11:32 PM

Sharing truthfully

Posted by Prosy Delacruz

Female and Male Stone Gods on the left, perched on the seastacks, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. This was taken on Lone Ranch Beach, accessible from Highway 101, in Southcoast Oregon.

Cal Strobel's original art piece, using brown paper bag as his canvas.

“ If we lack confidence that life is trustworthy, that a life of live encounters will take us toward wholeness, then we will forever feel the need to manipulate, and goal setting will be one of our major strategies. But once we begin to see that life is a live encounter whether we like it or not—once we begin to understand that we can’t get out of it, we must get into it – then this concern for results will take its proper place in our active lives. “ Parker Palmer

When we started our quest for spirituality, it was at a period of grief and a series of mentors passing away one after the other. We started to question what life would be like during retirement. Would it feel like watching oneself deteriorate, going down in energy and simply decaying? Even the words we used daily became darker and ominous. We had to examine that there must be other ways to live one’s winter seasons in life to maximize our enjoyment of life but also to reach our maximum human potentials.

We started looking around for models. One model is to live an active life as entertainment reporters, just like the couple Ruben and Janet Nepales, though not quite retired, travel to film sites in Europe, Mexico, Asia and all over America to interview the rich, the beautiful, the famous on both sides of the globe. To the outsider, their lives seem a whirlwind tour each time: fast paced and on a treadmill speed. But their photos show smiles, gourmet food, and non-stop creative writing. Being with them is such a joy for the non-stop talk stories and laughing at jokes that we share. They have become known in the community as the “ naughty couple “ who make facebook a source of laughter. What we love about their work is their reporting on the depth and of course, the content of lives of Hollywood personalities: Jackie Chan’s offer to raise Jaden Smith for three months to learn about life to teach him the culture of another country, like China or Miss Oprah’s spirituality and wisdom, or our favorite, Meryl Streep’s literacy in literature.

Giselle Tongi-Walters, Janet's sister, Janet Nepales, Elgin Zulueta, Elgin's escort, Charina Carrera, and Ruben Nepales.

Another model of active life are the Strobels in Sonoma County, who exposed us to a new way of looking at the world, to use all our senses, to share what we see and to go beyond the use of intellect or the mind. Cal Strobel shared important life lessons he discerned from his own spiritual journey: share what we see truthfully, and to see the truth in relationships and allow the Universal Source’s “ third eye “ to guide us. We watched them as they kept a small carbon footprint, recycling a lot of kitchen scraps to the nearby composting station, and their love of outdoors: Leny with walking and Cal with bicycling and gardening. It was quite satisfying to eat the fresh produce they harvested: raspberries, blueberries, strawberries and mustard greens, oregano, basil, thyme and more. A dense fruit tree full of young fuji apples greeted us as we came into their front door with over seven foot high rose bushes. A female buddha and a bright orange scarf set the warm tone and a heart-filled welcome! Leny still teaches at Sonoma State University, where she founded the Center for Babaylan Studies and held their first conference attended by 350 folks. When we are with her, our talks are four dimensional in perspectives: academics, art, spirituality and indigenous spirit of Babaylans. We found our new spiritual home with the Strobels, since the passing of our good friend, Helen Toribio who used to be our a source of spiritual renewal for us.

What we chose to do in retirement is to allow the Universal Source to guide us, without too much reliance on controlling every moment and every activity with our intellect. We had relied on our mind for the first five decades that we believe that the next fall and winter seasons of our lives should be guided first by our spirit and then our heart. When we have new adventures, immersed in exploring new places, we say two prayers: one to call the Gods of the place to grant us permission to be there and to call on our ancestors to pre-select the folks we meet (we learned these prayers from our friend, Ted Benito, who got mentored by Uncle Roy Morales). By doing these two prayers, we are guided that the folks we meet are hand-picked for us by the Universe. Another prayer we learned from our spiritual coach, Loida Lewis, is to expect personal abundance. Ever since we have all these prayers and a positive, expecting attitude of abundance, things in life became much easier. Perhaps also, because we got into life more!

We were awed by these sea stacks but mostly could not believe that we are actually seeing Stone Gods, one that looked like it had a hat, and another with long hair, sitting together. In the past, we would have asked to rest our tired bodies and merely waited inside the car while our companions had fun wading, walking and taking photos. We made a decision to keep moving no matter what. We ventured with our tired feet and opted to relax them by walking on the beachsand. We felt an immediate relaxing, cooling, and calming effect.

In exploring, we witnessed a wedding and a couple sitting on their beach chairs, reading their pocketbooks, while next to a tide pool where sea gulls would land. We only could count twenty folks in a stretch of a mile and a half. Had there not been a wedding, it would have only been five. It made for a non-competitive space in parking but also an unconstrained use of the beach with an immediate destressing effect.

Here we could see also see the wild azaleas growing next to the black volcanic rocks, and we could also appreciate the rugged coastlines. Perhaps it is here, while seeing the stone gods of the place, where we feel closest to the Higher Universe, and while here, we have the human capacity to desire less suffering in the world and to see a better America at peace, where public good is a common aspiration of all and not war!

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