Solving the Perplexing Puzzle of Prosperity

Spirituality, Prosperity, Abundance and Full Divine Surrender have always been a particularly perplexing cocktail for this enchanted, amnesiac fairy gone human.  They seem to be a puzzle whose completion is ever evasive.  But lately All Pervading Daddy Warbucks has been hookin’ this sistah up with weighty wisdom, insight and miscellaneous booty from all sides!   It all started (that’s a dangerous way for an ancient soul to begin a sentence, eh?!) when I won a raffle at church and walked away with a fresh, sparkling copy of “The Abundance Book”, which lays out the most basic universal laws of abundance and includes a 40 day prosperity plan.  Auspicious, huh?  And then A Course in Miracles has been throwin’ down some sweet gospel on the essential matter of divine abundance.  And yesterday on facebook, my dear friend Marianne Williamson spit forth this priceless piece of the puzzle:
”Most people limit their lives by censoring their desires. Don’t censor them: allow yourself to own what it is you really want. The desire is telling you something. If the desire is appropriate, your owning it paves a path for its manifestation. If not, owning it is also necessary so you can surrender it for transformation. Live in the excitement of being pregnant with the life you truly want.”
LIVE IN THE EXCITEMENT OF BEING PREGNANT WITH THE LIFE YOU TRULY WANT.  That is sheer and utter music to me.  Upon reading it, I noticed that a big chunk of my mind had been preoccupied with figuring out how I was going to survive in Kauai.  The energy behind the thoughts was anything but pregnant with the life I truly want.  It was all about figuring out what compromises I was begrudgingly willing to make in order to barely get by.  Ewwwww… but for most of us, that is our default modus operandi~ squeezing ourselves into unflattering molds imposed by a world devoid of soul.  What if it wasn’t?  Am I dreamer?  GOOD.  Let me dream.  In fact, a wise man once told me, “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one…” (Grin)  Listen, we are ALL dreaming, all the time.  Even the author of the beloved childhood anthem, “Row, row, row your boat” knew what was up.
The question is what dreams do you choose to dream?  What dreams are worth being entertained by the divine flood of light that you ARE?
I want to go to Kauai and WRITE MY BRAINS OUT!  I want to pop out a sacred book while I’m there.  A book that will make the world tingle and dance and take hecka unabashed deep breaths.  I want to write a book that will stealthily, sexily seduce the masses (you and me and everyone we know) into a state of ecstatic celebration and a holy remembrance of the here now Heaven!  Screw retail and all of its wretched second cousins twice removed…  Let them curl up in shriveled pathetic balls where the sun don’t shine.  Why can’t I live the life I want to live?  Well… only because up until now, I have told myself that I can’t.   Because we have slumberishly acquiesced to being so damn ruled by the zzzzzzzz inducing limitations we have unconsciously inherited by our anally clenching predecessors.
But then I always get caught in my slipperiest trap of a construct that says, “Oh, but Athena, is that dream truly God’s will for you, or is it just your ego, bullyishly taking control of the steering wheel?”  Wonder woman!  Seems like I have been stuck in that tired cesspool for centuries!   No, wait, I don’t want to dis it entirely… I think the deep, scrupulous inquiry of the origin of ones motivations is of crystalline value.  I should ask myself who is in the driver’s seat as I dream myself into existence.  And I have found that the seemingly disparate worlds of action and surrender, effort and grace melt into one holy bindu (single point of consciousness) when I return to the well of holy silence daily to wash my mind clean.
I am willing to take thirty-ish minutes a day to offer all my desires and dreams and fears and bona fide divine chaos back into Gods hands.  “Here God,” I say humbly.  “Please take ALL of this mish-mash and just give me back what is most true and blessed by your omnipresent Love.”  And the more I do that, the more that I am realizing the implicit unity between effort and grace, desire and renunciation, passion and service.  PASSION and SERVICE?!  Could those two really walk hand in hand in peaceful, blessed communion?  To this starry eyed mystic, it seemed too good to be true.  Could it really be a service to you to read these words that gush from me as very waves of the ocean of passion and bliss?  Nah…
Seriously, for a long time, I equated suffering with serving.  Serving meant doing something that you really didn’t want to do, because a wickedly elusive, punishing authority figure said you should, in order to be “GOOD”.  You gotta love the back draft, back lash of organized religion… puts some unsightly hair on more than a few billion chests…
Here is something I have learned about abundance, prosperity and gratitude in the most recent chapter of my existence (Note that I have been studying it for longer than I can remember… but only recently have I mounted this winged beast named Synthesis.)~ My ability to truly feel the abundance, the prosperity that has been promised to us all by our Heavenly birthright is directly correlated to my conscious recognition of the sacred, interconnected, underlying reality of all Life.  I have been on this relentless path of forgiveness… thanks to A Course in Miracles… and the more I forgive, the more I am able to Love.  And the more I am able to truly, unconditionally Love, the more I feel RICH right now, the more drunk I become on the beauty that just keeps seamlessly splooging (in fountainous fashion) from the very core of my being, the very core of existence!
The perfect embodied example of this is the choir at the East Bay Church of Religious Science.  I bow in reverence to their sacred, celebratory offering of song.  No joke, I cry every time they sing.  And you know what?  Half of the singers are crying as they pour their honey wine voices out on high upon the holy congregation.  And the other half are practically levitating in ecstasy!  They are a sea of faces of every color, shape, age.  Their faces are meandering epic poems exalting the infinite journeys of the One Creator.   Yesterday in church, the choir director, a luminous, large black woman, spilling with spirit was ESPECIALLY inspired.   They sang a song about surrender and she opened her arms wide to the sky as she soulfully belted the flaming melody.  She held nothing back.  I repeat she held NOTHING back.   No fear of looking good.  No fear of being judged.  Just a pure, complete offering to God, through God, AS GOD, with God.  Her freedom and purity sets the tone for the choir and all who were present to drink the sonic exlixer.  The energy was so high and pure it tickled and left me blinking and awe struck.
She told us yesterday, “We are not here to entertain you… though it may be entertaining.  No, we are here to serve as a sacred mirror for you, so that you remember who you truly Are.”
This holding nothing back, this offering EVERYTHING of one’s self in service of the Highest… This is true prosperity.  It lives now, shining as the One face of Eternity.  The giving IS the receiving, the service is the passion.  The effort is the grace.  Amen.

The Day that Turned to Go(l)d.

I left the house this morning without saying goodbye to Mykael.  I woke up today under enormous pressure.  Remember, I had declared that I would march myself and my typewriter* down to the Lake Merrit farmer’s market to offer my services as a Poetry Muse.  But then the morning arrived and I let the fear strangle me, dominate my choices.  Holy failure!  What can I say?  I failed.  But I justified my failure because I just started bleeding, and going out in public during this vulnerable window in my cycle is asking for trouble.  It’s like kicking life in the shins and calling it gratuitous names like “fat, “ugly” and “unwholesome”.  Naturally I am exaggerating, but really, a woman oughtn’t be too ambitious on her moon days.  It is a sacred time for inner reflection, self care and rest.  I’ll conquer the world next week when I burst out of this chrysalis and spread my massive, psychedelic wings of light!  Mark my words…

This period has been particularly intense.  Being myself is hard enough, but I can’t even imagine being my partner.  I CRAVE attention.  I want Mykael to stop everything and drown me in adoration.  (Synchronistically, he looked up at me as I typed that…I guess he read my vibe… then he snickered… What a mystery.  Yes, I am at HIS café again… I just need “nearness”.  I love that term, “nearness”… I find it very useful in expressing one of my more prevalent emotional needs.)  This morning, in the shower, suddenly my feelings became hurt that Mykael had not been appreciating my breasts since they have been menstrually plumped.  Remember the old Ball Park Franks ad campaign?  Plumps when you cook ‘em?  On TV they’d show the skinny little unmentionable animal parts meat stick, and then they’d show it radically expanding, as it is guaranteed to do when you cook it.  That’s my breasts.  They got so nice and plump this time around.  How could Mykael not notice or care?  I trip over them.  A fantastic opportunity to feel the hurt in me bubble up and become the most consuming aspect of my reality!  He came into the bathroom while I was getting out of the shower and I confessed my grievance.  God bless ‘im, he tried to generate appreciation for my bouncy twins, on the spot… But of course it seemed fake to me… I was more curious about what could have possibly been more interesting and consuming in his private world than my breasts, but that, he would not divulge.  Probably his dumb old carvings… That’s mostly all he thinks about.  Not that they’re dumb, but the little girl in me who has been in the driver’s seat frequently in recent days, has no qualms about calling them dumb as she plummets through a bottomless field of need.

But I did NOT mean to spend so much time talking about my breasts.  I have so many more triumphant things to tell you!  First of all, I want to apologize to you.  Yesterday, in a fit of premenstrual angst, I made a comment about why bother blogging when I only have  twenty-ish visitors to my site per day… I was reflecting on that in the sauna at the gym yesterday afternoon… realizing how dishonoring that is of each of you who DOES read my words.  You are NOT chopped liver.  No way!  Though you do HAVE a liver… I remembered to be grateful for every single pair of eyes that drink my words.  Every single heart that widens as it takes in my vantage point of human beingness.  And probably simultaneously, Kurt, over on the east coast sent me a comment addressing this very topic.  He said he may be one in twenty, but he digs my prose.  Talk about affirmation!  Thank you, Kurt!   And while I’m on the subject, Kurt, I invite you to reconsider your stance on milk maids.  They are a SPICY breed.  Demure and dangerous…

Thank each of you who simultaneously give and receive blessings by imbibing in my linguistic caricature of a world.

So I wandered out of the house this morning, into a day that promised much intoxicating beauty.  Clarity, warmth, subtle cool breeze… But I wanted to cry.  I felt so alone.  Self inflicted aloneness.  Self inflicted tragedy.  I guess that’s home for me… But shhhh, let’s pretend I didn’t admit that.  Ahem.  I decided to put on an extra special Course in Miracles lesson.  A practical application lesson on true PROSPERITY.  Immediately my spirits began to lift.  Not overtly, by any means, just those little tremors that start at the core and softly tickle as they spread through the infinite layers of my being.  Reverend Deb’s reading spoke to me of how anything I want to have for myself, I must GIVE.  Right at that moment, a disheveled, woman with desperate, tragic eyes approached me.  “Happy Saturday,” she said.  I turned off my Course in Miracles lesson and she proceeded to tell me that she needed six dollars for a room for her and her kids because they had been sleeping in the park and being harassed.  Was this the truth?  Probably.  But honestly, who cares.  The truth of her need was apparent.  And God had just told me that whatever I want, I must give.

ATHENA KNOWS NEED.  I know that god-forsaken place in the human heart.  The place of tragic, imagined aloneness.  I looked in her luminous though weary eyes as she gushed her troubles.  Then I have her two dollars.  “Thank you,” she exclaimed.  “Only four dollars left.”  I imagined her standing out on Grand Avenue, digging around inside for the humility to continue to approach more guarded, self important middle class Oakland folk, begging for money.  Screw that.  I had a twenty in my wallet and it practically dove out into her open palm without consulting me.  She lit up.  I felt relieved.  I shared my perspective, that it’s hard to be constantly approached by those in need.  That I know there is a deeper issue than our need for dollars… and I wish I knew how to address that… but it feels so tangled, complicated.  I started to cry.  Then she started to cry.  She opened her arms and I accepted her embrace.  We stood on the sidewalk, feeling the pain of humanity and blessing the concrete with our sacred tears.  Then I invited her to church with me tomorrow morning.  I’m gonna pick her up in front of the Grand Lake Theater tomorrow at seven thirty.  We’ll go back to the East Bay Church of Religious Science.  What better to share with a woman in need than the All Pervading Light!?!?!

And I’ll testify that in giving the blessing of comfort, care and prosperity to a fellow woman, I became full, when just moments before I had been empty.  It works.  Give what you most want to receive and it becomes YOURS.  Naturally, this remembrance comes with responsibility.  Because it does not only apply to homeless people.  Imagine our surprise, but it also applies to spouses and the like.  So I’m considering giving Mykael the rest of the day off from having to work so hard.  Maybe I will stretch so far as to give him what I most want to receive… God, why is it so much easier to be generous with strangers?  Grrrrrrr.

*Typewriter.  Remember the asterisk from the first paragraph?  Well, I must divulge that mine is no “ordinary typewriter”.  It belonged to Mykael’s grandmother.  She was a minister of the Church of Religious Science, head of the ministry of prayer.  She bought the typewriter to reply to prayer requests.  I do NOT take this lightly.  The keys are imbued with prayer.  This is the perfect typewriter for a chick like me.