Between

I was shaken awake this morning to the noise, vibration and quaking of our house. No earthquake, just the demolishing of a house two doors away, something that has been in process for several weeks, though it seems forever. Up next in the queue: street repaving. So construction season is in high gear, up close and personal.

 

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In the midst of the destruction, the death rattle of what has been, we, too, are working our way out of the rootbound pot. Changes in the air, replantings of monumental proportions. We are not yet in the garden of our becoming. Between there and here, much territory still to traverse.

 

And always it comes back to trying to make sense of things that don’t make sense. Unplanned new acts. Moving from enchantment to enchantment. Pulling up roots, then sinking them deep. All in the midst of human migrations and flows of refugees from fire, war, scales of disasters that boggle the understanding even as our hearts break for the children and families and beloved animals who are fleeing what once was home. They too are between.

At the summer solstice in mid-2010, a different kind of shaking awake happened when I was on retreat. My friend and teacher, Paul, asked, “We’ve been in Shangri-La during this week together. What happens after? What happens when you go home? How can you take Shangri-La with you?”

At its most basic level, frequently many of us find ourselves in the conundrum, the re-entry process from the sacred container of retreat or circle back into everyday life. Family. Work. Taking care of things, rather than being taken care of. Attending to others and putting our dreams away with the name tag and the program.

And beyond just the re-entry issues, almost all of us grapple with the slipping away of the numinous, what we have just co-created and experienced in the circle. The sacred most often vanishes when faced with the continuum of complexities and “everyday-ness” of everyday life.

But I did something different when I awakened under the leafy canopy at Lake Geneva. I made a phone call from the beautiful retreat. As I talked to my Beloved of many years, I allowed myself to be utterly gobsmacked by the rain of blessings that was my life, our home, what was awaiting me on my return.

It was a blinding flash of the obvious, and maybe as close to a burning bush as I’m likely to experience: realizing what a sacred, blessed, and grace-filled life that has convened itself around me. I couldn’t begin to control nor even take credit for all the goodness. I breathed in. I allowed a geyser of joy and appreciation to flow through me, to express itself through the phone.

Like Hemingway, only writing of Paris once he was no longer there, this realization came when I was away from the garden, the Beloved, children, pet, kitchen, the photos, artworks, all the books…I was away.

While the stories of others’ uproot-ment, by choice or not, plays across our screens daily, the whole idea of home is coming into sharp relief. Like so many ideas, this one is up for re-imagining.

My friend and MasterHeart partner, Dawn, suggested we delve into Home as an archetype. Is now the time of its ripening, readying itself for redefinition, another look-see? Delving into “home” in all its permutations, being in a dialogue with the Archetype of Home, these are the next steps, conditions for moving forward.

These are the new challenges of our time, to find home, to define home as shared endeavor in service to the life force of our planet. And from there, to discover and reconnect with the inner home, the Shangri-La within.

When so many are struggling to land in a place that can become “home” in the world, how can we, all together, redefine home in a spacious a joy-filled way? How can we stretch the boundaries and definitions of “home” so that it encompasses life and a regenerative place for all? How can we make home a place where no one and no being is “other?”

This all unfolds for me in the particularity of considering rootedness just in time to release the rootbound life of a long-time home.

Still, something called our name just now. And I am learning slow and fast on a continuum of letting go, releasing, that Shangri-La resides within, is ever-present, all-encompassing, and divinely inspired.

I realize that those of us with the ability to choose have not only blessings, but also are called to give back. For many, there are plenty of more basic issues at stake — like when people don’t have enough to eat, when their children are killed, when there isn’t water to drink, when homes have been destroyed in whatever way the destruction plays out. All are called to home that will look rather different from what went before.

We need to feed the hungry and give shelter to those who don’t have it. And we also need to share the space for a dream for all, and a dream that encompasses us, the plants, animals, and all the sacred interconnections of life on and with the planet, Mother Gaia. We are partners and co-creators together. This is the secret, and love is the key. Love dissolves fear. How and where can you step into love, allowing the fear to dissolve?

What if Shangri-La is portable, like the Paris of Hemingway, and a Moveable Feast?

What if the sacred portals and roots everyone is seeking out there, are really ever-present and available within?

What if… between there and here, we connect in with the deepest part of us, to discover the malleability of the home inside each of us?

 

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Be Happy Where You Are AND Hungry for the Thrill of Creating

“An alternative is to be happy wherever you are, with whatever you’ve got, but always hungry for the thrill of creating art, of being missed if you’re gone and most of all, doing important work.”
–Seth Godin

My friend Patty Walters calls it “Yes AND,” a key principle in her brilliant improv-for-business work based in enchanted Santa Fe.

Others like my friend and mentor Paul Bauer of Dreams Alive talks about embracing the polarities.

Gaining traction for this process of holding seeming opposites within ourselves (without going crazy) is not the usual model that the black-and-white old paradigm world wants us to live by and believe.

We have a “crust” of old assumptions around this seeming dichotomy. It is time to release and break through, so that we are embracing and dancing with the polarities, the dichotomies, where love creates the symbol of yin and yang, balanced, both present, and somehow in beautiful harmony. In love are all the dichotomies transformed into wholeness.

This is the way of the Divine Feminine Spirit — in business and elsewhere. The Divine Feminine Spirit, like the female of the species, gives birth to male and female alike — literally giving birth to the polarities. She encompasses within her the creative spark, the divine fuse of life force, the connection to Source and the greatest good for all.  How can both sides of the equation NOT be sacred?

Dance! Reclaim your unfettered agility for holding fire and ice, male and female, child and adult, in solid, grounded, harmonic, and fully encompassed balance.

 

 

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On Independence — Just Noticing

Happy Independence Day to my US friends. (and to my Canadian friends, celebrating independence on Canada Day, July 1). The roots of what was initiated here in the US more than 234 years ago started with great possibilities. Some of that purity of intent has gotten corrupted over time. But there remain bright lights and good hearts dotted across the continent. From these embers, we must ignite the new hope.

Eleven years ago, right about this time of the summer, I too had reason to celebrate a personal independence when I stepped out of the corporate publishing world to create my own venture.  My journey over these 11 years has had ups and downs, but right now I am creating something new to lift the ceiling, so that greater possibilities open up like flowers before me and inside me and for all who choose to play in my circle. I’m raising my set point on good new stuff for myself and for the Write Synergies Circle that I am creating.

I completed 25 of the blog posts during the 30 day blog challenge convened by Jeanette Cates. Not bad considering I was unplugged at a retreat for 8 of those days. I received the “Mini 7″ award, which is completing 7 daily posts. I liked to joke that several of us completed multiple “mini 7s.” It was great fun shared with a cool circle of people. I truly appreciate everyone’s energies as we journeyed together. I look forward to the mutual support from this special circle of people as we move forward.

In Lake Geneva, as I reported here earlier, I fell into a circle of heart-full new friends. In Hawaiian, it’s called an “O’Hana,” or family. And that’s just how it felt. Energized from this gathering, and using it as a springboard, my process and creations are being magnified at an amazing rate.

Over the past year, I have been shapeshifting the copywriting I do. It’s not going away, but it is morphing as all living things do.  For those who can benefit from coaching, even if they don’t need the copywriting, I am adding Full Presence Coaching as a sacred listening space to support people on their creative and business journeys.   I realize that some people can benefit from entering into a sacred space as part of these Full Presence mirror conversations — a perfect way to metabolize the learnings that they are going through. Send me an email if you want to discuss the coaching option.

I continue to work deeply with Susan Castle, Paul Bauer, Jan Stringer, Alan Hickman, as well as my coaches Judith Sherven and Jim Sniechowski. It’s interesting to observe how the mentors most important in my life right now are committed couples. Just noticing, that’s all.

AND YET:  “Just Noticing” is absolutely crucial. Think about this. Act on this. Aim, for a week, to build “just noticing,” into your everyday life.  As I write this at the kitchen table in my personal Shangri-La, the crows visit. Crow has become one of my totems since I began noticing crow’s presence in my daily life at crucial moments over the past year. Crow, like the yin and yang bracelet I wear, symbolizes the unity of the polarities.

“Just noticing.”

See what you notice, then report back. What are you able to notice when you pay attention to what is around you? What about when you pay attention to the story behind the story? I look forward to your shared insights and stories.

Here’s to independence and noticing!
Bobbye Middendorf
The Write Synergies Guru

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Write Synergies, Sacred Synergies

Intent — pure, heart-based intent, when it’s for the highest good of all — is the royal road, the holy, the divine, the seat of power and energy. Seeing intent in action is to experience the miracles of synchronicities and synergies.

Intent, when it’s put in writing as is my wont, can be the engine that drives momentum and action in the world. Yet with words from the heart, such intent remains connected with the higher source, the sacred. In this way, with the power of intent, the creation and the connection to the audience together embrace the greater character of the sacred. Words on the page can create sacred space if placed with intent. That, at least, is my intention.

Write synergies, powered with intent for the highest good, for the healing of Gaia, Mother Earth, becomes sacred intent for bridging the gulf between our creation-from-the-heart  and the people the creation is here to serve, those for whom it is our contribution. Such writing with intent becomes the bridge of light between creation and community. As such, it build synergies.

When I came into the Dreams Alive circle years ago, I didn’t have any inkling that I would be so transformed so many years later. These sacred synergies and the realization of their deeper implications will likely be a theme for a good long time.

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Sometimes it’s a gem of truth

Molly Gordon wrote in her ezine today about how we don’t have to be superheroes and how to address our tendency to think we need to be.  Using the power of daily ritual is one way to keep the stress of superheroine roles out of our bodies.  Molly is expressing from her own deep truth of experience a great wisdom here — with a wink of fun tossed in for good measure. (Keep the crown, Molly. You deserve it!)

Seth Godin‘s post today on “winning” ended with this sentence: “What if the win is the ability to give a true gift?” It was one of those phrases that raised goosebumps, often for me an indicator of a powerful truth.

The gifts and creations (books, businesses, ventures, artworks, practices, creative projects) that you are bringing out to the world are created from the deepest heart of you. Coming from this fiery heart of creation, fueled by your passion for expressing your gift, you have a sacred trust to this, your creation and brainchild.

How can you maintain the purity of your intent as your creative project makes its way in the world? How can you preserve authenticity and integrity? How do you prevent it from becoming corrupted by the eddies and currents of the everyday and the toxic approaches that seem the common currencies?

This was one of the most powerful lessons from my recent retreat with the Dreams Alive and Relax-Online partners, Paul Bauer and Susan Castle. This powerful circle embodied the sacred and gave each of us the impetus to embrace our own sacred truth and creation while bringing it to life.

Your creations come from the heart and carry a sacred message. To speak that message in a way that connects with your perfect people (tribe, community, readers, clients, customers) requires a similarly sacred approach.  Isn’t it time for sharing the sacred stories in a way that your people can really get it?

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Missive from Shangri-La

Lake Geneva, WI — Just across the Wisconsin border from the greater Chicago area’s suburbs, the spring-fed Lake Geneva beckons summer vacationers into a delicious playground amid idyllic small towns and groves of 100-year-old trees. Dotted along its 26-mile circumference, resorts, summer homes, conference centers and camps abound. A public path circles the lake, so that all can enjoy its pleasures close-up.

On June 22, I was heading into the third night of my retreat with the Dreams Alive and Relax-Online partners, Paul Bauer and Susan Castle, along with their Hawaiian friend and co-leader, Keahi. We convened a sacred circle of like-hearted fellow-travelers on a path of growing ourselves, our consciousness, and our ability to flow from the heart with whatever life tosses in our direction. (Think curve balls.)

On Solstice Monday morning, three of our heart-full friends departed, making our intimate group even more so. During the week-long retreat, I entered deeply into the magic of the moment, a serene setting and powerful teachers moving internal energies that have been stuck seemingly for lifetimes.

I’ve gotten  myself off schedule for the blog challenge. I realize that I didn’t even finish editing the post that I automatically posted on Father’s Day. I cringed when I saw that it had published. “Oops,” I thought.

Lesson: Make sure you’ve completely cleared /cleaned the post before you schedule it!

Trying to put this retreat experience into words is a challenge and beyond. The transformations are so profound that to write about them somehow diminishes the power in the moment. Words that embody the essence of the experience simply can’t do it justice.

For pragmatic business people, doing personal growth and development work at deep levels like this is both crucial and yet seemingly impossible. It appears to be the opposite of practical.

Yet I suggest that this process of finding the essence of your life purpose and clearing the obstacles that have kept you from living fully into that purpose is among the most practical and foundational work imaginable. It opens the door for the right business relationships to grow from the rooted heart of who you are and why you are here.

The retreat was all-consuming for seven delicious days. The internet connection was something that, if used at all, had to be mindfully approached. Although it was available, it was not convenient and ever-present.

So, I got off track.  I didn’t manage to pre-write the posts either. This is coming to you a week after I wrote it. I want to express my appreciation to each of you for your love and support.

From my heart,
Bobbye Middendorf
The Write Synergies Guru

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