The Ultimate Soul Workout

wonderwoman

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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Scattering Seeds of Peace and Happiness in the Soil of an Aching Heart

For a lightening second, I thought I didn’t have anything to say this morning.  But then I realized it wasn’t that… it’s just that I feel very depressed and I feel ashamed to admit it on the page.  You know how human beings get… we always want to appear like we have it together and all that junk.  Why is that?  So others will love us?  I think what it is, at least my version… I have a deep seated belief that if people witnessed me in a state of need, desperation, helplessness, lonliness, they would all feel deeply repulsed and leave me wildly, ridiculously alone.  Which, of course I don’t want…

I’ve been left alone like that.  Not because I exhibited any of the aforementioned undesirable qualities, just cuz that’s how it worked out… but still, a two year old mind doesn’t quite comprehend that.  So it’s taken me about a quarter century to unfurl enough to once again find access to the ability to open my valve of “less attractive emotions”, such as sorrow, anger, loneliness, etc.  But now that it’s open, Jesus, it doesn’t seem to want to close.  Yes, that’s a bit of an exaggeration… but not a vast, chasmatic one.  Lately, it seems, I am on the verge of tears every single day.  Why did I bother putting on eye make-up this morning?  Maybe just for the dramatics of letting it run wild down my face in black and copper rivers?

Anyway, I feel the dull ache of tragedy perched like a weighty, rabid elephant in the center of my chest.  What’s a seniorita to do?  The divine message from A Course in Miracles invited me this morning to pray to God, asking for happiness and peace this day.  I thought to myself, “Heck, why not?!  You only live once… I’ll give it a shot.”  So I did.  And here I am, at ten oh eight on a sunny morning, aching, turning life over and over and over in my mind, examining it from a [limited] multiplicity of angles and I can’t say that I’m not happy and peaceful… but it’s not the down home, stereo typical happiness and peace they teach you about in Hollywood movies, woman’s magazines, or even in public school.  It’s a happiness born of honesty, humility and acceptance.  It also helps that it’s a sunny day, and I had a good bike ride to Hudson Bay Café.

Last night was date night.  Usually, on Thursday mornings, I ooze enthusiam about impending date night.  I wake up feeling like a kid whose destiny is to visit Disney Land on this very day.  (Time out, because Karen just texted me and asked me if I fancied having lunch with her, since she’s in Oakland… That’s music to my heart.  I guess there IS a God, and this God character truly DOES support my happiness and peace.  Not that happiness and peace are contingent upon external circumstances… but the company of good friends is some sort of soothing balm, any way you slice it.)

Time in.  I am always excited about date night in the morning… but by the time it arrives, around six pm, I am usually short on inspiration and wishing that we could spend ma-ma-money, $$$, cha-ching!  It was my turn to choose last night.  Earlier in the week, I had been sincerely thrilled and inspired by this.  I imagined us spending the evening working on the huge, joint painting we started near the beginning of our relationship and haven’t touched in at least a year and a half.  I imagined giving attention to our long forgotten relationship altar on the hearth, sharing a luxurious, extended love making session, maybe going outside and drawing on our sidewalk in chalk pastels, riding bikes to the cemetery in time to soak up the sunset…

But six o’clock rolled around and we were two mildly pathetic messes.  I could hardly move, but I suggested trying out this seductive looking taqueria on Grand Avenue, across the street from Lake Merrit.  Mykael seemed pretty enthused about this.  Personally, the thought of getting on my bike and pedaling through the clear early evening seemed almost impossible.  But what’s that saying from Alice in Wonderland?  Do six impossible things before breakfast?  Well, if breakfast comes and goes, you can still do one or two impossible things before dinner.  Hey, don’t knock it, it’s better than doing ZERO impossible things before you hit the hay…

I just changed seats here at the cafe.  I traded my autonomous little table for a big, uncomfortable chair with a concaved back.  But now I am sitting next to a priest.  He’s pouring over his bible.  I bet he’s writing a sermon!  I find that thrilling.  Even if he’s gonna preach bullshit, I don’t care. I’d bet my own mixed bag of a life that he has at least a single, sincere bone in his body… if not twelve or a hundred… Because something in his heart is tickled by the Holy Spirit.  Tickled enough that he’s giving himself over to the feeling and offering it back out to like-minded, hungry souls.  Even if he’s clogged with dogma, he’s doing his best to reach inside and find that which is greater than himself and give it away!  I want to do this.  Oops, now my eyes sting.  Prepare for the impending black and copper rivers…

Anyway, the bike ride to the taqueria was way less impossible than I imagined it would be.  We flew downhill the whole way, and I got drunk off my ass on cool, spring air.  Unfortunately, the food blew.  But I was such a good sport about it, which is far from something I can count on about myself.  Hooray for me!  The highlight of the journey was seeing a grown man sucking on a dum-dum lollypop and reading the paper while he waited for his take-out order.  What is it about adults licking lollypops in public?  It just seems so… so… so overtly sexual.  So telling and vulnerable and innocent.  Plus, his existence looked wicked simple, something I wish I felt more often.  (I wonder what the priest next to me is thinking about.  I keep trying to peek over his shoulder and read the scrawl of notes he is jotting down on his white legal pad.  Yeah, a priest would NEVER use a YELLOW legal pad for Mother Mary’s Holy Sake… only virginal white…)

Another highlight was a very ROUND, fierce, punk rock woman in skin tight black leggings, tattooed arms and stiletto heals!  Yeah, the taqueria was getting tons of traffic.  Every time I pass it, it seems to be buzzing with happy face stuffers.  Usually that’s a sure fire way to know if a place is good… But I have to say that though eclectic and highly interesting, the contingency of Oakland folk who walked through the door in enthusiastic pursuit of dinner have very LOW standards and poor taste.  Surprise!  But I tried to be nourished by the fascinating company more than the stupid, flavor and soul-less veggie tacos I inflicted upon myself.

Mykael ordered two fish tacos, rice and refried beans.  Is it just me who is turned off by his lack of interest in making veggies an integral part of his meals?  He ordered and I flooded with disapproval.  But I’m sick of making a stink about his choices, so I shut the hell up.  He was disgusted by the fishiness of his deep fried tacos, but he devoured them, regardless. (Though he drowned them in ketchup to try and disguise the raunchy flavor.  God, I feel like barfing just thinking about it.)  Then at home, he confessed that he felt uncomfortably full and wanted my sympathy.  Really?  How on earth did he expect me to muster sympathy?!  What the hell did he expect???  I am the totally wrong person to offer sympathy for overeating garbage and feeling bad about it.  If you don’t want to feel that way, don’t eat a pile of heavy crap.  Being someone who has a history of overeating, I now execute much self discipline and inspired mindfulness around my eating habits and I expect others to do the same… but they don’t.  As far as I’m concerned, his choices suck and I feel agony about it, not sympathy.

Especially because again he had no interest in sex.  I guess I wasn’t that inviting either… But I feel so heartbroken about this.  The more he doesn’t want to have sex, the more rejected and disappointed I feel, which compels me to close and brood, which creates less invitation for intimacy.  It’s a vicious cycle.  How can I be happy without being well fucked?

I know, I know I can… but… I still feel like crying about it.

Woops, let me end this on a note of happiness and peace… A Course in Miracles teaches that in extending blessings to others, we make them available to ourselves.  That ain’t really so far fetched… So I wish YOU the kind of happiness and peace unbounded by the craggy circumstances of this world.  The kind of happiness and peace that are carried like tiny, hopeful seeds on a divine breeze that wafts right into your heart, right this instant!  There they land and take root, drawing nourishment from the goodness and beauty that lives in you.  And before you know it, they are flowering, fruiting trees, stretching their leafy arms all about your holy consciousness providing sweet shade and juicy fruits to the masses.  Amen.