108 Days of American Sentence ~ 24

Big dreams of waking at 5am and riding road bicycle car-free.

~

my pretty pony © Holly Troy, May 7, 2017

108 Days of American Sentence ~ Day 13

Shift to gratitude: relief/redemption/restoration/hope/blessings.

~

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108 Days of American Sentence – Day 7

Ride bicycle to work, stand in front of screen, answer phone, ride back home.

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108 Days of American Sentence – Day 5

Night mist ride to outskirts of town  – white rabbit white fox amble away.

~

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108 Days of American Sentence – Day 2

Pedaled bike hard up hospital hill on a warm February day.

~~~~~

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Fear, Love, Gratitude and the Election

Letter I wrote the day after the election. 

Hi,

I don’t know what’s going to happen – and that is a scary feeling. Currently, it feels like all is lost – my spirit feels like it’s trying to jump out of my body – but the pit in my stomach is keeping it tied down. This morning, last night, I was struggling to find coming from a core place of love. I have to try. I have to do it – because coming from a place of fear is too hard.

I acknowledge that I am afraid, I acknowledge that fear makes me feel separate and that feeling of separation is anxiety-inducing, I acknowledge that I am sad. I acknowledge that there is an awful pit in my stomach. I acknowledge that I am deeply disappointed. I acknowledge that I feel incredibly vulnerable.

I also acknowledge that I love my life and I love this planet and I love making art and doing yoga and riding my bike and reading good books and writing stories and making love. I love the mountains and the air. I love the time we have had together so far.
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Street Art by Chip Thomas aka Jetsonorama

I acknowledge that I have the right to be here and to live in joy.

I hope that my visit with Leslie tonight will be helpful – making plans to create – creating, is very helpful, has always been helpful.
I prefer that my friends are peaceful and loving. I am grateful that my friends are peaceful and loving. I acknowledge that we are all feeling some form of fear/disappointment/anger.
It’s going to take a little bit of work, and it’s worth it. I want to feel safe and loved and joyful and valued even with all of this insanity – the misogyny, bigotry, sexism, racism, climate change – that our country seems to be ok with. Steps I can take now:
– renew my passport now before Trump takes office (it expires in August 2017)
– remember I am love: check in, check in, check in with myself
– give love
– have gratitude

My friend Merk has a good plan she shared today. I found it helpful.

From Merk:

Friends, I just posted this on my business page and I think it’s worthwhile to share here as well:

Many people are suffering today under the weight of overwhelming negativity. In my own household, I woke to two highly sensitive teens who are taking on emotions that are compounded by others in their sphere.

In a community of compassionate people who seek to make their lives better, I know that there are many people here who feel as if hate and injustice have been given the upper hand, and are searching today for ways to feel better.

I’d like to help you with some techniques to bring your center back to a place of love. Because love is the way through. It is always the way through, as it is the greatest force in the Universe.

1) List as many things as you can think of that you are thankful for. Take some time to feed your brain and your nervous system with positivity. We all have much to be thankful for in this moment and our focus needs to be there. Go back to this list and this activity as often as necessary over the next week, but certainly do it at least once a day.

2) Be generous. Try to give a small gift to someone each day for the next week. It doesn’t need to cost much at all, but go out of your way to help make someone else smile.

3) Write one thank you card each day for a week. Imagine how good the recipient will feel when they receive it as you are writing it.

4) Clean out a drawer, cupboard, closet or room. Clear through things that no longer serve you and are stagnant in your life and release them by donating them to a worthwhile organization. Create flow and usefulness in your space.

5) Meditate. I can’t stress this enough. Find your center and let love and compassion flow through you so that it can be the filter through which you see life around you.

When our focus is on love and compassion, we can see what possibilities and opportunities exist around us. When we see life through fear, we block that ability and halt any progress that we otherwise would have made.

And if you are already feeling great, and not negatively affected by the news in the world, please have compassion over others who are experiencing fear.

Take a moment right now to feel the love that I have for each and every one of you. Accept it into your heart and pass it along.

With gratitude for a community of beautiful souls,
Merk

There’s Always More Where that Came From – Snow, Art, and Money

I hope 2016 is treating everyone well so far! I know for me, life feels like I pressed a reset button. That reset is such a relief!

Holly Troy © 2016 SUnset with Snow on the MasaFlagstaff has had a few good snowstorms in the last month – getting around via bicycle has been a sometimes precarious adventure. Bella (my bike) has been treating me well. Besides getting me to work, since the new year I’ve gone to Black Canyon Trail and have had an escapade or two in Sedona. Also, I’ve done some snow biking and wow, it is fun!

Just before the new year, I found out that the Flagstaff Arts Council accepted me into the ArtBox Institute. I’m learning how to set goals and better manage my time so that I can make art, have relationships, and mountain bike (while still maintaining a full-time job). Time management is a never-ending process; a subject that is a constant in my life. I would describe ArtBox as business school for artists – stuff you don’t learn in art school. I am learning a lot and making new friends while I’m at it. Oh – and I’m also making art!

The most exciting things to me about ArtBox are the creative community, learning and creating new habits, and taking myself seriously as an artist. I would like art and teaching to be my work, and a big part of making a creative life feasible is consciously shifting my beliefs around what makes art valuable, my self-worth, how I use my time to make art, and, how I view money. (It turns our all of these things are tied together).

Fellow Jersey-girl Marie Forleo talks about making small changes that have a big impact on your money mentality. Check out the MarieTV video below.

Having a Place

I came across this essay while pulling a manuscript together. It was written in the spring of 2009. I’ve left Flagstaff and come back twice since then. I love this place – and since I ride my bicycle almost everywhere I go, my relationship to Flagstaff has changed from when I drove everywhere. I’ve slowed down, I notice more. Having place, being in this place, is a rich experience.

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New things are OK, but new places are even better. Bill Plotkin, author of Nature and the Human Soul, says that soul is a place where we reside, not a thing that resides in us. We must find our place. When we are displaced, it is sharp and painful.

My soul moves a lot. It is in New York City, then, it’s here in Flagstaff, it’s onstage creating an outpouring of music, it’s in bed with my lover, in a yoga studio, on the mountains. It goes to Buenos Aires, Peru, Costa Rica, the South of France, Ireland, Prague, Morrocco.

My body hasn’t caught up to all the places my soul goes.

Lately, I believe my soul has been hanging out with Amit, my seven year-old sponsor child who lives in Northern India. I’ve been Amit’s sponsor mom for three years. He is a lovely little boy who is beginning to smile more easily in the pictures Children International sends to me. His skin is the color of terra cotta; his eyes are so large that they open his whole face. His lips are tiny, like a little heart.

Amit’s birth mother sends me letters – telling me Amit is too young to write. He colors pictures for me. His favorite color is red. I have not sent any pictures of myself to Amit, though it has recently occurred to me that he might enjoy that. I wonder what he would think of my red hair.

If it is true that a photograph steals your soul, then, I will happily send mine to India.

The Earth says have a place/be what that place requires. (William Stafford)

I have not been to many places in the world. I’ve never left North America. I am soon moving to Boulder, Utah, population 180. I will be living among Mormons and Buddhists. My lover and I will be apart for seven months. Then, I will go to another place.

My soul has moved to another place and I’m not sure where it is.

How many times have I said I’m sick of this place! I’m done! I’m tired! What if I turned around and nurtured a place – really paid attention to it and loved it? Would it love me back?

When I first came to Flagstaff, the mountains fascinated me as I drove east on 89 toward home. Wow! You don’t see this everyday! Now I’ve lived here for a little less than two years, and I barely notice them. I notice cars, traffic, bad drivers, the budget, Jillian Ferris Cole announcing that I am listening to KNAU.

There’s a quality of honesty when a place is new, when I am a stranger.

Sometimes a place simply requires us to leave.

How permeable is place? One of my teachers, Swami Swaroopananda, says that our souls become fully formed on Earth when we turn about 35. Before that, we aren’t completely here – we are still working with karma from past lives. Once are souls are grounded, we need to live our lives more profoundly, making new meaning for ourselves.

Place requires us to be conscious.

I made the conscious decision not to have children. Last August, I had my tubes tied. When I met the doctor who performed the procedure, she assumed I already had children. I simply ran out of time prior to meeting her to fill out the page that asked, How many pregnancies carried to term? She described the procedure and I had two weeks to think about it.

I came prepared with a list of reasons for not wanting children.

  • Carbon footprint – the world has enough humans.
  • I can’t afford a child; I can’t afford myself – I live a very simple, minimal life, yet I am in debt.
  • I believe if people are going to have children, they should have only one. I know enough people who have more than two, therefore, my allotment is taken.
  • I believe there is a possibility of insanity in my family that is genetic.
  • I’ve played the role of parent to too many people already—now I need to take care of myself.

I had the list down and I didn’t have to use it.

A few months earlier, I saw a popular gynecologist in town. I took off of work in the middle of the day. I waited for 45 minutes past my appointment time amongst exhausted mothers hushing crying babies in one arm, holding onto snot-covered toddlers with the other arm, and shifting their sore pregnant bodies uncomfortably from one position to another.

When I was called from the waiting room, I was weighed while wearing three layers of jackets and a sweater and a pair of boots. Then, I waited another ten minutes for the doctor to arrive. Posters of smiling babies with bright mothers hung on the office walls. Several parenting magazines featuring cherubic cuties on the covers were next to my chair.

I was in the wrong place.

Still, I bravely told the doctor I was there for a routine check-up and to discuss what a tubal ligation would entail.

She clenched her teeth, “You don’t want that.”

I gave her my top reasons for not wanting children. She practically covered her ears. Her eyes narrowed. She pushed a new form of IUD when I refused the pill, said I hadn’t met “Mr. Right” yet and closed the discussion.

She left the room. Even though I felt like telling her off, I stayed for the examination. I got undressed, put on a paper robe, sat on the exam table and waited. She came back into the office chattering away about her two girls. She never stopped talking about them during the exam, which was quick and rough. She never stopped to say, “I’m inserting the speculum now, I’m taking a pap sample now . . .”

I wanted to ask her who was raising her children while she was at work.

Tearing the top of my paper robe for my breast exam, she noticed my mala beads. While pressing my breasts and squeezing my nipples she smiled tightly and mentioned she did yoga. I told her I was a teacher and that I practice my mantra with my beads.

Feet still in stirrups, top half of my body entirely exposed, she thrust her hand out for me to shake. “Nice meeting you. If you’re interested in an IUD, give me a call.”

I felt the pinch of politics of this place.

I wanted to tell her to go to hell, but I could not because she was a friend of a friend. I was in a daze of anger when I left her office. I had to concentrate on driving carefully and politely.

When I finally had the procedure, my lover came with me. He held my hand until they wheeled me away.

The anesthesiologist was a kind woman. She looked at us approvingly. “Honey, before you go to sleep, I want to hear you say, ‘No more babies.’”

Huh? Oh yeah. “No more babies.”

They were taking care of me. I let them. I felt like they practically cooed at me before I surrendered.

Be what the place requires. 

What if my place is my body?

 

 

 

 

New Moon, Creative Sparks, and Old Friends

It’s been a beautiful summer – I’ve been spending so much of it outdoors or semi-outdoors in my garage/painting studio. Sunshine, fresh air, and exercise do wonders not only for the body, but the spirit and soul.

There is a field I ride through that inspired this recent painting called Summer’s End at Forbidden Meadow.

Summer's End at Forbidden Meadow (c) 2015 Holly TroyThe end of summer is usually a sad time for me, but my urge for creating will hopefully alleviate some of the sorrow. My paintings are coming out happy – it’s hard to believe that the green in this began as a black gash across the canvas.

I also have plans for a bit of close-to-home travel through November – including a 25-Hour bike race in Gooseberry, Utah with three other women (our team is called the Sparkle Covered Dirt Princesses!) I’m excited.

I got inspired to post today because I received a message from my friend, healer, and teacher Geordie Numata. He was talking about where he was during 9/11 and how much his life has changed since then. (He is a living miracle and beautiful, intelligent, compassionate human being. You should check out his story). I met Geordie not too long after 9/11. We have had some major adventures – from discussing music to aliens, to doing sweat lodge ceremonies, to meeting up in Peru to do reiki and acupuncture on people living in the Amazon! (9/11 is always a good reminder for me to check in with friends who are still living in New York).

Geordie is not only an incredible healer, but a very knowledgeable astrologer. He wrote a bit about the Virgo New Moon Eclipse that I would like to share with you. Besides the New Moon intentions I whole-heartedly recommend to everyone, Geordie gives us a little advice on handling the intense energies of this lunar cycle.

September will be a month to remember in which we can release large portions of the negativity and limitation which has held us down in density. There is a powerful portal of transformation which opens up today with this New Moon / Eclipse and climaxes with the Autumn Equinox on Sept. 23rd and the Super Full Moon in Aries / Total Lunar Eclipse on Sept. 28th.

Today’s New Moon is amplified by the Partial Solar Eclipse and with the Sun, Moon and Jupiter all in Virgo opposite Neptune and Chiron in Pisces, and Venus newly direct in Leo, we have upgraded values and want to get right to work applying them in our projects. The message is loud and clear now and it’s all about the Pisces / Virgo polarity (they’re opposite each other in the zodiac wheel) – it’s time to set New Moon intentions that aim us into deeper divine connection (Neptune / Pisces) funneled into fully grounded and practical service (Virgo / Mercury). There’s lots of details we’re dealing with now and we need to exercise patience with any delays or obstacles, perform due diligence (especially with research), go with the flow and remain confident that solutions exist. The energies are intense now with Pluto in Capricorn still square Uranus in Aries and Mars in Leo. We want to just bust through all the crap and get on with it, but may get easily irritated by the small stuff which must be dealt with in order to achieve the big stuff. This New Moon initiates a time of hard work that lasts right through into early December, and we must take care to stay calm and centered amidst the intensity which at times may seem dauntingly chaotic. Taking regular time out for R & R, exercise, prayer and meditation is more important than ever.

Autumn is coming. What do you want to bring into your life? Decide what it is and start making your moves! They can be tiny steps, but make them. The hard work G talks about above will pay off – and will also get the ball rolling on the theme for the next 30 days and the next 2.5 years of your life.

Peace and love everybody.

Holly