My Two Mothers

Posted: April 24, 2017 in Uncategorized

I looked up at them, the two older women who meant the most to me in the world.

One was my boss; the other, my mother, facing each other off, fiercely engaged in a battle of what they thought best for me.

Mom: What she needs is insurance, health and life and whatever else she can get!

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My first generation immigrant mama

Elaine: Are you kidding, Eve? Insurance for artists like us, like teZa, is a death sentence.

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Elaine as I knew her

My mother was absolutely flummoxed. She’d never been talked to in such an authoritative manner, especially when it came to what she thought best for her babies, my one sister and me.

It didn’t matter to her that at the time I was nearly forty. I would always be her baby, even as I grew closer to the age she was then, the day she and Elaine stood side by side, arguing over me.

I felt I was watching them debate about the true meaning of my life, played out by two feisty characters, both representing parts of myself which I now could recognize.

Elaine de Kooning was my spiritual and artistic mentor, the supporter and champion I’d always wanted in my own mom, but never had. My mom and Elaine were born in exactly the same year. Both were in their late sixties then, yet right there their similarities ended. Other than they were both white American women.

They could have been in the same school class, but they’d never have hung out in same gang. My mom was a first generation, all-practical, hard working immigrant farm girl. Her first job was her reward for having quit high school because she didn’t have “proper shoes” to wear. Getting dressed up in a skirt and stockings to earn enough to walk around in good leather shoes, in those pre-WWII days, gave my factory-working mom the self esteem she’d never found in her two years of high school. English was her second language, picked up only when she started to walk the miles to and from school on the outskirts of town. She was smart enough to pick up skills to mask her terrible feelings of inferiority, being a daughter of dirt poor truck farmers.

Ironically, during the Depression it was to her family’s farm that hungry folks flocked to, around Riverside and Burlington, New Jersey. Time after time strangers, mostly men on the move looking for work, would end up sitting in my Grammom’s cozy kitchen, saying, “Yes’m’” when she, Antonina from Lithuania, asked in garbled English, if he’d care for one more fried egg. My mom told us stories of many men who’d eat more than a dozen freshly laid eggs apiece, in one sitting, fried up one by one by Grammom, until they’d had their fill.

Such were the rewards—good healthy food and lots of it—of being a farmer during hard times.

Elaine wasn’t a farm girl but she was definitely a hoarder, as lots of city folk turned out who experienced the Depression’s scarcity. When I started working as Elaine’s assistant, besides cleaning her paint brushes and preparing manuscript pages for my artist/writer mentor, one of my jobs was to help sort out her heaps of belongings.

Having ten or twelve of every pair of shoes, dress, coat or blouse was not what an average person does. “I have to have them,” Elaine simply explained. “Even though I know I’ll never use them. That’s what being poor did to me.”

My mom, just as poor when a child as Elaine, never hoarded clothes. Her Depression scars were borne deeper within, marring her feelings of self worth rather than needing ten instead of just that one special lavender sweater.

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the kind of painting I did when I was Elaine’s assistant

I arrived in Elaine’s life via an old fashioned letter, to which I’d attached a snapshot of myself kneeling in front of one of my sculpted screens depicting ordinary-as-sacred images. Maybe it’s because I’m big and strong and Elaine was small and delicate, or maybe it’s because I was just brazen enough to ask if I could be her assistant—but I got a phone call as soon as she received my note.

“I need someone to help me sort out my life,” a smoker’s voice said.

“I’m the one for you, Elaine,” I confidently told her. “Like you, I’m both artist and writer. I know what it’s like to have that kind of complexity going on.”

“When can you start?”

the birth of a spiritual warrior, ready to take up the arms of inner peace

this is the picture I sent Elaine, I was 37

I’d ended up in East Hampton after a decade of living as an ex-pat in the Caribbean, living a sailor’s dreamy existence, setting up businesses wherever my anchor was set. I’d left the USA because its politics and materialism made me mad. Like I tell folks who grumble over our last election, “Try living a decade somewhere else if you don’t like what’s going on here at home.” That’s how I got the grumbles out of my system.

As Elaine and I sorted through her attic-filled, basement-crammed house, I didn’t know she was dying of cancer at the time. I knew she had a bad cough, but she laughed whenever I expressed concern. She was too busy to be sick, she told me. She had paintings to paint, critiques, articles and her memoirs to publish.

“And young artists, like you, teZa, to encourage.”

If she was anything, Elaine was an encourager.

En-courage-er: someone who imparts courage, making others feel braver.

My mom, Eve, was too much of a worrier to have ever encouraged me to do anything other than to get insurance. And, oh yeah, I needed a steady straight job. And a husband with one, too. Mom never looked at my art work; she never asked to read any of my writing. She regarded me as her offspring—supposed to do what she thought best. Art was something to be done only when the real work of life was complete.

With Elaine—at whose doorstep I arrived a complete unknown, working by her side for the last year of her life, cataloging her art and artifacts, her so-called Inadvertent Collection of known and never-to-be-known artists, all of it, junk or treasure, treated in the same respectful, curiosity-fed manner—I grew stronger of heart.

I learned about courage from this tiny woman clad in wispy black crepe, wearing ankle length capes, who loved me as a soul-daughter. She gave me the healing I needed from not having had a supportive birth-mother. On my side now, I had a second mom who rooted for me instead of judged my differences.

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I always wanted a fairy-mom or angel-mom …

I looked at the two women as they stood sparring in my Springs basement studio. Still having cross words—over me!

“I’m telling you she needs a steady job, with insurance,” my tall stiff mother insisted.

“And I’m repeating, Eve,” short graceful Elaine said, “that to someone like teZa, thinking that way will kill her spirit.”

“What do you mean,” mom asked. “How can it kill someone to have insurance?”

“Because,” Elaine said, “if that’s the main objective of a person’s life, to have insurance, or rely on anything other than one’s own driving force, she’d never be able to make this moving, strong, totally original art. She’d just be an ordinary person, not who she is. Having insurance will make her too secure. We artists have different needs.”

I looked up at my two mothers. How I loved them both! My bio-mom and my spirit-mom. Elaine with her soft billowing noir clothes that moved like raven wings as she swung her expressive limbs all about. My visiting-from-the-burbs mom, with her polyester pastel pants suit, stood implacable. Both of them daughters, graduates of the Great Depression’s hardships. Elaine hoarded clothes. My mom hoarded her opinions.

Clearly, the one who’d never had a child of her own was the one now giving me the motherly comfort I yearned for, as a rogue artist. As well as the peer acceptance I’d lately come to wonder if I’d ever get. I loved Elaine especially for this, besides giving me a generous weekly paycheck, sans insurance.

And Mom—she gave me life, the most important gift of all. For that alone I stood in awe of my bio-mom, my gratitude multiplying in the years to come, as I learned to love myself.

Mom’s love had so many mandates, strings, conditions, and expectations. I could never live up to her expectations. They were hers, not mine. But Elaine’s nonstop gush, her just-right formula of sympatico, recognizing a free spirit like hers, freed me.

Today they’re both gone.

I think back upon that remarkable day when both Elaine and Eve, my two most important female role models, met at my place in the Springs. Hovering over me, debating what’s best for the fledgling they thought me—one interested in me and the work I was making, the other interested in only that she’d made me—I remember now how intense this showdown was.

Seeing how two such similar cuts of female, born at the exact same time in history, and how they impacted me and the world around them so very differently.

While Elaine was dead within that year, my mom would live another thirty. Happily, the confidence that Elaine bestowed me, the kind my own mother couldn’t because she had none to give—began right then.

I don’t hold one higher than the other. In my heart, they gave me different aspects of a mother’s true love. Elaine was my spiritual art-mother. It felt as if she’d been waiting for me to come help her, that day she got my request with its wild crazy photo in the mail, with my eighties hair spiked out in platinum streaks.

And Eve, whom we lost just a year ago at age ninety-seven, gave me what her parents gave her. Good basic earthy stuff. A solid foundation. Just like all those eggs Grammom fed strangers. My mom fed me the strength and tenacity of an immigrant’s daughter. Both mother’s magic wands of caring helped me become brave enough to spread more love, in return.

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lord flea and Eva Maria, mi mama

Last week was really rough for me. I hate to admit it, but for the first time in years I was licking the inside rim of the pity pot. Nasty business. Soul Puke. No need to know the gory details. Three huge disappointments, heartbreaks all in a row, and … my resiliency got severely tested. So what did I do? I indulged. Not something I’m proud of but, hey! I’m human. Most times I”m pretty balanced, but last week I lost it. Completely. Utterly. I ate all the sugar I could get my hands on, for a few days, lost it. To hell with meditation! The “old habit” of self-pity got its claws into my heart, I know it ought not by now, but–hey! I’m human. Two steps forward, a million backwards. We all know the way progress of any sort goes.

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sometimes i fall through the rabbit’s hole of self-pity, sometimes, whoosh! — i manage to stumble into the inner worm-hole to One Love Consciousness

I accept my humanness. I’m perfect in my imperfections. We all are.

Sometimes we humans get thrown off our track, our well-meaning Road Less Traveled. For those of us who consider the Stillness of cultivating a spiritual connection to life, meditation one of the highest roads available, even we get raped, pillaged, plundered by life events, every now and then and when that happens—we forget our spiritual tools that keep us sane.

So … when I taught my once-a-week yoga class last Wednesday night I naturally chose as its theme what I needed to focus on. Balance. In a yoga asana pose, and in life.

After my Big Bang Heart Attack, those 3 heartbreaks in a row, I gave myself a few days to feel the pain of my lower self (thank you, feelings) and … thanks to the tools I’ve learned through years of practice … I contemplated what I needed to do to right myself, get myself back on track. To let go of life’s disappointments and once again, take up the armor of being a lieutenant in the Army of Love. I reminded myself to practice what I like to talk about here, on Lord Flea.

To love. Unabashedly. Unconditionally. Universally.

To love myself, number one. To forgive myself, and others, for not being perfect, when I forget it’s okay to just be … human. And when I can do that, I can forgive the entire world situation as well. We’re all stumbling around, aren’t we? looking for how best to live our lives. Everyone does their best. I truly believe this.

I can forgive the people, places and things that hurt my heart. I can forgive everything—by accepting—and remembering that some things are beyond my knowledge, control, and certainly my wishes. I can re-focus my efforts, and decide to remain in my Big Heart, not my conflicted puny mind. I can do this, at least. Once the white sugar blues wears away, and I’ve sweated out all the negatives that scratched and clawed at my Big Heart. Maybe next time I’ll be stronger, and won’t indulge in the drug of sweet. At least I don’t worship the grape, the weed anymore, at least that, thankfully.

Big Bambu by Starn Twin

the labyrinth of keeping mind-body-spirit in balance … it’s vigilance!

Our feelings are “signs from God.” They tell us how to turn, adjust, add to or take away whatever is making our lives feel out of whack. The feeling part is essential. For those of us who used to run from our feelings, numb them with chemicals or denial—these folks aren’t in tune with their real true human nature. That feelings are “signs.” If we listen to them, not run or hide or mask them, we can actually learn to live balanced happy lives.

For me, I needed to refocus on positives. After those three BIG negatives hit me, bam bam bam! I weakened. So big deal, I shed a few tears, whined a few “poor me’s” and my consort Carter once again, got to be my big brother, and hugged me back to loving myself. As I get to do to him, too, when he’s down. Ain’t love great!

Today I’m again shining and in the center of my Big Heart. Glad I made the choice to look at my life, assess my pros and cons, and make some changes. I’m glad I did not do anything more drastic, more permanent than a few extra pieces of cake.

fill yourSelf with LOVE

fill yourSelf with LOVE, not cake

A family member committed suicide this week. A college professor, I just finished reading his 11-page letter (posthumously posted to his blog, damn! what a way to say goodbye, yuk!). If he had reached out and spoken aloud the frustration and disappointment he felt, many of us who cared for him, loved him for who he was, truly unique as we all are, could have comforted him, as big brother Carter did me, last week. But instead, he chose to take his own life, the ultimate selfish act in my opinion.

We all have free will. We can choose to notice when our lives are in balance, or not. The trick is “to know” when we get off kilter. Sometimes we have to get messages from our feelings, or friends, or—BIG rejections, disappointments—feeling our efforts are like pissing in the wind, our fabulous, utterly wonderful work is that which nobody gives a shit about. (Ha! now you know, the reward of knowing, for those who’ve struggled to the end of today’s post. Rejection is always my Achilles heel, my personal arrow of Truth.)

LordFlea as the Mesmerizer

LordFlea as the self-accepting MadWoman Artist, beloved by ALL

Here I publicly renew my VOW: I choose to consciously live my life, and when I’m out of whack, I’ll re-align myself to something Greater Than Myself. I won’t whack myself. I promise.

Change is the name of the game. That’s the only constant in life … Change is chaos theory, quantum physics, the universal consciousness we are all part of. We Are ONE, that’s the only truth I can ever say I’d bet my life on.

Lovingly yours, truly!

your pal LordFlea, aka teZa

Hello dear One,

Yesterday I was reading a marvelous book that was on the bestseller lists some years ago. Written by a person I’ve known about for years, who is somewhat of a spiritual giant, a true legend, mentor and teacher around these parts of Northeast Florida. The book is “the Untethered Soul” and the author is Mickey Singer. He’s been holding spiritual gatherings since the 70s in Gainesville Florida at the Temple of the Universe. I’ll provide a link to the book after I tell you a little about what I admire most about this book.

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For those of us interested in stilling our mind (meditation) we are familiar with the term “The Witness.” This word is how we in the West most commonly interpret the Sanskrit word Atman that means, “the part of our humanness that is connected to universal consciousness.” Universal consciousness, in Sanskrit, is called Brahman. These terms I’m relating have been written about since the earliest East Indian scriptures, in which they were first described, the Vedas and Upanishads that date back to around 4,000 BC.

I first heard about the Witness (some say it was Carl Jung who gave this Western term to the Eastern concept of everything being connected by consciousness) when I began my own inward journey. After experiencing severe emotional trauma that culminated around age twenty, I was invited to learn how to meditate — just before I was due to be cut open for a scheduled “exploratory surgery”, ordered because nobody could find what was wrong with me. Back in the late 60s people were just beginning to put it together that our minds had great influence over our bodies.

The instant I learned to tune into the Witness (another way of describing the stilling of our mind’s thoughts, i.e., meditation) — the chronic pain that surrounded my life-center, my belly button (the solar plexus) completely disappeared. And never reappeared ever again! I had been in crippling pain for months, after experiencing trauma brought about by a critical, absurdly dysfunctional family situation.

So believe me when I tell you, truthfully, that learning to meditate saved my life.

Along with also learning to do hatha yoga poses at an even earlier age, which saved me from the severe nerve-pain of childhood scoliosis. Since the 60s, then, I have been a student of higher consciousness, however and wherever I can find it. Because — it brought happiness and health to my previously stressed-out life.

My consort Carter (who dabbles in meditation) claimed after reading Mickey Singer’s book … “I’ve never understood this Witness stuff. But his book the Untethered Soul really gave me a true understanding, finally.” Naturally, I had to read this book myself after my darling man’s proclamation, from a committed Christian who also believes in many of the concepts that we who call ourselves spiritual more than religious hold sacred.

If you have never understood the nature of our true Being-ness, I highly recommend you read and understand, “the Untethered Soul.” Here’s the Amazon link for Singer’s book.

unveil your true Self!

unveil your true Self, the Untethered Soul, the Witness within …

Usually I’m recollecting my own spiritual experiences here at LordFlea Sings. But today I’m seriously saying, “If you have never understood your true nature, please read this book.” This is a first for LordFlea, recommending another’s spiritual writing.

One other unexpected thing. The other day I was given insight about a book I wrote that’s been represented by a highly respected literary agent for the past year. I’d been wondering why it hadn’t sold to a publisher. Why was a perfectly wonderful (said the agent) book not selling. Why? Then … I received an email from my dear friend Maria in Amsterdam, who had just read a .pdf of my book. She is a person of great heart. She also understands, intimately, my family’s particular dynamic.

After reading the book she bravely brought to my attention that what this true story relates (in the novel-esque fashion of a nonfiction narrative) might cause irreparable damage to an emotionally vulnerable member of my immediate family. At first I resisted when Maria suggested — “Don’t publish it, please.” How absurd!, I said to myself after reading her letter, using the f-word to express myself succinctly. I defended myself, thinking “I’m an artist and writer, it’s my duty to speak and relate the truth.” As hours wore on, my mind kept up the argument. “I totally discount my friend’s assessment. My hard-won agent says it’s great. Who’s Maria to say these things? She’s just … a person of great heart. She’s neither artist nor writer.” By the time I went to bed I had weighed all things and knew beyond a doubt that Maria was just wrong. Well meaning, but waaaaay off.

I awoke the next morning knowing — it was my own mind that was dead wrong.

After sleeping on it, lo and behold, the Witness bubbled up its own strong message, which felt like a billboard hitting me full frontal in the third eye. “She’s right, dammit!” the Witness clearly shouted as I awoke. “From any other person I’d never believe it. But Maria — she’s the real deal. She’s a true heart-person if ever there was one.”

Upon awakening I knew instantly that the Witness-within was telling me, ordering me, to believe — and do — something my own conscious mind was incapable of. That I had to shelve this major project on which I’d spent blood, sweat, and too many tears recounting. We’re talking years’ worth of anguish and hard work.

The Witness added: “Maria courageously spoke to you about what needs to be said. At this time, right now, this spiritual memoir’s publication will cause irreparable damage to this one specific family member … who still needs more time to heal.”

Never in a zillion years did I expect this message from the Witness, confirming Maria’s bravely sharing with me, when it came welling up from my own inner Self. Whatever happened in my dream-state … was beyond my understanding. When I went to bed the night before, I was sure Maria was overreacting. My agent had assured me “This book is great. The world needs to read it!” My well-attuned (I thought) spiritual mind had made the same assessment, too. Friends who had read it all had told me the world needed to hear this story because it relates to our current blended, often conflicting family of humankind today. Seriously, I felt obliged to make it public even if I had to self-publish … before getting Maria’s email the other day.

But when the Witness speaks (yes, we all get strong messages from our unconscious, you all know this) best we follow the signs, the instinctual up-welling of direction that comes from our stilled mind … or a dream, or … a friend’s honest sharing. Messages of all sorts come from — the Great Heart, the Big Heart, that which is also called — the Witness.

So for now, I am lovingly putting aside my years-long project. Just For Now. Instead, I am concentrating on my next project, which I’m equally excited about. More about that later. It’s already completely written. Now I’m fine-tuning the manuscript before presenting it to the world.

I Stand Naked Before You ... with My Book!

I Stand Naked Before You … with My Book!

Expect the unexpected, my friend. And pay attention to the messages you get from your own inner Self, your heart-connection to this amazing journey we’re all on — life!

Here’s the link to my own ART BOOK “We Are ONE” … for a visionary rendition of Witness consciousness.

Until next time, much love to ALL,

LordFlea aka teZa Lord

The Sacred as Ordinary

Posted: March 6, 2017 in Uncategorized
Beeman Pollination Blues, all species, all love--we are ONE

A flower, is it really a flower? And a bee, what is it, really?

I know people analyze and ponder, and some argue and others pay lots of money to figure out how to be a happier, healthier human being. But for me, right here at this moment–I can honestly answer the question of “Why do you do what you do?” with no holding back. I proudly do what I do, and do so as publicly as I can in this digital age of blogs, tweets, etc.

I do what my soul tells me to do. By “soul” I really mean that instinctual feeling, that connection I sense inside myself, to do what is “right” for me to do, as opposed to what is “wrong” for me to do. Of course it’s taken lots of work for me to stop listening to what my “head” tells me, that ego-driven intellect that always used to get me in trouble, back when I let it stronghold my heart, the door to my soul’s whisperings. But I’ve done the work. My heart is free. I am, once again, as childlike as I can be … without being downright silly.

At other times in my life I’ve been known to do things for other reasons. Before I got a handle on my negative addictions, I mean. Before, I used to do things for the sheer thrill of them! I was addicted to thrills, and that led me to dangerous waters. Yes, I’ve also been motivated by wanting to make great art, help others, make money, earn prestige, and follow my passions. The passion for knowing about myself led me early in life to become a meditator.

Stillness, the inner drama

Stillness, the inner drama

And now, decades of meditation later, thinking has been kindly eliminated except when needed, thank you very much. I bask in the Stillness of pure consciousness a bit easier these days (practice makes perfect, or at least, non-thought, non-duality, no-BS lots easier). I believe that meditation has, in effect, helped me understand best of all why I do what I do.

Because when I’m in the state of meditation, even for a few breaths’ worth—I feel connected to my soul. It’s then that I’m really experiencing the essence of life, in my own truth. Not anybody else’s. I’m not doing something because I have to do it, or because I dread what others expect of me. There is nothing to prove, when I eliminate outside influences, which meditation is. People meditate (even for a few breaths) because—it feels so darn good.

I suppose that’s why people do whatever they do. It just feels right to them. And for this reason—and here’s the point of this—I can never judge someone who does something other than what I do, as being either right or wrong, bad or good, nasty or sublime. What another person does, is just what they do. The only exception to this is child-raising.

Because essentially we all do what we believe to be what feels right.Those of us lucky enough to live in a free democracy, that is.  Usually we do things because it feels good to us, when we’re in this “groove” of following our bliss. Of course there are the exceptions, the masochists, but … we’re not talking about those not interested in bettering themselves, are we? This is a spiritual blog, right!

That’s why I honor all people, even those whose opinions and methods are way out of line with mine—to be manifestations of the Divine. Just as much as I feel I am, and you are, too. So, when I get judged (which everyone is, sooner or later) as “wrong” or “ineffective” or “not worthy” of something—I am presented with an opportunity to practice what I’m speaking about today .

Acceptance of others as equally a mirror of the Sacred-as-Ordinary.

a temple of nature---everywhere!

the Ordinary-as-Sacred—LordFlea sings!

I have learned that to forgive others is to accept them. And when I forgive others for hurtful things, I expand my ability to be more human. I become more centered in my heart. Why? Because it’s not obstructed by the negative energy of having to always be “right.”

I’m writing about this today because recently I was told by someone whom I thought was my friend, “Your writing doesn’t do beans,” concerning what’s happening in the political arena today. “Go call your Congressman/woman!” this person said, and … turned harshly away from me. This person is toxic to someone who calls themself a spiritual activist. This person belongs to the religion of politics, not universal consciousness. And so, they are; but no longer in my intimate circle, which is a loving and supportive tribe, accepting of each others’ differences.

I feel very strongly that we all do what we must do. And for me, I am compelled to share concepts via words and images. Not because I think I’m great. Certainly not because I want fame or fortune. Simply because—I must.

Plant/Animal/Spirit---I Am

Plant/Animal/Spirit—I Am

 

Sex v. Spirit

Posted: February 10, 2017 in Uncategorized
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Sex  and  Spirit

No matter where you go all people have as strong a sexual urge as the life force throbs within them. Interestingly, as adolescents the sex urge arises at the same time as spiritual questioning. Which gets fostered? It’s a source of constant challenge for humans to harness and keep in balance, and not let sex rule our lives or ruin our chances of leading otherwise happy healthy lives.

Similar conflicts as the entire world faces can be seen in microcosm in any community of gathered humans. At the Academy for Wayward Girls (where my current book nonfiction book is set), and other detention facilities, as well, it’s a well known fact among correctional workers that sexual competition and hostilities happen in times of forced internment. “Gay for the stay,” is the accepted mien.

Overpopulation and stress trigger odd, otherwise uncharacteristic behavior. I’ve been told by the Academy’s staff, the guards, that perhaps the biggest problem in the community of locked-up girls at Bowling Green (central Florida), there in a community of solely girls from twelve to eighteen, sexual misconduct is like breathing air to the inmates.

The Director told me: Sexual games become clandestine and competitively aggressive among these troubled girls in lockup. Not surprising, considering they’re isolated from any competing partners, male or female. Plus they’re lonely, homesick, and crowded together with no respite from the constant irritation of angst-driven noise and high-pitched aggravation. Fights happen way more than chats. Indeed, everyone accepts it: even hetero girls become gay for the stay.

There’s no privacy whatsoever, except when the door is closed to the toilet. Room checks at night to guard against sexual activity can’t stop the bed-sharing in a two-girl dorm room. When those bedoom doors close, girls continue with their sexual intrigue, figuring out ways to keep their pairing-off, switching, drama-games going. Youth of this age rage with sexual energy anyway, but the anxiety of having no freedom at all only adds to a teenager’s need for sexual release of some sort. Covert does quite nicely in jails and lockup.

In yoga the sexual energy is akin and connected to the awakening of the Kundalini Shakti. This is a tremendous upsurge of energy that arises in an individual when the spiritual center of a person has been awakened. The ecstasy that naturally happens when a person lets awakened consciousness into their life, is something every lover of God, from the fundamental religious person to the esoteric spiritual seeker is well aware of. Many people never get to experience it because it remains dormant, going back asleep within, if the Kundalini isn’t nurtured after being awakened in adolescence. Sometimes, later in life, after a traumatic event, the loss of a loved one, or some other catalyzing catastrophe, a person will have a spontaneous awakening of their Kundalini also. The awakening can happen at any time in life, but the first is usually–as a young teen.

Book of teZ

Kundalini Rising — the chakras

Usually coming awake of its own natural occurrence around the early years of adolescence, coinciding with the time when a youth starts to ask questions like, Who am I?, Why am I here?, the Kundalini can, if not properly directed into spiritual outlets, become a raging compulsion to explore the mysteries of the corresponding energy that overwhelms us humans, sexual energy. Which of course, is what happens to the average teenager. Exploring a sure-fire arousal mechanism, such as our bodies, and others come nicely and erogenously equipped with, sounds more normal, than a teen getting instructions from a parent or priest or shaman, how to tap their newly awakened Kundalini.

One day in yoga class I tell the girls about the arousal of the spiritual energy, the Kundalini, and how the poses we do in yoga help us explore that divine energy all humans have within them.

“Say wha’?” that day’s new girl shouts to the others who sit in our circle. “Cunt-a what? Wha’ the heck is she sayin’” and all of us laugh our heads off. Then I explain to the new girl, the difference between the sexual, which she certainly knows, and spiritual energy we’re talking about that she’s never heard of. And its name, Kundalini, well, we all know what she mistook that word for. Easy to get them confused, these similar-sounding words, the name of spiritual energy and a well known sexual act so familiar to girls in lockup.

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Sex or spirit, and let’s face it — even sports — they can all overtake any human as well as any other type of addiction does. Acting badly, being depressed, angry, or self-inflicting dangerous harm or behavior can be addictive. Especially to teens who don’t yet know how to love themselves. Acting good or badly is a choice we all have. To the girls in lockup, their crimes were the result of their addictions, behavior patterns that began in childhood or adolescence. The only way to stop an addiction is to first be aware of it. To not be in denial about it.

Anyone with a harmful addictive habit needs to have a crash, a bottom in order to be shaken from the false reality that what they’re caught up in is good for them. In Twelve Step programs this is called a bottom, yet sometimes, like my personal recovery story, I needed more than just one bad experience to call it “the bottom I need.” For me I needed a spiritual bottom, not just a physical (oh, many of those!) and a few mental one (yes, I lost my marbles, are they back yet?). Of course I don’t go into details about “my story” with my yoga girls. But I do answer specific questions when they ask. I am always honest, and it’s good for them to know someone who’s struggled as much as they are, there in lockup.

Why? Why Not!

Posted: February 4, 2017 in Uncategorized
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Conflict & Confusion=opportunity for transformation

Currently, as I sit at my desk writing, half of America and many parts of the world are in an uproar — millions of mini life-storms happening all around me. For the Democrats, they’re pissed about the huge change the new administration has already enacted (it’s now only a few short days since President Trump took office). For the Republicans, they are rejoicing about the long-awaited changing of the guard. For me, an independent, I am, as ever, watchful, hopeful, and in-between.

I have lost friends because they think that prayer (which I do for our world situation, constantly) is a waste of time. I envision powerful energy surrounding the President, guiding him, assisting him. I do not revel. I am a spiritual activist, not a political revolutionary. Yet my liberal friends shout at me, “Your stupid blog doesn’t reach enough people! Get folks to call their congressman/woman! We have to impeach Trump!”

Yet — I don’t agree. I feel what is happening–is perfect in its imperfections.

This is one of my favorite yogic sutras: I am perfect, you are perfect, if the perfect is taken from from the perfect … only the perfect remains.

These times are filled with imperfections that, if looked at spiritually, are perfect.

Today I watch the current political turmoil as a decade ago, I watched the turmoil within each of my yoga girls’ minds and hearts, these angry and violent girls to whom I taught yogic breath, poses and meditation for years, while they were imprisoned in a full-security juvenile lockup in central Florida, the subject of my current literary project. The girls in my story are learning how to make a positive situation out of a most unpleasant one. Their already adverse situation worsens when one day — a killer hurricane’s eye heads right for their Fort Knox of a facility. The theme of this book is how to stay in the calm within our own Being, for each of us, even when in the worst adversity imaginable.

I saw these girls (12-18) choose to suffer with what is the same way as I see so many suffering from the current political climate, those whose candidate (Hilary) lost, I’m referring to. When I taught the girls awaiting 2004’s Hurricane Charley’s eye, I often had to remind myself that the reason I was there, sharing my passion with them of positive-thinking,supported by strengthening the body-temple within through yoga and meditative techniques, I had the same passion then as I do now, as I reflect about the ripples of anger, outrage, and rebellion I’m witnessing all around me today, in 2017.

Prepare for the Unexpected

Prepare for the Unexpected

My worldview is the same then as it is now. I see the world as One, all its people are One, and whatever happens to us is the inevitable result of all our many choices (past-present-future) all adding up to what’s happening here and now, today: including the shocking results of November’s upset election. Each of us live our life-situation as the result of all our own choices. Our choices create our present moment, the Now.

If you are one who’s disgruntled over Trump’s win, I hope you are brave enough, open enough to read on, my friend. Because I hug your ache, but want you to know something very important. Of course deep inside you know this already, I’m just here reminding you today.

For my tortured girls in juvie lockup, my role was to help them realize that their suffering, in prison, was the end result of their own choices. With a shift in their thinking, which I taught them how to do with the very first breath we took, deeply, with awareness , they learned they had the power within to alter their view of themselves. They learned to no longer think of themselves as victims. In time, with practice, they actually learned to accept their life in prison, as what is — and came to enjoy themselves while they were there. This change within them, a change in attitude, which is the same as a change in consciousness, took hard work on the girls’ part. It took them showing up in class, number 1. Then it took willingness to change. They kept coming back. They learned to see things formerly thought unacceptable — as what is. They accepted they were in prison, and they admitted they were the ones who put themselves in prison, from the choices they’d made in the past. My yoga girls opened their minds, and their previously closed hearts, to the possibility that every previous choice of theirs had led them here, step-by-step, choice-by-choice, to their being imprisoned there in Bowling Green Youth Academy.

Today as I write this, I’m thinking how our current world — right outside my window, beyond my beautiful garden and flourishing plants — is the result of America’s choices, one after the next, one act, or lack of action, after the next, year by year, month by month. And here we are — with a president that everyone, including himself, was astonished to see win against the potential first-woman-president.

I approach this current unrest in our society’s situation with the same wonder, curiosity, and trust that my decades of yogic training have given me. To me — and I’m not saying this is anyone else’s viewpoint because most of my friends are on the warpath right now, so I only share my deepest thoughts with my beloved consort, Carter, and now you, my reader — I truly believe our shocking new president is the best thing the world can experience right now!

That’s right! I said it! I made a truly political statement, a first for Lord Flea Sings!

Lordflea with Trolls

Lordflea with Political Trolls

Why do I think this administration is the best for our world right now?

Because—it is. It’s happening. The choices have been made. The election is over.

Somehow or other, the Republican candidate managed to do what no one ever thought possible. To win. And these things don’t happen by accident. What is — is because the universe, the collective unconscious, the way of Nature, whatever one calls it — has indeed occurred. There is no doubt, it’s real. Hardly anyone, certainly not the press, predicted such an upset happening. And now all of America and most of the world is being forced to experience the reality of President Trump’s new administration. But — it is. It is a reality. It is legal. It is part of our reality. What is, is.

So if you are one who’s terribly upset, I feel sorry for you. Because your life is going to be sheer hell for the next, say, four years, maybe even eight.

Is that what you really choose? To be miserable over a political upset?

I for one am interested in watching, from my comfortable, calm spiritual center within, from this Big Heart every single person is part of, and see what happens next.

I’m not going to waste time being mad. Shocked. Flabbergasted. Marching. Dissing. Joining the outrage. I certainly was shocked, but of a good sort, a “watching a miracle” kind of way on the evening of the election when the results were announced. Because to me, when something happens that upsets so very many people, I see it as a miraculous opportunity to have a mass transformation occur. Being upset, being shook up, is the best thing for people to have, if they haven’t yet found the comfort and calm of their powerful inner selves. Their spiritual side.

Sure, I felt the powerful surge of shock, sure. I felt the fear, apprehension, too. At first, I admit it, I was floored. What would happen to our world? Our environment? My rights as a woman? My LBGTQ friends? And then I grasped that … this is what is. And I made a vow to myself, right then, just as I do with any situation that seems unreasonable, scary, unknown, just as I shared with the girls I taught in lockup: when I accept what is. My vow is:

I am in the flow of life. I am not resisting the flow.

Being in the flow of life takes trust. And courage. And … letting go.

In yoga we get to discriminate. Sometimes “taking no action” (other than prayer and meditation) is the best form of action to take. Hmmmm, now there’s a koan!

When we let go, we truly let Good Orderly Direction into our lives.

Who are we to say that God, who is everything, made a mistake by letting Trump win? Not me! If you say that, well, I can’t agree, sorry. I think I’ll go with the way Divine Order went on this one, thank you very much.

The things that are scariest are what we don’t know.

When we remain in the center of our consciousness, our inner power, nothing can harm us. Who are we to say that the Divine Order of the Universe messed up? Lots of people are shouting what happened in the election is unfair, illegal, inappropriate, outrageous. But — it is reality. It happened.

The energy of existence, the creative force of Nature (Om) is in charge. Of all of us, not just with the charging force of a deadly hurricane’s about to descend on those  who live at the smallest spot on a central Florida rural map. The energy of existence is also the directing force of what caused the hugely upsetting shift of this new administration. Unfortunately it’s not one that’s being heralded as noble by many, but instilling fear, condemned by some, slurred by angry shouts of marching protests loudly proclaiming its illegitimacy-its un-godly, un-seemly, un-constitutional, blah blah.

Instead of being closed to what is, as I taught my yoga girls — because they suffered so from bad choices in their young and tender lives — be open to everything!

“Even being in jail,” I told them as we stood, preparing to begin our sun salutes. “Being in jail may seem unacceptable to you, but now that you’re yoga girls you’re beginning to see that even what appears to be the worse thing you would ever choose for your life, may just be exactly what your life needed.”

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No longer the sacrificial victim — adversity can set us FREE!

I saw their brows furrow, their eyes pleading “Wha??”

“It’s true,” I say. “You’re here. You know deep in your heart that you deserve to be here. You did everything yourself to get you here, step-by-step, choice-by-choice. So — now that you’re here, don’t waste another moment being pissed about it.” I take a deep breath and decide to go all the way with my explanation as I begin to stretch my body.

“Now that you’re here, take a tally of your life, and see that you can choose to benefit from this time here, in lockup, without the freedoms you’re used to. Use these months, or years in some cases …”

I take another deep breath … and continue …

“… and accept your being here, locked up for now, as a gift. A gift you don’t want, but possibly a gift that may change your life. Clearly see that you’re here by your own choices, some of them pretty bad ones. You can use this time,” I say to my girls in State juvie prison, “to still your mind, like we do with our breath, and the poses, and our final savasana meditation. Right this second you can make a decision to change your life and you’ll never be in prison ever again.

“Not behind bars, and never in your life when you’re free from prison. You don’t ever have to feel imprisoned by anyone or anything, ever again, in your own life situation. You can choose, right here and right now, and remind yourself whenever you feel low, or a victim, or want to blame someone else for your funk, depression or rage — that you can choose to make your life a prayer.”

“What you mean by that, Miss?” one of the girls barks, completely taken aback.

“I mean that each moment of life is precious. And every choice you make … adds up. You may not notice how things add up, but they do. The people you hang with, the thoughts you think, how you spend your time. Even the food you eat. Everything adds up. Whatever choice you make ends up with you enjoying your life, or you hating your life — or worse, not caring either way.

the Mystical /Athletic /Architectural World of Hatha Yoga

who do YOU choose to hang with?

“It’s up to each of us to decide how our lives are going to be, our own self. No jail, no government, nothing! can make your life happy if you don’t make it happy yourself.”

The girls were quiet as we all stood, their breaths stilled, their minds chewing on what I just said. I take a deep breath, and they mimic me as I lift my arms up to our imaginary sky where I’ve taught my girls to envision an imaginary sun as we do our salutes. I whisper as we move,

“How powerful — to know that your life,” I now bend my knees and bring my arms down to the floor, and say, “is your own to design.”

We hang bent over, in rag doll, letting our bodies release from all the tension our spines carry around as they support us all day, everyday.

As we hang from our folded waists, everyone in class accustomed to this period, here, of unwinding our spines for a few breaths, I add,

“Life is about just showing up. Our job, as an awakened, aware person — is to dance, and laugh, and enjoy the ride. Lighten up! Let go of control. Let spirit dance in your veins. Let the giggling goddess and god within lead the dance we do with the light of being.”

“Let’s take a deep breath in and, with tight abs, bring ourselves to standing in mountain pose. Nice. That’s good.”

The girls and I stand taking in deep, noisy breaths, just as I’ve taught them. Before we begin our official surya namaskars, after this little warmup, I say to the silent, open-hearted yoga students before me, standing silently around me in a circle, so eager to change their up-till-now miserable lives.

“I chose the path of awareness, nothing else makes me happy. I substituted all my old bad, negative addictions for the good new positive addiction of loving myself. Spirit filled my life. Yoga taught me how — by letting my own body be the teacher within.”

As human beings, everyone of us has basic similarities. We must breathe air and eat food to stay alive — that’s number 1. Next, some of us crave to propagate, or not. I’m a non-breeder, for the record, but I had fun being a full-time stepparent, calling myself Angel Mom to two very needy children, for whom without my guidance life surely would have been more challenging.

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who am I, really? What’s my … role here?

We each have various number 2 traits, after our survival is assured. For me, as an self-acknowledged spiritual soul experiencing this particular human “suit” I wear — my next most important core-value is to experience the heights of what’s possible here on Earth, right here, right now. My life goal has always been to be as HIGH, as happy, as fulfilled, as expanded as I can get. Okay, call me a glutton, a junkie. I admit it. The spiritual connection I’ve discovered within myself, and with all in existence is what flips my Bic, floats my boat — puts me in bliss personified.

Obviously, I don’t “do” politics. Spiritual politics is an oxymoron, let’s be clear. Yes, I vote, but … that’s private, just like sex with my sexy consort Carter, is. I’m into outrageous and all-in, all-stops-barred spirituality, not peripherally. Just like an extreme wilderness skier is with their passion, or a transgender is with their raison d’etre — I am a radical revolutionary who will fight to the death, that’s right! — to spread the value of living in an awakened, aware, all-is-One state of being. This consciousness is All-inclusive, and has no judgment or diss-ing in its agenda. Believe me, I’ve worked hard to get here. And I ain’t about to let go of this outtasite ecstasy that’s the reward, the end result of the journey I’ve been on. It’s a daily workout, this being spiritual, folks! A workout that gives peace, understanding, and acceptance as its guaranteed abs of steel.

We are the Tunnel, mixed media, 54“x42”

let’s work our spiritual-psychic muscles!

Lately lots of my friends are dis— about a lot of things. Dis-gusted. Dis-concerted. Dis-combobulated. And … now, with the political cry of mass dissenters, whose gatherings I herald as our democracy’s treasured right of free speech — they are dismissing the fact that Divine Order might, just might, be more behind what’s happening in society than the current fight in our country between the Reds and Blues, hardcore conservatives and unbending liberals. (We all need to be a little more of what the other guy’s about … and more about that on a later post.)

The way I see it, during these tumultuous times, this is the crisis some of us have needed in order to realize that nothing — absolutely NOTHING — on the outside is ever going to fix a disastrous assessment of what’s happening in the world. So — What Will?

Turning within. Tuning into our universal connection with not only each other — soul-to-soul, heart-to-heart, person-to-person — but also our universal connection with the energy of consciousness that vibrates at a much higher level than when we diss something.

Some call this consciousness of acceptance — the Sacred, others the Divine — still others call it Presence or … simply … Being at Peace with what is.

getting ready to fly!

being at peace with … what is

At this time when so many people feel unease, I invite you to take more seriously your connection to the inner experience of life. Go within. Roam the Divine within your Big Heart. Spend time assessing how similar you are to every single person, even the newly elected President of the US. If you continue focusing on how dis-connected you feel with what is, how dis-avowed you are from what the political leader of a country does, dis-claiming his position as a respectably and legitimately elected official — you are in for a very unpleasant time for the next period of time. I’d say, about four years at least, or more, while he’s in office.

The time of political arguments is over. The presidential election within the States is over. Now is the time to go deep within your own incredible Inner World. That’s where true peace resides. Only there will you find the ability to accept. Going within your heart and letting your soul-Self be in charge, that’s how you can reap the greatest rewards of your humanness. If you cherish the small amount of time you’re allowed here, in your human Being-ness, you just might have a good time if you decide to re-focus from negatives. Unite your own lower with the Higher Self within, forget about so-called social divisiveness. What’s done is done. Put your placards away until next election time. For now, dive into the ever-expanding world that has no boundaries, no differentiation of any kind. This inner world, the Light of positivity, abounds within your own Self. When you choose to dwell on the infinite similarities between all humankind you discover peace within — no matter what happens on the outside.

Let go of your small-minded dis-similarities. Division is only an illusion, it’s not real. The real connection between all humans is our spirit, our expanded consciousness, found in our Big Heart within.

To me, each person I meet is a manifestation of the Divine. That’s right! Even the bad guys & gals, even the crass, the rude, the unholy, even those whom people call despicable or deplorable. Every person has been created by the Divine Force of the Universe. They have as much a role here as do those who people deem wonderful, eloquent, civil, smart, or spiritually evolved. Every single cell in our body has a purpose, too, making our different systems (nervous, respiratory, digestive, etc) work as a cohesive whole, letting our entire body live as an interdependent, healthy unit. All our cells create a Oneness within our own bodies. Why can’t we humans try to see every other person, for better or worse, as another cell in the fabric of our united human society, and allow them to serve their role like you regard (and respect) your own liver cells, your lung cells, your toenail cells?

the ripple effect creates the tipping point

each of us is a cell within the ONE

Even if someone’s role is to irritate the shit out of you — they’re forcing you to become more spiritual or — you feel like you’ll bust! Maybe, ahhhh, maybe that’s their role. To irritate you into — changing! Better to change than to listen to Madonna’s (I’m a fan, but hated her #womensmarch rhetoric) confession of wanting to bomb the White House, or tweet or post on Instagram or Facebook more nauseating nonsense of dis dis dis. Use your limited energies to … Go Within. It’s better to kill your lower neanderthal self than want to someone else, don’t you think? Cultivate your higher Self and rise above the ever-lowering vibration of out-of-season implacable politics. Wean yourself from talking-head TV pundits, your addiction to News, and any other negatives that mess with or destroy your well-earned peace of mind.

I was there once. I wanted to do harm to those who offended me — it was during the Vietnam days. That’s when I left America and traveled the islands of the Caribbean Sea, sailing on boats and climbing volcanic mountains and — after a decade away as a happy ex-pat (and months in a Third World prison as a falsely-accused political prisoner) — I learned how blessed, how very blessed I am, to live in a country that constitutionally allows all people the same rights as the next guy.

A granddaughter of immigrants from Lithuania on my mother’s side, a descendant of Pilgrims on my father’s, as an American I welcome this controversial time now. So what’s after the shock of Trump’s presidency? The dis-cordance abounding now I see as a Great Opportunity. The current dis-sent is sprinkling fertilizer on the garden of enlightenment all Americans, and people globally as well, are being challenged to sow and cultivate, in order to move forward and embrace our race’s evolutionary possibilities. Within each person’s own awakened hearts first, plant a garden of Love and Acceptance. And then … the insights of this higher perception of Oneness permeates all of society. This, then, will be the “political” benefits from our inner realizations — ammo to be used for the next election.

Consciousness is the weapon of mass illumination.

People of our beloved planet Earth! — Now is the time to Wake UP! This life here is not about who wins, who loses, or who’s in control. This time we have here is how connected YOU, yes, I mean YOU! are to the majestic, unlimited power within each and everyone of us, an inner state that’s as real as apple pie. This power resides within your own Being-ness, as consciousness. It’s higher understanding than dissing what you happen to not like.

The exploration of our inner realms is what keeps me inspired and excited, as a person, an artist, and a writer.

Sometimes we need a crash, a SHAKE UP!, a SHOCK! in order to regroup, reframe, refresh our lives.

I hope everyone who reads this is inspired to dive deeply within their own inner selves, and starts to explore their spiritual side. Expand. Embrace the fact that, as a spiritual soul wearing a human “suit” you can have a really astounding experience when you choose to be en-lightened instead of dis-illusioned . You haven’t got forever, y’know. Better get started!

Check back often or see previous posts here on Lord Flea if you want some hints about how to go about spiritualizing your life. Also, read Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of NOW” and “The New Earth.” And if you wish you can order my meditative artbook “We Are ONE” using the Amazon button here on my blog, on the left sidebar.

Be well my friends! I love each and every one of you! LordFlea aka teZa Lord