Life, Death and Loving Loneliness

I’m sitting here staring into space, groping to mentally corral the current textures of my life… Spontaneously, I drew in a deep breath, and I was saved.  Overall, it’s beautiful and abundant and wildly blessed.  And also lonely and exhausting.  One inner dimension of me feels threadbare.  Another, soft and bright like the dawn.  God is vast.

One of the things that struck me about giving birth, was that no matter how many loving supportive people were by my side, (which in my case was Ed, Catherine Stone, Deirdre, Dara, Ken, Cindy the nurse, and Brooke the Midwife… HA!  SEVEN!!!  Jesus… way too many 😉 ultimately, it was a journey that I had to make alone.  You could argue that I made it with Serena and with God… In a way that was utterly true… but at a very basic, stripped down level, I was alone.  No one could take away the immense and constant pain.  I had to dive straight into it.  I shared this perspective with Catherine Stone (my doula) after the fact, and she said dying is the same.  No matter who is by your side, you must let go of the body and walk into the Light alone.

Birth.  Death.  And Life… In Life, (like I mentioned in my last blog, I see Life as a synonym for God, so it’s only natural to capitalize it.) I am surrounded by so many bright and loving souls.  SO MANY.  And yet, often I still feel so alone.  Some people seem to delight in their aloneness…. But for me… it feels wrought with polarity.  I spend a lot of time alone… and I’m more of an introvert than an extrovert.  And yet, sometimes I ache in my aloneness.  I long to be as close with another as two “ones” can possibly be.  I guess that’s why Ed and I spent so much time just holding each other, back in the days when our daily lives were a tighter weave.  Our warm, pulsing bodies entwined, sharing breath, my heart pouring open, feeling the ultimate, intimate sense of Belonging.  But the shadow side of this merged perfection is codependence.  Which has been its own unraveling labyrinth in my life.  So here I am, inside the construct of a Life scenario where I don’t have the option to collapse into default codependence.  Woo-hoo.

Ultimately, I WANT to feel so entirely at peace and whole in myself… (sometimes I DO… but those moments tend to slip by in an incognito state of Unity…)   But… there’s a way in which meeting my ache and longing over and over and over and over again feels like slogging through the desert.  Is this why I want a family so bad???  So that I don’t have to feel these arduous feelings of slow burning longing…?  Wow… I thought I wanted a family (“a family”= a husband and two children… and hopefully some furry animals… and I DON’T mean furry spiders, which are abundant around my hOMe and sorta freak me out, even though I mostly love spiders…) because  it was my heart and soul’s Truth.  But what if it was just to avoid these intense feelings??  It’s still inconclusive… but just in case that IS the case, I’m gonna practice saying YES to this experience in it’s subtly excruciating entirety.  I’m sure that the “meaning of my life” is to dare to love everything that arises.  After all, if we are “made in the image and likeness of God”, then this MUST be our highest calling as human beings.  Because God certainly loves the pants off ALL of it.  (Sorta like when I took my jade heart necklace away from Serena the other night at bed time, and her dark, heart-shaped lips spilled into a perfect little frown as a prelude to gloriously impassioned tears… and witnessing this made my heart explode open and I couldn’t help but laaaaugh at the poetic artistry of her self expression.)

I love how easy it is for me to spiral into esoteric, philosophical realms!  I totally meant to talk about super basic dimensions of my life.  Like how Serena is suddenly exploding into so much exponential growth, and she’s becoming more and more of an ecstatic handful, who reaches for and grabs everything.  She (to my surprise) loooooves the water!!  I took her to Cate and Jenny’s pool party on saturday, and I was amazed by her impassioned splashing and kicking.  She became vivacious in the water.  She’s not like that in the bath… When I first put her in the tub, expecting her to be a natural born mermaid like her mama, she looked more like a petrified mouse, about to be seized in the merciless talons of death.  She got all stiff and made prey faces.  But she might have mermaid blood yet!  I also took her for a River quickie yesterday, and was surprised that even though it was COLD, she became ecstatic.  We sat on a rock in the gentle rapids, and she kicked and splashed and explored the nature and essence of the quick, crystalline water.  I remember last September, being nice and pregnant, and going to that same spot, submerging and praying for a smooth, “easy” (ha!) birth… sitting on the smooth, flat rock, as the singing liquid grace poured around me, opening my body to this force of powerful flow.  Time is profound.  Riding the spiral merry-go-round of Life… visiting and revisiting the same locations, emotionally and physically, again and again… yet perceiving them from a constantly evolving consciousness… an aging body, a ripening heart, an unfurling ego.  Reminds me of the book, “The Giving Tree”… Even when she was just a lonesome stump, she was so full of grace.  Ha!  I hope that’s what “they” write on my tombstone…

It’s a new day… and I don’t feel as intimate with the texture of loneliness as I did yesterday… which is a bit of a relief.  But speaking of grace, I really DO aim to be so gracious when that all-too-familiar feeling arises.  Matt Kahn, my “Team Captain”, as Erika refers to him (!!!), says that I can love every feeling that arises like it has NEVER been loved before.  And I know I can!  I have so much love in my heart.  Enough love to saturate this entire world, and watch it be triumphantly restored to the Heaven it has always been.  I’m sure of this.

At six months, Serena is finally growing hair.  It’s in this wildly adorable phase right now, where it is a fine coat of soft fur.  I loooove to pet it.  I love her fat, squishy arms!  (and legs…)  I love the way she gets so still and quiet when I put her facing me in the Ergo carrier… and her serious, inquisitive, wise, (plump, drooping cheeked) and open face just takes in the world.  I have to constantly remind myself that it will not always be like this.  Someday, she’ll be too big to ride in a baby carrier… and maybe someday she’ll even be embarrassed by me.  And yet, we’ll still be on that spiral merry-go-round, circling the same locations, physically, emotionally,  mentally… watching everything change, and yet somehow stay the same.

I don’t feel like I hit the bullseye with this blog.  Like you could read it, and still not fully know me… Though I did offer some rich and true and beautiful morsels… I guess that’s why people write BOOKS instead of just long, sprawling shorties.  I wish I could so graciously empty my innermost self onto this page for you to intimately encounter…  Why?  Because if “Life” is “God”, then “Intimacy” is the experiencing of Life/God.  And all I can offer is ME.  And perhaps this naked me can open you deeper to the raw joy and pain and beauty of your Holy Existence.

Maybe I didn’t hit the bullseye… but I showed up and shared something of myself.  And I will continue to do so, always aspiring to use my Life to illuminate and liberate your courageous, profound and essential heart.  Because I can.

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An Interview with ME!

Hi!  I just took myself through a powerful process… I soul searched some deep questions that I wanted to explore and clarify within myself.  And then I threw down in an interview!!!  Initially, I just intended it to be for me… not to share.  But when I watched it, I was moved by the power and sweetness of my authenticity and soulful sharing.  I felt moved to share it… just incase you find value in witnessing my soulful expression.  Perhaps it touches something deep within you… I offer it from my heart.

Grrrrrr…. Youtube sucks.  This is the second time I’ve copied and pasted my vid link, and it’s put up the WRONG video!!!!  And I keep trying to do it over and over again… with the same results.  (You can’t solve a problem from the same consciousness that created it!!!!  Thanks Einstein.)  Well… it’s on my Youtube channel.  It’s called “An interview with myself”.  I hope you watch it.

Athena Graceland is morphing into new dimensions of HALLELUJAH!!!
Yeah, I’m in love with video now.  My intention is to raise YOU up!!!!!

Are you ready to explore new frontiers of ecstasy, delight, gratitude and wonder?

If so, you have come to the right place!!!

Let the SHRI resound through your sweet slice of infinity within!!

 

Stalked By Destiny

When you read these words, you won’t know that I stared into space for an unusually steep stack of eternities, before I felt compelled to commit words to the page. You’ll just sip them quick, like a tepid, all-too-drinkable latte from the Starbucks drive-thru. But the reality, is that I am siting here (Pizzaiolo), mulling over the shards of my life, like a twelve-dimensional puzzle, trying to fit them together into a sensible portrait of burgeoning reality. Yeah, I’m like smoothing my consciousness with a fine-toothed comb, teasing out the moments and images, longings and thoughts that glow the brightest in here…. Because perhaps my psyche is a treasure map, seducing my awareness to ever greater heights of Ultimacy.

And now, for the effulgent flash of our beloved cliche symbol, the lightbulb (aka: a moment of clarity). What it boils down to, is that I’m coming to a place inside, where I am longing to create something deeply satisfying, and wildly impactful in the world (in addition to my dear little Alexandria Shri…). I want to use all my God-given gifts and talents to light up the world. The alternative is hella bogus. Life without passionate, creative risk is like crawling across a parched desert with no kombucha or raw milk (okay, or even WATER) to drink, and no sexy, fierce, wise, compassionate, unruly playmates to sweeten up otherwise generic moments.

Okay, sometimes I nail the metaphors… but that time I didn’t. You must mine for the FEELING beneath the words. My writing stems from liquidy depths of raw feeling. The immediacy of these energies guide me like a trail of breadcrumbs to the CANDY HOUSE.

Now, more than ever before, I am stalking my destiny. There was a lunar eclipse last night. And we’re approaching a “grand cross”. Supposedly all this current astrological intensity is serving as a raucous seduction into deeper attunement to our soul’s path and purpose.

Last July, I let go of my apartment and my job and the constricting, razor blade-laced comfort of a life that was becoming too small for me… I followed the oh-so-gentle whisper of my heart to the Momshram, where I stayed for six weeks, and imbibed my fourth yoga teacher training. Entirely apropos for year of the snake, this kicked off a hard core skin-shedding. Or maybe I was in a straight up cocoon… because I really became a puddle of tender nothing. And since then, I have been ambling with mostly patient, mostly blind faith down the path of my heart. My priority has been spiritual nourishment… which you’d think would be rather joyful. But it’s actually been sorta dark and unsettling. Like all the bright colors of my soul have been cut with sludgy, grey paint.

I’m getting tired of drifting on wily tides. I want to unzip my chest and let the colors of my heart run and bleed and stain the undisciplined, dreaming minds of the hopeless. Today I am inclined to believe that the God I adore can be tasted in the delicate sweetness of beauty and pleasure and delight.

Just before seven this morning, I was riding BART to the enchanted lagoon (Temescal Pool), and I scanned the train to see who the “people in my neighborhood” were… Friends, it was fucking tragic. Without exception, they all looked eleven-twelfths dead!! I even have the stealthily snapped photo to prove it. My hypothesis is that these people were all heading to jobs they despise, living juiceless, autopilot lives, because they have been asleep so long, they forgot they had another option. And yes, I inhabit my own pathetic version of that. And it’s pissing me off. I’M ATHENA GRACE!!!! I was NOT born to partake in this trending strain of self-imposed bondage!!!

I want to unearth Heaven Within, and spread it around like a hopelessly contagious virus!!! I want flowers to bloom where I have walked and frowns to melt into undeniable evidence of all-pervading ecstasy!

Now I’m staring at the page again… Because like, honestly… where do you go from there?

I’m hopping a train to the Momshram this afternoon. Up until this morning, I was resisting going. I felt attached to all this concrete and noise. Just kidding. More like my Man, the creative, conscious, exuberent vibe of my Bay Brea peeps, sweating out my demons (and perhaps a few token angels) in bikram yoga, and gliding like a mermaid through liquid, aqua love at dawn. But today I say yes. I’m ready to re-enter the Sacred Forest. Hug my PRECIOUS mother, and sing the meal blessing song with her before we feast on delicious, rainbow colored salads, designed by yours truly (you gotta wonder where the silly phrase, “yours truly” came from… and moreover, you gotta wonder about the goofballs who keep it alive…), unleash my wild heart on the endearing, half-awake masses who show up for my sadhanas!!… Breathe in the love of the trees and perch next to Ma and sing my heart out at sunday service!

Gosh… That all sounds pretty God. Where do I sign up? Oh wait, this is MY LIFE. Sweet! What was it I was clawing for at the beginning of this blog? Purpose. Meaning. Sacred engagement. Focus. Service. Sigh. Trust the path, Mrs. Grace. You might imagine you are stalking your destiny…

But actually, your destiny is stalking YOU.

Om. Peace. Amen.

Every Shade of Grace

Leaving Ananda (the “Momshram”) last time was an experiment. My Ma was sure that I’d return to her after my impending Bay Area romp, Humpty-Dumpty shattered, and she’d have her work cut out for her with the bottle of kray-zay glue. But I was like, “Oh, Ma! Why dost thou insisteth on investing thine faith in the worst case scenario?!” My stance was straight up curiosity. Like, “Huh… how’s it gonna play out… ME, going back out into “the world”. Yep. It has become like that… There is Ananda Village… and The World. And comparatively, the world can be a rough ride. Ma was right. At least today’s forecast calls for a bandage brigade. And probably a few stitches. And maybe a tourniquet.

And now for a deeper glimpse inside the writer’s mind: She’s thinkin’ like, okay, where do I go from here? Do I climb up to the high dive and leap into the deep, inhospitable waters of my dramatic sob story….? I want to bring my BEST to you through this blog. Yes, my MESSY, NAKED BEST… I want to turn my lead into gold before your very eyes… and turn yours the same through sympathetic osmosis. That’s what Jesus did. And every other saint and sage who’s blessed this Forgetful Zone. Great souls dwell in the light of Truth, and others are naturally and effortlessly elevated… just be sharing in the *realized* presence of the all pervading, indwelling God (LOVE). Now I’m not professing to be a saint. Or a sage. Just a genuinely aspiring, caring and determined soul. And I want to invoke the presence of the Miraculous, such that through the sharing of my story and my heart, Truth will be revealed where before there was a veil of darkness. I will heal myself as I unfurl upon the page, and you, in turn, will receive healing like pure alpine snow melt, pouring out into myriad streams, who surge with the force of destiny toward the Ocean.

Okay Athena. Beautiful aspiration. Now let’s get to work. Do you want to take a guess as to why I SOBBED myself to sleep last night and awoke with my eyes swollen and crusty… only to resume the wet festivities again this morning? If your mind wandered to our massive and mushy-hearted police officer, Ed, you WIN. (and if you are new to my blog, or you were just genuinely stumped, you also WIN, because in Athena Graceland, everyone is a winner. How can we *not* be?!… we are all glorious, creatively costumed children of the INFINITE?…)

I’m starting to see a pattern. I yearn to be oh-so-close with Ed. So I will my orbit near to his. And it’s like eating my fill of warm, melty brownies… laced with arsenic. Moments that we are together and holding each other close, or cooking a nourishing meal together in our new PJs, or walking down the street with my arms wrapped around his big, squishy middle… Perfection.

And then he goes back to his family; in a maximum security world, where I am forbidden. At least my body… I know that my heart and my energy pervade that world like a questionable fragrance. Is it sweet? Or is it lethal?… It is both. It is born of flowers grown in the great goddess of destruction, Kali Ma’s own garden. I know my love is felt in Ed’s home… but it is not soft, fluffy, puppy kitten love… it’s the shade of love that demands truing and transformation. Not glamorous. But necessary. And now that I think about it, it isn’t even “my love”. It is God’s love. And it is working me over just the same. And that’s why I’ve been crying all hard and tragic for the last twelve hours.

I’m calmer now. Now, I’m just here. At Pizzaiolo. I cried all the way here on BART, though. And to be honest, crying in public (and I mean REALLY CRYING… not a wussy, withheld trickle…) is a form of my activism. Why should we have to portray ourselves as all neat and tidy all the time? Kids aren’t the only ones with feelings. Cry Laugh Orgasm. Buy the book. It’s the story of my life.

Anyway, where was I? Ah, yes, the perfection of moments shared with Ed. Our connection is POTENT. And as deep as deep is deep. But then he goes back to his family. And he is unwilling to create any kind of timeline as to when he’ll be available. And I think my heart has broken and spilled over the reality of our situation one too many times to continue on as we have been. And he expresses similar sentiments about his jealousy issues and my desire to spend [PLATONIC] time with other men. He doesn’t understand it… My need to connect. To show up for the people that God peoples my life with…

Meanwhile, I was invited to visit OREGON! There is another Ananda community just outside of Portland. And I have a compelling opportunity to go there and serve in the kitchen and lead sadhanas in exchange for food and shelter and classes on spirituality and art taught by an amazing woman artist who is a part of Ananda! Duh. It’s obvious that I need to go. When I turn away from the pain and the drama with Ed… and toward my guru, toward expansion, toward service to humanity, the sun comes out and my tears turn to glitter and crystals and diamonds to rain upon the masses!

Ha. I make it sound so scientific. So simple and easy. But the human heart is a complicated knot of karma and longing. And the feeling that it is time to turn away from Ed kills me. It is a death. And death is not pretty. Well… I suppose it CAN be. Elements of it, anyway. But I know that rebirth and regeneration is inevitable. For the faithless, death is sheer terror. But for the faith-FULL, death is a wondrous mystery, teeming with hidden gifts, laced with grace, and spun from the very threads of The Miraculous.

But here’s the latest breaking news, live from Athena Graceland~ Ready? Here goes: Even the faith-FULL ache and break and spill. But we do it with our hearts lifted and our wings spread.

I believe. I know that everything is unfurling as it must. Whether I fight the current or move with it… It moves just the same. The only difference is how much I suffer. I hate to admit it, but I am choosing suffering. Because I am so attached to Ed. And I don’t understand what the implications of letting go are. I don’t know if Life will bring us back together or not. But I know that Life has a deep and sober intelligence, beyond individual agendas. I still want to fight it. Just enough to FEEL the edges of my life and the shape of my soul.

The heart always knows how to find its way through this dark labyrinth of a human life. I am learning that there are times to pause and wait and listen… and times to act. My Ma told me this. And the natural rhythms of my life affirm it to be true. I have waited and listened… and very soon comes a time of action. I will do my best to act in alignment with the Highest.

I’ve been musing on the implications of karma lately. It’s hard NOT to, when it slaps you the fuck around so much. I’ve been wondering how I can graciously make my bed and LIVE in it, so to speak… You know, like be woman enough to show up, open and willing to meet the sprouting seeds which I have sewn in the soils of time and space… With the presence and artistry to create the most positive and uplifted future impact. We are always acting. That’s just how it words down here. Karma begets karma = action begets action. But I believe that the more I can keep my eyes open and my heart lifted up to God as the whole ecstatic theater unfolds, RESPONDING with divine intelligence, instead of reacting like a horrified, convulsing reptile…. the more I can minimize the damage, and sew seeds of divine grace in the soils of my (and OUR) future.

This is my prayer.
This is the will I share with God.
May it be so.
Bless.

Live,
A

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.

Please Come In…!!!

Warning: My mind and emotions are *especially* rambunctious today.  Enter Athena Graceland at your own risk.

 

No!!!!  Waaaait… PLEASE COME IN.  I yearn to be witnessed.  And unconditionally accepted.  I want you to be with me.  As I am.

 

I hafta laugh, because what just came through is such a quintessential part of my me-ness.  And I would be so bold as to imagine it may be familiar to YOU and your you-ness, too.  The part of me who pretends she is indifferent.  Like, “I don’t need  you.  I’m cool.  Whatever.  Stay or go… it’s up to you…”  But really, inside, I’m screaming, “DON’T GO!!!!!!!  LOVE ME!!!!!!  HOLD ME!!!!!”

 

That’s real.  I want to feel connected and accepted.  I want to be heard, and I want to make a difference.  Just for being so fully, unapologetically ME.

 

Ahhhh… Now that we’ve got THAT out of the way… I can tell you that I’m at the Momshram.  And for those of you who don’t know what that is, allow me to illuminate with a simple, mathematical equation:  Mom + ashram = Momshram.  My mom lives in a spiritual community, over the river and through the woods.

 

Pbthhhhhtt!!!!  That was the Athena Graceland back-up accompaniment- the distant tremulous croon of a whoopee cushion.  Actually, now that I mention it, the orchestra of life is blaring right now!  I am sitting at a  shaded table on the moist, lush lawn outside Master’s Market.  And the surrounding area is littered with children and the myriad voices of lusty birds.  If I wasn’t having so many intense feelings, I’d certainly be drunker than thou on springtime!!  Ten twenty five am, and even in the shade, I’m perfectly warm.  The especially kind voices of spiritually persuaded children warm my heart as a cool breeze whispers compassionate and generous about my bare arms. I am drowning the stereophonic vivacity of all these young whipper-snappers with harp music… It smooths out the jagged edged intensity of their unfiltered expression.  Binds the moment into sonic smear of subdued, diverse perfection, that allows me to focus and relax into the invocation of this new-born world within a world that is the world of Athena Graceland… much like eggs bind the ingredients of a cake, such that it RISES UP in sweet, moist perfection when exposed to the alchemy born of intense heat.

 

I take it back.  I’m not having intense feelings anymore.  I have finally arrived in the perfect peace of this moment.  I wish you were here with me.  It is really quite extraordinary.  In the most ordinary sense of the word.  I often blink awake for a split second and realize just how much time and energy I spend trying to “get somewhere”… somewhere “better”… Namely the version of reality where I am thriving in my full throttle creative expression, living in my own sweet, spacious, light penthouse apartment overlooking lake merritt, on my own terms.  The rendition of reality where I am free to be with Ed as we wish, without the consideration of his *other life*.  And God… my heart and body long to have a child… (and don’t bother telling me that having a baby is a *huge* responsibility and I will basically be handing my life over to an unrelenting stream of selfless service.  I know that.  It’s not an intellectual desire.  So as much as I try to reason with myself… it doesn’t change the depth of my longing in my heart and body.)

 

Patience, Athena.

 

Desire… it’s such a beautiful beast.  And a powerful force to become deeply intimate with.  She is why we are here.  And She can either be a source of raw power, or perpetual discord and disappointment.  Do you see what I’m saying?  If we allow ourselves to be tossed about by Her like sorry little bitches, we will suffer.  But if we can cultivate deep presence and openness, we can know Her in a way that informs and empowers every single moment of this spiritual mind-fuck we call Life.

 

Desire will never cease.  I will not necessarily be any happier when I find myself suddenly living within the sensuous textures and shades of my unborn dreams.  No… the peace, the joy, the profound love that I seek at the heart of all my wishes has nothing to do with circumstance or shifting sands.  They are a world unto themselves.  Eternal and unbroken by the illusions I project upon the vast canvas of time and space.

 

Wow!  Suddenly, I smell the bright, evocative essence of oranges.  Sweet, tart, fresh… drifting on the breeze, invisibly pressing into my senses, causing my mouth to flood with juice.  How do I open even *more* fully to this quietly sensuous heaven I am currently perched in?  That is a question worth living inside of, if you ask me.  And ultimately, it all comes down to breath. Inviting the breath to wash tidally, all the way into and through me, to the very bottom of my belly.  And softening.  Relaxing my jaw, my face, my shoulders, my belly.  Receiving this beautiful moment and all of the nuanced textures of nourishment it has to offer.  I WANT IT!!!!  I want to invite heaven here.  By just allowing it.

 

This is why I meditate.  Because I am determined to discover heaven INSIDE me.  And not *just* on warm spring days drenched in harp music and orange slices, children at play and birds singing rapturous praises of new life.

 

Athena Grace LMNOP on meditation: There are is such a daunting plethora of ideologies on the purpose and practice of meditation.  But the more I give myself to my daily practice, the more my own motivations, the understanding of the WHY and the HOW dawn within me.   Morning meditation has become an essential respite for me.  It is the most sacred and essential half an hour of my day, because it is a time when I have officially declared that NOTHING that I think means ANYTHING.  That’s huge.  Because for the other twenty three and a half hours, I am mostly perpetually tempted to invest my faith this alluring, vivid wash of dualistic hocus pocus.  But sitting erect, before my altar, I simply keep returning to breath and praying for Grace to inundate my mind and carry me the rest of the way Home (Home = integrated embodied realization of the Truth that ALL IS LOVE)  I used to feel pretty discouraged by the incessant noise in my mind, the thick, sticky veil of maya.  But then I heard an angel whisper in my ear that we don’t call it “Amazing Grace” for naught.  We do OUR part- showing up, being available.  And in the perfection of divinely ordained time, Grace will do HER part and carry us the rest of the way.  It is inevitable.

 

LIVE,

A

 

 

 

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