Friday, December 18, 2015
I feel this,
whatever it is.
Something like love,
maybe love. Shelter.
It cleaves to the earth
like grass in a rainstorm,
not a hut
but a hedge,
YOU feel this,
whatever it is.
Something like love,
maybe love. Shelter.
in a bramble
through the rain.
That wolf knows.
That drenched blade knows,
and be still,
then the sweet water
I awoke from the place where grasses dream
And dogs peer out under brier.
Or maybe love.
It stays with me.
Good holiday week to you all. Blessings and blessings be with you.
Misty Wycoff 12/18/15
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Small islands where, isolated from a larger society are deeply dependent on the sea. There are few places on those islands where the ocean is not below you, surrounding you, and being a constant wild force. When my grandparents came to America, they found land in California along the ocean in Bolinas California, where my mother found her own bond with the deep waters. I too was raised in close proximity to the sea, and being quite poor, we spent many free hours along the Bodega headlands clamming, rock fishing, surf fishing, wading for abalone, crabbing, and having many a meal from that bounty. I was lucky then, and
I am lucky now.
Some years ago someone asked me where home was. I am sure there was the expectation that I would give them some region of the country or a town, and yet what was immediately on my lips was, “The ocean is my home.” Saying it was strengthening to me, empowering and calming to me at the same time.
Nature is strong. It is always seeking to restore itself to it's best state. The ocean is strong. Wild and wonderful, it always seemed to me the same as how people think of God, beyond us, above us, better than us and stronger than us.
I see that Nature finds ways to clean itself, I know that rivers can return to health, cleaning up the foul things that humans have left behind, and land can be restored to health by rest and introduction of wolves and other natural species. But perhaps because I do live so close to the sea, I know more about it now and I am so deeply sad at the destruction of clean healthy ocean waters.
There are many plastic garbage patches or gyres, in the oceans around the world. There are six major ones in all of oceans around the world, one as large as the state of Texas. More research is proving that so many of the sea creatures have ingested or been otherwise damaged by plastics in the waters. In their original form the marine life gets caught in them and mistakes them for food. But something much more horrifying is that over time these break down into the small microbeads and become part of the water and every being it has touched. It used to be true that eating seafood was healthy for you. If we are not able to change how we deal with plastic, this will no longer be the case. And probably is now no longer the case. HELLO.
In the 60”s we used to say/chant “GIVE PEACE A CHANCE”. I would like to ask you to “GIVE THE OCEAN A CHANCE.” Just for today, try to not buy plastic. Buy glass bottles and recycle them, Encourage your families to do the same.
Now you might ask what this has to do with how we feel as humans. Well here is the thing. We DO feel what is happening to the planet. We DO feel the sadness of the animals, and ocean creatures. We DO feel sick from the experience of living in this planet that is struggling to clean up our messes. This is sometimes beneath our conscious awareness, but that same sick feeling we get when we hear of senseless shooting and terrorism is a part of our awareness all the time. It enters our dreams and lives beneath our words like a sickness, a cold or flu that hasn't quite blossomed.At some level we all know that we have seriously damaged our planet, Maybe we have keep the degree of this damage hidden from ourselves, but we know. I know.. You know.
I believe that Nature is working as hard as it can to clean up our trash.
SO JUST FOR TODAY….. Clean something up. Take care of the land, the ocean and the animals that we share this space with. All of that will make you feel better.
Today..... clean something up..
Pour some water on a plant.
Pick up ONE piece of trash.
Buy something in glass instead of plastic.
Plant a seed.
It will make the earth happy and your heart smile.
Blessings everyone. November 18, 2015 Misty
"In many shamanic societies, if you came to a medicine person complaining of being disheartened, dispirited, or depressed, they would ask one of four questions: "When did you stop dancing? When did you stop singing? When did you stop being enchanted by stories? When did you stop being comforted by the sweet territory of silence?"
Tuesday, September 8, 2015
There was a phrase used in a post-grad dream course I took some years ago. The phrase was "soft eyes". It was a way of letting go of our specific perspective and seeing something that was more of a whole vision. In a yoga class I once heard the teacher say "Relax your eyes back into their sockets". Surprisingly, I found that I could do just that. I hadn't known how hard my eyes were working. Being awake can sometimes feel like a version of Where's Waldo, looking for that little stripe shirted man/boy with wire rimmed glasses.
This is not a way of not caring, or going to sleep, or being lazy. It is a way to see the "gestalt" the whole of a thing. Have you ever watched Cesar Milan, the dog whisperer? He will often point out an animal that is NOT in calm state by having the audience look at the eyes and the ears. They are all about focus on a particular thing. The animal is full of tension, a kind of ready alert or fight/flight stance. Exhausting for sure, but perhaps more importantly it is about being lost to MOST of the world and seeing only one thing.
In recovery we often talk about being "hyper alert, or hyper reactive". It can also be called a kind of "possession" like being taken over by something. When humans are in this state, there is no relaxation, nor any openness. All you can see is what you are looking at and looking for. If you need examples think about how polarized our political or religious views are. One can see it in scholars as well; those who have spent so much time studying one thing that they have lost the ability to be open to the appreciation of another view.
I was recently with a group of very intelligent, informed, conscious people and I noticed how stilted the conversation became when religious/spiritual talk showed up. Everyone seemed to say something about it that they had probably said a few times before, and then not wanting to dig into a difficult area, simply moved on.
I am a boomer baby so I believe that we have power to change things and it starts with what I myself am doing. With the ocean temperatures rising, it is hitting the consiousness of more people that maybe, just maybe we are in trouble here on this planet. We are just another species here, and we know that sometimes species don't stick around. A wider view of life might just be in order. So I always think of what I can do in one day to shift things in the world. Do you do that too? How does that look?
If I eat more rye bread today, it will increase the need for rye which will help the organic farmers replenish the soil by being able to shift out of wheat farming just long enough for a nurturing crop to be planted in rotation.
If I listen to one person whose perspective is not mine with respect and kindness, WITHOUT grabbing my favorite hobbyhorse line to prove them wrong, I can plant a different kind of seed in that person.
If I keep my trash in the right containers I am not adding plastic to the land and the oceans that are getting so unbalanced with our disrespect, I can not plant more destruction in the world.
Soft eyes bring in the wider perspectives. It is so easy to be focused on what I need, what I want, but here's the thing. We are one of, if not the most rich, spoiled for luxury, groups of people on the planet. If we don't have the ability to look beyond our our ego driven quests, perhaps we will not survive.
I believe something is beings asked of us here. We are being asked to step up, to be a voice that speaks out against greed, hatred,and unconsciousness.
I can only do those things if I use soft eyes, if I see the bigger view, if I don't use my vision to keep grabbing the same re-inforcers to my way of thinking.
So close your eyes and let your eyes rest back into their sockets and breathe. Now open your eyes and be soft with them. Let something else in. It may be a fuzzy vision, but that is alright too. See our fragile world. Let that image shape your day. And play nice out there.
Blessings, Misty September 8, 2015
Tuesday, July 7, 2015
Not all one color...
Flush with movement...
Goes where it wants to go....
Surprises us with what it grows...
Leaves amazing footprints.
Look long and deeply at the world today!
Saturday, July 4, 2015
Someone always seems to be posting about how we should place ourselves with people that make us feel better. I get it. It is good to feel validated and seen and understood. We seem to all seek that with every breath. But as I was taking a slow walk along the ocean bluff recently, I thought more about that and somehow it didn’t sit so well with me.
When we are so caught up in our own well being we might just be risking not developing that emotional muscle called compassion. If I only want to be around happy people, or if I only want to be with people that agree with me, who do I become? How can I learn compassion for others that share this life journey.
On this 4th of July morning I am thinking about the phrase “E Pluribus Unum” which translates to “Out of the many, one”. There is the acknowledgement of differences making up a greater whole. If we keep working at making our lives one-noted with only those who support us, how will we learn about differences, how will we address wrongs, how will we make contact with the OTHER SIDE OF THE ARGUMENT? How do we make peace with a world that we have banished behind the walls we are drawing around ourselves. Doesn’t it smack of elitism to just push away anything we don’t approve of, or like?
I worry about how polarized our culture has become. I worry that we are losing the ability to entertain any ideas except the ones we have. This country was built by a group of people who came from vastly different cultural, educational and financial experiences. The difference was they were willing to argue and battle with one another over the ideas that centered around this idea of the MANY becoming ONE.
On this day of independence, my hope is that we can be free. Free in our thoughts and biases, free of our opinions and take the day off from feeling so darned right and righteous. Maybe it is a day to just LISTEN. We don’t’ have to agree, but maybe just restrain ourselves from forming that smug reply that is forming as we listen to those with whom we disagree.
Take the day off. Be free from insular ways, and let the many fill you up before you decided today who is the ONE that is you.
Happy 4thof July 2015
TODAY I WILL LISTEN!
Saturday, June 20, 2015
In Hawaii, OHANA means extended family. Nice that there is a culture that sees the need for a particular word for it. Like the Native tribes in Canada and Alaska having so many words for snow.
OHANA. So who in your extended family? Are they as important, less important or equally important as your biological one? I do understand that historically there was probably some biological drive to value our own clan, but maybe those days have passed now.
Is this attitude of US/THEM not at the base of all trouble in the world? What if we, spent the next week avoiding that sensibility, and thought of everyone as OHANA?
Belonging. Being a part of a greater whole. Having an identity inclusive of all living beings. Period.
Nothing is less than us. No one is less than us. We all belong. We are not different because of where we live, or how many toes we have, or if we like ourselves or if we are four footed and have fur, or eight legs and look like spiders. Blue skin, or white. Smart or funny. OHANA.
It seems like an overly simple idea. But I do want you to think about how often in a day we think of “the other”. People that are politically on the other side. People that may not like us. Animals. Plants.
Maybe with the help of all our technology we can now see the earth, the world as one organism. I know that would have seemed beyond my understanding as a young person, but now this consiousness blinks at me like a midnight red light hanging over the intersection. OHANA
We are here together, we belong together. We need to help each other achieve a sense of joy and peace. This means living in respect. Living in compassion. Living in a conscious manner. Not allowing a sense of other to live within us.
Blessings to you. Misty 20 June 2015
And happy birthday to my dad, in whatever world you now reside. You would be 92 today and I would have loved that.
Thursday, May 28, 2015
It refers to a dense grouping of animal life that is so thick that it appears as a land mass. Early sonar readings would find an unusually high seabed, but were later to discover that the pinging echoes were being deflected by the deep scattering layer…….a layer of marine life that “scatters” sound. In effect it gives a false reading on things. It was only discovered when someone realized it was moving.
Besides just loving the phrase itself, the image of this has stayed with me for the past week. It makes me think of those dense areas of our personalities that reflect things back to us and not always accurately. Maybe old wounded places, scar tissue, making it hard to see a clear picture of our parts. Or maybe it is the thought of deep rich fluid wells of nurturance, soul food, a hidden variety that we would only see at ocean bottom, things only visible when we managed to get down, down under the surface movement.
Don’t you love words or phrases that take you somewhere else. Words that pull you into an ocean of experience.
Imagine what it would be like to be underwater and swim into the scattering layer.
I remember swimming in a mountain lake in upstate New York many years ago on a hot summer afternoon, and as the day cooled, the small fish from the bottom were rising and I suddenly felt them bumping into my body, my legs and even my face. Initially it was terrifying but soon I relaxed and it became a sensation not unlike a massage. It was comforting even.
I wonder if humans will ever make peace with all of us critters... real and metaphorical.
28 May 2015