Today I’m delighted to welcome a guest author: Kara-Leah Grant, yoga publisher, editor, writer, speaker, teacher, and creator of The Yoga Lunchbox. Enjoy!
New Year’s Eve packed a powerful punch for me this year – I broke up with my partner of three and half years two days earlier.
It was two weeks before our son’s first birthday.
So it’s a brand new challenge for me, this single-mothering gig.
This post is taken from my journal of the fifth and sixth days of my ten-day fast and meditation to gain clarity on my career path.
Friday, Sept. 10, 2010
Dreams. I had three dreams. First, I was riding with some other people on donkeys through an autumn forest, looking for a monastery of some sort. Second, there was a long, involved dream about being stuck in an airport; there were video games and movies of low quality, and lots of smoking and drinking, with an overall general sense of despair. At one point during the dream, I was almost roped back into working in the defense industry. At one point I was almost grabbed back into the military. Third, and much more pleasantly, I was sailing through a strait of tall cliffs on a sunny afternoon; and I think there was something to do with 16th century pirate warfare… Probably a dream inspired by the Princess Bride, which we’re reading now.
On waking, I had a strong feeling that I should look for the connection between the Bear guide and the Pool of the Moon.
I felt pretty grounded and connected today. We had a very late lunch, and I was pretty hungry, so I allowed myself to have some pita in addition to hummus at our 2:30pm “lunch”. That was a cheat on the raw vegan fast, but otherwise things went well today overall. I even got some more writing done on the Great Bear blog post. But I also found myself thinking more about writing a book, and stumbled on some online resources about selling and marketing books.
This post is taken from my journal of the third and fourth days of my ten-day fast and meditation to gain clarity on my career path.
Wednesday, Septemper. 8, 2010
Dreams.Along with my eldest daughter’s Waldorf teacher, I am co-teaching a bunch of… 4th graders? In the dream, which appeared to be set a few years in the future, it has become increasingly difficult to teach children, and the world is changing so quickly; so she is using multimedia now, even though that is not the Waldorf way. We were watching movies about the earth’s dissolution, but every movie included bits about what people were doing to help out.
This post is taken from my journal of the second day of my ten-day fast and meditation to gain clarity on my career path.
Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2010
Today I was feeling a little odd, or a little off, from the raw vegan fast. I didn’t have many cravings, but was often pretty hungry and felt a bit unbalanced, light … ungrounded. I had some tea, and that helped a lot.
Anyway: today we had a little breakfast at home, and then went to the grocery store. Afterwards we went to the café and wore ourselves out with work, then came home, had a light dinner, and went for a walk. Lots of our talk today was about planning our trip down south, as well as the insanity of Beck’s recent “restoring honor” rally.
Dreams and Meditations
My dream last night was something about going to an underground bunker, decorated in a Victorian or steampunk style, like the hideaway of Captain Nemo. I was traveling with a bunch of weird social outcasts — mutants and half-animals and the like. There was a long dream sequence of going through the wilderness — looking rather like a rocky moorland — with our guide, and finally reaching an elaborately hidden entrance to Nemo’s headquarters.
Interestingly, this was the second night in a row I dreamed of half-beings, mixed-up beings. Hmmm…
In September of 2010, shortly after making contact with the Bear guide, I was struggling to reconcile my career with my heart. This is a struggle a lot of people have, but my situation was much easier than most: I have an excellent job that I like a lot. In fact, perhaps you’re wondering how I could possibly dare to want more, when so many people on Earth suffer from such want and dissatisfaction. Well, I answered that question earlier this year: basically it comes down to the fact that none of us really deserve anything we have, good or bad, and it is simply unhelpful and false for us to think of each other as being in competition. After all, if I seek more fulfillment in my work, that in no way prevents other people from finding fulfillment in theirs.
In 2009 I almost had to choose between my fiancée and my children.
I was recently divorced, and had just met an extraordinary woman; but she lived five hundred miles away. Ali was in Pittsburgh, and I lived in Massachusetts, near my children, my ex-wife, and her fiancé. At first I resigned myself to a long-distance relationship, and had little hope that it could become serious and long-term. But then I found that, completely by coincidence, my ex-wife’s fiancé’s parents lived in Pittsburgh as well; and this confluence, plus Pittsburgh’s lower cost of living, better employment prospects, beautiful mountains and rivers, and moderate climate decided all of us that we should simply move everybody wholesale. So I went ahead and moved to Pittsburgh.
But then, when my ex-wife was partway through planning her own move, suddenly things were up in the air again: her fiancé had a serious job prospect open up in Chicago, an opportunity worth a lot more money. Everything went on hold while he went to interview after interview, and agonized over the choice for weeks. Depending on his decision, my children might end up a day’s drive away from me.
By this time my relationship with Ali had become very serious indeed. If my children moved to Chicago, there was no question that I would need to be near them. But, unless Alison came to Chicago as well, I’d be a broken man.
Besides meditation, I did more mundane kinds of research on the habits of bears and the folklore surrounding them. I also looked up the meaning of “bear” (which means “brown”, but has a fascinating history — I’ll post on it at some point soon) and words related to it. I realized that the name Orson means “little bear”. The name Acadia goes back to the Greek region of Arcadia, which means “land of the bear”. Ali herself had gone to Ursinus College, “Bear College”. The name of Arthur, the king revered by most of the revival druids (especially in Britain), is probably related to the Welsh word for bear…
Cave of the Bear
And the next time I meditated, a saw the bear in its real form. It was there among the rocks, on the other side of the stream, a brown bear, on all fours and looking in the water, dragging its paw in the stream, fishing. Then there was a flash of silver and a splash, and the bear had a fish in its mouth. It lay down like a dog, holding the fish on the ground between its paws, and began to eat. After a moment, as I continued to watch, the bear looked up at me. I was a little afraid, but not too much. Although the bear was clearly strong and powerful, there was something in its gaze that welcomed me as a respected equal.
I crossed the stream and the bear approached.