Self As World= It’s Time To Get Real

I am feeling especially terrified to commit anything to the page today.  It’s that tired old fear of not being good enough;  not doing it “right”.  This morning, I feel sorta quiet, and it seems like my genius might be snoozzzzing.  Is that why I write?  Just so you’ll read it, and then tell me, “Oh, Athena, you are SO brilliant, and what you wrote really made a difference for me!  I feel more relaxed and at home in my own body and heart, as well as in the world!”


Wow!  If you told me that, I would feel so well spent!  Oooh!  I think I’ve stumbled on a genuinely inspired topic: OUR HUMAN FAMILY.


Honestly, it really DOES baffle me, how we can look anyone else in the eyes and NOT recognize them as a sister or a brother.  We’ve drawn all these arbitrary lines all over the place, and shoved each other in constraining little falsely divisive boxes… for WHAT?  So we can feel “good enough”??  Come on, people, it’s time to get real.


I was talking with my friend Damien at the soulstice party I went to this weekend, and he shared a beautifully profound, yet entirely obvious concept that he’s been developing over the last four years.  It’s this idea that we all have an “inner body” and an “outer body”.  The inner body is everything inside our skin; what most of us identify as “ourself”.  Our outer body, according to his model, is ALSO ourself:  it is everything that exists outside of our skin.  Yes, this encompasses the entire world and BEYOND.  Up until now, we’ve mostly been identified and concerned with a notion of self limited to our inner bodies.


But listen~  as of this very moment, the moment your eyes are gobbling up these words like a hungry pac man, that old paradigm is officially OVER.  Welcome to a freshly birthed paradigm, where we are truly awake to, and joyously responsible for our oneness!!!!  It’s about time, right?


Gosh, I’m sitting here at the wooden booth in Pizzaiolo, and my eyes are curiously roaming about “my body”… My OUTER body… and I’m realizing that I am not as healthy as I’d like to be.  Not to criticize the world “out there”… I also do see plenty of plump, juicy goodness and vitality.   I see a lot of kindness, care, creativity and generosity.  Oh YES!!!


And yet… I have some serious work to do, to get myself into the shape I know I’m capable of.  God, can you IMAGINE?!?!  Existing in a world where we all treated one another as an essential part of our very own BODY?  Everyone would have everyone else’s back.


And now for a word from our sponsor~  I think it would be so boring to write a book.  Like most people do, anywayz.  Like to choose ONE topic and then beat it to death with a wild, spicy noodle.  Ahhhhhhhh.  (insert icon of “The Scream” here _________)  Never say never, Athena Grace, but I WILL say that sounds like an unnecessary buzz kill.  Everybody, look at ME!!, I’m a fucking “EXPERT”.  Listen to me, I know what I’m talking about.  I earned my LMNOP at the School of Mostly Soft Knocks.  See?  I have an impressive piece of paper caged and beaming at you from my hella white wall, just to prove it.


Okay.  I’m done with my rant.   It’s just that I got up to go to the bathroom, and I realized that I was so bored… trying to organize a whole blog around reminding you of the truth of our oneness.  I felt like a mountain that longed to be an ocean!  I wondered myself straight out of the constricting veal calf pen I had crammed myself in… Could I really just swing a hard left and floor it?  Or would that make me a “less good writer”?


And then I realized that I am the commander in chief of Athena Graceland, and I can do whatever I want!!!  Leave staying on topic to all the SUCKAS who are chained to the compulsion to “do it right”.  Personally, I like to ENJOY myself here on the page.  Yep, in Athena Graceland, pleasure trumps congruency for the sake of sounding “credible”.  Come on people, this world is so expansive.  Stretch out!  Make yourselves comfortable.


In other news, Ed is at “The Cabin” with his wife, his fifteen year old son, and his son’s two mates (that was a little mini vacay to Jolly Olde).   For a moment, I felt traumatized that he was gonna be gone for some of my final days before I depart for a rigorous summer of learning at the Momshram… but… I’ve since relaxed into the ISness of it all.  And though this has been an exquisite, expansive, educational and loving chapter in the novel of my life, I must say, I am glad it’s coming to an end.  Does that sound vague?  What am I referring to when I say “it”?  Mostly my semi-secret, day-time love affair with my married police man boyfriend… but now that I think of it, I truly can’t separate that out from the entire structure of this culminating iteration of my existence.  It has been so incredibly rich and beautiful.    But it now must die.  Die to a new, tender skin of deepening integrity, sacred service and focused intent.


Anyway, I wanted to share with you this slow burning curiosity I feel when I imagine into Ed’s day to day reality at home.  What is it like to co-habitate with  one from whom you keep so many secrets?  Someone you are resigned to ever being fully open with, or forgiven by… What do you talk about in a packed car on the way to “The Cabin”?  I will never understand.  Nor will I ever cease to burn with inflamed curiosity.  Thinking about it too hard makes my heart ache.  Oh shit!  Their limping, bleeding, crippled relationship is MY OUTER BODY.  Owwww.  My heart hurts allofasudden.  How do I heal this aspect of myself?  Maybe by being unwilling to continue being an accomplice in a lopsided and cruel love triangle?…  Inhale.  Exhaaaaaaaale.  (Beloved Melanie says life requires a TON of deep breaths.  She’s totally right.)


Ed… I know you’re reading this.  God… I hope you know that I’m sharing all of this in service of exploring my own heart and understanding of my place in the universe.  I know you are doing your best.  And I pray that you continue to evolve “your best”, as you have been, at warp speed, since I’ve known you!!!  God, I’d love to see you break through the inertia of your habits and be so honest with T.  As lovingly committed to unfiltered communication as you are with ME.  And *committed* to miraculous healing of your relationship with her.  It IS possible for you both to come to a place of pure gratitude for the entirety of your journey together, thus far.  Boner.


God?  Who must I BE to ensure this outcome?   Please show me…




Longing for Motherhood

I’m realizing it’s one thing to BE BRILLIANT.  I’ve got that market cornered.  (Yeah, no false humility here.  I don’t see the point.) But it’s a whole nother thing to ORGANIZE my brilliance into cohesive paragraphs on a glowing two dimensional netherworld.  I swear~ lately I’ve been amazed at the wicked insights that slice through my mind and gursh out into otherwise ordinary renditions of nowness.  Well… hopefully some will sneak out when I’m not looking.  In the meantime, I’m just gonna talk about whatever I fancy.


I fancy to share with you how deeply I desire to have a baby.  Honestly, I used to puke in my mouth when I was around women whose “biological clocks were ticking”.  I’d be thinking, “Seriously, babe…take a chill pill.  You’ve got a lot of life to love…”  But I guess that’s how life works~ I inevitably seem to live out all of the things I have judged others for.


DO ALL WOMEN FEEL THIS WAY?  I’m thinking that a lot of us do… at least for a certain span of our gracious goddess unfurling… this gorgeous, all-consuming, full bodied, full hearted desire is what has proliferated our species thus far.  It feels so entirely feminine.  Logic has no place here.  It’s like this fragrance that floods every drop of me, before I have a chance to have any say in the matter.  And it feels so beautiful, that why would I even want to?  It’s like being filled to bursting with the essence of springtime.  Fertility, newness, vibrancy, pulsation.  The image of a prism is surfacing in my mind.  Lucid, crystalline potentiality.  It holds the secret seeds of brilliant rainbows… resting peacefully until she penetrated by fierce tendrils of light.


Yes, Geoffrey, you told me so!!!  Geoffrey is one of my readers.  And he’s always nudged me in the direction of marriage and family… and I thought “Zzzzzz that’s so cookie cutter.  I’m a maverick.  Not a fucking housewife!”  But now that I think about it, being a conscious parent might be the most maverick path of them all!  Giving a little bodhisattva soul room to hit the ground running and shine on this world without dimming her light by according to bullshit social standards.  I know, that’s vague and idealistic.  And there are so many influences in a child’s life besides their immediate family.  We each take the shape of the world around us, blending perfectly with our surroundings, woven seamlessly into the tapestry of Life.


But I digress.  My heart aches, and my body yearns to give life.  And yet… I’m not in a position to do so right now.  Boo hoo.  I think if I let myself, I could cry a dribbling river about this.  It’s frustrating.  My Beloved Edward is already married, and occupied with the task of raising his fifteen year old son… and I am behaving more like a free-falling gypsy star, than a grounded mama goddess.  Here I am, uprooting again, to go on yet another spirit quest… Sigh…  But honestly, the secret prayer in my heart is that this next chapter of growth and empowerment shall serve as an essential step on the path that leads me closer to motherhood.  To stability, grounding and a deep, generous maturity that will carve and shape me into the best mother I can be.  God makes no mistakes.


I guess I have no choice but to marinate in this consuming, focused ache until God gives me the green light.  Yes, I know that becoming a mother is NOT going to make me anymore complete and joyous than I am RIGHT NOW.  It will only make my life more challenging and strenuous (and RICH)…  I try to remind myself of this as I am given in total longing.  But the longing doesn’t seem to care for practical considerations and conceptual wisdoms.


And what about that whole new-skool paradigm of how a woman should make something of herself in the world first, and THEN have babies… so she’s doesn’t make her children her entire life and suffocate them in overbearing “love” and then turn bitter when it’s all said and done, because she’s old and used up and clueless about who she is?  Shrug.  I guess it makes sense.  But since when is boiling life down to rudimentary cliches the ultimate in joy, fulfillment and spiritual wealth?  It’s not.


Hmmm…. I don’t feel like writing anymore.  I just felt to get naked and expose my heart’s *deepest* longing.  For some reason, admitting  my lust for motherhood feels embarrassing.  Maybe because it clashes with the identity I’ve built for myself.  Being a wife and mother seems so bland compared to being a writer, a leader, a teacher, a minister, an artist, a muse…


But jesus.  I am vast enough to be all of me and still be a mother.  Interesting, this writing is revealing some deep-seated beliefs and bullshit social programming.  Cool!  I bet conscious mothers encounter tons of that.  Like that moms aren’t supposed to be sexual anymore, for example.  (Is that because of the whole silly virgin mary archetype?  Not only is she totally OVER sex, she never even loved it in the first place!… Psssshh, gimme a break!).  And if they have moments of feeling trapped and wondering what the fuck they were thinking when they decided to give themselves over to twenty-four-seven service to an incessantly dependent little leach, then there is something WRONG with them.  Dream ON, ladies!!!!! That sounds like the most natural thing in the world.  But… to widen ourselves and give, even when we are sure we are spent to the last drop… now THAT’S what I call *real* spiritual practice.


Okay.  I’m done.  But first, I offer my entire life and self and heart to God.  God, I know you know every circumstance and subtle nuance of my heart and life.  Please continue to illuminate, open and bless my Becoming.  I am yours.  Make me a purified channel for your Endless Love.




Kali Strikes Again!

Sunday evening.  Guess what my burp tasted like?  Pesto!!  You never would’ve guessed that.  It’s the prettiest day EVER… except my life is getting decimated by the fierce mother goddess, Kali and all I can do in the face of this uncomfortable destruction is inhabit it with neither glee nor despair… but just a sense of pale, raw willingness… and stay off of drugs.


Yeah, the depth of sobriety that life is asking of me now, is quite remarkable.  Almost like it’s own high.  Everything is so simultaneously mundane and far fetched.


Ugh, I was just overtaken by a compelling impulse to erase this writing, close my computer and get on with my life.  Like maybe just do a bunch of hip openers and then mediate.  Yeah, Athena… THAT’S gotta be the ticket to eternal happiness and fulfillment.  Wink.


Heck, maybe I’ll break the mold and just write a short blog today!  THAT would be unheard of here in Athena Graceland.  Yes!!!  I’m gonna drive off the road tonight, in my neon pink corvette.  After all, it’s father’s day.  That doesn’t really mean anything.  Why am I even bothering to waste my time, spewing words that add up to NOTHING?  Sheesh.


I guess I’ll just tell you that I haven’t written in a while, because I’ve been feeling overwhelmed… because I am moving out of my gorgeous, light, spacious apartment by Lake Merritt at the end of this month… and I haven’t chosen to harness the luxury of time to sit and sip sweet, creamy tea and muse on frivolous philosophicalities of life, love and the universe.


Instead, I’ve been going thru my belongings and getting rid of a lot (which has felt terrifying to the small, false me, who insists she exists, when she actually might not at all…).  Not to mention having a few long, draining conversations with Ed about our currently flailing (though ever LOVING) Relationship…It all feels like its falling apart right now.  Shrug.  I’m just trying to stay tuned into God, and let our Loving Source lead the way.  I think I’m doing pretty great.  But it’s certainly not the most joyous process.  My face feels mostly serious.  My body feels dull.  And my heart and mind feel arduously sober and a little too stiff for my liking.  I can’t see but two feet in front of me, and yet, I hear this intuitive whisper calling up from the depths of my soul, informing me that even though this current cycle of decomposition and shedding feels uncomfortable and awkward and even a bit torturous in certain momentsf, it is clarifying me into the most exquisite servant of God!


From my inside, out, there is NOTHING that I’d rather be, than a clear channel of pure, Divine Love.  And like, why would I want to be who I was YESTERDAY??? Zzzzzz.  While the familiar has it’s own holy shade of seduction, it sure can overstay its welcome!  I’m yawning.  It’s seven fourteen pm.  Native american flute music is kissing about the platinum, soulstice evening light.  Tribal drums dribble in through my open window, and have a soft, sonic spar with the gentle, breathy waves of whispering flute.  Just like life, it’s simultaneously awkward and beautiful, like sipping a sassy cocktail on an expensive balcony, overlooking a majestic city full of anonymous fucking and killing, birthing and death, mundanity and artistic splendor.


I digress.  Where am I going at the end of the month?  To the Momshram, where I will do a rigorous, month-long yoga teacher training, and then maybe continue to marinate in my own sacred juices for another couple of weeks before returning to the Land of Oaks to do another fifty hour tantra yoga immersion.  There.  I said it.  I know, sometimes I get so swept away in poetic metaphors and meandering, heart-wrenched prayers, and dramatic recounting of my love life, that I forget to just share the basics with you.  Do I want to be a yoga teacher?  Shrug.  Maybe.  Maybe not.  But I certainly want to keep diving into the beautiful, boundless depths of my own heart, and sharing generous sips of the Infinity I find in here, with anyone who wants some.


I mean, it’s either that, or become an accountant.


Okay, I’m tired of writing now.  My brain is fuzzy and my body wants to move and stretch.  My breath wants to run like a river racing through a deep cut of ravine, eagerly pouring back toward Source… Om Namah Shivaya.


Something good is happening here.  But I can’t make out its shape in this dark.  Shrug.  That’s how it’s sposta be for now.




Surrendered and Awestruck

All I want to write about is Ed.  Because honestly, I have NEVER met a man who knows how to love, worship, empower, care for, respect, experience and open a woman like he does.  (Except maybe my friend Anitra’s man, Matthew… but I’ve never met him in person.)  I wish Eddie would TEACH men how to love women.  This world would sure be a different place if men knew how to love women.  And yes, it’s a two way street.  Women need to be able to fully receive this profound gift.

I sat and blanked out for a few minutes after I wrote that first paragraph… wondering where in the heck this blog wants to go.  I mean I could plunge head first into the topic of intimate relationships… but that doesn’t inspire me.  And I am here to follow the energy like a golden thread that weaves all the way through the curvaceous fever dreams that coyly conceal the omnipresence of Heaven.

I want to say that this is such a RICH time in the unfolding of my soul.  Om my GOD.  If you have been vacationing in Athena Graceland for a while, you have witnessed me riding some pretty killer waves recently!  Sheesh, I am become painfully intimate with my edges… that ugly “fuck it” place, where I am ready to quit.  Where I lament that I am too spiritually aware to even consider suicide, so instead I just spit and snort about what a stupid choice it was to incarnate as a human being on planet earth.  And a part of me is like, “God, Athena, you can do better than this!”… And I try to find the way home to the peaceful throne at the center of my bodhisattva heart… but darn it if the path isn’t is utterly obscured!

But even in the worst of times, I am still up at five thirty am, seated at my candle lit altar, calling out to God and begging for the grace to be welcomed Home, into the heart of Silence, which wakefully rests, eternal, at the center of my being.  I’m getting closer!

Today, I can testify, that the challenge, the glorious struggle of life these days is making me SO strong and beautiful.  As I ride each excruciating wave, I truly wonder how in the fuck I am going to pull this one off… But I DO!  And then the ocean becomes calm for a wash of welcome breaths, and I look around… and I am pleasantly stunned by my victorious becoming, and by the endless wonders that surround and embrace me!

I know I have used this image before in my blogs… but that’s because it is perfect… Member in the Wizard of Oz, when the wicked witch flew through the open, blue sky on her broom, trailing smoke with which she spelled out “SURRENDER DOROTHY”?  Yep.  Run out of your house now and cast your eyes to the heavens…. Surrender Athena!!!!!  Or if it’s of value in your own life at this moment, please substitute YOUR name for mine!

In my heart of hearts, I pray to love GOD more than any fleeting form, or illusory goal.  And as I am thrashed about by this RAGING SEA, it is impossible to cling to much of ANYTHING.  All I can do is BREATHE deep, and make friends with what IS.  In some moments, this SUCKS.  But I LOOOVE who I am becoming.  One who is unshakably grounded in spirit.  One whose faith is bullet proof and firmly rooted in the soil of miracles.

I’m not afraid to let go.  I am willing.

Listen to this!  I went to church on sunday.  And as soon as I entered the sanctuary, I broke down in a deluge of tears.  I let myself spill.  And this is unlike me… but they didn’t stop.  They just kept pouring right out.  And I felt right and welcome and whole, as I soaked up the spiritual nutrients that bled from every pore of the nowness in which I marinated.  THEN, get this, Reverend E shared that she was sick, and had visited two doctors who could find nothing wrong with her… so she went to a kinesiologist who told her that she was GRIEVING.  And because she never cried, her LUNGS were crying.  She said it’s true, she never cried, because as a child, her parents forbid it… so she learned to hold it all together no matter WHAT.  Meanwhile, there’s Athena Grace, sitting in the second row, sobbing her guts out.  Life is such an intricate mystery.  An image of a prismatic snowflake with infinite facets and dimensions just flashed in my mind’s eye.  It dances in the devotional embrace of the void, refracting ever-new faces of wonder.  This is the ground of our being.

I love Reverend E.  She’s in her eighties.  And her divine beauty stuns me.  I love how she delivers her sermons with her eyes closed!… so fully given to spirit… and the words pour from her sacred mouth and wash over our hungry minds like a river of sweet honey truth.

But I guess the moral of that story, is that sometimes one must let the tears flow and cleanse our hearts like summer rain.  Because afterward, I was indeed made pure.  I left church, still aching.  I ached all day.  Then, came evening, and in desperation, I called out to my Goddess Sister, Deirdre.  That was the turning point for me.  FRIENDSHIP!!!!!  Wait.  That deserves its OWN paragraph…


Holy God.  There is NOTHING like friendship.  Friendship is food.  Friendship is blood.  Friendship is water.  Friendship is God.

I am amazed at the skill with which Deirdre was able to simultaneously cradle and kiss on the desperate, broken child in me, and then, while the child was pacified on the tit of holy mother love, Deirdre wielded a phat sword and chopped the head off the self-indulgent victim flailing about inside me!!!  How did she pull that off? A blessed combination of skill and grace!!!!  Deirdre’s loving presence has raised the bar for me on how to show up as a friend.

Bottom line?  I have faith in this transformative cauldron of LOVE, we call Life.  I am seeing that the more I LET GO, and LET GOD, and use every single moment to extend LOVE, the happier and more at peace I am.

Join me here.  Love always wins.  I promise.