How To Love Life

Can I be honest with you? Of course I can… this is my blog and I can say whatever I want! I want to tell you that I don’t quite know what it is to “love life”… And I feel a subtle wash of shame for that. Because I want you to see me as a bright star who has twinkle danced down to earth to make this strange and magnificent land more beautiful… Not some perpetually depressed teenager who refuses to come out of her room, except to forage for an occasional bowl of cap’n crunch. But sometimes I feel like that inside. I guess that broken-spirited, acne stricken, awkward girl still does live in here… I guess I have some more healing to undergo.

This inquiry of loving life surfaces for me when I am scrolling down my Facebook feed, and I read a post of someone crying out through the virtual ether about how much they LOVE THEIR LIFE. It causes me to grope about inside for a resonant sentiment. But what I come up with most immediately, is this feeling of exhaustion, of soft, muted desperation… like I am climbing a steep mountain that has no peak, bu only continues to rise forever into the cold dark of creation. Why is that?

Is it because I don’t have a career I’m passionate about that enables me to afford the exorbitant expense of existing on this planet? Nor a sweet home with a husband and children laughing gaily inside, exuding the sensuous perfume of fresh bread baking in the oven, and a garden abounding with fresh fruits, veggies, blazing-faced flowers and whispering gnomes? That’s what these people on Facebook seem to have. And honestly, I want it too. But I seem to be on a different path. I have always refused to go about this game like the masses do. Instead I prefer to wander and wonder and dig down deep beyond the bedrock layers of reality in search of the most meaningful, molten, eternal essence, oozing from the heart of “It”. Arg. Sometimes I wish I was satisfied by more of a conventional path. In this moment, being inside my world of endlessly unfurling spiritual seeking and sitting inside the gaping space of vast, galactic questions feels like being trapped in the rubble of earthquake aftermath.

In fact, just writing about it, is making me feel angry and desperate. And I don’t want to feel this way. And more so, I don’t want to transfer such feelings to YOU, through my words. I want to love my life. I am here to explore what this truly means to me.

When I listen inside for guidance, I feel an intuitive whisper that it has to do with serving others. Because when my attention is on myself, I honestly feel miserable. And my notion of my self seems small and warped. I mean, the TRUTH of the matter, is that I am a child of God, and being so, I am One with all creation. So if I’m identifying with myself as these stupid thoughts, this body, these gnawing, contractive feelings… How on earth am I sposta love my life?… I am misidentified; trapped behind confining walls of delusion and isolation. Through serving, I remember that I am infinite, and your happiness is my happiness. As I give, so shall I receive.

My inner voice also begs a silent invocation of gratitude. Because duh, by now we all know, that where your attention goes, energy flows. I have some bad mental habits of lack and insufficiency. Focusing on my limitations, and feelings of struggle, isolation, disconnection. Ahhh! I hate admitting this!!!! Seriously. I want to be perfect. And inspiring. Not some tattered, wayward soul, buried in the rubble of her own devise! Get me outa here!!

I am happiest when I’m teaching yoga. Because I feel this immense mother love swell in my heart and pour through me. I have permission to adore and care for each student unconditionally. To guide them into a space of pure being, and receptivity to grace. Wow. I started writing about what I love, and suddenly my feelings shifted from anger and frustration, to joy and expansive inspiration. Imagine that. I guess I’m not too far from the mark, after all. It’s just my stupid mental habits that keep me confined in my own little slice of hell. Because then I think to myself, how I want to find a place to teach… and develop a following, and be able to have ongoing relationships with students who are ready to embark on the inner journey. And then, from that inspired desire, my mind starts to implode into a dark tunnel of “figuring out the details”, which is a very left brained and limited process, all based on the limitations of my past experiences and what I “know”. And the valve through which my inspiration flows becomes an increasingly tight and narrow sphincter, until barely a trickle of bliss can pass through and instead I just feel baffled and fucked. And add into the equation, that I want to be near Ed, but that means being in the bay area, and I don’t like the bay area anymore, because it’s too crowded and busy and overstimulating and polluted and EXPENSIVE…. and Ed is tangled up in a marriage, devoted to a teenage son (God bless him!) and we can’t be together like we long to (for now) and I want to be pregnant, but I can barely afford to uphold my own existence and….

ARGUE FOR YOUR LIMITATIONS, AND THEY’RE YOURS, ATHENA GRACE.

Lemme tell you something about meditation: the meditation technique that Paramahansa Yogananda teaches is not just some passive, flacid game of observation. It’s active, single pointed concentration at the spiritual eye. Which brings energy to the prefrontal lobe of the brain. The seat of superconscious awareness; intuition. All this nonsense mind vomit that I’m so pathetically familiar with is manufactured in the ghetto slums of my brain. I can feel it churning there like dark, heavy storm clouds. As soon as I move my awareness to my prefrontal lobe, my consciousness lifts into expansive quiet and lucid peace. And as I meditate more… This becomes a more natural, fluid persuasion.

What does this have to do with loving my life? Well… I’m working from the inside, out… rather than the outside in, which, studies show, is mostly destined to fail. Jesus once told me to seek first the Queendom of Heaven, and all else will be added unto me. And he was referring to none other than that which is most true about me (and you and everything). That which rests in eternal glory at the very center.

So that’s what I’m doing. But sometimes it feels hard, and lonely, and I doubt myself and God. But I keep going. I want to live more and more, inwardly rooted in the heaven within. So that I can help you do the same. That’s what I’m up to in my life. What’s not to love about that? YOU’RE DOING GREAT, ATHENA! KEEP GOING, SISTER LOVE!

Then she drew in a deep, slow breath. Then she released it with lingering intensity. She caught a glimpse of her own face in the mirror, and had to crack a Mona Lisian smile at the mask of utter seriousness she wore, as she swung her gleaming pickaxe at the dense, darkened walls of her consciousness. But she knew that soon enough, those walls would crumble beneath the blows of her sharp, fierce tool and give way to a world of blinding diamond perfection for all to delight in.

Om. Peace. Amen.

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