Spirit of Thanksgiving Revisited

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Thanksgiving gives us time to pause and reflect on the spirit of the season, count our blessings, and meditate on gratitude. As a fellow human, I feel especially thankful for our home, Mother Earth. At times, I have taken Her for granted and I am sorry for it. If it wasn’t for Her presence in our lives, none of us would be here. And if I hadn’t been given the gift of Her presence in my life, my experience here would have been very different, and not as enriching to say the least.

Contemplation on how my life would be different in Earth’s absence yields a plentiful harvest of gain in my appreciation for Her bounty. It also deepens my feelings of gratitude for this lifetime living on this planet. As spiritual beings having human experiences, we are expanding souls so it is natural to desire abundance in its variety of forms. But we miss the boat when we forget to acknowledge our blessings and gratitude for what is.

How might your life be different if Earth had never entered into your lives, or had certain people, places or things not entered into your experiences?

I’ll admit it, I have my moments of heaviness at times. Even though I have been looked upon as a brother from another planet, like the rest of you, I have my fears and worries. It’s so easy to time travel to the past or back to the future, and get lost in those projections. How does one not get stuck in the intersections between the voices of trauma, resentful bitterness, rose colored glasses or nostalgia? Our suffering is in the clinging for one state over another. We wish this misery would be over or this happiness would never end.

Thanksgiving is no exception, as it is a holiday that serves up a feast of mixed messages and conflictual emotional memories. Personally, Thanksgiving is my favorite mainstream holiday. But I don’t deify or demonize the Pilgrims or minimize, gloss over the genocide of Indigenous people, ignore the existence of this land before the current occupation, nor the slavery that existed then or the other forms of oppression that exist today. An authentic look at this holiday and still feeling gratitude for its totality is a lot to digest, and get be both bitter and sweet to the taste, depending on your attitude.

Admittedly, I welcome the relatively less emphasized market driven consumerism of Thanksgiving – at least compared to some others. Specifically, I’m learning to tame my own gluttony at the annual feast without defiance. Every year I walk away from the table pleasantly full even after eating less than the year before. It has taken me a long time to realize that softening the will is not about going hungry or selling out. Thankfully, I’m turning a corner on that front.

Beyond its polarities, Thanksgiving is about the intrinsic spiritual alchemy of being mindful of having an attitude of gratitude for what is and the gift of presence. When we are in this place, we win on the inside and everyone one around us is impacted in a positive light. And yet, this real realm of personal discovery is not without a new world of anxiety because anxiety is a fact of life. When I think of Thanksgiving and Turkey, I think about the spirit of shared blessings that feathers a ripple effect of reciprocity.

In my own experiences with anxiety, I would be lying if I denied that they sometimes ruffle my feathers. These days, my own OCD experiences have evolved (or devolved depending on your perspective ) into being mindful of my breath, and cracking puns – sometimes at oft color times of heightened nervous woodland creature energy. In fact, the puns fall quite autumnatically like acorns during this time of year or rise like the tides on Full Moons especially. Like most people, it’s pretty impossible to not find myself preoccupied with much ado about nothing, if only fleetingly, in the theatre of life. The trick is to not hang out too long in that space or chase thoughts with overly indulgent reactions.

For certain, you could charge me with being guilty of a coyote like subtle (or not so subtle) wry grin on my face, even when I should mirror a more serious affect or otherwise apropos facial expression to match the situation at hand. It’s hard not to be provocative when you are naturally wired for having a propensity for the theatrics or know when to say when during the interplay between wisdom and folly. Tricks that were once treats no longer work anymore. Some call it growing up, while others say they’re younger than that now. Awakening is a process, as is supporting the awakening of others.

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Truth is, it isn’t always easy to differentiate between where con artistry begins and true wizardry ends – whether it’s working with adolescent girls or my own observational self-examination. But that’s OK, communication with Blue Jay reveals a general sense of acceptance and non-judgement in this area of personal growth. Besides, the royal road to authenticity is paved with fool’s gold in footsteps that have a tendency to fake it till you make it. Walking the line isn’t about being perfect. It’s about floundering, making mistakes and failure. These are elements of Growth Mindset. Nature is such a powerful teacher. That’s why psychologists agree that the best laboratory is the naturalistic environment. May we embrace our imperfections.

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These days, it can be more challenging for the Ordinary Joe not to get sucked into his own alternate realities, escapism, carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders or the dramas of others. The dying stages of the systemic patriarchy makes it hard not to do that. You all know about the impact of FOMO, peer pressure, social media profiling, and the garden variety of distractions. Today’s outer distractions have more bells and whistles. But at the end of the day, we have the power to turn the background noise into bells of mindfulness.

Remember that the world is a reflection of art imitating reality. Today, it’s probably easier to play the blame game, considering the myriad of conveniently inconvenient excuses flitting out and about in this world of 10,000 things. We are conditioned to point our fingers at targets of our own suffering. Alas, we shop around at those deeply engrained establishments, fixed ideas notwithstanding!

Learning to be human has never been easy. We all need good strategies.

But in this pandemic, have we forgotten how to be human in the social environment?

Speaking of Target, if you find yourself in a situation where there isn’t a prepackaged box readily available on the shelf, is this an apparent invitation for throwing a public temper tantrum, having a panic attack over the missing object of affection, serial text people to come to your rescue, or perhaps indulging in a private negative self talk episode?

Might these moments otherwise be worth self reflecting on as an attachment to a desired outcome, and could instead become a playground for spiritual growth?

Are they repetitive, unconscious behavioral traps or an awakened state of awareness that are just waiting to come out and play in the sunlight?

The reality is that we have to work at our wellbeing, mental health and social emotional learning. Yeah, you can argue that you have the right to be rude to a grocery store worker because they mixed up your items and placed them in the wrong bags, cite that you are a paying customer, and therefore justified in the attitudinal feast you served up to the grocer. However, that is an entitled position that eats a hearty plate of suffering by being part of the problem rather than part of the solution. Being entitled is a form of victim consciousness. You lose from that perspective because it is a recipe for more suffering.

For example, just look at the profiteering of this nuance in the popular culture and so called alternative media forms. There’s a romantic libertarian defund the police sentiment, a welfare state of dirty energy, liberal greed in the marketplace and conservative fighting over the people’s right to quality healthcare, which includes preventative care, mental health and substance abuse/addictions treatment. There’s a constant slugfest between philosophical differences or belief systems. Whether it’s Critical Race Theory or Civil Rights Team – some people are triggered by the CRT acronym. Take the fight out of it folks. Give inner peace a chance. There is enough and we can all win.

Instead of challenging, connect. We need connection now more than ever on our Planet today. It would be wonderful if Divine Intervention happens. I do believe a faction of extraterrestrial beings and highly spiritually evolved multidimensional beings are concerned about our survival and are doing their part to support our transformation, and probably planning something more exponential as we speak. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if the powers that be are plotting and scheming to counter that with commercials that attempt to hoodwink us into buying into a feigned invasion that fronts as an alien takeover. But in reality, the Military-Industrial Complex’s potential smoke and mirrors campaign will likely be orchestrated and manufactured from our own advanced engineering of foreign technology. We shall see.

What can each of us do in the meantime?

What kind of energy do we want to attract?

Clean energy on the inside is a parallel process to clean energy on the outside. Developing a meditation practice helps bring equanimity into your soul and the collective soul respectively. If you don’t see empathy in the world around you, become the change of empathy you want to see in the world by seeing it in your mind and feeling it in your heart. See it in yourself and see it in others, especially in your so called enemies. Some have to work harder at this than others.

Connect with the animals, nature and your fellow humans. Connect with you Higher Self. Connect with Spirit. Connect with your Spirit Guides. They all want to connect with you, and we all need connection.

We humans cannot afford to take each other for granted anymore or view ourselves as separate from each another. The only real way out of our suffering is through a meditative mindful way of life. It is only through this inner work that we can heal our soul wounds that manifest in our outer world. At the end of the day, everything else is just cosmetic. Easier said than done.

Awareness is the first step. We have to acknowledge whatever it is that needs to change by starting with ourselves. That takes courage because, in doing so, you will experience what psychologists call cognitive dissonance. Through meditation, we can learn to sit with the tension of opposites, or the interplay between what we call preferred and non-preferred experiences.

Remember, we are all mirrors for each other and the signs are there for you to see if you take notice. I have a coworker friend that just bought a new sweatshirt that says, “HEAVILY MEDITATED.” That’s a nice playful, light-hearted mantra to sport on an article of clothing.

Together, may we learn to live in the present moment, regardless of how unknown or uncertain it is. Besides, there are no guarantees, so we might as well come down into our souls and take up residence in the here and now. May we give thanks for that.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone,

Ari

The Spring Equinox, Big Night & A Full Worm Moon

Artwork Created by Aunt Barbara Merlotti

Here on the ground, the arriving Spring Equinox on March 20th means that more robins are around, singing melodious songs about the early bird getting the worm. A Full Worm Moon, also called the Sugar Moon by the Ojibwe, takes place on March 28th. The Ojibwe name was inspired by the time of year when the sap of sugar maples starts to flow. Of course there are other names for this Full Moon as well. Moreover, in Northern New England on Big Night, the salamanders, wood frogs, and peepers are driven to make their sensuous journey to find vernal pools to procreate, and embody being good role models for sustainable living on our Planet. We can do our part by respecting their natural intelligence, and way of life. How do they manage to muddle along, in spite of overcoming incredible obstacles, such as scary predators, and paved roads full of human traffic? How do they do this without any guidebooks, lesson plans, compasses or maps to show them the way? Talk about taking back the night.

Remember in last month’s blog that we discussed coregulation, which in part just means the process of learning to harmonize with each other, and our environment. We become more equipped to do this when we are true to our core, and centered in our souls. Awakening to our soul’s purpose, and discovering our human potential is merely seeing that “the Earth is like a reform school.” Moreover, the transition we are going through is that we are getting back to our connection to each other, and our connection to our Mother Earth. What better way to honor Women’s History Month in March? In a nutshell, nurturing this connection means that we are taking care of our home, school, and community. Of course we can do this best when we are meditating and connecting with Nature consistently. But without women or Mother Earth, none of us would be here.

Additionally, in this dreamy Piceas time of year, meditation on Whale is a powerful spirit guide to tap into the heartbeat of the planet, and deepen our understanding of our empathic connections to one another. Keep in mind that whales carry the memories of our planetary consciousness. Of course we come from different pods, and have our diverse expressions. But in our multidimensional depth, we can all dive into the fluid and elusive nature of alternate realities, and who we really are. From this standpoint, it becomes easier to appreciate the wonder and beauty of the world. “Day turns into night, and back into day, the moon waxes and wanes, the seasons go through their dramatic and subtle changes. When a flower blooms and starts to fade, we accept the poignancy of that change. Even if the decay of the flower makes us sad, we can appreciate it as part of the movement of life. Imagine what it would be like if things existed in a fixed way. Wouldn’t life get boring pretty fast?”

Cosmically, sacred geometrical Arcturian wisdom reflects that the vibration of integration asserts that “the energy of integration helps you apply new truths in your daily life. The energy makes you aware that you are responsible for your own actions.” Moreover, the dimensional shift we are discussing here mirrors our movement into a New Age and Paradigm, aka an Aquarian Age or a New Earth. You already all know that the empowered freedom we like to highlight, is followed by the attached earmark of responsibility. But you don’t have to look at responsibility as a virus feeding off of its host of freedom. Same thing with taxes. If you’re making enough money to complain about how much you’re paying in taxes, then you might want to examine what’s underneath your disgruntlement. But try to remember to be gentle on yourself about it, and not too taxing in your self reflection, if you’ll kindly pardon the pun. Besides, alternative energy starts with you, just as it starts with me. Do you see?

Perceptually, marinate on the increasing phenomena of ETs or multidimensional beings as analogous to when our ancestors started to experience the arrival of Europeans in “Longer Boats.” For example, it wasn’t until a trusted Shaman or Wise Elder was able to integrate the reality of these crafts into their perception that they could report back their findings to the tribe. And then medicine people could share their visions so that the clans people could begin to see the reality of their new vision. Aborigines initially thought white people were ghosts from the Dreamtime, which to be dead serious, is both true and not true.

In much the same way as back Zen, the experiences right Tao are not all good or bad. Try to see these experiences as part of our collective, universal evolution. In that light, it is important to see the silver lining, and focus on making positive interpretations. This New Age of Diversity in Unity means that all voices matter, and that we should honor our differences. We all have different talents, and strengths. But that doesn’t mean that we have to go to war with each other or fight to make certain talents or strengths more or less valuable to the greater whole. That’s why cults and fascism are easy and seductive paths to the dark side, if we don’t do our own shadow work. Shining the spotlight on “power to the people” features the Divine Light of our better angels. The democratic process can get messy at times. But in the long run, a longitudinal and patient pace is preferable to the quick fix, and short term profits. It’s hard to go wrong with a diversified portfolio that supports the greening of the planet. BIPOC, LGBTQ, Super Pac supporters, and people who identify as “young conservatives” can all agree to disagree perhaps on their apparant divergent heritage or political differences without arguing or fighting with each other or taking their points of contention personally.

Furthermore, give consideration that the reported close encounters with ETs or multidimensional beings is a vibrational shift of them “slowing their vibration down” in a way or framework that makes sense to our brain consciousness.  Reflect back to February 25th’s blog entry about coregulation. A simple shift in perspective allows for a co regulatory opportunity that we can meet together in collective consciousness, from a place of curiosity and empathy. These entities meet us where we are at, and we can meet them where they are at. When we step into our fears with courage, we can use the power of our visualization to build up “multidimensional immunity.” We can also see ourselves as protected by a “vibrational vaccine,” as a way to empower ourselves during this pandemic, and the Climate Change that we are weathering on the planet right now. Or you could just literally shake out any trauma or fears that you experience, like many animals do naturally. It is amazing what a powerful release this simple strategy can have on your mind-body-spirit. That’s why martial arts, dancing, movement, exercise, yoga, taichi, and qigong can be effective wellness practices for good mental health. Of course there is no replacement for good therapy for personal/spiritual growth. I mean, you get your oil changed for your car, right? Just sayin’.

Finally, we hear a lot about the Growth Mindset in education these days. Similarly, we have heard good and plenty about the decay that mental rigidity and fixed ideas do to our well being. Growth Mindset involves developing inner resilience as an opportunity for learning and growth. A Growth Mindset framework allows for a developmental, life cycle approach to learning. Rather than striving for perfection, it is understood that imperfections are just examples of mastery in brilliant disguises that just haven’t happened yet. Sometimes, growing up is one step up, and two steps back. But paradoxically, see those masteries as already happening, and on their way. This requires an agreement of letting go of control, being open to trust, as well as having an open, passive attitude about learning something new. Given my strong, oppositional streak, and built in anger, this has been a challenging life cycle issue for me to relax on, lean into, and embrace. Systemically, being vulnerable, fostering inclusivity and belonging are part of the cultural paradigm shift that needs to take root in the matrix that we are mixing it up in together. It comes from a synergistic bottom up, and top down fluidity, where we are all working together, in the spirit of common language, and win-win politics.

Take care of yourselves everyone,

Ari