Feeling for a new alignment

I lust to be a famous writer.  I do!!! But in reality, my drive to write is deeper than outcome.  I show up here because the fire Inside gives me no other option.  Without putting my heart, mind and BEing into words, life feels like racing tigers, melting into butter, sliding through my stupefied fingers.  And I can’t live with that.

I’m pregnant.  Sorry if I haven’t told you personally.  It’s really friggin early to go around singing it from the mountain tops.  I only conceived twenty three days ago. If I had any “sense”, I’d be quiet about it for a while, and just let my poppy seed-sized fetus gestate in blissful anonymity.  But gosh… then what would I write about? I have a burning need to cut to the heart of It All… And right now, this is the heart.

Was this a conscious choice?

Yes!  And… I was still broadsided by “The Call”.  (The soul whispered loud in me.)  My ego had other plans. Like always… Back in September, during our trip to the seaside, I was overtaken by deep and sudden urge to bring this strangely familiar, yet concealed by the veil, BEing into the world.  This strong feeling left me blinking and seeing neon, dancing stars. I was just getting “my life back”. Serena would start school in a matter of weeks. I would start a solid exercise routine.  And write my utterly fabulous memoir. Getting knocked up would be the Setback of the Century!

But my soul’s drive to create family body-slammed my career ambitions.  I guess that’s how the human race has made it this far… Imagining Serena as a big sister, I felt this to be essential for her.  Strange, because not too long ago, I couldn’t even fathom loving another human being as much as I love her. It didn’t compute. But by the Grace of God… now it does.  I was just minding my business… and suddenly my heart expanded. Neat!

Giordano and I both had “trauma” (Haha that word is so popular these days….) around bringing in our first child.  He separated with baby mama during her pregnancy, and she didn’t even tell him when she gave birth. He found out three days later.  This aches his heart… not to have been able to love his sun into the world. And now, the boy is mostly raised by the mama and her boyfriend.  Who have completely different lifestyle and values than Giordano does. Which is often painful for him….

For me, I can’t even believe I survived the heartache I went through during my pregnancy with Serena.  Her dad consciously impregnated me…. But then when she took root in my womb, he freaked and asked me if I was sure I wanted to keep her.  (Like, “Duh, Stupid!”) Then he had one foot out the door for the whole pregnancy. I barely saw him. I loved being pregnant. It was the most magical and beautiful nine months of my entire life perhaps.  Still, my heart bled profusely on a daily basis. Ed showed up for the birth. He held and exquisite masculine space for me. But then at 6am, he left us alone in the hospital, like a party that was over. It was just me and her.  For nearly three years.

I consider this a great blessing… mostly.  What fortune to have such an INTIMATE experience with a soul who is so cosmically dear to me.  Talk about some deeep karma. And it was hard as fuck. To be the breadwinner, the one always holding.  Rarely held. I still remember the epic-sized teardrops that spilled from my eyes in the first weeks after she was born.  Seriously. They were straight from a monsoon.

I’m digesting this painful life material at a deeper level as I enter this new pregnancy.  It sucks to carry it in my heart. I just want it all to burn off like sweet rose petals falling into the sun.  

When I shared with Giordano my sudden desire to conceive our child, he was an unwavering yes.  Like me, he had surface concerns and questions… but those paled in the light of raw desire and soul-knowing inside him.  And when we conceived, his joy was pure and naked as a child’s. This in itself was deeply healing for me.

So now, here I am, in my hella greeeeen pasture…. And still I ache!  Oh, blessed hormones. They are profound. And gorgeous in some way.  My bodhichitta heart is throbbing, full tilt. Anything and everything moves me to the core.  

I feel lonely a lot.  Except now… I’m never lonely when I write, because I love hanging out with myself in such a deep, intimate space. Communicating is orgasmic!  But just existing day to day… Gosh, it gets old not to have people around me physically, who feel like hOMe (Thank GOD for my smart-assed phone… My connection to some of the most exquisite people on the planet!).  But this has been the story of my life since I gave birth… I guess my soul is practicing some sort of potent, rigorous austerity. Like Saint Francis. I think about him, when I’m out walking sometimes… The mountains and bright, fluffy hillsides of Umbria have such a majestic Presence.  Which teases my majestic Presence to the surface. They speak. I feel awed to silence and riveted stillness.

Mamas out there?  I have a question for you… How do you integrate motherhood with all your other Selves, Dreams, Desires?   I see so many women “doing it all”… with such grace and mastery. Over here it looks like such a daunting journey.  To be and hold ALL OF IT. I don’t know what elements of my Self and Life to hold onto, fight for… and what to release into the honeyed sky of pure BEing.  Not that this inquiry is anything new for me. Haha. It just gets louder as I stand at the precipice of early motherhood once more.

I want to be so much more than just a Mom.  I want to be a Source of inspiration and endless faith in Love, for all the world.  I want to be a role model of courageous, unbridled authenticity. I want to dream new dreams and build new systems, informed by Unity Consciousness to evolve and transform this World.  I guess a huge part of my Desire can live through how I raise and educate my children (and how I hold and care for myself, as their mother). I feel fierce to hold space for them to develop and blossom in alignment with their essence and purpose, rather than sleeping at the wheel while society mashes and grinds them in confining boxes, just because I’m too lazy to take initiative.  This calling lives as a daunting responsibility in me. What I need to feel empowered in this domain is to be in conversation and co-creation with other parents who share this mission. The Lone Wolf archetype is a total ball krusher!

Anyway, I’m here inside myself, feeling for a new alignment.  And longing for masculine holding. And wondering if it’s just my lot in life to learn how to hold my own damn self.  Couldn’t hurt I guess.

But I’m happy.

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On Romantic Love and Partnership

Who needs earthquakes, when the tectonic plates in my very BEing are making their own dramatic shifts?!

Back in January, I remember the feeling of self-satisfaction as I unabashedly spoke my birthday wish aloud to my circle of luminous-hearted women– to “create my own wealth and success and never need a man to save me again”…

Or something like that.

And now, six more moons of sand in the hour glass, and I don’t even recognize the woman who sang such a wish.  The world inside me has been destroyed and reborn… a few times over.

As I mentioned before, when I got to the Bay Area, I was *lovingly* pummeled by the reality that this is NOT a place for a single mom of a two year old.  At least if she actually wants to BE with her two year old.

A couple of weeks ago, I stood still at an OVERT fork in the road.  One Path was sensual massage– this was the way of the woman who “does not need a man”.  A woman who is fiercely committed to doing it alone. An activism against the engulfing swampish mess of fairytale fantasies she was indoctrinated with, since forever.  

The other Path was a winged leap of faith to the romantic land of Italy, where lives a man who deeply loves said woman and her daughter and wishes to help and support Her as she builds her dreams and lives her LOVE for the wellbeing of ALL.  

The best choice seems obvious from here.

But from the perspective of the woman who made a birthday wish for sovereignty and independence… turning to a man for support appeared weak.  

I chose that “weak” Path.

In a flash came a call from the goddess Dianne- diehard Athena Grace fan from Australia- to tell me that my choice was POWERFUL.  That opening my heart to the love and devotion of a Partner is something I deeply deserve.

All the ingredients that Life has tossed in my pot, has incited some serious soul searching and reconfiguring.  Pure Alchemy.

From my vantage point in THIS now, I see that my fierce stand for independence was a reaction to my early wounding.  Abandonment by my father. And especially the ensuing *crippling* experience of codependency in Relationship. Anybody who is working to untangle from codependency KNOWS how fuckin sucky the shit is.  

And yet… the longing for Partnership still sings from the depths of my soul.  

I want you to hear and feel the powerful experience that it was for me to sit with these choices in the silence and stillness of my very own soul.  And the healing of feeling my deepest desires and knowing emerge from my guts… beyond the concepts that I had cocooned myself in to protect me from the pain of not being chosen.  Not being fully met. Being seared in the fires of sacred disappointment.

No.  I do not want to sell my sexual energy for hella pretty pennies and call it “empowerment”.  I want to plug it into a contained space of boundless intimacy and devotion. I want to die and be born in the fire of sacred surrender and intimate communion with ONE entirely committed, delicious Man.  

AND I don’t want to get pulled out by a riptide of unconscious, habitual behavior, into the violent waters of codependence.  

Enough drowning.  This bitch can SWIM.

So I sit in the question of “How do I do this differently?”

Life has shown me that the nuclear family model is a booby trap unto itself.  At least for a Visionary Trailblazing System Buster such as Yours Truly.

And yet, I long for the intimate containment of One Beloved.

My dear friend Quynh has helped me to realize the possibility of abiding in a more porous container.  Where Partnership is able to breathe and swirl with a “village of Lovers”. (and when I say “lovers”, I do not mean “people that I have sex with”… I mean people with whom I share love and intimacy.  And when I say “intimacy”, I mean SEEING and BEING SEEN in and as The Depths.)

I WANT TO DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY THAN I HAVE IN THE PAST.

In the past, in my Relationships with a capital R, I have been lay-zay.  I have opiated myself with the insulated comfort of having a built-in source of connection… at the expense of my other friendships.  I have used our little nesting box as a place to hide. In time, I become so stifled by the confines of my self-imposed cage, that the *seeming* only solution is to smash it and walk away.  

What will it take to generate the deep fulfillment that I long for in Relationship?

Two things light up inside me when I ask this essential question:

#1~ Keeping the relationship porous to community.  ONE PERSON CAN NOT BE EVERYTHING FOR ANOTHER. It takes a village to nourish an individual.  This eliminates the crippling, mountainous load of half-blind expectations that we tend to pile on our Partner.  (Should I speak for myself??? Nah. I am speaking to the Collective. This is some deep programming, and although it is deeply personal to my Path, it is NOT “MINE”.  I am only experiencing it in order to help bust the system.)

#2~ Higher Purpose/Co-creation.  Devoting a Relationship to a higher purpose gives the immensity of love cultivated somewhere to plug in and FLOW.  Otherwise it gets pent up and stagnant. And BORING. I am here to invoke and awaken Heaven on Earth. A world infused and informed by/with Unity Consciousness.  This separation, scarcity, survival, fear, isolation shit is overrated.

There is definitely more to it than this… like cultivating trust, consistent deep sex as a spiritual practice, daily truth telling and deeep listening…

God I want to to succeed and master the art of Intimate Partnership.  It is a lifelong endeavor. I am alight with dancing passion as I embark on this next chapter of learning, sharing and sacred exploration.  

Stay tuned.

And please share~ What are your secrets of success in the realm of Relationship?  Where do you get stuck? What are your deepest Desires? Don’t be stingy with your Wisdom and your Longing.  That’s so nineteen eighty nine.

Living A Riveting Opera

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On this virginal, dawning day, it is not the first words that I commit to the empty page that matter the most, it is the deeep, slow breath which precedes them.  Said breath was essential, because the World inside me is so thick with vines, intricate root systems and underbrush…. My breath is my machete. Slicing to the heart of the jungle within.

 

Life never ceases to blow my mind… with its genius capacity to direct, orchestrate, inspire.  Doors swinging open and slamming shut.

 

Ten days ago,  I wrote you a love letter from  hell…. Since then, I have been desperately groping at the cryptic, mystic contours of infinite space, where inner and outer environment swirl, bleed, blur… endeavoring to make “sense” of it…. find Due North… Discover a secret moonlit path that sings against my bare, sentient feet.  

 

I have scattered fist-fulls of seeds into the wind… eager to discover which ones will, by God’s Grace-laden intelligence, nestle their way into fertile earth, and sprout into a new and clear direction.  I made a profile on a dog walking/sitting website. Refreshed my profile on urbansitter (the local nanny-placement site). Offered my services of copy writing to heart-centered women entrepreneurs.

 

Almost nothing has come back to me.  Except for a full time nanny gig next week, which pays less than I vowed I would give my time for.  But I took it, because at this point, earning any money trumps making none. Look out ten hour days with Serena AND an energetic two and a half year old boy…. Here come the Graces!… God help us.

 

Something I need you to understand about me…. Is that this is how I grew up.  At Serena’s age, my mom was “doing it alone” amidst the unsaybly expensive Bay Area hustle.   For way too long, I hated her for making that choice. I thought it was totally dumb for her to choose the most expensive spot in California to settle and struggle daily to survive with a young child.  This often involved leaving me in sketchy daycares and with babysitters who frightened me…. And sometimes leaving me alone too. Yes, even at age three, or maybe even two. (I forgive you Mom.)

 

Now Life has guided me back here to soften me with compassion and a deeper cut of insight regarding her choices.  There is no place like the Bay Area. Marin in particular. So much creativity, consciousness, stunning natural beauty.  My friend Samantha took us to the San Francisco zoo on thursday, and my soul *exploded* as we crossed the mythic Golden Gate Bridge, and then traversed the breath-giving coastline that led us to the literal edge of the World.  Endless, white-waving ocean. Unlimited cool, vivifying air to drink deep of and seduce titillated skin. I could lose myself in descriptions of the specialness of this place that I was blessed to spend the weighty majority of my thirty eight years on planet earth.  But I have too much more to say. Guess you’ll have to wait for the ebook. Haha.

 

My  naive surface mind imagined that I was coming back to The Bay to step into deeper relationship/family with Ed.   And that gave me enough solace and courage to leap as my Inner Being directed. But upon landing, I quickly (crushingly) realized this was not the case.  Ed is still fiercely committed to his Other Life. We have only seen him twice in three weeks. I’m sure he would wish that I offered you his extremely valid justifications for this.  But since Athena Graceland is MY domain, I shant. Instead, I will testify that I am delighted to be free this time, for what deeply feels to be “for realz”.

 

Back in January, I made a super-duper-neo-feminist birthday wish- to rise phoenix-goddess-style- in my own Dreams and Life- in abundance and success- and NEVER NEED/WANT A MAN TO SAVE ME AGAIN.

 

But now here I am flailing in the crushingly expensive and perversely indifferent currents of Bay Area economy… Desperately sewing seeds in the way of survival… and unflattering truth be told…. I could REALLY go for a Savior right about now.

 

Giordano.

 

I was sure that we were finished.

 

But HE wasn’t.

 

He has been unrelenting in his communication with me.  Unwavering in his love and desire to be a family with me and Serena.  And little by little, my defenses have eroded. Truth is, I mostly, I kept them intact for Ed.  But the days of “for Ed” are dead.

 

On thursday, Giordano told me he was concerned for me.  My flippant reply was “Haha you wanna save me?”….

 

“Sure.  I will.”

 

At first, I only snickered.  

 

But he was evocatively sincere.  

 

So I put the option of taking Serena and flying to his pristine, sprawling, olive tree laden land in the hills above Assisi into the hopper and let it simmer with the rest of my sacred, illuminated mess.  

 

My body still reverberates with sparkling desire when I think of him.  As flawed as he is, his love and desire to be with me and Serena has NEVER wavered since we met in September of last year.   Even after I locked him out of my house and left him high and not-so-dry in driving spring rain… Coldly endured the heart-bludgeoning music of him crying outside my door.

 

My Ma loved to imagine my life as an Opera.  No, not a cheap-assed Soap Opera! A genuine, bonafide OPERA.  And the artistic, elegant, heart-wrenching musical saga weaves ON.  

 

I fear that Ed might throw daggers for me choosing to fly to Italy in August…. But… Fuck him.  If he doesn’t want to create safety and sanctuary for “the love of his life” and his own daughter… Onwards and upwards.

 

I thought I was coming to the Bay Area to follow my dreams.  To grow a business and BE SOMEBODY. But upon cruel meeting of rubber and road… suddenly it looks way more alluring to be held and supported as I care for my daughter with presenc and devotion.  To ditch the concrete and wifi and chemically treated water and return to the pristine vibrance and bounty of Mother Earth. Night sky pulsing with unbounded spray of stars.

 

To go where Orgasmic Meditation and deep sex flow like wine and rivers.

 

And perhaps fulfill my dream of raising a bilingual child.  

 

We’ll see.  I’m getting us one way tickets.  I could be back faster than a blink… or perhaps I’ll never leave.  Life is a Goddamn Mystery, people!!!!

 

I find it utterly hilarious that I’m opting to be saved… after my bold birthday wish….

 

But #1~ Single parenting in this broken world is crushing.  Plain and simple.

 

And #2~ Nothing is black and white.  I will continue to walk my Path no matter what I choose.  Continue to drench you with my heart-stained words… and offer my light and love to this world.  But my daughter comes first.

 

Oh, and #3~ Giordano keeps invoking his dream of co-creating magic.  Working together to build something of value for others in the way of Light.  

 

It’s definitely worth a shot!

 

With ever-scorching honesty and huge LOVE from Graceland,

Athena LMONP

The Fight to Write.

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The unicorn is galloping across sprawling, poofy, marshmallow cloudscapes, and still…. I am gonna thrust myself up on the bitch.  Yes.  I’m talking about my writing life… which has slithered like whispering water through my slender fingers as I incessantly pour into my life as a single mother.  Actually, I feel some relief in the X-treme scarcity of Time.  Because before Serena, there was too much of the stuff.  I damn near drowned in the strange ocean of excruciatingly slow, linear, third dimensional existence.  I guess Time is a beast that I came here to wrastle (and K the fuck O).  What better way to restructure said relationship, than to dream forth a demanding little goddess who hoards every precious second, formerly known as “mine”.

I hear a mouse gnawing at the inside of my bathroom wall.

Is it legal to write a one sentence paragraph?  I remember in high school, when “they” taught me about the “essential” components of a paragraph– An opening sentence with a main idea.  Then a few supporting sentences.  And finally a conclusion.  I like considering the possibility that ONE single sentence can contain ALL OF IT.  Like the universe in a grain of rice.  Like how much blessed meaning can you squeeze out of one modest strand of words.  What worlds secretly breathe and pulsate therein?  It’s like those pivotal moments following the news that your mother “wishes to be made comfortable” (apparently code for “is about to die”)… and suddenly the slow drip of the kitchen faucet becomes the heartbeat of Creation.  Your mind sprinting through stiff, sludgy oatmeal.

Ah, yes, it’s wonderful to be back in Athena Graceland.  Fuck.  Serena just called out to me from the bedroom, her voice a sharp arrow.  It’s only 5:49am.  Girl, go back to sleep.  God!!!!!!  Throw down some freakin’ mercy.  Let a bitch express some damn philosophical frivolity (and an impending deeper cut) to the privileged few amongst the masses, who have, by your Grace, stumbled upon the treasure-laden, zany worlds that stream from within me.  Silence again…. And a slow breath, pregnant with Hope with a hella capital H.

Ok, better get to the excruciatingly sharp POINT.  Life.  That is always the point, I think.  Telling the raw, naked truth about Life. So watch me bust out a “Hemingway Simple” topic sentence on this urgent subject…

In so many mOMents lately, I find myself threadbare and just celebrating the rudimentary fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.  She’s crying again and I can’t muster much explosive intelligence and cleverness as I endure her increasingly desperate call.  I was hoping she’d self soothe and sink back into slumber.  Dream on Athena.  Well there you have it.  Athena Grace, squeezing a goddamn drop of creative juice out of a huge ugly rock, imperviously lodged in a cruel and hard place.  Bye.   

It’s a new day.  My body thirsts to practice yoga.  But an invisible force inside me demands that I finish this piece of writing.  This is my Life now… Squeezing single glistening drops of “me time” out of huge boulders of obligation and duty as I trudge through a panoramic mOMent of humble service and profound ordinariness.  But that makes mothering sound like a chore… It is.  And it’s not.  It’s actually the best thing I’ve ever done…. And one of the hidden gifts of its fierce rigor is that being in twenty-four-seven service to Little Missiz Grace stokes the fuck out of the fire of my longing to be, do, have, and fully LIVE the other facets of my intricate, dynamic Self.  Which is good.  Because back in that other life, (now a microscopic speck in my figurative rearview mirror) the unwieldy ocean of perceived time drowned out my fire to engage and create.

Now that I have experienced conception, pregnancy, birth and sustenance of the object of my all-consuming Desire, I have a felt-sense of this sacred, feminine territory.  And I can feel a new life gestating in my womb.  It is my work in the world.  A hunger is welling up inside me to play huge.  And WIN.  Which of course encompasses plenty of glorious failures along the way…. But winning looks like staying in the game.  No matter what.  Full contact.  No holds barred.  Stretching into domains of creative actualization and impassioned service beyond my wildest dreams.  (And beyond the crippling social programming of my fore-mothers.)

In 2011, I did a two hundred hour yoga teacher training with Psalm Isodora, the renowned tantra yoga teacher who recently took her own resplendent and gritty life.  Her training felt like flushing a couple thousand dollars down the toilet.  In my experience, the bitch did not have it together.  (But I give her goddess props for not letting that stop her.  To live into huge vision, it’s mandatory to fuck up and make messes along the way.)  The one gold nugget that emerged, gleaming from the sludgy chaos and bullshit, was the moment she said to me, “If you want something, you have to become obsessed with it.”   

It’s true.  I felt this all-consuming obsession with creating a child.  And now it is building a soul-satisfying career that inspires, ignites and liberates the hearts of the masses.

FUCK.  The mother fucking dog barked and woke Serena up.  I could kill him.  It’s only six twenty and I was sure I was gonna finish this goddamn thing today.  FUCK EVERYTHING.

And now for the ultimate zen koan.  It’s wild how victory feels simultaneously impossible and inevitable.  Life is grinding me down.  S L O W .  So that in God’s Time, the spacious nothing that I am will ripen, rise and conquer.  I really do want to take over the world.  But not for my own gain.  For the benefit of ALL.  I yearn to be a vast, consuming source of neon spectrum, God-drunk, turned-the-fuck-ON liberation that doesn’t quit.

Life feels grueling.  Wrought with unsayably deep, emotional complexity.  It is requiring EVERYTHING.  I am watching myself break the fuck down.  I am starving for touch and deep, sexual loving.  I have to bust out some serious kung fu just to claim a few moments to paint my damn nails.  Yet… I feel a silken ribbon of holy whisper inside.  And it assures me that I am Destiny’s bitch, whether I like it or not.  And She IS this unquenchable, creative thirsting, bursting, swollen River ever gushing from within me.

PS–  I finished this blog with my “Big Girl” suckling my breast.  Whatever it fucking takes….

Good News. Bad News. Life. Death. And Always LOVE.

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I’ll start with the good news– I am madly in love with Serena lately.  She’s so damn cute and smart and… good.  Within the last week, she’s started walking!  She does gratuitous laps around the house, just for practice, wobbling like a drunken sailor.  I’m amazed by her tireless, perpetual motion.  I can tell she’s so proud of herself.  What a feat!  And God, she’s just such a happy person.  Happy and innocent and willing.  My heart feels marvelously crushed.  We made a pilgrimage to Auburn (an hour drive each way) yesterday to apply for passports.  (God willing, we are going to Bali this summer with Cosmic Dad!!!)  The whole drive, she was content and peaceful.  She held her new little stuffed bunny, and she kept saying “Soft.  Soft.  Soft.”  And “Eye.  Eye.  Eye.” (pointing to his eye)   And “Lap.  Lap.  Lap.” (She had him on her lap…)  Such a stimulating conversationalist!

It wasn’t too long ago that I was pulling my hair out and shaking my fist at the sky and wondering why in Grace’s good name I chose to be a mama.  I think because we were both stretching together, and let’s face it– sometimes stretching is uncomfortable.  Sometimes it can even make you tear and bleed and require copious amounts of stitches and a two night and three day “vacation” at the hospital.  (Yes, I’m talking about Serena’s birth.)  But now we have stretched into a space of heavenly resonance and relative ease.  Of course it is fleeting.  But all the more reason to enJOY it.

And speaking of stretching, now for the “bad news”.  While we were waiting for our turn to apply for passports, we “bipped” over to Target because I had a gift card and wanted to try on denim shorts.  Holy Lord in Heaven.  I looked AWFUL  in the dressing room mirrors.  And this is *not* something that I would normally say… because I have worked so hard to heal my self image and love my body.  But fuck.  My skin looked loose and lumpy and squished in gross places.  How in fuck’s name do they expect anyone to BUY anything when the glaring lights and soul-sucking ambiance make you look and feel so UGLY?    

Whoa.  This calls for a massive deep breath.  Because what a terrible thing to commit to a blank page.  Especially as a goddess and leader of the Love Revolution.  But sometimes a goddess just gotsta be honest!  It was traumatizing.  And confusing, too… because I’m almost back to the weight that I was before I got pregnant.  I was one twenty five… and now I’m one twenty eight or nine, depending on the time of day, size of my last meal and amount of exercise I’ve had.  Maybe that mirror was a government conspiracy in action.  Yeah, that’s probably it.  And listen, don’t misinterpret my share.  I’m not suffering about any of it.  It’s more of a fascination with the kaleidoscopic, psychedelic nature of perception.

And then there’s my dear, sweet mama… Her body is now a modest pile of ashes stowed away in the ornately carved, wooden chest I inherited from her when she ditched this crazy planet last month.  Ok, you’re right, the PLANET is not crazy.  She’s actually very sane.  It’s us damn HUMANS that are the nuts!  When I was doing mountains of paperwork at Chapel of the Angels, the mortuary where my Ma’s body was cremated, one form stated that they perform a separate process beyond burning, to pulverize the big chunks of bone that are left… Ha!  And I had to inscribe my initials alongside said statement to indicate that this was permissible by me!  Like, “Yes, I am aware that you will be pulverizing my mom’s bones after you burn her, and it’s totally groovy.”  SILLY!!!

In retrospect, I wish that I had’ve said NO!  I would’ve loved for her ashes to be laced with bone chunks… I could make jewelry out of them.  And arrange them with the crystals and river stones on my panoply of altars.  Am I being serious, or kidding?  Yeah… I’m not quite sure either.

But one thing I KNOW is that my Ma is laughing with me about her hopelessly pulverized bones.

And since we’re on the subject… how am I doing with the whole losing my Ma thang?  Not too bad.  When she was still alive, I used to imagine what it would be like when she was gone, and whimper to her about how much I’d miss her, and how it would suck ass not to be able to talk with her and laugh with her (and even get irritated with her!), daily.  Her immediate response was always, “I’ll still be with you.”  I hated this!  Like, easy for YOU to say, Woman, YOU’RE not the one who will be left behind!  The last thing you need to hear when facing the crushing reality of impermanence, is some woo-woo, conceptual, spiritual band-aid.

But she was right. (Did you hear that Ma???!!!)  She is still right here.  And her oh-so-elegant swan dive into the seductive pool of Infinity has transformed my perception of life and death and God and my Self.  I remember this particularly cray-zay angel I once knew, Hal… He used to say “the cat is alive AND dead”… or some sort of hippy, acid-head koan like that.  I never had any idea what the fuck he was talking about.  Until my mom left.  And now I feel that she is here.  And I am “there”.  And Time is a strange dream that *seems* to divide our limitless Self into a finite notion for a fleeting mOMent.  I know some part of you knows what the hell I’m saying.  Because we are all so immense.  But we must feign smallness as we wander this oddball dreamscape.  Or must we?…

I appreciate the spiritual expansion that my Ma gifted me in her passing.  It’s a relief.  To feel so intimate with Infinity… (while still completely riveted in and by this human dream)…

The day before she died, she reminisced about being at my dad’s dad (my grandpa)’s deathbed… His parting words were, “It’s all a mystery to me…”  She said he appeared truly befuddled.  I LOVE this!!!  I mean, his words sure do sum it up!!!… I have finally arrived at a vista of my existence, where I feel crystalline relief at the Mystery of it all.  I’ve exhausted myself enough times, trying to muscle through and do it (Life) MY way… Only to be disappointed, devastated, destroyed.  I finally get it.  Life/God is waaay more qualified to captain this ship.  Athena Grace just gets to be First Mate, whose primary task is TO LOVE.

…And to write it all down!  With eloquence, honesty, poetic persuasion and humor.  It’s actually a pretty cool arrangement.

Breathing into Life and Death… and Beyond

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I wonder if the caterpillar mush inside a cocoon cries out, and kicks the cursed walls of its vessel of scared Becoming… because it’s all frustrated, molten passion, bound and tragically wingless.  I bet.

I report this often, but it truly is an ever-new experience:  I just drew in a slow, deep breath… and in doing so, remembered my Self.  It was revelatory.  And I was not expecting it… I was all twisted up in the mental concept of being trapped within the confining walls of my current alchemical “prison”, until an inhale overtook me and I was reborn.  Thank God.  I believe in the queendom and the power and the GLORY of the breath.  I believe that it is a one way ticket to intimacy with Everything.  I believe that we can offer our love to ALL with every exhale, and transform the Fabric of Reality.  Sometimes I forget that I believe this…. which is why I am sooo glad that we are having this little, intimate chat.  I don’t know what I’d do without you!!

I also want to believe that I die with every exhale… but that lofty concept still remains a bit out of my reach… like it’s in a shiny wrapper atop God’s fridge, and I am a toddling infant, merely tantalized by its seductive, untouchable existence.

I was intending to segue into the elusive yet compelling topic of death right about now… but I must admit that this is an intimidating endeavor!  I will take a stab! (Oh haha that’s a pun!)(I’m almost certain that was the first pun I’ve ever served up here in Athena Graceland!  Eight years in…. Wish I had a bell to ring…)  Because it just so happens that another of my latest (kamikaze) missions is to befriend failure!  So this is like a two for one sale– take a stab at death, befriend failure along the way, PLUS, act now and you get a free bonus PUN.

Death.  (I just breathed again.)  I’ve never read The Tibetan Book of the Dead… but I’ve heard whispered rumors that its premise is Life as a practice ground for dying.  Even though I don’t totally understand this, it illuminates a knowing in my soul.  (Gosh, there went another serious breath!  Perhaps it’s a sign that I’m touching on something juicy.)

My abiding, essential spiritual inspiration (I cringe at the title “Spiritual Teacher”, because it has become a fad.  A totally trendy, new age thing to “have”.  And Matt Kahn doesn’t want to be put on a pedestal.  His mission is to awaken the Master in ALL, through the power of Love.  This sounds sensible to me.), Matt Kahn often shares that he spent ten years dying… In orderer to become the clear channel of Infinite Love that he is now.  Between healing sessions he offered, he lay on his couch, wrapped in a blanket, shivering, shaking and… dying.   Glamorous, eh?

I often use that snippet of his story as a reference point… as I come undone.  My whole journey with the father of my daughter has been woven with threads of colossal heartbreak and disappointment… as well as shimmering, sensuous threads of ecstasy and oneness.  Ha!…Sometimes when Serena meets a moment of profound frustration, wisdom smiles through me, singing out, “Oh, the agony and the ecstasy…”  She is such a lucid expression of the human condition.  No filters.  And now, I am mother to my own Innocence, singing the same sentence of unsolvable ISness.  God help me.

The agony and the ecstasy indeed.  But in these excruciating moments, when I am shattered and no one can save me (I hate that!!!), I think of Matt Kahn dying in his blanket, and our favorite Lord and Savior, Jesus dying on the cross… and I remind myself that if I *entirely* relax to the experience, allow it obliterate what is not real, what I no longer need for the Journey ahead… that I might actually be getting “somewhere”.  Somewhere of genuine value.

I’m afraid of dying in the most obvious sense… leaving my body, and no longer having the sacred, galactic privilege of being “Athena Grace”.  I can’t imagine that my soul has ever been such a resplendent character… Even though it has been a long, difficult, lonely and perplexing road, I am such an ingenious divine poem in the flesh… I feel outrageously fortunate to be so wildly expressive, deeply feeling, impassioned, articulate… and especially to love so huge.  Inhale.  Exhale.  Plus, at a more rudimentary level, I’m afraid of pain.  It seems like it might really hurt to leave this body…

But it couldn’t hurt any more that F-ing CHILDBIRTH for God’s sake!!!!!  That was the most excruciating twelve hours of my entire life (not to mention the time-slurring aftermath of having my recklessly torn labia sewn back up… but at least I got to hold my sleeping bundle of heaven through this portion of the torturous joy-ride).  And now that I think about it, I DID die.  So what’s the big deal, Athena??

Maybe I’m afraid to LIVE.  Afraid to FAIL.  Afraid to GIVE EVERYTHING of myself… to offer my voice and my love so vulnerably and risk being rejected or misunderstood.  It’s a trendy stance to take that “it’s not failure we’re truly afraid of, but SUCCESS”… this might be true… but if it is, I can’t access my “fear of success”.  I yearn from my depths to be a famous writer.  To me, this is the ultimate manifestation of soul-full success– to uncork and decant my heart as worlds of words that heal, bless and transform others, for the wellbeing of ALL.   And to be financially supported this way.  God I want to graduate from the janky domain of “just scraping by”… take vacations, cut generous checks to world-elevating charities… and heck, just to not break a sweat about needing a goddamn haircut or winter boots… or new pants that make me feel outrageously awesome and gorgeous.  And what about that raw opal ring I lust for??  Not to mention all of the stuff I want Serena to have access to… like gymnastics, dance, piano lessons, horseback riding, art classes, international travel….

Inhale.

Exhaaaale.

Death.  A couple of mornings ago, I dreamt of my deceased beloved, Dan.  In the dream, he was my longterm substitute teacher.  He wore a cashmere sweater, which perfectly portrays the texture of his soul– soooo soft and gentle and wonderful to touch.  I awoke and cried a surprising sea of tears into the solitary darkness.  I realized that I was grieving the passion that poured forth from me, into our Joining.

In this current, parched, solitary chapter of my walk-about through Infinity, I feel so much passion inside.  My body is aflame, and this potent energy has nowhere to flow.  Naturally, I am exaggerating, because, duh, it’s flowing from my fingertips into your eyeballs, right this second… It’s just that my life is such sacred drudgery these days.  Yes, my passion flows into Serena’s Miraculous Unfurling, too.  And this is beyond wonderful.   I guess it’s just my Poet’s Heart, exploded wide open and groping at the weird fabric of Creation, with the holy mission of “knowing itSelf”.  And when you try to fathom Infinity copping a feel of it’s own boundlessness… you can see that this could be fertile ground for insatiable yearning.  Sigh.  Maybe this relentless holy inferno is just my nature.  Breathe into THAT ONE, Athena…

I want some friggin relief.  I want to make exquisite delicious, soul-merging love… dance into untamed nirvana … swim unbounded in warm, turquoise oceans… roller-skate through Golden Gate Park with Serena on an excruciatingly pristine sunny day… AND ESPECIALLY— pour my passion-stained words into the minds of the masses and explode hearts into zillions of dancing, winged stars.

Death… Maybe it is the courage to inhabit one’s Life with Totality, openness and ignited passion… After all, what of “ourself” can withstand this Ultimacy of Presence?  When one is fully given to each newborn breath, to the shimmering pulsation of NOW… one cannot exist as a collection of limiting habits, beliefs and limitations.  One is….

One IS.

(I guess I still have more to discover about life and death… But I celebrate myself for taking a courageous stab at this wicked, daunting topic!!)

May we all be willing to die to ourselves and emerge as exquisite, winged Masters of Love.

The Ultimate Soul Workout

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Life begins the day you realize it’s meant to be hard.

At least for ME, that’s how it went down.

Being an etherial new-age baby, I struggled a bunch, clutching a dazzling-law-of-attraction-belief that Life was supposed to be easy… and then meeting so many unwieldy mOMents, and intense feelings, and not knowing what to do or be to make my Life submit and behave in the way of ease.  God, it is such an uphill climb.

The crucial point lurking in this hypothesis though, is that at a soul level, this sloppy, unwieldy struggle one of the Heavenly Lord’s all-time greatest boons.  To incarnate in this arduous dimension is heavyweight strength training!  Who wants to be a gorgeous, sparkling, winged mirage, fluttering insouciantly about in a revealed rendition of Heaven… when you could be attending the BEST costume party in the galaxy… suiting up in a nice dense meat sack and pushing figurative boulders up custom-fashioned metaphorical mountains, developing sweet, spiritual six-packs and bulging biceps of the soul?  We really have our priorities dialed in, down here on earth.

Plus, we get to drink tea and coffee!!!  I bet that is the tipping point for many incarnate angels.

Lately, I’ve been having a hot and heavy wonder what it would be like to inhabit my Life with a relaxed internal poise… a *genuine* and full bodied acceptance of the reality in which I marinate.  Because mostly, there’s this whole consuming layer of experience that occurs like agitation.  Like the cursed grain of sand inside the holy oyster shell of my existence.  A destructive, gnawing idea that I’m partially living the WRONG life.  Just partially.  There are SOME elements that are oh-so-right… Really key ones~ like that I’m Athena Grace… and that I have the *most* awesome baby girl.  Now that I’m endeavoring to articulate it, I realize that I LOOOOVE who I AM… I’m just struggling with the process of ACTUALIZING the raw blueprint of my soul.  And searching for that deep sense of Belonging, of hOMe.  God, I hope there’s a phat pink pearl in the works…

And hence, we come full circle to the opening statement of this gloriously enlightened stream of words~ this is the resistance training that I enthusiastically came to partake in.  How to be this AWESOME, luminous heavenly body IN A MEAT SUIT, and masterfully sculpt Infinite Light into a soul-satisfying, consciousness-liberating, Love-revealing, integrity-infused, breath-giving work of sacred art.  I mean think about it… doesn’t that sound like the BEST vacation for God to take???  Yeah.  Totally.

But in the mean time, here I am… wishing I had the utterly fabulous Partner by my side.  A loving, devoted father for Serena.  I am haunted by visions of being a powerful, spiritual leader and a beloved and widely read writer of grace-stained words that liberate ALL HEARTS.  Feeling stuck in this cloistered spiritual community in the woods, that though wrought with kindness, safety and even friendship… isn’t the path that ignites passion in my heart, or pure resonance in my soul.  I feel guilty typing that… because God… people here have embraced me beyond what I could have hoped for.  Typing that made my eyes sting.  Lemme take a deepie (breath)… and really let this Grace sink in.

Lately, I’ve been asking myself how I’d define Grace… Because it’s my last name, for God’s sake!  And it’s like the air we breathe… invisible, and something we don’t even have to think about… because it’s always nearer to us than our own selves… But… it’s still handy to have a distinguished notion of this essential and beneficent ISness.

Grace…

It’s the Invisible Oceanic Goodness in which we ARE.  We don’t have to earn it… and we couldn’t escape it if we tried.  The tricky part, is that Grace is responsible not only for that which we deem “good” in our lives, but the “bad” stuff too. Under the inescapable, psychedelic umbrella of Grace, EVERYTHING we live is Divinity in action, and is conspiring for the outrageous and triumphant unfurling revelation of the sublime heavenly light within us.

I guess that’s why Hafiz wrote this poem:

Running

Through the streets

Screaming,

Throwing rocks through windows,

Using my own head to ring

Great bells,

Pulling out my hair,

Tearing off my clothes,

Tying everything I own

To a stick,

And setting it on

Fire.

What else can Hafiz do tonight

To celebrate the madness,

The joy,

Of seeing God

Everywhere!

Sigh… Grace is God.  And God is ALL… And yet, knowing all this, I am still perched cozily on my couch in the pale light of dawn, wondering how in the heck to make my life what I want it… digging so deep to crack the code of the mystifying dynamism between effort and surrender.  Is my Destiny inevitable???  Or is it true what Tori Amos told my ex-fiance, the night we met her, shining like a riveting Goddess Mirage?  He asked her, “Do you believe in Destiny?”

Her reply~ “She needs your help.”

I want to help Her…

I want to bench press the World in the name of Love.  In the name of giving EVERYTHING to liberate the flame of passion that burns inside me, such that it ignites the World in holy celebration.

This is the “meaning of Life”.  And it is supposed to be hard!

But it is the most gratifying workout in Existence.

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