Monday, December 24, 2012

Enlightment is Awesome - Finding the Center

The best thing about being a teacher is how much I learn from myself. We teach most that which we need to learn most. We work our way through it for someone else and are therefore brought to the light of the situation ourselves.

Grief is tearing and painful. Joy can be as well. And when it feels like all is turbulence around you, the joy and the grief seem almost intrusive. It certainly feels fatalistic; the emotions so explosive, I feel my head might burst, my heart might stop, my breath might fail. I long for the quiet dignity of the single poetic tear glissading down my cheek.

By having been requested by circumstance to repeat and repeat and repeat the calming phrases and steps to calm decision making; by showing the way to the center of self; by spouting virtuously that the center is the best place to make decisions from, I have led myself (or stumbled along behind my student) finally to that calm and centered place.

And when the comfort food is churning acid, and the alcohol is vinegar, and the sad songs are annoying and the happy ones are raucous; when the words spoken and heard no longer mean anything, finally I come to the center and the peace. I fall away from the pressure. I deny it. I float free, down and in. Calm. Connected. Grateful that the violence has passed, if only for a moment. Every time the moment lasts longer.

The hardest part to learn - this calm, this center, is not a denial of the emotion, be it joy or grief. It is acceptance. Total acceptance. Complete acceptance. Acceptance deeper than the grief, than the joy. Deeper than the fear and the hope. Deeper than the learned perception of self.

Follow your breath in. And Down. Find your center. And discover a whole new world with me.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Enlightenment is awesome - The next step

There is a step beyond coping, dealing, surviving.  There is a step beyond the vortex of sadness or joy, horror or excitement.  There is a step beyond.  It's called living.

You can only grieve, replay, cling, bask, deny, rejoice for so long.  Then you have to return to the world.  You have to put food in the belly and clothes on the back.  You have to shower and drive and interact with others who are dealing with their own vortexes of celebration and sorrow.

It's natural to stop, to freeze, to fight or flight.  Then it's natural to breath again.  It's natural to laugh again.  It's natural to cry again.  It's natural to let the wounds heal, the lights dim, the vision turn to the next goal, the next horizon.  It's natural to move to the future.

Every day we deal with sorrows and joys, trauma vortexes of various colors and intensities.  And every day we step out of the drama, and continue living.

You can take the next step.  Walk this way.


Monday, November 5, 2012

General Hello!

Hello.  I would like to apologize for my lack of posting.  As you can see by the influx of posts today, I have had something to say, but I've been busy on my Rune Reading Project. 

I have been doing a Rune Reading every day; telling it into the microphone and taking pictures, creating a slide show and turning it into a movie.  And I have (finally) been posting this on You Tube.   Right now, actually finding this seems to be an issue, as there is a Lila Allen who has a law office in California, and a Lily Allen who has taken over the search engine with music.

But if you go to you tube and type in Lila Evans Allen, you will find my channel.  Shrug.  Right now it's about actually doing the readings.  Later, I'll find a better way to make myself visible.

However, UnicAllen is still free and, well, unique.  That could mean something, couldn't it.  Sigh.

Enlightenment is Awesome - And Easy

November 2, 2012

Screw it. Screw it all. This struggling is pointless and painful and it’s not happy. I am a happy person. I am a person who prefers to be content. I push myself enough trying to get out there and do stuff. Why make it hard for myself? Why put obstacles in my way that serve no purpose but to make it harder?

Screw it. It’s time to make it easy.

Enlightenment is learning, that’s all. The light bulb is often used as a symbol for an idea. In the game "Life Quest" it’s used as a symbol for knowledge classes (as opposed to skill or self improvement). The dark ages are considered that because of the lack of education within the majority of the populace.

For some, learning is hard. For others, learning is easy. Conventionally. But psychology tells us there are different ways of learning. So instead of trying to memorize everything and regurgitate it back, let’s try hands on. If hands on isn’t your thing, what about audio input? How do you learn?

How do I learn? Sometimes I learn by doing, sometimes by talking about it, sometimes by reading about it. It often depends on the things that surround the subject. For example, I learn lots from fantasy books. But I have a very hard time reading factual books. Even if they are well written. Even if they have a lot to say. I’d rather have someone else tell me about it. Memoirs? Blech. Fantasy books written in memoir format? Sure. I admire Katherine Hepburn but I couldn’t read her biography to save my acting career. Shrug.

I also seem to learn by spouting, or in this case spewing, words upon the page until I come to an answer.

Hard means it’s not my path. I don’t have the skills or the knowledge or the enjoyment or the desire. IE: I’m a green skier in the black diamond world of technology.

To heck with doing it the hard way just because everyone else does. To heck with not doing something, not receiving something, because someone else has a lesson to learn. If I can’t do something one way, I’ll try it another. And another. And another. Until it’s easy.

I’m going to find a way to make it easy.

I’m going to take it easy.

It’s so easy.

Thank you,


I Can Rune your Life - November

The rune for November is Ehwaz.

This month, Ehwaz stands for blind faith.

In general, Ehwaz is a partnership, a symbiotic relationship, like that between horse and rider. For November, we are the rider. It’s blowing rain and it’s pitch dark. The air is so cold. We’re huddled into our extremely warm cloak, with the hood pulled well over our eyes, and our hands tucked into warm mittens.

For November, the universe is the horse, one of those big fuzzy clydesdales with huge hoofs and lots of fur. It’s prancing merrily forward, quite comfortable in the weather, quite sure of the way.

We can’t see a thing. We can’t feel our hands upon the reigns. And sometimes it feels the horse’s back is so broad, and we’ve been astride so long, that our behind has become numb and we’re sure to fall off any moment.

But we won’t. We can’t fall off the horse. We can jump, but we cannot fall. And even though we can’t guide the horse, we are heading forward, where we need to go. We just have to stay on. We need the horse. But the horse needs us too. That’s what symbiotic means.

Believe in the universe. And hold on. We’re almost there.

Perceptions & Realities: Parking Hell-O

November 5, 2012

Dear Person at whom I honked, in the King Sooper’s parking lot, today:

I admit it is entirely possible you knew I was there, and there was never a chance of you backing into me; perhaps you were merely inching out of the parking space so I, or the person behind me, would know it was going to be free. But my attention was on the vehicle further up, who was also backing out, and I saw your taillights coming my way.

My horn is rarely used and so I smacked it hard, to make sure you heard me and knew I was there.

My intention was to prevent an accident, to make a warning. And I couldn’t go past you because of the other vehicle leaving further ahead, who’d also stopped when I honked.

So if you knew I was there, I apologize most humbly for the insult of the loud and cursing horn. But I would do it again, because it’s also possible you couldn’t see I was there.

Thank you,


Thursday, October 18, 2012

I can Rune your Life - September

The rune chosen for September is Hagalaz. Hailstorm. The rune of change and transformation.

Big surprise. We’ve been living with storms of transition for over a year now. What can Hagalaz tell us that we don’t already know, often to our sorrow? The runes that clarify are Jera, the harvest, and Teiwaz, expediency.

When the Universe taketh away, the Universe giveth. So you’d better decide what you want right now.

September is the time of harvest and the results of our labor are coming home. But make no mistake, a shower of gold can be just as, um, exciting, as one of ice. Rapid changes in fortune, situation, feelings, choices – these can be as terrifying in their overabundance as they were in their absence. There will still be difficult decisions. So take time now, while you have it, to prepare.

What do you want to be holding onto when the storms of change finally pass away? What do YOU need? What do you wish to protect? And what are you willing to stand up for? Now is the time to demand, to visualize, to expect, to believe.

Hagalaz - the Spirit of Fire - changes everything it touches. Vacancies don’t last for long. Prepare for your harvest. Cuz it’s gonna be a doozie.

- Lila

Enlightenment is Awesome - Juggling Water

I am juggling. I know, I KNOW, if I just let my hands drop, the balls will stay in the air. In fact some of them will float away, because I am no longer trying desparately to attract them to my hand. I know that if I can remove myself from the chaos, get out of the storm all together, that I can be calm and happy and content and not so freaked and sad.

But even that perspective is deceiving. One has to be in the middle of the storm to view its effect. One has to feel the vibes to hear the music. One has to be in the water to be part of the flow.

So. To stand in the torrent. To stand. Not to float or be swept away, but to stand. An isle of calm. To let the water flow around me and through me. To let it flow through me while maintaining my self, my integrity, my needs and desires. Perhaps to even transform it, improve it, lighten it, assist it to be what it needs to be, what the race needs it to be, what my clan and community need it to be.

But, currently, the important part is to maintain my self.  There are likely other lessons later. But before I can let myself go, I must be myself fully in all situations. To tighten and release at the same time. To hold and let go. Am I letting too much go? I am still my core. As long as I am on this planet, I am me. With my bodily needs and my emotional needs and my chemical needs and my spiritual needs.

And that’s the end of the flow of consciousness for this moment. So let it be.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Health Meandering - Freak Out #455

If you’re like me. . .

You’re back to the freak out.

A few days ago, possibly a week, I started feeling the same way I’d felt in the year before my heart attack. Hard to breath. Tired a lot. (Which are probably related!?) Some tingling, fuzzy in the blood feelings. Oh, and nauseous. Not really hungry for anything, though when I actually take a bite I realize I am hungry.

So, I did the responsible thing and called the Dr. Office for a heart cath procedure. This is, as I understand it, when they send a little camera through your vein (hopefully arm instead of groin) and check for blockages.

I was offered this procedure two years ago, after I’d had an "incident". I declined because of money and a huge disinclination to be poked and prodded AGAIN. But my mom said I should have done it, because it is better to be sure.

Hence, the responsible thing this time around. A camera insert isn’t open heart surgery; a stint isn’t a heart transplant. Funny how our perspective changes once we’ve lived with things a while. And perhaps, for all my brave talk about being comfortable with the cycle of life and the ease of death, perhaps I too am afraid of it.

I wasn’t able to schedule at the time I called. They had to go through channels, get the Doctor’s approval, etc and so forth. Our health care system is so patriarchal.

I’ve felt better since then. Even yesterday, I wondered if all I really needed was more medication (blech) or exercise. I have a terrible time with the diet part. I was able to quit smoking, because of a life bed promise to my mother, but food. Food is wonderful. Food and drink. Mmmmm. Regardless. I have been productive and energetic and pretty full of life and vim and vigor. Reestablished.

But today. Today, a date has been set for the procedure. Just a few minutes ago. And now, all I want to do is hide in video games, or books. Just sit back and hide. My blood fuzzes again, my brain shuts down. (Or maybe I forgot to take my pills.) And I’m nervous to even contemplate tomorrow.

But. I made myself sit down and actually write this. And since writing something every day is one of my self imposed chores, I am proud. I will now probably give into the desire to play games. But then, I will go to the store. Then I will freak out a little more. And then I will pay bills and do paperwork.

One step at a time. One breath at a time. It could all change in five minutes anyway. So let it go until it’s time to freak out. And what time would that be? The 12 hours before the procedure when I’m supposed to be fasting and I forgot and had a cookie. That’s a good time to freak out. *G*.

Thanks for listening.


Sunday, July 29, 2012

I Can Rune Your Life - August

the rune for August is Isa.

Isa is the rune of isolation, hibernation, healing through sleep and contemplation. Isa is the protective shield we put around ourselves to keep away the outside influences. With Isa we let the world pass by, in it’s natural cycle, while we rest and relax and live off of the past – which could be monetary or physical. Rather like resting on our laurels.

Isa is the Water of Earth. Endurance and patience, held and comforted within our home nest. Or cave. Let the slings and arrows of frantic change whistle harmlessly past us. No need to do new and exciting things, no need to strive or break new ground. Through this time of contemplation and observation, we will strengthen and refresh.

Isa - May the healing protection of isolation serve you and strengthen you, that you may better serve and strengthen yourself and those you love.


Monday, July 23, 2012

Enlightenment is Awesome - Housework

Am I alive or dead is irrelevant. I am here. In this space and in this time. In this moment. In this reality. Right here. So this is the moment, the time, the energy I need to concentrate on. I need to, WANT to, do my best at whatever it is I am doing here. Which, today, is laundry and dishes and sorting through the paperwork. Making a grocery list. Laughing at the squirrels. Letting the pounding of the reroofing (shingling?) pass over and away without annoyance. Without affecting me. Why should it affect me? It has nothing to do with me.

Did the women of the fairy tales whistle while they worked because that was their nature? Because they were making the best of things? Because they hoped day after day for an improvement? Or did they learn to be exuberant in their daily grind because every moment is an opportunity to do one’s best?

There’s rose colored glasses, and then there’s the cleared glass, seeing everything as what it is, accepting it, embracing it.

Easy for me to type. I am not abused, ordered around, treated like a slave. I chose to be the housekeeper for the next little while. But there is a difference between abuse heaped on by others, and abuse heaped on by self. Which, in a way, is what griping about difficult tasks appears, to me.

I make something harder by dreading it and bitching about it and stating all the reasons I don’t want to do it. I can, instead, choose to let it flow over me, either embracing the good points, or simply not let it affect me at all. What does affect me when I’m housecleaning? Singing. How well I do something. Being careful and aware about the various chemicals and where the cat is. The timing of the laundry. Finishing one project before starting another.

So what can I concentrate on? When I’ve finally found the proper pressure to scrub something clean, when I’m folding the laundry as I’ve done a hundred times before?

I can pay attention to how I’m standing. Use a ballet position, or a yoga one. I can pay attention to where my feet are placed, which hand is holding the scrub brush, how my shoulders hunch or don’t.

Keeping the stomach tucked in is healthy for more than health reasons. Because the core of one’s strength, one’s balance, one self is the diaphragm. Tucking it in, sucking it in, is good for strength as well as the waistline.

I can concentrate upon my breathing - though yoga type breathing may not be most appropriate for cleaning the toilet.

I can appreciate the texture of the clothes I’m folding, evaluate the cleanliness of the dishwater, notice the change in smells and even the energy of the room I’ve cleaned. Hmm. There’s many opportunities for wonderment in housecleaning.

I am the only person who decides how I do things. And I realize this philosophy doesn’t fit all situations, yet. Or does it? Shrug. The housework is what is before me today. Let us embrace the opportunity to practice acceptance. (sounds so high falutin, doesn’t it? But that makes me happy too.)


Monday, July 9, 2012

Brave - a movie review

For me, watching Brave was like that moment in Love Actually when Emma Thompson opened her Christmas gift expecting exquisite jewelry and found a CD instead.

It’s a very nice CD. Humorous moments, interesting characters, gorgeous scenery. The landscape was as alive as the people, a lovely tribute to the British Isles.

But the story itself left me wanting more, and feeling a little betrayed.

I have always admired Disney’s heroines – the spunk, the endurance, the growth of them. When the Brave protagonist rode across the screen, I was ready for a new obsession. The mythological treasure trove of the Celtic culture; the wild hair and the wild ride; the bear rearing in the mist and the tagline about changing Destiny – I was ready to love this movie and extol it to everyone.

But the heroine wasn’t heroic. She had wits, thought on her feet, and was good with a bow. She stood up for herself in the contest, but that wasn’t unexpected. She cared for her mother in the wilderness, which seemed more fun than hardship. And running, or riding, headlong through the woods and back again was obviously nothing new in the life of this Celtic princess.

In fact, I was a bit surprised to find the Celtic Queen so very decorous. The ships, the blue paint, the tartans – all these suggested to me a nebulous historical time before the clans became separate countries. A time that could have been part of the matriarchal belief system. A time when women were strong and brave and able to shoot bows and swing swords. A time when the Merida’s destiny should have been to be a strong leader.

Regardless, what did she do that was so Brave?

She fought a bear. So did everyone else.

She stood up to her father. Um, and what was that about, psychologically? And when did she learn to use a sword?

She changed her mother (literally) and changed her back. Okay. She admitted to a mistake and did her best to rectify it. That is brave.

But did she change her destiny? In my opinion, she followed her own inclinations, threw a tantrum, and got what she wanted.

If anyone changed their destiny, or met it, it was the mother – the decorous Celtic Queen – who, in a strange and fearsome form, having spent a miserable day trying to survive far outside her comfort zone, still had the foresight to see how her daughter chaffed at the bonds of tradition. It was the mother who declared a break with that tradition. The mother grew. The mother was strong. The mother was brave.

It was not the daughter.

I think Brave was a good movie for young girls and their mothers. I think it might have been written by a young girl and her mother. I was pleased to read that Brave was being attributed to the Pixar studio, because it lacked the depth Disney usually provides for it’s adult audience. And I do not think Merida lived up to the hype or to the glorious tradition of Disney princesses. Maybe she should have worn some pink. Or tried braiding her hair.


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Rune Your Life - July 8th

Today’s runes are Eihwaz R, and the blank rune. A very long and twisty blank rune.

It’s obvious we don’t always know what’s coming up, what’s happening, what will affect us and what won’t. With the chaos of the world, with everything changing with every breath, even predicting our own reactions is a difficult thing.

So let us take some time here to focus on the now. To focus on ourselves. To simply deal with this moment and this place and this time. Even the next breath is unimportant until it is breathed. If we want a better now in the future, it must be built on an excellent now of the present. So let us focus on the purity, strength and excellence of the blocks we’re creating now, and not necessarily on the shape of what we’re building.

Eihwaz R and the Unknowable. Focus on now and let the future take care of itself.