With my ear to the ground…

I have my ear pressed to the ground.  I am listening for water, as though my life depended on it.  No, not the literal, earthen ground… The ground of my inner-most being.  And the water is the pure, nourishing, musical flow of my essential self.

Every day I face the grating realization that my life is not what I want it to be.  I want a light, spacious, peaceful hOMe nestled in the glorious embrace of nature.  I want spiritually and creatively fulfilling work.  I want a husband to wake up with; to share life with.  I want a child or two.  I want plenty of money.

Instead I’m living with my mom at a spiritual community in the woods.  I’m teaching yoga in trade for credit toward more classes here.  (Saving up for meditation teacher training!)  I’m spiritually married to a man who I can’t be with (in the day to day sense of the words) (Although I s’pose it depends on what you mean by “waking up together”… Grin.).  I’m not pregnant.  Monetarily, I have the twenty dollars my Ma just shelled out so that I could by sprouted raisin bread at Master’s Market after I finish writing this.

See… there’s a seeming discrepancy between what I want and what I have.  And it’s driving me nuts, because I believe I have the power to create what I want in my life… but I feel stuck.  It’s a nauseatingly familiar feeling.

So I’ve been relentlessly stalking a SHIFT IN CONSCIOUSNESS.  Because Einstein was not just blowing smoke up our asses when he said that you can not solve a problem from the same consciousness that created it.  Yeah, so I’ve been flushing my mind with youtube recordings of Abraham Hicks, Wayne Dyer and Marianne Williamson, as well as daily readings from my beloved companion, A Course in Miracles.  Striving to spark remembrance of the Infinite Power within me.  I want it to be that I am dousing myself with figurative gasoline, so that when God decrees it, that destined match gets lit and tossed like a kiss on the wind, by a smirking Mother of Grace, and in a holy instant, my whole world roars in a blazing pyre of simultaneously spiritual and material success.

It really could happen.

But in the mean time, Abraham is drilling it into my thick scull that happiness does NOT come from external circumstances.  No!  Happiness is a permanent inner address.  Ugh!  You’d think that realizing this would be HALLELUJAH news… And really, it IS… but it’s also frustrating… because like, if that is true, and I know it IS, then why am I feeling stuck in “not happiness” so much of the time?

Because I still insist on clinging to ideas of how life SHOULD look, and this idea is forming a gaping Grand Canyon between the life I’m IN, and the life I WISH I was in.  And the only way I can ever hope to traverse it, is by sprouting WINGS, and I can only sprout wings by allowing the innate JOY of my divine essence to rise to the surface of my life and consciousness.

It appears that I’m chasing my tail.

But I’m closer than I think.  Because I am remembering that joy is not something that I have to GENERATE; go out and by at the store and slather all over the surface of myself and my life.  No… joy is the water that I am listening for as I press my ear to the ground of my Being.  It will flow to the surface as I invite it, and then allow.  Sometimes it bubbles up in a soft wash of glee, after sadhana (spiritual practice).  And it’s almost easy to miss… because it’s subtle.  Like the identical twin sister of our beloved friend peace.  It’s not what I formerly knew joy to be… this manic, over-stimulated feeling that comes from a triple late, or a peak experience.  That’s the cheap imitation.  Like the difference between eating a blood-red bing cherry at summer’s zenith, or a cherry flavored blow pop.

Meanwhile, I look in the mirror, and I see a wOMan of pure light gazing back at me.  I see a clarified, indelible soul beauty, that I have worked so hard to become.  Yes.  I have worked so hard to get this far.  I don’t know if this “working hard” is good or bad, right or wrong… but it’s what I know to be true with a small t.  True with a massive T, is that I am always whole, perfect and complete.  I am infinite.  The Truth of me can never change…  But in this relative world, I evolve.  I burn down and rise up, burn down and rise up.  I shed and molt and remodel and incessantly become.

Even though my life is “not what I want”… I suppose it is what I NEED.  Because I am becoming a purified channel for the Light.  From the excruciating heat of this alchemy, the possibility of real wisdom and love are whispering from deep within me.  No journey is EVER wasted.  Even if I am blind and flailing in a mud puddle of my treasured delusions…

The Light will ultimately obliterate all dreams of darkness.  Yes, you can take that statement to the BANK!  And in the mean time, I keep my ear devotionally-obsessively pressed to this inner ground.  Thirsting to learn the hushed, lucid language of Silence.

 

An Interview with ME!

Hi!  I just took myself through a powerful process… I soul searched some deep questions that I wanted to explore and clarify within myself.  And then I threw down in an interview!!!  Initially, I just intended it to be for me… not to share.  But when I watched it, I was moved by the power and sweetness of my authenticity and soulful sharing.  I felt moved to share it… just incase you find value in witnessing my soulful expression.  Perhaps it touches something deep within you… I offer it from my heart.

Grrrrrr…. Youtube sucks.  This is the second time I’ve copied and pasted my vid link, and it’s put up the WRONG video!!!!  And I keep trying to do it over and over again… with the same results.  (You can’t solve a problem from the same consciousness that created it!!!!  Thanks Einstein.)  Well… it’s on my Youtube channel.  It’s called “An interview with myself”.  I hope you watch it.

Watch my vid!!!

Hello Friends!  I know that Athena Graceland has been a ghost town as of late… I have been exploring the medium of video, and finding so much delight in this mode of expression.  This is just the beginning… I am taking the world by storm.  I want to remind you all of the Truth.  That you are INFINITE.  You are WHOLE.  You are a powerful creator, and your thoughts and feelings CREATE YOUR REALITY.  The mind can get so lazy…. and fall asleep as you tumble through well worn grooves in your mind.  But time to WAKE UP.  Together… Come on!!!!  You and me.  Let’s dare to LOVE like we were BORN TO LOVE.  And shape our lives and the world from inspired vision and delight!!!!

 

Check out my first video here:

 

 

Blessed BE,

Athena Grace

 

 

Dark and Exposed

Friday night.  Seven pm.  Quiet rushes in through the open window.  It’s a restless quiet, strewn with distant, random, urban sounds- train whistle (but it’s *not* a whistle… it’s more like a horn… but if I said “train horn”, wouldn’t that sound awkward?), an occasional siren, the continuous swish of flowing freeway, and the most lonely sound of all: the ticking of the clock.  So slow and indifferent, as it devours life as we know it, one fleeting second at a time.

 

I feel depressed tonight.  I just got home from the grocery store… Didn’t run into anyone I knew.  I was hoping I would, because I usually do.  And I need a hug.  I’m sure at least ninety seven percent of the people in Whole Foods would have shared a hug with me, had I asked… but I didn’t.  Instead I listened to dancy, devotional music in my headphones and looked around like an alien tourist, at the myriad human lives; consciousness streaming through a multiplicity of artistically dreamed bodies…. so near to each other, and yet mostly anonymous.  This world doesn’t make sense.

 

I know the only sanity is to go inside and blend with the silence that lives here.  I do.  Every day.  But still, it doesn’t feel like enough.  Because I still feel trapped in the incessant static of a meaningless world.  Inhaaaaale.  Exhaaaaale.

 

I am waiting.  Waiting for something I can not define.  Waiting for something to click into place.  Like some ultimate meaning which will inform my day to day, moment to moment engagement as a human being, living a human life.  I know that I am here to deepen in my knowing of God.  Like DUH, that’s a given.  And I know I’m here to serve, such that others are more able to touch their own core of sacred remembrance.  But the HOW… the how is so fucking elusive I could scream.  But it’s too quiet to scream.  And the slicing sound of soulful desperation would probably frighten my neighbors.  Life is so arduous.  I can’t wait to wake up from this stupid, pointless, benignly excruciating dream.

 

I’m sharing this with you, because it’s the kind of stuff that is tempting for me to keep to myself.  You know… because I just want to be an inspiration.  A source of upliftment.  And I want you to love me.  And who wants to love someone whose mind and heart are sheathed in dense, deep purple storm clouds?  But I also know that there is SOMETHING to be said for having the courage to simply BE HERE.  And be witnessed at that… Because we all cycle through patches of shadow and light.  And when I am in the light, I am so drunk on the endless beauty and goodness whose juice bursts from the heart of everything…

 

Tick.  Tock.  Tick.  Tock.  Yup the clock is still taking little dainty sips of this life.  And I keep taking deep breaths, and even in my darkness, I am able to taste pleasure in the simple act of taking life into this intricate, expendable body, and then letting it flow out again, in a small and subtle death.  Tick.  Tock.  I would want to thrust myself right into the clock’s indifferent mouth of death… If I didn’t intuit that life really never ends…  But alas, in the face of infinity, what is one to do, but love as BIG and BOLD as we can.  Tonight the love is not comfortable or glorified love… It’s love that just looks like being willing to be here, marinating in loneliness and frustrating uncertainty.

 

I bet Ed can not hear any clocks ticking in the raucous dining room of the divvy pizza place where he and his family are celebrating his sister’s birthday as I type these tenderly tortured words.  Does salt really sting wounds?  I’ve never experienced that… lemon juice, yes… But if it does, I will confess that it sucks like a salted gash to imagine him out with his family, eating and drinking, laughing and having the gayest time in the world, while I sit at home in this puddle of heart ache.  I want to be included.  Of all the dudes to fall in love with…  I really don’t understand why life serves up the ever-imaginative and cruel combos that it does… But I believe in an unsayably intricate and loving intelligence, who is calling the shots, while all of us little blind bitches dance around like tiny, endearing munchkins playing dress-up in mommy’s clothes, inventing entire, fantastical worlds from our crafty imaginations.

 

I guess that’s all I have to say today.  I just wanted to feel real.  Writing makes me feel real… And naked.  And vulnerable.  Because the truth is, I know we all encounter our own flavors of darkness.  And beneath the scummy top layer of resistance, I believe its okay.  And necessary.  Inhale.  Exhale.  Tick.  Tock.  And I pray to God… God please help me find the light switch… and by your grace, be *willing* to flip it ON.  And God, please guide my life, such that I find a place to plug in and give away the meaning that I most want to receive.  And God… just let me feel you here in me now.  Inhaling, you fill me.  Exhaling, you wash back out into the invisible mystery in which we swim.

 

Thank you for being with me…

 

Live,

A

Complicated Or Pancakes?

My fingers are hovering on the keys like my mind is hovering on the teetering edge of God.  On one side, there is an unbounded field of goodness.  On the other side is chaos and complications and infinite reasons why this moment is insufficient.  Hmmmm… Given my God-given gift to create a world that is a perfect reflection of my inner world, my thoughts and beliefs, which side shall I invest myself in?  Athena Graceland is a world that I rule.  Honestly, I often feel subconsciously overwhelmed by this.  And I don’t just mean the rulership of Athena Graceland… but the rulership of my own life.  OH YEAH!  I forgot for a second what I wanted to write about, but it just came back as I opened the spigot of my mind!  Hallelujah, maybe there IS something greater at work here than generic old “me”.  Small, illusory, separate me with the smallest m in the wholesale alphabet warehouse…

 

This fear, that my writing is but a desperate, clawing act of survival of a greedy, sniveling, clutching little ego-fever-dream… it can be a crippling one.  I can be so absolute– like, either I must show up on the page as an entirely obliterated wash of GodLove, or I should just “stay on the porch”, sipping my sweet tea, thinking “deep, private thoughts” with my hand down my pants.  But then I catch myself flailing in the sticky net of that royal mind fuck and I take a breath and just start writing.

 

How’s that for profound?  I’d give it a nine!  Because think about it– Where does waiting for perfection get you?  Yes, this is a “my first zen koan”… from the collection “zen koans for dummies”.  Uh-huh, that’s right!  Waiting for perfection gets you to stagnant pergatory called “waiting for perfection”.  We could all rot a thousand times over as we sit around waiting for perfection.  But honestly, let’s not.  Let’s put on our hip rainbow vision safety goggles and get on with exploring the mystic scapes of our inner life as told by the wild and strange multiplicity of the “external world”.  (yes, I put it in quotes because I’m not convinced that it really exists.

 

Which brings me back to my original inquiry… the one that I have yet to divulge.  I am here, mostly naked on my blue bed on a moonday morning at ten forty, fog burning off and giving way to boundless, lucid sky and a glorious rendition of daylight and I am wondering.  Does that make me “Wonder Woman”?  Absolutely.  Ahem.  So I wonder…

 

DOES THE WORLD NEED TO BE SAVED????

 

This is a really important question.  And I’ve heard from leading experts in this field that NO, in fact, the world does NOT NEED TO BE SAVED.  Abraham Hicks, for one, takes this stance.  Not to mention an impressively sized handful of other “enlightened types”… Then there’s A Course In Miracles, which, in the essential fashion of most sacred texts, states that there is no world beyond the world Inside… so if we wish to look  upon perfection and endless love than all we must do is give ourselves devotionally to the task of polishing our own inner sanctum until it is Revealed as the brilliant shine it always has been and always will be.  As I write this, I’m like YEAH!  Absolutely!!!!  But next let’s consider Ghandi, MLKjr., Jesus Christ, (oh fuck, why are they all MEN who rise to the surface of my  mind when I call upon examples of great souls who majestically-creative, personify LOVE IN ACTION?  I’m sure there’s plenty of women… Maya Angeloo… Ummm… okay I have homework to do!  (Actually, will you please comment on this blog and share your favorite rockstar woman who has taken a bold and courageous stand from her heart and GIVEN HER ENTIRE LIFE to serving this stand?  I’d appreciate it.  And so will some other people.  Because I’m not the only one here who has been warped by world history books fabricated by the ill-meaning powers that be, in service of keeping our collective head clutched in a pathetic headlock by the tighter than thou  collective anal sphincter.)

 

So let’s summarize.  I’m into that lately.  In fact, since it blew my mom’s head open, I think I’ll play the numerical ordering game again!

 

#1- The thought form that asserts that it’s all about raising our own vibration- that we are each indeed God, existing on a sacred playground of infinite possibility where “right” and “wrong” expired back before the dinosaurs ruled the earth, and given this, every soul is eternal and free to choose and explore as they please and it is NOT OUR JOB TO JUDGE THE CHOICES OF OTHERS… but only to mind our own business and create as WE CHOOSE, resting sweetly in the assurance that there truly IS infinite supply.  That’s a rough sketch of the Abraham view of the ISniverse!

 

#2- This one is sort of an intermediate smear of the other two items.  The idea that there IS NO WORLD, aside from the world Inside.  I am a devout subscriber to this notion, and given this, I aspire every day to continue on the path of purifying and healing my mind.  But is that ENOUGH?  Then what?

 

#3- Love in action.  Those who devote their lives to making the world outside “a better place”.  And I can NOT deny that this is crucial, because I am so grateful for those who have taken a stand for such massive vision at the risk of their own comfort.  Fuck yes!

 

But why do they bother… if the world does not need to be saved and is already perfect?????????  I put nine question marks, but really I meant to put at least a thousand because I WANT TO UNDERSTAND THIS once and for all!

 

I guess the missing piece is dharma.  Gotta call Krishna in to shed his holy light on this colossal mind fuck!  He says it’s like this- You meditate, get fluent in the language of Silence, and then you can hear the call of your deepest heart’s integrity.  And if you have the chutzpah, you can give yourself entirely to this sacred invitation, whether it’s embarking on a mission to free a nation or make killer blueberry pancakes for your family’s breakfast… And Krishna told me to be SURE to emphasize that you mustn’t get attached to whether or not the nation gets free or the pancakes turn out hella rad… More important is complete immersion in the moment, in the intent, in the BEING.

 

God, how did it all get so complicated?  The more I live, the more I believe that if it is complicated, it is ego and it is unnecessary… I should have written this blog:  BE LOVE NOW.

 

Live A.

Making Love to Loneliness

After my recent post, “Letting Love Slice Me into One”, my beloved blogging friend, Arlene (aka spirit2go.wordpress.com) expressed some compassionate concern that I was in a funk.  Yeah… that’s one way of putting it… Well Arlene, I am writing to you personally right now and as well, I want to share this with others because it feels like an important message for me to express to many.  But first, thank you for caring so deeply for me, and for all whom your immense, courageous heart dost embrace!

One of the guiding lights along my path is the twelfth century Persian poet, Hafiz.  The brotha knows what is up.  He’s wild.  He’s free.  And he’s unabashedly drunk on the All Pervading Friend.  I used to have this poem hand written and taped up above my bed, because it felt like something that I needed to remember every single day of my life~

My Eyes So Soft

Don’t

Surrender

Your loneliness so quickly,

Let it cut more

Deep.

Let it ferment and season you

As few human

Or even divine ingredients can.

Something missing in my heart tonight

Has made my eyes so soft,

My voice so

Tender,

My need of God

Absolutely

Clear.

This is why I did not try to run from or avoid my loneliness the other day.  I want to be carved out like a freaky jack o lantern, lit from the inside with a sweet scented votive and left out in our dark world so that my eyes glow and blaze with undeniable, soothing truth and kindness for all.

It’s an art… to visit that utterly lonely place without getting stuck or stagnant there.  Without making it mean anything, (and I mean ANY thing) about you, about God, about life.  Without judging it as “BAD”.   No… just to BE there.  And then, to recognize when it has passed and gracefully dance with that which arises next.  The mind loves to hold on to everything and create an identity around it.  “I’m Athena and I’m so lonely… I must be depressed.  There must be something WRONG with me.  But at least I know I EXIST!  At least I can avoid facing the Great Emptiness that is always humming from somewhere deep inside me.”

You see what I mean?  And our mindlessly consuming society is built on this fear of emptiness.  “Uh-oh, I feel empty.  I’d better reach outside of myself in desperation to make this go away.  Who or what can fix me?  Here, TAKE my money!!!  Just make this unavoidable human ache subside for long enough to keep me three and a half quarters blissfully asleep!”

Beloveds, do not fear the shadows.  In this silly dream of division and duality, they are vital for recognizing the light.  Loneliness.  Forgetting the oceanic, resplendent, All Pervading Love that we ARE is about the loneliest thing I can imagine.  I LOVE You, Arlene!  And I feel your Love for me.  And because of this, I know the world is infinitely more blessed.

Friends, let your loneliness carve you, artistically into exquisite jack o lanterns and together we shall celebrate the infinite glowing faces of God in this magnificently dark world!

Amen.

Time Keeps A-Sweepin’

Realizing it’s now July.  Noticing I get so excited about the passage of time, but why?  It’s like I’m sprinting down the echoing breezeway of Life, my little worn out moccasins making explosive shouts as they slap and slap and slap the concrete beneath me.  Where am I running to with such urgency?  Back to God, I suppose, but in that case, the joke is definitely on me… because… running to the “end” will not get me any closer to the All Pervading Yard Duty.  Being still might.  Letting my intense yearning split me down the middle might… But certainly not fast forwarding in a single bolt of lightening strife to the illusory ego-fever-dreamish end of Life.

I wrote that first paragraph fresh out of bed.  But that’s all that revealed its self, so I cut myself some slack and took a chill pill instead of squeezing out the entire blog by six am.  Fed, watered and clean as a squeaking, queenly Disney heroine on ice, I am now nestled just south of peaceful at Pizzaiolo.  Still trying to carve out my safe nook in the chaos.  Today’s Course in Miracles lesson made me shake and combust in my sleek space boots.  It was about becoming consumed, devoured, swallowed by God’s name, and therefore my name, your name, OUR sacred name.  Letting my thirst for the One drive me over the edge of illusion’s steep ravine into the oceanic, All Pervading Void.  I think that’s a splendid idea!  I accept!  And now I sit in witness of this ceaseless swish of activity and I burn to see only All Pervading Holy Me… in every single face.  And in the faceless space between heavenly bodies.  This mission requires frequent breathing.

The energy feels so agitating.

Ahhhh, blessed be.  A luminous man from Mykael’s men’s circle just came in and sat across from me!  I offered him a poem.  He accepted.  I asked him to spill the contents of his heart and mind out onto the table between us and he generously poured out a story that went like this~ tomorrow he is flinging himself bold and brave into the unknown folds of Life.  He’s subletting his home for the summer and journeying to Eselen to do work trade.  He feels the blissful sting of change, the inevitable fear-stained tickle of letting go into the unknown.  As he talked, I began to see images of verdant, beautifully tended gardens at dawn.  A bead of dew sliding helplessly graceful down a virile green leaf.  I’ll tell ya WHAT~ writing poetry on the fly is the ultimate exercise in trusting my mind, my imagination.  It always shows me things.  My only job is to tune in, listen, look inside and say YES.  I find it sorta unbelievable.  Entirely miraculous. Risky.  So alive.

As I smacked out the poem, my own heart unfolded, petal by meticulous petal into full bloom.  By the time I finished, I was ecstatic.  This is alchemy at its finest!  Remember, I was choking on the chaos, struggling to find my place.  Then in the next instant, I was blessed by the holy opportunity to let the All Pervading Poet bestow a sacred blessing through me.  I want to leap into the sky and give God a violent high five!  Win for the team!!!  Hmmm… I don’t really know what else to say after that.  I guess I’ll just toss out RosyMoon’s poem request about aging and mortality and call it a day.

She gazed at what legend had it

was her own face,

curious, blinking and flat

upon the reflective glass

she came to know as

“herself”.

Myopic, scrutinous she drank

modest sips of an image breathing

as it shot,

slow and soft

through Time’s winding mind.

Judging eyes

scoured the deepening story lines

upon her tale of skin,

vacillating in a ceaseless pulse

of approval

and disdain passed down

from mothers upon mothers

upon sisters and brothers

in this epic dream

of embodied God long forgotten

in the folds of endless division.

Distracted by a fresh

though not so fragrant spray

of thoughts,

she reached for a the hairbrush

to her left and swept

it through a tangled mane.

It sang crunching songs

as it tamed her external wilderness.

Blinking, she slicked

a colored stain across lips familiar

as her own name.

Grasping for an unchanging taste

of her beauty she stood

in wait.

Another moment, another day

half asleep, oblivious to

the truth hidden within

the ambiguous, eternal something lurking

just beyond her hungry

slow

decaying reflection.

God, thank you for another beautiful day to remember you, to serve you, to spin time and space into Love on the loom of Forgiveness.  Amen.

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