The Knot

by , on
Oct 7, 2017
The Knot

The Knot

Have you ever felt like your life was tied in an emotional knot? That if you had to unravel it, you wouldn’t know where to begin?  Every strand is interwoven so intricately that pulling one part to loosen it only tightens it in another.

I’ve spent the last year untangling a life sized knot that has been holding me back in the present. In its intricate threads are anger, resentment, and guilt that have been tightly wound way down to its center since I was in my early teens. I was pretending to be fine all along with a giggle and a smile.  Partying in my teens and 20’s lead to self medicating with alcohol in my 30’s.  Yet, I raised children, provided for my family while my husband was dealing with health issues, and from the outside appeared normal. I was still smiling.

In the midst of pushing away my old issues, I was dealing with new ones.  My husband suffered a back injury which lead to two surgeries, and left him with a debilitating condition that ultimately caused him to lose his job.  With the loss of his job came the loss of our house, bankruptcy, and several moves.  We were stressed, depressed and feeling pretty out of control.  At that time, I wasn’t even trying to untie the knot.  It was firmly in place and as long as I didn’t have to look at it, it didn’t bother me that much.  

When not facing the knot I was able to improve things on the surface.  I secured a good job and worked my way up to a higher paying position. We were able to buy another house and, with support from our family, we got back on our feet.  In spite of this, there was still a seething pain underneath. A clenching tightness.  My past was catching up to me. The knot was woven so tight, I couldn’t ignore it anymore. It was at that point that I turned my attention to it and started to pull at the many strands.

As expected, it was not easy. It required taking a really good look at myself. I didn’t like what I saw. I didn’t recognize her. In fact, I began to wonder if I had ever really known her. She was wound in the knot to the point of suffocation. I had to unravel it if I was going to bring her back to life.

At the center of the knot were issues in my past surrounding my father’s mental illness and eventual death when I was in my teens. I learned of my father’s battle with manic depression, or bipolar disorder, when I was 12 or 13. I was confused by the changes in his personality, because he was always jovial and fun to be around. He was a joker who loved to make people laugh.  He was always laughing himself.  He had a big heart. He was the kind of man who even as he struggled to keep his business afloat, would help someone else get on their feet again. He practiced random acts of kindness by going out of his way to buy lunch for homeless people when he came across them. He played the saxophone to old records. He sang silly songs with me and made up games we’d play together. I was his only child and he doted on me.  So, when I found myself forcing him into a vehicle while my mom was trying to drive him to the hospital, it was disorienting and scary.  He wasn’t acting like himself, he didn’t even look like himself. This was the first time I had witnessed him being out of control.  

In the years leading up to his death, it was a constant stream of ups and downs for him. He had outbursts of emotion in public places.  He paced the hallway of our house at night with insomnia. At times he was completely unresponsive.  Instead of having compassion for what he was going through, I was embarrassed and treated him with disrespect. To save face, I went about my life at school acting as if nothing was wrong at home.  I spent a lot of time with friends.  If I didn’t have to be at home, I didn’t have to face the problems there. I acted out with my black clothes and purple hair.  I stole his cigarettes and snuck out at night to meet up with friends and get drunk or high.  All typical teen behavior, except I know it affected him. It hurt him to see me like that, and I didn’t care. Though I didn’t realize it at the time, I was doing to him exactly what I felt he was doing to me.  Becoming unrecognizable.

He died suddenly of a heart attack when I was 17. I had managed to have one promising conversation with him prior to this, but in his passing, I was left with guilt that was too painful to fully look at. The first layer of the knot was in place.

From that point on the knot continued to grow.  I was convinced I would be fine and rejected the idea of counseling.  I managed to graduate from college, get married and have a family. I piled on the responsibility as fast as I could, doing all of those heavy life changing things in quick succession.  I was too busy to recognize the pain. When I had free time, my husband and I would go out with friends and drink.  It was the perfect way to ignore the growing knot.  By the time we were going through the financial struggles in my 30’s, the knot was dragging heavily behind me slowing my pace to sluggish limp.

I found myself staring into an abyss. I no longer knew where my life was heading. Nothing was satisfying, not even being with my children, which always kept me going even through the hardest times. The good paying job was unsatisfying and stressful. I had no clear career path.  Writing had always been a way for me to release stress, but I had no energy to focus on it.   Anxiety crept in and I felt like I was losing my grip on reality.  I managed to go through the motions of  work and caring for my children, but I was a shell. I imagined I might have an inkling of what my dad had felt through his battles with depression.  

We had made it through all that struggle, and we were in a good place financially. It was as if that new found stability gave me the foundation to allow myself to fall apart, even just a little. It was in letting myself feel that instability that the knot started to loosen.

I got myself into counseling and brought the knot along with me. It was time to dissect the knot.  The strand that was tightest had to do with the guilt and self loathing I felt from the way I treated my father. I had to forgive myself. From there I needed to accept myself and the choices I had made which brought me to this point.  The choices were not all bad, and finding gratitude in the best parts of my life was a healing process.  Some of those strands were releasing and dissolving through that gratitude and acceptance.

The knot is still there. It still tightens from time to time in those areas that involve self love and taking responsibility for my emotions and how I express them. It is my intention to unravel the knot as best as I can. To keep working at those strands and feeling the release as they dissolve.  It is my hope that in doing that, that I find the lost version of myself who is locked in the middle.  I want to release her and allow her to reach her full potential.  To be the model for my children to do the same. That they may not create their own knots by looking up to mine.   

Orpheus and Eurydice

by , on
Aug 30, 2017
Orpheus and Eurydice

What wisdom does the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice hold?

Here is a brief snippet of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. This story picks up after Eurydice was taken to the underworld and Oprheus came to rescue her. 

Orpheus played his lyre, melting even Hades’ cold heart. Hades told Orpheus that he could take Eurydice with him but under one condition; Eurydice would follow him while walking out to the light from the caves of the Underworld, but he should not look at her before coming out to the light because he would lose her forever and ever. If Orpheus was patient enough he would have Eurydice as a normal woman again by his side.

Orpheus was delighted; he thanked the gods and left to ascend to the world. Orpheus thought It was a simple task as he considered himself a patient man. He was trying to hear Eurydice’s steps, but he could not hear anything and he started believing that the gods had fooled him. Of course, Eurydice was behind him, but as a shadow, waiting to come to light to become a full woman again. Only a few feet away from the exit, Orpheus lost his faith and turned to see; Eurydice was behind him, but her shadow was whisked back among the dead. Eurydice was gone forever. ( From this article on Wikipedia)

The Philosophical Meaning of Orpheus and Eurydice

For most ancient myths, are just that myths, there exists no actual meaning or real life lessons to be gleaned from them.  However, if viewed with the right set of eyes there can be profound depth inherent within them.  The myth of Orpheus and Eurydice is no different. While I can’t say for certain that the following is what should be taken from the tale, I can say that I find real world application for this as a truth.

How often do we love someone and want to be with them but can’t let go of the past hurt they have caused us?  If we look at the underworld as pain, the symbolizing of looking back as an example of looking back on the past and the concept of being on the surface as seeing them with our highest thoughts of them, we have a clear metaphor for a truth.  In order to have healthy relationships platonic or romantic, we have to let go of the things which have hurt us, that are buried underneath the weight of time.  It is only till we are in the sunlight of our highest understanding of the person in that they are safe and not prone to rot. In my own life, I have made the mistake of looking back at the women I loved before reaching the surface of how I actually feel and having them rematerialize.

There is an underworld within all of us, it is dark, treacherous and full of all the pain and misery we have felt.  We sometimes end up casting those we love into the depths of our painful experiences not because we mean to but because we are human.  When we attempt to bring them back into our lives, often we rush, we want so badly for things to be back as they were, we peek at them, not trusting that they will rematerialize.  It is this looking back, while still in the darkness of our own souls, that we see them “die” before us.

The lesson to be gained from Orpheus and Eurydice is that in order for some things to heal and to have the people we want in our lives, sometimes we have to heal without them, move past the negative emotions they have stirred within us, enter into the sunlight of self-love and respect, then look at them when we are whole, to see them as whole.  When we can do this, we may even realize, it was actually them who was leading us out of our own underworld, not looking at us, until they were whole as well.

______________

To see my most recent video, read articles, free tarot readings, poetry and more visit my website at

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Ross is a self-described techno shamanic gutter poet who crafts and tinkers with back alley philosophy enriched by his initiation into the invisible mystery schools.  In simpler terms, Ross is a nomad of reality.

Walking our Path

by , on
Aug 19, 2017
Walking our Path

“Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations.” – Zig Ziglar

So often in life, we caught up in the destination, we actually miss the beauty of now.  It’s the endless chase for the gold at the end of the rainbow, failing to realize the rainbow is the true reward,  much like the path, is the true destination.  It’s the endless greed for the horizon that spoils what is now.  When we are walking our path we must not become so focused on attaining one end point that we fail to miss the multitude of destinations along the way.

When walking our path most of us fall into the belief that the end goal is the only thing that matters, failing to take in the beauty of the now.  Even when our situations are less than beautiful we can still absorb the atmosphere as a reference point on our own internal maps.  We have a thirst for the horizon and fail to recognize there are limitless horizons.  As we approach one, the next is already clearly being displayed before us.

We must not become so enamored with walking our path that we never stop to smell roses of where we are.  Being present with our path is one of the most crucial elements of a happy life.  We should learn to celebrate the starkest and arduous parts of our journies as well as the beautiful and easy elements.  Time can transform the difficult parts of our path into a paradise and it can wither a paradise into a wasteland.

The path is the destination.  Walking our path is the treasure at the end of the rainbow and the goal on the horizon.  It continually develops more value the further we travel it.  The loss, the dust, the scrapes, the bruises and tears we attain along the way can become priceless jewels while some of our most prized treasures wither to dust.  Walking our path is about being present in this moment, this breath, this action and cherishing it for what it is, recognizing the value of where we have been and leaving behind what is no longer worth the burden of carrying with us.

To see my most recent video, read articles, free tarot readings, poetry and more visit my website at

https://thespiritualphoenix.com/

I’ve launched a side project podcast that is focused on 1 minute or less spoken word poetry or inspiration.  You can subscribe here on itunes https://itun.es/i6dq5gw and follow me on instagram @phoenixpoetrypodcast


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Ross is a self-described techno shamanic gutter poet who crafts and tinkers with back alley philosophy enriched by his initiation into the invisible mystery schools.  In simpler terms, Ross is a nomad of reality.

Depth of Character

by , on
Aug 16, 2017
Depth of Character

“Our true depth of character is not often recognized until we must draw on its resources.  If we are constantly aware of our depth of character, rest assured, it is the depth of our ego we are examining.”

Life has a funny way of presenting us with the exact situations we need, albeit our needs usually appear within situations we do not want. Recently, a situation presented itself in my life that stirred up old thoughts and behaviors.  Feeling a false sense of personal development, I decided to reach down into the depths of who I have become.  The speed and ease at which I found a solution should have been forewarning enough to expose the ignorance in my assumption of depth, however, it was not.  The depth of my ego, that tender squishy little jellyfish, that will attempt to sting anything that threatens it is fathomless, stretching off into an inky abyss.  It just so happens that at this time in my life, I was able to see my ego sting myself, as well as someone I care about.

Life will present us with situations that expose a treacherous unknown depth within ourselves but many of us will be too frightened to throw caution to the wind and dive down into the unknown.  We’d rather remain safely in the shallow parts of our personality because we don’t have to face the increasing pressure, the hidden dangers and even more so the almost certain death of who we are now.  However, it is within this depth that lies a buried treasure.  The vastness of this treasure limits us from being able to bring it up all at once and the darkness that shrouds our depth of character can limit our ability to perceive what it is we are actually taking hold of until we return to the surface.

The situation I encountered was in reality no different.  The aftermath of my own reactions generated a hurricane on my horizon,  the once thought stable position I blindly assumed I had established was threatened as a result of my own impulsive reactivity.  Seeing the threat bearing down on me I recognized how limited my choices were.  I could try to hastily put up walls, which would certainly be destroyed by the force of nature I had created,  I could greet the storm head on and surely be cast upon the rocks, or I could dive into the depths of my character to face the unknown.  Diving into the depth of character may seem the most daunting, dangerous and potentially deadly but when you think about it clearly, it is the safest.  The harsh winds, deadly waves and flying debris of remaining on the surface will surely injure us. When diving into the depth of character, we find a calm stillness that is rarely found on the surface.  Will I surface with a new found treasure, I cannot say for certain, however, if I return to the surface alive, is that not a treasure in and of itself.

To see my most recent video, read articles, free tarot readings, poetry and more visit my website at

https://thespiritualphoenix.com/

I’ve launched a side project podcast that is focused on 1 minute or less spoken word poetry or inspiration.  You can subscribe here on itunes https://itun.es/i6dq5gw and follow me on instagram @phoenixpoetrypodcast


Follow me on all social media @spiritualfoenix

Listen to the Spiritual Phoenix Podcast on Itunes, Google Play, Stitcher, TuneIn, Soundcloud, and Blubrry


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The Spiritual Phoenix Podcast Logo is made from images from http://game-icons.net/

Ross is a self-described techno shamanic gutter poet who crafts and tinkers with back alley philosophy enriched by his initiation into the invisible mystery schools.  In simpler terms, Ross is a nomad of reality.

Visions

by , on
May 17, 2017

“Neither drug induced or self-induced visions:

Pierce all visions to see, to see the void.”

 

I’m no stranger to altered states whether chemically induced, self-induced or organically induced through mental illness.  I have tread the shifting landscape of my mind many times only to arrive at the same location with different a perspective. When I was using substances, I was sure that the visions and thoughts I witnessed were the ultimate reality.  When I was mentally ill I quite literally thought I had pierced the veil to ultimate reality.  When I became mentally healthy and clean from all substances I was sure the visions I saw then, were it.  The reality is they all held different elements of the truth and also different illusions.

 

Drug Induced visions

I became enamored with altered states at an early age.  Through the use of various substances, often entheogenic, I was able to explore my thoughts from angles previously unavailable to me.  I can’t in, all honesty, state that there is no value in altered states, as there can be. A large portion of my philosophy is based upon some of those experiences.  The caveat is that there is also, pun intended, a lot of smoke and mirrors in trying to connect to the ultimate nature of reality through the use of substances. While we can perceive other truths that may not be accessible through standard consciousness, there is a lot of fallacies and false ideologies we can get lost in.  Some of us never escape the medicinal “middle man” to our spirituality and ultimately find it the only path.

 

Psychotic Phantasmic Visions

Through the active pursuit of drug-induced tranquility, I eventually ended up at a place many active users of substances have an invincibility complex towards or complete ignorance about, drug induced psychosis.  This will sound like a crazy thing to say and I honestly admit had I not experienced the validity of what I am about to say first hand, I would say yes it is, it may still be even though I find it to be true. As frightening, as beautiful, as horrible and as amazing as psychosis was, it was one of the best gifts I was ever given.  Through having this shifting concept of reality I was to see the world through multiple “lenses”, perceiving each to be the ultimate nature of reality.   In this state of exploring the visions that lay before me, there were also many traps and truths. From someone who has experienced extreme mental disturbances and entheogenic voyages, I can honestly say while drugs may be close to replicating states of mental illness, drug-induced visions have a shorter life span and can be far less convincing.  When you experience a mental illness induced vision that lasts, days, weeks, months, it becomes easier to accept as a reality.

 

Self Induced Visions of Sanity

I said that my mental illness was one of the greatest gifts I had ever received and I firmly believe that.  However, the best gift I have received was the ability to make it back to sanity and clear my mind of all substances.  That being said, it can also be one of the most dangerous places to be blindsided by false visions in many different ways.  You see when one is on drugs, we can say ok maybe that was the drugs and maybe what I thought wasn’t entirely true.  Even in prolonged mental illness, there is a point where you can begin to question why everyone else is on a different “wavelength” about different topics.  If you are viewed as mentally healthy and free of any substances it can become a lot easier to be misled by the ultimate deceiver, yourself.  The trade-off for this is that through introspection, honesty, humility and philosophy you can come to a better understanding of reality.

 

Knowing you can’t know

After running the gamut of altered states and returning back to a state of reasonable mental well being free from mind or mood altering substances my understanding of reality is this.  Regardless of what mental state we are in drug induced, mentally ill, or mentally well free from drugs, there is always a layer of illusion.  Using substances can give us a better understanding of what the normal state of mind is.  By stepping outside of this normal state we are able to see it as a whole.  After direct experience with drug use and mental illness, I am better able to understand them from a state of mental well-being and clean living.  We learn real things in all these different layers of consciousness about the nature of reality and we are able to peek through different parts of the veil.  In the end, we usually end up standing in our own way and filtering the world through our own lens.  For me personally, I have explored drugs to the end of the knowledge they hold for me or as far as I am willing to go. Mental illness opened up doors that are usually shut for many people and for good reason it can be terrifying and dangerous territory to navigate. Being mentally well and free from all substances and searching for truth can be a difficult hurdle to overcome because of this conscious or unconscious narcissism of the “pristine state of mind”.  For me, clean living and mental health is the final frontier because through the other experiences I am equipped with the assets of all those realms to aid in dissolving illusion. What I have found from taking the fools journey and returning to where I am is the ultimate knowledge. Ultimately knowing we can’t know.  The biggest barrier to knowing the ultimate nature of anything is thinking you can. Through this, I am able to keep exploring further and reflecting back on past experiences in all of those states, to compare notes, highlight underlying truths in them all and attempt the fool’s errand of pulling those threads to unravel the veil.

*The quote at the beginning of this article is from “365 Tao – Daily Meditations by Deng Ming-Dao

To see my most recent video, read articles, free tarot readings, poetry and more visit my website at

https://thespiritualphoenix.com/

Follow me on all social media @spiritualfoenix

Listen to the Spiritual Phoenix Podcast on Itunes, Google Play, Stitcher, TuneIn, Soundcloud, and Blubrry


Please subscribe and review Itunes

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If you like the Podcast please leave a review as it will help reach new listeners

 

For daily tarot cards like @spiritualfoenixtarot on FB

And follow @SpiritualFoenixTarot on Instagram

 

For Intro and Outro Credits visit http://bit.ly/SPS2Credits
The Spiritual Phoenix Podcast Logo is made from images from http://game-icons.net/

Ross is a self-described techno shamanic gutter poet who crafts and tinkers with back alley philosophy enriched by his initiation into the invisible mystery schools.  In simpler terms, Ross is a nomad of reality.

Finding Ourselves – Breaking the Wall

by , on
Mar 31, 2017
Finding Ourselves

Finding ourselves in a world intent on making us conform to its standards can be a tricky task.  It seems that for many of us, the only way to be who we are is to build a wall between us and those who won’t or cannot understand us.  The inherent irony of all of this is that we are also unwilling or unable to understand those who do the same to us.  We may fall into the tar pit of judging those who we perceive to be judging us.  I say this from personal experience.

We don’t need no education

Actually, we do.  Not the traditional sense of education but in the sense of compassion, community, life skills, etc.  I have no animosity towards teachers, as they more often than not, only want what is best for their students.  I have an issue with what is mandatory curriculum they are required to teach.  It isn’t that I don’t find some of this information useful but the majority of that knowledge is somewhat useless unless it is tempered with the ability to form a thought rather than regurgitate the required response. Another key ingredient missing from education is respect, self-confidence, how to act as an independent part of a group, how to respectfully disagree and emotional intelligence. We need to be taught the tools for finding ourselves.

We don’t need no thought control

Again, yep, we do. This too is also not in the traditional sense.  We need to learn to control our own thoughts. It has been said, the mind is a cruel master and a beautiful servant. The issue that plagues much of the modern world is the dominance of the ego, the need to irrationally feel superior, the apathy associated with convenience culture, the ignorance of seeing ourselves as separate from the whole of the world, and the blindness of recognizing our relationship to the planet.  We need to control our thoughts and become more conscious of our own actions. One of the reasons for our wall is we are afraid of finding ourselves. We should understand our anger, our hate, our judgment, our sadness are all internal.  We can take back our own power and stop freely giving it to situations.

All and all you’re just another brick in the wall

Yep, you are.  You are basically the biggest brick and the foundation of the wall that keeps you separated from the rest of the world, your joy, and your ultimate potential.  To some that may seem disheartening, frightening, and largely untrue.  Think of this from a structural standpoint and you can realize how powerful and beautiful being your own biggest barrier is.  If you remove the foundation from a wall, the rest of the wall falls over. So when you can remove the things that block you, and isolate you from everything else all of the other barriers topple.

Finding Ourselves Again

Where you are at today is fine, the walls we have all built around ourselves at some point or another did not get built in a day and may not be torn down that quickly either.  They can be dismantled slowly and we can persistently erode the things that separate us from the rest of the world.  It is ok to have your wall up as you rebuild strength, but I suggest slowly make “peep” holes in your wall.  Change your outlooks on situations, other people and yourself on a trial basis.  They say if nothing changes, nothing changes. Make little changes and see if you like the changes.  Growth occurs outside of our comfort zones and diversity is a healthy element for growth as well as for expanding our minds.  We can all find ourselves and then we can create ourselves and find who we are, who we want to be and who we will become.

 

A tool in my wall smashing kit has been

The Positive Head Podcast on Itunes and on Google Play

I’ve received help and support tearing down my wall from

Positive Heads Facebook Group

To follow my efforts on social media and listen to my podcast

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Ross is a self-described techno shamanic gutter poet who crafts and tinkers with back alley philosophy enriched by his initiation into the invisible mystery schools.  In simpler terms, Ross is a nomad of reality.

How to Dance with Disaster

by , on
Feb 15, 2017
How to Dance With Disaster

Let’s face it the majority of life occurs outside of our control.  When things are going well, it can be easy to stay in step with the rhythm of life.  However, certain situations inevitably arise that change up the tempo of our daily lives.  Learning how to dance with disaster is an important skill for living a successful life.

 

The Rhythm of Life

It is obvious that life has many tempo changes, breaks from the action, and even the occasional incident that may leave us on side of the dance floor in crutches.  Learning how to transition into the next “song” in our life is crucial.  While we can’t walk around being doomsayers in the day to day, overwhelming optimism may set us up for a “sprained ankle.”  We have to keep the balance of optimism and reality, which can allow us to prepare ourselves for when the beat inevitably drops.

 

When the Beat Drops

I was always a practitioner of Hippy Dancing, which to me, is failing to wildly to the beat. This can look somewhat offputting when the music behind it suddenly stops and leads some people to assume that I may be a little off of center.  Three options present themselves in this situation, keep dancing wildly, slowly dwindle down or stop abruptly.  Let’s briefly look at each one.

 

Keep Dancing:

Pros – Shows you know how to dance with disaster

Cons – May make it a little difficult to get in sync with “next track” in life

Slowly Dwindle Down:

Pros –  Allows you to transition into the “next track” a little smoother,  which is a key to knowing how to dance with disaster.

Cons – May mean you are worried about not looking foolish

 

Stop Abruptly:

Pros – Saves energy, allows you to rest and catch a breath

Cons – It may look and feel awkward, it may make it difficult to get into the “next track”

 

What is the best transition?

Honestly, if you know how to dance with disaster, you will utilize all three of the previously mentioned options.  Sometimes you gotta dance through the awkward pauses of life.  Other times you have to slow down but keep dancing.  Another instance may require you just stop, take a breather and sit on the sidelines for a few seconds to catch your breath.  Life is a big dance party if you spend too much time worrying how to dance with disaster, you’re going to miss more steps than finding your own rhythm and “hippie dancing” through it.

To Quote 311 from the Song Strangers:

“Now I don’t know you, you don’t know me
But I can show you where’s the beat
And you can do as you feel, as long as you move
Two perfect strangers sharing a groove:

Follow me on social media @spiritualfoenix

Ross is a self-described techno shamanic gutter poet who crafts and tinkers with back alley philosophy enriched by his initiation into the invisible mystery schools.  In simpler terms, Ross is a nomad of reality.