I am combining my year-end reflection and look to the future this year, as this is the first chance I’ve had to really sit and think things through. I dubbed 2016 my Year of Change, 2017 my Year of Recovery from all the change I went through, and 2018 was supposed to be the year I started living the life I’ve always wanted, to step into my full being. Things have not worked out the way I wanted to or as fast as I wanted it to, and I had to contend with some serious disappointments and sad moments this year. I’ve felt ready, but stuck, and I came to the realization yesterday that it’s all been in good time. I’ve been like a seed that has begun to sprout but still needs to work it’s way through the dirt until the sun and air can be felt fully. I’ve done so much to push that dirt out of the way, and now, now I am finally feeling the freshness above me.
So 2018 was a year of internal adjustments, of letting go of some resentment, of recognizing limitations and yet still pushing against them for personal growth. I didn’t get to create as much as I wanted, but I managed to do a little. I finished three paintings and an illustration. I wrote a lot of poems and chipped away at my novel and wrote and published a short story. I wrote one song fully out and really love it. And I created a couple of cool fiber art pieces – one for myself to hang and one for a friend’s wedding gift. I also did and continue to do so much planning.
This coming year, 2019, is a year of Spiraling upward and outward, both for myself personally and collectively. I can feel it. I will be giving notice soon at work, but hopefully leaving myself open to freelancing there if I need to later. I have two big costuming gigs lined up that will take me through spring that will hopefully provide income so I can focus more on the kids and personal creative projects this summer. But I know things will happen as they will. All I can do is say yes to opportunities as they come and make the effort toward creating as I can do so.
I hope you all feel the spiraling energy and let it flow through you this year, that we all have a year of action and of love.
I’ve been listening to some random lectures and talks online while sewing in recent weeks, and a couple of things I’ve heard have stuck with me, so I wanted to share my thoughts on them.
The first was a positive, truly inspiring lecture, and the line that stuck with me was when the speaker was telling everyone to stop comparing themselves to others, that we each have a purpose to fulfill here in life. And the line was that we are all puzzle pieces making up the world, and the puzzle pieces fit with other pieces to make the whole, and without even one piece, the picture is incomplete. So we’re all vital, we’re all important. And it’s our connections with each other that are truly the most important thing. I thought that was truly lovely.
The comparison game is such a tempting one, isn’t it? And we’re bombarded all the time by advertising and programming that tells us to fall into that trap so they can sell us crap, and the prevalence of social media in our lives makes it oh so easy to constantly compare and then bring ourselves down by our lack. We spiral low, shop to make ourselves feel better, drown our sorrows in more media or unhealthy habits, and let ourselves get trapped. It’s terrible. But I have learned to look at my twinges of jealousy as the sign markers for where I need to grow and direct my life. My friend is traveling off to far lands while I’m trapped with a baby and no money? Plan a day trip or weekend trip with the family and crash with friends. Someone I know released a single or put out a new book? That little pin prick is the drive for me to carve out a little time to create. And continue to make differences where I can. But this metaphor of a puzzle is one that will help quell the twinges all together, I think.
The second was a psychologist speaking about something that touched deeply on my spiritual awakening that occurred several years ago, and I’m going to be deliberately vague because it’s very personal to me, but mainly what she said cast the entire experience in a very negative light. And I reflected on this a lot, and I’ve decided that I still am glad I went through my experiences because of the profound growth that I’ve had. There was a catalyst, a rebirthing, and then a test, all in one, and there were risks involved, but because I stayed true to myself and listened to my heart, it was a test I passed. It was necessary for my evolution, and this speaker would have cast me as a victim. And I don’t know if she truly sees the world that way, or if she’s just out to make more clients and make a buck.
So here it is, any period of growth is tumultuous. Any true spiritual experience has risks because we live in a materialistic age and have lost a lot of the knowledge of the spiritual so you enter blindly. But I know that everything in life has a positive and a negative side – the same tool can be used to heal or to harm. And it is each of our own responsibility to guard our own paths. To a lesser extent, we can help guard the paths of those we love, but really it has to come from within. We need to decide the things we value in our hearts and souls and then not waver from those values. Because it is when we become untrue to ourselves that others can manipulate us.
Anyway, those are my random thoughts.
The label “woke” is everywhere I turn, and increasingly I cringe inwardly every time I hear it. “Are you woke?” “I’m woke.” “This person is so woke.” “#staywoke” And on and on. A dear friend of mine, whom I love, has been calling her new beau “woke AF”, and it was realizing how much I was making a face while reading this that made me question why I was reacting in this way (and if you are reading this, you know that I am THRILLED that you are so happy and have such an amazing person in your life and I will gladly bear the cringing while being witness to your bliss).
So why do I take issue? Why, I’m so glad you’ve asked.
- If you’ve spent any time with me before, you will know I hate labels of all kinds. And this has become yet another divisive label for people. People who think of themselves as “woke” frequently mock and deride the “unwoke” and rather than sharing the knowledge they have gained, they decide to write off those who are not at their level of advancement. And this separation is feeding the ego, not the spirit. If you are more woke than someone else in some ways, then you should have compassion for those that are not yet awake, not disdain. Frustration occasionally, but not disdain. Because at the end of the day, we are both individuals and a collective whole, as a species. So anything that raises you up above other peoples in your own head and makes you able to write off a large group is not really healthy. That’s like writing off your left foot because it’s numb from being in one position for too long, instead of helping to change the position of the left foot to get the blood flowing and be able to use it. Basically, many use it as smug elitism, and that isn’t doing anyone any good.
- So very many people, maybe especially those that consider themselves spiritual or are attempting to prey on others who are spiritual, are using the term as a tool to manipulate others to do what they want and to create power differentials. It’s incredibly hypocritical, and hypocrisy is something I abhor. I would rather spend time with an honest asshole than a hypocritical nice person. I have seen arguments that go “I get to do XYZ because I’m woke, and you only have a problem with it because you aren’t. If you were woke, you’d understand”, and what I understand is that you want the opportunity to gain something using really sleazy tactics.
- Not everyone is woke to the same things. Some may be spiritually woke and some physically, some may be socially woke while others are woke internally, some may have a slight inkling of what is going on behind the scenes while others may see the same thing from a different angle. I do believe that there are natural laws in the universe we are operating in, and certain fundamental truths exist, but as far as the details go, we all have a lot to learn. So keeping an open mind and not comparing “woke-ness” is a good step. Ben Folds sang that there’s always someone cooler than you, and one can apply that here. There is always someone more evolved and conscious than you.
- I think my biggest problem with the term “woke” and the way it is permeating into common culture is that it is in the past tense, implying that the work is done. And I get it. I had some huge leaps in spiritual and creative growth in 2014, when I finally lost my fear of myself and my power to change the world. And I had a brief moment after the tumultuous growing pains where I thought that I was done and could rest on my enlightened laurels and enjoy the fruits of my labor. But the truth is that awakening is something that should be consistently happening in your life. It is an active, present-tense verb because that is the way we should be living – in the present-tense. If you are woke, then you aren’t expanding yourself as much as you can be because you consider yourself done. Diving deep means uncovering more to learn, getting answers to questions means even more questions come up. If I were a bigger conspiracy theorist, I would say that the whole woke movement has been co-opted by figures in whose interest it is to keep people from that repetitive awakening. Life should be like a Fibonnaci spiral – we start small, we expand, then we go back and then expand again but in ever widening circles.
I don’t know. I am probably making much out of nothing. Language is more important than most people realize though. Do any of you have thoughts or feelings on the way this has permeated our culture?
I’ve been going through some of my old morning pages (which I started after doing The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron and you can watch a video about them here). And I wanted to share a section of one of the entries from last fall. I had just listened to a lecture about the importance of getting in sync with the universe and trying to help build up humanity, and it had left an impression on me.
“It is a lofty goal, to think about one’s desires and then align those desires to the good of society. I want to be the spark for so many people, I want to help them lose fear of the darkness and shine a candle so they can integrate their dual natures into one. I want to love and be loved and draw energy from all of that love to spread outward. I want to burn away the smaller parts of myself, the meanness and pettiness, and help others burn away those areas within them. I want to utilize both my wisdom and intelligence in a way that benefits all, rippling out from me to my inner circle and then to the world.”
On my best days, I am able to do all that. And I feel so in tune with everything that surrounds me and able to tap deep into creative resources to help people or to help myself through writing and art and music. And I can keep going for a long time.
But on my worst days, I find myself overly sensitive and raw, so very raw. And I find myself out of touch, making a big deal in my mind out of things that other people do or don’t do or say or don’t say when customarily I am fine taking people as they come and don’t take their actions personally. But on my worst days, my feelings get hurt really easily and very deeply, and it can leave me shaky for days, because all of a sudden I’m reminded of my preteen self getting tortured and tormented by classmates, unsure of where I stand with anyone, even the people whom I love most. And however much I work on healing that little girl part of me, sometimes the tears come unbidden. This happened to me last week, and it was originally what I was going to do today’s blog about, but reading my morning pages earlier today made me realize that going through these sensitive times gives me a sign that I’m working too hard and also is part of my ongoing effort to integrate my own dual nature. So it’s very much serving a purpose. Even when it makes me sad or uncomfortable or reminds me of past pain.
I prefer to focus on my best days, to reach toward my higher self more often than descending into my lower self, while still acknowledging the existence of that lower self and knowing that I have to allow those feelings to surface occasionally in order to continue to walk my inner paths of both darkness and light comfortably and to then be able to guide others on their own paths. It’s how I tap into creativity, it’s how I navigate through life. But it certainly is not the easiest way to go.
If you are open to sharing, what are some of your innermost higher-self desires? What would you want to accomplish as an individual toward the betterment of humanity? How would your personality align itself best into the universe? And do you walk that path now or do you have a lot of work to do still to get there?
In and out.
Keep the breathe
Even and true.
Ease the ragged
And let go
Feel the flow
One in that
Or be consumed.
There is only
Copyright 2015, Kat Micari
The growing tension and violence and ignorance has threatened to bring me down recently. It is a palpable energy streaming everywhere that we can either pretend isn’t there and be knocked over, go along with and drown in, or transform into something a little more productive. I choose the transformational process as much as possible, so I am going to share a reality of our lives on this planet that maybe many of you haven’t considered before.
All of humanity is simultaneously an individual being experiencing reality in their own way as well as part of a collective whole. The sooner you can start wrapping your mind around this, the easier your individual life will be and the better you can help other people in the world around you.
The metaphor is this – we are cells on the body of this planet. We all have our own pre-programmed way we’re supposed to be behaving, and all of us are supposed to be working together to make the entire body work. So if you despise a particular group of people and want to commit violent acts on them, if you think an entire race or religion or class of human beings are lower than animals and should be treated cruelly because “they don’t know better”, then that is like being okay with destroying a piece of your own body. And when you ignore the warning signs of, say, white blood cells (read military and police) attacking a certain section of the body that maybe isn’t directly around you, it still spells trouble for you in the long run. If, for the sake of the metaphor, you want to think of yourself as more important, like your a cell in the lung directly responsible for converting air to energy in the body, and the group of people you hate or prefer to ignore are just cells in the tendons of the elbow, you can. But if something is happening to those elbow cells, that’s going to effect you and the way you can operate. It’s going to effect the body as a whole, and that includes you and the limited people that you do manage to care about. That’s how it works. What happens in one section of the world and to one type of person ripples outward to the entirety of the human population.
It’s the macro and micro having to work together. So get started doing the necessary work at both levels.