I feel like Drew Carey on The Price is Right—the next revelation, Come on Down!

I spent the weekend in Minneapolis with our Teachers’ Training group.  After several years of on again, off again gatherings to learn how to teach the material in Foundation fashion, this was my final learning module before I “graduate.”  The Foundation approach is holographic, using cross-cultural mysticism, hard science, art, literature, history, sociology, psychology and varied religious practices to open students to consciousness and to help them create a spiritual practice of their own.

What I discovered, after being in emotional distress most of the weekend, is that I’ve been holding on to this group as a piece of Minneapolis Grief.  Yes, I’ve known and worked with some of the people in the group for over twelve years.  Yes, I learned the skills that help me manage my bipolar disorder there.  But now that my grief over leaving the Twin Cities has faded and begun to heal, I’m seeing More about the group and myself.

My spiritual compass has been pointing me toward being more of a phoenix than a teacher.  My aim is to build a rich, meaningful life out of the ashes my bipolar disorder made of my old life.  If any quality of teaching exists in that it will come from my writing, from sharing my story, or from quiet one-on-one conversations.

I held on to this group out of hunger and pain.  We do share an openness and acceptance for others’ spiritual paths, but there are only two women in the larger Minnesota group whom I’m close to and consider friends.  The rest are acquaintances—like folks in a church congregation who chat and share a potluck dinner.  Even my teacher, Melanie, is an acquaintance.

It was difficult to let them go after holding on so long.  Fingers cramp and remember the strain of grasping.  But, a few days after the fact, my relief and sense of expansion hints that this might have been the correct course of action.  There’s more room now for what’s to come next.  More ashes for the phoenix to use as raw material.

Strain and resistance are powerful forces for transformation.  David Bowie had the right idea.  Turn and Face the Strain.

15 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kathryn McCullough
    Jan 31, 2012 @ 13:45:15

    These sound like tough decisions, my friend. But congratulations on the insight. And here’s to your teaching, whatever form it takes!


  2. Deb
    Jan 31, 2012 @ 13:46:42

    So well done! Thanks so much for sharing your insights.


  3. Kitty
    Jan 31, 2012 @ 14:58:17

    Yowzaa, WOW and You Go, Girl!


  4. Robert Bridges
    Feb 01, 2012 @ 10:48:44

    for what its worth your writing – sharing touches – teaches me and i am an old coot!

    difficult i know to let go especially of a place a memory – people who at one time meant so much. thank you for sharing your journey


  5. littlesundog
    Feb 02, 2012 @ 07:49:13

    I struggle with my own letting go. What an insightful post! I can’t wait to read more about you!


  6. pegoleg
    Feb 02, 2012 @ 09:49:37

    I love the mental image of a phoenix – you soar, girl!


  7. ManicMuses
    Feb 04, 2012 @ 10:19:17

    You’re so together and finding peace with your ‘new’ life. You’re my hero 🙂


  8. nobudy-nuthin
    Mar 03, 2012 @ 17:26:30

    Wow, great posts Sandy! Gutsy. Just happened across this today while cruising the web.

    IMO there is no “graduating” because there is no teaching. The idea that “no one has done this before and you’re doing new work” (Laney-May 28) is the pride of one who believes they are on “the cutting edge”. The pride of distinction. The problem is the total lack of distinction (teaching) which makes that ‘distinction’ conceivable.

    Students are acquaintances (Jan 31) when they are not fully committed (my change on my terms in my way…the ‘new’ way, the undefinable way –certainly the American way!!). Full commitment makes change inevitable. Change in groups can only be committed to when there is agreement and clarity. In this confusion of (group) “committed” non-committal there is a bizarre lack of boundaries that is bound nonetheless (unstated, and hidden boundaries). It’s a delusion –perhaps based on a denial of our culture and society and a belief they want to work while still sitting on the sofa and holding discussion groups. Change is total risk taking which people love to talk about –what are the metrics and goals of said group? If you are an artist, the metrics are visible –I see them here. and you can always refine the next work –unlike opinions, beliefs, or discussions of “consciousness” they don’t vanish or change when the weather turns.

    Be GLAD you are done with the group madness in mpls. and focus on the new life and friends.

    Good work, and pay attention that your “release” (here) is a display (this isn’t a criticism,display is a means to a way –your way, the artists way??) A snake sheds her skin and leaves it, she does not go back ten thousand times to admire it or contemplate it.

    I say this as one who contemplates and has had difficulty letting go like any everyone everywhere (my skin i love).

    in case you haven’t –you should look up joseph cornell (american surrealist)

    Ps. –always loved your “autobiography” piece –totally brilliant: encapsulated the whole: group madness within individual madness within group madness/es.

    peace –and keep up the good war
    don’t worry bout seein’ me in the next life –you know i don’t believe in that crap 🙂


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