when anything other than Love will no longer suffice…

October 15, 2010 at 11:41 am (Uncategorized)

What must I become that I can speak sharply to those that I love?

What must I become in order to keep the love of those that love me, out?

What must I become so that, not only do I keep love out, I am oblivious to and dismissive of its value?

What must I become to be impatient? Frustrated? Constricted?

What must I become to think the worst of the world, of myself?

What must I become that I wish things were different? That there was more time, more money, more compassion, more understanding and in the wishing of all that apparently is not, all that is goes unseen.

What must I become that I blithely dismiss whatever is good that lives within? Within my heart… the hearts of others?

What must I become that I willingly cheapen and turn away from all the beauty that outpours from within?

What must I become so that, of all that I do do, of all that I am, I only to remember all that I don’t do, and all the I am not.

What must I become that I judge and blame and find cause to stir that which is nothing other than dis-ease in my existence?

What must I become that I give the priceless gift and infinite power of this consciousness that I am to that which is the very antithesis of Love?

What must I become that I insist on refusing all that I have ever longed for and all that longs for me?.. namely refusing the Love that I Am.

What walls do I allow to be built and filters put in place so that this, this cutting off of my Spirit, this cutting off at the knees, this trespass against the very essence of my soul can take place? What voices, what stories, beliefs and so-called Authorities do I listen and buy into? Authorities that are woven into the tapestry of existence. Authorities that I clearly distinguish and observe moving in what is outside of and around me and, yes, Authorities that hold positions of import within. They have come to take residence in the layers of the muscles of my body, of my throat, my heart, my vagina. The places where I give uncomfortable and familiar permission for my sexuality to be questioned and shamed, my creativity doubted and hushed, my joy made guilty and subdued by the fear that surely, yes surely, it will not last. Authorities that don’t care what the meal is, just as long as they are fed and whose only agenda is to ensure I am far, far removed from my-Self, from Love.

I know how it feels… this ‘becoming’ that then allows this cutting off at the knees… this disconnection from my heart, from Grace. And I know only because I known other ways of being. In all the ways that the circuits have been crossed and the wiring hacked, there are those times when I am blown wide open. Blown so wide that weavings of my beingness and walls that have determined who I thought I was and think I am are no longer; times when all those mis-matched, screwed up, mucked up wires break apart and, guided by the hands of Grace, inspired by the distant memory of what once was, what is and always will be, I remember.

In all the ways that I am recognizing and identifying those Authorities, distinguishing their voices, their insistent beliefs and studying how they move and who, under their sway, I can become, I am noticing a shift. It is a re-definition. It is a re-creating of this particular relationship.

In the past there have been times when I have been up in arms. I have rebelled against and been angered by and fought the constraints with determined outrage and wrathful self-justification; there have been times when I have felt their presence and tried to out run them, desperate to smile, desperate for me, for everything, to be just fine; and there have been times when I have crumbled, when there is a rush of heat and I wonder how I can ever be enough, do enough and do it all just right so that I can, at last, be accepted, be loved.

In the past, whatever my response has been, it has been to a perception of power. Those Authorities as power. I have bought into the façade they would convince me of. I have given weight to their opinion, their belief and I have built those walls and allowed those filters to fall into place as a result. I have acted in ways that are not myself. That are far from who I know myself to be.

That is the past… and yes! this is now.

In the now of my journey, I am choosing something different. To feel, to look, to see beyond what is presented, whatever the determined illusion of the façade may be, and connect to what is at the core, the core that is, in its essential distillation, love. Because beneath their superiorities and categories these Authorities are interested in the same thing I am. They are interested in knowing… LOVE IS REAL. In the now of their acting outs and determined ways, I am simply choosing to love. Love them. Standing tall and gently choosing the unadulterated expression my spirit, choosing to be in Love, in sync with who I am, no matter what.

It is not that I don’t still have days when I am out of sorts and the yearning from within cries, “Oh my heart, how I miss you”; it is not that I am at all times impervious to the patterns based on that brazen wielding of power born of judgment and fear that I have been beholden to for so long; it is simply that I am, whenever possible, whenever I allow, honoring this re-wiring, re-weaving, re-thinking, re-doing and knowing it, feeling it to be Grace.

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for the love of my spirit…

October 1, 2010 at 2:19 pm (Uncategorized)

There has been an allowing at hand. Bringing my awareness to it now, I realize it has been around for as long as I can remember.

It has been an allowing of unwanted hands that touch me and all the while I do not hold them back; of words spoken to me and I do not question their intent; of certain comments or looks that I let take the wind out of my sails and leave me cut off at the knees. I have allowed free-reign to the thought that insists I must somehow justify, over and over again, my existence and I have given permission for the idea that I am simply not seen to sink me while choosing to tiptoe quietly in a way that leaves me wanting to scream.

All these allowances that I have allowed because of the absolute conviction that there is no other option. To do otherwise would be to put too much at stake. Run the risk of not being liked, or loved, say something wrong and be chastised and cast out into the cold. Risk everything I know, comfortable and not, all that is strangely obvious. Even if all these allowances gently tug and pull and fray at the fabric of my soul, it is so much easier to allow the fear of doing things differently to squeeze me into the mould of who I think other people want me to be, rather than to risk being me.

Since I learned to talk… I have agreed to hold back my words. Since I learned to walk… I have done so careful not to tread on any toes. This quiet complicity has been in the ethers of pasts and possible futures, woven into the threads of my existence as if it were me, as if it were Meant To Be. That’s it. No arguing, no question, simply Meant To Be.

And in all the times I have chosen to allow, to smile and say “It’s okay, I’m fine, don’t worry”, to avoid rocking the boat or drawing bad opinion and the untenable possibility of others thinking I’m a failure or it’s all my fault anyway, my spirit has been screaming. Screaming because, whatever heart connection that led to the moment has been lost or was never there at all. The heart left somewhere along the way and not returned to. Left because the conviction dictates that to go back and pick it up would be inconvenient.

Without my heart, my soul, I am powerless. I let anything happen.

Laid bare, held in place, immobile, while those things are said or done that are in violation of who, deep down, I know myself to be. Not being able to move, to speak, while being in the allowance what is, to me, unspeakable. Shameful, literally soul-destroying. It is a feeling that is as old as anything I can remember, one that summons up memories of being buried alive and sacrifice, a feeling that, in all its various shapes and forms and guises, whether staggeringly big or so small I may wonder if it is even there at all, a feeling that has dictated and determined how much Spirit I have allowed myself to be. How much Spirit I have allowed myself to be. How much Light I have allowed to shine.

In all forms, and on all levels – from the obvious physical, sexual abuse, to verbal, emotional, psychic and that which I would barely notice at all, that which is so familiar, so woven into the reality around me, a comment here, or glance there – if I am really paying attention, they are of the same energetic, the one that leaves me with a feeling of being compromised, of emptiness. In the wake of these allowances, come the spirals of despair.

Because, once again they trespass in the name of that which calls itself love, that which I have assumed is love and whose dictates I have danced with and bought into and demanded of others. A love that needs things to be a certain way and for which nothing is ever good enough, a love that thrives on seeing others fail, a love that is not Love at all.

What’s interesting is, these days the moments that trigger this spiritual despair make no sense. I know there is no mal-intent. I know I am safe. And yet there is that feeling of paralysis that is then quieted by thoughts that say, “You’re fine, no reason to make a big deal or offend, it will soon be over and then you can make sure you will never put yourself in a situation like this again. Be more careful about who you trust. Who you open to. Maybe don’t even open at all.” Yeah. “Don’t even open at all.” That’s really the core of it. Get through the moment of whatever is triggering me, don’t rock the boat, don’t do anything differently, don’t risk speaking up or saying anything but just know I can use my discernment, my ever-increasing awareness, to be sure I don’t put myself in situations like this ever again. Be careful. Be separate. It’s the only way to ever be sure.

Wow.

It is so very convincing.

And here’s another thing.

This feeling… the one I describe above, the one of inaction and paralysis in the face of what feels like terror, the one that keeps my spirit effectively suppressed, is similar to what I am aware of experiencing around creative expression.

I don’t know that I have all the pieces in place yet, but here’s what I got so far. I know on an intellectual level that the second and fifth charkas are connected. I know, in women, they share the same cellular structure. I know, when photographed, the vocal cords could be mistaken for a yoni. I have been told these facts and seen them to be true, and now I am coming to have a visceral, in body, connecting-the-dots experience. How this feeling of total paralysis around not only claiming but also celebrating the worth and dignity of who I am as spirit-in-body, singing it from the highest mountaintops, is directly connected with how much I allow my voice to open, and vice versa.

Both are compromised by fear; fear that I might loose out on love or be chastised or criticized, jeered at, or, on some core level, killed.

I can write and write and write, write books and novels and ideas and I can love and love and love myself, loving myself ever and even more, and I can wait for the time to come when I know people will receive all of me with open arms, people who are thrilled and wanting more, people who usher and encourage and finally cheer “you’re good enough and simply must be out in the world!!!!”, yes, I can wait for the time when the ways my brain is looking to feel completely safe and infinitely loved are manifest, completely and infinitely without one shred of a doubt or possibility that it could be otherwise, a world that is kind and gentle and oh-so-forgiving. I can wait indefinitely for this time to come,  writing and loving, but until I choose to EXPRESS, to make a peaceful stand for it, to give birth and let it be know, the circle is not complete. Choosing to know that I am  completely safe and infinitely loved right now. Not by what I may seek to find in the world out there, but within the expansive, borderless world of my inner being. Whether it is my second or fifth chakra, it is all the same, it all comes back to my fourth, my heart. Giving voice to my soul. Yeah, I can wait until I feel safe, or I can step through the rush of my pounding heart and tight throat and set my spirit free.

How many times throughout the ages have I held my tongue, because the very thought of expressing, reading, asking, speaking… makes my heart feel like it will explode out of my chest. How many times throughout the ages have I allowed what I thought I should allow out of the conviction that to do otherwise would leave me with nothing. How many times have I allowed myself to believe, “I’m fine, It’s OK, as soon as this is over I’ll be fine again… I’ll find a corner in which to lick my wounds, put myself back together, read what I have written and celebrate it without having to give it voice, just me…” saying I’m fine with a smile that no one can see through.

Through my voice, my actions, I can summon up my soul.

In Italy last week, David Elliott said again what he has said so many times before, to reach through the fear and choose to express… that’s when it all changes. And although I have ‘heard’ this before, this time those words spoke to my soul. They spoke and, upon hearing them, I made a promise. A promise to honor, in every moment, the voice of my Spirit. My Spirit as a creative expression and also as something of value and worth. Something that has boundaries and standards and does not allow certain things anymore. If  I choose in one such moment to summon up my voice and, at the risk or loosing it all, simply say ‘no’ or give expression to all thay my Spirit has to convey, everything will change. Claiming my Right To Be rather than waiting for permission or for it to feel safe and comfortable for it to be so. Because it is not just about quietly knowing my value, it’s about expressing it too. Taking a peaceful, unwavering stand for it. If I don’t do this, how can I expect anyone else to?

Afterall, these allowances, these compromises of my soul, they can be no more. Let’s face it… when it comes to souls these days… when it comes to Being The Light… compromise is simply not a part of the equation.

NOTE:

A parting observation… a morsel of food for thought… I notice this exercising of expressing my spirit is most taxed, most challenged when I am in the presence of men…. hmmm…. more on that later ~

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morning thoughts of sex…

September 11, 2010 at 4:02 pm (Uncategorized)

I know sex is a key piece in this Awakening into Consciousness.

I know it is fundamental to the re-weaving, re-creating, re-dreaming at hand.

In the past I have spoken of the powerful, unstoppable ENERGY that it is. How it can literally become a ‘possession’, something that can blindside us and take us out, having us engage in ways that leave us with a familiar empty feeling… or vulnerable… or needy… or open to shame.

This morning, lying in bed, I watch a familiar, persistent train of thoughts meander through my psyche; ‘Who am I to think I can explore and teach the sexual frontier? It’s so much easier to leave well-enough alone rather than stir the waters, especially around sex for god’s sake!’ Lying there this morning, another piece of the puzzle fell out of the sky and into place.

Yes. Sex a KEY piece because, in my experience it has and continues to push me, to bring me to places where I am vulnerable and get triggered and can go unconscious, where I want to push away or retreat, where thoughts such as the ones above and thoughts that are out of sync with my heart and my Spirit and the Divine Sacred Feminine can come hard and fast, but also because, WOW, let’s face it, it is something pretty much all of us engage in. Right? I mean… we engage… or want to engage… in whatever way, we all ‘do’ it! It is an intrinsic and inescapable part of being human. As such, how do we do it? What is and has been our way? As with any force as powerful as this, it can be abused, or not. Curse or blessing….

Recently I wrote: “As he (my twelve year old son, Lux) traverses into teenage-hood, as sex becomes more age appropriate and society gives its permission to let that energy be expressed, it simmers within him with all the shame and taboo that has ever been attached. To know he is, even in the energy of sex, Sacred, to know that a woman, even in the energy of sex is Sacred, that sex itself is Sacred, is simply not in the mix of experience.”

And now… I realize what I should have said is, “To know he is, ESPECIALLY in the energy of sex, Sacred, to know that a woman, ESPECIALLY in the energy of sex is Sacred, that sex itself is Sacred…”. If we acknowledge and ALLOW and approach sexual energy as Sacred, if it is no longer throw away, engaged with as a last minute thought at the end of the day or because of some urge that takes hold in the back seat of some car, if we break the old, insistent habits and go forth in the light of full consciousness and full awareness where it is honored as the sacred expression that TRULY it is, us and our partners mirrors and expressions of the Sacred, recognizing all the ways sexual energy feeds and delights body, spirit and soul, then we take the act of sex out of the mundane and even derogatory levels of existence, where it is associated with bestial function or bodily urges, and transport it into the Sacred Container of Spiritual Practice. When we do that, alchemy happens. When we do that, this vibrant, vitalizing, electrical force can be the portal to visceral experience of the DIVINE that it has the potential to be.

Sex a gateway to the Divine. Who would have thought?!??! Something that we all do or think of doing or want to do… and the question is, ‘how do you do it?’ It’s just like my friend David Elliott says, ‘How you do anything, is how you do everything.’

What I do know is, to engage in sexual energy in the full light of consciousness, we need tools in our Spiritual Toolbelt and witnessing and sharing and a whole lotta Love in order to bring it out of the Shadow where it has been for so long.

My own personal recipe… my spiritual cocktail?… Oodles of Awareness, a bunch of Breath and more than a sprinkling of Tantra.

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re-wiring the sacred circuits…

September 9, 2010 at 10:50 pm (Uncategorized)

If you’ve read here before, you’ll know how strongly I feel about Sexual Energy and the Feminine, about how, hand-in-hand they have been vilified and ostracized and cast out into the cold, the word Sacred dismantled and torn from being anywhere close to their vicinity. Sex and women. 5.000 years of repression. 5,000 years of stigma. 5,000 years of guilt and shame. No wonder the world is out of balance. No wonder the call to do things differently is deafening. No wonder we are bringing that which has been steeped in shadow out and into the Light; to heal, to re-wire the circuits of experience and belief.

Experience and belief.

I am coming to realize they are each as important as the other. Until whatever I choose to believe becomes experience, it cannot not make the evolution to become ‘knowing’; the experience awakening that seed of belief and transmuting it to become the knowingness that lives in the core of my cells. Vice versa, without consciously choosing what I believe, choosing to reach beyond what I have been told or carried within the DNA of my cells that has been passed down from one generation to the next, without my actively making different choices – for instance, that sex is not dirty but rather an ecstatic expression of the soul; that women are not inferior but are instead co-creators, walking side-by-beautiful-side, equally in the light –  without this initial choice around belief, I cannot open the doors to experience. Thought becomes the experience that then resonates with the recognition, the Knowingness that is truth.

Last night my friend Jane Baldwin turned me on to a Huffuington Post, ‘Why it’s Wise to Worship a Woman’:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/arjuna-ardagh/goddess-worship_b_660896.html In it the author writes of his conscious devotion to his wife, to her as an embodiment of the Sacred Feminine. He writes of how it is this commitment to devotion, of choosing to see and experience her in this way in all of her many and varied guises, that has brought him to his knees within the inner sanctuary of Her Temple. It is quite something, to feel what lives in this man’s heart and to wonder at what layers he has moved through to get there. Layers of permission… permission to be different from society’s wide-spread idea of what a ‘man’ should be. Permission to see with different eyes, hear with different ears and, most importantly, feel with a different heart. A heart fully allowed.

As my son Lux, now twelve, gets older, I see all the ways he struggles with who he feels he needs to become. This boy with the wide eyes and lotus flower heart whose body is black and blue from riding his bike and who has a growing interest in pyromania. This boy who won’t let me turn a blind eye to what is afoot in the masculine arena of this Re-Union. A constant reminder, an unwavering anchor that lets me see beyond the surface appearances of male bravado to reveal not only a pure and infinite capacity for love, but also a hungering, a yearning to return to the realms of the heart. To return to the Mother.

Within the arena he is navigating, one where role models of what it is to be a man who lives in the full and phenomenal expression of his heart are few and far between, there have been times when I feel the veils shift for Lux, brief moments when the ball drops and he connects. Like last weekend on retreat in Sedona when, sitting side-by-side, we spoke of what might be the energetic cause of his physical scars and bruises, and I asked him about how he is changing, about how he feels he needs to change… and we find the example of my lying down with him at night and how that doesn’t happen anymore. Lux says, “Because it’s not appropriate”. “Appropriate to who?” I ask. And he stops to think. I go on. “Is it you, or is it other people… or society? Who is it? If you could, what would you choose?” And he looks at me and in this room full of other people unfolding into truth, he says, “I’d choose for it to be okay.”

It was a moment when I felt him feel. It was a palpable experience of a chink in the walls that are slowly and insidiously being built around his heart, walls that trespass against his own Self. Built from bricks made of stories that say, “Be tough”, “Be cool”, “Don’t cry”, “Play the game and get what you want and you’ll win”. And there are new bricks now,  new stories that are making themselves known. As he traverses into teenage-hood, as sex becomes more age appropriate and society gives its permission to let that energy be expressed, it simmers within him with all the shame and taboo that has ever been attached. To know he is, even in the energy of sex, Sacred, to know that a woman, even in the energy of sex is Sacred, that sex itself is Sacred, is simply not in the mix of experience. If Lux has heard these as truths, they have not sunk in. Not even close.

In the midst of all the billboards and youtube videos and old Saturday Night Live skits and Family Guy, in the midst of 5,000 years of repression and suppression, where men have come to look at and experience women sexually as objects, and women have come to experience their sexuality as an empty promise of love, in the midst of this time where the Sacred connection between sexual energy and the heart has been effectively, purposefully severed, it is hardly surprising. Look out in the world and tell me what you see. The messages are prolific. The disconnect reconfirmed again and again, a sure sign of the extent of the imbalance. And if the disconnect exists out there it is because it exists within. Within us. A reflection of who we are, the world we live in does not yet have the language, the structure for the word Sacred when it comes to sex and women. In the last 5,000 years, the circuits have been shorted time and time again by the insistence that Sacred as a belief, let alone an experience, is not even an option.

In the arena of a twelve-year-old boy’s sexuality, I can say, ‘your body, a woman’s body is sacred’, but unless I believe and KNOW it about myself, how much can really transfer? How much of those words is simply air. An insubstantial idea that, no matter how fertile the soil it is cast out to, would not have a chance to grow because it lacks the Life Force within, it lacks the transmutation that comes with experience. The words sound nice as a thought, an idea, but they are devoid of the shakti that engenders them with the transference of energy that would allow the seed of this truth to take root and grow.

So now it comes back to me. Right? Who am I? What truth am I choosing to believe and, with belief, choosing to live? My body is Sacred. My feminine body is Sacred. I am the Sacred Feminine in body. Embodied. On what level have I come to allow the EXPERIENCE of this, and on what level do I still keep it out? On what level do we all, Me, Lux, you, your neighbors, keep the Sacred Feminine out? I say keep her out, but really, it is keeping her locked in. Locked behind those walls, suffocating within the dwelling place of our heart. In order for the author of the Huffington Post to have written what he wrote, in order for him to experience what he experiences in relation to his beloved, she would not only have to believe she is Divine and be seen as Divine, she would have to KNOW it, on a core, deep level, loving each and every cell of her being, Feminine and Masculine, alike.

Til this point I have chosen the belief that I am spirit in body. I have incubated, carried and nurtured it. Til this point I have experienced this notion of Spirit embodied and know it to be true. The places I am meeting myself now, the places that want to question and doubt and dismiss and swim back to the seemingly safe shores of where I was before, are specifically around the sacredness of sex and women. Til this point I have flirted with the Goddess and the notion that I am She. Til this point I have dipped my toes in the waters of Sacred Sexuality, and yet the EXPERIENCE toward KNOWING is something else altogether. There are parts of me that are determined not to give in, not to let go, not to open the realms of heart with another to see and be seen, both as the Divine that, yes, I BELIEVE that we are.

I find that I am besieged by the thoughts of 5,000 years that question Worth and Right and insist that, as body, FEMALE body, how can I possibly be Spirit, ESPECIALLY when there is sexual intimacy involved – the two, body and Spirit so very, very far removed from each other – besieged by thoughts that would pull the rug and take me under  and wow, what fuel they are! What propulsion to the call that tells me to wake up and step in and re-wire the old and re-claim all that I am… all that Lux is… all that, you, me, WE are…

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that thing called money…

August 19, 2010 at 4:49 pm (Uncategorized)

For the last few months now, money has been on my radar. We’ve been getting to know each other, intimately.

I’ve been taking an up close and personal look at who I can and do become around it… with and without it. In either case, it’s pretty clear that all too often I am not myself… I can get pretty far from who I truly am. That’s what I’m realizing: whether I have it or not, money has the power to take me out, to have me be other ways – over confident, extravagant, impetuous… or, on the flip side… unsure, impatient, anxious and tight. Money can make me judgmental, of myself, of others; it can make me believe that I am, or someone else is, better than… or less than… it can cause my heart to race, drive me to despair, make me giddy, or mad, or resentful, it can have me question and wonder ‘what is the point… what is the point of it all…?’

Yeah… with or without it, money and all the ideas and connotations and habits and beliefs it brings with it, has been a sure fast way to have me go unconscious.

I am now coming to realize that, not so long ago, my sense of myself, of who I was and how I was perceived, how good or bad or happy or not, was intricately wrapped and woven with money in a whole plethora of ways.

The sheer brilliance of this particular circumstance in this particular moment in time where I am full steam ahead in building a home and healing space while simultaneously transitioning out of writing that paid immediately to writing that promises to pay in the near future, where I am out on a limb in a way I have never been before means that ANY place where I hold or have held illusion around money and its power and my power and lack and gain thereof is being sought out and brought to the light whether I like it or not. In these days of juggling the next few hundred dollars and who and what they should pay for, I am not who I was a couple of months ago. Not even close.

Back then… in that previous lifetime not so long ago, the very idea of paying a credit card late would have put the fear of God in me. It would have had me wakeful and worried. It would have had me lose sleep and fight and beg for whatever I could get to make sure that a payment was not even a day late. Back then… in that same lifetime, the very idea of asking someone to hold onto a check or letting them know I didn’t have the money but would be able to pay them soon, would have been unthinkable. To do such a thing, to even embark on the conversation, to even say the words, what would they think? What would they say? How could I ever make amends, prove myself, be of value, or worth, or honor again?

In the current lifetime of the last few months, I have had no choice but to make peace with it all. With this making-of-peace comes something else… in all the ways that I am coming to experience freedom… freedom from the ideas and perceptions that went unquestioned, freedom from the covenants that govern how we are supposed to be as safe, partially expressed, struggling human beings… this newly forming freedom around money and the contraction I have allowed it until now is expanding the happiness that has come to dwell inside.

If once I worried what others would think if I didn’t have the money right then, right there, if I thought it would mean they would take me less seriously, or be dismissive, or not invite me to the right parties with the right people because, who the hell was I anyway? now it barely crosses my mind. If once I gave money the power to hue my mood or color my days, it does so no longer. If there are moments when the old ways of being make themselves known, a rush of panic, a sharp intake of fear if I wonder how in the hell it will all work itself out, the future of this thing called Life, it is another reminder, another opportunity for me to sink my roots of knowingness and trust ever deeper.

In this conscious transparency around money, suddenly I am not chained to the ideas of failure that I once willingly accepted. Suddenly I am not waiting for some day in the future when I have enough to breathe again. I am choosing to breathe, to be filled and inspired right now. It is AMAZING! This setting myself free… And with this newfound freedom comes all SORTS of perks… For the FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE I am not swept up by the addictive compulsion of consumerism that pervades our way of being.

These days, it’s not just about hesitantly and reluctantly and guiltily saying ‘no’ to the new iPod or cell phone or other such requests that have come my way, it’s about saying ‘no’ to the extra jar of ‘Hearts of Palm’ or pack of String Cheese at Trader Joes. It’s about noticing that a locally grown melon costs $3.99 and an organic one costs $4.99 and then deciding which one to buy. It’s about telling my son Lux he can pay for the pizza and Starbucks he asks for from the money he has for his vacation and him realizing, when it comes to spending the $15.00 or saving it for something else, he doesn’t really want that stuff after all. It’s about simply noticing all the ways that the this and the that and the whatever and whenever have had me blindly hand over my debit card, and it’s about realizing that without the pizza or Hearts of Palm or cart full of melons, me, my kids, my everything is so infinitely taken care of… for, when I choose the awe that is Love, when I fall on my knees in the thanks that is Gratitude, when I am amazed each and every moment that I am, indeed, living my heart’s dream, there is nothing that can cause my cup to be anything other than full. In the Wonder of the Light, the old fears are suddenly insubstantial.

The other day I picked up a friend’s copy of ‘The Ringing Cedars of Russia’, flipped to a random page and found myself reading a chapter about money. The magical, mystical being and book’s heroine, Anastasia, tells the author that when he starts to make a whole lot of money from selling the books he will write about her, there will be certain requirements at the bank: specifically he will have to do no less than nine deep knee bends that are witnessed by at least three officials whenever he makes a transaction.

While this inspired recipe is to thwart the pride that usually comes with making a ton of cash, I have found it works just as well for the opposite. In other words, it can take the wind out of fear’s sails just as effectively. Whenever that sharp intake of panic hits, the one that is weighty and serious and threatens despair and tells me I have no idea what I’m doing or how it will possibly work out and boy-oh-baby isn’t it better to cash it all in while I can… those deep knee bends bring instant levity. They reset the balance to the prevailing truth of joy.

Thank God for money and all it makes possible… thank God for the Ringing Cedars… thank God for random pages…. And last but NOT LEAST… thank God for Tinkertown… a wee little place spilling over with magic right around the corner from here. I stopped by there yesterday… and this is what I read:

HOW TO BE REALLY ALIVE…

LIVE JUICY: STAMP OUT CONFORMITY: DREAM OF GYPSY WAGONS: FIND SNAILS MAKING LOVE: DEVELOP AN ASTOUNDING APPETITE FOR BOOKS: DRINK SUNSETS: DRAW OUT YOUR FEELINGS: AMAZE YOURSELF: BE RIDICULOUS: STOP WORRYING: NOW: IF NOT NOW, WHEN? MAKE YES YOUR FAVORITE WORD: MARRY YOURSELF: DRY YOUR CLOTHES IN THE SUN: EAT MANGOES NAKED: KEEP TOYS IN THE BATHTUB: SPIN YOURSELF DIZZY: HANG UPSIDE DOWN: CELEBRATE AN OLD PERSON: SEND A LOVE LETTER TO YOURSELF: BE ADVANCED: TRY ENDEARING: INVENT NEW WAYS TO LOVE: TRANSFORM NEGATIVES: DELIGHT SOMEONE: WEAR PAJAMAS TO A DRIVE-IN MOVIE: BE WHO YOU TRULY ARE AND THE MONEY WILL FOLLOW: BELIEVE IN EVERYTHING: YOU ARE ALWAYS ON YOUR WAY TO A MIRACLE: AND THE MIRACLE IS YOU!

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into the light…

July 15, 2010 at 2:47 am (Uncategorized)

A few weeks ago, Lucy got a silk worm from school. It lived in a plastic bowl with mulberry leaves and, when the time came, span itself into a cocoon. That bowl went from the living room to bedroom, to top shelf, to dresser. It was shown to visitors, hidden from the cleaners, dropped, picked up, put back and shown again. And I’m thinking it will be like the other silk worms we have had, the one or two of them, who never made it out of their cocoon. Who closed themselves within the expanse of their inner worlds and never came out. Lucy would forget… I would forget… and eventually she would ask and, together, we would wonder what had gone wrong.

Passing by I noticed there had been a change… Something new. Something alive, dusted, beautiful.

Breath left me. Literally. And even as I know this is the moth indeed, incredibly come out and into the world, I am wondering if it is really from the cocoon or some visitor… even though I had NEVER seen a moth such as this one, so infinitely captivating in all its trembling, gentle beauty, my mind questioned… “Really? After all  that has happened, how could this birth have taken place? You’re fooling yourself.  It is simply too awe-inspiringly magical.”

I called out to Lucy… and with my finger to my lips, telling her to hush and come slow and quiet, showed her the new born. With utmost care we brought him outside. Placed the bowl in the shade so that he could dry its wings and come to know the world.

After a while Lucy left. Lux came by to visit, then Adea. Came and went. And all the while I am loathe to leave this moth. This newling. This one that had lived and birthed on the dresser in Lucy and my room.  How could I leave him when he knew nothing of where he was? How could I when he would be afraid.

Throughout the day I kept checking on that moth. Always there. And I wondered if perhaps he was taking his time…  drying his wings. Or if perhaps he would take flight when the sun set and night made itself known.

The next day he was still there. Still in the bowl. Still on the drying mulberry leaves. Still trembling. It occurred to me that perhaps he felt safe there, in that plastic bowl. And while there was a part of me that wanted him to partake of the world, there was another part that was happy. Happy to have him. Happy that he was safe.

After a few days I became used to seeing him there. On one leaf or another. And soon I both I took his beingness for granted and came to accept that, one day, he may be gone…

Which he was.

By then I was prepared. By then the newness and awe has dulled some. I could live with his departure.

The other day I was cleaning up outside. Moving boxes and suitcases. Relocating black widows and their eggs. And there on the table, in the shade, I came across his home. That bowl with the leaves now fully dry and bunched up paper towel where he had crawled as a worm. Pulling out those leaves, the paper towel, I saw him. I was amazed that I hadn’t noticed he was still there. That I could have somehow missed him. And yet there he was. At the very bottom. I immediately felt bad for disturbing him. And began to replace what I had removed. And then, holding my breath I reached out and, for the first time, dared touch him.

Today I found the piece of paper that comes with the silk worm. The one I had never read. It gives all the information you need to know. How to care for the worm. What to feed and house it in and how, when the moth emerges he cannot eat nor fly. Cannot eat nor fly. Not with these domesticated silk worms. Once they have made their cocoons they are bred to mate, lay eggs, and starve to death.

For all the ways that I wish things could have been different for that moth. For him to fly and feel the currents of air on his wings, to breathe in the cool promise of daybreak and know what it is to dive into  a flower’s heady fragrance, for all the ways I wish things could have been different… what of that moth? Was there a time when he strained, wished for heights he only dreamt of? A time when he was impatient to get from one moment so that he could get onto the next, already anticipating the one after that before even arriving there? Was there sadness, disappointment? Was there the feeling that, once my attention had passed onto other things and he was left with just the leaves and breeze and dappled sunshine, he was alone? The feeling that, no matter what it was, it was never enough?

This trembling aliveness.

Or were all those wishes and hopes and fears and disappointments, that outrage, despair and holding on tight to what seems like love all mine?

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the ‘feeling’ of ‘knowing’…

July 10, 2010 at 11:28 pm (Uncategorized)

There are certain things I know

I know Love is always here and  always present. I know there is nothing I can ever say or do to make it go away. I know the only things that get in the way of that infinite and unconditional Love are the IDEAS that it is not really real… that I don’t really deserve… that Love and Joy are somehow irresponsible… that Love is out of accordance with the seriousness of Purpose… that unless I am suffering and doing everything on my own I am somehow undeserving or less than… that I am really not that loveable, to be loved unconditionally, without condition… how could I be? With all my stuff of past and present, with the moments of worry or impatience  or projection or mistake or frustration or doubt or holding on tight or trying too hard… surely I need to clean things up, take care of all the stuff  before this kind of love will really be there for me. Take care of this or that and then, yes then, one day, the gates of paradise will be opened and I will be worthy of passing through them. Wait until the time is right, for this piece, and then that piece, and then that one after that…  one piece at a time that I am waiting to fall into place in a puzzle that may never to be done. Never done. Never complete. One reason after another that insists I am incomplete, the waiting game for all the pieces to be perfect that never ends.

I know all these ideas that get in the way are directly opposed to Love. I know the only power they hold over me is my willingness to buy into them. In all the ways they are infinitely convincing and seemingly legitimate, the brilliance with which they hone in on my Achilles heels around worth and survival and fortify the walls around my heart through notions of fear and shame and suffering,  promising to protect while simultaneously stifling the unparalleled, transformative Force that is ready to pour and shine through, I know I can consciously choose how I interact with them at any time. I know that every choice I make to do things differently, no matter how I may be being urged  not to, no matter how unfamiliar and frightening it may seem, is bringing Heaven to be experienced as reality here on Earth right now.

All these things that I know… I teach them… I believe them… and yet it is only when I feel them that I sink deeper into vastness and the knowing expands.

I can be and act different. I can be vigilant when it comes to the old stories and make choices that I would never have made before. If fears about survival are present, if I am wondering where in the Hell the next check is coming from and how all the bills will get paid, yes, I can reach for a different thought, a different way of being, one that uplifts and inspires and is infused with well-being, yet it is only when I connect to the why of it…. the fact that there is so much love and I am a part of it… that full presence is revealed.

Humbled, grateful, awe-filled, feeling and letting myself go and open to the love present in all of me. The heart is the key to the doorway I have been searching for.

With the the sweetness of relief all the fighting and holding on and trying so hard falls away; Grace moves and Nature dances and I feel the fiery touch of the Divine fill my heart as a whisper that says… Yes my Love. I am here.  I always have been and always will be. I am here and there is nothing you have ever done or ever can do that will make me go away. However much you squirm, however many reasons you come up with to keep me at bay, I am still, always, here. Ready for you. Waiting. Come my Love. No more excuses. Be with Me. Be.

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full-volume

June 17, 2010 at 11:12 am (Uncategorized)

I just came in from my son, Lux’s, end of year show. This is no ordinary end of year show.

Renaissance Arts Academy – a charter school with a mission for high caliber, scholastic academics and an unflinching discipline and respect for the performing arts.

Every time I have the honor to sit and experience one of these performances – and make no mistake – it is an experience, I am literally floored. Tonight was no different. There was an unbridled spirit afoot. It was daring and audacious and heartfelt and unflinching. It took possession of these kids and had them become pure expression. It moved through the auditorium and touched and reminded people of What It Is to LET GO.

Because that’s exactly what these kids did. They gave it up and let go. Especially the three girls who came to stand in front of the chorus, a scrim held across their faces, their voices the only sound filling the entire space of Occidental College’s Thorne Hall. If it is called yodeling, it was a yodeling unlike any other. It was voice layered upon voice in tone and texture and rhythm, becoming an alive and breathing thing, and those three girls standing there, throats unabashed and open wide, nothing, no, nothing held back.

All the times I come away from a concert saying, “I want to sing” or a dance saying “I want to dance” or a movie or play saying “I want to act”, I realize it is inspired by a performance where the ‘letting go’ has been complete.  Every time I am filled with that feeling of sheer longing to Express and Be Expressed, a palpable craving to throw constraint to the wind, open my arms, draw sound up from the depths of my belly, reverberating through my chest and on out of my throat, it is from experiencing someone else do exactly that. Someone who shatters the Self to become the beyond.

There have been times when, in the act of Expression, or dance, or intimacy ( expression and intimacy go hand-in-hand), I have felt form dissipate and tasted the infinite. Times when old habits of censorship no longer get in the way. Biting my tongue, swallowing my words, choosing not to sing or to only sing quietly, wondering if others are looking and what they are thinking, wondering if I should try to be more like the person next to me or whether what I am doing is right or wrong or simply should not be done at all.

To dismiss the container of who I think I am and who I believe others think me to be, to break out of the constraints of identity and associations of what seems to be, to give over to something else completely, this is my greatest fear and most potent desire. This is when the fires of Consciousness and Creation burn brightest, when Truth shines.

Giving birth to each of my children and wondering ‘how could I have forgotten’ and ‘what the hell was I thinking’ and ‘why am I doing this again’, reaching that point beyond pain and body where it doesn’t matter who is there, who is not, what they are thinking, how I am doing, what I am doing, where finally there is no Self left and there is simply the unadulterated, unstoppable Energy Force of life moving through flesh, that is the essence place I am speaking of. That is the place where the reins that hold everything tight are no longer in place.

When I am without thought of trying to control or discern, when I am without Thought altogether and instead simply allowing the All of it to come through – the emotion, the power, the expansive silence, the phenomenal, electrical charge of Expression – when I am no longer Me, I allow for this something else altogether. Yes – it finds expression in my vocal chords, moves through my hands and eyes and tears, and yet it has nothing to do with me. What looks to be me is simply the container through which the Expression is made  – made through the practice and willingness to move through the Consciousness-of-Self and scars of shame… to say ‘yes’ and let go.

After eons of believing that I need to be quiet and cannot sing except out of tune and that to dive into the sensuality of my senses is somehow a betrayal of my Spirit, tonight let it be witnessed that I make this commitment – to throw caution to the wind, to open my arms wide, to tilt my face to the heavens and invite the Love that I am to Express through and as me so that I may be one of the many to stand on the other side and say, ‘You see? There is nothing to fear after all.’

Thank you to Renaissance Arts Academy.

Thank you to those kids brave enough to get out of the way and dive into the beyond.

Thank you to all those who have inspired and will inspire and are inspired.

What is more…. it turns out my son, Lux, can dance.

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feeling the force…

June 11, 2010 at 5:28 am (Uncategorized)

The other day, a friend told me that her mother never said to watch out for sex because it was bad or naughty… she said to watch out because it was ‘powerful’.

An energy that is powerful. An energy that, like it or not, runs through us all.

I have heard mothers of daughters say, “Boys are bad”, and mothers of boys say, “Girls are trouble”. There is a prevailing mistrust. A sense that, when these two, boys and girls get together, the explosive fires of sexual energy will be unleashed and who knows what will happen and who will get hurt.

As things stand now, this mistrust is completely justified.

As soon as kids hit a certain age, previous repression loosens and sexual exploration becomes socially acceptable. Those fires ignited and finally given free reign, all hell can break loose and yes, people get hurt and wounded and shamed. We launch into sexual experience not only at the mercy of the guilt and taboo that comes with it, but also with no idea of the power of that energy or what a conscious relationship to it might even look like. Not only is it a recipe for disaster, it is one that perpetuates.

With unconscious sexual energy running amuck as abuse, teen pregnancy, sex trade, pornography… etc. the picture as we know it is broken. It has been broken for a long time and it is just getting worse.

So how do we fix it? Knowing that things as they stand do not work, it seems we have a choice. We can begin to know what it is to be conscious containers for this energy, to usher it out of the dark where it has been kept for so long… or not. Because the thing is, this energy is not going anywhere. Life Force itself, how can it?

The laws and rules and restrictions and controlled ways of behavior that are based on the belief that sexuality is tainted and dirty and immoral and at odds with the soul only push it deeper. Deeper into the dark where it finds even more reason to be expressed unconsciously. Deeper where it can fester and grow roots that suffocate and undermine the very experience of Love itself. Because this unconscious sexual energy can have us do things we regret. It can leave us with the feeling that we have somehow betrayed the very essence of who we are.

What if teenagers knew to enter into relationship with this energy in a completely different way? What if they were guided to know it in themselves? Before launching into physical intimacy with another on playing fields riddled with mines, what if they were given tools and a safe container in which to explore their beliefs and experiences? What if they knew they were not bad, or dirty, or alone? What if they recognized and honored this powerful force as an integral and Sacred part of them? What if they were guided to honor and love it in themselves? To honor and love themselves? Themselves as the beautiful, powerful, energized, creative, magnificent expressions of Spirit and Love that they are…

While it seems we have a choice, surely there is only one answer. To do things unlike we have ever done them before.

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on the streets of Brazil…

May 27, 2010 at 4:43 am (Uncategorized)

I have noticed a change happening in my son Lux. Whether it is his twelve-year-old age, or the fact that recently he has been staying with his Dad, or that I am moving, or that he now rides his bike to places like the Rose Bowl unaccompanied, or has a social life, or all of it plus whatever else combined, there has been a change.

I have noticed it even more now that I am staying at his Dad’s too. The first night I was there, I went to lie down with him. These late evening times when Lucy is already asleep and Adea is in her room have always been precious with us. A moment to reconnect. A moment when he can allow himself to be loved. So this particular night at his Dad’s, his reply was, “Oh no Mom… that’s OK.”

“You sure?” I ask… “Yup.”… “Why… cause we’re at your Dad’s?”… “I’m just different now.”… Really?”… “I’m older.”… “Okay. Well. If you change your mind, let me know.”

I start to leave, and then Lux whispers. “Mom… tomorrow night. Okay?”

I turn back and whisper. “Okay.”

I am noticing through conversation, through what I see, that there is some place in the masculine that believes love is ‘soft’, it is ‘girly’. With all the expectations that society has of who boys are and how they should be – tough, strong, never cry, cool, hard, male, etc… – I wonder if this is surprising. There is no room within these parameters for the space I hold for Lux; a space in which he thrives as compassionate, sensitive, wise and infused with the gentle strength of truth and integrity. At odds with the container that exists in the world, this other way of Being for boys is out of sync.

I have heard that a man’s most vulnerable energy center is his heart. And while I have worked with men who have a history of heart problems, and boys who have lost their fathers to heart attack, this ‘rejection’ of Love, this resistance to trusting and softening to it, is not theirs alone. Recently I worked with a woman diagnosed with congestive heart failure. My grandmother on my mother’s side died at age 36 of a heart attack.

With both male and female in me, where have I held back or ‘overcome’ Love? Where have I thought it was too vulnerable, too soft? Where have I become ‘hard’ and compromised all that wants to flow through my heart? From being able to identify the experience of being hard around giving and receiving love within myself – to then be able to make a choice about how I am now and in the future.

The other night I dreamt that I was in what seemed to be the crime-ridden streets of Brazil.

I am with another woman – a long mane of dark hair, dark skin, exotic and focused – and we are being pursued by men with guns. Following this woman, down narrow alleyways, onto a bus, off again, we finally arrive at the back entrance to a building. Our pursuers have gone to the front, meaning that whoever is on guard here is now with them. The coast is clear. We have a chance to find the kidnapped child who we are here to save.

We slip in a non-descript door and I find myself in a corridor with a sliding cupboard. Opening it, I see it is full of a thick soup. Some kind of restaurant or canteen, this is where they store their food. At the very back of this ‘closet’ I see him. A boy. Completely submerged, just his head visible.

Without a moment to loose. I reach in, take his hand, pull him out and then we are running. The three of us. Back through those alleyways, back to a corner bustling with nighttime traffic. The woman whistles down a cab and in a moment we are in it.

Sitting there in the back seat, I am holding this boy. Holding him and feeling all he is feeling. The terror; the wondering if he would ever come out into the light again; the pain that I know is the same pain I have felt in my right foot; the relief; the hunger to be held and loved; the hunger to hold and love; the question, ‘Is it safe for me to be here? to live?’

And my heart expands. It moves through distrust and blame, through all the places it has held back, and with this great wave of relief, chooses Love. Only Love. Feeling this twelve-year-old boy, holding him with the promise never to shut him out again, so new, so fragile, it is an opening that takes my breath away.

Maybe it is just coincidence that Lux sleeps in a large closet at his Dad’s house… maybe not. What I do know is that this spirit of the masculine, the one that holds and cherishes and delights and loves unabashed, uncompromised even in the face of some age-old idea about what it is to be a man, this gentle, powerful spirit will not whisper or be kept behind closed doors anymore. Time for integration. Time for Divine Union. Time for nothing less than Love in everything, on every level. Thank God! Thank Love! Thank You!

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