The Ultimate Alchemy

RadiantHeart

Do you reckon that lead was loafing around one day and suddenly got a bug up his butt to make something more of himself?  Do you think he daydreamed obsessively about a noble and unknowable Destiny that lived in the secret blueprints of his elemental DNA?  And all at once, he had a divine lightning impulse to leap into an inferno, seal off all the exits, and die an excruciating and slow death?

I doubt it.

I am lead.  Except I DO have a bug up  my butt to Become a golden embodiment of the pristine glory of Heaven.  And even though I thirst for this compelling Destiny from the depths of my soul, I’m not feeling entirely gracious and patient in this stuffy, hot, sealed container.  I keep trying to bust the lid off… I keep trying to control the thermostat.  But when did lead ever become gold, behaving like that???  There’s a lot I don’t know.  But I DO know the answer to that question:  NEVER.

Oh, and actually, I know one more thing… I *will* become Go(l)d.  We all will.  And we all already are, but we mostly try to pretend otherwise.  What a frivolous game.  But I wouldn’t be able to sit here on my couch, sipping delicious tea and typing these confounded, exploratory and poetically persuaded words if the Game wasn’t ON.  Sure, Life is hard work… but it’s worth it.  It’s a pretty “neat” set-up.  (As an aficionado of words, with a reverence for their nuanced potent capacity for sculpting reality, I got off on saying “neat”… because it’s so ordinary.  But sometimes the best option is the worn-in, comfy jeans… “intentionally casual”…)

There I go again, spiraling out into those far-out rings of vast conceptuality.  Don’t just SIT there!… Reel me IN!!!  Make yourself useful over there!!!  ;-p

“He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream and he had gone eighty-four days now without taking a fish.”

I often joke about being “Hemingway simple”… but I’ve never even read him.  That’s his first line from The Old Man and the Sea…  Okay, now it’s my turn.

Lately it is clear to me that Life is in charge, and yet, again and again, I watch my small self step into the ring and try to wrastle It to the dusty ground.  I never win.  I just end up angry and sad and hopelessly tangled in elective torture.

Athena!  That was NOT Hemingway simple.  Yeah, well, guess what?  I’m NOT Earnest Hemingway.  I’m Athena Grace LMNOP.  And I’m trying so hard to be my best.  Hey!  In the reflection of my computer screen, I can see the dawning day out my kitchen window… hummingbirds zoom and buzz around the feeder, and then whizz off into the bright sky.  See?  This is the frivolous stuff that makes Life so heart-wrenchingly worth it.  Hummingbirds and glitter glue and breastfeeding.  Hemingway probably didn’t care much about such sacred frivolities.  And then he shot himself…

Anyway, my Relationship with Ed seems to be a masterfully threaded garland of perpetual disappointments lately.  I mean it’s sort of always been that way.  But it’s like God turned up the thermostat in the last few months.  I stand up, I get smacked down.  I stand up, I get smacked down.  It’s a broken record.  Except I can’t help but suspect that it is a very intelligently, intentionally broken record.  Akin to our beloved friend Lead… all this fierce and decimating heat… is making something so fabulous out of me.  But I HATE IT!!!!!!  Hahahaha, it feels so frickin good to tell it like it is.  THIS, my Friends, is precisely why the Buddha said that Life is suffering.  Trust me, you can get as new-age spiritual bypassy and far-out as you wanna… but at some point, you’re gonna land with a humbling thud, right back in the center of your unwieldy and intelligently merciless body, heart and Life.  And it will hurt.  And you will love anyway.  (At least that’s MY hypothesis…)

I watch my darling little ego struggle to maintain a *false* sense of control as she is pummeled and scorched and hopelessly deranged.  I try to “break through” with Ed… as I have done a hundred and eight times before.  As if that will permit me to “win” the Game.  I’m not saying that we should stay together…. I honestly have no clue what “should” happen.  What I do know, is that we care for each other deeply… we are eternally in Service to one anothers’ hearts… and most Hemingway simple, we have a child together, which will keep us practically bound for the rest of our lives.

I’m NOT politically inclined.  AT ALL.  But I’m no dummy.  Even with my head snuggled over here in this glittering, silky sand, I realize the World As We Know It is coming undone.  It fascinates me to witness collective consciousness, and how these universal energies and themes express and unravel so uniquely and creatively through each of our personal stories… We are ALL lead.  Go(l)d is beckoning us from Inside.  The heat is ON.  We need not fear, or try to be in control.  Love.  Love will show us the Way.  Love IS the Way.

I’ve always had this crippling tendency to want to BE THERE, without taking the (arduous) steps to get there.  No matter what the IT happens to be.  Lately it has been manifesting as impatience and a compelling itch to judge myself for not acting like the Master that I know I am Destined to become.  I want to be like Matt Kahn.  So fully given in Service of the Love that abides in all hearts… which is actually ONE HEART.  But instead I am riveted my little life, my futile battle in Relationship… And the endlessly gnawing question of how to become “Successful”… which to me looks like manifesting a career where I positively impact droves of hearts and make buttloads of money doing so.

Dear God… all these things I imagine to matter… that really don’t matter much at all.  Help me to be free, God.  Oh wait… YOU ARE.  THAT’S what this obliterating alchemy is all about.  And I have this idea like, if only I behaved like XYZ, it wouldn’t hurt so much.  But maybe there is no way to avoid pain.  Maybe pain is essential and holy.  Maybe I am doing it all PERFECT.

Maybe we ALL are.

And then she relaxed her body of sublimely sculpted stardust.  And then Infinity breathed her breath so slow and deep.  And Success gently danced down upon her like the first sparkling snowflakes of winter, cooly kissing an enchanted forest.

I might be clumsy more often then I want to… but my essential truth is that all of my efforts and my fierce will to LOVE is for US.  I’m certain that the Light will emerge victorious.  Success is Love.  Love is Life.  Life is breaking us down… And this is the BEST news EVER.

Keep the Faith, my Friends.   Go(l)d is ours Destiny… and an exquisite, bright dawn is whispering her ecstatic light in every heart.  I promise.

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Life, Death and Loving Loneliness

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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

Kali Strikes Again!

Sunday evening.  Guess what my burp tasted like?  Pesto!!  You never would’ve guessed that.  It’s the prettiest day EVER… except my life is getting decimated by the fierce mother goddess, Kali and all I can do in the face of this uncomfortable destruction is inhabit it with neither glee nor despair… but just a sense of pale, raw willingness… and stay off of drugs.

 

Yeah, the depth of sobriety that life is asking of me now, is quite remarkable.  Almost like it’s own high.  Everything is so simultaneously mundane and far fetched.

 

Ugh, I was just overtaken by a compelling impulse to erase this writing, close my computer and get on with my life.  Like maybe just do a bunch of hip openers and then mediate.  Yeah, Athena… THAT’S gotta be the ticket to eternal happiness and fulfillment.  Wink.

 

Heck, maybe I’ll break the mold and just write a short blog today!  THAT would be unheard of here in Athena Graceland.  Yes!!!  I’m gonna drive off the road tonight, in my neon pink corvette.  After all, it’s father’s day.  That doesn’t really mean anything.  Why am I even bothering to waste my time, spewing words that add up to NOTHING?  Sheesh.

 

I guess I’ll just tell you that I haven’t written in a while, because I’ve been feeling overwhelmed… because I am moving out of my gorgeous, light, spacious apartment by Lake Merritt at the end of this month… and I haven’t chosen to harness the luxury of time to sit and sip sweet, creamy tea and muse on frivolous philosophicalities of life, love and the universe.

 

Instead, I’ve been going thru my belongings and getting rid of a lot (which has felt terrifying to the small, false me, who insists she exists, when she actually might not at all…).  Not to mention having a few long, draining conversations with Ed about our currently flailing (though ever LOVING) Relationship…It all feels like its falling apart right now.  Shrug.  I’m just trying to stay tuned into God, and let our Loving Source lead the way.  I think I’m doing pretty great.  But it’s certainly not the most joyous process.  My face feels mostly serious.  My body feels dull.  And my heart and mind feel arduously sober and a little too stiff for my liking.  I can’t see but two feet in front of me, and yet, I hear this intuitive whisper calling up from the depths of my soul, informing me that even though this current cycle of decomposition and shedding feels uncomfortable and awkward and even a bit torturous in certain momentsf, it is clarifying me into the most exquisite servant of God!

 

From my inside, out, there is NOTHING that I’d rather be, than a clear channel of pure, Divine Love.  And like, why would I want to be who I was YESTERDAY??? Zzzzzz.  While the familiar has it’s own holy shade of seduction, it sure can overstay its welcome!  I’m yawning.  It’s seven fourteen pm.  Native american flute music is kissing about the platinum, soulstice evening light.  Tribal drums dribble in through my open window, and have a soft, sonic spar with the gentle, breathy waves of whispering flute.  Just like life, it’s simultaneously awkward and beautiful, like sipping a sassy cocktail on an expensive balcony, overlooking a majestic city full of anonymous fucking and killing, birthing and death, mundanity and artistic splendor.

 

I digress.  Where am I going at the end of the month?  To the Momshram, where I will do a rigorous, month-long yoga teacher training, and then maybe continue to marinate in my own sacred juices for another couple of weeks before returning to the Land of Oaks to do another fifty hour tantra yoga immersion.  There.  I said it.  I know, sometimes I get so swept away in poetic metaphors and meandering, heart-wrenched prayers, and dramatic recounting of my love life, that I forget to just share the basics with you.  Do I want to be a yoga teacher?  Shrug.  Maybe.  Maybe not.  But I certainly want to keep diving into the beautiful, boundless depths of my own heart, and sharing generous sips of the Infinity I find in here, with anyone who wants some.

 

I mean, it’s either that, or become an accountant.

 

Okay, I’m tired of writing now.  My brain is fuzzy and my body wants to move and stretch.  My breath wants to run like a river racing through a deep cut of ravine, eagerly pouring back toward Source… Om Namah Shivaya.

 

Something good is happening here.  But I can’t make out its shape in this dark.  Shrug.  That’s how it’s sposta be for now.

 

Live,

A

Surrendered and Awestruck

All I want to write about is Ed.  Because honestly, I have NEVER met a man who knows how to love, worship, empower, care for, respect, experience and open a woman like he does.  (Except maybe my friend Anitra’s man, Matthew… but I’ve never met him in person.)  I wish Eddie would TEACH men how to love women.  This world would sure be a different place if men knew how to love women.  And yes, it’s a two way street.  Women need to be able to fully receive this profound gift.

I sat and blanked out for a few minutes after I wrote that first paragraph… wondering where in the heck this blog wants to go.  I mean I could plunge head first into the topic of intimate relationships… but that doesn’t inspire me.  And I am here to follow the energy like a golden thread that weaves all the way through the curvaceous fever dreams that coyly conceal the omnipresence of Heaven.

I want to say that this is such a RICH time in the unfolding of my soul.  Om my GOD.  If you have been vacationing in Athena Graceland for a while, you have witnessed me riding some pretty killer waves recently!  Sheesh, I am become painfully intimate with my edges… that ugly “fuck it” place, where I am ready to quit.  Where I lament that I am too spiritually aware to even consider suicide, so instead I just spit and snort about what a stupid choice it was to incarnate as a human being on planet earth.  And a part of me is like, “God, Athena, you can do better than this!”… And I try to find the way home to the peaceful throne at the center of my bodhisattva heart… but darn it if the path isn’t is utterly obscured!

But even in the worst of times, I am still up at five thirty am, seated at my candle lit altar, calling out to God and begging for the grace to be welcomed Home, into the heart of Silence, which wakefully rests, eternal, at the center of my being.  I’m getting closer!

Today, I can testify, that the challenge, the glorious struggle of life these days is making me SO strong and beautiful.  As I ride each excruciating wave, I truly wonder how in the fuck I am going to pull this one off… But I DO!  And then the ocean becomes calm for a wash of welcome breaths, and I look around… and I am pleasantly stunned by my victorious becoming, and by the endless wonders that surround and embrace me!

I know I have used this image before in my blogs… but that’s because it is perfect… Member in the Wizard of Oz, when the wicked witch flew through the open, blue sky on her broom, trailing smoke with which she spelled out “SURRENDER DOROTHY”?  Yep.  Run out of your house now and cast your eyes to the heavens…. Surrender Athena!!!!!  Or if it’s of value in your own life at this moment, please substitute YOUR name for mine!

In my heart of hearts, I pray to love GOD more than any fleeting form, or illusory goal.  And as I am thrashed about by this RAGING SEA, it is impossible to cling to much of ANYTHING.  All I can do is BREATHE deep, and make friends with what IS.  In some moments, this SUCKS.  But I LOOOVE who I am becoming.  One who is unshakably grounded in spirit.  One whose faith is bullet proof and firmly rooted in the soil of miracles.

I’m not afraid to let go.  I am willing.

Listen to this!  I went to church on sunday.  And as soon as I entered the sanctuary, I broke down in a deluge of tears.  I let myself spill.  And this is unlike me… but they didn’t stop.  They just kept pouring right out.  And I felt right and welcome and whole, as I soaked up the spiritual nutrients that bled from every pore of the nowness in which I marinated.  THEN, get this, Reverend E shared that she was sick, and had visited two doctors who could find nothing wrong with her… so she went to a kinesiologist who told her that she was GRIEVING.  And because she never cried, her LUNGS were crying.  She said it’s true, she never cried, because as a child, her parents forbid it… so she learned to hold it all together no matter WHAT.  Meanwhile, there’s Athena Grace, sitting in the second row, sobbing her guts out.  Life is such an intricate mystery.  An image of a prismatic snowflake with infinite facets and dimensions just flashed in my mind’s eye.  It dances in the devotional embrace of the void, refracting ever-new faces of wonder.  This is the ground of our being.

I love Reverend E.  She’s in her eighties.  And her divine beauty stuns me.  I love how she delivers her sermons with her eyes closed!… so fully given to spirit… and the words pour from her sacred mouth and wash over our hungry minds like a river of sweet honey truth.

But I guess the moral of that story, is that sometimes one must let the tears flow and cleanse our hearts like summer rain.  Because afterward, I was indeed made pure.  I left church, still aching.  I ached all day.  Then, came evening, and in desperation, I called out to my Goddess Sister, Deirdre.  That was the turning point for me.  FRIENDSHIP!!!!!  Wait.  That deserves its OWN paragraph…

FRIENDSHIP!!!!!!!!!

Holy God.  There is NOTHING like friendship.  Friendship is food.  Friendship is blood.  Friendship is water.  Friendship is God.

I am amazed at the skill with which Deirdre was able to simultaneously cradle and kiss on the desperate, broken child in me, and then, while the child was pacified on the tit of holy mother love, Deirdre wielded a phat sword and chopped the head off the self-indulgent victim flailing about inside me!!!  How did she pull that off? A blessed combination of skill and grace!!!!  Deirdre’s loving presence has raised the bar for me on how to show up as a friend.

Bottom line?  I have faith in this transformative cauldron of LOVE, we call Life.  I am seeing that the more I LET GO, and LET GOD, and use every single moment to extend LOVE, the happier and more at peace I am.

Join me here.  Love always wins.  I promise.

Live,

A

Hey… Where Did The Floor Go???

Well, it’s official~ this blog is my lifeline.  Some days I imagine it to be a casual fling… but the truth is it is my connection to myself, to life, to meaning, to God.  I feel so vulnerable admitting that… and kind of pathetic.  I know pathetic sounds like a harsh word.  I’m just having a hard day.  Again, I gave myself permission not to write today… but I’m feeling so lost that if I didn’t come and report for duty on the page, I think I’d either go insane or blink out of existence all together.

I’m sitting outside the Kilauea bakery.  I see these two beautiful, older women at an adjacent table having a deep, connected conversation and I feel starved and full of longing.  Oh dear, suddenly I just want to fall apart, break down in tears… but I’m in public… and it doesn’t seem like the “appropriate” action to take.  So I’m holding it in and my heart is plump with ache and tremble.  A few straggling tears are finding their way out my eyes.

I met this guy Hok the other day.  I sauntered topless and oblivious into my living room and he was just there.  It was an awkward introduction, but he’s a pretty interesting person.  He’s young and vibrant and has a very deliberate, penetrating way about him.  His face is large, inviting and shines with a childlike innocence.  I noticed he had an accent… one that I was not familiar with.  He told me he’s Lithuanian.  He’s deep into this stuff called Basic Human Design, which is based on astrology… and some other oracular systems combined, I think.  According to this system, there are a few different aspects of personality types that are at play within each of us, and if we engage with the world from a place of alignment with our authentic pattern, versus our conditioning, we can live much more harmonious and fulfilled lives.

I suppose that could be asserted within any system… so why am I trippin so hard on THIS one?  (I just got a beautiful whiff of something sweet and yogurty.  It inspired my senses, yet I didn’t pay it conscious attention because come ON, how often are you outside, living life when suddenly, WHAM!, you smell a beautiful silent flood of berry yogurt?!  But then I noticed that the man at the table next to me is nursing on a big bottle of berry kefir, between unabashed mouthfuls of his blue corn chips.  Yum.)  Well, Hok is very deep into this system of Basic Human Design, and he read my chart and said some things that commanded my attention.  A lot of what my chart revealed to him was dead on… and then some of it requires that I consider life and meaning and existence from very different angles and vantage points than I am used to… which of course is profoundly timely, because just being here on Kauai and existing in a whole different paradigm and world is having that effect, anyway.

I “coincidentally” ran into Hok again yesterday.  Three times.  And each time it felt like a weighty dream scene.  Did you ever see that movie, “Waking Life”?  The main character keeps falling through dream sequence after dream sequence and having these profound, philosophical, existential conversations with total characters… HEY!!!  My FIRST CARDINAL!!!!!!  Honestly, it has taken me THIS long to see one up close.  I heard they are more timid than most birds and there are fewer of them on the island too.  But this one came up right behind me and made a shrill screech.  I turned around and faced the recurring protagonist of my recent dreams, just as I was asserting the notion that I have felt to be existing in the soft, fluid potency of deliberate dream scapes recently.

So you see my reality is gently coming unhinged.  Gently, am I being redefined.

Hok told me that because I am an “emotional generator”, my way is to respond to life, with my body as my guide.  But because I am emotional, I am perpetually riding waves of emotion and it is best not to make impulsive choices, but rather to sleep on things, so that I can feel into any given choice from multiple vantage points on my wave.  He said that my energy, when it’s up is very desirable and makes others feel really good.  Especially if they are not emotional themselves (other types reflect the emotions of others, rather than riding their own flow).  So people like to be around me just to feel my vibrant, copious energy.  Looking back on my life, I see this very clearly.

Why am I telling you this?  I guess just so you have some idea of the stuff that I am assimilating into my upgraded vantage point.  But mostly, I want you to know that I am struggling with the notion that there is an “authentic” me, and a me that is fabricated from a gratuitous deluge of social conditioning.  Suddenly I am looking at EVERYTHING that I believe, all the motivations for the choices that I make, moment to moment, all of the dreams and desires and ideas I hold about the future and what is important… And I have absolutely NO idea where the ground went.  Here comes another wave of emotion.  God.

You might be thinking that I simply have WAY too much time on my hands… Well… maybe… but I think as uncomfortable as if feels, to pull the stuffing out of myself… it will serve me and therefore YOU and even humanity… in the end.  I believe that many of us are in the process of some deep alchemical transformations, purifications.  We each have our own process and our unique task in relation to the collective tapestry… but we are all in this together.  And WOWIE is it uncomfortable and awkward these days!  Yee-haw!  It’s a bareback ride on a unicorn galloping, bucking and snorting across the groundless mulitiverse!  All I can do is take courageous fistfuls of her mane, breathe deeply and relax into the state of perpetual exhilaration.

Or is this just what “growing up” is?…

Shrug.  We’ll see… but in the mean time, I’m gonna go sing kirtan.

Amen.

Mystery Versus Rationality

I was feeling stricken with a bad case of the “same-ole, same-olds”…Tired of blogging in bed.  So I sojourned to Pizzaiolo this morning, mistakenly thinking that it would provide a transfusion of inspiration into my guts and my choice of words.   Not even close.  I also ordered a decaf mocha, the likes of which has been WAY off my radar for the past month plus.  Even with decaf everything inside me is jittering like a wind chime in a hurricane.  But there is a delicious feeling at the bottom of my womb.  It’s warm and dangerously alive.  (I am going to start bleeding at any moment.)  I had to put on my headphones and listen to Jai Uttal because there is a little posse of rugrats here who are boiling over.  You know, jumping up and down, growling, stomping and acting like the freaks that we ALL ARE inside, but pretend we’re not because we think looking good will afford us the love and acceptance we incessantly thirst for.

What should I write about?  I need a hug.  I keep having this inclination to just ask “strangers” (God, that is such a silly term to describe someone that you don’t know.  “Stranger”.  What’s a better word, oh hallowed namer of things?  “Uncharted Holy Waters of Humanity”, “Undiscovered Fleshy Wonder”…) for hugs.  I mean REALLY, think about it.  Nobody should EVER starve for a hug, considering how many damn people there are on the planet.  Pizzaiolo is full of ‘em right now… and yet I have this concept that it is only acceptable to fling my arms open to one who I know shallow stories about.  This is blasphemous.  I challenge myself to hug at least TWO undiscovered fleshy wonders today.  What about YOU?  Are you in?  If I can do it, you can.  Just start with one… honestly, the revolution starts here.  Let’s create a world culture where no human starves for hugs!  (and not no stinkin’ PC, A-frame bologna, either.)

Me and my over stimulated wind chiming bones were feeling at a loss as far as what to write about.  So I texted RosyMoon (Why did I almost type RosyMonsoon?  I swear I did…) and Mykael.  This is interesting.  RosyMoon told me to write about “mystery vs. rationality”.  Mykael told me to write about what I thought 2012 was about.  Certainly this is God screaming at me from deep inside my very own ear… because I think twenty twelve could certainly be about mystery versus rationality!  Remember when I was all tingles and shrieks about Little Grandmother?  She said that We are moving from the paradigm of the mind, back into the heart… which is essentially mystery versus rationality, isn’t it?

And anyway, isn’t it obvious what twenty twelve is about, given how suddenly hungry for Truth everybody is?  It all started when The Power of Now swept the nation.  ‘Member when the bloody book was EVRYWHERE?  Oh, and of course the movie, “What The Bleep Do We Know”… and then, “The Secret”.  Duh, isn’t it obvious that everyone is looking for the lost and long forgotten Essential Self who is buried beneath all this egoic rubble, distractions of shallow ambitions and grandiose fever dreams of separation.  Everybody (Is that an exaggeration?  Well if it isn’t “everybody” yet, it will be eventually, because we are at the ninety-nine monkey mark and soon we’ll all pop like innocent corn kernels in scalding oil… like it or not.) is having an inner revolution, releasing themselves into the watery, ambiguous quest of Self discovery.  (Yuck.  My mouth tastes like the wreckage of coffee aftermath.)

Mystery versus rationality.  I am having a very intimate dance with that topic these days, come to think of it.  I have clearly gotten the call to go to Kauai.  Trust me.  I made the choice very organically, much like a pregnancy.  I had the idea, which blew into my consciousness like a sacred seed on a current of God’s very breath.  I welcomed it… and just let it nestle into the potent soils of my Self.  I loved it, listened to it and let it’s unrooted promise seduce me in quiet moments.  And the next thing I knew, it had exploded into a cool canopy of certainty and promise.  Its roots were drinking from my very own dark inner reaches.  And as of yesterday morning, I am the proud owner of a one way ticket to tropical paradise!

My mind climbs precarious walls, groping for a lucid picture of who and what I will be when I land with a soft, sumptuous thump on the Garden Island.  Will I be able to make money?  Will I write a book?  (This question gnaws at me incessantly.  I know am destined to write a book, but the task is daunting.  Given how much I write, I could have a book a mile long by now… but it comes down to narrowing my focus, choosing a topic and diving in!  Any ideas?  What book by Athena Grace LMNOP would quench your soul-thirst?  What book would leave you esoterically fat and sassy and better off than I found you???)  My mind climbs its walls in a laughably fruitless search for solid ground to stand on.  I try to tell this twist of a mind that if it wants solid ground, it certainly won’t find it on the walls.  But that’s minds for ya.  They think they are all cutting edge and rationally superior… but really, they are stuffed with dust and stiff feathers.  My mind is itching to know if I am “moving” to Kauai… or just going for an extended stay.  Will I throw down roots, or just gracefully skim along the glimmering, crystalline surface of this verdant, oceanic heaven?

I can’t answer these desperate questions posed by a mind threatened by the unknown.  I find that when I concentrate on the meditation that it is to *Lovingly* put one foot in front of the other, treading a path paved with gratitude, authenticity and kindness, (and of course, forgiving with every breath) that is when I feel the most sane and whole.  It is only fear’s panty-twisted importuning that would have me flail and clambor to micromanage my entire existence, start to finish and bolt it down before tragedy and chance can strike tsunami style.  It’s the dance metaphor all the way, baby!  I take a slinky, smiling step… and then the Mystery pulls me coyly close and twirls me till I’m almost dizzy and giddy, my dress maybe flying up and flashing a quick glimpse of my high fashion panties to the world at large.  And then I swivel my hips and the Mystery mirrors me.  We leap in unison.  I toss my head back and laugh.  Sometimes this dance is clumsy, and sometimes it is seamless as a master in action.  But always, it is Alive.  Always it is Blessed.  Always it is Breath.

Rationality versus Mystery.  Every day I try to pry myself free from the tight, vicious fist of needing to know.  I am.  I am.  I AM.  And then she breathed.  And then her breath was pressed effortlessly, expelled from the softly heaving chest who never ceases to Wonder.  Amen.

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