The Tale of the Born-Again-Indigenous-Boogie-World

Elegantly gliding through time and space toward the bus stop this morning, my face painted with a faint smile because I was headed to a strain of heaven named hip hop dance class.  My glorious city, The Land of Oaks, shrouded in soft fog.  All of the pavement felt like a hard, crusty shell, firmly embracing a hidden and tender world.  So much motion, this urban existence.  Incessant going.  And coming.  Oh this world…

 

As my eyes fall awake to the light that lives as all forms, I often well up with such a great love as I did as I breathed in the cold moisture of the said moment, drinking it deep into my lungs.  Wonder Woman, was that a beautiful moment.  But so is this one, now that I mention it… and anyway, go-go-gadget masculine directionality of this blog.  Athena Grace, striding in brisk ecstasy and welling up with unsayable love for this world.  This love whose only longing is to extend itself.  Always.  And then the recurring dream of a dance church slid into my mind, as though it were boldly stealing home.  (Hey, that would make a great book title~ “Boldly Stealing Home”!)

 

Yes, this vision has been paying me regular visits for over a decade.  It really wants to be born!  But god, it’s a daunting vision… trying to nut and bolt out the practicalities and realities of creating a sanctuary where everyone is equal in the diverse embodied immediacy of hallelujah in motion.  This church is a place where humanity comes together and actively practices seeing and being seen with and through the generous and ever-forgiving eyes of Love.  Awe!  Grin.  Just as I typed that, the church bells outside began to siiiiiiiiiiiiing!

 

Anyway, back to the sidewalk and the fog and the striking woman bubbling over with a compelling cocktail of child-like hope, pragmatism and conveniently feigned uncertainty… It was then that I realized that I could at least WRITE this vision into existence. As I often love to assert, Athena Graceland IS MY WORLD!  I am a glorious and benevolent and whimsical ruler of this page.  I can bend and twist and straight-up defy the over-starched rules of logic, linearity and even– gasp– SCIENCE!  I see this world!  It is fresh and tender.  Yet, strong enough to be cracking through the sheath of concrete and “progress” we call home.

 

I thought to jot down this inspiration of a blog topic, but instead I just hustled to the bus stop in front of the ornate, antique Grand Lake Theater and sat upon the green, sheltered bench.  And waited.  And waited.  And waited and my bus was a whopping thirteen minutes late!  But I’ll tell you this much- the more I live, the more I am able to recognize a truly infinite intelligence at work within, through and beyond all things.  So rather than holding my breath and knitting my brow about it all, I silently asked my Self what It wished of me this miraculous, white-washed morning.  And it said WRITE*.  (*As well did it say to first get a few essential groceries at Trader Joe’s, and then stop at the pull-up bar and get my pump on and meet this buff brother with a beautiful and starving heart who would lap up the love flowing through me like a purring kitten… but that’s another story.)

 

So here I am, obeying the Small, Silent Voice.  Here I am, appointing myself High Priestess of the Land of Oaks as seen through the portal that is Athena Graceland.  You wanna hear something WEIRD???  I’ve NEVER had a yoga boyfriend!  I’d like to try it some day… I know that was off topic, but it lept, panther-style into my head… and it just seems a little wrong.  But not that wrong…

 

And now back to our previously programmed special edition of Athena Graceland- Sneak Preview of the New World!  We will become “born-again indigenous people”!  Ha!  That’s brilliant!  I mean, I am not any sort of real expert on indigenous people… but in my mind, live some abstract etchings of tribally-woven communities who exist in a paradigm of harmony with, and reverence for the earth and one another; where every person in the village takes active, devotional responsibility for the balance and thrival of the whole.  As my heart wakes up, this seems so obvious… Like DUH, we are NOT separate, and I love you as I love me, and I love me as I love you because we are the Same.  (with a capital S that rhymes with bless that stands for Oneness!) I mean that’s all Jesus was saying… and somehow we managed to invent this whole neurotic religion out of such fundamental purity.  But that’s in the past.  And from the present shines a nobly gruesome, entirely forgivable, dying world.  But shhhhhh.  Listen…

 

 

 

 

Hear the concrete cracking.  Hear the guttural, rumbling whispers of a glorious new world, reaching up from deep within the belly of the earth, like an infinity-winged angel hatching from a massive egg, spinning like an anonymous whirling dervish through a star-washed sea of vast, deep space.  See us all dancing together.  All sexes, all races, all ages and walks of life.  We gather in presence, in the spirit of play and faith and healing and CELEBRATION… We lay down our rancid and calcified stories of being small, separate and afraid, like arms in a world that has never dreamed the dream of war… simply because they bore us and we’d rather boogie!  And so we boogie!  And suddenly, we are no longer deaf to the heavenly music of our own eternal souls!   So we boogie some more, because the music is so smokin’ and it feels so good to move!

 

And in this Born Again Indigenous Boogie World, we are planting gardens EVERYWHERE!  Gardens and orchards… communities are overflowing with an abundance of fresh, nourishing, organic food.  And no one is hungry.  And no one is left to suffer alone.  Who tends the gardens, you ask?  We all do.  Not because we have to, or we’re sposta… just cuz we care.  We all genuinely care.

 

WE ALL GENUINELY CARE.

 

I truly believe that much.  In fact, I’d bet my sweet life on it.  True, we don’t all ACT like we care.  Because we’ve gone to sleep, or built stone walls around our tender, tremulous and holy hearts…. but deep down, and in that endless, beginningless place we all contain, WE SURE DO CARE.  Trust me.  The more you *want* to see that care winking from within every single brother and sister, the more you WILL see it.  I speak from experience.  We always see what we want to see.

 

What do you want to see?

 

Live,

A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Some *Really* Good News

I’m praying for deep purpose to sing up from my bones and rouse me into a lucid state of devotional engagement.  Ask me how many fire-storming moments I have hovered here on this blank page begging the universe within to call me to inspired action?  More than a few full strokes of eternity.  Hot, yet pathetically bearable eternity.  I am losing my tolerance for showing up on the page and flailing my God-given linguistic gift around like I’m a forgetful golden rhinoceros on greasy roller-skates.  Can I just write my book already?  I wanted to fire off a few rounds of question marks, machine gun style because I’m feeling frustrated like a constipated pop-gun.  Shrug.  Maybe my cork is just jammed way too far into my barrel.  Let me flail copious droves of gun powder all about my inner life and PRAY for the angels to toss a lit match into the fertile epicenter of my ness so that I explode into unwavering, ignited purpose.

 

Being a genius… it looks plenty glamorous from the outside… but before you go begging down God’s door to get some, consider this:  It can be maddening.  Because it’s not all neat and tidy, orderly and predictable, like being an accountant.  Not that I would know what it’s like to be an accountant.  (Thank Goddess 😉  But my mom does.  What do accountants do?  Run crunchy addition marathons? Have chains of silent, placid multiple numbergasms?  I dunno.  But I’m putting myself under sacred citizen’s arrest.

 

Athena Grace LMNOP you have the right to embrace Silence.  And allow it to inform your linguistic engagement upon the page.  Anything you say can and WILL be devoured by the minds of the masses.  So put your elegant, slender goddess hands up and let heaven gursh blessing into your open palms that you may then,  through the alchemical grace of Love, take this blessing into the epicenter of your sacred ness and pour it back out in exquisite washes of words which activate, illuminate, turn-on, inspire the masses!

 

Rrrraaaar!  I just stepped outside into the soupy grey morning and did fifty two star jumps (formerly known as jumping jacks, but my english friend RosyMoon called them star jumps the other day, and honestly, why would anyone call them “jumping jacks”, given this whimsically evocative alternative?!).  Yes, I recently discovered that doing fifty two star jumps is a quick and dirty way to encourage deeper breath and move energy.  And for some reason I’m really tempted to feel like a cheesy buttonhole this morning… but really I have way more succulent starfish to sautee.  I don’t want to give very much airtime to my frustration.  That’s not necessary.  It’s just a habit.  A habit that’s expired like rancid milk.

 

Let’s talk about being God.  This is a wildly pertinent topic, since WE ARE GOD.  And really, it’s about time we acted like it.  Twenty twelve is a threshold.  The old world is dead.  And the new world has yet to be born.  You could say it’s a clumsy time.  Cuz like WHAT IS GOING ON??????

 

Well… actually, it is way simpler than you might have imagined.  You are God.  And this is *NOT* a religious statement.  It is a simple fact.  Embrace it and then get on with your miraculous roll through the intricate wilderness of infinity!  And if the word “God” turns you off, DON’T USE IT.  Duh.  God is just a fancy word for “Love”.  And Love is just a fancy word for this infinitely intelligent, unified field of being ness that pervades All with a capital A.  Getting hung up on semantics is useless.  Just close your eyes and get quiet for a few moments.  Enjoy breathing and feel the profound surge of aliveness from which “you” spring.  And you will not deny that you ARE the great I AM.

 

Twenty twelve.  For many of us, it is occurring like just another grain of gregorian sand in the hourglass shaped story of human beingness.  And yet for many more of us, it is a time of profound and rapid awakening.  Last year, I could not have typed the words “I AM GOD” and then continued to glide like a grace-bathed swan upon the cool and euphorically glowing lake of eternal hallelujah from which I am dreamed into being.  I would have sweated.  Or back-petaled.  Justified, apologized.  It would have seemed arrogant or far-fetched or ungrounded or overwhelming or outright ridiculous.

 

But today it is like Levis on a casual friday, or a barefoot walk on the beach.  And I’m not God cuz I’m something special… or different from you or any other breathing treasure of Creation.  No way.  I am God because I am willing to recognize my divine essence delightfully shining back at me from freaking EVERYWHERE!!!  And that’s not to say that this is always easy.  Some people still rub me in frictionally challenging fashions.  But the difference is that I still KNOW who they are, and I praise the opportunity to smooth and polish my perception so that it becomes ever more aligned and attuned to the Truth.  The truth that LOVE IS ALL THAT IS REAL has become way more compelling than being right or clutching at some withered semblance of a small and false sense of self in a dangerously vivid dream world.

 

Oh, okay… maybe I’m not quite to the point of being free from the compulsion to clutch my delusions tenderly to my breast… Busted!  (wink).  But suffice to say that they are way less interesting than they were… in any number of that phat stack of illusory yesterdays.  Let’s talk about NOW.  Oft have I wondered of the deeper meaning of the Hanuman (the Sacred Servant Monkey God of the Hindu pantheon) stories in which he is able to grow and shrink according to contextual demand… I would scratch my head, baffled as various yogic philosophers would spin his stories into a sea of abstract, voracious  and porous minds.  But these wishful lips kept right on streaming the Hanuman Chalisa with a silent prayer of Holy Becoming.  And NOW, in this embrace of OUR divine birthright, it suddenly makes sense.  I can feel myself growing beyond buildings and mountains as I write these ripe words alive for all to consume.

 

Gosh, perhaps I didn’t need to include this little Hanuman Holiday… Is it too hippy-dippy abstract?  Does it dilute the simple truth to which the One points thru me?  If so, than treat this word-stream like a “choose your own adventure story”, like the ones I used to buy from the book fairs at my elementary school, and skip that paragraph!  And don’t give me any of that “How can I skip it, Athena?  I already read it…” business!  Pa-leeeze!  This is twenty twelve and linearity is inexplicably extinct.

 

I had to write the hanuman thing because as sat, streaming these love-imbued words, an image of me, expanding to fill the world, burned behind my eyes… and the understanding was purely somatic abstraction.

 

Inhale.  Exhale.  Now I return.  Back to the utter simplicity that is the ground.  I know who I am, because I know who you are.  Every single you.  And it doesn’t matter to me whether you agree or disagree.  That’s beside the point.  This is not philosophy.  Shrug.  It’s merely the quiet smile that spreads across all existence, regardless of faith or belief.  It does not even matter whether you choose to recognize it in this moment.  You will when you do.  And time is an illusion.  Be glad for this.  Because in one of these impending sacred moments, your consciousness will POP!!!!  Guaranteed.  And you will know what you have always known.  Be what you have always been.

 

Live A.

Across The Bridge And Thru The Woulds

And NOW for today’s epic shimmy through the eye of the needle.  Ya know what I mean?  …Or must I spell it out?  Well, I suppose if you already knew everything I was gonna say, I wouldn’t need to spell out a single word.  I would just be a bus driver, or a garbage collector and be done with it.  Wow, I’d make such a luscious garbage collector… in shiny red stilettos… Ahem.  So what I mean is– that the world inside me has more facets and dimensions than the the immensest diamond in the mind of God.  And this blank page of potential is the eye of the needle.  Reaching inside and feeling for what is most electric and raw and ripe…  that’s the job of the writer, proclaims Athena Grace, as a smile spreads her face wide with glow.

 

Inhale.  Exxxxxhale.  I feel dull today.  Dull and introverted.  I sorta wonder why.  I think it has something to do with my recent visit to Reno to visit my dad.  I often forget about the nuanced depths of the unconscious mind… I guess I get easily seduced into the captivating dazzle of all that I see out my eyes and feel in my body NOW… the overt weave of dreams and fears and ignited, soulful aspirations… I forget that the lotus thrives because its root sucks secret nutrients from the dark, unknowable, rich ness of slimy, muddy depths.  Slimy, muddy depths.  I think they got stirred in Reno.  And now I’m not a prismatic, holier than thou vessel of seeming purity.  I’m a glass of baffled mud.  Shrug.  Not much I can do about it, except BE HERE.  So I’m being here.  It’s sunday.  Usually on sunday mornings I dance myself inside out… unless I’m out of town or dead.  But today I showed up to dance… and nothing could make me move.   Everything inside lovingly hissed, “fuck this”.  So I left.  And went home and sat in like a perplexed, oversized potato on my bed.  Now it’s hours later and I’m still a baffled potato.  But I figured I’d at least open the pearlescent gates of my mind and allow strategic letters of the alphabet to scamper single file out of me in hopes of stumbling upon something of myself previously unseen.  Awe, that sounds so deep.  But maybe I don’t want to be deep.

 

Well first order of business is that my mom oft makes fun of me for using the wrong spelling of a word here in Athena Graceland… for example saying, “I want to go live in a log cabin in the woulds”!  Ha!  That’s funny.  No wonder it cracks my mom up.  She says “awe” is the wrong kind of aww.  Hahaha.  I’m tickling myself.  Trying to language this topic is like sumo wrestling the FAT-ASSED externalized authority that is mostly held hostage in a sexy stone tower somewhere in the enchanted northern hemisphere of my brain.  But I’m up for it!  And besides, if you had the choice of spelling “aww”, A-W-W or A-W-E, which one would YOU chose?  Awe, right?  Hands down!  Because awe= an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, fear, etc., produced by that which is grand, sublime, extremely powerful, or the like: in awe of God… what’s NOT to love about reaching in your magic hat and seizing a fist full of THAT?!  Except for the fear piece… I didn’t know that awe could be an overwhelming feeling of fear.  In fact, screw that.  I’m gonna flat out disagree.

 

And now, ladies and gentle men, for the TURNING POINT of this blog, where all of my words become psycho-emotionally caloric and super-charged with meaning!

 

Shards of rainbow are wobbling languidly about the interior of my domestic slab of existence.  It’s nearly four pm and the indian summer light… wow… speaking of caloric!  I feel like I’m a seahorse sized mermaid in a rectangular aquarium filled with an exquisite strain of liquid light.  You might imagine me to be but a girl crying wolf as I profess to be rolling up my sleeves and driving at some sort of weighty essential core of this blog… but the fact that I really am a miniature mermaid habitating in a human sized tank of light and rainbows is the perfect prelude to my impending assertion that it is FULL ON, as we prance collectively into the final, waning moments of twenty twelve.  And I live how everyone is so casual about it!  We’re acting like it’s always been this way, and it’s hella normal. Which, in a way, it IS… But mostly it’s totally NOT!  Listen, I’ve always been the token mouth puker-inner, when someone signs their email, “love and light”… Because COME ON– it’s SO repulsively new-agey.  You might have mistakenly put me in the “new agey” box… but “your bad”… cuz I’m not.  Just cuz I happen to have a delicious glow of contemporary Jesus-i-ness, does NOT make me new agey.

 

BUT WHO CARES ABOUT ME, what I’m driving at, is that the dawn has COME and the technicolor rising of love and light on the horizon of our collective consciousness is so striking and overt at this point that one must call a spade a spade.  Wow.  Not only was that a robustly poetic and dazzling thesis statement, but Wonder Woman, was it SO TRUE.  Something IS dawning inside of us now.  I feel it surging like a broken damn through the bloody birth canal of my own being… and as well, I see it, smell it, feel it, taste it EVERYWHERE.  I can’t leave the house without spotting someone sporting a “LOVE” t-shirt.  And I don’t just mean one of my fellow new-age-freak-holes. I mean even the most unsuspecting ghetto-bootied oakland chick, chillin on her twilight picnic blanket, daintily lifting mc donald’s fries to her drippingly glossy mouth with fingers donned in neon acrylic nails longer than london bridge.

 

And just log on to my Facebook page– everyone is saying the most enlightened things… incessant exclamations of gratitude and love and deep care for this world and all of its inhabitants.  You’d think we were all the second coming of Buddha or something.  Oh wait, we ARE.  But we finally are realizing it.  And it’s cool how natural it seems.  Nobody seems to be making a big deal of it… Like “of course were God”.  Grin.  Like how night melts into day so smoothly that suddenly the darkness is nowhere to be found and the sun is blinding you and it ain’t no thang.  That’s the magic of dawn.  That’s the grace imbued in nature and time and cycles.

 

Oh crap, I’m ready to end this blog, and I don’t feel like groping around in the uncharted reaches of my asshole in search of the most fluid, intelligent exit.  My departure feels reminiscent of attempting to leap off of a speeding train.  Well I’m gonna leap!  And land in a soft, benevolent wash of love and light (wink).  Here I goooooo…. But I shall leave you with this entirely true declaration–

 

Reading these words, you have crossed a bridge.  By the Sacred Power vested in me, I now pronounce you WIDE AWAKE and eternally blessed as an innocent and perfect child of God.  I’m serious.

 

Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Judge Ye Not, Freaky People!

At my mom’s ashram, they do a purification ceremony every Sunday before service. It is an opportunity to release something in your life that “seems” to stand between one and God. (Sheesh, now that I think about that, it’s a pretty ridiculous notion… that illusions can come between God and God… Oh well, welcome to the sacred waste lands of duality.) I find it almost unbearably charming that every week my beloved mother writes the very same thing on her little piece of paper and with the blessing of the Masters, offers it to the sacred fires. Any guesses as to what that blasted one thing is? Mom? Can I please tell ‘em? For the sake of a good parable… Judgment. Yup. That cunning, sexy ogre in siren’s clothing… It hovers like a thirsty mosquito, on the edge of our consciousness… waiting for us to make the slightest slip from full presence and into an indulgent, masturbatory state of division, assumption, ranking. I realize I just spoke for you… was that presumptuous? Well… Maybe, but I’m gonna stand behind my assertion that you are as hideously judgmental as me and my spiritually inspired, all too human mother. Because where there is ego, there is judgment. And if I have unfairly pigeonholed you, I apologize and maybe you can skip merrily down the page to the place where the prose get coated with rainbow sprinkles and marshmallow crème sauce. I bring it up because I have been hyper aware of my habits of “ranking” myself in relation to others. I am pretty embarrassed to say this out loud… but it’s the stinging truth… so… I toss it in the shimmering air, release it like a flock of white doves falling upward into Heaven’s arms. According to my judgmental mind, there are three classes of people (and probably sub-classes within the more general classes). #1~ Those who are “above” me~ meaning more spiritually advanced, successful, creative, hip, savory, peaceful, expressive, confident, etc. My way of relating to this elite group is to become submissive, softer spoken and very interested. I yearn for them to SEE me and like me and MAYBE even accept me as “one of them”… God, does this make me want to puke… #2~ Those who are equal to me. Buddies. Amongst my inspired, inspiring, mostly awake equals, I generally feel very relaxed and sfree to be me~ goofy, deep, honest, wild, lonely, scared, dreamy, etc. #3~ Those who are below me. Meaning they aren’t as enlightened, fun, healthy, attractive, etc. With “them” I PRETEND to be accepting, but underneath that cheap candy coated façade, I am domineering, self righteous, conceited or just downright bored. Isn’t that repulsive? It sure does get in the way of seeing and communing with our All Pervading Peek-A-Boo Freak. But I am practicing vigilantly to set myself free from that bunk game again and again and again. Just like my ritual paper burning mama… My soul-sister-girl-friend back in Oaktown, Dara, recently listened to a Carolyn Myss recording that rocked her world. She told me that Carolyn Myss spoke of the invitation to see every single person that the currents of Grace carry into our lives as an opportunity for communion, for learning, for purification of Self. Which of course requires a sincere relinquishment of judgment. And now, Ladies and Gentlemen, for a concrete, real time example! I hitchhiked to Hanalei yesterday afternoon so I could hit the farmer’s market and stock up on papayas and these beautiful purple sweet potatoes that I’ve been dreaming of making soup out of. I thought that every ride down Kauai’s heavenly highway would be simply tremulous with overt mysticism (you know like synchronicities and inspiring conversations and stuff). But yesterday, I was picked up by a woman who I quickly ranked “below” me. (God, I feel so ashamed to admit this to you!) Her car was a pretty sweet ride. Some kind of high end S.U.V. But inside, it was trashed. Mother of young children trashed. I immediately noticed her iPhone, whose face was as cracked as an insane asylum, and it was pumping out hard core electric dance music. Her toddler son was strapped in his car seat in the back. I turned around and said hello to him… and immediately flooded with an inexplicable sense of heaviness. Energetically, he seemed to be pretty well burdened. His mama was young and speedy. She reminded me of someone I might have met at a club in my early twenties when I was rolling on ecstasy and therefore smitten by the beauty and perfection of all things…and hence less discerning… and she would have been sloppy drunk and not very interesting, stimulating or deep, but I was too high to care and just relishing unconditionally witnessing her BE her divine, inebriated self. She dominated the conversation the whole time, which included her confession that she is an avid user of those new fangled little bottles of “5 hour energy”. Ah-ha! That explains why her gears were grinding so hard. She handed me the empty bottle of the one she had recently thrown back, which I studied with keen fascination. From behind her dark shades and thumping beats, she told me that she was twenty seven, had gone to design school in San Francisco but had resorted to starting a housecleaning business in order to survive on Kauai. Her daughter, age four was just starting preschool. She and the daddy were in the middle of a separation. (Like two thirds of the blasted population… honestly, have you noticed that? So many break-ups. Which if you want to know my expert LMN-OPinion, it’s because right now, the collective consciousness is birthing itself into an unprecedented crystallization of Self, a radical involution.) On one hand, I felt a sincere reverence for her strength as a young mother of two, doing what she needed to do to feed and shelter her munchy-kins. On the other hand… I could feel a visceral undercurrent of emotional malnourishment in her and her now sleeping son. She was clearly doing her best… and I perceived her best to be creating an unwieldy mess. It probably illuminated my own childhood wounding. Why did I give her my phone number when she dropped me off??? She asked for it… and I found it hard to say no. Frown. But I certainly don’t want to hang out with her just for shits and giggles. No way. God? Why did you send her to me, me to her? Was it just so that I’d have the blessed opportunity to forgive her for being what I perceived to be an emotionally unavailable mother? To forgive my mother for showing up that way in the past? To forgive the emotionally unavailable mother dormant, yet still alive somewhere within my very own self? Maybe… And if I forgive “hard enough”… will I be able to know God more fully? God… Please, grant me the Grace to look upon her and myself as One in your Holy All Pervading Light. Please shed light on the dark, moldy corners of my nightmare bound consciousness. May I know only Love within ALL. Amen. P.S.~ Just for the record, she was so generous, too… she drove past her destination to drop me at the market… and she even offered to pick me up after I shopped! (which I politely declined…)

Another Reading On My Holy Dipstick

I’m writing at the desk in my bedroom this evening.  As I sit in the solitude composed of way too many solid rectangles, I feel myself squirming like a chocolate smeared preschooler.  Today I have a thirst for stimulation, adventure, newness.  And this bare-bones bedroom satiates none of those.  But you know what?!?!  It really doesn’t matter where I am, does it?  Yeah, let’s unabashedly plunge right into the fermenting, over-ripe cliché… Where ever I go… HERE I AM!  It’s really just a simple matter of downshifting.  And invoking the elite, unsurpassable company of my very best friend, God.  Come on… if you’re drunk on God, what in the heck does it matter if you are in your monastic bedroom, Amsterdam’s Red Light District, at the base of a incessantly spilling, orgiastic waterfall, or sailing through space in the quaint basket of a hot air balloon?  That’s right, it don’t make no nevermind.

But then again, I’m not quite drunk yet.  I’m just riding a mild buzz.  Though if a deputy angel pulled me over and made me take the line test, the winged peace officer would set me loose once again to dance along Life’s treacherous highway, citation free… though maybe with a winking warning.

If life was merely God splurging on an indulgent binge trip to the movies, then I believe I have been seeing some bitchin’ coming attractions rolling like dreamily grinning clouds through my current existence.  Nice prose, Athena!  Go Team All Pervasive!!!  (Pardon me while I slap God a high five!)  And now for what I meant by that, in plain English:  I have been glimpsing some extended sneak peeks and succulent tastes of the kind of joy and peace that the scriptures condone.  You know… the deep seated, unconditional kind.  (Speaking of which, it just started raining.  The view out my window is mostly clear… But apparently there’s a gaggle of clouds shedding copious droves of tears of joy right above my house.  Even though I am inside my first world shelter, I still feel washed clean as the rain sings down.  I see it out the window.  It makes my vision look pixilated like a cheap TV set.  And the air has become thirty six percent more sensual under the influence of falling water.  Wow.  If I wasn’t drunk before…) What was I saying?  Oh yeah, peace and love…

Yesterday, I had my second surf lesson!  And you know that rhapsodious old adage, “first is the worst, second is the best?”  Well, there must be something to it, because my second surfing lesson WAS the best… and the first was the worst, Athena Grace LMNOP exclaimed, wrinkling her nose emphatically.  Yes, I’m exaggerating, but the waves were much gentler my second day out, and as a result, I found myself to be substantially more courageous.  Like… I actually got on the board!  Grin.  (Ahhhhhhh… the dogs are barking non stop and it’s about as irritating as accidentally rubbing your eye after slicing up a HOT chili pepper.)  So there I was, straddling my long board, being rocked ever so gen-tl-y in the turquoise belly of Hanalei Bay, waiting for a wave exuberant enough to thrust myself into.  But not *really* waiting… Just looking around in awe.  Marveling at how the sky is like a big blue bowl full of jumbo sized, very freshly popped corn.  I know I said that the other day… I must be craving the good old fashioned cinematic snack sensation.  I love stuffing my mouth full of popcorn like a depraved little piggy in homo sapien disguise.

But I digress… Because I wasn’t pigging out on popcorn, I was bearing wondrous witness to life from the best seat in the house.  I watched a benevolent wave carry Brad towards the palm tree lined, golden sanded shore.  I watched Brad pop out of the churning surf moments later, looking like an ecstatic rat, near drowned in the All Pervading Ocean of Holy You Know What… And I thought to myself, “Brad must really LOVE me, to demand that I learn to surf.”  That thought was followed by flood of beautiful feeling, like a dam of warm honey bursting inside me.  Then the camera panned out and it was no longer just Brad loving me.  It was also the ocean, the sky, the popcorn clouds, the jagged, breathing, furry, green mountains, the warm satin air passively pressing its way into my lungs and animating this strange flick we know as Life.

I think I met my maker, Folks!!!!!  Never before in my conscious memory have I felt so Loved by All That Is.  FELT… Like in my guts, on my skin, in my mind (Ahem, YES, I say that one CAN feel in their mind…)… I felt like all of Creation was keeping me company.  (A gecko just chirped.  They sound like little nocturnal birds.  I think it was God saying, “Finally, we got through to dense old Athena Grace!  This calls for a champagne toast!!!)

That generous helping of a holy moment in Hanalei Bay is one example of the trailers of coming attractions.  I have been waking up in many moments and feeling profound levels of contentment, trust, fullness and a general wafting perfume of universal love.  And do you want to know my professional assessment of this matter?

Well… according to my sentient-poetical-metaphysic dipstick, humanity has REALLY been going through the ringer as of late.  Come on, you totally know what I’m talking about.  I believe I’ve said this before, but I’m pretty certain they are birthing pains.  I believe that soon the collective oil will be hot enough and we will start to POP in rapid succession!  Yes, we will pop out into a whole new dimensional kaleidoscopic orientation of Self and World, in which Love radically remembers its Self through each of us… and each of us remembers its One Beloved Self.

I’m just sayin’… Shrug.  It’s entirely possible based on what I have had the blessed, divine privilege of nibbling and sipping recently.  And based on an extrapolatory model of the trajectory of energies and events unfurling ont this spinning rock in this whirling galaxy to date.  The oil is getting *very* hot!

Amen.

Awaiting God’s Instruction

Where did my smile fly to?  Have any of you seen it?  I imagine it sprouted wings and simply lifted off my face in a single moment of inexplicable, intoxicated joy.  You know how smiles can be… they sure have a mind of their own and tend to do as they please.  Gosh, I can just hear some of you saying, “Oh, Athena Grace, just fake it till you make it.”  Smiles beget smiles.  (Even Anthony Robbins says to always smile upon answering the phone, because the person on the other end can feel it, and it is a highly inviting way to open the space of communication.)  There.  I’m doing it.  I’m smiling.  Yeah, it feels pretty decent.  Try it.  Crack a smile.  But I guess it’s more than just a smile I’m groping for…

Everyone has been telling me that this island, though She is bona fide paradise, she MEANS BUSINESS.  When one lands here, it is in the name of heavy-handed healing, cleansing and purification.  Everyone says so.  Everyone who’s not just on a piddley vacation, that is.  If you find yourself on this island, it is to partake in some massive furniture heaving, wall demolishing and spring-summer-winter-fall cleaning.  Shrug.  When they told me that, I thought, “Big deal…That’s pretty much my favorite past time, anyway…”  But I’m coming to feel that this sensuously charged chunk of volcanic aftermath hugged on all sides by a warm, wild ocean, don’t mess around.

I am standing on a precipice of a new world.  I am naked, freshly hatched and tender.  Yet also I am strong and fierce and seasoned.  All this to say, that the honeymoon phase of drunk wonder might be over already.  That was sure a warp speed tropical honeymoon, eh?  But I am not here to make romance with conceptual, cardboard notions of Life and Purpose and Spirit.  I am here to plant my feet firmly into the living Earth and pull Her infinite strength into my heavenly body, invite the Sky to flood me with infinite wisdom and peace.  I am here to draw into my luminous core where rests every blessing that has ever been bestowed upon me and shoot it back out into this vast dancing pool of illusory division in the name of the One.

Maybe… Or should I just be a sport and gobble up my oozing, steamy slice of humble pie and admit that I do not indeed know what All Pervading Switchboard Operator has in store for me?  I find myself once again cooking in the internal agitation of my beloved, eternal inquiry~ finding the appropriate balance of effort and grace.  How much do I work and sweat and manipulate the flow in the direction of my will… and how much do I rest into the passive space of listening; wait for the universe to twirl me, dip me, toss me just east of gently about this rugged human dance floor?

How do I want to invent myself at the warm lotus feet of this fresh baked beginning?  In a way, it seems time sensitive, like if I don’t hit the ground running, I might realize that the ground was in fact an ocean and I am already in mid-sink.  This is my fear.  And yet I know that there is no sense in “running” out of fear… fear of sinking.  In truth, I am Every Buoyant in God’s Ocean.  But still… being human requires action.  It just does.

So here’s my plan~ I’m gonna eat tons of cookies and then reevaluate.  Just kidding.  I said that because I am sitting outside the Kilauea Bakery as I write and everyone around me is nursing yummy drinks and sweet carbohydrates and right about now that sure seems a lot easier than being in the bearable, gnawing discomfort of this wondering.  Ten chocolate chip cookies, a double shot latte and a frontal lobotomy oughta do it.

Okay, so now for my *REAL* plan~ I decided to give myself a week… which means until next Sunday, September 19th… to pray and flow and listen.  God, please guide me this week.  Send me signs and angels and synchronicities on High.  I root myself firmly in the present.  I stand willing and receptive to your loving, auspicious direction.  How can I serve?  What would You have me do?  What would You have me say?  Where would You have me go?

And then… come Sunday night, I will check back in and see what has unfolded, who I have met, what doors have opened, what dreams have beckoned.  As I was writing that, the cockatoo who hangs out in the courtyard here just broke out in maniacal peals of mock laughter.  Freaky.  Almost as freaky as the musty cigarette scented, laughing, wind-up clown that my grandma sent me for Christmas one year, whom I exiled immediately to the top shelf of my closet, but once in a while felt inexplicably compelled to pull his string and listen, trembling as he expressed his soulless, mechanical self.

I digress.  Something else you should know about this island, is that time is like one of those slippery, liquid filled balloons sold in toy stores that inevitably leap from your grip.  Time twists and dips and folds in upon its self in playful, infinite loops.  Back in Oakland, I was pretty proficient at pitching time like a docile, flaccid tent, the stakes fashioned from the structures of my choosing.  Oakland time rolled over for me, belly up, like a submissive family dog.  But Kauai time… might be more like an electric eel with a tiger’s head.  Taming it might be more of a valiant, heroic trial.  All this FLOW.  It is exponential femininity here.  Windy, oceanic storms.  A taunting, soft deluge of esoteric mating calls steadily drifting from Heaven’s lips.

Something else you should know about this island is that it is perfectly acceptable to hitchhike (and leave doors unlocked)… which is clearly indicative that I am in a whole other world.  Not only is hitchhiking a mode of transportation, it is also a living, breathing oracle.  God sends the perfect angels down the main highway at just the perfect time to give and receive the precise messages, connections and blessings that are required in order to fulfill on the prescribed Destiny assigned to us who have heeded the deep, resounding island call.

Yesterday evening, I thumbed a ride to Hanalei.  A radiant crone-goddess pulled over and invited me into her chariot.  She exuded a soul perfume of deep peace and beauty.  Immediately the bracelet on her arm grabbed my attention.  Three metals, woven together~ gold, copper and silver, it was the very bracelet worn by many at my mom’s ashram.  I asked her about it.  She said she used to be very involved at Ananda before she moved here three years ago… She said that the bracelets are worn by most Kriyabans (people initiated into the techniques of kriya yoga… a form of meditation designed to accelerate the process of shedding karma in order to attain self realization).  I felt so at home being with her, because I felt Yogananda in the car with us too, and right about now, that is a REALLY GOOD THING.  In this time of vulnerable, fledgling openness, inward turning and impending creation, there is nobody I’d rather ride in the car with… (except maybe Jesus, Krishna, Amma, Hafiz, Rumi, Saint Francis and Saint Theresa…)  When I got out of her car, she gave me her card and told me she was available if I needed her, since we are family.  Blessed BE!

And now I release myself once again to the Omniscient Ocean… and wait.

Amen.

Do Not Be Attached To The Tomatoes Of Your Actions

I love being inundated with images of Paramahansa Yogananda!  Everywhere I look, he is there, smiling back at me with such heartfelt peace and acceptance.  His expressions all speak that he recognizes the highest in me, the Eternal Truth… AND he loves me unconditionally even as I flounder about in my perverse dreams of death, scarcity and separateness.  God, I wish I could be like him.  I guess someday I will be… If I meditated more, would I get there faster?  Faster… Oh, Athena… Who are you racing against, anyway?  Shrug.  I really want to understand what it is in me that would renounce who and how I am right now and grasp for some “better”, “higher” state.  I guess I’m just fed up with trying to manipulate and control life all the time.  I think I could really get behind the shift into an existence that was comprised only of playfully dancing, luminous perfection.  What stands in the way of that?  I have all these ego based solutions for the pursuit of happiness, peace, fulfillment.  I strive to prove that I am worthy and enough.  I don’t MEAN to… But why else would I get so attached to stupid outcomes?  (A doe just strutted by outside the window.  Talk about peace.  She is in the zone.  Moving slow… just putting one hoof in front of the other.  Then stopping at the gurgling pond for a cool drink.)

(My mom is in the kitchen organizing the CSA vegetables that she just picked up.  She hums as she works.  Did I mention her humming before?  She is a wound up little human music box.  I must have told you this before, but I have to tell you again, because it tickles me so.  I can always hear her approaching before I can see her.  She produces soft hums, like inadvertently giggling water or the occasional swish of breeze-kissed treetops.  I am so thankful to get to be here with her, listening to her own strain of nature song.  I will miss her when she sheds her physicality and dissolves into the Unseen for a while.)

Speaking of attachments and agendas and such ridiculousness… This morning upon waking, my mom reported that she woke up at two am and made herself some toast… and in the kitchen, she noticed that not only had one of her ashram mates picked all the tomatoes that SHE had spent the entire summer nursing and loving, but someone ELSE had used them ALL to make tomato soup last night!  She was horrified.  Her ego plan for salvation (as A Course in Miracles would word it) was to harvest them little by little, savoring them at a modest and consistent pace.  SHE had been the one caring for them, pouring herself out into their blushing, juicy, miraculous little lives.  And now they were obliterated in a sorry-assed soup, never to be whole and free and open for business again.  She sat in the darkness with her toast, gazing at a picture of Yoganada as her ego flushed her with its requisite poisons.  Yogananda told her that they were just tomatoes… and her life is not about tomatoes… her life is about God.  She found some solace and came back to bed.

When she told me this, I immediately thought of the Bhagavad Gita.  Krishna tells Arjuna, “to your actions alone be attached, but not to the tomatoes of your actions.” (He actually says “fruits”, not tomatoes… but as the old adage goes, “if the fruit fits…”)  I love the Bhagavad Gita!  It is such a short, sweet book… but if one takes the essence and lessons to heart… that one will be pretty spiritually buff and unstoppable.  Ahhh, to engage with life purely as an offering to the All Pervading Tomato Consumer!  Please God… help me release all my ego’s silly plans for salvation.  I want only the salvation that comes from choosing Peace… Now and now and NOW.

Even as I write this entry, the critic is standing over my shoulder trying to convince me that my writing is not good enough.  That my readers will be bored, turned off and I will be left alone and unloved to rot in a heap of shame.  Fruits, fruits, I must stuff my greedy imaginary face with sweet fruits… letting them drip down my chin, stain my shirt, engorge my belly.  PLEASE!  TELL ME HOW TALENTED I AM!!!!  Tell me how deeply impacted you are by my wisdom and wit and eloquence.  Sigh.

“A true yogi feels the throb of her heart in all hearts, her mind in all minds, her presence in all motion.”  This is part of a poetic meditation that Yogananda wrote.  Ten years ago, I went through a phase where I read it every single day.  That little sliver of it rose to the surface of my mind as my mom relayed her tomato tragedy to me this morning.  If only she could truly recognize that this localized chattery voice in her head was not truly who she is.  Ahhh… just imagine how beautiful the world would be if we all dared to see ourselves in everyone we met!  In the very earth we treaded upon.  Imagine if she grew those tomatoes with a heart yearning to offer them up to all of her beloveds, because she already felt so FULL in God’s All Pervading Glory, that there was nothing in this world that she could possibly have, take or consume that could compare to the inner fullness that not only dwells inside of her, but also concurrently bursts forth from every single pore of Creation at once and always.

She is me.  And I will settle for nothing less than to live in this Truth.  I surrender.  (Cringe… uh-oh… I bet God’s wondering if I really meant that… Beware of falling tests…)

Amen.

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