Author Archives: Heather Ryan

Dissension – Friend or Foe?

 

So many words, so many points of view, so much conflict and disagreement—Liberal or Conservative, Christian or Muslim, the young or the old, guns or no guns, on and on. Every generation Friend or Foe Image 1throughout history seems to have experienced some sort of dissension, rebellion, even anger against the status quo. And every generation experiences resentment, sadness, even anger at what the “younger generation” is doing. Cat Stevens’ song, “Father and Son” portrays this beautifully:

The Son:

All the times that I cried, keeping all the things I knew inside,
It’s hard, but it’s harder to ignore it
If they were right, I’d agree, but it’s them you know not me
Now there’s a way and I know that I have to go away
I know I have to go

The Father:

I was once like you are now, and I know that it’s not easy,
To be calm when you’ve found something going on
But take your time, think a lot,
Why, think of everything you’ve got
For you will still be here tomorrow, but your dreams may not

Each is sharing his own wisdom, his own (opposing) point of view in an effort to convince the other of the rightness of that point of view. Cat Stevens uses his musical genius to convey, through the melody, that both these points of view work together and are part of the whole, perfect design.

Maybe every moment in history NEEDS these seemingly opposing forces. Maybe we need the young to forge a path forward and break out of old ruts. Maybe we need the balance and understanding that can be Friend or Foegained from a lifelong pursuit of consciousness. Maybe we need opposing forces in politics, religion, business, education, finance, and at home in order to finally see that we are all part of one gorgeous, infuriating, ridiculous, amazing thing, and we all have parts to play at different stages and from different points of view. After all, dissension provides diversity, and a diversity of amateur inputs has been shown to solve problems more quickly and with better results than expert agreement. Maybe dissension is the grease on the wheels and the fire in the belly that facilitates and even empowers the All, moving from conflict toward cohesion, from confusion toward creation.

Could one of the missing elements in all this be the realization, or maybe the acceptance, of the reality that we are all part of one design, one system, one consciousness? We need each part, we need each other to create balance, even friction to move forward and evolve, while also ensuring survival. Could staying conscious and fully present in each moment help us recognize seemingly opposing forces as a crucial and beautiful part of us? This perfect design of all creation, holographically contained within each cell of creation is conveniently included in human consciousness to be discovered by each one of us—the ultimate treasure hunt!

Our consciousness is OUR consciousness to be explored and discovered individually, and, potentially, to be exercised and applied collectively. We are uniquely, separately born with widely disparate gifts and Friend of Foe Image 3challenges, and then set loose in the “fields of the lord” to find our treasure and to recognize that treasure in each other. Then it’s our birthright, our privilege, our responsibility to dissent, to accept, to object, to concur our way to the ultimate evolution of that whole perfect design.

 

 


Heather Ryan has 30 years of experience as a technical writer and editor, most recently in the health care industry. She currently lives and works at Sunrise Ranch, and loves the opportunity to practice communion and unconditional love in all aspects of her living. Heather is passionate about learning, exploring/traveling, and spending time outdoors, and is extremely grateful for the opportunity to do all of that at Sunrise Ranch in her almost-home state of Colorado.

Playing with Consciousness

 

When we hear the word “play,” many of us may think of children in playgrounds or recreational, idle-time activities. We may believe that play is great for people who have the time and need to relax, but work is what advances us—makes the world go round. Do you remember when the majority of your time was spent in play? Do you remember when that may have begun to shift and you felt pressure to spend more time in activities commonly defined as work? Do you remember how you felt about that? Apparently, just when we get comfortably resigned to responsibility, work, and achievement it turns out that it’s really mostly about the play:

  • Play is the exultation of the possible. – Martin Buber
  • Almost all creativity involves purposeful play. – Abraham Maslow
  • The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct. -Carl Jung
  • The opposite of play is not work. It’s depression. – Brian Sutton-Smith

The good news (well, besides playing—c’mon, that’s pretty great!) is that playing in consciousness works really well.

Reality is subjective. Our collective and individual realities are subject to our consciousness—individual and collective:

  • I say potato; you say “po-tah-to.”
  • The pain in my hip is very real to me, not so much to you.
  • Liver is disgusting or delicious.
  • The U.S. (Mexico, Thailand, Germany…) is the greatest country on earth
  • It’s too hot out today.

Reality IS consciousness. The more conscious we are in the moment, the more effective we are at creating a meaningful reality, and, if we’re not conscious at all, there is no meaningful reality. Luckily for us, we are given amazing gifts with which to manifest our consciousness into reality:

  • Time
  • Space
  • Physical form
  • Free will (ok, that one may be up for debate)
  • Imagination
  • Sense of humor

These are all gifts we get to use to sculpt our consciousness into a reality where our human capacities can meet and play. This world is a sublime and perfect stage on which we get to play.

Sometimes the things we see happening around us seem “real” and confusing or painful or horribly unjust. Maybe they’re just manifestations of our own reactivity to what’s happening; maybe they just are. Regardless, what we DO with them, how we respond to them, is ours alone. You can change the direction from which you view something much more effectively and productively than you can change the thing itself:

  • Put yourself in my shoes.
  • Spend some time in someone else’s skin.
  • Just imagine what it’s like to be him/her!
  • Empathy creates; sympathy sedates.
  • Before you criticize a man, walk a mile in his shoes. That way, when you do criticize him, you’ll be a mile away and have his shoes. (Steve Martin)

Trying to change the world to fit a single, frozen-in-time, possibly-wounded view of the world makes no sense to me, and probably wouldn’t do any good, regardless of intentions. Seems that it’s better to be conscious than to be right, since consciousness provides access to so much more—possibility, tools, connection, love—and being right doesn’t encourage growth/change or foster connection—two things required to co -create.

Empathy is a fantastic tool to increase our ability to be conscious and to enrich the quality of our consciousness—our reality. Empathy emphasizes the true oneness of all being and goes far to erase the lines that keep us divided. The most effective leaders seem to be those who have empathy for the people they lead. And watching small children who haven’t yet individuated and are more in sync seems to show that empathy makes play a lot more creative and generative.

Play can take us out of ourselves and can allow space for new growth and new consciousness. Play can help us with perspective—to view things in a new way. Play can give us the freedom to stop taking ourselves so seriously, thereby opening the way to take ourselves more as we really are rather than as we think we want to be. Empathetic play means we can do it together. So let’s play in the fields of consciousness and see what happens!

 

-Heather Ryan

 


Heather Ryan has 30 years of experience as a technical writer and editor, most recently in the health care industry. She currently lives and works at Sunrise Ranch, and loves the opportunity to practice communion and unconditional love in all aspects of her living. Heather is passionate about learning, exploring/traveling, and spending time outdoors, and is extremely grateful for the opportunity to do all of that at Sunrise Ranch in her almost-home state of Colorado.


 

UNCONDITIONAL LOVE AKA INTIMATE AGREEMENT

 

Wonderful human beings! Magical, mystical, and mysterious, we roam the planet searching for ourselves, searching for our tribe, searching for our home. We explore, we conquer, we discover, we design, we build. And, in the process, we also tend to inflict significant damage on our planet, our home, our tribe, and ourselves. It all begs the question—why? Why would such magical creatures as we make such seemingly bone-headed moves? With all our capacities, all our gifts, all our being, what is it that drives us and forms us? What is our rhythm and the pattern of our creation? Could it be the never-ending, sometimes desperate search for unconditional love?

We all have wounds, and the wounds we received at a very young age, when we didn’t have the mental or physical capacity to handle them, are the ones that form a large part of our patterns in life, especially our patterns of recognizing, giving, and receiving love. Under pressure, we tend to fall back on those conditional patterns. We are what we express, but long before we can express, we are what we feel, and if the love we receive is conditional in any way, that’s what we know of love. If we can learn to walk at a certain age, speak a certain way, make good grades, be good at sports or music, attract a mate, achieve some level of “success,” fit in, we will feel loved. But all those things are conditions and, by definition, bring only conditional love. So many of us end up with a bottomless pit of wanting—food, sex, activity, money, material possessions, success—and even if we “get” them, we still feel the pain of the void we were trying to fill, so we reinforce the culture of scarcity. We cover up the hurt with desire, and the judgement and arrogance that comes with that particular dance.

How do we learn a new dance, to a new rhythm? What could give us the “breath of fresh air” that will keep us from drowning? How can we get unconditional love? Books have been written, masterpieces created, and cultures created and destroyed around the answers to these questions. It seems likely that it’s neither simple nor absolute, but maybe a first step is recognizing that unconditional love isn’t for getting, it’s for giving. And it already IS. We can’t find it, build it, or get it, but we can give it. And, as a wise man once said, “Give, and it shall be given unto you.” Maybe the trick to feeling unconditionally loved is to give ourselves unconditional love. And maybe if we can learn to drop all our conditions to loving someone else, we will breathe that pure sweet breath of fresh air and recognize that feeling of home and connection that is unconditional love. Welcome to the dance.

 

Purple Passages to You

-a poem by Atom Terpening

Call to me!

The heart is such a drum, our artery tap dance, Fred and Ginger.
The ear an organ of blood, whispered over the collapse of silence, rich with the sounds of a sleeper’s breath.
Touch me there in the blood, lead me into the vapors of your ecstasy, heaved to heaven
Walking, dancing with my unconscious grace, your conscious grace, as we do as we do.

Rhythm is paramount, the drum must traipse the synapses strummed like a lover’s lute.
As the flow of mystery fills our open spaces
How do we move with this ALL?
We discover our steps, slower at this dance and trip up catching ourselves

Buoyed by laughter at our foibles and encouraged by the love history we have celebrated like architectural marvels.

Sing to me here in the mist of our connection, drenched in sweet tones of intimate agreement.
Carousing, but still, your marks on me as tiny raccoon footprint tattoos overlapped like dance moves in my day dreams

I look around for the sound of drums and the world washes over me. Leaving only a trace of my uniqueness in a shining grin
That is when I hear your call.

 

-Heather Ryan

 


Heather Ryan has 30 years of experience as a technical writer and editor, most recently in the health care industry. She currently lives and works at Sunrise Ranch, and loves the opportunity to practice communion and unconditional love in all aspects of her living. Heather is passionate about learning, exploring/traveling, and spending time outdoors, and is extremely grateful for the opportunity to do all of that at Sunrise Ranch in her almost-home state of Colorado.


 

 

 

A U.S. Citizen’s Humble Plea

I was so angry this morning about the election outcome. I googled about getting a work visa to work in other countries. I yelled at my husband. I vacillated between rage and depression. And then I took a walk, and during the walk I thought about how Hilary Clinton, as a woman, might feel today,Continue Reading

OUTRAGEOUS!

Sometimes it seems to me that there are more ideas, thoughts, and dreams in the world than any other thing. I love ideas, thoughts and dreams but, in fact, they can become the end goal, the thing itself rather than the reality they’re meant to manifest—the scientific analogy of turning potential energy into kinetic energy.Continue Reading