Thursday, March 17, 2011

Are We There Yet?!

This entry is a response to the following ponderings/inquiries of a dear dear friend; I couldn’t possibly pass on the challenge of “riddling her this!”:

Always that question of "well how much do I strive for this, do I almost doggedly pursue this life I want, upon writing out my values vs. letting things be, letting things take their course, trust that whatever I'm going through now is meant to be so I can learn the lessons I need to, hoping that the right conversations with the right people will fall into place at the right time and I’ll fall into a perfect opportunity of what I'm seeking."
How do you just leave things to 'chance' when you can't help but want to live passionately, pursuing the things you really want.... Love! Passion! Desire! Enlightenment in whatEVER form you there something so wrong with the pursuit of happiness.....this 'deep state of true and total love'?

Riddle me THAT oh wise one!!!

Oh dear friend, oh dear self, oh dear EVERYONE who is admirably seeking the sweet spot where passion meets least resistance, where the ease of life breathes into the lungs of NOW. How do we get there? Where is there? And when we strike upon this natural wellspring of possibility and purpose what prayers must we say, what dance must we offer up to the gods of grace to be allowed permission to stay in the eternal dawning?

I used to live in a magical world. I had thrown myself only semi-willingly down a rabbit hole of Wonderland like proportions and I strolled down no normal street, only yellow brick roads bouncing to the beat of the question marks exploding out of my heart onto that Technicolor concrete.

I had experienced what many have referred to as a “healing crisis”. Others may have called it depression or anxiety or some other equally vague and unhelpful label, but I called it, even during the most terrifying moments, a psycho-spiritual intervention. It was as if my spirit was floating outside of my body and would on occasion dive back in and rattle at my ribcage yelling “This is not the place for you! Change your life!”

This went on for months. It began shortly after I had started reading Elkhart Tolle’s The Power of Now in the doorway of my kitchen in London. Summer rain was bouncing off the grey English city streets, it was warm and sticky; on a Canadian field or mountain top this kind of spontaneous natural dance of the sky might be welcomed, but in city clothes getting on and off buses it was best experienced as a voyeur. The moody sky darkened further without my noticing and just as I was finishing a sentence that read something like “all we have to do is be present with the currents of the body and we will find everything we need is here in the power of Now” when CRACK! Sheet lightening illuminated my face, and my puddle-y surroundings. This was no exciting moment of revelation, I freaked OUT running upstairs and throwing the book in a bag refusing to pick it up again until almost a year later.

I knew then that something was awry. But did I listen? Nope. There were truths waiting to reveal themselves but my ears were closed in the name of comfort, fear of inner work and the loneliness and confusion I knew I was bound to face if I went inside and tried to unfold myself and let go. So as it does, life ticked on and I buried myself in work, a relationship, marijuana and other distracters that would point me anywhere but HERE! I couldn’t shake the little voice though, and with increasing frequency and intensity she grew in power and would yell angrily in the night in dreams or solemnly mid afternoon when I was feeling vulnerable and lost. I started feeling these out of body/into body shakedowns and although they felt absolutely real I kept them to myself for fear that I would be judged or misunderstood. Sure enough, when I did attempt to share my plight it was met with brush-offs and “you’re just going through a rough patch” type attempts at making me feel better.

Needless to say, it did NOT make me feel better. I continued to battle these feelings, sometimes praying they would come back to show me they were real and sometimes shouting at a corner of the room: “Get away from me! I just want to feel NORMAL!” Finally, realizing that I was not going to heed the warnings of these energetic messengers, my body manifested physical symptoms that could not be ignored. It was just days after my 20th birthday that I started having serious heart palpitations with frightening regularity.

My heart?! My physical heart was pounding the messages of my metaphysical heart. I knew after a night curled up in a ball begging for comfort as my heart raced at 140 beats per minute that I needed to change EVERYTHING. Cut a long story short: I quit my job, left my relationship, moved back to Canada and pursued the path that was calling my name. No doctor could find anything physically wrong with me, but an energetic healer who practiced Traditional Chinese Medicine put me on a regiment of healthy food, walking, healing herbs (no marijuana!), and abstaining from television, newspapers and taking in any information that wasn’t totally positive. For the next year I continued to self heal and the result was an abundance of mind/body/spirit revelations and unifications that I had never dreamed possible. The people that came into my life (and drifted out) during this time enriched my ever expanding journey and together we often made magic. I had several more experiences that finally made me throw up my hands and say “FINE! There IS a metaphysical world out there, in here, everywhere and I can either be freaked out every night when I fall asleep or I can have gratitude for the energetic flow and remain open to further unveiling."

One of these experiences (as I was just reminded of by a dear friend) was a beam of light shooting out of the top of my head. Weird, right?! Its pretty hard to ignore that there is more to the world that the physical reality when your face gets hot as you are in the middle of explaining a truth that is revealing itself to you in real time and then the person you are talking to tells you that a white light beam is shooting out of your head. We were talking about doubt and faith and what ratio one needed of each to live realistically in the world. How much should you trust? Is complete trust dangerous? Do you need a certain amount of doubt to navigate this world safely? All of a sudden clarity came, this was no logical conclusion; it was a string I needed to pull to see what was at the end, and as I did, speaking the words that were attached to that string, the energy rose and rose and apparently found its way out of my cranium! The realization/Truth was this:

Rather than having doubt in a person/place/situation/future event, convert that energy to faith… in YOURSELF that you will be able to handle what may come.

Simple, right? But to me, it was a mammoth eureka moment. I had been living in fear that the world would infect my pure spiritual space, or that my magical world was at odds with the “real” world. I was afraid people were going to suck my energy and try and take the light I had been working so hard to find. When actually, it was the fear that was sucking my energy. Soon after this I came across a wisdom teaching that said you can distill everything down to the initial feeling of fear or love. Was this decision made out of fear or love?

Ex: I have to keep this job I don’t totally love because what if the only thing I can find is something I like even LESS or pays even LESS?
- This is a perfect example of fear of lack

A subtler example of fear of lack is indecision. Paralyzed by a multitude of choices and possibilities we freeze afraid that we will choose wrong, that we will miss out on something.

Subtler still is fear of lack manifested in the seeker getting muddled up with all the wisdom out there. These days there are so many systems of thinking and healing that at some point we all get afraid that maybe we are taking the wrong advice! But this kind of fear of lack is two-fold:

1) We are still seeking externally: fear of lacking the inner wisdom that will reveal the right answer for ME at THIS moment
2) That on some level, whatever we are called naturally to do or not do (even if its sit still until we know where to go, or run with abandon until we want to stop) will be the wrong thing.

I do this ALL THE TIME! It is only when the glorious glowing reflection of an ignited soul in the form of one of my amazing friends reveals so truthfully where he or she is at and what he or she is wondering that I see the errors of my OWN ways.


How do you just leave things to 'chance' when you can't help but want to live passionately, pursuing the things you really want.... Love! Passion! Desire! Enlightenment in whatEVER form you there something so wrong with the pursuit of happyness.....this 'deep state of true and total love'?

Well, a) You are not leaving it to chance if you live passionately, pursuing the things you really want… in fact if you are doing this then you are pumping a seriously POTENT substance out into the atmosphere because everyone knows that the most attractive (in every sense of the word) thing is when someone loves the life they live. Whether on a date, in a job interview, traveling or riding the bus in the city where you live, if you are radiating this kind of energy you are sure to see that people want a piece of what you got and then its up to you to decide with whom, where and how much you want to give. Always remembering that the law of abundance states that you can give everything all the time if you remain open to receiving everything while you do it.

b) Love! Passion! Desire! Enlightenment in whatEVER form you seek… YES YES AND YES! This sentence just screams that you already have a firm understanding of the fundamental truth that the root of suffering is attachment, which includes attachment to an idea that there is ONE way. Hooray! Maybe seeking the answer to what your passion is turns out to be your enlightenment. Wouldn’t that be annoyingly delicious! And certainly just as RIGHT as someone seeking ego-renunciation or creative freedom? LIVE THE QUESTIONS LIVE THE QUESTIONS LIVE THE QUESTIONS!

And, c) there something so wrong with the pursuit of happyness...this 'deep state of true and total love'?

And to that I say, yes. The only worthwhile pursuit is money. And power. Strap on your pant suit and get ready for the eternal treadmill of material desire!

You DORK! Happiness is the most worthwhile pursuit of all. And if you can truly say that happiness is what gets you excited then I am so stoked for you! And jealous. For some reason I need to wear my serious pants when I think about enlightenment… maybe the search for bliss is more like a game of pin the tail on the donkey or pass the parcel than all this quiet sitting and mind clearing. Or maybe it’s both! Or neither!

But it’s probably money. No, money is the answer. For sure.

Yesterday an extremely eccentric French man in camouflage high tops and an electric orange t-shirt told me that fashion designers are like oracles, telling the temperature of the world and manifesting it in what they think people will want to wear as a reflection of how they feel about the ways of the world from season to season. And I believed him. And suddenly an industry that I generally judge and call extraneous was illuminated for me. Oh yeah, I remembered, listen to the little voice… and if she tells you to make a dress, then make a dress! There is no relevant/irrelevant way to spend ones time in the long term OR short term. Everything is joining to create a mass of experience that is YOU and resisting the urge will just make your heart pound. The earth tomorrow could swallow us all. Happiness, go with happiness. It’ll make your skin glow and your heart sing…

Or in the words of someone a lot smarter than me:

We can use everything that we do to help us realise that we're part of the energy that creates everything. If we learn to sit like a mountain in a hurricane unprotected by the truth and vividness and immediacy of simply being part of life, then we are not this separate being who has to have things turn out our way. When we stop resisting and let the weather simply flow through us, we can live our lives completely. It’s up to us.

- Pema Chodron

I used to live in a magical world. Until I got so attached to how magical it was that I needed to pop the bubble and renounce strict spiritual adherences for awhile and just try to live. Eventually I found that I like my magical world better, although it was nice to just let my humanness run wild and not expect so much all the time. There is a lot of pain here, which is too bad. But whether the day feels Technicolor or black and white, things can change in a fraction of a second from delight to sorrow and back again. This is humanness at work. Confusion comes from the luxury of having choice. Asking questions is our birthright and any life lived in the pursuit of anything that pushes the boundaries of inner freedom sounds good to me.

With gratitude for the time I have to spend and the youth I have that stokes the fires of desire for progress I release my prayer for you and for me that we will find the balls to say “I’m already doing it. I’m here aren’t I?”

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

White Linen Woman

Maybe I’ll never wear white linen pants.
Or I’ll try,
And at some far flung future garden party
I’ll spill the wine I’m drinking
To make myself feel more at ease,
All over those pristine pants.

Maybe people will never see my truth,
Never see the earnest intention
To be pure
To be full of grace
To be a perfect sight to behold

Maybe people will only see
The awkward eternally under developed woman
That trips and falls
That makes jokes
That tries to sound smart
But talks too much and muddles up her meanings

Maybe I will disappoint you
Or I won’t
But think I have and then act like some blemish
On the dream we once had

Or maybe I will grow into my fullness
Maybe I will release these immature fears
And live in a blaze of irreverent glory
Lighting the dark, worried ego
Who is only the human-half
Of the spirit striving for enlightenment

Maybe I will learn to forgive myself,
And learn to trust you all the way.
Maybe I’ll tell you my most secret fears
One night when our hearts are open
And the wind outside our window
Is fiercely calling back to me my foolishness

Maybe I will one day love myself
So completely
That I can accept your love;
And mixing it with my own
Will create a potent potion of
Reciprocal self-belief
So we never have to be afraid.

We can expect greatness,
Fall short,
Then cradle the innocent child
Who dreamt the dream
That continues to hang, thickening
The air that surrounds
Our weary traveling souls

Just because we’re not perfect
Doesn’t mean we’re worthless.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Thank You

Let us lie naked in the sweet mud of experience
Dirt bound we writhe
Half open eyes fill with sky
Buoyant blue thrown upon the great canvas of space
Electric shocks from toe to toe
Jump across this fetal shape we make
Reminding us of the space between

We must travel in the warm arms of hope
Bundled, trusting, feeling the tickle of spring
On our outstretched ears that reach to hear
The hatching eggs of swallows

Thoughtless, breath in, full and fresh
Guiltless in the throws of effortless being
There is no work in the letting of the river
Take us in its clever stream and deposit
Us on the sun speckled banks where our
Great picnic awaits our innocent hunger

Canopies abundant with fruit and life
Grow for you, await the specificity of
Your fingerprints on their fat ripe mangoes skin.
Taking with delight comes at no karmic price,
For your mother wishes to see the slimy pulp
Run down your chin as you squeal with ecstasy.

Can we strip down to our most basic, barest selves?
It is in the light we know we’re winning,
As the breath leaves the body in an existential sigh
Of relief that it had one more moment of this delicious
Experiment in time and space.

Coins thrown into fountains wish for nothing more
In the subtext of their wishes than for the state
Of grace required to live this, feel this fullness
Of heart's beat, beat, beat, beat, beat, beat
Ba-bum, lub-dub, da dum,
Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you
She sings.