Sunday, January 2, 2011

2011 Followup

Hello, everyone!

Long time, no write.  So, I've actually missed writing the blog for quite some time, but wasn't feeling motivated enough undertake another big writing commitment.  Finally, at the dawn of 2011, I've decided to start a new chronicle of the year ahead.  I'm calling it: "2011: Embracing the Old, Awakening to the New" In it, I will detail my deepening spiritual, personal and professional journey over the course of the year.  

2010 was a year of personal and spiritual exploration for me: learning reiki, writing poetry, embracing new friendships/relationships, and "coming out" as a budding astrologer.  But I really feel that 2011 will be the year that I come really "come into my own": deepening in my sense of purpose and moving out in the world more as a musician-teacher-healer.  Also, I feel/intend it will be a year of deep collaboration, where I will finally integrate my assertive (masculine) and cooperative/receptive (feminine) nature, and bring them into proper balance.  I would be honored, should you choose to join me on my  year of experimentation and discovery.  Please follow my new blog, at:

Blessings to all of you in the new year!! May 2011 be a breakthrough year for you as well, bringing increasing levels of joy, harmony and peace to all of your endeavors.

Jennifer Parde

Friday, June 11, 2010

Days 29 and 30: Coming full circle

Phew.  What an amazing couple of days it has been.  And by amazing, of course, I mean alternately maddening, interesting, exhausting, touching and (finally) calm.  Fun! Who doesn't want all of that in two days?!

After surviving yesterday, I looked at yesterday's destiny card this morning (didn't think to look yesterday!), and chuckled.  How fitting (and I"ll explain more in a minute):

The Seven of Hearts indicates that whatever time this card appears could be marked by many challenges in love and feelings in your close relationships. The Seven of Hearts can manifest as betrayal by those we love. In any case, we will be tested to see just how attached we are to others being a certain way.
    Seven, being a highly spiritual number, promises success in love if you try a new approach and adopt a more selfless or unattached attitude. If we can allow others to be who they are and not place so many demands upon them, we not only become more aware of their true personalities, but also we allow ourselves the freedom to be just who we are and experience just how it feels to be free of fear and attachment. Many high spiritual experiences have occurred while a seven was present.

And then I looked at today's destiny card and thought, "Oh no, no more, please."

The Seven of Diamonds is one of the spiritual money cards. When it appears we are always confronted with how attached we are to our money and given an opportunity to experience the real prosperity that comes with an attitude of gratitude.
    Whether it is about money, plans to make money, or love, situations will present themselves that test our faith in the abundance of the universe. By realizing and then releasing our fears, we can transform our attachment into total fearlessness and personal freedom.

But, despite receiving some severe tests on both fronts, here I am, a (now) calm and happy surviver.

Yesterday's main obstacle was definitely anger: Anger towards myself (for being "hypocritical" and "not the person I pretend to be") and anger towards others (for unjustly imposing on my time and resources).  I was originally planning to write more about this, but, for the sake of brevity, I have decided not to, tonight.  Suffice to say, the anger was there, and out of proportion.  But it did bring to my attention some places in which I have both (a) not been brutally honest with myself about my own motivations and (b) not set clear boundaries between myself and others and then cried about being "taken advantage" of. 

So, frankly, it was a blessing to have this stuff come up, because I don't like to think of myself as a flawed or angry being, but there it is--I'm human.  And on Wednesday night, I had been just a little smug and high on my spiritual perspective, so a reality check was indeed in order. 

I did have some beautiful experiences on Thursday, however, despite (or even because) of everything.  Alot of the joy was related to Shambhala (my meditation center and lineage) in some way.  I sat and chatted with fellow Shambhalian Cece about life, and about astrology, in the afternoon.  It was wonderful to support each other, to get to know each other (we've never really hung out) and to "geek out" about astrology.  (Speaking of wonderful, check out Cece's blog about spiritual and intuitive matters.)  And, then, in the evening, I volunteered at Shambhala to do "protector practice" for a visiting teacher.  Protector practice is basically "guarding" and "uplifting" the space by maintaining a meditative awareness--and thus lifting the vibration of the room (my perspective, and experience, funny as it sounds)--during a teacher's talk.  This helps the teacher to teach, helps the listeners to absorb, allows everyone to feels safe--both energetically and physically, since we do play a security role--and, for me? Well, it just feels good to practice. 

I did have another conversation with another fellow Shambhalian, though, on the way home, which felt pretty one-sided (and long-winded, at about 40 minutes!), so the anger flared up again there--more privately than anything (as I didn't express how I felt to him--there's the rub!).  But, this gave me an opportunity to write out some "voice dialogues"--e.g., writing from the disowned voice of anger/resentment, and reowning it--which was therapeutic.  (If you're curious,  check out more about the "Big Mind" process, which involves voice dialoguing, here.)

Finally I ended the evening by giving Reiki distance healing to my "Reiki swap" partner, which was also healing to me.  Even better, he ended up giving me some Reiki distance healing in response today, at a time when I could really use it.

I'll try to explain today's "Seven of Diamonds" fiasco in a nutshell:

Normally, I teach a Music Together (music and movement) class at the Olenka School of Music on Friday mornings at 11:30.  However, I had a preschool graduation to play at this morning about 20-5 miles away, which started at 10:00.  Usually, these preschool programs last 30-40 minutes, tops.  So, I bumped the Music Together class back 15 minutes, to give myself a little extra driving time and make sure everything proceeded smoothly.

Wrong.  The program lasted an hour (the upper limit of what I thought would happen), I got parked into my spot (which gave me just enough time to call Olenka in a panic and upset her, before the car owner came), and I hit some roadwork on the way down to the music school.  I ended up arriving at 11:53, finding only one Mom/daughter pair waiting--the one who was somewhat standoffish and not inclined to stay.  So, she left.  Another mom showed up a couple minutes later, to find me crying about how badly I had messed everything up.  She was very nice, and reassuring, and said we could make it up later, no problem.  Then, she left. 

So, it took a while,. but with the help of the school's co-director, I managed to confirm a make-up time and call back all the class members (only 5).  Phew.  But I was very anxious about all of that.  Receiving the distance reiki at 12:30 was perfect timing to help clear up all of this stuck emotional residue.

And, again, circling back to the first entry. . . It was nice spending some time with Keith tonight.  We talked about my issues (earlier) and his issues (later over dinner), sandwiching a voice lesson and reiki session (treating his knee, back, etc.) in between.  All of which was very nice.

And we celebrated my 30th day of writing, of course. :-) I must say, I have not been perfect--and particularly in my off-and-on meditation--but the challenge has been well worth it, and very therepeutic.  So, thank you, Keith for suggesting it.  And thank you to myself for taking it on. ;-) And thank you, dear readers, for following along.  Blessings to us all.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Day 28: Assuming power, giving up control

Phew.  So, what an interesting balancing act I've been leading recently.  Between self and other, between work and pleasure, between the world as it "should be" and the world as it is, between moving forward and letting go. 

I've been blessed with some pretty awesome mystical experiences lately, in so many areas--teaching intuitively, interpreting astrology with increasing quickness and depth, sharing reiki and experiencing intense and sometimes "trippy" energy flow, etc.  All of this stuff is awesome, and beautiful.  I feel so blessed to be going through this phase in my life, to be experiencing this.

And then there are the other moments, when things don't move the way I think they should.  It goes something like this: I sense the energy in a situation so clearly (especially where others are "stuck" or misunderstand) and I try to shift things and/or to communicate what I see.  Thinking that surely if I find the right words and say them with the right emphasis, if I look someone in the eye, if "share my heart"--then things will "open up" and they will shift.

But again and again, I am being shown that I can't do that.  That it is not my place to play God, to force change on myself or others, even with the "best of intentions".  Which sucks.  I want so badly to be the one to do that.  But I can't.  Ouch.

After tonight's Reiki class, Greg and I once again hung out, as we often do.  In talking, it turned out that he is going through similar frustrations with his new job, in which he is trying to (if I understand correctly) help people who are about to have their homes foreclosed on, to refinance.  This process is often difficult for two reasons: 1) he is trying to "help" people who don't necessarily want the help, or see the need for it (very different then doing a Reiki session!) and 2) because it is a commission-based sales job, he doesn't get paid if client doesn't "sign on".  Very disconcerting if you have your own bills to pay! (And Greg's wife, Katie, is going to school full-time right now, so Greg needs to be the breadwinner.)

In addition to the "failed" attunement experience last week--which we all talked about tonight--this job, for Greg, seems to be another example of having clear vision and best intentions, but not being able to help the other to "make good".  It's frustrating, I know, especially in the job situation.

And a part of me was definitely tied up, tonight, in Greg "getting" what I was saying, so I could help him.  Which is pretty damn ironic, considering that I'm advising him to embody a certain state of energy flow, and then let go of the results.  Ha! Beautiful how, as different as we are, we're mirroring each other pretty well right now.  Same desire to be in control, but to also be liked/appreciated, to affect a change but stay true to oneself. 

Jesus was the absolute master of staying "in truth", uncompromisingly, and also having an open healing heart; he embodied total presence and total submission to God.  Amazing.  What a practice.  And how far I have to go.

I had an e-mail intuitive reading done back in January, and the "reader"/channeler wrote this:

"Another message about past that could be holding you back is don't beat yourself up about other people's free will. You are a direct channel from spirit to the earthworld, you always have been, and you've been called upon in many circumstances to share insight that otherwise would be overlooked or not heard by the individual from their angels because they weren't paying close attention.  You share the channeled info but if the individuals free will comes into play, it is something controlled only by their individual experience and cannot come from you.  What's important to know whether this would be a stranger, or even maybe a child or dear friend close to you, remember that in order to appreciate what something IS, sometimes we HAVE to experience what something is not.  We also cannot possibly put a TRUE sense of value on teachings that are shared with us, if we haven't had a chance to witness the opposite of the teaching first hand, so sometimes when you share and it seems ignored, your guides wish for you to understand that it's not that your words were not taken to heart, but more so, embedded in the heart as one experiences that what you shared, is completely of integral intention."

This is an important reminder, reassurance, correction--all of these--for me, right now.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Day 27: Today's "writing". . .

. . . would not make a whole lot of sense to you guys, so I'm not going to try and copy it here, right now.  I basically just scribbled out about eight pages of "inspired" astrological notes/symbols.  (I'm not even going to get into what that's all about right now.) So, I'm counting that as my writing for today, even though it doesn't translate to this blog very well! I'll try for something more comprehensible and share-worthy tomorrow.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Day 25/26: Stillness/awareness

"When you are aware of space, you are not really aware of anything, except awareness itself, the inner space of consciousness.  Through you, the universe is becoming aware of itself! Just as space enables all things to exist and just as without silence there could be no sound, you would not exist without the vital formless dimension that is the essence of who you are." (Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth)

Oh Stillness, my friend.
How long has it been?
Since last we sat together,
since last we embraced?

Funny, how we haven't visited in so long.
And yet, somehow, I believe
you've always been there for me.
(Ready.  Waiting.)

Funny, how I suddenly find you
in the times when I need you most:
when all the friends,
when all the lovers,
when all the thoughts,
when all the prayers,
have died away,
have left me alone (and empty).

And then I remember your gift:
the one I had left unopened,
tucked away
(for this particular rainy day? perhaps),
in the back closet of my mind
(behind the glittering distractions,
the cluttered library storehouse).

Only in the pauses do I ever remember the gift.
and, each time, I open it anew--
with sweet, birthday girl anticipation.
So exciting--What will it be time?

Ah yes. . . Sweet, rapturous silence.
The only gift you have ever given me.
(How precious.)
The only words you have ever spoken.
(How poignant.)
Thank you, my constant, closest friend.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Day 24: Revisiting Wicked (part 4)

So, in some past entries, I have done some brief examination of archetypal themes: how they're expressed in the show Wicked, how they are expressed astrologically, and how those two things might interact.  So, I thought it might be nice to revisit that a bit. 

In summary of what I've explored thus far:

I expressed  how the main character Elphaba represents the Uranian impulse (the urge to break free and do her own thing) and secondarily the Jupiterian impulse (the urge to explore, to have faith and to civilize/grow humanity).  Together, those energies parallel the current Jupiter-Uranus conjunction.  But the other part of the current sky-equation is Jupiter and Uranus, together, opposing Saturn. (Remember, Saturn is authority, fear, cultural rules, "the way we do things".) And this plays out in the musical as well. 

So, I'd like to elaborate, briefly on this Saturn part of the equation.  So, let's rewind a bit from the breakthrough moment in "Defying Gravity", back to the beginning of the Wicked plot.  In the beginning, we find Elphaba encountering a lot of restrictions (Saturn!) on all levels.  For example:

1. Her mom has passed away, and her dad (Saturn) does not accept her--partially because of her green skin tone (Uranus) and partially because strange, inexplicable things happen when she is around (also Uranus).

2. She is bound to take care of her disabled (Saturn) sister, and not given her own freedom (Saturn triumphing over Uranus).


3. She is not accepted by her peers--again, for reasons described in #1. (Here Saturn can represent blockage and restriction as coming from the outside--peers/society not accepting her.)

So, we see this Saturn vs. Uranus theme repeatedly.  But, until later in the story, Elphaba still dreams of being finding a way to fit in (or even to blend in?) to society.  She does, however, wish to be acknowledged for her special gifts.  And particularly she dreams of being acknowledged by the most Saturnian figure--the Wizard of Oz! When sorceress Madame Morrible discover Elphaba's unique gifts, she decides to give her free sorcery lessons--and to introduce her to the Wizard.  Elphaba longs to reconcile her own personal Saturn-Uranus opposition--e.g., the need to be different vs. the urge to fit in--in being sanctioned and acknowledged, even cured, by the Wizard.  Here are the lyrics to "The Wizard and I".  I've bolded some lyrics that especially bring out key themes:

Oh, Miss Elphaba
Many years I have waited
For a gift like yours to appear

Why, I predict the Wizard
Could make you his
Magic grand vizier!

My dear, my dear
I'll write at once to the Wizard
Tell him of you in advance
With a talent like yours, dear
There is a defint-ish chance
If you work as you should
You'll be making good:

Did that really just happen?
Have I actually understood?
This weird quirk I've tried
To suppress or hide
Is a talent that could
Help me meet the Wizard

If I make good
So I'll make good;

When I meet the Wizard,
Once I prove my worth,
And then I meet the Wizard
What I've waited for since,
(Spoken: Since birth!)
And with all his Wizard wisdom,
By my looks, he won't be blinded.
Do you think the Wizard is (Spoken: dumb?)
Or, like Munchkins, so small-minded?
(Spoken: No!) He'll say to me,
"I see who you truly are -
A girl of whom I can rely!"

And that's how we'll begin
The Wizard and I:

Once I'm with the Wizard
My whole life will change
'Cuz once you're with the Wizard
No one thinks you're strange!

No father is not proud of you,
No sister acts ashamed
And all of Oz has to love you
When by the Wizard, you're acclaimed
And this gift or this curse
I have inside
Maybe at last, I'll know why

When we are hand in hand -
The Wizard and I!

And one day, he'll say to me, "Elphaba,
A girl who is so superior,
Shouldn't a girl who's so good inside
Have a matching exterior?
And since folks here to an absurd degree
Seem fixated on your verdigris.
Would it be all right by you
If I de-greenify you?

And though of course,
That's not important to me.

"All right, why not?" I'll reply
Oh, what a pair we'll be
The Wizard and I;
Yes, what a pair we'll be
The Wizard and...

My future is unlimited
And I've just had a vision
Almost like a prophecy
I know - it sounds truly crazy
And true, the vision's hazy
But I swear, someday there'll be
A celebration throughout Oz
That's all to do with me!

And I'll stand there with the Wizard,
Feeling things I've never felt.
And though I'd never show it,
I'll be so happy, I could melt!
And so it will be
For the rest of my life,
And I'll want nothing else
Till I die.

Held in such high esteem.
When people see me, they will scream
For half of Oz's favorite team;
The Wizard
And I!!!!

Notice the tension, the opposition, expressed so poignantly in this song? Elphaba believes that with the Wizard's sanction (Saturn), she can safely be herself (Uranus) and be praised/acknowledged as superior (Jupiter, but also the Sun principle, the "urge to shine").  Really intriguing to see how all this pans out.  I mentioned the Sun briefly because it is another archetype at force here: The urge to shine, live and create vitality, to live one's life purpose creatively and to be acknowledged.  The Neptunian principle is also at play here: the urge to dream (isn't that what she's doing?), to imagine, and experience divine love or absolute experience.  But primarily, it's a Saturn/Uranus reconciliation fantasy.

Side note: I can relate to this kind of fantasy!

Also notice the "Unlimited" theme (very Jupitarian), which repeats, with some important variation in "Defying Gravity".  Here's a brief comparison and contrast:

Both songs contain these words:
My future is unlimited
And I've just had a vision
Almost like a prophecy
I know - it sounds truly crazy
And true, the vision's hazy

But "The Wizard and I ends this way:
But I swear, someday there'll be
A celebration throughout Oz
That's all to do with me!

Whereas "Defying Gravity" ends this way:
But I swear, someday I'll be...
Flying so high! (Defying gravity)
Kiss me goodbye! (Defying gravity)

So, what bridges the gap between these two disparate ways of seeing the world? How does Elphaba get from point A to point B? An interesting question, and one to be explored in the future. . .

Friday, June 4, 2010

Day 23: And another day goes by. . .

There were pluses and minuses to today, definitely.  Not as hyper-energized as yesterday.  And, frankly, kind of disappointed that some enthusiastic things I attempted yesterday--to set up a reiki distance healing exchanges, and to promote this blog--didn't really seem to get a response.  Ah, well.  All in due time I guess.  I can't bull-doze my way through these things.  Also, I seem to have developed a health issue that I've decided to try and treat with vitamins and probiotics--I'll see how that goes.  And then, on top of that, some emotional stuff that surfaced over dinner.  I won't go into my drama here.  Blah, blah, blah.  So, those are the negatives.  Not horrible, and I'll get through them, just a nice puncturing of my bubble, as life always so nicely provides. 

But there were some definite positives as well.  I am super-psyched about the astrology consultation that I'll be giving tomorrow (though maybe just a tad nervous, too).  Today I chatted briefly with the guy that I'll be advising, while setting up the appointment, and definitely got a good vibe.  It should be fun.  Plus he has a very interesting chart--some definite challenges, but strong gifts--that closely resembles two other friends' charts.  It will be fun to relay the info to him, and to compare and contrast with my friends' chart. 

On top of that, I gave a full 55-minute reiki session to my good friend Keith today, and it felt really nice to do that.  We certainly could have gone longer--perhaps 90 minutes?--but it was great to do a full session of some sort (not just a spot-treatment) and to achieve definite results with it.  It's the kind of thing that I need to be doing more of.  And, on that level, I am thinking:

a) I am on the brink of making a serious commitment to do just that.  If I want to get my Reiki Master certification, while training with Greg, I'll need to commit to doing about 75 more sessions by next spring.  When he brought this up during Wednesday's class, I definitely felt some trepidation--but then, this was after the attunement, so I was kind of an emotional mess!--but yesterday I felt a sudden surge of faith and optimism: "Yes! I want to do this!" I'm taking yesterday's sentiment with a grain of salt, as it could just be overenthusisam, but I'm certainly leaning in the direction of commiting myself.  Which means. . .

b) I should really think seriously about getting a reiki/massage treatment table.  As treating people while sitting in a chair, or laying on a couch, does not really seem like the way to go.   Just now, doing a search, I am surprised to find that these tables start at a cheaper rate than I thought! This one is only $135 plus shipping.  (Mind you, shipping would be about $30.) I'm psyched! Probably will seek some feedback from Greg and maybe also Dave (fellow reiki student) and Cellina (massage therapist), but it seems pretty cool.

Yay for developing my reiki and astrology skills!