On HAVING (all over the place!)

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Lately, my life has been about robust goodbyes.  Leaving for Italy with one-way tickets really underscores the nature of impermanence in which we are always swimming in this stunning, infinity pool of Life.  

 

Suzanne’s parting words to me were so potent, they knocked me backwards, “You’ve been wanting for a long time.  Now HAVE.”

 

They rained upon my ears five days ago, and they are still going to work on me.  

 

Who would I BE if I relaxed into my Life and allowed myself to HAVE?  

 

It *seems* that I am wired to want.  And of course this orientation to Life reaches much farther back than the crushing, five plus year relationship with my married baby daddy….

 

When I was engaged to my fiance (twelve years ago), I sat in an unbearable fire of lusty want for someone else.  Another married someone else. (Who, for the record, I eventually HAD in many ways and it was often wonderful…) But still… Looking backward, this quality of excruciating want is a prevalent ingredient in the soupy swirl of my inner landscape.

 

I recently wrote a piece on the father wound.  And the gaping, oozing want for HIM to choose me.  To make me feel like THE essential treasure of his heart.  

 

So now what?  

 

I am again engaged.  To a wildly passionate italian man, who leaves me with no trace of doubt that he chooses me (and Serena).  A man who was ready and willing to leave his country, move across the world from his family, change his Life completely to be with me.  A man who I kicked out of my house (he slept in a leaky tent in the rain), stopped speaking to… returning two times over, to the unavailable-but-all-too-familiar arms of my baby daddy.

 

Oh the unwieldy odyssey of Athena Grace.  (I’ve GOT to write the damn book already!)

 

People must think Giordano and I are CRAY-ZAY for giving it a third go.  But I trust that third time IS a charm. Listen, when you live Life right, it changes you.  

 

Whoa, I started to get sucked down a wayward rabbit hole… but I am here to talk about HAVING.  I don’t know that I have answers. I guess I’ve gotta pull a Rilke, and LIVE the answers. And the questions.  

 

How do I change my wiring?… Give myself wet, juicy, overflowing, RADICAL PERMISSION to HAVE….!!!  

 

I guess part of this luscious inner shift, is to embrace my lust for wanting.  I don’t have to “get rid” of wanting in order to have. Just widen. And savor.  And love.

 

It really does come around to self-love, doesn’t it?  And self-worth. I reckon these are siamese twins, self-love and self-worth…. or the serpent eating its own tantalizing tail….

 

Another noteworthy piece to share with you, is that in this same “robust goodbye” visit, I shared a delicious dinner with two long-time women friends.  Women whom I deeply love and respect. And we each had a womb-wrenching story of a recent relationship where we gave ourselves away… ground ourselves down in the mill of self-negating compromise and sacrifice.  And I could name at least another half dozen women in my immediate circles who are riding the same exhausted crucible carousel.

 

WHAT THE FUCK????

 

Sisters, what are we DOING????

 

The time has come to live into a new and utterly vivifying myth.

 

And now, bitches and fuckers (Being “ladies and gentlemen” is definitely part of the problem, NOT the solution.  Embrace it. Haha.), Athena Grace is going to go MACRO.

 

Women~ this same tolerance for mediocrity (and less) in our relationships, is part of the root system of destruction of the PLANET.  Resigning ourselves to crumbs, silencing our powerful voices, suppressing our OCEANIC Desire.

 

WE ARE NOT VICTIMS.  

 

Unless we want to be.

 

But come on.  Victimhood is so 2016.

 

This is our mOMent to join hands and hearts and RISE THE FUCK UP as the Luminaries of Succulent HAVING.  

 

How do we DO this?

 

We’ll make it up as we go.  But first is the full throttle commitment to ourselves, to our worth, to our sisters, to the Earth.  

 

When a sister mounts her dead, bleeding unicorn and kicks it in the sides, attempting to ride a few centimeters (backwards)… Call her out!  (and *demand* she do the same for YOU.) Let’s generate NEW CONVERSATIONS.

 

Conversations woven with the silken threads of pleasure, ecstasy, joy, celebration, success, plenty, satiation, vision, turn-on, YES.  

 

HAVING.

 

I, Athena Grace, give myself Radical Permission to HAVE all over the place.  And I dedicate my having to YOU. May my infinitely expanding capacity to HAVE inspire and reSource ALL.  May my HAVING always be aligned with Infinite Divine Love. May my HAVING always generate wellbeing, balance and peace.  

 

Amen.

 

A River, a Boulder and Sex.

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“Art is why I get up in the morning, but my definition ends there….”

 

Honestly, I think I’ve begun an Athena Graceland blog with that quote by Ani Difranco before… but it is endlessly relevant.  

 

There are mornings, like this morning… when Goddess straddles the dripping, luminous full moon and gallops into the secret folds of my dreams.  She rouses me too early and sweetly tugs at the enchanted threads of chaos and curiosity that weave the tapestry of my consciousness…. Images, questions, longing… all screaming up from inside me to be metabolized through the miraculous beauty of my Inner Voice.

 

My animal body feels heavy, begging for extended stillness and intimacy with soft, cotton sheets.  But the ferocity of my drive to create presses heavy from Inside. Mizz Difranco’s words rise like steam from the coffee that is about to be brewed and like fire, I leap from bed, eager to at once wrap and unwrap myself in the magical threads of language.

 

Oh poetic, philosophical words…. With samurai precision, I slash my sword and they fall to my feet.  I emerge as the naked and raw center.

 

Previously in Graceland, I was aflame as I awaited Giordano’s arrival.  Now, nearly a full moon later, he sits beside me on this depressingly distasteful and cheap brown couch, reading Slow Sex, a book written by my lifelong Beacon of Sexually Liberated Sanity, Nicole Daedone.  I am crushed by the too-much-ness of what there is to say.

 

It has been two week since he arrived.  We decided to do a weeklong trial to see if we could *joyously* tolerate coexisting in my modest, artistically persuaded little box… Until yesterday, it was way easier than either of us anticipated.  (It took me almost the full two weeks to set my farts free…. But I’m up to about a sixty nine percent liberated rip-rate.)

 

Oh there’s too much to say.  I must call upon the Wilderness of Infinity Within, in order to perform the Impossible feat of threading Infinity through the Eye of the Needle.  

 

Where do I begin?

 

SEX.  Naturally.  My favorite subject.  If you’ve followed me since the infancy of Athena Graceland, you know I used to romp there way more. (That was before I was sent by a snickering God to live amongst the Renunciates.)  But I always felt terrified because my Mom was my number one fan…. And inspired, liberated sexuality was not an area of overlap for us. I felt the need to hide my libidinous priestess side from her.  Said priestess was actually quite relieved as Dear Sumitra lay dying… because She imagined that She’d finally be free…. On our last day together, I told my Ma, “Now I can write anything I want!” She flashed a smile of compassionate recognition.  

 

For the first year without her, I wondered when I’d get to it…. “It” being revealing the repressed backlog of wet, racy, outrageous expression within me.  But I guess being an under-fucked single mom was not exactly fertile ground for such writing.

 

Hallelujah the dawn doth cometh!  This morning I am delighted to announce that I no longer classify as underfucked.  Phew. I found my way to the scantily clad, orgiastic desert oasis. Everywhere I turn, water is singing, dripping, gushing, quenching.  

 

I pity the fool who says sex is not spiritual.  I feel a bazillion percent more alive, joyful, energized.  I feel like I finally have the inner resource to Rule The World.  

 

I never believed in “penis envy”…. But when I see Giordano’s perfectly huge, artistically dangerous, hard cock in the morning…. I think that Freudian construct might be laced into the cocktail of feelings that swirl inside me.

 

I’ve been flying high on oxytocin for the past two weeks.  It’s like being drunk on sunlight. I dare you to argue with the quintessential rightness of such purity.

 

But of course, life is dynamic and fuckin messy.

 

And sharing my tiny house with a man is bound to arouse conflict and rub raw, ancient wounds.  Yesterday we got in our first real…. Dare I call it a “fight”? I would call it me asking to Talk… and sharing all the withholds that were eating away at me.  Him feeling attacked and bristling in defense. Both of us flooding with fight or flight chemicals and becoming crippled five year olds. How’s THAT for sexy?!!

 

The moon is nearly full.  We are both very sensitive.  Energy needed to burst and gush.  We never really came to articulated resolution.  We walked through the woods, me tense and silent, him spitting inflamed, linguistic daggers wrapped in his profoundly charming italian accent.  Then we took some space…. And naturally tapped our respective wells of compassion, patience and love.

 

I just wish I hadn’t told him I was ALL IN so quickly.  Initially, we agreed to let it ride for an entire moon cycle before we came to any conclusions.  But the damn oxytocin got me all gushy and I professed that I didn’t need to wait. I flung myself into the treacherous deep end, with beaming abandon.

 

Hello, my name is Athena and I am emotionally impulsive.  

 

Seriously.  It’s a weakness in me that I am working on.

 

I don’t know if I’m scared of intimacy… or not fashioned for a conventional, nuclear paradigm relationship… or if Giordano simply isn’t the One for me….  But….. ahhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!

 

I started missing Ed.  Ed has a way stronger masculine essence.  Giordano was named after the River Jordan.  And he truly IS water. Ed was named after a massive granite boulder.  Haha I’m sooo funny! But I ask myself if I can fully give myself to a man who is so flowing.  This makes me more masculine. But….

 

Giordano is a beautiful being who loves and supports me.  He is honest and caring, creative and adventurous. Plus, his italian accent and adorably wonky sentence structuring is an endless source of tickle for me.  And who says it must be a stifling case of “either or”?

 

A while back, Ed sneered at me, in a moment of pain, and said, “You think you can have it ALL, but you CAN’T.”  His words knocked me bass-ackwards.

 

The fuck I can’t.  I’m ATHENA GRACE, high and holy Priestess of Heaven.  Recently, Ed stopped talking to me for what seemed like a year.  It was actually about three days. But now he’s back. And I am quenched by his steady, masculine love.  

 

Fuck the stiff, moldy paradigm that says I must choose.  But through the unintelligible grace of endarkenment, it still lives inside me.  When I fall asleep at the wheel for even a second, I melt into that ancestrally embedded, default, operational groove.  Why can’t I widen myself and imbibe the love and complementary nutrients that both men have to offer to my heart and life?

 

I can.  I give myself Radical Permission to be nourished by a spectral panoply of lovers.  I give myself Radical Permission to be free from the need to define my relationships according to archaic, expired patriarchal constructs.  I give myself Radical Permission to feel and speak my raw, naked truth in The Moment, and set appropriate boundaries accordingly. I give myself Radical Permission to live in the Present, and release the need to define my intimacy with others through elusive future constructs.  

 

Most importantly, I give myself Radical Permission to love and to be loved.  And to BE LOVE.

 

Messy, imperfect, ever-evolving, embodied love.

Growing a Goddess

One of the most literally miraculous (is there a such thing as “figuratively miraculous”?) aspects of bringing a child into this world, is the way they reunite people.  Even without inhabiting a body, the gravitational force of a yet to be born soul’s love is profound.  Serena’s presence in my life has been an immense catalyst for reuniting and healing.  I bow to her Holy influence.

But that’s not even what this piece of writing is about!  Too bad, huh?… cuz what a wonder-full topic to expound upon!  I get such a charge out of “breaking the rules” of writing.  Because REALLY, who made them up in the first place?… and why are THEY the one who like a smirking jailer, holds the iron key-laden ring to a fractaling multitude of cells, crowded with way too many suckas who think they are “better writers” for anally affixing a “main idea” to their “opening sentence”?  Yes, I DO believe that it is a useful strategy for drawing the reader IN… and giving you an idea of the linguistic river ride that you are invited to glide and bounce along upon.  But not every poem must rhyme the last word in each line.  Sometimes the rhythms and rhymes are slanted and erratic and squiggly.  And sometimes any rhyming would be binding and trite.

Alas, we find the mouth of this rushing mind river, set upon the the bank of a dribbling creek.  Six months pregnant, I am seated upon a white, plastic patio chair, on a pebbly, parched creek bed, reconnecting after a steep twenty-someodd years, with my childhood bestie from first grade, Mary.  We (especially shamelessly ravenous, pregnant me,) feast upon queen-sized bags of Tostito’s lime flavored corn chips, and impossibly addictive, GMO kettle corn, which is entirely climactic unto itself, but inconsequential to this visionary essay.  It is a bright, sweltering afternoon in late july, and I am probably slippery with sweat.

Mary, now having three children of her own, confesses that when she found out her third child was a girl (her first), she cried!  Struck by this confession, I ask why… for I would have cried if I found out I was NOT having a girl, which fortunately was not the case.  (Note to self– write the dismal, cloud-cover story of your ultrasound one of these days…)  She says, because she immediately fretted for all of the painful passages her girl would make, and Mary would hence relive:  struggles with friends, boys, body image, self-esteem…

Golly, those dimensions of the journey had never occurred to me.  At least in the way she portrayed them.  Hearing her perspective magically illuminated my own.  I realized that I had an equal amount of energy as she, but mine equated to enthusiasm, purpose, and vision.  Whereas she felt plagued by all that she had endured as a girl in this world, I felt equipped, and eager to use my [excruciating] trials as a source of empowerment and transcendence for my burgeoning girl, and all girls.  And THAT statement, ladies, gentlemen and the no-so-civilized among us, could be construed as the “main idea” of this writing spree!

I *really* struggled to grow into the goddess that I have become.  You’re probably familiar with the saying, “Not all who wander are lost.”  Well, I was a lost and tortured wanderer.  I was a classic case of “ugly duckling”.  But now look at the elegant and wild swan I have become.  No.  It was not easy.  Yes.  It hurt a lot.  Will Serena have to go through that?  I hope not… But no matter what she must live, I will empower her to encounter it ALL as essential steps on a heroine’s journey through Holy Lands, expanding into ever greater and more masterful embodiment of the Divine I AM that she already, always IS.  So help me God.  Yes, I want to protect her from low self-esteem, severe acne, heartbreak, mean girls, feeling lost… I suppose every parent with a heart must want to protect their child from the pain of Becoming…

Take our homeboy Siddheartha as the prime-est of examples.  His parents wanted to keep him imprisoned behind opulent palace walls for his entire life, so that he would NEVER need to encounter sickness, death or suffering of any flavor.  But ultimately this cush, sheltered life left him hopelessly bathed in malaise.  Out of immense love for their Prince of Perfection, they had to release him to the arduous journey of Becoming, that we are each here to surmount.  Sigh… I guess I will release Serena from the suffocating confines of the palace walls of my narrow and skewed, but wholly well-intended ideas of loving.

All hale checks and balances!!!  Because I equally contain a mature strain of brave, awakened love.  And a knowing of all-pervading, unescapable divine perfection.  My daughter will never live ANYTHING that is not in service of her eternally expanding journey of sacred illumination.  Nor will any of us.  This idea requires a bottomless well of faith… which is a tall order, in a world where so many suffer.  Sometimes I go to my well, send the bucket down, and only come up with a few modest drops of liquid faith.  Just enough to wet my lips… so that I may keep whistling Amazing Grace, as I trudge up steep hills, in pursuit of unknown, though purely compelling, elevated states of Realization and Service.

Are you still there?  Yes, YOU, whose eyes wander in wonder, word by word, through the world revealed through vision-driven finger tips… Please… Give me your hand!… Like a negligent child’s stray balloon, I have floated up, up, up into the gay stratospheres of beatific idealism.  Pull me dowwwwn.  To the ground, where I have a noble and life-long job to accomplish.  Raising my daughter with intention, attention and devotion, such that the Goddess is free to reign on earth once again, and Love explodes in harmonious, healing rays from EVERY HEART.  And I mean Every Heart.

I’ve witnessed enough young children to know that it really isn’t what we SAY, as parents and trusted guides, but what we DO.  With riveted attention, our littles watch our every move, drink in every word (except when we are preaching exhausted, disembodied gospels to their time-dulled, wisened ears).  This is a call to slow down, drop IN and rise to new heights of integrity.  No pressure. Grin.  Yes, it’s a tall order; an invitation to fail many times over.  But I am willing to flail, fall and simply get up again, aspiring to be bright beacon of intentional love and sacred responsibility for my Tiny Goddess to emulate.

I don’t have it all figured out (like duh…). But after clambering around in the dark for the first thirty years of this life, grasping for something REAL, substantial, fundamental… I found it.  Seriously, I BEGGED God to tell me the meaning of Life.  And God said it is Love.  This pure, potent and totally knowable Force, around which to order, organize, inspire and inform all choices, actions, words, relationships.  I may make mistakes… but Serena will bear witness to a woman who loves her own heart with fierce, unrelenting and tender persistence.  Yes, come what may, I will always be one to pause, put my hand over my warm, pulsing, deep feeling heart, breathe deep and say to the tremulous and pure One in there, “I love you.”  ALL OF IT is worthy of my unconditional love:  fear, anger, disappointment, hope, desire, peace, passion, insecurity…  I may not be able to shelter my daughter from the essential storms of life, but I WILL give her the tools to weather them with Love’s immensity.  After all, she IS a little Mrs. Grace.

My dear friends, David and Rosy have a daughter who turned thirteen last year.  Reviving the entirely necessary, and recently misplaced Rite of Passage, they created a women’s circle to celebrate and initiate their budding goddess into the delicious (though totally overwhelming at times) Ocean of Womanhood.  I was blessed to be invited to co-create this powerful cauldron of holding, wisdom, love and sharing.  God, I wish for every girl to have such an intentional and blessed emergence…

Witnessing this no-longer-girl-child, yet not-quite-woman, I was flooded with aching and bitter memories of the confusion and pain of my own listless, unanchored, sprawling drift into womanhood.  As was each of the women who sat in circle, sharing pertinent morsels of their own grueling tale of Becoming, in service of empowering young Eva’s unfurling story, and implicitly, all of HerStory.  What struck me, is that we were all left to grope, alone, in a dark and stark world, until somehow, through the grace of the goddess, we managed to find something of true value and substance Inside.  It was the exception to the rule that someone wise, loving and steadfast took our hand and powerfully guided us into the vast, undulating world of womanhood… let alone a circle, a village, or an entire choir, sung from the radiant feminine hearts of a sane, healthy and connected world.

We were all taught to loathe our bodies and our blood, and hence, never touch the latent miraculous power therein.  Over the course of my own single-serving-struggle, I have come to love the blood that flows from my womb with every moon.  And too, I realized that my body IS the temple through which I worship the GodLove in Everything.  Granted, we each may need to struggle, ache and break, as we make the brave pilgrimage through the earthly lands of our Destiny… but WE DO NOT NEED TO FEAR OUR BODIES, OUR BLOOD, OR OUR SISTERS.

I will teach Serena to revere and devotionally care for her heavenly body, and to trust its innate wisdom.  I will teach her that her sexuality is a sacred portal to endless dimensions of divine communion, not to be squandered, diminuated or bartered for a cheap, hollow imitation of love and acceptance from an external, and hence perpetually unsatisfying source.  May she know, that SHE IS THE SOURCE.  And Sorceress…  I will invite her to honor and learn from the power and mystery of her goddess blood.  I will allow her to retreat Within during that sacred moon time– to meditate, journal, rest, pray, dream… And to invest her Self in the coin of indestructible Sister Love.  Competition among women must be a contemporary capitalist plot.  Our power awakens in our Joining.  Alone, we are false, and therefore weakened.  As women, we are the keepers of Mother Love on this planet.  Mother Love, by nature joins, for it IS the luminous, intelligent, compassionate and beautiful web of Creation.  Though to our divine delight, we seem individuated on the surface, if you close your earthly eyes, and look through the Eye Within, you will surely see that beneath the ever-creative, intricate lila of dancing surface waves, there is One united force of pulsing, creative love, giving rise to all our lives.

It is one thing to “know” of these ideals… And quite another matter to LIVE them.  But this is what I strive to do and BE… for myself, for my daughter, for all women and men, for our selflessly, endlessly generous Mother Earth and all Her miraculous, essential inhabitants.  God, please bless my every step on this life-long, essential mission.  In the name of Love.

 

This vid is for wOMen.  It’s totally time to cut the bullshit of assessing and defining our beauty by external standards.  Seriously.  Please take my hand and lead the Revolution by making the decision to LOVE YOURSELF and SHINE as the radiant light you are.  Let’s shift our focus to what truly matters.  WAKE UP!!!!!!

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.

I finished my tantra yoga immersion three days ago, and I’m still trying to make sense of it. Compared to the Ananda Yoga teacher training I just finished, this one seemed haphazard and all over the place. Mining the gifts bestowed upon me over the seven days of the training has been like being on a treasure hunt in a midnight labyrinth. Because of who I am, I find this simultaneously frustrating and exhilarating. Heck yes, I like to work! And yet, do I really need to pay a thousand dollars to work so hard? But let’s not hang out in that frivolous mind fuck. I have way more important layers to unpack.

On the second to last day, a woman asked the teacher a question that, like a loose spark, ignited a blazing fire in me. Before I dive in, I want to meander three steps to the left, and say that I was repeatedly turned off by the nature of the questions that many of the students asked the teacher. From my “partial perception”, it seemed like many of the women were so quick to give their power over to the teacher. As if he was not a more mortal, but a Shiva dancing on a heaven-scraping pedestal. This play was reminiscent of the guru-disciple relationship… which I have some genuine reverence for. But the trouble with that, is that Pedro is not a guru. Nor does he portend to be one. He’s a man with a beautiful, truth-seeking soul, a strong, devoted practice and a burning drive to share what he has unearthed within himself. Anyway, lemme keep this plug concise- Stop giving away your power and TRUST YOURSELF. (and yes, I am saying this to myself, as well as to alla y’all.)

And now for the bread and butter of this blog. The woman’s question wasn’t really a question at all… it was more like a deep wound being voiced in a space where she felt safe to share, and hungry for healing. She confessed that she had issue with all of the devotional chanting (and general praises) to Lord Shiva we were doing. She confessed wounding around the masculine, and thus a preference to worship the Goddess. (In retrospect, I’m mildly amused by how Pedro grappled with response to her “question”. I mean what can you say to that, really?)

But hallelujah that our friend brought this issue to light! It is an important topic for us all to explore together, here in Athena Graceland. We ARE living in a sorely imbalanced world, at this time. I am stating the obvious here. We are killing each other, raping the earth, and limping along in a pathetic fever dream of “each man for himself”. It sucks.

BUT MEN ARE NOT TO BLAME.

Yes, you could certainly argue with me. A very convincing case at that. But WHY on earth would you argue for the right to BLAME? Blame blows. As an esteemed ambassador for the New World, I am here to tell you that it is time to cleanse our calcified misgivings in the holy waters of forgiveness.

Listen up. We are all in this together. We must stop dividing ourselves and come together as one human family. We are all children of God. And if the G-word turns you off, don’t choose to get hung up there and miss the message. Love. Love is the creative glue of the universe. And thru the eyes of Love, we all look exactly the same; equally, unsayably magnificent.

Yes, absolutely it is time for women to rise up. Goddess YES! Everywhere I turn, I am surrounded by wise, powerful and beautiful women who are waking from the dream of oppression, and rising up. Together. But if we condemn and despise our men, we are only striking against ourselves.

I was eating my lunch at the Berkeley Bowl on my way to the last day of class… feeling tender and premenstrual… and this dude looked me up and down, and I felt a mild twinge of disgust. I will testify that it sucks to be looked at like a piece of meat. But here’s the thing- men don’t know any better. They have all been trained by a society of low consciousness, where we’ve all passively agreed that it’s acceptable and even desirable to sell sex. And underneath the surface of this lie, we are ALL starving for genuine connection, acceptance, love.

Think about it- what good is it gonna do for me to close my heart to that man, who is simply ignorant. That will only serve to widen the divide. Women- stop condemning men for acting like dopes. It is time for us to come together and remember our wholeness, raise each other up. And from this foundation of unwavering self-love, true power and forgiveness, we must serve as guides and teachers for our men. Stand proud and glorious in who you ARE ,rather than pretending to be who you think you need to be in order to “get love”. We are each the SOURCE of Love. Ask for what you want. Acknowledge, praise and reward men when they get it right. We are all in this together. Just like men would not be here without women, women would not be here without men.

Women and men have different areas of strength and expertise. The time has come to recognize and celebrate our differences, and work together to co-create a balanced healthy world where love prevails.

What stories, misgivings, old wounds must YOU let go of, in order to step into this brave new paradigm of forgiveness and joyful co-operation? Please, on behalf of humanity, (not to mention the thrival of your own heart, body and soul…) LET GO. Let go of hurt and blame, and choose instead the joy of working together to build a world of peace, love and unity. Oh, and listen, don’t wait for others to “earn” your generosity. Live by example. The revolution is YOUR unconditional love.

Live,
A

Women, Let’s Get Messy!

Wow, this is strange.  Two days in a row that I don’t feel like expressing myself for public consumption.  Yesterday, first thing in the morning, I opened a page, felt inside and then graciously bowed out.  I thought for SURE today I’d be chomping at the bit to spit out the overflowing influx of super-charged worlds of words.  No such luck.  Although now that I am writing, the pitter patter of little keys is lulling me and I do feel some “yes bones” in my body.  I think I might just be depressed?  Or afraid.  Powerless maybe…since it’s the fourth of July and we still haven’t paid our rent.   I’m groping in the dark for reasons why something in me has recoiled deep into myself.  Honestly, it just is what it is… and I am gonna be courageous and keep sharing myself on the page… because I don’t want to just share when I feel full of inspiration and courage.  Because as a human being, we are not always like that.  The sun goes behind clouds in our minds and still we must breathe and love and write.  Right?

Or at least some mangled version of that…

I guess I could tell you about my recent “break throughs” with my women friends.  Twice in the past week, I have gone to a “messy” place with a close friend.  This is new for me.  And I want to talk about it here, because I think its part of our good girl culture to be on our “nicey-nice-est” behavior with our girlfriends. (certainly there are exceptions to the rule… but I am addressing a general trend of cultural conditioning.) It has always been terrifying and unthinkable for me to express my anger or other miscellaneous darkness in relationship with my nearest and dearest bitches.  (I hope saying bitches didn’t offend you.  But if it did, I guess that’s okay too… you just have to understand that I have grown up in the thick of Snoop Dog’s hood… even if all I listen to these days is kirtan, I am still steeping in a collective pool of invisible vernacular.  And plus, women are bitches and I don’t know why that gets such a bad rap.  It’s one of our plethora of facets and a damn crucial one at that.  Good?  Bad? … in the eye of the beholder, always.)

The other day, my friend Dara and I had plans to go for a jog in Redwood Park.  She showed up to my house forty minutes late.  I was pissed.  I realized that this is one reason why I like to be such a loner.  I like to live life in my time on my terms.  Shrug.  I just do.  Never been such a fan of team sports.  I swim, jog, do yoga, meditate, ride my bike and write my ass off.  As soon as you involve others, life tends to get all wonky and misshapen.  (Just wait till I have kids, right?  Then the joke’ll sure be on Miss Athena.)  Well by the time Dara got to me, I was seething and hungry and full of negative charge.  There was so much energy in me, it felt destructive.  I didn’t want to express it. (Somehow, ironically, I have no qualms about unleashing it with my man… why is that?  I guess women are so much more sensitive and complex and dangerous…) But nor did I want to hold it in.  So as I drove us up the hill into the forest, I gave myself an unusually free reign to express the junk bursting at my seams.  Naturally, she became defensive and reacted by saying, “We don’t have to go if you don’t want to!”  Bleck!  What an uncomfortable mess.

We back and forthed for just a few rounds, both encountering edges inside.  And then we changed the subject and moved on.  I felt better, since I wasn’t managing myself or pretending I was “fine”.  (That’s the fucking WORST!)  Redwood Park was warm and clear as a lucid dream.  We had a great jog.

Then yesterday was a doozie for me.  My dear friend Rosy came over with her familial posse.  We had an art show in our home, since it’s full of Mykael’s art anyway… Mykael and I worked our butts off to make it beautiful and inviting for the THRONGS of people I imagined would pour through our home.  (No such luck.  Mostly a steady trickle of dear, loyal friends.  No work was sold.  Our rent remains unpaid.  Frowwwwwn.)  (Maybe that’s a ghetto busted way to engage the law of attraction… to frown so hard on the page… but… That’s how I bloody feel.  Disappointed.  Sad.  Worried.  Sure, I’ll get back on the mystical, horned horse and keep riding… but right now I am lamenting.)  So by the time the show “started”, I had fallen into a cement heap in my bed.  I swear I felt like I had swallowed covert infinitude of cement and bricks.

Then enter Rosy and fam, stage left.  She was wearing the cutest summer dress.  Strapless.  Form fitting.  Above the knee. White with little red flowers and a thin red belt.  And adorable grey converse high tops!  Both she and her hubby are two of the hippest dressers I know.  So at one point I am laying immovable on my bed and she strolls in.  I go, “Wait… Are you really COMFORTABLE prancing around like that?”  Instantaneously, her fur bristles, and then comes a feminine growl and SNAP.

The worlds created inside her by the words that I had used generated more of an ugly nightmare scape than a sweet dream.  Shit.  The subtext in MY world was, “I wish I could dress like you, but I imagine I would feel quickly uncomfortable and bound… But you look so good.”  SHE heard the word prancing as a diminuating verb.  PRANCING.  To her, prancing is ostentatious.  It drips with hidden negative judgment.  In the moment I said it, I felt none of that.  I am a firm believer in the art of prancing.  After all, I am one quarter unicorn, which is actually enough to live on their reservations in the sky with diamonds.

Shit, I forget the dirty details, but we had a pretty bitchy, charged exchange for a few rounds.  Because I was so tired, I was not as able to keep myself as managed.  Or maybe it’s because I’m not the well managed woman I used to be any more.  I am becoming more of an authentic, volcanic mess.  But still, it felt terrifying for me.  Because Rosy and I are both capable of soaring to great heights of bitchdom, that’s fo’ sho’.  She left my bedroom.  I relaxed the mounting tension inside, which had been taught in a fight or flight freeze.  When I released, it felt mostly like a heap of heart ache.  I didn’t know what to do except lay there and let myself feel it.  Her poor husband, who had been sitting on my bed, a helpless deer in the headlights witness took the opportunity to flee.

Thankfully, she came back and we dove in again with a little more sobriety… though it was still HOT in the space between us.  She reached me when she turned it around and asked me how I would feel if she said the same thing to ME.  I realized that I would NOT know quite how to interpret being accused of “prancing around”… and probably assume the worst too.  That helped.

I acknowledged that it was an edge for me to be such a fully expressed bitch with my women… and that I liked it, because it felt refreshingly real.  I expressed that I’d like to be able to go there from time to time with the trust that we were both willing to lovingly get messy and then stay connected and clean it up.  She concurred, agreeing that messy is the new “nice”.  God, it felt so terrifying and risky to get messy.  I was afraid that she’d hold on to everything that was said and punish me forever by withholding her precious, divine love and continuing instead to claw my eyes out over and over again.

But I think I’m on to something here.  I think women “should” not have it together all the time.  We are forces of nature.  That’s just the way it is.  Let’s be ourselves and trust that our Love and vast capacity to clean up messes will illuminate our way through our enchanted dark spaces.

Amen.

PS~ Women~ I request you to comment on this one!  Please share where you are at with this topic.  What are your feelings, thoughts, opinions, challenges?  Let your voice be heard.  Let’s actively shape the culture of the world we choose to live in!

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