Yo Lord, throw down a little bitta sweet lovin’…

Thank GOD shit has lightened up over here.  OMG.  That was far from the most “knock it out of the park” opening sentence ever written, but I had to go with it, because it was honest.  I bet Hemingway is cheering me on from his scrappy, desolate log cabin above the clouds.  But yeah, after my last entry, my throngs of fans were all like “I feel your pain.”  Haha, my Ma used to say that to me occasionally, as I marinated in flames of self-inflicted, luxury vacations to hell.  She’d first say, “As Bill Clinton used to say…”  This always tickled me just right in too-serious moments.

Well thanks for feeling my pain.  I remember Matt Kahn testifying that success feels way more surreal than the struggle ever did.  That really struck me.  Deep down, I know that I will get to experience this firsthand some day.  In the mean time… what is it that I want you to feel with me today?

My longing.  Inhale.  Exhale.  My longing to be touched beautifully.  Physically, emotionally, mentally and heck let’s just toss “spiritually” into the mix, even though who the fuck knows what that actually means!  It just makes my desire sound more massive and unwieldy! (which it certainly feels from INside…)  But if we were gonna roll up our sleeves and get nitty-gritty, I’d say that “spiritually” can encompass (and transcend) all realms, dimensions and facets.  Like how at the end of the day, you can’t pick Love apart, because it’s the binding agent of the entire multiverse and Beyond.  Or as wise, old KenPie says, “The ground of all Being”.

I just paused and did this delicious stretch, which made a heavy shower of starlight drizzle through me.  I smelled my armpit along the way.  It was mild and sweet.  I am so healthy.  My armpits never stink.  But my shit does.  For whatever that’s worth.  (This was a totally superfluous paragraph, and I considered deleting it.  But I decided to leave it in… because it embarrasses me to do so.  And I figure in some strange way, that makes it valuable.  An editor would probably disagree, but eat your heart out all you tamed writers who do what your editors say, just so that you can make a buck… and feel like somebody cuz your words are immortalized in the minds of the masses…  As long as I’m an impoverished hussla, at least I get to call the shots!!!

Anyway, it’s almost comical how man-starved I am at this point!  Since my last post, Ed and I have been taking space with no communication.  Which feels sooooo niiiiice.  I’m not wasting my energy caring about the perplexing choices he’s making “over there” in his out of reach life… or breaking a sweat to get him to have deep, meaningful conversations with me.  Talk about a “luxury vacation”!  But maaaaaan…. I’m so in the mood for lovin!

I guess I have been for months now, really.  Back in the very late winter, I fell in love with the soulful young man at the local (enchanted) podunk grocery store….  I mustered the ovaries to invite him to the River… only to learn he is gay.  (I still love him!)  But I am cracking up at the slim pickins around here.  It’s totally comical.  Like, do you ever play that game where you run out of food and you try to make a bitchin, gourmet meal out of the five random, bizarre ingredients left in your fridge?  Pickles, ketchup, some dried black-eyed peas, the heal of a loaf of sprouted raisin bread and an over-ripe apricot?  Can somebody say avant garde sloppy joes?!?!

Just kidding, I would never make that.  But it perfectly illustrated my point!  And gave me a huge, satisfying bang.  Which is really why I write.  Just to ring my own bells.  Oh, my exotic choir of heavenly chimes!!!  What riveting and revelatory music they add to this world!

So yeah, there’s like three single men at Ananda… and I’m over here goin like, “what can I possibly do with these guys that would make them… palateble… or perhaps even… TASTY?

Then another part of me is clutching at the emergency break.  Because I’m scared of getting distracted and drained.  I don’t have energy to squander at this time.  It all goes to my girl, and to my burgeoning CAREER.  Yup, you heard me– when I grow up, I’m going to be hella IMPORTANT!!!!  Tee-hee.  I giggled out loud.  Because I have this fierce appetite to make something of myself.  And while it is totally real and valid and probably even inevitable, it is also hilarious… because I think most of us thirst to be “important”.  As if our worldly accomplishments will make us worthy, lovable, whole people.

But back to my comical quest for satisfying male companionship…. I’m asking myself, “do I want to divulge the intimate specifics of WHO and HOW?”  I mostly pride myself on standing naked in the floodlight…. But I’m gonna refrain at this point… because I feel shy and wimpy.  Plus, I feel like wrapping this confessional up soon, so I can get in some sumptuous yoga before mama duty broadsides and devours me….  What feels utterly relevant to report, is I’m scared that if I DID open myself to one of these impromptu, avante garde sloppy joe men, that I would probably get sucked down a love tunnel with him, because that’s my nature…. and I might lose my focus, get even less precious rest, leak my emotional energy.  Honestly, I don’t even think the Universe would allow such nonsense at this point… which is why ain’t nobody showin’ up.  Praise the Lord.

That said… another part of me burns to explore loving outside The Box… opening myself to casual, yet soulful and satisfying male companionship… Someone to occasionally entwine bodies with (clothes ON sounds like more than enough at this point) and have intimate, stimulating conversations…. and maybe when the the world I’m in gets dark and cold and hopelessly wet again (I’m sooooo not looking forward to another cruel and cloistered winter….) we can share warm, beautiful food and snuggle up and watch a movies!  Maaaaaybe even make out.  Am I capable of keeping it light?  I guess I’ve been a bit of a “serial monogamist” in my life…. more or less…. But I want to try something new.  I’m done with the codependent, self-sacrificing prison cell model of Relationship.  Hella high priestess Mary Magdalene as my witness,  I CHOOSE MYSELF.  And… still I must feed my need for touch and romance, seduction and intimacy.  I’m thinkin’ even some hot, clothes-on energy sex would totally hit the spot….

Stay tuned.

To Tell You the Truth…

img_6505

Do you wanna know something honest?  I think I let my frustration speak too often with Serena.  Moments of tension and restricted breath, gratuitously spoken with smoke and sparks.  The F-word flies free as a flag at a baseball stadium perched at the edge of the world.  And every time I hear myself express from this agitated state, there is a voice in my head that says, “Athena, you’re gonna be mighty ashamed when SHE starts speaking like this in public domains.”  Yeah.  I’m not proud.  But you know what I AM proud of?  Writing something that makes me squirm.  Risk=Energy=Compelling.  Because let’s be honest– we are ALL a bit crusty and tattered around the edges (but mostly mooshy in the middle).  And it’s thrilling and terrifying to get naked… in a world brimming with people too oft invested in “presenting ourselves”.

But I didn’t bring this up so that I could spin out in philosophical generalities…  I was simply inspired to tell the unflattering truth.  Another dimension of this confession, is that a dominant part of me doesn’t even aspire to be wholesome and clean.  This aspiration seems more like social conditioning than a true read on my internal compass.  Not that I want to be frivolously filthy, either.  I want to be relaxed in my range of expression (while continuing to cultivate patience and a genuinely pure heart).   I don’t want Serena to hear a swear word and fall to her tiny, perfect knees, imagining that the apocalypse is upon us.  Aversion has it’s own malignant sphere of influence.  Still, I could be better.  But it’s a lot to have ZERO breaks from the incessant rigors of parenting.  Listen to me– NOBODY takes my baby off my hands for a goddamn hour (let alone a minute) so that I can go for a sweaty, cardio “prance” (my lax version of jogging), or sink in to a satisfying yoga practice, free from being climbed on, whined at, beseeched for boobie…  It SEEMS like most mothers get SOME relief, SOMEtimes…. Even once a week seems monumental from over here in Athena Graceland.

Sigh.  But I love being with her.  Sometimes my fuse just gets remarkably short and I become a reckless sailor.  Now I’m going to tell you something fabulous about me.  I wonder if it’s actually more risky to speak highly of oneself, than to shine the floodlight on one’s faults.  Self-love might actually be the greatest taboo of all, in a society built on insecurity and perpetual consumption.

For as short as my said fuse can be, I bounce back in a lightening flash.  I am quick to apologize, and quicker to say “I love you.”  My girl will have not a shed of doubt as to how loved, right and good she is.  And if she is anything like her mother, Serena will have no qualms about admitting her mistakes and shortcomings, and compassionately making another choice.  Boo hoo.  She’s awake.  Talk to you tomorrow.

I guess it was kinda good that she woke up… cuz I had the whole day yesterday to observe myself and notice the ratio of impatience to bottomless generosity and nourishing presence.   Though not all days are created equal.  The moment I’m most ashamed of yesterday was when she was having her pre-night-night-time sink bath.  I think she was over tired, since she missed he afternoozie (nap, not tea!).  She kept throwing her “toys” (red plastic tablespoon, cup, rubber ducky) onto the floor, causing gratuitous wetness, and I asked her repeatedly to stop, explaining that I didn’t want water all over the floor.  So THEN, she proceeds to intentionally fling her arm and splash water on the floor!  BRAT!  I ask her to stop.  Nope.  Instead, she does it again.  Making solid, rebellious eye contact all the while.  Wow.  My thermostat soars and bursts.  This is not acceptable.  I grab her squishy little arm and squeeze it.  Hard.  Holding her fierce, brown-eyed gaze, I tell her to STOP.  She pauses.  Before splashing MORE water on the floor.  This repeats a few times before I realize she is just tired and is really telling me she’s done.  Time for some naked pillow diving, honey scented oil on her too-perfect skin, diaper, snowman jammies, and boobie-to-sleep.

It felt horrible to squeeze her little arm.

But mostly I’d nominate myself for Mother of the Millennia.  I give her tons of room to explore the world.  I continuously aspire to see through her eyes of perpetually fresh wonder.  I speak to her as a highly capable and intelligent being.  I listen to her deeply.  I tell her how exquisitely beautiful she is.   Oh, and this one feels especially crucial– I don’t make her behave a certain way in social situations.  I hate it when parents force their kids to respond with the right script… just so they “look good” and avoid awkward moments and uncomfortable feelings.  Yuck.  I pick her up and dance around like a God-drunk earth angel.  I take her outside and let her sit on the earth as much as possible.  (That’s her favorite!)  I encourage her to explore.  I read to her a ton.  I feed her high quality, nutritious food.  And on and on blah, blah, blah.

It really DOES go on and on.  I’m great.  And I’m human.  And sometimes my fuse gets teensy.  Just like my mom’s did.  Back then I thought she was so mean!  Her jaw would clench and she’d say, “God dammit Dawn!” as I cowered.  But here’s what I didn’t know back then– she was way more than just my mother.  She had a whole world of emotions and hopes and dreams and needs and a mountainous heap of responsibilities… in addition to the simple though incessant invitation to be present and loving with her precious little Dawnie-cakes.

People say that you come to understand and forgive your own mother at ever-deepening levels as you walk the path of motherhood yourself.  Yep.  It’s true.  It’s like doubling back and delving into the veins of your very own being and  Life again from an even richer vantage point.  Surfing and mining your own blood and stories from a wiser, more compassionate, loving and clear vantage point.  It is ancestral healing backward and forward.  Building a bridge of Love to a better world for ALL.  I know this is why I am here.

I could be better.  And I WILL be.  As I continue to love my own innocent heart through all that Life is and isn’t.  As I learn and grow and relax into this miraculous, blessed path that unfolds through, as and beyond me.  And I might say a few too many fucks along the way.

Chronicles of a Rad Single Mama

God bless these words.  All of them.  I’m serious God.  Imbue them with Light that awakens ALL HEARTS.  Because You are THAT Badass.

Five fifty five am.  My legs ACHE.  I worked three jobs yesterday.  In addition to my Always Job of caring for Serena.  Actually, I needed to toil in the trenches yesterday… because once again, the full moon worked its watery, nocturnal magic, and destroyed me.  Full moons illuminate previously unseen inner dimensions for the purpose of sacred release.  I’ve sure had a wealth of material to release lately… Every time the She becomes round and enchanting, I die another gruesome death.  On sunday, my heart weighted tons.  I felt depressed.  It has been ages since I’ve danced with that particular shade of Divinity.  That’s right.  I’m declaring depression Divine.  Because ‘member?  I am no longer interested in imagining that there is anything that is *not* Omnipresent, All Pervading God… It’s actually impossible.  I can’t even conceive of how Omnipresence could be absent from anything or anywhere.  That’s just stupid, if you ask me.  Which you didn’t.  But this is my blog, and I am so free to belt out the Gospel from this modest mount.  And I’m certain that my assertions are of value.

Now that I think of it, the last time I felt debilitatingly depressed was when I was about six months pregnant… around August of last year… when Ed went M.I.A. and I thought he was going to totally desert The Graces.  All I could do was lay in my bed and cry.  Oh, and somehow I dragged my zillion pound heart to prenatal yoga in the mornings… and mostly cried through class.  My Cosmic Dad saved my life by taking me to the movies a bunch.  I remember sitting through Jurassic World, feeling a sacred, near ecstatic wash of relief as I watched the shiny leading lady tear through the jungle in high heels and tight, muddy, disheveled clothing… and one by cursed one, the secondary characters were gobbled by massive, stupid dinosaurs with wicked sharp teeth.  Oh, and bottomless buttery, salty popcorn.  For those two hours, I was happy and free.  As we emerged from the theater, Cosmic Dad and his buddy began critiquing the movie.  I was still high off of the cheap hollywood climax and release… I found it ludicrous that they were waxing sophisticated about this blissfully mindless little slice of “cinema”!

Anyway, I was amazed on sunday to feel for the first time in a long time, that I didn’t give a you-know-what about anything.  Except Serena.  But even that essential thread to this world felt tattered and precarious.

Yesterday (Moonday), I had three jobs to do.  In the morning, I cleaned the guesthouse at the Crystal Hermitage.  (Gosh, that sounds so glamourous in writing!!!  Like I’m a maid to the Stars.  Ha!… I have arrived 😉  By God’s Rad Grace, my Ma stayed at my house while Serena napped… and played with her when she woke, (They LOVE each other!!!) so I was able to “wham-bam” the job, while Matt Kahn transformed my consciousness via youtube.   When I got home, I heated up some red beans and rice for all of us, and had a little down time.   Then I took Serena to the yurt that my Ma usually cleans, because she isn’t well, and I offered to do it for her.  Serena napped in the car for most of it.  When she awoke, I put her on my back, papoose style, like mothers have been doing since the beginning of time, and we swept the thick, wet coating of oak leaves from the wrap-around deck.  Almost immediately after that, it was time to go cook dinner for “Chandi” (a group house at Ananda).  Serena and I made veggie tacos.  Serena sat on the counter and nibbled on raw squash and red bell peppers, and helped me pick out spices to season the food with.  She’s an amazing partner.

When we got home, it was bath time.  I didn’t even have time to feed her dinner, before plunking her into the kitchen sink.  I fed her buttery steamed broccoli as she bathed.  I ate some too… plus a couple slices of jack cheese dipped in pesto.  And some cucumber.  Ahhh, the glamorous life of a single mama.

Once Serena was down, my body screamed with ache.  I didn’t wanna move.  I fell into bed, scrolled down my stupid facebook feed for a few too many minutes before rolling over and letting sleep have me and my aching limbs.

I dreamed of being held by a *platonic* man friend.  I woke up feeling strangely nourished.  The night before, I dreamt I had sex with another long time friend and lover.  I love dream sex, because it can just go on and on and on…. Thank GOD for my dreams.  They give me what waking life is not.  I need this right now.  It’s actually almost comical how desolate my existence has become.  Recently, my Ma’s housemate, David was jubilant to share with me that he had been researching baby development, and discovered that when they are not touched, they DIE.  Yup.  That’s right David.  And what of little Athena Grace?   She’s mostly alive… but her body aches, as she wanders this sprawling figurative desert alone.

It will not be this way forever.  It is indulgent (though completely natural) to believe so.

Lately I’ve been AMAZED at the stark contrast of light and darkness within me.  The light is so bright, in ordinary moments, it consumes me in incognito ecstasy.  Serena brings unsayable joy to my days.  (Except Sunday.)  And the dark is thick as a starless, winter night.  It chills me to the core.  This acute polarity is the state of the World right now.  Amazing how it plays out with unique creativity in each of our personal stories… And simultaneously in our collective story.  I breathe it all into my heart.  And exhale it as blessing.  I know I am here to transform the consciousness of the planet and bring Heaven to Earth.  You might be too.  We all might be.  Are you ready to claim your essential place in Love’s twisted, frivolous play??

Oh, I forgot to mention the cherry on top of this melty hot fudge concoction that is My Life… My Ma called and left a message on my phone while I was bathing Serena last night.  She acknowledged and celebrated me for all that I did yesterday.  She said she realizes that probably nobody knows of all that I triumphantly accomplished… except for her… and she is so proud of me.

Listen– don’t be “too spiritual” for acknowledgment and praise.  That’s stupid.  Sure, it’s probably not healthy to be dependent on the stuff…. It’s not healthy to be dependent on ANYTHING.  But being acknowledged for who you ARE and what you DO is an essential ingredient of a healthy life.  It is an active expression of Belonging.  I acknowledge myself often.  I’m awesome.  But honestly, sometimes that just doesn’t hit The Spot.  Sometimes I need the glory of this epic, heroic pilgrimage through Divine Weirdness to be recognized by another.  And so do YOU.

I guess that’s enough for now…. I was gonna share my reflections on dying…. but I’ll save that for another gay romp through Athena Graceland!!!

PS~ Look Ma— I didn’t use any swear words in this blog!!!!  And it was not cuz I was editing my expression… it’s just that sometimes “four letter words” are the appropriate building blocks for raw, authentic expression, and sometimes they’re not.  ❤

Into the Valley of Hope: A Five Day Trek Through Athena Graceland

valley-of-flowers-1

Yesterday I felt free.  I inhabited my Self and my Life as an Artist– ecstatically engaged in the continuous dance of creation (and creative destruction).  I wonder if this orientation IS freedom….  My hypothesis is YES.  I bet Henry Miller would agree. I also wonder if “Self” and “Life” are actually synonyms… You might not thinks so at first glance… but peel back the tender skin of appearance, and see that they are indivisible subject and object of God “Godding”.  A playful, infinitely looping inversion.  Consider that your Life is a vast, kaleidoscopic, externalized projection of your Self.  Alan Watts would cast his vote in favor of this holiest hypothesis.

And now I shall slip into some clunky moon boots and shimmy on down to the ground, where Life happens.  Where Love masquerades in ridiculous, imaginative costumes for the sheer BANG of it.  Wait– can “Love” be lumped into the club with “Life” and “Self”?  Probably… but Love seems harder to corral and contain, than Life and Self…  Hey!  I think these moon boots are defective!!…I’m still orbiting in obscenely conceptual realms!  Lemme tighten the velcro straps and see what happens…

Okay, that’s better.  Here I am.  Breathing on my couch.  Six fifty-nine am, and I hear soft baby sounds wafting occasionally from behind the closed bedroom door… which makes me feel frantic to get a few more nutrient dense sentences committed to the page before my day gets devoured by the slobbering (and Grace-full) beast of ceaseless, self-less service.  Never mind.  I must retrieve my daughter… Greet her with enthusiasm and delight, gobble her cheeks, breathe in her sweetness, take off her nighttime diaper, and put her on the potty.  How’s THAT for moon boots?

Now it’s a new day.  And my heavy-assed heart is pressing me into the couch like moon boots that have been splashing in shadows.  I hear intermittent sounds from the bedroom, like Serena’s sleep is lightening, but she is not yet awake… so I imagine this will be a brief fling with my writer Self.  But even a paragraph will be the best sex.  My heart hurt so bad yesterday.  I spent a big hunk of the day groping to figure out how to care for my poor, sick mama.  (She has a handful of infected teeth.)  The last couple times I’d seen her, she looked like walking dead.  I conceived of the possibility that she might not live to be eighty eight and four months, like the fortune teller of her childhood predicted.  She might not live past sixty nine.  But then, Serena and I visited her in the late afternoon, and she had a quarter tank of life in her… and I washed with relief and hope.

Hope.  I’ve been meaning to write about Hope for a very long time.  I used to despise it.  I perceived it as wispy and weak.  I “hoped” that it would work out for Ed and I to be together.  But I felt no personal power or responsibility as I peered wistfully through the dirty picture window of my hope-full-ness.  It seemed thin and wispy, like an overgrown weed, reaching determinedly for a Heaven it would never meet.

It’s a new day again.  I probably only have a few minutes before my little Shrimp wakes up.  But I’ll squeeze every last drop of insight and wisdom and gratuitous self-expression out of them!  I used to be the campaign manager for the war on hope.  Because it seemed to imply powerlessness.  And I wanted to feel power-FULL.  I preferred to side with personal responsibility and action, wielded against a backdrop of Faith.  Not that I *took* personal responsibility and action…. but… that’s where I recognized the most potential satisfaction.

But instead of merely casting poor hope, like a piece of scrap meat into a pit of starved wolves, I held it in my curious hands, turning it over and sensing its raw, essential ISness.  Some part of me was determined to make space for it in the over-populated rainbow of virtues that shine from my Insides.  A turning point occurred one day when I shared my misgivings of hope with Gopal.  He was a quick and warm ninja in hope’s defense.  He testified that HOPE was the determining factor between life and death amongst prisoners of war.   This touched the prisoner of war who lives in my own heart…. fighting for that which matters most to me.  I often wonder if I am barking up the wrong tree, so to speak… mis-investing my hope… But… even still… there is something true and beautiful in my hoping.  Innocence.  Yes… hope is a life-line to my precious Innocence.

And now it is yet another day, and again I strive to corral my thoughts and yolk them to the subject of Hope and Innocence.  Yes, I think innocence is the nucleus of this holy riddle.  Because the child in my heart is not “pragmatic”.  She gazes at the upside-down carpet of stars, and bleeds into innate communion with their riveting, unknowable mysteries.  Hope is the sound of her sheer, glittered, neon wings beating the open sky.  She doesn’t give a hoot about civilized notions as “personal responsibility” and “action”.  She is a flowing river of dreams and intuition.  A frivolous, gurgling fountain of experiential revelation and whispering hope.

Hope is a lullaby wafting from my soul, even in the darkest hours of my uphill climb through this concealed and arduous dimension of heaven we call “life on earth”.  Hope is a sprawling ribbon of my own soul’s luminous, fractaling body.  Everything does not have to be so blunt and obvious and linear.  Hope blurs the edges of my being into softer scapes of Heaven.  Hope smears my solid-seeming soul into the pulsing Ocean of Love’s warm potentiality.

With YOU as my witness, I am standing tall and proud on my faded, vintage soapbox, and staking a fierce claim in the holy land of Hope.  I am proud to announce that I HOPE I will be a famous writer some day.  I hope that I will find my Soul Mate– a Partner with whom I harmoniously share the rest of my life with… and who embraces Serena as though she is his own.  I hope I have another child with him.  I hope to feel what it feels like for the father of my child to be utterly delighted as I grow a miraculous merging of our love and blood and strengths.  I want to be held and kissed and celebrated as The Goddess as I offer my body, life and heart as a sacred bridge to the New World, where Love boldly leaps in flaming song from every heart, igniting the world AS BEAUTY and limitless, soulful goodness.

Now it’s day five of my linguistic trek through Graceland.  Autumnal cold has engulfed the Sierra Foothills.  My toes are icy.  Baby toys are strewn about the floor that BEGS to be vacuumed and mopped.  I feel melancholy stretching in violin strings across my incredibly tender heart.  I could cry, but instead I am going to publish this blog, take a shower, pick up messes and secretly fan the delicate, pastel rainbow flame of hope that burns in my chest, with every devotional breath I take.  And with each exhale, cascading this shy, under-valued yet essential virtue into the invisible infinite, as sweet sustenance for ALL.

With sincere blessings from my heart,

Athena Grace LMNOP

The Ultimate Soul Workout

wonderwoman

Life begins the day you realize it’s meant to be hard.

At least for ME, that’s how it went down.

Being an etherial new-age baby, I struggled a bunch, clutching a dazzling-law-of-attraction-belief that Life was supposed to be easy… and then meeting so many unwieldy mOMents, and intense feelings, and not knowing what to do or be to make my Life submit and behave in the way of ease.  God, it is such an uphill climb.

The crucial point lurking in this hypothesis though, is that at a soul level, this sloppy, unwieldy struggle one of the Heavenly Lord’s all-time greatest boons.  To incarnate in this arduous dimension is heavyweight strength training!  Who wants to be a gorgeous, sparkling, winged mirage, fluttering insouciantly about in a revealed rendition of Heaven… when you could be attending the BEST costume party in the galaxy… suiting up in a nice dense meat sack and pushing figurative boulders up custom-fashioned metaphorical mountains, developing sweet, spiritual six-packs and bulging biceps of the soul?  We really have our priorities dialed in, down here on earth.

Plus, we get to drink tea and coffee!!!  I bet that is the tipping point for many incarnate angels.

Lately, I’ve been having a hot and heavy wonder what it would be like to inhabit my Life with a relaxed internal poise… a *genuine* and full bodied acceptance of the reality in which I marinate.  Because mostly, there’s this whole consuming layer of experience that occurs like agitation.  Like the cursed grain of sand inside the holy oyster shell of my existence.  A destructive, gnawing idea that I’m partially living the WRONG life.  Just partially.  There are SOME elements that are oh-so-right… Really key ones~ like that I’m Athena Grace… and that I have the *most* awesome baby girl.  Now that I’m endeavoring to articulate it, I realize that I LOOOOVE who I AM… I’m just struggling with the process of ACTUALIZING the raw blueprint of my soul.  And searching for that deep sense of Belonging, of hOMe.  God, I hope there’s a phat pink pearl in the works…

And hence, we come full circle to the opening statement of this gloriously enlightened stream of words~ this is the resistance training that I enthusiastically came to partake in.  How to be this AWESOME, luminous heavenly body IN A MEAT SUIT, and masterfully sculpt Infinite Light into a soul-satisfying, consciousness-liberating, Love-revealing, integrity-infused, breath-giving work of sacred art.  I mean think about it… doesn’t that sound like the BEST vacation for God to take???  Yeah.  Totally.

But in the mean time, here I am… wishing I had the utterly fabulous Partner by my side.  A loving, devoted father for Serena.  I am haunted by visions of being a powerful, spiritual leader and a beloved and widely read writer of grace-stained words that liberate ALL HEARTS.  Feeling stuck in this cloistered spiritual community in the woods, that though wrought with kindness, safety and even friendship… isn’t the path that ignites passion in my heart, or pure resonance in my soul.  I feel guilty typing that… because God… people here have embraced me beyond what I could have hoped for.  Typing that made my eyes sting.  Lemme take a deepie (breath)… and really let this Grace sink in.

Lately, I’ve been asking myself how I’d define Grace… Because it’s my last name, for God’s sake!  And it’s like the air we breathe… invisible, and something we don’t even have to think about… because it’s always nearer to us than our own selves… But… it’s still handy to have a distinguished notion of this essential and beneficent ISness.

Grace…

It’s the Invisible Oceanic Goodness in which we ARE.  We don’t have to earn it… and we couldn’t escape it if we tried.  The tricky part, is that Grace is responsible not only for that which we deem “good” in our lives, but the “bad” stuff too. Under the inescapable, psychedelic umbrella of Grace, EVERYTHING we live is Divinity in action, and is conspiring for the outrageous and triumphant unfurling revelation of the sublime heavenly light within us.

I guess that’s why Hafiz wrote this poem:

Running

Through the streets

Screaming,

Throwing rocks through windows,

Using my own head to ring

Great bells,

Pulling out my hair,

Tearing off my clothes,

Tying everything I own

To a stick,

And setting it on

Fire.

What else can Hafiz do tonight

To celebrate the madness,

The joy,

Of seeing God

Everywhere!

Sigh… Grace is God.  And God is ALL… And yet, knowing all this, I am still perched cozily on my couch in the pale light of dawn, wondering how in the heck to make my life what I want it… digging so deep to crack the code of the mystifying dynamism between effort and surrender.  Is my Destiny inevitable???  Or is it true what Tori Amos told my ex-fiance, the night we met her, shining like a riveting Goddess Mirage?  He asked her, “Do you believe in Destiny?”

Her reply~ “She needs your help.”

I want to help Her…

I want to bench press the World in the name of Love.  In the name of giving EVERYTHING to liberate the flame of passion that burns inside me, such that it ignites the World in holy celebration.

This is the “meaning of Life”.  And it is supposed to be hard!

But it is the most gratifying workout in Existence.

The Legend of the Black Lightening Bolts

If I try to be extraordinary this morning, chances are, I will not get anything written.  So in the name of sharing my life and my mind with you, I am going to put my extraordinariness under cover, and three-two-one DO THIS!!!  But first, I am going to put on my ridiculous, dazzling lightening bolt earrings… because they have magical powers, and I want to see how they effect my writing.  I know that seems a bit contradictory… to be undercover, with gigantic, black, sparkly lightening bolts sprouting from my ears… I can’t argue with that.   I guess I’m not committed to being ordinary… I just wanna git-er-done… and my time is very limited.  Serena is nearing the four month alive mark, and gone are the days when she’d wake up, and act like a breastfeeding blob of dough in my lap.  Now she wants to commune with me, and fervently prepare for the not so distant day when she shall own the World!!! (And thank GOD for that… because it is past due time for this world to be owned by a Tiny Beaming Buddha with an incessant God-drunk grin.)

I think the earrings are working.  My Ma (and of course Serena) and I went into Town a couple of weeks ago, (yes, living way out in the woods, as we do, “going into Town” is a “Thing”… which still tickles me, being a Bay Area native.  Most of my adult life, I’ve been able to step out my door and be instantly transported to the BEST cafes, yoga studios, restaurants, dance classes and general rambunctious swirls of grandiose human doing-ness.) Where was I?  Ah yes, we went into Town, and I wanted to get something(s) new to wear, because the few clothes I have, probably predate the dinosaurs, and even with my innate, bohemian je-ne-sais-quoi, which by some stroke of magic, allows me to appear a bit flashy and enchanting, I was (and still am) seriously sinking in the domain of fashion.

I had high hopes for “Solstice”, the vintage, costume and chic used clothing shoppe in Town… but mostly my daintily cloud-brushing hopes sunk like a crippled submarine.  It’s just not the same, shopping with a needy three month old strapped to you, and a body to testify that it really has not been that long since she burst triumphantly into this world.  I got two tank tops.  I couldn’t try them on, because by the time I found them, Serena had fallen asleep in her ergo pouch, and there was no way I was gonna disturb her, so my beneficent ma took a wild woman gamble and bought them for me just in case they were awesome.  They were.  Praise the Lord.  And that is not even what I set out to tell you.  But you might as well know that I am well initiated as a mom, and my life is no longer my own.  And this somehow tickles me.

But the particularly loose moral of this story, is that up by the register, there were these over-the-top ridiculous black lightening bolt earrings on display.  And they honestly got all up in my business.  They wouldn’t leave me alone!  I’m pretty sure they were whispering promises of rockstardom and world domination, oh-so-softly in my ear.  My eyes turned into swirling spirals, and I heard strange, secret music flooding my ears.  I looked at the price tag, and they were twenty bucks.  Actually nineteen ninety-nine to be artistically precise.  No WAY was I gonna shell out such an obscene amount of money… even in the name of rockstar world domination… I have been a heavyweight champion miser since Serena arrived.  My life has revolved around paying my rent and utilities, not looking fabulous and having frivolous fun of yester yore.

All that unsatisfying shopping (and breastfeeding) worked up an appetite though, so we moseyed over to a cute little cafe down the street, which to my delight had outdoor seating!  I got a turkey sammy (came with a pickle and thick, ridged potato chips) and a spicy chai.  My Ma got a Mad Hatter looking slice of cake and a bowl of soup.  Being a short-order joint, they sent us away with the cake and chai, and gave us a number for our “savories”.  My Ma made mention of having to wait to eat her cake till after soup.  With glitter black lightening speed, I informed her that this was not the case!  She could indeed eat her cake FIRST.  Apparently, this was delightful news to her, because like the Queen of England on anonymous holiday, she dove right in!  And like the Queen of England’s privileged, croquet prodigy progeny, I ate most of the perfectly bitter, buttery chocolate frosting layer.  I love that about my Ma… she is so endlessly giving to her babies… No matter how giant and self reliant we become.

But alas, none of that mattered so much in the grand scheme.  I mean of ALL the unwritten stories that sleep like mythical beasts inside the fortress of my mind, body and soul, why was I compelled to tell THAT one???   I think mostly because I liked the part about giving my mama permission to eat her cake first.  I really do find myself endearing for having such frivolous, whimsical priorities.

And now for the steak and potatoes of this momentous literary masterpiece.  My best dear friend Anitra, fresh off the plane from India, had joined us at the cafe, and after lunch (which was cut short by a rare and extreme, latte curdling wailing session by Serena– I think she was overwhelmed by the excessive stimulus of Town…) we set off together for a little “friendsie time”, and my Ma was left to entertain herself, which is very natural and delicious for her, since not only is she independent by nature, but she also had a purse brimming with cash on this almost warm and sometimes sunny, waxing spring-ish day.

At two thirty, when we converged back at Faith (my valiant, silver station wagon), she delightedly displayed an assortment of “things” she had acquired while we were apart.  I feel like a shmoo for not memorizing all of them… I DO remember a bright orange hat she had gifted herself, “for gardening”.  And of course I remember the little brown bag she handed me, which I immediately ravaged and discovered the illustrious, coveted lighting bolts!!  I immediately put them on, and assessed our communion in the visor mirror… I was amazed to discover, that immense and exaggerated as they were, they somehow achieved an acute sense of rightness on me.  And in that moment, my life changed.

I’m serious.  I transformed from a blah-zay, frugal, single mother dressed in ancient rags, to a SUPER HERO(INE) with undetermined, yet unmistakable magical powers.  I’m still trying to attune to what they ARE… But when I wear my “bolts”, I feel giant and invincible and wealthy!!!  I am a force to be reckoned with.

Yesterday, I wore them as I made quiches for the first time in my life, to be sold at Master’s Market… and when the savory egg pies emerged from the oven, one of them still had some goop.  I panicked, because I was afraid that if I cooked it longer, the egg matter would turn tough.  Eggs are really such delicate, touchy creatures, who demand attentive kid gloves and ample tenderness.  I decided to bake it a bit longer… I hope it worked out.  I am still shaking in my weather-beaten, fur-lined pink ugg boots, to be honest.  But I will testify, that the only way I survived that risky wrassle with mortality and imperative customer satisfaction, was wearing these said heavily enchanted earrings.

…And come to think of it, they are probably the reason that little Serenie-doodle is asleep in my lap right now, and I am able to finish this essential tale of my existence.  Speaking of my existence… I’m not sure that I’m exactly “afraid of death”… but lately, I’ve been acutely aware that I might be pretty bummed when the “Athena Grace movie” is over.  I mean, yeah, yeah, eternal souls and all that erudite, spiritually enlightened jazz… but still… whoever this is, who is currently donning the ingenious costume, fondly known as “Athena Grace LMNOP”, is gonna slip out of it one of these days… and even though this indwelling, fabulous shimmer of Eternity will continue on (and on and on and on and on and…), the “Athena Grace movie” will be over.  And I’m sad for this… Because I love being Athena Grace.  She’s such a bold, quirky and lovable heroine.  How could my soul POSSIBLY top this one???

I guess it’s possible.

EVERYTHING is possible in God’s dream.

Guest Blog!!! By the BeLoved SARK!!!

 

sark_quote7

SARK has been a guiding light on my Epic Heroine’s Journey across Infinity in form.  I have always been profoundly inspired by her fiercely steadfast commitment to living from inside-out, in full bloom, offering her heArt as a Gift to ALL.  She and her BeLoved, Dr. John Waddell recently co-wrote and published a rich and amazing book called Succulent Wild Love (you can buy your own here:  http://bit.ly/1WdRY6c).  I was blessed with the opportunity to receive a free copy to imbibe, and offer a delectable morsel of it to YOU, here in Athena Graceland.  At our core, we share the same Liberated Love Mission!  EnJOY!!!

 

Soulfully Single and Open for Love

An excerpt from Succulent Wild Love

 

I had a marvelous mentor named Patricia who reminded me frequently, “Don’t make the mistake of attaching your love to another person.” She went on to say, “Realize that their love is reflected through you, it does not originate from them. They are not your source of love — you and your Inner Wise Self are.”

 

I embraced this message wholeheartedly and wrote this in my journal: “Release yourself from the voices of inner critics who will tell you outdated messages from long ago about how you ‘should’ love, or how other people love, or how if you don’t love another you’ll die all alone in a nursing home in winter in a shared room.”

 

I began to explore and practice new ways to be what I described as “Soulfully Single,” while also describing myself as open to love with another person. To me, “Soulfully Single” sounded and felt so much richer and deeper than just “single.”

 

My friend Val had said to me after I had ended a love relationship, “Whatever you do, don’t close your heart to love.” She intuited that I’d already begun trying to close my heart and seal it off so I wouldn’t feel that kind of pain again. So I resolved to keep my heart open and available for love. And I secretly thought that it wouldn’t happen anyway, so what did I have to lose?

 

I practiced opening myself to new ways of doing and being, and learning even more about how to state my preferences clearly and directly in relationships with others. I used to either overstate my preferences or hide them — even from myself.

 

In my friendships, I started being more willing to practice telling and receiving MicroTruths, those seemingly tiny, often unspoken little things that sometimes get swept under the carpet — until it feels like the carpet is so lumpy that you can’t walk on it anymore. I wanted my friendships to be positive, current, and free from unnamed hurts and irritations. For the most part, this worked beautifully, and I kept my heart open to love in ways I hadn’t previously imagined.

 

As I developed and lived my Soulfully Single life, I noticed that lots of other women were experimenting with something similar. They had full, rewarding, satisfying lives and work, and yet were open to love with another person arising or arriving unexpectedly. They also said they felt fine if it didn’t happen.

 

When people asked my relationship status, I would reply, “I’m Soulfully Single,” and most would swoon over that description and ask me to describe it further. Some would share that they still wanted romantic love but were no longer willing or able to sacrifice or compromise to get it. Everyone said they wouldn’t “settle.” I knew that for me, settling meant having just part of what I wanted, and I knew I wanted WAY more than that.

 

It reminded me of my career: at age 26 I’d resolved to be and live as an artist and writer — no matter what. I made the decision to live that way, all the way, even if it meant I wouldn’t have much food or money. Prior to that, I’d had over 250 different jobs, trying to find something that could support me while I explored my creative gifts. I didn’t know then that I could have created Joyfull Solutions for myself, which would have been easier than what I did do. But as they say, hindsight is always 20-20, and I just made it up as I went along — as we all do.

 

I knew that if I was going to add another person into my Soulfully Single life, I wanted to feel Succulent Wild intimate REAL love. I wanted to SWIRL with love, I wanted 110 percent. I wanted the WHOLE MAGILLA (What is a Magilla, anyway?). I wanted him or her to be my willing, wholehearted emergency contact. I wanted the person who could show up, stand up, be there with me and with life. I wanted TRUE BLUE. I also wanted a self-entertaining unit — someone who was also Soulfully Single and could be alone and self-nourishing. I wanted a person who felt good about themselves and about life. I wanted another LIFE LOVER.

 

I wanted a mate — one for my soul AND one for play.

 

I wanted someone who would respect and admire my Soulfully Single self. I knew that being Soulfully Single wasn’t substandard, but sometimes inner critics would rise up when I would see or hear other people describe it differently. I attended a friend’s parents’ 50th wedding anniversary party, and after all the toasts and even a short film about their wonderful union, they asked for people to stand and share how the couple’s love and marriage had informed their lives.

 

A number of women stood and described themselves as “strays” who had been taken in by this loving couple. I knew they were just sharing their experience, but I felt enraged that perhaps that’s how others had seen me — as a stray. And of course my inner critics were busy confirming that I was one. I ranted and raved to my friend who was with me, about what I call the “tyranny of couples,” and how unfair it sometimes feels to single people. (She loves pointing out that I met John two weeks later.)

 

Being Soulfully Single AND open for love felt right for me. Others may just wish to be Soulfully Single — or just single. I’m glad we’re all redefining love for ourselves and what feels best for each of us.

 

# # #

sark_quote5

SARK (Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy) and Dr. John Waddell are the authors of Succulent Wild Love. SARK is a best-selling author and artist, with sixteen titles in print and well over two million books sold.  Dr. John has been helping individuals and couples lead happier lives for over 30 years through his clinical psychology practice and metaphysical teachings. Visit them online at PlanetSARK.com.

 

Excerpted from the book Succulent Wild Love ©2015 by SARK and Dr. John Waddell.  Printed with permission of New World Library. www.newworldlibrary.com

 

Previous Older Entries