Category Archives: Overwhelm

Gimmie Shelter

I believe in the power of dreams and collective dreaming. In these mythic times, we have the opportunity to harvest our most sacred dreams. In Gimme Shelter, I share with you  a direct prophecy that traveled across time to awaken me in the middle of the night.

Gimme Shelter
“ A story is the shortest route between a human and the truth ” Robert Moss

Opening Salvo- Act 1
Featuring Mick Jagger as Bard

1:30 a.m. I am startled awake. Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones is screaming the opening verse of “Gimme Shelter” into my ear. “ There’s a storm that’s threatenin’, my very life today. If I don’t get some shelter, ooh I’m gonna fade away. Oh, children, it’s just a shot away, it’s just a shot away”

In the space of a breath, I am catapulted back to 1969, which marked my coming of age. The urgency of Gimme Shelter’s lyrics, written about the demise of the 60’s counterculture, ripped off the mask of the status quo to reveal the collective shadow, the illusion of a just democracy and along with it the remnants of our youthful idealism.

Ooh, see the fire is sweepin’
Our very streets today
Burns like a red coal carpet
Mad bull lost its way
Fire children,
It’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away

In 1964 young Civil Rights activists James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner are abducted and murdered by the Klu Klux Klan in Mississipi. The streets of Mississipi are burning.

The words and actions of Dr. Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy ignite us with a vision of freedom and equality for all people. In 1968 they are assassinated within 2 months of each other.

“War, children, it’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away”

The Vietnam War. We rally, we protest “ Hell No, we won’t go! ”, we commit acts of civil disobedience. In 1970, thirteen Kent State students are shot and four die at the hands of the Ohio National Guard.

We march on Washington. We burn American Flags. In 1972 we watch in horror the searing image of 9 year old Kim Phuc, naked, fleeing from her village in Vietnam after a napalm attack incinerated her village, her clothes, her skin, and ultimately her soul.

We fall into a dreamless sleep… which lasts for 50 years.

Act 2. The Corona Virus.
Featuring Donald Trump as the mad bull
Covid 19 as monster
Ourselves as children
Covid 19 vaccine as savior

“Ooh, the floods is threat’ning
My very life today
Gimme, gimme shelter
Or I’m gonna fade away
Oh children, It’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away”

We awaken to a living nightmare. Our umbilicus has been cut and we have been separated from our true mother. Pachamama. We suck on the teats of cows raised on factory farms. We have become orphans. Over the course of a half century, this forced separation has resulted in global warming, climate change, contamination of life-giving waters, the eradication of 60% of the earth’s wildlife, the loss of 20% of Amazon forests, the melting of the polar ice caps.

In this apocalyptic realm, a red-eyed mad bull roams the realms of social media, lost and spewing toxic fumes via Twitter.

Enter the Corona Virus, a modern day Godzilla. The name fills us with terror. It brings suffering and death. No one is immune. It is our mortal enemy. We flee, screaming. Sobbing and alone, we cry, “who will save us?”

“It’s just a shot away, It’s just a shot away”
“There, there children”, big pharma says. A savior is coming.
It’s just a shot away. It is a vaccine. It will cure everything. Hush now. Go back to sleep. Take shelter.
Obedient children, we take shelter.

Act 3. Sheltering in Place
Featuring Covid 19 as prophet
Pacha mama as our mother
Nature as our teachers
Us as Awakened Souls

Interconnectedness of lifeIn taking shelter, something miraculous unfolds. Devoid of external distractions, we begin to notice that sun rises to ignite our inner fire, the trees speak to us. The wind purifies us. Bees, hummingbirds make love to flowers. Flowers sigh and bloom and fill our senses with sweet fragrances and sacred patterns. The waters run cleanly and swiftly. Birds sing sweet songs of awakening, and the stars, so clear now, remind us where we came from. The four-leggeds emerge, bringing messages that are so clear that we cannot fail to know this truth. The Earth is not our property. She does not belong to us. Fear, greed, hatred flourish so long as we perpetrate this myth. We belong to her. We are all related and we have strayed far from home. We have awakened.

“Rape, murder, it’s just a shot away, it’s just a shot away”
“Rape, murder, it’s just a shot away, it’s just a shot away”

From this place of awakened consciousness, and from a place of interconnectedness, we find the courage to turn and face our nightmare. We are not children. The corona virus is not the cause of our suffering. The promise of a vaccine will not save us. We are not orphans. The Earth is our Mother. We are family. We belong to each other.

Closing Act. Emergence
Featuring love as Truth
The Kiss as Sacrament

“It is in the shelter of each other that the people live.” Irish Proverb

“I tell you love, sister, it’s just a kiss away
It’s just a kiss away”
This is not a fairy tale with a happily ever after ending. We are in epic times and it is only through finding shelter in each other that we may just make it through.
Will we choose the shot? Or the kiss?
As co-creators of the Collective Dream, the choice is up to us.

Gimme Shelter
Rolling Stones:
Playing for Change:

how to overcome overwhelm

Moving from Doing to Being

how to overcome overwhelmWe live in a culture of overwhelm. At a time when many of us have multiple responsibilities we feel driven, out of control. Technology brings information to our fingertips in overwhelming amounts. We find ourselves multitasking, reacting, doing as much as we can in the least amount of time. The downside is that we lose touch with our natural rhythm, our body wisdom, each other, we become like the proverbial hamster on the wheel. When people ask how we are, “Fine” has been replaced by “Too busy.” We lose our health, we lose our minds, we lose ourselves.

Feeling too busy drives us crazy. Falling ever further behind as our to-do list relentlessly grows is nerve-racking and stressful. Sleep evades us. We become addicted to caffeine, sugar, junk food, junk news, anything to keep us moving, stressing our adrenals and triggering our primitive brain’s fight flight response in the process.

We begin to feel like prisoners of the to-do list, prisoners of our lives and our desires, prisoners of time.  We become addicted to the state of doing.

The brain generates 50,000 thoughts in a day, many of which are related to fear, worry,  anxiety. Our mind or ego needs something to do so it creates stories to keep it busy. These stories are subconscious, originating from our life experiences and the way we made meaning of them. We may have been taught that success is hard work so we look for ways to be busy to create “success.” That definition never included happiness or peace.

What beliefs do you hold about being busy? Can you identify your subconscious belief statements about being busy? Perhaps you were taught that if you weren’t busy you were lazy, that it wasn’t safe to rest, that you were not worthy of having fun. There is a powerful clue to the conditioned response of our reaction to busyness. It is found in our language. The word is “should”. When you find yourself agreeing to do something because you think you should, I invite you to pause and reflect. Whose voice is it that says you “should?”  If you can take a breath and reflect, substituting the words “I choose to” or “ I don’t choose to”, then you begin to live in a way that  adds value to your life that shifts you to a way of being.

Sometimes just a phrase can help: Repeating  “Not busy “ or “Just this”, we are reminded that it is our feelings, thoughts and reactions that make us feel pressured, not the tasks we have to do.

Tuning in to our breath is a simple technique which is always available and profound in its results. As we notice our breathing without trying to alter it we become aware of the inhalation, the exhalation, and the momentary pause that follows the end of the exhalation.  The pause is a well, a resource that is always available to us.  If we can relax and surrender to the restfulness in the pause we can learn to trust that the next breath can arise out of the pause without our grabbing for it.  There is nothing to “do”

Our breath is a powerful metaphor for the choices we can make on how we live our lives- where can the inhalation remind us of the places we are “in-spired “ in our lives? How does the exhalation inform us of that which we are ready to let go of, which no longer serves us? And where can we create natural spaces in our day to refresh, reflect and create anew?

As we slow down and listen to our inner wisdom, we might find it instructive to reflect on Turtle Wisdom.  In Native American teachings, the turtle is the oldest symbol for the planet earth. Turtle invites us to honor the creative source within us, to be grounded, to take pleasure in the simple things in life and to treat ourselves and others with compassion, to slow down and just “be”.

Turtle wisdom reminds us that all we need for all we do is available to us if we approach it in the right manner and time.