• Drunk, Fat, and Sitting in a Cornfield at 15

    One of the great lessons I have learned in my life began in a middle of nowhere ND cornfield. Two Divided by Love by the Grassroots drifted out from the car my best friend and her boyfriend shared, mesmerized by the energy of their new love. After a few cans of beer and being the third wheel, I wandered into the prairie cornfield only partially aware of my surroundings. I felt hidden, the ground beneath me felt hard and bumpy from cultivation. I was amidst the insects, crickets, and grasshoppers but they did not scare me. The hazy feeling of drunkenness coursed through my body as did the poignant emotions of confusion and sadness. Funny, how these emotions still have a ping when I think about these times. My world seemed all coiled in my head – questioning the universe about why I had been born into all of this. The alcohol had numbed my clarity but something about that event was coded within for “use later.”  “Why, Lord, why?” I was not who I wanted to be. I had attached myself to Christianity, searching for answers to help my young teenage suffering mind…what would get me out of this? I wanted connection, happiness, inclusion, confidence, and a great body. All the opposites were felt in my reality.

    I began my “first book” at this same age, modeled after the Turn on, tune in, and drop out philosophy emanating from Dr. Timothy Leary of the 60’s which reflected the psychedelic counterculture. I related to the ideas without having any perspective or context of what that really meant. What did those words symbolize? I can tell you now, that they were things I wanted but psychedelics did not appeal to me. My own experience with the drug was scary, weirdly fantastic, an ordeal which I was unprepared for at age 15. Dr. Leary had this to say about this phrase:

    “Turn on” meant go within to activate your neural and genetic equipment. Become sensitive to the many and various levels of consciousness and the specific triggers that engage them. Drugs were one way to accomplish this end. “Tune in” meant interact harmoniously with the world around you – externalize, materialize, express your new internal perspectives. “Drop out” suggested an active, selective, graceful process of detachment from involuntary or unconscious commitments. “Drop Out” meant self-reliance, a discovery of one’s singularity, a commitment to mobility, choice, and change. Unhappily, my explanations of this sequence of personal development were often misinterpreted to mean “Get stoned and abandon all constructive activity.”

    Yep, that is what I wanted. I sat there thinking only about my so called very stuck life. Then, a message moved into my consciousness, like a gentle wave throughout my brain. Was it the profound download of angelic origins or the voice of Jesus? My hair was long and parted in the middle and my jacket covered all the extra fat that my body carried. I hung onto the can of Old Milwaukee beer that I was trying to finish. Drinking did not feel fulfilling for me, yet it calmed my anxiety and was an easy distraction. What I really wanted was love and connection. I yearned for just being normal but here I was drunk, fat, sitting in a cornfield alone.

    “There is a reason for all this my dear child. I am with you.” This message permeated within me. Simultaneously, the vision of myself being some kind of light and helping presence in the world was felt.  There was more but that is the memory and will stick to what I feel happened rather than create a story. I have created so many stories about myself and my life that at this stage of the game, I want only the good stuff…what feels real.

    What was real after that event was a long road out of adolescence. I continued to struggle to find the path that would take me into a better life. Like the turtle, I kept my eyes towards the future, embraced education, started aerobics, bought a set of leotards and leg warmers, and went anywhere there was a class…. always in the back of course. Turning on to the feeling of being in ecstasy for even a second opened my eyes to consciousness of physical expression.

    Feeling this through alcohol, drugs, sports, arts, or academics evaded me but there was something about moving, the music and the moments of freedom that would float in from time to time. I was a believer and attended every class I could. Did I transform into the beauty I wanted to be? Hold on. This turtle was beginning to observe it is path. Tuning in to life meant living in the external, role-based material world that Madonna sang about in Material Girl. For me I jumped into a marriage, then another marriage and I became a mother before I planned it. My internal perspectives went something like “If I follow the rules, float under the radar, I will be accepted, loved and happy.”   Fargo, ND was the perfect place to play out this chapter of my life. The reality was that I only had partial custody of my daughter after the divorce and did not feel particularly loved or happy in the life I chose to raise both my children. I was a workaholic in the form of acting as if I was whole, happy, and fulfilled. The turtle was on its back working to right itself only to jiggle back over, time and time again. It became a familiar routine. I was exhausting myself. Work, parenting, trying to create a healthy marriage, exercise, and looking good all at the same time. I was still hoping for the elixir of freedom. Funny, I never did get back to my original book idea.

    Dropping out is what has been happening to me in these past years. I moved away from ND into AZ where life is new and different. This move showed up in my life and paved the way to more big changes. Has it been graceful, active and a selective process of clearing out of myself what did not serve my highest good? Not so fast, Tina. I needed to invent my own wheel in this regard using knowledge and learnings, intuition, curiosity, and faith. This turtle needs time and lots of it. The pearl here is that this is ok. All is well. Take the time as you need. No need to hurry. When I give myself these messages life’s momentum ramps up and the magic of living from the power of your heart emerges. This means that I love and accept my beautiful body, experience joy for no reason and feel a great trust in life and Spirit.

    Despite the obstacles, I have kept my eyes on learning from love, my experiences, and my passion to be a helping presence in the world. Unlike the cornfield, my eyes are seeing a better self in the mirror. I commit myself to move, be awake to the choices I make and develop the flexibility needed to make the changes. Mobility, choice, and change – the three pillars of dropping out. My 15-year-old self fantasized that dropping out involved living in a commune, dancing with glee and being free. Enlightenment did not seem reachable or practical in the world I was from. It is possible now! Seek and ye shall find. We all have that choice.

    Turning on to Enlightenment

    I am now learning how to clean out my emotional closets, reprogram what is old and negative and fill it with the energy of love, grace, compassion, and joy for life. How can this happen when the world is in this mood state or now that I am older and see the clock ticking? For me, the turtle helps me to keep stepping forward. There were so many times when the obstacles that I created seemed too much to bear. I lived in the drama of the daily news, self-doubt, and comparisons until I decided to finally listen to what spirit was inviting me to do and let go of resistances.

    Last year while hiking my legs caught a rock and I slammed into the desert ground, breaking my kneecap before I even knew what happened. The feeling of something being slammed out of me occurred as I realized this would be a game changer to the need to slow down and really look at what was keeping me in state of stress and suffering. Carolyn Myss’s book Intimate Conversations with God coincidently came during this time. More synchronicities started to show up as the hummingbird in me ignited and new processes for enlightening myself unfolded. I became certified as a practice group leader for Spring Forest Qigong and am leading a community class. That is a miracle in itself. I just returned from a Field of Awakening gathering where we experienced how it feels to let go of the accumulated and old emotional life baggage. Another miracle. Lightening up is part of the process. Miracles can and do happen – they are there waiting for all of us. We just need to be willing to see them.

    What is real for me now?

    I have revised my religion to emanate Christianity’s core principles. Dogma has fallen away. My life lens has expanded into a Oneness concept – that we are all in this together and are connected. Learning how to love oneself is golden and key to enlightenment.

    I love my 15-year-old self, the one who looked away from life, her hair fallen over her face in sadness and disappointment. She kept that glimmer of light in her heart burning and seek a better life – free of all the heaviness. She decided to be a seeker.

    I am finding courage to go within and face those parts of me that suffered and one by one let them go and allow these energies to transform into love, vitality, and my highest potential.

    It is never too late to wake up and love yourself to your true mission in life. My mother, at 94, told me she is just beginning to feel that inside herself and is amazed at how life’s boxes had kept her limited. What a beautiful gift for her family. This is an example of the evolution of consciousness.

    Finding the support, knowledge, and tools you need is essential. For me, joining a meditation group during Covid was a game changer. It motivated me to do practices to help go within and connect to the Divine. Spring Forest Qigong and Ekam Oneness teachings were main sources of knowledge and wisdom that I incorporated into my own inner wisdoms.

    I encourage others to find their paths towards freedom and contribution to this world one person at a time. It all counts. What are your hidden desires and potentials?