Swimming Through Deep, Dark Waters… But Sort of Mostly Staying in LOVE.

A2ShadowOfaGoddess

I’m not sure if the voice in my head who is hissing for me not to write is my God Self, or a garden variety demon… My guess is that God doesn’t hiss.  So I’m gonna cross the flaming threshold and commit these mostly innocent words to the page. I think it’s just my ego, who is frightened that it doesn’t see a clear stream of softly rushing thoughts to merge with and swim gracefully down the gaping mountain of my Existence.  This is one of those moments when being a writer is quietly terrifying. When telling my story entails the risk of portraying others in unflattering light… and while I’m all for shameless, unsettling honesty…. I really don’t relish throwing others under the psychedelic, second-generation hippy bus.  

So let me just say, it didn’t work out with Giordano.  Period. I hear a mouse in the attic. I hope I move out of this house before the day comes when it climbs down into my wing of Graceland, poops all over everything and requires a cruel and unusual death by peanut butter enticed beheadment.  Ugh. I think I’ve killed five of them in the two and a half years I’ve been here. I guess I have a ways to go before I arrive in the Buddha-Christ wing of Heaven.

Ahem.  Actually it was a train wreck with my beloved Italian Stallion.  The fallout left me raw and trembling on the inside for days. Feeling broken down and humbled, ready to join a twelve step program and get a therapist.  I’m serious. No shame. The experience served to illuminate some of my deepest, darkest wounds. But the good news is, I’m ready to heal. And the other good news is that I’m doing my best not to make it mean that I’m not good enough to step forward and serve women and be a light unto the world.  

I can feel that voice “hissing” (must not be God) inside me.  “Who do I think I AM to step out and be a leader… when I’m so fucked up and imperfect.  But the gorgeous thing is that THIS is precisely my message to women. That we must not hide out in the shadows and cracks, waiting until we’re airbrushed and stick-thin to step out and share our music and magic and medicine.  NOW IS THE TIME. Even and especially if we’re in twelve step programs or…. ahhhhhh the mouse sounds like it’s chewing through something. Fuck.

Another hidden gift laced into this unsayably painful drama, is that our collision of hearts ricocheted me into action around moving.  Moving house I mean. My appetite for a new life has been waxing for too many moon cycles. Living folded anonymously into the “woulds” (I “would” step out and be BOLD… If only I was _______ enough….) was starting to feel like a prison sentence.  But the thought of stepping back into the rushing river of culturally rich madness that is the Bay Area was a terrifying notion. And where else would I go? I am connected in the Bay Area. And the OCEAN…. (insert sparkly, pulsing heart emoji here)  But suddenly my thirst for aliveness and connection and evolution has eclipsed my suffocating grip on the need for comfort and safety. I’m ready to trade my peaceful, charming one bedroom palace for a more expensive nine by twelve bedroom in the enlivening white water flow of roaring urbania.  

But The Merciful Lord doth stationed me in San Raphael (Marin County).  A milder entry into said roaring urbania than the East Bay would have been.  And with the Archangel Karen- a friend of eighteen years. Actually… once upon a time, we were more than friends.  We were The Kourage Family…. Missiz and Missiz Kourage. Then we adopted our son, “Sonala”, who Karen soon married, and eventually created a daughter with.  It was a very artistic, mythic, greek style family unit, which organically grew over time. But we were the nucleus. If I remember correctly, it really fell apart when I left my fiancé, “Moonwalker Kourage” for another man.  Karen adored Moonwalker. Naturally. He was and is “adorable”. And I ran off and rebelled against “comfy” and “safe”… took up mini skirts and wine and sex work! Haha.

Fast forward ten years, and we are commencing a Kourage Family ReUnion of sorts.  But this time, sadly, Sonala is not invited, and we each have a daughter. Kourages yet to be named!!!

I got all swept away on the wings of my epic tale… and I forgot to mention the intense and immense heartache I have been slogging through since the forever untold Legend of Giordano.  It began two days before the scorpio full moon. Doctor Blanco yanked out my infected, root-canaled gold molar, while I sobbed uncontrollably in the reclining, slippery tan chair.

Honestly, if I had a nickel for every time some new-agey astrology report touted that our deepest wounds were surfacing for illumination and healing…. BUT THIS WAS REAL.  The DEEPEST FUCKING WOUNDS. I’m talkin’ about twelve-step-style wounds. Since this fiercest of ripe, dripping moons, I’ve been living in a state of washed-out, unnamable fear and anxiety.

Of course I have a bazillion philosophies about the nature and origin of this krushing fear, including the upheaval with Giordano, my impending move, my imminent leap into visibility, leadership and soul-satisfying career SUCCESS via my online women’s video circles (www.sourcedcircles.com)….

AND my personal favorite– Being deeply attuned and sensitive to “The Collective”.  Lemme ask YOU– Have YOU been feeling through deep, dark, inexplicable fear lately?  I mean, I don’t pay attention to the news or current events. But I am a profoundly sensitive “feeler”, and the global climate usually broadcasts as waves of energy that move through me.  I’m pretty sure my thankless, freelance side-job is to feel through and LOVE the collective feelings that others are too scared to touch with a crusty stick.

FINALLY!!!!!  The broken systems of the Patriarchy are actually crumbling…. Not just threatening to crumble “one of these days”.  The World As We Know It is coming undone. And we must resist the temptation to over-identify with the Brokenness…

We must step forward as our Perfectly Imperfect Selves…. Be the leaders, change-makers, seed-planters of The New World.  I know you know which one I’m talking about… The one that your heart is incessantly whispering about and entirely believes in.  The world where Unity of All Life is glaringly obvious, and we boldly and passionately live our Light for the wellbeing of ALL.  

Please remind me of this Visionary Proclamation, when I am standing naked in the floodlights of visibility, knees knocking as I call out to women everywhere to join my circles and raise each other UP as we co-create a nourishing, turned-ON culture of authenticity, vulnerability, pleasure and connection which will naturally deliver our World to the Heaven it’s meant to BE.  

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My Chaos… It’s Actually Sorta Lovely.

This isn’t a very creative opening sentence but my goal today on the page, is to befriend myself and open my heart to all the chaos that is coursing through my veins. Is anybody else feeling extra nutzo today? This is such a bizarre chapter of my life. I want to scream. It feels self-indulgent to sit here writing about all my feelings and fluctuations… when I could be “making something of my life”. But my hope is that by letting myself just BE here, amidst the chaos and confusion, that a spontaneous alchemy will happen, and a diamond will naturally tumble forth from this imaginary weave of dynamic tension, like prismatic honey dew cascading from a fragile leaf in heaven’s own secret garden.

I feel angry. I think it is my soul trying to shake me awake, call me to ACTION. There are so many things I want to create in my life. But somehow, the days keep slipping by. Mostly all I have been doing is sadhana (spiritual practice), talking to my mom, talking to Ed, preparing healthy food, eating it, napping, more sadhana, more talking to Ed and my Ma… and then going to sleep. And now I’m here writing about it, and I want to cry and pull my hair out.

The spirituality here at Ananda feels pretty masculine. The whole line of gurus are men. They condone sitting still for like EVER. Listen, I am not knocking it… (like I did in a some blog posts a few years ago) I LOVE it here at Ananda. It is a sanctuary of sanity amidst a world of blind, forgetful children, flailing around in ignorance, barking up imaginary trees in pursuit of happiness that already exist within each of us, NOW. It’s a classic case of the Alchemist. Member? That magical little book by Paulo Cohello… The dude goes on this epic journey in search of treasure that was buried in the exact spot beneath which he slept at the beginning of the story…

But oh merciful Mary, my heart is THIRSTING for an integration of feminine expression in my spiritual life. I feel dried out. Must. Have. JUICE. This morning, I did my energization exercises, and then I stood frozen and tortured. I could not bring myself to do the same austere yoga poses I have been practicing day after day after day after… I haven’t danced in over two months. This was fine for a time… while I was dissolving over the summer, it was actually quite alright. And perhaps even necessary. But now the leaves are falling from the trees again, and blowing about in smooth, poetic frenzies, and I am once again becoming solid. And it’s a classic case of dance or BUST!

So incinerating in inexplicable internal flames, I put in my earbuds, and played an exquisite rendition of the gayatri mantra and began to move as my body and soul demanded. Caged in an empty, white-walled room, lit by a single candle, I danced to set myself free. It was clear that I was doing what I must, because the shackles began to loosen and slip from the silken surfaces of my soul. But then I looked to the altar. To the five men with serious faces who were witnessing my dance… And I felt misunderstood. I felt embarrassed, and maybe even ashamed for letting this essential part of me emerge and play. I cried as I danced. And I wondered if I was projecting all that judgement onto myself, or whether the gurus really didn’t approve. I’d like to think it was just the darkness of my own psyche rising to the surface for healing. Yeah. I’m pretty sure it was. Because rumor has it, there IS no “outside”; the whole world is a projection streaming from the divine play of light and shadow, born of my own consciousness. I know that’s debatable. But let’s not debate it right now. Because when it comes to beliefs, the question to ask is: are they serving and informing my life, such that I am elevated to new heights of excellence? I mean, that’s really all beliefs are GOOD for, right? Infinity is way too vast to be strangled by the “hard and fast”… But that said, we need some sort of map and compass to guide us to the Eternal Home beyond the self-indulgent, respective somewheres we insist on wandering about in…

Ok. I’m starting to love myself again. I was beginning to doubt. It’s just that lately I’ve been surfing one of my all too familiar, quasi-beloved waves of terror- that I’m gonna FAIL AT MY MISSION for this life. I came to INSPIRE. To learn and explore and share all of my profound discoveries with YOU. I came with so many gifts, and most of the time, I feel like I am squandering them as I chase my tail and think really deep thoughts. Goddess almighty, this makes me crazy!!!! And the stupidest part is that here I am, just wanting to cry about it!!!! When really, all I need to do is change the channel and get into action.

Okay. I’m gonna take a time-out from this self-critical loop through no-woman’s-land. Instead I’m gonna write about this mystical white owl who is hovering just beyond the visible edges of my consciousness. She must be immense, because with even the slightest motion of her wing thrusts, mighty majestic winds wish across the sky inside, arousing subterranean feelings of enchanted power. Come closer, beautiful creature!!! Let me climb onto your smooth, white feathered back. Carry me somewhere better. Carry me to the towering, golden, jewel-crusted gates of Grace, where I will sit and patiently do pranayama and sing flirtatious, devotional songs (see, I’m gonna use my time wisely!) until they splay open, and out rolls an iridescent carpet, fashioned from the wings of ascended angels, upon which I will tread soft and triumphant, back into the arms of a love so pure and pervading, I will melt into a sea of my own ecstatic tears and pour upon alla y’all who are still staggering about on planet earth like a gaggle of drunk turkeys on the first day of november.

This message has been brought to you by the simple pleasure of new fleece sweats, caressing hydrated, wistful skin.

Live,
A

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

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

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

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

BUT MEN ARE NOT TO BLAME.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Live,
A