Creating Spaciousness With Wonder

IMG_8739

My affirmation for wonder: I embrace my truth and respect myself as a tidal creature who knows that my dedication to feeling deeply, with wonder and curiosity, is a key to liberation. When I witness and experience myself as love, awakening beyond all shadows, I feel that love as boundless, and I am free. 

 

 

We hear a lot about hope, but is hoping helpful? What if there is nothing safe about being alive, at least in how we have come to understand “being safe.” In what ways do we keep ourselves entrained in patterns of belief and behavior that dim our light, out of alignment with our truth, because disappointing others or failing to “get it right” feels like too much of a risk? Like Terence Mckenna said, what if the real magic is “hurling yourself into the abyss and discovering it’s a feather bed.” What if feeling safe is more about feeling held, a sensation we can nourish within ourselves, which then nurtures our receptivity to others, and to life. Those moments of constriction, where we feel stuck, where we wish it could be different, are opportunities to choose wonder and curiosity as ways to create (luscious!) spaciousness in our experience.

What would it feel like to become swept away in wonder, rather than pulled under by fear? How much more deeply could we explore the roots of our motivations, if we took a step back to slowly respond rather than quickly react? What if we courageously embraced all of ourselves, and each other, not just the lovely bits? What if we really listened to our bodies, to our hearts, when they communicated with us? What if we could be ok with finding balance and then losing it- returning again and again to that sweet, strange ebb and flow? What if we respected our pain as a teacher? What if we honored difficult relationships and situations as our teachers? What would happen if we could just be there for it. Breathe. Lean into it. Play around with it. Forget everything we think we know, feel into it, and connect with the inherent wisdom within. To be embodied is to be in awe, of the brokenness as much as the beauty, to nestle into the underbelly, a dynamic sort of surrendering—a dance—eye to eye with the movements of the unknowable, wholeheartedly present, creating a gorgeous openness that is unchained from mere hopefulness, anchored in truth.

Maybe our higher selves know something about the broader picture that isn’t initially clear to the monkey mind, but if we keep our fingers on the pulse long enough, we become it- the hawk’s eye view of life’s tidal surges and withdrawals, the frenzy and the stillness, the ever-flowing energy that moves through all. Slowing down to witness this current as it courses through us cultivates a deeper understanding of the rhythmic nature of the universe. We know that the muck will always come to the surface, and instead of frantically trying to pretend its not there, or despairing that things aren’t clear in the moment, we can just observe, without “hoping” that it could be any different than what it is. Ironically, that is where a shift can actually happen! We are fully capable of being with ourselves, feeling where the anger grips the stomach, or where the sadness consumes the chest. If we can understand just one thing, we must understand that it is ok to be exactly where we are; where we find ourselves is where we start from, and it is valuable because it is our experience. When these waves rise up, we can simply become curious about them. Curiosity with a dash of loving compassion quells judgment, both of self and others, opening us to the wonder and possibility in our sticky, sparkling humanness. Pema Chodron’s incredible work has taught me this, and reminded me of the wisdom we always carry within. Her books “The Places That Scare You” and “When Things Fall Apart” are essential reading, in my opinion, and have helped me through some very dark times. Tara Brach’s “Radical Acceptance” is also a goldmine for the tender soul.

If you forget everything else, remember this: You are your own source. It has always been enough. You deserve to know that love you long for, the one you’ve searched everywhere for, except maybe in the shadows of your furthest corners, where those fragments “that can’t possibly be loved” live under white sheets like abandoned ghosts gathering dust. Reveal to yourself what you have hidden. Hold every aching piece who believed staying in darkness could shield them from rejection. Offer yourself to the honey dripping, blossoming, luminous, true blue love, the kind that survives every season, moving through the mess of decay and the promise of tiny greens who push up earnestly through the dark, growing towards the myth of the sun whose warmth is now becoming real. It is safe to wake up from the dream that somebody’s coming to save you, to bust out of the illusion that there’s something to be saved from, or some elusive love, approval, or validation “out there” that’s going to fill the holes that can only be nurtured from the inside. Don’t trip on the untied shoelaces. Untangle yourself. Peel off the roles that have fit you like an old dirty sweater, hanging on by the thread of your agreement to remain attached to an identity that you now know is as mutable as water. Make the choice that is true for you now, not the choice you wish was true, or the one expected of you, but the one you have to make because damn that old sweater and tangled laces have really had their run, haven’t they? Your power thrives in your choice to release what’s been worn, and move forward, however slowly, in the direction of what feels true now. Its ok to be scared, but you can open the curtains and let the light in, it’s been waiting for you to believe in it.

I imagine that I’ve opened my palm to find a sweet yellow bird laying there, wet and worried and wondering.  I look down, unaware that it had been there the whole time, and through my resistance to feeling “what is,” my tight grip had cracked its protective barrier. With kindness and compassion, I open my hand, relaxing my muscles with my breath, giving room for blood to flow, for energy to circulate, allowing this tiny being to wiggle around and ruffle its feathers. When I release my hold, I allow space for flight, or rest, or just being- tension soothed by gentleness, love, presence, honesty and some good humor about it all. Maybe hope looks more like that—knowing our ability to shift how we respond to our experience, as an integral part of the tides, moving out and in, with a willingness to allow space, to accept the call into the unknown. Nothing will ever be what we expect it to be, and that just may be the relief we have hoped for. Lightness of being that comes from being fucking real. Yeah, that feels more like freedom. And freedom loves when we do what hasn’t been done. I trust myself the most when I surrender to now and fly heart first into the feeling, however uncomfortable, because that is real, real like a river who is always in flux, who just keeps moving, because it is compelled to, because knows it will somehow reach the sea.

In Ruins & Rising

IMG_6828.JPG
The heart is a safe place to live,
remember that
when you have forgotten.
That is the only miracle
you must always remember.

You walk in the front door and barely a breath passes
before you find yourself out the back door,
arrow-straight pathway
to the sea,
diving head first
into the secret lives of mermaids
and a million tiny miracles,
the kind made of
saltwater dreams,
jungle birdsongs
and roadside shrines
to Our Lady of Guadalupe,
for those times
when you fall on your knees
in gratitude
or for those times
when you have nothing
but a fucking prayer
for the all-embracing mother
whose starlit gown
and crescent moon chariot
carry stories told
for thousands of years,
long before she came here.
And if you want to listen
you can hear
the sounds of night falling
and the electric kiss
of silent lightning
piercing dark skies,
holding a space vast enough
for meteors
to dance in the sultry air,
enveloping you like the languid body
of a tired lover
whose crystal waters lap sweetly
on your white shores,
untouched, mostly,
vines bursting with
purple blossoms
crawling across
seashell mountains
and seaweed rotting
in the beating sun.

And the driving down dusty roads,
lined with green,
thick and tangled,
past children playing, barefoot,
past tiny wooden crosses
on every doorway
and ladders to nowhere,
past abandoned buildings,
sweet old dogs, and roaming chickens,
the king of iguanas
guarding a shack
with ceviche from heaven,
while a little girl waves
in front of crumbling walls,
whose fading colors
bloom behind her.
Maybe these makeshift shrines
to the virgin mother
tell you that this
is all you need,
because of how beautiful
they are-
their clusters of candles,
sometimes lit,
their wilting flowers
and neon lights
flashing against the darkness.

And the song-filled bike ride
to the pyramids,
who touch the place
where the sky is born,
where you explore
the chambers of the ancients,
still slumbering in stone.
You are content
to only climb mid-way,
because your body goes weak,
heart racing fear of heights-
no sacrifice today.
So you sit on the ruins
communing with Ixchel,
moon goddess of becoming,
of rain, of healing,
weaver of fertile prayers,
medicine woman
alive in every phase of her creation.

An iridescent blue butterfly
comes to you to say:
you are not imagining things,
yes, this is really happening.
And at the foot of another temple
you walk through
a passage of initiation,
chasing the light,
cherishing every step
because you know what happens here:
You are never the same,
reborn on the other side.

Then there’s the part
where you just have to laugh
at comparing the wet, thick air
to a a lover,
because it soon
turns into an enemy
urging you to keep seeking
these prehistoric sinkholes
to wash the perpetual sweat
from your skin,
finding pure delight in the jump,
free-fall
into unimaginable beauty,
the kind that turns you
into a creature,
who howls and sings
the sounds that come
from a timeless space,
but somehow it also
rattles your memory
and brings out the best
90’s pop tunes,
because when delirium sets in,
Mariah Carey goes perfectly
with the ancient Mayans
“it’s just a sweet,
sweet fantasy baby”
swimming in these
underwater cities,
labyrinths of
subterranean rivers,
burial grounds
and portals to the underworld,
where as you float, you decide
that you too will bury
your dead here,
all your bullshit
and your beloveds
you can no longer carry-
these unreal spaces
make you drop it all.
For a moment
there are no humans left,
just you and the ghosts
and the wild things,
and you are not afraid.

So you move gracefully
through the dark
in embryonic caves
filled with turquoise waters
whose depths you will never know,
and you decide
you will never lie to yourself again
about some things,
(about those things
you will never know,)
because at some point
you understand
that what is seen
cannot be unseen
and what is felt
cannot be unfelt,
and what is known
will never again be unknown,
but still, you will always prefer
the way it feels
to merge with the mystery
to find beauty there,
and truth,
in all that lies beneath,
floating softly
in womb-like waters
of the mother.

Because mystery is the first love
of water nymphs and mermaids,
so you descend into another cave,
found at the end
of another dusty road,
where stalactites loom above you
and water drips onto your head
as you swim towards the center,
finding comfort beneath a single hole
in the ceiling
through which sunlight shines,
the golden thread
to the world above.
You can’t stop smiling,
feeling your human hands clinging
to the edge of the earth,
little feet kicking
to stay afloat,
then the sweetness of letting go,
because this is all one big letting go,
joyfully plunging below the surface,
surrendering
to the depths of the unknown
in the caves of your inner being.

Then there is that other
hidden cenote
surely favored by las brujas,
where the water is more emerald
than turquoise,
surrounded by mangroves,
where some force
calls you further and further in,
to where it is cold,
to where the roots reach out
like gnarled hands
you don’t want to hold,
but are curious
about touching anyway,
because when you go quiet
you can hear the spirits of the dead whispering:
“you can hold on to nothing here.
Just absorb it into your body,
so when you die,
and they bury you,
the earth can sing your life
through what grows
from your bones.”

And so all of this
you must release:
the flesh scraped by dead coral,
bruised by rocks,
sliced by shells,
stung by salt,
bitten by strange insects,
turned blistery
by jellyfish larvae,
hair woven into knots by the sea,
ears heavy with water
and siren songs,
finger pinched to hell
by a kind-looking hermit crab,
stomach aching
from dancing in the kitchen
after eating too much papaya,
coconut, dragonfruit,
mango, rambutan,
tamarindo, and tequila,
or maybe it’s overdosing on queso fresco,
or choking on the ocean from laughing too hard
about falling out of the kayak one too many times-
but these are the blessings of the journey,
slippery paths
and countless oases
to remind you of your aliveness,
friends alongside,
soothing the aches.
This saying goodbye,
to the the sand between your toes
the way your heart
will always fill
and empty again
with the tides,
where you will laugh
your way to divinity,
uncontrollable hilarity,
joy, deep sorrow,
and then an even deeper stillness.
Yes, this is all one big letting go.
We will have to give everything up,
jump from the scary heights,
and listen
to the one
who told you at the cliffside ruins,
“Fly your imagination!”

And you imagine that somewhere Ixchel, Tonantzin,
y Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe
hold hands and smile above it all,
with tears in their eyes,
above the blood and sacrifice
above the obsidian and the honey and the music,
above the ornate churches
built for one god
built on top of temples
built for many gods-
the descending god, the honeybee god,
the wind god,
a space for everything
to be loved.
We all need a sanctuary
when darkness falls,
because it always will,
and you will pray that
building your refuge
won’t hurt anyone else’s,
and that your retreat
will be respected,
as we all look for the light
that comes from nowhere,
the light that holds it all,
shining into emptiness,
lighting up the caverns
of our sacred hearts-
entangled and shining,
together,
in the house of the spirits
through which blows
a warm gentle wind
who will carry it all away.
The heart is a safe place
to live,
remember that
when you have forgotten.
That is the only miracle
you must always remember.

Inspired by breathtaking Tulum, Yacobá, Valladolid, Ek’Balam, Cobá, and other magical places of Quintana Roo & Yucatán, Mexico.

A Hunter’s Heart

IMG_8344
The happening waits for no one, just fly

 

A hunter’s heart, a stone, then water
here for a feathered breath
then gone
with the mourning doves’ call
through the window at dawn.
Yellow roses land in the bathroom sink,
sweet sailors on the wind-
the ones who bleed milk white,
whose green stems snap
and turn to dust,
sphinx-eaten beauty
and how we stay soft
even after death,
the preservation of the gentle thought
that everything had its rightful place at the table,
long after we’d said goodnight-
safe under glass,
pressed between pages,
a cricket’s funeral and the ocean at your front door,
how you shocked me with how solid you felt
as if you became real under my fingers
as we walked the notes between planets,
each step an octave higher,
until the sounds became a frantic symphony
of wild horses tangled in our hair,
with hooves that bruised our willing limbs-
the discovery and the betrayal
of the delicate ones
who could kill
if they needed to,
sent out to sea in their tiny boats,
rowing through the spines of ancient books
rising from the water,
records of all songs and sorrows,
sweat, screams, tongues, & touch,
enmeshment,
and her voice’s echo down the hall,
reaching past all the birds and blood,
disintegration
and flowers on every surface,
a heart that beats for those lost beneath the waves,
hands up, sinking,
breathing in new ways now-
how lungs sprout roots,
architects of every pathway home
from eyes that never opened-
relentless adaptation
and the illusion of order,
still as real as skin on skin
and our names in your mouth,
behind curtains that keep no secrets
except the ones between them and the wind,
whispering:

Climb down now child, build the the ladder as you go. The Tower always falls
 before you are ready, 
and fallen feathers 
scatter, singing 
to the stars–
The happening waits for no one,
 just fly.

Nurture The Spark: The Living Poem

IMG_5717.JPG

One way poems are born….the living poem: The day I wrote this, I woke up feeling compelled to write down the images that were flying around my mind, in that strange space between dreaming and waking, the landscape of symbols and sensations barely touched by words (but still, they ache to be written, or I ache to capture them inside in my little glass bottle heart, take ink and turn them into something, scribbling in my journal like a madwoman, so I can watch little wings flap, and see a tiny fragment of another world…always trying to capture the ethereal, preserve impermanence – those silly but urgent desires to convey essence that is beyond logical expression.) As the day unfolded I quietly noticed that a lot of what I had written earlier was manifesting on a little faerie walk I was taking with my friend & her daughter. We saw a beautiful snake move like water into the space between rocks…the temple of the serpent…and then a moon carved by the elements onto the face of a stone….a spider in her web  between tree roots that held rocks like something precious… bees like tiny faeries in their yucca and sage flower sanctuaries, flying too close to my face….I had written these elements down hours before, and there it all was, being born in front of me. Of course the poem, once it starts to be written, takes on a life of its own, relating the inner world through observation of the outer world…but it’s the sweetest & strangest feeling to move through the day as if I am dreaming my life into being, connecting into the vitality of the present moment & relishing the interplay of the subconscious undercurrents and the conscious experience. I am always inspired by the magic created by openness, and the willingness to notice.

 

Medicine

I took only one step over the threshold
into my honeycomb caves
before I wanted to turn back,
to slink away quietly
beneath moonstone ceilings
close enough to touch,
bees on my lips,
whispering that all it will take is
three breaths past the web weavers’ doors
and seven stars beyond the sea urchins’ spines,
the path to all the places I protect
without knowing-
that this is an entry point,
a spiral path
into the temple of the snake,
meeting of the essential self
learning to move like water
where no space is too small to pass through,
where from the stone sprouts a shoot of green,
faith- raw, naive,
and every flower who opens here
calls my name-
urgent voices
riding cobweb carriages
and howling to the night,
laughing about how we can’t feel ourselves bleed
but we know it by the salt-kissed sting,
porcelain white colored by crimson blooms,
comets made of ironstone hearts
breaking across the sky,
the way cuts harden to heal-
the wisdom of skin,
merging and falling
as we walk the circle
to the center.

Through layers of lust,
blinding-
the salve and his sword,
the rose and her thorn
their urge to attach,
and then one stronger:
detach,
re-arrange,
pray to the present,
to the breath,
the silence,
the arrival
at each gate,
where only one thing is asked:
remove your jewels
and make your descent,
strip yourself of each coveted garment
and rise,
naked and trembling,
not with fear
but with lightness:
ritual incineration,
electric bodies melting
into a vein of pyrite,
fool’s gold mine by the river.
We are untouched by greed
and kissed by the one
who leaves specks of ruby
on our tongues-
unmetamorphosed desire,
unpolished still.

I watch for all the things you don’t say.
I am a bricklayer who befriends earthquakes,
building her home amidst
the crashing
with the red-breasted bird
who eats the butterfly,
grabbing her from the spider’s trap,
savior. saint. sinner
devouring
in silence.
Another transformation
in this theory of mirrors,
the reflection and the shattering,
energy provoking energy
and deliberate movement
across the ice bridge-
its frozen song melting
into the soft opening
between danger and beauty.
Channeling Ms. Lonelyheart’s fire,
this little sacrificial love lamb
chooses to carry herself into the flames.
This time, this time I will get it right,
burning my own fortress to the ground,
the foundation becoming my altar
where I dance in prayer,
destroying every flag we have ever waved
in the name of anything false and fickle,
all that has stood for anything
but love and liberation.

Inspired by the enchanting Matilija Canyon in Southern California, a gem of my beloved home.

You Are The Little Seed

IMG_8767
where it is not enough to simply trust, but to surrender so fully you become

 

 

You are the little seed
who only bursts
in fire or flood,
harbinger of wonder,
something from the other world,
who sits in darkness waiting,
inside a burial chamber
or a birth canal,
aching body soothed
by a constellation’s kiss
across winter’s cheek,
where early morning
owl songs
bridge
here
and there.

You are the patron saint
of moth-eaten love letters
read in blue light,
the earth fallen innocence
of wing pierced skin
and whistling winds who say:
The beginning can be hard,
because nothing stays the same,
but don’t stop now.

You are the tiny star
who only dreams
of the explosion,
breaking open ceremoniously
into the light of nothingness,
where it is not enough
to simply trust,
but to surrender so fully
you become,
proclaiming your presence
in the landslide
of shedding skin,
carving a path of courage
through fragments of mirror
dropped from the sky,
shattered by the sounds of angels,
reflecting your unfamiliar face
on the ocean floor.

You are the sweet one
with razor teeth
who gnashes on truth,
leaving to find beauty
in an alien landscape,
returning to the calling
that you will listen to now,
because you have to,
collecting every tangled thread
beneath your loom,
like seaweed on the shore
of a place that feels like home,
though you have only ever lived
out at sea,
beaten smooth by tides
who speak in concentric circles
of memory, visions
and voices
lost to wolves and moonbeams.

Then, a spindle-pricked finger
and a drop of blood,
watering your white dress
in a garden of roses set alight,
petals singed and singing:
Keep going little one.
Don’t fall asleep again.
See through the eyes
of the ancients
how they learned to live
all those years,
alive in the tenderness of being,
how being born
was the first radical act,
and how letting go is the next.

They breathe through you,
and you can see them
in the lines around your eyes
when you laugh secrets,
or when you open
your mouth to cry.
Clocks tick inside trees,
dying in parched soil,
beneath which lies life,
dormant,
ready to sprout something loud,
unknown.

Your resilience is resounding.
Remember.

The clockmaker
and the starweaver
sit together
at the sacred hearth,
comforted by a strange stillness
that turns the golden key,
opening,
awakening,
breaking some spell,
and the thousand year rain
begins.
Grow.
Now.

Inspired by the magical land of Joshua Tree, California

Major Arcana XV: The Devil

IMG_8902
The Devil from The Enchanted Tarot deck by Amy Zerner and Monte Farber

 

 

“Freedom means the power to act by soul guidance, not by the compulsions of desires and habits. Obeying the ego leads to bondage; obeying the soul brings liberation.” Paramahansa Yogananda

 

 

In my journey with the Tarot, I feel that The Devil speaks to us about liberation & connecting in to our personal power. My first instinct lately, when I look at the classic Rider Waite version of this card, is to ignore the chains and flames depicted, and focus on the aspect of this card that symbolizes the intoxication of moonlit attraction, playing in the garden of earthly delights, taking pleasure in indulging the intensity of carnal desire…but the shadow side of these physical attachments is becoming shackled to the unquenchable desires we search to satisfy in other people’s wells, in toxic substances, unhealthy relationship dynamics, obsessive thinking & worrying, or the numbing of pain & fear with any kind of escapism, just pick your poison, there’s plenty to choose from. There is also the element of this card that represents people who blatantly abuse their power at the expense of others as a means of control or manipulation. We seek freedom & transcendence but become entangled, confusing temporary escape with liberation. The Devil asks us to reclaim our intrinsic power.

The Devil card depicts The Lovers in bondage, they are standing together, but not in union; there is an imbalance in each individual regarding the in-drawing of the feminine energy and the out-pouring of the masculine; where the Lovers represents empowered union & the sharing of love, The Devil points to an imbalance of power, as in the dynamic of the codependent and the narcissist, where the codependent individual denies his or her own needs to obsessively meet those of a narcissist. The narcissist thus gains their supply of external power, and the codependent individual gains their supply of external power by feeling “needed,” & “valued” by the narcissist, both cut off from their internal well of strength, and essentially their spiritual and emotional freedom…this comparison between the Lovers & the Devil to me reads: Bond vs. Bondage. This aspect of The Devil card can also be exemplified in the psychological manipulation that occurs in religious cults to keep people bound to fear, which ultimately guides them to give their power up entirely & lose any sense of individual identity. When there is a lack of acknowledgment of the inherent connection to source/the all/god/divine/wholeness/the essential self within, there is a perceived separation that fosters the belief that we need to fill ourselves with something, anything, outside of ourselves to satisfy our inherent longing. Longing is the human condition, and it arises from our biological need to belong—to belong to ourselves, and to the collective. Belonging means survival at the most basic level, but there is also the spiritual component–we expand & grow through interpersonal connection. However, when this need for belonging overrides the individual’s own true path, trouble can arise. Vital lessons come to the surface when we are cut off from the “supply” we have come to depend on so we can satisfy some elusive longing. Crisis is usually what it takes to wake us up to our true selves, when we realize that power can only be cultivated from within, & any other method is playing with some destructive forces.

When we are in balance and connected to the essential self, aligned with our true hearts, and replenishing from within rather than grasping outward, we are empowered to bring light to the shackles, so that we may release that which keeps us in patterns of tension and holding. This “holding” is reflected as stagnation in our physical, emotional, & spiritual bodies, affecting the ways we operate in relationship to self & other. “Lucifer” essentially translates to bringer of the light after all, so when we pull The Devil, here lies a rich opportunity to use that light in service of the higher self, or to refuse and thus remain enmeshed with chains of distraction. I believe that this refusal to illuminate the shadow is the undercurrent of all power struggles. When we hold hands with our shadow, we rise into the understanding that this imprisonment is ultimately a matter which can be released with consciousness; it is a balance of relinquising control and acknowledging reality, “what is,” while at the same time taking the reigns of our personal experience. All that festers in the dark pool of denial directs the currents of our lives, creating the urge to blame, to point fingers—a failure to take personal responsibility for what lies within, & a disconnection from the true self.

I love joyfully experiencing the sensual pleasures of being embodied, and this is another aspect of the Devil. Engaging with our sexuality, tuning into our creative energy, self-expression, finding delight in all of our senses, imbibing a little now and then to fuel the fire & dance with the spark, playing around with the energy generated from the tension of temptation…and like anything, it’s all about how we move with that energy—when we use it with with presence, temperance, gratitude, & reverence, it is a healthy & fun human experience, but over indulgence, addiction, and attachment to material items and carnal satisfaction can quickly turn into a rickety carnival ride of flashing lights and hypnotic hits to the system that leave us essentially empty, always needing something more to fill the void. A good question to ask ourselves is, are we seeking immediate gratification or long term fulfillment? How does this action affect our well-being and the well-being of those around us? This engagement with the self simply requires presence with our true needs. I do not wish to tame the innate wildness, nor deny my desire for pleasure, I wanted to be on earth, in a body, and here I am! In fact, I think self judgement is one of the most profound pieces of bondage we seek to be liberated from; and we can see how our own judgment of self is reflected back to us as judgment from others.

Through a fair amount of trial and error (ahhh, ok, maybe more than a fair amount,) I have found what it feels like to anchor into my truth in the moment, to really feel what it is like to trust that I know what I need to do in order to take care of myself in all ways, even when confusion creeps in & I feel groundless. To get to that place of self trust meant breaking free from the bondage of the false belief that my own intuition, mind, body, heart, & soul were not sacred. The Devil calls to us and asks us to take responsibility for our inner life and its outward expression, be honest about our boundaries, wield the sword of discernment; radical self love and self respect require conscious detachment from people, situations, and choices that are draining to our vitality. This is not always process we can do entirely on your own, and sometimes outside help is required, though real & solid help will always be a facilitation of your own personal power, not a replacement with someone else’s beliefs & ideas. Boundaries are freeing; bondage does not serve us to that same end. Honor the way the water has moved through the riverbed, kissed smooth over a thousand years; witness the purpose of this structure, the way it holds the nebulous flow of movement within it.

 

Ideas for Journaling and Self Exploration

 

  • What fear-based beliefs and attachments restrain me from embodying the freedom of the Fool– unfettered, boundless & joyful, within the framework of awareness & integrity?

 

  • What is my relationship to pleasure? Is there guilt around it? Do I want more of it? How can I cultivate joy & pleasure?  What happens when I do not allow myself to experience that which brings me joy & pleasure? How do I feel when I allow myself a fully present and embodied experience of joy & pleasure?

 

  • How does judging myself or others for having needs keep me imprisoned? How honest can I be about my true desires? How can my desire set me free?

 

  • What does power mean to me? What would it look like to “be in my power?” What makes me feel powerful? What makes me feel powerless? How do I connect to my intrinsic power, the inner strength that is not dependent on any external validation or stimulation? 

 

  • How can I set boundaries in a way that is empowering, seeing boundaries as an act of self love? How does a lack of boundaries become disempowering and draining of my life-force?

 

  •  Practice cord cutting ritual or prayer to release fear, blame, resentment & other attachments that drain your precious energy. I call upon Archangel Michael and also the violet flame of transmutation to clear negativity or stagnant, draining vibrations. I ask Archangel Michael to clear away with fierce love anything that is draining my life force or hindering my light, past -present-future, known or unknown, throughout lifetimes, acrosss time and space. I ask that any piece of myself and my power I have given away come home;  I ask that anything less than love be dissolved, and that the clear light of divine love heal me and all involved. Calling your power back with cord cutting & clearing  are incredible tools to use, centered in love & compassion for the highest good of all.

 

  • What happens when I feel I am over-indulging in pleasure seeking activities? What habits and addictions keep me bound? What shifts in feeling, thinking and action need to happen for me to experience the freedom of true self love?

 

  • In what ways have I disconnected from my self? What is happening, either internally or externally, when I disconnect from my body, or heart? How do I reconnect with my body, how do I reconnect to my heart?

Fling Open

IMG_8740

“Emotion is the chief source of all becoming-conscious. There can be no transforming of darkness into light and of apathy into movement without emotion.” Carl G. Jung

 

 

You can trust that life will reveal itself. Your task is to allow yourself to expand into the revelation. When you come to the altar that sits at the edge of the wild wood,  settle into your soft center and take the medicine that gestates inside mystery, merging the seen and unseen with your creative urges. Conjure magic, own your throne, and allow yourself to breathe more freely and deeply inside the truth of who you are. Align with the wisdom, depth, light and dark of your instinctual self. Trust in what is being born through you, and in all the crumbling that makes space for you to arrive to the feast in your fullness. Allow yourself to be touched by the destabilizing destruction that dances alongside immeasurable beauty. To touch the world you must let yourself be touched. Hold every facet of yourself in the glow of the sacred hearth, with gentle kindness and searing honesty, honoring the fear, the grief, the peace, and the pleasure that comes in awakening to your power. Even if you turn them away, you will see them again, mirrored in another shining face, stormy circumstance, or in the stillness of your own reflection. Denial of your radiant wholeness was never meant to work long term, as much as you may have hoped it would, suppressing truth until grace capsized your little boat on a moonless night. Remember how you learned to swim?

Use it all as fuel for expansion, and respect too, the need to contract, integrate, and gather your strength when that is asked of you. Celebrate that there is no turning back, only turning into. This is your vow to be an embodied, emboldened guide through darkness, a bearer of light born from pain, a guardian of soul, a vessel for spirit, a glowing cauldron of all-that-is, heart speaking clearly: “Every piece of you is free to exist here.” A courageous traveler into the realms-we-dare-not-speak-of, and a bringer of truth from the depths. A connector. A questioner. A mystery walker. A forest dweller. A shadow loving moonbeam lighting up a path that leads to some kind of liberation, through every twist and tangle. Follow a heart willing to be unbound by the need for validation, showing up more completely because you witness and hold yourself close first, nestled near the fire in the quiet dark, knowing that beauty lives not only in that heavenly moment of wings-widespread, but in the messiness of loss, the reluctance to let go, and the giving of yourself to the call. Inside this dance you find yourself a part of. Inside this offering.

Let love lead. Stay lit. Stay the course. Stay with what is real. Stay with the changes. Stay with the knowing. Stay with the not knowing. Stay with your courageous heart. Choose it. Trust it. Share from there. Serve from there. Move from there. Your life is your work. Keep Shining. Fling open the door that was never closed to begin with, and notice how the light filtering in through the cracks still pulses, asking you to be present, igniting the spark over and over again, singing you through the dark to the other side. All of you. Together.

 

 

I started this in January ’16, first inspired by a magical trip to the Pacific Northwest. But I came back to it in December ’16, deeply moved by a tarot and oracle reading I gave myself, where The Moon, Queen of Wands, The Sphinx and Medusa came to show my some deep layers of my being. The ever-growing complexity of the threads we weave. What will they become?

 

 

Meeting The Self

IMG_8608
Releasing our winged things from their cages

 

The path of self love means learning what it feels like to hold hands with black holes, so we can know the difference between spaces that can be filled with music, and those that will swallow us alive. It is taking off the blindfold and setting fire to the manuscripts of old beliefs we have locked in our marrow, igniting ancient stories with a single flame. Self love is smiling as we watch each stained page curl the way our hands do when we grieve, morphing into grey petals that set sail like paper ships into the nighttime sea, living waters bearing witness to the first exhale after years of holding our breath—and then the way it feels to become the tides, filling our lungs again, salty and deep.

Self love is finally understanding there’s no need to catch every ember in our palms just to feel our skin, we will remember–it’s enough to let the burning light in every touch of sweetness & taste of terror fall around us, disappearing into our hair, illumination against the vast and wild darkness. Self love is slowly collecting the threads piled on the floor of the stoic fortress we constructed, just before it collapses, so we can sit at our loom in the ruins and weave a new prayer, leaving one side open, always open. Self love is giving it up and becoming bosom buddies with uncertainty. It is making love to the mystery, taking off the clothes we’ve worn threadbare, and letting the remnants take their course down the river at dawn. Self love is stepping past the shallows and singing our bodies into deepest part of the river, untying the chords that bind stones to our feet, learning to swim unhindered, naked, and loving it.

Self love is unearthing the bones we were sure we had buried so far down, we would never have to see them again. It’s cradling those bones in our arms and loving them because they belong to us, and then softly putting them to rest beneath the moon, full & aching. The web-weavers’ cabaret begins, and we light up the stage, glowing bright like a birthday cake baked for billions, tiny lights dancing in the smoldering summer sky. We release our winged things from their cages, untamable treasures calling for a reflection, so they may learn to see what lies within, until the inevitable shattering clears it all away– the way energy provokes energy in this deliberate movement across the ice bridge, our frozen songs melting into the dark opening between danger and beauty.

Self love is watering the earth with our blood, setting our arms down to clean the heart of tired longings and spastic wiring, freeing our hands to touch the seedlings as they push their way up towards the sun, through layers of history, alive with innocence, weary with knowing. The path of self love means walking alone with our heads down, sure that we’ve learned what it means to rely on nothing but ourselves, then looking up to see the faces of a thousand beloveds walking beside us, loving us into this foreign land. And then we know that self love means forgetting everything we thought we knew, as we rise into a vision of existence where every step forward is the right one, because we chose it, until finally we can fall on our knees at some entryway, bruised & blooming, in reverence to the sacred heart, home.

 

Inspired by one of my adventures in the mystical landscape of Joshua Tree, California.

Brilliance In Being

IMG_8703

What is possible in the spaces in between?

 

Humans have holes. We try to fill them. When our compulsion to control outer circumstances to quell inner doubt doesn’t quite work, we wonder why nothing we planted took root and bloomed the way we dreamed it would, was it the sallow soil, our own failings, or something like divine intervention? We are reminded that there is no easy answer or quick fix that will soothe us deeply enough to make us forget the fundamental insecurity of our existence. But inside the Mystery we can tend to our hearts like a fertile garden, rooting into the dark questions, becoming fortified in the action of growing toward the light. Otherwise, we are lost in a fiery battlefield of misplaced power. We can break free of the story that someone else will swoop in like a faerie tale hero to do the work for us. We can break free of the need to know how our voice can possibly matter, and trusting that it does. We can break free of being complicit in our own oppression by staying silent and hoarding our gold. As the ground beneath us shakes and shivers, our willingness to stay open to our curious creative nature will expand possibilities unseen by those who believe they have the luxury of control and certainty. Sure, tides are predictable, but this storm is wild and if nothing else, it will reveal to us that which can never be taken away. We can harmonize with the depth and strength of our collective spirit, or drown denying the power of the ocean. We must settle into the land of un-knowing and let there be space for unraveling…reveling, even, at the gifts ripening below the surface, electric heartbeats quickening for the openings we can’t see, yet. We must leave a space for waves to crash against hollowness, softening sharp edges…filling, emptying, filling, emptying…breathing through the storm dance, the rhythmic seizing and sighing, then stillness. We must stay gentle with ourselves through the darkness, even when we want nothing more than to run, hide, consume, deny, or turn away. This is a courageous act of self love, and self love is true freedom. Our brilliance is in being. That is all we have to do. Remember.

 

I started this in January ’16, and came back to it in December ’16, inspired by a tarot reading I gave myself, which is part of a month long series of daily card pulls and journaling that has been opening me in some very rich ways. Here The Devil Reversed, The Queen of Wands Reversed, and the Four of Pentacles came to reveal some insight.