Remembering Elaine Jaynes

 

I am really sad to share that my dear friend and CTI Legend Elaine Jaynes passed away peacefully last night.

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I will miss her and We will miss her.  She has been a constant beacon of beauty and integrity from the very beginning of CTI.  She brought her unique brand of love, joy, grace and wonderful skepticism to everything she saw, held and thought.

Elaine

 

 

She pointed the way for all of us to find it on our own and build it together.   She so brilliantly and beautifully saw what was needed to grow and empower community and was completely committed to “People are Naturally Creative, Resourceful and Whole” that she believed in the core of her being that we humans will indeed figure out what it is that we need to figure out to be able to live together as she imagined we all would.

 

 

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This girl knew how to have fun and dance like nobody I’ve known.  She could kick her heels up to a rousing country tune or sensuously move to the tune she heard in her head.  Whether we were engaged in some hi jinx at a planning session or deeply and seriously settled into a creative design session Elaine brought a wonderful combination of delight and rigor to the conversation.

 

 

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Here is a picture of Elaine leading her first Leadership Program with Laura and me at the Mother Tree Retreat Center in California back in the last century.  She was wrapping the world and the Leadership Program at CTI in silk from the very beginning.   She came to us already wise and became the wise woman teacher that we all looked to for council and guidance in so many things.  We were lucky indeed to sit in rooms where she sat up front and pointed our looking and our learning.

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We will miss you Elaine!  We will miss your warm smile and the twinkle in your eyes.  We will miss how much you loved and how well you lived.  We will miss your elegance and your royal/regal quality.  We will miss the masterful way you combined patience with integrity and wrapped it all in the silk of your love.

We know that you are having a grand time on this next step of your journey and wish you well.

Bon Voyage!

 

The Beautiful Cacophony

I miss Karen!!

I made it through the weekend, dragging my butt around and keeping up as good a show as I could for Cosmo. We had one unexpectedly cold visit to the beach that was cut short due to the cold and one blissfully long visit to the beach during which Cosmo said hello to every living thing on the beach and rolled in one dead one. His first roll on a dead thing. That particular instinct is a hard one for my human mind to grasp, but then again there must be a thousand and one weird things that we humans do that are mystifying and baffling to him. Like what do I do when I step into that little glass room and the steam comes out the top and I step out wet and smelling, to him, what dead stuff all over him smells like to me. Or sitting here in front of this window (computer) in front of a window just staring at it. I see him up in the living room sometimes just sitting in front of a window either staring at it or out of it, or maybe he is just doing what he sees me doing and seeing if anything happens. I am pretty sure though that he would prefer that I pay a whole lot more attention to him and play something with him that he would like to play.

I really miss the conversations with Karen. I realize how quiet I am when I am home alone for such a long stretch. Sure enjoy quiet and cave time where there are no words coming at me from anyone or anywhere. And enough is enough. I notice I even miss the very loud conversations that are completely silent, like the raised eyebrow or the smile or the scowl or the twinkle or the myriad of expressions, gestures, moods, emotions, and all of the rest of the beautiful cacophony that occurs without words. The space is so empty of all of that during these long times when she is gone.

So I talk to myself and I talk to Cosmo. I listen to music and watch tv and read my email and keep myself busy and it just doesn’t replace that emptiness in the space. We are past the hump and it’s only a few days till she’s home. Because she is in some remote place in the Yucatan with no cell reception and a spotty internet skype connection in the lobby of this place she is staying we have had these two, comedy of errors, conversations where one of is always saying “can you hear me?” while the other one is saying the same thing, then it works for a few minutes and we can actually talk to each other and of course we don’t really know what to say because we both just want to hear the other ones voice and we are really done with hearing our own voice. Just as we figure all that out the phone messes up again and we stumble on and I am loving every moment of it. There she is huddled under a blanket, for privacy, in the middle of this lobby talking into her ipad, being cute as all get out, not really wanting to talk to me about what’s going on because there are other folks around her. So I talk about Cosmo, of course, and about the house and a little about work and me and we get to the point where she is yawning because it’s after midnight where she is and we have to hang up but neither one of us really want to. So we make kissy noises at each other and count to three and on three hang up. I sit for awhile staring at my computer screen feeling both completely full and completely empty at the same time. Full of Love, partnership, connection and the emptiness of missing and aloneness.

You know sometimes when we fight, because oh yes we do have disagreements, arguments and battle royals, at the height of the battle one of us might say something to the effect of “Why do you put up with me?” “Why do you stick around if I am so _____?” And of course the obvious answer is we are completely in love with each other. Today though I realized another reason why I love her so much and will stick around in the hard times. It’s that beautiful cacophony that fills the space in the silence. It fills the space in the universe, our world, our house and my heart.

Linger Longer

In my meditation this morning first the phrase “I love everything” popped into my mind and it was followed closely on the heals of that youtube video of the little girl in front of the mirror passionately affirming all that she liked about herself and her life. I then went onto youtube and looked at the video, thinking that I would put it here in the blog for those of you who might not have seen it. I watched it again and smiled with the enthusiasm, spirit, confidence and embodiment of this little girl. I saw that almost 10 million people had viewed this video and then youtube referred me to related videos that were trying to be humorous takeoffs on this video that were filled with anger, cynicism, sarcasm, bitterness, hopelessness and lonliness.

It was an interesting peek into what our world can do to us. It happened to me in just this last hour since my meditation. I came out of the meditation loving the world and loving myself, I wanted to write about that love and an inspirational little girl who embodied that love so enthusiastically. With confidence I headed to my computer to begin writing, just like she leaves the bathroom confidently leaping into all that she loves. Then I sit down, look up the video, smile and prepare to paste it in and start to write, sure enough some image that is sitting right next to her image there on the youtube page draws my attention. Thinking that it is more affirmations of how great life is I find a video of a teenaged girl in a curly wig like the curly hair of the little girl hating her life, and then another video of the decline and fall of a curly haired little girl into a pill popping old lady.

My heart, now broken and depressed, doesn’t know what to write, I know I don’t want to post the video again because I don’t want to subject my friends and readers to the heartbreaking and cynical way that we humans can tear apart something that is good.

It reminds me of an relationship I had back in my 20’s. My girlfriend, at the time, and I were holding hands walking down the sidewalk, loving each other and laughing, our lives felt full of joy and we were almost skipping, we reached the intersection and had to wait for the light to change and as we crossed the wide street I could feel the mood change in my girlfriend. When we got to the other side of the street she had let go of my hand and her head was bowed with a look of anguish on her face. I leaned over confused and asked her what was wrong and she looked up at me and said “I knew it couldn’t last, that the other shoe would drop”. In the space of crossing the street she had managed to change the way the world was. Depressed and with a broken heart we continued our journey up the next block and let this new way the world was govern us for quite awhile.

While I know that we have to experience the full range of what life has to offer, the good and the bad, the highs and the lows, the love and the fear. I wish sometimes I could linger longer in the good, high and love before the bad, low and fear step in to remind me that life is a paradox and that it is all there all the time.

So here I am this morning in the afterglow of love after my meditation all ready to share with the world all the love of everything and in the space of crossing the street I become saddened by what we humans do to goodness, kindness and enthusiasm. I guess when I say “I love everything” I also have to love that dark side of the dance too. I have to love those people who take something pure and make fun of it and bring it down. I have to love my old girlfriend who couldn’t make it across the street filled with joy. I have to love the parts of myself that get cynical, sarcastic and even hateful sometimes and find compassion for how and why we got ourselves in these places. I also have to keep working on how to linger longer in the good feelings while allowing myself to be open and present to all that is going on in this moment.

Interruptions

I was half way through a great meditation when Cosmo started making restless sounds and I could hear footsteps on the floor above me, the footsteps of the painters and the contractor coming to start the painting in the new office. I attempted to “double down” in my meditation for a minute or two and realized that was not going to happen. I was, after all, the responsible party in the house. I came out of my meditation a bit discombobulated, found my body again, got on my feet, called Cosmo and went upstairs to meet the guys and see them pointed towards painting. There was Cosmo looking out the window very politely and yet clearly communicating to me that it was potty time (good boy Cosmo!), time to get on the Uggs and the raincoat and head out into the drizzle for little visit to the grassy slope so Coz can do his bizness. Back inside for a warm up on the cup of coffee and down here for the beginning of my morning. I am going to try to put that meditation back into my day and I know that my day will continue to unfold as days do and it is also very likely that I will be getting Cosmo and mySelf ready for bed and that thought, that intention will have disappeared as the weave of the day weaves it out of the pattern.

How often does this happen? Where we are firmly on the journey to something that is good and right for us and we get interrupted by life. Sometimes the interruptions present us with a whole new wealth of opportunities and sometimes they really stop the flow of something important and that important thing disappears in the day to day weave of life. Most of us can’t cut ourselves off from the very real distractions and interruptions of a rich full life. There are times when I truly admire those that can live the life of the hermit or the ascetic, the power of that commitment and the discipline of practice is awe inspiring. At the same time I wonder about what gets cut off in the life experience of that person as they cut off most of the world from their consciousness. I also admire those truly effective multi-taskers that seem to, effectively and with great integrity, get everything on all of their plates done while staying very grounded at the same time and then I wonder what gets cut off in their experience of this life, how are they at being with their own breath or their despair or their joy or just sitting and watching a bee go from blossom to blossom without doing a damn thing.

So even though my meditation was interrupted today as happens so often in life. I notice that sometimes I go with the interruption and sometimes I stay with the meditation and I am actually quite fine with that way of living life. I am also aware that what I thought was this brilliant point about how we are interrupted in our lives all the time and what we are to do about that has also disappeared into the weave and is no longer brilliant or important. Man oh man it truly is amazing this big ole paradox we live in that we call life. This experience of both creating our universe with every exhale and then inhaling all that the universe has created that may or not be at all related to what we just breathed out, and as we breathe in this new creation in the space that exists between inhaling and exhaling we create the universe all over again and then it creates us and on and on the paradoxical weave gets woven and life unfolds.

Excited!!!

image_preview-2012-02-2-13-49.jpgOK so I’m pretty excited!

While I have been away from you all here on the blog I haven’t been just wasting away in Margaritaville. I have been doing all sorts of fun stuff, and getting ready to do some other fun stuff. Actually calling it fun might be a bit misleading, because certainly fun it has been, however I think it will also prove to be work and play that is evolutionary and consciousness expanding stuff.

After the Summit, which was almost a year ago if you can believe it, I got together with Doug Silsbee, who some of you know through his Presence Based Leadership and Somatics of Coaching work and some of you know through the Bend of Ivy retreat center in North Carolina and some of you know through his presentation at the Summit and some of you are getting to know him right now and hopefully will get to know him much better this year. Doug and I met and talked about how inspired we were by Lynne Twist and the whole idea of “What’s Your Piece” that came out of the summit. We started wondering what our next “piece” was, what was the most important conversation we could contribute to this unfolding story of evolution of human consciousness. We started to wonder if there wasn’t something we could work on together that would bring together our collected wisdom and find a synergy that would open a door to what was urgently needed at this time with our species on this planet.

Doug mentioned this word he had been kicking around in his consciousness since the Summit “EcoSomatic” and I said that I have been looking for a way to point the Leadership conversation more towards global responsibility and we started getting very excited about the possibility of working together and scheduled a design retreat last year to begin crafting an experience that would create or train EcoSomatic Leaders. Leaders who were powerfully in touch with their own Soma (body mind) and able to feel the needs of the earth’s Soma in their own body (EcoSoma). Then to interpret and respond to those messages in ways that would lead all of us humans to the next step in our evolutionary journey.

How do I feel the needs of the earth in me? How do I open up my consciousness to know my own body, mind, spirit and emotions and then to open it even further to experience the earth and life within my own body and consciousness. When I can open to that I can then begin to act and take responsibility for it with my actions. I can develop my “ability to respond” to the information I am receiving from my own Soma and from the EcoSoma in me.

Breathe in ……………………

and now Exhale ……………………

I know! This is big stuff. I am not even sure I am being clear here. But I am going to keep going because it is important.

…….. And so we designed. Here at Dillon Beach we kicked around some ideas and we called in some other friends to help out and after a bunch of laughter, awe inspiring taps on the head with realizations, walks on the beach and glasses of wine we ended up with a design for a week long retreat that will be in a gorgeous mountain retreat center near Taos NM. This is going to be cutting edge for both the participants and us and it is going to be another piece in the puzzle that we are constructing called stepping into the mystery, leaping into what we both know and don’t know about what is next for us humans.

The website for more information and registration is http://dougsilsbee.com/esl

Doug and I are having a FREE Meastro-conference session on February 21st where we will begin diving into EcoSomatic Leadership both philosophically and experientially check out http://dougsilsbee.com/esl to register.

We have also recorded two “podcast” conversations where we are talking about all of this which you are welcome to check out.

Section 1 – 20 minutes
http://www.audioacrobat.com/play/W76JWGQS
(click to play in your web browser on your computer.)

http://coactive.audioacrobat.com/download/ba44438a-b1be-4068-2cb4-f4d4c5790a5f.mp3
(download the MP3)

Section 2 – 17 minutes
http://www.audioacrobat.com/play/WhNpCXsS
(click to play in your web browser on your computer.)

http://coactive.audioacrobat.com/download/6d101ecf-60f6-cedb-e765-3860ac4d1c2a.mp3
(download the MP3)

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On another note that interestingly involves both Doug and myself. These great guys, Joel and Laurens, over at Coaches Rising in Europe are doing an incredible series called “Upgrade Your Interior” and it will have a lot of great presenters on it including Doug doing a piece on “Commitments as Catalysts” and then I will do “Recognizing the Meaning of Your Life”, followed by Rick Carson, Marlena Field, Richard Strozzi-Heckler, Geoff Fitch & Venita Ramirez.

Come check this amazing series at http://www.coachesrising.com/

Monday

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As I was sipping my tea out in the fog on my deck, which has become the first step in my morning ritual every morning for the past 2 weeks, I was listening to the ocean’s roar and hum through the dense fog and contemplating monday. I had a little heart smile as I thought about how different my contemplation of monday is from so many other people’s.

So much of the world, so many songs, and so many advertising and media, would love us to hate monday, to dread it, to want the weekend to go on forever. For so many people monday is all about going back to work and stopping all play. “Monday morning comes without warning” goes the song. It slams up into us and slaps us with that cold wet towel that says “back to the grind” and so many of us trudge back into the trenches, wishing we were someplace else.

There are others of us who sleepwalk into monday as we leave a hectic weekend of wall to wall family and the job and work of making relationships with those we love work better. We have 48 hours of crammed in family attention, fights, play, organized chaos with the whole family, packing all the stuff into cars and going someplace else to do as much as we can together, or running to and fro to events and other relatives. When we get to monday morning we lean back with a moment of relief as we head into the known from the chaos. Those of us that live in this paradigm still might dread the rut and the work that monday brings while at the same time they are breathing a deep relaxing breath on their way into work.

There are others of us humans who can’t wait to get to school or work. We are eager to meet with our friends and engage in the projects that we have made our lives revolve around. We are really enjoying the part of our lives that we get to leave home for and can’t wait to get into it. Some of us in this group may not have much happening at home on weekends and wander around a little lost not knowing what to do until that alarm clock beeps on monday morning and the thoroughbred is released.

Still others of us hold Monday as the sacred day the weekend and the day off. We are often artists or service people who work through the weekends and monday is the non scheduled day the day you have for yourself. Sometimes it’s a lie around day and sometimes it’s a catch up on stuff day, and no matter what gets done on monday it is a day for the self to do what the self needs to do.

Monday has been all those days for me. And as I contemplated this morning on monday I recognized that I love the work I am doing and the relationship I am in with Karen and I love our work time and I love our leisure time. Oh sure there are times that I don’t love so much in the midst of all that, and all things said and done I love who I am, what I am, where I am and why I am. And when I am is on Monday morning. Today on this monday I am looking forward to a week of diverse activities and projects, some reading and some playing. As I start this monday I am actually starting something and feel that engine richly idling ready to zoom forward as I press down on the accelerator.

So mondays are transition days for most of us. Monday is named for the Moon, that essence of the divine feminine and the queen of transitions. I am feeling the pull of that beautiful moon into the transitions I want to feel my way into this week. Gee I wonder what next monday will bring.

Buck

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Karen and I went and saw Buck yesterday. A documentary about Buck Branaman, a guy who works with both human beings and horses to encourage to develop respect and evolve.

There are a lot of great points in the movie, however one of the most interesting parts to me was his work on what he called “emotional control” and what I would call emotional stability. In order to work in both the horse realm and the human realm he has to be completely standing in his self respect and have complete access to all his resources, while at the same time not allowing himself to be pulled into emotional reactions. There are several points in the movie where he digs into emotional empathy and comes forward with a fierce assertion and yet there is never a reaction. While others, both horses and humans, are clearly frightened he is not. When there is clearly a time to be reactively angry he is not. Now this “control” of emotions, in my understanding can have deep consequences as you move through life for most of us. It creates a wall of distance between us and other beings and it creates a wall between us knowing ourselves fully. It can also cause all sorts of physical problems when emotions get bottled up inside. I don’t think that Buck is suggesting that we bottle up our emotions or stuff them deep down inside of us. On the contrary he talks freely and openly about his life and the challenges that he has faced that would leave big emotional scars. It is clear that he faced those challenges and worked his way through them as opposed to letting them fester and turn into deadly emotional generators.

I think there is a Stake that he holds that is something like Respect and Truth. He holds that in his body and in his words. When you hold respect and truth with impeccability what happens to an emotion when it comes up is that you would respect it and be able to tell the truth about it and then you would be able to take the energy of that emotion and use it as a resource rather then let it run rough shod over you whenever it feels like it, which is how most of us run around in our emotional reactions. If I respect myself completely and stand firmly in that respect and tell the truth to myself and to who ever else I need to, then that circle of respect and truth expands beyond me to the other beings, in this case horses and humans, and they feel respected and they feel like they are being dealt with in a completely straight forward way. When I stand in that place I can then dip down into that emotional well of energy and bring up that energy and use it to emphasize, motivate, or deepen the experience. That is emotional stability and that is what Buck demonstrated so beautifully in that movie.

There are some remarkable demonstrations of presence and relationship in this movie as well. And I think I’ll stop here on this one.