes away, but decided first to head up the hill to catch the sunset. Almost ten minutes later, I found almost all the parking spots were taken. The one or two that were open didn’t have a view I wanted.  So I parked further down the hill in a parking lot with a view of the City and a broad expanse of the Bay. The fog was rolling in and had blanketed much of the City, and the sun’s afterglow was quickly fading.

SuSunset over San Francisco by Baylan Megino

Sunset over San Francisco by Baylan Megino

Sitting in the quiet of my car, memories came flooding in of my first dog, Perdita. She just showed up one day – at least that’s what I remember. She was the “Little Lost One,” and she was mine. I remember one time sitting on the floor, grabbing and hugging her tight as I cried, pained by my father’s discipline. I didn’t understand, and Perdita was there for me. She was my best friend, and helped me through many confusing days.

And then one day she was gone. Ran off, I was told. Accept it. There was no search — Only a deep, deep sense of  loss.

Driving in the hills, watching the trees open to reveal the bay, seeing the world spread out below me – these have always brought me peace. But today it was flat, lacked the richness of a full visual feast.

I descended to the flatlands where, all the way at the other end of the next town, I pulled up to the Safeway. Located at the north end of Gourmet Gulch, it had been remodeled since my last visit. I wandered through unfamiliar aisles, checking off items on the list. Picked up a package of ginger snaps as my personal treat, and set the full paper bag on the back seat just as it started to rip.

Turned my car toward home, and drove through the quiet streets, noting the changes. Very few stores and restaurants remained from my time living in this college town. It was sad for me to see the jumble of architectural progress. Nothing felt familiar. Nothing was the same. There were a few exceptions — one restaurant that I never went to  – King Dong. Couldn’t imagine saying I had eaten there.

Driving further, I saw the produce store had moved across the street into a newly expanded building. Used to buy fresh chicken and an amazing assortment of vegetables there, and enjoyed thinking of recipes and menus while I lugged the heavy bags several blocks home. Any Mountain was in its original space. It was comforting to see the Japanese restaurant still on the corner.

Then headed to the bank, my arms tired from days of lifting boxes. As I stepped from my car, a young woman caught my eye. Slim with short cropped hair, she sat quietly at the bus stop. As I passed her, she stood up in the gathering dusk to search for a bus. No dice.

Where are you going? I asked.

Oh! She said in surprise. Berkeley, she said.

I paused. That was in the opposite direction.

I’m not in any rush to go home, I said. Want a ride?

Sure! She said, and moved to the car. Thank you!

Want some ginger cookies? I asked as we snapped on our seatbelts.

Yes, thank you, she said with a smile.

She shared the story of her name. Both grandmothers hold the same name, and so the lines came together in her. Recently graduated from a school in Connecticut, she needed to get away. She had just arrived, and tonight was visiting a friend.

So what do you do? I asked.

Oh, I work at two coffee shops, she said.

What do you Want to do? I asked.

She wanted to do community organizing, to do something that makes a difference.

Well, you’re in the right place, I said. Do you work with computers? I asked

Yes, but my roommate does websites. She’s on the computer all the time.

Well, sometimes I have a need for help with research. Perhaps you can help me with that, I said.

Sure! She said. Comfortable. Open. Young. Ready for the world.

Let me give you my card, I said. She made a sound of approval as I opened my card case.

Rosie the Riveter, I said. There’s a museum for her in Richmond.

I’m going to have to check that out.

Give me a call so I have your number, I suggested.

I will. Thanks again for the ride. She smiled and said, You know, my grandfather used to always have ginger snaps in his car. It reminded me of him.

Nice memory, I said. Let’s keep in touch.

She stepped to the curb, and we both waved as the signal light changed, and I turned the corner toward home.

_________

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From our Daily Boost: Get Busy Living or Get Busy Dying

by Baylan Megino

“Get busy living, or get busy dying.” – Stephen King

Did you watch those teenage zombie movies? Does your life sometimes feel like you’re the walking dead — each day moving on auto-pilot, not feeling much, either positive or negative, or hearing bits of excited conversations and wanting to be part of it?

Photo by Stuart Miles on FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Photo by Stuart Miles on FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Do you sometimes wonder, “There’s got to be more to life than this”?

The reality is that we have each moment to live.

We can choose to live in the past, which is focusing on the positives or negatives that are already done and that we can do nothing about. We can choose to live in the future, which is only a thought that can create joy or anxiety in the present.

We can choose to live in the present, which is as simple as breathing, seeing what is before us, and responding. We choose to Inhale. Exhale. We choose the texture of our experience. We choose expansion, connection, joy, peace, or love, or we choose the little deaths and contraction that each negative thought brings.

Which do you choose?

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To find out more about Life Coaching and Spirit Guidance with Baylan Megino, visit: http://baylanmegino.com/life-coaching-and-spirit-guidance/

 

 

How Robert Fulghum Reminded Me That We CAN Keep Everyone In The Game

Robert Fulghum photo by Petr Novák, Wikipedia

Robert Fulghum photo by Petr Novák, Wikipedia

I’ve been going through boxes of old papers, and as a result am rediscovering the gems that have guided me along the way to today. In 1988, Robert Fulghum wrote “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.” He showed us that if we returned to the basic lessons we learned as toddlers to be able to get along with all the others around us, that our world could be transformed.

In this world we often think of how to get ahead of someone else, how to win over others, and how to be on top. I prefer to look for ways for everyone to win – you, me, those we serve. Here’s a story Mr. Fulghum shared in his book, “Maybe, Maybe Not” that shows how we can keep EVERYONE in the game.

This is from Robert Fulghum’s book Maybe, Maybe Not. He is quite good at telling stories that illustrate ideas. I think you will see why this relates to the last paragraph in from Section V that you read:

When I taught philosophy, I began the course by walking into the room after the students were seated and announcing, “We are now going to play musical chairs.” The only further instruction was, “Please arrange your chairs and get ready to play.”

No student ever asked why. Ever. And no student ever asked how to play. They knew the rules as surely as they knew hide-and-seek.

Always the same response — the students enthusiastically arranged the chairs in a line with the seats alternating directions, then stood encircling the row of chairs. Ready, ready, ready! All I had to do was punch up “Stars and Stripes Forever” on the tape machine, and the students marched around the chairs. Mind you, these were seniors in high school. They hadn’t played musical chairs since second grade. But they still knew how, and jumped into the game without hesitation. Musical chairs! All right!

After removing a few chairs, I stopped the music. There was a mad scramble for the remaining chairs. Those without chairs were stunned. They knew how this game worked — music stops, get a chair — how could they not have a chair so soon? They had “How dumb can I be?” written on their faces. Too bad. But they were losers. Out. Over against the wall. Only a game.

Music continues, students march around, chairs removed, STOP! Students go crazy trying to get a chair this time. As the games goes on, the quest for chairs turns serious. Then rough. Girls are not going to fight jocks for chairs. Losers to the wall.

Down to two members of the wrestling team, who are willing to push, knee, kick, or bite to be the last person in a chair. This is war! STOP! And by jerking the chair out from under his opponent, one guy slams down into the last chair — a look of triumph on his face — hands raised high with forefingers signaling NUMBER ONE, NUMBER ONE.

The last student in the last chair always acted as if the class admired him and his accomplishment. He got the CHAIR! “I’m a WINNER!” Wrong. The losers lined up against the wall thought he was a jerk. Admiration? Hardly. Contempt is what they felt. This was not a game. Games were supposed to be fun. This got too serious too fast — like high school life — and real life.

Did they want to play again? A few of the jocks did. But not the rest of the class. It all came back to them now. Big deal.

I insisted. Play one more time. With one rule change. Musical chairs as before, but this time, if you don’t have a chair, sit down in someone’s lap. Everybody stays in the game — it’s only a matter of where you sit. The students are thinking — well . . . OK.

Chairs are reset. Students stand ready. Music starts and they march. Chairs are removed. STOP! There is a pause in the action. The students are really thinking it over now. (Do I want a chair to myself? Do I want to sit on someone’s lap or have someone sit in mine? And who?) The class gets seated, but the mood has changed. There is laughter — giggling. When the game begins again, there is a change of pace. Who’s in a hurry?

When the number of chairs is sufficiently reduced to force two to a chair, a dimension of grace enters in as the role of sittee or sitter is clarified — “Oh, no, please, after you,” Some advance planning is evident as the opportunity to sit in the lap of a particular person is anticipated. As the game continues, and more and more people must share one chair, a kind of gymnastic dance form develops. It becomes a group accomplishment to get everybody branched out onto knees. Students with organizational skills come to the fore — it’s a people puzzle to solve now — “Big people on the bottom first — put your arms around him — sit back — easy, easy.” When there is one chair left, the class laughs and shouts in delight as they all manage to use one chair for support now that they know the weight can be evenly distributed. Almost always, if they tumbled over, they’d get up and try again until everyone was sitting down. A triumphant moment for all, teacher included.

The only person who had a hard time with this paradigm shift was the guy who won the first time under the old rules. He lost his bearings — didn’t know what winning was now.

As a final step in this process, I would tell the class we would push on one more round. “The music will play, you will march, and I will take away the last chair. When the music stops, you will all sit down in a lap.”

“Can’t be done,” they say.

“Yes, it can,” say I.

So once more they marched and stopped — what now? “Everyone stand in a perfect circle. All turn sideways in place, as if you were going to walk together in a circle. Take a single step into the middle so as to have a tight circle now, with each person in the group bellyside to backside with the person ahead of them. Place your hands on the hips of the person in front of you. On the count of three, very carefully guide the person onto your knees at the same time as you very carefully sit down on the knees of the person behind you. Ready. One. Two. Three. Sit.”

They all sat. No chair.

I have played the chair game in this way with many different groups of many ages in varied settings. The experience is always the same. It’s a problem of sharing diminishing resources. This really isn’t kid stuff. And the questions raised by musical chairs are always the same:

Is it always a winners-losers [faster-slower] world, or can we keep everyone in the game?

Do we still have what it takes to find a better way?

So I ask you to consider today: How can we find a way to co-exist in harmony?  How can we accomplish what is needed so that everyone wins? What do we learn about ourselves in the process?

Have you ever had a situation where this is how it was handled? Please share. Thank you!

 

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To find out more about Life Coaching and Spirit Guidance with Baylan Megino, visit: http://baylanmegino.com/life-coaching-and-spirit-guidance/

 

 

From our Daily Boost: When Love and Skill Work Together, Expect A Masterpiece

“When Love and Skill work together, expect a masterpiece.” – John Ruskin

post by Baylan Megino

 

What do you love to do? What are you really good at doing? How could you marry these two?

When we are doing what we love, the effort (if there is any) needed to accomplish something seems infinitely less than when we are doing what we “like” or what we have “become good at.”

Instead, figure out how you can do what you love with the gifts that you have, with your many ways of brilliance.

That is when you experience MIRACLES.

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To find out more about Life Coaching and Spirit Guidance with Baylan Megino, visit: http://baylanmegino.com/life-coaching-and-spirit-guidance/

Heart of Hearts (Partial) copyright by Baylan Megino

 

 

 

 

 

Connection with the Motherland (repeated)

Messages from the past have new meaning each time we revisit them. This was first posted in July 2011 in my old blog.  I think it can provide meaning as we embark on our journey of self-discovery, so I’d like to share it again today:

Summer Solstice this year (2011) was special. On this day I met and spent time with Max Dashu, the creator and keeper of the archives of The Suppressed Histories Archives, where she is “restoring women to cultural memory.” For several decades she has pioneered education about women’s spiritual roles through history, and has gathered a remarkable archive that is the basis for her project “Woman Shaman: The Ancients.”

We traveled to the Pinole Shoreline Park, situated along the northern section of the San Francisco East Bay. Walking across the hill and through the fields toward the shore, I felt the spirits of those who had walked the land before me. As the waves gently lapped the shore’s edge, we separated and spent time in silence.

Summer Solstice 2011 Pinole Shores Pinecone 2 by Baylan Megino

Summer Solstice 2011 Pinole Shores Pinecone 2 by Baylan Megino

Pebbles and shell fragments littered the beach. Then a pine cone glistened in the sunlight as the seafoam nudged it ashore.

A log jutting out from the hillside was the perfect place to stop and deposit my treasures. As I placed them, I became aware of being on one shore, here in California, and my family’s motherland far away in the Philippines, another shore, one to which I will always be tied.

At that moment, the clamshell broke in two, each half an individual piece of the whole that cradles me. I had a strong sense that we have traveled a long distance — from home, to home. We have landed on new shores, and found our way in a new land. We have brought our music, our dance, our culture, our food, our values, our very beings to these new shores. We have mixed with the prevalent culture, yet have never lost our ties, have never lost our Filipino soul.

The warm sun invited me to stretch out, to feel the sand beneath my feet. And then I began to move. Slowly at first, tracing patterns with my toes. Then the rhythm took over, and I danced. Here I share what I experienced and heard.

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Summer Solstice 2011 Pinole Shores Offering 1 by Baylan Megino

Summer Solstice 2011 Pinole Shores Offering 1 by Baylan Megino

Here at Pinole Shores, where so many Filipinos live, I feel the pooled connections, the tides that continue to ebb and flow, unceasingly moving the flow, reshaping the rocks and the land, the ocean floor, the soul.

We come to the water and remember… we are a seafaring people, a land-based people, separated by land and water and experiences in life.

I don’t wish to focus on struggle. I wish to focus on triumph over them. Ancestors, please help me to properly honor those who have paved the way to today.

 

Summer Solstice Pinole Shores 2011 by Baylan Megino

Summer Solstice Pinole Shores by Baylan Megino

… And the ocean’s swells as we journeyed to another land, a new home, were like the feelings that welled up and rolled through unceasingly, without relenting, tears of pain and sorrow, loss and longing… when will I return to my land? My loved ones? All that has been so dear in my heart? My people, my food, my dances, my music — the smiles, oh, the gentle smiles so quick to appear. My mother, my father, oh brothers and sisters — I go so far away, yet my heart is still with you, will always be with you… as I remember your voices, the laughter, the warm embrace of home…

 I am so far away, yet I hear your whispers on the water. I see your arms reaching across the waves.

We come to you, you whisper.

We love you.

We have never forgotten you.

Come home and taste the sea air,

Feel the sun on your skin,

Hear the sellers in the market.

Bagoong and bangus, lechon and pinakbet,

Sinigang and kutsinta, bulalo and

Sampalok, pusit and paksiw… we

call you… to nourish you.. body and

soul sewn together.

 

The water laps the shore unceasingly, over and over softening the hard edges, moving across the vast ocean. Through time, through space, across generations, the movement continues, traveling back and forth along ancient lines that tie and bind heart and soul.