So Begins the Journey

“So begins the journey, the journey into this heart of mine”*

This is my official first blog post. While I have sent out newsletters on yahoo groups, posted notes in Facebook & even set up a website (now defunct), this is my first foray into the blogosphere. Tweeting just seems to succinct for me; I prefer to write like I walk. While I am capable of getting on the treadmill & cranking out a few miles; when I say I am going for a walk it means that I meander around the lake, taking note of the birds, saying hi to dogs on leashes, smelling flowers and stopping to listen to the dragonfly hovering nearby.

I write because it is as compelling as eating, breathing, and sleeping, as if it is another bodily function. I write because to keep this inside me sometimes feels as uncomfortable painful if I am holding in my bladder. I once went 18 months without sex, yet my writing woke me up at 4 am for a year and wouldn’t go back to sleep till it poured out into a notebook. I jot down my dreams, cry over artist pages, journal, keep lists, post to fb, scribble on scraps of paper, memo it on my phone or compose papers daily, if nothing else to write about my love for the thick thirsty paper & having the juicy black pen. To deny the muse is to deny my soul.

I write because I have to.

I share my writings sometimes, not from ego or to earn my bread but to understand and to be understood, to share the struggles and triumphs over life, and to whisper to the others around me “we are not alone.”

These days I am journaling a lot on the concept of spiritual authority. Over the centuries folks have looked to priests & elders to define one’s connection with God, direct conversation was discouraged, it was taught that an intermediary was required for spiritual intersession.

It really has been over the past forty years or so that individuals have taken God into their own hands, choosing titles beyond the word God – Goddess, Higher Power, Spirit Divine, Infinite One and The Universe are some terms I have heard. There has been a saying floating around for a decade or two “Spiritual not Religious”. It is about creating our own connection with the Divine. There has been an evolution from the 90’s when many of us sat in 12 step meetings with the 11th step: “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him”. I’m quoting now, I don’t necessarily use the male pronoun for God, but that is another post.

Much of what I will be exploring will be everyday acts of grace  and how we marry the mundane with the profane. How simple acts such as weeding can take me to the a deeper realization of what needs to be weeded out of my consciousness.

I invite those reading to grab a cup of tea & sit with me to dialogue about life & what going on.

*Mary Dolan Lyrics

Posted in spirituality, writing | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Jacarandas In Bloom

Here’s a post from 2004 & the last time I was in Santa Barbara when the jacaranda’s were blooming. It brought back this sweet memory & the realization that some of this is still up in my life & that I am finally taking action on this.

There has been a recurring theme that I’ve been exploring of late ~ that of being a real __________ (fill-in the blank) and how so much judgment has kept myself and other from stepping up into what we love. That before we express whatever brings us joy should be perfected and polished till it /we are flawless. Heaven forbid we should reach out and try something to fail or not like it really or not live up to the standard of how it should be performed.

Here’s a journal entry from Santa Barbara in May after several days of driving very slow down the coast and a night at the local Hostel:

After the beach walk, stopped and strolled the pier to get a different view on
the sand sculptures and displays ~ various cups on cloths with cardboard signs that folks throw change into, then the huge peace memorial 30 feet across with flowers all around the sand sculptures. I give all my change; reflect upon the homeless who ask for change. Yeah, we need to change how we create/deal with these street philosophers, need to change how we let people
become disposable and invisible, rotting on the sidewalks. I would like some of that change.

At the end of the pier is Violet. She checks to see if I’m “one of those strict Christian ladies” and then says, “Oh, you’re a light seeker higher being like me”.(Side note: I’ve been walking and meditating and singing to myself for 3 hours on the beach collecting rocks now weighing down my sweat pant with a fistful of feathers and a bag of garbage I’ve picked up, I’m quite a sight myself) We talk about giving it all away & just going on a journey into the unknown. She says she gave it all away for her music when it came to a point of paying exorbitant rent or going for 2 weeks music seminar. I give her $2 to play a song, a flamenco love song tragedy that she sings in Spanish & translates. She playshaltingly, just learning it from the book I hold open for her.

Then she shares about a beautiful garden to meditate in before I leave. She is borderline insistent that I go. “It’s across from a church”. I follow the directions, just about ready to turn back when there it is, right across from the Unity Church I thought about looking up the night before and didn‘t. I get the message, if I don’t listen to the quiet inner voices sometimes Spirit sends an outside messenger to get my attention.

I ponder Violet’s music and that it’s not as eloquent as I think it should be if you are going to give up life and home and safety to play and learn. Shouldn’t she be able to play well or be familiar with the song before she performs it? Lots of judgment in my mind.

(light bulb over the head) I GOT IT! It’s about willingness to risk it all going forth into the unknown,
willingness to sit in the learner’s seat, perfect in the imperfection. To want to bring the beauty out so much and share the heart songs so much that to get beyond the judgment of being a beginner. I have a wonderful epiphany that just keeps expanding my heart open about being who you are no matter what or how good you are or anything, that if you listen & follow your heart that whatever happens is perfect.

Violet, the jacarandas were a gorgeous violet. Thank you master for helping me with this lesson. Thank you also for singing your heart song.

(end of journal entry)

So here was the theme once again about being real as I had started the inner dialogue again about credentials, whether I am truly qualified to be a real intuitive / healer / artist and a myriad of other limiting beliefs. What is a real musician, a real dancer a real writer, a real singer? I am! We
all are! We are all blessed to BE whomever, whatever we choose! It just doesn’t matter what others think, the act of self definition is credentials enough. Thank you Universe for the gentle reminder that we all are singers.

Soooo… my questions to my lovely readers:

What would you do if you could not fail?

Who would you be if it meant giving up your illusions of imperfection?

Me, I’m going to go dance now.

Love to all

Kat

Posted in Uncategorized

Healing Times

After sitting on this for 2 weeks, I decided to publish this. The silence is still here.

 

I found the stillness again this week. The place where my head can be silent; when the roar of self doubt has been squelched into the faintest of whispers.

It wasn’t the camping that did it. Nor the sunrise over the Salton Sea or the glorious Milky Way or the smell of the pine trees.

It was the rage ritual.

Surrounded in a safe environment with a trusted guide, I searched out the visceral pain deep in my soul. It had the voice of a trusted someone who told me my consciousness wasn’t good enough. It didn’t matter that she spoke these words from her own pain nor that she was busy creating her own drama of rejection, I took these words and made them real. Like the wine that leaves a residue when swirled before a taste, these words coated everything in my life. I had allowed them to define my very essence.

Which is why I found myself deep in the forest (literally and metaphorically) screaming at the top of my lungs. It was a primal scream, bouncing off the mountains and echoing back into my face, reverberating my pain for all to witness.  Sobbing so hard I thought I would barf; a fleeting thought the sheriff would soon arrive for a welfare check. There was much, much more, a purging of my shattered soul, letting it all out to make room for my Truth to resurface.

The Question was asked. “Who Are You, Kat?” The answers proclaimed so loudly the trees shook, the hawk screamed and the woodpecker stopped to listen, all witnessing my intensity. There were many proclamations of power, the most memorable include:

“I AM THE TWINKLING PIXIE FAIRY”

“I AM THE FUCKING WOO WOO GIRL, DEAL WITH IT”

And my favorite:

“YOU DON’T GET TO TAKE AWAY MY SPARKLE, DAMMIT!” spoken with a rabid ferocity that is the very antithesis of the words.

Seeing them here in caps & bold can’t convey the raw power I felt nor the absolute knowingness of reclaiming my true essence. I sit and ponder them now, not sure that I will ever publish this post.

The actual ritual ended with 3 Ohm’s, ringing out over the land.

 

Later on, rocking in the dirt, a song I learned bubbled up.

I am the light

I am the light

I am the light of this world.

And I shine

And I shine

And I shine so bright.

 

 

It has been 5 days since that ritual and I have a sense of space within my body. The voice of limitations is quiet and there is a feeling of expectancy, like moving into a new home and getting a chance to decorate from scratch.  Some beloved possessions are still here but the uncomfortable stained chair is gone, making room for something better. I have the emptiness within that is ready to be redefined.

It is time for me to spread my fairy wings and fly.

Posted in Healing, spirituality | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Ode to Orange

The sweetness of carrot halva, Aphrodite’s nectar,

The tangy tangerine, puckering the edges of my jaw

The luscious ripe persimmon slathered upon my chin

While watching a fiery sunset.

 

Magnificent mangos

Jellybean carnelians

Iridescent opals

The creamy papaya

Cool cantaloupe quenching my thirst on a scorching hot day.

 

Lest we forget the animal kingdom

The lion’s mane suitable for the King of the Jungle

The glorious tiger adorned in stripes,

Goldfish, starfish, even octopus aglow underwater.

Crab claws protecting its territory,

The sly fox, marmalade kitten,

The transformative Monarch butterfly

And who could forget the Weasley clan?

 

What about the wild bird of paradise

The destructive force of the beautiful forest fire ablaze in all her glory?

So uniquely beautiful, it stands alone, unable to rhyme.

Both cool and hot, wet and dry, succulent and tart.

Plant, animal, sea creature stone.

An enigma with a tough skin and juicy interior.

Self defining

Posted in Uncategorized

shattered

i sit there, nodding like i understand and agree

with her words

the words that say i’m not ready

the words that say i’m not enough spiritually

the words that infer i’m a menace

whose consciousness the congregation needs to be protected from

there is a feeble attempt to change words

as if i am coconspirator in my undoing

instead i feel the shattering start

pieces of my soul flying away into the ethers

hiding the sacred parts of me

in a place far far away

so far gone, those shards feel

irretrievable

irreplaceable

irredeemable

afterwards the shell of my body follows her around while she

casually mentions plans for rooms and painting

while my heart continues to crumble around me

like old oregano from a dusty spice jar

 

it has been a year

of sobbing

of unbearable pain

of soul searching

of endless hours tucked in the corner of the couch too broken to move

 

all the while showing up when i am able

and getting sick time & again

trying to soften the places where the shards stick out

snagging tender bits on sharp edges

slicing open again

oozing wounds and ugly words

desperately hiding in plain sight

wanting someone to make it right

sure no-one is trust worthy

listening to the tune about amazing grace secretly thinking

i am not worthy either

in my utter & complete brokenness.

 

wondering

questioning

beseeching

looking for the slightest of shard left

that can begin again

 

all those prior words

about

the soothing balm of grace

the bandages of faith

the eternality of the human spirit

the soul’s infinite ability to heal and be whole

were they Truth?

were they my truth?

those words vanished

banished from my vocabulary.

 

 

a tiny splinter of truth

surrounded by my calloused heart

finally works its way out through scar tissue

it holds the key

to every piece

every broken bit

every shard, sliver, and slice of my soul

hanging on to the most tenuous of thread

floating in the ethers

 

its time

to take time

to make time

to sing the song anew

and once again take up the weaving

of calling the scattered, shattered, battered bits

once again healing and wholing my spirit back into

this bruised tired body.

 

its time to smear the salve of grace

upon the jagged scars

to coax my sacred soul

back to its shining glory

find the ember of inner light

blow gently, breathing fire back

into the flames of radiance.

 

 

Kat Alessi

©2012

Posted in Creativity, spirituality | Tagged

Day 1

Day 1, need to figure out how to embed this picture so it is part of the blog. Done is better than perfect.

Kats Collage pic 2012 02 07 Showing up Ordinary

When I show up ordinary, it is pink & bumpy & raw. I dance with my shadow at the ocean’s edge. My head is exploding unable to keep a lid on it all. Crooked teeth in my radiant smile, unguarded & unself-conscious, mouth agape with the filter off, sharing the pain, the brilliance, the baffling amazement of life itself. There is beauty in the bumps, knots & even the green slime of uncensored emotion. I am a beautiful mess.

Posted in 37 Days, Collage, Creativity | Tagged , , , ,

Back to the Drawing Board

Woke up this at 5 a.m. this morning humming “Patti Digh is Coming to Town” (to the tune of Bruce Springsteen singing about Santa Claus). Worried that I’ve been doing it “wrong” & it is only 10 days away from the workshop that she is presenting & how I wished I had worked with one of her books for 37 Days before she got here. Eventually the brain wakes up & realize she’ll be here in March not February. Woo hoo! 39 days before she arrives!

Started again with the book “Creative is a Verb”. What I am committing to publicly: to show up for myself creatively & play at least one hour a day. Since I have 39 days, I am giving myself 2 free days since we are moving between now & then.

I’m not committing to posting it online daily, but I might. I’ll tweet my accountability. I’m not committing to it being pretty, sellable, or fit for public consumption. Any form of tangible output works, could be earrings or writing or collage or whatever arts supplies I haven’t packed yet.

I’m just committing to show up for the 8-year old artist that needs permission to play. That eight-year-old girl got sat in the corner until she did all 100 sets of her times tables. Over & over again. As an adult I still feel that it is more important or responsible or grown up or whatever to do bookkeeping over crafting. Taxes and 1099’s will pay the bills not stamping forks. I’m still punishing that dear Kathy for wanting to play when she has work to do. Enough.

It is time to play again & do the things that bring me bliss.

Posted in daily practice, Uncategorized, writing | 1 Comment

To Be Real, got to be real!

This week has been a wild week emotionally. I described it earlier as a roller coaster but that’s much more pleasurable than this ride. There has been the urge to throw my head back & scream though.

I’ve been back in the monkey mind about getting a real job. For a class assignment in yet another prosperity class, I wrote in a paper on Tuesday:

… I was called to really finally step into my power. Writing, creating artwork, giving eulogies, being a Prayer Practitioner, sitting with the dying, public speaking, teaching, counseling and a myriad of other activities that are about contributing more to the world; these were the ways that I felt both inspired and inspiring. It was about stepping into my life’s work. Playing it safe hasn’t worked well for the past year, the answer isn’t taking a “real” job with a regular paycheck & benefits, the answer is to actually say YES to the things that I love.  I need to know deep within that what I am called to do is the REAL JOB, I am a valuable asset to the world around me doing what I do & Being who I am and that if I Trust my calling it would lead to a different experience. Security comes from Faith, Faith that God is my source.

That night, I had a lovely dream of hanging out with Patti Digh, and there was a moment when she looked me in the eyes & matter-of-factly asks, “so, what’s your stuck story?”. While I recall most of the dream details like the teal & white of the gift wrap around the cobalt bottles, I don’t remember what I said — I’m sure it was whiny –but when I awoke the reasons seemed  profound . Still not as profound as her response, “Oh! So you think all of that is reality!”

After I journalled the dream I opened her book Creative is a Verb randomly to page 20 where it read:

Underneath all these deflections is a belief that our lives are divided into two parts:
 
The Real Part, and
 
The Creative Part
 
Maybe those shouldn’t be separated in the way we’ve been taught.
 
Maybe the Real Part is the Creative Part. And maybe, just maybe that Creative Part is the Real Part.
 

Seriously, I’m still amazed by the serendipity and synchronicity of that specific page at that exact moment. Had I read it before, hence triggering the dream or causing the page to open to that spot? I don’t remember it. Three days later, it still makes me cry reading that though. It brings up such a sadness how much I discount what I bring to the world and a longing to really show up fully and out loud and a hope that maybe, just maybe, its True. (Side note: The irony is not lost on me that I still think I’m not being real with this beet red short spiky hair. Can’t quite keep a lid on the Twinkling Pixie Fairy no matter how much I try.)

Yesterday started in a funk. Even after 100 repetitions of “I surrender to the power and presence of God within me” for the class assignment, I was still not feeling in the least bit surrendered nor the presence of God within me. Yet, when a text came through asking “Feel like being a strong shoulder 4 a minute?” I agreed in spite of myself. I listened to a friend mirror my own questions of self worth & doubt about making a difference in the world. When my own words didn’t come, I borrowed some from Marianne Williamson. Of course, I opened directly to a page talking about surrendering. Then came a prayer from the heart. After sharing words of wisdom we both needed, I found myself singing in the car on my way to a clients. Surrender had snuck up on me, I felt peaceful. Getting to hear my own wisdom by channeling it for a friend was a huge gift from her. Guess it is true:

A bell’s not a bell ’til you ring it, A song’s not a song ’til you sing it, Love in your heart wasn’t put there to stay, Love isn’t love ’til you give it away!
Oscar Hammerstein II
 

The funk was back early evening. Gotta pay the rent somehow. So there I am,  looking on Craigslist & saw a posting for a  jewelery artist (can we just politely ignore that I was still looking in the jobs section after all of that great insight?) and sent off an excited email exclaiming what a perfect team member I would be “once you realize what a quirky yet qualified quality I would bring to your studio”. I waxed eloquent about how creative I was. Going to sleep with that fresh on my mind, I awoke at 4:30 wanting to be ready for show & tell should she call. I gathered together lots of examples of my jewelry making skills, my creativity and range of craftsmanship. There’s a plate to show my lettering skills, a sewn mandala to illustrate fine motor ability and even collage to show my high level of accuracy. I hadn’t even gotten a fraction of what I have created in the past 20 years & looking at the spread & realized I can’t whine anymore about not being creative.  A mentor once told me that non-creative people don’t cry about not being creative, they just don’t worry about creativity the same as artists do. I have a crush on my creativity; why is it that when we have a crush on someone that we run away rather than risk rejection? Shhh, we won’t mention that I would almost pay to have that jewelry position. Yet, here I am, not yet setting up my own craft business & still willing to play in someone else’s. Holy smoke!  I guess I still think all of that is reality.

So, what is Real? Words of wisdom from a favorite children’s book:

Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
Margery Williams Bianco, The Velveteen Rabbit

So I continue to strive to let go of the illusion of limitation and to recognize that in all my pink hair quirkiness, airy fairy pixie dust, Sufi song singing and car dancing, that I am REAL.

Posted in spirituality, writing | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments