Monday, May 12, 2008

Marianne Monday

Good morning lovely Lima beans!

Finally after so much travel I am back at my magical home in hippieville Woodstock! And although it's tempting to dive in and catch up on all the work I have to do, I once again awaken to the fact that the most important work is on the inside - between my right and left ears, to be exact...

I was reminded of this AH HA after spending this past Saturday with my amazing friend and spiritual teacher Marianne Williamson. Her new book, "The Age of Miracles: Embracing The New Midlife" was the subject of her lecture, and although I learned a lot about how I would like to age, it was so relevant to my life NOW. Of all the powerful words that fell from her God-touched tongue, the most dynamic tool for my own RIGHT-NOW growth came in the form of a straight forward question: Do you have a DAILY spiritual practice? "Uhhh, wellll, sometimes-ish, but you see lately it's been tough! I mean, there's the travel, work, emails, and juicing takes time..." SHUT UP KRIS (I said this - she didn't). The truthful answer is a whopping NO.

I've been to Marianne's lectures before, I've read her books, she's even pressed me on this question in person at tea or over dinner. And every time I Shuck and Jive and then walk away making new promises to myself that work for a little while, but then never really take root. Why? Is it too ouchy to commit? Do I think I'm all that and a bag of pita chips and don't need it? OR am I too dang lazy!?!? Do you have a DAILY spiritual practice? Deep sigh.....

When I break it down it's simple. All my suffering comes from the fact that my primary relationship - which is my relationship to the divine - is off. When this relationship is solid there is no illusion of separation. There is no struggle no matter what the struggle is. My mind determines my reality. I change it in order to salvage it, and therefore my thoughts are clear. How good does it feel to sit in meditation and empty your head, even for just a few moments? How about journaling, exercise, reading spiritual scripture, praying, or listening to uplifting lectures on CD? These daily practices are as important, if not more important, than any other commitment in our lives.

One of the many remarkable things about Marianne is that no matter what question comes at her, she is able to break it down and bring it back to God. At the heart of the answer lies our own commitment to the path. Ego driven selfishness, poor-me victimization, spinning wheels, bitterness, loneliness, rage, etc. - when these negative feelings are allowed to metastasize, they eventually mutiny, take over your ship, and you find yourself no longer the captain of your destiny.

Makes perfect sense to me. So how do I make sure I don't negotiate away the time it takes to string together the pearls on the spiritual necklace? Just do it. As Jon Kabat Zinn says, "get your ass on the pillow!"

In our little CSL community we constantly chat about cleansing our bodies in order to boost our immunity and live our best lives, no matter what the circumstance. Marianne reminds us that we must also detox our distorted belief systems in order to truly experience happiness. Topical solutions just won't do, our problems are systemic. She says that we can't cover our darkness with pink paint and call it light! Many of the mistakes made in my life have come from moving too fast. The speed by which my turbine cranks comes from a deep fear of quiet, and ultimately, inadequacy. UGH!!!!!

When stuff is uncomfortable it is so much easier to keep it at arms length, and yet our arms get so frickin' tired. Arms length makes it more difficult. The Course in Miracles says that we find the rest we seek not from sleeping, but from waking. OH YEAH! Isn't that what we're trying to do with our diets? Wake up to the health and abundance available in every bite? Same thing with the meal that is our spiritual path.

As I continue to define the CSL Lifestyle for myself (I start writing "Crazy Sexy Life" the book in October), I am reminded that it is a spiritual diet first and foremost. It is a path of compassion and of service. Each of us transitions to health from a different starting point. We must have patience with ourselves, but we can't let that be an excuse for not doing our best. Again, the more clear you are spiritually, the more you'll trust your instincts. Nothing good comes easy; it takes work. Although diet is the seat of the chair, the four legs are equally important. Mind, body, spirit, and the more I think about it, the fourth leg is the DAILY PRACTICE. When any of these pillars are wobbly we feel unsettled, insecure, and off balance. I am grateful to wonderful teachers like Marianne who are dedicated to helping us remember this.

Off to take a walk and pray.

Peace and hallelujah!

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