Someday VS. Now- A Bloody “Dual”

4-up on 3-26-16 at 10.13 AM

Committing words to this glowing slab of emptiness feels torturous as when I was nine and my mom would make me to clean my [atrociously messy] room.  But it’s been so long… and if I don’t give myself the opportunity to open up pour out the golden-chained codes of my Existence, they will tarnish and atrophy in the dungeons of my self-negating Silence.  So I push myself out from behind the curtain, shy and blinking in the bright spotlight.  I reach In.

Maybe the resistance is because my life feels so Saturnian these days.  Tethered.  Stable. Predictable, even.  As it should with a seven and a half month alive baby.  But the hallowed “secret” of being a writer with a poet’s heart (different than being a straight-up “poet”… because I don’t love to write “poetry” these days.  I like to LIVE poetry, and then write long-winded prose about it!!!  Haha, that’s hilarious….) is that when you take the time and care to give ANYTHING your full attention, its Divinity gently blooms.  And actually, this phenomena makes writing as essential as breathing… because it is no longer tolerable for the  Divinity of the World to remain clenched and trembling, as we all desperately limp toward our own illusory finish line.

My personal illusory finish line and I have been in quite a bloody tussle of late.  God, it’s so hard to relax into the implicit enoughness of this chapter of my Holy Existence.  Dissatisfaction is a smelly disease.  But the world who shimmers and taunts my drooling inner vision is masterfully seductive.  And I bet in actuality, it is just a benign and even “friendly” preview of coming attractions.  If only I would just relax and be the poster child of patience and satiation….

In this parallel dimension of my life, I am a Teacher and a Leader and a Writer, whose audience is broad.  I am THRIVING financially for the Gifts she offers.  I am boldly assured as Babe Ruth…. I step up to the plate; a gloriously empty conduit of the Universe, point to the exact address of Oblivion, where I intend to SMACK that small, hard ball.  I am a seamless ballerina, dancing to, with, AS the orchestra of Infinity.

SEE???  This is why I write!  Because just when I thought my existence was all tumbleweeds and endless, sandy cracks…. I take flight on invisible wings, and fill the sky with humming, neon shades of grace-full, booty-shakin grooves that would give Michael Jackson a run for his money.  (Yeah right, Athena…. MJ is Untouchable!…)(Well… so am I in my own right… Which is what I was saying, before I wandered off into the enchanted land of flashy, vivid metaphors.  I was saying that I keep getting seduced by a dazzling mirage of my Becoming, and it makes this slice of life pie that I’m currently breathing and bleeding and sweating and loving in seem insufficient.  And I know that’s bogus.

The frustrating thing is I can’t quite see how to get from “here” to “there”… other than to LOVE HERE.  To fully inhabit here.  To give my Holy ALL to here.  And while that’s actually more than enough…. it’s still cryptic to a slobbering, desperate ego.  I want to trust God with every fiber of my being.  Once and for all.  Wouldn’t that be so cool?  To be entirely relaxed and peaceful… Forever…?!  Now THAT’S a glamorous aspiration.

Someday I will be Great.  I am already Great.  Now on with the softly whispering song of my Real Life….

I finally hung my two hummingbird feeders yesterday.  Ed made me a gallon of magical, red elixir to feed them, and he put hooks in the overhang outside my kitchen window… months ago.  So it was a monumental occasion to finally get them up.  When the first hummingbird arrived, my life became more complete, and Heaven on Earth burst from her incognito confines, like an unopened can of bubbly beverage, shaken and released in sudden wet explosion.

A tiny frog has taken up residence in the corner of my toilet room…. which has a door that leads to my teensy, caterpillar-ransacked garden/tragically concrete “patio”.  I oft leave this door cracked in the name of sunlight and fresh air… and darling Mrs. Froggie seems to love this safe, cool, bug-laden corner of my hOMe.  I just peed, and noticed that she climbed the wall, and is now snuggled in the angular crevice, two feet above the floor!!!  I love her.  I really love her.

According to the Medicine Cards, frog represents the water element, and cleansing.  Replenishing.  Frog is the bringer of rain.  Yes, it’s true that my life feels dried out… doing the same things every day.  Frog is a reminder to take time for one’s self…. to replenish.  But how on earth do I do that, when I am single-handedly caring for a Tiny Goddess?  I can count the hours I’ve had help with Serena so that I could give to myself on one hand… (and still have two fingers left over!!)  I guess these quiet morning hours count for something.  I guess diving into my heart and filtering it through my mystical mind is worth at least a million Graceland-Bucks…. AND I am open to more.  More help.  More support.  AND I am so happy to spend my life caring for such a Radiant Goddess.  Serena becomes brighter by the second.  Everything captures her attention and seduces her fierce curiosity.

In other news, I went to the dentist a week and a half ago and they told me that I had TWELVE cavities, and a tooth that needs extraction.  As you can imagine, this news wrecked me.  So I gave up sugar and grains, and am consuming nutrient dense foods to heal my teeth.  We are suckas to believe in the legend that teeth can not heal.  They are just like bones.  We just need to support our bodies’ capacity to heal via diet.  I *never* thought I could give up sugar.  But faced with the reality of losing my teeth, the choice was suddenly a no-brainer.  Pretty awesome.  As an added bonus, I am beginning to feel like pure Light.  Sugar tastes good… But being an embodied superheroine tastes even better.  As does grass-fed butter, which is one of the primary recommended foods to consume for healing teeth!!!!!

I’m proud of myself.

And the last thing I’ll share, is that I finally washed Serena’s cloth diapers for the first time in a week and a half.  I WAS washing them every two-three days… but she’s mostly potty trained now!  At seven and a half months.  OmMyGod, you should see her sitting on her little pink potty.  She looks so tiny and precious… it would destroy you.  It destroys me every time.  She loves to look at books as she perches there.  Little cardboard books with pictures of animals in them.  Seeing puppies and polar “boozles”, she squeaks with refined delight and smiles the smile that I’m sure God smiled to create the World.  Pure, electric effulgence.

Not long before Serena landed in my womb, I declared on Facebook that I aspired to be a “HouseWife”.  Many of the Housewives out there chortled at my dream, informing me that it was grueling, unglamorous work, for which you rarely get acknowledged.  I didn’t care.  It called me forth.  Now, here I am, inhabiting this profoundly mundane, though somehow alluring vocation from the Inside.  And it’s true.  It’s really not glamorous.  But it is rudimentarily satisfying… simmering bone broth on the stove for twenty-four hours, sweeping and vacuuming the incessantly dirty floors, scrubbing the toilet with baking soda, vinegar and essential oils, devotionally making baby food from scratch, and being married to washing dishes.

I guess it’s inevitable that that which calls me forth will dawn in it’s perfectly divine time.  This is the nature Life.  This is the Play of God.

And this is the Queen of Graceland pouring love on your exquisite heart….

Talk to you soon Beloved.

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The Evolution of My Desire

I have been marveling lately at how dramatically my dreams are morphing.  Two entries ago, I was pining for a hOMe, and motherhood and the ideal partnership… And today, I am remarkably content with the current ISness of my existence.  I am back at Ananda Village, living with my Ma, teaching yoga here, facilitating a women’s video circle, and continuing to ROCK my inner world as I shed hereditary darkness and allow the light to pour through.  Layers of delusion keep sloughing off, and I realize that I am becoming lighter and happier by the second.

At the epicenter of this transformation, is the remembrance that I am alive for humanity.  And for LOVE…  When I imagined that I was alive to satisfy my ego, I felt mostly fucked in the ass by my very existence.  Like it was never enough.  I was perpetually empty.  But now purifying my heart and opening myself to be a Source of Love is the place that I return throughout my day.  And it just makes sense.  Am I proclaiming to be all holier than Thou, like I’m some damn Master?  No!  Because the REAL activism is loving myself for who and how I am now, today… The one who aspires from the depths of her being.  The one who sometimes *seems* to fall short.  The one who keeps going.  The one who boldly declares her love to the world… perhaps imperfectly… but also with courage and boldness.

Yeah!  I’m here to wrap those stifling spiritual ISMs and dogmas and nutritionally void protocols in a dingy though grand olde flag, and send them down the wild, swollen river, once and for all.  If you’re still using spirituality to find fault in yourself as you ARE, to imagine a grand chasm between yourself and God, I’m here to tell you that is a dead paradigm!  It’s time to live what you know in your heart, to own that God is not a big, stern man who lives beyond the sky… but the miraculous Allness, experiencing itself as YOU and me and everyone and everything right NOW.  And this is whole, complete and perfect, and is a cause to love like there ain’t no tomorrow!!!!

So what do I desire, from this place of radical completeness?  My biggest desire at this time, is to completely embody the light of spirit.  To obliterate shame and conditioning and the inherited wounds of my ancestors… and let the light of the Infinite Blaze through every cell and pore and fiber of my magnificent Heavenly Body!!!  It seems like the dominant paradigm has been a body and spirit split… like we’ve collectively been through so much shit.  So much pain and suffering, that we’ve imagined the body to be an unsafe hOMe, wrought with land mines of stored trauma, preferring instead to live in the intrepid sprawling landscapes of the mind, where we can fabricate fever dreams of our own “safety” without having to feel through the sensations that we once upon a time, associated with unbearable pain and terror.

I want to inhabit my body as I have never inhabited it before.  I want to inhabit my sexuality free from shame, as nothing short of a glorious portal straight into the heart of Heaven.  This is not an indulgent want, but an essential reclaiming of the truth of who I AM.  I know that being a living embodiment of pure truth and light is the epicenter of all other dreams and desires that sing through me.  If my desires are a multi tiered fountain, this radical return of infinite spirit into my body is the WATER.  It will naturally pour forth and nourish all the slumbering seeds of my destiny with ease and grace.  No more inner wars and parental punishment to manipulate myself into PRODUCING content that will desperately imbue my life and my very being with a false sense of worth that will temporarily convince me I am “okay”, in the face of the constant low-level dread that I’m NOT.  Ever.

Love will make this so.  Every day, every breath, I return to love.  I fill my own heart with the grace of the infinite.  I breathe all the way to the bottom of my belly, into my yoni, and feeeeel all there is to feel.  I allow myself to relax.  To soften.  And from this place of unrelenting care, attention, and embodied surrender,  I will continue to shed and reveal and attract the perfect people and situations and opportunities to facilitate this profound resurrection of the radiant light of my spirit into the sacred temple of my body.  (Which naturally will blaze out into the world and raise YOU up in the light of embodied Truth…)

Seek ye first the Queendom of Heaven….

The Journey of Refinement

This morning I’m thinking about the power of words to shape reality. Honestly, I’m feeling tired of telling the same weather-beaten stories and surfing the same tired waves. A deep part of me just wants to take a long, luxurious swim in the gentle waters of silence for a while; only speak when I’m compelled to from the core of my being. The heart of the universe. How can I inhabit these silly, endearing stories of my life from a higher consciousness?

One of the first lessons in my “Good Book” of choice, (grin), A Course in Miracles, is “I do not know what anything is for.” To practice the lesson, you’re sposta look around your immediate vicinity, and as your eyes fall on each object, say, “I don’t know what this table is for. I don’t know what this computer is for. I don’t know what this husband is for.” Etcetera. The first time I did the exercise, I was not aware of the profound opportunity nestled within those words. The course is designed to undo our habits of perception, so that we can once again be available to recognize the divine light that shines upon the altar of our mind. Note that I wrote “mind”, not “minds”, because the course also teaches that there is only ONE mind, and that is the mind of God. It is our delusive perception that argues for the reality of separation. Separation is but a dream. And as night time dreams, it is benign. When you wake up, you are untouched by the reality of the dream. Ya dig? And this reality we are so freakin RIVETED by, is exactly the same. When we wake, our souls will be untouched by the incessant snarl of agonies and ecstasies in which we imagine to be ecstatically flailing about.

The course says that there is another way to inhabit this dream. Another meaning that can be assigned to time, and to the “stuff” of this world. That meaning is LOVE. We can use everything as tools and props and opportunities to align with and express the healing light of the Infinite. To guide us back Home, and to shepherd all of our Brothers and Sisters along with us.

Sounds ambitious, huh? Well maybe so, but the alternative is losing its luster. Chasing this wispy cloud of an ego dream, and that… inevitably winding up at the same busted wall of dissatisfaction and longing. Sometimes I catch myself taking gluttonous hits of envy of those who seem to be satisfied by the flavors and colors and textures of this world. You know, the people who believe that the meaning of life is to “have fun”… It *seems* so simple and relaxing.

I believe the meaning of life to be Self realization; Self mastery. Some would argue that you CAN realize the Self through having fun. Deep breath… I agree to an extent. Because in having fun, there IS a quality of absorption… Like the way a child becomes so immersed in their play, that they fall off the space-time continuum entirely, couldn’t care less about eating or sleeping or any of those other rote, mundane activities that us domesticated, caged adults LIVE FOR!!! (Sheesh, where did we take the wrong turn?!) But ultimately, I believe that if we want to come unstuck from our mental and emotional habits, and inhabit a deeper slice of Reality, it requires a willingness to roll up our figurative sleeves and get messy and break a sweat in the name of true inner freedom.

I’m beginning to doubt that I know what real happiness is. Maybe what I thought was happiness, was actually just a cheap form of getting high: “I LOVE my new puppy!” “That was a fantastic orgasm!” “I look so hot in my new lacy yoga pants!” Gosh, that sounds so black and white. That’s not what I meant. A better way of saying it, is that I see the spiritual path as a journey of refinement. As we grow to embody and reflect more of our soul qualities, the experience of such things as love and happiness transform. When I was nine, I was ecstatic when my Ma made me my FAVORITE dinner: macaroni and cheese!!! (She rocked it, too. Real cheese. And butter. Not that fake, neon, packaged bullshit.) But today, at age thirty four, I feel a more subtle joy hearing birdsong, or beholding the majestic artistry of a live oak tree. I feel complete, delicious absorption while I am teaching yoga. And hopefully, someday (not so far off) (though time is an illusion), I will simply turn inward and naturally become drunk on the exquisite bliss of my true nature! Dang, that’s gonna rock!!!

And meanwhile, I pray to be at peace as I live all that I must live, in the imaginary distance between here and there.

OM.

The Battle of Light and Dark

“Don’t beat the darkness with a stick. Turn on the LIGHT.”

Those were the words of wisdom Devaki graced me with after she rung me up for the overpriced sugary, new-age drink I just bought as a bribe to face myself here on the Athena Gracelandian page, finally. Gosh… it’s been two weeks and some change, since I last sprinkled my musings upon your mind… which isn’t really THAT long. But it feels like eternity, because while two weeks in Heaven flies by, the same span in the Underworld drags on like a bad case of intestinal worms. (I’m almost done with my artisan drink already. I don’t really have much restraint when it comes to sweet liquid. I just keep wanting to pour it into my ever-eager mouth.)

I’ve been at the Momshram since the day after I last posted a written report of my inner world. When I first got here, I felt drunk on springtime. Everything is LUSH and green and abounding with epic vibrancy. A rainbow assortment of exhibitionist wild flowers smile and wink from within the wide-splayed folds of everywhere, and birds sing their evocative songs of seduction and lust. Baby goats are toppling out of their mama’s immense bellies and quickly learning to leap and frolic on rolling carpets of tender spring grasses. The raw milk is flowing like wine in Rome. (or the sweet, expensive drink down my esophagus…)

Meanwhile I have been fighting for the right to wear my sturdy ball and chain in the smelly pits of hell. I guess it hasn’t helped that I’ve been in the pms and menstrual phase of my cycle. And add to that the astrological mess of the grand cross and the lunar and solar eclipse and lord knows what other celestial intensity. It boils down to me being “called forth” …You know, to evolve… to step more fully into my divine power and strength… But as I rise, in rushes a huge backdraft of fear and resistance to transcending my comfort zone, to letting go of limiting beliefs and habits of collapse. Ahhhh!!! It’s been wild!!!

Ick. I am not enjoying writing about this stuff. Do I HAVE to? No. Of course not. I am the benevolent ruler of Athena Graceland, and hence can write about whatever I fancy. But… I want to share with you the truth of the inner journey I’ve been on. Ya know… just in case you can relate… In case illuminating my inner struggles helps you to realize and transcend your own. So in service of transmutation and healing; shining light into dark crevices, I shall trudge on.

I’ve broken up with Ed at least twice in the past two weeks. And had a baker’s dozen more heart and gut wrenching conversations with him. If you want to avoid responsibility for your own brilliance, I *hightly* recommend falling madly, passionately and soulfully in love with a married (or otherwise unavailable) man!!! It’s a killer strategy for staying stuck!!!

But on the other hand, if you want a loving Relationship founded in deep friendship, mutual support and trust, that is *impossible* to become “too comfortable” and hide out in– so that you have plenty of time and space to do your soul work… I *also* recommend getting involved with a married (or otherwise unavailable) man! It’s amazing how “reality” is a matter of perspective.

I keep waffling back and forth between identification with the light side and the dark side. The contrasts are particularly ACCUTE these days. The dark is f-ing dark. And it becomes more ferocious and rabid as I beat it with my big stick. I beat it until I am exhausted and surrounded by demons… and then I fall to my knees and beg for mercy… gingerly groping for the Light switch, with a trembling hand.

I truly believe that world peace will naturally occur when we emerge ultimately victorious over the inner battle. When we choose once and for all to release illusions and rest blissfully in Eternal Truth. I will bet you EVERYTHING I have and AM, that the world you perceive “outside” is merely the effect of what you choose to believe from the inside; evidence of what you WILL to see. I know, it all seems so REAL. So convincing, is this dream world. But we ARE made in the image of God… meaning that each of us have the innate power to call forth the world. Simply by where we invest our faith. In Love. Or in fear. In Unity, or in separation. (I aspire to recognize God speaking to me in the language of light, from within all things.)

I recently took a few leaps; made commitments that required soul-expansion. I committed to going back to Ananda Laurelwood (Oregon) in June, to teach yoga to the summer interns. I also signed up to give a spiritually inspired speech at “joymasters” (the ananda version of toastmasters!), and I signed up for a month-long video challenge, designed for leaders, coaches, visionaries, teachers to get their message out to the world, by making a three minute video every day for the month of May.

Please hear me when I say that I YEARN to be my best self! To be a source of luminous, vivacious inspiration, and raw, soulful authenticity in this world… I know in my bones and guts that that is why I am here. But I have some deep habits of resistance, hiding and playing itsy-bitsy. (Way more dramatic than merely playing small!) OM KRIM KALI MA!!!! Unleash your merciful devastation upon the suffocating grip of my inner demons! Obliterate them in the destructive force of your INFINITE LOVE!!!

Stepping into commitments that stretched me beyond who I have known myself to be thus far, washed me in the aforementioned “backdraft of fear”. I felt my invisible inner self widen… and then snap shut like a violent rubber band. The voices of inadequacy have been screaming up from my depths. Actually, from a momentary vantage point of neutrality, I must say, it’s actually been quite remarkable… the choir of self denigration and pain singing up from inside me! I even withdrew my participation in joymasters. I decided instead that I must return to the Bay Area. Ananda is feeling way too wholesome and conservative for me (I got reprimanded for wearing a tank top that showed hints of my belly while I was leading sadhana). Plus I need to earn some money. Plus I can’t stand the thought of being apart from Ed for the ENTIRE SUMMER, and I burn to spend quality time with him. Plus I need to be in the company of people who speak my language and inspire my Becoming: the wild, sexy, bad-ass, ignited light warriors.

As for the video challenge, I realize that I need to reach over and grab the wheel; expel that poisonous perfectionist from the driver’s seat. I notice that I’ve got this subtle story that I have no right to stand on the mountain and sing out the message of my heart and soul UNTIL I AM PERFECT. Until I have it ALL FIGURED OUT. But my bullshit-o-meter is screaming at that. Inhale. Exhale. My job is to stand tall, feel my bare feet spread into the warm, fertile spring earth, breathe deep into my womb, allow my heart to relax open, and just let it flow, baby.

The time is NOW. The place is Earth. The meaning is Love. The word is…

OM!

Revelation of Wholeness

Wholeness. It’s a concept I have rarely entertained or bestowed with much thrust. Until about two weeks ago. Daiva, the man behind the curtain here, (that is to say, the one at the top of the Ananda Portland/Laurelwood totem pole… though I have a feeling he would be quick to assert that he’s *not* indeed behind a curtain… but for some reason, imagining him as a larger-than-life notion; a massive projection of a head with a booming voice emerging from darkness and flames, tickles my funny bone, and there’s *something* right about it…) Anyway where was I, before I extended the mischievous courtesy of bringing you up to speed on one of the key characters in my current waking dream? Oh yeah, so I think “wholeness” might be Daiva’s official linguistic mascot, and deepest aspiration.

Wholeness. Naturally, the notion has started to gnaw at my consciousness too, insisting on becoming more than a mere word, but an experiential boon. I just looked it up on dictionary dot com. And two aspects of the definition that struck me as pertinent are “complete” and “undivided”.

Allow me to interrupt myself for a moment, before I commence to flail and dig with fervor to convey to you, that which is deeply meaningful to me. I must announce that it is five forty-five am. Still dark. And HARK, the shy orchestra of raindrops is striking up outside my modestly cracked window! This is bound to be a great blog… wink. (BTW, remember, I’m in Oregon, NOT California… and the rain here flows like coffee in Portland. Which is to say with luxurious abandon. But when it goes away for a day or three, I miss the romance, the music and the decadent wetness of the air.)

And now back to our previously scheduled, impending revelation. I don’t want to spend too much time wrestling with the conceptual implications of this potentially weighty word. Doing so is giving me unsightly wrinkles in my forehead. Instead I will dive into the crystalline pool of practical application, and share with you my recent experiential illumination. And you can connect the dots, or color outside the lines, or solve the puzzle as you wish.

If I remember correctly, in my last blog, I touched on the recent strain of suffering I’ve been experiencing in my relentlessly compelling soul tango with Ed. To say it plain, I had been living inside the fierce, continuous immediacy of heart ache for at least a week, in this last round. Yes, think of it like a heavy-weight boxing championship. And see me taking blow after blow, yet not going down for the count… Instead continuing to inhabit the treasure and skeleton-laden sunken pirate ship that was my heart. You can imagine that this made me a very unpleasant girlfriend. Dull. Aloof. Defensive. Critical. Overly sensitive. To name a few.

I was doing my best, I swear. But just feeling pinned and crushed beneath the weight of circumstance, and unable to free myself. Wanting to be with him. Wanting to build our nest and invite Alexandria into my womb. And floundering helplessly in the cold steal reality of impossibility to have what I yearn for. And you might be like, “Well then leave, Athena. Go find a man who is available, and get to making your soft, glittery disco nest!” But it’s not like that. It’s just not.

Have you ever lived for an extended period of time with a bleeding heart? I don’t recommend it. Unless you want to seriously ignite your quest for liberation. So I think it must have been the afternoon after my last blog entry, two days ago… I was on the phone with Ed, and the climate of my heart was still storming, but the clouds were losing their density, and beneficent, golden swirls of sunlight were gently pressing their way through the wet, grey ache. And if lightbulbs really DO flash over peoples heads in moments of epiphany, one screamed on, above me for sure!

I saw/felt/heard this renegade invitation to consider the possibility that the pain that had taken up semi-permanent residence in my heart (more like a persistent squatter), might actually have NOTHING to do with Ed. I know, this is a radical notion. But it really felt like the quintessential wound of my forgetful existence; the pain of being born into a world where I am dreaming I am separate from Source. What could hurt more than that? These might just sound like words to you… unless you’ve ever been willing to really FEEL IT. But imagine Infinity. Imagine an Ocean of Love, so deep and wide and all pervading, that it has no end and no beginning. Imagine being engulfed in that perfection, completely merged with that quintessential WHOLENESS…. and then imagine being squeezed through your mom’s vagina (or sliced out of her abdomen, as was my case) and some sterile dude with a mask on grabbing you and abruptly severing your source of oxygen and nourishment and you GASP and shriek and cry as you’re suddenly immersed in this ominous sense of separation, vulnerability and perpetual threat. Shit. It’s an ugly picture. And that’s how most of us are born into this world. (Except for all of the rad water births I’ve been watching on youtube, but that’s another blog!)

I’ve read and heard a bajillion times that the deepest opportunity of Intimate Relationship (letting someone into your heart and soul as deep as is humanly possible) is to make contact with our core wounds, feel them and heal them. And I’ve always believed it. But I’ve never been ready to get so close to the core as I did two days ago. Suddenly, I found myself considering out lout (Ed as my witness) that maybe the pain I was in had NOTHING to do with ANYTHING outside myself! Maybe everything “outside” was merely a catalyst to touch the center of my deepest being, integrate that which I had at some point renounced, “lost” …and return to a state of implicit wholeness. (A part of me hated to admit this. Because one the ego blows its cover, there’s really no going back into hiding…)

Are you following me? Honestly, I’m not sure if this is sounding way too radical, or completely obvious, like “Duh, Athena…” Strange, huh? In my world, the quest for Truth is the centerpiece, the heavenly body around which all other aspects and nuances of the human dream revolve. I recognize that peeling the onion and living ever-deepening cuts of Truth is not everyone’s cuppa. But walking the yogic path, and studying A Course in Miracles for four years now, I am realizing at continuously deeper levels that happiness really can NOT be found outside. It’s such a gnarly pill to swallow. But in the end, it does not matter what man I’m with, or whether I’m pregnant or not (still fervently bound to those desires though!!!) or…

The TRUTH is that I am WHOLE, perfect and complete. Always. Now. Life is but a dream. And dreams inevitably fade, while Truth eternally remains. There IS another way to live: surrendered to an intelligence and a love far greater than “my own”. God (LOVE), being One, can see the whole picture. I can see but a modest shard, probably smaller than a human sperm; relatively imperceptible to the naked eye. I really do *not* know what my best interests are. Except that all that I am living is exactly what I need to be living… in service of my highest growth. And I have the perpetual option to welcome it all with gratitude and faith and perfect peace. This, of course requires me to let go of my own, slighted agendas. That is the WORK. I am working HARD. I want to want only Truth, only the ever-new joy of God…. but delusion is so thick and persistent. Breath by breath. Moment by moment. Day by day.

How do you encourage a child to let go of her vice grip on that sticky candy she stole from the jar? You can’t rip it out of her hand!!! No way. She will scream and cry and clutch it even harder. Distract her with immense, wiggly, iridescent bubbles! Meaning, I can’t use brute force to tear my delusions from the grip of my sick mind. I must keep luring myself deeper into love’s gentle reality by lifting my gaze into it’s refined spheres of seductive, luminous beauty… and the layers of bullshit will naturally slough off like dead skin.

Om. Peace. Amen.

I Keep Going…

I just felt a surge of the secret pleasure that rushes through me when I am alone with my laptop, hovering on the threshold of a fresh linguistic expulsion. It’s this precursory sense of relief… an internal “ahhh…. ALL of me gets to exist!” …Without hinging on permission or validation or appropriateness OR any of the other complications that accompany human relationships. Well… Until I push “publish”… and then I always risk stepping on someone’s toes or poking at a tender spot, or being misunderstood. Sigh.

But my point stands. I am relieved to touch down in Athena Graceland this morning, and just BE ME… without being directed or coached by others to be more “spiritual”. Honestly, it’s a sharp-assed double edged sword to hang out in a spiritual community. Yogananda said, “environment is stronger than will”, and how true it is! For example, when I’m in the bay area, I love drinking wine and beer!!! But at Ananda, I could give a flying saint about booze. And I mostly love being surround by others who prioritize loving and serving God through ALL. It amplifies my proclivity to give myself to life and love. (Really, in this upside-down world, that’s the only thing that makes sense…) I’m sure you could look at your OWN life and find ample evidence of this assertion. People are like systems of cells in the body of God. Our thought and behavior is deeply woven with the intentions, actions and beliefs of those around us.

But where was I even going with that?… Oh, the double edged sword. Well… sometimes I see people hiding out behind the veneer of spiritual teachings. Just flinging out trite “wisdoms”, and meanwhile lingering in the shadowed “privacy” of their own bondage. I am a believer in mining the darkness with a sense of curious, surrendered humility. Otherwise you get lopsided and hollow.

I’m gonna stop my own train, right now. I don’t want to philosophize and make sweeping generalizations. I just want to say that I am in the darkest days of PMS and I’m having a really hard time swallowing the pill called “life as I know it”. If you think you’ve encountered a “horse pill” in your day… HA! Multiply that times its self and then add eleven twelfths of infinity. And there you shall find life as I know it.

I’m in an awkward phase of spiritual development. I KNOW that happiness does not exist in external things. Perfect happiness is our natural state, as children of God. But this perpetual ISness gets maniacally skewed by all of the ingrained habits, wrong, egoic beliefs, and attachments to future fulfillment and past pains and victories.

My mind feels like MUD. I look around me… and the sky is dark, the carpets are ancient and dingy, the walls are half-painted and everything smells just a wee bit skanky. (except at lunch and dinner time in the dining room!) (and I’m not even allowed to burn incense, for fear that I’ll set this old boarding school ablaze…) Every day is a new day to wake up and teach (“share”) yoga to my ONE devoted student, wash towers of dishes, scrub toilets, mop, vacuum, eat, meditate, flail and ache in my my love and longing with Ed ….

Ooops, I just lost that sense of spacious, unconditional self expression. I imagined Miriam reading this… and maybe feeling a little hurt… or thinking, “what an entitled little princess” . I guess that’s just ME thinking that of myself. It’s just that I thought life would be so different than this… when I “grew up”… I thought I’d be a “successful” writer… A spiritual teacher… A mother… A wife. I thought I’d live in a beautiful, luxurious home with an artistic, thriving garden…

Did I *really* think that??? I don’t know. But at some level… I thought I’d figure out how to earn money doing something that mattered to me and I’d be able to afford a “comfortable”, middle american existence and get on with the business of ignorant bliss that is maya. I wasn’t banking on the world as we know it coming undone at the seams, and meanwhile, being perpetually held at an arm’s length from the clarity of my own, soul-inspired dreams.

There are three affirmations, hand written on the door I walk through to get to the temple every morning. The last one says, “I believe that I have the strength to make my dreams come true.” I always make an effort to read them. But inevitably, I then grope about inside for “my dreams”… and come up short. Instead I find myself wondering WHAT IS REAL; WHAT MATTERS… and feeling fucked because I DON’T KNOW.

In reality, this is a GOOD thing. Because how many lives have I spent chasing dreams and desires that truly DON’T MATTER??!!! More than I care to divulge!! (even to own self!) There is power in landing in the place I am in, where I have come undone, and am hanging out in the unfamiliar, unknown, in-between space. Because FINALLY there is room for Truth to rise and bloom in me. If I’m filled to capacity with all my insidious delusions, how can Truth ever dawn? Impossible. But like I said, it’s awkward. And uncomfortable. And I miss being in the company of people who just say it like it is. On this path, people *seem* more inward and private about their process. And it makes me feel alienated and stripped of my humanity. But I guess this too is a double edged sword. Because people certainly CAN go overboard talking about their stupid, self-indulgent FEELINGS and endless inner processes. Sigh.

Screwed if you do, funked if you don’t. It’s all just a big circus, anyway! And what really matters is LOVING. And tapping the source of unconditional infinite joy within. But I haven’t found it. And the path is rocky and slow and frustrating. And plus, I can’t seem to get rid of Ed! The root system of our love is so deep, it is fixed into the soils of galaxies and dimensions I can’t for the life of me even begin to remember or undo. And in the mean time, my heart continues to be flayed open in the agony of cruel circumstance.

Dan always said, “ALL WE HAVE IS THE MOMENT!” “It’s about the moment.” But honestly, my moments feel like over-salted, mixed nuts…

Six thirty am. Still dark. My window is cracked open and cool, fresh, forest-kissed air slithers in and whispers about my bare feet and thirsting nostrils. It just started to rain and the sloshy, wet music caresses hidden spots in the life of my soul. My lips are sorta dry. My breasts, swollen and sore. I’m feeling relieved that I was able to stake my claim in this sprawling expanse of dancing, finite infinity and pour some words upon the page.

I know I am where I belong. I know that I am deeply loved. I know that I love deeply. Know… But sometimes knowing doesn’t feel like enough. Sometimes the gap between knowing and KNOWING is too much to bear. But like YOU, I keep going. Because that’s all there is to do.

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

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