Sunday, September 9, 2018

๐ŸŽ‰Celebration๐ŸŽŠ

Every day, including ones that suck, I find something to celebrate. 
Celebrating everything can change everything and bring treasures beyond measure.

I know this may be hard to believe. It may seem as though celebrating everything is Pollyanna naivety or covering evil with a smiley face ๐Ÿ˜€, spiritual bypassing, or a frivolous waste of time. But I promise you, what I propose is none of the above and the reasons for doing so are myriad and compelling.

As an example, let me start with today (9/9/18). I am celebratingGrandparents Day --a day to revere our elders.

My grandparents had some pretty major "issues". This is an understatement for two of them who, in addition to being brilliant and charismatic were also often cruel in ways that rippled damage far and wide.  The spouses of those two were much sweeter, but had other issues.

Some might say they spoiled me (including both definitions of that word, when the "collateral damage"/ "friendly fire"is included with those many tiny, sweet indulgences), but I genuinely and gratefully celebrate my grandparents with my whole heart.

All four of them adored me and the feeling was absolutely mutual (most of the time!)
I miss them.
Rather than focus on what was damaged as though it were a problem, I chose to reframe it. I do not deny their flaws or the ways in which their  behaviors affected those around them --including me (mostly by the aforementioned "collateral damage"/ "friendly fire") AND I have tremendous respect, empathy and love for all of them. I believe they did the very best they were capable of doing, and in addition to their precious gifts to me, all of them made wonderful contributions to the world.

I would not be who I am today (with my unique gifts/quirks/ flaws --all of which are invaluable to me) without them.  And, of course, they are literally a part of me, inside my DNA, as are all my ancestors.

In making the choice to both honestly acknowledge the darker sides of my grandparents and how that affected me, feel all of the complicated mix of emotions fully as well as highlighting everything lovable about them, and celebrating ALL of that; the damaged parts of me became part of
a Wabi Sabi creation.



This month also marks Respect of the Aged Day (Japan 9/16/18) and Ancestor Appreciation Day (9/27/18) --just in case you want to honor your ancestors.

I will return to holidays (so many significant "holy-days" over this next couple of weeks which I will find some small way to honor) in a moment but let me shift to my current passion of celebrating minutiae and how that is changing my life.

๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ๐Ÿฌ๐ŸŽ€๐Ÿงš‍♀️๐Ÿ’”๐Ÿฅ‚๐Ÿ’๐Ÿงš‍♂️๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿฅ€๐Ÿ‚๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ’Ž

You may recall from previous posts that I am turning Sparks & Leaps into a game. The game is based on tens of thousands of hours of research on a wide variety of topics including cutting edge science, ancient wisdom traditions and so much more.

The game will help players navigate circumstances ranging from major life implosions to the overwhelming minutiae of everyday life, and in the process of playing, contribute to personal as well as planetary transformational evolution.

My ambitions are not small! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Part of the game involves the counterintuitive strategy of curiously, creatively and courageously choosing to engage with that which seems wrong, bad, overwhelming, painful and/or scary rather than follow the insistent directives of survival conditioning.

Fight, flight, freeze --or fix (as in repair what is "broken" or get an addictive fix to numb the pain) works excellently if you are being pursued by an actual tiger ๐Ÿฏor stitching up wounds (if you weren't fierce or fast enough to escape that tiger), or if you happen to experience the equivalent in terms of physical danger or damage.

However, survival conditioning/fixing are actually not effective strategies for most of the problems the majority of people who are likely to be reading this blog face right now*.

In fact it causes more harm than good if your nervous system is on high alert all the time in response to the ever accelerating pace of life and the many crisis situations of which we are made aware --in the constant onslaught of information that most of us receive on a daily basis.

The game of Sparks & Leaps offers alternative strategies.

I took this photo of a mosaic in the window of the home of Sue and Greg Cantrell --who have a magical Airbnb in Portland. Artist Lianna Bud. I love the translucent SPARKleS & LEAPS of joyful fairies made out of broken pieces!
In this game, challenges are reframed, broken down into the easiest, smallest components and interspersed with rewards, play, rest, support and celebration. Celebration is key!

Players receive points for each tiny triumph. They send their points to fellow players and allies (real and virtual) for weekly feedback. After a loooong delay, I finally came up with a workable system that is simple enough to practically and easily implement, yet with enough repetitive reinforcement to allow for the nervous system to settle and new neural pathways to form --both of which are crucial.

I am practicing breaking things that are overwhelming down into what SARK refers to as micro-movements (although I've modified her process a bit), and also sometimes deliberately pushing to the edge of my comfort zone, for another level of the game. Points are awarded according to level of difficulty.

There are additional ways in which everything from catastrophes to the overwhelming minutiae of every day frustrations and endless "to do" lists  become transformative vehicles for profound evolutionary change.

Life has always been about constant change, but the changes are happening faster now.

Fortunately, we have an incredible abundance of wisdom available to allow us to make use the hidden power of those changes. But it's really hard to do from the old paradigm of working harder and faster to fix "problems". Especially without sufficient support.

And that's where the game of Sparks & Leaps comes in-- I look forward to sharing more with you soon.
Autumn is a beautiful celebration of the cycle of life and death. 
As we are transitioning from summer to autumn, below are same ways to celebrate that. Please click here if you want to know why celebration in general and also of holidays will benefit you in surprising ways.

This lineup of holidays is pretty impressive in its diversity, synchronicity and significance.

Tonight begins the high holidays of Judaism with Rosh Hashanah --the Jewish New Year

9/11 is marked on the calendar as Patriot Day. I have respectful reverence and sorrow for all who have been affected by terrorism all over the world, but I celebrate this day for different reasons.

9/12 is Muharram (Islamic New Year). This is a floating holiday that can happen at all different times of the year, so this year it's placement next to 9/11 and so close to the Jewish New Year is interesting. I also love that Ashura which is also a floating holiday and bears many similarities to Yom Kippur is right between Yom Kippur and the International Day of Peace this year.

9/13 is the Hindu holiday of Ganesh Chaturthi --celebrating the elephant headed god of new beginnings and the remover of obstacles.

9/19 is Yom Kippur (Jewish)✡️

9/20 is Ashura (Muslim)☪️

9/21 is International day of peace☮️

9/22 is Mabon (Pagan)-- The Autumnal Equinox ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚

BTW --for those who expressed an interest in purchasing my photos, THANK YOU! I have been busy with the Game (and many other pieces of my current life). I will be in touch soon!
*With the exception of my relatives whose home was struck by⚡️ lightening ⚡️last week (they have A LOT of fixing to do!) and to whom you are welcome to take a moment to send a little good ✨juju✨. I believe in the power of sending love ๐Ÿ’žto those who need it and the more sources the better. Ready? GO!๐ŸŒฌ✨๐Ÿ’“๐Ÿ™




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