What’s The Point?

defeat-is-not-bitter-unless-you-swallow-it

There comes a time when every human being gets to a point where there’s only so much they can take…

The trials and tribulations of just simply being alive can be exhausting, especially when there are challenges added to the mix: loneliness, illness, financial difficulties, family dysfunctions, victimization, the list goes on. After the same afflictions hit us over and over, who wouldn’t want to hold up the white flag and say, “Okay, you win, Universe! I’m done!” But, yet, we have that nagging little glitch called, “survival instinct” that says, “Not that easy. Gotta keep going.” And when we realize that our terms of surrender have been rejected, we all inevitably ask, “Why? Why should I keep going? What’s the point?”

“I’m tired of going through the same pain over and over. What’s the point?”

“I’m sick of having to pick myself up and do all the work while everyone takes advantage of me. What’s the point?”

“Everywhere I go people tell me I have to think positive and positive things will happen, but they never do. What’s the point?”

Emptiness-depression-33252846-479-494“Who are we?” “Why are we here?” “Who am I?” are no trifle inquiries. These are the very questions that science and religion try to answer. These are the foundations of art and communication, the air behind the oxygen that keeps us breathing. Though existence is hard enough, this “boot camp” that none of us signed up for on Earth makes it harder. Pressures from society, pressures to achieve, pressures to have, pressures to perform, pressure, pressure, pressure until something breaks – whether it be our hearts, our brains, our bodies, or our souls. We accept advice on how to be happy from strangers who either pretend to be happy, aren’t that happy, or are too rich to care, to find healing. We take guidance from spiritualists who may or may not be spiritual to find the way. All the while, the only two definitive messages we receive are from the bombardment of advertising in our faces every day: “Be afraid” and “Buy this and you won’t be afraid anymore.”

And yet, amidst of everything, we do our best…at least, we think we do.

We hope that maybe our efforts will bring the reward of receiving the answer and that by being good and doing everything “right,” we’ll learn what the point is and why we have to put up with so much shit. But, if everyone is different, does it make sense for there to be only one answer?

If you keep getting swallowed up, it's time to try something new. (No...Really!)

If you keep getting swallowed up, then maybe build your castle somewhere else. (No…Really!)

What are we supposed to do while we’re waiting to get the golden call from the gods? How can a busted up, tired, little mortal go on when you don’t feel there’s a point? Some would say there is no point, so get over it. But, then why have a survival instinct, then? Some would say it’s not our place to understand the point, but then why do we have curiosity? If we’re not meant to find the answers, we wouldn’t ask questions. If we’re meant to give up, there would be nothing holding us back and somehow, someway, something always holds us back. We know by organic instinct, human and non-humans alike, that we are not meant for a chronic state of defeat.

But, if the point was the same for everyone, then everyone would be the same.

Sure, we have our similarities – “A smile means friendship to everyone,” as the song goes – but we’re no clones. Each of us affect others differently. Each of us have our own challenges. Each of us have our own gifts and our own desires. Therefore, couldn’t it be said that perhaps each of us have our own point?

And because each of us have a different point, it would make sense that we should expect to find what that is in different ways. Maybe the point to “all of this” isn’t the same today for you as it was 10 years ago? Maybe because you change, the point changes with you?

Maybe the point really comes from within?

Air Cav infantry Soldiers compete in company challengeWe’re creatures of action. We need to do. We’re meant to be involved in the natural process. We’re meant to commune and commute. We’re meant to work, to create, to witness, to judge, to explore, to touch, to see, to hear, to taste, to sense, to experience. We’re not meant to sit around and wait for anything. Ambiguity doesn’t just piss off the anxious, it pisses off everybody – no one likes to be in limbo! No one thrives on the cliffhanger ending, everyone hated the last episode of “The Sopranos.” And perhaps, that’s the answer: “Don’t wait for the answer, make one.”

Fact: If you are still unhappy and you are still making the same mistakes over and over, you have not “tried everything.”

Don’t wait for the memo. The point of moving on shouldn’t be answered by anyone else but you. The point of moving on is to find your point if you don’t have one. Make your point! Give yourself a reason to keep going because if you can’t or don’t want to, no one else is going to. There is only one you. You’re here, so you’re necessary. Why that is is for you to know and others to find out…and subject to change at will! Never mind your future, even if you just have to find the point to get through the day, find one. Who’s to say that the point of your existence couldn’t just be to make yourself well, to conquer your own demons? Your life, your path, your answers. You. It’s about you.

mountain-climbers-reaching-summit-200x300Put your boots back on. If you can’t find them or lace them up by yourself, reach out and find someone who can help because all it takes is that one “right” thing to have it all make sense and you’re not gonna find it on the couch or in a pint of Ben and Jerry’s.

It’s out there. Where are you?

 

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Grieving Your Abuser

When your tears aren't for the one you lost.

When your tears aren’t really for the one you lost.

So, the one year anniversary of my mother’s death is coming up in less than a week and I get the overwhelming sensation that I’m expected to write some kind of ode or memorial regarding the woman who gave me life.

Well, this is as good as it’s going to get.

A dear friend of mine who had also lost her mother about a year before I had lost mine, posted this lovely little meme on Facebook a while ago that said something about, “Oh mother, how I miss you, how I wish you were here to hold me in your arms when I’m lost and give me words of wisdom when I am clueless,” and other such sugary sappy sentiments and she tagged me with a very well-meaning, sweet note that said, “You know what it’s like, right Ray?” And that’s when it hit me…

No, I don’t.

And though I know I’m not alone and I know it could’ve been worse, I have absolutely no idea what it’s like to miss my mother’s “loving arms” or hear the sageful teachings of experience to guide me when I was lost. I have no idea what it’s like to have a mother who genuinely loved her children as good people she had raised and nurtured to be successful, happy young women. I have no idea what the hell those Hallmark cards are talking about.

webmommie-dearest_08524624Christina Crawford wrote, “Mommie Dearest” because she got sick and tired of strangers telling her how much they loved and missed her mother, Joan, and hearing what a wonderful woman she was. My mother had also done much for the community, very similar to the way Joan Crawford had done for charity, even at her children’s expense. The public at large, before she resigned her place and consciously allowed herself to fester into her own self-destruction of obesity, depression, and pain, perceived my mother as a pillar of strength. She was remembered by my high school and Hudson Valley peers with such fondness, I didn’t have the heart to correct them. I figured there was no harm in letting their memories remain untainted.

I wouldn’t tell them about how I was named out of revenge because my father named my older sister after a stewardess he had a crush on; Ray is obviously not my real name, I was legally named after the aunt who was willing to pay for a divorce if my mother ever wanted one. I wouldn’t tell them about the times when we went to her for “sagely advice” or help because we were bullied, hurt, or victimized and was answered with denial or turned away. I wouldn’t tell them about the hundreds of times I told her to stop touching me inappropriately and she’d laugh as I cried until after 20 years of it and dozens of warnings, I had to hit her to get her to finally stop. I wouldn’t tell them about the times she scared my boyfriends, potential employers, and friends away, volunteered my services without asking me, or the time when there was an electrical surge in the house and instead of making arrangements for her children’s safety, she said, “If I’m going to die, I want my children to go with me.”

And the lies…the lies, the lies, the lies, everything from what was in her non-existent Will to the way she played one sister against the other for years.

Really? New to me...

Really? Wow, how cool would that be…

She had told me that when she went into labor with me, I was upside-down and backwards. She said that while she was on her back, all she could hear were the doctors say, “Okay, here’s a hip…there’s an arm…okay, we have a foot,” and thought I was coming out in pieces. So, when it was all over and the doctor presented me to her, he said, “Congratulations, you have a healthy, beautiful baby girl,” her response was, “Great. I’m gonna kill her.”

And that was my welcome to the Earth.

Loving arms? She blamed me for making her sick. Sagely advice? “You’ll never succeed. You’ll always need someone to take care of you.” When I didn’t wear makeup, she said I needed it. If I wore makeup, she said I looked like a clown. I never did anything right — No one in my family could do anything right! She was a money bully with a narcissistic personality disorder hell bent on elevating and destroying herself while living vicariously through her children whom she needed to need her. Everything she gave us, she resented and became jealous of what we had.

She forced her poison placenta through an iron umbilical cord that we just could not cut.

Was she evil? No. My mother was a sick woman, mentally, emotionally, and physically, who did not want to use her plentiful resources or do the work to make herself well, at her family’s expense. Her biggest dream, her highest goal was to die. So, when she finally did, it felt strange. It seemed unreal and though it took a while, I did find the tears to mourn her. However, it wasn’t until months after that that I realized I wasn’t mourning my mother…I was mourning a mother.

I miss a mother who would’ve held me in her arms when I was crying or scared. I miss a mother who could have offered me sagely advice when I was confused. I miss a mother who taught me about the world and how I can find my place in it. I miss a mother who thought I was beautiful, even if she didn’t understand me.

I miss a mother who would have brought me into the world with love.

Lion mothers love

And though I acknowledge and accept that she was who she was and because of that I became who I am, I still miss someone I never had. My heart aches for that matriarch who made me feel safe and special. I miss that parent who helped me find my strength, not put me in a position to find it on my own. My tears are not for the woman who raised me, but for the woman she could have been. (My sister’s companion piece to this post, “The Jewish Boy Who Came To Help” http://donnaverteramo.wordpress.com/2014/03/06/the-jewish-boy-who-came-to-help/)

And now it’s too late.

It’s also Adrian Smith’s birthday, too. So, what am I planning to do to commemorate the 1 year anniversary of my mother’s death? Listen to Maiden.

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Get a “Real” Job

Waste of time...? What's on your walls?

Waste of time…? What’s on your walls?

Remember Fraggle Rock? I loved Fraggle Rock.

Remember the Doozers, the little construction people that made these inexplicable structures that the Fraggles found tasty, but they didn’t mind because it gave them an excuse to build some more? There was one episode that I’ll never forget – a Doozer who didn’t want to build. Cotterpin was a dissatisfied Doozer who actually hated building and preferred to draw. She became an outcast, publicly shamed, but instead of giving in, she ran away.

Turned out she was an architect.

When you’re shopping for new clothes, how do you think they get there in the first place? When you step into your car, sit on your couch, or drink from your glass, how do you think that happened? Someone designed that shirt. Someone designed up that car. Someone designed that couch, that table, those dishes, that stop sign, that jewelry, your home, your wallet, your shoes, your computer…

But, that’s not a “real” job, see?

real jobA “real” job, by most standards is to sell, trade, and serve what is already manifested. A “real” job is having a schedule that someone else tells you you need to keep “or else.” A “real” job is to collect a paycheck for work that you are mandated to do. A “real” job is safe, predictable, but somehow coming up with the idea for that job in the first place isn’t “real.” Having an original thought and taking risks to bring it to the public isn’t “real.” And certainly providing anything seemingly impractical isn’t “real.”

And yet the same people who tell you to grow up and get a “real” job are the same people who listen to music, go to the theater, read books, watch tabloids, watch television, stream Netflix, follow commercials, give greeting cards, and buy fashion.

How much do you think that instrument costs? Give you a hint...more than your shoes.

How much do you think that instrument costs? Give you a hint…more than your shoes.

Where do you think that music comes from? How do you think that song happened? Guess what, that tune that affects you emotionally, physically, and spiritually was performed by someone who didn’t have a “real” job but spent hours and hours learning their instrument after spending thousands of dollars on equipment in order to manifest and preserve their work for you. That tune that you don’t want to spend a lousy .99 cents on cost more than your mortgage to make.

Heavy metal polka band, Kranken Welpen at work... Studio time: $100 per hr Equipment: $3500 Practice hours: immeasurable Download Song: .99 cents Royalties: .60 cents

Band (Kranken Welpen) at work.
Studio time: $100 per hr
Equipment: $3500
Practice hours: immeasurable
Download Song: .99 cents
Royalties: .60 cents

How do you think that stained glass got in your church’s windows?

franklinwrite

I wonder if anyone told ol’ Ben Franklin to quit playing with kites and get a “real” job?

And writing…writing’s not a “real” job? When was the last time you read anything? When was the last time you got the news, saw a clever meme on Facebook that you “liked,” or watched a movie? Where do you think those lines came from? How do you think the actors learned what to say? Someone spent hours and hours sitting with notes and looking up resources, honing and crafting those words together so you can escape your reality, get caught up with the world, or so you can find out what’s going on with that cute celebrity you’re hot for. Someone took hours and hours to find the information that you need in order to become better enlightened about the things that matter to you. How long do you think it takes to write a novel, an encyclopedia entry, or an article? What do you think that kind of effort and getting carpel tunnel is worth in an hourly wage?

wedding-gown-sewing-pattern-194804112013_00003Who do you think makes your clothes and homes look pretty? Who do you think makes things provocative?  Who do you think makes everything around you what it is and gives the salespeople something to sell and servers something to serve?  Who put the wonder in your wonderland theme parks or the “bop” in the bop shoo bop shoo bop?

Well, rama-lama ding this — Here’s what’s “real”: Everything you do, say, use, see, and experience in your life every day starts with an idea. That’s “real.” Everything you wear, hear, feel, and taste starts with someone’s work. That’s “real.” And everyone who comes up with those ideas and makes them happen for you need to eat, too and that is very, very fucking “real.”

So, don’t tell me I need to find a “real” job. You want to know what a “real” job is? Making your life real.

Now, could you please…pay up!

keep the artist

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How A Complete Novice Might Interpret The Tarot For the First Time

major-arcana
THE FOOL – “You’re stupid.”

THE MAGICIAN – “Someone’s trying to be tricky.”
THE HIGH PRIESTESS – “Your mom…or Cher.”
THE EMPRESS – “Definitely a queen.”
THE EMPEROR – “Tough guy.”
THE HIEROPHANT – “I don’t know, looks like the pope.”
THE LOVERS – “Gettin’ some!”
THE CHARIOT – “New car!”
STRENGTH – “Don’t stick your head where it doesn’t belong.”
WardTHE HERMIT – “You should get out more.”
WHEEL OF FORTUNE – “Go gambling! But, why are those animals reading books?”
TEMPERANCE – “Have a drink, chill out. Be nice.”
JUSTICE – “You might get arrested. But, it’s okay. You’ll be okay.”
HANGED MAN – “I have no idea what the fuck that is…”
DEATH – “Okay, now I’m totally freaked out…”
THE DEVIL – “WHAT THE HELL IS THIS?!!”
THE TOWER – “Oh…that’s it. I’m done. This is just crazy shit now!”
THE STAR – “See? Now there’s some naked chick. What the hell is that supposed to be?! Who comes up with this stuff??”
THE MOON – “At night.”

THE SUN – “Happy!”
JUDGEMENT – “ZOMBIES!!!!”
THE WORLD – “Uh…the world. Right?”

"Uh huhuh...look. That one's got boobs."

“Uh huhuh…look. That one’s got boobs.”

 

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Confrontation: Why Men Are Usually Better At It

boxing

TYPICAL CONFRONTATION: Two Guys

“Dude…um, what you said was really messed up.”
“Wha? What did I say?”
“You know [insert quote here]…”
“Oh, man. I had no idea! Didn’t mean anything by it.”
“Yeah, well, it caused some shit.”
“Hey, I’m really sorry. We good?”
“Yeah, buy me a beer. We’re good. Thanks.”

TYPICAL CONFRONTATION: Two Women

“Hey, um…What you said the other day?”
“What…what did I say?”
“You know [insert quote here]…”
*defensive* “Well, what about it?”
“Well, that kinda hurt and now people aren’t talking to me and – “
“Well, what do you want me to do about it?” (Note: She may also try to bring in other people’s names or change the subject at this time).
“I just wanted you to know that it wasn’t true and why would you say that?”
“Well, maybe you should talk to so and so and – “
“No, you should talk to ME not – “
“I gotta go. Later!”
*starts Tweeting* “OMG, guess who just…”

Or…

“Hey, what you said the other day really hurt.”
“Oh my God, I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean to hurt you.”
*relieved* “Oh, really? Oh, thank you! Oh I knew wouldn’t do that to me.”
“Of COURSE not!!” *hugs* “I’m so glad you told me.”
“Great — me, too! Thank you. Thank you so much!”
*second she’s out of sight, starts Tweeting* “OMG, guess who just…”

Yes, the title is sexist and I’m sorry.

It is generalizing and assumptive, but truth be told, in my many travels and experiences, I have found that men, regardless how you may feel about them, seem to have this one thing down that women just simply cannot grasp. Women on the whole, usually find confrontation a much scarier prospect than men do and that’s no accident.

communicationCommunication is key to life. How you obtain your needs, how you relate to others, how everything comes into being starts with strong communication. And unfortunately, it’s a skill that seems to be lacking as time and tech goes on. And as long as you are alive, you need to communicate. And as long as you communicate, there will be disagreements. And disagreements can cause a house of cards or a 10-ton tower to fall if you don’t handle with care.

Why women generally hate confrontation:

1 – Women Are Taught To Be Seen, Not Heard. Women are usually discouraged from using assertive communication skills because we were designated to have the sexual upper-hand in the breeding process. Humans are one of the few species where the female is required to be more colorful and flamboyant in order to attract a mate. In the workplace, studies have proven that men are more encouraged to use aggressive tactics to get a raise, while bosses prefer women to be more “agreeable.” (http://www.artofmanliness.com/2008/02/17/how-to-ask-for-and-get-a-raise-like-a-man/   &   http://www.forbes.com/sites/dailymuse/2013/06/17/why-women-must-ask-the-right-way-negotiation-advice-from-stanfords-margaret-a-neale/ ) Confrontation requires truth to be spoken about an issue and therefore takes initiative – a skill that women are most likely left to learn on their own.

fear of being alone2 – Women Tend To Be Less Secure. We’re under pressure to be liked, attractive, make others look good, bring home the bacon, fry it up, get a spouse, have a career, please the spouse, walk in heels, make healthy babies, whatever. We face praise and chastisement with every choice we make with our bodies and our lives. With all of these expectations, we are bombarded by media showing us “how it’s done.” Fashion and home magazines are not just vehicles to deliver ideas, but subconsciously, they’re feeding us “right” or “wrong” ways to do things. When we find our behaviors are consistent with others’ expectations, we have a better sense of confidence. So, if others are expecting us to be seen and not heard (see point number 1), we simply tend to be less confrontational.

3 – Women Tend To Be More Afraid To Be Alone. We’re expected to attract a mate. But, when we don’t, we usually see ourselves as failures. We’re spoon-fed fantasies like “soul mate” and “twin flame” in self-help and other media without the disclaimer that these concepts are Disney dreams. Western and monotheistic traditions dictate that the man is the provider, so those brought up in traditional households frown upon their daughters as not having one. So to many women, being alone is frightening concept that can lead to depression, anxiety, and other disorders. Having a disagreement can easily lead to unpopularity and alienation…

7b14e_ITSNiceToBeImportant1

"You tawkin' to me? No you're tawkin' to ALL of us!"

“You tawkin’ to me? No you’re tawkin’ to ALL of us!”

4 – And because women tend to be more afraid to be alone, Women Tend To Seek Back-Up Before Facing a Confrontation. When you’re in a conflict with a woman, it’s usually not just with her. It’s also with her family, her friends, her “sistahs” – you get the gist. Why? Because, she’s less secure and afraid to be alone. So, naturally, she’s going to make sure that she has that security blanket if things go awry. She is going to look for validation, “Am I right? Don’t you agree? It’s not just me, is it?” And she will usually start the networking process by publicly voicing her displeasure directly or indirectly on social media, making phone calls, making passive-aggressive comments on online updates or feeds to see who might take the bait and agree with her, and perhaps becoming more social than normal.

Men generally don’t have those obstacles; so therefore, they don’t really have anything to fear or to lose by calling someone out. Outside of gang mentality, they tend to recognize that the issue is a mono-e-mono affair. So, they say, “What’s up,” throw a few figurative or literal punches, get it out of their system, and call it done. And there is no reason in the world why women can’t do the same!

The whole point and purpose of confrontation is to resolve a problem. The desire to resolve a problem is an act of love. It is an act of care, not callousness. So, when someone calls you out, they are saying you have an effect on them and vice-versa. What you said or did made an impact and it’s a wonderful opportunity to learn, to grow, and to become stronger either on your own or with the other person. It is a chance to develop trust, exert boundaries, and practice better communication skills for other challenges in other aspects of your life.

Conflict doesn’t have to be loud, ugly, unkind, or hurtful. You can disagree with someone with respect, care, and confidence if you’re willing to listen to understand, not listen for your queue to speak. If you do not enjoy or cannot handle being around people who disagree, if you cannot handle making mistakes or being wrong, and if you cannot handle being alone, then that is on you. Those issues are from your own lack of self-confidence, your own ego, and no one can solve them but you.

Communication is an art, a process, and a gift. Doing it right can bring peace, love, empowerment, prosperity, and joy. Doing it with obfuscation, defensiveness, and ego can manifest your fears. You don’t need proof that you’re justified or that your feelings are validated. So, the next time someone steps over your boundaries, maybe just try putting down the Smartphone, pull them aside, and say, “Hey, do you have a minute? I have a problem, you’re important, and I’d really like to fix this…”

Conflict-Resolution

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When You KNOW The Ship Is Sinking…

iceberg-ahead

There’s nothing worse.

Whether it be in romance, family, career, wherever, whatever, there is nothing more frustrating than being able to see the iceberg, but no matter what you say or do, the captain just refuses to turn the wheel.

“It’s an iceberg!”
“Nah, just some cool whip dumped from a plane. Don’t worry about it.”
“No, I’m telling you, it’s an iceberg!”
“Come on, that’s not an iceberg – it’s just some Styrofoam that the wind blew into the water. Don’t be so dramatic.”
“IT. IS. AN. ICEBERG! And we are sailing straight towards it!”
“Well, okay, how about we make an appointment to talk about it after…”

Ugh.

crows-nestPoorly directed business decisions, detrimental behavioral patterns repeating themselves, whatever the situation, are ingredients for failure. If someone else is in control and they’re not paying attention to the bigger picture, the immediate needs, or anything else besides their own ideals, no matter how well intended they may be, then why shouldn’t it be in your right to give them a head’s up, especially if your own well-being is at stake? Besides, it’s much easier to be on the outside looking in, because as you know, you can’t tell if it’s raining if your head’s underwater.

Denial, ignorance, ego, and fear is a foolproof recipe for disaster. Believing you’re untouchable, not willing to face all the probabilities positive or negative, thinking you’re too good to make mistakes, cowering at the thought of change, unwilling to break out of your own fantasy, not paying attention to how your choices affect others are all “icebergs” that can sink 10 “Titanics-worth” of ideas, projects, or relationships.

If you’re only looking at the benefits and not the responsibilities of your choices, then you better get the lifeboats ready. And if you’re not willing to open your eyes, then you should at least be willing to open your ears.

mutinyMany of us have been there, psychic or not. We’ve seen bosses make really bass-akward choices that have had too many consequences than the trouble was worth, we’ve seen our partners spend money on something they shouldn’t have, loved ones falling for someone that is going to tear their hearts out…we’ve all had our turns in the crow’s nest. That’s part of being a communal animal: Paying attention and connecting to what and who is around you. Whether the signs are logically concluded or our psyches are screaming in neon, our survival instincts will always take over if we’re paying attention. As humans have evolved into needing more than just food and water, we’re further programmed to pick up disturbances in other aspects of the Force that are directly inclusive to our needs, such as money, love, and mental / spiritual health.

Rat-with-life-preserver1And sometimes, if we yell, “Iceberg!” loud enough, the person at the helm will respond. But, all too often, especially in the current climate of technology where fantasy is king, the captain is either too busy, too lazy, too stubborn, or too scared to trust someone with good intention and simply make a change. You know you’re heading for trouble when you bring the matter to their attention, they might make excuses, put off taking actions, make you feel irrelevant or try to confuse you, or even try to intimidate you to get you to shut up. Essentially, if you’re very sure of your facts,  you know you have a case, and your intentions are true, then pretty much any response other than, “Okay I’m listening” or even “Show me,” is not a good sign.

In those cases, the final choice is up to you. The very first thing to understand is that there are actually choices! If you don’t know what they are, ask and find out. It’s a big world out there, after all. If the ship is sinking and you’re willing to make a change, then consider the options:

1 – Mutiny. Yup, you can pool your resources and take over the helm, if you have to. You may end up the villain, you may end up the hero, or you may end up sinking, anyway. But, if you really don’t care what others think of you and you have the resources, then rock on with your bad self.

2 – Secure your own lifeboat. Start finding another job, another place to live, or another situation so that when the ship hits the berg, you’ll be floating to safety and Twittering, “I told you so,” from your raft. Whether or not you want to keep it quiet is completely up to you.

3 – Replace the captain. Now, this could also be considered mutiny, but the only difference is you’re not taking the helm, yourself. Just remember that there’s a risk that the new captain could be just as boneheaded as the old one.

4 – Give up fighting and go down with the ship. Sure, you could still do that! Stick it out and see what happens. Maybe things won’t turn out as bad as you might think, but it’s no more or less risky than any other option, right?

5 – Jump and swim. How long can you tread water? Only one way to know…

land_ho
The important thing is to know that you’re not powerless.

Just remember that whatever choice you make should be something you are willing to accept responsibility for and live with. And if you’re still not sure what to do, then just remember why you’re on the ship and where it was promised to go in the first place.

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** FOR REAL! PUBLIC NOTICE: MY FRIEND’S DAUGHTER IS MISSING** EDIT 1/19/14 She is found!!

UPDATE: 01/19/14

HOPE HAS BEEN FOUND!
Technology is awesome, but only as awesome as the people who use it.
THANK YOU, EVERYONE!!

=================================================

You know me, I don’t do things like this lightly. But, my friend and sister blogger, KDSarge’s 15 year old daughter has runaway to Cali. She has been missing since January 15th.

There is a police report. There is a toll free contact number in case of a sighting. This is real. Please click the link for details.

Please, whatever you can do to help this good woman is tremendously appreciated.

Thank you and Goddess Bless!!
Ray

Hamming for the camera

http://www.kdsarge.com/wordpress/archives/7832
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What To Expect For 2014

ClimateChange0304132013 delivered a lot more than was promised.

“6,” being the number of Resources, Work, and Peace Between Conflicts did not disappoint, though the year was rather loud about it. Stories of injustice and collective standing for one’s rights kept the media busy while individuals changed jobs, started working, or started new careers altogether. Those in relationships found out if they were with the right partner and those “wookin’ pa nub” either found their “nub” or found themselves. One way or another, the Universe provided karma and what we needed, even if we didn’t like it.

But, the surprise that the “6” delivered was all the Death.

SylviaBrown

deaths in 2013 Adeaths in 2013 BI have been working the numbers for nearly 20 years and not once did I ever think to correlate “Peace” with actual, physical “Death.”  2013 brought so much loss in nearly every community: Music, Politics, Film, Writing, TV, even pets and in the family – my own mother, included. The list is so great it would be unreasonable to chalk it up to mere coincidence. Energy is energy, vibrations jeffhanneman-380x296bring consequence. As it happens, most of these deaths were those who clive burrwere of great age or have been suffering. Very few were traumatic or really shocking. Peace was truly delivered in its most tremendous sense, though we are all greatly saddened by their absence.

ray harryhausen

But, now we look ahead to 2014: a “7” year. Whatever we didn’t learn last year, we sure as hell going to now!

7 is the number of Higher Learning, Understanding, and Elevated Thinking. This will be a great year for students, of course, and those who are looking to learn new skills. But, it will also be a great time for introspection and self-discovery as well. The best way to move forward is to better understand where you are, first. Acceptance of the present is key in order to truly be able to look forward.

pun328-globe-light-bulb-world-map16Expect a bit more selfishness from yourself and others this year. Now, I know reading that may send your hairs to stand on end, but if you’ve been giving, giving, giving, giving then 2014 may give you the clue-by-four upside the head that it’s time to receive a little. It’s also a good time to go through your finances and assets and truly see what you have on hand and think about the best way to invest in yourself.

The stronger you are, the stronger your world will be.

2014 will say, “Put your own oxygen mask on first before you help others with theirs.”

2014 will also call upon you to examine your connection with others. Are you sympathetic to those around you? Are you affected by the community as a whole? Do you really have genuine faith in the Grand Creator By Many Names or do you just dutifully recite what you were taught? Are you living vicariously through your children? Are you co-dependent on others to provide you with confidence? Do you feel valuable?

Who are you?

Once you understand that a little better, then you can better understand the choices you’ve made, the people you attract, the things you believe, and all that you love. It’s time to understand that whoever you are, whatever you are, or wherever you are, you are here, you are not alone, and you are necessary.

3rd eye higher thinking

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
Many blessings,
Ray

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The Little Words

“…you know I never could say anything 20 words or less.” – Johnette Napolitano, “Little Conversations”
Concrete Blonde, Free

It’s nice to be doing a lot more writing than usual these days.

Recently, somehow the old business that had become the new business got old and became the new again. And now I find myself helping a new friend, through new friends, get his rock digital magazine into the stratosphere and it’s been greatly satisfying. Pay sucks, of course, but great benefits.

And of course, the writing. Everything’s worth the writing.

Last week, I was assigned to interview an internationally renowned rock guitar veteran whom I had never spoken to before and was very anxious to give the feature a respectable, artistically intimate angle. But, for that, I needed help because I know as much about guitar playing as I do fixing space shuttles. So, to add to my research, I had the wonderful fortune of speaking to an extremely gifted rising sun in the business whose dialogue turned out to be as much of an enriching experience as the interview itself.

It was like I was looking for the tools to dig for pearls and found a diamond in the process…

dance notation

Deakon has an almost druidic approach to his music, which is to say that he enjoys and connects the process of his creativity in a multilateral sense, so he proved to be a perfect resource as it wasn’t a stretch for me to understand him. Our conversation reminded me how the arts are genuinely a selfish and spiritual experience, but the world tends to be blinded by product, which inevitably puts the artless in charge of the arts. All I wanted was to understand the psyche of the guitarist a little better before I approached this master and after what was only supposed to be a few minutes worth of exchange, we ended our hour or so with:

Me: Why do you love it so much? (I know that’s a big question – but, I couldn’t resist!)

Deakon:  haha well BIG question — little answer. Because it has infinite possibilities

Me: Hm. Actually, I’d say that’s a rather big answer, little words.

Deakon: Indeed I have found that sometimes the smallest answers mean the most.

Big things come in little packages after all, maybe? Because after I had ended my session with him, I found myself flashing back to the time of – no, actually before — my apprenticeship when I was a just few years younger than he was and I remembered when I asked who the Goddess was. Now, today, there are books and books and discussion forums, groups, study courses, communities online and offline, and all kinds of tremendous information regarding the feminine personification of the creative force which could take years and degrees to sort through and comprehend, but the answer I received has always been the one I understood the most:

“Tree.”

Yeah, that’s what I got. That is exactly how my priestess explained the Goddess to me. I must’ve had an expression that resembled something like smelling a garlic statue of a skunk. I thought she was rubbing crack on her skin instead of smoking it. But, she just stood there, serenely, confidently, and expectantly.

sacred-treeLooking into her wise, shining eyes, the look of an older soul at peace, talking about the thing she loved the most, I began to visualize the roots snaking and winding into the rich soil below, finding the water source as I saw my own feet touch the ground. I saw the sapling stretching after a long sleep in the seed as the child coming into the world, then the branching of leaves looking healthy when given all the nutrients they need, sickly when they didn’t. I saw the trunk expand and grow stronger, much like our own bones…The fruits, nuts, and flowers of our labors, all different, all for the world to see and share, while the rings of our experiences through the years remain preserved beneath the bark of our flesh.

tree-of-lifeSome branches break or die, but re-grow. Some branches are given or taken for others to use, some are given or taken for reasons unknown. Our strength is challenged through storms and children swinging. We witness life, death, fear, and joy all around us. Whether or not we are fertilized, we still produce seeds of our own making, our own little manifestations and they are scattered and spread even as we stand still.

The sun, moon, and stars are above us, the earth is below, the water is around us, the wind is through us, and the spirit within us. And we are immortal until a force beyond our control takes us down.

And I can go on.

This is what She stands for. This is the path I walk and how I understand. This is how I believe most non-humans understand. This is what I remember. Not the hundreds of stories and myths and legends and carvings and theories and textbooks and ancestry lines, but the simple parallel between two creations of nature. From this, I learned that there’s no reason to make things complicated.

If there’s a problem, find a solution.
If you have feelings, feel them
If you have thoughts, think them.
If you have questions, ask them.
If you have secrets, share them.
If you have words, speak them.
If you’re alone, reach out.
If you need space, step back.
If something harms you, let it go.
If something heals you, keep it safe.
If something loves you, give it love.

Harm none.

Everything we need is right where we stand. Don’t try to grow in stone.

“Look, I see the Sun – he is my father, my beginnings.
Look, I see the Moon – she is my grandmother, my protector.
Look, I see the Stars – they are my friends, my family
Look, I see the Universe and there, I see Myself.”

– Traditional Yuni Prayer

universe

Incidentally, the interview went really well, especially with the questions Deakon had helped me with. Of course, I’ll never fully understand the little sanctum the two and other 6-string artists share, but it was very cool being able to peek through the window from the garden outside for a moment, even just to get a glimpse of the light inside. And all it took was a little talk.

For every answer is another question. Enjoy the small answers. It’s a big life, after all.

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Give Too Much, Expect Nothing Back

enslavement kiss

“He said he didn’t want a commitment, so I bought him a $300 hockey jersey. Bastard still didn’t want a commitment. Should I ask for the shirt back?”

“I don’t understand. I know he’s my soul mate! HE knows he’s my soul mate. So, I pay his rent, his bills, I take care of him when he’s sick and he still has other girlfriends. It just makes no sense!”

“I give her everything she wants. I’m so nice to her and she keeps coming back to me but won’t be my girlfriend.”

Though there’s not just one answer to the riddle, the underlying theme is very simple: Suckers aren’t sexy.

beatles can't buy me love picture sleeveOne of the biggest mistakes a lover can make is believing that the more they put into another person, the more they’ll get out of it. It’s an old-fashioned fallacy even for monetary investments, so to put so much stock in that belief in regards to something as fickle as the human heart could only prove itself as just masochism.

Most lovers who find themselves in a position of trying to over-prove their worth or find themselves “give give giving” all the time are usually stuck in a “Maneuvering” relationship, where the partner doesn’t want a commitment, but won’t let go. It’s an emotionally abusive circumstance where the Giver is basically manipulated into accepting empty promises of love and only bits and pieces of their partner’s time and attention. Yet, when the Giver decides that enough isn’t enough anymore and tries to move on, the Maneuvering partner says everything the Giver wants to hear and does everything the Giver needs in order to win back their heart and get their hopes back up so the cycle can continue. https://msrayspsychicepisodes.wordpress.com/2012/01/14/the-art-of-maneuvering-when-they-wont-commit-but-they-wont-let-you-go/

What the Giver never realizes is the reason why the cycle is in motion in the first place is because they’re giving too much!

let-me-go-man-beggingWhy should the Maneuverer change their ways if they’re getting everything they want without having to give anything in return? Why should they respect you if you don’t respect yourself? Think about it: If you act like a walking ATM machine and a nursemaid, then that’s how you’re going to be treated. You can’t change someone else, but you can change your situation. And the only way your situation can change is if you do. Usually what the Giver is investing in is not so much the person that they’re with, but their idea of the person that they’re with. The Giver has a tendency to see only the potential of what their love could be, not what they actually are and it’s amazing what happens when they begin to see the truth. It never fails — whenever it does, I hear, “Wow, I thought I couldn’t live without them. But, then when I did start living without them, my life actually got easier!” or “better.”

Money can buy sex, but it can’t buy love.

solicitation-of-prostitution

If your bribery and overly-niceness actually works, then you may want to take another look at what you’re investing in…

Sex is easy. Physical desire is a purely chemical reaction. Sometimes that reaction can be brought on by spiritually energetic circumstances or emotional responses, but regardless of what may cause that reaction, science dictates that the reaction happens within minutes, sometimes seconds. Hormones, pheromones, and blood rushes are part of the animal’s need to mate. Everyone, regardless of looks, race, creeds, whatever will chemically react to another somewhere, somehow because that’s how Mother designed the world. After all, prostitutes have been able to capitalize on that aspect of Nature as long as there’s been dirt on the ground…

The problem is not all chemical reactions are with whom we’d like or expect to be with. However, the upside is when that magnetism happens, the reality is always more powerful, more fun, and more amazing than any fantasy you can dream of!

So, if someone wants you, they’ll know right away. Not months, not years — immediately.

But, making love and wanting a partnership is a little different. That “complete package” where someone wants all of you, not just your body, not just your wallet, not just your this or that, but your whole person and wants to build a life with you is a little harder to find and there is no bribery big enough to buy that genuine desire. First they have to want a life partner to begin with. Then, they have to have the capacity to consider others when making their decisions. They have to have the ability to reciprocate and empathize. If you’re giving-giving-giving and not doing a whole lot of receiving, then you’re very likely barking up the wrong tree. And the Maneuverer or lover who doesn’t demonstrate the relationship traits, readiness, or chemical reaction with you is not going to change because you can’t fight Nature. Even if you could change them, if you have to bribe someone to love you, then it’s not so much Love as it is a business deal.

Is that what you want?

Do you want the person you love to feel obligated every time they touch you? Do you want the person that you love to feel trapped, without a choice to stay with you because they’ve become dependent on you for survival? Do you want that person to look into your eyes and wish you were someone else?

enslavement

Do you really hate yourself so much that you believe you feel you need to control another person with money and things to have them be with you?

People respond to what they perceive, not just receive. If you want to be loved, show how much you love yourself, first. If you want to be wanted, show how irresistible you are and shine your real light on your soul, not your bank account. You want respect? Then start saying, “No,” stick to your guns, and watch the majick.

Give to yourself first.

self respect first sexy second

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