Calm in the Midst of Stormy Chaos

Hello dear Friends,
I’ve been writing my next book, that’s why, no matter how much I want to, I can’t fit in more than a monthly post, here on Lord Flea Sings. I think you’ll agree though, that my current project is pretty relevant to what’s going on all around us, all of us. Read about that at end of this post. By the way, yes, these recent posts have been longer than usual because — the subject matter is way too important to synthesize into a convenient little sound bite. So bear with me, and stick with this lengthy exploration of our current times, if you wish to share what lies ahead for us in these exciting times, as I see things. If you’re looking for a “quickie” little sound bite … visit me on FB, Instagram or Twitter @tezalord. Thanks for your interest in my ongoing spiritual activism.
united in our cause to make a difference--one person at a time

united in our cause to make a difference–one person at a time

Everywhere I turned this past month I heard the malaise of discontents arising from the Dems who lost. Many are scared, we hear in the media and they personally tell me. Some can’t even see any hope at all. “We’re doomed,” they say. Speaking of president-elect Trump as “That bastard!” instead of giving him a chance. They know he’s evil, they’re sure. Seems to me that these kinds of people think of politics as their religion, and I wonder why they give so much power to who wins and who doesn’t, in this power game called governance? It has made me sad, and truthfully, my sadness is what has fueled this post. What I want to share with you today is the endless possibilities that lie ahead. As always, I’m approaching my subject from the spiritual p.o.v. I’m not a teacher, I’m just as spiritual activist, remember please. I have an obligation to my chosen path to share my deepest thoughts. Here and Now.
I’ve spoken to many friends and strangers alike who can barely get out of bed in the morning these days. Even other yoga teachers I know of, couldn’t teach after the spiritual-crushing results (for them) of Nov. 7. Others, like us, my consort Carter and I, look forward to the upcoming changes that we felt were necessary in American society lately. If you’re new to Lord Flea, you might want to read the previous post to see how I interpreted this shocking event, and how upsetting our recent Presidential Election’s results were to … so many folks.
Sure, some areas of society are more tenuous now, especially the environmental progress that’s been fought for and successfully made so far. But, no matter how it looks from the outside, I truly believe that change is good. But change is hard, yes. However, many people, environmentalists and women’s rights activists, think we’re doomed because of who won, I thoroughly disagree. I think we have now, even more than ever, a greater possibility to spiritualize our society, one individual at a time. And that, my friend, is MY politics.
Perhaps what “the losers” (sorry, I hate using this term, but gee, this is the fact) feel is that the world now faces The Unknown. And to many, the unknown equals the increase of dangers. Again, I differ in this respect. As a confirmed “change-junkie” (except Carter, I’m keeping him) I believe that change propels every person, and all of society too, to make assessments and transform old don’t-work-anymore ways into a new and better versions.
This has happened in my life over and over, that’s how I can say this outrageous statement.
Allow me to give you a few examples.
I was abused as a child by an alcoholic family member. Instead of that being the catastrophe that ruined my life (as it does to many other child victims) from an early age “it” compelled me to … look at my unhappiness and make changes, always changes, so that eventually I found the “right answers” and finally — I found true inner peace. If I hadn’t been abused, perhaps I would have never been so propelled or even interested in “self-improvement.” I would have stayed the same miserable, freaked out, mistrusting, badly behaving person, only as a grown up.
I truly believe that having been traumatized at age 10 pushed me into becoming an addict (alcoholic by age 15, druggie by 20) and then, after I’d had my 21 years of self-abuse, I discovered the spiritual recovery of the 12-steps when I was 36. Because I’d done so much self-sabotaging by then, I was ready to surrender to a higher concept of living. But only after having experienced the most degrading, depressing, and dangerous side of life. Since then, I have devoted myself to living sober, and learning how to erase my negative tendencies. My progress on the spiritual path has been (now here’s the catch) equal to the degradation to which I drove myself, intent upon self-destruction that’s also defined as the dark realms of self-abuse.
Guardian of the Sky, mixed media, 27“x60”

the Spirit of Destiny sometimes ties to knock us over!”

So you see? Not every “catastrophe” is really that. Sometimes what we think of as a simply awful and untenable situation (such as some feel T’s ascendancy is), could really be Nature’s way of pushing us toward a higher path. Here’s another personal example:
Followers of my blog know that I’m Angel Mom to my consort Carter’s two children. At the time of deciding to marry Carter (when the kids were very young) all my friends shouted No No No! The situation just “appeared from the outside” to be fraught with negatives and dangers (for my inner peace and life’s success). Even my own mother tried to talk Carter out of marrying me (God rest her soul). But I was already 7 years sober then and I decided on my own, to follow my heart. I chose to not listen to all the naysayers. And … from the outside what appeared to be a disastrous situation (a bio-mom who was a troublemaker, to put it mildly; living in suburbia after decades of travel and adventure) … our household turned out to be the perfect opportunity for me to become who and what I truly am (artist/writer/spiritual seeker) more than any other situation that had ever presented itself before me. BTW, Carter and I just celebrated 25 years of fulfilling-to-both marriage, and believe me, we’ve worked hard to get here. We have moved from suburbia, thank you Goddess!
So, I hope you can see from these two examples, that “Things are not what they appear to be” in both our familial and now, our current political clime.
What the world faces now, with Trump’s radically different, sometimes Twitter-irreverent and oftentimes women-irreverent, environmentally-conscious dubious presidency soon to happen, will lead us — I know, intuitively — to a better, more functioning relationship with every aspect of our complex world. This is not just my hope and prayer– it is my expectation. I feel like I’m watching a long-awaited movie. I’m so excited about this RADICAL change that I’m literally on the edge of my seat, watching, monitoring, seeing the opportunities present themselves left and right. For those scoffing at me, just remember: change is hard, but change is always good.
Carter (a Rep) and I (totally non-political) are certainly not pessimists about the new administration. We personally feel that the Dems have — inadvertantly, in their zeal to “fix society” — caused a lot of stagnation and polarization in our society. Social media has added a discordant sensationalism to the mix, but this also is part of our changing times and we must learn to filter truth from hoaxes, constantly. Many in America are out of work. Many black friends of ours voted for Trump because they are sick of promises not kept, and jobs that kept disappearing. And when people can’t eat, they get scared. When they get scared enough, they change. These were the “silent Trump votes” that were so unexpected.

Instead of seeing possibilities in change, others continue to choose to suffer as malcontents who wail and wag their fingers “I told you so!” spewing hatred more than T ever did (his theatrics got him elected, didn’t it?), even after election shock has worn off for many of us. In our household we remain expectantly hopeful as we hear our disappointed and depressed Dem friends complain, wasting their precious energy.

the sound of Aum: Ohhhhhmmmmmmmm

Instead of negative, send out positive energy! Like … Ommmm

I believe that so-called negative things are really “catalysts” propelling us forward. This is the story of my life’s story, right? In my story I had to suffer and come close to death, in order to find the porthole through which, thanks to great teachers, I have learned to live in the Light. Acceptance is the portal to the Light, for those of you who want a hint how to get started on the spiritual path.

I am a former close associate of the Dark. I know the ways of the Dark intimately. I was never frightened to go right up to the hungry open-toothed maw of evil — until I learned to surrender. Then I learned to kick my way out of the Dark. Until … finally, I succeeded. I’ve never been back. I turn my back on the Dark today. But I am all too familiar with the Dark’s horrors, its crushing lack of trust, its pernicious suspicions — until I found my way out to discover, or remember, rather, who I really am.

We are all children of the Light. But in order to get there, we must not be afraid to confront the Dark that’s naturally found within each human’s heart. It’s simply part of our human nature, that’s all. The Dark is the back side of the Light, nothing more. I believe experiencing this, personally, is the true meaning behind Eve giving the apple of good and evil, of temptation to Adam, back in the Bible’s garden of paradise. Without  challenges, without choosing goodness over evil, what is life but doing what everyone else does, mindlessly? Why look for the Light, when the semi-grey (the in-between stage that hides both Dark and LIght) can be so comfortable, intoxicating … and … unchangeable.
Wake up people! That’s why shocking things like 9/11 and Trump’s winning are so necessary! It’s ALL good, really, truly. Once we accept things as they are.
The world needs all the waking up and shaking up and change that we can get!
Too much really really bad stuff is happening for complacency nowadays. Our environment is melting and souring. Indigenous People are not treated equally as the more politically powerful are (Standing Rock Unite!). Our oceans are sick, our society is sick, and many human individuals, are sick as well. Neurosis and disrespect is rampant. We need the biggest, baddest shake ups we can get. I herald Trump! I don’t like him as a person, but … I love the fact his Republican party has shaken up the status quo in my own country, and the entire world is already feeling the must-change ramifications of his win, big time.
It’s my belief that, in America, if the status quo had continued (with Clinton’s win) that complacency and discontent would have just fomented more, with four more years, at least, of economic woes, the gist of what’s been happening here and much of the world over. To me, a government’s main job is not to be a babysitter, but an economic, human rights’ leader.
In history, a government’s main responsibility has been to watch over its people and protect it from dire circumstances. Like establishing values for staples, and saving grain and other commodities in storerooms for times of drought. The U.S.A.’s democracy governs with laws that are in place (thanks to our forefather’s Constitution). To me, a government’s job is NOT to pay for someone’s ills, lacks, or wages. That’s up to individuals who engage in business, commerce, or philanthropy. And we who are “workers” and not “owners” of businesses, we earn wages. While the heads of businesses’ jobs are to watch over their workers. This is not a government’s job. Sadly, this socially, more than economically, conscious attitude seems to be the basic difference between Dems and Reps, as I understand it. I may be wrong, but from someone who’s not engaged in politics, that’s my take.
I look forward to Donald Trump, a successful businessman, to take the reins of governance with the same savoir faire as he did his controversial stint as an entrepreneur and entertainer. Sure, he doesn’t operate like the “common man.” I know many successful business people. They all operate, like Trump, using the established laws to benefit the growth of their companies. They’re not going to pay the same taxes as a “worker.” They are not workers. They are … leaders. Leaders think, act, and benefit society differently than common workers. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out.
With a great bit of over-the-top showmanship and even bits of clownish inappropriateness, Trump reinvented himself, again. From business guy to now President. I for one am happy to see someone in power who’s not a die-in-the-wool politician, such as Hillary Clinton is. Who cares he’s silly sometimes, he’s not PC, he’s never claimed to be. That’s going to be his presidency, too. Get used to it! He’s elected, folks. Just relax, sit back, get yourself involved in some positive efforts that will satisfy your own needs to help others … become a leader yourself! and stop whining. Start a recovery meeting in your town, “12-step Trump-ism meetings” sounds good to me. Make something positive about something you think is negative.
Believe in Miracles

Believe in Miracles

And for those of you who aren’t the whiners (my many ultra-liberal friends really don’t want to hear the other side of Trump’s possibilities) … I look forward to sharing with you at deeper, more insightful levels about other things than the uproar of this year’s political climate in upcoming posts.

As a yogi/meditator, I see many who are suffering disproportionately from the change in our society’s power structure. Anger is everywhere. Blame, more hatred than compassion is more often spoken aloud than wonderment, or common decency. I have some friends who continually curse Trump and spend all their energy hating him, his choices, his affront to decorum (totally modern a la Twitter). Then they wonder why there seems to be more waves of hatred in the world. They don’t see how they themselves are feeding that same negative energy. Okay, they’ve had their time to mourn. Now they simply can’t see they’re part of the problem, and not using their energies to create better solutions to our world’s woes. The best one being, in my opinion — compassion — for all beings, including Mother Earth Gaia.

 

A good old friend of Carter’s put it straight back in spring of ’16 when Trump first announced his candidacy. This came from our Dem friend who happens to be in charge of the entire USA’s borders:
“When the new guy gets elected it’s time to stop complaining and get on board with the new administration.”

As one of the smartest guys in Carter’s Harvard class, who has worked in Obama’s administration all along, this guy Al, as we do, believes that the beauty of democracy is how the electoral vote chooses our leaders, not the popular vote. Now it’s the Rep’s turn. The pendulum of change has swung. Period. We have to watch and wait, and send positive energy that Trump listens and follows his hand-picked advisors.

We must respect the office of the President of the United States. That office demands our respect. Anyone who doesn’t respect Trump for having won this election … is not a compassionate person. You may disagree with me, and that’s your choice. But … compassion is not about right or wrong, Rep or Dem. It’s about respecting life: as it is. Accepting life, as it is. And changing what we can about what we don’t like. With respect and compassion.
My New Book
I wish I could write posts more than my recent once-a-month output, but … I’m too involved with my next book. Finally I’ve finished the second draft. This complex story is starting to shape up. I’m excited about the story:
Teaching yoga and meditation to teenage girls in high security lockup during a bulls-eye hurricane hit, and how that experience is parallel to staying in our inner core, where our inner calm always resides — if we can just remember.
When I first worked on this idea, a true story of my life, it was a mishmash of notes from those days of a decade ago. Based on written and memory-fueled vignettes, and recent reminders from speaking to the former-director of the facility, who is now a close friend, I started piecing my ideas together. The reason I chose to write this story from scratch, when in my closet I have five already-written books waiting to be published, is … I believe right now the world needs this special story of hope more than my others.

Weaving everything together in a timeline to show the progress of 2004’s hurricane Charley, and how the apprehension awaiting “the shoe to drop” relates to how anxious these at-risk girls were, in general, always acting out instead of knowing how to channel that energy of angst that was their commonality — this has been a challenging book to organize. To make sense out of the chaos within the girls’ psyches, plus the hurricane’s churning immensity. But I think I’ve got the organizational part of the book in a reasonable form. Now … to make it juicy, filled with inspirational stuff, nice word phrasing, and … a page-turning intriguing plot. I’m excited now. The hard work, the bones of the story, is mostly over.

 

This next book’s subject of “helping stressed out individuals calm down” is more appropriate in today’s clime, than sharing my “blended family” story was. That’s the spiritual memoir currently with an agent. Even though the story of my own uniquely blended family also parallels much of our worldwide blended family’s story of today.

 

Until we meet again, be well my friends! Stay positive!
With love,
your pal Lord Flea aka teZa Lord

Q&As For Every Artist & Writer

3-copy

Love Your Mother, image from WE ARE ONE

WE ARE ONE—my new coffee-table book—is getting some press! I was sent the following questions by a local reporter who’s doing a book review for my hometown newspaper. Here are my answers.

1) What inspired you to write this book?

WE ARE ONE is the culmination of decades of hard work, both in the visual arts and in writing nonfiction. This 84-page, linen hardcover coffee-table book was first put together in dummy fashion over 15 years ago. Last winter, I brought out the loose-leafed, stapled black-and-white mock-up (forgotten about, truthfully) to show my 98-year-old mother, a local fisherwoman here in St. Augustine who passed away shortly afterward. At that point my husband Carter Lord and I decided to self-publish this book. We enlisted the technical services of talented locals: Leeann Kendall (a photographer, the book’s editor), Erin Fitzpatrick (a graphic designer, our technical editor), and Imagine Fine Art (superb digitalization). It’s all our professional belief that we have created something beautiful to behold. It is also my personal hope that the more people who see and read WE ARE ONE, the more will experience what it documents: that truly, we are all One, linked by the energy of consciousness. I’m speaking metaphorically, yes, but also energy-wise. This has been proven by quantum physicists’ recent discovery of the Higgs bosun. This book takes us on a journey, using visuals and words, that helps us sense that our ordinary day-to-day world can be extraordinarily felt—perceived that is—if not seen. As an artist and down-to-earth person (one of my passions is to make deep-water voyages on small sailboats) I believe this interpretation of life—that we’re all interconnected—makes for a better, safer, and more all-inclusive place for us all to grow and thrive in.

2) What type of research was involved?

My research was to learn how to be hyper-conscious.

Heal Psychic Wounds

I got better by healing my baggage (we all have)

The images and text within this book document my own true experiences. As a teen I began the earnest quest of adventuring, inwardly and outwardly. Doing yoga poses (initially for a bad back) naturally led to exploring spiritual issues (the true purpose of their invention by ancient sages). Gradually, I found answers to my seeking-quest in Native American ways, and mystical traditions from other cultures. I have worked with indigenous shamans during years of illustrating for Ph.D. botanists at Harvard University (Plants of the Gods, by R.E. Schultes contains a few of my illustrations). For decades, I have studied yoga of all varieties, and deeply explored meditation with one scripture-based teacher. What intrigues me most is investigating how various people around the world reach their own truth, whether through an ancestral path, a person’s own inward journey, outward rituals, a defined philosophy, religion, or simply by connecting with Spirit through Nature anywhere on the globe. I stay away from politic statements, although a hero of mine is Daw Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma (Myanmar today). I certainly will vote in the upcoming Presidential election, using my conscience as guide.

3) Who is your target audience?

My audience is anyone who’s interested in something other than reality-TV or who wants to know more about the Mystery of Life. I prefer to call my visual works Dreamtimes but when I used to exhibit in galleries in New York City, Santa Fe, New Orleans and Monterrey, Mexico, critics called my work visionary. Today I have another book, an illustrated nonfiction narrative, being represented by a literary agent, who regards my audience mainstream. The world is changing!

4) How would you describe your (writing) process?

 a- making the visuals

we are one JPEG

cover of WE ARE ONE

Each image of WE ARE ONE was composed like this:

First, I photographed my own work (a painting or sculpture). Then I painted upon that photo. Next, I re-photographed that now-enhanced original image; adding Xeroxing, cut-outs, then re-photographing and scanning that finished image, most of which are 3-generational. Then came lots of fiddling in PhotoShop before sending the final file to the printers. This book is a collection of multi-media images that combine recognizable and symbolic gestures.

 b-the writing

open-book-page-2

The AYES have it, from WE ARE ONE

 

The writing process for WE ARE ONE (except for the text-only introductory four pages) is simple poetry-prose. A few words set the tone for the story told within each image. Some call this type of art, narrative. After creating a work of art first (see above) I wrote a few words to offer the viewer help to jump into the experience of each image. My writing is 90% editing, so every word is fine-tuned down to each punctuation mark, or using none where one is expected. Making and appreciating this kind of art (whether written or visual) is like being in a trance—it necessitates opening to the same deep inner place that meditation takes a person to.

5) What do you hope readers get out of the book?

My hope is that my viewers/readers have a deeper experience of being connected to ALL in existence upon journeying through WE ARE ONE.

Humankind’s thoughtful traditions often describe the Mystery of Life as there’s more to life than what appears to be. If I can help people feel the Mystery, perhaps just a little bit more, with the aid of this book, I am thrilled! In all my work I try to shatter mapped-out boundaries, preconceived notions, cultural guidelines, and other kinds of artistic renditions of separators that might keep us from recognizing WE ARE ONE. I hope my efforts help pry open, just a hair more, a person’s ever-widening doors of perception.

open-page-jpg2000

Cellular Vision, from WE ARE ONE

6) Who is your favorite author?

Too many GREATS to have one! My favorite author/artists (because my medium is words and images) are Hundertwasser and Elaine deKooning, both now gone but important mentors of mine. I also read anything by Russell Banks, Barbara Kingsolver, Louise Erdrich, Edwidge Danticat, Eckhart Tolle, Carl Hiaasin, Wade Davis, Andrew Weil, etc. My tastes are wildly eclectic. In my local book club we read/listened to Hamilton, the hip-hop hit play. Next might be Jane Austen.

7) Why do you spell your name with a capital Z?

The very fist thing I offer on my website tezalord.me (where links to my years-long blog Lord Flea and art gallery are, and my book can be purchased, as well as at Amazon) is to explain the origin of the big Z. Here’s a hint: bell hooks is a dearly loved Buddhist writer and teacher who inspired my humble use of no caps. The upshot, though, is to ensure correct pronunciation. teZa is not my Christian name but one I gave myself 40 years ago.

For readers of this post, Lord Flea is my, teZa Lord’s nom de blog

Aummmmmm

the alpha and omega … Aummm … Ommmm

 

Stay in the ‘I’ of the Storm!

dharma brat images 7.09 022

MAP of how to find the inner ‘I’ in our earthly life-storms

Friends,

This drawing of mine above is an easy-to-follow visual map how to get out of the inner confused state many are feeling today, and I’ve experienced, too. Here’s my depiction of the horrors that confusion can proclaim within us, instead of the calm of this ‘I’ I’m talking about today.

ugliness ... why listen? why look? why watch?

the conflicting times of pre-election are upon us!

During this tumultuous time, when everyone is freaked out about the presidential circus (oh! I’m sorry, I meant to say … race) I’m watching so many others either pull their hair out … or claim they’re not voting. This is the time to engage in controversy. Now is the time to — get it all out! And afterwards, when the election votes are all counted — accept what the people have chosen.

We are blessed to live in a democratic country.

To me, a citizen who is born in America (or has become legally eligible since immigrating) MUST vote. I’ve tried running away from this moral and social responsibility. And it backfired. Good for the books I’m writing, but … no longer my MO. We on the spiritual path know that our voice, our vote, counts. If you think otherwise, please reconsider.

Who to vote for MUST be from the deepest part of ourselves. Our conscience (another of the thousands of words for Spirit). Not our pocketbooks, not our friends’ opinions mattering — but what our inside self, our gut, our ‘I’ as I call it (it has many names) tells us to do. This is what must dictate how and for whom we vote.

This ‘I’ within each of us is also called “Better-me” as opposed to “Lesser-me”. I use that term in my soon-to-be published nonfiction book (now with a fabulous literary agent) about the journey of my own blended-family. But for LordFlea’s sharing today I’m calling this source of inner wisdom we all have, by it’s quick and easy nickname, the ‘I’ within.

dharma brat images 7.09 044

How our inner ‘I’ works in our daily life

Just as in Nature’s worst tempests flung at planet Earth, the hurricanes and the cyclones, each storm has its own calm inner space. True! Within the very worst situation, is a place of peace, when we learn to tap that inner ‘I’. So too for the confusion and fear within humans. No matter how conflicted, how confused, how torn-apart we may feel — there is a place of calm, deep and peaceful, within each one of us.

This place can be reached by anyone, anywhere. How? Through meditative practices. Start by following your breath. Look at the special instructions I have here on my blog. The search for what you want is easy — it’s right within you!

So — when I approach the voting booth this November, I won’t be freaked out. I won’t be not-voting either. I’ll remember to touch base with that inner space within, and ask it “For Whom shall I vote?”

The answer will be obvious.

Meditation is listening (to God, our Higher Self, etc.). Prayer is talking.

Your vote counts! Don’t sweat it right now. We have months of chaos and turmoil right now. This period here, filled with controversy, smut-throwing, name-calling, opinion-biasing, lies, omissions, dirty games and laundering of endless woefulness-es — is all part of the political process. Politics is nothing but a cluster f–k!

I have no advice to give, except — vote!

drawings-scanned-1108-023

One Heart united, our family of humankind

After having lived abroad for a long period of time, I am now, as I wasn’t before leaving my country, grateful and proud to be an American. Our democratic process is by far the best. If you don’t think so, go try living somewhere where it’s not the way of governance. Spend some time behind bars (as I sadly had to) because you’ve been mistakenly pointed out as an enemy of the State. Just for breathing in the wrong place at the wrong time. Then you’ll agree with me:

America is the BEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD!

God Bless America!

God Bless the people’s choice to be our next leader.

Your pal who loves you,

teZa aka LordFlea

The Gift of All GIFTS — for YOU!!

The Gift of LOVE, of Love's Great Compassion

The Gift of LOVE, of Love’s Great Compassion

Hi Friends,

All around me everywhere people are involved in the holidays, but this year is different for me. All my energies, literally and figuratively are focused on different kinds of things to which I’ve ever dedicated myself. NEW to me, this season’s holiday.

I am celebrating the Great Gift of Love’s Compassion. This is my gift to you, and the entire world.

The rest of the world swirls around me a-gaggle in holiday cheer or denial, people rushing, horns honking when usually there’s more patience–and I am slightly out of synch, here and now, at peace with my decision to not do a thing more than smile and sing along and nod to others’ good cheer.

I made a forced, very conscious, think-about-for-long-time kind of choice. Over a month ago Mom had her “incident” and became deathly ill. Right then I made up my mind to focus on healing her and keep up the final-final editing of the book I’m nearly at the finish line with.

Book of teZ

Book of teZ

Mom’s health is still grave, but hey! When you’re 96 every moment is a gift. Her mind is sharp but her body is sadly paralyzed from waist down. For a previously to a month-ago completely independent person, this condition is synonymous with being in jail. Yes, there’s hope. But it’s all hard work for mom and her caregivers. That includes me. Her body has become my mother’s challenge, her no-fun prison. Eve’s days are filled with hours of therapy: physical, occupational, and others. Her legs awaken, milometer of nerve ending connecting by milometer. Instead of gardening, fishing, creating books and holiday full-course meals of her own, coming home at midnight sometimes with a bucket full of fish–mom continues fighting for her life and her freedom.

Her health and happiness are my only gifts, for the person who brought me into this world. She deserves my full attention.

Well, nearly full attention. Of course I still have my darling consort, son, and now a returned-to-the-hearth daughter with her son, my grandbaby. And … the Book, my book, that’s being birthed right now.

I don’t usually write about my own life so much here in LordFlea, but use this platform to share more universal aspects of my life’s experiences, so I’m not going into detail of my day-to-day caretaking of mom here. Let me say, though, that the simple ACT of Choosing–to spend my energies how my heart tell me to, not just following the “Christmas Pied Piper of Holiday Customs” that everyone else is waltzing to, but choosing–where when and how, each day and sometimes each new arising dilemma in the caretaking world I’ve suddenly been thrust into–I’m the ONE who dedicates my energies and focus.

Knowing that each one of us can likewise Choose how to dedicate our life’s energy: THIS is the greatest gift and ultimate freedom in life.

Dark or Light---we all have, many times---the Choice

Dark or Light—we all have, many times—the Choice

Everyday I try to choose how I’m going to focus this day, this hour, this moment that’s here before me.

Intentionally, I either make a mini- (for the minutiae of life) or a grand-plan (a Goal), splitting my energy between: mental (learn something new, read about new something, speak a new English or Spanish or some other language unknown-before word); physical (when and how long can I exercise the lanky bode today? what new pose am I working toward in my hatha yoga practice?); and spiritual (is my mantra flowing with my breath? Do I need to plug in and “recharge” my connection with the Big Picture and meditate a little? And if so, I connect soon!).

These past weeks I’ve renewed my commitment. It’s taken a while but I finally realize that “to serve” is my life’s purpose. As a dedicated spiritual activist, writer, artist, and now parental caregiver–I finally know how I can serve. Even by writing these words, is one way, an important way to me how I serve. Every time I tweet a positive message is another way, or share a post on Facebook about life’s many joys. Another way I figure I’m serving the Greater Good is by finishing my first book, getting it OUT to the public so others can share the insights that hopefully will uplift them, or maybe make them laugh a little more. And then I have many other books that are waiting in the wings. Book-publishing is my main means of serving at this stage of my artistic path.

Throughout the hours of the day I also serve my family, my immediate circle, and the future of my culture–by practicing Compassion.

I want to serve Mom, my love, my family, and my community just as I’d like THEM to serve ME.

To me, this is the true meaning of Compassion. The Golden Rule says it all in such simple words:

Do unto others as you’d like them to do unto you.

In other words:

What goes around comes around.

I chuckle thinking about something. Whenever a person, whether stranger or best friend ever, says to me, “Gee, you’re really a nice person, teZ” or something embarrassing (yes, it feels weird, I admit) to that effect, I say to that person,

It takes One to know One.

True.

We can’t see the good in others unless we realize the good within our own higher selves.

This is why I know that whenever anyone says or does something nice to me, it’s because they have that same goodness within them that recognizes what I have, and you, too, cultured within our own inner self.

This is a tremendous thing:

Giving our Gift of Compassion …. to the Entire World.

As we say in yoga class and in meditation groups throughout the world, “Namaste!”

“The Light within me recognizes the Light within you.”

I send my Light to each and every one of you, my dear Ones.

With many waves of OMmmmmmLove!

Yuur pal, LordFlea, aka teZa Lord

Down-Dog Nut

Down-Dog Nut

Plants of the Gods

botanicals 031

Reverred by ancient Incans, and today the Koqui of Colombia as “Mama Coca”

The above is a portrait I drew back in the 70s of the plant cocaine is derived from: Erythroxylum Coca. The original belongs to Harvard University, where the US-Federal Government-backed research project for which it was drawn was undertaken, to better understand the epidemic of cocaine use in modern society. I am something of an expert about coca as a result of my involvement with this years-long study involving taxonomic research by Timothy Plowman PhD and ethnobotanical field work Tim made with Wade Davis PhD.

botanicals-001

Brugmansia … “Angel Trumpets” or “Devil Weed” depending on your p.o.v.

This second illustration is of a bright red species of the tree datura family, the Brugmansia, several species of which I have growing in my own back yard today. The plant is very dangerous for anyone to injest! Do not attempt as I have personally known people who experience such severe emotional violence and amnesia that when this one man came out of his week-long stupur he was greeted with the news that he had murdered three women. He is spending the rest of his days in jail because of his “experiment.” WARNING!! The indigenous of South America only use this plant along with others, as part of a centuries-old formula, so don’t use unless you go down to the Amazon and find a brujo to ask how. Better yet, learn to meditate! Meditation, going within … mindfulness … is the highest high there is. Forget the plants!

Here’s an excerpt from my upcoming book, now in its last stages of editing. I will be posting these random excerpts for you to enjoy as I prepare my book for publication.

“Laughing Heart: how Angel Mom earned her wings” an excerpt:

When I used to get high I wouldn’t let anything hold me earthbound. Whether it was booze, pot, acid or the hallucinogenic jungle plants I drew, I wanted to know and experience as much as I could about their natural, magical states each plant offered.

From my youth I decided to make life a big adventure. If I couldn’t reach the heights of all-seeing peaceful calm in the nirvana-meditative state, I’d do it by taking whatever pill, powder or potion came my way. From teenage years onward I followed whatever adventure presented itself to me in real time. My quest for the heights of life’s experiences took me to faraway places, to sea voyages and land adventures and many intriguing people in both cities and isolated places.

Sometimes the Universe Presents Us With —

Dealing with what Is

Dealing with what Is

Sometimes the Universe presents us with what we think we can’t handle but — it happens anyway.

(Note: dear Readers, I have made the switch to a Mac and am sprawled out on the learning curve. Please forgive lack of images as I haven’t figured how to do that yet. Thanks for your support, Lordflea)

This is precisely what happened when I decided to marry Carter. I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into regarding what it takes to being a good stepparent. Ahh, if only I had had this writing in my hands back then, how much easier my decision, how much clearer, brighter my picture would have been, how much more inspired I might have felt that I actually could be a good stepparent. And by “good” I do mean as best as I could be. Some people might settle for less than excellence in whatever they choose to do, but when it comes to parenting I think all of us can agree that everyone of us wants to be the best we’re capable of.

What does a “good” parent entail?

To me this is an easy question because it means trying to be the exact opposite of what my experience with my parents was like, growing up. No disrespect or harsh judgment intended to my parents, they did the best they could. Yet I would never want to raise children they way they raised my only sister and me. So perhaps a good way to define what “is” is to start by saying what it “is not.”

A good parent does not criticize, but supports and signals love in many ways, through words, glances, simple expressions sometimes. A parent wishing to be just, practical and at the same time spiritually in-tune with humankind’s true possibilities, will practice acceptance of who and what their child is . The only exception to this is the child breaks one of the ONLY 3 rules ever used in our home:

1) See God in Each Other (more about this in the next section)

2) Listen and Do (he or she must obey the parents!)

3) Hands, Feet, Words to your own Self (children can be so cruel)

Even when a child invents, discovers, or shares that which might be opposite from what a parent believes to be true, total support is called upon for spiritual parenting. Using “no” in any form, other than when the three rules above have been transgressed, is injurious to a developing soul.

A good parent, therefore, nurtures his or her child, and respects their separate needs and identity. This kind of unconditional support and love allows a child to blossom to their true nature, without any feelings of inadequacy, guilt, shame, or fears.

A good parent does not put their own needs above what’s best for the children’s welfare.

Thus, a good parent is often called upon to make sacrifices, in order to sustain the illusion at least — of security —which creates an atmosphere that fosters unlimited self-knowledge in a growing child’s world-view.

A good parent accepts what is, and does not try to change the way a child feels, but guides them through hard times by allowing them to express their sadness, fears, or insecurities, fortifying them, comforting them with shared experiences from their own life, yet letting go of any expectations about how the child might respond to their guidance.

In other words, a good parent, stepparent or biological, does not expect their wards to be little clones of themselves, feeling, believing, trusting to be true everything they, the parent, has. The trick about step-parenting is, for the step-mom or -dad to realize that just as their own imprint is, much of the biological parent is also instilled in the child’s psychic, social, and spiritual makeup. This fact is verified through DNA research and observed by behavioral scientists as a result of any early-child contact a step-child has with the non-present parent. Accepting this is true, and not judging or denying it, is essential for a happy, harmonious integrated family of biological and non-blood-related members.

****

Before agreeing to marry Carter, I went into my meditative mode many times, asking my inner Self if I was capable of being a “good” parent. Even though others had their doubts about my nurturing capabilities, including my own mother — Carter never did. I asked myself hard questions, such as

Am I capable of sacrificing my total freedom and lack of responsibilities, which I’d purposefully designed and managed to enjoy all of my forty-four years — to raise someone else’s kids? Someone I didn’t respect? Someone who’d already tried to hurt me with false accusations as soon as I entered her children’s lives?

Did I love this man Carter enough to take upon myself the task of loving, nurturing, guiding, providing for, cooking, cleaning, guarding, teaching, and generally role-modeling my life as an example to these two little “scared rabbits” as one person called Fonya then 5, and Cully, then 2? Was I willing to change so drastically? Move to another city even, one that was devoid of my previous level of sociable culture, spiritual fellowship, aesthetics and adventure?

Could I picture myself as Angel Mom to these two little towheads, so needy, so grievously wounded over the separation of their parents?

Could I, I wondered, be strong enough to stand impervious to the ex’s fabricated allegations, which she hurled at me various ways. Was I willing to subject my well fought-for inner peace to deal with a jealous, vengeful woman who’d sadly lost the privilege of raising her own children?

One of the most important questions for me, for any person deciding to step-parent other people’s children is: “Is my love for Carter true enough, strong enough to prove stronger than any of the feared obstacles, real or imagined, that will come trooping up over the horizon — trying to dissuade me from being Angel Mom to these two kids of his?”

All three of them needed me, needed to be healed with love. And even more honestly, I instinctively knew, I needed to love them in order to heal myself, totally, from my life scars. So the biggest question of all, the one I spent the most time on, was:

“Do I love myself enough to love three other badly damaged individuals?”

****

So yes, after a year and a half of inwardly and outwardly asking these questions, reading every book I could find about the subject, discussing the pros and cons ad infinitum with Carter, and working with professionals, a pre-marital counselor we hired for consultations and to work up a formal psychological evaluation (on Carter’s behalf), in addition to our two birth charts I ordered, compared by competent a and long-trusted astrologer (on my behalf) — I decided I could do this!

Consciously, spiritually, open- and full-heartedly, I decided I could BE Angel Mom to these two kids who so needed me. Mostly I knew this, because they were part of the picture of loving Carter. After all, I reminded myself, when Fonya and Cully were fully grown, in about 15 years, he and I would be alone. And I knew my love for him was strong enough to stand the test of time.

The Mystery of Life: the Self unveiled

Hi friends,

I’m thinking about why I write/illustrate/maintain Lordflea. This is what’s on my mind today and want to share with you some thoughts.

from my Heart to yours

from my Heart to yours

A lot of blogs are where people talk about what’s happening in their lives.  A modern gal raising her family while living on a cattle ranch in Oklahoma (pioneer woman); one offers everything there is to know about a certain subject, from soup to nuts (my fav: yoga dork); another, an often not-so-quiet inside view of a person’s daily routine (iambossy.com). For whatever merits the above blogs have, none of these subjects is quite what i’ve been sharing  about here on Lord Flea Sings.

You see, the only thing that matters to me is to document with either art or writing — and also how i focus my everyday actions — depictions of how I “think” the life we all know as “normal” is just the tip of the proverbial reality iceberg. “Things are not what they appear to be” could be a good subtitle of what the blog Lord Flea attempts to do, by sharing events, experiences, insights and proof of how very little we really know about what this life is all about.

Does it matter? To speculate of things others often don’t give a damn about?

Well yes, it does. Everyone has the right to be heard. And just because my opinion may not be the one most popularly held by the masses, for me it is true: We are spiritual beings having a human experience. And guess what? More and more people are waking up to this Fact! This is the true significance of the auspicious date of 2012, by the way, when enough of us seekers (awakened Sun Dancers in Native American terminology) are present here on Earth, creating a “tipping point” scenario when, due to our numbers at the year 2012, ALL of humanity will be influenced by our perceptions, due to the “dominoes theory” (when an action starts, in this case the spiritualization of humankind, all the “dominoes” in close range will be affected because the number of awakened individuals has now reached the level of saturation needed to cause a chain reaction….and the entire world will be transformed!).

the awakening of Gaia

the awakening of Gaia

How do i know this is true?

Not because anyone tells me, that’s for certain! So please, don’t believe me just because I say it … that your life is more than what it appears. When you start having experiences, that’s when a person knows what Truth really is. For me, I’ve always wanted to know the “secret” behind what life really is. Just Living has never been enough to satisfy my curiosity. I’ve searched far and wide and — wow! i’ve been given, over and over, experiences that prove beyond a shadow of doubt that “Life” is truly what the Native Americans call “The Mystery.”

We are all interconnected, this much I know. Whether by electromagnetic forces, DNA, or some other form of yet-undetected energy. This Oneness stuff is a reality I’ve felt since childhood. Only, we tend to forget how we felt as children, don’t we? As adults, some of us are interested in re-claiming the pure, simple, undiluted psychic connections that come more easily to less-intellectually and emotionally encumbered beings, the kids.

So, getting to my topic of today’s post, “explaining the Self” … in ancient texts, some of the most revered and oldest on our planet, the way the sages described the “object of life” was to describe the Self, called the Atman in Sanskrit, the language of the Upanishads. The Self is how Atman is translated into English, and no doubt it’s a lousy substitute, but language is a tricky thing for describing things that are, well, indescribable. So we just try our best, don’t we? Especially writers, artists, dancers, musicians who attempt to encapsulate the bliss, transport, and transcendence of humanity.

The Self can be thought of like the common denominator found in all creation. It is pure energy, pure consciousness, but it is not conscious of itself. It is form without form and of all form. It is, in one word, pure Spirit. I guess some can call it “God” but eghads i think that word is too politically/culturally/religiously charged these days to depict anything other than a humanoid-type that tells others how to live. And that ain’t what the Self is.

Sometimes to comprehend a new idea it’s useful to explore its opposite. Think of the Self’s opposite, which is the “small” self, the idea of “me” “I” “personality” “attributes”….and perhaps that helps to describe that the “Big” Self is none of these. The Big Self is a thing’s essence. For humans it’d be what you were before you were born; what you will continue to be once you have left your earthly body. What you are in-between those two other stages of being-ness as well.

Hmmmmm, interesting, eh? Once again, I want to remind you that I’m not a dreamer. This is stuff I’ve experienced. Yup!

Yes, the Self is that part of yourself that you’ve always sensed, and can cultivate as much as you wish, when you shut off your thinking mind, the analytical part of your makeup. Getting to the purity of the Self requires patience, and a willingness to strip yourself naked of all preconceptions. How can you experience the Self? The best, most practical, and always reliable method is by developing a meditation practice. You can learn to meditate by many means, it doesn’t matter which type of meditation you choose. Just do it! The more a person can spend time in the pure consciousness that underlies all thought, the more a person will understand the true secrets of this earthly life. And …. the rewards of pure bliss, understanding, and peace await anyone willing to try meditation. Other methods of tapping the source of being-ness (ritualistically imbibing psychotropic drugs, for instance; or undergoing re-birthing and other forms of metaphysical healing) are not reliable and their effects totally depend on outside variables, so therefore, i do NOT advocate using them. Meditation is the only reliable method of connecting with the Inner Self.

And once you connect, there i no limit to the exploration of the Self.

So, my dear friends, you can see the subjects I discuss here are not what most bloggers elaborate on. Being popular, in synch with world trends, on top of the news, all these things don’t mean much to me. What does matter is to spread the Truth that life here on Earth is a gift. We who are alive at this present time are indeed lucky, because in being alive we can bring into the material plane that which is present throughout all the Universe … pure energy, unlimited possibilities. We humans are much more than what most of us think we are.

We are beings of light being given the opportunity to spread the word, share the energy, dive into the bliss of our spiritual nature.

The sooner one realizes this as fact, the more a person can enjoy the life they are leading, no matter what the circumstances are. Rich or poor, educated or not, living in freedom or incarcerated in tyranny — outer circumstances of our lives come and go, and yes, must be dealt with, and always worked on to make the experience as true, as clear, as unobstructed as possible. But even if a person were to never know what the modern world has to offer, or they never get to leave their little village in the Third World, and must struggle for something to eat, if a person has learned to tap into the unlimited power of their inner Self, that true part of their humanness, they are living the life we all aspire to!

A successful human existence is when a person embraces their unlimited Inner Self as the true “I am.”

in the Light, your pal Lordflea

ps. i’m just learning my new macBookPro and have not mastered how to upload my images, so please excuse my lousy attempt today! Ommmmm