Broken into twisted Bliss

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I’m gonna write my guts out this morning.  Because it feels like I’ll explode if I don’t. Because this is what I am made for.

 

The pressure inside me is excruciating.  Like I’m in some kind of labor.  I woke up at four in the morning missing California so much, it felt like the prelude to a panic attack (which is a condition I’m not accustomed to).  I called out (audibly) to God to help me, because it was too much to bare.  But God seems to swoop in and help me when I least expect it, rather than when I directly beg.  So I just marinated in the ache… and tried to “coach myself” into a state of surrender and appreciation.

 

I want to go home so bad.  But if I was “home”, would I want to be somewhere else?  Is this an initiation into truly making peace deep down in my soul?  Where hOMe truly is….

 

Probably.

 

I love writing one word paragraphs.  I feel so all powerful.

 

I’ve been doing a weekly facebook live conversation on my Sourced Circles page for the past couple months.  It’s strange… barely anybody tunes in…. And yet I know I must do this.  The fire in my soul says so.  Life is so strange.  Anyway, my point is that each week, I am fortunate to speak with a deeep soul, who illuminates realms that are essential inside ME, if no one else. It’s sorta like taking a quenching swig of soul medicine inside a vacuum.

 

Last week, Tara Divina spoke of the nature of the deepest joy… being eternally entwined with the deepest pain… how in their purest essence, they are ONE.

 

Of course you’ve heard this a million times.  But have you truly introduced rubber and road on your insides?  Lemme take a feel right now.  Right now as my heart is smashed in a million pieces.  Is it ecstasy in paltry disguise?  Are all these unanswerable questions and quench-less longings my most treasured allies?

 

I breathe.

 

Writing it through me, I feel beautiful and right, blessed and heroic.  But when I’m trudging through the tangles of perpetual Relationship dissatisfaction, endless floor-sweeping and dishes to be washed, it doesn’t feel a fraction as sexy.  It feels like being wide awake in a meat grinder.

 

But the birds in spring sing the most exquisite songs….  And the scent of the blossoming lilacs is a secret portal to Heaven.

 

Even though my relationship with Giordano rarely “hits the Spot”, I have mostly surrendered to this.  I guess the current tides of my Life are not about getting my Spot hit.

 

My language *totally* makes sense to ME…. but just in case it doesn’t penetrate you straight to that place of implicit understanding, I will say it a different way.  As far as my marriage goes, I rarely (if ever) rest in a pervasive, peaceful sense of affinity and fulfillment.  I mostly feel lonely and unmet.

 

BUT.  In most mOMents, I have made peace with this.  Especially because I look over at Giordano, doing his Giordano dance…. And I see him doing his very, very best.  And I respect that.  I see him boldly flailing at his own Edge.  Being courageous and willing.  I see him breaking a sweat to love me (and Serena) as best he can.  He is rarely mean anymore.  And this allows my heart to bloom a bit.  Not like a summer rose, mind you.  But a shy, early spring bud, still wary of the threat of potential frosts. I honor this delicate space.  I do not need to force bloom.  After living on lock down all winter, a shy bud is euphoria.

 

WHY?…  This question still whips through the infinity within me like a bitter wind… but I let it.  I have no answers.  I have no fucking clue why Life is living me this way.

 

But I am brave.  And willing to feel the feelings that few others have the courage to embrace.  I don’t mean YOU, of course…. I mean the zombie-walking, TV watching, Costco-shopping, Pringles popping, cocktail slogging masses who ritualistically await their daily force-feedings of fabricated media reality.

 

Or maybe I DO mean you… I don’t know WHO feels this deeply.  We all have our role in the Cosmic Choir.  And feeling to the core of IT ALL (and then writing it down) is an essential dimension of mine.  Inhale.  Exhaaaaale.

 

I just wish I could overcome this poverty bullshit.  It’s really shitting on my parade.  I want to get my women’s circles going (not to mention become a famous writer already)… like LAST YEAR…. But becoming a savvy entrepreneur feels like learning chinese.  I have so much to offer.  But how do I get people to give a soaring fuck?

 

A lot of the work is on the INside.  Valuing myself.  TRUSTING myself.  Feeling worthy. Feeling safe enough to dish IT out with abandon.

 

And then, some of it is just straight up consistent, *inSpired* ACTION.  Forward motion.  This builds new muscles.  Creates unstoppable momentum.  But raising a three year old (while concurrently growing another) without much support makes this a fucking FEAT.  It feels like trying to canoe up a sky-scraping, gravel mountain.  I’m doing my best.  I sense that my day will come.  With galactically impeccable timing.  In the meantime, I am being artfully carved; God’s own reed flute.

 

I was gonna end it there, but all this talk of reed flutes naturally made me think of poetry.  Last night I had a sudden craving for David Whyte’s “House of Belonging”, and Mary Oliver’s “Wild Geese”.  I read them both to Serena at bedtime.  I don’t think she “got it”.  But my own heart broke so damn good.  The Ocean of uncried tears sloshed and churned inside me.

 

“…this is where I want to love all the things it has taken me so long to learn to love…

 

This is the temple of my adult aloneness and I belong to that aloneness as I belong to my life.”

 

“…whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting- over and over announcing your place in the family of things.”

 

Such perfectly arranged words.  Soul Carving Words.  I relish stroking myself with this shattering Mastery.

 

Abiding deeep within my own heart, I find you there and love you with all that I AM.

 

Xoxo,

Athena

 

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Frolicking in Linguistic Fields Forever

Two year old sleeping

Do not wait for perfection

Fingers speak my heart

 

Grin!  That was my “piercing the thick skin of the moment” haiku!  It’s four thirty six am and Lord on High knows how many grains of delicious stillness remain in this hourglass of ISness.  So here I go.

 

Yesterday afternoon I felt like mySelf for the first time in too long to name.  I felt surprised when the sacred remembrance rushed in.  Like I didn’t even realize I had been missing… I just felt this aching quality of disturbed void.  Then suddenly, awash in apocalyptic winter sunshine, came an old familiar electric joy.  The natural radiance of my Essential Self.  

 

Reminds me of how Peter Pan’s shadow ran away from him and he tried to stick it back on to his feet with soap.  Same with my sassy-assed essence.  Evading me… running off and frolicking through the carefree, sunlit fields of Creation without me!  Bitch!  I need you!  Don’t ever leave me again.

 

Yeah, I’ve been feeling exhausted for… Weeks?  Months?  When you’re wandering the scorching deserts of Existence, time is pretty damn elusive.  But long enough to bring me to my knees.  And make me forget the Sweetness with a capital S.

 

No, that’s not completely true.  Serena has been my inseverable lifeline to Sweetness.  She is a gaily gurgling, rapturous font of Sweetness.  And I’m not dumb enough to cut off from her mainline of Heavenly Glory.  But “weird scenes inside the gold mine,” as Jim Morrison once cried out amidst peels of song.  

 

Ladies and Gentle Men, now I shall pull a classic “Athena Grace” and do an unapologetic one-eighty, because I don’t feel like talking about that anymore, and graceful transitions are way overrated.  “I am an artist,” Athena Grace spoke with weighty seriousness,  laced with subtly dramatic flair.   And without pause,  she  emphatically cast fistfuls of iridescent glitter into the wide infinity about her.

 

I want to tell you that the wildest thing happened with Ed (my beloved baby daddy).  A couple weeks ago, he full-court-pressed me to fully release my Italian lover and be ALL IN with him.  All I could do was play possum… because on the inside it felt A) ridiculous and B) impossible.  

 

So with a self-satisfied inner smirk at my crafty tactic, I replied that I would fully release said Italian Dream Boat and be ALL IN… if HE was.  I held up the brutal mirror with cocky certainty that he would back down and back off.   

 

Instead I got, “Athena?…. FUCK YES.”

 

I was stunned and speechless for a good twenty four hours.  

 

And then came a wash of ecstasy.  Hmmm…. A couple of paragraphs ago, I stated that I haven’t felt like mySelf in eons.  Now, here I am professing ecstasy.  I guess there is plenty of room for paradox and multidimensional wilderness in the sentient spark of radiance that I AM,  for ALL OF IT to exist simultaneously.

 

The heart of the matter is that so many parts of me are starving in this cycle of Life:  Real time connection with friends.  Leisurely creative expression.  Moving my body through crystaline waters.  Juicy, unrushed, soul-full erotic sharing.   

 

Sigh… I guess that’s the exquisite, blindingly silver-lined curse of a mother of a small child.  And let’s not forget to mention the fresh and bleeding hole in my heart and Life left by the recent departure of my dear and precious MOM.  


But HARK!!!  A new cycle doth dawneth!!!!  

 

I am so jazzed (God that word really thrills the knickers off me, time and again…) in anticipation of having a nice, shiny, nuclear FAMILY.  I’m half laughing at that statement, because honestly, the notion of “nuclear family” sends intermittent tremors of terror through me.  It seems mildly remedial and barbaric to shackle one’s self to two other people and exist within the solitary and *expensive* confines of a few boring colored, angular boxes, otherwise known as “houses”.  

 

But at the same time, it is appealing to the part of me who grew up without my father present… to make a bold stand for Family…. And do it in a way that is nourishing and creative… and porous to a greater sense of family.  Community.  Tribe.  Like our little glamorous box is merely the nucleus of a much more expansive network of supportive, nutritious relationships.  Revolutionarily transforming the stiff, patriarchal box from the INside.  

 

So as soon as we find our own fabulous box to live and love in, Serena and I will move back to the paved and chaotic Bay Area.  Hopefully we will live walking distance to an outdoor swimming pool!  Preferably salt water.  And parks.  Yoga studios.  Dance classes.  FRIENDS!  Libraries.  Gardens teeming with happy, rainbow colored flowers and generously splayed trees.  Hopefully our transition with be smooth and our life will be JOY-full and expansive.  

 

With glitter-strewn LOVE from Athena Graceland,

Athena Grace LMNOP

 

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!

Who Knew Salvation Was Only A Haircut Away…

I think the barista must have forgotten how beautiful she is.  I kept finding my eyes lingering about her satiny platinum skin… entirely of their own accord.  And I felt this tough girl vibe from her, as if she was saying “what the fuck are you lookin’ at me for, lady?”  All this was very subtle though.  It’s the kind of conversations we have all the time as we swim about our blushing, incognito lives, amidst other racing humans, but mostly do not have the presence of mind to notice, except once in a while.  Anyway, if she had have remembered how beautiful she was, she would have felt that it was completely natural for my eyes to play about her flower petal skin.  But here she was, just slingin’ coffee for the masses and gathering crumpled wads of meaningful paper, smoothing them and organizing them lovingly in a special drawer.  Mundane.  This world seems to be designed for us to constantly forget our radiance.  This world is a plea for us to time and again and maybe even once and for all remember our radiance.  I’ve been in her shoes.  Someone is staring at me and I am thinking to myself, “Man, why you gotsta be all up in my she-it, back off, wouldja?”  But if I could just remember that they are merely a thirsty soul, feasting upon God’s divided beauty, I would graciously smile and open wider.  Next time…

Okay, there went that topic… Now what?  Where is the weight?  Where is the resistance?  What are the truths that I squirm at the idea of disclosing?  What would God have me say?

A few things.  Mykael gave himself a haircut the day before yesterday.  Finally.  He was only threatening to for the past couple of months.  And then, Wednesday night, I come home from dinner with my fantastic friend Dan, and there’s Mykael, dressed to kill in his gray briefs, lily skin and the pinkest nipples, standing ankle deep in a sea of his own copper mane.  His hair looks awful.  It’s fuckin’ short… and very jagged and sloppy.  I panic, because I have already been feeling repulsed by him, and now he doesn’t even have his endearing eighties sit com heart throb hair.  He looks like he’s been drafted by the military.  Great.  It’s getting on nine o’clock.  He pleads for my aid.  I don’t want to, but I feel compelled to clean up his terrible mess.  I give him a couple of hopeless swipes with his dull scissors before realizing that I am not the messiah that he was hoping for.  He keeps at it.  A buzz here a few snips there.  Buzz, buzz, snip, snip, while I slither between him and the bathroom sink to slather my toothbrush with white, minty paste, stepping in his stunning auburn puddle, tracking sticky locks about the house.

Once when I was maybe fourteen, I cut my mom’s hair on the front porch of our house in San Leandro.  It was a very traumatic experience for me.  I snipped a bunch off, realized the seeming permanence of my actions and panicked at the unruly, erratic slop I had made of her hair.   But there was no turning back, so I fought the fear, and I kept snipping my way to attempted redemption.  But the more I snipped, the more helpless I felt, until I finally gave up and fled to my room in tears where I refused to come out.  My mom finished the job herself and looked seven eights decent upon completion.  Good job, mom.

Time out, because a man just left the café with a large sized cup of something… topped with a bountiful squirt of whipped cream.  He took an eager, glutinous sip as he strode toward the door, and whipped cream clung to his bushy salt and pepper mustache.  I was captivated.  I couldn’t help it.  My eyes were magnets that stuck to his endearing, cream strewn ‘stache.  He was one of those manly men, who looks like they’ve lived a full, manly man’s life, driving big rig trucks down the long, lonely road of life, his stony heart riding shotgun, he stops every few hundred miles to fuel up on chicken fried steak and eggs and a black, steaming cup of folgers at the desolate diner along the endless, rural highway.  He felt my eyes burning holes in his cream coated anonymity and soon enough his wily, leather tongue emerged to lick himself clean the way only a man can.  Priceless.

Time in.  The moral of the story about my mom’s haircut is that haircuts just aren’t my bag.  And that’s okay.  It’s just a horrible feeling to see that I have made a mess of someone’s appearance (!!!)  and the weight of the pressure to fix it crushes my delicate psyche.  I mean, it would be a different story if I knew what I was doing… if I had some actual techniques or something.  But I don’t.  And so I shant give any more haircuts… until I go away to beauty school, once and for all.

But I brought up Mykael’s haircut to say that something has shifted in his being since he cut his hair.  I can see glimmers of hope.  I had been totally wearing the dick in the family. (And loving it and HATING it, but mostly wanting to leave my pathetic pussy whipped man) But now, with his short, almost stylish faux-hock, he pushes back, and I am forced to reorganize my orientation toward our power play.  God, I can be such a sorry little drill sergeant.  Such a punishing father.  But only when I have a willing accomplice to carry out my steely commands.  This new rendition of Mykael hasn’t been so willing.  I think I like this, though it is a bit startling.  It’s kinda funny to notice our dynamics and poke fun at them.  This morning I was feistily teasing him about how big my balls were; how much space they took up in my briefs.  Listen, I don’t want to make a habit of this game… but it’s refreshing to reveal the covertly ruling, subterranean energies playing out in a relationship and then act them out in a comical way… just to let them know that they are no longer slipping under the radar and dominating.  Just to let them know that they are not so mighty and all powerful.

I announced my enormous balls as I attempted to pin him down on my bed.  “Surrender to me.  Surrender to my huge balls,” I commanded, as I exerted my full force, pressing down on him, feeling like a semi-domesticated tigress.  But thankfully, after not too much struggle, I was the one pinned, entirely helpless and choking on my own peels of exhausted laughter.  Thank God.  Maybe there’s hope for us after all.