What I love about being female…

Last night I got a text from my beautiful friend Claire. She posed this question:

What do I love about being female?…

Wow. What a great question. And as I sit in it, and allow the whispery impressions, feelings, and lurking truths to rise and reveal, I must admit that I am present to a jumbled cocktail of complexity from which I must tease forth the element of that which I love…

Amidst the tangle, are self-judgement and comparison and striving (to be an even BETTER, more fully expressed and powerful rendition of my femininity…). I have this feeling of reaching in and wanting to reach in further and further and embrace my boundlessness, my own unique portal into the infinite Mystery.

I just needed to give voice to that. Because it was standing guard at the gate beyond which are the dancing gales of all that I love about this experience of femininity. Perhaps I will circle back and address that stuff later… or not. But for now, I wish to dive in and experience that which I love about this lucid dream of being woman.

The first thing that comes to mind… although I’m not talking about the mind in my HEAD… Is being PENETRATED. The dance of the masculine and feminine. Mmm yeah. When I feel into my woman-ness, it is in relation to other-ness; to man-ness! I love experiencing myself as woman in contrast to strong male energy. Just thinking about it, about the big, strong man whom I love… and my pussy sings with ache, my heart melts and my body flutters. Being in the presence of my man calls forth the depths and power of the woman that I am.

But there goes my mind, judging now. Like, Athena, does that make you codependent? What about just being a whole and complete woman unto yourself? What about being a woman among women? Yeah, sure… all that is cool too. Really. And certainly an imperative facet of this human journey… but…

I’m just telling you what turns me ON the most. And it’s not just men in general… it’s MY MAN. It’s the experience of polarity… combined with deep friendship… combined with the mutually tended container of trust, transparency, respect, sharing. It is the opportunity to open, and open and open. And to discover hidden resistances to opening and allow them to dissolve in the light of awareness and love.

I love the innate longing within me to MERGE. To experience the oneness within twoness. To be closer with another human being than humanly possible. And that is really the desire to know God. To be God. We ARE that. We are God… But to finally have a full, cellular remembrance of this eternal Truth through communion with another… I love that.

But how is this a feminine experience? I mean don’t men have the same longing to touch that core of cosmic intimacy with a partner? I’d say yes! But the masculine is an inverse expression of this urge… which I can’t honestly write about… because I am not a man at this time (though I believe I have been… plenty of times…) The feminine is the innate longing to be penetrated, while the masculine naturally penetrates. I relish in this sacred receptivity and dark, mysterious unfolding.

And that is just the beginning. I began there, because it was the immediate response of my body and heart. This beautiful, awakened yearning, singing from everywhere that I know myself to be. But the beautiful experience of femininity unfolds from that potent core of desire…

I also love the deep, innate ache to give birth, to give life, to be a mother. This too lives through my body and the depths of my heart. So immediate and instinctual. And within this implicit longing, is a knowing that woven into the mystery of birth, is the pure power of Creation. The essence of the mystery of the manifest. As a woman, I am able to be intimate with Source in a way that a man cannot. God, I yearn to be impregnated, to give birth, and to allow the experience of motherhood grow and transform my capacity to be fully given as a vessel for divine love.

The feminine is also the ambassador for beauty, for compassion, for love, for intuition. I love the grace that it is to be alive in service to these essential facets of life as we know it. What would this being human BE, without sacred servants of beauty, compassion and love? An impossible question, really. But the essence of it, is that it is a divine privilege to amplify beauty and to offer my boundless heart of compassion to this world; to grow in the practice of honoring and trusting my intuition, and watching this heal my life.

And now I sweep my mind for the unexpressed remnants of this inquiry… And what remains to be acknowledged, is…. well… I’m seeing an image of verdant springtime erupting from beneath a stern, cold world of concrete. There is so much talk about the re-emergence of the divine feminine. And as a result, it tends to sound cliche. But it’s true, that as a result of social programming, I have had to sweat and bleed and cry quite a bit, to remember how to be a woman from WITHIN, rather than from without. There is NO POWER in the experience of being a woman from without; from comparison, and imitation, and massive pile of crippling shoulds, imposed by a world of brittle, mindless striving. The power of woman, of the feminine comes from BEING, from going within and opening to Source. From being willing to shamelessly inhabit and trust this body, the energy and intuition that flows through it.

How much of my life have I wasted looking in mirrors and harshly assessing my reflection? …COMPARING myself, my body, my life, my desires to others’… Learning what is SUPPOSED to be sexy, erotic, desirable through the media, through high-budget hollywood trash… and porn… through an objectified and soul-less lens, rather than learning and practicing faith in my own experience of soulful, nutrient-dense pleasure.

What is sexy is the truth, the immediacy, the rawness of ME. And I am still discovering and revealing this mystery called “me”. I always will be. Until the river that I AM flows back to the Ocean.

Those are a few of Athena Grace’s thoughts on what I love about being female…

Blessed BE.

PS~ This is such a deep question. And a very important one, at this time. I invite you to explore it for yourself… And I would LOVE it if you would share any thoughts on this topic as a comment! SPEAK YOUR HEART! Share your mind.

Fresh From the UnderWorld…

Hey, before I get too immersed in the boundless depths of my thoughts and feelings and stories… do you realize that YOU are a Child of God? And yes, even if you prefer to use different, less charged language, such as a “Whole and Perfect Expression of the Infinite”, my point stands. I just thought I’d ask, because personally, I often forget. And it’s always a little mini victory to remember again. Ahhhh what a strange thing to be a luminous little shard of Infinity, field tripping through a finite dreamscape…

I haven’t written in AGES… or so it seems… because I have been very occupied by the arduous adventure of fumbling through a pitch dark maze in the underworld. I kid you not. I have been digesting way too much poison to be able to offer up anything beyond my own disgusting soul sludge. It’s been quite an experience to sit in the belly of darkness. I wish I understood why that was a necessary journey…

I arrived at the “Momshram” (Ananda) a week ago. My mom was convinced that it was the “outside world” that chewed me up and spit me out, and she received me like a mangled, bloody soldier returning from battle. She gave her all to the task of rejuvenating me and restoring me back to the homeostatic peace and joy of being aligned with my soul. Upon landing back here, I was slogging a heavy and burdensome load of responsibilities and expectations I had piled on myself… and every day I shattered under the weight of all these fear based, self-negating dos and don’ts. But beloved Ma forbid me from attempting to get ANYTHING done, or figure out my screwed-up (my toxic judgement) life. She told me to just take care of myself and BE. This was really hard for me. I was somehow clamped in the steely jaws of this nasty idea that I have been lost and confused and ambiguous about my path for WAY TOO LONG (like my entire adult life), and if I didn’t figure it out by six NOWs ago, I was a pathetic loser who deserved to suffer and die. OUCH!!!

God, it seems so ridiculous from my perch on the stiff, velvety blue couch in Serenity House lounge… To consider that I wandered through such a bleak rendition of hell. I was also suffering about my relationship with Ed. Wishing it was different. Wishing he was available to live OUR life, create OUR family… Putting so much of my energy and attention on him, and breaking apart again and again as I slammed up against the stone wall of the reality that he is still immersed in another home and family that I am not welcome or included in.

But I’m here today to tell you that yesterday, Sunday, I found the light again!!! I went to Sunday Service with my adorable mama… and like a starving, abandoned kitten being fed a bottle of warm, sweet milk, I gleefully suckled every last drop of Truth and Light that was offered! God, there really is nothing like gathering in the name of LOVE, and imbibing the timeless teachings of the yoga of Self Realization. I get an undeniable feeling in my body when Truth is spoken, read or otherwise revealed. Relaxation. Vitality. Alignment.

It is ironic that when I left Ananda like seven weeks ago, and returned to the Bay Area, I felt so saturated in the teachings, that I had no desire to go to Sunday Service. Once I read in a book by Yogananda about “spiritual indigestion”… He said one oughtn’t gorge on Truth-imbued books. You just take a bite or two…contemplate it, allow it to sink in and transform your consciousness. You don’t need to keep ingesting more and more and more, like Burger King drive-thru. Well I felt SO FULL when I left… But how quickly that “other world” leached the nutrients from my system!!! I was truly starving and twisted up in deep grooves of ignorance by the time I returned to this God-stained haven.

Trust me, it is a different world here. Everyone is on the same page. Everyone has given their lives to going Inside, into the Silence, and making themselves available for the whispers from eternity, which speak to us all, all of the time… if only we take the time to LISTEN. In the “outside world”, that is NOT what people prioritize. “Out there”, it is so much more about survival, and ambition, and excessive, incessant stimulation. Here it is about creating the conditions to touch the divine reality within (through deep meditation), and then living that reality every day. Mostly through service. At least that’s how I perceive it today.

Why on earth would I want to go back to the other world of noise and darkness and deluded worldly ambitions, when I could be here, actively working to BECOME divine reality. Not just to “believe” in it, think it, hope for it… NO! To make it my Home in every moment, and to let Truth inform all of my thoughts, actions and words. I want that!!!

The more time I spend here, the more I am considering living here. Even though it is “bland”, as I once described it to my ma. Shrug. It seems I am losing my taste for excessive stimulation and outrageous flavors. Suddenly bland is the new delicious. Honestly, I’m not quite ready to swan dive in to being here full time… I think I need to get roughed up s’more first, by the choppy waves of the deluded world. If and when I choose to live here, I must be one hundred percent behind that choice. I’m just reporting the riptide I am experiencing that keeps pulling me deeper onto this beautiful, nourishing path of Self-Realization.

What about Ed?

He is an exquisite partner. He has been continuously willing to stand by me and support me in what ever choices strengthen my well-being, happiness and fulfillment. Because his love for me is deep and quality. And the more he lets go of me, in service of choosing the highest path, the more I KNOW in my soul’s bones that he is worth holding onto. I figure, if a couple can navigate such arduous challenges as we are, standing side by side and relying not on our own strength, but on the strength of God… finding the tap-root of patience and endurance, staying mostly compassionate and loving, surrendered and in good humor… then there is NOTHING, no challenge, obstacle or storm (Yogananda says there are no obstacles, only opportunities) that we can not weather together, and emerge VICTORIOUS.

I am beginning to believe that it is loving and trusting God that makes a Relationship capable of going the distance and enduring the inevitable trials and transformations of human life. Can you prove me wrong? What do you think makes a Relationship endure in the face of this unwieldy ride we’re all on?

So that’s the terrain I’ve been navigating lately… I am so grateful for my return Home to Faith and Surrender and the ever-new Joy of God. Blessed BE!!!


The Eclipse of Forgiveness

Good lord, I’m so glad that vicious eclipse hath passed. I mean I’m into astrology… so I get all jazzed when I find out about the latest grand trine that’s gonna clear some serious karma, or the square that will bring old mother wounds to the surface or…

BUT THE ECLIPSE ON SUNDAY WAS A NATURAL DISASTER. There was zero ambiguity about the fact that the heavenly bodies were pressing me into a hot pocket of hell within my own being. It was like God On High was giving me the worlds fiercest indian burn and all I could do was cry out, “MERCY” and tolerate the intense sensation until HeSheIt let go of my red, smoldering arm.

It started on friday morning. Months ago, like maybe august?, Ed signed up for the Sterling Men’s Weekend, upon my vigilant… err… insistence. Back then, it seemed as though the first weekend in November would NEVER arrive. And then, like magic wrapped in a slippery, silken flag called time, it did. And as the date approached, I was a little girl awaiting christmas morning. Honestly, I don’t even know what they DO in those men’s weekends. It’s confidential. But I know that in our culture, rites of passage are MIA, and we suffer for it. And tons of rad men in my life have done it, and it’s no coincidence that they are the raddest. In this patriarchal society, the masculine has lost it’s heart. “Being a man”, has meant “you are not allowed to have feelings”… Fathers unconsciously pass this wound of confusion and closure on to their sons because they don’t know any better. And as a result, the planet is at war and we are raping our Mother (earth). And now, people are starting to be like, “Hey! This sucks. What else is available?” And we are discovering ways of restoring balance, respect and alliance between the masculine and the feminine, and returning to the way of LOVE.

So Eddie was ready to get down and dirty with his bad self, and do some serious healing and transformation, in this contemporary epic of life on earth…

The course started friday at noon. Ed texted me early in the morning, informing me that he and his wife had been going at it since 6am… and she forbid him from attending, because it was a cult, and he’d have to be crazy to pay to put himself through that. Ummmm… but wait… she’d known about it for months, too!!! And had been a yes the whole way. Until the day of…

Well actually, like milk, she had turned sour when she found out that the course didn’t start on saturday am, but friday at noon… and went till *hella late* on friday and saturday… Lord knows why, but she found that unacceptable, and went poking around on the website in search of anything that she could use as ammunition for her cause.

Jesus. I honestly don’t know if that’s *really* how it went… but I DO know, that she blocked him, the day of. And he came to me in distress. He could either be like, “well fuck you, I’m doing it, no matter what you say,” and turn his home into a war zone…, or he could bow down and heed her perplexing and unfair demand.

Ed and I discussed the situation at length…

After digesting all of the factors, I asked him if he wanted to know what I’d do if I were him. Yes, he did. I said, given that he is committed to his life with his wife and son right now, I would convey to his wife, with a wide open heart, that attending this weekend was something at I deeply desired to experience, and it meant a lot to me. But I would *not* do it without her blessing. I’d give her the reigns and let her make the ultimate call. BUT~ the caveat to this, is that if she said NO, I would COMPLETELY accept that, and hold not a shred of grievance. Vow NEVER to wave it in her face or use it as ammo in a fight.

He took my advice.

She said no.

I felt like I was kicked in the guts.

Yeah. I was pissed. I felt like that was such a nasty move on her part. THE DAY OF… Why did it upset me so much? For a few reasons… one, that I have been Ed’s sole source of support in the way of his transformation. Well… actually, he is now seeing a coach… but all that dude does is ask him deep, probing questions… Anyway, I was so fucking looking forward to handing him off to a community of men doing deep and powerful work… so I wouldn’t have to work so hard!… Plus, there’s stuff that MEN can give each other that women simply can’t. And the same for women and women…

Plus, I was having an experience of utter powerlessness, and it sucked ass. Probably the same experience of powerlessness that SHE had, which compelled her to behave as she did. (Wow. I just came close to name calling!!! Phew, close shave… I guess I still have some forgiving to do… GOD!!!!! HELP ME!!!!!!)

Forgiveness. That’s the theme of this blog entry. And surrender, too. Cuz listen. I was PISSED like I rarely am. Pissed like I couldn’t see straight and I wanted to hate that woman. Not familiar territory to me. At least not on the surface of my consciousness. I didn’t even have access to the compassionate, loving, generous, forgiving part of me.

I gave myself the rest of the day on friday to be angry “at her”. I was so deeply disappointed. And flailing in the question of what the fuck am I entangled in??? A triangular prison, and slowly bleeding to death…

But I kept praying to God to help me see a miracle in place of this grievance. Help me be willing to give this up. And let go of “my view point”. God. Being self-important is so perpetually tempting. And destructive.

Saturday morning, I awoke from a dream that I was pregnant, and felt that I had to have an abortion. My heart felt crushed. I was still unwilling to let go. But at least I was awake enough to keep on praying. Another day of fire coursing through my veins and ache beating my heart. Sunday, the actual day of the eclipse, WORSE. And keep in mind that Ed was far off in his parallel universe, with the family, so our contact was minimal, which added to the fire and water that was wrecking my heart. But I kept on praying.

And then moonday came. And by the Grace of God, I became bathed in the understanding that put my heart to rest. I will never get to walk directly in his wife’s moccasins, so I can’t say FOR SURE… but I can imagine that she might feel like her whole life has been torn down. Without a choice. Talk about a loss of power and control. And then to send Ed into a deeply transformational environment, on top of all that… At an intuitive level, I bet she could feel that he’d come out on the other side changed. EVEN MORE. And how would THAT impact her??? Who knows. She was vying for a shred of (illusory) power and control. And she got it. And given the circumstances, I guess she needed that. (and heck, I might have done the same thing, in her position…)

Once upon a time, some french dude said, “To understand is to forgive.” And somebody thought it was a brilliant enough statement to record and pass down through the annals of history. I can see why. In my own experience, understanding has always been a precursor to forgiveness and compassion.

But in this scenario, as in all life, there is also the element of MYSTERY. The recognition and reverence for the immensity of this picture of existence… and the fact that I will never fully know, or understand WHY life happens the way it does. I just won’t. And I don’t need to. That’s God’s job. My job is only to TRUST. Surrender. Forgive. LOVE.

I’m doing my BEST at this. For it is all I can do, in the face of this confounding tapestry of human dream of life on earth. Inhale. Exxxxxhaaaale.

Like I said, I still have some work left to do in the way of forgiveness. But I have come a long way in the last few days. And I love myself so much for choosing to let life be an arena of continuous practice in the way of unlimited and unconditional loving. What else is there to do in this smoke and mirrored circus?