*please scroll all the way down for links to other great blogs, my archive, and to follow or get new posts by email. to contact me directly, email kylaluaz at gmail dot com. *

Monday, March 31, 2014

Trust Walk Through Fear

Walk on. Photo by Kyla
That would about describe my life. I'm soon going to wander off again, in a few weeks, into a new chapter. I'm a wanderer on a trust walk. It used to be easier. I don't know why that is, but when I was younger I was relatively fearless. These days, I have to battle back fear in the form of paranoia and anxiety, and it puzzles me. Fortunately, I've gotten much more skilled at getting through/releasing the fear.

I've spent time with fear in every way I have learned to do, over the years.  I've met fear with imaginal journeying, investigation and analysis, prayer, self-talk, and mindful presence. Mindful presence seems essential, yet it is not by itself sufficient. I have to actively choose to step outside and away from the fear definitions of events, in order to be sufficiently healthy and relaxed in my body, and in order to make useful decisions.

That's a set of movements that can be practiced, fortunately, and practice does increase ability though so far it does not "make perfect."

That's okay with me. I'm grateful for any ground I win, in this battle against -- against what, exactly?

If you've never had the experiences of being stopped in your tracks, brought to your knees, thrown to the ground, stabbed in the heart, had your mind and emotions suddenly overtaken with darkness you know is not your own nature, then likely your sense of these matters has more to do with individual psychological health and illness than mine does.

That is a factor, no doubt about it. But I have had to conclude that it is not the only factor and is often a minor player indeed.

I have had to conclude -- and I can't prove this to anyone -- that there are in fact forces who operate intentionally to obstruct certain human processes of growth and change.

The type of processes these forces impede are those I have no choice but to embody: all that moves toward liberation, all that attempts against high odds to win a kind of psychic freedom for the human lifeforce and creative spirit. These are opposed on a fairly continual basis.

So, why do any creative projects succeed, you might ask? I don't know but I can tell you that many more fail than do make it into manifest form, and many die before the person inspired with their beginnings even has a chance to take them at all seriously.

"Who me? Nah. I could never do that. The world doesn't work like that. Anyway I have bills to pay." Etc.

What I am saying here is not meant in any way to insult human beings. I know, because I am one, that it is a damn hard thing to be in any full sense. We all get stopped, in our joys and exuberances and inspirations, and we get stopped mightily.

We get stopped so pervasively that most of us don't really notice that's what goes on. We take it as part of the environment, part of human nature. We accept that it is just that way.

I don't, for some damn fool reason, and never have been able to. Instead, I keep choosing to take up my small weapons, unsheathe my seemingly feeble claws, and head into battle.

I know, I know, we don't like war images. We are damn tired of war. I personally hate war and don't mean to romanticize it or invoke it.

Yet in fact it is a battle. Some say we are at peace now, that the War in Heaven is over. I say, well, until that peace trickles down to my station here on the ground, apparently in order to grow and thrive and flourish, I still have to stand ready to defend territory.

I claim and defend the territory of my mind, my body, and my heart. I do what I can to keep my sacred stewardship of these expressions of lifeforce clear of intrusion, and keep it directed toward whatever looks most like liberation, feels most like freedom, for Beings.

My strongest weapon, it turns out, is trust in my own path, even when I can't see where to put my foot down on it next.

Walk well.


My other blog, Walk into the Mystery, updated April 3.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Pain, Mindfulness, Imagination

All squinched up. Photo by Kyla
I've been in some pain recently, some of it pretty bad. This is dental pain, and so it affects other things as well, like eating. I have a broken tooth, which broke about five years ago, when a large metal filling finally overcame the tooth itself. I had no pain with this until recently but I also had no way to have it seen to.

At around the same time as the broken tooth began to twinge, on the other side of my mouth something mysterious started flaring; I suspect a late wisdom tooth is trying to come in sideways. This pain was quite fierce initially, and I can feel the teeth that are present have gotten misaligned from the pressure of the latecomer (if in fact that's what is happening.)

Along with trying to discover some way to get this attended to, for free since I have zero money and zero income, I have been learning how to eat. I have managed to get the inflammation under control, so the pain is a very low rumble most days, by means of regular doses of ibuprofen. I can drink soup, of course, but the day I managed to chew scrambled eggs was an occasion to celebrate.

However, eating is now always an occasion of enforced mindfulness. If I forget and let myself chew in the habitual way, I immediately pay a price for it. I must be gentle, and I must pay attention to each sensation as I eat each bite.

Pain is an amazing teacher.

At first I found this experience took all my attention in a way that was keeping me from any creative work. It still is capable of interfering, if I make a mistake in my attention to the moment. But once I had overcome the initial intensity I started to find my imagination was more active than it had been, and also changed in a way difficult to describe.

Some of this may have to do with eating less, as I am forced to limit my intake right now. It's not really a fast but it does seem to be offering some of the benefits of one, in that my attention can slip free of the tight hold of the ordinary, and explore just outside that frame, with a sensation of freedom I'm not used to.

Maybe this has nothing to do with the pain or with the limited food intake, but they are both happening in this time in this body, so in that way they are part of my every day and my every moment.

Pain itself does something to my imagination; I've known that for a while. And it isn't the kind of escaping you might guess, where a person zones out and forgets about being in pain. No, it's much more like holding the pain very carefully, very attentively, and letting there be a lot of space around it, and then finding that things can begin to happen, within that space. Experiences of peace, that might be the best way to describe this effect.

So what this brings me to wonder is about the relationship between mindfulness and imagination. I find both states are essential to me if I am to have any quality of living these days. Yet in a way it would almost seem they are opposite to one another. Mindfulness starts with a very focused and yet very relaxed attention to what is immediately present. Imagination goes elsewhere.

I'm finding, I believe, that mindfulness really provides a foundation for the imagination. I have the image of a child who has a secure, safe, loving home, feeling awesome bounding out the door into the day to explore what may come, knowing she always has that solid place to go back to, knowing it will receive her, ground her, welcome her.

Pain doesn't seem to fit that picture at all. Pain, the unwelcome visitor to everyone's life.

But pain can dig out space around itself; pain is almost always larger than the available space in attention, and requires more, and yet more. More attention, more room for its insistence.

I think that room stays. I think it makes some kind of bigger space for all the other events and states of being that we can have.

We can want to make that space, in the absence of the force of pain, but I wonder if we don't sometimes need that force, in order to shove aside the too-small bounds and get some full breaths.


I invite you to visit my new blog, Walk Into the Mystery. I hope to post imaginative writings there about once a week. You might enjoy them. I'll be keeping this blog, Everybody Try Flying, updated also, at least once a month.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

For Dr. Seuss, and Wildness

Creature. Photo by Kyla
I've launched a new blog today. It's called "Walk into the Mystery" and I'll use it to post some different fare than I post here. "Mystery" will have stories, flights of fancy, imaginative rambles, depth journeys, and probably some silliness.

As it's Dr. Seuss's birthday today, this seemed an auspicious time for the launch.

I've linked to the new blog in my bloglist below and as with the rest of those, when there's a new post it will rise to the top of the list. You can also go to the blog itself and sign up for new posts to be emailed to you, if you wish.

I'll be keeping this blog updated also, at least once a month, along the lines of flying as an ongoing metaphor for creative survival in heavy times.

My own flight requires that I find ways to let some of my wilder writings roam a bit freer, so I'm giving them their own venue. I make no promises for them, but I hope at least some of you enjoy at least some of them.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Pieces On The Floor

Flying Tomato. Photo by Kyla
Far too often for any comfort I find myself realizing again that my life is in pieces on the garage floor, meaning it's dismantled, yet to be reassembled, all in disarray.

I'm weary of it being this way. For one thing, my process with these blog posts is interfered with. I have a thought of what I might write about and before I can get in here to write it I find I am stumbling over more pieces, the idea has been dismantled, it is lying on the floor with everything else, in pieces.

I miss being here, I miss writing these. Today, I write anyway.

One of the pieces today is the animals I care for and about. Right now, two dogs and a cat. When I leave here, as I must and will and badly need to, I will leave the dogs behind. The cat I want with me and thought I would be able to keep her but at the moment it is looking like that will be very tricky if not impossible.

So she is lying beside me and she knows I am feeling this, I can tell by her body gestures. I put my arm up inside her four legs against her belly, and she doesn't even begin to nip at me, or to clutch except very gently. Her claws stay retracted, her chin softly moves against my knuckles. She is a fierce beast and this is not her way, to be gentle, so I know what she is saying by this. We are missing each other in advance.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Let's Just Skip January, Shall We?

Almost. Photo by Kyla
I'd like to do this every year. After the winter holidays, however they're celebrated or whether they are or not, it seems to take an entire month to begin to move into the next year's sense of ongoingness.

For me, it takes a month.

And that seems even more true this year.

The sensation of everything at once undergoing deep change has only intensified. A friend was telling a dream in which "worlds and heads were shaking" and I could really relate even though I have not felt that physically, even in a dream. But somehow it seemed an accurate statement about how things are now.

Do you feel your life vibrating with changing currents, conditions, events? Does it sometimes feel like it's about to shudder off its tracks?

I'm finding, though, that in all the shaking up of things there is also a clarity beginning to emerge. While so much shifting and disturbance is going on, certain values and intentions begin to shine forth as unshakeable, or at least, not shakeable in this particular storm.

Monday, December 30, 2013

On Down the Road

Road. Photo by Kyla
Some eons ago, back in October, I wrote about feeling that I was at a juncture where all bets were off and any preparations I might have made were clearly irrelevant. (Turn Turn Again is that post.)

I thought that would be a temporary sensation but oddly, life still feels exactly that way to me. There's a sense of riding the planet through space, in unknown territory; the sensation of great change occurring but all of it outside my perceptual reach; and the sensation that the momentary shifts of day-to-day are barely related to what's really happening.

I suppose I could also say that it feels like ordinary reality is getting thinner and thinner. Threadbare, in fact.

Everybody Try Flying is one year old as of December 27. A number of projects I intended for this space have failed to come to fruition, but it has continued to seem worthwhile to post remarks from time to time.

The posts that have received the most attention during this first year are these:

How to Grow Wings, Part I

Grab Hold

It's Okay to be Ordinary  (which, oddly, got more attention than the companion post, "It's Okay to be Weird.")

How to Grow Wings, Part II

A Clearing Meditation Script

and, the second in that series,
II: Meditation to Strengthen Your Core

Saturday, December 21, 2013


Peace. Photo by Kyla
The Winter Solstice (in our Northern Hemisphere) is the beginning of Wassail season. It isn't snowing here; it's unseasonably warm, with highs today and tomorrow in the low seventies Fahrenheit.

But it's snowing lots of other places where I have good friends. Wassail! to you!

Of all the holidays, this turn of the year is my favorite. Yule, Solstice, Christmas, Hannukah (which coincided with our US Thanksgiving this year), all Celebrations of Light at this time are joyous to me on a fundamental level. Even this year, when I have a stack of reasons to be a grinch and bah humbugging around, I find myself just twinkling away at the slightest excuse.

Wassail is the element of these seasonal markers I like the best. Not because of drinking alcohol, but because of its roots in a ceremony of profound gratitude to the land that sustains us.